Sep 6 2010

Dog Tags For Running


Hi there. Just a quick post to show off something I came up with recently. I was reading a blog post of Blaine Moore’s about the dangers of running on the road. Should you be injured so badly that you lose consciousness or become delirious, if you’re like me and don’t carry a phone or any form of ID when you’re running, it is possible you could become another John Doe at the hospital. Blaine recommends RoadID, which is really neat, but out of the price range I’m looking to spend on an easy, unobtrusive, lightweight form of ID for exercising.

So here’s my solution: military dog tags, modified in a way that is meaningful for me as a runner. I found a place called DogTagsOnline that will make you a pair of custom dogs tags complete with silicone silencers for $6.99 + shipping. They can stamp up to fifteen characters per line, up to five lines per tag. You can choose from eight colors of silencers. I opted for high visibility colors to make it easier for an EMT or Paramedic to find them. Here is a photo of the tag up close:

I blacked out most of the info from you guys for privacy concerns, this being on the InterWeb and all.You could of course customize such a tag in anyway you see fit. For starters here is what I put and still made the fifteen character limit per line:

  1. First Name M.I. Last Name
  2. City, ST, USA
  3. Wife: 10-digit phone #
  4. Dad: 10-digit phone #
  5. Blood type, NO PEN, DOB

That is a ton of information on such a small tag in my opinion. And the price is right. After the blood type, I put my drug allergy information. Should you not have any I still suggest you could put “NKA” if you have none as it would help them know that you have none instead of being a mystery. This tag provides first responders two means of contacting people I know well, and critical, personal-identifying information that is unique to me when combined such as my name, date of birth, blood type, city/st so that no matter where I am in the world people should be able to locate my loved ones and let them know to come get me if I am injured or God forbid dead. I know it is morbid but it happens every day; someone dies naturally while running or is killed by a vehicular accident. Notice I left out an exact address. That is not important really, first responders would have enough to go off of to get the word out and yet I am still able to maintain some privacy.

Moving on, the installation was easy with only a small modification needed. When I went to lace the dog tags through my laces, the hole in the tag was too small. Out came the power drill, and I opened it up one bit size at a time until the laces snugly fit through. Snug was important to me as I didn’t want them to slide around. I used a file on a set of nail clippers to remove the few barbs of metal left by the drill bit so my shoe laces don’t get shredded over time.

Last but not least, here is the finished product. I’ve been using them for the last 50 miles or so and don’t even know that they are there. They are not going to rust, break, or blow away and I can keep them until the info on them changes. Notice I put one on each shoe…you never know. I could get hit by a Mack truck so hard that only one foot is found or still attached. The old adage applies: “two is one, and one is none.” I interwove them as you can see so they don’t flop around. I thought this might also be good for those of you who go hiking/backpacking too. Happy trails!

Jul 23 2010

5 Mile Run


I have to brag to somebody besides my Anna.

For the first time since Airborne (circa 8/1997), I ran a 5-miler this morning, on the hottest day of the year no less 😀 (heat index was at or over 105F today, though 86F at the time I ran)

I had no preconceptions and didn’t look at my time until finished, so I just did my best and attempted to pace myself the best I could and was thoroughly enthused afterward. I feel great thus far and can’t wait until my “long” run again next week. I accidentally throttled myself back more than necessary to conserve energy and mostly out of lack of any recent experience. I suppose that’s better than being over confident and trashing myself too early? Anyway, as I tie a few more of these on I’ll be dropping my times substantially (cooler weather would help too) as I become more comfortable pacing myself and gaining confidence.