Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Johnny's Running O' The Green Race Recap

Saturday, March 14th, I ran the Johnny's Running O' The Green for the 2nd time. This race is a 5 mile run held on the Saturday before St. Patrick's day when the city holds its other festivities, and the race is sponsored by Johnny's Pub.

This year both Nita and Mel ran the race, so I offered to pick Mel up and drive down to the start. This worked out well as we both needed to leave shortly after the race ended. Nita met us at the Blue Cross Arena as she was going to be at a friends downtown for the day. Mel and I found a spot in the parking lot next to the arena and text Nita to let her know we had parked. While we waited to hear from Nita we sat in my car hiding from the cold and the rain.

(Hiding from the rain)

Once Nita text us, we ventured over to the arena to meet her and the rest of our Team RWB buds.

(Group pic before the race)

Nita and I decided to run the race together, and we agreed on a 1 minute run to 30 second walk interval which we later switched to a 1 minute run to 45 second walk interval. 

I like this race because it's a out and back course in downtown Rochester. It starts at the Blue Cross Arena and travels down Exchange street. Runners turn left and run across the Ford Street bridge then veer right onto Wilson Boulevard. The course travels along Wilson Boulevard for about 3 miles (1.5 miles out and 1.5 miles back). Wilson Boulevard travels along the edge of the University of Rochester campus and the Genesee River. Once runners have looped back down Wilson Boulevard, they once again veer left and cross the Ford Street bridge. Finally turn right back onto Exchange and head to the finish at the Blue Cross Arena.

(Map of the course. Source)

Once Nita and I had reached around 1.5 miles to 2 miles into the race, runners were starting to make their way back toward the finish. Nita and I cheered for the first few runners that passed by, and between our conversation we cheered for others. We also cheered for friends and teammates that we saw pass by on their way back to the finish. We saw our teammate Ashley running back toward us and we high-fived her and we ran past. We also had a random runner come up from behind us and yell "Yeah, Team RWB!" and he gave us both fist bumps!

We finally made it out to the halfway point where we turned around. We grabbed a small cup of water and kept going. At this point the runners had dispersed enough that we weren't uncomfortable and weaving in and out of people anymore. At this point I checked my watch and I noticed we were ahead of our last years time, so I was hopeful we'd keep with the pace!

On our way back down Wilson, another runner came up from behind us and started talking to us about our team RWB shirts. He said he had interviewed a few people who run for Team RWB on his radio show. We chatted with him for a few minutes and then he was off. We made out way up to the Lululemon staff who were out cheering. They had a table with gatorade and beer. Nita and I both grabbed a small cup of Gatorade and pressed on. It was lemon-lime (not my favorite), but still a nice gesture.

We finally made it up to the Ford Street bridge, as we crossed I told Nita what our current time was. We were both excited because we knew we were going to PR from our time from last year. I told Nita we should try for under an hour, but no matter what we'd still have the PR. She agreed. We pressed on, continuing our intervals. We finally made it to the home stretch and our teammates were all there cheering for us as we made our way to the finish line!

(Coming up on the finish!)

As I crossed the finish line, I stopped my watch and looked at my final time. 59:25, we had done it, we finished in under and hour!! Ashley and a few of our other teammates were right there at the finish. I gave Ashley a hug, and we congratulated each other. Nita grabbed us both waters, and we hung out a chatted for a few minutes with our friends.

(Photo Cred: Victoria Freile)

Nita and made our way into the Blue Cross Arena to find Mel. Inside we found more of our teammates, and we hung out for a few more minutes.

(I look like I might be dying here, haha)

Mel and I decided to head out after this picture was taken. She and I both had plans for the day that we needed to get to.

This was my second time running this race, and I absolutely love it! Here's why:

Course: The out and back course is quick and easy. Again, I enjoy this because I'm not a fast runner, but it allows me to cheer for other runners, teammates and friends as they pass by and make their way back to the finish line. There's really not much change in elevation, just very small changes. Enough to make you feel it, but not make you cringe.
Distance: This is a 5 mile race which I personally like. Don't get me wrong, I love 5K's, but the longer distance makes me feel like I've accomplished more first thing in the morning.
Price: The race in inexpensive (though I'm sure that depends on who you ask). I paid less than $30.00, and that includes the Eventbrite online processing fee.
Swag: Registration for the race also includes a long sleeve cotton tee (which I love bopping around the house in, or wearing on my treadmill in the winter as my basement is freeing).

(I really liked this years shirt design)

Post Race Refreshments: I didn't partake in since I had to get home, but I think there were bagels, fruit, coffee and juice. There may have been more, but I didn't investigate.

Processing Fee: This is just something we as runners have to get used to when registering for a race online. I believe all websites that offer race registration (Eventbrite, Active, Etc) all charge a processing fee. It's just annoying.

This was the first race of my running season, and I love that this one is my first one, even though my running season is going to have a bite taken out of it with my heart surgery this spring. If you live in or around the Rochester area, I highly suggest running this race in the future. I'm already looking forward to next year!

QOTD: Do you have a race local to your area that you like to run to kick off your running season?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

For Every Setback There Is An Even Greater Comeback

What a grand comeback it will be!! I'm very excited and looking forward to a girls weekend in November at Disney World for the Runner's Night Out!! Some of you may think I'm crazy registering for a half marathon before even having my surgery, not knowing how things are going to turn out. It's best just to think positive! Besides, I need to set a goal for myself and have something to look forward to, I'm hoping it will make for a speedy recovery.

Today was the day I had been waiting for for a few months now. The runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon registration opened up today at noon! I have been planning on having this half marathon be my "comeback half" after my heart surgery for sometime now. This is my FAVORITE runDisney race for multiple reason, and why shouldn't it be?! Let's review below:

(The many reasons why this race is AWESOME! Source: runDisney)

I logged onto the runDisney website at noon and clicked register at 12:01 PM. At that point another tab opened up on my browser and it said I was in line with an estimated wait time. Oh god. This instantly made me nervous, especially the part that says "There are more than 100 users in front of you"

I messaged my friend Lily to see if she was in line as well. She said yes, and that her estimated wait time was 2 minutes. At the time I messaged her, my wait time was 12 minutes. I watched as the time slowly ticked down, and FINALLY I was transferred to the Active registration page.

I quickly filled out all the information, trying to be cautious not to mess anything up that would cause me to lose time. I filled in my credit card information, double checked it, then clicked submit payment. After a few seconds, I received my confirmation that I was successfully registered for the race!! Phew, I could breathe a sigh of relief (and celebrate)! Lily had since messaged me to let me know she was in, and to see if I got in yet. The entire process from when I clicked register on the runDisney web page to receiving my race confirmation took 20 minutes. A very nerve-racking 20 minutes.


Now that the stress from registering was over with, I was free to grab a bite to eat for lunch. I sat down with my coworkers, and while eating I was curious to see how quickly it would sell out. Right after I received my confirmation, the runDisney website said it was already 50% full. I knew that the Annual Pass Holder and Disney Vacation Club early registration sold out in roughly 10 minutes two weeks earlier (however, there were a limited number of race registrations for AP/DVC pre-sale). I kept hitting the refresh button on my phone. 70%, then 90%, and then when I checked by 12:40 PM, it was sold out. According to the runDisney Twitter, it was sold out by 12:35 PM.

I took a screenshot on my phone to send to my friend, Nita. I had been texting her with updates on my registration process and how quickly it was selling out. Then I sent her this and said "Gone."

The runDisney races have become wildly popular over the past few years. Nita and I were reminiscing just last week about when we were able to still register for the races during the second and third price increase tiers because race bibs were still available during those times a few years ago. Not anymore, if you don't get on the website at noon the day registration opens, you're not running unless you run through a charity and raise money. This makes me wonder if runDisney will ever switch to a lottery system like a lot of the larger races do to allow for an equal chance for anyone to run (as long as you've registered for the lottery).

Now for the fun, I need to figure out a costume for the race! I have a few ideas, though I'm sure I'll change my mind a thousand times before the race actually gets here. First I was thinking Doc McStuffins, then Mary Poppins in her white dress, but now I'm not so sure.

QOTD: Who else is registered for the runner's night out? Have a costume in mind yet?