Bluff City 10K Recap

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Last Saturday was the inaugural Bluff City 10K benefiting Habitat for Humanity here in Memphis. And since the Grizzlies advanced to the second round of the NBA Playoffs, graduation was moved to Sunday and I was able to participate in the event. Too bad the weather did not cooperate with my good fortune.

Red normally is not good for running

Red normally is not good for running

The morning began with the threat of rain and storms, and for once, the weatherman was right. Thirty minutes before the race was scheduled to start, the bottom fell out and the lightning came with a fury. A large group of us huddled up in a parking garage, waiting for the lightning to subside so we could fuel our running addiction along the soggy course. With each lightening strike came another delay of 20 minutes. It seemed as if we were not going to get to run the race, or even an abbreviated version of it. But just as quickly as the storm began, the lightening halted. 700 idiot runners cheered, and we swam towards the start line. Honestly, I welcomed the rain. It was a warm and humid day, so the rain helped keep my core temp low. I may not have been thrilled with the soggy shoes, but there is no need to complain about that.

Ready to play in the rain

Ready to play in the rain

This race had a first for me. About the time we were listening to the thunderstorm contingency plan, we heard a report that two of the water stations had been stolen! That’s right, some locals decided that they needed the tables and coolers more than us runners, so they helped themselves to them. This occurrence does lend itself rather nicely to my favorite quote from Clerks, “Bunch of savages in this town!” I will say that Start 2 Finish did a great job making accommodations for the missing water stops and we did not even notice it during the race. Kudos.

Bluff City Savages

Swag: A: A simple, but great looking medal and t-shirt for all finishers. The post race spread was a nice mix of chips, bagels, and pizza, with plenty of Memphis Made beer flowing, even in the rain.

Beer and medal, enough said

Beer and medal, enough said

Course: A: Not terribly challenging, and it included a great snapshot of Midtown Memphis. Obviously the rain created some puddling issues along the course, but it did not create any areas that were impassable. And even though some individuals absconded with two of the water stations, we still had water (and not from rain) each mile.

Shirt, medal, bib

Shirt, medal, bib

Overall: A: Great logistics and a fun race, even with all of the potential for disaster. I love that there is another 10K in town, and I suspect this race will grow in popularity at a rapid rate over the next few years. I, for one, will certainly participate in this event again.

My optimism for this race could also be from the fact that this is the best I have felt after a race in several months. I have been in a funk, and it felt great to finish an event without having the feeling of having the crap kicked out of me!

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MRTC Second 5 Miler Recap

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

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

On Sunday was the second 5 miler in the MRTC Road Race Series.  And despite my best efforts and the prodding of Susan, I am still on pace to achieve Road Warrior status for the series.  I had a friend in town over the weekend, and decided that it was a great idea to drink heavily on Saturday.  All of Saturday, so running 5 miles in the heat and humidity was not the highest on my list of priorities on Sunday.  In fact, I was a little concerned about how dehydrated I was.  I would have stayed in bed all morning if if were not for Susan kicking me in the ass and convincing me to go to the race.  Thanks for that, Susan!

This was basically what my run was like

This was basically what my run was like.

Once I started my run, my fears proved not to be warranted.  I felt decent, and ran rather well.  I was 3 minutes slower than the first 5 miler, but I did feel good.  Of course, the race was not quite as hot as the previous one, nor was it as hot as the Hit and Run 5K the day prior.  I did not collapse on the course and had no cramping issues, so that was a successful race in my mind.  And as a bonus, I found a very strong hangover cure, running 5 miles in the Memphis heat and humidity!

Sorry for the short post, but I have quite a bit of work to finish up before traveling to Disneyland and the upcoming races/weekend. Good luck to everyone else that is running this weekend! Be safe, stay hydrated, and enjoy yourself! 

Tap ‘N Run Memphis Recap

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So this is my overdue recap of the Tap ‘N Run Memphis 4K event that was held on October 5.  The event is a national race with race locations primarily in the southeast.  The concept is simply a fusion of running and beer drinking.  It is a untimed fun run that encourages elaborate costumes and team participation to maximize participant enjoyment.  The race begins with chugging a small cup of beer, running about a mile, chug another small beer, run another mile, chug another small beer, and then finish the course where there was a medal and beer waiting for you.  In Memphis, the event was held on Beale Street, which is the natural location for a beer themed event.

Finished the run

Finished the run

I registered via a Living Social discount, and apparently there was a disconnect between the race and Living Social because all of the participants that registered that way had incorrect birthdays.  This meant that we were not assigned a bib number or registration.  This meant that I had a blank bib and had to verify my info once again.  This lack of communication led to a shortage of t-shirts for registered participants, but since this was a national event, they were able to provide more the following day.

There was a high probability of rain, which probably would not have been ideal for beer drinking on the side of the road, but the rain only appeared about an hour before the event began.  Afterwards, the sun came out, rapidly increasing the temperature and making the run a hot and humid ordeal.  Several people refused their beer at the second station due to the heat and the fact that the beer was getting rather warm as the race progressed.

Course: A-: The biggest issue, the heat, was out of the control of the event organizers.  The course was clearly marked and started and ended on Beale.  Runners were released in waves to help combat overcrowding at the beer stations.  The beer stations also had water for people who felt they needed some hydration and my only complaint about the stations was that the beer was warm.

Tap 'N Run Medal

Tap ‘N Run Medal

Swag: B+: All runners received a t-shirt, a bumper sticker (it reads 0.0), and a really good finisher’s medal that doubles as a bottle opener.  Sadly, my bib was blank, so I filled it with a Homer Simpson quote, which Susan made fun of me for a little bit.  Each beer station had a different kind of beer and at the end of the race you had a choice of Coors Light or Miller Lite.

Race swag for Tap 'N Run Memphis

Race swag for Tap ‘N Run Memphis

Overall: B-: The concept is great and it was a fun afternoon.  After the run, there participants could participate in contests for belching, shortest shorts, best mustache, and best costume.  There was a raffle wheel, which netted me a size small, hot pink tank top, and a good party atmosphere.

Weekly Recap

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This was my view for most of the week

This was my view for most of the week

It has been a busy and expensive week (in a good way) for me this week.  This week was a down week for the Galloway WDW Marathon training plan which also serves as a brief taper period for the 4 Bridges Half Marathon.

Monday: This was a rest and recovery day after my fifteen miler.  I left work early so I could meet the driver from my buddy Zach’s dealership at my house because I purchased a new vehicle!  I did not really need a new vehicle, but I decided to upgrade to the 2014 GMC Sierra SLT.  It is an awesome truck with all the bells and whistles.  It is bigger than my old truck, so there is a little bit of an adjustment period to driving it, but taking it to and from the beach was good practice.

My new truck

My new truck

Tuesday: No run since I opted for an extra hour and a half of sleep.  I went to work, then class, and then I loaded up the new truck and headed to the beach to meet Susan and friends.  Seacrest, FL is eight hours from Memphis, so this was quite an endurance test.  I would like to thank the makers of Perky Jerky, Monster Energy, Diet Mountain Dew, and Snickers for helping fuel my midnight ride to the beach.  I am happy to say that I made the trip without an incident and really was not too tired to enjoy my mini vacation.

I reached Nike+ blue level while on vacation

I reached Nike+ blue level while on vacation

Wednesday: After a quick three hour nap, I woke up to enjoy the day.  I first went for a four mile run along the bike path parallel to Highway 30A.  It was a strong run with great scenery.  It was even better than the Greenline here in Memphis simply because the scenery was even better.  The rest of the day was spent at the beach and dinner consisted of some peel and eat shrimp and fried crab claws at a local eatery.

Thursday: I started the day with a mile long beach run followed by a quick circuit of incline pushups, crunches, bicycles, jumping jacks, side crunches, and normal pushups.  I followed that with a key lime doughnut from the Donut Hut, which was good, but would be trumped later in the week.  Afterwards, I discovered that Samuel Adams Octoberfest is an excellent beach beer and tried the local Grayton Beer IPA, which was excellent.  Dinner was at The Back Porch, which has great food, but next time I will order a blackened sandwich instead of the Angry Amberjack Sandwich.

Studying on the beach

Studying on the beach

Friday: I started the day with another four mile run down 30A, this time in the opposite direction as my Wednesday run.  I followed with more beer on the beach, as well as some grad school studying.  I very well might be the first person ever to read the textbook Mission Mystique on the beach!  Dinner was my first experience at The Red Bar, which was by far the best meal of the week.  I had their famous crab cakes and was not disappointed!  We opted for dessert, and it was the right choice.  Susan had bread pudding and I had the key lime pie, which rivaled any that I have ever eaten.

Everything at The Red Bar was great, but this was the bread pudding

Everything at The Red Bar was great, but this was the bread pudding

Saturday: Sadly, we had to return to Memphis.  Before we left, we ate at The Donut Hole, which is very well known in the Destin area and if you get there late, you will wait for a very long time.  We thankfully beat the rush there and were seated almost immediately.  I went with the “Diet” Plate, which is biscuits, sausage, eggs, and hash browns, covered with cheddar cheese and country gravy.  Amazing, even if it is not healthy.  We also order some doughnuts to go for later in the day.  We went with the key lime, chocolate chocolate, blueberry cake, and plain glazed doughnuts.  They were all amazing, and the key lime doughnut here was even better than the Donut Hut.  The biggest positive to returning to Memphis was that we were able to see our dog again!  Maybe next time we will take him with us.

Sunday: My weekly “long” run was actually just another four miler.  It was my only run of the week that did not have the ocean in the background, but I did not let this get me down too much.  It was another solid afternoon.  After my run, I decided to wash my truck since the drive accumulated quite a bit of dirt and grime.  This may have been more of a workout than my run!  But, the truck looks almost as good as it did on Monday when it was delivered.

If we could have prolonged our vacation another day and a half, I would have tried my best to run a half marathon on 30A.  Maybe I should have done some research before getting down there, because the Blue Mountain Half Marathon was Sunday morning and would be a great addition to my running resume.  Oh well, I could not justify the extra expense of two more days at the beach and an extra half marathon to my schedule.

Now, it is almost time for SNF between the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys, and The Walking Dead returns tonight as well!

Races Added to My Schedule

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As I previously stated in one of my very first posts on this blog, my plan for 2013 was to run in at least one race each month in 2013.  Now, the races do not have to be any specific distance, they just have to be hosted events that I complete.  And thus far, seven months into this year, I have completed at least one race each month!  In fact, I have completed fourteen races thus far this year!  Some have been virtual races, one was an obstacle race, and the vast majority have been 5K’s.  I was to have one or two half marathons completed by now, but my right foot decided to start hurting and I was out of commission for about six weeks.  But even while I was hurt, I completed a race with my walking boot, and while I did not set a world record, I did not come in dead last or injure myself any worse, so it was a success.  So looking forward at the remaining five months of my race schedule, I have some holes to fill.  I do have three half marathons scheduled for September, October, and December, so my workload is about to increase significantly.  But August and November are still ghost towns, so I am changing that now.  This week I have registered for two more races, and I am making arrangements for five or six more.

Earlier this week, I filled the void for August by registering for the Breakaway-Bardog 5K here in Memphis.  The event is being held on August 18, and will benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital, which as you know, is a major bonus for me.  Also that weekend in Memphis is the Elvis 5K, which is a big event here, and maybe I get roped into running it as well.  But, full disclosure, I am not the biggest Elvis fan in the world, and I would never wear the short that the race gives out with his gigantic face on it.  I know my Memphis residency card was probably just revoked, but it is the truth.  Also, the Bardog race is at one of the best bars in town, raises money for St. Jude, is more low key, last year’s shirt was awesome, and the first 350 participants get a race beer mug (I was 335), and the race course downtown is in a better area than the neighborhood near Graceland.

The second race I registered for is a national race that I had been hoping would incorporate Memphis into its 2013 schedule.  And this morning, I opened up an email from Living Social that confirmed my hopes!  Not only was the race coming to Memphis, they were offering a discounted entry, so naturally I registered about as quickly as possible!  You can use this link to register as well!   The race is called Tap “N Run Beer Run 4K and is more of a fun run than a serious competition.  You run the 4K course and chug beer at three separate “Chug Stations” along the way.  And then at the end, you get another beer.  The race encourages crazy costumes and seems like it would be a blast.  I do not have a team or costume idea yet, even though I put this blog’s title as my team name, but maybe some of my friends will want to do this race too. The race is on October 5, which marks the one year anniversary of the worst infield fly call in the history of MLB.  It still pisses me off to think about it, so go here for more info.

November is still barren, but I already know that I want to run in the True Blue 5K on November 1, but registration is not open yet.  This was my first ever running event, and I have ran it every year since.  Why stop now?  I wear my races shirts from this race more than any other race I have ever ran, and I do not foresee that changing anytime soon.  Also in November, there is an event called Heroes in Recovery 6K on the 16th, that intrigues me because of the line of work I am currently in.  But we shall see on that one.

The Cooper Young Festival 4 Miler is a very popular race here in Memphis, and is one that I always seem to have a scheduling conflict with.  This year I do not, at least as of yet, so I might finally get to run it.  It is being held on Friday the 13th, so maybe that is a bad omen?  I am also looking at a couple of virtual races to run as a part of my training schedule.  One has a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (my all time favorite as a child) theme and I really want a Ninja Turtle medal.  Yes, I am a major dork.  You can register for a single race or for the entire series.  If you complete the series you get a medal for each turtle as well as Splinter!  That might be tempting, but I do not want to drop $100 for it, so I will probably just register for the Michelangelo race.  I am also planning another virtual race with a Festivus from Seinfeld theme for the winter.  Naturally, the event date will be on December 23, and I already have requested artwork for the medals.  I will post more details on here as they become available.  If you do not know what Festivus is, go here and here.

I am certain that other races will pop up over the next five months that I will have to register for, but my wife and bank account hope that it will not be too many!