Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring Adventures

Despite being fairly quiet here lately, there's a little bit coming up on my plate that I'm pretty excited about. I'm feeling a little more on the ball than the last few weeks, but given a 4-day trip to Florida, and then a 5-day trip to San Diego thrown in the middle of all that, training was the last thing on my mind. But that's okay.

One of the things i'm loving most about being back in California is that there are plenty of races going on at all times. I had plenty in Georgia, but I feel like I've got even more out here to choose from and can't be more excited about all the opportunities there are! Of course, I'd love to add more states but I'm not sure that'll be happening this year!

So here you have it:
Ragnar So Cal - April 4-5
Team Adventures in Runderland
Ragnar DC was a blast in 2012 and I'm so freaking excited that I get to do it again! I'm captain-ing our team with HP, naturally, and we've got a hodge podge of lovely women. There are five of us that are sorority sisters, two are friends of one them, and the rest are women we've picked up via the Ragnar site and other random connections. I'm excited to have our team finally come together. More on that on Wednesday! 

Carnival Cruise - April 17 - 20Because this doesn't have to be all running, right? :) We're taking a family cruise from Long Beach to Ensenada and back. My parents, sister is flying out from New York, grandparents, and my uncle and I are all hanging out for a few days on our way to Mexico and back. I'm pretty excited to spend some family time together, and most significantly for some extra time with my sister!  

This half is not entirely flat, though apparently flatter than in recent years (though I have no reference point). But it runs through some really gorgeous areas of Redlands, so I'm excited to check it out. And what better than another fabulous local race to add to my collection?

This half is is known as the fastest Half Marathon due to the gradual downward slope of the course - there is an elevated drop of 2,125 feet from start to finish! I think this is an appropriate time for #sub2orbust, don't you?

I'm looking for a few more spring races to add to the collection. I'm really looking forward to finally getting back in this groove and that I'm actually making some leeway already! Bring it on!

What spring races are you looking forward to?

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Great Tutu Debate

 Like many, I got pretty fired up at the distasteful BS Meter column SELF released in its April issue. The brief blurb mentions that tutus have become a ridiculous fad, stating that "A racing tutu epidemic has struck NYC's Central Park, and it's all because people think these froufrou skirts make you run faster. Now, if oyu told us they made people run away from you faster, maybe we would believe it."

I'm sorry, WHAT? First, yes, I would say the prominent issue is that they had no idea they pulled cancer warrior Monika's photo (let's go back to my journalism days where you're supposed to know your sources and where they come from, shall we?) but TWO: let's look at SELF's motto:

Being fit, strong and active means feeling great, being happy and looking your most beautiful. 

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that for a lot of us, feeling great is embracing the quirky, fun-loving, goofy side, especially while we're working on our fitness! Who says a tutu is not a necessary running accessory, just like your Garmin is?

I asked a few of the Sweat Pink lovely ladies to share their favorite races or memories of races in a tutu and their thoughts on what that meant - was it empowering? Did it help remind you that running is supposed to be fun, and sometimes silly? 
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I've got more thoughts, but mostly on my own personal reactions to attire I see at races too - and realizing that though not to the degree that SELF promoted via this BS Meter, that I'm almost just as guilty. I've got an attitude check to do too!

What are your thoughts? Is racing/running/fitness in a tutu a totally silly fad? Or do you rock that tutu with pride?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Florida, Vacation, Disney, Wedding Bound!

Oh my god, you guys... VACATION.

While I know I travel a lot, I finally feel like I'm actually going on a vacation. Maybe because it's longer than a weekend. I'm so excited! 

Gulf, you are calling my name!
 We're Florida bound -- spefically, two days in Orlando and then two days in Sarasota for some wedding, beach, sand, surf, all things vacation fun!

Unfortunately, I discovered that the Sarasota Half is the same Sunday, and found out about it wayyyy to late to pay that much for registration. I even almost convinced Doug to the relay... almost. Fail!

BUT - I get to take Doug to one of the best places ever for the THE VERY FIRST TIME. I can't wait - like, beyond excited. We're both nerdy Hidden Mickey fanatics, so I know he's just going to have a BALL (pun intended).

 My dear, old friend from graduate school, Kim, is getting married just south of Sarasota. It's a tiny wedding (only about 40 people), so I feel so fortunate that not only were Doug and I invited, but that we're actually going to make it! I haven't seen her in a year and a half, since last Christmas, when we carried on our one-day-dates during the holidays when we were both in California.

About three years ago this time, I spent half of my Spring Break visiting her in New York, not long after she
had moved there for her new job. She was one of my best people in San Diego and throughout grad school, especially as she continued to work at SDSU after she graduated (the year before me). Many of my San Diego adventures and shenanigans involve her and I am so excited to be there for her wedding.

Kim, though you probs aren't reading this at this point (since you're already in Florida!), I hope your wedding day is everything you desire and so much more! Many congratulations and years of love for you and Erik! See you soon!

Are you heading anywhere exciting this weekend?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Race Report: Run for Russ 5K [Triple Crown Race 2]

Run for Russ
February 1 | Chino, CA

The annual Run for Russ is a 5K held by the Chino Police Department each year that contributes to the memorial fund for Officer Russ Miller, who was killed on the line of duty on February 1, 2000. This year’s race was the 12th race, and held on the exact date he had been killed.

Pre-race necessity.
This race was huge – at least in comparison to the other 5Ks we’ve done in Chino so far – and it shows that there were nearly 800 finishers. It truly seemed like all of Chino came out for this, which was a pretty cool sight to see. Even more than that, two local sheriff’s training squadrons (one from Orange County, and one from out in San Bernardino I think) were there to run the race as a squad. More on that in a minute, because it was truly touching.

I didn’t feel great even starting this race, but Doug apparently felt great. We chugged along through mile 1, and somewhere between 1 and 2 we started to separate. I felt a little more in my groove by mile 2, and followed one of the squads alongside me. They chanted and sang the entire time – I can barely keep my break running at a 9’ mile, let along yelling and singing the whole way. Holy cow.
The really touching part to me was when we ran by the new memorial, both sheriff groups stopped and circled the memorial. Part of me wished I had stopped to see what they had done, but I was so moved. It
was one of their own, whether they knew the man or not, but wow… what a testament to the saying that officers are all the same, they are one.

Just past that, you turned the final corner and headed up a slight hill into mile 3 and the finish. I stopped to walk just past the mile 3 marker – Doug told me later that when he saw that (from behind) he thought “Sweet! I might actually pass her!”… and then I started running again, but still finished not even a minute before he did! He ran his first sub-30 5K! So proud!

The cool part at the start/finish was the raised fire truck ladder that had a huge American flag hanging over it. It reminded me a lot of Peachtree and was a great way to mark the start and finish lines!

Triple Crown race #2, done and done!
All in all, a great race, and a great tribute. I think I’ll start doing this one every year. It’s a such a great local, community effort, and obviously goes towards a local purpose.

What’s been the coolest thing you’ve run alongside in a race? 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Race Report: Dairy Aire 5K [Triple Crown Race 3]

I've been the super slacker lately... hoping to get back on this blogging bandwagon - I kinda miss y'all! That being said, this weekend we completed the Chino Triple Crown race series. This started back in December with the Reindeer Romp, February with the Run for Russ, and Saturday concluded it all.

With that... my super short race report. I love this course - fast and flat, though not the most scenic, it certainly allows for some substantial PRs. My current 5K PR is from this course at the Reindeer Romp, so I was excited to run this one again and see what I could do, despite not being trained... whatever.

Dairy Aire (say it aloud for some giggles) 5K
Chino, CA | March 1

In case you weren't paying attention, you know that Southern California got a LOT of needed rain this weekend - so, naturally, it poured all night before the run. I'm not one to shy away from running in the rain, especially just a 5K, but I was relieved when it was not actually raining as we drove to the race.
Doug and I, pre-race!
Just before the start though, it started misting, and sprinkled pretty good almost the whole way through. Whatever, I like running in the cold, truth be told.

At chip-timed 5Ks lately, I've started following Doug's tactic of allowing everyone to start first. That way, the walkers get moving and start to spread out so you don't spend the first half mile dodging a wall of them all. It works! Trust me. So I chug along and hit mile 1 in an 8:28. Oops, that's going to suck later. Onward - I said if I could run solid through mile 2, I could walk the loop they take you through and then chug onward into mile 3 and getting to that finish line.

Dug hard through mile 2, as there were some large lakes on the bike path to avoid, so got to run in the grass for a nice little cushion to change things up a bit. Mile 3, walked another 15 seconds, and then pushed hard into the finish to come in at 26:38. That PR from December is a 26:12, so for walking twice (my former self would hate me for walking in a 5K), and only being 20 seconds off that, I'm pretty stoked. Not bad for not being in racing shape. I'll take it.
Oh! Did I mention that got me an age group award? 2nd in my group, also like the Romp. I think it was meant to be.

So, with that sad little recap, we're at the end of our Triple Crown challenge. I need to be frank and say I'm really disappointed that the PRIZE for running all 3 5Ks was a water bottle. A water bottle. Now, I don't think it would be as harsh hadn't it been for the fact that TWO of the 5Ks gave medals to all finishers. So for someone who ran all 3, a water bottle is ... well, lame. Try again, Chino. #disgruntled

All 3, done and done!
What was the silliest prize you've ever gotten for completing a race 'challenge'?