Posts Tagged ‘KHQA Morning Show’

The Heartland Road Runners sporting bright, visible club shirts!

Safety is top of mind for me this week.  I’ve been asked back on the KHQA Morning Show to discuss safety for runners, as you could probably guess, much of my advice is common sense stuff!  With more people getting involved in running, cycling and outdoor sports, it’s a great time for us all to review a couple of simple safety tips that could save our lives.

Be Seen!

The #1 safety tip for anyone who is headed out on the roads is simply to make yourself as visible as possible!  Even in daylight, wear bright colors.  If you’re running at night, invest in a cap light and a blinker. If you’re an early morning or a nighttime runner, I highly recommend a reflective safety vest.  It’s simple advice, but can make the difference between being seen or being hit by a car.  Bonus: it’s a great way to bring back your late ‘80s neon clothes collection!

Listen Up!

Listen to traffic and Traffic at the same time. haha!

I used to run with earbuds all the time… but I’ve changed my tune since I almost got backed over by a neighbor leaving his driveway.  It’s important in running and cycling that we use all of our senses including our hearing to detect possible hazards; but that doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite playlist.  Switch to listening to your iPod from its built-in speakers and you’ll be able to rock your favorite tunes and still hear traffic around you.  On my bike, I’ve moved to using a mini-speaker that weighs less than 2 oz. but packs a great volume punch.  If neither of these are your cup-of-tea, check out this great link that running guru Brian Pahlman shared with me for a new type of headphones designed to let you listen to traffic and to Traffic at the same time…

Bring the Right Equipment!

If you’re going out for a run, wear the right equipment.  Road shoes are for roads, trail shoes are for trails, soccer shoes are for soccer (or Ultimate Frisbee!) and track shoes are for tracks.  Shoes are specialized to give you the best traction for conditions and they can make a huge difference in your susceptibility to injury.  Other equipment might include a handheld water bottle or water bottles on a waist belt and any food you might want for a long run.  Also: check the weather! Need a rain jacket? Are the temps going to get extra high or extra low while you’re out?  Dress for it.

Identify Yourself!

Sport ID from Road ID

So, worst case scenario, you get hit by a car or pass out while running.  If you don’t have any identification on you, first responders are going to have to do a lot of guessing.  The number one product on the market for athletes and identification right now is the Road ID.  I just bought one as a birthday gift for a friend, and I feel like it’s one of the best investments you can make in safety.  (One of my readers pointed out that whenever you purchase a Road ID a portion of the cost goes to a charity you choose yourself such as Wounded Warrior Project, Lance Armstrong Foundation and more! Super product from a company with a conscious? Yes, please!)  Road IDs come in many styles including bracelet, ankle bracelet, necklace, shoe clip, or shoe pouch. Then the ID is engraved with your name, vital information and emergency contacts.  My favorite feature, however, has to be the interactive online medical data storage.  If you have ANY important medical info like allergies, history of medical conditions, special instructions… this feature is for you.  The Interactive Road ID products have a phone number and website and a unique number for first responders to use.  In case of emergency, the responder would call the number or visit the website, enter your ID code and get all of the information he or she needs to give you the best treatment possible.  My personal bracelet is linked to my basic information, insurance information, has several emergency contacts including my husband and my dad, and lists my status as an organ donor.   You may have other important information to share.

Tell Someone Where You’re Going!

This is very important for all distance athletes who go run/bike/swim/paddle by themselves.  Leave a note or tell someone how far you’re running and how long it should take you.  If you’re heading out for a 5 mile run and you’re not back in an hour and a half, someone should know to come and look for you.  We don’t like to think about unsavory people that could hurt us or medical/mechanical problems that could lay us out, but say any of that happens- how long would it be until someone started to wonder where you are?  Just having someone know when to expect you and to understand generally where you were headed when you disappeared can make all the difference in any kind of search-and-rescue.  Minutes matter.  Just this week, I read an especially scary story of a female runner who was attacked in broad daylight on the Katy Trail in Missouri- which reinforces the fact that no matter what time of day and what precautions we take, we can be susceptible to violence when we’re out in the world.

Drink More Water and Other Good Advice!

It’s hot. We know that much for sure.  What’s an outdoor enthusiast to do when the temperatures reach the triple digits but the fun of outdoor activities still calls your name?

Drink more water: Okay, that’s a no brainer.  You should obviously increase fluid intake any time you’re participating in athletic activities, but the Centers for Disease Control website points out that it’s going to take more water than you think. During heavy exercise in extreme heat, the CDC recommends two to four 16-ounce glasses of water at a minimum per hour.  Make sure you’re planning ahead and bringing that much water along.

Replace salt, potassium and other minerals: If you’re sweating heavily, you’re losing salt and other minerals. Salt works in your body to maintain the balance of water inside and outside your cell walls. Most of us have high enough sodium intakes in our diets to avoid hypoatremia — a condition where water swells and damages cells due to imbalance caused by lack of sodium — but this is a real concern for high caliber athletes like ultra-marathoners and distance cyclists. For the rest of us, the most likely consequence of not replacing salt and minerals is muscle cramping. It’s an easy fix though; replace some of your water with an electrolyte sports drink and munch some potassium rich foods like bananas and oranges before you work out.  Interesting fact: everyone loses salt at a different rate, which is generally between 300 and 1,100 milligrams per pound of sweat.

Sunscreen: Apply often; apply liberally. Don’t forget that your lips and scalp can burn, too, and take proper precautions.

Know what heat exhaustion and heat stroke symptoms are: Warning signs of heat exhaustion are heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea and/or fainting. I happened to have the unfortunate experience of moderate heat exhaustion on a bike ride last summer. I first noticed a headache brewing at about mile 12 of my ride. Just a few miles after that, I knew something was wrong and some of the other riders (thank you Jim and Greg) pointed out that I looked pale and needed to stop. Immediately, I realized that I had been unprepared for the heat and was experiencing the onset of heat exhaustion. I immediately got into the shade, cooled off as much as possible, drank a whole bottle of Powerade, and then headed back with Greg and Brian to where I could have myself and my bike picked up. The guys were super nice, and we took it slow and stopped several times while getting back to the car. I’m not going to lie, I was disappointed to cut my ride short, and it was hard to admit that I needed to turn back. I’m very glad I did though, because I was quite nauseated by the time I reached my car and further symptoms of heat exhaustion would not have beem far behind.

The moral of the story is: Swallow your pride and know when you need to slow down or stop. There’s no harm in calling it quits in extreme heat, and there can be lots of harm if you keep going. If you’re out in the heat, and especially if you’re experiencing symptoms like I had, just stop. Have a buddy or two bring you back in case you need help. If you’re out by yourself, make sure someone knows where you are, when to expect you back, and what to do if you don’t get home. Do bring your cell phone for emergencies, but don’t make that your only plan. We all know that cell phones can break or not find a signal at the most inopportune times, so they shouldn’t be your only means of letting someone know where you are.

Heat stroke symptoms are much more serious and include  extremely high body temperature (above 103 orally), red/hot/dry skin (no sweating), rapid pulse, dizziness, nausea, confusion, headache and/or unconsciousness. Read the CDC site for complete recommendations on what to do, but if someone has these symptoms you must call for medical assistance immediately.  First-aid includes cooling the victim as fast as possible using shade, water on the body, a cool shower, a wet sheet — whatever you’ve got. Heat stroke is life-threatening and should be treated as such.

Be careful and be ready for the heat the rest of this week and the rest of this summer. Take lots of breaks and get cool when you need to.  As long as you’re vigilant, you’ll get home in one piece when you “Get Out” this summer.

It goes without saying that you should read the CDC’s extreme heat recommendations for further information. “Get Out” blog is not a medical source, so read it from the experts here:www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heat_guide.asp

For really interesting info on salt and extreme running, check out:www.runtheplanet.com/trainingracing/nutrition/salt.asp

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Adventure Foot is pleased to welcome Jamie Green as a guest blogger!  Jamie is a member of the Quincy Bicycle Club and founding member of Quincy Sketch Group, and he draws a funny comic strip called “Slipped Gears.”   I’ll have his bio up on the Guest Blogger page soon, but if you want to read more about Jamie, please check out this link!  This comic is inspired by a real-life dog on a route that’s regularly ridden by the Quincy Bicycle Club.  Eddy has always loved chasing the cyclists- but as you can see- he’s a little slower as he’s gotten long in the tooth 🙂

And if you are both an Adventure Foot reader and an early bird, I’ve got big news:  I’m going to be on KHQA TV’s Morning Show tomorrow morning- Wednesday, April 4th- at 6:45 AM to talk about my blog, activities that people can get involved in in the Tri-State Area, and what all this Adventure Foot business means to me. Please tune in… or DVR it and watch it later.  Thanks!

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