Thursday, May 27, 2010

Upcoming Races

Now that summer vacation (aka summer school) has officially started, I've got a lot more time to concentrate on my training, which also means I'll be in shape to do more races! Here are the races I've got lined up so far for the rest of the year:

  • May 29 - Woodlake Duathlon - Vass, NC
  • June 19 - XTERRA 10k Trail Run - Richmond, VA
  • August 1 - Brisbane Half Marathon - Brisbane, Australia
  • August 28 - Patrick Henry Half Marathon - Ashland, VA
  • September 11 - White Lake International Triathlon - White Lake, NC
  • September 25 - Age Group National Championship (assuming I qualify at White Lake) - Tuscaloosa, AL
  • October 16 - Pinehurst Triathlon - Pinehurst, NC
  • November 7 - City of Oaks Marathon - Raleigh, NC
  • November 13 - McDonald's Half Marathon - Richmond, VA
As you can see, I'll be travelling quite a bit this year, especially for the Brisbane Half. I'll be studying abroad in Australia from the end of June through the middle of August, and it just so happens that the Brisbane Running Festival is going on while I'm in town! I've also been doing some research and have found a few running clubs in both Adelaide and Brisbane (the two cities I'll be in for the majority of the trip), so hopefully I'll be meeting lots of interesting new people who love running as much as I do!

I'm also really excited for the City of Oaks Marathon, as it'll be my very first full Marathon! Once I've got that under my belt, I'll start planning for my first Ironman (most likely Beach2Battleship)...but that's next year's news.

**UPDATE: So I decided that I didn't really feel like waiting around for November to do my first full Marathon, so I bumped up the XTERRA on June 19th to a half Marathon and will be doing my first full in Australia! How cool is that? I figure I've got two solid months to prepare for it, so why wait around for November?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Vibram FiveFingers and Barefoot Running

I've been running in VFFs/going barefoot for about 8 months or so, and so far I've loved every second of it. I first got into it when I was looking for a way to get past a nagging knee injury that kept me from performing very well in basically all of my races last season. I even had to drop out of my biggest race, the Florida Half Ironman, a few miles into the run because I was in so much pain.

Anywho, once I started running barefoot my form changed completely (as it usually has to with most people) and my knee problems disappeared. My speed and endurance increased, and I'm now faster than I was even during my peak high school cross country days.

Barefoot running definitely isn't for really is a big change from running with shoes, but if you are open to the idea then I highly recommend giving it a shot. Just be careful not to jump into it too quickly because your feet need time to adapt and all of those muscles in your feet that you haven't been using need time to strengthen.

I currently run in the VFF Classics (picture below), but am thinking about giving the Bikilas a shot since they are specifically designed for running. I am a little skeptical of them because the sole is a little bit thicker than the Classics and I'm not really looking to get any additional padding for my feet, but we'll see how they hold up once I've gone for a few long runs in them.

Picture of the VFFs before Du Nats

Monday, May 3, 2010

Things You Have to Do in Raleigh

Having lived in Raleigh for the past 3 years, I've picked up on a lot of fun/interesting things to do around town. So, I figured I'd write about them on here so anyone who stumbles upon my blog and happened to be coming into town they'd have a heads up on all of the best places to go and things to do.

So in this first installment, I'll introduce the world to the nOg Run. Enjoy:

First, I'll introduce you to Tir na nOg, a great Irish restaurant/pub located in downtown Raleigh on S. Blount Street. They've got great food and great beer, and whether or not you go to the run, you should definitely stop by for a delicious meal with some great people.

Every Monday night the nOg Run Club meets at 6:00pm at the restaurant to go for a run through downtown Raleigh followed by a delicious $1 pasta buffet. It's free for anyone to join, you just have to sign a waiver that basically says if you get hit by a car when you're crossing the street it isn't their fault. They've got 3-,4-,5-, and 6-mile courses mapped out for you, and runners of all skill levels are welcome to attend.

Once you've finished your run, just put $1 in the bucket and they've got all the fresh salad and pasta you can eat (the best deal in town for us college students on a tight budget). If you're looking for a bigger meal, they've also got specials on food and beer just for the runners. While you're eating they've always got some sort of fun game or charity event going on, such as bingo or trivia.

There are also special rewards for the loyal runners...once you've been 10 times you get a free nOg run t-shirt and once you've been 20 times you get a free beer mug. I've already got my shirt and I'm almost halfway to getting my mug!

So, if you're going to be in Raleigh on a Monday night, the nOg run is definitely the place to be. For more info and a calendar of events, check out the nOg run club website.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Better Duathlon Nationals Pictures

Here are a few more pictures that my dad took during the race. They're a lot better because I didn't rip them off of the Brightroom website and my dad used my nice camera. Check 'em:

The picture of me in the banner is looking over the transition area before the race.

My Fivefingers

Starting the race

Finishing the first run

Clipping in for the bike

Bike to run transition


Dhani Jones raced too.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Duathlon Nationals

This past weekend I competed in the Duathlon National Championship in Richmond, VA. The top 18 finishers in each age group qualified for the World Championship in Scotland. I'd been training to qualify based on last year's finishing times, but unfortunately the competition stepped up their game a little bit and I only got 27th place.

The race consists of a 5k run, a 38k bike, and another 5k run. That comes out to 3.1 mi, 24 mi, 3.1 mi. My finishing times were:

5k run - 18:44
38k bike - 1:09:37
5k run - 15:20
Overall time: 1:46:41

I had a great race, and the fact that I didn't qualify really shows how competitive my age group is. The course was a lot of fun, especially getting to go over the James River 12 separate times during the bike. Here are some pics:

Back to Blogging (hopefully)

So I've tried blogging a few times and I never really manage to keep up with it...but this time hopefully I'll do a little better. I'm going to be studying abroad in Australia this summer so I'm hoping to use this to keep everyone updated on my Aussie adventures.