I had no idea what to expect when we signed up for the 2012 Vegas Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon. I read all about the debacle of the 2011 race. Runners were dropping like flies and vomiting all along the race course, blaming tainted water served straight from fire hydrants and held in garbage cans. The race had multiple bottlenecks and was overcrowded, resulting in runners getting trampled or not being able to run on the actual course. They ran out of medals, t-shirts, and food. That certainly isn’t the rave review that makes me want to sign up for a race, but I had a feeling the race organizers would be focused on kissing up to the 2012 participants to restore their reputation.
I had a crazy plan while I was reading an issue of Runner’s World on the beach in late summer. There was a feature on a group of runners who had organized a beer run, which involved drinking four beers over the course of a mile. While I was reading it, the wheels started turning. This sounded like something I could plan with my friends. I chatted to Matt about it and we got to work on brainstorming. After looking into it, I learned there are secret beer mile events all over the country. There’s even a website featuring rules to host your own Beer Mile.
A few weeks ago, the lovely Julia Child would have celebrated her 100th birthday. In honor of the occasion, I decided to make a big dinner for Matt and myself, something I don’t do nearly as much as I’d like. The obvious choice would be to go French themed, and use Mastering the Art of French Cooking for the recipes. But to be honest, I feel like I have the french thing down. I’ve made a bunch of the recipes from that book, and even de-boned a duck! Julia was all about challenging yourself. So in that spirit, I chose to make homemade pasta. I tried this once before and had a rough time. The dough was too dry and the finished product was gummy and thick.
Now that my bruises and scrapes are (mostly) healed, it’s finally time to sit down and do my recap of the 2012 McGuire Mud Run. This annual 10k was held at the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst on September 8. Matt has run it for the past five years, and when he asked me to join his team for this year’s race, I didn’t hesitate. I figured I’d be in solid racing shape since it would be marathon training season, and it would be fun to do a mud race. I knew there were some obstacles, but I had no idea what I was in for.
In late summer, we started to get emails regarding the obstacles. There were 23 to be exact. This is about the time where I started to second guess my decision. I was joining an all-male team and would be scaling walls and climbing hills and crawling under and over various obstacles in the mud. I was pretty concerned I’d slow everyone down, and knew I would be extremely discouraged if I let that happen. So as I usually do with races I’m not really excited about, I avoided thinking of it until race weekend. I packed up old sneakers, cruddy running clothes, a change of clothes for after, and my waterproof camera, and we headed out to the base. The race was surprisingly well-organized. The bus ride over from the parking lot was pretty quick, and bib pick-up was a breeze. There were changing tents with an area for you to leave your post-race clean clothes. We had selected a wave time when we signed up, but since we were there early, we just hopped in with the next group starting. It didn’t feel overly crowded in the starting corral, which was a nice change of pace for most races I do. The website for the event said approximately 2,500 runners participated this year.
It’s been a long 10 weeks of waking up early for workouts, but I’m kind of sad that my summer bootcamp at Fusion Cross-Training is over. For the summer boot camp series, participants received 10 weeks of unlimited sessions at the studio, one weekly outdoor bootcamp workout, a weekly nutrition tip and food challenge, and a pre/post fitness assessment. For the first 6 weeks, I was going to classes religiously, almost every morning. I could feel myself getting stronger and faster. I noticed the classes are much easier for me now as opposed to when I started and felt like I was going to pass out. For the latter half of the bootcamp, my marathon training schedule started and it was harder for me to squeeze in the classes. I still went at least two times a week, and I was running enough on other days that I was getting plenty of exercise.
Like most runs I sign up for these days, I was both looking forward to and dreading the 20in24 Midnight Madness Run as the race date approached.
The 20in24 is a series of race events run along the Kelly Drive/River Drive loop in Philly every summer, benefitting Back on My Feet. The events include the Lone Ranger (50 and 100 mile ultra marathons), a Relay event, Pajama Loop, and the Midnight Madness Run.
The midnight run consisted of one loop around the 8.4 mile course, starting at midnight as the name suggests. Runners are required to wear reflective gear and encouraged to wear glowing items, with a prize for Most Illuminated at stake. I bought a string of battery-powered lights from Walgreens and threw on a few glow sticks for the occasion.
I can’t tell you exactly why having paint thrown on you while running a 5k is amazingly fun, but I assure you, it is. Without question, Sunday’s Color Run in Philly was one of the most fun times I’ve ever had doing a race.
I read about the Color Run last year, and thought it sounded awesome and was jealous there wasn’t one closer. So when I read that the running tour was expanding for a nation-wide tour, I waited anxiously for the Philly date to be announced. Alas, only a New York date was listed. But I convinced Jen to sign up with me. Then to our delight, a Philly date was added! We registered and then I didn’t give the race much thought again until the week of the event.