road races

The Racing Bug

The other day at the gym I hopped on the treadmill to try my hand at running once again. I had limited time before my spin class and I hadn’t tried running for a few weeks. I’m happy to report that I was finally able to break that 1 mile threshold and run 1.15 miles. Not much, I know. But I’m starting over from scratch. I’ve been starting slow–running 1 mile with lots of walk breaks to get my legs used to running again. I was happy that I was able to run over a mile without ANY walk breaks, no pain and I wasn’t sore the next day! This is promising!

After the run I went to Spin class and had a good time–and thankfully, it was the regular teacher that I enjoy! The class was a lot of seated climbs mixed in with a few standing climbs.

Gym Stats:
Time: 1:33
Calories Burned: 692

When I got home, Michael was making us dinner. I had a huge salad of green leaf lettuce with olive oil and a balsamic vinegar that was infused with pomegranate. It was tasty!

Our dinner was “throw everything together” kind of meal but it worked. He cooked some big pasta noodles and seasoned them with a little olive oil, pepper and herbs (thyme, basil, rosemary), sprinkled a little shredded white cheddar on top and then added cooked scallops and shrimp.

The dinner was good. The low calorie count in the scallops and shrimp balanced out the high calorie count in the pasta. It’s funny–trying to eat “cheap” AND healthy is often difficult because pasta is so cheap yet not the most ideal meal.

I was so happy that the run was a success. I have several running goals for 2012. First, I want to run another 5k. My first race was a 5k and I did horribly. I really want a re-do! Not only that, I would like to be back to consistently running 5 miles at a time so that I can run on vacations and run at lunchtime. Not having the running fitness built up to be able to do those two things right now makes me sad. I miss it. I miss running. I miss having the OPTION to run when other workouts aren’t available to me.

The 5k I’m thinking about doing is the 4th of July race on Sauvie’s Island. It’s a flat trail, scenic, with strawberry shortcake at the finish line! Sign me up!

As for biking, my goal is to continue spin class through the rest of the winter and as soon as spring comes I’m going to return to commuting to work by bike at least once a week. I want to do a short riding event–around 40 miles–in the spring and then start training for my first full century. The one I’ve picked is the Covered Bridge Century! How scenic would it be to ride a bike through this:

I’m definitely getting the racing bug again. I miss the feeling, the camaraderie, I miss the excitement. Editing my book and reading the parts I wrote about my running adventures really made me miss it. It’s time!

Finally, If you are interested in reading this series, check out “Diary of a Diabetic Chef: Chef begins his journey with diabetes” about a chef here in Portland. His first post was an interesting read (and reminded me a lot of my story). I am really looking forward to reading his progress as he tries to lose 60 pounds to cure his diabetes.

QUESTION: Are you already planning your races for the summer? Which ones are you doing?

Running Rogue

Is it okay to run a race you didn’t register for?

This question has been posed to me several times–and I’ve considered it a few times too. Runner’s World website refers to it as “banditing” or running rogue. Basically, running in the race even though you didn’t pay for the entry fee.

I considered it once this year when I was training for Hood to Coast. I wanted to participate in a few organized road races to get my training and practice in before Hood to Coast. I paid for the Shamrock 8k and not long after that, I was paying to participate in Reach the Beach. Money was tight and there was a race coming up I wanted to do. The race was insanely priced (in my opinion) and I for a moment I thought, “I could just run it for FUN and not register…” Then I decided not to. I just felt weird about lying.

Talking to some other friends, they said they’d run races “rogue” before. I started to read about it in my running magazines and I realized there were more issues behind it then just the money factor.

First, road racing has become very popular in the United States and races in general are becoming more crowded. When Michael and I rode in Reach the Beach, we registered the first day and got in. I read that the spaces filled up fast and then they shut down registration! I would have been really disappointed if we hadn’t registered in time. I found out later they were able to accept some extra people, so that was good.

Second, course congestion effects everyone; not just the other runners. More people mean more people using the port-a-potties; more people who could need EMS assistance if something goes wrong; and more people using the resources at the water stations that weren’t counted on.

Third, running rogue means the runner doesn’t get a race photo or a medal, and doesn’t get the same satisfaction of winning a race or gaining a qualifying time! What if you beat your PR and qualify for Boston but since you didn’t register, it doesn’t count? That would just suck.

Finally, it’s cheating. The message boards on the Runner’s World Forum are unanimous in saying that bandits are jerks and not paying for a race is stealing.

When I first heard this topic, it was in regards to the Boston Marathon. The article in the magazine was talking about how hard it is to get into Boston –even if you qualify–because it’s become so overcrowded! The article went on to say that this one runner decided to run his OWN race since he couldn’t get in. He ran a marathon (his own route) with a bunch of different people and had a great time. Not quite the same as running in the Boston Marathon, but I see his point.

Hood to Coast has a similar problem. This is my first year experiencing it, but luckily my team captain Leslie is an expert. She’s done it for 9 years and she knows all the ins-and outs of it. Hood to Coast is so popular that it’s become a lottery. Teams wanting to participate have to pay all of the money up front with their entry and it needs to be mailed and post-marked by a certain date. Leslie went to the post office in the middle of the night to make sure our team would get picked! Crazy!

Hood to Coast

QUESTION: Where do you stand on the “Bandit” issue? Have you ever ran rogue or considered it?