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President’s Corner – May 2012

Spring is finally here, and that means I can start running with my Fuelbelt, which means I can start running my favorite route again instead of having to run by the police station so I can hydrate at their water fountain.

During the warm months I find that I can run just about anywhere I want because I don’t need to worry where I’m going to get my hydration from. During the cold months, the water in my tiny bottles tends to freeze easily, so I have to alter my route to pass by some other source of water.

This past winter, for example, I developed a 10.5 mile route that passed by the police station where I live in Wayne at miles four and five. I used to also run a 16 mile route that passed by both the police station (miles two and four) and Willowbrook Mall (mile eight).

Of course, when I used to run at Grove St. we would take turns stashing water. Sometimes we even had to do that in the summer too. Occasion-ally, though, the water fountains actually worked.

Injuries and a lack of time for all of that extra driving have forced me to train closer to home. Since the FuelBelt has given me the flexibility to run almost any route I want, I’ve tried a few up by my house. My current fave is an 11.5 mile route by Pines Lake, some of it overlapping the Brian’s Run route.

I drink much more than I use to, especially on hot days. At Grove St. we went about three or four miles between water stops. Nowadays that seems like a long, although I can’t remember it ever being a problem. I do remember, though, some pretty big problems when I tried to stretch that distance a bit.

Every August I used to go up to my Alma Mater in Rhode Island for training, and would do a long run after the training was over. This was before I had my Fuelbelt. I suppose I could’ve carried water by hand, but since there was water along the way I never felt compelled to bring any-thing with me.

Training would end Saturday night, so on Sunday morning I’d head out from the dorm I was staying at to the West Kingstown Trail (a rail-trail actually) one mile away. I’d stop for water at the adjacent train station, and then run and out and back on the trail. The trail was four miles long, so I would go eight miles between water stops. That was too long. Somehow I slogged through those runs, though, for as much as three out and backs.

I always had great difficulty running the last mile, from the station back to the dorm. Usually extreme dehydration would set in and I’d stagger back. Once a cop saw me. She took me in her car and offered to drive me to a hospital. It was a temporary issue, I responded, and I’d be better after a cold shower and a long nap.

It took me a few years of repeating this cycle before I finally broke down and bought a Fuelbelt. It’s been a great investment. I can’t say it’s completely alleviated the problem, but at least now I can manage to get through most long runs without having to worry about hydration. If it gets too hot and humid outside all bets are off. That’s happened too.

Mark Frankel

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