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January 15, 2017

The burden of running attire for Texan “winter” months

This time of year presents a small problem for runners.

The problem is not serious; and for the most part can be solved with a little effort. The problem is storing clothes for running. This week the temperatures are at a record high in the 80s, while last week we had record lows in the teens. Each extreme requires an entirely different type of running gear.

When the cold front of arctic air came through, the outerwear required a pair of tights for the legs - maybe even some leg warmers - a jacket, a warm cap on the head, gloves for the fingers and maybe a scarf to put up over your face if the wind was blowing.

In the northern part of the country, stores sell covers for the mouth so you don’t breathe in frigid air and freeze your lungs. There are not enough sales here in Texas to warrant taking up shelf space for that item. A scarf is a fashionable way that can act as a substitute to keep the frostbite off the cheeks and nose.

The next week, temperatures are more like summer time: shorts and a tanktop and a runner is ready to go. Not much space is needed for this outfit.

The problem is that we are only halfway through this thing they call winter months in Texas; and there is a good chance that another cold front will find its way into central Texas. A runner can’t really store the cold running gear away for the year just yet.

Then there is always a chance of some heavy showers that will require a different wardrobe for running: a waterproof jacket; more than one pair of shoes to wear while one or two other pair are drying out, and a towel at the entrance to the house so you can dry off before you track water all over the floor.

Closet space becomes limited when you try to keep cold weather gear, warm weather gear and raingear all available at a moment’s notice. The Texas saying about weather change, “Just wait a few hours and it might be different,” is too often true. It is just a small problem for arranging your running clothes, but one that requires some thought.

The San Marcos Runners Club held their January meeting this week for the election of officers. The club has been active since the early 80s and had a revamp in organization about 16 years ago to what the club is today. Membership is around 60 runners and walkers who take advantage of a newsletter, a calendar of races and help with organizations in putting on races. Cost is very minimal and as one member mentioned, “You will eat more food at meetings for the club than the cost of a membership.”

The Club hosts runs every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Core Running has the group on Wednesdays and a long training run almost every weekend. Speed training is handled every Tuesday evening for those runners who want to try setting a PR in a run.

The one problem is that, out of 60 members, there is only a small group of hard workers who step up and keep the club running.

This year, David Alexander was elected president. David is stepping away from being the Club’s race director after a good 16 years of putting on races here in San Marcos and nearby towns. He went from one job description to another and will do a great job at directing the club.

Britt Van Dine is the vice-president, and Laura Mason is the social director, a role that includes organizing club events and arranging for speakers for the club members and the community to listen to for advice in fitness and running. Rebecca Rounds continues as secretary, and was lauded by the club for the great newsletter she puts out every month. Elizabeth Wills continues as treasurer for the club and keeps the finances in order.

Darrell Rhodes takes over as Race Coordinator from David Alexander. Darrell will not do all the work that David did, but will coordinate members of the club to help community organizations with a club member to help with advice and equipment for their run.

It is a new year; and the San Marcos Runners Club is ready to promote running and fitness in San Marcos for 2017. Online registration to join the club can be found here. Membership is well worth the money; and being an active member is well worth your time to be involved.

Moe Johnson
Dr. Maurice Johnson - better known around San Marcos as “Moe” - is a professor in the Department of Health, P.E., Recreation and Dance at Texas State University - San Marcos. Moe has been a fixture in the San Marcos running community - both as a runner and race organizer - since way back when Moby Dick was a minnow. His column on running and fitness appears each Sunday in the Sports section of the San Marcos Daily Record.

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