Still a Runner

A Blog by Mary Lou Harris

Archive for July, 2013

Road ID iPhone App For Cyclists And Runners

I’m sharing a post from All Seasons Cyclist where he reviews the recently introduced Road ID iphone app. This looks like a great safety tool for runners and cyclists or anyone who does solo getaways to the outdoors. It’s still in beta, so input from users will be helpful as they do the fine tuning.

All Seasons Cyclist

As I was watching the Tour de France last week I saw an interview with Edward Wimmer, one of the co-owners of Road ID (the most essential piece of cycling gear I own). During the interview Wimmer mentioned that Road ID had recently introduced a free iPhone app that would allow your friends or family to track you while you are out on a ride or going for a run. I downloaded the app this past Monday and it has quickly become one of the most important apps on my iPhone!

The Road ID iPhone app is very simple to set up and even easier to use. Once you download the app from the iTunes Store you input your basic information (name, address and email address), then you can select up to five of your contacts who will receive either an email or a text message when you are ready…

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How Old is Too Old?

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National Senior Games Triathlon finish area on Cleveland waterfront.

At the National Senior Games in Cleveland, Ohio, I had Sunday off from competition. I took the opportunity to do a leisurely morning run and cheer on the Triathlon participants. After watching some incredible athletes, I walked from the finish chatting with another Games participant about events.

     Me:  Are you competing today?

     She:  I’m competing in Swimming.  I used to compete in Cycling, but now I’m too old.

     Me:  How old is too old?

     She:  I’m 93.  I may ride in the State Games next year, but I won’t compete on the bike at the Nationals again.  My daughter tells me I’m too old.

She also offered that her daughter has little room for criticism, as she is a 68-year old who continues to do several hundred mile bike rides.

My new acquaintance and I said good-bye at the street corner where I walked on to my hotel and she crossed the street to catch the shuttle to hers.

That refreshing conversation was typical of many I’ve had over the last few days. Opening ceremonies on a beautiful mall adjacent to the Convention Center included several fantastic bands, the arrival of a flame to begin the games and fireworks lighting the sky. Cleveland welcomed 11,000 lycra-clad and fit seniors ready for competition and, based on the general mood on the Mall, ready to have a good time.  Those 11,000 athletes brought with them roughly 18,000 family members and friends.

Photo:  Plain Dealer

Photo: Plain Dealer

Some of those athletes are as young as 50, two athletes are over 100, and the rest of us are somewhere in between.

The Convention Center in Cleveland is incredibly convenient and the Senior Games have done a beautiful job of staffing volunteers and providing a great venue with lots of informative and fun activities located at the Center.

I’m competing in two running events and will write about those in a later post.  In the meantime, I’ll simply say I am sold on the National Senior Games and wondering why I waited this long to compete.  This isn’t just track and field and road running.  There are more than two dozen sports represented – basketball, softball, golf, volleyball, tennis – and some I’m not even familiar with.  

If this is of interest to you, start early. To compete in the National Senior Games, held in odd-numbered years, participants must first qualify the previous year at the state level. You can do this in your own state, or some states will allow out-of-staters do use their venue for qualification.

National Senior Games Cauldron

National Senior Games Cauldron (Photo credit: Texas.713)

I did this, qualifying for the 5K through the Keystone Games in Pennsylvania in July or August of 2012 and qualifying for the 10K through the Delaware Seniors Games event in October 2012.

And how old is too old? As long as there is another age group, we’re not too old.

Will you be there? Who’s in?

Food Fest Across Iowa

Two of the wonderful things about travel are the opportunities to run on new roads and trails and to try new foods and restaurants. On a trip across Iowa, running took short shrift as we adjusted for the schedules of a half dozen travelers and dealt with wind and rainstorms. What was lost in new running experience, we made up for in food exploration.

On our first trip across Iowa, I spotted an article in a local newspaper about a restaurant designated by Restaurant Hospitality Magazine to have the best burger in America.  On our return trip, we were dropping one of our travelers at the Sioux City airport near the restaurant. So, early in our return journey we scheduled lunch at Kahill’s Steak, Fish and Chophouse to try the Farm-to-Table Wagyu Burger, created by Chef Ryan.

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View of the Missouri River taken near our table at Kahill’s Restaurant, home of the best burger in America

I did not order the burger, but snuck my fork into the plates of those who did.  It is succulent, served over matchbook fries and topped with a duck egg with several other ingredients and flavors between.  I opted for a special of the day, a delightfully light green salad with free-range chicken. Others ordered a fish special and the wonderful cranberry pecan spinach salad. Kahill’s is located in the Marina Center and convenient to the airport. (Note: Trust my experience and set your GPS to South Sioux City, Nebraska – not Iowa. Your fellow passengers will thank you.)

The following morning, we enjoyed breakfast at the Ronnenburg Restaurant in Amana, Iowa. We enjoyed a farm style breakfast with ample portions of fresh fruit, a runner’s delight.  We were also served pancakes more in the consistency of crepes and light as feathers.  If you’re planning a trip through the Amana Colonies, this restaurant serves authentic German food, similar to the communal kitchen that existed.

Storm clouds moving over Amana IA

Storm clouds moving over Amana IA

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5Ks and Independence Day – Perfect Together

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No shirts in my size, so this gentleman agreed to a photo. Thanks!

Warming up on a side street July 4th morning, I wondered how many 5Ks were being held across the country that very morning. I love that running is incorporated into the celebration activities in so many communities, with a distance that includes runners and walkers and easily accommodates a kid’s run. In thousands of towns and cities across the country, generations of families, local onlookers and groups of friends are out in the early morning summer sunshine.  

That festive spirit was evident in Springfield South Dakota where I participated in their Firecracker 5K put together by the Bon Homme Running Club.

Preceded by the Bull-arama and a street dance a day earlier, photorevelers were up early to begin another day of celebratory activities.

The Firecracker course was slighter longer than 5K to capture the most scenic route around town, with shaded streets, overlooks and the boat basin.  

Scenic Overlook on 5K Route - Lewis and Clark Lake/Missouri River

Scenic Overlook on Firecracker  5K Route – Lewis and Clark Lake/Missouri River

The oldest AG award was 40 and over, so no chance of medaling for this 60+ runner, but no matter.  I had a great time. 

The day continued on with hot dogs and other goodies at the town park.
Then, early evening brought a frog jumping contest raising funds for local activities.  Finally, the long-awaited fireworks.

How best to spend a July 4th evening?  photoSitting in the back of my Aunt’s red pickup, watching fireworks light the sky over the Missouri River. 

Which brings us to how I happened to be spending my 4th of July in this wonderful town. My firecracker of an aunt has a birthday near the 4th, so I joined a chorus of others who came to help her celebrate.  

Happy 90th Birthday, Aunt Loraine.

Happy 90th Birthday, Aunt Loraine.

I hope your summer running and celebrations are as fun-filled and meaningful.