2018 onto 2019

It’s that time of year, Holidays, New Year, time to go over how 2018 went and what my goals for 2019 are.  Won’t lie I love these posts cause, man, I love planning things, especially travel, and I did lots of that in 2018, hoping to do even more in 2019.

First up, review time.

2018 was not my best running year, I spent a lot of injured, which sucks, I didn’t hit any of my time goals, but alas, it was bound to happen, and while I am disappointed, there isn’t much I could do about it.  I trained as best I could but when your body goes against you, you won’t win that fight.  I have been seeing a great new PT, who is really helping with my hip and leg issues, and I started with a great coach this year, and I will be staying with her cause I know with a healthy body she will very much help me get my time goals in 2019.  One goal I did reach was getting to 5 new places to run a race, I got Alabama, DC, California, Washington and Virginia checked off my map 20181113_181240

I enjoyed all my trips, and you can read all about them in my previous posts.  Heading to the west coast for the first time in my life was so much fun and it was awesome to see such awesome cities in San Francisco and Seattle.  Lars came with me to San Fran and we had such a good time there

Birmingham, DC and Richmond were great too, especially DC, that is easily one of my favorite cities and I would go back all the time if I could.

I also clearly need to take more pics when I travel, oops, another goal for 2019

So now, onto 2019 goals

First up Time goals and their Races
Sub 2 hour half at Run Madtown in Madison, WI

Sub 4:30 full at TBD I am in between 2 races for this The St Jude Memphis Marathon in Memphis, TN or the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon in Pass Christian, MS (if you have thoughts on either race let me know)

And what will I do to make these goals happen, more strength training, and keep up with my exercises that the PT has taught me, also, listen to my coach and body, I need to be better about the body one, the coach I always listen to lol

Travel goals:
At least 5 new states, and finish off the east coast

So far I have the Charleston Half in Charleston, SC in January , Madtown in WI in May and Baltimore 10 miler in MD in June so for the east coast I just need DE, which I believe I have found in the Blue Hen 5k which is the day after the 10 miler so I can get both states done in one weekend (birthday weekend) and then I will be done with the east coast YAS.  Then I just have to decide on the Full so that will get me either TN or MS.  And I might be considering a half in Arkansas in March, but shall see on that. (it has a glow in the Dark medal I mean, come on)

So that is the summary of 2018 and the goals for 2019.  I am already on my way to working on the 2019 goals, I am pretty excited for what this new year brings and can’t wait to see more new places, I hope I can meet some of you along the way.

Also for those wondering who my coach is, she is Kristen Griffin from Find your Stride Coaching  www.findyourstridecoaching.com

 

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What’s been going on

Been a while since I wrote something other then a race recap or product review, so I figured, it’s about time to update you all with what is going on with training and life in general.

Currently in the mix of marathon training for Richmond Marathon, it is going well.  Had some speed work and overall I am pretty much hitting my numbers.  This week was a first super hot week of the training season and I will still doing quite well.  Today I had to run 40 minutes at my marathon pace (10:15 – 10:25) and while I did have to take some pit stops (due to a mini summer cold) I hit the pace.  My knee is feeling good, hips is feeling good and I am really getting on great with my coach, she is keeping the workouts tough, but also making sure I don’t get injured again. I am feeling great so far, I hope this keeps up

I also decided to quit myfitnesspal.  I noticed it was no longer serving me and I was getting very anxious about food, so I quit it.  I am currently reading The Endurance Diet by Matt Fitzgerald and I am learning a lot about eating while being a endurance athlete.  I am trying to be more mindful about what types of food I am eating and not worrying about calories, because that does not serve me with the amount of running I do.  I highly recommend this book for anyone who is an endurance athlete lots of good stuff in there, and it is all really easy to understand.

I am already booking races for next year, and I will train for 2 races again, while still traveling.  I realized after not training for anything at the beginning of the year that I really need it, I like to grind of it, and it keeps me accountable.  So the travel goal for next year is the finish off the east coast.  After Richmond, I will have 3 states left, SC, MD and DE, I have booked the Charleston Half in January to get SC done, then I am thinking of 2 June races for MD and DE and get them done in one weekend.  I would like to book more, but there is a high chance, Lars and I could visit England next year, so I need to see about that and costs before I go on a race buying spree, but I would like to get at least 2 Midwestern states done next year as well.  I am thinking of trying again at the sub 2 hour half and making that my first goal, and then a full for the fall (will make a goal once I see how I do in Richmond)

Overall life is going well, I hope all if going well for all of you and enjoy the summer, I know I am

Bay to Breakers

So this is just a race recap of Bay to Breakers, I will do a whole separate post about my vacation in San Fran.

So where do I start with this, do I talk about the amount of people, the costumes, the hill, or the nudity, oh god yes nudity, so much of it.  And mostly old men, so nothing great to see, but hey, it is San Fran, so I guess I should have expected it.

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yes that dude behind us is wearing nothing

So I got to run this race with my friend Alasen, she is actually the one who told me about this race and got me to pick it as my Cali race.  It was so fun to have someone to chat and stare at people with.  And there was a lot to stare at.33196253_10211609696418304_4569792194457632768_o

The race itself is mainly a fun race, and unless you are in the first few corrals, don’t try making this a PR race.  40,000 people run this race, so the later corrals are mostly full of costumed walkers.  Hays hill is a big ass hill, we couldn’t even try to run it because there were just so many people all walking that getting around them was impossible.  But after that, we were mainly able to run.  The course is beautiful, going from city streets full of parties to Golden Gate Park, which is just stunning and then you finish at the Ocean, again, stunning.  I didn’t plan to race this to begin with, but ended up doing a lot more walking then I expected, but, I still really enjoyed this race and would recommend it to anyone who was looking for a fun party race.

San Fran is also just a great place to visit, but I will go more into that later.

And another state down, 18 + DC, and my first off the West Coast (that will be a much easier coast to finish, damn East Coast with all it’s small states)

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and some more race photos for your pleasure

 

Traveling for Races

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Rock and Roll Seattle 1/2 marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I think everyone knows my goal to run a race in every state.  Doing this requires planning to save money and make sure I am not stressing here are some of my tips.

Book Early: This goes for races, flights and hotels, most races offer cheaper rates the earlier you book, I start planning races almost a year out, so I can sign up for them as soon as registration opens to get the cheapest amount (or become a Bibrave Pro and get to do races for free) .  After the race is booked, I then start looking at flights, I mostly fly Southwest (I get points) but for Rock and Roll I am flying Alaska Air as it was the cheapest flight and it is direct.  I found it through the Hopper App, this is a great app to use to help with flight prices I highly recommend it.  Then, book your hotel, and with certain races, mainly ones that are raffles, if I put my name in, I book the hotel before I get picked, to make sure I get the best deal.  I always book one that has a free cancellation policy, cause you never know.  Also try to do flights with free cancellation as well, cause you never know what might happen.

Pack for all weather conditions:  Living in New England has taught me one thing about weather, they can’t really predict it.  They try, but sometimes, they are just way off.  So pack at least 2 outfits for race day, you don’t want to be too cold, or too hot so plan for both types of weather.  I also bring 1 old sweatshirt with me and wear it race morning and discard it.

Do a restaurant search: Whatever app you prefer, look and see what is near your hotel, and find one that you think would be good for a prerace meal (I prefer Italian) And if you need to, make a reservation, so that way you are all set for the night before meal.  Also with food, find a local grocery store and get the food you prefer for race day morning.  I usually pick up some PB and a pack of english muffins (as they taste fine hot or cold) and always grab some water for your room.

and one tip I always remember but rarely practice, don’t walk too much before the race, I try to not walk too much but then I get excited about seeing a new place and walk damn near everywhere, oh well.  I always end up with cool pics

Bring a portable phone charger, cause you will run through your battery taking all those pics and selfies.  And always pack with enough time to think about it.  Don’t wait till the day of flight to get your shit together, take the day before to go through, pack neatly and think through so you don’t forget things.

Then enjoy your time, racecations are fun, explore and enjoy your race

 

If you would like to sign up for the Rock & Roll Seattle races, use code RNRBRP2018 to save yourself $15

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What Races have you done?

So I always talk about my goal to run a race in all 50 states, and I am always asking for race recs and you know, maybe a free place to stay, but I haven’t really listed the states I have run in and what race I did.  I also already have some booked and some states I already know what race I want to do.  So without further ado, here are my lists

MA – Multiple

RI – Multiple

NH – NH 10 Miler

ME – Beach to Beacon

VT – Vermont City

CT – Hartford Quarter Marathon

NY – Celebrate Life Half

NJ – NJ 10 Miler

PA – Philly Marathon

NC – Outer Banks Half

GA – Craft Classic Atlanta

FL – Disney Wine and Dine

OH – Flying Pig

IL – Chicago

NE – Omaha Half

TX – Cowtown Half

AL – Mercedes Benz Half

DC – Cherry Blossom 10 miler

Other races I have booked for this year:

CA – Bay to Breakers

WA – Rock and Roll Seattle

VA – Richmond Marathon

So barring any major injury, at the end of 2018, I should have 20 states and DC done

Races I want to do:

SC – Charleston Marathon 

OK – Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon 

AK – Mayor’s Midnight Sun Marathon 

AR – Little Rock Marathon 

HI – Honolulu Marathon 

MI – Detroit Freepress Marathon 

IN – Indy Mini Marathon 

IA – Bix 7 

MT – Missoula Marathon 

NV – Rock & Roll Las Vegas

KS- Running with the Cows 

CO – Boulder to Boulder 

MN – Mankato Marathon

WI – CellCom Green Bay Marathon 

ID – City of Trees Marathon 

AZ – Lost Dutchman 

OR – Eugene Marathon 

WV- Marshall Univ Half 

MD- Baltimore 10 miler 

DE- Blue Hen 5k 

KY- Urban Bourbon Half 

TN – St Jude Marathon 

MO- Go St Louis 

NM – Santa Fe Thunder Half 

So the only states I don’t have 1 race picked for is MS, LA and WY  so if you know of some fun, cool, flat races in those states let me know

Cherry Blossom 10 Miler

On my quest to run a race in all 50 states, I figured I should run in DC too, even if it is not a state, it’s the nations capitol and my favorite American city, so an excuse to hit up the museums and memorials and run a race, come on, I wasn’t going to miss out on this.  When I put my name in for this race (it is a raffle race) I wasn’t sure I would get picked, but I was super happy when I did.  I was able to get a time ticket to my FAVORITE museum, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and booked a hotel in an area I hadn’t stayed in before, was nervous about that, but it ended up working out nicely. But first, let me tell you about the race.

The race takes place during the Cherry Blossom Festival (hence the name) so first off, be prepared for DC to be SWARMING with tourists when you do this race, but hey, those blossoms are damn pretty.  The race starts right in front of the Washington monument, and there are 6 corrals of runners, all separated by color, I was in orange, and then of course the corral of elites.  This year it was cold race morning, starting temp was about 34 degrees, I was prepared with layers, so I did ok waiting around.  Once the race took off those, I was ready, cause I couldn’t feel my fingers.  Luckily it was a nice sunny day, so once you were running, it did warm up.  The race has some rolling hills, but nothing at all crazy I would say it is fairly flat and tons of beautiful scenery, you run by monuments and all the blossoms in bloom was amazing.  They have entertainment through out the race, from drummers, to a sax player, it was great.  There are not crowds through out the race, and some points were pretty quiet, but I like that mix.  My only issue is, you are never out of a crowd, almost all races I end up running alone, or with only 4-5 other people around, never happened in this race.  And I would think it would be difficult run this race for a PR because you would always be trying to get around people.  You finish in front on the Washington Monument too, plenty of people there to cheer you on.  30414835_10211347535224438_3104628710620266496_o

Overall, I did very much enjoy the race, I ran it in under 2 hours, so pretty happy with that.  I did have some knee pain, so I took today off to hopefully hold that off from becoming something, shall see how the rest of the week goes.  I did also do a TON of walking around DC, so that probably didn’t help.

If you didn’t know, I am a giant history nerd and so DC, is my joy I love to visit the museums and memorials, if you want to see all my pics, check out my instagram @RuninRedSox but here are some photos

Also the hotel, I picked the Courtyard DC in the NoMa section of DC, and I couldn’t recommend this place more.  Super clean, super pleasant workers, and SO CLOSE TO THE METRO, like a 5 minute walk to the metro.  I will use this hotel again, because I will go back to DC soon, hopefully with Lars, so we can visit some more museums.  If you can, do this race, and make sure you hang out in DC, such a fun city to visit

oh hey, another one checked off the map 20180409_182911

What race should I do

So as my regular readers know, I am trying to run a race in every state.  Right now I am at 17 states, and if all goes well this year, I will be up to 20 states and DC done.  So I have races I know I want to do for certain states, but I have a WHOLE BUNCH of states I don’t have a race picked out yet.  So, I am asking for your help, what race should I do in those states.  I have a link to my google doc, you will see up top the states with the races I know I want to do, then the list of states I have nothing picked yet.  If you state isn’t on there, then I have already run in your state, and I don’t generally repeat states (flying and hotels aren’t cheap) so any ideas you have, let me know.  Thanks

 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1eaIJsKhdRwubib5utkYB0qgKcknX5giwPCSpjHJtO5c/edit?usp=sharing

Mercedes Benz Half

Race recap time

So I picked the Mercedes Benz Half to be my Alabama race in my goal to run a race in all 50 states.  And let me tell you, it was a good pick.  It is a nice mid sized race, let me tell you about it.

When I signed up for the race, the race recommend the 2 race hotels, The Westin or The Sheraton.  I chose the The Westin, a very nice hotel and about a 5 minute walk from the race start and finish.  Plenty of restaurants nearby and you can easily walk into Birmingham.  The weekend I was there it rained all weekend, so I didn’t get to explore much, but I did get to check out the city a bit and it is a nice place.  I also got a race discount with the hotel, which is always nice.

The expo was a smaller one, but nice.  Very easily got my bib and swag, and they even had the shirt switch right near by just in case you picked a size too small or big.  There were some shops there, so I scoped it out, and of course bought myself a race sweatshirt, because I have an addiction to sweatshirts.  The building where the expo is located has many venues in it, so it’s a bit hard to figure out where to go, but the people who work there are super nice and helpful.

The race was great, again, 5 minute walk from my hotel.  It is a self seed race, I HATE SELF SEED but it’s a smaller race so I get it, but seriously people, if you are going to walk, don’t start with the 10 minute runners, come on now.  The race is hilly, but nothing crazy, and you go through all of Birmingham, which is so cool.  You run by some Historical things and through many of the neighborhoods, and it really is a beautiful course.  The half and full run together until about mile 11 where they split off.  There are plenty of signs to let you know.  Also, plenty of water stops, and plenty of gatorade too.  The volunteers were great and the local police did amazing job directing traffic, I even saw one cop doing push ups with some runners.

I didn’t go to the afterparty, it was rainy, and I didn’t feel great so I just went back to my hotel.  I did get a finisher towel after the race and the medal is so cool27908378_10210930335674710_9147913496578159221_o

There was not a ton of crowd support, but it was a rainy weekend so I chalk it up to that. But Birmingham itself seems to love the race and there were still some people out cheering us on.

I would highly recommend this race, especially if you are not into huge races, it a nice sized race, but nothing overwhelming and it is so well run, everything was so smooth and easy.  If you want to run in Alabama, run this race.

Lowell’s 1st Day Run

It’s been a bit cold in my neck of the woods, like, haven’t had a cold snap this bad since 1918 cold (god I was hoping to never hear that year again).

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Yes WTForecast

I signed up for the 10k of this race a few months ago, not knowing I would be living in a frozen tundra, luckily they allowed everyone who wanted to, switch to the 5k so I did that.  This morning was 4 degrees with a wind chill of -12, not fun.  But I signed up, so I am going to run.  I layered up, and I also found myself some great new mittens (Target) and was ready to go.  The race starts and ends at the Lowell Elk’s and thank god the place is HUGE so we could all fit in it.  They gave you your medal up front as they didn’t want anyone just standing outside (too dangerous) Thankfully Lars came with me (have I mentioned he is the FREAKEN BEST) so he could hold my swag.  The race start was a bit rough as the chute was pretty much all ice, but once on the road, no ice.  There were cars though, and no one really to direct them (again too cold for people to stand around) so that was rough, but I get it.  The race itself is fairly flat, and probably has some decent views but it hurt too much to look up into the wind, so I didn’t really get to see much.  The finish is the same area as the start so, icy again.  But safely made it across, and finished in 33:33 (hey I should play that) I mean, I wasn’t expecting any speed today, I am just happy I ran the entire thing and didn’t die.

I hope I can do this race next year and that we will have normal winter temps so I can really get a better feel for it.  But I would still recommend it, just not at the temps I ran it in lol.

Well January race is done, one month down, 6 more to go.

Year End Wrap up and New Years Goals

So I usually do a couple posts, but I figured why not just mush these into one post, and I mean, most of you know how 2017 went, so it will just be a quick overview.  This Holiday season is just so much better then last year, we were moving New Years weekend, so couldn’t put up decorations, this year, ALL THE DECORATIONS

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it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Anyways, onto running stuff, this year started out great, training for Flying Pig went well, I did fall once, but hey, I run in the dark, was bound to happen.  And at Flying Pig I set a new Marathon PR, took a break, then tried to train to run a sub 2 hour half and my body noped that real quick.  I am not back to running after getting my hip back in order.  Right now I run 3 days a week and cross train 3 I am also building up my mileage and hope to run 8 miles this Saturday.  Going to finish up the year like this, just get my legs used to running long again, man did I miss it, so glad to be back.

Now, what you are really here for…..2018 GOALS!!!

So for the first half of the year, I am running for FUN, no speed goals, no new distances, but I am traveling, and hoping to hit up at least 4 new states.  So far I have AL, and CA booked (my first trip to the West Coast) and I’m pretty excited about it.  I plan on running mostly halves but they won’t all be, (CA is Bay to Breakers which is a 12k) I’m excited to fun run for a while and travel and see new places, this is going to be so fun.

Second half of 2018, Marathon, with a goal of finishing in 4:30, now what Marathon I will run is still up in the air.  I want to get into one, but we will see and I will only tell you if I do get in.  If not that one, then I have a few backups.  I am considering getting a coach for this goal, as I know this will be a big test.  But I have time to consider this and hoping to be making that decision by July.

Over all, I am feeling good, and ready to get 2018 going.  First race in New Years Day in Lowell, maybe I will see some of you there, maybe I will meet some of you in my travels.  I hope everyone who reads this has an amazing Holiday Season with lots of love and I hope your 2018 is amazing.