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This Weekend’s Huge Runcheap Thank You To…. The PUB RUN

Pub Run’s are something that I have often talked about doing but missed out on for a variety of reasons. When I was still hardcore into capoeira I worried about missing training, when I was losing weight I fretted about calories, consumption, and my last line of resistance was about the actual distance of the run. I stayed away for a while, but more recently I have found myself going to one on a consistent basis. I love this run. It is my shortest run, my fastest run, my most envigorating run, and the only run on my weekend calendar that leaves me with more energy going out then coming.

Thank You Pub Runs!

Thank You Wiregrass Fitniche 5k!

Thank You for putting on a fun run, a chance for speedwork, and a great social experience for one and all- at zero cost!

Description:

My pub run is a 5k takes place starting from a local running store in the are called FitNiche. The route shoots down the road of the Wiregrass Mall (An outdoor style mall) and down a path along side a well traveled State road. You hit a turnaround spot with a water station  (at around 1.5 or so) and then head directly back. Afterwards runners walk over to a local beer-drinker type place called “The Brass Tap” to cool down with a beverage or 2. Runners of all abilities and ages run it. It draws a relatively big crowd that includes those walking their dogs, parents pushing strollers, to high school track athletes. Also, both experienced runners and newbies are out there for the Thursday night weekly fun.  Finally, there are also usually promotions and reps from local races there every week before and after the run.

This outdoor style is fairly new to the area but has become a popular hot spot. Im pretty sure the 5k route goes by this intersection but Im not 100%

Why it is awesome, why Im thankful for it:

1. Good “friendly” competition– There are a group of runners who run in the 20 to 22 minute range every week.  This is my typical pace and allows for good friendly chatter. Before the run you talk about what your strategy is for tonight and how you feel. After the run, you compare splits and talk about other races. It is a social piece in my life that is important, costs me nothing and is hard to find elsewhere. It gives me that before and after social high which I otherwise can go days without. Also from a runners perspective it is a chance to test my ability to keep up with faster runners in a race like simulation. Best of all, nobody takes it too seriously. There is a general attitude of fun in the air

The social part of my life comes and goes do to a lack of cashflow. This evening offers the opportunity to chat with fellow runners before and after my dash. A lot of people like to jog out the simple 3 and chat with their friends. You can make whatever social experience you want out of it

2. Close to my house– Wiregrass Mall is maybe 5 miles from house. It is a super short car ride there, so no wasted money on gas

3. Speedwork– I can let it go on this race. I have been working on speed on the treadmill, but it lacks some of the spice of this run. It is hard to “speed motivate” when running alone on the road as well. The group run pushes you by giving you that race vibe and adrenaline rush.

4. Energy– By Thursday Im usually dead tired. After my spin class on Thursday morning, I have now gotten up for 4 straight days at 5 am for exhaustive cardio workouts. In the evenings I hit it hard too. By Thursday Im pretty beat. Yet I get a good dinner in and then explode into this run and I feel terrific when Im done. Endorphins and adrenaline are going off like wild. Im already on board with my exhaustive Friday morning workout and in good spirits about the upcoming weekend. I feel physically engaged and mentally energized. Again, all at little or no cost to myself

Fitniche is a true runners’ store. I like to look around before the run begins or mill around with other runners and work off some of that nervous anticipation. Usually a pretty good crowd is out there and in good spirits

5. Pub of the Pub Run– I really like Brass Tap. It is a “sit a chill” type bar built for beer experts, snobs, and aficionados. Im none of the three. I have my one cider (I dont like beer after running) and glass of water and just unwind. If my buddy ME cant make it for post race, then I chat with new runners or just watch whatever game is on. If he is there, then we have tons of really thoughtful intellectual conversation as well as your basic guy talk. It makes for a pleasantly simple evening. Perhaps the best part- I seldom spend more than 5 to 8 bucks.  Ultimately it is ultra inexpensive for a little bit of a runners night out.

Beer drinkers love this spot because of the wide variety it houses. You dont need to be a beer snob to enjoy it though. Inside sitting is nice or if the weather works out, you can relax outside on the deck. It is an ideal spot for a pub run get together

6. Free Stuff– After ten runs, you get a free tech shirt. There are also giveaways, chances to demo gear, and raffles. It is almost a little more than a run. It is more like a weekly happening. You can bring you entire family and your pet if you like.  No money required, just your presence and a willingness to do 3.1 however you feel like it. That is a runcheap type experience

Once again then, thank you for the pub run. A huge runcheap weekend thank you goes out to the Fitniche 5k/BrassTap PostRace for putting together a short runners’ delight on Thursday evening. One which allows a solid social experience, a slice of fitness, and tiny bit of competition at no cost.

Enjoy Your Run. Enjoy Your Day :0

Wish List Wednesday.. Night in and Night Out

This Wish List Wednesday focuses on things that should be taking place at night, first in general and then in my life.

My running wish….

I wish there were more nighttime races….

Set Up-  Nighttime Competition

If you have read any of my previous postings, you know Im in something of a race purgatory about a finding a distance longer than a 5k to run until July. It is really frustrating. I get why. Daytime in Florida is just too warm to even consider hosting a race. However, why not try a race at nighttime? One of the best races I have ever experienced is the July 4th Midnight Run and a lot of it was because of the experience of running at night. It was a cool gimmick, but in reality it worked out well for a host of reasons. A predictable Florida thunderstorm had cooled the night off, and although it was not cold, it certainly was not unbearably hot for  10k. So why dont more locations offer 5, 10, or 15ks at night in the Summer down here? I get that the incovneince and technical aspects to setting up a course is probably what precludes this from ever happening. Still, I think if a company were to put together a “Late Night Weekend Racing Series” over the summer in a few different locales, they would clean up and find a willing racing community

This is a great race they run at midnight every July 4th in Dunedin, Fl

The Ideal Wish- Moonlight Madness Racing Series

That there were 9 or 10 races over the summer that took place during the convenient hours of weekend nights. That instead of having to get up early, drag myself up with some caffeine (at cost) and drive drearily to my next race; I could go through the course of my day and be ready for my night time 10k. That I could pop over after work for a little night ttime 5k, 10 k on a Friday evening like I am doing for the Crazy Sombrero. That I could sign up for the newly created “Late Night Fun Run Series” or “Moonlight Madness Racing Series”, and get a reduced price to complete a set of after the sun comes down styled 10ks. That I could experience that unique buzz you get from completing a night time race and then head out for drinks or a movie or a chat with friends afterward

Running at night is a whole different kind of experience, and I mean that in a good way.

The Reality- Some, but not enough

The area is not completely devoid of night time races. The Oldsmar 5k which is famous locally for its connection to a local bar/microbrewery is run at night and trumpets the fact that it is. The Crazy Sombrero 5k in New Port Richey is also run at night, and I think that there is one more that doesnt come to mind at the moment. It is not enough for me. There should be a whole bunch. Nighttime races would probably present something of a logistical nightmare as far as working with townships, communities, and local businesses to set them up. Plus there are other factors like the social and drinking nature of people during the weekends. But their are also plenty of benefits to night time running. Due it in a smart location and runners will stay and frequent the location and spend money. Im willing to bet packet pickup would be more pleasant with everyone alert and more tolerably awake. Plus you might get a chance to involve the runner who cant make it for those morning runs in some competitive races.  Besides, as difficult as it may be, Im sure that “race-able” routes can be found.

Disney has added a "scary" nighttime race, but I need something closer and cheaper

The Possible- Pub Run Saves Again

The Fitniche Pub Run on Thursday night again is my answer here. In the absence of a night time race, I can use this enjoyable experience for whatever I chose. It is the same route every week,  so I can treat it as a clocked race. Plus they frequently have racing deals or promotions going on the store that are fun to check out. Afterwards I can pop over and frequent the local bookstore or head out to Brass Tap for a good hard cider. Besides that, I want to try to do more nighttime running on my own. Right now I run solely in the early mornings, and afternoons. I know safe routes that are runnable late at night, and it would be a good change of a pace to just randomly run post 10 pm. Get that night time buzz on my own. And at no cost of course.

This Pub Run 5k is becoming useful to me

Now onto my nutrition wellness wish…

I wish.. I was a better sleeper

Set Up- Never get enough

My year of student teaching and college in general destroyed my sleeping habits. I never really addressed them until they blew up hugely and dangerously in my face during a trip to Greece several years ago. Back then the problem was the same but different. I wasnt getting enough sleep. Back then I wasnt getting enough sleep because I wasnt eating right, wasnt getting enough exercise and had a horrid anxiety problem. I simply could not fall asleep. That is not the problem anymore. I could put my head down on the desk and pass out right now. Nowadays I am not getting enough sleep because my days are packed the brim to keep me focused, I make poor choices late at night, and because I dont get refreshing sleep on weekends. Too much caffeine, and too long of a commute also contribute to my current sleep dificulties. It has not effected my running yet. I know it will though, the more competitive I get and the deeper I get into this more focused training thing. I need to get more sleep, so that Im not lethargic during my non running workouts, my drives, and at my job. I just cant seem to figure it out and it is costing me tons in caffeine

Yay for sleeping comfortably like a fat, lazy, cat

The Ideal Wish- Magnificent 7

7 hours of sleep is the ideal to me. Whenever I get a full 7 hours of sleep, I feel completely refreshed the following day for whatever I need to do- Running, spinning, driving, couching, working, etc. 8 is nice once in a while, but 7 seems to be that magic number. I wish I could get that magic number more often than once every 3 weeks. To get 7 hours of nice, restful, sleep would be heavenly. It would also save me tons of money on what would I not spend on caffeine products to get me awake and energetic

The Reality- Not so Fab 5

I average about 5 hours of sleep on weekdays and maybe 6 on weekends. When I base build on Sundays, the weekend number goes down down down. Why? The long commutte both ways means the only way for me to integrate a hard running workout in the schedule is do to it at 5 am in the morning. My busy day including weight training, multiple nights of capoeira a week, and other items I am working on-  have cluttered my week a ton. On many nights, its 9:30, 10 or 11 before I get a chance to relax at my place. Not wanting to deprive myself of some healthy relaxing personal “whatever” time, I stay up too late and maybe end up with 5 hours sleep before my next day begins. On Friday nights if I am not being social (most nights) I want to capitalize on my free evening time so I try to stay up and get a lot done around the house, when I should be headed to slumber land early. On Saturdays when I should be sleeping in and enjoying a slight rest day, I get so bored I go on a cross training tirade of 3 hours consecutively. This requires me to get up early to get started. So I lose sleep and buy more caffiene to get me going. Sunday is my huge workout so again sleep gets lost.

Why not nap to make up sleep? On weekdays this is an impossiblity. On the weekends I have tried more of  it of  late but it is difficult to sustain for some reason and the few hours of sleep I may get are not restful. Bottom line, is I am not logging enough hours of sleep.

8:13? Yeah right

The Possibility- Building it in

Much like tapering in running, or slow base building. I will try to bring more sleep into the equation in general. Aim for an hour more a week, and a hour more a weekend to start with. This will require an initial acumulation of my weekend sleep total and habits to get a firmer number. Then I can see where I can throw in the hour, whether it be slight change over the course of several days,  or just one night where dedicate myself to 10:30 lights out. I need to develop a sleep plan and execute it in the same way I do with a workout schedule. I also need to start taking more rest days. Both will help me feel refreshed naturally.

Once again the caveat to this is that my living situation may change drastically in the next few months, so everything might need to be reorganized. When I undergo that change, sleep will definitely be something I have an immediate plan for so I can hit the ground running the following year.

Enjoy Your Run. Enjoy Your Day :0

Wish List Wursday…. Throwaways and Starters

Apologies to the belated post, however Im excited to talk about both of these since they both have been on mind a lot lately. The concept of that throwaway race you just do to well… just do, and the most healthy way to start a meal.

My running wish….

I wish I could run throwaway races…..

Set up-  A host of reasons to race

I read blogs all the time that talk about running a race just for fun, to pace a friend,  or just to take in a new view, etc. You get the idea. Lots of people run races for reasons other than strict competition or to PR. Very often they are bucket list races or small fun races, or even destination races. Furthermore one of the first suggestions for people in a running slump is that they go out and just run a race out of their element and for the sheer enjoyment of it. I find this concept to be awesome. Running for race enjoyment must be fun. Having the ability to complete races as practice, for enjoyment, or to take in a strange locale, or gimmick must be really enthralling. I would love to run the Krispy Kreme Challenge for instance or even the Sarasota 5k that requires you to run entirely on the beach.  I just cant. I can afford few races, and other ones my mother sponsors me for. I run so few races, that to measure my progress they have to be  taken seriously. I wish I could run that simple throwaway race just for kicks, but its not in the budget now.

This would be one of those fun, just do it to do it type races that I cant put on the calendar

The Ideal Wish- Gimmicks, shoelessness, and destinations

I wish that I could run that race for fun. A trail race through the park, a destination halfie, a race with a silly gimmick, or something on my bucket list. Hell, I would even take a regular old 5 or 10k that I could just jog out and see what the pace is as a practice. I wish that every race I ran was not a huge competition, that I didnt have to gear it up every time I toed the line or the gun went off. I wish could take more time to appreciate the scenery of some of the beautiful races around me when I run them.  Instead of missing them staring at my watch for pace because I want to PR or keep a good pace. I wish I could jog a 5k barefoot just to try it out. I wish I could go out and enjoy a race beyond sinking my teeth into that fierce competition. I wish I could run lots of throwaway races and get to experience a wider world and variety of running experiences.

I would love to visit the Outer Banks and run this race, it just looks so cool. It would be my first destination race if I had a chance

The Reality-  Competition all the time

Every race must be a competition for me because every dollar is precious to me. When my mother sponsors me in a race, I dont feel and obligation to run a PR but I feel a need to run well and run hard. I dont want to stop at every rest station and see whats around me, or snap a quick picture from my phone. It is an opportunity to race and I dont get a lot of the them. An opportunity to measure my progress against the clock, to compete and I need to respect that. I wish I had more opportunities to expand what I can do as far as type, variety and intensity of race- but I dont. The reality of my financial situation doesnt allow for that extra race or fun race. Im hopeful that it will down the line-right now- I have to be ready on race day. I owe it to myself.

Im running this cheap, tiny 5k, but it might be my only race for a while so I wont be enjoying whats around me. Ill be looking for a new 5k Pr.

The Possibility- Local fun runs

Absent funding, I am going to plan on using locally organized fun runs through fitness stores and groups to fill my need for that kind of enjoyment running. A local store by me Fitnichhe, sponsors a 5k run through an outdoor mall. Last week there had to be a hundred people there. After the run, people walked over to a local pub for some beer. While I didnt drink, the short run was fun and the time spent with other runners was likewise enjoyable. On the weekends they sponsor a trail run which is becoming popular and I may check out. I prefer to train seriously alone, and these runs are free of charge so no need to take them seriously. Better to just chill out and enjoy the people and places that surround me.

My nutrition wish…

I wish that I liked salad…..

Set up- A vegetable fiend, but no saladifying for me

I love veggies. Always have and always will. Even when I was a kid I loved them. When my brothers and sisters refused to eat simple peas and carrots, I would gulp them down by the spoonful. I even liked green beans growing up. Even when I gained serious weight during my college years and after, I still aways ate a lot of vegetables. Since I have made the switch to being a healthier, more focused eater I have expanded my green vocabulary. I now enjoy broccoli, spinach, sweet peas, asparagus, and a little bit of brussell sprouts (when my mother buys them). One vegetable oriented thing I have never been able to enjoy. Salads. I dont dislike salads. I just dont like them that much. They are plain, boring, not filling, and not enjoyable. No matter how many times I am offered a free one before a meal, I turn it down. No matter how many times, I could hit a salad bar, I skip it.  People tell me it is a cheap way to put together a quick meal, and I argue. Why? I just cant get into them.

I would love to be able enjoy a plate of salad for any purpose, but I cant get into it

The Ideal Wish- Want so badly to like these!

I wish that I loved salads. I wish that I prepared them, had them when I went out routinely, and sought out all different types and varieties of them. I wish that I loved lettuce instead of it not filling me and that it didnt taste like green cardboard  to me. I wish enjoy that I could be satisfied by dumping some dressing or cheese on a salad and having it be tasty. I wish I could incorporate as a quick lunch or pre run race snack. I wish that salads filled me up and made me feel good.

I have tried a variety, and found no enjoyment yet

The Reality- Boring and plain

Salads bore me. Salads dont fill me. Salads seem like wasted calories to me. When someone offers me a salad, I want to request a side of vegetables. I dont want to prepare them or buy them, because it seems a lot of effort for something that wont accomplish that much as far as filling me up and fueling them.

The Possibility- Search and discovery

Im still on the hunt for a good salad and very open to suggestions. This one is still in a search and discovery type mode for me. Im hopeful that my palate will expand enough to include lettuce and tomato being yummy to me. I didnt always like broc or spinach and now I love them. Maybe down the line, the crisp flavors of the salad that everyone enjoys will reach my tastebuds. I hope so, salads seem simple, cheap, and easy to make in great variety of flavors and styles.

Have a gift card for this place, maybe I can put together a good salad here

Enjoy Your Run. Enjoy Your Day :0

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