Monthly Archives: September 2015

My First Rescheduled Race

My fall racing season was supposed to begin tomorrow but thanks to Mother Nature and a rescheduled race, my season has been postponed by two weeks.  The Heart of Ghent 10k I was so excited for has been moved to 10 October.  Hampton Roads is expecting lots of rain in a short time Friday night through the day on Saturday and as a result some big time flooding is rescheduled racealso expected.  Along with the rain comes the continuation of 20+mph winds that have been around for the last four days.  Put this all together and it’s not a safe situation for runners, course support personnel or race management.

In the end, this has ended up being my first experience with a rescheduled race.  I understand the need for safety and the desire to still hold the event but I’m disappointed by the way it was handled.  I will be pacing the Hartford Half Marathon that day, a commitment I would absolutely never back out of unless I was injured especially since I have paid for hotels and made travel plans months in advance.  Even if I could run on the rescheduled race date, I have a training schedule that makes throwing in a race effort 10k a little more than ‘let me just move it’.

The handling of this rescheduled race bothered me for a few reasons.  First, the release participants sign during registration states “NO RAIN DATES.  NO TRANSFERS.  NO REFUNDS.”  When the race was moved to a rain date this contract became void.  Mettle Events was unable to offer refunds because “most of the expenses for conducting the event have already been incurred.”  This is certainly not ideal but it’s also not my responsibility as a participant to control their financial situation.  They did, however, offer three alternate options for participating.  One was to simply run on 10 October, a second to transfer your registration to another runner and the third to defer to next year.  The second and third options came with a $15 fee for the 10k and a $5 fee for the kid’s run.

There was a slight outrage at this from many participants for several reasons.  There are numerous other events people, including myself, are registered for on 10 October and  the transfer fees are ridiculous.  Luckily, thanks the power of social media and some unhappy runners, a virtual run option has been added.  You may run a 10k and submit your time during the week prior to 10 October in order to pick up your packet and medal on 9 October with everyone who is running the next day.

Unfortunately, I am unable to do the virtual run that week due to traveling for Hartford and Narragansett.  I am also unable to attend packet pick up since I will be in Connecticut.  Mettle Events offered to work with those of us who are out of town for the rescheduled event if we sent them an email.  I did so at 9:30 this morning but have not heard back.

I’m bummed out I won’t have the chance to run in the rescheduled race and test myself at the 10k distance in a race day situation.  It’s just not the same on your own.  That being said, I would love to participate in the virtual run option to avoid a $15 fee and am hopeful Mettle Events will come up with a wonderful solution.

Meredith

Have you ever run a rescheduled race?  What happened?  How did you handle it?

Fall 2015 Race Season is Here!

It’s race week!  Fall 2015 Race Season is kicking off this Saturday with the Heart of Ghent 10k.  I ran this one last year as well, winning my age group last year with a PR.  I’d like to repeat with PR and an age group placing this year, too.  After Saturday’s race it’s a quick turnaround to my first back to back half marathons then a lengthy strength of marathon training before the Harbor Light 5k in November.fall 2015 race season

Now, back to this week.  The race is four days away and I’m excited to see what I can do.  I’ve been training at a fairly hard level consistently for the last few months and to make sure I’m ready to perform taper week is nice and light.  Two days of short interval speed work, one easy day and two rest days will get me to the line fresh and fast.  If the weather holds, which isn’t looking good right now, I’m hoping to finish 30+ seconds faster than last year’s 43:24.  If Fall 2015 Race Season starts with Saturday morning’s predicted 70% chance of rain and 20mph winds, I’ll know everyone else out there is suffering, too, and let my time goal slip some.

I want Fall 2015 to start strong because Spring 2015 didn’t go as planned.  Hopefully the changes I’ve made mean an improved Fall 2015 race season is in store.  I’m fueling better, recovering better and using a more flexible schedule that includes less ‘just run’ miles and more goal oriented workouts.  Ideally this new attitude will lead to fall 2015 race season PRs at 10k this weekend and 5k in November.  After that it’s on to a new half marathon PR attempt in December and an inevitable marathon PR next March.

Speaking of my first marathon, it’s exactly 26 weeks away!  The One City Marathon isn’t until March 2016 but I’m ready to hit some late fall 18-20 milers and get rolling.  My first pair back of back half marathons is coming up in a little more than three weeks, making them a good jumping off point for marathon training and I’m glad they’re on the schedule soon.

Meredith

What’s on your fall 2015 race season calendar?  New distances?  New PRs?

Fit Friday: Riding My Bike to Work

There doesn’t seem like a better time than Fit Friday to let you know I’ve been riding my bike to work for the last two weeks.  Since the move, biking has become a safe option of less than 15 miles that I love taking advantage of.  The just about two mile ride each way has provided a little bit bike to workmore daily exercise (4+ easy mountain biking miles on the road) and meant upping my bike to workcaloric intake a hair but I haven’t experience any negatives, or rain, yet.

When I bike to work, I have the choice of two main routes.  I can go a tiny bit out of the way and take the bike path that parallels the Boardwalk or ride a straighter line down the spacious bike lane on Atlantic Ave.  A third option would be to stay one block closer and take Pacific but it’s heavy with traffic all the time so I choose to avoid it.  While it’s a tad longer, taking the path early in the morning is a quiet chance to see the sun coming up and get loads of fresh air.  The headwind out there is rougher than the one on Atlantic Ave but only marginally.  This is totally worth it.bike to work

The bike I’m currently riding is my good old Trek mountain bike.  It’s sporting mountain bike tires and even a little mud left over from this fourth of July ride.  I’m thinking about purchasing a pair of hybrid or compatible road tires to make my commute a little faster but with the gym’s upcoming relocation to one whopping mile from my home, I’m not sure I’ll bother.

One of these days I’ll get rain soaked riding my bike to work or from it.  Eventually, it will be cold and I’ll have to bundle up.  For right now, the cool mornings are just right for getting my lungs open, heart pumping and day started off right.

Meredith

Do you ever bike to work?  Would you like to?

Marathon Long Run #1 Success

Marathon long run #1 is in the past.  Training for my first 26.2 at the One City Marathon in March has officially begun with a really, really solid outing.  The race is a bit more than 25 weeks away and I know a lot can happen in that much time.  Hopefully what happens is good training that keeps me injury free heading into hitting my goal race time!

Marathon long run #1 was 16 miles of fun.  I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect mostly because my legs weren’t fresh but also because it would be the first time I re-fueled while on the move.  I packed up my single strawberry banana GU and took off Sunday morning excited for my run.  The cool weather and overcast sky were big improvements over some of the summer’s long marathon long run #1runs as my first seven miles flew by.  I stopped for water around Mile 4 then again just before Mile 8.  I was feeling awesome approaching Mile 10 with a plan to chow down my GU at Mile 11.

Approaching the Boardwalk at Mile 10, I took a misstep off a curb and rolled my ankle a bit.  It started to give out every few steps and I thought maybe some fuel would help get me back in order.  I downed my GU a mile early, stopped at the next water fountain and rolled on with an ankle that seemed steady again.

The last five miles of long run #1 breezed by as I easily digested the GU (yay!).  A little hunger crept in around 14, helping me learn when I’ll need to fuel, which was good.  I maintained my pace through the final 15 minutes and by the time my watch beeped at Mile 15, I was pumped up knowing I’d finish a great marathon training long run #1.

The 16 mile beep sounded and I hit the stop button feeling awesome.  I felt like I could have continued at the same pace for 3-4 more miles.  Ten plus more would have definitely been pushing it but I know I’ll get there.  Monday left me feeling even better.  My legs felt good yesterday, surprisingly fresh.  Good and fresh enough to rock a bike ride to and from work as well as a Crossfit workout, in fact.

I’m excited to get rolling on marathon training after a shorter long run this weekend and next week’s PR effort at the Heart of Ghent 10k with a scheduled 18 miler to kick off October.

Meredith

How did you train for your first marathon?  How did you decide what mileage to begin training with?

Fit Friday: Furniture + Long Fall Runs

It’s Fit Friday!  It’s been another busy week after Rock n Roll Virginia Beach and moving but I have a few things to be excited about as the next few days roll through.  One is a brand new piece of furniture the house definitely needed.  The second is that it is finally time for long fall runs.

When Doug and I moved to our new home, we didn’t bring our old couch with us.  It wasn’t in the best shape, is very heavy and didn’t fit the new decor at all.  Living without a sofa was everything it was cracked up to be and after a few days of beach chairs in the living room, we took the plunge and went couch shopping.  With a good idea of what we needed, it didn’t take long to find ‘the one’.  Delivered yesterday, it’s super comfy and I can’t wait to pile the pillows up under my feet after all of my fall long runs to take naps on it.  In fact, I was so excited about it I took this picture before bothering to remove the tags, ha.long fall runs

Now for the ‘fit’ portion of this Friday’s post.  Tomorrow is my first fall long run.  The 16 miler is the beginning of my half, and full (eek!), training cycle.  I’m excited for long fall runs and ready to figure out where they should take me.  It will be wonderful to be out there in tolerable temperatures for a few hours with changing leaves, a Boardwalk mostly cleared and humidity that is less than sky high.  Along with fall long runs appearing on my training schedule, so has my first race of the season.  I’m only two weeks away from the Heart of Ghent 10k and feel good about looking to PR in the runner friendly weather.

Meredith

What are your favorite things about long fall runs?  Any new furniture recently?

2015 Rock n Roll Virginia Beach

The 2015 Rock n Roll Virginia Beach was my second opportunity to pace this event.  Last year’s RnR VB was my very first pacing experience (you can check out that recap right here) and I loved it.  I was excited to be with the 2:15 group again, hopeful I would see just as many runners hit new PRs in 2015.  Joining me in pacing duties would be my friend Eric from Hampton Runner.  Much like 2014 had been my first time pacing, the 2015 Rock n Roll Virginia Beach would be his.

Race weekend started with a few hours at the expo pacer booth.  Eric and I answered questions, calmed nerves, strategized and planned for a fun Sunday.  The weather forecast at that point was calling for rain from about 4am to noon on Sunday so we definitely expected to get wet which, we decided, is much better than the stifling heat and humidity that usually accompany the Labor Day Weekend race.

Before I knew it, race morning was here! 2015 Rock n Roll Virginia Beach morning started with cereal and a two mile run to get in the day’s called for 15+.  As predicted, it rained a bit during this short warm up run. The rain dried up while I made a quick change into my pacer shirt, ate a banana and chugged some water before a short walk to the Start.  It was really nice to not have to worry about parking this year since it can be a challenge for this race.  Once arriving in the Start corral area I made my way to Corral 12 for a group picture with the amazing Team RWB runners.  It was great to see such a huge turnout and so many flags.  After the photo I cruised towards Corral 9 to meet up with my pace buddy Eric.

We chatted for a few minutes with our pace group members then the National Anthem was played, the hand cycles were off and, just after Corral 1 hit the course, rain started to fall again.  The cool drops felt pretty good on a humid morning, much better than last year’s heat, humidity, sunshine beat up even after already having to dry out once. Not much longer and we, too, were off and running the 2015 Rock n Roll Virginia Beach!

We rocked through Miles 1 and 2, sticking with our plan to walk through the water stops. The rain had disappeared and everyone around us was pumped up. The course itself is mostly flat with the only big exception being the bridge over Rudee’s Inlet that you traverse both early and very late. The damp, overcast and cooler weather was much more runner friendly than last year because there’s not a ton of shade through most of the course. The 2:15 group continued steadily racking up miles as we made for the long straightaway after the bridge. Eric and I spent most of this stretch looking for Port-a-Potties. Unfortunately, many had lines four or five people long that we couldn’t hang out in for fear of not being about to get back on track with our pacing duties. A few more well stocked water and enthusiastic cheer stations later, 2015 Rock n Roll Vigrinia Beacharound Mile 8, we were finally able to relieve ourselves.  Phew!  During the last five miles I munched on two packs of fruit snacks, chewed on course provided oranges, downed popsicles and drank a few cups of water while encouraging those around us to stay strong.

Hitting the bridge once again at Mile 12 just before turning to round the inlet parking and set foot on the final Boardwalk stretch we sent several runners ahead to strong finishes while cheering on those who were fighting to get there.  2015 Rock n Roll Virginia BeachAfter crossing the Finish Line, we grabbed 2015 Rock n Roll Virginia Beach medals, Gatorades, chocolate milks, bananas, chips, more ice pops and a pace team photo.

The 2015 Rock n Roll Virginia Beach was the race’s 15th anniversary and the race shirts feature one of the city’s favorite landmarks, King Neptune, while the medals just scream beach with Neptune, sea turtles, sunglasses and more.  I like both and the Brooks tech shirt is a nice touch.

The race was a blast and I can’t wait to be a part of it again next year.  The course support was better this year than last, especially in terms of the number of bands, with the standard fully stocked water, GU, ice pops and Gatorade stops.  Eric was a great pace team partner who nailed on his first time out and I’d love to team up again.  Hopefully the weather will repeat itself for 2016’s event earning our pace group more PRs than ever.

Meredith

Did you race this weekend?  Have you ever run Rock n Roll Virginia Beach?

Moving, RnRVB Expo + Fuel

Phew!  It’s been a whirlwind of a week.  Between moving, unpacking, organizing, working, working out, eating and sleeping I can’t believe it’s Thursday already.  As if that all isn’t enough, I have a busy Rock n Roll Virginia Beach weekend coming right at me and marathon training is rnrvb exponagging at me each day.

Needless to say, Doug and I are super excited to be in our new place.  It was a long day to get everything unloaded and start unpacking but it’s not been as bad as it could have.  A bonus?  Not one thing got broken during the process!

Another benefit of the move is that I’ll be able to walk to the RnRVB Expo.  It’s a little more than two blocks from our house and I’ll be there all afternoon tomorrow from 1pm to 5:30 (come visit me at the pacer booth!).  I’m excited to be with the 2:15 group again this year along with my buddy Eric from Hampton Runner as he paces his first half marathon at this year’s 15th annual race.

Hopefully I’ll have a chance to step away from the booth for a moment to go on a shopping spree.  With my marathon training coming up faster than I’d like to think, I’m going to give GU another shot by picking up all of the flavors I have yet to try.  I’d like to find something that both gets the job done and tastes good to me.  My previous experiences (two flavors) have not been wonderful but my go to of peanut M&Ms is just not going to work.  If GU doesn’t end up being the answer there are lots of other options and the sooner I start exploring the better.  After my RnRVB Expo shopping spree we’re going to check out the American Music FestivalSteve Miller Band is playing Friday night and we might try to catch 38 Special, Fuel and G. Love and Special Sauce (one of my Philly faves) over the course of the weekend, too.

I’m excited to help some runners PR in the better weather this year, listen to some good music and finish getting settled in the new house.

Meredith

Are you running this weekend?  Will I see you at the RnRVB expo?!  How do you fuel marathon training runs?