Asheville Marathon Maniac & Fanatic Discount

The world is full of all sorts of challenges.  Inequality, extreme weather and climate change, economic collapse, oil and water shortages, hunger, among many, many others.  Over the last 50 years the human population has nearly tripled, and with that come epic challenges that we all must face as inhabitants of this beautiful planet.  These challenges though cannot be overcome in a day, or two for the matter.  It will take years and years of hard work.  We may never see full solutions to these challenges.  Ever.

Wait…. this post is meant to be light.  It’s about challenges.  So let me change the focus of our challenges to the good kind.  Challenges we look forward to, challenges we take on with gusto.  Challenges we set out to conquer!

I am a runner.   My main goal today is to let you know about a new challenge for the running community. As the population grows, naturally the runner population grows.  We are an ever growing and ever changing group.  We are challenge seekers, and often find ourselves setting higher and higher standards for ourselves.  We can, we will.  Never give up.  A few mantras I’ve heard lately.

In working with the running community and getting to know so many of you through running races and social media, my love for our sport has grown and grown.  When I run a great race, I want to tell everyone about it.  It’s really the reason I started blogging about my running in the first place.  So, let me share with you some news about the Asheville Marathon & Half at Biltmore Estate today.

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This race has grown and grown in popularity in the last few years.  Why?  Location, swag, race course, yes, all of those.  An amazing event which has sold out each year.  For 2016, the races will be held on separate days.  An exciting weekend event.  The Half Marathon on March 12th.  The Full Marathon on March 13th.  But wait!  (Herein lies the challenge I’ve eluded to) Run both!  The Backyard to Vineyard Challenge.  Run both races on back to back days.

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IDaph Events, which puts on this fantastic event (among others), recognizes the need to reward runners of all kinds.  They welcome the first time Half Marathoner, they welcome the very seasoned Marathoner.  They don’t discriminate.  This year they are recognizing those of us who love a challenge.  The Asheville Marathon & Half is now offering special discounts to Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics who may just want to descend on Asheville and take on a new and exciting challenge.

Here are is details….  and discounts…

If you want to run just the Half, save $10 by using code “2016AVLHALFMARATHONMANIAC”

Want to run the Full?  Save $20 using code “2016AVLMARATHONMANIAC”

Run both races?  Take on the Challenge and save $30 using code “2016MANIACCHALLENGE”

I think it’s very cool when a race recognizes the running maniac/fanatic in each of us.  These two groups consist of approximately 24,000 runners worldwide, and growing.  So?  What are you waiting for?  Jump on the bandwagon and score some awesome discounts to run at the Biltmore Estate next year!  They are celebrating us runners, so let’s take them up on it!

Check out all of the details on the race here:  https://www.ashevillemarathon.com

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Double Agent reporting for duty!

Back when I began my running journey during the Summer of 2010, I had no idea where it would take me.  I truly just started running as a way to get more exercise.  I had turned 40, and didn’t want to let my body go.  Running quickly became my “go to” form of exercise.

It wasn’t like I had laced up to run for the first time in 2010, I had run a few races dating back to 1995, but 2010 is when I really fell in love with the sport.  I turned a mild affection for this form of exercise into a real passion.  I started racing again in 2011, starting slowly.  In April that year I ran a 5k with my sons.  I finished 1st in my age group.  I caught the bug!  Two months later, and two races later, I set my 5k PR which still stands at 20:44.

For some reason, I yearned for more distance.  Two weeks later I ran my first 8k.  In July I found a 10k down at the beach, and made a weekend out of it.  Wow, this distance thing is fun!  Soon enough my brother convinced me to try a Half Marathon.  I trained for the next eight weeks, and in late September that same year, I ran a 1:41:38 in Jersey City, NJ.  Maybe views of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan across the river inspired my run.  Loving this!

I wanted to run more halves!  I found another, on Thanksgiving Day.  And since I was going to be in Las Vegas a few weeks later, I decided to run Rock ‘n’ Roll, as well.  So, with a 1:35:33 at the Skinny Turkey Half, and a 1:43:23 in Las Vegas 10 days later, I was hooked.

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I also became a Half Fanatic, 3 in 90 days.  Three different states, too!  My official # is 1699.

The distance bug returned during the next few weeks.  Could I possibly take the next step and attempt a full marathon?  I decided to try.  I trained the next eight weeks, and with a trip to Myrtle Beach, notched my first marathon finish on February 18th, 2012.  I loved it!  I ran two more marathons before the end of 2012.

I continued running halves, but also started seeking out more marathons.  I ran 9 Halves and 5 Full’s in 2013, including my last two races of the year being two Full’s two weeks apart.  I wanted more….

2014 brought five marathons in the first five months, overall 8 for the year, including Chicago and Greensboro just six days apart!

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I decided to finally make it official this week, even though I qualified last year.  My official number is #11142.

So yes, with my MM status, I instantly become a double agent.  A member of both clubs.

I can tell you a few things.  I never started this running journey with any expectations in mind.  I’ve just fallen in love with how running makes me feel.  I never set out to become a member of either of these clubs, but because I love running and racing so much, it just happened.  I guess they are a part of my running resume now.  Looking at my races, I guess I really can be considered fanatical, and now even maniacal about running.

Merriam-Webster-

Maniacal – 1. Affected with or suggestive of madness. 2. Characterized by ungovernable excitement or frenzy.

I am kinda mad about running!

Smokies Half Marathon teaser

Yes, I survived.  I could barely walk at the beginning of this week, but I knocked out my 21st Half marathon today in beautiful Tennessee.

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If you’ve never been to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you are really missing out.  There is just something so majestic and beautiful about this area.  Sure, towns like Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg are very touristy and I would rather steer clear of both of them, perhaps it’s best to just drive through on your way to what they call “the quiet side of the Smokies”.  I am staying in a small town named Townsend, the host of today’s race.  I have been very impressed with this small, quiet town.

Vacation Races put on this inaugural race today, their first venture east of the Mississippi.  It turned out great.  As with any race, improvements can be made, but kudos to the race team and volunteers for putting on a top notch event.

I mean, come on, look at the setting for the outdoor race expo on Friday.  I mean, wow!

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Do I pick up my bib here, or get married?

I have many, many photos to share, it’s just too early to wrap up my experience just yet.  My six hour car ride home tomorrow will be a good time to process my race, the entire experience, and I will share a full recap with you by Monday.

Today was a huge race day around our country,  Did you race today?

Go Big! 50 Marathons

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Go Big!  In Utah.

I’ve done it.  I’ve jumped in before a price increase, and signed up for an epic and fast marathon just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah.  I’ve never been to Utah, and look forward to using a marathon as an excuse to take a trip into the unknown.  Well, maybe the very lofty goal of running a marathon in all 50 states is the excuse.

Have you heard of the 50 Staters club?  Running a marathon in all 50 states in our country.  Crazy?  Yes.  Expensive?  Oh, yeah.  This is a goal of many crazy runners out there.  I may have started running too late to accomplish this goal, but slowly but surely, I may be able to make a dent in this goal.  I think that most that have accomplished this goal are either independently wealthy, or are in debt up to their ears.  I will not max out my credit cards to achieve this goal.  If I continue to work toward 50 states, it will be slow and as money allows.

I currently have run 11 marathons, but most of them have been fairly local, or I should say, within driving distance.  Here is a look…

North Carolina- Asheville City Marathon, Tobacco Road Marathon, Asheville Marathon at Biltmore Estate, City of Oaks Marathon, Wrightsville Beach Marathon, Outer Banks Marathon (6)

South Carolina- Myrtle Beach Marathon, Charleston Marathon, Hilton Head Marathon (3)

Virginia- Blue Ridge Marathon (1)

Nevada- Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon (1)

So, currently I have 4 states under my belt.  I have not repeated any marathons, and still have multiple marathons in both North and South Carolina.  Funny thing is, and right in line with all the news you hear about the number of marathons across the world increasing, as people interested in running them increases, my next two marathons are new to me as well, and both local events.  So by May 4th, my NC number will increase to 8, and to 9 in the Fall.

Utah will be state #5.  Wow, that’s 45 states shy of a fifty states goal.  I can only hope to stay healthy and able to run long enough for my bank account and body to both cooperate.  Maybe my goal should be to run 50 different marathons, and not necessarily in all 50 states.  That would be a more achievable goal.

So, I am saying it here.  I will run 50 different marathons.

Currently at 11, my next four will bring my total to 15 by the end of 2014.  They are…..  Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh, All American Marathon, Big Cottonwood, and The Greensboro Marathon.

Setting goals is very common for runners.  I am already a Half Fanatic, and Marathon Maniac.  Go Big, right?  That’s what folks say.  Go big or go home.  I plan on taking my marathon running BIG!

Marathon #10 – One week to go!

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At this moment, one week from today……

I will be about 16 miles into my 26.2 mile quest at my tenth marathon.  It’s really hard to believe.  My 9th down in Charleston was two weeks ago today, and wow has the last two weeks just flown by.  The moment I finished that race I started thinking about the one coming up in Hilton Head.  I thought, some recovery runs, some short burst running, and pace practice would be all I would do.  Throw in the snow this past week, and the bitter cold temperatures the past two weeks overall, and I just haven’t gotten in the runs I wanted to.

I ended up with about 75 miles total for the month of January.  Not as many as I wanted.  I’m really trying to cut myself some slack, because I really had a longer recovery period from Charleston than I wanted.  That race really tired out my body.  The struggle against the wind at that race really did me in.  It took several more days than normal after a marathon for my body to get back to feeling good.

Last Fall, I ran two marathons in two weeks.  Looking back on that, I felt really good after the first.  I worked hard in that race, conquering the hills of Raleigh, and setting a new marathon PR.  I came off that race with high hopes, and recovered very quickly.  Two weeks later I was running another marathon in Las Vegas.  I wasn’t trying to set any records at that race, but it proved to me that my body could handle two marathons pretty close together.  The difference this time is that my body didn’t feel as good coming off of the a Charleston a Marathon.  Plus the weather has really been a deterrent to my training and recovery.

So, a week from today, my goal in Hilton Head is to not shoot for a BQ, but to work on the mental part of my running.  I want to reach the half way point in that race feeling very positive.  I want to push myself, and maintain a more positive attitude than I had in Charleston.  I am hoping for better weather conditions.  The seven day forecast shows a good chance of rain for race day, which I am not thrilled about at all.  Hopefully as race day nears, this forecast will change.  The low is supposed to be 40, high of 60.  I am ok with this, but no rain, please!!!  Isn’t it amazing how much the weather and conditions on race day can affect your run?

I am excited, and nervous.  This always happens, but I really revel in race week anxiousness.  It just proves to me that I love running, and the excitement of pushing myself in a race.  My only competition is me out there, and I really hope to have a great run next Saturday.  Just one week to go!

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Hilton Head Island Marathon is my 10th, so it will be one for my record book.  I can’t wait!

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