Running

Jet Lag and Running

As I left home to go to the airport, the first flakes started to fall. My wife sent me pictures of the kids playing in the snow which made me miss them already. I was on my way from Raleigh, NC to Ireland for a work trip.

It was a pretty turbulent flight, but I felt OK and do not usually suffer with travel sickness when flying. I had to put my book down when it got really rough. Nothing else.

I arrived in Ireland to more snow and freezing temperatures, collected my car and drove to my parent’s house. After some catch-up, I thought I’d get a run in.

I decided I wouldn’t run outside, but instead use my parent’s treadmill. So I put on a pair of shorts and long sleeve top (it’s still cold inside). However, the treadmill was a no-go, The belt is slipping and I couldn’t run on it.

That’s leaves only one option…

I had to head outside. I grabbed my gloves, hat, buff, and off I went. I was pretty prepared, I thought. I had my trail shoes, which were great in the snow. I had a buff to keep the cold air off my face, and a nice hat. Even with shorts, it was manageable.

The first 1.5 miles felt good. No issues at all.

Then something didn’t feel right. At first I kept veering off to the right as I ran. I was loosing my balance. When I eventually stopped it hit me hard. My whole world was spinning. I waited a few minutes to see if I could shake it, but it wasn’t going away.

I started to walk back to the house and was staggering all over the sidewalk. I couldn’t walk straight. I felt like I was going to pass out. I kept walking, and due to complete disorientation, ended up the wrong road and had to come back down. At this stage I was hoping the police would pick me up for public drunkenness and take me home.

I made it back to the house eventually and immediately threw up in the bathroom and then laid on the bathroom floor for a while. Can I just say, no alcohol was involved here at all. But that’s probably what it looked like, and felt like though.

After a hot shower, I drank some fluids, in case it was dehydration, and ate some chocolate in case it was low blood sugar. It took around 3-4 hours to feel normal again.

Today I will rest, and not run.

Maybe.

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Reviews, Running

Review: Race Across Durham Trail Marathon & 10 Miler

It was so exciting to be part of the first ever Race Across Durham Trail Marathon & 10 Miler event. I registered for the 10 mile race, since this was my first ever trail race (and also because I could not run 26.2 miles on a flat surface).

The 10 mile race started at the West Point On The Eno Amphitheater, an open area in the middle of the woods. From there, around 200 runners gathered, ready to run through the trees toward the river to join the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.

The race was timed (time-chip on back of the bib), but there was no starting mat, so time was taken from the starting gun. I wasn’t too motivated by time on this race. I wanted to run it well, and enjoy it at the same time, so not having a starting mat didn’t bother me.

I was expecting a little bit of a bottleneck at the start of the race, because we had to transition from an open field to a single track trail. There was no pushing or shoving. Everyone was very chilled and polite and seemed to be out there to enjoy the day.

It took about 1.5 miles or so to thin out on the trail. I managed to pass quite a few people at the beginning and catch some groups that were running at a pace I was comfortable with.

I was really glad I spent a few weekends before checking out the trail section by section — it was really helpful mentally, as I knew which sections of the trail were most challenging and when I needed to preserve energy during the race.

The trail was well marked, and I didn’t hear of anyone getting lost. I did hear about a number of falls though — I’m amazed I managed to stay on my feet.

It was a tough course. Probably one of my toughest races to date. Just look at how tired I am above. This was taken just after having crossed the finish line.

There were two aid stations. One at 4 miles, and one at 8 miles. I decided not to carry any fluids and rely only on the aid stations. That worked out fine for me.

I didn’t stop during the race to take any photos I’m afraid, so I’m looking forward to seeing some of the official race photos. There were 3-4 photographers stationed along the route. I tried my best to look like a real trail runner when I spotted them.

Here I am with my friend, Dillon, looking a bit more refreshed after some fluids and snacks at the finish. There were shuttle buses arranged to take runners on the 10-15 min trip back to the West Point On The Eno for the race after party. Beer.

Isn’t that a lovely medal? Well, yes it is. Very nice. It has the Durham skyline, with water tower, complete with the Eno State Park and River at the bottom.

I was glad family could come and join me for the after party. It was a very chilled affair — which was fine. There was food and beer, and a band playing in the background. People sat around on the grass field, or at the picnic tables. Xander (below) was happy to have freedom to run around and enjoy himself.

Based on my training runs, I would have been happy with any time under 2 hrs, so to come in at 1hr 45min was a nice surprise. My Garmin logged the course at 9.4 miles, and  11:10/mi pace. The official distance was 10 miles, which brings my pace up to 10:31/mi. I can only assume my GPS signal got a little lost at times which accounts for the missing 0.6 miles.

Official results for yesterday places me in 87th Place, 10:31/mi pace.

A post shared by Alastair Vance (@alastairvance) on

 

If you’re interested in more of the course details and elevation, you can check out my Strava activity here.

One final note — if you do intend to sign up for it next year, sign up quick. The race sold out in a number of weeks when registration opened at the start of July.

 

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Running

14 Gift Ideas for Runners


Wondering what to buy your running friends for Christmas? Here’s some ideas to get you started…

  1. Challenge them with a race registration!
  2. Keep them warm during winter with some new running apparel (tops, leggings, socks, hats, etc.)
  3. Give them that new shoe feeling with some new shoes!
  4. Keep them hydrated with a bulk supply of Nuun tablets.
  5. Keep them energized with a bulk supply of Gu Energy Gels.
  6. Help them stay visible at night with a Noxgear Tracer360.
  7. Light up with their path with a light-weight led headlamp.
  8. Hang their medals up with a wall mounted medal holder.
  9. Get them a FlipBelt to carry their keys and phone while they run.
  10. Upgrade their run tracking with a new GPS watch — Garmin Forerunner 235 or 935 for example.
  11. Gift a magazine subscription to Runner’s World.
  12. Gift a subscription to Strava Premium!
  13. Help them roll out sore muscles with a foam roller.
  14. Take the easy route and get them a gift card for a local running store.

What would you add?

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Photos, Running

Training for Race Across Durham

Eno River State Park is an amazing place. I’ve being doing quite a bit of running there to prep for Race Across Durham. The scenery is beautiful, and it feels so remote. The trail is both challenging and rewarding and full of wildlife. The race is only a couple of weeks away now, but I think I will definitely keep running here throughout the year ahead.

 

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Reviews, Running

Review: Raleigh – Night Nation Run

To be honest, if you sign up to this race to run, you’ll be very disappointed. Fortunately I was with the love of my life and I’m also partial to a little dance music now and again…

 

And this is the BEFORE party. #nightnationrun

A post shared by Alastair Vance (@alastairvance) on

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Family, Photos, Reviews, Running

Review: Cupcake Race 5k Photos

We completed the Cupcake Race at Brier Creek back on October 14th. I was hoping to have the whole family involved, but our oldest had a band competition and was unable to take part.

The race itself is very good value. We paid $15 each and that covered the race, time-chips, t-shirt, medal, water bottles, and of course a cupcake at the end. The course starts in the Brier Creek shopping center area and runs out and down the road at the back, toward Lumley Rd and then back.

I pushed Xander in the stroller for the duration. He was very well behaved and loved watching all the people running around him.

It was a nice family day out. I never imagined us running races together as a family. How things change! Our next family race (with Nathan included) is the Krispy Kreme Challenge in February. We’re all signed up and ready to eat some doughnuts!

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Routes, Running

Race Across Durham

I just signed up for Race Across Durham (10 miles) trail race! It’s scheduled for December 3rd, 2017 at 9am, so it should be nice and cool and have no nasty black flies, right?

It winds along the Eno river in Durham, starting at West Point on the Eno park to Eno River Rock Quarry.

I’ve been running some trails recently, but this is the first trail race I will participate in. I’m pretty excited about it.

You can check out the route here. Strava calculates it as 8.4 miles and estimates I’ll take 1hr43m to run it! 🙂

I did just notice it’s up hill the whole way! Great!

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