Monon Trail: 7 Places to Hydrate and/or Evacuate. Broad Ripple Village to 96th St.

It’s time to continue our journey of the best and worst places to hydrate and/or evacuate on the Monon Trail! This time we head north from Broad Ripple Village up to 96th St. My previous blog post on this topic covered Broad Ripple Village to 42nd St. I’m not going to rehash stops previously mentioned, so you can refer back to that post for two spots–The Runners Forum and The Loft–where you can pop in and take care of business in the Village.

Special Note: I was going to include the Annex Club House in the Village but saw on social media that they are closing down that location. So please don’t blast me in the comments when you don’t see it!

Now that we have covered all the pleasantries, let’s get down to where you can handle the unpleasantries while traveling north on the Monon Trail!

Water Fountain Only

Stop 1: The Rock water fountain, located approximately 5-10 feet west of the Monon Trail, about a half mile south of 75th St.

Pro Tips: Do you smell what the Rock is cooking? The way this fountain has been leaking lately chances are you do. If you look closely at the picture above you can see the mini-swamp that is forming on the fountain side. If you do manage to get around all the water without soaking your feet, you will be rewarded with a very low drizzle of water. To drink from this location you practically need to do your best Andy Dwyer impression and put your whole mouth on the nozzle. I can’t remember the last time I attempted to drink here, but I’m fairly certain this fountain is seasonal and is shut down for the winter.

Recommendation: Unless you are on death’s door, skip it. The juice isn’t worth the squeeze.

Water Fountain Only

Stop 2: The School for the Blind water fountain, located approximately 20-25 feet west of the Monon trail just about a quarter mile north of 75th St.

Pro Tips: This fountain is currently leaking too. Good news though, the water pressure is a lot better than the rock and you can easily get a drink without soaking your feet. This fountain is also seasonal, so it shuts down in the winter.

Recommendation: This is a common place for runners and bikers alike to stop for a break, so make sure you have your gossips ready!

Water Fountain Only

Stop 3: Jordan YMCA water fountain, located approximately 100 feet east of the Monon Trail. When you are getting close to 86th St. look for the Jordan Y sign and start heading that way. You will see the fountain on your left right before you get to the parking lot.

Pro Tips: This is a pretty reliable fountain with good water pressure. On the other side of the fence is a Port A Potty. That fence is locked a majority of the time and I’m guessing not meant for the general population. Do with that information what you will. This fountain is also seasonal and shut down during the winter.

Bathroom & Water Fountain

Stop 4: Kroger located just south of 86th St. approximentely 200-300 feet west of the Monon Trail.

Pro Tips: This isn’t a RRCA runner friendly location or anything, but it can save you in an emergency. I can’t speak for the women’s room, but Guys: be ready for the stall to look like a WWE cage match just took place and for some rando to be camped out in there for long periods of time. Other than that it’s pretty great! It also has the added benefit of being open in the winter, and the water fountain is pretty solid.

Water Cooler Only

Stop 5: Big Lug water cooler, sponsored by the Carmel Marathon, located approximately 10-15 feet east of the Monon Trail just south of 86th St.

Pro Tips: This is the second hydration post in a row where I have mentioned a Carmel Marathon sponsored stop. Kudos to them and their brewery partners for helping us stay refreshed during these hot summer days! If anyone from their marketing team is reading this, I have three words for you: Logo. Urinal. Cakes. Run with that. Big Lug fills the cooler daily. I’m not 100 percent certain, but I’m guessing this is only a seasonal location as well.

Bathroom and Water Cooler

Stop 6: Athletic Annex, located approximately a quarter to a half mile west of the Monon Trail in Nora Plaza Shopping Center on 86th St. The exact address is 1300 East 86th St. Ste 29A. Best way to get there on foot: once you are north of 86th St. run west around Huddles into Nora Plaza and head north in the parking lot by the Whole Foods. You should be able to see it from a distance.

Pro Tips: Admittedly, I have never been in this location. It is relatively new and looks pretty nice from the outside. I’m guessing though, being a running shop, that they would be cool with you stopping in for a pit stop and a drink. Not sure about fresh dance moves though? Try it and let me know in the comments.

Bathroom and Water Fountain

Stop 7: 96th St. Rest Stop, located just north of 96th St. approximately 5 feet on the east side of the Monon Trail.

Pro Tips: When you arrive at this location you are officially in Carmel, IN. That means a couple things. First: Unisex bathrooms open year round! Second: A water fountain that, at first push, will squirt water into your face if you’re not careful. This is actually quite comical when you see an unsuspecting victim of these H2O shenanigans. The water fountain, unlike the restrooms, is shut down during the winter.

Special Tribute: Seen in the picture above is Pirate Cat. I’m not going to get completely into his story, but you should check him out on Facebook or Google him. One of my favorite memories of Pirate Cat is during a pit stop, on a 5 AM run, at this exact location, I saw him come out of nowhere to pounce on a mouse and swallow it whole. The things I find amusing while exercising half asleep could fill another entire blog post. Anyway, enough digression, the day after I took this picture I heard Pirate Cat is sick and not expected to make it much longer. Just wanted to give him a special shoutout and say thank you for bringing me joy on countless runs on the Monon.

Please leave a comment on this article if you know a stop I missed between Broad Ripple Village and 96th St. I promise to head even further north on the Monon in a future post!

Yours in timely hydration and evacuation,

Jesse

6 Hot Tips to Beat the Heat This Summer and Train Like a Rock Star!

It is mid-July here in Indianapolis and, as I am writing this post, we are dealing with high humidity and temperatures in the triple digits! Insane, right? Going outside for a run or walk right now can feel like you are eating scorpion peppers in the middle of Death Valley. The good news is that with the right preparation, you can survive the heat and train like a rock star this summer!

Here are my 6 Hot Tips to beating the heat:

Hot Tip 1: Be Patient

Acclimating to the high temperatures takes a minimum of 5-10 runs or walks lasting an hour or more in the heat. It will take approximately 3-5 days for your cardiovascular system to adjust, and up to 10 days for your sweat rate to adapt. It’s always a good idea to adjust your training intensity to the extreme temperatures. Be patient and take it easy while your body adapts to the heat.

Hot Tip 2: Do your Homework

Before you even go out for a run or walk you must have properly hydrated beforehand. A good rule of thumb for knowing how much water to drink during the day is to multiply your body weight in pounds by .55. That gives you a rough estimate of how many ounces you should consume in a day. For example, a 150 pound person should consume approximately 82 to 83 ounces of water a day to stay well hydrated (150 x 0.55 = 82.5).

Hot Tip 3: K.I.S.S.

Keep It Simple Silly! There is a lot of research out there suggesting that you should drink only when you are thirsty while running. I personally have found this to be a great strategy. Anytime I have tried to follow a set hydration strategy (where I force myself to take in fluid at specific times) it has backfired on me by causing GI distress. Don’t get me wrong, you still need to be proactive in your hydration plan: drink early and often. But make sure to listen to your stomach and body. Also, make sure you have access to fluids on your run or walk. That could mean picking a route with plenty of water stops or carrying your own fluids via a handheld water bottle, water belt, or hydration bladder. Unlike the proverbial horse, if you lead yourself to water, I’m betting you will drink.

Hot Tip 4: Mix it Up

Don’t just rely on water alone. Gatorade commercials are not wrong when they tell you that you are losing key electrolytes when you sweat. Besides cramping, other side effects of electrolyte imbalance include dizziness, fatigue, foul breath, and more. So incorporate some electrolytes into your run. There are many ways to do this (e.g. consuming sports drinks, gels, gummies, etc.). Everyone is different in what they prefer and what their body can tolerate, so I recommend experimenting to see what works best for you. This is especially important if you are running or walking for more than 45 minutes at a time.

Hot Tip 5: Lower your Expectations

It’s a simple fact: increased heat results in decreased performance. So don’t beat yourself up when you are unable to run or walk at the pace you were when it was 50 degrees outside. A running temperature calculator is a useful tool for making a rough estimate of how much to slow down. Just keep putting the work in during the hot days and trust me, you will reap the rewards come fall when it *finally* cools down.

Hot Tip 6: Know When to Fold ‘Em

Training in the extreme heat is something that should not be taken lightly. My first marathon was in hot weather and at the end I had full body cramping and thought I had lost my hearing. It took a trip to the medical tent, two IV’s, and a lot of curse words before I was ready to celebrate my first finish with friends. I’m not trying to scare you! Rest assured that if you prepare properly and know when to back off, this most likely will not happen to you. But you should absolutely stop running if you feel dizzy, nauseated, have the chills, or cease sweating.

Image Courtesy of weather.gov

Have a hot tip of your own that you feel like I missed? Let me know in the comments. Hopefully this article will help with your training this summer and get you to your chosen start line ready to run like a Rock Star!

Monon Trail: 7 Places to Hydrate and/or Evacuate. Broad Ripple Village to 42nd St.

Scenario 1: It’s summertime and it’s hot and humid outside. I’m not talking about “I’ll just get a splash of water before my run or walk and be fine” hot and humid. I’m talking about 70-plus-dew-point-sweat-everywhere-sticky-wet-need-water-every-step hot and humid. What are you going to do? You can’t just take the day off. You’re training for your next big running or walking adventure and a day off is not an option.

Scenario 2: You’re out for a run or walk and feeling great. Nothing can stop you. Today is your day. Then all of a sudden your stomach starts to get a little uneasy. You think back to last night and remember the spicy Pad Thai you had for dinner… A sudden panic sets in and you immediately start weighing your options.

Sound familiar? If you have run or walked long enough, chances are you’ve been in both of these scenarios. You’ve also probably made a pit stop or two that you’re not proud of. No judgement–we’ve all been there. This post is the first in a series where I’m hoping to help you the next time you need liquid relief (or relief of another kind). Here are some places to make a pit stop that you won’t be embarrassed to tell your friends about later:

Water Cooler & Bathroom

Stop 1: The Runners Forum in Broad Ripple Village, located approximately 100 feet west of the Monon Trail at 902 E. Westfield Blvd.

Pro Tips: When you see a blue snow cone shack look to the West for a big red awning on the north side of Westfield Blvd. The Runners Forum is a Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) Runner Friendly Business. That means they are cool with you just popping in to get some water or take care of that “other” business. Unlike a lot of the other spots I will list, they don’t close down in the winter. This is also where I work so feel free to pop in, say Hi!, and share blog ideas, fresh dance moves, or whatever.

Hours: Weekdays 11-7, Sat. 10-6, Sun. 12-5

Water Cooler & Bathroom

Stop 2: The Loft, located approximately 100-200 feet west of the Monon Trail at 6201 Winthrop Ave.

Pro Tips: Just like The Runners Forum, The Loft is a RRCA Runner Friendly Business and is open year-round. You will have to go around the building (if you’re coming from the Monon) to enter. They usually have a sign on the Monon about a quarter mile south of Broad Ripple Ave. If you stop at The Loft for a bathroom break you can check out the creative paper towel/toilet paper holder they rigged up!

Hours: Non-standard. It’s a fitness studio so the best times to catch owners Doug or Heather are in the morning or evening.

Water Fountain & Bathroom

Stop 3: Canterbury Park, located just over a mile south of The Loft on the east side of the Monon. The water fountain and bathroom are approximately 50 feet off the trail and super easy to spot.

Pro Tips: This is a city park and only open seasonally (spring to fall) from 8am-9pm. I will warn you that I have been in dire need of a pit stop on a run or two and been burned by a locked door at a time when it should be open at this stop. Typically though, it is pretty dependable. It also has a pretty unique hand dryer that gives me the chills when I think about it.

Hours: Seasonal, 8am-9pm

Water Fountain Only

The next two locations are hydration only and are located between 54th & 52nd streets.

Stop 4: Good Dog water fountain, located approximately 5-10 feet off the Monon at 5345 Winthrop Ave., on the west side of the trail just south of 54th street. Just look for the Good Dog sign!

Pro Tips: This is also a seasonal stop: the fountain is turned off during the winter. On a personal note, I’m not sure I have ever used this fountain without first pushing the dog bowl water button first.

Water Cooler Only

Stop 5: Half Liter water cooler, located 5-10 feet west of the Monon just south of the The Good Dog. If you missed the fountain at Good Dog, you don’t have to go much farther for your next chance for some good old fashioned H20 relief.

Pro Tips: This water cooler is brought to you by the nice folks at Half Liter and the Carmel Marathon! It is a relatively new spot so I haven’t had a chance to join in on any water cooler talk with passers-by. I have been told by a reliable source, however, that Half Liter does fill and put out water daily, so I’m saving up gossips for my next pit stop.

Bathroom Only

Stop 6: Porta-pots off 46th street. This is the hidden gem of all the stops featured in this post. It’s bathroom only AND seasonal, but if you absolutely cannot make it to a respectable place for “evacuation”, these porta-pots are here to save the day!

Pro Tips: They are not the easiest to find (hence the “hidden” part of hidden gem). When you come to 46th St. on the Monon, head east on 46th for about a quarter mile and look for the baseball complex on the south side of the street (If you hit Indianola Avenue, you’ve gone too far.). As you can see in the picture, the pots are located in the complex. I promise that there are no fences to jump or anything! They are unlocked–just don’t tell anyone who let you in on the secret if asked.

Water Fountain Only

Stop 7: Near the Indiana School for the Deaf, located just north of 42nd St. and 10-15 feet off of the Monon to the east.

Pro Tips: This is not only our final stop, but also your last chance for water if you are continuing south on the Monon for quite a while… (The only place that I can think of that might have a bathroom and/or water fountain is a soccer park just south of 16th St.–but I cannot make any guarantees there.) This fountain is pretty easy to spot. Big thank you to the Indiana School for the Deaf Class of 2006 for giving us this nice oasis on our fitness journeys!

Hours: This fountain is also seasonal and shuts down in the winter.

Please leave a comment on this article if you know of a stop between Broad Ripple Village and 42nd St. that I may have missed. Also make sure to check out my next post, where I will go north on the Monon from Broad Ripple Village to 96th St. I hope that if you took the time to read this article that it will bring you relief on a future run or walk!

Yours in timely hydration and evacuation,

Jesse