Friday, July 20, 2012

Have "trainers", will travel - UK Rave Run

Runner's World publishes Rave Runs (see here) in each issue, and I always get so jealous/inspired when I see them. They highlight some of the most beautiful routes in the world - through deserts, redwood forests, and along the coasts. When we were in England last week, I had MY rave run. 

Ben's family lives in Newlyn - a suburb of Penzance (think Pirates of...) in the southwest of England (County Cornwall). It's RIGHT by the sea, tropical climate, and absolutely beautiful. I usually bring my 'trainers' (aka sneakers) and head out for some stress-relieving runs, but I generally only get out half of the time I'd like to because of the weather. 

Here was the 10 day forecast before we left: 
Yep. Rainy every day. Cold (compared to the upper 90s of the US East Coast!). I packed my 'trainers' (sneakers) regardless and kept my fingers crossed.  

The first two days were pretty rainy, and on the third - it was like the skies opened up! So, I headed out for a solo run to scope out the path. I had run it on a few trips before, but never (ha!) thought about a stroller being able to go on it! 

Backtrack. In anticipation of our pond-hopping, B and I decided to bring the BOB. We spent a day in London on each side of the trip (between the 8 hour flight and 8 hour train ride), and wanted to have it to maneuver around the museums and zoo. Best. Idea. Ever. We bought the BOB Single Stroller Travel Bag, and it was GREAT. (I'll do another post about packing/travelling with a family at a later date)

The next morning I work up and eagerly looked out the window. Horray! Another not wet day! (Notice I didn't say sunny quite yet.) So, O and I had breakfast, got dressed and headed out west along the path. We stopped every so often for photos, and of course his snack (I didn't bring my Garmin, having read that it wouldn't work on UK satellites). We ran 1.5 - 2 miles towards Mousehole, a cute little town known for their Christmas lights around the harbor and then headed back. 

Here are our photos! Enjoy!

Ready for the run, in the sun (?!?!)

Prounounced "Mowzel"

Looking out towards the Atlantic coast

Photo op at the turn-around point. Thank you, camera timer!

Pretty rocky shore

O's mid-run snack - fruit rope. I snuck a bite, DELISH.

The view heading back

Perfect day!

Garden with the best view - ever!

Just your run-of-the-mill scarecrows. Ha. 

St. Michael's Mount in the distance

Back to Newlyn!

Coastal path along the water

Newlyn in the distance
The last run of our UK trip I did solo, on Sunday, while O was napping. I headed east along the road towards Penzance and probably ended up doing about 5 miles? It was really sunny and I actually ran in my capris and a tank top! I just had to remember which way the traffic went while I was crossing the road! I didn't drag the camera with me, and my phone was off (!) for 10 days straight. Bliss. 

Now, contemplating sending this into RW. 

Any Rave Runs out there worth sharing?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Four on the Fourth

Happy 4th of July, everyone! 
(A day late, sorry, the race results were just posted!)

This 4 mile race was a last minute decision. As in 24 hours ahead of time decision. 
Nothing like an impromptu run with the stroller to keep you on your toes!

I hadn't run with Oliver in the stroller in a LONG time. (Since the 10K training run, 5/19!) I was reeeeeally nervous about what would happen. The runs I did last summer with him were pretty easy by comparison, because he fell asleep every time! Not anymore. I was all set (or so I thought) to go. I had snacks (fruit strip, dried strawberries in the snack trap, string cheese), drinks (water in sippy cup), toys (Elmo sound toy, mechanical book, jingle bells, YesYesNoNo book, and shake eggz.) 

What did I forget? The velcro straps. (Uh.mazing = Sippigrip - see here) We have three of them and LOVE them. And they're great. Just not sitting at home on the counter! Wrap 'em around a sippy cup, a snack trap, or a toy - and if your child should drop (ahem, THROW) them out of the stroller while moving, no big deal.) 

What else happened? We wore Crocs. BIG mistake. Oliver loves these shoes. They're amazing in the summer, especially at the park when we're running through the water (see photo below), but not so much in the BOB with the snack tray. Oliver likes to wedge his feet in there and slide them off. Generally, they drop into the little 'holding' area at the front of the stroller. Not this time. This happened around mile 3. One croc off (I didn't realize it), I mean completely off the stroller. Then another about 50ft farther down the road. Awesome. I had to stop and go back to get it, not a big deal, but it was a slight annoyance to those around me - especially seeing as the race was on both sides of a non-closed street. 

What more happened? After the Croc incident, I wedged the shoes into the canopy remembering the "shaded streets" comment on the race's site. Ha! Should've known better. The last 1/2 mile was in full sun and it was about 80 degrees already, couldn't pull the shade down without doing an Go-go Gadget arm maneuver to get the shoes under the stroller basket. O was a trooper, and kept cheering (clapping) everyone on! 

Over the course of this race, I ran into a friend from college who played on the tennis team for a year, as well as a great family friend (and running inspiration!). It was a nice holiday run, fairly inexpensive ($15 with cotton t included!), local (12 minutes away), kid-friendly (strollers allowed, and popsicles afterwards!) and easily accessible (parked about 25 yards from the check-in/start.) Overall, a great race, one that I will probably do again next year, and perhaps be better prepared for! 

So, here are the results: 
4 miles in 34:10, 8:32/mile.   47/127 women, 11/32 age group.