2019 Races

It’s that time of year. The time when runners eagerly start planning out their race schedules for the year. Obviously, I’m no exception. I didn’t run a single race in 2018 due to pregnancy and having a newborn, so I’m itching to get back out there. Some shiny new PRs would be great, but I mostly just want to have some goals to work toward now that I’m not working.

Because I’m a full-time mom and we are now living on a single income, I have to be a lot more selective about races. These days, location and price are paramount. Gone are the days when I could wake up at 3:30 am and drive to upstate New York and back in a single day just for a race. If it’s further than an hour’s drive, it’s not happening. And the price-to-swag ratio has to work out. I’m not paying $50 for a race with no medal, ya dig?

The pickings in my area are rather slim, but there are a few good races that I’m pretty excited about, including some repeats. Obviously, it’s early days, and I’m not 100% sure that these races will all work for me, but I think one-ish race per month from May through November is realistic from a training and expense standpoint.

Behold, my tentative race schedule:

May
Right now, I have three races that I’d like to do in May, but will likely only run one or two. First, the Respite House Jiggety Jog 5k, which I’ve run every year since we moved back from Boston except last year. They haven’t actually posted the date yet, but it’s an annual event, and usually takes place in early May.

Next up is the GMAA Pump it Up 5 Miler on May 4. I ran this race back in 2015 and really enjoyed it. With a $15 registration fee, it’s a deal, and it’s also very close to home. There are no frills–no medals, no shirts, but there are bagels at the finish line and VERY good raffle and age group prizes. Unfortunately, the Jiggety Jog and Pump it Up 5 Miler have a history of being held on the same day. Fingers crossed that doesn’t happen this year!

Lastly is the Vermont City Marathon Relay. I’m definitely not ready to train for another full, but I’d love to run a leg of the relay. I have some friends who usually put a team together, so we’ll see what happens there.

July 
I’ve put the Stowe 8 Miler on my race wish list many times, but I’ve never actually gone ahead and done the thing. It’s a unique distance, it’s close to home, and finishers get a medal, a shirt, and a craft beer. This is my kind of race!

August
Another race I’ve heard great things about but never gotten around to running is the Fairfax Egg Run. They offer a 5k and 10k in addition to a kids’ race. I haven’t run a 10k race in ages, and they serve breakfast at the finish. This race is also super close to our house, which is a big bonus.

October
I got my current half marathon PR at the Leaf Peepers Half in 2017, and while it was a VERY challenging course, it was also lots of fun. Registration is cheap, and while you don’t get a medal, you can get a shirt for an extra $5. Post-race food is good, and again, it’s fairly close to home. I’m not sure I want to train for a half this year, but if I do, this will be it.

IMG_4540

Aaaah, memories

November
Another unique distance and fairly new race on the scene would be the Vermont 10 Miler. Last year was the inaugural race, and from what I saw on social media, it was very popular. The registration fee is very reasonable, and finishers get a medal and a shirt. Stowe is also just a hop, skip and a jump away, which makes it all the more appealing.

What are some criteria that help you decide which races to run?

 

Race Recap: Stowe Craft Brew Race 5k 2017

Where/When: May 20, 2017, 12 pm in Stowe, VT

Weather: Mid-60’s and sunny–perfect running weather!

Pre-Race:
Unlike when I did this race two years ago, I got there plenty early, and traffic was not an issue. I met my friend Megan in the parking area at about 11:20, and we were through the bib pickup line in about 10 minutes. There was a DJ playing music, plenty of porta-potties, and a water station right there at the start. We hung out, enjoying the sun and stretching, until about 10 minutes to noon, when we lined up in the starting chute.

Photo May 20, 11 58 31 AM

On the Course:
The race started right on time at noon, and we set off at an easy pace. Megan hadn’t ever run a 5k before, so we were taking it slow. After the first mile, we took our first walk break. The course was exactly the same as when I last did it; the first mile and a half are on a closed road, and the rest is on the bike path.

There was a water stop at the halfway mark, but Megan was carrying water and I wasn’t thirsty, so we didn’t stop. We took another walk break right before mile 2 to let Megan’s breathing ease up (she has mild asthma). We started running again after only a short break, and ran the remaining mile except for one uphill, and finished just under 42 minutes.

Post-Race:
The finish line was MUCH better organized than last time I did this race. First was a line of volunteers handing out medals, then a line of volunteers with water bottles, and then a final wave of volunteers with Kind bars. It was easy to get one of everything and I didn’t feel rushed or like I had to compete with anybody to get what I needed. Megan and I sat in the grass, stretching and hydrating a bit, before heading to our cars to change for the finish line Brew Fest.

Photo May 20, 1 07 54 PM

I have to say, this year’s Brew Fest was AWESOME. There were definitely more breweries in attendance than last time, and lots more food options too. There was also cornhole, giant sets of Jenga, and a live band. The lines were never out of control, there were plenty of water stations, and it was just a gorgeous day. For the money, I feel like this is a better deal than the Burlington Brew Fest.

Photo May 20, 3 11 48 PM

We did a great job of alternating beer samples with glasses of water, and had DELICIOUS food truck fajitas for a late lunch. Samples were being served until 4pm, but Megan and I both left around 3:30. I had to get down to Stowe village for the Stowe Theatre Guild Season Kick-Off Cabaret (which was SO MUCH FUN), and Megan needed to get home to pack because she’s moving next weekend.

Photo May 20, 12 48 06 PM

All in all, this was a great experience. The Craft Brew Race has definitely addressed a lot of the issues that I had the first time I ran this race, and made lots of obvious improvements. All runners received a medal and pint glass, plus admission to the Brew Fest. There were also festival-only tickets, as well as steeply discounted designated driver tickets, so there was something for everyone. Admittedly, if it had been raining, it would have been a different story because there was no where to get out of the rain, but for the day we had, I have zero complaints, and I would do this race again in a heartbeat.

Have you ever done a Craft Brew Race? If you like beer and a well-organized race, I HIGHLY recommend it.

Manic Monday Training Recap – 05/22/17

Manic Monday

Training For: Craft Brew Race 5k (May 20)

Monday 05/15/17: 5k Run
I had something weird going on with my left elbow, so I decided to run instead of going to CF. It turned out to be a gorgeous evening and I ran my hilly route quite a bit faster than usual without it feeling extra hard. Yay!

Tuesday 05/16/17: 4 Mile Run
This should have been a CF day, but it was gorgeous and warm and sunny and I just wanted to run. So I did.

Wednesday 05/17/17: Rest
First Dogfight rehearsal, yay! We did a full read through of the script, and I’m so excited!

Thursday 05/18/17: Rest
I was planning to go to CrossFit, but when the time came, I just plain didn’t feel like it.

Friday 05/19/17: Rest
Once again, I should have gone to CF, but I didn’t feel like it.

Saturday 05/20/17: Craft Brew Race 5k
Stay tuned for a full recap later this week!

Sunday 05/21/17: Rest
I did a few things around the house in the morning, and then had rehearsal in the afternoon.

This was not a stellar week. As you may recall from last week’s post, I’m just having a hard time figuring out my priorities right now, and being whiny and resistant to changes in my schedule. However, I’m determined to knuckle down and figure things out this week. The weather is messing with my plans a bit, as it’s currently raining and today is a run day, but I’ll figure it out.

Do you find it easy to shrug off an “off” week? Unfortunately it can often cause me to backslide even further…

Manic Monday – 05/15/17

Manic Monday

Training For: Craft Brew Race 5k (May 20)

Monday 05/08/17: CrossFit
More back squats, ugh. I finally established a one rep max, though, which is good. And then we did a choose your own adventure comprised of various combinations of pull-ups, push-ups, squats, and running. Woof.

Tuesday 05/09/17: 4 Mile Run
I was going to do 3.1 miles for my 31st birthday, but my boss insisted I leave early, so I managed 4 miles before meeting my friends for dinner. I ended up with perfect negative splits for a nice little progression run.

Wednesday 05/10/17: CrossFit
One rep max on Chest Presses plus 20-15-10-5 Push Presses with progressive load, box jumps with increasing height, and a 200 m run. I finished in 13:39 and was PUMPED.

Thursday 05/11/17: 4 x 400 with W/U and C/D
My company ended up bailing on the Corporate Cup Challenge (more on that tomorrow), so I did some speed work on my lunch break instead.

Friday 05/12/17: Rest
A friend was in town from Colorado just for the weekend, so I skipped CF and we did dinner and drinks.

Saturday 05/13/17: VT Respite House Jiggety Jog 5k Race
You can expect a full recap later in the week, but if you follow me on Instagram you already saw it was a strong race 🙂

Sunday 05/14/17: Rest
I literally sat on my butt all day hanging out with my family for Mother’s Day.

This will be my first week of rehearsals for Dogfight, and due to rehearsals being in Waterbury (30-40 minutes away), I will need to switch up my schedule a bit, which I’m not super psyched about.

I’ve been on a Monday/Wednesday/Friday kick with CF for months now, and I’m reluctant to switch up my days because a) I don’t know if I can handle going to class two days in a row, and b) the only way to avoid going to class two days in a row would be to drive in from Underhill on Saturday mornings, which I don’t think I will do consistently. Ah, life.

How do you feel about changing your schedule? I’m generally not good with change…

Friday Free-For-All – 05/12/17

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

I met my fundraising goal for the Jiggety Jog this weekend! I actually surpassed it, thanks to the generosity of my friends and family, and I couldn’t be happier. Every year, I hear from so many people about how the Respite House made a difference in their lives or the lives of their families, and I am so proud to support such an amazing cause. Now all that’s left to do is run a victory lap of a 5k race 🙂

My birthday was Tuesday. I am now 31 years old, and not ashamed to say it. Although I did buy some eye cream this week, hehe. I also got a new driver’s license on Monday since mine expired on my birthday. My good luck streak with license photos continues; it’s not a perfect photo, but it isn’t half bad either.

We’re going to visit my parents this weekend. I’m ashamed to say I can’t remember the last time we went down to see them. They’re just far enough away that it always seems really hard to get there. I feel guilty sometimes, but then I remind myself that it’s JUST as easy for them to come to us, which they haven’t done either. It’s a two-way street, ya’ll. But anyway, we’ll be doing a joint Mother’s Day/birthday celebration for my mumma and me, and all of my sisters except the one who lives in Detroit will be there. Yay!

Do you have any Mother’s Day plans?

 

Double Race Week!

That’s right, I have two races this week–crazy! While I’m technically “back” after my hiatus, I still haven’t been running that much, maybe twice a week, and the longest I’ve done since November is 4 miles. That’s ok, though, because I’m not really looking for PRs, and the only races I have on the docket are 5ks.

Tomorrow is the VT Corporate Cup Challenge 5k.  This will now be my 4th year running this race (see recaps from 2014, 2015 and 2016). It’s not the most organized of races (not enough potties, terrible parking and traffic, no corrals, no race etiquette), but I get free registration through work, and get to leave work early to get to Montpelier. We also usually do some sort of dinner and drinks thing after, so it’s a nice time in spite of not being the best race ever.

The good news is, the weather is actually looking like it won’t be god-awful hot like it has been the last three years. Right now, temps are forecast to be in the mid-50’s. As long as there’s no rain, it should be a much more comfortable race than in past years.

Then Saturday is the VT Respite House Jiggety Jog 5k, my annual fundraiser race. It’s also my fourth year running this race, and it’s always been my favorite. I’m a little nervous because it’s a new course this year, so I honestly have no idea what to expect. The last two years in a row, this was a PR race for me. With the lack of training on my part, it’s highly unlikely I will PR, but I hope to put in a strong performance nonetheless.

Because these are my first two races this year, and because training hasn’t been strong, my only goal is to finish both races healthy and uninjured. I would be THRILLED if I could pull off sub-30 finishes, but considering my “training” thus far, I’m not holding my breath. Healthy and uninjured is good enough for me.

Have you ever run two (or more) races within a couple of days?

Manic Monday – 05/08/17

Manic Monday

Training For: VT Corporate Cup Challenge 5k (May 11) & VT Respite House Jiggety Jog 5k (May 13)

This was a bit of an off week. Between the crappy weather and not sleeping well, I just didn’t feel like doing ANYTHING.

Monday 05/01/17: Rest
It was rainy and cool so I didn’t walk at lunch. And then I just plain didn’t feel like going to CrossFit, so I didn’t. I’m trying to find a balance between being consistent and disciplined and just listening to what my body really wants. And my body really wanted to go home, make dinner, and watch MST3K until bedtime.

Tuesday 05/02/17: 3 Mile Run
It was another rainy, chilly day, so I took it to the treadmill. I did a quarter mile walking warm up, then ran 3 miles. As is typical with my treadmill runs, I started slow and inched up the speed throughout, ending at a pace slightly faster than 10 minutes per mile.

Wednesday 05/03/17: CrossFit
We did back squats, which I HAAAATE. I don’t know why, they’re just really hard for me. Then we did 5 rounds for time of 15 back squats (blerg), 15 ring dips, and a 50 meter kettlebell overhead carry. I only finished 4 rounds before the time cap.

Thursday 05/04/17: 5k Run
I snuck out for a lunch run on the only day this week we’re supposed to see sun, and it was delightful. I had hoped to also hit hot yoga, but I offered to cook dinner for the family instead, so I hit up the grocery store and then went straight home.

Friday 05/05/17: Rest
I brought my gym bag as if I were going to go to CrossFit, but I knew I had plans after work, and when lunch time rolled around, I just didn’t feel like getting gross and sweaty. I had a great night hanging out with my friend Megan, eating pizza and drinking a couple of beers instead.

Saturday 05/06/17: Rest
This was my pre-birthday celebration. Ben and I met up with friends for Waking Windows, a city-wide outdoor music festival in Winooski. And then in the evening we met up with more friends at a bar in Burlington. I was out and about, drinking and eating from 3:30 pm until about 1:30 am, which for me, is ridiculous.

Sunday 05/07/17: Rest
Needless to say, after Saturday’s festivities, Sunday was a low key kind of day. I was pretty hungover and exhausted, so I stayed in bed most of the day. I did some laundry, but that’s about it.

I’m sort of mad at myself for being such a wreck on Sunday. I really would have liked to get in a long run. And I’m disappointed that I didn’t do any meal prep for the week. I may try to throw a few meals together tonight so that this week isn’t a mess on the eating front.

Do you like to have a big birthday celebration?