2 Great Reasons to Run – Even in Steamy August
These races are for runners and walkers and even those on four legs.
PHOTO COURTESY RUN AROUND THE SQUARE
In August, when our European cohorts wisely take the month off to vacation, my brain gears down and begs me to take it easy. It’s hot. Fall and all of its ambitious projects are coming.
I try to strike a compromise. I make August the month of slowing, gearing up for both work and fitness and nudging along my protesting brain with the carrots of still having some summer fun.
Enter the Run Around the Square on Aug. 22, which features a 5K race and a 1.5-mile run/walk. The 1.5-mile course weaves through Regent Square and is a great option for families and dog lovers. (Make sure your pooch is on a leash.) There’s a balloon artist at the start line who will make fun race accessories for parents and kids.
Organizers do time the race, and the fastest kids in each age bracket will receive medals.
The 5K — which starts late enough that parents can walk the 1.5-miler and make it back to the start line — spends a mile in Regent Square and then heads to the trails of Frick Park.
Race Director Donna Bour promises entertainment along the way, including a violinist, a steel drum band and a church choir. Possibly even better is the tradition that continues this year — D’s Six Pax & Dogz sets up a food truck at the end of the race and hands out free hot dogs and beer. If you, like me, just perked up at the mention of beer, know that there also is a wine station mixed in (but clearly marked) with the water stations. No wonder this is Pittsburgh’s second-most popular run, behind the Pittsburgh Great Race.
“We get people from around the country who plan their vacations to run this race with us,” Bour says.
All registration happens online and must be completed by Aug. 19.
For those of you ready to get moving a little sooner this month, check out the Brookline Breeze 5K run/walk and 1-mile run/walk on Aug. 8. (Kids can participate in either event, and dogs are welcome to join their owners for the 1-mile walk.)
The race ends with the Brookline Boulevard Breezefest, which features local vendors, live music and family-friendly activities such as face painting and a balloon artist.
What to eat this month: quinoa
Quinoa is a great grain for gluten-free eaters and has a substantial amount of fiber and iron, says Jennifer Costello, registered dietitian and licensed dietitian/nutritionist. Quinoa also has a lot of flexibility. “It can be prepared on the stovetop or in a rice cooker. It is great served hot or cold and either as a main meal or side dish,” she says. Costello suggests cooking quinoa in a chicken or vegetable stock for savory meals and cooking it in apple juice for a sweeter breakfast option. “Quinoa is a great base to mix and add any fruit, veggies and proteins you enjoy for any meal throughout the day,” she says.