Anthem Moonlight Ride 2014

Good morning and happy Monday!  I’m on my way back home after spending the weekend in Erie, PA where I did my first triathlon (recap coming soon!) and finally caught up on some blogging!

Today I’m sharing a recap of a ride I did two weekends ago in Richmond called the Anthem Moonlight Ride.  When I did this ride back in 2012, I said I would never do it again due to lack of organization and safety on the course (it was an open course with very little police/volunteer presence at the intersections).  Two years later, I got an email from Sportsbackers advertising their upcoming races, and to my surprise the Moonlight Ride was being advertised “now with a closed course!” I clicked on the banner, and saw that 1. The course was in fact closed to traffic-the entire course and 2. the price was right. I asked Tyler if he wanted to try it out again and of course he said yes, so we signed up.

The Moonlight Ride covers  two different distances, 17 miles or 8 miles through Richmond, has some rolling hills and as you may have guessed, takes place in the evening.

We arrived at Sportsbackers Stadium on Saturday evening around 5pm after picking up dinner to eat in the parking lot. After the last time we did this ride, we made sure to arrive with plenty of time to find parking, do packet pick up and line up to get ready. We probably arrived a bit early this time, but better early and relaxed than late and rushing around.

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We went to pick up our packets and we were in and out of the line in no time. We actually had time to look at the other vendors, including the 2015 Road World Cycling Championships tent (click the link—it’s going to be awesome, and if you’re local or within reasonable driving distance you should come!).

We headed back to the car and got ready for the ride, and eventually lined up. Before you could even get into your corral, there were police officers checking to see if you had lights on both the front and back of your bike. Once you were checked you could get into your corral.

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In the minutes before the start of the race, there were some safety reminders:

  1. Slower riders are to stay on the right
  2. Faster riders need to call out when they are passing, for example saying “on your left” prior to passing another cyclist to ensure they have been alerted to that someone is coming up to pass them and they have enough time to get over

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After the National Anthem the race started at 8pm with a mass start. There were corrals A, B, C and D, but we all started at the same time, causing a lot of congestion that thinned out within the first 10-15 minutes or so. I think this definitely could’ve been avoided with a wave start (like 1 minute between groups—there were only 4 after all). Tyler and I stuck together and lesson learned for future Moonlight rides—start in corral A (we chose B this time). We caught up to a bunch of “A” riders about midway through the ride and passed them.

ready to ride, but man do I look tired!

ready to ride, but man do I look tired!

To be honest the ride was uneventful—which was a great thing! There were hills, but they seemed effortless to climb and our speed was faster than I normally ride. All in all I was very happy we decided to sign up!

We finished back at Sportsbackers Stadium, 17 miles in 1 hour, 4 minutes, with an average pace of 15.9 mph.

Although there was bike parking, we took our bikes back to the car before heading into the post-ride party where we treated ourselves to a mini ice cream sandwich.  We left shortly after to avoid traffic.

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I am so happy I decided to give this event a second chance.  The ride was definitely more organized and there were indeed police officers and volunteers at every single intersection, so I felt that was a huge improvement from 2012, and I plan to do it again next year as a training ride.

Have you ever given a bad race/ride second chance?

 

 

Five Things I Love About RACING!!

Hello and happy Friday, long time no talk!  My new job is going great (super busy, but great) and I’m currently in Erie, PA right now on the eve of my very first triathlon!

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In honor of race weekend, I’m linking up with Mar, Cynthia and Courtney for the Friday Five to talk about five things I love about: RACING!

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1. It brings out my inner competitor, even if I’m not actually running to win the whole thing.  Most races I run, I don’t have a chance of winning or even placing in my age group, but I love to compete against myself and if I’m lucky get a shiny new PR!

2.  Races are for anyone-of all abilities and speeds. Everyone is always so, so supportive!

3.  Racecations!   I couldn’t think of a better way to tour a new city/area!

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4.  The feeling of accomplishment after crossing the finish line. Whether it’s the first or fiftieth time I’m crossing, it’s always with a huge smile on my face with those warm fuzzy feelings of  “I did it!” flooding back into my mind.

5.  The swag.  I just love getting a new t-shirt (okay, so most of them end up going to Goodwill), a goody bag and that shiny piece of bling at the end of most races these days.

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Have a great weekend!!

What is one thing you love about racing?

This Week’s Workouts: 8/11-8/17

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Good evening!  Here are my planned workouts for this week:

3 runs

2 bike rides (one ride will be the Anthem Moonlight Ride (17 miles) in Richmond on Saturday night)

1 swim

2 strength

3 core workouts

I’m also starting the #mindbodymat challenge this week.  It’s a three week Pilates program by Robin over at The Balanced Life Blog, and I’m super excited to start it right after I hit publish on this post.  I think it will be a nice way to unwind after work.

Speaking of work…..

This week is going to be much different than previous weeks as I head back to work full time for the first time in over a year.  I have been working an average of 3 days per week since May 2013 so I could work on changing my career, but to be honest, I’m really not sure exactly where I want to go with my career change.   All I know is that I no longer want to be a nurse, I know I’m really enjoying learning the ins and outs of blogging (and the web design/technical stuff that goes with it) and would love to find a job in an athletic/wellness field.   So shortly after realizing I didn’t want to keep taking classes that may not be relevant to what I want to, a position opened up at one of the offices I worked at pretty frequently and I jumped at the chance to work there.  I got the position and I started today.   I must say it was nice to have a year-long preview of the job before committing to it full time.

With busier working hours and having to fit my workouts in, blogging is going to take a little backseat for a little while (like only posting 2-3 times per week instead of 4-5) but this will only be temporary.  I’m excited to share how I balance full time working hours and triathlon training/running…stay tuned…..

Question of the evening:

What is one workout you have planned for the week?  

 

 

Weekly Workout Recap: 8/4-8/10

Happy Sunday!  Another week of 2014 has come and gone, and I had a great week of workouts!  Okay, so I’ll admit it, I didn’t get every single planned workout in, but it was close and I actually enjoyed every run, ride and strength training session.  Let’s hope this is a new trend :)

Weekly

Monday:

primarily a rest day, but I did a core workout before work in the morning

Strength training in the evening after work.

Tuesday:

Run 3.1 miles, 28:36

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Wednesday:

Bike ride 4.66 miles, 18:35.  I got a late start because I didn’t want to ride in the dark so I didn’t get my full ride in, but hey, I got out there right?

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Core and Strength training

(I plan to share both my core and strength training plans in a future post, just need to get it all together in a post!)

Thursday:

Swim!  I did an untimed, unmeasured swim.  It felt okay, I definitely need to get a membership to the local indoor pool so I can swim throughout the winter and get stronger.

Friday:

rest/travel day

This is how the beagle travels and apparently he thinks it's comfy...

This is how the beagle travels and apparently he thinks it’s comfy…

Saturday:

3 mile run on the W&OD….one of my favorite places to run

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Sunday:

I did an untimed/unmeasured ride throughout my mom’s neighborhood–the catch?  I found the area with the most hills and did hill sprints/repeats on my bike.  I’m pretty sure my legs hated me by the end.

So like I said, I may not have gotten all of my planned workouts in, but all of the workouts I did were enjoyable and felt like quality workouts.

What was your favorite workout last week?

 

Friday Five: Race Memories

It’s Friday and that means it’s time for the Friday Five with my favorite DC-area bloggers Mar, Cynthia and Courtney.

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This week’s topic:  Five Race Memories

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I have a lot of race memories, but these are the ones that stick out the most in my mind.

1.  The muddiest race:  The Mud In Your Eyes Series Race #1 (2014).  You can read a race recap here.  This was my first cross-country race and I remember before the race the director warned us of how to run in that type of sticky mud in order to finish with both shoes still on your feet!  I’m happy to say I finished with both shoes (and ended up placing 2nd in my age group for the series!).

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2.  The PR: The Shamrock Half Marathon (2012).  This was my fifth half marathon and I got a 30 minute PR.  I started running when I worked night shift and just couldn’t get a training program that fit my schedule.  I moved in November 2011, started working regular hours and stuck to a training program.  Not only did I PR, I finally achieved my goal of a sub-2 hour half.

all smiles

all smiles

3.  The favorite race:  The Wicked 10K (2010,2011, 2012).  I love this race.  It’s hands down my favorite–it’s a 10K, it’s in the fall, it’s fast and flat.  It’s also fun to see all of the creative costumes and the post party includes soup, bread and beer on the beach.  I can’t wait to run it again this year!

from 2011

from 2011

4.  The best racecation:  The Seattle Hot Chocolate 15K (2013).  One word: gorgeous.  You can read about my love for that race here. I’m excited to go back to run it again in 2015!

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5.  The race that I didn’t race, but volunteered!  When I first signed up to volunteer at the 2011 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler it was so I could get a guaranteed entry to the 2012 race.  What I didn’t expect was to love every minute of volunteering!  It was so inspiring to see so many different types of runners from the elites to the back of the pack and cheer them all on.

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I can’t wait to make more race memories, especially ones that involve faster, stronger running and swimming and biking :)

What is your favorite race memory?