Almost bare it all – In an Undie Run!

The latest crazes in any sport are usually supported very well.  In the sport of running there are extremes, as well.  Ultra endurance events, mud runs, obstacle runs, color runs, extreme relays, nude runs and the ever popular underwear runs.  Not sure about you, but I for one, am not comfortable with the idea of running in just my underwear, much less in the nude.

I think nude running is more of a popular event in Europe.  I’ve hear of several well attended events across the pond.  Although it might be fun to work an aid station during a nude event, but more than likely they would expect volunteers to go au natural, too.  (Bum)mer!

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As we closer and closer to a Valentines Day, I keep seeing advertisements for Undie Runs.  Running for a cause.  Running with Cupid.  The Great Undie Run.  They seem to be very popular, especially for the college crowd.

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Cupid’s Undie Run here locally takes place on Valentine’s Day.  Noon is when the half naked festivities begin downtown at Natty Greene’s Pub, with the race kicking off (clothes) at 2pm.  It’s a race for charity, so let the hilarity ensue.  The race raises funds for the Children’s Tumor Foundation.

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I guess if you have the body to show off, why not.  Even if you don’t, why not run for a good cause?  For me, I just think I will make a donation and skip the run.  I mean, yeah I’m a runner, but not in any means ready to strut my almost 45 year old stuff out on the streets of downtown Raleigh.  Plus, it will more than likely be cold, adding insult (shrinkage) to a not so ready for the beach, body.  If I looked like the guy above on the left, I might just run.

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Well, the run is for a great cause, so if you are so inclined, sign up, donate or become a fundraiser yourself.  www.cupidsundierun.com is where you can get all the information about the race.  As for me, I think I will just stick with the extreme side of running that includes a 26.2 mile run with my clothes on.  Although clothes probably do cause more chaffing.  😉

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Marathon #17

Keep calm, they say.

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With less than two weeks to go, I think I am everything but calm.  You would think that I have this whole marathon gig down pat.  I mean, having run eight marathons last year, I should be raring to go.  In fact, I do have race withdrawal.  An affliction I’ve endured for the last two months or so.  I haven’t raced since November 2nd.  This may, in fact, be the longest break between races I have ever endured.  Normally I start have race withdrawal about two weeks after a race.  This stretch by race day, will be over three months.  No wonder I am anything but calm.

I really did need the break, however.  My body was just tired after a full racing season in 2014.  I had some great races, and some not so great.  I needed the time off.  I needed to recover, and get that desire back.  It really took longer than I thought it would.  Even my long training runs haven’t been that fun leading up to marathon 17.  I really haven’t enjoyed many runs at all.  I think the combination of tired legs, lackluster cold weather running and the general malaise that this time of year brings me have left me feeling quite unprepared for this marathon.  Race day has really snuck up on me.  I mean, it really, really has.  I know my mind knows how to conquer the 26.2 miles that await me on February 7th, I just don’t know at this point how my legs will react on race day.

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No, this twelve day stretch doesn’t have anything to do with Christmas, Paul.  These twelve days have everything to do with a marathon.  The only present involved will be a medal at the finish line.  If I make it to the finish.  Can you believe that I am even afraid of not finishing?  I guess the nerves are starting to kick in.  Stay calm!  I can do this!  I have to keep reminding myself.

My goals for this race are just to finish, and try to let my body relax through the process and take it all in. Of course, no two marathons are quite the same.  I’m not talking about the course either.  Marathon race day can being all sorts of different results, even for elite athletes.  One never knows how the body will react on race day.  To have the most consistent results, one needs proper training.  This training cycle has been anything but consistent for me, so I need to rely more this time on tenure.  I’ve done this sixteen times in the past, so I have to rely on knowledge I’ve gained along the way.

Hopefully this knowledge will get me to the finish!

No matter how many races you’ve done, have you ever felt underprepared come race day?  How have you overcome?

I Did It

After much thought, and a payment of $11, I went ahead and entered the NYCM lottery for 2015.  It feels a bit like I just grabbed a ten spot and a dollar bill out of my wallet, and blew them off into the wind, but maybe.  Just maybe, I will get in.

If the running Gods, and stars align, maybe this November 1st I will be running the 5 Boroughs.

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Are you ready for Asheville?

Asheville, NC…..

Trendy, southern, diverse, laid-back, artsy, mountainous….

A paradise for folks looking for a great new place to live, or vacation.  Luckily for me this city is within driving distance, offering me a great opportunity for a quick getaway.  I will be running the Asheville Half Marathon at Biltmore Estate as a pacer this year, and it is approaching quickly.  Only 50 days remain!

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Originally I was signed up to run the marathon, but when the opportunity presented itself to pace the 1:45:00 group in the Half, I had to jump on it.  Pacing a race is a great way to give back to my fellow runners.  I just love the idea!  I’ve paced several races now, and the experience is always gratifying.  Each race offers unique opportunities to impact others.

When I looked at the race website this morning and saw the countdown clock at 50 days, it really got me pumped up!  There will be over 1,300 of us runners out there on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate on March 15th, taking in the beautiful scenery, running together through the historic grounds of America’s Largest Backyard.  The Biltmore Estate is the largest privately owned house in the U.S..  Believe me, it’s grand.

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50 days remain.  Are you ready for Asheville?  I know I am!

Charity Running or Crap Shoot?

Having just gotten back from a nice five day vacation, I had a lot of time to think.  I lot of time to relax, and have fun.  Spending time at a theme park meant that my feet had very little break, but I did get to clear my mind quite a bit.

On Friday, I walked the equivalent of about six miles, Saturday I walked more than a half marathon in distance, and on Sunday about ten miles.  To top it off, I ran 5.25 miles (the only run while away) on Monday followed by a warm dip in the pool.  I got a lot of mileage in, albeit not all while running.  Time away from work and home allowed me to clear my head, and focus on some things that up until now I hadn’t given a lot of thought.  This leads me into the purpose of this post today.

My Spring/Summer racing schedule is pretty much set at this point, so naturally I start thinking about Fall.  I haven’t signed up for a single race after July.  What to do?  What to do?  I had such an amazing time at the Chicago Marathon this past October, that I would love to do it again.  I’m sure that I could do Chicago cheaper than I did this past year, but let’s face it, it is expensive.  It’s a lottery system to get in, and luckily I got in on my first attempt.  The great thing about Chicago is that once you find out you’re in, you have five days to decide if you are going to pay and enter.

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The day I left for vacation was the opening day of the New York City Marathon lottery.  It’s open for a month.  I have one close friend who announced his entrance into the lottery on day one.  My brother announced a few days later that he entered the lottery.  It got me thinking…  Should I throw my name in the hopper?  Unlike Chicago where it doesn’t cost a penny to enter the lottery, just to enter the NYC lottery it will cost you $11.  What are the chances of getting in?  The most popular response to that question I’ve seen is about a one in ten chance of getting chosen.  If you are chosen, your credit card is automatically charged for the race entry fee which is over $250.  Hummmmmm…..

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New York City is the biggest marathon in the world.  It doesn’t eclipse Chicago by a whole lot, maybe about 5,000 runners.  But, it’s NYC, it is iconic.  A bucket list race for many runners around the world.  I did enter the lottery for NY a few years back when my brother had a guaranteed entry, but I didn’t get in. I remember feeling at the time that I was pissed that I had to pay just to enter the lottery, and with such a slight chance of getting in that I wouldn’t do it again.  This led me to think about a guaranteed entry through charity running.

I’ve never joined a charity team, or raised money to run.  To get a charity spot for NYC it means raising a lot of money (and paying for any shortfalls out of pocket), plus regular entry fees, and all travel related costs.  It will be expensive regardless.  Just for the purposes of clarity for instance, if you join Team for Kids, the fund raising commitment is $2,620.  It’s due a month before the race.  To me that seems like a serious commitment. Do I take my chances or chose the sure fire entry?

My question for readers today is this….  Have you ever joined a charity team to run a race?  What was the experience like?  Was it easy to raise the money or difficult?  How did you feel about it afterwards?  Was it worth it?

I would appreciate any comments folks, as it will help me to make a decision that may impact my fall running schedule.

Sunshine, Warmth and Hogwarts

I am a southerner at heart.  I had no choice at being born in the north, and had to endure long, cold and white winters.  As a child I didn’t mind, as snow meant FUN!  Snowball fights, snow forts, skiing.  As an adult though, and the older I get, the more and more I hate cold weather.  Living in the south now for over 15 years, my blood has thinned.

My mood, especially after hitting Daylight Savings Time, really dips with winter temperatures and fewer hours of daylight.  This year I am even finding running in the cold weather much less enjoyable than in the past.  I just need more warmth.  Luckily I have something to look forward to.  Even as I turn on the television this morning and see our first winter storm advisory splashed across the screen, my thoughts are more on sunshine and warmth than the potential for a quarter of an inch of ice we are supposed to get this evening and overnight.

Thursday after work we are loading up the old Suburban, and heading south.  Finally a break to the winter, and a much needed getaway after a long and arduous holiday season at work.  Thursday night will put us in northern Georgia before hitting the road again early Friday morning to Orlando.

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A four day vacation in Florida is just what I need.  Not having been to Univeral Orlando in over ten years, I am really looking forward to a warm weather holiday.  Staying at Disney, but playing at Universal.  We’ve been to Disney three times in the last seven years, so this will be a nice change up.

With the Walt Disney World Marathon and other races down there this past weekend, the numerous posts I’ve seen regarding the races and everyone’s time in Florida has really gotten me anxious for this break.  Not sure if I will even get out for a run while there, I will surely be visiting Harry Potter and the famous Hogwarts!  Can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to ride some roller coasters!

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Here’s to vacations!  Here’s to warmer weather!  Here’s to sunshine and palm trees!