Going Rogue – Mixing it Up!

99.9% of my running is done on the roads and are traditional road races, but there are times when I break free from those races and go rogue and run a trail or participate in a fun themed race to break it up a bit.  For this Tuesday on the Run, I’m going off road and talking about some of my favorite “nontraditional” road races and events.

Trail Races

I want to love trails, I really do.  There is something that is so appealing to me of running trails, but honestly, I am so worried about falling that I spend most of my run concentrating far too much and I end up stressed out.  For me, running trails is a great reason to slow down and I enjoy running trails as part of an easy run.  I also have enjoyed running a local half marathon trail run as a fun run.   Here’s one of my favorite pics from a few years ago from Owl’s Roost Rumble of me and Katie.  We obviously were having an awesome time!ORR-KM


Mud, mud, and more more mud!  In 2011, a group of us ran the NC Marine Mud Run near Pilot Mountain, NC.  It a mix of trail running, obstacles, and a huge mud pit at the end that we had to “swim” through.  It was fun but really tough!  I ended up with two busted, bloody knees and found mud in places for days!mudrun



Last year, Color Me Rad 5K came through our town and a group of us all signed up to take part in it!  Without it being a timed race, we were really just in it for the fun!  Hayden, Nick and I were excited to run the event too as a family and our friend, Bonnie, and her kiddos were running too!  A group of us just hung together and we spent most of the run, walking with the kiddos through all the color stations.  I’ll be honest, if we didn’t have kids participating, it would not have been an event that I’d sign up to do.  It was fun, but for me, it’s a one and done kind of race!  It’s a perfect event for first time 5k’ers and for children, for sure!colormerad


Our local fav beerun (our Woo Hoo Crew recap) offered the opportunity to tie up with 5 other runners and become a 6-pack.  A group of us instantly jumped at the option to dress up in costumes, tie ourselves together with strings, and run together as a group. On the day we ran, it was brutally cold, raining with some snow mixed in.  Our costume was a last minute decision, we were wearing trash bags to stay dry so we decided to be “White Trash”  We ended up being the only 6-pack that year and we won the costume contest!  GO US!581457_10151527103233699_107848942_n


Two years ago, 12 of us piled into 2 huge white vans and took to the mountains to run the Blue Ridge Relay, a 208 mile relay from Grayson Highlands State Park in Grayson, VA to Asheville, NC.   It was by far the BEST running experience I’ve had yet running.  Each runner ran 3 legs throughout the 2 days, varying in distance.   Gotta love a relay race that calls some of the legs, “Mountain Goat” because of the steepness of the route.  From sleeping in the vans, to meeting other teams, to running at 3am, it was an awesome experience and I can’t wait to do it again, hopefully in 2015! brr2012

Virtual Runs

Back in 2012, my friends and I took part in a year long virtual race hosted by a local running friend, The 12athon.  We had to run 12 miles, which earned you 12 points, on the 12th of each month and complete a variety of challenges while running the miles.  Each challenge was worth a certain number of bonus points which would be added to our overall score.  Challenges ranged from eating a dozen of deviled eggs to running all 12 miles on a .25 or less span of road.  Throughout the year, Iris would add in monthly challenges where we could earn additional points towards our totals.   So on National Running Day, we took to the streets dressed as Devils because it was a Beelzebub Bonus Run (6.66 miles).  Here’s our video from that day!


Running has provided me with all kinds of fun runs throughout the years!  I’ve done more silly, crazy stuff through running than I thought I’d ever do normally.  Another plus of running! Find a fun event near you, sign up, and have a blast!! You won’t regret it!

What events have you run? How have you gone rogue?


Happy Week!






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Cinco de Run-o! Cinco de Fun-o!

May is here and it should be warm, sunny and wonderful, but right now, we’re dealing with wind, cold and rain.  I’m hoping that by the end of the week those 80 degree temps on the 7 day forecast aren’t just some sick joke.  I am ready to feel the sun and to finally put away all my winter clothes for good.

Even though the weather has been dreary, the month started off with some fun virtual events and a great Girls’ Night.  May 1st kicked off another “Run Every Day” month from I ❤ to Run.  I participated in their March event making it 12 days before I had to taper for Wrightsville.  It was the longest streak I have ever done, so though it wasn’t the full 31 days, it was still an accomplishment!  So with no races in May, I’m hoping that I can make it until the end of the month.  They also added in an additional challenge of running before the sunrise twice a week.  I’ll have to luck into that challenge. During the week, mornings are hectic enough without adding in a run. So unless I get a wild hair, probably not gonna happen.

On Thursday, a group of us all met to run a few miles together and head out to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants for a little girls night, Cinco de Run-O, and patio time.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature didn’t get the invite and our patio time ended up being inside time, but it was fun nonetheless.  We grubbed on good food, enjoyed some big beverages and had many laughs.  Just the perfect night girls’ night out!

This week also was another 5 by the 5th.  I ran my 5 this morning during my 6 miler with my friend, Kathy.  It’s hard to believe that we only have just one more month left for the virtual race series.  It’s been a fun way to celebrate the start of each month and see some great progress on my five mile time.  Next month, I’ll run my 5 miles during the Indoor Insanity Marathon Relay.  Hopefully, setting a new 5 mile PR for the race series.

I wore my new Fellow Flowers We Run For Boston tech tee this morning on my run!  Love this shirt and it’s message, “You Cannot Destroy the Will of a Runner, We Run For Boston”!  All proceeds go to The One Fund, Inc.  It’s super soft and comfy.


Spring Break! Grab the Chipotle Aioli!

This week has been my Spring Break, a much deserved reprieve from school.  My shoulders have returned to their proper position, instead of hanging out somewhere near my ears.  My sleep patterns are topsy turvy, staying up too late and waking up still too early.  I have savored long out-to-lunch lunches vs plastic box lunches (aka as microwave meals) since I have had longer than 20 minutes to scarf down some food.  I’ve had time to eat my breakfast and enjoy a second (or third) cup of coffee. Most importantly, time spent with H and my family has been so nice.

H and I went to visit my sister, brother in law and their newish baby S for a few days.  My mom was already there, so we joined her for the middle part of this week.  H and I drove down mid-day Tuesday, just in time for my sister to get off of work.  I was so happy to get in some baby lovin’.  I hadn’t seen my beautiful niece in a few months and it was so wonderful to see her.

On Wednesday, my sis had to go back to work, so my mom, H and I got to babysit. 🙂  I2013-04-03 14.51.13 needed to get a run in as well, so I headed out early so that we could go to lunch at the Bass Lake Draft House.  The fam tried it out the past weekend and my mom suggested it, knowing that the place was right up my ally.  It was so good that we ended up eating there one more time before we left yesterday.  I ended up trying two sandwiches, El Diablo and the Steak and Cucumber pita. I’m pretty much addicted to their chipotle aioli. The food was fantastic and the cold beer post run was well deserved!  Mmmm….chipotle aioli…oh wait…where was I?

Every time I visit my sister,  I pass the turn for the American Tobacco Trail on the way to her house.  I have friends who have run the Tobacco Road Marathon and Half or have traveled there for a Saturday long run.  They all rave about how nice it is and that’s a great place to run.  I was going to finally have the opportunity to check it out.  So excited!  In addition to running the ATT, it was also the start of April which meant another 5 by the 5th virtual run!

I laced up, drove the 20 minutes to the trail, and headed out once I got my bearings of where I was going.  Since I had to run 5 miles, I was just going to do an out and back along the course.  The trail isn’t really a woodsy “trail”, which I knew, but more of a pea gravel trail so I was happy to be running on a softer surface, just to mix it up.  ATT is very flat too; I had a slight uphill grade going out.  I had an awesome run!  The weather was perfect and the trail provided a lot of scenery and the miles flew by!  I ended up running the fastest 5 miler so far during this virtual run series, beating my February 5 miler by :30!  April 5 by the 5th

It was a great visit to my sister’s!  We enjoyed our time with them, relaxing, hanging with baby S and the rest of the family.  I look forward to more trips especially during the summer, when H and I can head down for a few days here and there.  I also would love to plan for our running group to head to the ATT for a summer Saturday long run.  It would be a great way to mix up our summer running and maybe we can sneak in a visit to Bass Lake, I’ll definitely need another chipotle fix.



Virtually Running It! recap

This month kicked off another 5 by the 5th virtual run sponsored by Mommy Run Fast.  Runners can sign up to run a 5K or 5 miler during the first 5 days of each month from January to June.  She has awesome prizes lined up monthly, as well as at the end of the series. What better motivation than to get out there and run for goodies!  There is also great support and camaraderie on her Facebook page from fellow runners through comments and pictures.  There are 465 runners signed up to participate, mostly women.

I had an 11 miler, which turned into a 12 miler, so my 5 miles were tied into my long run.  I mapped a pretty hilly route for the WHC to run.  Thanks to Carole for the route suggestion, yeah right?!!  524 feet elevation gain over the course of the run!?  In her true positive light, she reminded us that Myrtle Beach half in two weekends should be a breeze after this route.

I choose to count the middle 5 miles, since it takes me so long to warm-up on a long run and with all the hills early on, I wasn’t sure how great I would feel towards the end.  I ran the middle 5 miles in 45:30, which was an improvement in time over my 5 mile run last month!  A total side benefit of this virtual run series!  We can easily see how each month compares to previous months and we can celebrate our successes!

In addition to this virtual run, my hubby and I also signed up to compete in the Super Bowl Edition of Runner’s Wager #MilesofShame by PavementRunner.  Nick choose the 49’ers and I took the Ravens.  Carole and her boo, Henry also opted for the challenge with her taking San Fran and Henry, being the smart guy he is, picking Baltimore.  As we all watched the game, I was razzing Carole and Nick about their possible mileage when at one point Baltimore was up by 22 points (miles).  I thought that Carole was going to get her marathon run this year! After the “moment of darkness” in the Superdome, the Niners came back to finish just 3 points (miles) behind the Ravens.   Nick and Carole have just under a 5K to run this week.  BOO!  I was hoping for at least a challenge for those two.  Maybe next year!

… to connect people in a virtual world, exchanging thoughts and ideas, when in the physical world we might never have the opportunity to cross paths.

~Demi Moore