2013 event schedule and winter running tips courtesy of #RunningRoom

1. Adjust the intensity of your workout.
2. Keep your head covered and your hands and feet warm as a significant amount of our heat loss comes from our extremities.
3. Warm up properly, start your runs at a comfortable pace and slowly build up the pace to a pace slower than your normal training pace.
4. Shorten your stride to improve your footing on icy roads. Wear Ice Grips over the soles of your shoes for greater traction.
5. Carry your cellphone and carry cab fare in your pocket.
6. Wind chill does not measure temperature; it measures the rate of cooling. On a day with high wind chill, prepare for the wind.
7. Run into the wind for the first part of your run and with the wind on the return portion.
8. When running by yourself, run in a loop in case you need to cut the run short.
9. On your first few runs on snow or ice, you may experience slight muscle soreness in the legs. That is because your supporting muscles are working harder to control your balance on the slippery surface.
10. Cover all exposed skin. If you or your running partner have exposed skin, be aware of each other to prevent frostbite.
11. In the winter it’s dark, so wear reflective gear and run facing the traffic in order to be more visible.
12. Mittens are warmer than gloves.
13. Drink water on any run over 45 minutes.
14. Use a lip protector (like a lip balm such as ChapStick) or Body Glide on your lips, nose and ears.
15. Gentlemen, wear a wind brief.
16. Do speed work indoors on dry surfaces.
17. Be aware of hypothermia for both yourself and those running with you. Hypothermia is a drop in your core body temperature. Signs of hypothermia include incoherent, slurred speech, clumsy fingers and poor coordination. At the first sign, get to a warm, dry place and seek medical attention. You are more likely to experience difficulty on a wet and windy day.
18. Do not accelerate or decelerate quickly in the cold weather.
19. Make sure your changes in direction are gradual to avoid slipping or pulling muscles that are not properly warmed up.
20. Freezing your lungs is just not possible. The air is sufficiently warmed by the body prior to entering the lungs. If you find the cold air uncomfortable, wear a face mask; it will help warm the air.
21. Wear a single pair of thermal socks to stay warm.
22. Take your wet clothes off and get dry ones on as soon as possible.
23. Wear your water bottle under your jacket to keep it from freezing.
24. Review runner safety. Safety is even more important in the winter with less light and far more ice and other obstacles on the running paths and roads.

With the temperatures such as they are I wanted to point out a few simple rules to keep in mind if you are going out in this weather.

First, if it is -30°C (-22°F) or colder, you do not have to be a hero. Find an alternative to running outside. This could be a great day for cross-training.

1. Wear three layers: base layer, insulating layer and windproof shell. Some clothing is quite efficient, such as Fit-Wear, and if you have this then two layers will suffice.

2. Do not expose too much skin. Keep all extremities covered, i.e., ears, hands, wrists, ankles and neck. Your respiratory area (nose and mouth) will stay warm because of the breathing business going on.

3. Apply Bodyglide or another type of body lubricant to any exposed skin to help protect it from the wind and drying effects of the cold.

4. Run in small loops close to your home base. If you find it is getting unbearable, you will not be too far away from shelter.

5. Bring cab fare, cell phone and I.D.

6. Tell someone where you are going (route map) and give that person an idea of your approximate time of arrival.

7. If you start to detect frostbite, seek shelter immediately and warm up. Do not stay out any longer.

2013 Running Room Event Schedule Calgary Alberta

The Chest Update

flu Good morning tweep! Peeps! Friends!

So, it feels like forever since I’ve blogged – maybe even the longest I’ve gone since August? At any rate, today I’m anticipating my first day back at training. I’ve been battling quite the chest cold for the past five days so I’ve literally listened to the experts and done nothing. Absolutely nothing. Can you say BORED?! I’m up-to-date on the following shows: (1) Coronation Street (I cheat and watch on YouTube); (2) Grey’s, (3) ALL Housewives franchises, (4) Keeping Up Appearances and (5) tried to watch Emmerdale but I find it boring.

And with that, I feel completely shack-wacky and ready to get the heck out of here. And as much as I want to get out and run in this snowy weather (and believe me, I do) I will spare my lungs the hardship and go to the gym instead. So, sadly this means I’ve lost a week of training but on the upside, it’s not the end of the world. 🙂

Off to the Trico Centre I go!


YAHOO! Participating in @BaMCalgary – need your support!

The first wealth is health. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Okay – so I’m super pumped to be participating in Bust A Move Calgary – it’s a six hour exercise session to raise much needed dough for the Tom Baker Cancer Center here in Calgary. I’ve been lucky to enjoy good health, but I know that the centre needs these funds in order to continue offering the programs and services it does. Events like Bust a Move ensure that dollars are invested into areas of highest need like diagnostic tools that catch cancer early, survivorship programs for women and educational programs.

Investments in the past have enabled progress such as:

  • Two state-of-the-art digital mammography screening units which were introduced in 2009 offering greater accessibility for more than 25,000 women in more than 100 rural Alberta communities each year
  • More than 50 breast-cancer research projects that are currently underway at the Cross Cancer Institute and beyond
  • Researchers such as Dr. Christine Friedenreich have discovered that physical activity can help reduce the risk of breast cancer. Studies continue to focus on type and amount of activity to further reduce risk
  • In 2012, Bust a Move Edmonton raised an incredible $400,000 in support of an innovative breast cancer virus discovery project and led by world renowned medical oncologist Dr. John Mackey.

No kidding that this will result in a considerably painful week afterward. No joke. I have full intentions of walking around like a cowboy who’s ridden a clydesdale. But I know that we need these centres to operate at top performance to help women: our grandmothers, mothers, sisters, aunts, daughters and friends.

Please support! Check out my personal fundraising page here.

Is the #plankaday challenge safe?

Surprisingly, no one has written anything explicitly about whether it is or isn’t – or at least, that I can find.

I never even thought about this question until someone who reads my blog posted a comment that it’s important to give your body a rest. She said: “I wouldn’t recommend doing planks everyday. Your body needs to recover so space it out. Recovery builds muscle!!” So first, thank you for taking the time to comment. I wouldn’t have even thought about it and I should have!  Obviously, I hadn’t even thought about this and you guys know that I’m just learning & re-learning a lot of this stuff over. So in a quest to see if it was okay, I took my research to the places I’m most confident in: Google and Twitter (because unfortunately I don’t have a 24/7 trainer who can answer my questions.)

I tweeted several times asking people if they knew whether planking a day was safe. There’s a group operating under @PlankADayNation and @PlankPolice who responded with this:

When I checked out the link, there was some good information on proper form and all that jazz, but nothing that says it’s okay to complete daily. It does outline the benefits of planking such as being an awesome core exercise (which helps with posture and can minimize lower back pain). It does suggest that quality is better than quantity, but still nothing stating whether it’s good/bad daily. And before you snap and say, “Doesn’t she get that NO pain NO gain rule?” Yes. I understand that when you work muscles, they will ache. If you want results, you must push. But I’m not worried about the pain in so much as derailing my training due to injury.

After TRX last night, I am sore. And just as NeNe Leakes is Very Rich, I am VERY SORE! So despite the fact that tonight was supposed to be speed training, I won’t be making it and I’m not even sure I could even complete my #plankaday.

So, I’m asking you – friends, athletes, experts – Is the #PlankADay challenge legitimately safe?

Do you have your own monthly awareness calendar?

I was curious what I’m supposed to be aware of for November. Yes. It is election time in the US, but other than electing the next president, what’s going? Well. Let me tell you.