Not much going on right now, but a few small updates.
My refund for the Minneapolis Duathlon finally came through. This was the event that was postponed…for a full year…because the inept race director did not realize that the downtown construction would cause a problem (even though several of us questioned it six months earlier). The new date conflicted with a 2016 sprint triathlon that I had already registered for…and gave me a decent excuse to get out of the last event I had scheduled with Team Ortho. They were the group that organized my first race and first marathon. But their incompetent inability to stage an event (for a ton of money) without a whole bunch of screw ups left me without much choice but to boycott their events in the future. I am not the only one.
They got written up on local news for how little they actually donate to their charity partners, and got written up in Runners World.
They carry an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau.
They responded by sending many of us a free buff and propaganda response to the allegations. Here are the scans.
I have run most of their races for the past four years. The events are fun, and the swag is nice, but they are a disorganized mess. I once received three bibs (one in person, two in the mail) for the same race. They now only have water at the aid stations (no Gatorade…for a half marathon). They charge $30 to mail a bib (or to allow race day packet pick up). They canceled a marathon…at the starting line…because of light rain…and had no way of announcing it…but they distributed the “finishers” medals. They also have different swag and medals for the half and full marathon…but they all state “marathon finisher”. Their “warming tents” at the -30F Polar Dash were completely ineffective. So were the timing mats used at the Monster Dash a few years back (leading to the request that we email our official finish time to the timing company…lots of PRs that day I would guess). Several more PRs at one of the Polar Dash -30F half marathon…where runners were encouraged…over the public address system…during the starting announcements…to cut the course because “we won’t be checking”. When they moved the Monster Dash 5k to the same course and time as the Half Marathon, they could not accommodate the volume of runners…so the faster half marathons had to stop because the last mile was packed with the 5k walkers. Of course, this year, they separated the finish lines, but the 5k finish area was so jammed packed that people stood around for 15 minutes…100 yards from finishing. Then, series members had to wait about an hour in the cold rain just to get the series medal. I could go on, but the Women Rock Chicago event in the Runners World article was even worse (see link).
Their approach to customer service is…unique. Questions on their Facebook pages (and e-mails) are ignored. Negative comments posted on their Facebook page are deleted (so, someone is reading them). When the KARE 11 story broke, they erased every single post-to-page on every single one of their Facebook pages.
Needless to say, I am glad to be done with them, and relieved that I got a refund for the “postponed” event.
In other news, my offseason is in full swing. It is too cold and icy to run outside. My training is way down, and I am struggling to do the recommended 150 minutes of cardio/week. I hop on the treadmill from time to time, catch up on movies while on the bike trainer, I have been to the pool and indoor track a couple of times each. But my fitness is fading a little and I am starting to get concerned about my upcoming races. However, it has been good to let minor nagging injuries heal, and to take some downtime from constant training.
I have been good with the diet over Christmas. My weight has dropped from 152.5 lbs to 144.5 lbs (I have not seen anything below 145 lbs in over a year). I would like to drop about five more pounds before I head out on my trip next month, and can then go back to maintenance mode.
My Star Wars/DisneyLand Half Marathon/10k/5k event is under three weeks away. I have not done anything close to a Half Marathon distance since October, so I am a little worried…but this isn’t a PR race…it is a jogging between character photo stops type of event. I get to go someplace warmer and take a little fun.
After that, I have a 5k in February, a 10 miler in March followed by an another identical Star Wars event in Florida in April. In May, I am scheduled to run the Fargo Half Marathon. I may still bump it up to a full if I can ramp up training enough in the spring.
Thats about all that is happening in my offseason. How are you handing your offseason and winter training?