Runcation Commences NOW!

I don’t go back to work for another 176 hours.  That’s a full week off!

I needed it desperately!  It’s been damn six months since I could say that I am on vacation. This kind of vacation is the best kind, too.  It includes not one, but two races.  It includes air travel, a rental car, and all the fun I can have packed into a few days.

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I am officially on RUNCATION!  I actually don’t leave until Friday early in the evening, but I am officially on break.

First order of business is a short run this evening when the suns brilliant rays duck down behind the trees.  I need a shaded 90 degree run, since it’s going to be hot regardless.  After that?  Not much.  No plans the rest of the night.  Unless you call laying on the couch with my two chihuahuas date night.

I have had a serious lack of sleep the past three nights, and I plan on remedying that tonight and tomorrow night.  You see, I need to catch up.  This weekends trip to Colorado won’t offer me much down time, or sleep, so I need to catch up with myself and bank a few hours before I leave.

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I actually won’t arrive in Denver until about 8pm on Friday evening.  Then I have a four hour drive to Aspen before settling in for the night.  I won’t get much sleep, as it’s an early wake up call to pace the Aspen Valley Half Marathon on Saturday morning.

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After running through some absolutely picturesque scenery, it’s a drive back to Golden, Colorado.  Marathon #20 on Sunday morning before traveling home that evening.

I just can’t believe this runcation is finally here.  Seems like it’s been in the works for years.  I’ll try to keep my blog updated the best I can over the next week, since I have two races to recap afterward.  Luckily I was smart enough to not return to work next Monday morning.  I will have two days to rest and recover from an epic running weekend.  Plenty of time to rest my feet after 39.3 miles of racing in the Colorado Rockies.

I think it best, now that I am really starting to soak it in, that I plan a runcation every year.  One that’s not just a weekend getaway.  Don’t get me wrong, I love those, too.  It just really feels amazing that I have this time off, and get to do what I love (running) at the same time.  Yes, a week long runcation is necessary for my mental health.  How about you?  How often do you take vacations?  Have you ever taken a vacation just because you wanted to run?

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Las Vegas Getaway

Finally after a few bitter weeks at home, and non-stop work, I am on vacation!

Thought I would check in to at least say hello!  A day and a half into my trip I have more money than when the plane landed here.  That is saying something!  So, on the gambling front, I am a net positive.  Good thing!

Wore shorts on Saturday which was a big deal.  It’s colder today, in fact it snowed in Summerlin and the higher elevations like Mt. Charleston.  To me however, based on the temperatures I have had to endure the past two weeks at home, it is balmy here.  High in the mid 50’s today, but back into the upper 60’s to 70 the rest of the week.  I can certainly handle that!

Check out this selfie I snapped prior to my run yesterday.  Had to bring along my Rock n a Roll Las Vegas Marathon shirt to wear for it!

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I even managed to get a 4.1 mile run in yesterday afternoon, at sub 8:30 pace which I am thrilled with.  Having not run in over a week because of my aching back, I felt really good.  I have some residual back pain this morning because of it, I’m sure, but I will deal.  It’s getting better and that is a good thing.

So, while I am having fun here in Las Vegas, I hope you have a great week!

It’s been an Awful week! Just awful!

It’s been quite a break from blogging this past week, and not in a good way.  It has been an awful week.

Starting a week ago today, I have worked every day.  Knowing that I have a vacation coming up this Saturday, it is fairly normal that I end up working 7, 8, 9, sometimes 10 days in a row.  That alone sucks. It is tiring, and makes that vacation so needed by the time the work is done.  Add to that the fact that the first day of the stretch at work I hurt my back.  Not even sure how it happened.  I just realized that my lower back was hurting toward the end of the workday.  At first I didn’t think much of it, figured it was just tweaked a bit and would work itself out.  Unfortunately, seven days later, this pain has been fierce and unaffected by heavy helpings of ibuprofen.

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So, I am at a place this morning where I just really can’t deal with the pain anymore.  I need to find a solution!  I haven’t been to a chiropractor in nearly twenty years, mainly because I haven’t needed one.  I threw my back out in a big way long ago, and I had much success with a chiropractor visit.  Put me right back on track and finally relieved my pain and allowed me to get back to life.  I really think this is my only solution right now.  I am worried that I won’t be able to find a good one prior to leaving on vacation Saturday morning.  That is my mission this morning!

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In addition to my back pain, I have been dealing with this damned Octavia winter storm.  We did get hit here pretty hard in North Carolina.  Any kind of winter weather here is always a big deal, and awful to deal with.  Nearly every school system in our entire state was closed yesterday.  That is hard to imagine, but it’s true.  But, yes, I had to work.  So I had to deal with ridding my vehicle of ice, and driving through pure treachery about half of my twenty mile journey to work.  Luckily we closed early, and it allowed me to get back home before the refreezing of the roads.  Another dose of winter weather today potentially, and then a polar plunge down to temperatures that are rarely seen here ever.  Another obnoxious day!

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Please, please, please……  I need Saturday morning to get here so that I can head to the airport and get the hell out of here!  And there better not be any flight issues due to this weather!  If my flight is cancelled, the fits of rage will be heard clear across the Triangle.  Heaven help me, it truly has been an awful week.  I haven’t even been able to run because of my back, so stress relief will only come in the form of an on-time departure Saturday morning, and a perfect touch down in Sin City.

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!

Revel Rockies Marathon & Half

Revel Race series is currently a group of three incredibly beautiful, downhill races in western U.S..  Big Cottonwood, in Utah (which I ran this year), Revel Rockies in Colorado, and Canyon City just outside of Los Angeles, California.  The inaugural event at Canyon City is this weekend, so good luck to those of you lucky enough to be running there!

A huge fan of this race series, I have to check them off my race to-do list.  Why?  I can think of many reasons.  Traveling to race?  Yes!  Up until my race in Utah in September, I hadn’t been to any of the three locations they offer races.  A great reason to run.  Visiting Salt Lake City was a load of fun.  Getting to see a beautiful area on foot while running a marathon was just amazing!  Downhill races equal faster races.  Better chance for a PR or BQ, or both?  Another huge factor for wanting to run these races.  They have a naturally higher percentage of Boston Qualifiers than most races in the States.  Beautiful vistas, mountains, canyons, nature.  Courses designed for beauty and speed, amazing!  They also have great bling, swag and offer a very generous cancellation policy.  You don’t see that in many races at all.  So many reasons to run a Revel event.

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I have decided to run the Rockies event in 2015.  Race day is July 19th.  I haven’t booked any travel yet, as one of my favorite airlines, Southwest, hasn’t opened up their flight schedule that far out yet.  Travel details will work themselves out in the months to come.  For now though, I have created a team, and would welcome anyone who wants to join in.  You only run together if you want to, but joining a team allows you to get a discount on registration in addition to liking them on Facebook (which gets you another $5 off).  My team name is “Running Down A Dream”.  You can click on the following link and be taken to the registration page.  https://www.brooksee.com/rdv/register?team=146952.   Let’s Revel Rockies.

Take a look at the great finisher medal from the inaugural event this year.  It’s huge!

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The Rockies event promises a beautiful downhill course.  Just look at the elevation chart.  I can tell you from experience, you must train differently for a downhill race.  Do some research, and find yourself a good training plan so that your legs aren’t wrecked post race.

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If you are anything like me, you base many decisions on what events you sign up for on the overall runner experience. You look at race recaps, online forums, and race websites.  Based on my experience at Big Cottonwood this year, I know the folks at Revel Races do races right.

Check out this great race series online.  You can read all about their mission, read runner reviews, check out the race course maps, and much more.  www.runrevel.com.

Revel Races – “We Do Fast”

One of my favorite races of the year, Big Cottonwood Marathon in Utah, has opened for registration for next year’s event.  I know I want to return, so I have already started looking for flights out west. I had a great race this year, but didn’t qualify for Boston.  That was my goal, and I didn’t make it.  I learned though from this race course, and feel that a return would be successful. I have to give it another try.

Free photo (a runner perk) of me during my marathon at Big Cottonwood 2014.

Free photo (a runner perk) of me during my marathon at Big Cottonwood 2014.

The Revel Race series currently has three great downhill courses in three U.S. States.  The aforementioned Big Cottonwood that I attended this year in Utah, Revel Rockies just outside of Denver, and Revel Canyon City outside of Los Angeles, California.  The a Canyon City race for this year is this coming weekend.

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As my plans start coming together for 2015, and the possible races start getting filled into the calendar, I really want to attend another Revel event in 2015.  I am looking at Revel Rockies as a real frontrunner.  Starting at over 10,000 ft. in elevation, the course looks absolutely incredible!  I have never been to Colorado before either, so this race naturally is a big draw on me.  It would be a perfect race to add to my calendar, as it occurs in July (the 19th to be exact), when races around here are no more than 5k, if any.  Might be a really excellent choice for a Summer vacation!

As always, if you have any interest in running a Revel race, just drop me a comment here on my blog, and I can get you details on a discount for the race(s) of your choice.  As an Ambassador for this fine race series please look them up online at http://www.runrevel.com, or on Twitter @RunRevel.  They specialize in fast and beautiful races, and let’s face it, we all love those kind of courses!

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