Race Review: Samson Stomp n Romp 5K

It’s a little late but here it is, my review of the Samson Stomp n Romp 5K held at the Milwaukee County Zoo on January 19, 2020.

What can I say about another year of running the Milwaukee County Zoo’s Samson Stomp n Romp 5K? Well, this was the 40th year of the event and it remains one of the most popular events at the zoo even though it takes place in January, in Wisconsin. This year provided some challenges though and that’s why I will review it again. I am giving the race an overall grade of five stars for overcoming weather and construction challenges while still putting on a fun event for adults and kids.

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T-shirt/SWAG: The race always does a long sleeve t-shirt and while that may not seem exciting, this year’s version had a nice touch for the 40 year anniversary. On the back were the temperatures for the every year of the race leading up to this year. Just really cool and fascinating to see how many years have been in single digits and how many were above 30 degrees (not many, lol).

Aid Stations: There is only one station and it always has water but I have to give it at least three stars because the volunteers are out there suffering in the cold to hand out that water.

Course Scenery: Five stars, of course! You get to run through the zoo, checking out the polar bear, elk, macaques, penguins and more. You get to listen to the sea lions barking from their enclosure. And this year, due to construction making a larger hippo exhibit, the course had to be altered and it was a welcome change in my opinion. I loved that the course provided a new way to traverse the race. Great job working with what they had to work with.

Expo Quality: Not really an expo, per se. Just a packet pickup at the zoo. But the staff on hand are nice and friendly and ready to answer any and all questions you may have. Or just banter with you about how cold it will be on race morning, haha.

Elevation Difficulty: There was still the tough incline that the race always has but where it once was before you passed the first mile, not it was in between the 2nd and 3rd mile, so a little more challenging at the point in the race. There were also the same two steep declines that the course always has but, similar to the incline, their location in the race was not the same as year’s past.

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Parking: Your bib and race confirmation is your parking pass into the zoo. Easy access and easy departure. No problems.

Race Management: They did a phenomenal job with this race. The overcoming of the construction to create a fun course that still reached the right distance was impressive. But even more impressive was that the city and zoo were hit with a nasty ice and snow storm a day before and the zoo had the entire course cleared off of both. There were very few spots that had ice that was dangerous and there was zero snow on the course itself. Bravo again for the zoo’s maintenance staff for having a safe event. Packet pickup was smooth. And the post race party/spread was just as nice as always. Apples, Gatorade, water, coffee, granola bars, strawberry milk, blueberry milk, a restaurant’s homemade tomato soup and another restaurant’s chicken and rice sample dish were all part of the post race spread that led to the handing out of awards. And, no, I didn’t age place this year. There’s always next year though….

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Happy running!

Milwaukee Marathon Training: Weeks 1-4

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Milwaukee Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Here I am, plugging away at training for the April 6, Milwaukee Marathon and building up those miles. There have been some bumps in the road so far (no pun intended), but nothing too crazy. Just scheduling issues that have caused some runs to be shorter than intended. I also have been having trouble skimming back my lifting at the gym and giving that time to running, although it would be treadmill running and let’s be honest, that sucks. So here is what I’ve been up to the last four weeks. Dates will be included. Also, if interested (and you should be), join me in the full marathon or the half marathon or even the 5K and use code “RUN15” to save 15% off of your entry!

WEEK 1: DECEMBER 17 – DECEMBER 23 

MONDAY: Biceps and triceps workout for 42 minutes; 23 minute treadmill run for 2.54 miles

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TUESDAY: Yoga Class; 30 minute treadmill run for 3.53 miles

WEDNESDAY: Shoulder/traps workout for 43 minutes; 22 minutes on the elliptical

THURSDAY: 56 minute back workout; no cardio

FRIDAY: Long Run Day: 1 hour 50 minutes for 12.49 miles, outdoors

SATURDAY: 30 minute chest workout; no cardio

SUNDAY: Rest Day

TOTAL MILES: 18.57

 

WEEK 2: DECEMBER 24 – DECEMBER 30

MONDAY: 31 minute treadmill run for 3.54 miles

TUESDAY: Christmas Day equals Rest Day

WEDNESDAY: 48 minute treadmill run for 6 miles

THURSDAY: Biceps/Triceps workout plus 30 minutes on the bike (forgot orthotics)

FRIDAY: 16 minute abs workout; 20 minutes on treadmill for 2.33 miles

SATURDAY: Time constricted long run: 91 minutes for 10.13 miles

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SUNDAY: Rest Day

TOTAL MILES: 22.02

WEEK 3: DECEMBER 31 – JANUARY 6

MONDAY: 52 minute leg workout; 10 minutes on the gym bike

TUESDAY: 33 minutes on the treadmill for 4 miles

WEDNESDAY: 35 minute chest workout; 13 minute treadmill run for 1.71 miles

THURSDAY: 40 minute back workout; 16 minutes bike

FRIDAY: 35 minute shoulder/trap workout: 20 minute treadmill run for 2.33 miles

SATURDAY: Long Run Day: 138 minute outdoor run for 14.60 miles

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SUNDAY: Rest Day

TOTAL MILES: 22.66 

WEEK 4: JANUARY 7 – JANUARY 13

MONDAY: 47 minute biceps/triceps workout and 17 minutes on the treadmill for 2.05 miles

TUESDAY: Yoga plus 33 minutes on treadmill for 3.92 miles

WEDNESDAY: 35 minute back workout; 20 minutes on the elliptical

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THURSDAY: 45 minute chest workout; had to fly out of town that afternoon

FRIDAY: 90 minute outdoor run for 10.13 miles

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SATURDAY: Rest Day

SUNDAY: 84 minute run for 9.62 miles

TOTAL MILES: 25.72

So this represents my first four weeks of training for the Milwaukee Marathon that is scheduled for April 6. I know I need to increase the mileage and decrease the time spent lifting weights. Always hard for me mentally to commit to that routine but if I want positive results in the marathon, I need to step it up with my training. And remember: code “RUN15” gets you 15% off your race entry!

What do you do for your first few weeks of marathon training? And how much strength training do  you do, if at all?

Please feel free to comment; I would love to hear your thoughts/opinions!

Happy Running!