Cyber Monday Race Deals

Who doesn’t love a deal?  My two favorite days of the year for scoring a race registration discount?  National Running Day, which takes place annually in June, and CYBER MONDAY!!!

image

I am not a shopper, so Black Friday means nothing to me other than the best day of the year to avoid crowds.  But Cyber Monday, now, I can get into that!  Deals, specials, discounts on everything from carpeting to compression socks, Hi Res TV’s to running shoes, and best of all?  Race discounts!!

Many race directors take advantage of this special online buying day to offer up one-day-only deals off race registration.  It’s simply one of the best days of the year to sign up for your next race, your next marathon, your next destination race weekend.

So get ready!  I know of a few races that are planning big discounts.  Discounts too good to pass up!  So, keep your eyes on Facebook and Twitter come Monday, and get to Googling first thing in the morning scouring the internet for those deals!

Happy Cyber Shopping!

image

Advertisements

By the Numbers

I haven’t been able to say this much (at all) in 2015, but it was a really good running week!   Can barely believe it myself, but I managed four workouts.  Yep, that hasn’t happened not one time this year.  Why does life get in the way of my running sometimes?  Maybe I’ve just let too much get in the way to far this year, and haven’t pushed hard enough.  Whatever the case, I didn’t let the weather, a cold, my work hours, or family life get in the way this week.  I didn’t come up with any excuses not to run.  This bodes well for a busy month.

So, let’s focus on the runs.  Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

image

Count them!

All fairly routine runs, involving hills and flats.  I focused on negative splits this week as I ran some very challenging hills to start each run.  The good news is that even though my runs have been very erratic so far this year, this past week was a huge improvement.

The month of March will be busy for me.  I started well!  This coming weekend I have a Half Marathon on Sunday.  My first Half of the year, and first Half since early November.  I’m looking forward to it.  This is the event that I am pacing at, so this weeks workouts will be short runs and paced evenly throughout.  I will be prepared to hit the 8:00 minute miles in Asheville this weekend.  A destination race for me, I will be packing up and driving to Asheville (about a four hour drive) on Saturday morning.  I will be volunteering at the Expo from 1-5pm.  I ran the inaugural marathon at this race two years ago, and can’t wait to return this time for the Half.  Biltmore, here I come!

image

I have been focusing on hill work because the course this weekend incorporates many.  The second race I will be running this month is exactly a week later.  March 22nd is the All American Marathon about an hour from home.  This will be my second Full of the year, and this race course has some inclines, as well.  Both of my sons are running this race, the Half, so it will be a load of good times.

image

This past week involved some planning, as well.  Lots of news to share, some that I have eluded to already, but when you race destinations, there is a lot involved.  I did manage to get a hotel reserved for a race I have in the mountains at the beginning of May.  My plan for the a Summer is to run the Revel Rockies event outside of Colorado.  This is going to be my “A” race at the marathon distance, and my BQ attempt this year.  I haven’t nailed down any travel plans yet, but I have to keep checking for airline rates.  I found an amazing deal for last year when I flew to Utah, so I just have to hope for an equally enticing deal that I can’t pass up on.  Will continue to keep my eyes peeled.

As I wait to get some finalization on some great news today, I will leave you with another tidbit.  Hey, that reminds me, did any of you make it into the TCS New York City Marathon?  The lottery drawing was this past week.  My brother made it in!

image

Don’t call me a fucking jogger!

When did you become a runner?  That is a question that most people answer in different ways.  How does one define a runner?  I guess we must define a runner before we can answer the question of when we became one.

Just for fun I took a look at true definitions of the term “runner”, and the most amusing one, and perhaps most fitting was this….

Runner – Someone who runs at a decent pace, on all terrain, in all weather because they want to.

That was followed up by this…. “Not a fucking jogger, ok?”

As runners, we hate the word jogger.  Jogger implies slow, I guess.  Well, to me, it really doesn’t matter at what pace you run, but to be a runner we must actually be moving faster than a walk.  I think the term “jogger” implies a casual mover, one who doesn’t care about pace, and is just out there for exercise.

Let’s now define “Jogger”.  A jogger is someone who trots or runs at a slow or leisurely pace.  The main intention is to increase physical fitness with less stress on the body than from faster running.

Here is a jogger.  Casual, wearing a sweatband, and even sandals.

Here is a jogger. Casual, wearing a sweatband, and even sandals.

I do not trot.  Let’s get this straight.

I was a true runner a few times much earlier in my life, and actually ran a few races back in the 90’s and early 00’s.  I truly didn’t catch the running bug though until 2010.  In 2010, the month was August when I laced up and hit the road in hopes of starting a new revolution in my life.  I ran short distances, anything from a mile to two miles, probably four times a week.  While slowly developing some cardio vascular health, I found it got easier each time I ran.  So what did I do?  I ran more.  I gradually added distance, sometimes up to three miles, sometimes five to six times a week.  I didn’t even start tracking my runs until October 15th, 2010.

A funny thing started happening over the course of those first few months.  Competitiveness started kicking in.  I was getting good at this thing called running.  Nope, don’t call me a jogger, I am a runner!  Each time I would lace up, I started timing myself.  My goals started to change.  I wanted to get faster, and to get faster I needed to know how fast or slow I was running.  I picked a 5k loop in my neighborhood and ran it incessantly.  I recorded my times on paper for every single run.  I got faster.  I got fitter, and I got more competitive.  A jogger doesn’t care about pace, right?

Then I started to get bored with the same old route, the same distance, the same surroundings.  I decided to step it up.  To run further and faster.  I gradually added more miles, different routes and kept the same routines.  Running was my exercise, my joy.  This didn’t fade, and still hasn’t up to today.  It was early in 2011 that I decided I wanted to take on a real race.  A 5k is where I would test out my new found love of running.  That April I ran a 22:03 5k, won my age group and was like 11th overall.  Success!  It was not called a jogging race, it was a running race.  I was a runner!  What I was doing was working.  That race lit my competitive fire, and looking back at my training log, I started running longer distances on my next training run.  Two days after that 5k I ran 5 miles.  That 5 turned into 10k, and then even longer.

image

My goals changed, and broadened.  I wanted to get faster, but I also wanted to run longer.  I started obsessing over races.  I wanted to prove myself a runner.  Racing was fun.  I ran several more 5k’s within weeks of that first one, and with my increased miles in training, my first 10k road race was in July.  It was at that race that I started dreaming of one day calling myself a half marathoner.  That goal would put me on the road more often, and for longer durations.

image

I was loving it!  It didn’t let up.  Increasing my mileage was leading to better fitness, and by August I really was in great shape.  I signed up for a Half.  That September, I ran my first Half.  The Newport Liberty Half Marathon, in Jersey City, NJ.  It was amazing!  It was a big race, and I finished in 1:41:38.  I was truly hooked.  About a month later I really started contemplating running (not jogging) a marathon.  It was a daunting thought, but it was possible, right?  I had to really convince myself that I could do it.  After running that Half though, I knew down deep inside that I could run a Full marathon.

image

I looked at training plans, I looked at races.  By December of that year I had run two more Halves, and was well on my way to running 26.2 for the first time.  Myrtle Beach would become my first marathon in 2012.  I smoked that course, too.  A finish of 3:33:24 was leaps and bounds above my expectations.  No, I am not the fastest runner out there, but this was a huge success for me.  After completing that marathon I truly considered myself a runner.  A real runner.  A marathoner!

image

You see, to me, being a marathoner is a world away from the term jogger.  I do not casually run or trot twenty six point two miles.  I suppose I could, but I don’t.  I don’t judge those that do walk or jog a race, even distances up to a marathon, just don’t call me a jogger.

How do you feel about labels?  If you were referred to as a jogger would it bother you?  How would you define a “runner”. A “jogger”?

Preview- Hilton Head Marathon

Last year a this time I was preparing for a year full of marathons.  Eight, to be exact.  I had just run a final training run on 1/1/14 of 10 miles, and was preparing the downward turn in training, aka the taper, for my first of the year in Charleston.  This year is different for many reasons.

For those of you that frequent my blog, you know I like to run new races.  So focused on trying to get into Boston, I picked a few flat marathons last year, and really didn’t have any success taking advantage of those courses.  As I evaluated my year, I realized that although I really enjoyed the multiple marathons I ran last year, that it’s more about quality over quantity.  Even though races are close by, I will not repeat marathons that I just didn’t enjoy for one reason or another.  Take for instance the Tobacco Road Marathon.  I ran it in 2012, and haven’t been back.  It’s even right here in the area.  A short 25 minute drive from home. Even though Runner’s World magazine touts it as one of the ten best new marathons, I just don’t care for the boring nature of the course.  Just because it’s flat, does not mean it is an awesome race.

So, in understanding myself a bit better this year, and what is important to me when running a race, my goals have changed somewhat.  I will not run a race solely on the basis that it is considered “flat”.  I really could care less.  I enjoy hills, undulation, scenery.  Sure, I want to qualify for Boston eventually, but I will not run flat races solely on the hope of a faster time.  When I lace up to run 26.2 miles, I want to enjoy the course.

With all of that being said, I have carefully planned a few races for this year based on the enjoyment of the overall experience.  The Hilton Head Marathon is my first of the year.  This race, which I thought I would never run again based on my Mother’s potential move and selling her house last year, holds a special place in my heart.  Well, Hilton Head does.  My Mom never sold her house, which is a short 10 minute easy drive to the starting line.  Race day logistics are so easy because of that.  Race day is five weeks from tomorrow!

image

Hilton Head is a beautiful place.  Tucked into the southeast corner of South Carolina on the coast, Hilton Head has been a family vacation spot since I was about 12 years old.  It holds many memories.  Playing in the surf there when I was young, working there in 1990 and 1991.  Spending the Millennium New Year’s Eve there at the Hilton Head Yacht Club.  My mother has lived there now for close to 20 years.  I will be driving down there for the weekend of February 6-8.

image

The weather at last years race was less than perfect.  It was cold, it rained.  It didn’t perform the greatest at all, with a finish of 3:54:00, but it was challenging, and beautiful and memorable.  All things I look for in a race.  Sure, this course features two difficult over and back sections on a pretty big bridge over the intercostal waterway, but it adds character to the run.  Mentally I will be more prepared for that bridge this year.

image

I am running Hilton Head again because of family, history, beauty and memories.  I am not running it in hopes of a Boston qualifying run.  Hilton Head is kicking off my 2015 race year, and I hope it’s even more memorable than last year.

Run Fast, Run Beautiful

Only four days remain until current pricing for the Revel Rockies Marathon & Half on July 19, 2015 goes up $10.  Currently you can register for the Full for $99.99, and the Half for $79.99, but only until the end of the year.

image

Since I will be there going for a BQ, and also crossing off another state on my 50 state quest, I figured why not create a team so that others that join can save some money, as well.  So, in addition to beating the price increase, you can save $10 by joining my team, “Running Down a Dream”.

Click on the link to be taken directly to my team page.  https://www.runrevel.com/rdv/register?team=1464952

We don’t have to run together, just have fun, and save money.  If enough runners join my team, we also get a free personalized team shirt, and free team photos at the finish.

image

Check out @RunRevel on Twitter, and visit their website for additional details.  Hope to see you in the Rockies!

Stick a fork in me..

I’m done!

I’m done with my racing season, yes, and that is nothing new.  My last race was a month ago.  As with each year I have been a runner, November and December are my recovery months.  With my 2014 packed full of long distance running my body has needed the rest.  I have to admit, it has been kind of nice to take some time off.

image

If you’re ready, I will reveal the measly mileage put on my running shoes in November.  Are you ready for this?  I ran a grand total of seven times!  Yep, just 7 runs in a month that was 30 days long.  My last race was on November 2nd, a Half Marathon.  So if you subtract that mileage from the monthly total, I actually ran just 20 miles in recovery mode.  That is by far the lowest tally I have racked up in a month since I started running seriously back in 2010.  It’s actually kind of pathetic, but I think it was totally worth it.

My legs have healed, my feet feel good.  The muscle tissue has recovered.  I can tell just in everyday actions like walking and climbing stairs.  The few recovery runs I had were at a really decent pace, too.  They ranged between 8:13 per mile up to 8:37 per mile.

I say stick a fork in me because I feel like I am done with recovery.  I want to hit the pavement more these days.  With no races on the horizon sometimes I’ve been just too lazy to lace ’em up and hit the street.  It’s been fine for now having that sort of thinking, but that must now change.  True, I will not be getting back at it 100% for now but just having a healed body gives me more motivation to go into attack mode again.  I would like to hit somewhere between 60-70 miles this month, and then really step it back up in January.  With a marathon in mind for early February, I feel my approach to time off and recovery was a great decision.  All good things must come to an end as they say.  Recovery mode is over, it’s time to train!

image

Hallelujah!  I’m back, and ready to rejoice in running!

2015- Marathon Calendar

As 2014 comes to a close in just a little over a month, the focus for many runners out there is picking which races will fill the calendar in the year to come.  How does one choose?  There are so many factors that go into the decision making process.

Do you choose races based on price?  How about location?  Do you look for races within driving distance, or is a destination race including airfare not out of the question?  Do you choose races based on the course?  Big races, small races, races for charity?  PR chances?  With so many options out there for racing at any distance, the possibilities are endless.

What have you chosen?

Here’s look at some of my choices….

image

I chose this one based on proximity to family.

Asheville in March…. and All American a week later.  Yes please….  North Carolina races.  One about four hours away in the mountains, the other a military event about an hour from home.

image

image

Looking forward to returning to both of these events.  Both tried and true.  Awesome races!

Up until this point in my “marathon career”, I’ve raced 16 marathons.  Each one of them has been different.  Looking at these three races, I have run each of them one time before.  It’s time for me to return and try to better my times.  Can you believe I haven’t repeated any marathons up until now?  Wow, it’s true.

I do however need a new race for 2015, and for that I am looking at the New River Marathon, in Todd, NC.  Another event in the mountains, the beautiful area near Boone.  A small race by comparison to many others, this race has a real small town feel.  At least that’s what I’ve heard.

image

I am not 100% decided yet! but really want to run this one!

I need to jump on an airplane this Summer, and head to a Revel event.  This year was Big Cottonwood in Utah, next July I am planning on Revel Rockies in Denver.  Destination, and PR chance, to boot.

image

This will be my attempt at Boston 2016.  Let’s see if I can make it happen.

Next Fall?  Gosh, I haven’t given it a ton of thought just yet.  Solidifying the next six months has been more critical right now.  Oh, how I would love to return to Chicago again.  Big Cottonwood?  Would absolutely love to run that one again, but does money grow on trees?  I have to remember that I can’t do it all.  I did enter a contest to get into the New York City Marathon next year, but that will probably never happen.  Can’t hurt thinking about it though, right?

Well, that’s where I’m at with my planning right now.  Have you decided on any big races for next year yet?  It’s such a great time for planning, and remember….  many races are offering Black Friday discounts not only tomorrow, but throughout the rest of the weekend.

Happy planning!  Let me know if you’ve found a can’t miss race that I need to try to squeeze into my schedule.  Happy Thanksgiving!  Have you said your thanks for the ability to run today?  I know I have.