10k

The Dopey Challenge From A Front-Mid Pack Runner's Perspective

The Dopey Challenge From A Front-Mid Pack Runner's Perspective

From a front/mid pack perspective, multi-race runDisney weekends can really be a drain on your whole weekend if you don't prepare accordingly. It's all about setting expectations for each race before the weekend and staying disciplined to those expectations. Otherwise, the most magical place on earth may end up giving you a world of hurt.  

Dopey Challenge: Have a Playlist or Two. Or, Five!

I've been a bit quiet on this front due to as of late, I've been dedicating my time to a real, honest-to-God, legit running article that is with my editor before being published in a national environment (heh, listen to me, "My editor." I'm like a regular Meyer Berger). It was tough to dedicate my time to that and to this, so this sat still while that was completed. Now that is done, this is this and that is that. Umm, err, yes. Quite.

I'm not going to go on about my love for music and running. I've done that enough in the past. The only thing that I will say is I need it to run and give my playlist a lot of thought. More uptempo, heavier, bouncier tracks for 5ks, since I need to sprint the whole time. Slower, more thought consuming, inspirational tracks for longer races so I can set in cruise control for awhile.

Music. My first love.

Music. My first love.

So, how to approach the Dopey Challenge? Well, for one thing, my regular 5k mix has too many uptempo tracks and would drain my energy, leaving nothing for the other three (and much longer) races. So, I needed to determine the right amount of inspiration but also tracks that would keep me on an even keel. The same would go for the 10k and half marathon. The marathon is a whole other story.

I also have to mention, some of the songs are pretty bubble-gummy and ones that aren't normally on my playlist. But, with the amount of running that I will endure over the weekend, anything with a beat will suffice.

Pre-race Mix: 

This is a mix I use when milling about on race morning/in the corrals. It keeps me calm and focused. Some uptempo stuff, but mostly chill.  In no particular order:

- Appalachian Morning: Aaron Copland (The Boston Pops Arrangement)

- A Tale (Chilluminati Mix): Cirque du Soleil (It's from La Nouba but remixed version on their Tapis Rouge album)

- Love: Delerium (featuring Zoe Johnston) From the Chillout 2003 Album (I lived off of this album while in Hong Kong in '03).

- Heart's Content: Brandi Carlile

- You Can Do It: No Doubt

- Right Here, Right Now: Fattboy Slim

- Howlin' for You: The Black Keys

- Under Pressure: David Bowie & Queen

- This Heart is a Stone: Acid House Kings

- Redford: Sufjan Stevens

- Mystery: Lake Heartbeat

- Aganju (The Latin Project Remix): Bebel Gilberto

- Olympic Fanfare & Theme: John Williams

5k Mix

I need to keep it low key to conserve energy for the next days' events. But, also add in a little something to keep my effort up.

- Lost My Way: Lecrae (I don't know who this is, but the beat is ridiculous).

- Rock with U: Janet Jackson

- Bezerk: Eninem

- We Will Become Silhouettes: The Postal Service

- Theme from Iron Will: Joel McNeely

- Rocket: Mae

- Reflections of Earth: Epcot Illuminations

- Magic to Do: Patina Miller & The Players (Pippin)

10k Mix

Same idea as the 5k, but a little more diverse music.

- Carry On Wayward Son: Kansas

- From the One 2: BEEF Wellington

- Drove Me Wild: Tegan and Sara

- Theme from Iron Will: Joel McNeely

- Go Kindergarten: The Lonely Island

- I Cry: Flo Rida

- My House: Matilda the Musical Original Cast

- Reflections of Earth: Epcot Illuminations

- When Can I See You Again: Owl City

- Wild Ones: Flo Rida

- The Last Starfighter (Theme): Craig Safan

- Rock With U: Janet Jackson

Half Marathon Mix

This one's tricky, since I will be rabbiting my wife for this, so it's really her race. I just need music to keep my pacing her properly.

- A Tribute to the Film Composer: John Williams (from his Film Night with the Boston Pops, 2013) 

- All I Do is Win: DJ Khaled

- Always on the Run: Lenny Kravitz

- Anything: Mae

- Berzerk: Eminem

- Bounce: Fatty Koo

- Carry On: Fun.

- Carry On Wayward Son: Kansas

- Cowboys Overture: John Williams (from his Film Night with the Boston Pops, 2013) 

- Don't Tell Me: Madonna

- Driving the Last Spike: Genesis

- Drove Me Wild: Tegan and Sara

- Drowned World/Substitute for Love: Madonna

- Face to Face: Armin van Buuren

- Far and Away Suite: John Williams (from his Film Night with the Boston Pops, 2013)

- Fireflies: Owl City

- Fix You: Coldplay

- Flying (Theme from Hook): John Williams (from his Film Night with the Boston Pops, 2013) 

- Forever: Drake

- Free Ride: Jefferson Airplane

- Give Life Back to Music: Daft Punk

- Good Life: Kanye West

- Higher Ground: Red Hot Chili Peppers

- Hollywood Nights: Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band

- I Cry: Flo Rida

- Lights (Bassnectar Remix): Ellie Goulding

- Lost My Way: Lecrae

- Make Em Say Uh: Master P

- Mr. Brownstone: Guns 'n Roses

- New Map: M83

- Out of My League: Fitz & The Tantrums

- Reflections of Earth: Epcot Illuminations

- Rock with U: Janet Jackson

- Rocket: Mae

- Scream: Michael & Janet Jackson

- She Sells Sanctuary: The Cult

- Shine Sweet Free: Michael MacDonald

- Steps in Time Finale: Steps in Time (old California Adventure show)

- Test Track (2013 Theme): Test Track

- This is What It Feels Like: Armin van Buuren

- This is Your Life: Switchfoot

- The Wave: Randy Edelman (from Angels in the Outfield)

- Work Hard, Play Hard: Wiz Khalifa

Marathon Mix

Really hoping I'm still alive. This mix will be a mess of everything, but I will have a few power songs at the touch of a button if things get rough.

- A Tribute to the Film Composer: John Williams (from his Film Night with the Boston Pops, 2013)

- All I Do is Win: DJ Khaled

- Always on the Run: Lenny Kravitz

- Anything: Mae

- Back to the Future (Theme): Alan Silvestri

- Berzerk: Eminem

- Bounce: Fatty Koo

- Boys and Girls: BEEF Wellington

- Carry On: Fun.

- The Champ: Nelly

- Cowboys Overture: John Williams (from his Film Night with the Boston Pops, 2013)

- Don't Tell Me: Madonna

- Driving the Last Spike: Genesis

- Face to Face: Armin van Buuren

- Fix You: Coldplay

- Flying (Theme from Hook): John Williams (from his Film Night with the Boston Pops, 2013)

- Good Life: Kanye West

- Hall of Fame: The Script

- He Lives in You: Lebo M (Rhythm of the Pridelands)

- Hearts on Fire: Cut Copy

- I Cry: Flo Rida

- I Play Music: Rosie Thomas

- In Orbit: John Williams (from SpaceCamp)

- Kings and Queens: 30 Seconds to Mars

- Lights (Bassnectar Remix): Ellie Goulding

- Lost My Way: Lecrae

- My Body: Young the Giant

- My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark: Fall Out Boy

- New Map: M83

- Nutshell: Alice in Chains

- Party Rock Anthem: LMFAO

- Reflections of Earth: Epcot Illuminations

- Scream: Michael & Janet Jackson

- Shanti/Ashtangi: Madonna

- She Sells Sanctuary: The Cult

- Theme from Soarin': Jerry Goldsmith

- Someone to Call My Lover: Janet Jackson

- Sometimes I Can't Make It Alone: Mae

- SpaceCamp (Main Title): John Williams

- Tapestry of Nations: Epcot

- This is What It Feels Like: Armin van Buuren

- This is Your Life: Switchfoot

- To the World: Kanye West

- Wasted Years: Iron Maiden

- We Will Become Silhouettes: The Postal Service

- When Can I See You Again: Owl City

- Wild Ones: Flo Rida

- WKRP in Cincinnati (Extended Version): TV Theme

- Work Hard, Play Hard: Wiz Khalifa

- Yeah 3X: Chris Brown

What are your musical preferences for race weekend?

DLR Half Countdown: Post #2: What Should I Pack?


Okay, gang, we’re a little less than 3 weeks out for the big races in Anaheim. Last week, I told you how I keep myself calm and focused when stuck in the sea of runners, otherwise known as the Start corrals.

But, today I wanted to talk about what to bring to make sure you remain focused on your running goal and not where to find running socks the day before the race starts. Let me also say there are a lot of bloggers out there giving similar advice on the matter. To that, I say check them out, too. Look at folks’ different perspectives, but also look at the similarities to aid in your decision. 
So much stuff. And that's just running gear!
While running may be the simplest of sports, ironically runners bring tend to bring the most crap, since we are so particular. Destination races are tricky, since you have to be prepared for anything and everything without over-packing. My wife and I are no exception. I will check, double check and triple check the weather in the days preceding a race, but inevitably I won’t trust it and dump my running drawer into my suitcase.

“To carry on or not to carry on?”

By all means, carry on! The airlines these days just aren’t what they used to be and the last thing you want is your favorite pair of racing flats to end up in Fargo, North Dakota when you need them most. You don’t have to carry it all on, but your race day attire should never leave your side. Here’s the running gear that goes in my carry on:


1x half marathon racing flats (I’ll wear my back ups on the plane)
1x running socks
Running belt (a game day decision)
2x headphones (I HAVE to run with music)
Garmin 610 + charger
2x compression shorts
1x running shorts
1x singlet
iPod shuffle + charger (See why)
iPhone + charger

My "can't run without" gear + iPhone (not shown)

Although, I will be running a 10k and a half marathon, in a pinch I could get away with most of the same gear. 
And since a lot of my readers are of the female persuasion, I asked my wife to share her carry on gear to give you ladies a sense of what she brings (she pulled rank and removed her run-dies from the picture). 

The missus' gear.
1x running shoes (she's not as shoe crazy as I am)
1x running socks
1x headphones
1x iPod + running armband
Garmin 210 + charger
1x running shorts
1x singlet
1x sports bra
Sports tape
Travel deodorant
1x Sweaty Band
1x Road ID


"Check that stuff!"
Now, all the extra crap we tend to check in our bags. While still essential, if it were to get lost I wouldn’t be SOL on race day.

1x 10k racing flats (I'm pretty particular about my shoes, but most folks can get away with 1 pair)
3x running socks
My RoadID
GU gels/Honey Stingers
Band-aids, Tylenol, Bio-Freeze, Ace Bandage, Body Glide
Sunblock
1x compression shorts
1x nubby ball
1x travel roller stick
4x running shirt
2x running shorts
Bathing suits
Comfy shoes for after the race/walking around. I have these great Chaco Kolb flip flops that are amazing. Expensive, but my arches are well supported.

If you forget anything or your luggage gets lost, remember Don't try anything new on race day! Buying stuff is great at the expo, but be careful! If it's tried n true things like GU or similar, you're probably okay. Shoes, shorts, shirts, new foods, bras, run-dies tend to be a bad decision. 

As I mentioned at the top of the post, use this as directional advice as well as other folks' posts. But, at the end of the day you have to be comfy, so pack what you need!

Hope this helped and happy running!




2013 ChiTown Half Marathon & 10k Race Recap

This morning, my wife and I ran the 10k portion of the All Community Events' "ChiTown Half Marathon & 10k" at Chicago's Lakefront. I have to say, the race experience left something to be desired, but a little redemption from the race organizers at the end. 

chi town half marathon
ChiTown Half & 10k
Similar to last week's 5k, it was cold and windy, with a slight expectation of snow (luckily, it held out). Since we live right next to the lake, we basically rolled out of bed and walked to the Start Line which is a really nice luxury (since there are so many lakefront races). There was a pretty decent turnout, but it didn't seem as large as last week's St. Paddy's 5k. Both the half and the 10k started at the same time at 8:15, but they did have pace corrals so folks could line up appropriately (although, there were walkers in the 8:00 pace corral - have you walkers not read my etiquette post?)

The first issue with the race was starting the race through a very tight (like 4 runners wide) blow up gate, funneling runners through and a poor way to start a race. I, however didn't mind that much since I was taking it easy on this race. Fighting a cold I lined up with the 9:00 pace group and planned to coast through the race. The course was to take us north on the Cannon Drive running path and then back down by the lake, but that all changed at the half mile mark. I had moved up a bit and was probably around 60th place, then at the half mile mark I saw a volunteer move the 10k turnaround sign directing us 10k'ers back down a parallel path we had just run. Heading down the path, all of sudden there were a bunch of cars parked in the middle of the path, making us run around them, which I had never encountered in a race before. We, then continued down the path, past the soccer field and up towards the Lincoln Park Zoo. However, there were zero signs and racers were on every fork of the path with no race marshal in sight. We continued south and then down the underpass at North Ave to get to the lakefront path. Imagine my surprise when I saw a bunch of 10k'ers coming back at us! A pacer going in the opposite direction had an 8:10 pace sign so I figured the turnaround must be just ahead. Nope. A few of us continued on the lakefront path and hit a water station (the only one I had seen) and a ton of half marathoners coming straight at us! It was a complete and total cluster! A few fellow runners and I compared notes and tried to figure out what went wrong as we continued down the path (upstream of everyone else). After about a half mile, later, I saw my wife running in the other direction. She mentioned they stopped the 10k a few miles back and restarted, meaning us front runners were now running an inaccurate race. After being directed as best as possible to the Finish line, my race length ending up being 6 miles.

Pissed didn't begin to describe how I felt. The entire race there were ZERO course marshals, not even at the water station! I made my way to the race tent and asked for the race director and was told he was going to make an announcement in a few minutes. After about 10 freezing minutes, the race director made his way to the stage. He couldn't have been more than 25 and was visibly uncomfortable. After stammering a bit, he did what every race director should do: he took the blame for the mix up. After communicating his team (including volunteers) made a huge error (at the 10k turnaround sign), he then discussed how he stopped the back half of the race and brought them back to the Start line. This meant I didn't get an official time, which was fine for me, but anyone who needed this time I could see why they'd be upset. He, then proceeded to tell us we could have a full refund, plus $10 off our next ACE race. I have never seen a race director offer a refund, so I give him and All Community Events a lot of credit.

While the race was not ideal, ACE handled it like a professional race organizer should, they immediately owned up to the mistake and offered a way to correct the issue, a huge win in my book. Other racer organizers (Hot Chocolate & Turkey Day run, I'm looking in your direction) should maybe take a page from ACE on how to communicate concerns with races.

I will continue to run ACE events in the future.