We are finally able to bring back the 'Twas the Night Before 5k in Firestone Park. This was a two year process and in some regards a battle. Many of our loyal fans have heard the stories and know why we did not have the race last year. For everyone else be thankful that persistence does pay off! We are very excited to be running our 5k race through a light show that has advertised one million lights on a course that is closed to vehicular traffic inside the park. We have police support and EMS support and of course our wonderful volunteers that make our events possible. Note that this event is on a Wednesday night (a night the light show is not open to the public). Please continue to check the race page our for updated details of the event. We will be holding the race no matter the weather so plan on running in whatever the weather provides! And perhaps we will bring back the nice and naughty list too... last chance to find out if Santa needs to be bribed on Christmas Eve!!! We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 6:00pm for the race start!!!
I have decided to try and take this blog to the next level. Hoping to be able to talk about some products in the future...ones you may be able to win at our races... Plus my experiences as a runner, possibly from coaching, timing, and just anything else that can deal with running!
Plans for our upcoming races will be released soon. We have to attend a City Council meeting on Tuesday and then we can officially start planning the first chronologically speaking race of the year!
How many of you have ever hated running in the winter? I will stand up and shout it out all the time "I hate winter running!!!" Until today. For the very first time ever I thought wow, this is what running in the winter is all about! What's it about you ask? Ah, that my friends would be proper winter gear! Now you may think that should be obvious but this is coming from a runner that never had a coach, at least never one that cared enough to help share in these secrets!
Today I went out on a run in the blasting snow during a weather advisory for 3-5 inches. This is Ohio, so my opinion is outside of the quick rate of falling snow... this amount of snow is not really anything the public should freak out about. Freak out they do and so I got the streets to myself. Granted I most often do not see runners on country out of town roads that lack sidewalks so I wasn't surprised there. I was however surprised at the lack of driving traffic. I was able to navigate the slippery hills of my neighborhood without having to dodge vehicles! That is a big whoo hoo in my book!
A few years ago my running elite-ish husband bought me a pair of tights. I, in my wisdom wore them under sweat pants or under shorts and didn't think twice. Then I had a second kid and they went to the back of my closet. I found them this year and excitedly was able to wear them again! This time, I just put on the tights and ran in full confidence! I guess it helps to pay attention to pictures in running magazines!
I also wore a waterproof and wind resistant "jacket" with a moisture wicking shirt underneath. Again, you may think this is common knowledge but for me it was not. Not so very long ago (cough, cough -- two years), I was wearing double layers of heavy cotton sweatshirts! I would over-heat, freeze when soaked, and be wearing pounds of extra weight! What was I thinking!!! Okay, granted the running industry has come up with some technology that didn't exist in the mainstream since I started running...I just didn't keep up with the times.
Add a stocking cap that is designed to cut wind, cover my ears, be moisture wicking, and adds room for my pony tail to hang out, a pair of mittens, some Adidas Boosts running shoes, a Garmin GPS, and Yaktrax and I was good to go!
Now if you are not familiar with Yaktrax and you are a winter runner you absolutely must invest in a pair of these! Today was my first run wearing a pair of these and I will never run without for the winter now. Granted you need some snow on the ground for them to be practical and to serve their purpose. A week ago I went out on a run without these and slipped my whole way through the run, killing my thighs, running super slow... you get the point. Today was the opposite. I was able to maintain my pace almost perfectly in one inch and counting of un-plowed snow. I'll blame the lack of being able to see the curb from the rest of the surface as the result of my slower pace. I ran up hills, down hills, around turns, and was able to speed up and slow down like I normally do. I really couldn't feel anything different on my shoes minus the few steps I took where the snow was not laying on my front porch.
Since I haven't run in several inches of snow with these, I'm not sure how they will perform in those conditions, but usually when the snow is that deep...I wait until the snow plows have made a pass!
Proper gear lends to proper training. And I'm a firm believer in buying quality product for training since I have been experiencing what wonders it can do. I'm sure that there are knock off brands of just about anything out there and some may be just as good as the original. I think the Yaktrax I used were a off-name pair (my elite-ish husband has the true pair so he re-gifted my pair to me). I guess what I'm really saying in all this is that, winter is not a time to slack. I can no longer use poor weather conditions as a reason to stay inside. Too much has been developed for those of us that enjoy running. We cannot list excuses any longer. Well, we can...but no one is listening!
We are excited to announce that Oregona will be at the Hilloween Half Marathon this year showing off some of their newest product. They will have some available for purchase as well! For anyone not yet familiar with Oregona, they are a local sport clothing company.
I run to spite those who said I should not, could not, those that sought to repress me, the ones that wanted conformity in their slice of society. I may not be fast but in my mind I am not slow! I run for myself and enjoy the challenge of each week on my schedule.
Some weeks I cannot avoid it. I become the weekend warrior. I go out against all wisdom and run too hard, too fast, too far to prove to myself I can, to make up for what I missed, to release the angry voice in my head.
And sometimes for no reason I offer no excuse but I am lazy and become that dreaded baby stroller walker all decked out in my high fashion running gear.
I wear racing flats not because I expect to run fast, come in first, or even place in my age group. I wear them because they look good and they feel good. And yes you may judge me but I will probably judge you for your underwear lines under your too tight pants.
I talk the lingo, I know the terminology, and I buddy around with the best. Yet when it comes to toeing the line I know my place and stay back from the front of the pack. Actually I am usually hanging around the halfway point or even in the back for the smaller races.
Oh and that running skirt trend, yeah I totally started that years ago before the skirts were made mainstream for running I wore tennis skirts because I hate my fat thighs and the look of shorts bunched up a person’s butt when they run. Those two bit 5ks where I showed off my fashion savvy, yeah I have secret paparazzi following me and reporting back to Nike and Adidas.
And yes, I run with one of those fancy GPS gadgets on my wrist that is big and bulky and says to the world I’m so big you can’t help but see me, which means I’m totally cool for running with this on! My Garmin is actually my husbands but I get a power kick from running two miles with it on even though it tells me I am running slow because it’s comparing my husband’s splits to my own! I ignore the GPS except for at the very end of my run when it tells me I ran one second faster than two days before. Then I start bragging on Facebook about getting faster and how my hard work must be paying off!
I eat like a runner in training. Then I eat like a runner after a race. Then I eat without abandon because I tell myself I’ll run it off later. Then I hate myself and eat another piece of candy promising myself some crunches that evening in front of the television.
I am so dedicated to my performance that I even find time to cross train once a week on Sundays when I slam it out on the volleyball court for an hour. In the summer I’ll go wade in a pool with my kids and mark it down on my training log as a cross training day. Sometimes I even get a real workout in by biking alongside my husband while he runs. Thankfully I have a bike because I normally eat his dust both on his way out and on his way back in.
In reality, I probably don’t give myself enough credit (I did run my first half marathon while pregnant) and in others I probably brag too much (I ran it at almost a 13 minute pace). But I like to be a part of the running community. I enjoy the occasional times I manage to attend the YRRC runs. I love being a race director. I love helping out at the finish line with the timing crew. And I love watching those videos on YouTube that are everything from funny and mocking to inspirational.
Runners are a special breed of people. We love to do that crazy thing that others roll their eyes over. We use and abuse our bodies in the name of fun, of health, of that runner’s high. And whether we run in a group or by ourselves we are never really alone while our feet are out marking the miles. Maybe I’ll see some of you out there!!!
* First published in Youngstown Road Runner's Club newsletter 2012.
We have been receiving tons of questions on this new race! We are very excited about the half marathon course and we are still tweaking the route. What you see on the website is pretty accurate but may be subject to change up through race day. We are running the route at all times of the day to make sure what the light conditions are, where we may need to ask dogs to be tied up, etc... This is a country race so don't be surprised if you see deer crossing the road especially on Metz Road or other small critters! The alpacas will look at you funny when you run past them too!
I myself ran about 8.5 miles of the course today and LOVE it. We reversed the direction we originally planned so for everyone stressing about the hills...they are a bit more friendly running it the new way. You get to peak in elevation in the four mile area and despite having some more hills they are more rolling and some do last a distance but If you are trained for a half marathon and you run hill workouts you will be in a good spot for this race. The hardest roads are going to be Metz Road, Crestview Road, and Kelly Park Road. All three run parallel to each other so you are actually running the same hills; sort of!
While out running today actually had someone drive up next to me scoping out the course and making sure they understood it. Which is what brought this post on. If you have any specific course questions please ask and we will get you the answers. As for restrooms along the route...still working on that. Water stops are planned. We have signs for all the miles and will also have directional arrow signs along the course. Volunteers on the route and police at intersections. We will have a lead vehicle and a vehicle at the end following the last person in.
We are excited to announce that we have been selected by Active.com in a partnership with Hyland's to distribute their leg cramp samples to our participants! All participants will receive a free sample in their goody bag and will have access to an additional sample at the finish line.
Our goal with this first year event is to create an event that will be of the same high quality of any destination race! We want you to talk about this race until you sign up for year two and talk about the second year in turn!
To let everyone know, we are making a slight change in the start time for the 'Twas the Night Before 5k this year. We decided to push the time back to 5:15pm which is only 15 minutes later then originally scheduled. This change is to accommodate anyone that may need the extra time to get to the school location in case they missed the change (there are old forms floating around out there), and also to allow it to be fully dark at the start of the race.
Last year our race started on time and our top runners were finished before it was dark enough to enjoy the lights. We are looking forward to having the course illuminated with lanterns and cannot wait to make this race a part of your annual race schedule!
The Hilloween Half Marathon race course has been finalized!!! Please follow the link for the details. http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/238301923 If you have any specific course questions please ask!!! We are planning on water/sport drink stops at miles 3, 6, 9, and 12.
During our December race we collected toys and canned goods for the Way Station in Columbiana. They are in desperate need for toiletries and non-perishable foods as donations are lean during the summer months. Please help us help them and bring some to the race on May 17th!!! Anyone that makes a donation will receive a ticket to win a special raffle item! They have requested items like feminine products, toilet paper, tissues, paper towels, shampoo, and all non-perishable food items!
Crystal Siembida Boggs
President of the S & B Foundation.