RunCation – as in, a break away from it

So if you remember, I’m on a “training break” right now. It’s like summer vacation for runners, except at one of those weird trimester schools so you’re home when none of your friends are and suddenly it’s July and you’re back in class while they’re all grilling burgers, getting mosquito bites, and shooting beer cans they threw in the trees at 2am.

I know you know what I mean.

So I took a full week off from running – broke a light sweat a few times (running up the stairs when I forgot my keys, driving without the AC, etc) but otherwise it was very low activity week. Which left me with some spare free time, during which I discovered a few fun things …

This place on a Saturday morning is totally better just as nice as the long run path :


These books – one for snort laughs and one for brain waves I feel I’ve been neglecting the last uhhhh five years of my life. Time to exercise the medula, dudes.


Kelly is hilarious on twitter, Nudge here

HOLY CRAP this thing. My nasty old Target foam roller was overdue for an upgrade (ummm the dogs peed on it) and Trigger Point is just a whole ‘nother level of delicious muscle torture. Welcome home, jerk lover jerk.


Spent Friday night at the bar(re), where instead of being forced to do shots Bri forces your poor quivering muscles and knee-knocking-releve’d legs to “HOLD IT! JUST ONE MORE SET! 8, 7, 6…”


I hate the word “nut butter” (please tell me everyone is using it ironically?) but this Nuttzo stuff totally lives up to the hype. If you’re down to drop some $$ on fancy spreadables or have a weird allergy/sensitivity, this is for you. The company’s story is pretty awesome, to boot.


yup, it’s upside down. on purpose.

Recylcing shoes at Kindrunner – When you  buy a pair from their site they’ll accept and donate an old pair, and you get a credit towards a future purchase. So, buy shoes you need anyway (at MSRP with free 3-way shipping), get a retired pair off your hands (free s/h again), and get $10 towards your next pair. Cool concept.

Santa lives in San Diego, wears a fur hat, and drives a three-wheeled spaceship motorcycle.


YES OBVIOUSLY we asked for a ride (“seatbelts for three!” he said)

I was welcomed back to running on Monday with the conclusion to a childhood mystery :


RIP, Shel. Your work is complete.

And lastly, I was talking with my FIL about Komen Race for the Cure (he’s on the local SGK board) and he said registration for their 5K races have been down the last four years. This got me thinking, especially about the boom of kitschy “fad” races – mud, color, electric, bubble, shit, poop, crap, etc. People are willing to shell out big bucks for a gimmicky few miles, which ya know, if that’s what’s getting them out and active, FINE. But the upswing in these for-profit races directly lining up to a decrease in fundraising and support events bums me out. Susan G Komen Race for the Cure is the largest 5k series in the world, and hosts races year-round, country-wide, and internationally. The funds go towards awareness for the fight against breast cancer, celebrates breast cancer survivorship, and honors those who have lost their battle with the disease.

Admirable, beneficial, feel-good sweating, in my eyes.

Anyway, if you’re looking for a fun race to get costume’d out for, to motivate a new pal to run/walk, or simply get your bib-on-shirt fix, consider a charity-benefiting event. That’s all. Or go get sprayed with colorful bubbles while climbing through a mud pit. I don’t care.

Find a Race for the Cure near you

(psst OH/CA friends :   Cleveland Sept 21  |  Orange County Sept 22  )

That’s all for now. Kristina’s guest post on the Eugene Marathon should be up tomorrow. High maintenance going through her editor and publishing house and all. Rough business dealing with the #nonblogger…

Sarah OUaL


34 thoughts on “RunCation – as in, a break away from it

  1. Not trying to be snarky here but there are valid reasons why people are not running the Komen Race for the Cure 5ks in recent months. SGK stopped supporting Planned Parenthood’s breast cancer screening a while back (and then reinstated the funds after backlash ensued). They’re definitely doing good work out there but I believe people are being a little more cautious about where to put their money when it comes to breast cancer research.


    • Hey, not snarking if you bring up good points and aren’t a jerk about it! The politics of charities are definitely touchy, I get that. Point was mostly for-profit vs charitable, and my disdain for bubble races ;) Thanks for commenting


    • Yes, not to mention all of the “pinkwashing,” i.e., all the for profit companies making money on the backs of breast cancer while giving 0.003% of profits to SGK.


    • I second that. Ran the first SGK run in Eugene a couple of years ago, but decided not to do it again after it came out that their chairman was actively anti-choice. I’m waiting for the Planned Parenthood run now!


  2. Oh Ocean Beach :). Is that outside Mother’s?
    Anyway, glad runcation is a funcation (couldn’t resist… and now I’m my grandpa).


  3. Oh my beautiful ballerina, you did fabulous at the barre! And you’re welcome for the sore muscles. Come back anytime for more! :-)

    Want to do a Susan G. Komen race with me and the Xtend Barre team?? We’re doing the Irvine Lake Mud Run on June 22nd, 10:00am wave. A mud race that actually benefits a charity!


  4. Thanks for letting me know about the Komen race. I just started running again because I’m sort of “training” my cousin who has never run before and is on a weight loss streak. I signed her up for the 5k at the OC Fair in early August and I think this race will be perfect to keep our motivation going for September.


  5. I’m an almost 8 year breast cancer survivor, I’ve done the Koman 4 times, this year I did it in Portsmouth NH, and I am doing it in September in Manchester, VT. I love barre classes, I’ve been going to BarSculpt in Burlington, VT. The “one more set 8,7,6” is always a killer set.


  6. I agree with you that the for profit races have been taken to a silly extreme, but I do not believe that they are the reason Koman registrations are down. After Koman made the decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood I decided to stop making donations to their organization. Planned Parenthood provided early 800,000 mammograms last year and 8 million pap tests. At this time I’ve decided to take a stand with my dollars. I do not stand for color runs, or tough mudders or glow stick midnight runs, I stand with women for quality low cost preventative care. Unfortunately, Koman has made a different choice.


    • I respect your stance and you’re very wise to research where your contribution goes – it is YOUR money, after all! Reg decline for SGK was just the topic starter on profit vs charity runs, and an example how running can go towards some good instead of a pocket book. Plenty of other fundraising events out there!


    • Just for the record, 75% of all the monies raised by Komen stay locally in the community it was raised (25% goes to National research). I am the FIL Sarah refers to and, in addition to being on the Komen Board, I am a breast cancer surgeon who takes care of a large population of under and uninsured patients. Those Komen dollars truly save lives!! Remember that the decision re: planned Parenthood was not made by the local Komen affiliates but at another level and I have truly come to believe that they realize it was a wrong decision.
      My point is– Komen does great work that saves lives! I have personally seen it repeatedly. If you’re giving to another worthy charity, that’s great too and so be it, but give some thought to reconsidering your support for Komen. I promise you, those dollars save ladies lives!


  7. I completely agree with you about profit vs charity runs. I would much rather give my money to a good cause than for some fun FB pics. I’ve done one profit run and I felt like I was getting scammed the whole time.


  8. I agree about the fad races. It’s great to get activity in any form, but after doing the color run in 2011 and quickly realizing that our of 25000 runners, me and about 15 others were the only ones racing, and the piss poor organization of said 50.00!!! 5k, I was officially over those BS races.

    My reasoning for swearing off komen all together was the 2010 study where it showed a vast majority of funds go to overpriced execs working for the company and on lawyers to patent their brand “for the cure” and to sue anyone/serve cease and desist orders to anyone and everyone no matter how small, trying to raise money for research, down to a middle school girls group who dared have a bake sale “for the cure”. As a scientist and researcher, that’s a slap in the face to me and they won’t get a dime out of me. Ok, off my soapbox! I run for alpha-1 research now, which is a congenital fatal liver disease that destroys the lung tissue. Also why I run, while I still can, before my lung function declines to the point I can’t so it anymore.


    • It’s great (well not situationally, but generally-speaking) that you’ve found something so close to you to passionately support. I hope the best for you and your liver and your running!


    • I’m really glad other people brought up the Susan Komen / Planned Parenthood thing. I, too, refuse to give them a single dime after their debacle last January. I’m actually pleased to hear that their numbers are down (and they’ve cancelled many of their 3-day walks ~10 of them in pretty big cities).

      However, I do agree with the underlying point of preferring to run races that go to a charity rather than these gimmicky for-profit races. I am lucky to live in an area that has hundreds and hundreds of great races whose registration fees support great local and national/international causes. I always choose to do those races. I also really have a problem with the fact that so many of these for-profit races are untimed and lacking competition. Its just in my nature to want to race. Not that I’m ever close to the front of the pack, but I’d rather have there be a competitive spirit / edge rather than a rah rah rah we all did it vibe. I don’t care for that nonsense. Its a RACE. I understand that people certainly don’t have to race, and there are many walkers and people running together “just to finish” even in these competitive races, but I like when the spirit is at least there. That’s [one of the hundreds of reasons] why I run.


  9. The fad races are annoying for sure. However, just trying to find an SKG race with that link is annoying. Suggest they put the dates in chronological order, or ABC order. They should be making it easier for people to find their races. My mom and her 3 sisters are all breast cancer survivors and I do believe in the work SKG does and the recognition they give to survivors at events, but if you can’t even find a date for where you are located what is the point? This is a simple marketing issue to be solved. Something so inexpensive vs. the PR issues SKG has as a result of their neglect of Planned Parenthood and overpaid execs.


  10. I’ve been considering the roller you got too…or something close to it. The rolling pin is great, but I think I like the rollers that have the texture.

    And, I agree on the 5k races that really benefit something. It’s tough because they often don’t have the funds to push it out to the public quite as well.


  11. I have been wanting to try that “nut butter” *giggle* but the price is NUTZO!! I kinda want you to tell me it sucks, k? :-)
    I’m with ya on the new fad races, as a stay at home mom I get sprayed with….stuff all day, bubbles, paint, etc. Why do I wanna shell out money to do a race that isn’t timed and have people get me dirty? I don’t get it.
    Of course now that I threw that out there I’ll probably be eating crow and bubbles my next race.


  12. The fad races are getting a little ridiculous…..I do not care to ever participate in them (besides I get sweaty enough while running do you really need to make me even more dirty with color stuff? no thanks). I try to only to races (at least for the short distances) that are local and support causes. I feel better about my money being put towards a charity, cause, etc than someones pocket.


  13. When I saw that Sidewalk Ends photo on Instagram I was highly entertained. Well played.

    I’ve been getting into the barre again too! It’s awesome and SO hard in a way that is too hard to explain without someone having done it.

    Enjoy the break!

    PS I was so glad I wasn’t one of those weird kids with the weird year round school program. Barf.


  14. Sounds like you did the same thing I did on vacation! I barely broke a sweat (when I wasn’t lounging by the water) and I also read Kelly Oxford’s book. So funny!


  15. Pingback: Are “fad” races stealing from charity races? | Skinny Chick Blog

  16. The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is the largest series of 5K runs and walks in the world and 75% of the money raised goes towards local breast cancer education, screening and treatment initiatives, while the remaining 25% goes towards Komen’s national research grants.



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