Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Flock and a Weekend Long Run

Lately I've been really valuing things that make me feel good. This sounds very obvious -- who doesn't like things that give you warm fuzzy feelings over things that make you angry or sad or stressed. Pretty logical and straightforward right?

I've also started thinking a lot about acting with intention, thanks a lot to Ms. Jess Lively, fellow wolverine, and her podcast, the lively show, which i've been listening to since it's inception. It's been great to listen to while walking around Ann Arbor, to and from school, and also on longer car rides by myself. 

So when the flock, oiselle's newest level of their team, opened up applications for the second (and final time) this year, I realized that I wanted to be a part of it.

During the 10-miler I ran two weekends ago, the last mile was a little rough. I was tired, and was desperate for that finish. So I mantra'ed. And one of those mantra's was "fly." I've always been a huge fan of oiselle and their apparel, and their sponsoring of Kara Goucher has only amplified that love. So fly made sense. And it worked. I pushed that last mile, and passed a guy in the process (yup, he got chick'ed).

So joining would mean I was being intentional about running. It was about seeking out others who have the same passions as me and building a network of supportive, wonderful lady runners. 

So joining the flock just made sense. Even less than a week in, the sense of community is phenomenal. I'm loving it so far. There's a good number of Michigan birdies and I can't wait to see them at various races. 

So in honor of joining the flock, and in honor of a solid 10-mile run base from the previous week, I went out for a long run on Sunday. It was my first long run in Lansing, my new home (oh yeah, don't think I've mentioned that yet. I'm living in Lansing, doing a legal fellowship) My intention was originally a 12 miler - let's just up the mileage, but I was out for about 10 minutes when the rain started. and didn't let up.

It was a wet-wet run, and I essentially forgot how to use my garmin, and ended up with the most inaccurate stats ever. But I think I ran about 8. 

I ran along the Lansing River Trail, which is a pretty perfect running path. 

As you can see. there was no sun this day. but the overcast skys gave me the perfect cool running weather. I'd always rather run when its cool than when its hot.

Some miles were fast. some miles were slower. They were all wet. The iphone survived without water damage, which is also an accomplishment. Thanks oiselle burke jacket. While you are no flyte waterproof jacket, your pockets do keep my iphone dry.

totally didnt need those sunglasses

post-soaked run selfie. way to look so serious L.

And I foam-rolled afterwards.
Look at me go.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Trivium Racing Growler Gallop 10-miler Recap

Yesterday I ran the Growler Gallop 10 Miler sponsored by Atwater Brewery in Detroit.


I was excited about the race going into it – 10 Miles is a new distance for me (aka automatic PR), I love any race that gives you beer afterwards, and the course went through Belle Isle, which was where the Cocoa Classic half in the spring’s course went too.


I did packet pick up on Race Day. The race didn’t start until 4PM, so I arrived around 3, picked up my packet which was easy and quick, and then returned the hoodie we received to my car. Parking was very convenient – there was a secured lot right next to the start of the race where parking was available for $5.My hoodie was a little large (I got a medium and they were unisex sizing), but I was able to exchange it for the last small after the race.


Port-a-potties were adequate until many of the 5K runners showed up and then the line became incredibly long. I used the bathroom about 40 minutes before the race, but happened to chug water on the way in and ultimately had to pee again by the start of the race but didn’t think I’d have time before the race started. I just assumed I’d use a bathroom on the course. (spoiler alert: BAD CHOICE). The race started on time and the start was not overly congested. If anything, we were moving backwards to avoid being at the start.


The race course went down the riverwalk along the Detroit River. It had a lot of curves, right from the go, but it wasn’t too bad. There was a water stop a little after mile 1, which seemed a little silly, but I guess there weren’t a ton of convenient spots for them. I didn’t get water due to that bladder issues I already talked about. There weren’t any port-a-potties at that water stop, so I kept going.


 I considered stopping at both a gas station and a wendys that we passed while going down Jefferson, but assumed once on belle isle there'd be port-a-potties along the course.

I was wrong again. Finally, around mile 3 there was a public "comfort station" with bathrooms. There was some sort of event going on though, and the woman's bathroom had a long long line. I ended up using a family restroom that didn't lock and luckily no one walked in on me.

The rest of the course traveled all the way around the island. It felt long - I think it must have been much longer than the last race I did on belle isle, because a lot of it didn't look familiar as well. There was another water stop around mile 5? (had to look this up to confirm).

As the course went along, I saw a few clusters of port-a-potties, but I'm pretty sure they weren't placed by the race organizers, and instead were placed by the state, who now owns belle isle. 

I stopped again for a bathroom break at mile 7, where there was a comfort station right next to the course. but I was still running off the course to get to the bathroom, which is really just frustrating. 

There was a water stop at mile 9, which was the same water stop as mile 1. I'm still not sure how I feel about that stop. I did stop and get water, and walk for a bit while I chugged it down. That probably gave me enough power to push through the last mile, finish hard, and chick a guy :) but I also may have powered through without the water stop and finished faster.

Overall, the ten miles were hard but good, and the race was generally fun. 

At the finish we got medals, and then walked over to the starting area for post-race food and beer. They provided pizza, which I am always a fan of, snack sized bags of chips, doritos, cheetos, etc., bananas, oranges (my other favorite post race food), water and of course beer. 

My final time was 1:33.08 (9:19/mile). I can only imagine what it would have been without the various bathroom stops though. 

Also they said there would be gu/gels on the course and there definitely was not. this doesnt really bother me because I always bring salted caramel gu myself, but I'm sure people relied on that. 

My final gripe with the race is that when I signed up, the swag package included: a long sleeve shirt
a finisher's glass
a medal (for 10 miler's only)
2 free beers.

And in actuality, the swag package included:
a hoodie
a medal
2 free beers.

I understand they're a new race, and they probably didn't anticipate all the costs, but even as of a few days before the race, the website still stated they were giving out a finisher's glass, and a long-sleeve. The hoodie is great, but I like getting what I sign up for. Also its clear that they originally intended medals only for the longer race participants and then made it for everyone which is fine, but the price differential shouldnt be just for the increased length of the course. 

So here's my overall analysis

Pros: course, free beer, medal, distance (10 miles is unique -- not too far not too short)
Cons: TOTAL LACK OF PORT-A-POTTIES ON THE COURSE (and too few at the start). did not receive swag promised. also said there would be gels/gu and there wasn't.