Fitness Friday – Ready to Race?

TGIF!  Over the past few years, signing up for races have helped me stay motivated and pushed me to get off the couch and go to the gym, especially during dreary Pacific Northwest weather.


Over the past two months, I’ve been researching race calendars so I could register in advance, receive an early bird discount and plan around my schedule (which is quickly filling up with travel and school activities).  Three reasons I find it helpful to develop a personal race schedule:

  1. Developing a training plan to prepare for an upcoming race helps me stay active, while the fear of embarrassment and injury keeps me accountable for actually executing on my training plans – having regular races keeps this habit going.
  2. Running is a great way to see a new city or explore more of the Pacific Northwest where I live, and with an organized race sometimes you get to venture into areas not always open to (or limited to) pedestrians.
  3. Race Swag – Technical t-shirts, medals, healthy snacks, post race adult beverages; sometimes I feel like a kid on Christmas morning at a packet pickup or post race party 🙂

My 2014 race schedule includes a few races I have run in previous years as well as that will be new for me.  It’s a nice collection of 10Ks (my favorite distance) and with one confirmed Half Marathon (so far) so I’ll be sure to challenge myself.  Finally, several have fun post race events featuring beer and wine refreshments:


Here are the races I’m tackling in 2014:

  • March:  Shamrock Run Portland 8K – First time doing this race.  St. Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite holidays, and what better way to celebrate than doing a race while wearing green!  I admit I passed up on doing the Shamrock Shuffle when I lived in Chicago because there was still snow on the ground.
  • April:  Whidbey Island 10K  – Destination race!  I’m very excited to visit and island in the Puget Sound for the first time and catch some beautiful sights while running 6.2 miles.
  • May:  Cinco de Mayo 10K – Matt and I ran this race last year and will run together again this year.  The post race party with burritos and beer is a blast.
  • June: Vancouver USA Half Marathon  – I’ve heard lots of great things about this local race and it looks like it is part of a big weekend festival, including a Brewfest featuring several local pubs.  Matt might run with me – otherwise I’ll meet him at the fest after 🙂
  • July:  Manzanita Beach 10K– This is probably my favorite race of the summer – I love running on the beach.  I’ve participated every year since moving to Oregon.  It’s a great excuse for a weekend trip to the Coast in the summer and to indulge is a Spicy Italian Pizza from Marzanos.
  • August:  Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon – I’m so excited to run this for the first time!  Matt and I are running as a two person relay team, so we will each take one leg of the race through Oregon Wine country and meet up at the end for the Music and Wine festival.
  • September:  North County Wine Run 9K – I ran the Half Marathon version of this race last year, but opted for the 9k this year.  It’s a great race with a great post race party, including wine tasting and vineyard tours.
  • October:  Girlfriends Run for a Cure Quarter or Half Marathon – I’m playing this one by ear pending how I  balance training and school.  It would be great to run the Half, but if that isn’t in the cards, the Quarter would be fun – this event benefits breast cancer research, which is a cause near and dear to me.

Question for you: Do you have any racing plans this year?



PS – Rave reviews received about the recent recipe for Roasted Broccoli from a new blog reader, old friend from Chicago – he tried out the recipe with the following results: “It was Awesome! Light, crispy and flavorful.” Note the excellent use of foil to make clean up so much easier. Thanks Mike!



3 thoughts on “Fitness Friday – Ready to Race?

  1. Looks like a pretty good race schedule you’ve got going! The Cinco de Mayo 10k looks like a lot of fun – I love Mexican food. My goal race for the year is my first full marathon in May (Maine Coast Marathon). so excited! I’ve got a half marathon before that, but otherwise I might try out a few 10ks – I love that distance.


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