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Run Me Home 5k Race Review

10 May

One day, I will actually post a race review within a respectable time frame. Today is not that day. But hey, I’m still under the two-week mark, so, win!

I loved this race. There. Review over. Thanks for reading.

Kidding! But, in all seriousness, this was a fantastic race. It was my first 5K (why, yes. I have run 3 half-marathons, a marathon and a relay race without ever having run a 5K. Good life choices, people!), and my only real hope was to finish and not embarrass myself too badly (speed demon, I am not).

I’ve avidly avoided 5ks throughout my short running career for a two reasons. One, I simply prefer longer distances. But two, I’m not fast. I am certainly faster than I was a year ago, but I get a little rage-y when I read posts by bloggers saying things like “OMG, such a slow day today. I could only run 7:30 miles”. Excuse me? You could manage only  7:30 miles? Quiet, you. If I all-out sprint I can reach that sort of pace. Jealous, much? Totally not at all. Not jealous at all.

But it was the teacher’s first race and try as I might I could not convince him that a half-marathon makes a great first race. So 5K it was. I hit up runwashington.com, a great resource for races in the DC area, and 10.2 seconds later we were registered for the Run Me Home 5K.

Packet Pick-Up

We picked up our packets on the Friday before the race. Packet pick-up was held at a small, local running store in the area. The process was a breeze. Because it was a smaller race, there only 2-3 people in line ahead of us.

Swag

Smaller races typically don’t have the major swag that larger races can acquire. This race still had nice, albeit cotton t-shirts (in yellow, my favorite color!), and a few coupons to local restaurants.

Start

We didn’t arrive until just before the start, so I can’t say much about the entertainment. They had enough porta-potties to manage the number of runners participating. Even with 5 minutes to go before the start I was able to grab one without waiting in line.

The event had three races. A 10K, which started first, a 5K, and kid’s fun run to wrap it up. The start was a free-for-all, but as the race was smaller it wasn’t too bad. If we had arrived earlier we would have been in a better starting position, but as we arrived with just a few minutes to spare we ended up towards the back of the start and spent the first few minutes weaving around those who were walking.

Course

The course was lovely. It started at an elementary school in Leesburg so you spent the first 3/4 of a mile on the road. The course then wended its way to one of my favorite places to run, the W&OD Trail. The race organizers did a wonderful job blocking off traffic while we were running on the road so you never felt unsafe. It was a semi-out-and-back course. You turned around on the W&OD Trail (probably around mile 2 or 2.25) but once we exited the trail the last 1/4 mile ran up a different road to the finish (start line and finish line were in the space spot).

Finish Line

For a smaller race, this one had a fantastic finish area. Plenty of food options (bananas, donuts, danishes), water, and freebies. There was also a trivia game taking place, but we didn’t partake. The party atmosphere was definitely in place and I wish we had stuck around a bit longer.

Photography

I know photos don’t matter to everyone, but as this was the teacher’s first race I was really hoping for a couple of good shots. The race photographers delivered. They had quite a few photographers (at the start, on the course, at the finish), and we ended up with some great shots including this gem:

StartLine1

Overall, this was a great little local race (and the entry fee was quite reasonable!) If they host it again next year, I’ll be back to run it!

 

Any DC-area runners, if you’re looking for an upcoming 5K I’m serving as a race director for the Save the Trail! 5K on Saturday, May 25 and would love to see you out there! If you’re interested, you can register here. I promise I’m not too awkward in real life. Ok, I actually can’t make that promise…I’m pretty awkward.

Any favorite race memories?

What was the distance of your first race?

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Tunes to Assault Your Eardrums

6 May

I’m a committed music-lover. I do run without it on occasion if I’m running with others or if it’s an exceptionally beautiful day, or if I forget my headphones (which happens more often than I should really admit to). But generally speaking, if my running shoes are packed in my gym bag, so are my headphones. Music gives me that extra motivational “boost” when I feel myself slipping.

I have been judged, sometimes harshly, for my avowed commitment to listening to music whilst running. So for all those who are running purists, and refuse to let music tarnish your run, stop reading now. And for all those, who like me, need a little extra motivation in the form of some awesome tunes let me suggest the following 10 totally rad songs (currently on constant repeat on my iPhone):

1) Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore. I cannot get enough of this song. I’ve listened to it four times already while writing this post. I went out on a run last week that lasted 40 minutes. I only listened to this song. I probably need a 12-step program to get over my addiction.

2) Levels – Avicii. If you download this song, keep in mind there are about 40 different remixes, which means everyone can find a version they like. Unless you’re not into House/Dance/Electronica music. Then you should move along.

3) Raise Your Glass – Pink. Just an overall awesome song. Plus I adore this interpretation from a Runner’s World article of a line in the song…

Lyric: “Oh [bleep] my glass is empty/ That sucks.”
My Running Interpretation: In hydration emergencies, I’d add at least two more [bleeping] [bleep]s.” (source)

Hydration emergencies are serious business. Whether it’s on a run. Or during a Friday Night, Wine Night.

4) Troublemaker – Olly Murs (feat. Flo Rida). Typical fun, punchy pop song. My mom also used to tell people that my middle name was troublemaker as a kid. She was only serious on one occasion, which involved a four-year old me, a spoon, and a wedding cake.

5) Stubborn Love – The Lumineers. I don’t care if they’re overrated, or everyone wants to hate on the Lumineers. I loved Ho Hey and I love this song too.

6) Higher Ground – Red Hot Chili Peppers. Nothing like a little bit of RHCP screaming in your ears to get your legs moving. Plus, I watched the most recent episode of Glee the other night where they spent the entire episode singing only Stevie Wonder songs. They performed Stevie’s version of “Higher Ground”, and I was all “Oh hey, I don’t really like this version of Higher Ground, even though Stevie Wonder is awesome. Also I don’t really like Glee because this show had a stupid premise to begin with, and it’s gotten even worse lately. No kid has time to learn 84 different song and dance routines every week while going to school. You LIE Fox. I should really download the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s version of this song, because that version is awesome.”

7) Gold On The Ceiling – The Black Keys. The Black Keys rock. That is all.

8) Don’t You Worry Child – Swedish House Mafia. A great song to run fast too. Although, it can get a little repetitive if you listen to it one too many times.

9) Danza Kudro – Don Omar. I believe this was featured in The Fast and The Furious 457, although I can’t be sure because I gave up on that series back in 2001 and when everyone should have given up on it. That movie didn’t need, or rather, didn’t deserve any sequels. But sadly, I just saw yet another trailer for a Fast and Furious when we were at the movies the other week. Anyway, rant over. Fun song to run too, although, I end up feeling like I want to dance and instead just do these awkward punches in the air. Awkward punches lead to awkward looks. But, it’s cool yo, I live life by my rules and will run/dance if I want to.

10) The Fighter – Gym Class Heroes. Pumps you up and makes you feel like a super athlete getting ready to go out and win Olympic gold or the Stanley Cup, or the Lombardi Trophy, or whatever the NBA thing is, or the Master’s (in golf it’s the Master’s right??). Insert your sporting award of choice here.

Do you listen to music while running? Or do you prefer to run sans headphones? Any song suggestions?