2017 Recap

You know you’re old when you find yourself saying “That year went fast!”

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I feel like I was just telling you about running a marathon a month, and that was over a whole year ago. 2017 came and went, and while I didn’t have any huge goals, I guess I accomplished a few things.

  1. I ran 100 miles per month, so I have now done that for 2 years!!
  2. I ran in a new state – Michigan
  3. I completed 32 races (I think?)
  4. I ran 1700 ish miles.
  5. I joined the Zensah Ambassador Team
  6. I have a total of 161 BibRave reviews
  7. I joined the Shokz star program with Aftershokz

January – The year started in Florida, wahoo!! I really need to find out how to be a snowbird. Before a not so great Outback bowl, I ran the Spring Hill Half Marathon, only to return to Key West weeks later for another half marathon, I am still dreaming about the key lime pie. I came back to Iowa for the Amana Freezer race, it’s a must run.

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February– The weather was all over the place for February, I volunteered and ran the Freezefest 5k in Iowa where temps topped 50 degrees. Then a week or so later headed to Chicago for a 10k with freezing temps!!

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March – The weather stayed really cold for March, but I was able to help with the Shamrock Shuffle and run the inaugural 6.34 km.

April – This was a big race month for me. I ran the Easter Egg Scramble in Davenport. I was gifted an entry to the Hawkeye 50k – and it was unseasonably HOT, I managed a good fall and found a friend to chat with during those miles. I then ran the Illinois Marathon a couple weeks later with my BRF Heather!! I wasn’t done with April, I closed out the month with a half marathon as part of the Drake Relays– where is was cool and rainy. I guess I remember the weather.

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May – I love to race… so I started May with the Ganzo’s 5k and the Red Shoe half marathon, just a week after the last half, and 2 weeks from my last marathon. I then added some 10ks to the month with the Bear Stampede and Madison Twilight event.

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June – I started the month off with a 5k in Blue Grass, where my niece ran her first ever mile race and kicked butt!! Then it was time to focus on Grandma’s Marathon – my 3rd one there, will it ever be cool again? I rounded out the month running a marathon relay with Josh on our 10th wedding anniversary. We then took some time off and ventured to run a trail or 2 in NE Iowa, which lead us to the Interact 5k .

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July – I started the month helping with the Fifth Season Race and presenting at the expo – I still make and sell my headbands. We then traveled to Chicago for the Big Ten 10k, which is always a fun event to represent the Hawkeyes and meet all my Chicago friends.

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August – I ran a hometown race to start the month, then listened to the RunIowa podcast with fellow Corridor member about a race in a quarry, so of course I had to run that too! Then it was time to bring back the crazy, 2 races in one day- the Madison Mini and the Dam Backpocket 7 miler – which is always on the warmest day of the year.

September – This month brings football, so I was able to squeeze in some races between tailgating. NewBo was Labor day weekend as well as Run With Carl. and then I ran 2 races in the same weekend – The Pleasant Creek 30k and  then my 45th half marathon, The North Face ECS.

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October – This month put me on the road with a 10k in New Lenox, IL to kick things off. Then I put on my volunteer hat and worked the starting area for the Chicago Marathon. After that Josh an I hit the road to Detroit, for my first ever race in Michigan. Then I went to Louisville for maybe, one of the most fun post race parties ever at the Urban Bourbon. This race even had me experimenting with cooking with bourbon.

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November – For the first time ever, I switched from a full marathon to a half marathon at the Madison Marathon. I also couldn’t resist the event as the Hawkeyes unsuccessfully played a football game the day before. I wrapped up the month with one of my favorite “turkey trots.”

December – I ran 0 races – GASP! I did however jump on board to organize a fun run in Iowa City. Then I went to my first ever trip to New York for the Pinstripe bowl and I made sure to run in Central Park.

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Looking ahead to 2018, I already have some things on my agenda:

  1. Log 2018 miles – running and walking
  2. Run CRANDIC – I plan to run this, I am also part of the committee putting this event on. I love the new challenge
  3. I am the new co Vice President for Corridor Running
  4. I will be running Grandma’s Marathon (& 5k)
  5. I have returned to BibRave as a Pro and a regional Captain. I have been with them since April 2014.

I hope to add more things for 2018, I really love running all the races, so in a way the goal is to find a way to be able to do that again.

I really don’t set goals, but rather what is the next challenge. Do you set goals?

If you want to follow me into the new year, I am on Twitter, Instagram , Bibrave, and Strava, oh and recently Athlinks.

 

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Regal Run 10k – 2015

Sunny, about 80 degrees, HUMID!!! 8:30 am. Iowa City, IA.

This review is long as I chose to write it differently.

It’s no secret I like to run all the races. There are a lot of area races this weekend, and I was excited for a race in my hometown. Nothing better than sleeping in your own bed, and not having to wake up extremely early to get to a race.

This race is part of the Regina (local school) Fall Festival. In addition to the 10k there is a 5k and one mile race.

I was able to register online for $25-$30. Race day registration was available. Included was a bib, and soft cotton, unisex short sleeve t-shirt. Participants could also save $1 on the brunch later in the day.

There was a packet pick up at the festival the evening before, or you could grab your bib before the race.

The race morning started like any other. I had my coffee, wheat english muffin with peanut butter and caught up with social media. Since I already had my bib number, I needed to put together the perfect outfit and get to the race on time.

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I arrived near the start at about 8:00am. I knew I needed to park so I could leave when it was done without a headache, to make it to my next destination, an outdoor market. There was plenty of parking on the back side of the school, but it would have been difficult for leaving.  I am not sure what the bathroom situation was, but I am sure there were port-o-potties available for the festival nearby.

The one mile race had just started when I arrived, the kids were off first, full of energy, and it wrapped up with some walkers in the back. I overheard some say they should move to the sidewalk, as the roads were open and busy with traffic, and there was not a bike or patrol car following the last person.

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I watched the racers come to the finish, and did a little jog and found the starting line, on the open street. Runners had gathered and a guy with a bull horn showed up. He said the race would start on “Go” there was no timing chips, just a clock that started. The 5k & 10k started at the same time. There was a moped that led the runners. (for how long, I am not sure)

This race was small, about 100-150 participants. No encouragement to line up according to pace, but everyone seemed to do that on their own, YAY!! No National Anthem. The guy said “Go!” and I hit start on my watch.

I had looked at the route that was posted online, and knew it was going to be hilly, with the steepest incline near the last mile. I also was aware of the heat, humidity and lack of shade. Since I sat outside the day before, all I had been doing is drinking water, Gatorade, and eating watermelon.  Ok I had one beer 🙂

The first few blocks, on the city streets I tried to take it slow and not go out too fast. We passed one patrol car guarding the first busy intersection. The streets were all paved and there were no major potholes. When we came to the first turn a few blocks in, the road was marked with chalk arrows. As I ran all turns were marked this way and with yard marker signs. There were some volunteers on the 5k route telling you which way to turn.

After that first turn we were still running on the streets, but they were not busy. We transferred to a sidewalk and came upon the first hydration stop at around mile 1.5. We were still with the 5k runners. I approached the stop and the energetic students were shouting “Gatorade” I was like “no water?”  I grabbed a paper cup of red Gatorade, which was a nice change from the standard lemon-lime and was on my way.

I was hot and sweaty. There was a small out and back section, before we parted way with the 5k runners. Then it was as if I was on my own. With a small race it’s not a big deal. I was trying to stay consistent with time. My first mile was around 9 minutes, and I thought with the heat I could stick with that, however at mile 2, I was at 9:48, I really needed some water.

When we got to the part where we needed to turn on Scott Blvd, a really busy intersection, there was no one with the race near, no one alerting traffic. So you might have had to stop, to safely cross the road. The miles we ran on Scott Blvd were when the hills started and there is no shade. This part was all run on sidewalks. Lucky for me, a woman pushing a stroller passed me on the uphill, I wasn’t out there alone.

Mile 3 came, and there was no water stop. I was running a little faster than the last, mostly because I didn’t want to lose sight of the woman with the stroller. Other than her, and a few other runners in the distance there were no spectators.

However by mile 4, I was toast. I was running 10 minute pace and there was no water stop. However I topped the hill and saw a water cooler in the distance. The cooler was after another busy road crossing with no volunteers or officers. I crossed the road and asked, “water?” They said “no” I knew if I didn’t take any red Gatorade I would really be hurting, so I took a drink and moved along. I really wanted water, and wanted to dump some on my head.

This little loop of the race was on an entrance to a business, so running on the road was not a problem. Then before mile 5 we were back on Scott Blvd sidewalk. This is when I noticed someone on my tail. I didn’t care if they passed me, all I was dreaming about when crossing the finish line was some water.

I knew there was also the super steep hill near the finish. I was now running conservatively. I hate the dehydration headache and I knew I was going to be battling this if I didn’t get some water. At this point the race was all on sidewalk.

I topped the last hill, made the last turn and could see the finish. It was clearly marked with flags and the finishing clock. The last few yards finished in the grass.

As I crossed the finish line I was handed a participant ribbon and headed straight for the post race drinks.  I spotted the water cooler and noticed a woman filling a cup, I asked “is that water?” she said “yes” Then we made small talk about the water situation.

I then went to grab a cup to fill, NO CUPS!!! Some kid made some silly remark… I was soooo mad, I said, “I need water” and stormed off. I had a bottle in my car. I have never been so angry at the finish of a race. I don’t know if there was food or bottled Gatorade, or anything else happening at the finish. I just left! I wasn’t sticking around for someone to find cups, maybe they did. I needed that bottle of water in my car.

I made it to my car and guzzled that water. I live maybe 2 miles from where I parked, I had almost drank the 20 oz bottle by the time I got home.

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I’ve been thinking about this race and situation all day. My first thought was, maybe I missed something on the information sheet, about this being a race with no hydration or something. So I checked :

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hmm looks like there was to be water on the course.

It also didn’t appear there was a lack of volunteers at the water stops. I get that Gatorade or an electrolyte is an essential need on a hot day too, but I think water should be a main concern. I wonder if some people passed all together because they have intestinal issues and read there was water on the course?

Next I thought, maybe it’s my fault: never assume and always carry your own hydration. I have always been one to make fun of those carrying water on 5k’s. Lesson learned! If it’s a hot race, I will bring something to drink. When it’s cooler I can run 10 miles with no water, but this heat & humidity bothered me.

Then I thought about whether or not safety was even considered on this race. First with the obvious water problems, but then with the lack of marshals on the course at busy intersections. I paid to run this race, no matter how many people sign up, there should be road permits or volunteers at each busy intersection.

I also know this was only the 2nd year for the 10k, but the 5k has been going on for a while. It’s not a first year race. I’ve ran other races starting at this location. The Blue / Gold 5k which was a similar route and then Thanksgiving race and Red Shamrock race which start on the trail near the back of the school.

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I am trying to pick out some positives. I did like that the course was posted, so I was prepared for the hills. I also like that each person received a finisher’s ribbon. Also the price for a 10k was great, and the shirt wasn’t bad either. Also being an experienced runner was a positive, I knew to slow down.

I’ve been asked, “what race should a person run in Iowa?” Well, I never recommend a race in Iowa City, why can’t they be as great as all the ones I travel hours to get to? Don’t get me wrong we have some good ones, but there are never any spectators, and there is always some quirky problem. Why can’t we have fun races, well organized races?

Maybe I am biased because I run so many races….However for those who ran their first 10k today, don’t let this discourage you, there are plenty of fun ones out there.

I’ve spent the better part of the day, drinking more water and gatorade and trying to eat salty things. I understand water can dilute your system and all that, so you need the electrolytes Gatorade offers, but you can’t dump it on your head either. I think my headache is finally gone, and according to the pee chart I am well hydrated.

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I will just remember to read through all race information and bring my water bottle next time. Cuz there will be a next time, like tomorrow I have a 5 mile race. (but I’ve run it before, it’s a good one, an hour away)

Now I wonder where the official results are? They must not be uploaded yet, I can’t find them at this link: http://icfallfunfest.com/ My garmin had a 58 min finish time with just 6 miles.

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I will be adding this review to Bibrave.com. I think this race is why the site was designed. If you loved / hated a race, make sure to tell everyone.