AORTA News: July 15th, 2019

AORTA Summer Party! Next Sunday, July 21st

Please join us for a family friendly afternoon of food, fellowship and fun! AORTA members, non-members, and their families are all invited. If you plan to attend, please RSVP via the SignUpGenius website and bring a food dish. Folks with last names beginning with A-N are asked to bring a side dish. Those with last names beginning with O-Z are asked to bring a dessert. AORTA will supply burgers, hot dogs, and beverages. Hope to see you there!

Date: Sunday, July 21st
LocationChewacla State Park, Beach Pavilion
Time: 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Saturday Group Run
Thanks to everyone who showed up for this past Saturday’s group run!

Marathon Training
Fall Marathon Season is nearly upon us with many of the “biggies” showing up on runners’ calendars including Chicago, Marine Corps, and New York, along with a number of more local races.  Since many of our club members are planning to run the FINAL Soldier Marathon / Half-Marathon on November 16th in Columbus, GA, our Saturday runs are following the distances provided by Hal Higdon's "Intermediate II" Marathon Training Guide.  For more information on this program, click on the Hal Higdon logo above.

Weekly Whimsy

What Does Running Do To Your Brain?

Many of us runners readily know how running improves the way we think and feel. Just why this is the case hasn’t always been clear… up until now.

A 2018 experiment at West Michigan University showed that running quickly for half an hour improves “cortical flicker frequency” threshold which is associated with the ability to better process information. Other studies from the Lithuanian Sports University and Nottingham Trent University showed running intervals improved “executive function”, a suite of high-level faculties that include the ability to marshall attention, tune out distractions, switch between tasks, and solve problems. Measurable gains were demonstrated after onlyl 10 minutes of interval sprints.

A brain imaging study found that meditation and running simultaneously engages executive functions while turning down the “default mode network” - the instigator of mind-wandering and the voice that ruminates on your past, typically associated with clinical depression.

When you’re stressed, your liver converts tryptophan into knyurenine. Some of that knyurenine works its way into your brain where its accumulation has been strongly associated with stress-induced depression, anxiety disorders and schizophrenia. Exercise increases the levels of the enzyme kynurenine aminotransferase in your muscles. This enzyme breaks down knyurenine into kynurenic acid which cannot be absorbed by the brain.

The long popular idea of the “endorphin rush”, born in the 80s and 90s, had a flaw in that beta-endorphin does not cross readily through the blood-brain barrier. In a 2008 study, functional brain imaging showed that beta-endorphin levels do indeed spike in the brain after a two-hour run, correlating with the runners’ self-reported feelings of euphoria.

Experiments with lab mice showed that running-induced endocannabinoids reduced anxiety and perceptions of pain. Given that levels of endocannabinoids circulating in runners’ blood after 30 minutes of moderately intense treadmill running, it’s a good bet that the same mechanisms in mice work in our minds.

While the physical benefits of running and aerobic exercise are well established, we are starting to see why running can have profound benefits for our mental health too!

Link to The Guardian  article

Quote of the Week
“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become invevitable.

    - Christopher Reeve (1952-2004)
      American actor, director, producer, screenwriter, and author

Video of the Week
T-Rex Race in Auburn? - Yes!… Auburn, Washington (0:29)

Could this be the greatest race in history? Several Tyrannosaurus Rex battle it out to see which T-Rex is the fastest in the world at Emerald Downs in Auburn, Washington.

** AORTA provides this informational video to its members as a courtesy and does not endorse any particular product, process or service.

Ongoing Events

Summer 5K Series - Opelika
Here we go, time for another season of Summer Swing 5K runs! Our first run was on Tuesday May 7th. You can find details for the run in the link to the right named "Click here for run details". This year will feature 13 runs in 13 weeks - we will not be taking a break for the 4th of July week. Pretty much everything else remains the same - a low registration fee of $10 for the entire series, or $1 per week, pay as you go. Hamburgers and hot dogs - at cost as usual. Runners 18 and under, free! There is a link for a map of the course in the right column. Anything else you might like to know, feel free to email me at, or give me a call at 334-524-5021. Looking forward to seeing everyone soon! Doug

Have Gently Worn Running Shoes?
Are your running shoes past their useful running life? Most are normally good for 300 to 500 miles but can still have a lot of “sole” left in them!  If yours are ready for retirement, bring your gently used running shoes on Saturday where we’ll collect them for a fantastic organization called “Sneaker4Funds”, a social enterprise that ships them to developing nations for micro-entrepreneurs. In return, AORTA will be compensated based on the number of shoes sent.

When you bring them, please check for the following:
1) Gently worn means they are clean in usable condition and have no holes.
2) Soles are intact and not too worn, cracked, or breaking apart.
3) Laces intact, in good condition, not frayed, and tied together.

Early Morning Running Group Weekly Schedule

Due to popular demand, we've created a daily group running schedule for our early birds!  Interested members and non-members are welcome to meet, rain or shine, at the following locations at 5:00 AM and typically complete around 6 miles. Runs are canceled during severe weather (tornado warnings, lightning, etc).
Mon: Chappy’s @ Glenn/Dean
Tue: Auburn University “old” track (near Samford Ave / Biggio Dr)
Wed: CVS Pharmacy on S. College St. (park between CVS and Newk’s)
Thu: Downtown at the “old Big Dog” store next to Halftime Bar & Grill
FriCVS Pharmacy on S. College St. (park between CVS and Newk’s)

Volunteer Gift Card Drawings!
To show our appreciation for volunteers, AORTA members who sign up for a water stop or as an AORTA race support volunteer will be entered into a drawing for a $25 gift card for various local restaurants and shops! The drawing for water stop volunteers will be held on a monthly basis while the one for supported races will be held at the race itself!  To be eligible, you must be a club member (sign up through the RunSignUp link above) then click on one of the sites below.

Recent Volunteer Gift Card Winners!
- March Water Stops: Kathryn-Ruth Sasser
- 2019 Unity Stampede: Stephanie Kendrick
- April Water Stops: Damion McIntosh
- 2019 Royalty Run: Gary Leung
- 2019 RehabWorks: Bob Banks
- May Water Stops: Mari Wilkes
- June Water Stops: Rachel Crafton-Stiver

Archived Posts

AORTA Posts 2019
AORTA Posts 2018

AORTA Posts 2017
AORTA Posts 2016
AORTA Posts 2015
AORTA Posts 2014
AORTA Posts 2013
AORTA Posts 2012
AORTA Posts 2011
AORTA Posts 2010

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