AORTA Posts 2022


AORTA News: June 20th, 2022

As many of you have heard by now, our very own Misty Turner Carroll, AORTA board associate, avid member of our running community, and one of our most beloved colleagues, was in a horrific car accident on May 28th on her way home after our group run. 

By the grace of GOD, she survived with bruises, cuts and scrapes, and a few badly broken bones. She had reconstructive surgery on her arm and ankle, which were successful! 

She returned home on June 4th but has a long road to recovery ahead of her, but we all know she’s one bad bitch, and this won’t keep her down for long!!

In the meantime, if you would like to help feed the family, we know they will appreciate it. She will be in a wheelchair for a bit, then a walker. Any help is appreciated!  Thanks for all the prayers, keep them coming!!

Link to Meal Train for the Carroll Family




Upcoming Local Races!

Summer 5K Series - Opelika
It’s time to get the Summer Swing 5K runs rolling!  First run is Tuesday May 3rd at 6:15pm.  This year there are 14 runs scheduled, finishing up on August 2nd.  You can find all of the run series information at lastlap-dougu.blogspot.com.  The course is a measured and marked 5K in residential neighborhoods with low traffic.  Runners/walkers of all fitness levels are welcome.  Registration fee is still only $10 for the series, with 18 and under free.  Hope to see a good turnout this year!

Doug Underwood


Summer 5K Series - Auburn
The Auburn Summer 5K (and 1 mile Kids Run) Series started Wednesday, June 8th and runs through July 13th. The event will be held at the Auburn High School campus. Join us for 6 weeks of friendly competition and a fun boost to your racing. The 1-mile Kids Run will start at 6:15 pm followed by the 5K run at 6:30 pm. Pre-registration for all 6 weeks is $60 with a T-shirt ($45 without the t-shirt). $30 for kids under 12 for the 5K with a cotton t-shirt.  Kids 1-mile is free! Entry fees on a weekly basis is $8 for the 5K (everyone). 
Extra T-shirts are available for $20 - must order by June 8th AT THE RACE.
 Results will be posted each week.
* Link to paper registration form
* Link to online registration information

Volunteers Needed!
If you are able, or prefer, to volunteer rather than run the race, we could use your help in assisting with the registration table, at the water stop, or with course directions and finish line.  Please consider signing up here to help on a Wednesday evening this summer. There are 6 dates for you to choose from.


Weekly Whimsy



Why a Warmup is Key to a Successful Run
Jennifer Van Allen and Jordan Smith, Runner's World

It’s tempting to shoot out the door at top speed, or forego a running warmup to save tiime. But heading out of the gates without a proper prerun warmup is a recipe for disaster: injury.

If you start out too fast, you run the risk of pulling a muscle, tweaking a tendon, bone, or joint, or getting into a pace that you simply can’t sustain. The result? You end up slowing down and burning out before you’re done with your workout. The worst part is that you’re likely to end your run feeling exhausted, discouraged, and dreading your next workout.

A smart running warmup gives your muscles, bones, and joints a chance to loosen up; it gradually and gently brings up your heart rate, and makes it easier to get into the rhythm you want to sustain so you can run—and finish—feeling exhilarated and energized enough to go longer. Researchers found that when runners performed a dynamic stretching routine before a treadmill workout, they were better able to sustain a hard effort for longer than those who did’t.

Follow this three-step method to warm up before running.

Just Walk
Walk gently for three to five minutes. Lots of us runners write off walking. But it’s actually the ideal low-intensity activity to ease your body out of sitting mode and into workout mode. The motion of walking takes the muscles, tendons, and joints through a range of motion that’s similar to what it will go through in running. This not only brings up the temperature of the muscles and the core, but it also enhances the blood flow to all the muscles you’ll need for running and sends your brain the message that it’s time to go. Walking is especially helpful for runners who are coming back after an injury.

Add Strides
Do five to six 100-meter strides. Strides (also called “pickups”) flood the muscles with blood, recruit your fast-twitch muscle fibers, and help your body transition from walking to running mode. Here’s how to do them:
 Jog easy for at least two minutes—preferably more.
 Gradually accelerate over the course of 60 to 100 meters, then gradually decelerate.
 After each stride, walk around and shake out your legs for 90 seconds.
 Then stride back in the opposite direction.
 Strides should not be timed, and the exact distance of each stride is not critical.

Do not confuse “strides” with “overstriding”. Overstriding—extending your foot and leg far out in front of your knee—is a common cause of injury. Be sure to keep your steps short and quick as you perform the strides. Keep your feet and legs underneath your torso during each push.

Do Dynamic Stretches
Static stretching, in which you hold a muscle in an elongated, fixed position for 30 seconds or more, is now discouraged prerun, as it’s been linked to injury. But dynamic stretching, in which you utilize controlled leg movements to improve range of motion, loosens up muscles and increases heart rate, body temperature, and blood flow to help you run more efficiently.

Use this dynamic warmup to get the most out of your run. Jumping Jacks, Forward Jacks, Squat with Walkout, and Walkout with Knees to Elbows.

Try this routine, which targets the major muscles used for running. Start slowly, focusing on form; as the moves get easier, pick up speed. Use small movements for the first few reps, and increase the range of motion as you go.

Skip: Start by skipping for 25 to 50 meters, gradually increasing the height and range of each skip as you go.

Side Step/Shuffle: Step to the side, 10 to 20 meters to the right, then 10 to 20 meters to the left. You can do it walking and gradually progress to a jog. As your muscles start to warm up, you can build the intensity so that you cover as much ground as possible with as few steps as possible.

Weave Step (Grapevine): Step your right foot to the right, then step your left food behind your right foot. Step right foot to the right again, but then step left foot in front of right foot. Keep repeating this for 10 to 20 meters to the right, then reverse the pattern to the left. Keep alternating between right and left. Like the Side Step/Shuffle, you can start by walking, then ramp up the intensity to a jog, trying to move as quickly as possible.

Backward Jog: Start with 50-meter segments, stay light on your toes and use your arms for momentum.

Butt Kick: While standing tall, walk forward as you draw heel to your glute. When this is easy, try it while jogging. Do 10 reps on each side. Too easy? Alternate butt kicks with high knees. Do five butt kicks, then do five high-knee steps. The butt kicks stretch the quads, and the “high knees” stretch the glutes.

Hacky Sack: Lift up your left leg, bending your knee so it points out. Tap the inside of your left foot with your right hand without bending forward. Repeat 10 times on each side. This stimulates the balance you’re going to need when you start running.

Toy Soldier: Keeping your back and knees straight, walk forward, lifting your legs straight out in front and flexing your toes. Advance this by adding a skipping motion. Do 10 reps on each side.

Link to Runner’s World article


Quote of the Week

   “Big occasions and races which have been eagerly anticipated almost to the point of dread, are where great deeds can be accomplished."

                                      Jack Lovelock
                                     1936 Olympic Champion


Video of the Week

Fun Facts Abuot Running (6:41)

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


Ongoing Events

RunGo For Turn-By-Turn Directions!

RunGo provides turn-by-turn navigation allowing you to just enjoy your runs without having to think about looking for street names and when you may have to turn next. Other great features include, audio cues with your running stats, split updates, the ability to share your runs via social media, and create new routes. Another great feature of the app is the ability to work offline. You can create and download your routes ahead of time, before your run so you don’t have to use data during your run.


Water Stop Volunteers Needed
Water stop signs and coolers are available at the following location: 1536 Professional Parkway, Auburn, AL. (Thank you Adahli Massey!). Coolers and signs can be picked up Monday-Thursday from 8AM-4PM and on Fridays from 8AM-12 noon. Items are in the room next to the back door. If you are unable to pick up supplies on these dates/times, e-mail clemster@aol.com to make alternative arrangements (we deliver!).



Race Volunteers Needed!
As a runner, we know your time is valuable. But if you have a couple hours to spare, we could use your help for one of the upcoming AORTA supported or directed races! Assisting at a local race is a fun and rewarding experience. You are surrounded by health conscious individuals that, like you, are motivated fitness enthusiasts and appreciate the effort of volunteers.




AORTA News: June 13th, 2022

As many of you have heard by now, our very own Misty Turner Carroll, AORTA board associate, avid member of our running community, and one of our most beloved colleagues, was in a horrific car accident on May 28th on her way home after our group run. 

By the grace of GOD, she survived with bruises, cuts and scrapes, and a few badly broken bones. She had reconstructive surgery on her arm and ankle, which were successful! 

She returned home on June 4th but has a long road to recovery ahead of her, but we all know she’s one bad bitch, and this won’t keep her down for long!!

In the meantime, if you would like to help feed the family, we know they will appreciate it. She will be in a wheelchair for a bit, then a walker. Any help is appreciated!  Thanks for all the prayers, keep them coming!!

Link to Meal Train for the Carroll Family




Upcoming Local Races!

Summer 5K Series - Opelika
It’s time to get the Summer Swing 5K runs rolling!  First run is Tuesday May 3rd at 6:15pm.  This year there are 14 runs scheduled, finishing up on August 2nd.  You can find all of the run series information at lastlap-dougu.blogspot.com.  The course is a measured and marked 5K in residential neighborhoods with low traffic.  Runners/walkers of all fitness levels are welcome.  Registration fee is still only $10 for the series, with 18 and under free.  Hope to see a good turnout this year!

Doug Underwood


Summer 5K Series - Auburn
The Auburn Summer 5K (and 1 mile Kids Run) Series started Wednesday, June 8th and runs through July 13th. The event will be held at the Auburn High School campus. Join us for 6 weeks of friendly competition and a fun boost to your racing. The 1-mile Kids Run will start at 6:15 pm followed by the 5K run at 6:30 pm. Pre-registration for all 6 weeks is $60 with a T-shirt ($45 without the t-shirt). $30 for kids under 12 for the 5K with a cotton t-shirt.  Kids 1-mile is free! Entry fees on a weekly basis is $8 for the 5K (everyone). 
Extra T-shirts are available for $20 - must order by June 8th AT THE RACE.
 Results will be posted each week.
* Link to paper registration form
* Link to online registration information

Volunteers Needed!
If you are able, or prefer, to volunteer rather than run the race, we could use your help in assisting with the registration table, at the water stop, or with course directions and finish line.  Please consider signing up here to help on a Wednesday evening this summer. There are 6 dates for you to choose from.



Weekly Whimsy



Avoid These Summer Training Mistakes
Chris Hatler, Runner’s World

If you’re starting a new marathon training block, the summer is a perfect time to get back into running. Longer days, vacation time, and good weather mean more time to get the miles in. But beware—there are simple mistakes that can cause you to burn out (or literally burn yourself to a crisp) before fall marathon season comes around.

Avoid the following mistakes during summer training, including hydration hijinx and shoe snafus.

Mistake #1: Not acclimating to the heat.
In every aspect of training, there’s an adjustment period. Just like you wouldn’t jump from 20 miles per week to 60, or skip from 10 squats to 100 in just a couple of sessions, you shouldn’t dive headfirst into the summer heat.

There are a few different options to build up your heat tolerance. First, you can briefly lower your mileage so you’re not overloading your body and gradually work it back up as you readjust. Or, you can go back and forth between treadmill days and outside running days. Lastly, start your training cycle by running during the coolest part of the day, then each following day, run later and later until you’ve comfortably run during the hottest hours.

Get used to one variable at a time. Don’t try to build your mileage too high when acclimating to the weather. Handle one problem first, then solve the next one. Otherwise, you might end up physically and mentally drained.

Mistake #2: Not checking the weather.
I live in Philadelphia, where the summer temperatures can range from mid-70s to the high 90s. As someone who likes to run after work, that means I need to check the weather, or I might be in for an unpleasant surprise.

But even if you’re a morning runner, it helps to look at a weather report before heading out the door. You might find that the morning dew point is unbearably high for your workout, or that a summer rainstorm will roll through and cool the air down significantly by the afternoon.

In my case, I look ahead of time whether I need to get up a little earlier to squeeze my run in the cool morning instead of slogging through blistering temps—which can potentially be dangerous.

Mistake #3: Not hydrating or refueling.
Katie Kissane, R.D., C.S.S.D. told Runner’s World in a previous article that dehydration heightens the risk of heatstroke and causes muscle cramping when you’re running in hot weather. Therefore, to stay safe in the heat, make sure you’re drinking water throughout the day.

If you’re out for a long run, hydrate during the activity. Stash a bottle somewhere on the route, plan your route around water fountains, or even wear a hydration pack—just make sure to drink up.

However, Kissane explains that just chugging water alone could lead to a separate problem called hyponatremia—low sodium levels in the blood. Hyponatremia leads to dizziness, fatigue, and nausea. Consider bringing a sports drink high in minerals like sodium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium to prevent the symptoms from hampering your run and hurting you in the long term.

Mistake #4: Not wearing sunscreen.
No matter how long your run is, you’re exposing yourself to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Without precaution, you can suffer from skin aging, eye damage, and even skin cancer, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Americans can reduce risks from sun exposure with continued use of sun protection measures including broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF values of at least 15,” said acting United States Federal Drug Association (FDA) Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D., in a press release from September 2021.

The FDA recommends applying sunscreen 15 minutes before sun exposure and reapplying every two hours, especially when sweating. That means if you’re going for a long run, you might need to stop to reapply. There are sunscreens out there specifically made to be sweat-resistant, so you don’t need to reapply as often, but it’s still good to be safe.

Mistake #5: Not being flexible—and dreading the treadmill.
“On especially hot and humid days, there’s no glory in the Strava post,” says Runner’s World Runner-in-Chief Jeff Dengate. “I’ve had a 15-miler on the schedule that I’ve broken up into three five-mile runs that day, so I still get in the mileage without dying. Don’t be confined by the training plan—sometimes you need to modify it.”

That might even mean running on the treadmill when it’s particularly rough outside. Before you shake your head in disgust, think of it as an opportunity to control all the variables. You can listen to your favorite music or watch a television show, lock into a pace, and enjoy sweet, sweet air conditioning.

Mistake #6: Not wearing summer running gear.
There are a few pieces of gear you should always have around for hot and sunny summer runs.

A good running hat protects your face from the sun. Most are made of moisture-wicking materials to keep your head cool, and some even come with UV protection. Bonus points are that a running hat keeps raindrops out of your eyes on any wet days.

A hat alone won’t keep the sun out of your eyes. You need a pair of sunglasses. While most pairs will work in a pinch, there are great running sunglasses that won’t slip off your sweaty face or bounce up and down from the impact of your stride.

For particularly scalding afternoons, you could purchase a cooling vest—but think of that as more of a luxury than a necessity.

Mistake #7: Ignoring swollen feet.
When you get sized for a new shoe at a local running store, they typically recommend a half-size up because “blood flow increases to deliver oxygen to the muscles,” Paul Langer, DPM, told Runner’s World. “The volume of the muscles temporarily expands.”

When it’s really hot out, Test Editor Morgan Petruny notices that her feet swell even more: “I have to be aware of giving myself more room in my shoes… I often think that I’m a fall, winter, or spring shoe size W9, but a summer size W9.5.”

If you’re not ready to buy another shoe, she recommends loosening your laces, wearing thinner socks, and avoiding the shoes in your repertoire with a tight toe-box.

Link to Runner’s World article


Quote of the Week

"When you put yourself on the line in a race and expose yourself to the unknown, you learn things about yourself that are very exciting."

                                  Doris Brown Heritage
                                  1968 800M Olympian


Video of the Week

What to do if you get a cramp while running Jeff Galloway (1:48)

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


Ongoing Events

RunGo For Turn-By-Turn Directions!

RunGo provides turn-by-turn navigation allowing you to just enjoy your runs without having to think about looking for street names and when you may have to turn next. Other great features include, audio cues with your running stats, split updates, the ability to share your runs via social media, and create new routes. Another great feature of the app is the ability to work offline. You can create and download your routes ahead of time, before your run so you don’t have to use data during your run.


Water Stop Volunteers Needed
Water stop signs and coolers are available at the following location: 1536 Professional Parkway, Auburn, AL. (Thank you Adahli Massey!). Coolers and signs can be picked up Monday-Thursday from 8AM-4PM and on Fridays from 8AM-12 noon. Items are in the room next to the back door. If you are unable to pick up supplies on these dates/times, e-mail clemster@aol.com to make alternative arrangements (we deliver!).



Race Volunteers Needed!
As a runner, we know your time is valuable. But if you have a couple hours to spare, we could use your help for one of the upcoming AORTA supported or directed races! Assisting at a local race is a fun and rewarding experience. You are surrounded by health conscious individuals that, like you, are motivated fitness enthusiasts and appreciate the effort of volunteers.




AORTA News: June 6th, 2022

As many of you have heard by now, our very own Misty Turner Carroll, AORTA board associate, avid member of our running community, and one of our most beloved colleagues, was in a horrific car accident on May 28th on her way home after our group run. 

By the grace of GOD, she survived with bruises, cuts and scrapes, and a few badly broken bones. She had reconstructive surgery on her arm and ankle, which were successful! 

She returned home on June 4th but has a long road to recovery ahead of her, but we all know she’s one bad bitch, and this won’t keep her down for long!!

In the meantime, if you would like to help feed the family, we know they will appreciate it. She will be in a wheelchair for a bit, then a walker. Any help is appreciated!  Thanks for all the prayers, keep them coming!!

Link to Meal Train for the Carroll Family



Upcoming Local Races!

Summer 5K Series - Opelika
It’s time to get the Summer Swing 5K runs rolling!  First run is Tuesday May 3rd at 6:15pm.  This year there are 14 runs scheduled, finishing up on August 2nd.  You can find all of the run series information at lastlap-dougu.blogspot.com.  The course is a measured and marked 5K in residential neighborhoods with low traffic.  Runners/walkers of all fitness levels are welcome.  Registration fee is still only $10 for the series, with 18 and under free.  Hope to see a good turnout this year!

Doug Underwood


Summer 5K Series - Auburn
The Auburn Summer 5K (and 1 mile Kids Run) Series started Wednesday, June 8th and runs through July 13th. The event will be held at the Auburn High School campus. Join us for 6 weeks of friendly competition and a fun boost to your racing. The 1-mile Kids Run will start at 6:15 pm followed by the 5K run at 6:30 pm. Pre-registration for all 6 weeks is $60 with a T-shirt ($45 without the t-shirt). $30 for kids under 12 for the 5K with a cotton t-shirt.  Kids 1-mile is free! Entry fees on a weekly basis is $8 for the 5K (everyone). 
Extra T-shirts are available for $20 - must order by June 8th AT THE RACE.
 Results will be posted each week.
* Link to paper registration form
* Link to online registration information

Volunteers Needed!
If you are able, or prefer, to volunteer rather than run the race, we could use your help in assisting with the registration table, at the water stop, or with course directions and finish line.  Please consider signing up here to help on a Wednesday evening this summer. There are 6 dates for you to choose from.



Weekly Whimsy


Does Looking At Your Watch Help or Hurt Your Running?
Allison Goldstein, Runner’s World

The Great Watch Debate is as old as running itself—or at least as old as watches. Does tracking your pace on the run keep you honest? Or does running watch-less set you free? According to a recent experiment by researchers at the University of Birmingham, the kind of day you had might help you decide.

Feedback and mental fatigue

Research shows that when you’re mentally fatigued, your physical performance suffers. And let’s face it: these days, between pandemics, wars, 24-hour news cycles, and the stresses of daily living, who’s not mentally fatigued on one run or another?

The good news is that, according to this University of Birmingham study, receiving feedback as you exercise—like you would from a GPS watch—can help you get more out of what might otherwise be a sub-par performance.

The subjects in this experiment were split into three groups: control, feedback, and no feedback. The control group performed three tasks. First, they did an endurance test that involved squeezing a force-measuring device as hard as they could once every second for five minutes. Then they watched a documentary about trains. Finally, they repeated the endurance test.

The no-feedback group followed the same protocol, only instead of watching the documentary, they took a mentally fatiguing memory test before they repeated the endurance test. The feedback group also took the memory test, and when they took the second endurance test, they were shown feedback—specifically, how much force they were producing and how that compared to their first test.

As prior research would suggest, the no-feedback group saw their performance decline between the first and second endurance tests due to mental fatigue, while the control group didn’t. Interestingly, the feedback group, who were also mentally fatigued, performed similarly to the control group: their performance didn’t decline.

How Mental Fatigue Could Be Sabotaging Your Runs
“When they knew how they were doing, the people in the state of mental fatigue did as well as the people who weren’t in the state of mental fatigue,” said Neil Dallaway, Ph.D., a sports science researcher associated with the University of Birmingham. And while the experiment measured hand-grip strength rather than running performance, Dallaway believes the results are still applicable to runners.

“If you get home from work one day and you are really tired and you’ve got an interval session or a fartlek, you may not do as well,” he said. “So then if you use your watch for the feedback, it could help you perform as well as if you weren’t mentally fatigued.”

Practical feedback
In addition to overcoming mental fatigue, there are other, practical reasons to use watch feedback while you run. When you’re running a workout or a race that doesn’t include mile markers, it’s useful to know how far you’ve run and how far you have to go. Knowing your pace can also help you to self-correct when you’re trying to hit a time goal.

Tony Ruiz, a longtime running coach and competitive masters runner, tells a story about a 5K where he checked his watch at mile 1 and saw he was running considerably slower than his goal pace. “I went, ‘Oh my God,’ and it just kind of woke me up,” he said.

While seeing a slow pace can help you pick things up, you can also use your watch to keep the pace under control. Ruiz advises athletes running half marathons and marathons to check their watch at least once per mile at the start of the race, because going too hard too early can be a recipe for disaster. However, he tells marathoners to pretty much ignore their watch after mile 20.

“If you're running a really good race, by then you already know this,” he said. “But if you're slowing down, let’s say at 21 miles, I’m not sure checking your watch is going to give you any kind of positive feedback.”

Assigning meaning to the data
Fear of “negative feedback” is the reason some runners shy away from their watch, and yet the watch itself is not the problem. “Data can be very helpful. Where it starts becoming an issue is with the meaning that we'’e attaching to what the watch tells us,” Shannon Mulcahy, M.S., a sports psychology consultant, said.

Consider a gas gauge on a car: If the gauge indicates you can drive 30 more miles before you’re out of gas, you’ll use that information to decide when to get gas. You won’t look at it and think, “This drive is going great,” or “I’m a terrible driver.”

Unfortunately, Mulcahy says, runners often fail to look at their watches with the same level of objectivity.

“It's not really problematic if you look at your watch and you're like, ‘I'm running slower than I wanted to,’ and that frustrates you. That’s normal,” she said. “It’s when you see that you're running slower than you wanted, and it all of a sudden goes to, ‘I’m never gonna reach my goal. I’m a terrible runner. What’s the point?’ And we start catastrophizing.”

Giving emotional meaning to your watch data is what can transform it from a useful tool to a run-ruiner.

Making your watch work for you
The ultimate lesson is that your watch is a tool; you just need to figure out how to make it work best for you. There are a lot of options.

One is to use your watch during workouts but not easy runs. This helps keep easy runs easy because, as Mulcahy said, “I don't think we’re very good at looking down and seeing slow paces because, again, we’re deciding that they’re slow.” If you can’t see the pace, you can’t judge it.

Leaving your watch at home on easy days is the simplest option. However, if you like to have the data to share on Strava or for other purposes, you can switch the display so it shows you only distance or time elapsed during the run, not pace.

Another option Mulcahy shared that can help athletes who have trouble staying dispassionate when they see a pace (any pace) on their watch: Change the unit of measure.

“I have a client who is an American, but she lives in Europe. She was trying to train more in kilometers, and she started noticing that she was very analytical during her workout,” said Mulcahy. “There was really little meaning to the data; it was just very instructional.”

Ultimately the goal is to keep emotion at bay and use watch data for what it is: data. Some runners are great at this, and some runners have to find workarounds. But the science says that if you can get into that analytical mind frame, especially when your brain is tired, the data will help.

Link to Runner’s World article


Quote of the Week

     “Fear is gradually replaced by excitement

          and a simple desire

             to see what you can do on the day.”


                                  Lauren Fleshman
                                American distance runner


Video of the Week

Run 3 - Inspriational Running Video (3:12)

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


Ongoing Events

RunGo For Turn-By-Turn Directions!

RunGo provides turn-by-turn navigation allowing you to just enjoy your runs without having to think about looking for street names and when you may have to turn next. Other great features include, audio cues with your running stats, split updates, the ability to share your runs via social media, and create new routes. Another great feature of the app is the ability to work offline. You can create and download your routes ahead of time, before your run so you don’t have to use data during your run.


Water Stop Volunteers Needed
Water stop signs and coolers are available at the following location: 1536 Professional Parkway, Auburn, AL. (Thank you Adahli Massey!). Coolers and signs can be picked up Monday-Thursday from 8AM-4PM and on Fridays from 8AM-12 noon. Items are in the room next to the back door. If you are unable to pick up supplies on these dates/times, e-mail clemster@aol.com to make alternative arrangements (we deliver!).



Race Volunteers Needed!
As a runner, we know your time is valuable. But if you have a couple hours to spare, we could use your help for one of the upcoming AORTA supported or directed races! Assisting at a local race is a fun and rewarding experience. You are surrounded by health conscious individuals that, like you, are motivated fitness enthusiasts and appreciate the effort of volunteers.




AORTA News: May 30th, 2022

2022 Heroes of America AORTA Group Photo
Great turnout for Saturday’s inaugural Heroes of America Marathon!

* AORTA group photo from the 2019 Soldier Marathon.

Upcoming Local Races!

Summer 5K Series - Opelika
It’s time to get the Summer Swing 5K runs rolling!  First run is Tuesday May 3rd at 6:15pm.  This year there are 14 runs scheduled, finishing up on August 2nd.  You can find all of the run series information at lastlap-dougu.blogspot.com.  The course is a measured and marked 5K in residential neighborhoods with low traffic.  Runners/walkers of all fitness levels are welcome.  Registration fee is still only $10 for the series, with 18 and under free.  Hope to see a good turnout this year!

Doug Underwood


Summer 5K Series - Auburn
The Auburn Summer 5K (and 1 mile Kids Run) Series started Wednesday, June 8th and runs through July 13th. The event will be held at the Auburn High School campus. Join us for 6 weeks of friendly competition and a fun boost to your racing. The 1-mile Kids Run will start at 6:15 pm followed by the 5K run at 6:30 pm. Pre-registration for all 6 weeks is $60 with a T-shirt ($45 without the t-shirt). $30 for kids under 12 for the 5K with a cotton t-shirt.  Kids 1-mile is free! Entry fees on a weekly basis is $8 for the 5K (everyone). 
Extra T-shirts are available for $20 - must order by June 8th AT THE RACE.
 Results will be posted each week.
* Link to paper registration form
* Link to online registration information

Volunteers Needed!
If you are able, or prefer, to volunteer rather than run the race, we could use your help in assisting with the registration table, at the water stop, or with course directions and finish line.  Please consider signing up here to help on a Wednesday evening this summer. There are 6 dates for you to choose from.



Weekly Whimsy



13 Dated and Dangerous Running Myths
A.C. Shilton, Running World (edited)


Myth: An Ideal Running Form Will Solve All Your Problems
Fact: Your form improves with experience
There is no ‘ideal’ way to run and no evidence that suggests telling age-group runners to run one way or another. That’s because bodies are different in how they’re built, how they stride, and how they break down.

Our running mechanics are a result of a combination of our anatomy, injury history, and running history.  And logging miles day after day will gradually optimize your gait. A study of novice runners found that after 10 weeks, the runners significantly improved their running economy without instruction on how to do so. Be wary of any expert who swears they can upgrade your form. Most coaches can’t spot efficient form—even veterans. Researchers determined the efficiency of five runners and sent videos of them to 121 coaches, from the high school level up to international program managers. Overwhelmingly, the coaches could not tell which runner was the most efficient.

Myth: Gotta Stretch!
Fact: Static stretching doesn’t reduce injury risk.
It also doesn’t lengthen our muscles in meaningful or protective ways. Back in 2001, a six week program studied how hamstring stretching changed athletes’ range of motion. They could lift their legs higher than before, but after four weeks without the stretches, the participants lost almost all improvement. That was markedly different than if participants had trained and tested muscle strength—those gains don’t disappear so quickly—and a clue that stretching wasn’t changing muscles significantly.

Researchers believe stretching as a largely neurological event. When we stretch, it helps us develop a tolerance: Our brains learn that it’s safe to increase our range of motion, and so our muscles comply. Static stretching (holding a position) may actually decrease running performance.. A 2009 study found that distance runners with tighter hamstrings had better running economies than their bendier peers. Imagine your muscles and tendons are like a rubber band,. You want the rubber band to snap back quickly.

If you like stretching, keep doing it. But prioritize cool downs, strength work, and naps. Research shows that these are the best aides for recovery and injury prevention.

Myth: Always Be Refueling
Fact: Save the run snacks for long efforts.
You probably don’t need to top off your glycogen stores on runs shorter than 60 minutes, and there can even be an advantage in training your body to burn fat stores by running for 90 minutes or more without refueling. The caveat is if you were hitting longer, high-intensity efforts, such as multiple 15- to 20-minute intervals.

On race day, there’s a limit to how much you should consume midrun. A 2018 paper examined the optimal carb intake for a two-hour effort. It found that taking in more than 40 grams of carbs per hour hurt performance because digestion draws blood from the muscles to the stomach.

Myth: Having Your Period on Race Day Is a Disaster
Fact: The hormone changes can be an advantage.
There’s no bad day during your monthly cycle for racing. In fact, research shows that menstruation can offer unique physiological advantages.

The days right before your bleeding begins can be some of the very best from a performance standpoint. During this phase, estrogen and progesterone levels dip, lowering your core body temperature and resting heart rate. Heart-rate variability—which is the amount of fluctuation between your heart beats—improves, which means you are more resilient to stress. Having lower estrogen and progesterone also improves the body’s ability to utilize carbohydrates stored in the muscle and liver. However, if you suffer from heavy menstrual bleeding, cramps, and GI issues, that can hamper performance. Over 35 percent of recreational female athletes experience heavy menstrual bleeding, but we don’t talk about what’s normal, so it’s often missed.. See your doctor if you think you might experience heavy bleeding. There are options that may help, like taking tranexamic acid or implanting an IUD. If you’re suffering from cramps, take 100mg of ibuprofen to help lower inflammation. You may also want to take 3 to 5 grams of a creatine supplement daily the week before your period. It can maintain the mucosal lining of your GI tract, reducing the symptoms of digestive distress during your period.

Myth: Running Is My Therapy
Fact: Running is great for your brain, but it’s no replacement for a mental-health professional.
Mental health practitioners often prescribe exercise because it can trigger positive changes in brain chemistry. Exercise can increase the production of serotonin, which can boost mood. It also can result in the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factors, which can encourage the growth of new neurons and synapses. (Antidepressants have also been shown to potentially increase them.)

Regular aerobic exercise has been linked to an improvement in size of the brain’s hippocampus, an area of the cortex which research has found can be smaller in people suffering from depression. And in people suffering from anxiety or ADHD, running can activate the frontal parts of the brain responsible for executive function. The simple act of going for a run—especially outside—can force us to be in the here and now. That’s a helpful thing for people prone to forecasting anxious futures. Finally, running can raise our self-efficacy as we go farther or faster than we thought possible. That builds one’s self-esteem, like, okay, I can run an extra mile, run that mile faster. And as a result, that’s a blueprint that you can take to other parts of your life."

However, understand one thing: Running is not therapy. The goal of therapy is to improve self-awareness. Therapy should create a safe space where you learn to be curious and insightful about what, exactly, is going on in your head. A good therapist will help you understand why you are having intrusive thoughts or sharp mood swings. When done right, sessions should give you the tools you need to think about why, for instance, you put on your running shoes and blasted out of the house instead of engaging the last time your spouse was mad.

Myth: Don't Up Your Weekly Mileage By More Than 10 Percent
Fact: There’s no universal rule, but 10 percent is low.
This myth is too simple to be accurate. Running surfaces, running volume, terrain, speed, and one’s physiology all factor into training loads. Instead, increase your mileage based on your experience level, injury history, and overall well-being. If you’re new to running, add up to 20 percent to your weekly total. A 2007 study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine looked at two groups of novice runners training for a four-mile race either following the 10 percent rule or increasing their mileage by 24 percent each week. The injury rates were practically identical—though a 2014 study in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy found an increased rate of injuries in new runners adding more than 30 percent.

Experienced runners building back volume after a break can add up to 30 percent more miles each week. However, if you’re already running fairly high volume, be more conservative. Track your miles in a training log and keep notes on how you feel. Next time you’re building up miles, refer to your log and see what went well and where things started to go from “felt great” to “oops, too much.” Critical to increasing your mileage is scheduling down weeks into your training. Addi miles for three to four weeks, and then back off for one week. Improvement comes from applying stress and then letting your body rest.

Myth: Carbs are Good! Carbs are Bad! Fat is Good! Fat is Bad!
Fact: Runners benefit from both.
The myths cut every which way on fat and carbs, but both fuels can be used to your advantage. To run your best, your body needs every available resource.

Our bodies run off stored energy, either in the form of glycogen (carbohydrates) or fat. It takes less effort to turn glycogen into available energy than fat. The difference in the amount of oxygen consumed in that process is between 5 and 8 percent. That’s a negligible amount while running at low intensity, but in a harder effort, needing 5 to 8 percent more oxygen slows you down. While that keto-evangelist at your gym may swear your body can only run off one fuel or the other, that’s also a myth. You can—and probably already do—run off both. And the keto-curious should know that studies have shown that athletes training only on a low-carb diet lose some of their ability to convert glycogen to energy—making that midrace Gatorade cup less effective.

Myth: Running Ruins Your Knees
Fact: Your knees get stronger.
Running actually protects your knees against the development of osteoarthritis, with nonelite runners having about a third of the rate of knee osteoarthritis of sedentary individuals. A 2017 review and meta- analysis found nonelite runners had just a 3.5 percent prevalence of hip or knee osteoarthritis compared to 10.2 percent of those in the sedentary, nonrunning control group.

The more researchers learn about cartilage, the elastic tissue that protects our joints, the more those results make sense. Cartilage is like any other living structure in that it gets stronger with continued loading. When you run, you stress the cartilage in your joints. Just like your muscles, that cartilage recovers and strengthens after a workout. Emerging research on metabolic health also reveals that the positive blood sugar and hormone changes that come with regular exercise may affect cartilage health for the better, too.

Why has this myth persisted for so long? Because of one big caveat: The relationship between running and knee osteoarthritis is U-shaped. Not running increases your risk. Yet so, too, does running large amounts of volume -particularly if you start young. The 2017 meta-analysis found that 13.3 percent of elite runners developed hip or knee osteoarthritis.

Myth: Walking is Weak
Fact: Walking can make you faster. 
All runners walk: aid stations, workouts, whenever we feel like it. Go watch an ultra—many racers walk every uphill. Assigning virtue to one locomotion is needlessly unfair and unkind. And if you’re afraid to be seen walking, your ego may actually be hurting your training. Downshifting during a high-intensity session lets you do more work at a faster speeds. Walking can also present an approachable way to reach a new distance goal.

Perhaps the best testament to the power of walking is the Galloway Method. For nearly 50 years, coach Jeff Galloway’s Run-Walk-Run system, where runners break their long runs and races down into a few minutes of running followed a minute or two of walking, has carried at least a half million runners (by Galloway’s surprisingly thorough count) to a finish line. Run-walking won’t cost you much, if any, time compared with run-running. A 2014 study in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport tracked runners versus run-walkers in a marathon. The two groups had similar median finish times: 4:14:25 for the run-walkers and 4:07:40 for the runners. That’s less than a 3 percent difference, and after the race, the run-walk group reported less fatigue and muscle pain.

Myth: Your Watch Knows Best
Fact: We’re complicated.
Listen to your body before your watch. ‣ Six months ago, an elite runner and coach, put herself in a data tracking timeout. “My relationship with the data was toxic,” she says. Tracking everything—sleep, heart-rate variability, weekly miles—made her question whether she really felt bad on a run, or whether her watch had told her to expect a slog and she complied.

Your watch may also not be getting the most accurate data, especially if it doesn’t use a chest strap for collecting heart-rate data (research shows they’re significantly more accurate than optical, wrist-based monitors). And your watch can’t access the untracked factors with big impacts to make informed choices. Yes, maybe you got good rest last night and had an easy week mileage-wise. But perhaps your low miles are due to pulling 12-hour days at work and skipping lunch. A 2018 study found that poor mental health correlated with a higher incidence of overuse injuries in runners. Anyone just following what their watch tells them to do is getting suboptimal training.

Myth: “I’m Not Ready to Race”
Fact: Racing is for everyone and you don’t have to PR to have a good time.
Doubt and unrealistic expectations—like that every race must be a personal best—can sideline you when you should be out high-fiving spectators. First, most of us view ourselves through an overly critical lens. We tend to focus on what’s not going well in our training while forgetting about everything that has gone right. That can keep us from accurately judging how prepared we are.

And races are about more than PRs. Expecting each event to be better than the last will suck the fun out of running faster than you can hoover the goo from a gel packet. Racing should bring joy. It should also allow you to learn from your mistakes and find small victories—from calming prerace jitters to nailing your fueling strategy.

Pros— They Believe Myths Just Like Us!

Coree Woltering: Ultramarathoner for The North Face
The myth: Running will wreck your kneesWhen I was in high school, I ran the 200, 400, and 800, and said I would never run a marathon—that’s way too far, it would hurt my knees. A 5K was the longest distance I would run because I would be like, Oh, my knees! My knees! I gotta protect my knees! It’s so funny now because I race 100 miles.

Chari Hawkins: Gold medalist at the 2022 USATF Indoor Championships
The myth: Big strides are better. People always told me that I would be good at running because I have long legs and could really “stride out.” So I always tried to take really long strides. But my legs were always sore, my knees were always sore. Then I broke my ankle right before the Indoor World Championships in 2019. I started working with a physical therapist and he said, “Chari, you are overstriding so much.” He totally changed my running to help me eliminate injury as well as improve my speed.

Andy Wacker: Two-time medalist at the World Mountain Running Championships
The myth: Lighter is faster. In college, there was a real culture of lighter being faster. I had a University of Colorado Boulder teammate who lost 5 to 10 pounds, and ran faster than ever. And he thought all he needed to do was keep losing weight. But he lost five more pounds and his performance tanked. I’d get rid of the term “race weight.” It’s more important to listen to your body.

Laurie Barton: 800m runner for the Brooks Beasts Track Team
The myth: Push through the pain. Throughout my career I always just thought you should work through injuries and pain. In college, I got a kidney disorder and I tried to push through—that was literally the dumbest thing ever. I ended up having to take six months off. Now if I’m hurting, I take time off.

Dominique Scott: 2016 & 2020 Olympian in the 5K & 10K for South Africa
The myth: Carb-load for everything. I believed all runners ate huge bowls of pasta the night before races or big workouts and that gave them the energy to run fast. It wasn’t until late in high school when I realized I actually don’t feel very good after eating a lot of pasta and I don’t race ultramarathons—and therefore do not need to consume my weight in carbs the night before races.

Sarah Pagano: Road racer for the Golden Coast Track Club
The myth: Runners shouldn’t lift weights.  When I started running, I never thought strength was important. As I’ve gotten older and started increasing mileage and intensity, I can see and feel the value of consistent strength training. It doesn’t have to be a fancy routine, or even in a gym, but targeting different muscle groups a few times a week can go a long way toward injury prevention and maintaining your form late in races.

Nicolas Montañez | Marathoner for the Mammoth Track Club
The myth: You can’t deviate from your training plan.  If life is really chaotic and you have a full day of errands, work, life, and you feel tired and sluggish, you can put off a big workout. I’ve learned that just getting in 20 minutes of easy running during those days maintains your fitness, allows for recovery, and keeps you loose so that you can pick up your training plan the next day.

Deena Kastor: 2004 Olympic Marathon bronze medalist
The myth: Always go hard. Many take “no pain, no gain” to heart and run hard every day, every mile. I know now that the gain comes from the rest period. As athletes, we deplete ourselves in the work phase, but grow stronger during recovery.

Two Lies and a Truth About Shoes
Lie: Replace Your Shoes Every 300 Miles

There are too many variables to make a blanket recommendation. Your weight, the foam used in the shoe, your running surfaces, and your gait pattern will all impact shoe wear. Since there’s no hard mileage rule, look for external clues: When the outsole’s lugs begin to disappear, the shoe may not be offering as much cushion and traction as it used to. Also, pay attention to any new postrun soreness in your ankles, hips, or knees, which can be a sign that the shoe’s midsole is not offering the support it once did.

Lie: Your Shoes Will Last Longer If You Rotate Them

Not really. They’ll just hang out on the shoe rack longer. This myth comes from the idea that midsole foam needs time to recover after runs. But the foam should bounce back in minutes, not days.

You may, however, want to consider rotating your shoes for injury prevention by alternating between two similar pairs of shoes. You’ll move slightly differently in the two pairs and possibly help keep repetitive use injuries at bay. A 2013 study saw a 60 percent reduction in injury rate for runners who used multiple shoes versus those who stuck to a single pair.

Truth: Removing Your Shoes Without Unlacing Them Breaks Them Down

The foam in the heel helps keep your foot in place. Crunching that foam down every time you step on the back of one shoe to slip out of the other, then jamming your heels in when you put them back on, will break the foam down faster. Plus: Torquing your shoelaces beyond what they’re built for may harm the eyelets that hold them in place. And you’re sacrificing the improved fit and efficiency that laces provide in order to get outside a few seconds faster.

Link to Runner’s World article



Quote of the Week

     “If you want to run then run a mile.

            If you want to experience another life,

                    run a marathon.”

                                             Emil Zatopek


Video of the Week

Memorial Day Tribute (3:35)

Memorial Day honors the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Please take some time today to remember those who lost their lives in the service of our country.

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


Ongoing Events

RunGo For Turn-By-Turn Directions!

RunGo provides turn-by-turn navigation allowing you to just enjoy your runs without having to think about looking for street names and when you may have to turn next. Other great features include, audio cues with your running stats, split updates, the ability to share your runs via social media, and create new routes. Another great feature of the app is the ability to work offline. You can create and download your routes ahead of time, before your run so you don’t have to use data during your run.


Water Stop Volunteers Needed
Water stop signs and coolers are available at the following location: 1536 Professional Parkway, Auburn, AL. (Thank you Adahli Massey!). Coolers and signs can be picked up Monday-Thursday from 8AM-4PM and on Fridays from 8AM-12 noon. Items are in the room next to the back door. If you are unable to pick up supplies on these dates/times, e-mail clemster@aol.com to make alternative arrangements (we deliver!).



Race Volunteers Needed!
As a runner, we know your time is valuable. But if you have a couple hours to spare, we could use your help for one of the upcoming AORTA supported or directed races! Assisting at a local race is a fun and rewarding experience. You are surrounded by health conscious individuals that, like you, are motivated fitness enthusiasts and appreciate the effort of volunteers.




AORTA News: May 23rd, 2022

Upcoming Local Races!

Summer 5K Series - Opelika
It’s time to get the Summer Swing 5K runs rolling!  First run is Tuesday May 3rd at 6:15pm.  This year there are 14 runs scheduled, finishing up on August 2nd.  You can find all of the run series information at lastlap-dougu.blogspot.com.  The course is a measured and marked 5K in residential neighborhoods with low traffic.  Runners/walkers of all fitness levels are welcome.  Registration fee is still only $10 for the series, with 18 and under free.  Hope to see a good turnout this year!

Doug Underwood


Heroes of America Marathon
The Heroes of America Marathon and Half Marathon Saturday, May 28, 2022 race starts and finishes at the National Infantry Museum, runs through parts of Ft Benning and on the beautiful Columbus RiverWalk.  The course is reasonably flat with one hill and a few short inclines. The Heroes of America 5k also starts at the National Infantry Museum immediately after the Half Marathon start. Because of the width of the Riverwalk the Heroes of America Marathon does not allow participants who use hand-cranks.


Heroes of America Looking for Pacers

Hi Friends! I am looking for pacers for the Heroes of America Marathon in Columbus, GA on May 28th. If you are interested in helping others reach their goals while having fun please email me at info@beastpacing.com. We need marathon pacers for finish times from 3:35 to 5:30.  Beast Pacing


Heroes of America Marathon AORTA Group Photo

All AORTA members running the half or full marathon next month are invited to meet prior to the race for a group photo. Plan to meet at the statue at 7:00 am Eastern Time directly in front of the museum where you check in. Remember that Columbus is an hour ahead of us (Auburn / Opelika) so don’t be late!!

2019 Soldier Marathon AORTA Group Picture.  Join us for this year’s photo!


Summer 5K Series - Auburn
The Auburn Summer 5K (and 1 mile Kids Run) Series started Wednesday, June 8th and runs through July 13th. The event will be held at the Auburn High School campus. Join us for 6 weeks of friendly competition and a fun boost to your racing. The 1-mile Kids Run will start at 6:15 pm followed by the 5K run at 6:30 pm. Pre-registration for all 6 weeks is $60 with a T-shirt ($45 without the t-shirt). $30 for kids under 12 for the 5K with a cotton t-shirt.  Kids 1-mile is free! Entry fees on a weekly basis is $8 for the 5K (everyone). 
Extra T-shirts are available for $20 - must order by June 8th AT THE RACE.
 Results will be posted each week.
* Link to paper registration form
* Link to online registration information

Volunteers Needed!
If you are able, or prefer, to volunteer rather than run the race, we could use your help in assisting with the registration table, at the water stop, or with course directions and finish line.  Please consider signing up here to help on a Wednesday evening this summer. There are 6 dates for you to choose from.



Weekly Whimsy



The Importance of Easy Run Days
Frank Campo, TrainingPeaks.com

Easy run days are more important in a runner’s training plan than they are given credit for. Easy run days do a number of things to help prepare you for your next race or training season. First and foremost, they give your body and mind a break. You can also take the time during your easy run days to worry less about paces and time and simply enjoy your run. That’s why we all do this, right? Because we enjoy it. Easy run days also help build endurance because you can add distance without the stress of speed work throughout the workout. Depending on the training cycle, it is usually best to do the bulk of your weekly miles at a relatively slower pace and low heart rate. Consider your easy run days just that, a time to get out and forget about the splits and just enjoy running at a comfortable pace so you can build endurance. Typically, these type of easy workout days should be placed after a day of intense training as a form of active recovery. But remember that your easy days also build endurance and are by no means “junk” miles. So, how should you structure your easy run days so you get the most benefit from them?

Warm-Up
As with every run, first start with a warm-up and an easy stretch, but be careful not to overdo it. If you tend to do most of your runs in the early morning, do some squats, lunges, and a few skips to wake your body up. It will also get your heart rate up, your blood flowing and your body warmed up enough to take on the that crisp morning air.

Start Slow
Depending on your training phase, generally these runs should be about two minutes slower than your race pace. This allows you to still maintain your form while getting the recovery benefits you are looking for. At first you may have to work on slowing yourself down in order to maintain your target heart rate; the goal is to be relaxed and to maintain a comfortable pace. These runs are structured to build endurance, strength and at times simulate the fatigue placed on the body during long-distance training.

Then Add Some Speed
When appropriate—and typically only on longer easy runs—include a few strides toward the end of your run. Better yet, add some hill repeats. These accelerations should last a few seconds at your 5K speed, with equal recovery between each set. Putting this demand on tired legs helps you build efficiency and strength, and will mentally prepare you for when you are tired and need to dig deep during the later stages of a race.

Post Run Stretch/Strength
It goes without saying that you should stretch after every run.This is especially true as you get older and need to keep your muscles and tendons from getting too tight. Post-run stretches should be held a bit longer (think a minimum of 30 seconds), and should be concentrated on your weakest muscle group. For runners, these areas are usually the hamstrings, calves, hips and hip flexors. This is also a good time for some focused strength training. Try some rope stretching and planks to work on the core, or for more of a challenge on tired legs incorporate side lunges.

As a rule of thumb, follow the 80/20 rule; structuring 80 percent of your weekly workouts at an easy effort and 20 percent at an intense effort. Particularly if you are a self-trained athlete, make sure your plans incorporate a healthy balance to prevent injury, or better yet follow a training plan or hire a coach. Following these simple guidelines will keep you running strong.

Link to TrainingPeaks article


Quote of the Week

     “Everyone in life is looking for a certain rush. 

               Racing is where I get mine.”

                          John Trautmann
                          92’ Olympian, NYU Coach



Video of the Week

Run With Me - Short Film (13:53)

Based on true events, this short film, written and directed by Cameron Covell, follows Matt, a boy with cerebral palsy, as he decides to run in his school's track meet.

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


Ongoing Events

RunGo For Turn-By-Turn Directions!

RunGo provides turn-by-turn navigation allowing you to just enjoy your runs without having to think about looking for street names and when you may have to turn next. Other great features include, audio cues with your running stats, split updates, the ability to share your runs via social media, and create new routes. Another great feature of the app is the ability to work offline. You can create and download your routes ahead of time, before your run so you don’t have to use data during your run.


Water Stop Volunteers Needed
Water stop signs and coolers are available at the following location: 1536 Professional Parkway, Auburn, AL. (Thank you Adahli Massey!). Coolers and signs can be picked up Monday-Thursday from 8AM-4PM and on Fridays from 8AM-12 noon. Items are in the room next to the back door. If you are unable to pick up supplies on these dates/times, e-mail clemster@aol.com to make alternative arrangements (we deliver!).



Race Volunteers Needed!
As a runner, we know your time is valuable. But if you have a couple hours to spare, we could use your help for one of the upcoming AORTA supported or directed races! Assisting at a local race is a fun and rewarding experience. You are surrounded by health conscious individuals that, like you, are motivated fitness enthusiasts and appreciate the effort of volunteers.




AORTA News: May 16th, 2022

Upcoming Local Races!

Summer 5K Series - Opelika
It’s time to get the Summer Swing 5K runs rolling!  First run is Tuesday May 3rd at 6:15pm.  This year there are 14 runs scheduled, finishing up on August 2nd.  You can find all of the run series information at lastlap-dougu.blogspot.com.  The course is a measured and marked 5K in residential neighborhoods with low traffic.  Runners/walkers of all fitness levels are welcome.  Registration fee is still only $10 for the series, with 18 and under free.  Hope to see a good turnout this year!

Doug Underwood

VET DTRI’s Heroes 5K
Distance: 5K (trail)
When:
 Saturday, May 21
Time: 9:00 AM
Fee: $30
Where: Gadsden, AL
Description: 
VET DRTI's (Veteran Disaster Relief Team Inc.) is a non-profit organization founded by Veterans that volunteer to assist with cleanup efforts following natural disasters such as Tornados and Hurricanes as well as Search and Recovery of missing persons.  The event will raise money to fund these missions.


Heroes of America Marathon
The Heroes of America Marathon and Half Marathon Saturday, May 28, 2022 race starts and finishes at the National Infantry Museum, runs through parts of Ft Benning and on the beautiful Columbus RiverWalk.  The course is reasonably flat with one hill and a few short inclines. The Heroes of America 5k also starts at the National Infantry Museum immediately after the Half Marathon start. Because of the width of the Riverwalk the Heroes of America Marathon does not allow participants who use hand-cranks.


Heroes of America Looking for Pacers

Hi Friends! I am looking for pacers for the Heroes of America Marathon in Columbus, GA on May 28th. If you are interested in helping others reach their goals while having fun please email me at info@beastpacing.com. We need marathon pacers for finish times from 3:35 to 5:30.  Beast Pacing


Heroes of America Marathon AORTA Group Photo

All AORTA members running the half or full marathon next month are invited to meet prior to the race for a group photo. Plan to meet at the statue at 7:00 am Eastern Time directly in front of the museum where you check in. Remember that Columbus is an hour ahead of us (Auburn / Opelika) so don’t be late!!

2019 Soldier Marathon AORTA Group Picture.  Join us for this year’s photo!


Weekly Whimsy



How to Benefit from Pelvic Floor Therapy
Heather Mayer Irvine, Runner’s World (paraphrased)

Runners are no strangers to the world of physical therapy and its many benefits. But pelvic floor therapy is either totally unknown or taboo — runners, particularly female runners, might be missing out on important injury prevention and rehab opportunities. 

What is pelvic floor therapy?
Essentially the pelvic floor is a group of interlacing muscles that span the distance between the tailbone and the pubic bone. These muscles support the bowel and bladder in men and women, and the uterus and vagina in women. Because humans are upright, the strength and tone of the pelvic floor muscles are imperative in keeping the organs in place. 

Pelvic floor therapy is a type of physical therapy that can treat issues such as incontinence in men and women, painful intercourse in men and women, pelvic pain, overactive bladder, including frequency and urgency, and organ prolapse, in which the bladder, uterus, or rectum can drop or press into the vagina.

What is a pelvic floor therapy appointment like?
Unlike a typical physical therapy session, it’s in a private room due to the sensitive nature of the appointment. A pelvic floor therapist will spend 75 percent of an initial appointment just talking to a patient to learn about sleep habits, nutrition and hydration, exercise, symptoms, goals of treatment, and stress.

Patients—men and women—should be prepared for an internal examination, intervaginal for women and interrectal for men. The purpose of this exam is to assess the muscles’ abilities to contract and fully relax, and to determine the strength and tone of these muscles. Muscles that are too strong or tight, for example, can cause pain.

Most female patients say exams are more comfortable than their gynecologic exam since doctors don't use a speculum, swabs, stirrups, or take samples. For men, a pelvic floor specialist appointment may take longer than a prostate exam because therapists pay more attention to the muscles and tailbone area.

What are the benefits of pelvic floor therapy?
Pelvic floor therapy can treat a host of problems that affect runners of all types, particularly women. Because running is a high-impact sport that causes the pelvic organs to jostle around, having a strong (but not too strong) and toned pelvic floor can keep women, especially, running pain-free. Not only is pelvic floor therapy extremely effective in treating conditions like urinary incontinence and pain during intercourse, it is part of total-body strength. That’s means it can target and treat problem spots notorious for runners, including the hips and glutes.

Types of Pelvic Floor Therapy
A pelvic floor therapist has a variety of treatment methods and tools, depending on the nature of the problem.

Biofeedback: Biofeedback is a way for a therapist and a patient to gauge muscle strength and the muscles’ ability to relax. Pelvic floor muscles that are too tight can cause pain that is exacerbated by doing too many kegel exercises or not doing them correctly.

During a biofeedback session, electrodes are placed on the skin and a probe is placed internally to show when muscles are contracting and relaxing (often while performing kegels), and how those muscles coordinate with other muscles like the hips and abdomen.

Soft Tissue Work: Pelvic floor muscles are muscles, which means they have trigger points and myofascial tissue that might need a release, just like your quads or calves. Internal soft tissue work directly on the pelvic floor muscles and external soft tissue work on muscles outside the pelvic floor can also address the iliotibial (IT) band, hips, adductors, and abdominals.

Therapists might also treat issues with scar tissue massage (which involves both actual massage and other techniques), especially if a patient has had surgery, including a C-section.

Stretching: Many women who experience pelvic floor concerns require stretching. That can be done manually or with dilators—tube-shaped devices that come in a range of sizes—which is a good way for a patient to be involved with their treatment. Dilators can serve a few purposes, including helping the muscles lengthen and relax, as well as desensitizing the area to allow for stretch and movement.

Stretching can help alleviate issues like pain or an overactive bladder. Some runners may not be able to run more than 20 minutes due to muscle dysfunction.  If tightness is the issue, stretching the pelvic floor muscles can help. Although runners often think of stretching when something is tight or stiff, the remedy may be to reduce tension in the tissue, which includes muscles and connective tissue. Reducing tension can include manual techniques by the therapist to gently lengthen tense or tight pelvic floor muscles, gentle massage to increase blood flow, or specialized pressure techniques to reduce trigger points, or knots.

Traditional stretching is effective, too. Recommended moves include happy baby and child’s pose to stretch the pelvic floor.

Who can benefit from pelvic floor therapy?
More often than not, therapists will see women after childbirth who have complaints of pain during intercourse or incontinence. These issues are very common but not normal. A woman’s likelihood of experiencing incontinence goes up with every pregnancy. After all, each full-term pregnancy and delivery takes a toll on the pelvic floor and it requires proper strength-training (a goal of pelvic floor therapy) to restore that strength and tone. Runners who’ve had childrencan benefit from pelvic floor therapy after delivery, vaginal or C-section; the high-impact nature of running adds further stress to the already weakened pelvic floor. Therapy can help build back strength and tone before you start logging miles again. Often, there isn’t much guidance for women who are looking to get back to running postpartum, and just because a six-week postnatal exam checks out (doctors may not even do a physical exam), doesn’t mean women’s bodies and muscles are ready for the high-impact sport of running.

Today, guidelines recommend women wait at least 12 weeks after delivery before starting to run again; that’s double what it was several years ago. Therapists who are trained in pelvic floor therapy can guide women in a step-by-step way to get back to running safely. An exam might include how posture has changed during pregnancy and postpartum. A pelvic floor therapist can assess diastasis recti, or ab separation, which happens in 100 percent of pregnant women. With the help of a therapist, you can easily treat it.

When should you see a doctor instead?
Because pelvic floor therapy isn’t (yet) mainstream, patients often turn to their doctors to address their symptoms. It’s common for people, especially women, to assume a condition like incontinence is normal with childbirth or age and avoid bringing it up with physicians. But it’s not normal and there are ways you can address it, especially if you see a pelvic floor PT.

But for symptoms related to infection, like discharge and fever related to vaginitis after childbirth, for example, a doctor can prescribe antibiotics, and that’s why you’d want to see a doc first before a PT. Some types of urinary incontinence are also caused by a fistula, which requires surgery and cannot be treated with pelvic floor therapy. Physicians are a common entry point who can then connect patients with a pelvic floor therapist. So it’s never a bad idea to see your doctor, but it’s also smart to ask about pelvic floor therapy.

Who should avoid pelvic floor therapy?
In rare cases, women who have severe organ prolapse should avoid pelvic floor therapy. While pelvic floor therapy can help strengthen the floor, if prolapse is advanced, surgery might be the only option. This is more likely to happen in older women.

Is at-home pelvic floor therapy an option?
Depending on the nature of the problem and the type of therapy needed, there are exercises people can do from the comfort and privacy of their own homes. There is a massive lack of information. That’s why it’s essential to take matters into your own hands. People can and should take ownership of their own pelvic health, and you should feel empowered to learn more about their pelvic floor. That said, it is recommended to see a professional in person for an initial evaluation before starting at-home therapy. At-home pelvic health education is a great thing to do while waiting for your first appointment or between sessions.

Link to Runner’s World article



Quote of the Week

     “Running is a big question mark
          that’s 
there each and every day. 
              Are you going to be a wimp or
                 are you going to be strong today?"

                               Peter Maher, Irish Olympian


Video of the Week

Meet Lopifit - The Electric Walking Bike (3:20)

This is the Lopifit, a Dutch-designed electric treadmill bike that allows you to travel greater distances in less time when compared to walking on foot.

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


Ongoing Events

RunGo For Turn-By-Turn Directions!

RunGo provides turn-by-turn navigation allowing you to just enjoy your runs without having to think about looking for street names and when you may have to turn next. Other great features include, audio cues with your running stats, split updates, the ability to share your runs via social media, and create new routes. Another great feature of the app is the ability to work offline. You can create and download your routes ahead of time, before your run so you don’t have to use data during your run.


Water Stop Volunteers Needed
Water stop signs and coolers are available at the following location: 1536 Professional Parkway, Auburn, AL. (Thank you Adahli Massey!). Coolers and signs can be picked up Monday-Thursday from 8AM-4PM and on Fridays from 8AM-12 noon. Items are in the room next to the back door. If you are unable to pick up supplies on these dates/times, e-mail clemster@aol.com to make alternative arrangements (we deliver!).



Race Volunteers Needed!
As a runner, we know your time is valuable. But if you have a couple hours to spare, we could use your help for one of the upcoming AORTA supported or directed races! Assisting at a local race is a fun and rewarding experience. You are surrounded by health conscious individuals that, like you, are motivated fitness enthusiasts and appreciate the effort of volunteers.




AORTA News: May 9th, 2022

Mother’s Day Mimosa Run

AORTA members Misty Carroll, Crystal Hubbard, Mari Wilkes, Katherine Martin, and Cara Burnett enjoying a Mimosa (or two) after their Saturday Mother’s Day Half-Marathon!


Upcoming Local Races!

Summer 5K Series - Opelika
It’s time to get the Summer Swing 5K runs rolling!  First run is Tuesday May 3rd at 6:15pm.  This year there are 14 runs scheduled, finishing up on August 2nd.  You can find all of the run series information at lastlap-dougu.blogspot.com.  The course is a measured and marked 5K in residential neighborhoods with low traffic.  Runners/walkers of all fitness levels are welcome.  Registration fee is still only $10 for the series, with 18 and under free.  Hope to see a good turnout this year!

Doug Underwood

VET DTRI’s Heroes 5K
Distance: 5K (trail)
When:
 Saturday, May 21
Time: 9:00 AM
Fee: $30
Where: Gadsden, AL
Description: 
VET DRTI's (Veteran Disaster Relief Team Inc.) is a non-profit organization founded by Veterans that volunteer to assist with cleanup efforts following natural disasters such as Tornados and Hurricanes as well as Search and Recovery of missing persons.  The event will raise money to fund these missions.


Heroes of America Marathon
The Heroes of America Marathon and Half Marathon Saturday, May 28, 2022 race starts and finishes at the National Infantry Museum, runs through parts of Ft Benning and on the beautiful Columbus RiverWalk.  The course is reasonably flat with one hill and a few short inclines. The Heroes of America 5k also starts at the National Infantry Museum immediately after the Half Marathon start. Because of the width of the Riverwalk the Heroes of America Marathon does not allow participants who use hand-cranks.


Heroes of America Looking for Pacers

Hi Friends! I am looking for pacers for the Heroes of America Marathon in Columbus, GA on May 28th. If you are interested in helping others reach their goals while having fun please email me at info@beastpacing.com. We need marathon pacers for finish times from 3:35 to 5:30.  Beast Pacing


Heroes of America Marathon AORTA Group Photo

All AORTA members running the half or full marathon next month are invited to meet prior to the race for a group photo. Plan to meet at the statue at 7:00 am Eastern Time directly in front of the museum where you check in. Remember that Columbus is an hour ahead of us (Auburn / Opelika) so don’t be late!!

2019 Soldier Marathon AORTA Group Picture.  Join us for this year’s photo!


Weekly Whimsy



Here’s How to Run If You’ve Never Done It Before
Runner’s World Editors (paraphrased)

Eveyone who runs has their own reasons. If you’re one of those who haven’t yet joined this culture but want to start, here are five expert tips to get you started.

How to Run, Step 1: Commit
Starting a new habit is hard, especially when it’s one you find intimidating. But here’s the trick: Don’t go all-out in effort, and start with just one or two days a week, gradually adding more days as you get stronger and more confident. Creating a realistic schedule (and sticking to it) is key.

Treat your training time like you would an important appointment, and if you’re really struggling to commit, find a workout buddy or a group (like AORTA!) so you have a solid reason to get out there more often.

How to Run, Step 2: Set a Goal
For newbies and seasoned runners alike, it’s always helpful to set goals. Giving workouts a purpose—whether it’s to lose weight, finish that first race, or simply run a set number of days each week—makes each run more valuable. Goals also keep you consistent.

The key: determining your “why” or what motivates you to start running in the first place. Finding a training plan that works for you and your schedule (and adjusting it as needed) will help you reach your goals, as will mentally setting yourself up for success and creating a support system.

How to Run, Step 3: Gear Up
You really only need shoes to start running—which can put a lot of pressure on finding the perfect pair. The best way to do this is to head to your local specialty running shop. They’ll put you on a treadmill and analyze your stride to match you with the right fit and style, according to how you naturally run. If you need a place to start, though, can check out the Runner’s World list of the best running shoes for every distance and style, and their guide to choosing the right shoe.

Once you have the kicks, you’ll want to add a few other essential pieces of gear to your closet to make the run more comfy, such as a friction-free pair of shorts (men’s or women’s), performance socks, and sweat-wicking tops.

Not sure how to gear up according to the weather? There's a what to wear tool to help with just that.

How to Run, Step 4: Stay Healthy and Fuel Right
If you feel pain, it’s time to take a break—which means the most important factor in becoming a consistent runner is becoming a healthy one. When first starting out, there are a few common injuries that can plague runners. Luckily, you can avoid these issues altogether by taking some precautions.

First, make sure you don’t ramp up your weekly mileage too quickly. Even if you are feeling great, going too hard too early can lead to injuries, because your body isn’t used to the effort.

Additionally, strength training and warmups and cooldowns are key to strong, pain-free running. Squats, lunges, glute bridges, and planks are great for strengthening your legs and core—two muscle groups that help you run faster and longer.

Finally, you need to nourish your body in order to make it through the miles. Nutrients such as carbs, protein, fiber, iron, healthy fats, and electrolytes will give you energy, build your muscles, and ensure you don’t “hit the wall” (runner-speak for not fueling enough to get through a workout).

How to Run, Step 5: Maintain Motivation
You’re never going to head out the door if you don’t have a reason. So think about what you love about running—or what you want to gain from the sport—and keep that in mind whenever you need a reminder.

Sometimes it helps to read about someone else’s amazing journey.

Link to Runner’s World Article


Quote of the Week

       “Vision without action is a daydream.

             Action without vision is a nightmare."


                                           Japanese Proverb


Video of the Week

Courage in Sports - Running Relentless (1:59)

Cross Country runner Ben Comen never let Cerebral Palsy stop him from doing what he loves. His commitment to finishing every single race is a constant reminder to his teammates that the sky's the limit.

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


Ongoing Events

RunGo For Turn-By-Turn Directions!

RunGo provides turn-by-turn navigation allowing you to just enjoy your runs without having to think about looking for street names and when you may have to turn next. Other great features include, audio cues with your running stats, split updates, the ability to share your runs via social media, and create new routes. Another great feature of the app is the ability to work offline. You can create and download your routes ahead of time, before your run so you don’t have to use data during your run.


Water Stop Volunteers Needed
Water stop signs and coolers are available at the following location: 1536 Professional Parkway, Auburn, AL. (Thank you Adahli Massey!). Coolers and signs can be picked up Monday-Thursday from 8AM-4PM and on Fridays from 8AM-12 noon. Items are in the room next to the back door. If you are unable to pick up supplies on these dates/times, e-mail clemster@aol.com to make alternative arrangements (we deliver!).



Race Volunteers Needed!
As a runner, we know your time is valuable. But if you have a couple hours to spare, we could use your help for one of the upcoming AORTA supported or directed races! Assisting at a local race is a fun and rewarding experience. You are surrounded by health conscious individuals that, like you, are motivated fitness enthusiasts and appreciate the effort of volunteers.




AORTA News: May 2nd, 2022

Upcoming Local Races!

Summer 5K Series - Opelika
It’s time to get the Summer Swing 5K runs rolling!  First run is Tuesday May 3rd at 6:15pm.  This year there are 14 runs scheduled, finishing up on August 2nd.  You can find all of the run series information at lastlap-dougu.blogspot.com.  The course is a measured and marked 5K in residential neighborhoods with low traffic.  Runners/walkers of all fitness levels are welcome.  Registration fee is still only $10 for the series, with 18 and under free.  Hope to see a good turnout this year!

Doug Underwood

VET DTRI’s Heroes 5K
Distance: 5K (trail)
When:
 Saturday, May 21
Time: 9:00 AM
Fee: $30
Where: Gadsden, AL
Description: 
VET DRTI's (Veteran Disaster Relief Team Inc.) is a non-profit organization founded by Veterans that volunteer to assist with cleanup efforts following natural disasters such as Tornados and Hurricanes as well as Search and Recovery of missing persons.  The event will raise money to fund these missions.


Heroes of America Marathon
The Heroes of America Marathon and Half Marathon Saturday, May 28, 2022 race starts and finishes at the National Infantry Museum, runs through parts of Ft Benning and on the beautiful Columbus RiverWalk.  The course is reasonably flat with one hill and a few short inclines. The Heroes of America 5k also starts at the National Infantry Museum immediately after the Half Marathon start. Because of the width of the Riverwalk the Heroes of America Marathon does not allow participants who use hand-cranks.


Heroes of America Looking for Pacers

Hi Friends! I am looking for pacers for the Heroes of America Marathon in Columbus, GA on May 28th. If you are interested in helping others reach their goals while having fun please email me at info@beastpacing.com. We need marathon pacers for finish times from 3:35 to 5:30.  Beast Pacing


Heroes of America Marathon AORTA Group Photo

All AORTA members running the half or full marathon next month are invited to meet prior to the race for a group photo. Plan to meet at the statue at 7:00 am Eastern Time directly in front of the museum where you check in. Remember that Columbus is an hour ahead of us (Auburn / Opelika) so don’t be late!!

2019 Soldier Marathon AORTA Group Picture.  Join us for this year’s photo!



Weekly Whimsy



How to Adapt When the Unexpected Strikes

After months of dedicated training, it’s difficult to accept and adapt when the unexpected occurs and turns everything upside down. When the COVID-19 pandemic caused massive disruptions to our normal way of life, races were cancelled, governments asked us to follow social distancing measures, and even to stay at home as much as possible. There are other situations that throw our training plans into turmoil; a family emergency, a natural disaster like a flood or hurricane, or an injury. Smart athletes know how to pivot and change things up when necessary.

When your plans are torn asunder, it’s important to step back and ask yourself what will keep you motivated moving forward. If you love your sport, you will find a new goal to keep you going.

Keep going for it if ...
This comes with an important caveat; even if your goal has disappeared, you should continue peak training if your training data shows you are still making progress. If your average heart rate is decreasing over time on your long runs, or your pace is improving while your average heart rate remains the same, this shows you are continuing to improve. When this progress stops or reverses, then it’s time to reduce your effort and allow more time for regeneration.

Use your peak
What goes up must come down … and this is true for peak fitness so try not to hold on to it. Use your peak right now. If your plan was to run a 10k race, but it was canceled, then run a Strava segment, or try for a treadmill personal best. Use your peak and say goodbye. Then look ahead and be positive, you will gain it again if you work hard. If you try to stay at your peak you will end up overtraining and exhaust yourself. Use it and lose it.

Find a new goal
Many athletes need a goal to stay motivated. Others are happy to just keep improving. If you’re the former type, then find yourself a new goal. You might need to be creative. Choose a goal, even if you don't know whether it will happen. The main thing is it keeps you going. 

Have a Plan B
Let's say your goal is to perform well at a race that may be cancelled. If that’s the case, your Plan B may be to attempt an FKT (fastest known time) on a course that has a similar distance, terrain and elevation. Have one goal for motivation, and one goal that will take place 100%. Try to make the Plan B goal mirror the A goal. 

Focus on your base, but only when ...
If your race has been cancelled and there isn’t another one coming soon, focus on capacity and utility training. The former is about building endurance, cardiovascular fitness, V02 Max and maximizing mitochondria to gain more energy. Utility training is specialized according to the sport and the goal. Runners who want to run a marathon a month or two away need to run a lot of mileage at a special pace, and to reduce the fatigue at this pace. This is an example of a specialization. Right now if you don’t have a race, go back and concentrate on capacity training and you will continue to improve overall, and then you will be well placed to specialize at a later date. However, a block of capacity training is at least eight weeks long, and better if it’s 12 or 16 weeks. The body needs this amount of time to respond and adapt to training. If you only have four weeks, then capacity training doesn’t make sense. 

Build power and strength
If you don’t have at least eight weeks for a block of capacity training, then focus on power and strength training. If you want to step back just for four weeks, it’s better to do some plyometric, core and strength training. If the strength training is very hard, say four by four reps with heavy weights for example, then you will see improvements after three to five sessions. Plyometric training can include box jumps and jump rope to improve your explosiveness.

Work on your weaknesses
Most people usually never train their weaknesses because there is always a race around the corner. If you have a long break between races and have the time, then think about doing interval training. Another common weakness is a lack of explosive power. Those who don’t have an athletic background especially lack efficiency and ‘pop’ in their spring. This is because their tendons and muscles lack the stiffness to fire, to store power and then explode with it. They don’t train that. 

Chill with your family
If you usually spend 10 to 15 hours a week training, that’s time you aren’t with your family. While training is awesome for you, it can be hard on them. Plan to spend time with your family and recharge your batteries. Take care of your body and mind. Your training doesn’t have to fall apart because you reduce. It’s also a good time to take care of any injuries or niggles you might have had. Relax!

Link to Suunto article



Quote of the Week

       “Workouts are like brushing my teeth;
          I don’t think about them, I just do them.
              The decision has already been made."


                                          Patti Sue Plumer
                                          Two-time Olympian


Video of the Week

Finding Traction Trailer (2:23)

Finding Traction presents the inspirational story of ultra runner Nikki Kimball's quest to become the fastest person in history to run America's oldest hiking trail, Vermont's 273-mile Long Trail.  Through Nikki’s incredible journey, racing towards a dream and against time, we gain a new perspective on what we all share in terms of endurance and the human spirit.

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


Ongoing Events

RunGo For Turn-By-Turn Directions!

RunGo provides turn-by-turn navigation allowing you to just enjoy your runs without having to think about looking for street names and when you may have to turn next. Other great features include, audio cues with your running stats, split updates, the ability to share your runs via social media, and create new routes. Another great feature of the app is the ability to work offline. You can create and download your routes ahead of time, before your run so you don’t have to use data during your run.


Water Stop Volunteers Needed
Water stop signs and coolers are available at the following location: 1536 Professional Parkway, Auburn, AL. (Thank you Adahli Massey!). Coolers and signs can be picked up Monday-Thursday from 8AM-4PM and on Fridays from 8AM-12 noon. Items are in the room next to the back door. If you are unable to pick up supplies on these dates/times, e-mail clemster@aol.com to make alternative arrangements (we deliver!).



Race Volunteers Needed!
As a runner, we know your time is valuable. But if you have a couple hours to spare, we could use your help for one of the upcoming AORTA supported or directed races! Assisting at a local race is a fun and rewarding experience. You are surrounded by health conscious individuals that, like you, are motivated fitness enthusiasts and appreciate the effort of volunteers.


Forward any comments to the webmaster.




AORTA News: April 25th, 2022

Upcoming Local Races!

Summer 5K Series - Opelika
It’s time to get the Summer Swing 5K runs rolling!  First run is Tuesday May 3rd at 6:15pm.  This year there are 14 runs scheduled, finishing up on August 2nd.  You can find all of the run series information at lastlap-dougu.blogspot.com.  The course is a measured and marked 5K in residential neighborhoods with low traffic.  Runners/walkers of all fitness levels are welcome.  Registration fee is still only $10 for the series, with 18 and under free.  Hope to see a good turnout this year!

Doug Underwood

Heroes of America Marathon
The Heroes of America Marathon and Half Marathon Saturday, May 28, 2022 race starts and finishes at the National Infantry Museum, runs through parts of Ft Benning and on the beautiful Columbus RiverWalk.  The course is reasonably flat with one hill and a few short inclines. The Heroes of America 5k also starts at the National Infantry Museum immediately after the Half Marathon start. Because of the width of the Riverwalk the Heroes of America Marathon does not allow participants who use hand-cranks.


Heroes of America Looking for Pacers

Hi Friends! I am looking for pacers for the Heroes of America Marathon in Columbus, GA on May 28th. If you are interested in helping others reach their goals while having fun please email me at info@beastpacing.com. We need marathon pacers for finish times from 3:35 to 5:30.  Beast Pacing


Heroes of America Marathon AORTA Group Photo

All AORTA members running the half or full marathon next month are invited to meet prior to the race for a group photo. Plan to meet at the statue at 7:00 am Eastern Time directly in front of the museum where you check in. Remember that Columbus is an hour ahead of us (Auburn / Opelika) so don’t be late!!

2019 Soldier Marathon AORTA Group Picture.  Join us for this year’s photo!



Weekly Whimsy



Stop Glamorizing the ’No Pain, No Gain’ Mindset
Molly Huddle

“Should I race?”

As a lifelong athlete, I’ve butted up against this question a few times. Maybe you have, too.

I’ve experienced a range of setbacks, from cracked metatarsals and strained muscles to food poisoning, pneumonia, colds, and deaths in the family.

I know these aren’t unique, but all are valid causes for a literal slow down in running and life. Except, we often don’t slow down—at least not in the competitive sphere, anyway. I never really questioned that until recently.

Who draws the lines?
Sports culture, including running, is shaped by the ethos of pushing through anything and “taking one for the team,” even in individual sports such as running. But how far does that obligation go? And where does it come from? We’re used to overriding self-preservation in efforts to win, but is there a line too far in that as well? When does challenge become harm, and why do we try to deny those limits so often?

My gut reaction during these times in my own career was to tough things out; that’s what would be best for everyone around the situation, that’s what would be respected, and that’s what the sport heroes I looked up to did.

In part, it’s what sports legends were made of. We still pay homage to Curt Schilling’s bloody sock, Kerri Strug’s broken-legged dismount, and Michael Jordan’s flu game. I see how we internalized that messaging, and how we retell the stories with awe.

In some way, I’ve been paid to race since I was 18, so I was always aware that it’s an obligation as well as a passion. Racing through anything always seemed like the right thing to do. But was it really? Looking back, through the perspective of age and experience but also the prism of collective conversations happening recently, there were times it was clear I shouldn’t have run.

I’m unsure if this underlying rationale was shared by other athletes, but I operated under the idea that it’s not enough to just show up when you’re healthy. For a long time, the idea of maintaining boundaries around mental or physical health came off as acting selfish or lazy. Whether it was reading into a coach’s comments or reactions or taking sports movies too seriously, I thought I was obligated to race through almost any scenario on important days.

The culture is changing
Athletes at the top, such as Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka, have recently pushed back on this mindset, recognizing the need to protect their mental health and unique talent. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they’re being met with resistance as female athletes, because this idea of doing what everyone wants you to do with little thought of self-preservation is the norm for a lot of women in many societies.

I recently saw this tweet by Goals Sports founder Caroline Fitzgerald that said, “Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka have taught women that setting boundaries is an essential part of being successful and that impact will be felt for generations to come.

As important as opening up the topic of mental health is, so is this! So are the boundaries. From the top, these athletes are giving permission for others to make better decisions in the game. For example, Alexi Pappas recently talked about her decision to get hamstring surgery rather than soldier on to the echoes normalizing chronic pain in our sport.

Sports provides tolerable challenges that we can grow from and that empower the person playing the game or running the race—which is the great thing about sports. But there’s a line at which they become disempowering. We’re starting to see athletes talk about that, and it’s raising some interesting points about sports culture and what we normalize.

How much do you owe your team, or the fans? And is hurting yourself to play now short-sighted for everyone involved? Why is taking those risks applauded? Under what conditions are you allowed to take a step back? Sure, the healthy sting of a hill repeat or long run ache is good, productive pain, but why do we normalize other things like competing through mental or physical injury?

We’re only human
I think sometimes we’re conflating selfishness and taking care of ourselves. The best teammates show up for each other and strive for the benefit of the team, of course, but also make sure they’re first showing up as their healthiest, most productive and reliable self. We appreciate and are inspired by teammates pushing through something difficult, but times are going to come up where you have to step back to repair something. We’re people, and sometimes pieces of us break.

Like anyone, I’d hate to see the inspiring synergy that happens on teams that are dedicated to working well together fade in the name of individualism, but this isn’t that. There’s a line at which you can ask too much of yourself. Like your pace in a race with no finish line, an athlete with no boundary can become weaker because they don’t stop before damaging something or burning out.

I recall times when I shouldn’t have raced. During cross-country season my junior year of college, I was in great shape and excited to try to top our previous podium finish at NCAAs and reach it individually as well. But I suffered my first major injury less than three weeks before the NCAA meet. I was devastated and in denial, looking at my broken foot as it slowly swelled to resemble a latex glove water balloon—a spherical blob with five skinny toes sticking out. It wasn’t a stress fracture; it was a fully displaced metatarsal fracture, and it woke me up at night throbbing in pain for the next week and a half.

I knew I was still fit enough to help our team score, so I begged to race anyway in a few weeks. It’s what’s best for the team, I thought, calling on my sports hero index. This was a new kind of challenge, I reasoned, naively reframing and minimizing the injury. What would Kerri Strug do? (I learned that full backstory much later.)

Seventeen days later I was allowed to race the NCAA meet, as my first run back. I taped up my foot, finished 41st, our team placed fourth, and I had to start the healing timeline all over from square one. Looking back, I definitely shouldn’t have raced. I even repeated this whole situation a few months later at the Big East indoor championship!

Whatever I thought this proved, it was outweighed by the cascade of imbalances that came from my now crookedly healed foot. I’m lucky I was able to find my form again a few years later, but it’s not without issues. I feel like a lot of us can remember something like this.

When I look back on it, I’m no longer proud of these decisions. That’s true even though I used to advise such things. “Look, anything is possible!” I’d say, reframing what in hindsight was somewhat traitorous to my health and future in the sport in exchange for an imbalanced level of obligation to my team. I’d have served them better running fully healthy the next time out, even if it took two or three months.

Thanks, coach!
On the flip side, I have new appreciation for the times I was held back. I remember getting food poisoning at the Prefontaine Classic in 2014. The morning of the race, I couldn’t stand for more than 15 minutes without getting light-headed and needing to sit down, but I wanted to start the 5,000 meters anyway. I also didn’t want to forfeit a rare track appearance fee, which I almost never saw at the Diamond League level.

My coach was having none of my nonsense. He said no. He put the boundary there for me, which I appreciate, even though I was mad at the time. (I’m unsure if his “no” was out of concern for my health or just him seeing through my total delusion that it would go okay, but the protective effect was the same!)

I’m not sure how the culture of “no pain, no gain” and “taking one for the team” became so misconstrued in sports, but I do think it’s changing. I think the athletes in the spotlight now are modeling a different approach and, despite the resistance from some, others are taking it in as a new standard. It’s definitely reframed the way I think about decisions I’ve made in my sports career, and what I’d tell someone else who asks for advice. It changes what I see as valuable.

I hope we’re becoming more interested in what healthy talents, strengths, and tools you can bring, instead of what you’re willing to lose or damage. I think we’re starting to see how admitting that those strengths and skills aren’t indestructible isn’t a weakness.

I think we’re also starting to realize that, by admitting what and where our boundaries are in sport, at any level, we’re able to play the longer game. It’s a smarter one, and a healthier one. I’m good with glamorizing that.

Link to article in Runner’s World



Quote of the Week
    “Running has given me the courage to start, the determination to keep trying, and the childlike spirit to have fun along the way. Run often and run long, but never outrun your joy of running."


                                               Julie Isphording


Video of the Week

Don’t Date a Girl WHo Runs Marathons (8:05)

Dating a girl who runs marathons is probably the worst thing you could do if you're looking to have some free time on your weekend.

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


Ongoing Events

RunGo For Turn-By-Turn Directions!

RunGo provides turn-by-turn navigation allowing you to just enjoy your runs without having to think about looking for street names and when you may have to turn next. Other great features include, audio cues with your running stats, split updates, the ability to share your runs via social media, and create new routes. Another great feature of the app is the ability to work offline. You can create and download your routes ahead of time, before your run so you don’t have to use data during your run.


Water Stop Volunteers Needed
Water stop signs and coolers are available at the following location: 1536 Professional Parkway, Auburn, AL. (Thank you Adahli Massey!). Coolers and signs can be picked up Monday-Thursday from 8AM-4PM and on Fridays from 8AM-12 noon. Items are in the room next to the back door. If you are unable to pick up supplies on these dates/times, e-mail clemster@aol.com to make alternative arrangements (we deliver!).



Race Volunteers Needed!
As a runner, we know your time is valuable. But if you have a couple hours to spare, we could use your help for one of the upcoming AORTA supported or directed races! Assisting at a local race is a fun and rewarding experience. You are surrounded by health conscious individuals that, like you, are motivated fitness enthusiasts and appreciate the effort of volunteers.




AORTA News: April 18th, 2022

Run for the Dawgs 5K Video and Results!

Link to Run for the Dawgs 5K Results


Upcoming Local Races!

Summer 5K Series - Opelika
It’s time to get the Summer Swing 5K runs rolling!  First run is Tuesday May 3rd at 6:15pm.  This year there are 14 runs scheduled, finishing up on August 2nd.  You can find all of the run series information at lastlap-dougu.blogspot.com.  The course is a measured and marked 5K in residential neighborhoods with low traffic.  Runners/walkers of all fitness levels are welcome.  Registration fee is still only $10 for the series, with 18 and under free.  Hope to see a good turnout this year!

Doug Underwood



Weekly Whimsy



Why I Stopped Sharing My Run Pace On Social Media
Ashley Mateo, Runner’s World

Last summer, I decided to stop posting my paces on Instagram. Don’t get me wrong, I love a watch selfie—maybe it’s a little braggy, but I feel like a badass when I post proof that I ran 18 miles before 9 a.m. But as those stats proliferated across the app, I found myself starting to compare myself to other runners too often.

If my pace wasn’t comparable to that of someone I considered on my fitness level, I’d find myself making excuses (“the altitude in Colorado makes running so much harder!”). If I wasn’t logging as many miles over the course of the week, I’d start to wonder if I needed to up my volume. I was getting so caught up in other people’s training, I was forgetting that my training was programmed the way it was for a reason.

The Positive Role Social Media Plays in Motivation
Social media can be wildly motivational—even contagious—when it comes to fitness. An oft-cited study published in the journal Nature in 2017 found that when someone you follow runs an additional kilometer or an additional 10 minutes, you’re more likely to run an additional three-tenths of a kilometer or three minutes longer.

While running isn’t just about numbers, seeing someone’s stats can push you out of your comfort zone in a good way. Take the Olympic Trials in 2020. All those women who hit the Olympic standard—someone saw another person do it, and thought, ‘oh, look, if they can do that, maybe I have that in me as well.’ Women were so successful in hitting that standard, by the way, that USA Track & Field dropped the qualification time by eight minutes for 2024.

Maybe it’s not about the numbers at all, but the sheer fact that someone else got out the door that day—that can be the kick in the butt you need to get out.

Sharing your running experience also creates a sense of community. Whether that’s on a platform like Instagram, where you’ll find watch selfies and screen grabs of fitness tracker apps abound, or on a data-based app like Strava, Nike, RunKeeper, and MyFitnessPal where you can see details of others stats, it’s like you’re running together even though you’re not actually together.

When I first started sharing my run workouts on Instagram, I found that showing my watch selfies held me accountable—like, “look, world, I did the training I was supposed to do today!”

The Downfalls of Sharing Run Stats on Social Media
The problem with all this sharing comes when you start playing the comparison game. On one hand, it can be interesting to see what your peers or favorite pros are doing. But one data screen is not the whole picture.

When I see a watch pic, I have no idea what this person has done before, or what their training is like. There’s no nuance to it: How can you compare yourself to someone when you don’t know their training background, how much sleep they get, how well they fuel, what stressors they’re dealing with—you know, all the things that affect your running on a daily basis?

Every runner is totally different. Your training is your own, and you have to focus on the progress you’re making as an individual.

Plus, there's a proven toll on your mental wellbeing. People who shared health-related data on Instagram felt pressure to perform as a healthy role model, which led to compulsive tendencies.

Why You Should Assess How You Use Social Media for Sharing Workouts
It’s not right or wrong to share your running data on social media. But what you should do is consider how you interact with your own data and data shared by others.. You have to have a really strong sense of your ‘why’, a.k.a. the reason you run, to look at that kind of data objectively, If you’re not internally motivated to get out there and you’re instead thinking ‘I need to run today because so-and-so did’ or ‘I need to run today because I want to run faster than so-and-so,’ that can lead to a downward spiral.

For example, if you’re using a social media platform to give support and encouragement to other athletes, that’s great. However, if you’re using social media solely to receive praise and public endorsement, then that could lead to some negative effects: A January 2020 study found that if you’re using these platforms for social recognition (read: Strava kudos or Instagram likes), you’re more likely to develop an obsessive passion for exercise and suffer higher stress levels.

If you do notice you’re having a negative reaction to these platforms, reframe how you look at the data. Instead of thinking ‘so-and-so ran a certain pace, I’m not as good as them,’ rewrite those negative self-beliefs in a way that either celebrates them or encourages you. Bring it back to why you run, and why you’re using these platforms to begin with.

For the record, it is possible to use these platforms without focusing on other people’s metrics. I found that when I stopped sharing my own pace, I stopped paying as much attention to other people’s stats.

When you stop sharing your own data, you’re taking the emphasis off of it. You become less worried about what other people are thinking about your pace, and that makes you less likely to worry about what other people are doing as well.

Setting up your own boundaries around data sharing is really important. Maybe you stay on Strava to support your friends, but make your runs private. Maybe you set a daily time limit on an app so you can’t go down the comparison rabbit hole, or log off the app for the entire duration of a training cycle. Maybe you mute or stop following certain influencers you know you compare yourself to.

Whatever you do, it doesn’t make you any less of a runner to not engage in any type of data sharing. You can still go out and run just for you.

Link to article in Runner’s World



Quote of the Week

    “Cowards die many times before their deaths,

        the valiant never taste death but once..."


                                               Julius Caesar


Video of the Week

Anatomy of a Marathon Runner (9:36)

We studied the physique of Olympic marathoner and 2018 Boston Marathon Champion Desiree Linden to understand what powers her to run those 42.195 kilometers.

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


Ongoing Events

RunGo For Turn-By-Turn Directions!

RunGo provides turn-by-turn navigation allowing you to just enjoy your runs without having to think about looking for street names and when you may have to turn next. Other great features include, audio cues with your running stats, split updates, the ability to share your runs via social media, and create new routes. Another great feature of the app is the ability to work offline. You can create and download your routes ahead of time, before your run so you don’t have to use data during your run.


Water Stop Volunteers Needed
Water stop signs and coolers are available at the following location: 1536 Professional Parkway, Auburn, AL. (Thank you Adahli Massey!). Coolers and signs can be picked up Monday-Thursday from 8AM-4PM and on Fridays from 8AM-12 noon. Items are in the room next to the back door. If you are unable to pick up supplies on these dates/times, e-mail clemster@aol.com to make alternative arrangements (we deliver!).



Race Volunteers Needed!
As a runner, we know your time is valuable. But if you have a couple hours to spare, we could use your help for one of the upcoming AORTA supported or directed races! Assisting at a local race is a fun and rewarding experience. You are surrounded by health conscious individuals that, like you, are motivated fitness enthusiasts and appreciate the effort of volunteers.




AORTA News: April 11th, 2022

Unity Stampede (Corrected) 5K Video and Results!

Link to Unity Stampede 5K Results


Upcoming Local Race This Week!


Run For The Dawgs
Distance(s): 1-Mile, 5K
When
Saturday, April 16th
Time: 8:00 AM
Fee: $25 (5K), $15 (1-Mile)
Where: Opelika Sportsplex, Opelika, AL
Charity: 
Please help support the Opelika High School Softball Program by running a 5K, 1mile, or even sleeping in for the cause! All funds raised will go towards the cost of equipment, uniforms, travel, tournament fees, umpires, and other expenses incurred throughout the year. 



Weekly Whimsy



You Don’t Need to Negative Split Every Race
Cory Smith, Runner’s World

The idea of running negative splits has been so ingrained,, it’s as rudimentary of a skill for runners as tying your shoes. At some point, every runner needs to learn how to run negative splits or figuratively die trying.

A negative split is when the second half of your run or race is faster than your first half. The ability to run negative splits teaches you how to manage your energy and pace yourself properly throughout a race or training run. This is ideal because you learn how hard you can push early so you won’t blow up during the second half.

But just as every coin has two sides, so does pacing. On the flip side of negative splits are positive splits. This is where you go out faster and slow down as the run or race goes on. Considered taboo, prevailing wisdom warns against intentionally running positive splits. Positive splits are thought to be associated with pain, embarrassment, and bad outcomes.

On the other hand, when executed properly, the positive split can be a powerful pacing strategy. One that might just get you that personal record or BQ you’ve been working so hard to finally snag. But here's what to know before you start your next run or race on the faster side of your goal pace.

Should you ditch a negative split goal?
The elusive negative split is perhaps as much of a goal in running as setting a personal best. Elites do it all the time and it has been well documented that most world records are set with negative splits. But what about the rest of us who aren’t breaking world records? Are there scenarios where one should ditch a negative split?

Elites are really good at running 26 miles because they've been running 100 plus miles a week for a long time, versus amateurs who just can't maintain that pace for that long of a period because we don't have the training or maybe even the physiological capacity.

This brings up the question: If amateurs aren’t running 100 plus miles a week and may not have a superior physiological capacity, should we be mimicking the elites’ negative split pacing strategy? While more experienced runners should seek to follow their faster counterparts, an alternative for the non-elites. is called the “controlled fade.”

What is a controlled fade?
The controlled fade is a deliberate, positive-split pacing strategy—one that is calculated and won’t lead to blowing up or hitting the wall. It’s a slow, gradual fade in pace. There’s no need to fear the positive split if it's done with intention and reason and that the slow fade is really close—like within relatively even splits.

For a controlled fade to be successful, it needs to be a calculated strategy, because the margin for a blowup is much greater than with a negative split strategy. If you’re too ambitious during the first half, a controlled fade will result in a disastrous second half, potentially one that leaves you dragging or walking or just straight up miserable for those latter miles. On the other hand, if executed properly, it can be highly successful.

What’s the benefit of skipping a negative split?
A big part of this is a mindset shift that you don't have to negative split to run a PR. Mentally, there is a very different mindset between having to pick up the pace at mile 20 to reach your goal when you're already tired versus having time in the bank to fade a little. With the latter, you've met your goal and it's yours to lose and with the former, you don't have the goal and need to chase it when you're already tired. People are more likely to fight to hold onto something they already have than something they never had in the first place.

So that benefit to a controlled fade? It comes down to a pretty positive mental approach to those latter miles—and of course, it could also pay off with a faster finish time.

How do you properly execute the controlled fade?
Being honest about your current fitness is crucial for the successful execution of the controlled fade. The best way to get an honest assessment of your capabilities over all race distances is to plug a recent race result into a running pace calculator that projects what an equivalent performance would be across other distances. This will give you an idea of what you are capable of if all things go perfectly on race day.

In most cases, a more realistic goal is to add two to five minutes to what calculators tell you, especially if you’re using race times further away from the marathon such as a 5k time. If your goal falls within that two- to five-minute window, it’s likely to be attainable and suitable for the controlled fade strategy.

A controlled fade works best when you run the first half of your race between a total of 30 seconds and three minutes faster than the second half. This equates to five to ten seconds per mile for the marathon. When pacing the first half of a marathon, aim for five seconds per mile faster than the goal finishing time pace with an absolute speed limit of 10 seconds per mile faster. For example, if you’re trying to break 3:30 for the marathon or run an average 8:00/mile, aim to run the first half at a 7:55/mile pace, never to exceed a 7:50/mile.

The goal is to maintain this pace for as long as you can, expecting you’ll fade at some point. The deeper into the race you hold the pace, the more of a buffer you’ll build against your goal finishing time.

Keep in mind, it’s still important to ease into that faster pace. So starting 10 seconds slower than the goal pace for the first mile may be a good option for some who need a warmup mile. You’ll make up that time by mile four or five if you settle into your planned controlled fade pace by mile two.

When should you use a controlled fade?
A controlled fade works best for longer races, such as the marathon, and when there’s a lot of internal pressure to beat a very specific time.

To determine when to use a controlled fade, it comes down to your goals. There’s a difference between outcome goals and performance standards. Outcome goals are a specific outcome you’re pursuing, such as breaking your personal record or qualifying for the Boston Marathon, whereas performance standards are more about the approach you take to showing up. For outcome goals, there is a clear delineation between success and failure. You either hit your goal, or you don’t.

Often what happens in the course of a race is we recognize that our outcome goals are out the window for whatever reason—the weather isn't cooperating or it's just not our day. At that moment in time, often runners get really defeated and they get frustrated. Without having a performance standard to fall back on, some runners might give up and completely abandon their goal.

That’s where the controlled fade comes in: Building a small cushion of time to fall back on late in the race allows runners who place a heavy emphasis on outcome goals some room for error, alleviating some of the pressure.

So think about what you want to achieve in your run or if you have that specific goal to chase in your race and whether the controlled fade would work for you.

What do other coaches say?
Terry Howell, owner of Blue Collar Running, has coached seven runners to the 2020 Olympic Trials. He agrees the controlled fade is a viable plan for some runners and often builds in a cushion, even for his elite runners. “Depending on the caliber of the athlete, and the condition they’re in, I'm okay with a two-minute cushion on the backside, meaning going slower in the second half.” In an ideal situation, Howell likes to see his athletes somewhere between 30 seconds slower and 30 seconds faster than their goal marathon pace at the halfway point.

On the other hand, Karen Dunn, owner of Strengthen Your Stride and VDOT certified distance coach and RRCA level two run coach, says “it really comes down to knowing your athlete, knowing their history, goals, and mental strength and tenacity.” She believes that an even pace, or slightly negative is the best strategy, but does acknowledge if it’s the right person, a positive split may help some gain confidence.

Is a controlled fade the right approach for you?
At the end of the day, it’s important to steer clear of absolutes. When it comes to a negative-, positive-, or even-split pacing strategy one isn’t always better than the other. It all boils down to the individual runner, race course, and what feels comfortable in a given situation.

However, the only way to find out if one pacing strategy is better for your particular situation is to try it out. If you’re like most runners who have been wired to believe positive splits are synonymous with poor performances, give the controlled fade a try. It could pay off even more than you expect.

Link to article in Runner’s World



Quote of the Week

    “The five S’s of sports training are:

        Stamina, Speed, Strength, Skill, and Spirit;

            but the greatest of these is Spirit."

                                             Ken Doherty


Video of the Week

Is Colin Sahlman Unbeatable? (10:49)

From running 1:48.84 in the 800, to breaking the national record in the 3200 (8:33), to obliterating the national high school record for the cross country 5k, Colin Sahlman is running in rarified air.

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


Ongoing Events

RunGo For Turn-By-Turn Directions!

RunGo provides turn-by-turn navigation allowing you to just enjoy your runs without having to think about looking for street names and when you may have to turn next. Other great features include, audio cues with your running stats, split updates, the ability to share your runs via social media, and create new routes. Another great feature of the app is the ability to work offline. You can create and download your routes ahead of time, before your run so you don’t have to use data during your run.


Water Stop Volunteers Needed
Water stop signs and coolers are available at the following location: 1536 Professional Parkway, Auburn, AL. (Thank you Adahli Massey!). Coolers and signs can be picked up Monday-Thursday from 8AM-4PM and on Fridays from 8AM-12 noon. Items are in the room next to the back door. If you are unable to pick up supplies on these dates/times, e-mail clemster@aol.com to make alternative arrangements (we deliver!).



Race Volunteers Needed!
As a runner, we know your time is valuable. But if you have a couple hours to spare, we could use your help for one of the upcoming AORTA supported or directed races! Assisting at a local race is a fun and rewarding experience. You are surrounded by health conscious individuals that, like you, are motivated fitness enthusiasts and appreciate the effort of volunteers.




AORTA News: April 4th, 2022

Upcoming Local Races

Unity Stampede 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run
Distance(s): 1-Mile, 5K
When
Saturday, April 9th
Time: 5:30 PM
Fee: $30 (5K), $18 (1-Mile), Free (Wheelchair)
Where: Opelika Sportsplex, Opelika, AL
Charity: Proceeds will fund Character Education through the Community Foundation of East Alabama, provide scholarships for students at Southern Union State Community College and to promote wellness and healthy lifestyles in the community.


Run For The Dawgs
Distance(s): 1-Mile, 5K
When
Saturday, April 16th
Time: 8:00 AM
Fee: $25 (5K), $15 (1-Mile)
Where: Opelika Sportsplex, Opelika, AL
Charity: 
Please help support the Opelika High School Softball Program by running a 5K, 1mile, or even sleeping in for the cause! All funds raised will go towards the cost of equipment, uniforms, travel, tournament fees, umpires, and other expenses incurred throughout the year. 


Weekly Whimsy



Why You May Want to Breathe Only Through Your Nose
Jennifer Acker, Runner’s World

How often do you think about your breath? According to some research, you should think about shutting your mouth and breathing through your nose through the duration of your runs. Science actually says that nasal breathing is more efficient at delivering oxygen. So could it improve performance?

Nasal Breathing and Running Performance
Nasal breathing may provide a small performance benefit based on a study that followed 10 runners for six months and compared their maximum oxygen intake rates of nasal versus mouth breathing. The study found that through nasal breathing, the athletes didn’t have to work as hard to get the same amount of oxygen, despite taking fewer breaths per minute. Why? The research suggests that with a slower breathing rate (nasally) the oxygen is more effective at getting to the bloodstream.

The most common misconception about nasal breathing is that it can’t provide enough ventilation (or air flow) to support intense exercise. The act of ventilation requires 15 percent of the total energy necessary to run a hard effort. Nasal breathing reduces total ventilation at a given high workload by about 23 percent, thus reducing overall energy consumption by 2 to 3 percent, as they found in the study. That means even if ventilation is lower, so too is the amount of energy you need to work.

How (and Why) Nasal Breathing Works
When we breathe orally, we breathe more quickly, thus we take in more breaths. However, when we breathe nasally, we slow down our breathing. Although we may not be taking as deep a breath, the air likely penetrates the lung further. Breathing nasally requires more resistance to pull air through the filtering apparatus of the nasal cavity. This likely transfers more momentum to the air driving it more deeply into the lung, even when the size of the breath is the same as when breathing orally. The force required of a nasal breath better penetrates the entire lung, giving you a more efficient means of oxygen delivery.

What does this mean? When you’ve adapted to nasal breathing you’re taking about five to six fewer breaths per minute. As a result, you can improve your running economy by about 1 to 2 percent.

How to Start Nasal Breathing While Running
Transitioning to nasal breathing will take time to adjust. And don’t gauge the ease of it based on your first run, either. It’s normal to feel air hunger and it will take some time to adapt.

Give yourself small increments of running to adjust. For example, try running for 30 to 60 seconds breathing nasally, then rest. Or consider slowing down your running pace until you feel comfortable running and breathing nasally. As you get more comfortable breathing nasally your pace will begin to increase. Small progressive steps will help you adapt to nasal breathing overtime.

If you’re a mucous-heavy runner, that’s okay too. Your body will, in time, adapt. In other words, you won’t continually feel like you are blowing a lot of snot out of your nose. You might also want to consider a nasal strip while running (an adhesive bandage placed on the bridge of the nose that helps to fully open up your nasal passages). And of course, if you’ve had problems with breathing nasally because of an injury, consult your doctor before starting nose-only breathing.

How to Practice Nasal Breathing When You’re Not Running
You’re usually breathing through your nose when you’re calm and nasal breathing helps you have more control over your energy, Having a strong breathing practice doesn’t have to end when you are finished running, either. Staying with nasal breathing is good because it is easier to extend the exhale and it makes you focus on the breath. So it might be smart to consider the benefits of calm, controlled, and conscious breathing throughout your entire day, not just when you lace up.

A Nasal Breathing Exercise To Get You Started
Alternate nostril breathing or Nadi Shodhan Pranayama (translates to: energy cleansing breath) is a common breathing technique used in yoga and meditation classes and is easy to learn and practice. Simply inhale through one nostril and exhale through the other. Alternate nostril breathing can help focus and energize the mind, and will help you become more comfortable relying on breathing with just your nose.

How to do it: Start seated. Place left hand on left thigh, and bring right hand to face. Rest pointer and middle finger between eyebrows, and place thumb and ring finger near nostrils. Gently close right nostril with thumb, and inhale through left nostril, hold the breath and left nostril closed for a moment and then release thumb and exhale breath through right nostril. Pause. Now inhale through right nostril. Use thumb to close right nostril, hold the breath and both nostrils closed again for a moment then release the breath through the left nostril. Work to have the duration of your inhalation match your exhalation and repeat 5-10 cycles.

Link to article in Runner’s World


Quote of the Week

  “When you get to the end of your rope,

            tie a knot and hang on."


                                         Theodore Roosevelt


Video of the Week

Hood to Coast (Trailer (2:08)

The annual Hood To Coast Relay race is not only the world's largest relay race but also one of running's biggest adventures. For 197 miles, 12 amateur runners will be bonded together by this epic race. Hood to Coast is an unparalleled experience, like a team marathon combined with a high-octane road trip. Our documentary will follow several race teams on their exciting journey. In the end, the experience is the win.
Released on January, 2011

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


Ongoing Events

RunGo For Turn-By-Turn Directions!

RunGo provides turn-by-turn navigation allowing you to just enjoy your runs without having to think about looking for street names and when you may have to turn next. Other great features include, audio cues with your running stats, split updates, the ability to share your runs via social media, and create new routes. Another great feature of the app is the ability to work offline. You can create and download your routes ahead of time, before your run so you don’t have to use data during your run.


Water Stop Volunteers Needed
Water stop signs and coolers are available at the following location: 1536 Professional Parkway, Auburn, AL. (Thank you Adahli Massey!). Coolers and signs can be picked up Monday-Thursday from 8AM-4PM and on Fridays from 8AM-12 noon. Items are in the room next to the back door. If you are unable to pick up supplies on these dates/times, e-mail clemster@aol.com to make alternative arrangements (we deliver!).



Race Volunteers Needed!
As a runner, we know your time is valuable. But if you have a couple hours to spare, we could use your help for one of the upcoming AORTA supported or directed races! Assisting at a local race is a fun and rewarding experience. You are surrounded by health conscious individuals that, like you, are motivated fitness enthusiasts and appreciate the effort of volunteers.




AORTA News: March 28th, 2022

Upcoming Local Races

Unity Stampede 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run
Distance(s): 1-Mile, 5K
When
Saturday, April 9th
Time: 5:30 PM
Fee: $30 (5K), $18 (1-Mile), Free (Wheelchair)
Where: Opelika Sportsplex, Opelika, AL
Charity: Proceeds will fund Character Education through the Community Foundation of East Alabama, provide scholarships for students at Southern Union State Community College and to promote wellness and healthy lifestyles in the community.


Run For The Dawgs
Distance(s): 1-Mile, 5K
When
Saturday, April 16th
Time: 8:00 AM
Fee: $25 (5K), $15 (1-Mile)
Where: Opelika Sportsplex, Opelika, AL
Charity: 
Please help support the Opelika High School Softball Program by running a 5K, 1mile, or even sleeping in for the cause! All funds raised will go towards the cost of equipment, uniforms, travel, tournament fees, umpires, and other expenses incurred throughout the year. 


Weekly Whimsy

20220402---marathon-like_med_hr


Marathon Recovery: How to Rebound After 26.2 Miles
Every recovery is different, but here are some strategies that can help speed up yours.
Jenny Hadfield and Runner’s World Editors

some-days-wont-be-easy-but_med_hr

Completing a marathon is an accomplishment to feel proud of. But when the hard work is over, there is still one important step left: recovery.

Post-marathon recovery is not as simple as sleeping on your bed for as long as possible. (Though rest is certainly encouraged!) There are a host of variables that can affect your recovery, such as the intensity of the race, the elements, your health, and the training season. Everyone is different, but there are several post-marathon recovery strategies you can employ that will aid in speeding up the rate of recovery so you’re not stuck limping around and avoiding stairs all week.

Just Keep Walking
Cross the finish line, get your medal, take a picture, and keep walking. Although the first instinct may be to drop to your knees and thank the gods that you’ve finished, that isn’t the best way to go with marathon recovery. Think about it: You’ve just asked your body to run 26.2 miles. It’s still in marathon mode when you finish and greatly needs to transition back to normal life.

By walking, your heart rate gradually drops, the circulation diverts back to its resting state and flushes lactic acid from the muscles. Walk at least 10 to 15 minutes—back to your car, hotel, or cab to downshift gently.

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
Eat a small snack within the first 30 to 60 minutes postrace. Save the big meal for later in the day when your appetite returns, and you can enjoy that celebration. The time immediately after the race is more about getting in about 200 to 300 easily-digestible calories from carbohydrates and protein to maintain blood sugar levels, replenish muscle glycogen, and repair muscle tissue.

Half of a turkey sandwich, carrots, and almond butter or pretzels will do the trick. If it’s a hot race, try a liquid recovery drink. If it’s cold, soup gets the job done. Continue to nibble on balanced snacks and meals that are made up of a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein all day. Sip fluids throughout the day to rehydrate.

Chill Out
If possible, soak in a cold water or ice bath for five to 10 minutes and consider wearing compression tights. Both can aid in decreasing inflammation in your legs and speed the rate of healing.

Get a Leg Up
Take five to 10 minutes to do the yoga pose, “Legs Up on the Wall,” or Viparita Karani. It reverses circulation to refresh your legs, gently stretches the lower body muscles, and is a great way to internally celebrate your race.

Stretch, Roll, and Massage
Wait at least two to six hours after the race to stretch and foam roll and at least 24 hours for a massage. This allows your muscles time to replenish fluids and energy lost and recover from the demands of the race.

Give Yourself a Break
One of the most common mistakes runners make is running too soon after a marathon. Think of the marathon like a car accident (pleasant, huh?). Your body has been through a tough season of training and 26.2 miles on the road. The best way to recover is not to do more damage by going out for a run the next day (that is your ego talking).

Take the day to celebrate. Schedule a massage and do some light walking and stretching. Or tear a page from a good running book and take a month off to recover, do yoga, and cross-train.

For guidance, try this four-week plan:

Week 1: Cross-train, rest, and test the waters.
Invest the first week in short, light effort, low-impact cross-training activities that will boost circulation, warm your muscles, and aid in the healing journey (think: walking, cycling, swimming, or yoga). If all feels well later that week, run a short, easy-effort run (30 minutes) to test the waters.

Week 2: Run short and easy.
If things still hurt, keep cross-training and let it simmer. If you feel good, start back to your normal running frequency in week two, but keep the effort easy and the distance shorter (30 to 60 minutes).

Week 3: Run longer and a little faster.
If things are still going well and your body feels good, ease back into distance and intensity in week three.

Week 4: Return to regular volume or training.
Now that you’ve slowly got your body back into a regular running routine, you can return to your pre-marathon schedule if you feel good. If you’re running multiple races in one season it is vital to invest in optimal recovery time.

Link to article in Runner’s World


pierre-corneille_med_hr

Quote of the Week

  “To win without risk 

       is to triumph without glory."

                                         Pierre Cornielle
                                        
French poet and dramatist


Video of the Week

How To Run Properly (9:34)


Running doesn’t come naturally to all of us, however, it’s something that we are never exactly taught. Whether you’re completely new to running or a seasoned runner, today Heather is going to take it back to basics and revisit how to actually run.

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

Ongoing Events

RunGo For Turn-By-Turn Directions!

RunGo provides turn-by-turn navigation allowing you to just enjoy your runs without having to think about looking for street names and when you may have to turn next. Other great features include, audio cues with your running stats, split updates, the ability to share your runs via social media, and create new routes. Another great feature of the app is the ability to work offline. You can create and download your routes ahead of time, before your run so you don’t have to use data during your run.


Water Stop Volunteers Needed
Water stop signs and coolers are available at the following location: 1536 Professional Parkway, Auburn, AL. (Thank you Adahli Massey!). Coolers and signs can be picked up Monday-Thursday from 8AM-4PM and on Fridays from 8AM-12 noon. Items are in the room next to the back door. If you are unable to pick up supplies on these dates/times, e-mail clemster@aol.com to make alternative arrangements (we deliver!).



Race Volunteers Needed!
As a runner, we know your time is valuable. But if you have a couple hours to spare, we could use your help for one of the upcoming AORTA supported or directed races! Assisting at a local race is a fun and rewarding experience. You are surrounded by health conscious individuals that, like you, are motivated fitness enthusiasts and appreciate the effort of volunteers.




AORTA News: March 21st, 2022

Run Like A Mom 5K Video and Results!

Link to Final Results


AORTA Winners
AORTA winners from recent races!

2022 Run Like A Mom 5K
- Dave King: 1st in Age Group

2022 Snickers Marathon
- Bob Banks: 1st in Age Group



Upcoming Local Races!

2022 Short Circuit 5K
Distance: 5K
WhenSaturday, March 26th
Time: 8:00 AM
Where: Shelby Center AU
Fee: $15
DescriptionThis is a 5K that can be walked or ran around Auburn University's campus. It is a fundraiser for AU's student chapter of Engineers Without Borders. Engineers Without Borders performs engineering work in Bolivia, Guatemala, and our home state of Alabama to provide clean, running water to underprivileged communities. This is a cause dear to our hearts at Auburn and we are super excited to benefit them in any way we can!


Colors For Children’s 5K (Canceled)
Distance: 5K
WhenSaturday, April 2nd
Time: 4:00 PM
Where: Auburn High School
Fee: $30
Description: Colors for Children’s 5K is hosted by the Auburn High School Key Club. The race is at Auburn High School, beginning on the track, and expands to the areas surrounding the school. All members of the Auburn-Opelika community are welcome to attend. The race benefits both Children’s Hospital and AHS’s Key Club. 


Unity Stampede 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run
Distance(s): 1-Mile, 5K
When
Saturday, April 9th
Time: 5:30 PM
Fee: $30 (5K), $18 (1-Mile), Free (Wheelchair)
Where: Opelika Sportsplex, Opelika, AL
Charity: Proceeds will fund Character Education through the Community Foundation of East Alabama, provide scholarships for students at Southern Union State Community College and to promote wellness and healthy lifestyles in the community.


Run For The Dawgs
Distance(s): 1-Mile, 5K
When
Saturday, April 16th
Time: 8:00 AM
Fee: $25 (5K), $15 (1-Mile)
Where: Opelika Sportsplex, Opelika, AL
Charity: 
Please help support the Opelika High School Softball Program by running a 5K, 1mile, or even sleeping in for the cause! All funds raised will go towards the cost of equipment, uniforms, travel, tournament fees, umpires, and other expenses incurred throughout the year. 



Weekly Whimsy



Live Cold, Die Old? Low Body Temp Linked To Long Life

WENZHOU, China — If you want to live longer, the answer may literally be to chill out. A new study finds that body temperature can have a bigger impact on your lifespan than your metabolism.

An international team says their study examined the real-world connections to the phrase “live fast, die young.” As an expression, it has come to mean people who engage in risky lifestyles usually die younger than their peers. In biology, however, scientists say it actually refers to animals that have a higher metabolic rate dying sooner than those with a slower metabolism. Simply put, these species burn themselves out faster.

Unfortunately, this relationship between metabolism and longevity isn’t always so clear. Generally, people on a calorie-restrictive diet see their metabolism slow — thereby improving longevity. However, exercise is one of the most basic ways to help people live longer — but it also increases metabolism. So, what’s the real secret to living a long life?

Researchers say the key may be how changes in metabolism affect an individual’s body temperature. Typically, having a lower metabolic rate also lowers body temperature.

In the new study, researchers examined animals as the team pushed their metabolic rate and body temperature in opposite directions. To do this, they exposed mice and hamsters to high temperatures, causing their metabolisms to fall as their body temperatures went up.

“We found that exposing the rodents to these conditions shortened their lifespans. Lower metabolism didn’t lengthen their lives, but higher temperatures shortened it,” says Professor John R. Speakman from the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology in a media release.

Stay cool, live longer
In the next step of the study, researchers used small fans to blow cool air over the animals living the high temps. Although this didn’t change their metabolism, researchers say it prevented the mice and hamsters from having a high body temperature. Under these conditions, the animals did not suffer from a shortened lifespan.

The study authors conclude that body temperature appears to have a much more important role in determining lifespan than metabolic rate — creating the saying “live cold, die old.”

“We separated the effect of body temperature on lifespan from metabolic rate in two species of small rodents exposed to high temperatures. We are excited about the findings, particularly that using small fans to blow air over the animals reversed the effect of high ambient temperature on lifespan by decreasing body temperature without changing metabolic rate,” adds Zhao Zhijun from Wenzhou University.

The study is published in the journal Nature Metabolism.

Link to article in StudyFinds.org



Quote of the Week

  “Gold medals aren’t really made of gold.

      They're made of sweat, determination,

            and a hard-to-find alloy called guts."

                                          Dan Gable
                                        Olympic Gold Medalist


Video of the Week

Assassin’s Creed Unity Meets Parkour in Real Life! (3:35)

Parkour/Free-running stunts performed by Ronnie Shalvis and the French FreeRun Family.

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


Ongoing Events

RunGo For Turn-By-Turn Directions!

RunGo provides turn-by-turn navigation allowing you to just enjoy your runs without having to think about looking for street names and when you may have to turn next. Other great features include, audio cues with your running stats, split updates, the ability to share your runs via social media, and create new routes. Another great feature of the app is the ability to work offline. You can create and download your routes ahead of time, before your run so you don’t have to use data during your run.


Water Stop Volunteers Needed
Water stop signs and coolers are available at the following location: 1536 Professional Parkway, Auburn, AL. (Thank you Adahli Massey!). Coolers and signs can be picked up Monday-Thursday from 8AM-4PM and on Fridays from 8AM-12 noon. Items are in the room next to the back door. If you are unable to pick up supplies on these dates/times, e-mail clemster@aol.com to make alternative arrangements (we deliver!).



Race Volunteers Needed!
As a runner, we know your time is valuable. But if you have a couple hours to spare, we could use your help for one of the upcoming AORTA supported or directed races! Assisting at a local race is a fun and rewarding experience. You are surrounded by health conscious individuals that, like you, are motivated fitness enthusiasts and appreciate the effort of volunteers.




AORTA News: March 14th, 2022

Upcoming Local Race!

Run Like A Mom 5K and Walk For Life 1-Mile

Distances: 5K, Fun Run
WhenSaturday, March 19th
Time: 8:00 AM (5K), 9:30 AM (1-Mile)
Where: Opelika Sportsplex, Opelika
Fee: $30 (5K), $10 (1-Mile)
Registration ends Tuesday, March 15th at midnight.
Charity: To support Women's Hope Medical Clinic and Hope Adoptions.  Women's Hope is a local non-profit ministry that helps young families by offering FREE pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, prenatal clinic visits, childbirth classes, and parenting classes.  Hope Adoptions is a new adoption agency that offers free adoption plan services to birth moms and lower cost adoption services to adoptive parents.  Please invite your friends to join you and help us reach our goal of $30,000 by donating as well!


Short Circuit 5K
Distances: 5K
WhenSaturday, March 26th
Time: 8:00 AM
Where: Shelby Center Auburn University
Fee: $15
Charity: This is a 5K that can be walked or ran around Auburn University's campus. It is a fundraiser for AU's student chapter of Engineers Without Borders. Engineers Without Borders performs engineering work in Bolivia, Guatemala, and our home state of Alabama to provide clean, running water to underprivileged communities. This is a cause dear to our hearts at Auburn and we are super excited to benefit them in any way we can!


Colors For Children’s 5K
Distance: 5K
WhenSaturday, April 2nd
Time: 4:00 PM
Where: Auburn High School
Fee: $30
Description: Colors for Children’s 5K is hosted by the Auburn High School Key Club. The race is at Auburn High School, beginning on the track, and expands to the areas surrounding the school. All members of the Auburn-Opelika community are welcome to attend. The race benefits both Children’s Hospital and AHS’s Key Club. 


Unity Stampede 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run
Distance(s): 1-Mile, 5K
When
Saturday, April 9th
Time: 5:30 PM
Fee: $30 (5K), $18 (1-Mile), Free (Wheelchair)
Where: Opelika Sportsplex, Opelika, AL
Charity: Proceeds will fund Character Education through the Community Foundation of East Alabama, provide scholarships for students at Southern Union State Community College and to promote wellness and healthy lifestyles in the community.


Weekly Whimsy


What Runners Need to Know About Meniscus Tears

Elizabeth Millard, Runner’s World

Every component of your knee is important, but the meniscus is particularly key when it comes to running, considering it’s a type of shock absorber. The rubbery C-shaped cartilage cushions the knee joint as you shift weight from your thighbone to your shinbone—something that happens countless times on a run.

Although it's possible to get a meniscus tear from an acute injury, usually due to twisting or shifting directions too quickly, what runners suffer from most is degenerative changes to the meniscus. Simply put, the tissue wears down over time, and that can happen faster if you put more stress on it (like running every day). When that happens, small fissures (or tears) can develop, which leaves you to deal with inflammation, pain, and higher risk of acute tears.

Does that mean it’s time for surgery? Not always. In fact, a recent study suggests going under the knife to address a degenerative tear may actually cause harm in long-term for some people.

Here’s a look at how meniscus tears might affect you, plus treatment options, and what recovery might look like.

Symptoms of a Meniscus Tear
If you have a dramatic, acute injury that involves a major meniscus tear, it’s likely you’ll know right away. These usually come with sharp pain and limited mobility. This can happen with degenerative tears as well, but usually symptoms fall along a wider spectrum for this type of tear.

Meniscus tears are not binary, they can come with a great deal of variation in terms of their severity and impact on your running. For instance, an acute tear can be small enough that you may not even realize it happened, or a degenerative tear might be large but fairly benign and able to heal on its own.

Keep an eye on these symptoms to determine if you should head to the exam room:
 Stiffness, especially when the joint has been immobile for a few hours
 Swelling
 Sensation of your knee “giving out” or being unstable
 Locking or catching of the knee
 Inability to move the knee through a full range of motion

According to research from the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (APMR), acute tears occur most among people aged 21 to 30, but because degenerative tears happen over time, prevalence skews older: 41 to 50 years old in men and 61 to 70 in women.

Treatment Options for Meniscus Tears
Combining both acute and degenerative meniscus tears, there are about 850,000 cases in the U.S. every year. And about 10 to 20 percent of orthopedic surgeries involve meniscus repair, either as the primary reason for the surgery, or as part of repairing a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)—another common sports-related injury.

Surgery doesn’t depend only on the size of the tear.. Other factors include your age, level of activity, symptoms, and how the tear affects your quality of life. What a doctor will look at most is your function, and how the meniscus tear is affecting that.

Another factor is location—if the tear is on the outer part of the meniscus, it may be able to heal on its own because it will be connected to blood supply. An inner tear that doesn't have a vascular connection won’t get the blood supply, so that could make you a candidate for surgery.

Even a surgeon will always want to start with a non-operative treatment if that’s possible because it’s the most conservative approach. And that’s particularly true since some research suggests long-term disadvantages. Another study supports that, saying that there should be “no rush” to repair a torn meniscus because even when surgery is eventually recommended, a delay doesn’t seem to have negative outcomes.

When part of the meniscus is removed as a ‘treatment,’ it in fact accelerates the knee degeneration in the long term.. Indirect evidence from registry data supports this as patients having undergone arthroscopic partial meniscectomy have a higher risk of total knee replacement surgery. In other words, if you head to the OR to treat your meniscus tear by getting some of it removed, you’re actually at higher risk of degeneration and knee replacement.

The Role of Physical Therapy in Meniscus Tears Recovery
Even if your doctor has steered you away from surgery, you may still worry that letting the meniscus recover on its own means you’re just setting yourself up for an acute injury at some point. That’s a common concern for runners, but it doesn’t need to be, considering the research pointing to the potential downsides of surgery for some people.

It’s worth starting off with physical therapy first. The recovery plan generally includes mobility—which means making sure the knee can get back to straightening and bending fully without pain—followed by strengthening.

Your strength plan will likely include building up the quad muscles, since they provide more shock-absorber action for the knee joint. Also important is glute and hip strengthening to improve balance—the goal with all strength work is stability. The more stable the knee is with each foot strike, the less stress will be going through the injured meniscus.

If you don't have a damaged meniscus but want to lower your risk of ever getting one, this type of lower-body strengthening through cross-training and stability work is always a smart strategy.

In general, if there’s a meniscus tear (or you suspect there is) or other cartilage injury, it’s worth consulting with a sports medicine physician and coming up with a tailored plan that’s appropriate for your specific situation.

Every injury has a unique set of factors. In some cases, surgery might be the best bet, but in others, physical therapy and low-impact recovery with plenty of strength exercises can get you back on your feet and ready to check off more miles.

Link to Runner’s World article


Quote of the Week

       “It is a rough road

                    that leads

                  to the heights of greatness."

                                       Seneca


Video of the Week

It’s A Big World - Go Run It (1:33)

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


Ongoing Events

RunGo For Turn-By-Turn Directions!

RunGo provides turn-by-turn navigation allowing you to just enjoy your runs without having to think about looking for street names and when you may have to turn next. Other great features include, audio cues with your running stats, split updates, the ability to share your runs via social media, and create new routes. Another great feature of the app is the ability to work offline. You can create and download your routes ahead of time, before your run so you don’t have to use data during your run.


Water Stop Volunteers Needed
Water stop signs and coolers are available at the following location: 1536 Professional Parkway, Auburn, AL. (Thank you Adahli Massey!). Coolers and signs can be picked up Monday-Thursday from 8AM-4PM and on Fridays from 8AM-12 noon. Items are in the room next to the back door. If you are unable to pick up supplies on these dates/times, e-mail clemster@aol.com to make alternative arrangements (we deliver!).



Race Volunteers Needed!
As a runner, we know your time is valuable. But if you have a couple hours to spare, we could use your help for one of the upcoming AORTA supported or directed races! Assisting at a local race is a fun and rewarding experience. You are surrounded by health conscious individuals that, like you, are motivated fitness enthusiasts and appreciate the effort of volunteers.




AORTA News: March 7th, 2022

Upcoming Local Race!

Run Like A Mom 5K and Walk For Life 1-Mile

Distances: 5K, Fun Run
WhenSaturday, March 19, 2022
Time: 8:00 AM (5K), 9:30 AM (1-Mile)
Where: Opelika Sportsplex, Opelika
Fee: $30 (5K), $10 (1-Mile)
Registration ends Tuesday, March 15th at midnight.
Charity: To support Women's Hope Medical Clinic and Hope Adoptions.  Women's Hope is a local non-profit ministry that helps young families by offering FREE pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, prenatal clinic visits, childbirth classes, and parenting classes.  Hope Adoptions is a new adoption agency that offers free adoption plan services to birth moms and lower cost adoption services to adoptive parents.  Please invite your friends to join you and help us reach our goal of $30,000 by donating as well!


Weekly Whimsy



Exercise May Increase Antibodies After Vaccines
Jennifer Acker, Runner’s World

Contrary to what experts have said in the past, exercising immediately following your influenza or COVID-19 vaccine may actually help your immunity. A recent study found that active adults who exercised for 90 minutes post-vaccine had increased serum antibodies, yet no increase in negative side effects after the initial dose of influenza and Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Time and effort matter—not distance
Participants in the study who exercised for 45 minutes post-vaccine did not see an increase in antibodies after two and four weeks—those benefits only showed up in those who worked out for 90 minutes.

And researchers did not find a significant correlation between distance covered and antibody response in those who exercised for 90 minutes. The distance covered ranged from four to 10 miles, so no matter how far someone ran (or walked), as long as they hit the 90-minute mark, they still experienced an increase in serum antibodies.

One thing to remember if you’re considering working out after your shot: If you have a fever, experience lightheadedness, or generally don’t feel well, don’t push yourself to start or continue to exercise. Listen to your body and rest when you need it.

Why does the increase in antibodies occur post-exercise?
A few processes may be at work that affects the immune response from exercise. Exercising for 90 minutes is accompanied by metabolic, neuroendocrine, and circulatory changes, each of which may contribute to altered immune response. In other words, it appears many changes are happening in the systems that control the metabolism, hormones, and bloodstream during 90 minutes of exercise.

More Research Is Still Needed
Whether or not the increase of antibodies will extend six months (the current recommended timeframe for getting your booster) is still unknown. Ongoing studies by many researchers are attempting to define the optimal level of antibodies that results in protection.”

A note of caution - The study participants all exercised regularly prior to the study, and it is not yet known if the same benefit of increased antibodies would apply to non-exercisers. Exercise post-vaccine could potentially pose safety risks for those that lead a sedentary lifestyle.

While this research doesn’t 100 percent confirm that you should clock a 90-minute run right after getting your flu or COVID-19 shot, it does offer more evidence to support lacing up and hitting the pavement to improve your health.

Link to Runner’s World Article


Quote of the Week


 
      “Mental will is a muscle that needs exercise,

             just like the muscles of the body."

                                       Lynn Jennings


Video of the Week

Are You Ready To Run An Ultramarathon (12:03)

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



Ongoing Events

RunGo For Turn-By-Turn Directions!

RunGo provides turn-by-turn navigation allowing you to just enjoy your runs without having to think about looking for street names and when you may have to turn next. Other great features include, audio cues with your running stats, split updates, the ability to share your runs via social media, and create new routes. Another great feature of the app is the ability to work offline. You can create and download your routes ahead of time, before your run so you don’t have to use data during your run.


Water Stop Volunteers Needed
Water stop signs and coolers are available at the following location: 1536 Professional Parkway, Auburn, AL. (Thank you Adahli Massey!). Coolers and signs can be picked up Monday-Thursday from 8AM-4PM and on Fridays from 8AM-12 noon. Items are in the room next to the back door. If you are unable to pick up supplies on these dates/times, e-mail clemster@aol.com to make alternative arrangements (we deliver!).



Race Volunteers Needed
As a runner, we know your time is valuable. But if you have a couple hours to spare, we could use your help for one of the upcoming AORTA supported or directed races! Assisting at a local race is a fun and rewarding experience. You are surrounded by health conscious individuals that, like you, are motivated fitness enthusiasts and appreciate the effort of volunteers.




AORTA News: February 28th, 2022

2022 Book It For Drake 5K Results and Video!

Link To Final Results!

AORTA Winners!
Numerous AORTA members garnered awards at Saturday’s Book It For Drake 5K.  Congratulations to all!

2022 Book It For Drake 5K
- Elyse Corbitt: 3rd Female Overall!
- Cash Wilson: 1st in Age Group
- Leslie Krauss: 2nd in Age Group
- McKenzie Krauss: 3rd in Age Group



Upcoming Local Race!

Run Like A Mom 5K and Walk For Life 1-Mile

Distances: 5K, Fun Run
WhenSaturday, March 19, 2022
Time: 8:00 AM (5K), 9:30 AM (1-Mile)
Where: Opelika Sportsplex, Opelika
Fee: $30 (5K), $10 (1-Mile)
Charity: To support Women's Hope Medical Clinic and Hope Adoptions.  Women's Hope is a local non-profit ministry that helps young families by offering FREE pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, prenatal clinic visits, childbirth classes, and parenting classes.  Hope Adoptions is a new adoption agency that offers free adoption plan services to birth moms and lower cost adoption services to adoptive parents.  Please invite your friends to join you and help us reach our goal of $30,000 by donating as well!


Weekly Whimsy



No Amount Of Alcohol Is Good For Your Heart
Arielle Weg, Runner's World

You may have heard that moderate drinking, could be beneficial to your heart health. But new recommendations have led to some serious controversy over this idea. Recently, The World Heart Federation (WHF) released a policy brief says drinking alcohol has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary disease, stroke, heart failure, hypertensive heart disease, cardiomyopathy, atrial fibrillation, and aneurysm. More than 2.4 million people died from alcohol in 2019, accounting for 4.3 percent of all deaths globally.

Wait, what about the science that links red wine and heart health?
The WHF notes that research shows a positive connection between health and moderate alcohol consumption, many of those studies fail to account for other lifestyle factors, such as pre-existing conditions or other medical histories.

Andrew Freeman, M.D., co-chair of the American College of Cardiology Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Nutrition and Lifestyle Work Group says he never recommends people start drinking, even if some studies state a small amount of alcohol can have cardioprotective benefits. This is because there are                                  other risks involved, like potential alcohol abuse. 

Alcohol’s negative impact on heart health
The USDA says those of legal drinking age should either abstain from drinking or drink in moderation. Moderate drinking is defined as two drinks or less in a day for men or one drink or less in a day for women.

The American Heart Association (AHA) warns that too much alcohol can increase fats in the blood known as triglycerides, which can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. The AHA recently changed their dietary guidelines to reflect newer research, suggesting cutting back on alcohol use. Additionally, the American Society of Clinical Oncology says research suggests alcohol use may be a risk factor for multiple types of cancers.

One study found moderate drinking increased the risk of stroke and peripheral artery disease, and another recent study revealed that though moderate drinking had some health benefits, it also increased the risk for women to develop breast cancer, colon polyps, colon cancer, and bone fractures.

Are there any alcohol-related heart-health benefits?
The CDC notes that past studies have found light-to-moderate drinking could reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death for anyone including those living with heart disease.

Additionally, the American College for Cardiology released a study that found moderate alcohol intake has been associated with a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease compared to those who don’t drink or excessively drink.                                  This was because alcohol, in moderation, helped to reduce the stress signals coming from the brain, which may lower the risk for heart disease.

Can a Drink Hurt My Running Performance?
Plus, many people point to the blue zones, areas of the world where people live                                  the longest, as proof of alcohol use improving longevity. In these areas, people eat mostly plants, exercise regularly, keep tight social connections, and yes, drink moderately.  But like much research surrounding the health benefits of alcohol, there are lingering questions like: Is there a specific type of alcohol that benefits health? And is there a threshold of how much is too much?

Take red wine, for example. There are flavonoids and antioxidants in wine that could potentially reduce the risk of heart disease, but these can also be found in grapes, grape juice, blueberries, and peanuts. Additionally, some studies have found alcohol can help increase HDL cholesterol, but regular physical activity can have similar results. So, more research is needed.

The bottom line
In short: Some research says that alcohol can have health benefits, but overall the risks outweigh them. Research is mixed and there are too many lingering questions in both cases to make a clear suggestion.

If you’re looking for ways to boost your heart health that don’t involve alcohol,  get seven to eight hours of sleep per night, practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques, and get in 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise.

Link to Runner’s World Article



Quote of the Week

       “You can keep going
          and your legs might hurt for a week,
              or you can quit
                 and your mind will hurt for a lifetime."

                              Mark Allen
                              Six-Time Hawaii Ironman Champion


Video of the Week

Man On A Mission - Br O’Connell and the Rise of Kenyan Athletics (52:15)

In this fascinating documentary Eamonn Coghlan, one of Ireland's greatest-ever milers ('Chairman of the Boards' in the USA) travelled to Kenya to meet with Br Colm O'Connell - Religious Brother in the Patrician Order of the Catholic Church, mentor, teacher, coach and friend of Kenyan athletes and athletics - to try and discover the secret, if any, of that country's phenomenal success in global athletics.

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


Ongoing Events

What to Wear When Running
Runner’s World Editors

Take the guesswork out of getting dressed with the Runner’s World “What-To-Wear" tool, which recommends the right gear for you depending on the conditions outside.

CodePen - RW What to Wear



RunGo For Turn-By-Turn Directions!

RunGo provides turn-by-turn navigation allowing you to just enjoy your runs without having to think about looking for street names and when you may have to turn next. Other great features include, audio cues with your running stats, split updates, the ability to share your runs via social media, and create new routes. Another great feature of the app is the ability to work offline. You can create and download your routes ahead of time, before your run so you don’t have to use data during your run.


Water Stop Volunteers Needed
Water stop signs and coolers are available at the following location: 1536 Professional Parkway, Auburn, AL. (Thank you Adahli Massey!). Coolers and signs can be picked up Monday-Thursday from 8AM-4PM and on Fridays from 8AM-12 noon. Items are in the room next to the back door. If you are unable to pick up supplies on these dates/times, e-mail clemster@aol.com to make alternative arrangements (we deliver!).



Race Volunteers Needed!
As a runner, we know your time is valuable. But if you have a couple hours to spare, we could use your help for one of the upcoming AORTA supported or directed races! Assisting at a local race is a fun and rewarding experience. You are surrounded by health conscious individuals that, like you, are motivated fitness enthusiasts and appreciate the effort of volunteers.




AORTA News: February 21st, 2022

2022 Kappa Delta Shamrock 5K Results and Video!

2022-kd-shamrock-thumbnail_med_hr

Link to Preliminary Results!


AORTA Runners At The War Eagle Run Fest!

AORTA at the War Eagle Run Fest Finish Line
Link to Results!

AORTA Winners!
Numerous AORTA members garnered awards at Sunday’s War Eagle Run Fest.  Congratulations to all!

2022 War Eagle Run Fest Half-Marathon
- Beth Kisor: 1st in Age Group
- Ben Oni: 1st in Age Group
- Monica  Molt: 2nd in Age Group
- Beth Ladisla: 2nd in Age Group
- Dave King IV: 3rd in Age Group

2022 War Eagle Run Fest 5K
- Brad Merner: 2nd Overall!
- Jordan Towns: 2nd in Age Group


Upcoming Local Races!

Book It For Drake 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run

book-it-for-drake-graphic_med_hr

Distance: 5K, Fun Run
WhenSaturday, February 26, 2022
Time: 8:00 AM (1-Mile), 8:30 AM (5K)
Where: Town Creek Park, Auburn, AL
Fee: $30 (both 1-Mile and 5K).
         Race day registration: $45.
CharityRegistration is open for the Fourth Annual Book It for Drake 5K and Fun Run, taking place February 26, 2022 at Town Creek Park. In an effort to cultivate students' love of reading, Drake Middle School will enhance its book club program. Book clubs provide students the opportunity to explore captivating stories written by critically acclaimed authors. All proceeds will support a range of cross curricular learning materials.


Run Like A Mom 5K and Walk For Life 1-Mile

Distances: 5K, Fun Run
WhenSaturday, March 19, 2022
Time: 8:00 AM (5K), 9:30 AM (1-Mile)
Where: Opelika Sportsplex, Opelika
Fee: $30 (5K), $10 (1-Mile)
Charity: To support Women's Hope Medical Clinic and Hope Adoptions.  Women's Hope is a local non-profit ministry that helps young families by offering FREE pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, prenatal clinic visits, childbirth classes, and parenting classes.  Hope Adoptions is a new adoption agency that offers free adoption plan services to birth moms and lower cost adoption services to adoptive parents.  Please invite your friends to join you and help us reach our goal of $30,000 by donating as well!


Weekly Whimsy

20220221---middle-school_med_hr



4 Ways To Build Healthy Habits
Tara Parker-Pope, New York Times

burst-healthy-habits-square_med_hr

Many of us make bold resolutions to start exercising or lose weight, for example, without taking the steps needed to set ourselves up for success.

Here are tips, backed by research, for forming new healthy habits.

1. Stack Your Habits
The best way to form a new habit is to tie it to an existing one, experts say. Your morning routine is a great place to start. A morning cup of coffee, for example, can create an opportunity to begin a one-minute meditation practice. Or, while you are brushing your teeth, you might choose to stand on one foot to practice balance. Many of us fall into end-of-the-day patterns as well. That might be a good time to do a single daily yoga pose.

2. Do It Every Day
Habits can take a long time to create, but they form faster when we do them more often. Filling a water bottle daily so you drink more water or taking a brisk walk after dinner are two examples of healthy habits that are easily repeated every day.

3. Make it easy.
We are more likely to form new habits when we reduce “friction” — the distance, time and effort it takes to try something new. Studies show people who pick gyms close to home are more likely to regularly workout. Buying meal kits can make it easier and faster to cook at home.

Wendy Wood, a research psychologist at the University of Southern California, says she began sleeping in her running clothes to make it easier to roll out of bed in the morning, slip on her running shoes and run.

4. Reward yourself.
Listening to audiobooks while running, for example, or watching a favorite cooking show on the treadmill can help reinforce an exercise habit. Or plan an exercise date so the reward is time with a friend.

Link to New York Times Article



victoria-schwab_med_hr

Quote of the Week

       “After all,

                if you run far enough,

                       no one can catch you."

                                        Victoria Schwab


Video of the Week

Why Do People Run Marathons (3:25)

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


Ongoing Events

What to Wear When Running
Runner’s World Editors

Take the guesswork out of getting dressed with the Runner’s World “What-To-Wear" tool, which recommends the right gear for you depending on the conditions outside.

CodePen - RW What to Wear



RunGo For Turn-By-Turn Directions!

RunGo provides turn-by-turn navigation allowing you to just enjoy your runs without having to think about looking for street names and when you may have to turn next. Other great features include, audio cues with your running stats, split updates, the ability to share your runs via social media, and create new routes. Another great feature of the app is the ability to work offline. You can create and download your routes ahead of time, before your run so you don’t have to use data during your run.


aorta-waterstop-sign-6_med_hr-4

Water Stop Volunteers Needed
Water stop signs and coolers are available at the following location: 1536 Professional Parkway, Auburn, AL. (Thank you Adahli Massey!). Coolers and signs can be picked up Monday-Thursday from 8AM-4PM and on Fridays from 8AM-12 noon. Items are in the room next to the back door. If you are unable to pick up supplies on these dates/times, e-mail clemster@aol.com to make alternative arrangements (we deliver!).


race-support-volunteer_med_hr-2


Race Volunteers Needed!
As a runner, we know your time is valuable. But if you have a couple hours to spare, we could use your help for one of the upcoming AORTA supported or directed races! Assisting at a local race is a fun and rewarding experience. You are surrounded by health conscious individuals that, like you, are motivated fitness enthusiasts and appreciate the effort of volunteers.


Forward any comments to the webmaster.




AORTA News: February 14th, 2022

Upcoming Local Races

Kappa Delta Shamrock 5K
Distance: 5K Run
WhenSaturday, February 19, 2022
Time: 8:00 AM
Where: Intersection of W. Thach and Wire Road
Fee: $30.  Race day registration: $45.
Charity: Funds raised from this race go directly to the prevention of child abuse at the local and national level.


War Eagle Run Fest
- When: Sunday, February 20, 2022
Time: 7:00 AM
-
 Where: Auburn, AL
Distance(s): 1-Mile, 5K, Half-Marathon
- Fee: $25 (1-Mile), $40 (5K), $105 (Half-Marathon).
          ** Registration ends Feb 15th **
- Description: FRESHJUNKIE Racing, in conjunction with Auburn-Opelika Tourism and Auburn University are proud to present the Inaugural War Eagle Run Fest.  Athletes and fans can choose from either a half marathon (13.1 miles) or 5k (3.1 miles) to test their mettle while touring the campus and FLYING DOWN THE FIELD to a 50-yard line finish. There will also be a 1 mile run for the Little Tigers.  After gathering your commemorative medal, join us outside the stadium for our post-race tailgate and enjoy the music and food that Auburn fans have come to love. Whether you are staff, student, alumni or just a fan, join us and be a part of the Inaugural War Eagle Run Fest. 


Book It For Drake 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run

Distance: 5K, Fun Run
WhenSaturday, February 26, 2022
Time: 8:00 AM (1-Mile), 8:30 AM (5K)
Where: Town Creek Park, Auburn, AL
Fee: $30 (both 1-Mile and 5K).
         Race day registration: $45.
CharityRegistration is open for the Fourth Annual Book It for Drake 5K and Fun Run, taking place February 26, 2022 at Town Creek Park. In an effort to cultivate students' love of reading, Drake Middle School will enhance its book club program. Book clubs provide students the opportunity to explore captivating stories written by critically acclaimed authors. All proceeds will support a range of cross curricular learning materials.



Weekly Whimsy



5 Reasons You Feel Pain on the Top of Your Foot

Your feet bear a lot of the burden when you run, so it’s particularly distressing when you feel a flash of pain with each step. That’s especially true for top-of-foot pain which, unlike conditions such as plantar fasciitis and shin splints, can be difficult to self-diagnose.

Here are five possible reasons.

1. You Have Tendonitis
Typically associated with knee pain, tendonitis (an inflamed tendon) is a common cause for top-of-foot pain. Your tibialis anterior tendons run from the middle of your leg down to the middle of your foot.  If this becomes inflamed, the pain will be concentrated in the middle of your foot and off to the instep, close to your big toe. You may also have shin splints since the tendon starts near your shins.
What to do: In addition to icing and taking an anti-inflammatory, do some toe grip exercises to take the stress off the tendon, along with dorsiflexion (flexing your foot up towards your shin). This type of foot pain is often found with high-arch foot types, so custom orthotics can also be helpful.

2. You Have A Metatarsal Stress Fracture
If you go too hard or too fast, you can develop a metatarsal stress fracture in one of the five metatarsal bones in the center of your foot. This typically occurs after a long period of inactivity due to an injury followed by training in marathon mode. Look for tell-tale swelling and pain concentrated on the top of your foot over the bones.
What to do: See your doctor. Stress fractures require a more aggressive treatment plan, like a boot, and time off until they heal.

3. You Have “Vamp Disease”
A colloquial term for irritation over the top of the foot, you can get vamp disease if you wear your shoes too tight. You can trace the pain exactly to where the tongue of your shoes touches the top of your feet.
What to do: This is easily solved by loosening your laces or buying better fitting shoes. The pain should go away within two to four weeks as the inflammation subsides.

4. You Have A Neuroma
Neuromas are inflamed and swollen nerves that travel near the metatarsals and feel like a burning sensation. It can also feel like a sharp pain that shoots up through your foot into your toes. The cause? Shoes that are too small or too tight around the forefoot.
What to do: Look for a shoe with more room in the forefoot (like Atras), then ice and take an anti-inflammatory. Another cause can be vascular disease, metabolic disease, or from irritated nerve roots at the level of the spine, so see a doctor just in case.

5. You Have Arthritis
Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two common types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by trauma to, or overuse of, your joints - the cartilage that cushions the bones in your joints deteriorates. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmmune disorder. You might experience pain, tenderness, stiffness, swelling, or loss of flexibilty in your foot.
What to do: See your doctor if you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms that won’t go away, so they can determine what course of action will work best. They may do X-rays and other types of scans and recommend medications or other types of therapies to help treat your pain.

Link to Runner’s World Article



Quote of the Week
   “If you don’t have answers

          to your problems after a four-hour run,

                 you ain't getting them.”

                                        Christopher McDougall


Video of the Week

10 Crazy Things That Happened At The Winter Olympics (9:56)

The Winter Olympics are here! And with the event comes the memories and stories of Winter Games past... From the infamous Harding-Kerrigan incident, to doping scandals, and everything in between - These are 10 Crazy Things That Happened At The Winter Olympics!

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



Ongoing Events

What to Wear When Running
Runner’s World Editors

CodePen - RW What to Wear



RunGo For Turn-By-Turn Directions!

RunGo provides turn-by-turn navigation allowing you to just enjoy your runs without having to think about looking for street names and when you may have to turn next. Other great features include, audio cues with your running stats, split updates, the ability to share your runs via social media, and create new routes. Another great feature of the app is the ability to work offline. You can create and download your routes ahead of time, before your run so you don’t have to use data during your run.


Water Stop Volunteers Needed
Water stop signs and coolers are available at the following location: 1536 Professional Parkway, Auburn, AL. (Thank you Adahli Massey!). Coolers and signs can be picked up Monday-Thursday from 8AM-4PM and on Fridays from 8AM-12 noon. Items are in the room next to the back door. If you are unable to pick up supplies on these dates/times, e-mail clemster@aol.com to make alternative arrangements (we deliver!).



Race Volunteers Needed!
As a runner, we know your time is valuable. But if you have a couple hours to spare, we could use your help for one of the upcoming AORTA supported or directed races! Assisting at a local race is a fun and rewarding experience. You are surrounded by health conscious individuals that, like you, are motivated fitness enthusiasts and appreciate the effort of volunteers.




AORTA News: February 7th, 2022

Upcoming Local Races

Kappa Delta Shamrock 5K
Distance: 5K Run
WhenSaturday, February 19, 2022
Time: 8:00 AM
Where: Intersection of W. Thach and Wire Road
Fee: $30.  Race day registration: $45.
Charity: Funds raised from this race go directly to the prevention of child abuse at the local and national level.


War Eagle Run Fest
- When: Sunday, February 20, 2022
Time: 8:00 AM
-
 Where: Auburn, AL
Distance(s): 1-Mile, 5K, Half-Marathon
- Fee: $25 (1-Mile), $40 (5K), $105 (Half-Marathon).
          ** Registration ends Feb 15th **
- Description: FRESHJUNKIE Racing, in conjunction with Auburn-Opelika Tourism and Auburn University are proud to present the Inaugural War Eagle Run Fest.  Athletes and fans can choose from either a half marathon (13.1 miles) or 5k (3.1 miles) to test their mettle while touring the campus and FLYING DOWN THE FIELD to a 50-yard line finish. There will also be a 1 mile run for the Little Tigers.  After gathering your commemorative medal, join us outside the stadium for our post-race tailgate and enjoy the music and food that Auburn fans have come to love. Whether you are staff, student, alumni or just a fan, join us and be a part of the Inaugural War Eagle Run Fest. 


Book It For Drake 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run

Distance: 5K, Fun Run
WhenSaturday, February 26, 2022
Time: 8:00 AM (1-Mile), 8:30 AM (5K)
Where: Town Creek Park, Auburn, AL
Fee: $30 (both 1-Mile and 5K).
         Race day registration: $45.
CharityRegistration is open for the Fourth Annual Book It for Drake 5K and Fun Run, taking place February 26, 2022 at Town Creek Park. In an effort to cultivate students' love of reading, Drake Middle School will enhance its book club program. Book clubs provide students the opportunity to explore captivating stories written by critically acclaimed authors. All proceeds will support a range of cross curricular learning materials.


Weekly Whimsy



What Is The Average Running Speed For a Mile?

Whether you’re an elite marathoner or a hobbyist trying to break a sweat, tracking your average mile is a great way to monitor your progression.

Every runner is different, so your mile speed varies based on the following factors: gender, age, weather/wind, nutrition and hydration injuries, height, weight, and terrain.

One analysis in 2010 based on 10,000 U.S. runners who completed a 5K showed the average minutes per mile for runners of different ages. Overall, the average was 11:47 per mile. Men in the 16-19 age group averaged 9:34; women in the same age group, 12:09. The numbers gradually increased as the age groups got older.

A more global study of 300 million runs uploaded to Strave in 2018 showed the average running speed to be 9:48. Based on gender, 9:15 for men; 10:40 for women. In the U.S. 9:44 overall, 9:07 for men, 10:21 for women.

How Can You Improve Your Average Running Speed?
To increase your running pace, figure out how to breathe properly and mix up your types of runs. Recognize the importance of nutrition and hydration and fuel up with good food at the right time. Stay hydrated, and consume energy gels during long runs and races.

Adopt a holistic approach doing regular conditioning workouts to improve your strength and flexibility in addition to running. Finally always be aware of your form; having correct technique can prevent injury, too.

Fastest-Ever Mile Speed
The fastest recorded mile was set by Hicham El Guerrouj, a Moraccan runner who ran a 3:43:13 in 1999. For women, Sifan Hassan clocked a 4:12.33 in 2019. For the fastest average over a marathon, Eliud Kipchoge (4:38.4) and Brigid Kosqei (5:06.8).

Link to Runner’s World Article



Quote of the Week
   “I run because if I didn’t, I’d be sluggish and glum and spend too much time on the couch. I run to breathe the fresh air. I run to explrore, I run to escape the ordinary. I run… to savor the trip along the way. Life becomes a little more vibrant, a little more intense. I like that.”

                                                    Dean Karnazes


Video of the Week

Ice Cream Truck Running (0:30)

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


Ongoing Events

What to Wear When Running
Runner’s World Editors

Take the guesswork out of getting dressed with the Runner’s World “What-To-Wear" tool, which recommends the right gear for you depending on the conditions outside.

CodePen - RW What to Wear



RunGo For Turn-By-Turn Directions!

RunGo provides turn-by-turn navigation allowing you to just enjoy your runs without having to think about looking for street names and when you may have to turn next. Other great features include, audio cues with your running stats, split updates, the ability to share your runs via social media, and create new routes. Another great feature of the app is the ability to work offline. You can create and download your routes ahead of time, before your run so you don’t have to use data during your run.


Water Stop Volunteers Needed
Water stop signs and coolers are available at the following location: 1536 Professional Parkway, Auburn, AL. (Thank you Adahli Massey!). Coolers and signs can be picked up Monday-Thursday from 8AM-4PM and on Fridays from 8AM-12 noon. Items are in the room next to the back door. If you are unable to pick up supplies on these dates/times, e-mail clemster@aol.com to make alternative arrangements (we deliver!).



Race Volunteers Needed!
As a runner, we know your time is valuable. But if you have a couple hours to spare, we could use your help for one of the upcoming AORTA supported or directed races! Assisting at a local race is a fun and rewarding experience. You are surrounded by health conscious individuals that, like you, are motivated fitness enthusiasts and appreciate the effort of volunteers.




AORTA News: January 31st, 2022

Upcoming Local Races

Kappa Delta Shamrock 5K
Distance: 5K Run
WhenSaturday, February 19, 2022
Time: 8:00 AM
Where: Intersection of W. Thach and Wire Road
Fee: $30.  Race day registration: $45.
Charity: Funds raised from this race go directly to the prevention of child abuse at the local and national level.


War Eagle Run Fest
- When: Sunday, February 20, 2022
Time: 8:00 AM
-
 Where: Auburn, AL
Distance(s): 1-Mile, 5K, Half-Marathon
- Fee: $25 (1-Mile), $40 (5K), $105 (Half-Marathon).
          ** Registration ends Feb 15th **
- Description: FRESHJUNKIE Racing, in conjunction with Auburn-Opelika Tourism and Auburn University are proud to present the Inaugural War Eagle Run Fest.  Athletes and fans can choose from either a half marathon (13.1 miles) or 5k (3.1 miles) to test their mettle while touring the campus and FLYING DOWN THE FIELD to a 50-yard line finish. There will also be a 1 mile run for the Little Tigers.  After gathering your commemorative medal, join us outside the stadium for our post-race tailgate and enjoy the music and food that Auburn fans have come to love. Whether you are staff, student, alumni or just a fan, join us and be a part of the Inaugural War Eagle Run Fest. 


Book It For Drake 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run

Distance: 5K, Fun Run
WhenSaturday, February 26, 2022
Time: 8:00 AM (1-Mile), 8:30 AM (5K)
Where: Town Creek Park, Auburn, AL
Fee: $30 (both 1-Mile and 5K).
         Race day registration: $45.
CharityRegistration is open for the Fourth Annual Book It for Drake 5K and Fun Run, taking place February 26, 2022 at Town Creek Park. In an effort to cultivate students' love of reading, Drake Middle School will enhance its book club program. Book clubs provide students the opportunity to explore captivating stories written by critically acclaimed authors. All proceeds will support a range of cross curricular learning materials.


Weekly Whimsy


Volunteer Runners Wanted For AU Study

Our Human Performance Laboratory at Old Dominion University is conducting an online study on the links between psychological factors, nutrition intake, and gut function in running race finishers. The study is being done through an anonymous survey that takes about 10-20 minutes.  

If you are willing to do so, we are asking that you consider distributing the survey link to your group’s members. I spent six years in Auburn during my undergraduate and master's program, and the race calendar is pretty active this time of year and in the next few months if I recall correctly. 

Link to survey: https://odu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0q97WxkUh83hhc2 

Any runner who is 18+ years old and has completed a running race lasting ≥1 hour in the past 72 hours in eligible to complete the survey.   

Please let me know if you have any questions about the study.  

Thanks for reading and War Eagle!

Brian Ferguson, MS
PhD Student - Applied Kinesiology
Human Performance Laboratory
Old Dominion University
Email: bkfergus@odu.edu
Phone: (803) 341-3050



Quote of the Week

   “Running is the greatest metaphor for life,

     becuase you get out of it what you put into it..”


                                        Oprah Winfrey


Video of the Week

10 Running Mistakes You’re Probably Still Making (11:35)

How many are YOU still making?

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


Ongoing Events

What to Wear When Running
Runner’s World Editors

Take the guesswork out of getting dressed with the Runner’s World “What-To-Wear" tool, which recommends the right gear for you depending on the conditions outside.

CodePen - RW What to Wear



RunGo For Turn-By-Turn Directions!

RunGo provides turn-by-turn navigation allowing you to just enjoy your runs without having to think about looking for street names and when you may have to turn next. Other great features include, audio cues with your running stats, split updates, the ability to share your runs via social media, and create new routes. Another great feature of the app is the ability to work offline. You can create and download your routes ahead of time, before your run so you don’t have to use data during your run.


Water Stop Volunteers Needed
Water stop signs and coolers are available at the following location: 1536 Professional Parkway, Auburn, AL. (Thank you Adahli Massey!). Coolers and signs can be picked up Monday-Thursday from 8AM-4PM and on Fridays from 8AM-12 noon. Items are in the room next to the back door. If you are unable to pick up supplies on these dates/times, e-mail clemster@aol.com to make alternative arrangements (we deliver!).



Race Volunteers Needed!
As a runner, we know your time is valuable. But if you have a couple hours to spare, we could use your help for one of the upcoming AORTA supported or directed races! Assisting at a local race is a fun and rewarding experience. You are surrounded by health conscious individuals that, like you, are motivated fitness enthusiasts and appreciate the effort of volunteers.




AORTA News: January 24th, 2022

1200 / 600 Mile Club 2022 - Sign Up Today!
It is time to sign up again for the 600 or 1200 Mile Club for 2021. Your participation does not roll over - you must sign up for this year.

1200 Mile Club
In addition to logging 1200 miles during the calendar year, members of the 1200 Mile Club must
1) Be paid members of AORTA
2) Volunteer for at least THREE (3) AORTA supported races
3) Volunteer to cover at least THREE (3) Saturday run AORTA water stops.

600 Mile Club
TWO (2) AORTA supported races
In addition to logging 600 miles during the calendar year, members of the 600 Mile Club must
1) Be paid members of AORTA
2) Volunteer for at least 
3) Volunteer to cover at least TWO (2) Saturday run AORTA water stops.

If you have any questions, contact Keven Yost at aorta1200@gmail.com.

Upcoming Local Races

Kappa Delta Shamrock 5K
Distance: 5K Run
WhenSaturday, February 19, 2022
Time: 8:00 AM
Where: Intersection of W. Thach and Wire Road
Fee: $30.  Race day registration: $45.
Charity: Funds raised from this race go directly to the prevention of child abuse at the local and national level.
2022 KD Shamrock 5K route:  


War Eagle Run Fest
- When: Sunday, February 20, 2022
Time: 8:00 AM
-
 Where: Auburn, AL
Distance(s): 1-Mile, 5K, Half-Marathon
- Fee: $25 (1-Mile), $40 (5K), $105 (Half-Marathon).
          ** Registration ends Feb 15th **
- Description: FRESHJUNKIE Racing, in conjunction with Auburn-Opelika Tourism and Auburn University are proud to present the Inaugural War Eagle Run Fest.  Athletes and fans can choose from either a half marathon (13.1 miles) or 5k (3.1 miles) to test their mettle while touring the campus and FLYING DOWN THE FIELD to a 50-yard line finish. There will also be a 1 mile run for the Little Tigers.  After gathering your commemorative medal, join us outside the stadium for our post-race tailgate and enjoy the music and food that Auburn fans have come to love. Whether you are staff, student, alumni or just a fan, join us and be a part of the Inaugural War Eagle Run Fest. 


Weekly Whimsy


Why You Should Upgrade Your Running Gear
Chris Hatler, Runner’s World

Looking to level up your running? There are plenty of tools and gadgets to make it easier. Here’s a list of the types of advanced running gear that can enhance your training.

1. GPS Watch
Using your phone’s stopwatch app is fine, but a GPS watch will make you never want to bring your phone on a run ever again.  The basic ones can do everything you need like logging miles, measuring heart rate, and tracking recovery metrics.  Higher-end options add dozens of cross-training activities, music-listening funtionality, and hydration tracking. While high-end models can reach close to $1,000, a solid price-vs.-functionality model can be found for around $300.

2. Caffeinated Gels
You’ve probably used energy gels while training and racing. But a not-so-well-kept secret is that you can boost performance by using caffeinated gels instead. A review of 46 studies found that caffeine has a clear effect when ingested in moderate amounts, about 3 to 6 mgs per kg of body weight per day. The sugar combined with the caffeine has your mind and body feeling focused throughout.

3. Winter Running Jacket
High school runners are usually fine wearing a hoody and cotton t-shirt for cold winter runs. But as you’ve gotten older and less willing to embrace the elements, turning to high-tech running jackets is a great way to keep warm. There are numerous options out there that will fit any budget. Just follow the three Ws when shopping: waterproof, windproof, and warm.

4. Carbon-Plated Racing Shoes
The carbon plate wars have brought about incredible innovation in shoe technology. A study found that they did indeed lower the energetic cost of running by 4 percent on average. While the top dollar ($275) Nike Zoom Alphafly won’t be coming down anytime soon, there are still affordable carbon-composite plate options around $160.

5. Tech Socks
Cotton socks soaked with sweat and moisture is the instigator of blisters and fungus. Tech socks - whether merino wool, polyester, or some other synthetic material - wick the moisture away from your feet.  In addition, tech socks have other advantages. Some have extra arch support. Others provide compression. Many pairs have ankle tabs, which prevent your ankle and Achilles from rubbing aginst the back of your shoe.

6. Massage Gun
Once you start running farther and harder, recovery becomes much more important. Massage guns are a newer recovery tool on the scene that provide “percussion therapy.” As the name sounds, the attachment at the end of the gun judders, vibrating your muscles to loosen them up. A recent study found that this type of vibration therapy can be as effective as a masssage in prevention of DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness). There are dozens of massage guns on the market at a multitude of price points, so do your research to nail down the right one. Use the Runner’s World article to find the best one for you.

Finally, remember that fancy gear won’t automatically make you better, but it can help your training.

Link to Runner’s World Article


Quote of the Week

   “Marathoning.

         The triumph of desire over reason.”

                                        New Balance


Video of the Week

Motivational Running Video (2:27)

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


Ongoing Events

What to Wear When Running
Runner’s World Editors

Take the guesswork out of getting dressed with the Runner’s World “What-To-Wear" tool, which recommends the right gear for you depending on the conditions outside.

CodePen - RW What to Wear



RunGo For Turn-By-Turn Directions!

RunGo provides turn-by-turn navigation allowing you to just enjoy your runs without having to think about looking for street names and when you may have to turn next. Other great features include, audio cues with your running stats, split updates, the ability to share your runs via social media, and create new routes. Another great feature of the app is the ability to work offline. You can create and download your routes ahead of time, before your run so you don’t have to use data during your run.


Water Stop Volunteers Needed
Water stop signs and coolers are available at the following location: 1536 Professional Parkway, Auburn, AL. (Thank you Adahli Massey!). Coolers and signs can be picked up Monday-Thursday from 8AM-4PM and on Fridays from 8AM-12 noon. Items are in the room next to the back door. If you are unable to pick up supplies on these dates/times, e-mail clemster@aol.com to make alternative arrangements (we deliver!).



Race Volunteers Needed!
As a runner, we know your time is valuable. But if you have a couple hours to spare, we could use your help for one of the upcoming AORTA supported or directed races! Assisting at a local race is a fun and rewarding experience. You are surrounded by health conscious individuals that, like you, are motivated fitness enthusiasts and appreciate the effort of volunteers.


Forward any comments to the webmaster.




AORTA News: January 17th, 2022

Upcoming Local Races

Unofficial Brown Long Marathon
****AORTA MEMBERS AND FRIENDS ONLY****
Come, join us, Fellow AORTAians for the 6th Annual Unofficial Brown Long Marathon and Half Marathon.  Follow the historic route through Opelika and it's gently rolling hills. We will have self serve water stops with Gatorade, snacks and treats. There will be port-a-potties. This year we will feature another famous sweatshirt for finishing. 
**The entry fee covers the Tshirt and portapotties. 
DateSaturday, January 22, 2022
Location: Lee County Courthouse, 215 S 9th St., Opelika, AL 36801
Time6:00 AM
Brown Long Marathon 


Kappa Delta Shamrock 5K
Distance: 5K Run
WhenSaturday, February 19, 2022
Time: 8:00 AM
Where: Intersection of W. Thach and Wire Road
Fee: $30.  Race day registration: $45.
Charity: Funds raised from this race go directly to the prevention of child abuse at the local and national level.


War Eagle Run Fest
- When: Sunday, February 20, 2022
Time: 8:00 AM
-
 Where: Auburn, AL
Distance(s): 1-Mile, 5K, Half-Marathon
- Fee: $20 (1-Mile), $35 (5K), $90 (Half-Marathon). Prices increase Jan 25.
- Description: FRESHJUNKIE Racing, in conjunction with Auburn-Opelika Tourism and Auburn University are proud to present the Inaugural War Eagle Run Fest.  Athletes and fans can choose from either a half marathon (13.1 miles) or 5k (3.1 miles) to test their mettle while touring the campus and FLYING DOWN THE FIELD to a 50-yard line finish. There will also be a 1 mile run for the Little Tigers.  After gathering your commemorative medal, join us outside the stadium for our post-race tailgate and enjoy the music and food that Auburn fans have come to love. Whether you are staff, student, alumni or just a fan, join us and be a part of the Inaugural War Eagle Run Fest. 


Weekly Whimsy



5 Legit Benefits to Running Outside In The Cold
Cindy Kuzma, Runner’s World

While it’s no shame to hit the treadmill when conditions get tough, there’s an upside to logging miles al fresco in the colder months.

There are a few caveats to consider before heading out in the cold. Layer up to keep your core temperature in a normal range and avoid hypothermia. Other risks: Inhaling cold air can trigger bronchospasm, and eleveated blood pressure in the cold could lead to heart attacks, especially in older people or those with underlying heart conditions.

Check local weather forecasts and windchill advisories and frostbite warnings. Also, consider how much ice is on your route: slipping and injuring yourself couldl keep you inside for much longer than you intend.

But on days that don’t pose those dangers, consider gearing up and getting out there to reap the benefits of winter running. Here’s why cold-weather training just might be worth it.

It Takes The Sting Out of Winter
The first time you encounter frigid weather, your blood shuttles inward from your skin and extremities to preserve your core temperature and your vital organs. But once you repeatedly encounter cold weather, your body learns to tone down its stress response in a process called cold habituation. As winter wears on, more of your blood stays close to your skin, making you feel warmer. Unlike heat acclimatization, cold habituation has no performance benefits, but it does make running or other outdoor tasks more bearable.

You’ll Decrease the Impact of Seasonal Sadness
Duing the winter months, many Americans suffer seasonal affective disorder caused by less exposure to natural light that throws off our circadian rhythms. Training outdoors can help reset those rhythms. The mood-boosting effects of physical activity and exposure to green space can serve as an antidote for nature deficit disorder.

You Can Rev Up Your Metabolism
Significant drops in body heat can trigger nonshivering thermogenesis, an increase in metabolism caused by activation of special tissue called brown fat. As the weather is colder, people tend to be less active. Exercising and colder air can keep your body’s fueling systems humming along.

You’ll Build Mental Skills For Racing
Training for a spring race such as Boston can help you persevere through less-than-ideal conditions to prepare you to cope with any forecast come race day.

But Also Enjoy Some Relief From Expectations
Muscles don’t perform as well in frigid conditions so you can can stress less about putting up a good pace. When it’s sunny and conditions are ideal, you think, "I need to really take advantage of that.".  Running in the winter demands nothering. It simply says that success is getting out the door. If you’re hung up on numbers, consider leaving your watch behind or runinng by time alone. 

Link to Runner’s World Article


Quote of the Week

   “Be confident in the work you did to prepare for the race. Take a look back at your training logs to remind yourself that you’ve done everything possible to prepare. The race is the fun part where you get to see the hard work pay off. Enjoy it.”

                                          Desiree Linden


Video of the Week

5 Things You NEED To Do Before Running a Race in 2022 (8:22)

Once you’ve found a race you want to do and signed up it can feel a bit daunting knowing what to do next. Don’t worry The Running Channel is here to help! We have put together our top tips for what to do once you have signed up to a race. Join Sarah as she goes through the next steps after signing up to a race. Whether you’re going for your first 5k, an ultra or something in between there are tips in this video for everyone.

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


Ongoing Events

RunGo For Turn-By-Turn Directions!

RunGo provides turn-by-turn navigation allowing you to just enjoy your runs without having to think about looking for street names and when you may have to turn next. Other great features include, audio cues with your running stats, split updates, the ability to share your runs via social media, and create new routes. Another great feature of the app is the ability to work offline. You can create and download your routes ahead of time, before your run so you don’t have to use data during your run.


Water Stop Volunteers Needed
Water stop signs and coolers are available at the following location: 1536 Professional Parkway, Auburn, AL. (Thank you Adahli Massey!). Coolers and signs can be picked up Monday-Thursday from 8AM-4PM and on Fridays from 8AM-12 noon. Items are in the room next to the back door. If you are unable to pick up supplies on these dates/times, e-mail clemster@aol.com to make alternative arrangements (we deliver!).



Race Volunteers Needed!
As a runner, we know your time is valuable. But if you have a couple hours to spare, we could use your help for one of the upcoming AORTA supported or directed races! Assisting at a local race is a fun and rewarding experience. You are surrounded by health conscious individuals that, like you, are motivated fitness enthusiasts and appreciate the effort of volunteers.




AORTA News: January 10th, 2022

Upcoming Local Races

Unofficial Brown Long Marathon
****AORTA MEMBERS AND FRIENDS ONLY****
Come, join us, Fellow AORTAians for the 6th Annual Unofficial Brown Long Marathon and Half Marathon.  Follow the historic route through Opelika and it's gently rolling hills. We will have self serve water stops with Gatorade, snacks and treats. There will be port-a-potties. This year we will feature another famous sweatshirt for finishing. 
**The entry fee covers the T-shirt and port-a-potties. 
DateSaturday, January 22, 2022
Location: Lee County Courthouse, 215 S 9th St., Opelika, AL 36801
Time6:00 AM
Brown Long Marathon 

Kappa Delta Shamrock 5K
Distance: 5K Run
WhenSaturday, February 19, 2022
Time: 8:00 AM
Where: Intersection of W. Thach and Wire Road
Fee: $30
Charity: Funds raised from this race go directly to the prevention of child abuse at the local and national level.


War Eagle Run Fest
- When: Sunday, February 20, 2022
Time: 8:00 AM
-
 Where: Auburn, AL
Distance(s): 1-Mile, 5K, Half-Marathon
- Fee: $20 (1-Mile), $35 (5K), $90 (Half-Marathon). Prices increase Jan 25.
- Description: FRESHJUNKIE Racing, in conjunction with Auburn-Opelika Tourism and Auburn University are proud to present the Inaugural War Eagle Run Fest.  Athletes and fans can choose from either a half marathon (13.1 miles) or 5k (3.1 miles) to test their mettle while touring the campus and FLYING DOWN THE FIELD to a 50-yard line finish. There will also be a 1 mile run for the Little Tigers.  After gathering your commemorative medal, join us outside the stadium for our post-race tailgate and enjoy the music and food that Auburn fans have come to love. Whether you are staff, student, alumni or just a fan, join us and be a part of the Inaugural War Eagle Run Fest. 

Weekly Whimsy


Return to Running Slowly If You’ve Had COVID
Scott Douglas, Runner’s World

If you’ve been sidelined due to COVID, you may want to rush back into training. Think again. New research suggest doing so could greatly increase your risk of injury. 

The study of nearly 2,000 runners revealed that those who had COVID were 1.66 times more likely to get injured than the other runners.

Injury Spikes
Admittedely, all data was self-reported so direct causation can’t be known. Nevertheless researchers were surprised by the large difference in injury rates.

Why is this the case? After all, many runners regularly take time off for any other illness or when their non-running lives get too busy.  COVID can cause more systemic effects than a typical cold or flu which may explain the findings in the study.  Runners with severe COVID should be considered akin to hospital patients confined to bed rest which results in significant loss in cardiovascular and muscular fitness relative to non-hospitalized illnesses.  In one study, VO2 max declined by 17 percent after just 10 days of bed rest.

Caution after COVID
Allt that being the case, it makes sense that runners resuming training after having COViD could be more susceptible to injury. Such runners would be significantly less fit than possibly even a few weeks earlier, and they might use the difficulty they have in returning to running as motivation to push that much harder, thereby further increasing their injury riisk. 

This suggest a conservative effort when returning to running. One published article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine recommends not resuming any form of training until you’ve been symptom-free for seven days, even if your symptoms were mild or moderate. Accordingly, one should start with no more than 15 minutes of light jogging, and take at least a week to gradually inrease duration and intensity. Even if you remain symptom and injury-free, wait at least two and a half weeks from when your symptoms started to resume full training.

Some experts advocate an even more gradual return. Start with low-impact activities (walking, cycling, elliptical), then progress to a walk/jog routine, then to easy running. It’s normal to have bumps along the road to recovery. If you feel fatigue or sore, back off the next day, then get back on track. Recovery is rarely linear, and setbacks are common. Injuries occur when we put too much pressure on ourselves and ignore what our bodies are telling us.

Finally, if your case of COVID required hospitalization or caused heart symptoms such as chest pain or racing heartbeat, consult with your primary care or sports medicine physician before resuming running.

Link to Runner’s World Article

Quote of the Week

             “When you run,
                            the road belongs to you."-


                                              Tori Sorenson

Video of the Week

Not Today - Preview (1:16)

Eighty-four percent of women have been harassed while running. Some never make it home. NOT TODAY is a film that tells the stories of three women who experienced violence while running—Mollie Tibbetts and Wendy Martinez were both killed, while Kelly Herron survived her encounter. Their tragic stories have had ripple effects on their families, friends, and even strangers, and inspire the question: What can we all do to make running safer for women? 
- Watch the film at https://vimeo.com/472340031.
- Password to watch the video: ISAYNOTTODAY

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



Ongoing Events

RunGo For Turn-By-Turn Directions!

RunGo provides turn-by-turn navigation allowing you to just enjoy your runs without having to think about looking for street names and when you may have to turn next. Other great features include, audio cues with your running stats, split updates, the ability to share your runs via social media, and create new routes. Another great feature of the app is the ability to work offline. You can create and download your routes ahead of time, before your run so you don’t have to use data during your run.


Water Stop Volunteers Needed
Water stop signs and coolers are available at the following location: 1536 Professional Parkway, Auburn, AL. (Thank you Adahli Massey!). Coolers and signs can be picked up Monday-Thursday from 8AM-4PM and on Fridays from 8AM-12 noon. Items are in the room next to the back door. If you are unable to pick up supplies on these dates/times, e-mail clemster@aol.com to make alternative arrangements (we deliver!).



Race Volunteers Needed!
As a runner, we know your time is valuable. But if you have a couple hours to spare, we could use your help for one of the upcoming AORTA supported or directed races! Assisting at a local race is a fun and rewarding experience. You are surrounded by health conscious individuals that, like you, are motivated fitness enthusiasts and appreciate the effort of volunteers.




AORTA News: January 3rd, 2022

2021 Last Chance 10K Run

2022 New Year’s Resolution Run



Upcoming Local Races

Unofficial Brown Long Marathon
****AORTA MEMBERS AND FRIENDS ONLY****
Come, join us, Fellow AORTAians for the 6th Annual Unofficial Brown Long Marathon and Half Marathon.  Follow the historic route through Opelika and it's gently rolling hills. We will have self serve water stops with Gatorade, snacks and treats. There will be port-a-potties. This year we will feature another famous sweatshirt for finishing. 
**The entry fee covers the Tshirt and portapotties. 
DateSaturday, January 22, 2022
Location: Lee County Courthouse, 215 S 9th St., Opelika, AL 36801
Time6:00 AM

Brown Long Marathon 

War Eagle Run Fest
- When: Sunday, February 20, 2022
Time: 8:00 AM
-
 Where: Auburn, AL
Distance(s): 1-Mile, 5K, Half-Marathon
- Fee: $20 (1-Mile), $35 (5K), $90 (Half-Marathon). Prices increase Jan 25.
- Description: FRESHJUNKIE Racing, in conjunction with Auburn-Opelika Tourism and Auburn University are proud to present the Inaugural War Eagle Run Fest.  Athletes and fans can choose from either a half marathon (13.1 miles) or 5k (3.1 miles) to test their mettle while touring the campus and FLYING DOWN THE FIELD to a 50-yard line finish. There will also be a 1 mile run for the Little Tigers.  After gathering your commemorative medal, join us outside the stadium for our post-race tailgate and enjoy the music and food that Auburn fans have come to love. Whether you are staff, student, alumni or just a fan, join us and be a part of the Inaugural War Eagle Run Fest. 


Weekly Whimsy


Side Planks to Add to Your Core Workout
Jenessa Connor, Runner’s World

A side plank is a great full-body strength move for runners to incorporate into your routine. Shifting your weight to just one side of your body ramps up the challenge in more ways than one. Your base of support is more narrow than in a traditional plank, so it’s harder to balance, and the elevated side-body position strengthens the shoulders, glutes, hips,and thighs, in addition to your core.

More balance, more stability, and more strength all directly translate to a stronger, faster, more powerful you on the run. Intensify your current core routine by adding one or two of the following side plank variations to your training. Or, if you’re in the mood for a real burner, perform each one back to back for 30 seconds before switching sides. Complete 3 to 5 sets.

For each exercise, start on your side with your left forearm on the ground, forming a straight line from your head to your feet, feet stacked on top of each other. Make sure your left elbow is directly under your shoulder and place your right hand behind your head.

Forearm Side Plank
Lift hips as high as you can and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.

Forearm Side Plank With Hip Dip
Engage your core and slowly dip your hips and tap them on the ground. Return to plank and repeat, keeping your hips stacked the entire time. Do as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Forearm Side Plank With Elbow Drop
Engage your core as you rotate your torso to bring your right elbow to the floor in front of you, then return to the starting position. Do as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Forearm Side Plank With Foot Tap
Engage your core as you kick your right leg in front of you, knee straight, and tap your right foot with your right hand, then return to the starting position. Do as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Staggered Forearm Side Plank With Crunch
Engage your core as you simultaneously draw your left knee toward your chest and rotate your torso, bringing your right elbow toward your left knee. Return to the starting position. Do as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Link to Runner’s World Article


Quote of the Week

   “Running is in my blood -
        the adrenaline flows before the races,
             the love/hate of butterflies in your stomach.”


               Marcus OSullivan, Irish middle-distance runner


Video of the Week

Better Your Best (1:00)

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



Ongoing Events

RunGo For Turn-By-Turn Directions!

RunGo provides turn-by-turn navigation allowing you to just enjoy your runs without having to think about looking for street names and when you may have to turn next. Other great features include, audio cues with your running stats, split updates, the ability to share your runs via social media, and create new routes. Another great feature of the app is the ability to work offline. You can create and download your routes ahead of time, before your run so you don’t have to use data during your run.


Water Stop Volunteers Needed
Water stop signs and coolers are available at the following location: 1536 Professional Parkway, Auburn, AL. (Thank you Adahli Massey!). Coolers and signs can be picked up Monday-Thursday from 8AM-4PM and on Fridays from 8AM-12 noon. Items are in the room next to the back door. If you are unable to pick up supplies on these dates/times, e-mail clemster@aol.com to make alternative arrangements (we deliver!).



Race Volunteers Needed!
As a runner, we know your time is valuable. But if you have a couple hours to spare, we could use your help for one of the upcoming AORTA supported or directed races! Assisting at a local race is a fun and rewarding experience. You are surrounded by health conscious individuals that, like you, are motivated fitness enthusiasts and appreciate the effort of volunteers.


Forward any comments to the webmaster.