The Casual Runner

The Casual Runner Mailbag (February)

Greetings Casual Runners! We hope our readers overseas are faring well in this still-new year with their winter training programs, while much of the continental U.S. is enduring a deep freeze and even deeper snow drifts (not a word out of you Casual Runners in Florida and Southern California with all of your warmth and sunshine!).  It is time for us to once again open up the Casual Runner Mailbag and turn things over to you.

2014 Nerd Herd Virtual Race Series IMG_20141005_091847585_HDR

Races and costumes are starting to get to be a lot like peanut butter and jelly, you can’t imagine one without the other.

As we do this, the Casual Runner Team wants to say that we have been thrilled with the feedback we have been getting from our readers. We had a busy end to 2014 and an even busier start to 2015 as the Team has been travelling around the country (and in Jennifer’s case, sailing the high seas) to take on new race challenges.  As long as you keep enjoying our tales from the running trails, we will keep bringing them to you.

Of particular interest to you seems to be our coverage of runDisney races, and many of you have written in complimenting and showing support for Jennifer’s and Jake’s awesome costume choices. Others have written in with suggestions for getting Mike to run his first race in-costume, however, suspiciously, when we went to gather some of those suggestions for this feature, they seem to have gone missing. Mike, you wouldn’t happen to know anything about that, would you?

Now, onto your reader mail:

Bib Transfers: Darrel from Washington, D.C. weighed-in on our feature on bib transfers:

“I really like that a lot of races these days are starting to offer the ability to do official bib transfers or deferrals. Like you said, with races selling out so fast you have to commit months ahead of time and life can get in the way.”

Thanks Darrel, we agree, if race directors are concerned about bib transfers that are against their event’s rules, having a formal process for officially transferring bibs is a welcome addition when, as you say, “life gets in the way.” It also opens up events to people who otherwise would be shut-out while bibs go unused.  Unfortunately we are not at the point where all events are able, or willing, to do this, but we welcome the more events that adopt such procedures.

We warned you: In response to our feature on the Casual Runner Team’s 2015 race wish list, Jenny from Baltimore, Maryland, who ran the rain-soaked 2014 runDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon, had this to say:

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The dry before the storm of the 2014 “Splash and Dash.”

“I know how this will sound after being adamant that I would only need to run one half [marathon] and be done, but given that it is a fun time, I will probably do the Wine & Dine again…Thanks for the incentive, Mike! I know a few others who are interested, so here’s to no rain that night in 2015!”

Jenny, we all warned you that Casual Running would be addicting, and we are so glad to hear that you have caught the bug. Mike is already excited to have you back for the 2015 runDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon. Rumor has it that a few other members of the Team and several readers are planning on running the event as well.  Right now, we are all hoping that it is MUCH dryer for this year’s event; that no scuba gear will be required to travel the course; and that we can all enjoy the after-party at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival. Perhaps a Casual Runner meet up will be in order?

Another Jen? For some reason we are crushing it in the “Jen” demographic.  In addition to our wonderful Team Member Jennifer, our readership seems to be heavy on people named “Jen,” and we are ok with that. Jen, not to be confused with Jenny from above, had this to say on Jennifer’s review of the 2015 Walt Disney World Half Marathon:

“I appreciate your take on running! I get bored at about 6 miles usually. 

Thanks Jen, at one time or another, we have all been there.  The key is to find some way to entertain yourself so you can smash through the proverbial wall. Whether it be good music, a podcast, new scenery, changing up your pace, or even the company of a great running buddy, finding ways to get the most enjoyment out of your Casual Running experience is key to your continued success.  Also, keep in mind, just because you may choose to run events with longer distances than you usually train, does not mean that you need to run those longer distances for all of your training runs. Most training plans call for you to run consistently to maintain your base and your fitness, with some (but not all) longer runs mixed in to increase your endurance.

Well-Deserved Kudos:  Jennifer recently concluded her 4-part series looking at her e-training program with Jeff Galloway (You can check out the earlier installments here: Part 1Part 2Part 3).  Diane had this to say:

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Yup, pretty much all you need to know to make your distance goals.

“I really enjoy your posts! Bravo for sticking with your program and making great progress. (I think I would draw the line at goose poop).”

Thanks Diane.  As in everything with Casual Running, the key is to find what works for you, and that includes a training program that both fits your interests and will maximize your enjoyment of the experience.  If that includes avoiding any training that brings you anywhere near goose poop-filled running tracks, then so be it. Good luck!

A Touching Tribute: We received a lot of suggestions about different race events that Casual Runner should cover in the future, but one stood out from them all.  Dorie from Columbus, Ohio had this suggestion for the Team:

“I am putting in a plug for the St. Jude Marathon weekend. We have a goal of 100 St. Jude Heroes in 2015 to benefit the Team Ryan Charitable Foundation for Pediatric Cancer Research!”

Dorie and her husband Jeff have been tireless champions of all of the wonderful work that St. Jude does to help so many children deserving of support as they take on unimaginable fights with inspirational strength and courage.  St. Jude was there for Dorie and Jeff as their own daughter, Ryan, waged a courageous fight against cancer, and their ongoing efforts for St. Jude are a testament to Ryan’s fight. Please check out and support their wonderful work by visiting the homepage for the Team Ryan Charitable Foundation. And, if you want to run for a cause, we are certain that Dorie, Jeff, and the entire Team Ryan would love to have you as one of their St. Jude Heroes in 2015.

Well that is going to do it for this installment of the Casual Runner Mailbag.  The Team loves hearing from you, so please keep those emails, messages, tweets, and Facebook messages coming in. In the meantime, stay warm, dress in layers, and keep pursuing your Casual Running goals. We have it on good authority that Spring is right around the corner!

The Casual Runner Team wants to hear from you. If you have any questions about anything we cover here on Casual Runner, if you have any questions regarding running gear or training for your own Casual Running needs, or if there is anything that you would like us to cover on Casual Runner, please leave a comment or email us using the links below.  To ensure that you do not miss all of the great content from Casual Runner, please be sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.  See you out on the running trails!

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