Friday Favorites: 5 races on a budget! Vol: 4

Good morning and HAPPY FRIDAY!!

This week on *FRIDAY FAVORITES* (said in my best game show host voice) I’m talking about my 5 favorite races on a budget!  Running has been described as the most expensive “free” sport, ever.  Non-runners don’t understand the need to sign up for a race, when in theory, all you need to do is throw on shoes and start running.  While I respect this thought and love my training runs,  I also have a deep appreciation for “the finish line”.  Especially after working my butt off training.

These are my favorite races that don’t break the bank:

  1. Big Elk Trail 1/2 Marathon:  This race is only $45.  I’ve run this race a few times and it’s quite technical.  The medals are AMAZING and I was very pleased with the other “swag”.  If you’re looking to increase your trail cred, this is definitely a race to try out!Picture
  2. Seneca Creek Trail Marathon/50k:  This race is $25 for MCRRC Members and $35 for non-members, for both the 26.2 and the 50k distance.  Yep, you read that right.  You can run a 50k for less than the price of a tank of gas! This race is beautiful and quite technical.  There are water obstacles (JUMP!) and plenty of inclines!  Make sure you dress warm, as this race is the first week in March.Image result for seneca creek 50k
  3. Western Maryland Rail Trail Marathon and Half Marathon: This race is $50 for the 1/2 and $65 for the full marathon distance.  The Western Maryland Rail Trail is relatively flat and provides excellent views of the Potomac River.  Taking place in the middle of April, the scenery is some of the best Maryland has to offer! WMRT pic 3
  4. Cumberland C&O Towpath Marathon: This race is $50 for the half and $65 for the full.  The entirety of this race is run on flat dirt and crushed stone on the C&O Canal Towpath.  No need to worry about elevation here!  The race is on a loop, so 3.28 miles out and back, until the desired distance is met. Image result for C&O towpath marathon
  5. PHUNT 50k:  This race is the cheapest of the five (Assuming you don’t belong to MCRRC) at $25 for the 50k distance.  PHUNT is a 2 loop race in the dead middle of January – its so cold!  Also, because this race is so early in the year, the surroundings are a bit bleak.  However, this race is AWESOME.  The medal is excellent, and the swag is hard to beat.  Image result for phunt 50k

Notice a trend here?  All of these races that I classify as not breaking the bank are trail.  I’ve spoken to a few race directors, and I know that trail races are less expensive to put on as opposed to road. I’ll always be a trail junky, so it helps when the races I prefer aren’t super pricey!

  • What are you favorite “not too expensive” races?  
  • Are you a fan of trail?

As always, happy trails and have a great weekend!!

 

Friday Favorites! Vol: 3 – Funniest Race Experiences!

HAPPY FRIDAY ALL!!  It’s raining where I am, which makes me happy to be inside.  I’m also super pumped for this extended weekend due to MLK’s birthday on Monday.  (Thank you, Sir).  I’m in a funk today, so I want to laugh. Soooooooooo, I’m going to run down my FAVORITE Funny Race Experiences!

  1.  Zombies bro… – I’m running the Sole of the City 10k in 2014, keeping pace and chatting with my then boyfriend now husband.  If you’ve ever run this beautiful race, you know it goes through the good and the bad parts of Baltimore City.  In one of the not so nice neighborhoods, the runners subconsciously squished together and formed a large mob as opposed to running solo.  We heard a tiny little voice from the side ask his Mother “why are they all running?”  A guy towards the front of the pack said, plain as day, “Zombies bro…” – It was HYSTERICAL.  The little boy grabbed his Mom’s hand and started running.  I started to laugh so hard that I had to slow my pace.  Still my favorite funny race experience to this day!
  2. Who throws a shoe… honestly?! – Warrior Dash, 2015.  I’m running at a pretty good clip and I see a guy in front of me running without a shoe.  He still has one mind you.  I caught up to him and asked “where’s your shoe?” He goes… “the mud monster ate it”.  Just as he said it to me, his other shoe got stuck in the mud.  He bent down, took it off, and threw it into the woods.  “At least they’re together now!”  I couldn’t believe that he had taken off a perfectly good shoe and had thrown it in the woods… until I realized that he was able to run faster sans shoes!  Made me giggle.
  3. Is he doing push ups?? – Charles Street 12, 2017.  I’m running with my father, who if you can’t remember from previous posts, is much faster than I am.  He decides that instead of leaving me in the dust, he’s going to run ahead, do push ups (yea… push ups) until I catch up with him.  I laughed at first, and then watched him drop to front leaning rest.  He pushed it (salt and peppa style) every time I got too slow!  It was awesome.  Even more awesome were the comments along the course… “is he doing push ups?!” – “thats not even funny man, I’m dying here”.  My Dad’s pretty amazing.
  4. The Air Force would have quit by now! – Marine Corps Marathon, 2016.  I’m running MCM and looking like it was 90 degrees (it was).  There was a marine on the side of the course who looked at me and shouted, “The Air Force would have quit by now, you’re doing great!”  He made me laugh and he motivated the crap out of me!
  5. You have no excuse… – Zoo Zoom 8k, 2014.  I was in my top running shape and was flying down one of the hills in the Baltimore Zoo, pushing my 4 year old son in a jogging stroller.  I passed a few runners and a couple noticed me.  The girl looks at her counterpart and goes “pick it up, you have no excuse now… she just passed you WITH A STROLLER”.  He must not have liked that comment, because as we were trekking up the next hill, he caught up to me.  Made me laugh that her comment made him try harder!

What are your favorite funny race moments?  As always, I hope you have an AMAZING weekend! Happy Trails!!

Favorite Things Friday! Vol: 2 (cold weather gear!!)

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!!  This week was another short week and (to me at least) has FLOWN by.  I’ve been slacking a bit with the blog posts and for that I apologize.  There really isn’t an excuse, I’ve just forgotten to update!  Not excusable, but, c’est la vie!

So, on this FRIGID Friday – I want to list some of my FAVORITE gear for cold weather running!!  In the winter runners need to take extra care when picking clothes to run in.  Layers are a MUST, and you need to be conscious of frostbite on your fingers and toes!

  1.  Oiselle Jogging Tights: These things are simply amazing.  When the weather outside is frightful, you can bet your ass I’m in these tights (ful)! (har har – bad attempt at humor) My favorite feature with these tights are the compression.  Most of the compression tights that I have are pretty decent when it comes to keeping everything in one place, but they aren’t warm… at all.  The Jogging Tights by Oiselle keep my body warm – and keep my circulation up.  Also, they’re super cute.  When I’m looking for warmth and durability, “cute” isn’t usually something that I care about.  However, as a person who understands that looking a hot mess is not yet socially acceptable, I appreciate cuteness where I can get it. 🙂
  2. Oiselle Powerstretch Running Gloves: Sensing a theme here?  Oiselle has killer gear.  If you haven’t checked them out… DO IT NOW!  These gloves are my favorite gloves for running in the cold.  They are warm with the Polartec® Power Stretch® Pro technology but not too warm causing my hands to sweat and become gross.  Breathable is key with gloves for me. They’re touch screen compatible which is a HUGE plus for me.  I’m always checking my phone on runs; be it to make sure I’m keeping a safe speed, or I’m checking to see if my kiddo needs me – I need to be able to touch my phone without freezing my fingers off. Also, again, like the tights… they’re cute!image3.jpeg
  3. November Project Buff: Pictured above in Blue and below in black.  These gators/buffs are so awesome!  They are simple, stretchy fabric, but they help with wind tremendously!  I’ve been wearing one to walk from my parking garage to work everyday lately as the wind in Baltimore has been brutal! I also appreciate the versatility of the buffs.  I’m able to cover my ears like ear muffs, while keeping my neck warm and safe from windimage2.jpeg
  4. Smartwool PhD® Run Ultra Light Micro Socks: Super soft, super warm, super comfortable.  These socks, like the gloves I mentioned earlier, have a breathable material that keeps perspiration down.  (I’m a sweater – so these products are my savior)  No one appreciates the runner funk – and these socks are a way to avoid that when running in winter.  Also, unless I’m injured (which happens frequently) I prefer (even in below freezing temperatures) to have socks that are at my ankle.  I’ll wear compression socks that go to the knee, but only when necessary.  The Smartwool socks were actually given to me as a Ragnar Ambassador and I fell in love with them instantly.  I went out an bought three more pair.
  5. Running vest:  I have two that I wear frequently, one by Oiselle, and one my Lululemon.  Both companies no longer sell them (sad face) so I have no link to share!  I tend to carry things with me when I run, even when I plan not to.  Having a vest like the Kara Goucher inspired vest below, is a win win.  There are pockets on the sides, and a LARGE pocket in the back on my tush, to hold things.  Also, hood much?  LOVE IT! As I mentioned, I tend to sweat, so vests on top of my long sleeved shirts are perfect when I run to make sure I don’t overheat.  Image may contain: 1 person
  • What are your cold weather gear go-tos?
  • How cold is it where you are right now? (it’s a balmy 11° in Baltimore!)
  • Are you running outside, or are you running on the dreadmill?

Wishing you happy trails!! STAY WARM!! 🙂