I never used to be a runner; back in those middle school days of the presidential fitness test, I was the kid who absolutely dreaded the mile run. I might finish within the healthy limit, but never in the top tier. I’d get the red award, but never the blue. I wasn’t overweight, but I wasn’t exactly in great shape. But somewhere after I finished my first year of high school, my love for running has really grown. It’s one of the best parts of my craziness. Running is an escape, an accomplishment, a vacation, and a work-out all in one. I’ve really come to enjoy races lately too, though I may not have run too many yet, and I’ve come up with a list of races I’ve already completed and the races I really want to run. (And I always love company…so if you see a race on this list, even if you don’t think of yourself as a runner…join me!)
Already Done: Races I’ve Completed
1. The Warrior Dash: The Warrior Dash is one of the forefront races of the new “adventure race” fad that’s started in the past couple years. I ran mine in New York up a ski mountain, which is probably the most difficult location I could choose- and my friend and parents all ran it with me! (I’m so proud of them for that.) The Warrior Dash is a 5k, so about 3.1 miles long, and consists of a bunch of fun obstacles like climbing over cars and tires, crawling under barbed wire in a pit of mud, and leaping over fire. If you don’t like getting dirty, I don’t suggest it. The first mile or so was straight up the ski mountain, and that definitely challenged even the toughest of racers–but once we reached the top, the race was on. I couldn’t stop smiling the whole time. And once I reached the finish, muddy and happy, I received a finishers Medal that features the Warrior Dash Helmet. Also for registering for the race you get a furry warrior helmet (which I used in a Halloween costume this past year), a t-shirt, and a free coupon for a cup of Magic Hat (for those over 21, of course…)! The end of the race is a huge celebration with giant showers and tons of food vendors, where you can clean yourself off a little and munch on a giant medieval-esque chicken leg. And the Warrior Dash donates muddy shoes after the race! I’d love to do it again, and bring friends along too.
2. The Blue Jay 5k: A race hosted by the Hopkins Varsity Track and Field team in support of a cure for Juvenile Diabetes. A great race for a great cause. I hope to run it again next year.
3.The Iron Phi 5k: Also a race hosted on the Johns Hopkins campus by the brothers of Phi Delt in support of a cure for ALS. Was also run by Johns Hopkins University President Ron Daniels!!! (That was especially exciting) And I was the third place female finisher.
4. The Charlottesville Whole Foods Half Marathon: This race is probably my biggest achievement personally. This fall I was talking to my good friend Christina who was running the full Charlottesville Marathon. At this point, I definitely considered myself a runner, but didn’t know if I was quite ready yet for the distance of the Half, 13.1 miles. That’s a lot of miles, and I knew it would be hard to train during the school year because I’m always so damn busy. But that day, I decided I was going to sign up. Once I had registered I couldn’t back out, and on April 7th I would be running in Charlottesville, VA. I started out trying to train regularly, but, being me I got a little off track. Don’t get me wrong, I keep in shape with soccer practices and runs and lifting weights at the gym at school where I work. But I wasn’t following any sort of training plan. Then, I convinced a group of my best friends to run with me. After that, I think I really found the last piece of confidence I needed to run it–knowing that they’d be running alongside me. It was a whirlwind weekend, and I could write a MUCH longer post about it–I might, later on. But I just have to say that this race really was such a fantastic experience. I ran 13.1 miles through scenic, beautiful Charlottesville in just over 2 hours. And though I’ve had some joint difficulties afterwards, I would never take it back.
Races to Run:
Here’s just a few of the races I’ve really had in mind and want to sign up for!
1. The Tough Mudder: Tough Mudder is just that, tough. It’s usually over 10 miles and has some pretty crazy obstacles, including getting shocked by electricity towards the end. Another adventure race, but considerably harder than the Warrior Dash. I really hope to run one, but I’ll definitely need a few people to join me. http://toughmudder.com/
2. The Baltimore Half Marathon: I’m definitely set to run this one, as are a lot of my friends that I’ve talked to. I’ve heard it’s not an easy race, full of especially difficult hills. That makes me glad I’ve already run a half, and a little more prepared. I should probably train a little more for this one than the last one!http://www.thebaltimoremarathon.com/
3. The Color Run: A 5k that features getting blasted by differing colors of paint each mile! Sounds super fun. And super popular- I was hoping to participate in the DC race in September, but it’s already sold out! Looks like I’ll have to find another location or wait. http://thecolorrun.com/
4. The Spartan Race: Another race similar to The Warrior Dash and the Tough Mudder, but I’d like to think kind of in-between in difficulty. At least depending on what level you do. There’s three choices (for normal people, plus an extra for the crazy): The Spartan Sprint, the Super Spartan, the Spartan Beast, and the Spartan Death Race. Mileage runs from about 3 miles, 8 miles, to 12 miles. (I don’t include the Death Race because it’s literally for the insane. The video about it on their website is kind of fun to watch though.) I’d like to try to Super Spartan maybe to start out with. http://www.spartanrace.com/index.html
5. The Nike Women’s Half Marathon: A woman’s half marathon in California to benefit the Leukemia and Lyphoma society. If you know anything about me you know this is my DREAM.
6. Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Race: A 10 miler in DC that happened the weekend before my Half this past year. I would’ve run it for sure were it not for the half. One guy I met while running had done the Cherry Blossom and sprung back for Charlottesville the following weekend! Needless to say, I was impressed.
7. Color Me Rad Hartford Race- THIS SATURDAY! I just found this while googling races, and it’s basically the exact same as the color run in Hartford CT. If anyone in CT wants to join me…I say we DO IT. http://www.colormerad.com/races/hartford.html
8. A Marathon- I definitely want to run a full 26.2 at some point in my life, maybe even before I graduate college. I’ve got two years, and if I really force myself to train, I think I could do it. I have no idea where yet or when, of course suggestions are welcome. But it’s definitely a life goal.
I’m definitely open for so many more suggestions and for fellow runners, so comment or message me!!!