Monday, January 6, 2014

My Race Calendar Checklist

Friday: Rest
Saturday: Lower Body--weights, NTC*, elliptical (focus on glutes, hips and quads)
*Nike Training Club
Sunday: Super-duper LAZINESS. Zero, zip, nadda...absolutely NO long run this weekend. {Could not move after Saturday's intense workout--and am still hurting quite badly} I did however go on a long walk with the dog and husband though.

I hope you had a much more productive weekend than I did. I could not for the life of me find motivation to do just about anything. This was my answer to just about anything that required me to get up off of the couch:

Okay, so I wasn't THAT unproductive (but pretty close to it). I spent a lot of time this weekend mainly researching for races for my 2014 calendar. There are so many amazing races out there but only so much money that can go around...major bummer.

So as I sat on my computer flipping through race after race on the Race Center NW calendar, I tried to come up with a solid idea of which races I want to do this year. That didn't happen. I did however come up with a plan: choose three larger races this year that I really want to do (and are probably a bit more expensive) and fill in the rest of the months with shorter, smaller and perhaps even a bit cheaper races in between. And hey, part of my 2014 goals were to do some shorter distanced races, so it works out well for me! There are a few things I look for in races before I sign up for them:
  1. Price--check out how much registration is and pay attention to when the early bird registration begins and when it ends. Try to sign up before the early bird special ends and the price gets bumped $5-10. 
  2. Course--I pay attention to the course layout. I get some major A.D.D. on flat, road races that are just an out and back course. If you too share this same issue, you may want to pay attention the course and strive for something a little more scenic. I've had a couple of races that were extremely overpriced for the actual course and actually, the event itself. I have personally noted to pay more attention in the future. 
    • Aid Stations--I added this under the course section because it falls along the sidelines of course value.  I know how often I need water while running, most races have aid stations every two miles, however, some races do not. I have learned this the hard way. I now pay attention to the aid stations because my training depends on it. 
    • Volunteers-  volunteers can make or break a race. Their job is crucial to a good race. The volunteers are the ones that are supplying you with gummy bears and electrolytes, trust me, you want a well staffed, volunteer base at your race. Pay attention to who is sponsoring the race and it may give you an idea about who the volunteers will be. (The Team In Training group always has an awesome volunteer turn out!) 
   3.   Event Company--I am beginning to become a little more familiar with companies that throw races in the area as well as across the US. Some companies are known to throw impressive, nation-wide race series and others, not so much. If you aren't as familiar, ask some friends or coworkers who have participated in races and ask them if they've done a (fill in the blank) race before. They may be able to give you some helpful information.

  4.   Swag--OKAY, OKAY. So...I probably shouldn't admit it but let's be real here, we all do this. We want to know what we are paying for annnnnd what is at that finish line waiting for us. At The Nike Women's Marathon finish line, you are greeted by firemen in tuxedos bent on one knee and presented with  a Tiffany's necklace. I mean, come on, worth spending money and participating in?? Uhhh YEAH! That's some swag I want to run 26.2 miles for!!

  5.   Reviews--I read reviews about the races I'm interested in to get a better vibe from it. I love reading race reviews from fellow bloggers because I always feel that bloggers give a realistic perspective (when they aren't being paid to give a great review--*pay attention for that). Sometimes this helps with the decision making as well.
    Honestly, each race is an experience. You just want to pay attention to what you are investing your time and your money into before handing over your credit card number. I posted awhile back about the various types of races here. I have a few races on the calendar right now but have not exactly chosen all of them as of right now. It's still a work in process. If you have any suggestions for amazing races, please leave a comment below.

    Are you doing any races this year that you are really excited about?
    What do you look for when you are choosing a race? 


    1. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Looking forward to following you on Facebook and Bloglovin' (and checking out the races you choose this year). The only local race I have planned so far is the Bridge to Brews 10k. The rest are out of state. RNR Arizona this weekend!

    2. Thanks Kim! Yes, I noticed that we are both doing the Seattle Hot Chocolate Run, should be really fun! I am also wanting to do Bridge to Brews. I love that you're traveling for all of your races! Hoping to do more of that soon as well!