Run For Your Life Klamath Falls! No Really… Do It!

couch-to-5k-klamath-fallsSummer is here and the “Run For Your Life” Couch to 5K series here in Klamath Falls is well under way.

So far there have been three lectures and three group hikes completed and there are three more of each on the docket for the summer. You can see the program here for more on dates and times for the upcoming events.

I’ve been a bit dark here since I whipped up this site but now that Spring is behind us and I’m itching to get outside all day long every day of the week I think it’s about time to dust off those brand new running shoes I picked up 5 weeks ago and hit the trails.

Is There A “Run For Your Life” 5K That We Are Actually Training For?

This is actually the very first question I had regarding this series of lectures when I first heard of them a couple months back. At the time I had a discussion with Katherine Jochim-Pope, an organizer of the initiative, and I learned that the series is more about educating the public at large than hosting a big race.

Doing further digging on their Facebook page and in the official news publications over at H&N it’s clear that the lectures are designed to inform relatively inactive people that starting a physical activity program with a goal in mind (other than weight loss) is actually feasible. It’s not all that complicated and it’s not about winning races. Participation in healthy activities is the goal.

The hikes that take place a few days after each lecture make it easy for people to find friends with similar goals in mind to get together and get active without having to slow down anyone they already know that may be more advanced or experienced in hiking or running.

There is no designated 5K to run/walk at the end of the series but those who participate in the series are encouraged to go out and find a 5K that works for them, enter it, and participate. It’s not about winning any races – it’s about actually taking action.

Do You Have To Actually Run?

As I noted in my last post (early two months ago) Klamath County fails miserably statewide in health outcomes. We are dead last in the state of Oregon for those counties that are ranked.

There’s a funny thing though – Klamath county also has a very high proportion of it’s citizens living well into there 90′s and even 100′s.

Did you know that?

Back in 2001 in a study on centenarians (people living to 100+) there were 67 people identified in the Klamath Basin aged 97 or higher, a rate of just shy of 100 per 100,000 people. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3357309/

Nation-wide the there is just shy of 20 centenarians per every 100,000 people. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centenarian

It sure seems like there is a large cohort of Klamath Falls residents that have done pretty well with their health over a lifetime. All should not be a lost cause around here. The trick is to getting rid of bad habits and sedentary lifestyles and actually get active.

Not everyone works 15 hours a day on a farm around here and not everyone is cut out for running races but that doesn’t mean we can’t add regular physical activity into our daily routines.

That was actually the message delivered by Dr. Stephanie Van Dyke and Katherine Jochim-Pope last week. You can add physical activity into your regular routine and it doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym every day either.

Will I Actually Start Running?

Truthfully, I don’t know. I do know however that I want to commit to getting more active. I may end up taking up biking, jogging, or hiking – shoot, I may even start working out regularly at the local YMCA. Who knows but I do need to get active. Mowing the lawn and pulling weeds can only take me so far in life.

I wore out my old tennis shoes last year and didn’t replace them because I had little need for them. In April I decided I was going to get on board with this couch to 5K program and in May I picked up a sweet pair of Adidas running shoes from Ross – a mere $25 investment. At some point I’ll have to whip up a page for the site on running gear and related equipment but for now, shoes are pretty much all I know I need – no page is needed just for that.

Now it’s June. It’s time to actually start taking action. Tomorrow I’m taking my son out for a walk in the stroller except this time we’re heading down to the OC&E trail and we’re going to go a bit further than I’ve ever taken him before. I don’t exactly have a jogging stroller but I sure can walk with a purpose.

I hope to see more people get on board with this program this summer and I’d encourage anyone even mildly interested to check out the Couch To 5K Facebook page and maybe the Lopers pagetoo. They are a local running club (which I have yet to join) but they organize lots of hikes and beginners races all year long.

What hikes am I planning on doing? Not sure yet but you can check out my Klamath Falls Race & Hike Calendar for some options I’ve come across. I’m not going to do them all but I’ll try to make at least a few of them.

Klamath County Is The Worst County In Oregon For Health Outcomes!

This post has been purged as it is no longer up to date.

To summarize it’s original intent however I will say that in Spring of 2014 Klamath County was ranked last in health outcomes statewide, trailing every other county in Oregon.

Because of this the Race To 5k program was envisioned as a way of improving the health of county residents over the long term.