Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July Recap

July Recap!

Miles:  92 miles

Races: Peachtree Road Race and Troop Trot Trail Race

Current Gear Want: Compression Socks

Current Gear Need: New running sneakers (Yes, this is the same as last month! Bad Runner.)

Current Project: Strengthening my hips

Things I am excited for next month: 
  1. A few days of vacation in the mountains with the Jayhawk's family.
  2. Run 10 Feed 10 run with a mission.  Run a 10k and feed 10 people in your community.
  3. Marathon Mom is having a Birthday Bash Race along with Jill Conyers.  The race is free and you can run any distance of your choice and win prizes.  Stop by to sign up and wish them each a happy birthday!

Wow, that seemed like a fast month.  Then again, the Peachtree Road Race seems like it was eons ago.  Marathon training for the Chickamauga Marathon began this month and so far, so good.  Just some minor PF trouble but I think I am on the right track for turning it around.  I'm happy with the structure of my training plan and now am starting to work on fueling options for the race.  Suggestions welcome!

How did your month go?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My 'bad' hip: What is wrong, What that causes, and How I am going to fix it.

I mentioned in my last post that I am having some left side tightness and foot pain.  I received a few questions about what exercises I am doing for them, so here is a full explanation of what the problem is, what may have caused it, and what I am doing to fix/prevent it. 

The Past:
My left hip has been a problem for me for years, well actually, decades. I played a lot of field and ice hockey throughout middle school, high school, and college.  Both sports utilize your hips extensively.  In field hockey you are constantly squatting to get in a good ball playing position. In hockey, skating requires a lot of bending at the knees and hips and pushing off from the hip.  Since I've converted to a running focused athlete, my left hip has always been a little finicky.  It frequently gets tight after runs, locks up randomly during the day, or makes a popping noise when I rotate it.  It doesn't really cause me any pain (just tightness), so I've never thought too much of it or worried about it.  I just figured it was from years of wear and tear playing the hockeys.

In March I bought a new pair of running shoes in a brand I had never run in before and a lighter, more minimalist shoe that I have previously worn.  I transitioned into them by alternating runs between my old and new pair.  Sometime towards the end of April I started to get a funny feeling in my foot.  When I would get out of bed in the morning it felt like I was stepping on something sharp with my heel and the go away after being up for a bit.  Classic symptoms of plantar faciitis. I started alternating in my old running shoes again and noticed it was worse on mornings after I ran in my new shoes the day before.  So I stopped using my new shoes and carried on with training. The pain did not increase and became less frequent, but it didn't fully go away either.  Once I started incorporating more outdoor (i.e. hilly) runs because I needed more distance than I could get on the treadmill, I saw some more irritation.

The Present:
Here is what I have figured out:  My left hip is actually very weak which causes tightness is my left leg.  The tightness is increased after strenuous workouts where a weak hip my effect my stride (speed, or my outdoor runs which are very hilly), producing PF symptoms in my left foot.  The new, more minimalist shoes basically brought to light an underlying problem. 

The Future: 
1. Alleviate the foot pain. To do this, I am using the old favorites of icing, taking NSAIDs , stretching, and rolling out my PF.  I've been icing my PF daily and stretching as needed throughout the day.  I've also borrowed repossessed this torture device from my dog, Mia Monster, because it is perfect for rolling out the bottom of your foot.  She is not amused and wants it back.

I am focusing on doing some very targeted stretching every day. This includes hip, hamstring, and calf. Alleviating the tightness helps to reduce the pain I feel in my foot and the strain in my gait.

2. Alter running workouts to minimize further aggravation. This means flat and easy.  The only place to find flat runs in my area is on a treadmill. I've also slowed down my speed workout until my foot is feeling better.

3. Prevent the problem from returning. I am using a combination of strengthening and flexibility exercises.  In addition to my weekly strength training, I've added in daily exercises to strengthen my hips and feet.  I am also working on increasing the flexibility in my ankles by spelling out the alphabet everyday with a tennis ball.

For the 4 hip exercises below, I use a light resistance band attached to the kitchen table or patio chair (it was just too nice out to exercise indoors). Start with the feet shoulder width apart like the first panel of each photo set. Extend the leg as shown, hold for 2 seconds, and return to starting position. Build up to do 3 set of twenty on each leg. 
Hip flexion
Hip extension.
Hip abduction
Hip adduction
To strengthen your foot, place a dishtowel flat on an even surface.  Use your toes to grab the towel and pull it towards you.  Continue until you have scrunched the whole towel up. Repeat with your other foot.
Towel trick

Big Thank you to the Jayhawk for all his help taking photos.

Do you have a known weak part that you consistently work on?  Do you have any simple tricks you use at home to stay strong? 

I am not a doctor and the above information is specific to my pain and what worked for me.  If you have an injury, best to check with a medical professional to see what treatment plan is right for you.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Marathon Training: Week#1

Marathon training has unceremoniously begun.  It was basically the same workouts I did last week, but there is no harm in consistency.

Monday: Stuck on the dreadmill due to yet another thunderstorm.  Tried to make the most of it and ran a 4 mile speed work out.

Tuesday: Strength training.  Didn't get in cross training because of life/schedule, but got in a few rounds of squats, lunges, leg press, arms, and abs.

Wednesday: Ran home from work and this time Mother Nature held off on the rain!  5.35 miles of hills at tempo pace. Capped it off with 30 min of vacuuming when I got home.
Sweaty but happy.  Note: need to work on selfie photography skills.

Thursday: 4.9 mile run home from work at an easy pace.  My first two runs of the week ended up being speed and tempo and it was time to slow it down for an easy one.

Friday: Rest Day and date night!

Saturday: LSD for 10.25 miles.  It was pretty muggy out and I was tired before I started, so I kept the pace easy.  I was having some tightness on my left side during my run.  I stretched well and was even lucky enough to have the Jayhawk massage my hamstring and calf. The problem started a few months ago when I got new shoes (more on that later) and it has been improving after a shoe change, but more attention is needed.
The best way to recover after a long run.

Injury report: Generalized left side tightness probably due to my 'bad' hip and one purple toenail, the problem toe that tends to bleed on long runs.  What can I say, it's a quitter.

Mini goal of the week: Add-in hip strengthening exercises to minimize problems from the 'bad' hip.  Will utilize resistance band and the towel trick.

15 weeks until race day!

How was everyone's week?  Lots of good training miles?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Paying it forward: Charity Running

Running give me so much in my life by challenging me both mentally and physically, I thought it would be nice to start a series of posts about ways to give back to the running community.  Up first: Charity Running!

Yesterday while I was procrastinating dutifully researching things on-line, I came across this article about how charity teams for the NYC Marathon are having trouble filling their slots this year.  To be honest, it shocked my socks off.  I ran NYC in 2007 with my brother and I am not shy to admit that it is my favorite race.  The crowds are so amazing, it is the closest I will ever feel to being a pro-runner.  On top of that, the course is a great display of all five boroughs with a picturesque finish in central park. In the past it has been quite challenging to get a bib through a charity team if you don't sign up early and I expected that this year would be no different given that the race was cancelled last year. Charity teams offer a great way to run the race if you get shut out in the lottery.
Running together again: After the Beach to Beacon
My brother and I both actually got into the race through the lottery on our first try (a statistical anomaly that my brother was counting on not happening as he is not a runner) and we decided to join a charity team as well.  NYC was my brother's first marathon and he thought joining a charity team would give him added motivation and accountability while he trained, and it would add to the whole experience overall.  So we joined the Autism Speaks team.
The experience was awesome.  Being apart of a team of people with a similar goal (beyond just finishing the race) was great. Our teammates stories were inspirational and the support of the organization was superb.  Throughout training, my brother and I both continually received support from our family and friends as they donated to our fundraising, sent us notes of encouragement, and took bets on which one of us would win.

If the fundraising goals of the bigger races scare you (many require runners to raise $3000-4000 for a guaranteed bib), there are many other ways to be a charity runner.  Many marathons have specific charities that are beneficiaries of the race and allow you to raise what you can.  Additionally, many local charities like to have runners run for them as it raises awareness and funds for their organization in their community.  Check race websites and with local charities that interest you to find out what programs are available.  It's always an option to partner with a charity to create your own team at a race and it allows you to share the benefits of all your hard work during training.

Have you ever run a charity race?  What are some of your best fundraising tips?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Marathon training: warm up week

My marathon plan doesn't officially start until next week, but I decided to run week one this week as a bit of a jump start.
Popular running route? Maybe they are afraid of copy cats of this girl.

Monday: 4 miles easy on the treadmill.  My ankles and hips were a little tight from Saturday's trail run (nothing bad, just not use to moving like that), so I decided to keep it flat and predictable.

Tuesday: Cross training and weights. 20 min on the bike followed by squats, lunges, leg press and some upper body weights as well. 30 min of vacuuming.  With two 9 year olds (1 has paws and a tail) in my house, vacuuming is definitely a form of cardio.
One of the 9yos made me a logo!
Wednesday: 5 mile run home from work.  It was seriously hot and my route home from work is hilly, so I kept the pace light. When I left work it was 91 (feels like 96) with 51% humidity.  When I got home it looked like this:
Outlook not good.
I luckily arrived home before  the rain even though there was increasing thunder from mile 2 on.  Sadly, I forgot my keys at work and my phone died during the run, so I had to wait outside for the Jayhawk to come rescue me.

Thursday: 5 mile tempo run on the treadmill. It was one of those odd days in the gym where I got the last treadmill and then 10 minutes later I was the only one still on one.  I decided to take advantage and exceed the time limit. Yes, I am a rebel.

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 10 miles, LSD.  It was hot, but it's hot everywhere, so I won't dwell on it.

Goal of the week: (I've decided to have mini goals each week to keep me on task).  Set and share marathon goals.

Race day is in 16 weeks.


How was your week?  When is your next big race?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Goal setting: Marathon Goals

As fall marathon training season has begun, it's a good time to talk goals. Setting goals at the beginning of training gives me the full training cycle to work towards them. I think it's gives me the best shot for achieving them.  If things come up (injuries, life commitments, etc.) I can always readjust them later.  No shame in that.
The excited hum at the starting line.
In the past I have been hesitant about being bold and blunt about race goals because of the fear not reaching those goals will be seen as failure.  It took me a while to realize it's not.  Wanting something and not even trying for it is a failure.  Attempting something is not. You are still putting yourself out there.  You are still running the race.  Not reaching your goals just means things didn't go perfectly.  Stuff happens during races.  People are human. Regroup and try again.

Being honest and realistic with goal setting is important.  I'm not setting the goal of winning the race, because there is no way that is happening, unless I am the only running.  Likewise, just finishing isn't my goal because I have done that before and completed that goal.  I find goals are most useful when they are obtainable yet challenging, building on experiences and skill you already have.
An actual shirt I own care of my awesome friends.

I'm not going to be bashful. I'm aiming for a PR in my upcoming marathon and to break 4 hours. I started doing speed work this spring and continue to struggle with the world of fueling (always my Achilles heal), but I'm ready and excited to train. 

Do you make your race goals public? How do you celebrate achieving your goals?  What do you do when you don't?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Troop Trot 10k Trail Run Race Recap

Troop Trot 10k and 39k Trail Run, July 13th
Field: small, less than 100
Spectators: Umm, it's a trail run
Start: Clinton Nature Preserve
Course: Trails, powerlines, small steam crossings, some rock slopes, 5000+ft elevation change
Schwag: Dri-fit T-shirt, a signed letter from all the scouts about what being a scout means, and all the gummy bears I could manage

On Saturday I head out with the Jayhawk for my first trail race in over 3 years.  It was the Jayhawk's first trail race ever.  I wrote a little about why I wanted to run this race so much in my race precap.  The race was organized by Boy Scout Troop 39 as part of their bridging process to Eagle scouts and to raise money for their summer camps.  The boys marked the route out, made the signs, worked check-in, aid stations, and the finish line, and handmade the race awards. They also presented the colors in the pre-race meeting. Overall, they did a great job!

Pre-race smiles, event shirt, and scouts mingling at the start.

Instead of the traditional gun or air-horn to start the race, the signal was 12 or so Boy Scouts screaming "GO!" at the top of their lungs.  Can't imagine a louder way to get moving!  I took out at a good clip to get a good position before heading into the single track trails.  It was a good course.  There was a good amount of climbing without being too technical.  I enjoyed the climbing parts, but I still descend like an old lady.  I noticed a distinct slowdown at every descent.  Probably something I need more practice at.  The races split around 5 miles in (the 39kers do 3-8.3 mile loops), and instantly the entire pack I was running with was gone.  Since I had been relying on the people in front of me to lead the way, I was a bit nervous to have to start navigating on my own.  After the split there were far less flags and markers along the course.  More than once I looked behind me to see if there was anyone following, but no luck.  I was all alone on the trail, but since the sun wasn't out, neither were the snakes.  I kept at it since the trail was well defined (the lack of flags just made me second guess myself).  When I finished, there was a small crowd including many cheering scouts!  I gobbled down a few gummy bears (ok, quite a few) and waited for the Jayhawk to arrive.
Still all smiles post race.

As I waited, I learned that a 13 year old girl almost won the race, but fell!  Rough way to lose one! A lot of  39kers came through while I waited and fewer and fewer 10kers were arriving.  I started to worry a bit because it was getting later than I expected to see the Jayhawk (and we had forgot his inhaler so he didn't get his prerace puffs).  Then out of nowhere, he walked up behind me.  Turns out he missed the split and ran a good chunk of the way with the 39kers, before getting a volunteer to point him in the best way back to the finish.  The Jayhawk was pretty tired by the time he found me probably due to his hilly 7 miler.  Though he was bummed to have missed the turn,  I was quite proud of him since it was his longest run to date (silver lining)!!
Handmade race awards from the Boy Scouts

Overall, the race was a lot fun.  I finished in 1:10 which was good enough for 7th overall and 2nd in my age group.  The Jayhawk definitely gets the award for the longest 10k!  The course was challenging without being too hard for a non-trail person.  We are not in anyway embarrassed that we got smoked by a 13 year old girl. The Boy Scouts did a great job and we will return again next year!

Race Goals Check-in:

  1. Finish unharmed, in one piece, and still in working order (this does not include scrapes, bug bites, other small flesh wounds). A few scrapes and aches, but nothing to worry about.
  2. Do not get lost. After a few nervous moments, I found the finish!
  3. Do not step on a snake and/or get bitten by one. Didn't see a one!
  4. Have fun. Yes!
  5. Don't leave Jayhawk behind. He almost got himself left behind by getting lost, but since he had the car keys, I waited for him.
Any one race this weekend?  How did it go?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The challenges of trail Running

This weekend I have a trail race.  I haven't run a trail race in years, but I was really excited about the concept of this race so I signed up right away.  Oh, and I signed up the Jayhawk too.
The Jayhawk enjoying the view at Cloudland Canyon.
The race is the inaugural Troop Trot 39k and 10k.  We are doing the 10k option, because a 39k in the July Georgia heat sounded like a death wish more than I was looking for. The race is being put on by a local Boy Scout Troop, Troop 39 to be exact.  As one of their projects, the boys worked on preparing all aspects of the race.  They handmade the finishers awards, created posters to help direct the runners, and will be manning (boying?) the water stops.  The troop leader is a big trail and ultra runner, so I am pretty sure it was his idea, but either way, I love it. All proceeds go to the troop and the facebook page for the race continually has updates and photos about their preparation for the race. Encouraging kids to get outside and exercise?  I'm in.
Look at all those things for me to trip on.
I'm a little nervous for the race, not because of the distance, but rather because of the trail itself.  Don't get me wrong.  I enjoy trail running and partake in it a few times every month.  Being outside, the fresh air, escaping the city.  All great things.  But, you see, I'm kind of a klutz.  The other day on my long run, I managed to clip a palm tree and returned home to find blood dripping down my arm. I've also been known to fall off the treadmill (Don't ask).  So trail running, especially racing and trying to go 'fast', introduces a whole host of new dangers for me. I will spend the whole race looking down at the trail so that I don't fall.  So, to put it nicely, this race won't be done for speed.
Moments like this are why I like trail running.
On top of that, I am not really a fan of snakes and there seems to be a lot of them here in the south. It's not that I am scared of wildlife by any means, I grew up in Maine. It's just that in the north, we are used to our dangerous creatures being large and easy to see.  If a moose or bear is going to hurt you, you are going to see it coming.  We don't worry about stepping on potentially lethal reptiles while out on a happy trot through the woods.  For this reason alone, I will never win a trail race in the south.  I always make sure someone in front of me to flush out the potentially fatal wildlife.

So in honor of my occasional challenges with coordination, I'm keep the bar low for the race.
My goals:
  1. Finish unharmed, in one piece, and still in working order (this does not include scrapes, bug bites, other small flesh wounds).
  2. Do not get lost.
  3. Do not step on a snake and/or get bitten by one.
  4. Have fun.
Do you ever trail race?  What are your tips for getting faster on the trails?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Plan

I'm planning on running the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon in November and it's time for training season to begin!  In previous marathon build ups, I haven't been so good about following a plan. Sure, it all starts fine and dandy.  I pick one out.  I label the weeks. I plot the course.  But then somewhere by week two, it looks like a massacre has occurred on the paper, as I've crossed out and rewritten to reflect what I've actually done. And my marathon times have reflected this plan free style. But this time things will be different.  I plan to do it right.
Bibs of Marathons past.

For the Bootlegger Half Marathon, even though it was my 18th, I committed to following a plan.  I thought it would be good mental training for marathon build up. Kind of like training for training, if that makes any sense. I scoured the Internet, narrowed down the options, and finally picked a plan that reflects the routine I currently maintain: 4 day a week of running with 2 optional cross training days.  Each run had a purpose that I could focus on (easy, tempo, speed, and long) which also helped me not get bored.
It worked out great for me.  I enjoyed crossing off each day as I completed it and only missed a small handful of runs mainly due to a bad cold. I pushed myself by finally adding in specific workouts like speed and tempo, but I kept the overall plan manageable for my lifestyle, which really was the key to success. Instead of picking a plan that is popular, or worked well for others, I picked a plan that reflected my reality.  Sure, I could be faster if I run 6 days a week, but that isn't realistic for my life and it would leave me feeling defeated in an already draining pursuit.

I'm starting a week early and doubling up on week one. Source
To be honest, I've felt a little lost the last three weeks without a plan. I missed the daily plan telling me exactly what I needed to accomplish with each workout.  So, now it's time for marathon training. Once again, I've picked out a plan that is both obtainable and challenging (is marathon training ever NOT challenging though?).  I'm posting it so everyone can see it, use it, ask me about it, and hold me to it. Just another way to help get me to the finish line.

Do you follow a training plan?

What about training plans do you find most helpful?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Peachtree Road Race Recap

Peachtree Road Race 10k, July 4th every year
Field: ~60,000, By lottery in early/mid March
Spectators: 150,000+
Start: Wave start by race times given at registration.
Course: A rolling (3800ft elevation change) 6.2 miles down Peachtree Street through the heart of the city, finishing in Piedmont Park.
Schwag: The coveted cotton t-shirt seen on participants all over the city for the rest of the day. Also, the post-race scene is like a second expo there is so much free stuff.

Sorry for the delay in getting this post up, but I wanted to do the race justice and give you a real glimpse at what it is like. It's hard to capture what the Peachtree means to Atlanta, but I'll give it my best shot.
The Start. Credit: The Jayhawk
Despite bleak pre-race weather reports, the monsoon style rain didn't arrive until after the race allowing for another great year.  PTRR is a unique event, a 10k unlike any other for many reasons: it is the largest in the country in terms of entrants, it shuts down a major US city for most of a day, and there is a wide range of abilities from the elite of the elite to those who this will be their only race of the year.  The PTRR has a level of stature in the city (similar to NYC marathon but more accessible due to the shorter distance) with everyone talking about who's doing the race, people clamoring to get a bib, and guessing what the shirt will look like. The shirts are worn like a badge of honor around the city and many people make it an annual tradition. There are people who have never run a race before that train for a year just to complete the hilly 6.2 trek through heat and humidity, all so they can wear that cotton t-shirt with pride.
She runs with Scissors; The Elites mingle at the finish.
This is not to shortchange the course.  With over 1900ft of climbing and another 1900+ ft of descending, it's not an easy race and by no means what I would pick for a first timers 10k, but that speaks volumes about the mystique of the Peachtree in Atlanta: Everyone, runner or not, wants to complete the challenge. The course gives you 2+ miles of downhill to start, but takes it all back with a series of long hills for the following 3 miles.
A sea of humanity at the finish. 
Being one of the oldest races in the city (44 years), it has captured a place in the heart of the city.  3400+ volunteers show up bright and early on a holiday to make sure it is a success.  150k fans line the course with faces painted and festive attire, cheering, handing out water, popsicles, beer, etc. Local T.V. stations carry live coverage of the race starting starting over an hour before the first wave is sent off, and then does a prime time recap that very night with the inspirational stories of those running it.
Though it was a road race, the finish area in the park resembled Woodstock. 
I've actually never raced PTRR. I feel like I would miss too much if I was focused on speeding through the course.  There is so much to see and be inspired by.  Every year it is the one race that the Jayhawk and I run together.  We soak in the crowds enjoying everything they have to offer as well as the excitement of our fellow runners.  There are many moments of inspiration to be had on the course from the oldest participant (92 years young), to the rehab patients from the Shepard Spine Center that line the side of one of the major hills in their wheelchairs cheering loudly and willing you not to stop.
Wearing it with pride.
In my mind, the Peachtree is a snapshot of what is great about running. Everyone, young and old, runner and non-runner, fans, volunteers, works together to create one day unlike any other in the city.  It is a true celebration and an unique experience that makes me proud to call myself a runner and live in Atlanta.

Is there a race that is emblematic of your city?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Fuelin' up Friday: Yet another reason I love NUUN

I've been a huge fan of NUUN for several years now and am frequently recommending it to my friends, but this week that love grew a little deeper due to a great expo experience.

While at the Peachtree Road Race Expo, my honey (the Jayhawk) and I bought some more NUUN to replenish the stock.  Being that we have a slight dependence on it at our house, we are constantly in search of more. The Jayhawk loves Watermelon and I am a Cherry limeade fanatic.  The girl at the booth was more than patient as we debated what flavors to purchase and was even sweet enough to give us two free water bottles so we wouldn't have to share.  As we checked out and chatted with the friendly booth girl, I moved to the side so people could continue to enjoy the endless NUUN samples.  It wasn't until we arrived home that we realized, when we moved out of the way for the eager sippers, we left our newly purchased NUUN sitting on top of a cooler.
A gamechanger for me.
There was much sadness at our home.  We were stoked about our new bottles, but we were NUUNless.  The Jayhawk returned to the expo with a friend the next day and stopped by the NUUN booth to get more.  Amazingly, not only did the booth girl recognize him, but she had tried to track us down at the expo the night before and put our purchase aside in hopes we would return!  Now our purchase was small (2 tubes), but  the booth girl made the extra effort to get us our purchase and treat us like we bought a truckload. Her customer service skills in one word were awesome. The Jayhawk's buddy was so impressed with the product and the customer service, he bought some as well.
Reunited and it feels so good.
On to the other reasons I love NUUN.

I've documented many times on this blog the struggles I have with fueling.  Heck, it's even the name of the blog.  I frequently underfuel and am prone to vomiting up what I do eat.  I've successfully barfed my way through two Ragnar relays and underfueled in a myriad of races.  But something changed for me when I started using NUUN.  The sugar-free formula really works well for my needs.  I no longer feel nauseated during runs of any type (long, hot, speed, etc) allowing me to better tolerate fuels.  I've been able to remain well hydrated as well as feel balanced during my long runs in the Georgia heat.  It's to the point now where I can't stomach other sugary hydration drinks.  The portability of the tubes has led me to stash it everywhere.  I keep a tube in my purse, my desk at work, my workout bag etc. I basically am always ready to gear up for a run.

I only have one issue with the product.  What to do with the empty tubes?  Is there some sort of NUUN tube recycling program we can start at local running stores where you get 5 cents off your next tube?  It's either that or a kids craft project? I am open to ideas.

What do you use for hydration?
What do you do with your empty NUUN tubes?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

Hope you all have a happy and safe 4th of July!  The rain held off at the Peachtree and fun was had by all.  Race report to come.  Spoiler Alert:  I did not win.
More than the minimum flare. I like to express myself.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Don't rain on my parade: Peachtree Road Race Expo visit

I headed downtown yesterday to the Peachtree Road Race Expo.  It may seem a little odd to have an Expo for a 10k, but since it is the largest race in the country with around 60,000 participants, its not your usual 10k.  In addition to the usual excitement surrounding the race, this year it is also hosting the USA Mens and Women's 10k Championships.  The elite field reads like a who's who of running favorites including Ryan Hall, Meb, and Abdi Abdirahman (complete list of elites can be found here). I've raced against both Ryan and Meb before and I'll probably let them win again this year.  I plan to take it easy in the race, enjoy the fans, and show off my flair.  Those boys are lucky again this time.
Expo time! Racer Ready?

I'm trying to stay hopeful, but I'm a little worried.  The current forecast for the race is not good and not the usual Blistering-hot-at-the-start kind of not good.  Right now it's 100% chance of rain including a flash flood warning. The thunderstorms should be holding off until the afternoon, so we should be able to get the race in, but this maybe more of a swim than a run.   I've had some very rainy races in the past (the monsoon at Flying Pig and crazy pop-up storm at Silver Comet in '09), so I know what I am in for. I've pulled a few running tips for rainy days and I'm sure I will have somethings to add after thursday.
Inspirational mini bibs.  What would you write?
I've got my fingers crossed, am praying to the weather gods, and am hoping the worst of the rain shows up in the afternoon. If not, I may have to rethink my outfit.  I planned for the usual super hot race, but I can run in swim goggles and some floaties, right?  I'm going to be out there so I might as well have fun with it!

What would you write on your mini bib?

What are your rainy day running tips?

Also, I've joined Twitter!  Follow me @runningeb
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