Motivational Shoes

This year, as I have said before, I plan on running in my first full marathon. Training for that particular race isn’t set to start until February 13th, 2017 but in my mind, I’ve already started training. It’s almost like I’m training to get prepared for training.

I’m starting this new year and new training plan with a new pair of shoes. I tend to buy new shoes fairly often because as soon as I start getting shin splints, I know I need new ones. In the past, I have been mostly a fan of Asics but two half marathons ago I had an excellent pair of New Balance shoes that I still love to wear but are not “road ready”. I recently purchased a pair of New Balance M720’s for the first bit of my training (I’m anticipating having to buy at least one more pair prior to the marathon).

As a present from Kait, I received shoe tags that provide some motivation for me as I run. One says, “Keep Going” and the other says, “You’ve got this”. I was spending some time thinking about it and I think these are a great idea. In the middle of a run, your feet or legs may be tired and close to failure. You want to stop. But when you look down at the things that are causing you pain, they are a source of motivation and inspiration, telling you you can do it and you can keep going. I think that is just great and I’m really glad I have them on my shoes. It’s day one of 2017 and I am really looking forward to seeing how far my running takes me this year.img_3843

New Year, New Goals

It is officially 2017! Looking back at the past year, a lot has happened in my fitness and running life. Here’s a look at 2016 by the numbers.

  1. I ran 13 races this year.
  2. Seven of my 13 races were races I did for the first time.
  3. I ran races in a total of 4 different states (Ohio, California, Louisiana, and North Carolina)
  4. I ran 3 half marathons, bringing up my total to 5.
  5. I was unsuccessful at PR’ing this year, so that number is a 0.
  6. I played my first season of professional women’s football.
  7. I got to be in 2 games for a total of 7 plays. I also had my first tackle during a game.
  8. I only had one injury during football (tore my UCL in my elbow). I was able to avoid having surgery because I am left handed and I tore it in my right.

Looking at these numbers, there is a lot that I know I can work on. 2017 is the year of my first full marathon. I will be running the Seattle Rock n Roll Marathon in June. Because my training for that is going to be very time consuming, I’ve decided (after much debate with myself) that I’m stepping away from football for the season to focus my effort on running. Training starts in February and I’m very excited!

Other goals for 2017:

  1. Start a Master’s program.
  2. Read 25 books.
  3. Update my website weekly.
  4. Spend more time with my Grandma.

Sunday RunDay: 12/20/15

Getting closer and closer to half marathon day!

Today was a first for this stint in half marathon training; it was snowy! It snowed quite a bit on Friday and Saturday but when I woke up today, no snow was on the roads. I still want to be safe when I run, as everyone should. I know that very few sidewalks would be cleared unlike the streets but Lori suggested I head to the bike path in Chardon because they plow them.

I thought this was a fantastic idea. I wouldn’t have to worry about cars and it has been a pretty long time since I’ve done that route. Perfect for my seven mile run today. Or so I thought. Unfortunately, while the

 path was plowed, it didn’t stop it from being slick with ice. I managed about a mile before I decided I needed a new venue.

I ran the last few miles of my seven in Lori’s neighborhood and beyond. I felt pretty great. I love running in colder weather. I ran in this same neighborhood earlier in the week because I was running later and it was dark out (again, trying to keep myself safe). Lori’s street was decorated for Christmas by so many houses. It was nice to see and a good distraction as I ran. I wish I had stopped to take some pictures.

One other fun fact about today is

 that it marks the nine year anniversary of the surgery I had on my legs for compartment syndrome. At that point in my life I never would have guess my legs would have run so much and had completed all of the races they have. I’ve come a long way.

Sunday RunDay: 12/13/15

Last official race of 2015 today and it was one of my favorites. Today I ran in the “Run, Santa, Run” 5k in Mentor, Ohio. This is the second year I have participated in this race and boy did it grow from last year. There were an estimated 1000 participants!

Last year, it was pretty chilly out during the race. There wasn’t any snow on the road and I don’t quite remember if there was snow on the grass or anything but I do remember that I had to wear a long sleeved shirt and pants as well as gloves and a hat while I ran. My time previously was 28:42 which was my fastest time of 2014. I was pretty pumped to finish my running season on that note.

Fast forward to this year and I finished in 27:18…and it was 65 degrees outside. I had a t-shirt and shorts on. It was actually pretty balmy. The sunIMG_2555 wasn’t out but this weather was perfect for my last race of the year (but not my last race of the season as I have my half marathon in Los Angeles coming up next month).

One of the goals I set forth for myself was to beat Lori. She is currently 5 months pregnant and was doing a lot of assuring me I would be passing her eventually since she hadn’t run more than 2 miles in quite some time. We started off together for about 2 seconds and then she took off. I had her in my sights for the first two miles and then I randomly lost her. She finished about a minute ahead of me. Not terrible, but still. I will say I am proud that she is still running at this point.

What I love about this race is that it is Christmas themed. I love Christmas and although I don’t dress up like other people do (like Santa or elves or Christmas trees), I like the shirt design of a Santa running and you get a Christmas hat and a glass with the logo. The glass is so you can partake in Christmas ale post race but I am not really a fan of that beverage. I’m sure IMG_2552next year we can’t bank on having great weather like this but I’ll take it where I can. It is much easier to convince myself to go for a run when it is in the sixties as opposed to being in the twenties.

The other fun part of today was after the race. Kait and I headed downtown to see the Browns take on the San Francisco 49ers. We won! It was a great day all around!

Athlete Profile: Ashley Pavicic

family race day 2Name: Ashley Pavicic

A short bio about yourself (where you are from, what you do for a living, favorite whatever)

I am a 30 year old wife, mother, teacher and most recently, A RUNNER! I grew up in Perry, OH and am proud to say that I’ve spent the past nine years as an elementary school Spanish teacher at my alma mater. I am a 2007 graduate of the University of Mount Union (GO PURPLE RAIDERS!!!!)! My favorite things (besides running) are baking, crafting and reading books on my Kindle! I also like to shop!!! I am married to my wonderful husband, Paul and together we have two sweet boys: Tommy (5) and Luke (2). We are also parents to a 6 year old yellow lab named Bernie. Our family likes to keep our social calendar busy because it truly makes our hearts full to be with friends and family!

How do you know Brittany?

I know Brittany and her family because we grew up in the same town of Perry, OH! I was also lucky enough to work with Brittany at Perry as she served as a sub on many occasions.

When did your running/fitness adventure begin and why (who or what convinced you you should run)?

A group of my girlfriends started the summer of 2015 with a small running challenge and invited me to participate! Even though “I didn’t have enough time” to run, I committed and powered through the month and the challenge of running thirty miles in June. Jessica, afinish line colleague and friend, suggested that I run a half marathon with her in the fall of 2015. She created a training plan that terrified me. When a “non runner” sees 10-11 mile runs on a training plan, she thinks “How will I ever…..?” Every run became a fun challenge – mapping the route, running a faster pace than the last run and finding out how far a double digit run could take me around the city of Mentor.

My fitness and health adventures have continued beyond running.  The running challenge group has since turned into an online Girlfriend’s Monthly Fitness Challenge group where we lift each other up, embrace imperfections and hard days, encourage healthy lifestyles from food to fitness to mental health and provide accountability!  For a mom of two and a full time teacher, this is the perfect venue to maintain my health!

 What is something you absolutely need to have for every run or workout?

   What I love about running is that I actually don’t need a lot to do it!  I can’t get through a workout without comfortable clothes, my iPhone with headphones, the MapMyRun app to track my progress and Pandora radio (on shuffle).  For long runs, I need a pre-planned route and a small water bottle; for my short runs I like the challenge of creating the route as I go.  I believe that your MINDSET is everything!  Whether my run is long or short, I set out knowing exactly what my goal is and with the attitude that I can do it no matter how tough it gets.    

    What is one of your biggest running pet peeves? (Ex: I hate when cars don’t move over or running without my headphones)

   I get most frustrated when I forget to turn on my running app or if someone calls and interrupts a good song while I am running!  I also learned on a rainy run this fall that it is super annoying to step in a puddle the first mile of your run…running in wet shoes and socks is NOT enjoyable!

What is your biggest motivation for running?

   I found that running really makes me FEEL GOOD!  I am a better mom, wife and teacher….an overall better ME when I make time to take care for myself.  Running gives me an opportunity to have time alone, get lost in music, let go of thoughts and worries and at the same time burn calories, colleen kingtone my body and become a healthier version of myself.

I know from experience that one can lead by example!  When I started running this summer and posting about it, I had several people private message me to tell me that my journey helped them to begin their own!  It is exciting that I can inspire people by running.  Of course, I hope that this example is carried through to the lives of my children, too!

 

What is the longest race you have done to date? What was your time?

My longest and ONLY race so far was the Towpath Half Marathon on October 11, 2015.  My time was 2 hours 6 minutes at an average pace of 9:38 per mile.  The Towpath was a beautiful, FLAT course and I highly recommend it for someone who wants to make a race debut.  Visit https://towpathtrilogy.com/ to check out the 2016 Trilogy series.

My sister in law, Mary Pat Pavicic, ran the race with me (and was third place overall female!!!!!), my co-worker, Jessica Miller also ran with me and I re-connected with a college friend, Colleen, through training and met up with her!  Running connected me to so many people!

What goals or aspirations do you have for your fitness or running adventure?

I don’t know how many races are in my future.  I don’t run to compete – I run to complete!  🙂  My goal is to maintain my running.  While I have been on a little bit of a hiatus after the race in October, I just started my plan to get back to running 2-4 days per week.  Since I started my running adventures, I have inspired my mom to start running, too.  She will start officially training for the Cleveland Half Marathon in January and my hope is that I can train with her!

What advice would you give to someone who says, “I’m not good at running” or “Running is boring/awful/hard/[insert negative connotation here]”?

quote and gear   I used to be THAT person that said “I’m not good at running” and “I’m not a runner!”  I even used the excuse “I don’t have time to run!”  I learned this past summer that ANYONE can become a runner!  If you’re looking for a good way to exercise without tools, an expensive commitment to a gym or a lot of time, running is a great option.  Taking one step at a time on that pavement can carve the way for your future in fitness and health!


Favorite race you have run to date?

Towpath Half Marathon – October 2015

Sunday RunDay: 12/6/15

Runkeeper’s Global 5k today, people! IMG_2518

Haven’t heard of the Global 5k? Runkeeper challenged the world to complete a 5k today. The cool thing about this race is that it could be run anytime, anywhere. Treadmill, beach, mountains, farm country. Anywhere. Tracking a 3.1 mile run or walk today entered you into the race. People all over the world are participating. I will have more numbers and stats for you later this week after the run officially closes.

I was slightly skeptical of my ability to bust out this super awesome 5k due to the fact that my runs have been a struggle lately. Last week I was only able to get in 1 mile on Sunday before my legs started to really bother me.IMG_2519 The following day I was able to successfully run 4 miles which made me feel a little better but I’m still frustrated. Being gone Wednesday through Friday this week on a conference trip, I didn’t take part in any running (just lots of stairs at the water park).

My official time for Runkeeper’s Global 5k was 32:00 flat. Holy snail pace! For me, at least. I’m blaming the fact that I dead lifted yesterday. My legs felt heavy. Because I am in the middle of training, I needed to do more than 3 miles. I stopped when I hit my 3.1 and walked a little bit before starting the app again and running the last three miles that I needed. I still felt heavy but I was able to gIMG_2520et all 6 miles in that I needed. Definitely progress from last week. Tomorrow I am thinking about looking to get new shoes. I have to figure this out. I hate being uncomfortable when I run. It makes it less enjoyable.

Next week marks my last race of 2015 with “Run, Santa, Run”! A nice, flat course with some cool gear to go along with it. Stay tuned for my final race results!

New Fitness Adventures!

With training being my real main focus the past few weeks, I haven’t had time to tell you guys I have begun two new fitness adventures! These are both things that I have wanted to try and be a part of for a long time and the time has finally come for me to pursue them.

First up, the Cleveland Fusion. Never heard of them? The Cleveland Fusion is Cleveland’s women’s tackle football team. Real Women. Real Football. They are a part of the Women’s Football Alliance,  a league that crosses over the entire country and has 40 teams in it. Cleveland iscleveland-fusion-logo-225 currently ranked fifth in the nation, having 10 All-American players last season. Our home stadium is in Maple Heights and the season begin in April. I’m pretty pumped about it.

There are probably some of you who are aware that I have zero football playing experience but experience is not a requirement for making the team. We have not yet begun to have legitimate practices but we have started conditioning (which I love) and I’ve gotten a chance to meet some of the players. They have all told me that I’m going to have a good time this season and they seem really supportive and want to help me figure all this out. Go Fusion!

My second fitness adventure is a bit of a piggy-back on the football team. Currently for conditioning, we meet at a Crossfit gym in Bedford Heights. That’s a bit of a haul for me to do three times a week so I only trek out there on Monday’s. I still want to be working out and lifting weights, something I have never had much interest in, but I didn’t know where to do that. I usually just lifted by myself at the Y but I didn’t feel challenged necessarily and I didn’t have the motivation to do it myself. After telling my assistant principal about making the team, he told me I should look into going to the Crossfit gym he goes to  (not a new topic of conversation for us). I finally gave in and checked it out, thinking that it would be easier for me to get to it than Bedford.TheBarCrossFitLogoFNLblack.png

I’ve only been to one class really, along with one 1 on 1 Athlete Development session but I already love it. The people there are super cool and very nice. They just want to help you and teach you how to do things correctly. It’s been great. Everything can be modified to your needs and your strength so even with my shoulder being iffy sometimes, I can still feel like I’m working hard and making progress.

I’m super excited about both of these fitness adventures. Just another way I can continue being an athlete in my own eyes.

Tips for Your First 5k

With the announcement of Runkeeper’s Global 5k taking place around the world on December 6th, 2015, some users will be embarking on their first ever 5k race. How do you go about running a 5k, or any race? If you have ever been into running before, you might not know where to start or what to do. One great thing about the running community is that everyone is a part of everyone else’s cheering section. We share in the excitement of people’s first races and we love hearing other people’s stories, adventures, and accomplishments. If you are looking for help, you won’t have to go far to find it.

Getting Started

Where do you begin when it comes to embarking on a running adventure? The best thing to do is to set goals for yourself. These goals can be a number of things and can cover a whole spectrum of topics and measurements. Perhaps your goal is to simply run a 5k. The next question you should answer is what 5k do you want to run specifically? In my own experience, signing up for a race is one of the biggest motivators I have when it comes to training. You need that race in the back of your mind with that very real deadline to help push you to keep running through the weeks. Goals for running might even be more specific in terms of saying you would like to run a 5k in under 28 minutes, or that you want to train 3 times a week.

Follow a Training Plan

Want to help yourself prevent injury, burnout, and just pure frustration? You need to follow a training plan. There are a plethora of options and helpful websites and apps that inexperienced and even experienced runners can use to help guide their training. Runkeeper Go offers training schedules, help, and advice through it’s many training plans available through the app. There are also options that are aimed at helping you lose weight or even learn to run if you are a beginner. Other apps that seem to have grown in popularity are Couch to 5k which is another training plan that gives you daily workouts that help you progress from being sedentary to being on the course. Other runners may follow a particular trainer and his plan, such as Hal Higdon (www.halhigdon.com). He has varied training plans from novice to advanced runners who are looking to improve. The main thing to keep in mind as you begin a training program is to make sure that it is progressive. You cannot expect to be walk/jogging a mile one week to being able to run multiple miles the next. Just like any other sport or activity, running takes practice in order to get better at it.

Find Your Motivation

It’s true when people say that it is important to know why you are running in a race. Is it for the cool shirt? Is it because all of your friends are doing it with you? Is it to prove to yourself that you can be a runner? Everyone’s motivation is different. Some people use races as a motivator to enter into a healthier lifestyle. All reasons are valid reasons, you just need to know why it is important for YOU. So ask yourself (and be honest), why are you running?

Pump Yourself Up

As part of motivation, I would say that most runners would tell you that they have a particular piece of clothing that they prefer to run in. Maybe it’s a favorite shirt, a pair of shorts, or even a pair of socks. In order to pump yourself up about a race, sometimes you need to invest in some new gear. Have you ever heard the saying, “If you look good, you’ll feel good”? That saying is still relevant in the running community. Get a new pair of shoes, a cool t-shirt, some nice socks. It may not seem like a big deal but sometimes it is the little things that can get you excited for a race.

Rock it Out

From my own personal experience, I know that sometimes a music playlist you have been listening to for the past 8 weeks while training can get repetitive and has an effect on your morale during a race. Sometimes listening to a particular song reminds you of another run where you were listening to it and didn’t have such a great day. Help yourself out and keep your playlist new and inspiring by either purchasing some new songs especially for race day or go the route of a music system like Pandora, Spotify, or Songza. By selecting a playlist set to your pace and songs that aren’t necessarily on your music device, you may be surprised to find some new songs that get your legs moving faster and help you get through some of the miles. Runkeeper has also come out with it’s own “DJ” (Runkeeper DJ) where you select the pace and genre you would like to run to and it plays songs that are on your music device that fit your selection.

Research the Race

If you have never done a 5k before, it might seem a little daunting and intimidating. There are a lot of questions you may ask yourself:

  • When/where do I get my race bib?
  • How early should I show up for a race?
  • Where does the race go?

Some of these questions can be answered just by looking up the race online. Generally, it will say on the race page when and where you can pick up your packet (“packet” being the term for your race info including but not limited to your race bib, t-shirt, and sometimes some freebies). This usually takes place the day prior to the race although you can also pick up your packet the day of the race. It is recommended that you pick up your packet the day before if it is a large race. I promise it will cut down on your race day anxiety and you will have a smoother morning.

Through a consensus by the runners in my local community, they recommend getting to a race anywhere from 30 minutes before the start to 45 minutes before the start. Keep in mind, for a bigger race you may want to arrive earlier so you can make sure you can park and get warmed up without feeling too rushed. It’s also important to utilize the bathroom before starting your race so allow time for that too.

On your drive into the race, you may see where some of the course is marked and that can give you an idea of where you are going to be running. Many races also post a course map on their website or just may give written directions for you to read, assuming you know the area. This is also a good thing to do at the beginning of training so you know about any hills that you could encounter or any “off road” portions of the race. By knowing about these areas of the race, it will help you train for those “hazards”. Training on mostly flat ground will not help you in a race that is one continuous hill.

Runkeeper’s Global 5k

Whether it is your first ever 5k or if you are a seasoned veteran in the running community, this race is perfect for everyone. Runkeeper wants you to be a part of their largest event of the year. The reward for completing this challenge is the availability to purchase  limited edition Runkeeper Global 5k gear in the Runkeeper store. Runkeeper will also be sharing a ton of stats, like which country was the fastest and which country had the most participants! The race can be run anywhere at anytime as long as it is on December 6th, 2015. Just like any race, prizes will be awarded to the top 25 fastest runners. Both GPS and Stopwatch activities are acceptable. Run outside on the trails, in your neighborhood, on a treadmill in the gym, it doesn’t matter, you just have to track 3.1 miles by walking or running. Just get out and run!

 

Sunday RunDay: 11/15/15

Week two of training is officially in the books!

I’ve been having some trouble this week with pain in my legs. Even on my other run days, my right leg starts to feel like I have shin splints. I can tell that my form is suffering when I start to feel it. My foot thumps into the ground, which I’m pretty sure isn’t helping the painful situation. Needless to say, I have been running pretty slow this week. At this point, I’m disappointed with how training has begun but I can find some positives in this as well; at least it isn’t the week before the race. I’m trying to figure out how to help myself. Stretching more before, during, and after a run hasn’t proven to be IMG_2440beneficial. The only other thing that I can think of is my shoes. I’ve run into this problem before where the new shoes I pick out feel good for the first couple of runs and then I find that they aren’t the right fit for my feet. I may give these shoes another week before I make the decision about whether or not I need to try out a new pair.

Anyway, back to today’s run. Seeing as how I was struggling with some pain, I had a pretty rough run. I ran from my house to the library down the street. There was a lot of walking involved. My right calf just felt tight and my ankle was bothering me. The weather was great though, around 55 degrees. Great day to be out. I got to the library which is about 2 miles from my house. I decided to walk a little bit to try to loosen up my leg a little bit before I started to run it out again. On the way back to my house, I was finally feeling in the groove and the pain was subsiding a little bit when a big reddish dog came charging off the front step of it’s house. It was barking and was following me. I did what I do anytime a dog comes after me, I just start walking. Walking seems less threatening than running. He (or she) wandered out into the street behind me. That’s another reason I walk. If the dog follows me, I don’t want it  to get hit by anything. Eventually, by the time I got to the edge of it’s yard he (or she) retreated back to the porch and I continued on my way.

I finished my run in just under 43 minutes. Definitely s a slow day but not the worse I have ever had. Whenever I have a day like this, I find that it’s important to remember that some days running is going to come really easy and feel really great and other days there is going to be a struggle (and some pain). You need the bad days to really enjoy the good days of running. Running isn’t a easy thing but the daily challenge is what makes it worth it.

Athlete Profile: Jakob Pezar

Your Name:

Jakob Pezar

About Jakob:

I am originally from Perry, Ohio but I currently live outside of Washington D.C. I work at George Mason University as an Office Manager for their International Programs Office and am also a student in the MBA program.

How do you know Brittany?

I went to school with Brittany from elementary school through high school.

When did your running/fitness adventure begin and why (who or what convinced you you should run)?

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 6.50.35 PMI ran track and cross country in middle school and continued with track in high school. I really started running as something to do with my time when I wasn’t too busy with other sports and music programs. I would occasionally keep running in college because I found it to be a good way to clear my head and prepare for tests and assignments in my classes. I never really ran for exercise, so I was not always consistently running, but I always felt I was in shape enough where I could go out for a run keep up with whoever was running with me.

What is something you absolutely need to have for every run or workout?

I definitely need to have my wireless headphones when I run. I enjoy the fresh air and the surrounding as I run, but I need my music to keep me going. It could be all of the years of band/choir/musicals in me, but being able to have a constant beat going help me to keep moving along. They do need to be my pair of wireless headphones, because the wires annoy me when I run and I don’t need those distractions. I also need to have my compression knee braces when I run. My knees got a little torn up after an incident with a racecar, and If I do not have these I feel my knees falling apart a mile into the run, but this doesn’t stop me from going out and running!

What is one of your biggest running pet peeves?

One of my biggest pet peeves when I run is coming across walkers. If I am running on a sidewalk or a path in the woods, the last thing I want to come across is a group of 4 or 5 people walking and talking while taking up the entire width of the sidewalk. If a sidewalk is supposed to be a shared area, then I feel it should be treated that way when it is being used by everyone; walkers, runners and bicyclists alike. This is the one thing that drives me crazy when I am out running, especially after running 5, 6 or even 7 miles.

What is your biggest motivation for running?

My biggest motivations are simply that I am competitive and I like getting cool medals. I am fortunate enough to not really need to run and exercise to lose weight or for health reasons, I am pretty lucky in that area. I like being able to do things where there are winners and losers after an activity. I like to be fast, whether it be faster than my competitors or even faster than my last time out, but
I like to feel that I can win. I also really don’t like looking like I am performing poorly in front of a crowd, so if I see people watching a race and cheering us all on, I always want to look good, fast and like I am doing a great job. Another major reason I run is because I like getting medals and free running shirts for completing races. I find that to be something fun, and I figure if it gets me out there to run and be healthy then that is even better.

What is the longest race you have done to date? What was your time?

My longest race is a half marathon I ran in Williamsburg. I once ran this as a weekend race with an 8K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday. This was called the Patriot’s Challenge, and obviously I was going to be crazy enough to run both races. Doing this challenge allowed me to win a bonus medal, so that was all the motivation I needed to run those races. My best time for the half marathon so far is 2 hours and 11 minutes.

What goals or aspirations do you have for your fitness or running adventure?

I would like to be able to run a few more half marathons and throw in some shorter ones for fun. I think I will eventually try to run one full marathon at some point, but that point is not here yet. Maybe if I see one in a cool destination with a neat medal that I really want that will be the time to run a full marathon.

What advice would you give to someone who says, “I’m not good at running” or “Running is boring/awful/hard/[insert negative connotation here]”?

I do say that I’m not good at running, and running does get boring, but do as Phil Knight’s company says and “just do it”. Running is sometimes hard but I still do it because there are so many benefits to running. You have to find some outside motivation or reason to get out and run. As I said I like to feel like I have won and getting cool medals, so that gets me to run. It has plenty of other health benefits, maybe it helps you relax, maybe it helps you think through a situation, but I think everyone can find a good reason to go out and run. You don’t have to come across the finish line first, have the fastest time or run and lose 100 pounds. Find what motivates you and get out there, it’s fun when you cross the finish line!

Favorite race you have run to date?

My favorite race so far has been the Hard Cider 5K that I ran in Charlottesville, VA. The race took place through the woods and an apple orchard and when you finished you got a t-shirt, a unique medal and a free glass of hard cider. Once I saw that I could get the medal and shirt PLUS some hard cider I knew I was in! It was a surprisingly difficult race because of a huge deadly hill for the entire duration of the 2nd mile, but I finished near the front of my heat group and felt pretty good after the race. And as I said, the free cider didn’t hurt!