Archives for February 2018

5 Key Factors for Selecting a Race

Hey gang! Lately I have been searching for a good spring race to keep me motivated during these dreary winter months. I have settled on the “Luck of the Irish” 10 Miler in Phoenixville, PA! I have spent hours pouring through several race review websites (www.runningintheusa.com, www.bibrave.com, www.raceraves.com) and it got me thinking…why do I pick one race over another?

It really boils down to 5 factors. If you stick with these 5 factors when selecting a race, it will save you hours of searching (analysis paralysis anyone?) and you will avoid losing money on expensive race fees.

#1 Budget

Cost is something to strongly consider when selecting a race. Do not sign up for a big race (e.g., NYC Marathon, Chicago Marathon, etc.) if you do not have the budget to spend thousands of dollars. When I signed up for the 2015 Boston Marathon, I was willing to accept the fact that I had to spend $600/night on the hotel alone. When you factor in flights, dining, activities, and race fees, I easily spent around $3500.

Could I have done Boston cheaper? Sure. I could have stayed outside of the city, ate cheap food, and did nothing other than run. But that’s not fun for me. I like to travel and experience new things.

With that said, my budget for races this spring is pretty tight. Therefore I am running 2 cheaper races, Clyde’s 10k and the “Luck of the Irish” 10 Miler. Each race is only $45 and other costs are minimal.

#2 Location

The location of a race is another important factor when selecting a race for several reasons. How long will it take you to get there? How will you get there? Is the terrain different from where you normally run (i.e., mountain versus coastline)? Is it several time zones away? These are all things to think about.

A good example of this would be signing up for the Big Sur Marathon (massive hills, west coast time zone) when you typically train on the Chesapeake Bay (flat, east coast time zone). I am not saying it can’t be done, because it definitely can! But did you incorporate hill training into your training? How do you adjust to different time zones?

If you find yourself in a similar scenario, I recommend getting to the race location a few days ahead of race day to get yourself used to the time zone change.

#3 Climate/Weather

Surely, the Key West Marathon in January sounds like a delightful break from the running we do in the bitter cold in the Northeast right? Not so fast. It takes about 2-3 weeks to get acclimated to warmer weather. Again, it’s doable but something to consider. If you happen to be in this scenario, I would recommend arriving to the warmer race location a few days ahead of race day to get somewhat acclimated.

Oh man now I am dreaming about a cheeseburger in paradise 😉

#4 Convenience

Although nice, a race necessarily doesn’t have to be the main event. Is there a race that coincides with an already planned trip? Is there a friend or relative you can stay with that lives near a race? Is the race on a holiday weekend so you don’t have to worry about taking time off work?

This is one of the reasons why I chose the “Luck of the Irish” 10 Miler. My boyfriend’s parents live near the race start and we will be visiting them that weekend anyway. So it keeps costs down because I don’t have to stay in a hotel or worry about any other additional travel costs.

#5 Does it make you feel excited?!

This is the #1 factor when choosing a race. You may have everything else lined up; budget, convenience, etc., but if you don’t feel excited about it, DO NOT SIGN UP. There have been plenty of races where I thought “oh man it’s not very expensive and it has good reviews”, but I just didn’t feel excited about it.  If you don’t feel excited about signing up, then I can guarantee you won’t feel excited come race day.

What’s helpful for me is googling “[Insert Race Name] race reviews” and other blogs will appear in the results. It’s a great first-hand account of what the race is really about.

To help me keep track of races that peak my interest (so many!), I made a Pinterest board called “Places to Race“.

 

So tell me, what are other factors that help you select which race to run? Click “Leave a Comment” under the blog post title.

 

 

 

What I’m Feelin’ Friday #12

Hey gang!! Pop the champagne it’s the weekend!! How was your week? This week’s What I’m Feelin’ Friday gives an inside look at just a few items that make my morning runs a bit better.

Grab your champagne flute and lets jump right in!

#1 EOS Smooth Stick

EOS Organic Lip Balm Stick - Vanilla Bean - 2 pk

Photo Credit: Amazon

I might get some hate mail for this, but I hated when the round EOS chapsticks first came out. I thought they were dry and didn’t do anything for my lips. So I’ve kind of been a hater, that is, until now. The other day I was ordering online from Ulta and in order to get free shipping, you had to spend $50. Why is it that every.single.time my cart total only comes to $49.98? So then I am searching for any dumb $2 item to get the free shipping. I added the EOS Smooth Stick (<–referral link) to my cart on a whim and I am so glad I did!

It sits in a bowl by my front door and I apply it before every run to help protect my lips against the dry air. Having things you need pre-run in a basket or bowl by your front door helps streamline your routine and gets you out the door quicker. The mornings when all my stuff is scattered around the house never seem to go well.

#2 SABRE RED Pepper Spray for Runners

Photo Credit: Amazon

This pepper spray (<–referral link) gives me the peace of mind I need when running outside. The strap makes it easy to carry and it’s small enough to fit in your pocket. Luckily, I haven’t used it in a real situation.  Only have sprayed it every few months to see if it’s still good 😉

I keep this tucked away in a basket with all my other running gear like gloves, hats, lights, etc. so it’s easily accessible.

#3 Runner’s World Warm-up Daily Newsletter

RWwarmup

I read the Runner’s World Warm-up daily newsletter every morning before my run. It’s inspiring, insightful, and entertaining! Only takes 3 minutes to read but it’s so worth your time. Reading the RW Warm-up helps get me in a frame of mind and ready to run. It’s also a good reminder of why I love to run. You can sign up for Runner’s World Newletters here.

That’s all for now!

So tell me, what are you feelin’ this week? Leave a comment by clicking the link below the blog post title.

Week in Fitness: February 4-9

Hey guys! Sorry that I was MIA all last week. Had some family matters to take care of and family trumps everything else.

As far as fitness goes last week, I took it slow getting back into exercise since the week before I had experienced some hip pain. Here is how my week went:

Sunday, Feb 4– Yoga with my boyfriend’s sister

Monday, Feb 5– Rest day

Tuesday, Feb 6– Ran 3 Miles along the trails

Wednesday, Feb 7– Hot Vinyasa Yoga

Thursday, Feb 8– 3.2 mile run along the trails

Friday, Feb 9– Rest day

My goal last week was to just relax and enjoy working out instead of putting pressure on myself to perform. Yoga with Greg’s sister was a lot of fun and a nice change of pace from my normal workout routine. I especially enjoyed our trip to Whole Foods afterwards for “the essentials” aka coffee and random food haha.

Then there was the Hot Vinyasa Yoga….O.M.G.!!!! It was an incredibly hard class. I can barely touch my toes so when you ask me to twist my arm under my leg and grab onto my opposite hip, it ain’t happenin’.  Would I do this class again? Meh. Maybe if that was the only option available. Personally, I think some of the positions were a bit high risk. But I used my best judgment and would go into downward dog or child’s pose when I felt the position was a bit compromising to my goal of recovering and relaxing.

As far as my running goes, I took it a bit slower this week and changed my frame of mind from training to leisurely activity. This way, I don’t put any pressure on myself if I am not running fast enough or far enough. It was nice to slow down and keep a lookout for all off the wildlife on the trails. Got some pictures posted on my instagram @seehollyrun

So tell me, what did you do last week for fitness? How did it go? Leave a comment by click the “Leave a comment” link below the title of this blog post.

What I’m Feelin’ Friday #11

Hi friends! Happy Friday!! Hope everyone had a great week. I don’t know about you, but I am DEFINITELY ready for spring. Just to run outside in shorts and t-shirt would be GLORIOUS! I feel like during the winter months I do laundry every other day because of all the layers required to stay warm during my run.

In the meantime, here are some things I am feelin’ that are making my life a bit better…

#1 Spinach salad with warm bacon-mustard dressing

I am constantly on a search for new salad ideas. I found this recipe on AllRecipes.com and it has been a huge hit!  I have been eating it for lunch the past 2 weeks straight! The spinach provides a great dairy-free way to get some vitamin K (calcium) and there’s bacon.  What could you possibly NOT like?!

#2 Kilner Juicer Jar

This juicer (<–referral link) was an impulse buy this past week. A coworker gave me the most amazing looking orange from his trip to Florida and all I wanted to do was stick a straw right in that thing and suck down the juice.  But instead I got every last drop with the Kilner Juicer! I definitely look forward to using this more frequently for lemon and lime juice.

#3 Sweet Almond Oil

My friend Colleen introduced me to this all natural beauty product (<–referral link) to help with my dry skin. I have tried so many other creams that either didn’t work or would burn the crap out of my hands. This oil doesn’t leave my hands greasy and quickly absorbs into my skin, yay!! I love that it comes with a pump so I could quickly use it and not worry about accidentally putting too much on my hand and wasting it. Yay for winter skin relief!

So tell me, what are you feelin’ this week? Click “Leave a Comment” under the blog post title to comment.

What I’m Feelin’ Friday #10

Hey everyone! We made it to Friday!! Did anyone else feel like it was a long week? Between work and all the other life obligations, I am exhausted! Unfortunately, my hip has been hurting me lately so I decided to take a week off from running. I have been taking ibuprofen to help with the inflammation, as well as foam rolling, massage, etc. I’ll keep you all posted on my recovery. But for now, you know what time it is…another What I’m Feelin’ Friday! This week I’m feelin’…

#1- Bombas Socks

Knee High

Photo Credit: www.bombas.com

I first saw Bombas socks (<–referral link) on Shark Tank and thought, “meh just another pair of socks.” Well I guess Bombas bought a ton of Facebook ads because they were on my feed more than that friend who constantly overshares…you know the one. 😛 Well I happened to need some good pair of moisture-wicking socks for work that were also slightly dressy so I decided to give Bombas a try. I have tried every other pair of work socks with no luck, but Bombas hit the ball out of the park!  They are amazingly soft, warm, and moisture-wicking! I normally wear Balegas for running but will probably give these a try!

#2- Magnolia Journal

I LOVE the TV show Fixer Upper.  Who doesn’t? Chip and Joanna’s magazine Magnolia Journal (<–referral link) is not only eye candy for those who love home design, but they have some great human interest stories and fun lifestyle tips. I love how this magazine encompasses the feel of a warm home. I love Chip even more now because he is running a marathon!!  You can read his story about training for the marathon here.

 

#3- Mission BBQ

Sometimes, it’s life’s simple pleasures that can make all your worries go away. Things like, Mission BBQ! 🙂 On Monday I was already exhausted by the time I got home and wanted nothing to do with cooking. I wanted something “home-y” and filling so my mind immediately went to Mission BBQ. I normally get their pulled chicken sandwich with french fries and it just rocks my world. If you don’t live near a Mission BBQ, I’m sorry. 😛 But any BBQ will do! 🙂

So tell me, what are you feelin’ this week? Leave a comment by clicking the “Leave A Comment” just below the blog post title.