History in the Making

I know I’m not stating anything new to anyone, but we are living through a very unique period of time right now.  It is almost a surreal experience, knowing that this Covid-19 pandemic will be forever etched in history.  The only other world history making event I have lived through was the 9/11 terror attack.

I was a freshman in high school and remember an announcement coming over the speaker that teachers were allowed to turn on the TVs if they wanted to.  Unfortunately my personal family life skills teacher (yes, the class was as pointless as it sounds and was required for all freshmen) thought that playing bingo was more important than turning on the news.  I didn’t find out what was going on until I went to my next class, English, and our teacher had put on the TV.  As shocking as it was to watch that second tower get hit and then both towers fall, the entirety of the event as well as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan after it, didn’t personally affect me.  It saddened me of course, but I had no connection to anyone in NYC nor in the military at the time.

Covid-19 is a different story.  It is impacting nearly everyone in the United States as well as much of the world.  From job losses to stay at home orders, shortages in grocery stores to cancelled events, I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t been affected in some way by this virus.  Sometimes it seems the scariest and most unnerving part of it is not knowing when any of it will end.

Anytime Jason complains about work I’m quick to remind him to be grateful that he’s working when so many others aren’t right now.  Even my sister who is a medical assistant at a doctor’s office for the healthcare organization I work for may soon be laid off on a rotational basis.  Offices are closing their doors to non-acute appointments or are having as many telehealth visits as possible which means fewer in office staff are required.

I feel very blessed to have a position that seems rather secure.  Time cards still need updated, payroll still needs submitted, schedules still need completed and various reports still need ran.  It does make me reflect on my desire to pursue a part time position in the fitness industry.  While many personal trainers are turning to online classes, there are likely a fair amount who are unemployed until their gyms open again.  I know one shouldn’t hold back on pursuing a goal due to “what if’s” but it does tend to give me pause.

My job as a track coach is on hold indefinitely per the governor’s order for all schools in PA to be closed indefinitely.  I’m fairly certain that means for the rest of the school year as even if kids were to return to school in May I don’t see how a season could be held.  That being said, PIAA and District III are taking a “wait and see” approach and haven’t fully cancelled spring sports.  I find that a bit frustrating as it makes me feel that as a coach I’m to continue holding out hope and encouraging my kids to keep up with workouts when everyone is beyond wanting to just throw in the towel on the season at this point.

While many runners are lamenting lost race opportunities as more events get cancelled, it became a blessing in disguise for my dad when the Run for the Red Pocono Marathon was axed last Thursday.  He’s been dealing with some worsening shin splints, and we were both concerned the downhill pounding of the course would tear up his legs.  Given he was trying to run a Boston qualifying time there wasn’t going to be an option of taking it easy and just looking to finish the race.

Jason and I had a 2 hour zoom chat with our friends in Chicago over the weekend.  I’m glad we ended up scheduling our trip to see them for August instead of May as we originally wanted.  I can only hope this virus doesn’t continue that far into the summer, so that we’re not forced to cancel.

It is quite astonishing what can change in a month.  March 1st I was gearing up for the first week of track season going about life as normal.  March 31st I am now wondering if I am ever going to locate a pack of paper towels.  This month has felt like a year with days feeling like weeks and an onslaught of news updates.  I am trying to take it one day at a time like most people, remembering to be grateful and to think of others.

It seems that a little girl in the area is thinking of others as well.  Jason saw her leaving these at each house on our block yesterday.  It’s a good reminder to take a minute now and again to breathe and just smile at the little things in life.

Happy Face

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Hurry Up and Wait – Dealing with Covid-19

I have often heard being in the military is a whole lot of hurry up and wait.  Prior to our meeting, Jason was in the Army National Guard for 6 years and did tours in Bosnia and Iraq and will vouch for that statement.  Since our President has started to describe current events as being “at war” it seems only fitting to use this phrase to describe how life is for the majority of us right now.

I am fortunate that the virus’s impact on my life has been fairly limited.  I’ve already worked from home since Dec. 2015 and as I work for a healthcare organization my job isn’t in jeopardy.  The biggest impact has been to my second job, assistant varsity track coach.  Here is a rundown of how things have played out in my life to date.

Week of March 8, 2020

-This was the second week of spring track season and while the Corona virus was a popular topic of discussion the majority of people in the area (myself included) didn’t expect it to turn into much of anything.  We felt most people were overreacting and that it wasn’t much different from the flu.

-On Fri. March 13th it was decided that schools would be shut down for 2 weeks to help curb the spread of the virus.  Track practice was still held and athletes were instructed to keep in shape for the next two weeks via workouts we were going to send them with anticipation that the season would resume as expected.

-I went to the grocery store that evening.  Reality sank in on how much people were freaking out about the virus.  Lines at each register stretching back the store… no water, toilet paper or meat products to be found.  Fortunately people were being civil and I found the majority of items on my list.

-Saturday Jason and I ran 6 miles from John Rudy Park south on the rail trail.  We did this at an 8 min/mile pace in anticipation of helping to pace dad for one of his marathon workouts.  I think I was still recovering from the Northeastern 5k as the last 2 miles I felt like someone put a knife in the side of my knee and was twisting it.  Jason’s hamstring was also flaring a good bit, but we managed the pace and only slowed down a good bit (8:20 for me) during the last mile.

Week of March 15, 2020

-I popped back to the grocery store Sun. morning and was able to nab 2 jugs of water and a pack of toilet paper.  Normally I would get paper goods at BJs but after hearing how insane they and Sams Club were I shelled out $15 for a smaller pack and was grateful to have found any at all.

-Watching the news became a more regular habit.  While it started to create some mental overload it seemed like it was necessary.  Wed. night I slept awful as I was stressing about what I would or wouldn’t find at the grocery store the next day.

-After much complaining at work over some people being sent home to work while others were required to stay in the office, Jason’s department finally let the rest of them start working from home on Thursday.  He too is in an essential industry, working IT for a bank.  It seemed to be good timing as our spare room turned main bedroom remodel had wrapped up the end of February and my work from home equipment was moved into our old bedroom.  He setup at our desktop in the living room ensuring we could both work without driving each other too nutty.

-The grocery store was much better stocked though that might’ve been because I went in the morning.  I found everything I needed except vegetable oil.  I picked up a few items for my nan as well.  It seemed like the whole family was keeping an eye out for items for each other as my sister found vegetable oil for me on Friday, I tracked down butter for my mom and my dad got my sister potatoes.

-I spent Friday working from mom’s house so I could spend time with Weston, the only perk of not having track practice.  I’m convinced his first words will be “itsy bitsy” as he goes crazy kicking and laughing when you sing itsy bitsy spider to him.  Dad and I took nan her items and ran a rather slow, hot, sometimes strong winded 5 miles.

Week of March 22, 2020

-Dad’s marathon training plan called for him to do a half marathon in 1:45, an 8 min/mile pace as his goal for Pocono (still on until further notice, an update is to be provided on Thurs) is as far under 3:50 as possible to qualify for Boston.  The training plan I printed him is for a 3:45 or under.  He’s not following it to the letter (he doesn’t do speed work on the track), but is following the mileage guidance and long run schedule.  Jason and I wanted to help him with this workout, so I dropped those two along with Scott and Armand off near York College.  Then I drove down to Glatfelter Station to wait.  Dad came cruising into the parking lot at a good pace, grabbed a drink and used the porta potty then we set off.  I found out Jason’s hamstring had fully flared about 5 miles in so he had to drop back and let dad go.  Jason and Armand (who is also training for Pocono albeit not as smart as dad – he ran a 20 miler on Friday) drove down to Glen Rock to wait for us and Scott.  I ran 7 miles with dad, the slowest mile being an 8:17 and the fastest being a 7:57.  I held up fairly well, and dad was happy with our 8:09 average pace.

-Monday night our sensei hosted a karate class via Zoom since we can’t practice in the school gym until schools reopen.  It went well.  My house isn’t overly big, but its living/dining room area is a good size so Jason and I were able to comfortably kick without hitting any furniture or each other.

-It is now Tuesday and I just saw the school updated their website to say all schools in the county will remain closed through Apr. 14th.  I know some of my athletes have been training the past two weeks in hopes of having some semblance of a season.  I’m not sure how this will affect things as I doubt the PIAA will want to host post season events like Districts or States even if school resumes in April.  I can only hope they get to compete at a few events.

How are you being impacted by Covid-19?  Are you struggling to find items at the grocery store?

I hope everyone stays safe and healthy throughout this crisis and doesn’t go too stir crazy staying at home more.

 

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How I Ran a 24 Second PR

I covered some of this in my last post, but breaking a 5k PR after so many years and by such a significant amount seemed to merit its own post of reflections on just how exactly I achieved that goal.

Running Year Round – After I graduated high school in 2005 I became a warm weather only runner for many years.  I trained in the spring, raced in the summer and fall, and spent the winter in my house.  That changed in 2017 when I signed up for the York Winter Series.  I was motivated by my performance at the Blue-Gray half marathon and wanted to keep up my running instead of starting over again from scratch in the spring.

Running with a Group – In 2016 I began running Wed. evenings with my dad, Todd, Armand and sometimes Scott.  Not only did having a group run once a week keep me running over the winter, it helped make me faster.  Dad and Todd have always been faster than me, so even when they took it easy their pace provided me with more of a workout than if I had ran on my own.  There are periods of time (like track season) that I miss out on the group run, but I credit them with helping to increase my baseline speed over time.

DailyBurn – By supplementing my runs with other workouts I began developing better overall fitness and much more total body strength.  I know it’s often recommended for runners to bike or swim as cross training, but I’ve found more benefit from doing a variety of workouts offered by DailyBurn.

Active Recovery – For years a day off to me meant doing absolutely nothing fitness focused.  It was a day to sit on the couch.  While I do still take those at times (normally because I just can’t fit any type of workout into the schedule that day), I have found it much more beneficial to perform a mobility, yoga or stretching workout on DailyBurn.  I also have formed a love/hate relationship with foam rolling.  I love my body when I do it regularly, but hate trying to remember to do it.

Hydration – I trained for my first half marathon in 2011.  Due to a hurricane it was rescheduled and because I was moving to Scranton to live with Jason, I ended up cancelling my registration.  I trained again in 2013 for my actual first one, and committed to drinking more water.  I make sure to always refill my glass while working and force myself to drink even if I’m not feeling thirsty.  Over a year ago I traded my morning glass of lemonade for water, and I feel this has helped better hydrate me for morning runs and races.

Fixing A Muscle Imbalance – I almost PR-ed last year in the same race, the Northeastern 5k.  This was prior to my hamstring injury.  In fixing the imbalance between my glutes and quads (curing my dead butt syndrome), I made my legs stronger overall.  I credit this for the 24 second drop in time as opposed to just breaking the PR.  Keeping the balance is a constant work in progress as having a computer job means my glutes aren’t firing the vast majority of the day.  In fact, I’m a bit overdue for some solid butt workouts.

Learning How to REALLY Race – For years, high school included, I raced long distances the same way.  Get a good start, settle into a comfortable pace, and kick to the finish.  I’m not sure what race I changed this.  It might have been the John Rudy 5 miler in 2018.  I just know I finally realized racing means using my energy throughout the race, not just for a final sprint at the end.  I learned to push harder, to trust my body to hold a faster pace, and to sustain a faster pace throughout the whole race.

Confidence and Drive – These go hand in hand with learning how to really race.  By having the confidence and drive to push harder in a race, I learned how to race better.  Seeing the results of racing better built my confidence to keep doing it.  Without realizing it, I was fine tuning my mental strength throughout this process.  Ultimately that mental strength helped me override any doubts in my ability to run a lifetime PR in the 5k.  It became not a matter of if, but a matter of when.  I didn’t have perfect weather conditions for the Northeastern 5k this year, but determination to reach my goal eliminated that concern.

No one factor can be the reason for reaching my goal.  My physical abilities and my mental toughness had developed over the past few years and were a constant work in progress.  They converged at Northeastern and enabled me to achieve a 24 second PR in the 5k.

Have you broken any PRs recently?  If so, is there anything you changed that might have contributed to that?  If not, are you planning on changing anything in your fitness routine?

 

 

 

 

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A PR Almost 16 Years in the Making

On October 21, 2004 I ran in the YAIAA county meet at John Rudy County Park as a senior on Eastern York’s cross country team.  I honestly don’t remember any details of the race though I still recall the course (we ran there several times), but I have record that I finished the 5k in 23:08.

That time stood as my fastest 5k ever, and I never thought I would break it.  I based that assumption on several factors.  1 – I would never train 5 days a week to run distance races after I graduated high school (I did run indoor track my freshman year at Lebanon Valley College).  2 – I would never have the same pressure of a county meet to race that hard.  3 – For years after graduation even when I raced regularly my fastest times were always in the 24’s so I just chalked that up to age and thought that I could never run as fast as I did in high school.

It wasn’t until the Northeastern 5k last year when I came within seconds of breaking that personal record that I believed I could actually do it.  Although I didn’t have the same mileage base going into the York Winter Series this year as I did last year, I still kept the goal of breaking that 5k time in the back of my mind.  When I ran well at the John Rudy 5 miler it increased my confidence that I could possibly do it.

Last week leading up to the race was a whirlwind.  The first week of the month is always my busiest at work with additional reports to do.  Add to that the chaos of the first week of track season (a paperwork nightmare) and my training and focus weren’t exactly on the race.  Jason and I had ran a speed workout on Sunday (1 mile warmup, 4×400, 1 mile cooldown), and I put in 6 slow, hilly miles on Monday since practice didn’t officially start until Tuesday.  Thursday was an easy run for my kids so I put in 2.5 miles myself while they ran.  Wednesday was karate and Friday was mobility.  I did notice that my 400 times from Sunday were faster than the last time I did that workout, so that also gave me a bit of confidence going into Saturday’s race.

Jason and I arrived at the high school early as I wanted to get in a really good warmup.  I mentioned the wind being strong at times, and Jason told me that he never notices it.  I asked how can’t you and he responded that when you’re physically strong enough the wind doesn’t bother you.  Wind or no wind, I had decided that I would run as hard as I could for as long as I could.  I was either going to PR or fall apart trying.

The course actually differed slightly from last year.  While it was still held on the school’s campus/around its parking lots, we started in the opposite direction to get the .1 in first before running 3, 1 mile loops.  Many of us actually jogged down to the start line which was a nice additional warmup for me.  There was also a curvy part between buildings that I didn’t remember, but it made the monotony of the loops a bit better.  One of my track girls, Nicole, did the winter series as well.  On Friday I had asked what time she had hoped to run on Saturday and she said around 23 mins, a 7:30 pace.  For that reason I decided she would be my unofficial pacer and I lined up near her.  

I went out hard and when I hit the only real incline of the course I also hit the wind.  Fortunately it wasn’t long before I was turning and going downhill behind the school.  I alternated between running beside Nicole and slightly behind her as I tried to hug all the turns as tightly as possible.  The first mile beeped on my watch at a 6:56.  I’ve never known what my fastest mile time has been over the years, but that certainly had to rank near the top.

The second loop definitely felt tougher on my legs than the first, and Nicole sometimes gained a bit of ground on me, but I kept closing the gap.  I took Jason’s thoughts on the wind to heart and battled through the windier sections feeling strong.  The second mile was a 7:18 which worried me a tad that I slowed that much.  I was still under pace, but I hoped I wouldn’t slow down further during the last mile.

The last mile my legs were feeling super worked, but mentally I was strong as ever.  I actually spotted my dad ahead on a turn and Jason who wasn’t too far ahead of me.  By this point the race was a tad challenging in that I was starting to loop some people and staying tight around the corners was harder.  I didn’t want to go out around them but I also didn’t want to slow my pace.

Heading down the straightaway to the finish I tried to open up, but there was definitely no sprint to be had.  I caught Jason and was too winded to offer any encouragement (he was wearing earbuds and likely wouldn’t have heard me anyway) as I pushed onward.  I crossed the finish line in 22:44, 2 seconds behind Nicole and 2 seconds ahead of Jason.  I had a huge smile on my face as Nicole congratulated me, and I thanked her for being my pacer.  Jason gave me props as well, saying he hadn’t expected me to run that fast, and I used him for a minute to steady myself as my right leg began trembling.  I recovered and proceeded to enjoy a McDonald’s hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookie.

I ended up 2nd in my age group overall for the winter series and received a nice trophy.  My biggest accomplishment this winter though was definitely breaking that 5k PR.  I had still considered it a slight reach goal, so to not only break it, but break it by that much still has me amazed at myself.  I am very proud and will likely have another post coming reflecting on it.  For now I am enjoying recovering (my legs still felt beat up running a 1 mile warmup with my kids yesterday before their 800s) and focusing on track season without wanting to keep training.  Here’s to a relaxing “off season” spring of only running when I want!

TRACY MYERS

YRRC Winter Series Northeastern 5K

5K

Bib Number 215
5K 63 of 622
Gender Place 10 of 323
F 30-34 2 of 27
Gender F
Age 32
Start Time 09:07:50
Elapsed 00:22:44
Pace 07:20 min/mile

 

 

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A Race’s Outcome

This morning I read a Runner’s World article detailing the results of the women’s Olympic marathon trials from this past weekend.  Jason and I watched a good portion of the race on TV and saw the men finish, but had to leave to do errands before the women finished.  I read a comment below the article in which someone complained the trial course wasn’t a good one, that it had too many hills and rather than determine the fastest marathon runners it determined the strongest ones.

Now I don’t claim to be a running historian by any means.  I don’t even know the majority of elite runners save a handful of names.  I don’t know the history of marathon courses or how they determine which ones are used for Olympic trials.  Maybe the course in Atlanta was hillier than other courses?  Maybe the one that will be ran in Tokyo won’t be as hilly as that one?

What I do know though is a course is only one factor of a runner’s race.  There are so many variables that can affect a race’s outcome.  Training, weather, illness/injury, race strategy and mentality affects every runner differently.

Maybe some of the runners in Atlanta trained on more hills than other runners and were prepared for that type of course, but didn’t fare as well with the winds.  Maybe some didn’t make a move to go with the lead pack as soon as they should’ve.  Maybe some felt a twinge of pain somewhere that they hadn’t felt in training and had to adjust accordingly.

Nearly every runner I know has experienced being as prepared for a race as possible and having something unplanned disrupt it.  Likewise I know runners who haven’t expected to do as well in certain races and have ended up surprising themselves with their results.

In my own experience I felt truly prepared for the Hands on House half marathon in 2018.  While I still ran my fastest half to date and placed in my age group, I didn’t alter my race strategy like I should’ve when my first few miles were faster than expected.  I also wasn’t prepared for the steep downhill later in the race that would ultimately shred my quads.  By the 10th mile, the mile I expected to start to really rev up, I was struggling just to keep moving forward.

On the flipside last year’s Northeastern 5k threw me off with a last minute change in the course route.  I had been mentally prepared for the original course, and all my mental strategy went out the window.  I no longer had a game plan and was going into the course blind.  I basically threw out any goals other than just seeing how well I could do.  I managed to run strong and almost break my lifetime 5k PR.

My dad has always said any person can be beaten in a race on any given day.  There are a multitude of things that could have a played a role in determining the top 3 ladies to go to Tokyo, the course being one of them.  To say that the course was the only factor though is an insult to the complexities that make up running a race.  I would argue that race didn’t find the strongest runners instead of the fastest ones, but rather it found the best runners physically and mentally who were able to conquer the course, their competition and themselves.

Did you watch the Olympic trials?  Have you had any unplanned outcomes, good or bad, in your races?

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Pee Problems and Head Winds

Saturday was the Springettsbury 10k, the next to last race in the York Winter Series this year.  It is a race I enjoy because of its back roads and rolling hills.  After tanking during the Indian Rock 10k I was very ready to run a 10k course that was better suited to me.

Jason and I arrived with plenty of time to warmup.  I made my usual pre-race trip to the bathroom and felt ready to go.  With 10 minutes until start time I felt the urge to go again.  The line was longer and made me nervous that I would miss the start (hence not usually waiting until the last minute to go) , but fortunately it moved quickly enough that I still had time to get to the start line and wait. 

The temperature was in the 30s so I wore an UnderArmour coldgear top, but regular leggings since it was supposed to be over 40* until I finished the race.  A few steps into the race I felt like I could pee again.  I convinced myself I didn’t as I hadn’t ate or drank any more than my usual pre-race amounts.  All I could figure was the cold air was messing with me.

I had told Jason that I would beat him in the race since I beat him at the Jacobus 5 miler and the 10k was longer and just as hilly.  He started out with me but within a half mile started to pull ahead.  I let him go figuring he was using a downhill to his advantage and I would catch him on one of the major uphills.  Climbing the first hill I was surprised I couldn’t see him.  I knew there were more to come though and figured I’d see him at some point.

I was cruising along on the hills, passing people at times and generally enjoying my race other than the off and on nagging feeling of needing to pee.  I hit splits of 8:41, 8:22 and 7:43 for the first half of the race.  I gave myself props for working the downhills a lot better than usual, particularly a steep one that I usually struggle with.  I didn’t feel a need to pee anymore so I grabbed a cup from the water station (note – I much prefer grabbing a cup from someone’s hand than trying to grab one off a table and worry about knocking other ones over) to take a few sips as the sun was beating down and I didn’t want to feel dehydrated near the end.

I knew I ran a 49-something the previous year and wanted to try to hit that same time.  Due to my slightly slow first mile I knew I needed to make up for it during the second half of the race.  I began the dirt road portion of the course and proceeded to spend the next 1.5 miles trying to push my pace, but having a head wind push back.  My legs truly ached, not in the something feels off way, but rather the I’m really working hard and feeling every part of it way.  Cardiovascular wise I felt fine though, so I figured I might as well keep pushing my legs because they likely weren’t going to stop hurting until I stopped.

I managed a 7:58 and 8:36 for the 4th and 5th miles.  The time for the 5th one worried me as I definitely wanted to stay under 50 minutes for the race.  During the final mile I saw a fellow Flying Feet team member, Amy, who is older than me and who ends up running near me sometimes.  I usually pass her on hills but she can catch me on flats.  She surged ahead of me and I really wanted to go with her, but felt I was already maxing my legs out.  I did still manage to open up a good stride once I reached the final section in the parking lot and clocked a 49:49 and 3rd in my age group.  Oh and I didn’t have to pee when I finished.

I really wanted to nap after the race as the head winds had really beat on me, but errands meant I wouldn’t have time.  Funny enough when I mentioned the winds to Jason he responded with “What winds?”  Apparently he is in a totally different world when racing as he didn’t even see the water stop either.  He finished with a 48:54 and ironically had the exact same splits as me for miles 4 and 5.  It made me wonder what I would’ve ran if I had tried to go with him at the beginning when he surged.  The final race is a 5k, the only one of the series, and I plan to try to keep up with him.

Does cold weather make you pee more before a race?  Do you find running into head winds taxing or do you not notice them much?

 

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My Running Saves vs Splurges

It could be argued that to be a runner one need only lace up a half decent pair of sneakers and go run.  I remember as a high school runner I got a new pair of sneakers each season and track spikes if needed.  I never wore any special clothing (when did sweat wicking clothes become the norm?), and had a generic sports watch that simply showed the time of day and had a stopwatch.  I don’t consider myself very old at 33 years, but a lot has changed in the running world particularly with advances in technology.  Some of it I have embraced while other things I tend to keep simple.

Here are a few of my saves vs splurges when it comes to running:

Save – Socks.  I have one pair of high quality running socks reserved only for very cold or rainy races.  Otherwise you’ll catch me in C9 crew socks from Target.

Splurge – UnderArmour coldgear.  Granted all of my pieces have been Christmas gifts and usually bought at an outlet, but I would gladly pay full price for their leggings and long sleeved tops.  I wouldn’t step foot outside my house in 20* or below temps to run without it.

Save – Music.  I very rarely ever run with music for safety reasons and personal preference.  If I do though I’m rocking my 2nd generation Ipod.  It’s filled with songs from my high school and college years/early 20s so it’s a fun trip down memory lane.

Splurge – Garmin Forerunner 45s.  This wasn’t a splurge until Jason peer pressured me into buying it last summer.  I had been using my Garmin 10 faithfully for years with no issue.  I have to say though now having it, it was well worth the upgrade.  Being able to pre-program track workouts is great, and I like all the data tracked and uploaded to my phone like heart rate and elevation.

Save – DailyBurn.  At less than $100 for a year’s subscription this comes out way cheaper for Jason and I than if we were to pay for a gym membership.  With a new daily workout Mon – Fri and a slew of programs ranging from cardio to core to mobility to yoga I have access to any type of workout I could need or want all from the comfort of my home.

Splurge – Massages.  Ok it’s kind of cheating to call this a splurge.  Working for a healthcare organization I am allotted $500 a year to use on massages with a $15 copay for each visit.  It comes out to about 4-5 massages a year depending on if I choose a 30, 45 or 60 min one.  While I go more often because I have the benefit, even if I didn’t I would still try to go every so often as I feel like it’s a great way to restore the body beyond just stretching and foam rolling.

Save – York Winter Series.  8 races of varying distances from 5k to 10 miles held between November and March each year for only $40.  Is there any cheaper way to race?!?

Splurge – Hershey Half Marathon.  I haven’t committed to running it this year (the event info isn’t even available yet), but I know when I’ve looked at it in previous years it costs a pretty penny.  Granted you do receive 2 tickets to Hershey Park in the Dark which I’m sure raises the price, and the long sleeved t’s I’ve seen people wearing from past races are very nice.  The money supports a great cause though, so it will be justified the year that I finally get around to running it.

What have you splurged on as a runner?  Where do you try to save?

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