Memorial Day Weekend and what I’ve been up to.

Hi, remember me? I know I haven’t posted in awhile, but, while I have been running regularly, they’ve been pretty boring runs since I’m not training for anything in particular at the moment.

I did manage to get myself to run four days last week, instead of three per week I’d been stuck on for over a month. I’ve also been trying to do lots of other non-running activities, like hiking! This also makes it easier to spend more time with the boyfriend, since, despite his insistence on running a half marathon with me at some point in the unknown future, he hates running.

The long weekend was pretty nice. We started it out pretty lazy on Saturday morning, but finally got up and going to Target for some last minute things before beautifying ourselves and driving out to Fairview for his coworker (my former coworker) and soccer teammate’s wedding.

It was pretty nice to actually be a guest at a wedding for once. I can’t even remember the last wedding I was a guest at (maybe Angeline’s in 2008?). All my friends got married forever ago! In fact, my best friend just celebrated her 10 year anniversary! But I digress…

After dancing all night at the wedding, you’d think we’d be exhausted the next day. But we got up and found The Grilled Cheeserie food truck at Elmington Park. After some delicious sandwiches, I got a s’more from the s’more food truck that was there too. It was tasty (and messy!).

Then we headed over to Percy Warner Park to hike one of their trails and work off our lunch.

After that, I went to Moss Wright Park for a run, while Jonathan did some grocery shopping. Yes, three parks in one day!

However, after all that excitement, Monday ended up being pretty lazy. We watched “St. Vincent” before heading over to see his family for a cookout.

All in all, a pretty active and fun weekend! I definitely enjoy working off calories through dancing. 😀

Weeks of 4/13/15 – 5/3/15: Taper, Race, and Recovery

weeks of 4/13/15 to 5/3/15

Except for the race, none of my runs have been too eventful lately.

During the first week of taper, I did two easy interval runs and one harder tempo run, which went okay except for the humidity.

In the week leading up to the race, I did one steady 3 miler (no walking) and what I called a mental prep run. In this run, I purposely made it super hard to try to prepare my mind for the last few miles of the half. This involved running as fast as I could without warming up, which gave me a side stitch that I then had to to deal with for the rest of the time. It also involved running up a hill as fast as I could. Oh, and did I mention I hadn’t slept well the night before, drank any water all day, or taken my asthma medication in several days? I made it two miles, which is pretty good considering I felt like I wanted to die about half a mile in. Maybe this is why the half seemed like such a breeze a few days later.

Recovery has been going well. My first run was on Wednesday, and I made it 1.5 miles before I felt like I needed to take a walk break (my legs were pretty stiff!). My next run, I made it 2 miles, and by Sunday, I was able to run 3.5 miles straight through (and sped up each mile).

I’m currently not on a training plan and have no races on the calendar for months, so it’s the first time (ever) I don’t have anything directly motivating me to run. We will see how this goes!

Ramblings about future races…

After two years of running and suffering some race-burnout this spring, I think I finally have a good grasp on what kind of races I like. I want to trim down the amount of times I’m racing in a year because, although I really enjoy it, running 2-3 races per month really eats up your weekends. And if those races aren’t really the kind you enjoy, what’s the point?

I want to save my time and money for those events that I actually have a lot of fun at. So far, the top five races I’ve enjoyed the most would be:

  1. Walt Disney World Half Marathon
  2. Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon
  3. Hot Chocolate 15k
  4. Go Commando 5k
  5. Country Music Half Marathon

So what do all these races have in common? Most of them are urban, running through the city streets. They all have great crowd support. They mostly are fairly large races (Go Commando being the smallest with around 1k participants; all of the others have over 5k and most over 10k). All of them hand out medals.

It’s not to say that I don’t care for small races. I have ran some great smaller races. But they usually don’t bring out crowds, which I really, really like.

While I’ve never ran a race that I outright disliked, I do notice patterns in things that I find annoying. I don’t like courses that take runners doing a longer distance past the finish of the shorter distance (one of the reasons I would never run the full Country Music Marathon). I don’t particularly enjoy completely rural races; once you’ve seen one cow in a field, you’ve seen them all. I don’t want a cotton t-shirt.

Price also comes into play. Even though Cedars Frostbite is in the middle of nowhere without crowd support and doesn’t hand out medals, I still had a good time. Of course, it was only $8, so I had no real expectations of anything. But when you pay $40 for a race and get a cotton t-shirt and a boring course, it’s much more disappointing. On the other hand, Go Commando is high up because, even though it’s smaller and contained in a park, it’s cheap and you get a ton of good food, a tech shirt, and a medal.

Thus, here is my criteria for future races. Ideally, I would like for a race to meet four out of five, but I would make exceptions for anything particularly unique or one where I know lots of people that are participating.

  1. Lots of crowd support.
  2. Interesting location.
  3. Good food.
  4. Nice swag (shirts, medals, etc).
  5. Good value.

What do you look for in races?