Race Prices

I have three companies I absolutely will not race with. Two have to do with money, one because they suck and are evil. I have races I won’t run because of the prices. It just isn’t worth it to me. It may be to other people, but it isn’t to me.

Disney Races – Don’t even get me started. The prices are insane. Flat out ridiculous. Add in that I’m not a Disney person and you will never see me at a Disney race.

Rock’n’Roll Series (Competitor) – This boycott is new. And I actually still have one I am registered for this year, but their prices have become ridiculous. I received an email in the days after Rock’n”Roll USA that said this year’s participants could get a $20 discount off of next year’s race. The discounted price is $65., meaning the price for a half marathon is $85. Are you kidding me? You used to be able to sign up early for Rock’n’Roll races early and get a good deal. That is no longer true. So after Rock’nRoll St. Louis, if I even run it, I am done.

There are plenty of fun races, local and not, that you can register for and not spend an insane amount of your paycheck. The Lakefront Marathon is $75 for a full marathon. When I ran the Philadelphia Marathon in 2009 I registered at the early price for $80, again for a full marathon. There are lots of local races that do not have exorbitant fees and that is what I will be running from now on. In fact, I just paid $11 for the South Shore Half. You can’t beat that.

I have paid too much to race in the past. And it is just not worth it to me anymore.

Instead I can buy more running shoes! (Just kidding, I’m still on a self ban).

Do you have a limit? Are there specific races you will pay more for?

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Crossing the line

I crossed the line. I am past it. I have gone too far. I am racing too much. And I did this to myself.

When I registered for the RnR USA Half Marathon something like 6 months ago it was of course the only thing on my March schedule. It was a no brainer to me. I run the National Half even with it becoming part of the RnR series.

Skip forward a few months and there was this great deal for the RnR New Orleans race, $35 for a half marathon! Knowing it was 13 days before DC I thought about it and figured I would take it easy and use New Orleans as a nice training run for DC and have fun with some friends. Ha, instead I let loose in New Orleans and killed my PR. Yay! No really, Yay. I was and still am very, very happy with my race in NOLA. I didn’t push it at all in the not even two weeks between races in an attempt to allow my body to recover and prepare.

On Saturday I put on a happy face and was content with my race. The more I think about it the more I am not happy with it. I should have run it better. I should have done better mentally. I should have finished faster. But I did not. There are any number of factors that contributed to this. My body is tired. It was humid. The course was hilly. But these sound like excuses to me and I just don’t think I executed well. I know it wasn’t a bad race, but it was not a good race either. I know I am capable of more than what I ran on Saturday.

I really have no desire to write a recap of the race this time. I had fun running with Emma and seeing all of our friends out on the course. I was happy to run in DC again, but that is about it. (The rest of the weekend was awesome.)

As I move forward I am trying to schedule races smarter. I am still looking to the Wisconsin Half to serve as my A race this spring. I know that if I continue to train smart and prepare myself mentally that Sara and I will kill it. I know we can do it.

Add into all of this that I am supposed to race an 8K this coming weekend. I don’t want to. I don’t want to race again. It’s been so long since I have run an 8K that I should PR, but if I don’t I will be pissed. I don’t really want to be around 40K people. I want to bond with my couch again. I want to sleep in my own bed.

I really, really don’t want to wear myself out and not enjoy running. That was not fun last time it happened. Thankfully this is a recovery week and I will just run and enjoy it.

RnR USA – Goals and Thoughts

Now that we are two days from the race I am finally calling the race by it’s correct name, although it is on my calendar as the National Half. With Competitor taking over the race there have been changes. Some for the better, some I don’t know. With changes came outrageous whiny complaints from all corners of the internet. If you want to see what adult temper tantrums on Facebook look like just head on over to the Rock N Roll USA page. Wow people, calm down. If you don’t like the practices of a certain company or race organization don’t run the race. It’s really that simple. Many of the complaints came from people who apparently don’t know how to use the internet and can’t really read. They weren’t hiding information. It was on the website. And you know what? There were issues with last year’s race like missing mile markers. I’m guessing that won’t happen this year.

I love this race because I get to run through my city. I know the course. I have friends running. The funny thing is I don’t consider this a destination race. I don’t care that it is a Rock N Roll race. That is actually not something I think about when choosing a race. I’m not going to not run in DC now that it was bought by Competitor. Yes, the prices are outrageous if you wait to sign up, but I signed up last summer. I paid $55 to run this half marathon. That’s not bad at all.

This will be half marathon #10. I really can’t believe it. When I ran it in 2010 it was half marathon #2.

Goals

  • Have fun
  • Sub 1:55, this is not a PR weekend for me. It was less than two weeks ago that I ran an unexpected 1:52 in New Orleans. I’m really just going to listen to my body.
  • Sub 1:58 (Course PR)

This weekend is not all about the race. I am so excited to see my friends. There will be eating and drinking and relaxing and all around silliness. The advantage of a Saturday race is we run, we nap, and then we play.

A look back…and a peek forward

As I was driving out to my parents’ house on Sunday I was thinking about my upcoming trip to DC. Now this on it’s own is really not out of the ordinary. We all know I love and miss DC, but the more I thought about it (I had a forty minute drive) the more I realized how much I have grown and changed as a person over the last year. When I flew out to DC last March it was my first trip back since moving away. It was full of all kinds of emotion. I was still an emotional basket case for a number of reasons. This year I am emotionally stable and quite happy with my life. This year I just get to have a fun visit with my friends. (And run another half marathon.)

I now see Milwaukee as my home. I’m not new here any more. I have a routine, a little crazy yes, but a routine none the less. I have new friends. I keep busy (although I still like sitting on my couch and doing nothing from time to time). I don’t need my GPS to get around. I don’t say “I just moved back”. I resigned my lease.

Instead of coming of injury I am coming off one of the best races of my life and the best winter training of my life. I’m pretty excited about that. The first time I ran the National Half (2010) it was my second half marathon ever and it was on my 25th birthday. Yes, I paid money to run 13.1 miles on my birthday. It was awesome. It was the first time I broke 2 hours. Last year I was happy to run a course PR and know that I still had it in me to race 13.1 miles.

I turn 27 next week and can’t wait. My grandfather decided to point out that I will be closer to 30 and no longer in my mid twenties. Fantastic. Bring it on. My early twenties were fun, but I am not one to dwell on the past and want to relive those years. Why on earth would I want to be 21 again? I hated  celebrating 21st birthdays. Year 26 was full of fun adventures and I won’t bore you with repeating my end of the year post. Since then I added in a kick-ass trip to the Rose Bowl and all kinds of fun adventures with running buddies.

I started my birthday celebrations early this year.

I’m ready to head out to DC, run a great race and celebrate with friends.

Last year's birthday celebration in DC.

A Runner’s High: My New PR

I still can’t believe my time. I am so so exited about what I was able to run. I never wrote down my goals for this race, but really they have been the same since August 2010: break 1:55. And I finally did it! Not only did I break 1:55, I crushed my previous PR by 4 minutes. My official time was 1:52:20! I ran that. Me. I held an 8:35 pace for 13.1 miles. And my body doesn’t only kind of hates me. I wouldn’t say it felt easy, but it wasn’t a struggle, which so many other races have been.

This makes me smile!

Let’s take a step back to the start of our awesome trip to New Orleans. Kelsey, Maureen and I were all flying in at different times, but decided to just meet and the airport and split a cab into the city. This was all much easier said than done, but we all made it. A few delays, beers, and showers later we made our way to Bourbon Street to meet up with Katie and Wyatt for dinner.

Hurricanes (and Coors Light) all around!

And then we explored Bourbon Street. It is as disgusting as I remembered.

Bourbon Street Pub and Disco Show, which translate to almost naked men dancing on the bar. We refused to pay the cover so were on the outside of the "fence".

We decided to hit the expo early on Saturday to avoid all out craziness. We ended up getting there around 10:00, which wasn’t bad. Bib pick-up was easy. I bought a hat and some bondi-bands for Sara. Nothing too exciting and we escaped before it got crazy.

Post expo we went and had Beignets, which were awesome. I mean, it’s fried dough with powdered sugar. How would that not be amazing? This was followed by Lunch at the Ruby Slipper.

We met up with some lovely twitter friends for dinner. It was lots of run to meet and see people again. The restaurant was clearly not prepared for a marathon to be in town. We actually thought our waiter left when we were trying to pay. Also, my chicken pesto pizza had no pesto. At least dinner was fun.

Race Day

The race started at 7:00am so it was an early wake-up, but with three of us in the room there was no concern that we wouldn’t all be up and moving around. Thankfully our hotel was in an awesome location and the walk to the start was super easy. Photo, bag check, chit-chat, and then we wandered to our respective corals. It was a little chilly, but we are all midwestern girls so it was nothing compared to the winter weather we had been training in.

Kelsey, Maureen and Me all ready to go!
Kelsey, Maureen and Me all ready to go!

My plan was to go out easy and build up. Well that plan went out the window. My first mile was not slow, but it did feel easy. Note: I turned off auto-lap so the splits are a little funky and I missed the Mile 8 marker so have two miles on lap 8.

Um, woah. Who knew I had that speed? Look at split 1. I just kept right on chugging along. I was watching my pace with concern that I might explode, but I never struggled. I just kept trucking along. I really enjoyed the course. I never got lost in my own head and I just listened to my body. I knew what I needed to run to get myself under 1:55. At about mile 7 I knew I could do it even if I didn’t keep my pace up, but I did. As each mile passed by I realized that not only was I going to break 1:55, but I was going to smash my PR. Look at that finish line pace. What?! That’s crazy. I almost didn’t believe my watch as I was coming in to the finish. And then I almost cried. What can I say? I’m emotional.

Here are my official stats from RnR:

Overall: Top 13% Division: Top 7.5% Gender: Top 6%

That is a 4 minute PR. And 7 minutes faster than the last half I ran. Crazy!

Post race PR smiles!

Not only did I get a killer PR, but Maureen and Kelsey did too! Thank you New Orleans for great weather and a flat course!

And that runner’s high: I plan on riding it as long as I can. My body may hurt, but just thinking about this race makes me smile.