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Archive | June, 2012

Kids Run at Dash for Dad!

19 Jun

We celebrated Father’s Day this week by participating in the Pacer’s Dash for Dad, benefitting ZERO-The Project to End Prostate Cancer.  Dash for Dad is one of  those family-friendly races with something for everyone: a 4-mile run, 1-mile walk, and 100-yard kid’s race. 

Frankly, I love the recent  focus on kids’ physical activity and the efforts that local running race organizers (especially Pacers)  have undertaken to ensure children are introduced to running at an early age.    My kids have done several dashes and 1-mile fun runs…and where practical, I try to let them “run me in” to the finish line at some of the lower stress races.  They love to run and enjoy the competitive spirit. 

Sunday’s dash was no different:  after Mike finished his four miles (results are here), the kids lined up for their race. 

At the sound of the horn, my oldest bolted toward the finish.

The twins took a slightly different approach, bounding/prancing along with the crowd.

We all had fun, and each child got a medal and a t-shirt for participating.  The real workout came later…running interference while my kids attempted repeated and sustained attacks on the Powerade/granola bar table.  Happy Running!

 

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Running in Wool

12 Jun

I think I’ve run in just about every type of technical wear known to man, but would never have imagined wearing a wool blend to run in this brutal heat and humidity (it’s been in the 90’s in the D.C. area).

This all changed when I stopped by the Clarendon Eastern Mountain Sports (better known as EMS) over lunch yesterday.    After browsing the racks for a couple of minutes, one of the helpful sales reps convinced me to try the wool-poly blend tanks in the super-sale section.   Originally designed as hiking/travel tees, these shirts are built for performance.  Despite my initial doubts and  the odd sizing (I found the medium to be a bit roomy and long), I ended up grabbing two in size small. 

I did a quick 5k that evening (the first mile with the dog…it was too hot for her to run any further), and had a great experience with the tank.  Not only did the fabric not get sticky and clingy, it was very breathable…even as I drenched myself in sweat.

Here’s a post-workout shot (sorry for the self-taken closeup, my kids…who normally help take these types of photos…were all at the pool).

If you’re interested, these tanks are available (both at EMS stores and online here) at a significantly reduced price of  just under 18 bucks…that’s a 40% discount!  Stock up while you can!  

Happy Running!

Race Review-Northface Endurance Challenge

4 Jun

With Friday’s crazy rains I had doubts about Saturday’s Northface Endurance Challenge races.  Our team (me, hubby + friends) a.k.a., “The Comeback Kids,” participated in the marathon relay along with an impressive 66 other foursomes.   Despite  (or maybe because of?) the mud and water-logged trails, we had a great time.

The late start (11:00AM) allowed for an easy morning and gave me an opportunity to pack for downtime (we ended up bringing a ridiculous amount of gear…camp chairs, sunscreen, bug spray, a cooler full of drinks, enough food for 10 people, etc.).  Needless to say, we were comfortably ensconced at the NorthFace Finish Festival area, enjoying the spectacular weather and scenery at the beautiful Algonkian Regional Park.  

This was our second year participating the Northface race series, and like last year, the course was a mixture of field, paved road, gravel, and trail.   As expected, conditions were very muddy and each of our four runners had tense moments (including a lost shoe) with very slippery trails.   I found the “dense riverside forest” Sugarland portion of the race (between miles 2-4) to be most challenging.  While trying to maintain balance in the mud, I saw the runner directly ahead of me nearly get mowed down by a herd of deer (and that’s when I took the headphones off).  A few moments later I almost ran right into a group on horseback.  Fun stuff.

I was the first runner of the group, so after I managed the hand off (a bit awkward because I couldn’t quite catch the instructions at the beginning of the race), I got to relax.  Here’s a shot of our second runner (my husband) handing off the “baton” (tri belt) to the next runner.

At the end of the day, we came in 40th place.   Not bad, considering the competition…but since my time was the slowest (10 minute miles), I feel like I have some work to do.  First step: buying a decent pair of trail running shoes.  Sadly, my Saucony Kinvaras didn’t cut it. 

Here is the link to the results.   Photos will be available mid-week here.

While I LOVED the race and the amazing support, trail markings, post-race fest, shirt screening, recovery tent, etc…..I have one small complaint: packet pick-up.   I waited for nearly 30 minutes to pick up our material from staff using old-school paper copies on clipboards…and I arrived before the “lunch rush” on Thursday.   Others I spoke to indicated their wait times were over an hour.   It’s not the biggest deal, but the downside (from a corporate standpoint, at least) was that I didn’t have time to shop around after pick-up.    As popular as this phenomenal race series is getting, I’d say it’s time to invest in some type of web-based check-in platform. 

Again, great job to the Northface crew for the race!  We’re definitely planning on a longer distance next year.  Happy running!

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Northface Endurance Challenge

2 Jun

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Super time competing in the Northface Endurance Challenge today! The course was muddy, but we all hung in there and finished with respectable times. More photos/recap to follow. My biggest lesson: I have to invest in good trail shoes!