Monthly Archives: August 2007

Races on August 18 and a Few Notes

Note: There has been some problems with the e-mail functioning correctly, so those receiving this by e-mail make sure you scroll to the bottom of each message. There could be more than one post!

I only found three races this weekend, so stay out late and watch some high school football!! On a note about high school, I don’t plan on covering high school and middle school cross country meets. There are just so many events and schools in Central Indiana and it would take a herculean effort to keep up with them all.

That said if you e-mail me updates I will post a summary once a week or you can check out these high school focused sites:

Now for the race info!

ICADV 4th Annual 10K and 5K Race Away From Domestic Violence: A Tenderness Tour Event at the Indiana War Memorial begins at 7:40. This race hosted by Ken Long & Associates benefits the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Weather permitting there will be hot air balloons.

Union Hospital Health Group’s 5K for United Way (pdf) begins at 9am in the Clara Fairbanks parking lot at Union Hospital’s campus in Terre Haute. Proceeds from this 4th annual event go towards the local United Way.

Friends of Seelyville 5K begins at 9am in the small town of Seelyville (near Terre Haute). This looks like a pretty cheap race entry. All proceeds benefit the town’s street fair.


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Caffeine – A Banned Substance

Since the 2000 Olympics, caffeine has been banned by the International Olympic Committee. The level that is banned is approximately 8 cups of coffee.  If the IOC found that much caffeine in your urine, they would assume that you are trying to gain a competitive advantage.

Does Caffeine Really Help?

Research is all over the place, but the majority seem to suggest that caffeine will not benefit athletes in the shorter distances or those with high intensity. But it can improve performance in an endurance event. Runner’s World published an article about a research study that contradicts that claim, as well as a study that supports it!

Personal differences in tolerance to caffeine, metabolism, diet, and others can have an impact on the benefit of caffeine use.  Doctors don’t recommend the use of caffeine to enhance performance. Caffeine is present in much more than coffee and Coke.  Most energy drinks, sports drinks, and energy bars contain some level of caffeine.  Ingested during a race it can also provide a needed boost to help you continue at your desired level of exertion.

How It Works

According to a Rice University professor, “Caffeine mobilizes fat stores and encourages working muscles to use fat as a fuel.  This delays the depletion of muscle glycogen and allows for the prolongation of exercise.”  To optimize this caffeine needs to be ingested early in an event or before-hand.  This prevents the body from switching to glycogen too early.

Caffeine may also impact the brain, making you feel that your level of exertion is lower than it actually is.  This will also allow you to push longer and harder. It may also help keep your muscles relaxed.

Nasty Side Effects

Caffeine does have some bad side effects including:

  • Sleep deprivation
  • Nausea
  • Cramping
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Stomach Instability
  • Muscle Tightness
  • Muscle Cramping
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
  • May compound existing heart problems

Tips or Recommendations

  • Ingest Caffeine 3-4 hours before performance
  • Abstain for a few days before event, to improve caffeine effect
  • Make sure you have tested caffeine during training


Do you drink coffee regularly?  Do you use it to “improve your performance”? What do you think about this topic?  Leave a note in the comments section.

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Results from August 8

Yesterday I wrote about my race at the Pop Weaver 5K, here is a recap of the event and other races from the weekend:


The Weaver Popcorn Kernal Klassic was swept by the Gillette family of Niles, MI.  Justin Gillette, 24 won in 15:18 (4:56) and beat local favorite BJ Needler (sadly this bumped Needler back into the age group rankings, giving me a 2nd place). Ron Sharp won the Masters in 16:48 (5:25) and placed 3rd overall.  Melissa Gillette won the female division in an impressive 18:22 (5:55) over a minute ahead of her closest competitor and placed her 13th overall.  The female Masters winner was Katherine Mitchell of Marion in 22:05 (7:07).

The First Lady’s Walk was not a scored event.

The Club Kokomo Age Graded 4 Mile Run was won by Doug Balogh, 55, in 28:34 (his actual 4 mile split was 24:04 [6:01]).  The first place female was Carla Yerkes, 47, won ran 29:54 (her actual 4 mile split was 27:39 [6:55]).  The 5K walk was won by Rick Spencer, 53 in 32:07 (10:20) with the female winner Mary Miller, 47, walking 33:19 (10:43).  If I understand this correctly, they age-graded by making you start after the clock started.  If you were 75+ then you started with the gun, but if you were 17 or 35 then you started 8:15 behind the clock.

The Hagerstown Jubilee 5K results haven’t been posted yet.  But they can be found here.



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Race Review: Pop Weaver 5K

This race also known as the 2007 Weaver Popcorn Kernal Klassic is run on a loop course in the countryside surrounding little Van Buren, IN.  It is famous for its free post-race popcorn and being part of the annual Popcorn Festival.  Hosted by Pop Weaver Popcorn it is a relatively cheap race with bags upon bags of popcorn given away to age group winners.

Each participant, presumably, received a post race e-mail with stats about their race.  Here is what my e-mail said:

Congratulations on finishing the 2007 Weaver Popcorn Kernal Klassic on August 11, 2007.  For your records, the weather that day was Sunny, Nice & Cool.
There were 5 finishers in the Men 25 to 29 age group and
106 finishers in the race.
Your overall finish place was 17 and your age group finish place
was 2.  Your overall finish percentile was 16 while your age group percentile was 40.  Your time of 19:30 gave you a  6:17 pace per mile.

It was definitely cooler than the preceding days but still warm! I am okay with my overall time of 19:30, but ran 9 seconds faster last year and over a minute faster in 2005, so that is frustrating.  My splits were 5:59, 6:50, and 6:40 for the last 1.1 (which actually breaks down to 6:03 pace).  My GPS-enabled friends agreed that the overall course was accurate but that the specific mile markers may have been a little off.

The race pretty much started on time and quickly leaves the town for some country roads.  There is shade for the first and final stretches, but most of the race is run on rural, corn-field lined roads, without any shade.  The 8:30 start made for decent weather on this specific day, but the sun was definitely out in full force.  The course featured 3 water stops, but only one actually had people passing out water.  The course is easy to follow because you are basically making a square! This is also a popular race for local high school teams to participate in and they have their own chute since they can’t win prizes or actually pay to participate (I believe).

After the finish they had plenty of ice-cold water and fruit available for all participants.  This years awards ceremony was a little confusing.  Someone the overall walkers won in amazing times of 7 something for the guys and 14 something for the females. The walk was a 5K.  I think they mistook the fun run sheet for the walkers results.  Sadly, this was never really corrected and the walkers where never publicly recognized, they made a passing comment at the end about walkers coming up to get popcorn.

Now for the fun of the whole event.  Overall 1st place winners received a gift certificate and a bag of popcorn.  Let me explain abut these bags of popcorn! Large, color-coordinated, paper bags are filled with boxes of various Pop Weaver brand popcorn. First place is blue, second is red, and third is white and supposedly each bag has a little less popcorn than the preceding.  This year I brought home like 26 bags of microwave popcorn in my 2nd place bag.  We traded around to get rid of the kettle corn (my wife doesn’t like it and we still have a half-eaten box from last year!) and took a few extra boxes at the end of the awards.  So that provides a little more of a festive environment for post-race activities.

Overall a good race. All results are posted here.

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Anderson Road Runners Newsletter

The Anderson Road Runners (which hopefully you’ve gathered I am a member of) has released their August 2007 newsletter.

The Pacer is a publication produced with information about past and upcoming events.

This edition’s feature article is about the $500 Scholarship awarded to former Anderson Runner Andy Prishoff. Prishoff will take this scholarship and many other local and state accolades with him to Mississippi State University, where he will walk on as a Freshman. Good Luck and Congratulations!

It also highlights the success of the White River Mini-Mini Marathon held in May, changes to the Board of Directors roster, tauts the club’s website, and features two race reviews by yours truly!
It continues by highlighting upcoming races in the club’s Road Race Series, the Miriam Project 5K and the famed Run the Mounds.

Check out this latest edition here.

Racing on August 11

With what looks to be a hot weekend, there are a couple of good races planned. I personally will be at the Popweaver 5K. Not only is it part of the Anderson Road Runners Race Series, but who wouldn’t want a year’s supply of Pop Weaver popcorn??Pop Weaver 5K (pdf) starts at 8:30am in downtown Van Buren. This event is part of the annual popcorn festival and registration is $12.

First Lady Cheri Daniels Heartland Walk for Health is being held in conjunction with the Indiana State Fair. For $7 participate in a wide variety of activities, hosted by Ken Long & Associates. This is not a running event.

Club Kokomo RoadRunners Age Graded 4 Mile (pdf) starts at 8am in Highland Park, Kokomo. This road-race is $15 with 72 awards (not age-group). This event is done a little differently than the POG 8K held recently, but still looks like a great event.

Jeremy Wright Memorial 5K is held at Flat Rock Fire Station in Flat Rock Indiana (southeast of Indy). It starts at 8am.

August 12 Jubilee Days 5K (pdf) starts at 4pm on the Hagerstown Junior/Senior High School Cross Country Course. $15 on race day and participants receive an embroidered bath towel. This event is part of the Wayne County Challenge.


Be careful this weekend and best of luck in your racing endeavors!



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Its a Raging Inferno Outside: Tips to Beat the HEAT

Its hot outside (maybe an understatement). At noon today its about 85 degrees with a heat index at 92 and 68% humidity! The prediction for today is 98 degrees with heat indexes around 105! The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for today and also one for tomorrow with predictions for 97 degrees and a similar heat index. UGH!

I guess its time for some hot weather running tips! There is a lot out there about this topic, so here is a compilation of advice from all the running experts and actually Runner’s World did a big feature on this topic in a recent issue.

  1. Hydration is a must! Drink before, during, and after your runs. You can lose between 6-12oz of fluid per 20 minutes of running. Be careful with overhydration, if you are on a long run be sure to include some type of sugar such as Gatorade. A good indication of your fluid intake is your urine color (the darker the less hydrated you are). Also go ahead and pour some water over your body it will help cool you off! Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated drinks.
  2. Run early, late, and in the shade. I guess running indoors works too, but not an option I really like! Trying to finish your run before the temperatures really start to rise is the best idea, otherwise a late night run is best. Running in the shade and avoiding blacktop surfaces will also help keep you cooler. You can also split up your workout between a morning and night or do some cross training.
  3. Watch your pace – your times might be a little slower than normal, don’t push yourself too hard and be patient. Some would also say to start out a little slower than normal to prevent a serious time drop later in your run.
  4. Wear light-weight, light-colored, and loose clothing with SPF in them. This includes light-colored moisture-wicking socks to help keep your feet cooler. Experts differ on wearing hats and long-sleeved shirts. Depending on your specific case they might be helpful, I doubt in Indiana we need to worry about wearing long-sleeved shirts, but I don’t know about hats. They can provide a needed respite from the sun, but they also hinder the escape of heat from our body. Using a cold, wet, or even frozen bandana wrapped around your neck or head is a good way to keep you cool, but once its lost its cool it might be a hindrance by keeping heat at your body. Wrapping a cold sponge with ice cubes can also be helpful.
  5. Watch for symptoms of heat-related illness:
    1. Leg cramps, dizziness, increased heart rate, headache, and nausea are the initial symptoms of heat exhaustion, which could lead to (possibly fatal) heat stroke. Anyone experiencing these indicators should stop exercising immediately, get to a cool place, and continue to hydrate slowly. If you cannot keep fluids down, go to the emergency room.
    2. Other symptoms include confusion, loss of muscle control, clammy skin, feeling faint.
    3. If you stop sweating, have a throbbing headache or red, hot, dry skin seek immediate medical attention.
  6. Group running is more important so you can keep an eye on each other and provide assistance as needed.
  7. Stay rested – ensure you are getting at least a normal amount if not more sleep.
  8. Stay nourished – it is hard to eat or cook sometimes when it is so hot, but staying properly nourished will help your body fight the heat! Eating things like salad or fruits will help with hydration because of their high water content.

You can’t beat the heat. Nobody can–that is, nobody can race up to their potential in hot conditions. – Truman Clark

Hear is a link about indoor training. Also check out Gatorade’s hydration strategies website.

Sources for today’s post:

Also check out this Indy Star article about hiking (running) trails at Turkey Run State Park.

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