Friday, August 17, 2012

I’ve Got A Lot of Travelling To Do

Thanks for all of your feedback on car buying. You all had some helpful thoughts and suggestions I had not thought of. The Honda CRV seems to be one that I should have higher on my list. This anonymous commenter had something interesting to say:

The Charger is actually a really reasonable choice. If you opt for the V6 and AWD you will get an average of 21 mpg, but you will NEVER get stuck in the snow. The Charger's V6 produces 292 horsepower which will freaking rock your world, Beth. And you can get all this for under 30k NEW!! Sounds like your son Sam is a super intelligent and cool young man. The hummer H3 with an inline 5 cylinder engine is also an excellent choice.

Took me about three seconds flat to realize it was my son, Sam. Clearly he needs more supervision.

I thought I was done racing for awhile – I was going to kick back and do this heart rate training thing and pick my nose. But, Team Refuel offered me an entry to the Denver Rock and Roll Half on September 22, so I snatched that baby up. Not to whine, but if you sign up now, it is $115 + $9 processing fee. That is $124 to run a stinking half marathon. I have bitched about the cost of races before. Yes, I have. So, I’ll stop. Especially since I’m not paying.

IMHO, Rock and Roll puts on great races (minus last year’s puke fest in Vegas).  I think a lot of people have the mindset that they are okay paying for the fun extras like cool race medals, frequent aid stations, a brand name race shirt and bands every mile or so.

I ran Denver last year with Joie to help her break two hours (we did 1:54- go Joie!). It’s a scenic course going through some of Denver’s major parks and usually there is outstanding weather. Although now that I said that there will be a snowstorm or heat wave or tsunami. We get those a lot in Denver.

P1110142

Denver’s a pretty nice and runner friendly city – if you watched Dynasty, then you know what I am talking about. Just like if you watch South Park you know a lot about Colorado mountain towns and how every child has huge white eyes and continually spews the f-word.

 

Remember Linda Evan’s feathered hair
                     and Alexis’ up-dos?                                                                                                     F-bombs around the fire. How heartwarming

In May, Forbes came out with a list of the top ten best cities for runners:

  1. Chicago
  2. New York
  3. Portland
  4. Boulder
  5. Washington D.C.
  6. San Francisco
  7. Austin
  8. Minneapolis
  9. Boston
  10. Atlanta

I’ve only run in four of these cities, so apparently I have a lot of travelling to do. I don’t know what they base their conclusions on, and I’m too lazy to figure it out. Probably something to do with weather, scenery, availability of running trails and number of bushes available for emergency evacuations (Boulder is especially strong in that area).

But, back to the race. I am not going to be sidelined from my heart rate training while getting ready for this half. Even though my long runs feel like I am running in place, through molasses and tar, I am sticking with it to see what kind of results I can get over the long term.

My plan for Denver is to “race” it (I use that term loosely) with a goal of staying at 80-85% of my max heart rate (165 bpms). I did a comfortable tempo run at that pace the other day and I think I was so happy to be running faster that I was almost euphoric. Denver will in no way be a PR for me, but it will be a test of this heart rate training experiment. I am also thrilled because my dear friend, Erika, is running – it will be her first half ever!

By the way, even though you train at certain heart rates, your racing rates are different (since you are racing – DUH). According to Runner’s World suggested rates are:

  • 5K – 95-97% of heart rate max (almost full exertion)
  • 10K – 92-94%
  • Half marathon – 85-88%
  • Marathon – 80-85%

Just information to confuse you more.

What’s the most you’ve ever paid for a race? I think mine was the Boulder 70.3 at $250.

What do you think the best city is for running? I am obviously partial to Boulder, but also love D.C. There is nothing like running on the Mall near all of the monuments. Rock Creek Park is amazing too.

What’s one city you’ve never run in, but have on your list? For me, it’s San Francisco. I want to be killed by the hills. I am enamored by this city and have never been. I’d love to go, eat my face off, and take some amazing runs.

 

Here is where I’m going to figure out my max heart rate for real.

SUAR

51 comments:

  1. Glad you have a race on the calendar and that it's two months out, so you'll have a good chance to get some good HR training under your belt and try it out. Interesting chart on the HRs for different distances.

    I think I will probably never run a RnR race. Just too big for me, too much a production and too much money. I'm a smaller race kinda gal!

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  2. Here is the USA the city that is high on my list to run in is Portland or anywhere in Oregon for that matter. Seattle, Washington is on top of my list too. I want to see the sites and I love nature, trees, and coffee shops.:) I love running in D.C. too and will be running MCM there in October. Have fun at your 1/2. I would have taken that free run too. I have never done and RNR race, but it is on my list to do.

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  3. I've never really run anywhere special...I live near OKC and have raced there and Tulsa, ran in South Dakota on vacation, but just through the KOA campground. But, along with you, I really want to visit San Francisco. The hills would kill me but that's okay! Good luck on your race. I'm running my first half September 22 :)

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  4. BTW...your son is awesome!! That's too funny!

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  5. Congrats on getting into the race. That is awesome.

    I have never run in Boston and I want to run there even if it is not The Boston.

    Obviously I have paid near $700 for a race, but that is really 3 races so I guess $233 per race?

    And you will see that your HR zones are going to be fast once you start going. Yesterday I did a 20 minute tempo run at a HR avg of 158 as I did not want to go above that and my pace was 7:00/mi.

    The shit works.

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  6. I'll see you at Denver (maybe "see" you) :).
    We should plan a girls' SF Marathon next year! That was a really fun race two years ago.

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  7. Trust the process for the heart rate training. I am the most impatient athlete (yes, I race others pushing grocery carts in the damn grocery store for crying out loud...and while on the topic, if you are on the treadmill next to me or in the lane next to me in the pool - we most definitely are racing!). Back to HR training. I spent 8 weeks sentenced to Zone 2 base building this winter. It was boring. It was painfully slow. And I was embarrassed running on the indoor track in front of other people. I started with a baseline VO2/LT test, did the 8 weeks of base building, immediately ran a half marathon, and started my triathlon season. At the six month mark, I retested VO2/LT. The dude doing the test in a exercise scientist and he was blown away with my results. And quite frankly, I feel the benefits every day when I'm out there doing the swimbikerun thing. Trust the process, be patient, and the results will be waiting for you on the other side. Yes, I swore a lot through the process, but no one is smiling more than me while I win my age group in races and when I toe the line at the USA Triathlon National Championship tomorrow on my home turf!

    As for race fees, well I've paid the mother of all fees and got sucked in for an Ironman Foundation slot in Lake Placid for 2013. Let's just say I could pay for myself and ten friends to do RNR. And yeah, I was at the shit-show that was Las Vegas last year. Shaking my head....

    Good luck with the base building. Stick with it. You will be glad.

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  8. Hey! I have a CRV and love it! It has been a very practical car in so many aspects. Although we don't live in a hilly area so I can't attest to how it would do in CO ... I always hear the Chicago Marathon is worth doing, is that one you haven't been to yet?

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  9. I second DC! Love, love, love running the Mall. This year I did an 11 mile loop, stopping at every monument and place of interest along the way to take a picture. It took me FOREVER (run, stop GPS, take picture, start GPS, run....repeat...). The whole having-to-stop-at-intersections is kind of a pain (my town has 30,000 people...I can run forever and barely stop!), but I LOVE that I must have seen 100 runners on the route. My dream: Paris marathon!

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  10. I love running in DC...there is so much to take in...not to mention it also feels very safe.

    I'm pretty surprised to see ATL on there. Quite frankly, whenever I have to travel there for work (or otherwise) I feel much safer running indoors on the treadmill. I personally would not run midtown or downtown ATL alone. But maybe that's just me.

    I would love to run in Alaska or Colorado (no, I'm not sucking up!)...the more scenic the better. Though NYC marathon is on the list. Will keep applying until I get selected!

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    1. Downtown isn't a great plcae to run alone in ATL, but there's tons of parks and midways to get through with runners ALL the time. Depending where you are for work, Piedmont Park has runners there what feels like 24/7! Awesome place to people watch AND run!

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  11. I've never run San Francisco, but have been there a billion times as a tourist and just LOVE that city. And Austin is awesome, obviously.

    Love that list. Maybe I've got some more traveling to do, too!

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  12. I do love running in DC. Rock Creek has great trails - some of everything except for big long climbs. You've got to let me know next time you're here so I can take you on my favorite trails!

    San Francisco is also a fantastic place to run. Bay to Breakers was a blast!

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    1. Yes, I'll do it. I might be there at the end of the month!

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  13. I can't believe there aren't any SoCal locations on that list! The weather is always perfect here. I run at 8pm most nights, and the temp is always between 50 (in January - this is what we call "jacket weather") and 70 (in August). Plus, there are tons of great races (I've run 5 different half marathons within an hour of my home - never had to stay in a hotel), and they all have stunning views of the ocean.

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  14. I've only ever run in one city (Pittsburgh - it could rival San Fran for hills, I think. And there are MORE bridges even if they are LESS famous). I have toyed with the idea of running in D.C. and when we head down I WILL run - just won't be far or fast. I get distracted too easily there. I'm glad to hear you'll still run RNR. They must not ALL be like Vegas, right? Not that I was there but I heard everyone from there mention the issues.

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  15. Ran along the Charles River in Boston as the sun was rising and the college crew teams were cutting through the early-morning fog that had settled on the water. It was like something out of a movie - amazing. Based on the pictures you've posted I'd love to run in your neck of the woods. Pretty spectacular scenery.

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  16. I know it's an extra long way to travel, but my town (Auckland, NZ,) is fab for running! We have tons of beaches and rocky coastlines, volcanoes dotted all over the city, and bush-clad hill trails out to the west - I can't wait until I get fitter so I can enjoy it more!

    San Francisco looks great too. I've been reading Aron's blog Runner's Rambles and it looks like there are lots of great trails.

    Have fun doing the Denver half - it will be nice to run with a good friend and just enjoy the race!

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  17. You can look north to Canada. There are some amazing cities to run here.....and our provinces border your states! Vancouver is a beautiful city to run in as is Victoria! But all of our provinces have tons of runs for you to explore. Come on up and enjoy!

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    1. I second Vancouver!! Love Stanley Park and the city. Hoping to do the Vans Marathons next May

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  18. Monterey/Pacific Grove/Big Sur - perfect temperature and gorgeous scenery

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  19. Seriously, Pittsburgh could totally rival San Francisco. I live in Denver but have friends in Pitt. Holy cow that place has hills.

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  20. I paid a little over $300 to run in Goofy's Challenge. That was my 1st half and 1st marathon, so it was special!
    I normally am cheap, so I tend to plan out which races I am interested in for the following year, then I watch and try to register while the prices are low (well, reasonable).

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  21. Right across the bay are the REAL hills ;-) SF is a lovely place to run though.

    Hope Erika has a fab first half experience :)

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  22. Gonna go exotic and go with London for my running city. Not because of the Olympics but just for the incredible history you could experience while running. Plus, the climate seems to be runner friendly most of the time. Then there's the post run pub crawl. Yep, definitely London.

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  23. I am surprised that the climate alone doesn't put Seattle on that list! I love running in my home town. I would run anywhere that wasn't hot, snowy or has altitude. Hmmmm. Maybe I should just stay home :)

    Good luck on your race!

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  24. I used to live in Chicago, and I do not think it should be #1 on the list! There is really only one place where EVERYBODY runs and that is the lakefront path. It's pretty and all, but it gets old after about 90 runs. And the weather! C'mon! You have two types of weather: It's-so-hot-and-humid-I-want-to-die weather AND it's-so-cold-I-can't-feel-my-face weather, neither of which are remotely enjoyable. San Diego needs to be on that list! We have moderate temps all year round! Never too hot, never too cold! And scenic trails and routes left and right. I object, Forbes! That list needs some work.

    But anyway, your kid is funny!

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  25. Hahaha to Sam's comment. Ironically, I drive an H3 but it's the Alpha which has a V8 so lotsa power but pretty lame mileage (16mpg). Owning a Hummer was on my bucket list and since they don't make them anymore I had to take the plunge. Gotta say - I love it!

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  26. I'll see you for the Denver R&R!! Love that race! You shot;d do the Nike Women's in San Francisco. it's awesome! Plus, half or full you get a coolTiffany necklace from a cute man at the end. The food was great, shopping was great and so were the hills.

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  27. I drive a CRV and overall its a great car but I live in WV (mountains) and over time I've become disappointed with the engine power. Sure it will make it up the mountain but you have to hammer on it. It is fantastic in the snow though and gets good gas mileage.

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  28. Hey maybe I'll "run in to you" at the Rock N Roll! Ha ha...ok silly puns aside. I'll be running my second full there. Good luck!!

    I also second test driving the CRV at the very least. Another thing I forgot to mention last post, is I always find it helpful (although nerdy) to create a "pros and cons" list of my top five or so choices. It does help narrow it down! Then when you're down to say the top three, go test drive them!!!

    p.s. if that was your son, he is HILARIOUS!!!

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    1. Yes, I do think a good pro/con list is in order.

      It indeed was my son. He confessed

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  29. Good luck on your upcoming race! I lived in Boulder and ran the Bolder Boulder this year (my sister lives there) I recently moved from DC to LA. Washington is an amazing city to run. LA or( suburbs of) has taken me some time to get used to, I'm on the fence. I have some nice trail races planned in the Santa Monica Mtns. hoping that sparks my love of SoCal running. Have a great weekend!

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  30. I grew up in Minneapolis and it's an awesome place to run! There are multiple lakes with great running paths around them and a creek with paths connecting them. and a river too! Very easy to get a beautiful 20 mile run :-)

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  31. I live on the central coast of California, specifically, Santa Cruz. It has amazing weather all year around and we can run the mountains or anywhere on the coast. If you haven't run the Big Sur Marathon, than you probably haven't seen the best of California. As for San Francisco, I ran it's very first Nike Marathon in 2004 (also my first marathon). The hills were brutal. The next year they changed the course. I would love to run Austin (yes, I know its hot), but think it a cool city.

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  32. I'm really surprised that Southern California isn't on the list! I lived in San Diego for a bit and it was a runner's dream. Perfect weather year round. I also got spoiled because I never had to get up and run at 5am to beat the heat.

    Although now we are in Boston, and I have to agree, it's fabulous. The Esplanade on the Charles River is just awesome, and there's always so many runners and bikers out.

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  33. I would love to run NY or Chicago, by the lake. I think my place is pretty cool to run. We have shade, bushes, and it's flat!

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  34. I just stumbled upon your blog and man you are FUNNY!! I'm so glad I found this blog, I love free entertainment :) Your son is awesome, I love that he left that very detailed comment!

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  35. Hey Beth, I live in San Jose and will be running the Nike Women's half marathon on Oct 14. My friend is selling her bib if you're interested in checking San Francisco off your list of cities to run in! Send me an email if you want it, hairbyadrian@gmail.com

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    1. If Beth doesn't want it, I'll take it off your friends hands. I'm in Sacramento and would be there in a flash.

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    2. I was going to suggest NWM as a great race to see the streets of San Francisco. I ran the full in 2010 and it is in my top 3 places to run.

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  36. Wow...I was actually starting to train for the Vegas half marathon in December. I read your blog about and did a bit more research. I have never done a half marathon before and I honestly thought that if it was a Rock N Roll marathon, it would be a good first start. NOW I don't know what i am going to do! I am glad I read it though. I definitely need to think about where I want to run. I really wanted to do something in December at a lower elevation (I am in Colorado as well). Any advice? I think I could be ready by mid November as well.

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    1. Hmmmm...I did RnR Phoenix marathon in January and loved it. Also went to San Antonio for the RnR in Nov, but didn't like as much. Who knows, maybe Vegas will be better this year after last year's fiasco and all of the complaints. It really was cool to run the Strip at night.

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    2. Thanks! I am sure it will be better but I am more concerned about the volume of people. I am not a fast runner and I just want a good chance to finish a race if I start it, you know? But i do think I will do this one some day...just not my first one!

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  37. Good that you're getting into a race. It's good for your health. :)

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  38. I was thinking about you earlier this week. When you are ready, come out and try my hometown race. Always around Veterans' Day in Richmond VA.
    http://richmondmarathon.com/race-details/marathon.htm
    Marathon, Half and an 8K. Current pricing $95/$80/$30. And you can stay with me. Honestly.

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    1. I am so in. I love Richmond, used to live there. This is definitely on my list of races to do. And affordable too!!

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    2. OK - just let me know when. I'm an empty nester now so there are plenty of empty beds.

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  39. I have never raced out of NYC at this point. It is probably because NYRR (who does the marathons) also holds races at least once a month ranging from 5Ks, halves, and tot he marathon. They also typically have fuel stations and porta potties at nearly every mile. I can't wait to venture out for Philly in the fall!

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  40. Minneapolis is on the list because of all the loops around the area lakes. I live in the Twin Cities area, but never run in Minneapolis proper...too busy!

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