Thursday, January 17, 2019

The right time to go for a run



BikeWalkLee Column
The News-Press, January 17, 2019
by Ken Gooderham

If you’re a runner in Southwest Florida, this is your time to shine.

Not only is the weather at its most runnable – cool but not cold, lower humidity but plenty of sunshine – but you have a ton of events to choose from (if that’s your thing). And if organized runs leave you cold, your opportunities to get in a run is limited mainly by how late you sleep or how early the sun goes down (and even that’s not a deal breaker for those who are happy with their headlights).

However, if you want a target to motivate you, there’s nothing like an event on the not-too-distant horizon to help inspire you to get your miles in. If so, you’re in luck – there’s at least one running event (and usually a lot more) every weekend from now to early March:
  • Saturday, Jan. 19: Run to Home Base 5K Run/Walk, 1 Mile Walk & Kids' Dash, JetBlue Park, Fort Myers
  • Sunday, Jan. 20: Naples Daily News Half Marathon, Naples
  • Saturday, Jan. 26: Calusa BUG Chase 5K run/1K walk, Calusa Nature Center, Fort Myers; Run for the Paws 5K, Civil Air Patrol, Naples; 2019 Hancock Creek Elementary Snowflake Shuffle 5K, Cape Coral
  • Sunday, Jan. 27: Hands Across the Harbor half marathon & 5K, Port Charlotte
  • Saturday, Feb. 2: Strides for Education 5K run/walk, Fort Myers; Inaugural Running Water 5K, Cape Coral
  • Sunday, Feb. 3: Publix Run to the Arts 5K run/walk, downtown Fort Myers
  • Saturday, Feb. 9: Scout Strong 5K run/walk, Naples; Rotary's Run for the Rose Garden 5K, Cape Coral
  • Sunday, Feb. 10: Edison Junior Races, downtown Fort Myers
  • Saturday, Feb. 16: Edison 5K run/walk, downtown Fort Myers
  • Sunday, Feb.17: Paradise Coast half marathon &5K, Naples
  • Saturday, Feb. 23: Swamp Stomp 5K run/walk, Labelle
  • Saturday, Feb.23: Naples High School Golden Eagle Run, Naples; Run the Lakes for Cypress Lake Middle 5K, Lakes Park, Fort Myers
  • Saturday, March 2: City of Palms half marathon & 5K, Fort Myers
  • Sunday, March 3: Lazy Flamingo half marathon and relay, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, March 9: Yo Taco Shrimp Run 5K, Fort Myers Beach (active.com)
What if you’re new to running, or seeking to get back into it after some time off? There a plenty of ways to get up and get out there, but you need to ask yourself what will work best for you? Like technology? Go for apps. Need company to spur you on? Look for a club.

Once you decide the best approach for you, there are plenty of choices in each:
  • Apps: Just Google “running apps” to be overwhelmed by the choices for both beginners and experienced runners. If you don’t run with your phone, you’ll need some other way to track your progress – such as a GPS-enable watch that can coordinate with an app or work on its own.
  • Programs: A more old-school approach that’s got a lot of history (and successes), you’ll find a variety of distances, schedules and timeframes to choose from. Pick your goals and go!
  • Running clubs: Both Fort Myers and Naples can boost long-lived and active running groups: Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com) and Gulf Coast Runners (gcrunner.org). Both clubs put on events, offer organized runs a few times a week and provide a crucial camaraderie of runners to lift each other up. Check out their website for event calendars and how to join… because it takes members to make clubs work, so if you want to join the fun you need to join.
So if running interests you, for the first time or for a long time, enjoy the best time of year in Southwest Florida to enjoy the great outdoors on the run.

Ready to ride or run?

Run?  A lot of choices ahead, from 5Ks (Run to Home Base at JetBlue Park and Tour de Cape on Jan. 19; Calusa BUG at the Calusa Nature Center, Run for the Paws in Naples and the Snowflake Shuffle in Cape Coral Jan. 26 and Hands Across the Harbor 5K Jan. 27) to half-marathons (Naples Daily News Half Jan. 20 and Hands Across the Harbor Half Jan. 27). Details at  ftmyerstrackclub.com, gcrunner.org, 3dracinginc.com and trifind.com respectively.

Ride? Tour de Cape rolls back onto the streets of Cape Coral this Sunday, with 15-, 30-, 62- and 100-mile routes to choose from (tourdecape.net). Of course, there’s a plethora of Critical Mass rides – NE Lee on Friday, Cape Coral on Jan. 25 and the Saturday Slow Roll in Fort Myers Jan. 26 (meetup.com). Not enough? Then throw in the Wakey, Wakey! Sunday morning rides (helmets are required, no ear buds, and no aero bar use while in the group).

Both? Upcoming events include:

TELL US ABOUT YOUR RIDE:

Have a favorite route you like to bike, or a unique walk you’d like to share with others? Tell us about it at info@bikewalklee.org, and maybe we can feature it in an upcoming column.

# # #

Ken Gooderham writes this on behalf of BikeWalkLee, a community coalition raising public awareness and advocating for complete streets in Lee County — streets that are designed, built, operated and maintained for safe and convenient travel for all users: pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Information, statistics and background online at www.BikeWalkLee.org. 


 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Resolving to get active? Really?



Florida Weekly 'Outdoors' column, 1/16/2019
danMOSER
bikepedmoser@gmail.com

One of many electric bikes on display at last year’s Tour de Cape. DAN MOSER / FLORIDA WEEKLY

Same old promises, just a different year. It’s a lot like the movie “Groundhog Day”: fitness centers are busier than usual, the produce sections of food markets are fully stocked, and I’m guessing beer, wine and liquor sales take a downturn. Of course, all these and similar trends are temporary, thanks to our collective tradition of making New Year’s resolutions, pledges that are usually short-lived, no matter how well-intentioned and realistic they may be. But to help keep some of us from falling off the health and fitness wagon too quickly I’d like to offer a few events to consider.

One with the most potential is this year’s Million Mile Movement, a daily activity challenge facilitated by Healthy Lee that started on Jan. 15 and wraps up April 15. In past years it ran from Jan. 1 through March 31. But initiating something like this in the first days of January when many of us are still dealing with holiday eating, drinking, watching bowl games and generally trying to get back to a normal schedule (including getting visitors out of the house) seemed to set up even the most motivated of us for failure. These new dates should perhaps eliminate that problem. Don’t worry that you’re reading this at least a day after it started — you can jump in any time.

For the challenge, is participants log their daily exercise, either by entering them into an online journal or uploading them automatically via personal fitness device apps that are tied into Healthy Lee’s MyWellness website. Activities like walking, running, swimming and bicycling will be converted into steps, which in turn equate to miles. Any form of human-powered movement qualifies, including mundane stuff like dog walking, yard and house work, or just going from watching TV to the refrigerator. Progress feedback from tracking for personal goals, team rankings and comparison to others is an excellent motivator. There are no fees involved, excluding any personal device apps or programs one uses. Who knows, after three months it may just become a permanent routine.


Another great opportunity is the 26th annual Tour de Cape, Jan. 19-20. The 5K run/walk is Saturday and bike rides of distances from 15 miles to a 100-mile century happen on Sunday. The Cape Harbor venue is perfect for these events and it’s hoped that the weather will be equally so. This is a very well organized and supported event, thanks to Cape Coral Parks & Recreation Department’s experience and hard work.

Logging miles to train for the first Lazy Flamingo Half-Marathon and relay would be another terrific way to add significantly to a million mile challenge. This run takes place on the first Sunday in March, the same as Hooters Half-Marathon’s old date. (Hooters now sponsors a trail half-marathon and 5K at Caloosahatchee Regional Park that took place earlier this month on the date previously used by River, Roots, and Ruts.) The course for Lazy Flamingo will begin at its location just south of College Parkway and will traverse College Parkway, Whiskey Creek and McGregor Boulevard, turning around between Fort Myers Country Club and the Edison-Ford Estates, which is also the relay handoff point. Volunteers are needed. Email fmtrackclub.info@gmail.com if you want to know more.

Finally, on Saturday, April 27, the annual Fight for Air Climb challenge takes place at Oasis Tower along the Caloosahatchee River near downtown Fort Myers. The venue will be open for training on each of the Saturday mornings in April prior to the event. Firefighters and SWAT members usually climb in full gear in less than seven minutes so most mere mortals should be able to make the ascent in less than 10 minutes.¦
 
- Dan Moser is a long-time bicycle/pedestrian advocate and traffic safety professional who cycles, runs and walks regularly for transportation, recreation and fitness. Contact him at bikepedmoser@gmail.com and 334-6417. 

For Lee County cycling and tri events visit Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club (caloosariders.org); Florida Mudcutters (mudcutters.org); and SW Florida Biking Meetup Group (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL). The Florida Bicycle Association (floridabicycle.org) is your source for statewide happenings. BikeWalkLee’s blog site has all the information you’ll need to stay abreast of advocacy efforts in Southwest Florida as well as statewide and nationally.






Monday, January 14, 2019

January 14: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events

Running/walking:
2019 Run to Home Base
  • Saturday, Jan. 19: Run to Home Base 5K Run/Walk. The 2019 Run to Home Base Florida honors and supports Southwest Florida Veterans and their Families. All proceeds from this event will go directly to Home Base’s Southwest Florida initiatives, including our Warrior Health and Fitness Program and the two-week Intensive Clinical Program. Participants can choose from a 5K run/walk, a 1 Mile walk and a 100-yard kids' dash. JetBlue Park, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Sunday, Jan. 20: Naples Daily News Half Marathon, Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Jan. 26: Calusa BUG Chase 5K run/1K walk, Calusa Nature Center, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Jan. 26: Run for the Paws 5K, Civil Air Patrol, Naples (gcrunner.org
  • Saturday, Jan.26: 2019 Hancock Creek Elementary Snowflake Shuffle 5K, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  • Sunday, Jan.27: Hands Across the Harbor half marathon & 5K, Port Charlotte (trifind.com) 
  • Saturday, Feb. 2: Strides for Education 5K run/walk, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com) 
  • Saturday, Feb. 2:Inaugural Running Water 5K, Cape coral (3dracinginc.com) 
  • Sunday, Feb.3: Publix Run to the Arts 5K run/walk, downtown Fort Myers (runtothearts.com) 
  • Saturday, Feb.9:Scout Strong 5K run/walk, Naples (gcrunner.org) 
  • Saturday, Feb.9:Rotary's Run for the Rose Garden 5K, Cape Coral (active.com) 
  • Sunday,Feb. 10: Edison Junior Races, downtown Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com) 
  • Saturday, Feb. 16: Edison 5K run/walk, downtown Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com) 
  • Sunday, Feb.17: Paradise Coast half marathon &5K, Naples (eliteevents.org/paradisehalf.com) 
  • Saturday, Feb. 23: Swamp Stomp 5K run/walk, Labelle (ftmyerstrackclub.com) 
  • Saturday, Feb. 23:Naples High School Golden Eagle Run, Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Feb. 23: Run the Lakes for Cypress Lake Middle 5K, Lakes Park, Fort Myers (runsignup.com) 
  • Saturday, March 2: City of Palms half marathon & 5K, Fort Myers (eliteevents.org/cityofpalmshalf.com
  • Sunday, March 3: Lazy Flamingo half marathon and relay, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • For more running events visit gcrunner.org/calendar.html; ftmyerstrackclub.com/race-calendar; and 3dracinginc.com

Cycling:
  • Friday, Jan. 18: NE-Lee Critical Mass ride, gathers at 7 p.m. at the Winn-Dixie, 14600 Palm Beach Blvd. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com)
  • Tour de Cape
  • Sunday, Jan.20: Tour de Cape with 15-. 30-. 62- and 100-mile routes through Cape Coral starting from Cape Harbour. Also includes a 5K run and 3-mile family ride on Saturday, Jan. 19 (tourdecape.net
  • Sunday, Jan. 20: Wakey, Wakey! Weekly Sunday Morning Ride. All levels, all bikes, leaves from Fort Myers Trek store at 7:30 a.m. on a different route each week (mostly on bike paths).The ride is sanctioned by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club, so helmets are required, no ear buds, and no aero bar use while in the group. (meetup.com)
  • Friday, Jan. 25: Cape Coral Critical Mass ride. Gather at 7 p.m., start at 7:30 p.m. at the Southwest Florida Military Museum parking lot at 4820 Leonard Street for a family-friendly ride through the Cape. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com)
  • Saturday, Jan. 26: Saturday Slow Roll 8 a.m. meet-up at 2160 McGregor Blvd. Recommended for inexperienced/young riders. Distance is 6 miles, includes group ride instruction. (meetup.com)
  • Sunday, Jan. 27: Wakey, Wakey! Weekly Sunday Morning Ride. All levels, all bikes, leaves from Fort Myers Trek store at 7:30 a.m. on a different route each week (mostly on bike paths). The ride is sanctioned by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club, so helmets are required, no ear buds, and no aero bar use while in the group. (meetup.com)
  • Ongoing: Join the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club on one of their many weekly rides for members and potential members, with an array of paces and routes to choose from. Check them out online at www.caloosariders.org.
  • For more Lee County cycling and tri events, visit Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club (caloosariders.org); Florida Mudcutters (mudcutters.org); and SW Florida Biking Meetup Group (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL).

Triathlons:
  • Sunday, Feb.11: Tri Your Heart Out sprint, Sarasota (trifind.com)
  • Check trifind.com to find regional and state tris.