Monday, February 3, 2014

February Fun

This year I printed out the Run Pretty Far monthly calendar when it became available in December.  It's a free download and I had it printed at my local FedEx Office store where they bound it with a spiral binding and added a clear cover.  I love to have a calendar and pencil in races and think about plans for the year.

I was reviewing some trail run options and took a peak back at my February calendar.  I've got three races already on the books for this month.

Up first is the Valentine's Day 8K put on by Run Bentonville.  This is a fun race because it is not a typical distance.  It will be a larger race since all of the 250 Half Marathon training group participants are signed up for the race.  I think they are expecting to have about 600 total participants.  My favorite part of this course is getting to run by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.  I love the silver tree and getting to run an out and back and cheer for everyone.

A week later, I will tackle my first race longer than a half marathon.  It's the Run with the Wind 25K in Carthage, MO.  The race takes place between Carthage and Sarcoxie and the direction of the course is announced a few days prior to the race.  They attempt to plan the run so that you run with the wind direction on race day.  I'm pretty nervous about the distance but no matter my time it will be a new distance record for me and that's exciting.

Finally I will close out the month with my first RunDisney event...The Princess Half Marathon.  I'll be dressing as Belle for the race and have a Rock City skirt to wear with a fun ruched yellow tank. I figure I will pack shorts and capris depending on the weather and I also have arm sleeves or dressy ball gown type gloves to match my costume theme.  I'm really looking forward to the trip to Disney even though it will be a short trip.

February is going to be a busy month and each race has something fun and unique about it.  I love having races to keep me motivated and training during the winter months.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Crazy Weather Days

I rarely remember to look at the weather forecast until Friday...and that's simply to plan for the weekend workouts.  This Friday I discovered we were in for a weekend treat!  Saturday morning was forecast to have cold rain for the hours during our group training run.  I needed to run at least 11 miles this week which meant starting before the group run at 6:15 to fit in extra miles before the group 7 miler.

I met up with the early group and we headed out on a new to me loop.  The weather was drizzly/misty and temps were getting colder for sure.  One of the guys mentioned that his watch wasn't sync'd yet and I stupidly pressed stop on mine for the few seconds that we waited.  Once we started moving I pressed start again...but you can probably see where this is going! Yep, after a while I wondered why I hadn't heard my mile beep sound and took a look to see my watch not on.  Boo...I started it then but missed about half of the loop.

We got back to the activity center as the training group seminar was finishing up.  I had enough time to beat the crowd to the bathroom and then to put on a dry vest.  I had packed extra coats, vest, and long sleeve tees just in case.  When we stop between the early run and the training group run, the sweat from the first run can really cause you to develop a chill.  I was very happy to have a dry vest on for the next run.

We headed out with the training group to do the first 7 miles of the half marathon course.  I spent much of the run with my buddy Jeff.  I grilled him about trail running as that is something he is experienced at.  He is one of the ultrarunners on the Rush Running team.  Whenever we get a chance to run together he keeps me entertained and gets me to pick up my pace.

One thing that we talked about on the run was how many people in the training group run with ear buds in and the music up so high that they don't hear you talking to them.  I used to run with music so I know that it has a purpose but I can't tell you how much more fun it is to run and chat with your friends.  We have 250 people in the training group and I enjoy getting to meet someone new each week even if it's just for a brief chat during the run.

The awesome folks from Team GPP and Rampy Foundation for MS were out staffing the water stop in the rain.  That's true dedication and service and I know all of the runners were thankful.  Coming out of the water stop we had a mile that was mostly a gradual uphill.  It's barely an incline but enough that it tires you out.  Once we finished that incline the rain picked up and became a downpour.  Thankfully we only had 1.5 miles left in the run.

As we finished up we came up on a father and daughter running.  It made me think of running with my dad and also made me think of Jeff's girls and how much they have grown up.  This father/daughter duo was especially entertaining.  Dad was listening to music and with the rainy weather his glasses were fogging over.  He kept getting lost on the road...his daughter would have to grab his elbow to point out that we were turning for example.  She was really cute and laughing with us.

All together I ended up with 11 1/2 cold and rainy miles.  My clothes were soaked when we finished and I was thankful to have clean, dry clothes to put on after.  The crazy weather continued today with about 4 inches of snow.  I don't have any rainy pictures but here is a look at my snowy, sunset view tonight.