Wednesday, July 23, 2014

11 Races I Want To Try Before I am Done

Here they are, in no specific order.

Why do I do it? Always an easy answer for me, I love training for something and with someone. I love pushing myself and I LOVE crossing that finish line.  I knew it would be hard to top April’s Boston Marathon but there is plenty more to do and plenty of years to accomplish it. It’s a race “bucket list”.  They range from swims and triathlons to destination running races and 24-hour relay races.  And, the best part, I have 10 right now on my list but with all these amazing new races popping up every year, the list is really endless.

1.   Waikiki Rough Water Swim
    I was ready to swim this race when I was 9 years and 11 months old. I would have been the youngest at that time. My mom had done it many times and I was a bit apprehensive but proud of the number on my shoulder. Until, we went in for a warm up and swam over some scary kelp that looked exactly like snakes. That was it. My mom swam it anyway and I cheered from the sidelines. I need to face my fears, get back in there and bring my mom with me! I would actually love to do this with my kids someday but I don’t know if that will happen. It is a 2.348 mile swim and from what my mom tells me, you can see the bottom the entire way. Just as long as I don’t see much else! I am the “Jaws generation”…thanks Mr. Spielberg.

2.   The Other Half
I have heard so much about this half marathon set in the crazy, beautiful landscape that is Moab, UT. My friends ask me to do it almost every year but for the past few years I have been running marathons and it hasn’t fit into my life schedule. Now there is time! I think I need to make it happen.

3.   Malibu Triathlon
I need to get back into the triathlon phase of my life and this one seems friendly. Everyone thinks that since I run and swim, a tri would be a no brainer. Problem is, I like to enjoy my bike rides. I really do let the air blow my in face and whip up my hair.  I coast when I can and almost stop to smell the roses….which is not the triathlon attitude when 60% of your race is on two wheels. So, if you see me cruising along on my bike, remind me that there is, in fact, a finish line that I need to get reach!

4.   Cycle the Sierras
This is the way I want to ride, through the Sierras, which I consider my home.  I grew up in Northern California (Roseville, CA to be exact) and with a love of the Sierra Nevada mountains.  Fresh air at it’s finest. But the best part about this “race” is the camping, food, drink and my teammate, my husband. He loves to bike and I would love to experience this with him.

“Ragnar is an overnight relay race that makes testing your limits a team sport.” Which is just scary enough for me to love it! I was supposed to race my first one last month but, unfortunately got sick and missed out. This race in not just about the mileage, it is about team spirit, team toughness and a whole lotta mess. The Wasatch back is a 200 mile course that traverses across the back of Utah’s Wasatch Mountains…hence the name “Wasatch Back”.
The entire experience from the van decoration party to the midnight running will be in my mental photo album forever and I cannot wait.

6.   The Paris Marathon and London Marathon

These 2 marathons just seem fabulous in every way.  Many of my non-running friends call me crazy and wonder why in the world I would go to such gorgeous and historical cities to run a marathon.  I do pause for a second and wonder myself but, there is just something about the connection you have to a city after pounding its streets. I have other friends who are in my camp and want to do it, which would make it absolutely perfect. The key would be to start the trip out with a marathon and then eat and drink our way through the sight-seeing! Sign me up!

7.   The Zombie Run
There is just something awesome about being chased and, yet a little bit scary.  My husband and I scare each other all the time. It has always been a part of our relationship. Serious scaring…where we either end up on the floor crying with laughter or in fear! Ok, I'm the only one ever crying in fear. But, back to the race.  It’s a 5K with locations all around the country and mostly set in the woods. I would definitely need some friends (I am not that brave) and would probably need a quick heart check-up before hand.  Then, I am off to the races, in the creepy forest with a bunch of bloody zombies!

8.   The West Highland Way
My husband and I discovered this race after walking a bit on the actual “way” in Scotland.  First of all, if you have never been to Scotland, do everything you can to get there.  It is as gorgeous and amazing as it looks in “Braveheart”! (One of our favorite movies and thus, we were annoying with quotes during our trip there in 2012) We stayed in Edinburgh for a few days and then rented a camper van and drove up towards the Isle of Skye.  We camped along the route and that is where we found the 95 mile race route which runs from Milngavie to Fort William. You can either race it or make it a race-cation. (One race is 95 miles while the other is 53) My husband has this grand plan of finding a few couples to do it with us and I am ALL IN. “This is my island!”(seemed like an appropriate time to throw in that line from Braveheart!)   or

9.   Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half-Marathon
Now this is the half I could get my non-running friends to do with me! After all the wine-to-mile ratios is 20-13.1…mama like! I grew up in Roseville, CA which is just outside of Sacramento on your way to Tahoe off of I-80.  Napa wine country is a short 1.45 hours from my dad’s front door. This would be sort of like a hometown race for me, plus, with all the post race activities, it could earn the title Best Weekend Ever! Let's not forget the best part, your finisher award is…..A Wine Glass. Hello!

10.                 Ironman
I might be that 80 year-old woman completing her first Ironman. But I have a hunch that at some point in my life I will conquer this race and I am actually quite freaked out by it. Here are my feelings: I don’t know if I can do it or really want to do it but because of it’s magnificent finish line, it has made its way onto my bucket list.  The strength for this race, for me, would have to come from somewhere besides within, in order for me to survive the 2.5 mile ocean swim, 124 mile bike ride and the marathon at the end.  I would need to do this for a reason beyond me soley crossing the finish line.  And, frankly, I believe that is why most people do it. At some point in my life, someone or some cause will move me to go through the pain of an Ironman for them. I just feel it in my bones.

11.                 Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon
Pretty much the scariest thing I could ever think of doing has made my bucket list. Even though open water swimming, particularly the SF Bay, runs in my blood, I have a HUGE fear of what lurks below the surface. My mom used to belong to The Dolphin Club and was one of those crazy ladies swimming in 50 degree water without a wetsuit. What I LOVE about this race is that there are 2 finish lines, one when you finish the swim and one when you finish the race. It is a 1.5 mile swim from Alcatraz to shore, an 18 mile bike through the streets of SF and an 8 mile run some of which is through sand and up a gnarly sand/log hill. What an adventure!

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