Saturday, December 29, 2012

Why no kids race or fun race?

     I have been to many 5ks with separate kids' races.  What I see happen most often is kids are not ready for the "i didn't win".   You end up with some kids not happy and at least one kid crying. 
     I originally decided not to add a kids' race because of the added detail and confusion to planning it.  I wanted to keep the 5k simple for the first year.  However, I start paying close attention to the kids' races when I was at other 5ks so that I could be able to plan one.
    What I ended up doing at my 5k is:
  • Letting the parents decide if they wanted their kids' chip timed
  • Allow the kids and parents who were not timed, to turn around at any point
  • All kids received a medal when they finished (regardless of how far they did)
    This worked, at least for my race.   I did not have any tears or hurt feelings.  The kids were able to do the best for their ability and age.  If they wanted to race the 5k, they could.
     Every kid got to get outside and participate.  Every kid got a medal.  Every kid had a smile.   That's a win in my book.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Year in Review

     As the year comes to a close I realize that 2012 will be hard to beat in respect to running.  I ran my first half marathon and 10k, directed my own 5k, and ran a crazy 37 races. 
  • 3-half marathons
  • 1-10 mile
  • 2-10ks
  • 2-5 mile
  • 29-5ks
     Next year will see me trying my first marathon in March.  I have run in 70 races and never not finished one.  Hopefully I will keep that tradition going for a long time.  My goal is 40 races for 2013, so I plan on getting an early start.
     If you are looking for a good race in 2013, here are some of my favorites from 2012.
-Run For Alex 5 Mile.  The race starts in Bentleyville and is all country back roads.  Mostly flat with a big hill at about mile 4.  No medals here, custom pottery as awards.
-Groundhog 5k.  This race is awesome because it is held with the town's Groundhog Festival.  Food, rides, and a great run.
-Farmer's Inn Half Marathon.  Everyone should do this race once.  It is difficult, challenging, at points it just sucks, but when you finish you know that you did something great.  Forget the Warrior Dash, go for a 13.1 mile uphill-most-of-the-way run through a mountainous state park.  Plus there is an all you can eat buffet included. :o)
-Any YMCA Kittanning race- These folks have got the art of racing down to a science.  If you like flat courses, these are perfect.
-and of course the Boston Harvest 5k

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Break

     All year long I have been racing, trying to break last year's record of 30 races.  After doing 3 races in one weekend I am currently at 36.  I decided to take the rest of December off.  Since the other races were on the 1st and 2nd this seemed perfect.
     I have been putting in more training miles since Sara convinced me to do a marathon in Mid-March.  This Sunday I went with her, some friends, and their friends for a long run in North Park.  The most that I have ever run is 13.1 miles.  Most of them were planning on running at least 15 miles.  I was shooting for 10.
     The night before, Sara and I went out to eat.  We ended up at Quaker Steak & Lube.  I had never been there before but the place we wanted to go was too busy.  I was going to order ribs and fries, but at the last minute, with the waitess taking the order, I changed it up.  I ordered wings, 30,000 on the hot scale.   Sara said "Why did you do that?".  I have been eating buffalo sauce, I can take it.
     When the wings arrived they smelled more like car parts than food.  I dug in.  1 wing, 2 wings, 3 wings...  HOT!!!!!    "Excuse me, could I get some water?"  I swear the waitress took 5 minutes to bring it back.  I ate a few more and then said, "That's it. I'm done."  
     I think that I learned my lesson.  Needless to say my stomach was not a happy camper.
     We got to North Park and waited for the rest of the group.   I started out with the guys at a 7:30 minute per mile pace, which shouldn't have been a problem.  However, after a mile or 2 of shaking my stomach I needed a break.  I finished the rest of the first 5 miles at a 8 minute pace, restocked at the car and then headed back out.
     I was running alone, again.  Three miles later I saw Sara and Scott P. running the loop backwards.  I turned around and ran with them back 3 miles.  I was tired of running alone even if they were running slow.  Back at the parking lot Scott P. finished at 10 miles.  Everyone else was done with 10-15 miles, so I decided to run 5 more with Sara. 
     Mile 12 was good, mile 13 was not.  The other 3 miles were me complaining, "This is going to hurt tomorrow."  But I did it.  I finished with a total of 16.5 miles.  Then Sara and I went to get ribs and steak.

Monday, December 3, 2012

And two more makes three!

     The alarm clock went off at 5:45am.  I got up, coughed up a lung, and then thought, "I don't want to do this".  I got dressed and headed out.  I started this and I needed to finish it.
     When I got to the race there was only a couple runners and the volunteers.  I was a little bit early.  I walked up to Michelle F and got my bib and tech shirt.  The timing company was not there yet, so I sat down to wait for the timing chips.  Michael T walked in and talked with me for a bit.  Once the chips were ready, I got mine, and headed out to the car to be sick.
This was my 3rd Trot for Tots year.
     I'm not sure where the next hour went to.  I downed a few GU's then changed from long to short sleeve shirts and back again several times.  It was warm outside but I was freezing.  I decided on the long sleeve.  I went at 20 minutes til and stood around coughing and shaking. 
     The first race was the 5k.  I got in the middle of the pack as I didn't want to get pooled into running fast.  I needed to save my strength for the 10k.  I did okay.  I kept at a 8 minute pace, however the course was short at 2.7 miles.  I got a time of 21:01!..LOL
     After the race I hit the head, downed a bottle of water and another GU, plus changed shirts AGAIN!  Then I headed to the start to wait.  Once the crowd showed up.  I got to talk to Michael T, Mitch R, Charlie W, and Mallery S. 
     For the first three miles I was good, 7:30 minute miles.   But I couldn't hold on to it.  The sick got the best of me.  I stopped at the water station.  After that I ran slower, and walked a few times.  I just wanted to finish.  I got 50: something.
     I went to look at my times, ate some soup and a cookie. (I took a cookie for the girls too) Then decided to drive to North Park where Sara was doing a training run.  We ate at the North Park Club House.  Sara likes it.  I think the wait staff is stuck up and the food,well the meat, is always over cooked.
Recap... Jingle Bell Run 5k, Trot for Tots 5k, and Trot for Tots 10k, all in one weekend.

First of Three

     My plan was to run the Coldman 5k this weekend.  It is now called the Jingle Bell Run because of a new sponsor.  The weather was looking great (for winter!) and I was training good.  So I thought about doing two races this weekend.  Then one morning it hit me, I could do three!!
     Let me explain.  On Sunday is the annual Trot for tots race in Oakdale.  They have a 5k and 10k that start at different times.  So you can, if you want, do both.  The only problem with this plan is that Sara and Ash have been sick.  So has Thursday came around I started to get it.  By Friday night I was in the midst of a full blown cold. 
     Last year I said no more two plus hour drives to 5ks. Saturday morning I was driving two plus hours to Oil City. (Will I ever learn?)  When I got there the parking lot was pretty empty.  I was hoping the other race that day in Volant pulled most of the fast runners.  I was right.  Sort of...  The field was full of two area cross country teams.  Out of only 83 runners I came in 15th with a time of 21:46.  12 people were 20 minutes or under.  Damn!
     As the race was getting ready to start I saw Doug B was there.  If you run in south western pa you have seen him.  He is at like every race.  He wear bright yellow or orange shoes and runs like a duck.  Which reminds me.. right before the start, the race director Steve Hinds said, "If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, it's ICE!".  He was referring to the black ice on the trail.  I also got the privilege of seeing and talking with the great Steve S.  If you follow Sara's blog you know him as "Mr. Annoying".  He really is a nice guy.  He just thinks he knows about everything and has to tell you about it.
     I ran the race in shorts, no gloves, hat, or jacket.  The race was along the Allegheny River and it was really cold.  I should have at least worn gloves. 
     Was it fun? Sure. The only thing that I did not like was the cardboard bibs. Mine riped was I was running. I did not like the two plus hour drive though.