Bacon Run – Quick Race Recap

IMG_20151010_075012On Saturday I did my first 5K of the year, which was also my first local race of the year, and a fun run: The Bacon Run.

It started at ended at Jim Miller Park in Marietta, GA, where the Georgia State Fair is held. I heard about it via Living Social.

It was raining when I awoke, but it stopped before I arrived at the park. I was so sleepy because I always get excited and anxious the night before, and I can’t sleep well.

The race started at 8 am and plenty of families were present to run for bacon.

The course was a simple out and back loop with some hills (par for the course in the Atlanta area-no pun intended), but nothing major that threw me off guard.  We had to dodge some puddles but the air felt good for a run.

IMG_20151010_085540I’ve done 19 races thus far, but this race hosted the best variety of post-race snacks I’ve ever had, hands down!  My plate had Zaxby’s 5-piece fingers, Bojangles bacon biscuits (halved), chips (a little stale), cookies,  bananas,  powdered mini donuts, and PLENTY of bacon plates!

Despite the weather, I saw kids, grandparents and even dogs enjoying this race.  Whether you are a seasoned runner or a newbie, I feel good recommending this race. It’s a great fun run for the whole family.

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How Do You Rock? Chicago Women Rock Race Recap

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Chicago Women Rock was my second race of 2015, but the first all-womens race I’ve ever done. That is really light, considering I used to run a race just about every month. But I’m making changes to my racing budget and doing more things with my business, thus racing is not as high a priority. I volunteer for races sometimes locally, as Atlanta is never short on a race. But I now prefer to do mostly destination races instead of repeating the same ones locally. So I headed to Chicago on the eve Chicago Women Rock, which was held on Saturday, September 19.

 

EXPO

 

I arrived in Chicago 4 pm the day before the race. It was gray and had just started raining when my flight landed. It rained very hard, almost nonstop until just before my 10K started the next  morning. Traffic was horrible, and I had a slight ordeal at the rental car office, but thanks to Google Maps, I finally made it to the 63rd Street Beach House on Lake Shore Drive about 40 minutes before the expo was to close.

This was the smallest expo I’ve ever seen. I only recall a few vendors: race tees & socks, Nissan and a company selling pretty headbands. I went to the back of the hall to find the table set up with volunteers handing out jackets and bibs for this race as well as the Monster Dash 5k.

A lady in front of me in line was kind enough to tell me I had to know my bib number to pick it up. Well, I received exactly two emails since I registered, which were the automatic confirmation of my payment back in July, and a promotional email 2 days ago about a different race. She said I had to go to the organizers website (Team Ortho) and confirm something to look up the bib number. Turns out they found my bib using my name, and handed me a small envelope with the bib and safety pins. On the back were detailed instructions about placing the chip on your shoe, but it was the bib that had the timing chip. There was nothing in the packet about where to park, start times and locations, Porta potty/water stations–zip.

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I got in a second line to pick up my awesome jacket. Let’s face it, that was the last influencing factor in me flying my fam to the Chi to run in the cold 🙂

Then I went to find someone who I could ask a few questions about race logistics since none were in my packet. Parking is what causes me the most anxiety the night before a race in an unfamiliar city, so I made sure I had that info.

It ended up being a long evening driving in the pouring rain, so I had McDonald’s as my dinner around 10 pm and only slept about 5 hours.

 

RACE DAY

I headed to the race with my fam early and arrived around 6:20 am. Another race was in progress (probably the full and/or the half) but thanks to my sister’s disabled parking tag, we were able to find a spot in a lot across the street from the beach house and near the pedestrian walkway without circling. I paid the pay station $2.25 for 3 hours with my card. However some folks struggled because the signs said it took coins, but would not accept them. Pay stations aren’t the responsibility of the race organizer, but parking logistics factor into the race experience, so to me, it’s worth mentioning.

Sitting in the car without it running, we weren’t cold. But as soon as you opened the doors, you couldn’t hide from those gusty winds. I shot a few brief Periscope videos as I approached the start line and waited, but I stayed cold until about mile 2–including my hands. It was about 61 degrees, so I was surprised.

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My Homecoming Race – Boilermaker 15K Recap

Downtown Utica
Downtown Utica

20150711_163340I grew up in Utica, NY from age 3, and not fond of it overall. In spite of this, I decided last year that I wanted to go back to do the Boilermaker 15K. I haven’t been to Utica since my daughter was a newborn 12 years ago.  My mom was my last family member to move South with us in 2004, so there’s been no compelling reason to go back.
The Boilermaker 15K is the biggest 15K in the world, and takes place on the second Sunday of July (July 13, 2015 is the 38th annual event).

 

Training and Prep

I started the Hal Higdon training plan at the top of May, simultaneously doing T25 Beta round for the first 5 weeks.  On July 4, I had nothing to do (I did the biggest 10K in the world last year, Atlanta’s Peachtree Road Race) and since it poured all morning, I decided to make it a rest day instead of my usual long run day.  I’ve never done more than 3 miles on a treadmill and didn’t want to then, either.  So I spent the entire morning reading race recaps to add to the hype I was feeling about coming back home to run a race I heard about all my life, but never cared until I became a runner.

New York Travels

In front of the Manhattan Bridge
In front of the Manhattan Bridge

A few days later, I flew to NYC to hang out and visit friends before heading to Utica for the big race weekend.  I had not seen these besties of mine in 9 and 18 years respectively!  And my visit meant that they got to reconnect too (they are mutual friends and each of them also have very young children.)

It was awesome to run in the Washington Heights neighborhood in Manhattan–I did a quickie shakeout run a couple of days before my race.  I would love to run in the park without crowds and street lights, so maybe next time I can plan better for that. (It was kinda cool to sleep in an apartment with a fire escape. I imagined I was in a real-life episode of Blue Bloods with Donnie Wahlberg.)  I don’t know if I’ll ever get to run a race in one of the five boroughs.  I prefer races under 10K anywhere, and when traveling, I like Saturday races better than Sunday–so we’ll see.

When I took the train to Utica, I spent some of that time editing a couple of my forthcoming episodes of my forthcoming podcast (next month!), Kickin’ It with Daree.  I’ll talk about that more in another post soon.

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