MRTC Road Race Series Half Marathon #2 Recap

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On November 16, 2014, my quest to become a 2014 Road Warrior was finally realized! And Mother Nature wanted to make sure that I earned this status. The final 13.1 miles of the 74.8 miles required to become a Road Warrior may have been the toughest. It was cold, very cold, with temperatures in the thirties, and a steady stream of rain for each and every mile. If I had not needed this race for Road Warrior, I probably would have stayed in my warm, dry bed.

This is the timing chip for this year's event.

This is the timing chip for this year’s event.

But despite the cold and rain, I completed the race, which was my ninth half marathon of the year, and fourteenth overall, and earned Road Warrior status in the process! I was able to stay upright for the entire race, which I cannot say about the first MRTC RRS Half Marathon. I did, however, have some issues with my shoes and the course.

I immediately think of this anytime I hear Road Warrior! The Road Warriors from the WWF (now WWE)

I immediately think of this anytime I hear Road Warrior! The Road Warriors from the WWF (now WWE)

 

The sole of my right shoe bunched up as the race progressed. At first I thought that I could endure the discomfort for the final two miles, but that was wrong, and somewhat stupid. I had to stop and take the shoe off to solve the problem, which is not ideal during a race. Hopefully this will not become a recurring issue. The course was narrow, with standing water in places, so there was plenty of puddle jumping throughout.

Running in the cold rain

Running in the cold rain

I did not finish the race quite as fast as the previous one, but considering the weather and my shoe issue, I am still very pleased with my time. It was my median time for the year, and leaves me in a good position for another strong run at the St. Jude Half Marathon on December 6.

2014 Beat the Blerch Virtual Medal

2014 Beat the Blerch Virtual Medal

Like the previous MRTC RRS Half Marathon, this one had no swag,  so I coupled it with a virtual race from another physically held half marathon. For this race, I used the medal and swag from the Beat the Blerch Half Marathon held in September. It was a race hosted by the author of The Oatmeal that has some fantastic cartoons about the struggle of running and weight management. For anyone that is unfamiliar with the comic, you should certainly check it out. You will be amused. And probably find something that you can relate to as well.

Beat the Blerch was swag

Beat the Blerch was swag

The race had distances of 10K, half marathon, and full marathon, as well as a virtual option for those runners that did not make the cut for the sold out event. Each had their own medal and the race shirts were great as well. There is a cupcake on the sleeve, which is hilarious and motivating at the same time. Participants also received three race decals,a magnet, stress ball,gummy bears, and cupcake flavored chapstick. It was a nice haul for a virtual race.

It is hard to believe that I only have two races left this year, but I am going to go all out on both of them, that’s for sure!

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Heroes in Recovery 6K 2014 Recap

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Back on November 8th, I participated in the Heroes in Recovery 6K held at the Court Square here in Memphis. It is a smaller event, but is for a great cause, alcohol and drug recovery services. Their website shares stories of people in recovery talking about how they overcame addiction and mental health limitations to break the stigma. And since I work in the field of alcohol and drug recovery, I felt that I had to run in the race, if for no other reason than showing my face at event as a representative of my courtroom. Also, it was my first ever 6K, which meant that it was an automatic PR!

And we are off!

And we are off!

It was a cold morning, but nothing like this past week has been across the country. But it was not raining and the sun came out, so it was really ideal running conditions for myself. I was coming off my 5K PR at the True Blue 5K the previous night, so I was confident that I would run hard again. And I did!

The majority of the course is one that I have run multiple times over the past few years, and yet the scenery is not getting old. I started a little faster than I should have, partially because I was at the front with the real speedsters and partially because I was feeling really good. This caught up with my on the home stretch, especially the climb up the bluff, but I was still very happy with results.

Race medal and my age group award

Race medal and my age group award

The combination of the small race field and my strong running led to an age group second place finish for myself, which was my second age group award this year! It feels good to see some positive results on my running ability while also knowing that I can always improve.

Swag from the race, including my age group award.

Swag from the race, including my age group award.

Swag: A: Good looking tech shirt, race medal that was better than a few of the half marathons that I have run in this year, and a race decal. Post race refreshments were adequate, and plentiful. Also, the poster designs for each event is great, and reflects each city for the event.

Front of the medal

Front of the medal

Course: A: Downtown course that is incorporated in most downtown races in Memphis in some capacity. The uphill climb towards the end was a killer, but it always is. We still got to run along the river before making the climb, so at least we had a great view before the steep, but short climb.

Back of the medal

Back of the medal

Overall: A: This was a fun race for a great cause with some good swag for participants, especially the runners that registered early enough to get the $25 registration fee. This is a national race, with events in Memphis, TN, Leiper’s Fork, TN, Palm Springs, CA, New York, NY, Roswell, GA, Charlotte, NC, and Coconut Creek, FL.

As long as my schedule allows, I will return to this race in the future, even if it is just to try to break my 6K PR and this is the only event that will give me this opportunity in the Memphis area.

Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Medals Revealed

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Over the weekend, runners at the Wine and Dine Half Marathon festivities were treated to the first look at the Star Wars Weekend medals. Today, runDisney officially released the images of the medals for all the races for the weekend. And they are awesome!

2015 runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Medals

2015 runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Medals

It has been well established on this blog that I am a nerd. I am not ashamed of this. When both the Avengers and Star Wars Half Marathons were announced, I was beyond excited, even though I knew that I would be unable to run in either event. And then the Avengers race medals were released, and I was honestly underwhelmed by them. I guess I built them up too much in my mind. This is not the case with the Star Wars medals. RunDisney knocked it out of the park with these medals, and now I really wish I was able to be in California in January for these events. Good luck to all of you that will be running in these events and have fun!

2014 True Blue 5K Recap

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This is my fifth consecutive year of running in this event. It was my first ever race back in 2010, and now I run in it each year to celebrate where I have come from to be an active runner. I love the course through the University of Memphis, and the weather is usually cool, and with the race being on a Friday night, it opens up the rest of my weekend for other events.

I have written so much about this race before that there is not much more that I can say that avid followers of my blog have not read before.

TrueBlueSwag

Back of the 2014 race shirt. The front had the logo from the bib small and over the heart.

Swag: B: They changed the race shirt this year which is the first change in five years. They stuck with the long sleeved cotton tee, which is very popular, but the overall design is not as good as previous years. But it is different, and a different color than my previous four shirts, so that is good.

Course: A+: I love that it runs around campus, including my old fraternity house.  For alumni returning to campus, it is a nice way to see what has changed since graduation.  It also is not too hilly of a course and is plenty wide to accommodate runners.  Runners finish in a giant inflatable tiger head on the Alumni Mall.

Overall: A+: I will always be partial to this race due to its significance in my weight loss and running.  It is always organized well and provides good value for the runner.  If I ever moved away, it would be a 5K that actually tempted me to visit specifically run.

True Blue 5K Race Logo

True Blue 5K Race Logo

Another note about this race is that in the five times that I have run in the 5K, I have set a PR three times! This year’s race saw me cut :23 off of my 5K PR time, which was very rewarding.

MRTC Road Race Series Half Marathon #1 Recap

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Last Sunday was the first half marathon in the MRTC Road Race Series. I would have posted about this race sooner, but it has been a long and terrible week. I will post about that later when I am mentally ready. For now, a quick race review.

This was race number 9 of 10 in the Road Race Series and I am 9 for 9 thus far. Just another 13.1 miles until Road Warrior status!

The 2014 MRTC RRS race shirt

The 2014 MRTC RRS race shirt

This race also was my eighth half marathon of the year, and thirteenth overall. This race certainly had the least amount of amenities of any half marathon that I have participated in thus far, but that was known coming into the event. No electrolyte replacement drinks, no medals, and no extra race swag. It was just a boring out and back course along Singleton Parkway from Memphis to the Millington Naval Base and back.

This is the timing chip for this year's event.

This is the timing chip for this year’s event.

It was a very cool morning, which helped with my run. I love to run when the temperature is in the forties, and my results typically reflect this. This was my fastest half marathon of the year (and third fastest ever) with a time of 2:16:04, and it felt great! And this even included my fall around the halfway point of the course! This was my first fall while running in a long time, which is a surprise.

Running along the cold course.

Running along the cold course.

I have decided to include swag from a couple of virtual races into my two half marathons in the MRTC Road Race Series. Basically, I found two physical races that offered virtual options, and did what I needed to do to qualify for the events. Then I just but the medals away until each half in the Road Race Series, then I awarded them to myself as if the race awarded the medal. I still ran the miles for both events, but now my medal rack accurately reflects the number of completed events by me.

ODDyssey Half Medal

2014 ODDyssey Half Marathon Medal

For the first half, I used the medal and shirt from the ODDyssey Half Marathon. You probably have seen the medal from this event since it is already popping up on the best medals of the year lists all over the place. It is a mountable bottle opener, which is awesome ans quite unique. I ran the 13.1 miles for this medal back in July, but waited until last Sunday to “award” it to myself.

2014 ODDyssey Half Marathon Swag

2014 ODDyssey Half Marathon Swag

All and all, it was a good day of running, but I am very happy that there is only one more race in the Road Race Series.