Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series Discount Code

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It is finally here! I now have my Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series discount code to share with all of you!!!! Use the cod RUNNINGLARGE15 to save $15 on your 2015 registration.

Rock Blog 2015

Details on the code as follows:

  • Valid for $15 off marathons & half marathons in 2015
  • Includes both Canadian destinations – Montreal & Vancouver
  • £3 (GBP) off international races
  • Does not include: Mexico events, 1-miles, 5K, 10K, Kids Rock, 2-Person Relay, or TourPass
  • Expires on 12/31/15

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MRTC RRS Road Warrior Addendum

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I feel like I have beaten the topic of the MRTC Road Race Series to death on this blog over the past few months, so what would one more post hurt?

The additional swag earned for becoming a 2014 Road Warrior

The additional swag earned for becoming a 2014 Road Warrior

Back on January 10 was the winter party that celebrates the entire series, and I attended the party briefly that evening. The party is where runners could pick up any swag that they might have earned and the yearly MRTC awards are handed out. There is a pasta buffet and beer available. If I were not traveling to Memphis from Mississippi I might have tried to make an evening of it. But with the travel and the large amount of people at the venue, I took my swag and left. I did, however, talk with some people who went and they enjoyed themselves even though there was a large delay in the food and beverage lines. But since I did not attend the entire evening, I am not going to review the party beyond this.

Road Warrior 74.8 decal

Road Warrior 74.8 decal

The swag changes each year for runners that qualify as a Road Warrior (complete all 10 races) or Series Finisher (complete 1 of each distance or 6 total races in series). For the 2014 event, Road Warriors earned a seat cover, car coaster, trophy, and 74.8 decal. They did not have the decals at the winter party, and this was causing a meltdown for several of the people I know that earned it. It is a major point of pride and honor to display this highly coveted decal in the Memphis area. You endure heat, cold, rain, hangovers, travel, and dedicate four months to the series, so finishing is something runners love to show off. Thankfully, the decals eventually came in and were available for pick up once the rest of the race swag was made available for those who could not attend the winter party or if they arrived late to the winter party and the swag was gone. The Series Finishers received seat covers only.

The 2014 MRTC RRS race shirt

The 2014 MRTC RRS race shirt

My initial reaction the seat covers was meh, but then when I started to think about it, I realized the value in the item. I usually bring a towel along for races to cover my seats after a race for the drive home. Now, I can use the seat cover, and not worry about jostling with the towel on the entire drive to keep the seat covered.

Last First Day of School

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Last night marks what should be the last first day of school for me. Probably. Provided that I decide that I do not care to have Dr. before my name. But as of right now, this looks like it will be my last semester as a student, and it is bittersweet.

Picture Susan did from my first day of grad school. We are dorks.

Picture Susan did from my first day of grad school. We are dorks.

On one hand, it is great to be finishing up my Master’s degree, and potentially opening up new vocational opportunities for myself, which will lead to new opportunities for Susan and I as we grow our family. But on the other hand, I have always enjoyed school. I am not sure where to the enjoyment originated, but as long as I can remember, I enjoyed going to school. Now snow days and summer break were great, but going to school excited me. I enjoyed buying new school supplies, tackling new subjects, and in the later years, meeting new classmates.

University_of_Memphis_Seal.svg

When I graduated from college in 2006, I thought that my formal education journey had ended. Originally I was geared towards continuing my education in law school, but I decided that I had been in school long enough, and becoming an attorney was not the right career path for myself. I enjoyed earning a steady paycheck and having a career. I enjoyed finally being able to prove to my parents that I was truly an adult, capable of taking care of myself. And then, as the years wore on, I got the itch to further my education.

Maybe it was the feeling of being trapped in my current job. Maybe it was Susan earning her Master’s, but the itch continued to grow until I decided to take the plunge. In fact, this blog started about the time I started the process of re-enrolling in school, and helped knock of some of the rust associated with a seven-year hiatus from school.

After earning my Bachelor’s Degree, I left college with $0 in student loan debt. I cannot say the same about graduate school, yet, I am still optimistic that this new degree will enhance my employment opportunities. My worrisome nature will dwell on this new debt, but gaining the flexibility and knowledge needed to advance my career will continually win this internal conflict.

I am looking forward to what this final semester shall present for me, and how this experience will further shape me as a person. And if I get the itch to come back to school for a third time, I suppose that I can always go to the store and stock up on some new school supplies…

Mississippi Blues Half Marathon Recap

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Saturday was the first race, and first half marathon of 2015, the Mississippi Blues Half Marathon, for myself. Susan and I (she did not run, but tagged along for moral support ans see family friends) traveled down to Jackson, MS for a race that I have heard quite a bit about. Having family friends in Jackson as well as its proximity to Memphis makes traveling there for races very tempting. It is always great to be able to drive to an out-of-town race without missing work and not needing a hotel room.

For 2015, the race was chosen to be a part of the Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics reunion, along with the First Light Marathon in Mobile, AL. The two races even have a Back to Back Challenge for runners that want to participate in both events. While tempting to tackle both events, I decided it was not financially prudent this year. I will be running in Alabama next month anyway, so I just enjoyed the festivities in Jackson.

Start Line

Taken from the MS Blues Facebook page

 

The race was honestly my toughest half marathon to date for various reasons. One, the course is tough. It is very hilly, even if none of the hills are monstrous. The elevation gained and lost is completely manageable, you just need to train for it. Two, it was cold. Really f’n cold, especially for us southern folks. At the start of the race, the temperature was 25 degrees, and it felt much colder than that. We froze while waiting to start. Three, my training was not quite adequate enough. Since the St. Jude Half during the first week of December, my longest run has been five miles. I was not as prepared for this race as I should have been, but I was thankfully able to finish, in the upright position for my sixteenth half marathon!

The race itself was very well-organized, with a clearly marked course, lots of support staff, information shared efficiently, and a dedication to its theme that makes you want to return in the future. The national anthem was played on a steel guitar to open the race, and every aspect of the race reflected the blues. For any runners staying in town on Saturday night, there was a race organized Blues Crawl in local restaurants to listen to more blues music that seemed like it would have been an awesome time.

2015 Mississippi Blues Half Marathon Medal

2015 Mississippi Blues Half Marathon Medal

Swag: A+: Instead of shirts, runners received running vests, which is a first for me, and will certainly get used quite a bit over the next few weeks. Runners also received a harmonica, which was an awesome way to include the theme while standing out among other events. The swag bags are also reusable, and there was a CD of local blues artists included that I have yet to listen to, but will this week. And then there is the medal. Guitar shaped, and larger than most medals, this thing is truly outstanding. The finisher’s medal will stand out on any medal rack! It is one of my all-time favorite medals, and I would gladly endure the hills again today to earn another one! The marathon medal had an attached guitar pick, and might have been even large than the ten inch guitar I received for the half marathon.

2015 Mississippi Blues Half Marathon Swag

2015 Mississippi Blues Half Marathon Swag

The post race refreshment tent was a madhouse, I ended up grabbing a drink, a banana, and exiting quickly, so I did not get to enjoy everything that there was to offer there. There were heaters inside the tent, and several people wanted to warm up. I get it, but I had no desire to fight the crowd any more than I had to that morning. The Mississippi Museum of Art was open for runners to eat, relax, and warm up in as well. You also received free entry to the museum with your bib.

Course: B: The support was great, and there were plenty of aid stations. The hills were noticeable, and definitely became a challenge late for me. The course took you through Jackson State University as well as Millsaps College, along with some other landmarks of Jackson. Towards the end, the course went through some residential neighborhoods which had some potholes to navigate around.Being that I twisted my ankle during the latter stages of the race, I can confirm that these potholes were a nuisance. There was music along the course which certainly helped with runner morale.

Overall: A: Great race with a great atmosphere and very memorable race swag. The biggest downside to the race is that it is held during the same weekend as the WDW Marathon events. A runner could not participate in both events, but, for anyone that misses out on the WDW registration, the Mississippi Blues Marathon and Half Marathon would serve as a great, and cheaper, backup plan. I would not hesitate to participate in this race again in the future! Also, the event has its own iPhone app for easy access to event info and pictures on the go!

Running in the Cold

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Found on the Jeff Galloway Facebook page.

Found on the Jeff Galloway Facebook page.

As I am doing my final prep for my first half marathon of 2015, it occurs to me that this race, the Mississippi Blues Half Marathon, is going to be my coldest half marathon to date. And as I am frantically looking at the weather reports, and considering how much to bundle up, I come across a post from Jeff Galloway’s Facebook page. It is a handy, straightforward chart to refer to for cold weather running. Runner’s World has a nice reference for weather related attire as well. So, enjoy this chart and stay warm out there while pounding the pavement!