February 2024 Newsletter
Note from the Editor
With 2024 well underway, it was great to see some of you at the Ledyard Red Zone 5k on Saturday! In this newsletter, you'll find announcements about upcoming races, UVRC goals for the year, research on how to properly fuel your body, and so much more!
As always, please share your article ideas and submissions with the newsletter team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UVRC Newsletter Team
UVRC Newsletter Team
Table of Contents
- February 2024 News & Announcements by Robert "RJ" Jones
- Letter from a Board Member: Looking at the Year Ahead: Words from the Prez by Robert "RJ" Jones
- 2024 Upper Valley Race Series Announcement by Geoff Dunbar
- 2024 Races by Robert "RJ" Jones
- Fuel Your Body Right by Robert "RJ" Jones
- A Runner's Journal: A Clean Start by Jim Burnett
- Winter Hiking Photos by Cara Baskin
February 2024 News & Announcements
By: Robert "RJ" Jones
The Upper Valley Racing Series is LIVE!! Check out Geoff’s update for all the details but in short,we have a veritable cornucopia full of awesome local races for you this year including some returning favorites like the Shamrock Shuffle and the Tiger Run, in addition to new races like the Lake Morey Ice Breaker and the Triple Dam 10K!
While we of course want to push our local racing series we would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge that there are many many great races out there in our local and extended community. Check out my post on our current (but expanding) race calendar and send over any races you’d like to see!
Featured Local Race: Take to the Trails 5k and Kids Field Day
If there is one story I never get tired of hearing, it's the one about people whose hard work paid off! And friends, it's no secret that organizing a race, heck organizing any event requiring more than 5 humans but ESPECIALLY a race with all its moving parts (pun intended) is a herculean effort! So HUGE kudos to Thetford resident, Anya Gendel who set out with a mission to organize a local 5k and fundraiser to help children in her community and DID IT! The Take to the Trails 5k is partially a fundraiser to help the Maple Leaf Children’s Center but more than that it is an opportunity for Thetford residents and beyond to have fun! The race will be May 19 starting at Thetford Academy and will also include a Field Day! I hope you will consider supporting another one of our local races!
Tuesday Night Track
Until Spring, our TNT workouts will continue to be at Occom Pond which is approximately 1 mile in circumference and usually illuminated. We will meet here just across from the Dartmouth Outing Clubhouse at 5:30 p.m.
We also will start bringing back Hill Workouts!!!. We will be going up and down Tuck Drive to work those oh-so-important glute muscles. When we meet for hill workouts it will be at the base of Tuck Drive here. Be sure to keep an eye out on your emails for location updates.
February Runners Night Out
This month's Runners Night Out will be February 13 aka Palentine’s Day, at Hanover Ramuntos! Come hang out with your pals after Tuesday Night Track! There may or may not be anatomically correct heart-shaped cookies!
2024 UVRC Memberships are Now Open
And as a reminder your memberships get you:
- Weekly challenges with Tuesday Night Track (TNT) workouts
- A monthly newsletter featuring articles written by club members and board members
- Club Competition at its finest! We compete against other running clubs in NH and have our own local racing series
- Access to training, coaches, and a running community that can HELP answer your questions. Visit: https://uppervalleyrunningclub.org/
- Omer & Bob’s here in Lebanon, NH, has been a strong supporter of the club since its beginning. We meet there on Saturday mornings for group runs. They also provide members with 15% off shoes, apparel, & other running-related gear discounts.
- We also have a 10% discount with Stateline Sports in West Lebanon, NH and they can offer a 10% discount on all regular-priced running shoes, socks, insoles, and running accessories.
- Social events like our banquet and Runner's Night Out on the second Tuesday of every month!
Is there something you’d like to see our club do in 2024? Let us know! You have a Club Board of Directors who are eager to make it happen! Reach out to email@example.com.
PS: Check out Susannah Gravel's sweet pups, Bruce and Dotty, in their Christmas sweaters!
Looking at the Year Ahead: Words from the Prez
By: Robert "RJ" Jones
Salutations UVRC Fam!
I don’t know about you but in that crossover period between the previous year and the next, I get something like temporal dissonance, where time seems to be going too fast, too slow, and it hasn’t formally hit me that the year is gone and another is here. Maybe this is something we all experience where we are at the nexus of a new beginning and an ending where so many things seem possible and that's why we spend a lot of the beginning of the New Year making goals to accomplish. I say that but I couldn’t tell you what plans I made in January of 2023 to be honest, hence preservation through writing is key for success because I am terrible at holding myself accountable.
But this year will be special for me in regards to UVRC goals because this will be my last year as President of the club because in Fall 2024 I’m enrolling in the PhD Program at the University of Vermont and will be moving to Burlington. It is a decision that I am very excited about, but one that also causes me no small amount of sadness because I will sincerely miss the community I've come to know in the UV. I never would have imagined that my life would take me to the UV where I've got to befriend so many amazing people but I am eternally grateful for that opportunity. And to have been entrusted with leading this club for so long has been one of the most fulfilling aspects of my adult life which is why I want to help set the club up to keep moving forward as my predecessors have done before me. I have a few goals for the year to accomplish before I go, some of them nebulous, some of them concrete, and I hope you’ll support me where applicable because while I am the President, my phenomenal cosmic powers are completely void without the power of community engagement! So here are my goals for the year in no particular order
Goal #1: Future Proof our Website
We are very fortunate that people more tech-savvy than myself set up our website. However, I speak from experience when I say that someone (me) poking around in there without knowledge can break things pretty easily. But this is going to become unavoidable as we continue to advance, expand, and modernize. So I want to get our website to a state in which it is easy to access, easy to update, and hard to break. I want to incorporate more of our social media presence to help us stay connected and advertise to new members. And also it would be pretty awesome to throw a merch store in there but that may be a little outside of SMART goals. Sooooo if you or a web developer you love want to help me atomize our website and reconstruct it again, please reach out!
Goal #2: Connect with Other Running Clubs
I think it was the New York Times or some other large news source that said 2023 was the year of running clubs and it was pointed out that there are actually many more clubs in New Hampshire and Vermont than just us (although in my completely unbiased opinion, we are the best one). I want to meet them and connect, let it be known that they are welcome to our community, and hopefully vice versa. I want to lay the groundwork for maybe one day having a Twin State Running Festival where we can all gather and run together like one big running family! I’ll probably have to road trip to a few places so if anyone wants to come along let me know!
Goal #3: Add a Mid-tier Workout
This is probably the hardest one of the goals mostly because it is the riskiest and the most effort-intensive. I’ve been thinking for a while that we need something in between our more intensive Tuesday Night Track workouts and our more socially oriented Saturday Morning Runs to round out our running portfolio so to speak. Something that isn’t necessarily focused on speed or building running strength but more on distance and time spent running. I think there are a lot of us (including myself) who are in the endurance valley (a phrase I just made up) where you can get to a pace you want but it’s maintaining it for a race distance that’s the hard part. Or maybe you just want to run for longer but not by yourself. It’s a work in progress but one I really want to actualize before I go
Goal #4: Make Running More Fun!
When I was a young lad in school we would go to the locker room, get changed into our gym clothes, and then gather around our PE teacher who would announce what we would be doing that day. Usually, this was things like “line up and pick captains for flag football” or “it’s a volleyball day, count off for teams”. But we knew that every once in and while there was going to be the dreaded wild card; THE MILE! Our PE teachers seemed to get a small amount of sadistic pleasure by watching our faces drop when they announced that we were doing the Mile; which was just that we had to run a mile and if you didn’t improve on your time from last time, you had to run it again the next day or lose a letter grade in PE. To those of us who were not athletic but obsessed with our grades, this was pure torture. Contrary to this was when they would announce that it was either scooter day or dodgeball day, it was like all our suffering (keep in mind that I was a broody unathletic teenager) was worthwhile because those were fun days! I want to bring that latter energy to some of our workouts with running games. Still a challenge, of course, but I feel like very rarely as adults do we get to run for play and not for purpose. I’m talking relays, capture the flag, adventure quests, fartleks, and any other things y’all can think of to add to our workouts.
Goal #5: Up Participation!
This one that is near and dear to my heart but technically the one I have the least control over. Last year our membership hit upwards of 320+ people but in my rough estimates, I usually only ever see about 100 or so of the same people at our workouts. I want to improve that in any way I can by reducing whatever barriers there are that keep people from coming. I think a portion of that might be because people don’t feel there is pace representation at our workouts or that the workouts are beyond their ability. I get it and I've been there, it's no fun to show up for something, end up being the odd one out, and have to do that thing by yourself so there’s little to encourage you to come back. And that’s the part that I have no control over. I want to work with the Board to make our workouts so that all feel welcome, have the space to achieve, and can connect with runners in their pace range but what I cannot do is make you show up. You have to do that. And that is my call to action to YOU for 2024. Show up. Show up and let us know what you want so we can make changes!
Lastly, I just wanted to throw in some personal goals for the heck of it and maybe a little accountability. And I feel like I ask y’all to share parts of your life with the community, it's only right that I share some in return
- Get better at French
- Sew a complete wardrobe
- Commute via running or biking more
- Land an Ollie
- Stop paying for meals at restaurants that I can easily make myself because I’m actually pretty good at cooking
- Make onion rings from scratch
- Squat my body weight
- Do a podcast about something. Anything will do
- Give heart rate training a try
2024 Upper Valley Race Series Announcement
By: Geoff Dunbar
It’s the Upper Valley’s favorite road running series!
Missed the sign-up deadline before the Red Zone 5K? No problem! We’ll open registration up for the series (minus the cost of the Red Zone 5k) again between Monday, February 12 at 9 a.m. and the Shamrock Shuffle on March 16.
Afraid of commitment? No problem! As long as you are a current UVRC member, you can just sign up for each race individually and you’ll get series credit!
Get more information at https://bit.ly/uvrs2024.
By: Robert "RJ" Jones
Hello UVRC Fam!
Below are the races that have been submitted to our calendar for 2024! It's one heck of a spread with races hosted by your very own UVRC (bolded for your convenience) and many of our lovely neighbors such as the Central Vermont Runners and Millenium Racing!
Don’t see a race you’re doing, want to do, or would like to see supported? Reach out and let us know (firstname.lastname@example.org)! We will be building a Google Calendar with all these dates and it will be live!
Races & Dates
- Dartmouth Relays: Saturday, January 6, 2024
- Millstone Madness Snowshoe Race: Saturday, February 3, 2024
- Publix Florida Half marathon: Friday, February 9, 2024
- RedZone 5K: Saturday, February 10, 2024
- Shamrock Shuffle 5K: Saturday, March 16, 2024
- CHEAP Marathon: Saturday, April 6, 2024
- Paul Mailman 10 Miler and 5K: Saturday, April 13, 2024
- Lake Morey Icebreaker: Sunday, April 14, 2024
- Boston Marathon: Monday, April 15, 2024
- CVR Mutt Strutt: Sunday, April 21, 2024
- Sleepy Hollow Mountain Race: Sunday, May 5, 2024
- Providence Marathon: Sunday, May 5, 2024
- Adamant Half Marathon and Relay: Saturday, May 11, 2024
- Dandelion Run Half Marathon: Saturday, May 18, 2024
- Barre Town Spring Run: Saturday, May 18, 2024
- Pack Monadock 10 Miler: Sunday, May 19, 2024
- Take to the Trails 5k and Kid’s Field Day: Sunday, May 19, 2024
- Barnarts Race Around the Lake: Sunday, May 19, 2024
- Mastercard New York Mini 10K-Women’s Race: Saturday, June 8, 2024
- Capital City Stampede 10k: Saturday, June 8, 2024
- Skip's Run: Sunday, June 16, 2024
- Grandmas Marathon: Saturday, June 22, 2024
- Shaker Seven: Sunday, June 23, 2024
- Catamount Ultra: Saturday, June 29, 2024
- Red, White, and Blue 6.2: Thursday, July 4, 2024
- Loon Mountain Race: Sunday, July 7, 2024
- Bear Swamp Run: Saturday, July 13, 2024
- Moosalamoo Ultra: Saturday, July 13, 2024
- Barre Heritage Trail 5k: Saturday, July 27, 2024
- 6 or 12 Hours on Lover's Lane: Tentative August 2024
- Berlin Pond 5 Mile: Thursday, August 15, 2024
- Any Which Way 5k (Woodsville, NH): Saturday, August 24, 2024
- Triple Dam 10K: Sunday, August 25, 2024
- Northfield Labor Day 5k: Saturday, August 31, 2024
- The Sprouty: Saturday, September 7, 2024
- Groton Forest Trail Run: Saturday, September 14, 2024
- Sodom Pond 4 Mile: Wednesday, September 18, 2024
- Northeast Kingdom Half (/Full) Marathon: Sunday, September 22, 2024
- Leaf Peepers Half Marathon and 5k: Sunday, October 6, 2024
- Smuttynose Half Marathon, Hampton Beach NH: Sunday, October 6, 2024
- Downriver Rail Run 10K: Saturday, October 12, 2024
- Cape Cod Marathon: Sunday, October 13, 2024
- Baystate Marathon: Sunday, October 20, 2024
- Tiger Run: Sunday, October 27, 2024
- Fallen Leaves 5K #1: Saturday, November 2, 2024
- Fallen Leaves 5K #2: Saturday, November 9, 2024
- Fallen Leaves 5K #3: Saturday, November 16, 2024
- Rescue Me 5k (Lincoln, NH): Tentative November 2024
- Harborside Half Marathon, Newburyport, MA: Wednesday, November 20, 2024
- Hanover Turkey Trot: Sunday, November 24, 2024
- New Year's Eve 5K: Tuesday, December 31, 2024
Fuel Your Body Right
By: Robert "RJ" Jones
Something that I have had to come to terms with as I proceed through my thirties is that my body is like a machine. A machine that requires good fuel, consistent maintenance, proper care, and a little bit of love otherwise it will rust to pieces. The fuel and maintenance aspects are becoming increasingly important as I cease to be buoyed by the invincibility of youth. The short version for me is that if I eat like crap and sleep like crap; I feel like crap and run like crap (one more crap for good measure. This article is now rated T).
While getting good sleep is its own problem set, getting proper fuel is something a little more within the realm of control and as always SCIENCE IS HERE TO HELP! I’ve always kind of played it by ear and gone with the prevailing runner’s cultural wisdom regarding what to eat before and after a workout and when exactly to eat it. But as we know, sometimes runners perpetuate ideas that have little basis in science, and also things that work for one person do not work for all. So I decided to do a little research to see if there was a helping of science to go along with the pre-, post-, and during-workout fueling paradigm.
The main article that I read is here if you’re curious and I also poked my head into some of their citations to verify information. I’m going to summarize what they found and reiterate their caveats: this is not medical advice, always consult your physician regarding changes. This is a limited study that encompasses a few demographics and thus should not be seen as gospel for all people as many aspects of human physiology can influence the results aka your mileage may vary. Anyway, on with the summary!
Review of: Carbohydrates and Endurance Exercise: A Narrative Review of a Food First Approach (Naderi et al., 2023)
This article looked at the influence that common carbohydrate sources had on aspects of athletic performance when consumed before, during, and after an intense workout. This is a review paper so they aggregated the results from many different sources and thus the studies are not necessarily consistent nor do they encompass the same demographics. It is also important to note that the types of exercise also differed i.e. running vs cycling and the metrics of athletic performance but for the most part, they were concerned with how long a subject could exercise until exhaustion or their comparative performance for the same trial across different sessions. Carbs were categorized also by their glycaemic index (GI) or how quickly they can increase glucose in the bloodstream. Low GI foods are things like pasta, grainy bread, beans, and fruit whereas high GI foods are potatoes, white bread, short grain rice, literal sugar, and sugary foods
First off, you don’t really need to carb load that much before a workout, and doing so is really only helpful if you will be working intensely for more than an hour. But for shorter workouts, it is recommended that you get some form of carbs into your body up to 4 hours before the workout. They found that there were some small differences in whether you eat low GI or high GI with high GI foods being better but more so in shorter intensive workouts. Bananas (which are going to appear a lot here) and raisins are fantastic pre-workout foods as they have a good glycaemic balance, usually don’t cause too much gastrointestinal distress, and are demonstrated to be beneficial to performance. If you’re going for the long haul then low GI foods like oats (with bananas) is your best bet because of the aforementioned GI but also because oats also impart hydration over time. What the studies also agree on is that you really should eat something at least an hour before your workout otherwise the feeling of post-workout fatigue is likely to be greater. Don’t run on an empty stomach folks.
This predominantly applies to longer workouts 1-3 hrs otherwise your metabolism simply isn’t fast enough for any impacts to become apparent and also it's working at a different level. This is one of the trickier fueling times because your feasible options are limited by what you can carry or what you can comfortably consume while still needing to move, no one likes running while bloated. The bottom line here is that if you are in an elevated workout state for more than an hour, you need to refuel to maintain your performance and the source matters less as opposed to how full it makes you feel. The winner here again is bananas with the hefty caveat being that they are hard to eat on the go and can make you feel a little fuller than you’d like. Honey can also be a good alternative but is pretty high in fructose so it can cause some stomach discomfort. Basically, here you want a quick punch of glucose and a little bit of fructose so half a banana and some sports drink should set you right. They actually recommend a banana slurry or a banana pureed in water….miss me with that one.
Set yourself up for success my friends! The post-workout carbs are primarily to help your recovery for the next workout and to replenish what you lost. After a workout, your body is like a grocery store frantically trying to restock after the Thanksgiving rush. Except if they don’t have what they need for the next time you workout they kinda just shrug and go “guess we’ll get some of the expired stuff from the back”. The important window to consider here is around 4 hours after your workout as that is when your body is really in restock mode. Studies are mixed on whether you should go with low or high GI foods and it seems to depend on just how long you are resting. If the rest period is short then high GI meals may be better and if longer consider low GI meals. What seems to be most important is the total amount of carbs you get back in you because your goal should be to get back to the glycogen levels you had before you worked out. Also good news! Chocolate milk is scientifically demonstrated to help recovery and is a valid post-exercise meal! CHUG THE MILK (or a non-dairy alternative as long as it has protein, fat, and carbs!). Actually, while we are on the subject, protein is a critical part of the post-recovery meal so having combo sources is ideal. Also as you probably guessed, ya boy banana is appearing again as a good recovery meal BUT NOT BY ITSELF! Get some protein in there.
YOU. NEED. TO. FUEL. YOURSELF! Before, during, and after working out to have a good workout, maintain performance, and prepare for the next one respectively. There are some differences in low vs high GI foods in regards to performance but honestly the studies are too varied to be conclusive about what is best for what stage of the workout and it boils down to the simple fact that you need carbs at every stage and you’d do well to play around with what works well for you and your body. Bananas are the magical exception as they seem to have applicability no matter when you eat them whether that is whole or as a slurry if you are feeling unhinged. What is also important is that your body can only store so much so “loading” on any one particular thing is only going to get you so far which is why carb loading for several days is unnecessary. What is necessary is consuming enough carbs to keep your levels high enough for your body to effectively use when it needs them. Also please note that a lot of this will really only be applicable for longer or intense workouts just by virtue of how your body utilizes energy i.e. don’t carb load for a 5k unless you plan on spending an hour doing it. And it should be said that nothing is wrong with the commercial energy products like Gu or those funky super waffles and some of them may even be slightly better as they can contain other important nutrients for your workout like salts. Lastly, as I mentioned before no study can account for every single aspect that makes a human, there are large base physiological differences between humans that can alter the applicability of any of these results. So test it for yourself, eat a banana before a workout see how you feel!
A Runner's Journal: A Clean Start
By: Jim Burnett
Early morning, Monday, December 18, 2023: A Clean Start - Day #16
My right foot, snugly enveloped inside the warm, weatherproof protection of the Saucony Peregrine Ice+ 3s, landed gently on its heal and rolled smoothly onto its wide outsole. I didn’t slip. The tread on its outsole is a speckled, black and blue composite material referred to as PWRTRAC ICE that somehow creates traction on icy surfaces.
I could be see iced-over puddles sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar up the trail. I picked my way around them as best I could. Some stretched across the entire width of the trail and were unavoidable. I marveled at the much-needed stickiness of my new Ice+ 3s and carefully loped down the middle of the trail where the ice was flattest.
It was the 16th day of my Clean Start.
On December 3rd my nighttime HRV (heart rate variability), measured with precision by the wrist sensor of my Garmin Forerunner 955 as the time between my heart beats, had bottomed out at 49 milliseconds and begun to rebound. A couple of weeks later, I realized that the drop in HRV correlated closely with the effects of the flu shot I received on November 28th. The jabber told me that it could take up to 20 days for my body to build immunity to the vaccine. Convinced I was building immunity, I decided to make December 3rd the Day 1 of my Clean Start.
The ice on the Northern Rail Trail slowed me down. I completed my 10-mile LSD run in about an hour and 50 minutes. I had hoped to run faster. Given the conditions, I was happy with my pace and effort. I picked up the pace for the last 3 miles. As I sped along the trail, my mind started to dream about new running goals. Maybe I could train to run another marathon after all. Would my body hold up?
Having finished my run, I walked back to my Jeep and reviewed my stats. A woman on a gravel bike swept around the bright-yellow gate that prevents unauthorized vehicles from using the trail. As she approached said cheerfully,
Great day to be outside
I replied and added,
A little slippery out though
I wondered if her nubby tires handled the ice as well as my Ice+ 3s.
Winter Hiking Photos
By: Cara Baskin
Pressies above the clouds
Wow, it's cold
Cara on the peak
Joffrey at the summit
Moosilauke in the mists