Wicked Half Race Report

Last Saturday, I ran in the Wicked Half Marathon. If you’ve been around here for the past couple of weeks then you know that my plan was to run this race as a “long run with benefits” (aka the LRB). With only one longish run of 9 miles just the week before and a seriously unreliable ankle, let’s be honest, I really had no business jumping into a half marathon! But, I can be stubborn and I was looking forward to the Skirt Sports Ambassador meet-up. So I figured treating this as a long run with the benefits of course support and a medal was the way to go!

The bat in the medal actually spins!

My goals for this run were simple – stick to my 4:1 run/walk intervals, ignore pace and run by feel, and finish upright and smiling. “Finishing is winning” would be my mantra.

With my hotel just a short 20-minute ride to the start, I was able to sleep until a little after 5 before needing to get up and head out. The minute I stepped out of the hotel the humidity smacked me in the face and I knew this was going to be a tough morning – humidity is my kryptonite for sure, it just sucks the life out of me. So I knew the struggle bus would be coming for me…it was just a question of how long I could outrun it ūüôā

Parking was easy-peasy – I was literally steps from the start line so I had lots of time to tape up, finish fueling, and chat with a couple of other runners.

Pre-run and ready

Soon it was time to line up, listen to the national anthem and we were off. I’ve never done run/walk intervals in a race and was initially concerned about how it would work. But early on it was clear I had nothing to worry about and I fell in with a fair number of runners all doing some form of intervals. I ran the first few miles with a woman from Tennessee who was also following a 4:1 plan. We chatted easily and it helped take my mind off the soul-sucking humidity.

Somewhere in the 7th mile I started to slow and said goodbye to Ms. Tennessee. My ankle started to complain and I wondered if it was going to cooperate with still a half a race to go. I dubbed Mile 9 the “dark mile” – I was hurting, my walk breaks were getting longer, and the negative chatter in my head was getting louder. Once past the mile 9 marker, I was able to shake off the funk – yes my legs were less than happy, yes I was more than ready to be done, but I kept focused on the fact that I would soon hit 10 miles and I haven’t seen double-digits in a while. Finishing is winning!

I’m not going to lie, the final few miles were a trudge – the struggle bus not only caught up with me but was threatening to run me over! Somewhere in the 12th¬†mile, I met up with a woman named Jen. She said she’d been pacing off of me – running when I ran and walking when I walked. We chugged along towards the finish, and as we made the last turn towards the finish I spotted my “Skirt Sisters” – as each ambassador had finished they stuck around to cheer on the rest of the group. Such an awesome sight! Jen and I crossed the line and congratulated each other, I collected my medal and then joined the rest of the ambassadors. As our last Sister approached the finish, some of us went out to run her in. The Wicked Race organizers actually posted a video of our group finish on their Facebook page along with this group photo:

Finishing is winning!

 

 

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My RnR Vegas Recap – #StripAtNight

Last weekend I was on the road once again for a race weekend – this time it was Vegas! Ah and what a weekend! Meeting Meb, Snoop Dogg in concert, some great food (and cocktails), blogger meet-ups, not one but two races, and running the Vegas strip at night – much fun was had for sure…so without further ado…settle in for my recap.

vegas-bling

(Disclosure: As a member of the Rock’n’Blog team, I received a free race entry for the Remix Challenge. As always, all opinions are mine!)

Both my husband and brother were joining me for this trip. We arrived in Vegas by mid morning, got an early check-in at the hotel and grabbed lunch before heading to the expo. Packet pick-up was a breeze and we were quickly wandering the aisles of over 80 expo vendors. There were a lot of good deals, but we didn’t go too crazy. I couldn’t wait to pick up the awesome #Werunsocial t-shirt I had pre-ordered!

wearewhathappensinvegas

Yes it glows in the dark!

The highlight of the expo was meeting Meb at the Rock’n’Roll booth! We hadn’t heard the announcement that he was going to be there – I spotted him purely by chance. Meeting Meb was awesome! He was so gracious – we chatted about his book (you can check out my review here) and I did my best to not go totally fan-girl on him. A hug, photo and an autographed bib – yeah my race experience was complete and I hadn’t even toed the line yet!

meb

The rest of the day was spent doing way too much walking taking in the sights of the strip. We capped the day with an amazing dinner at Yardbird Restaurant (definitely worth a visit!).

We took advantage of sleeping in Saturday morning before grabbing brunch and heading up the strip to scout out the 5K location. The race didn’t start until 6 p.m. and the three of us found it a little hard to manage the day and not do too much.¬†The crowds heading up to the race were crazy – we had to let 3 monorails go before we could squeeze our way on one. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people lining up for a 5K! People did not self-seed well and there were way too many walkers up front. My brother and I did what we could to run when we could find open space, but in many places the course narrowed and we were just stuck behind a wall of walkers. We certainly weren’t out there to worry about time so we just went with it ¬†– first half of the Remix Challenge done! Off for another great meal – this time at Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar.

post-5k

Sunday morning¬†started with a great brunch at Margaritaville’s roof deck. A perfect spot to watch the closing of the strip and pre-race set up. We hung out and watched football, again trying to lay low and not do too much. I just have to say late day races for me are hard! Finally it was time to head to the race. The guys were doing the 10K so we said our goodbyes at the monorail station and I headed off to hit the Snoop Dogg headliner concert and the We Run Social meet-up.

vegas-blogger-collage There were so many of us for the meet-up we barely all fit in the photo! It was great to meet so many bloggers including Sharon, Kim and Carlee. Snoop Dog played all of his big hits and really had the crowd going.

I was in the Yellow start so I had a fair amount of waiting to do until they called us to the start. The corrals were a hot mess and as I chatted with others waiting to shuffle to the start I reminded myself the goal for this race was simply to have fun – there was no time goal. Running the Vegas Strip was pretty amazing and the energy was great! The only lull was the loop of miles 7 – 9 where we were running through “old Vegas” and some random neighborhoods. You could definitely feel the runner energy drop at this point and I could definitely feel the whirlwind days catching up with me. Luckily we were soon back at the top of the strip and heading towards the finish line.

Final thoughts…

This was one fun race weekend! There is nothing quite like running down the middle of the Vegas Strip at night – definitely one that every runner should experience.

If you do run Vegas, know that this is not the race for a PR. You’ve got to go into it just looking to have fun and enjoy the experience.

If you can tack on an extra day, I would recommend post-race so you can fully celebrate Vegas-style ūüôā

The Vegas pre-sale of just $99 for 2017 is on until midnight tonight…just sayin’ ūüėČ

the-strip

I’m linking up once again with Holly & Tricia for the Weekly Wrap!

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RnR Brooklyn Race Recap

On¬†Saturday I completed my eleventh half marathon, running the Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon. I took the train into NYC on Friday morning. Packet pick-up was held at the Penn Pavilion which is directly across the street from Penn Station, so grabbing my bib and race shirt was super easy. The space for the expo itself was small and awkwardly configured so after a very quick peak I headed out. It was great to be back in NYC after such a long time and I enjoyed a leisurely walk before grabbing lunch and heading to my hotel to wait for J and the kids, who were driving down after school.¬†Dinner was some very yummy pizza and I did my best to get to bed at a reasonable hour.

Sleep was erratic at best, and before I knew it my alarm was going off. I had very little appetite but did my best to force down some food {cue the foreboding music}. J and I walked the little over a mile to the start. The security lines were long, but moving. The same could not be said about the porta potty lines. Finally made my way to the corrals and slipped in where I could. We shuffled along and soon we were off.

brooklyn-sunrise

The first 5 K felt great! I spotted J on the first out and back and was right on pace. That good feeling was short-lived, cause by mile 5 I started to feel off  Рa headache was brewing.

As it morphed into a full-blown killer headache, I continued to fuel, and tried to press on, focusing on the bands, high-fiving kids, whatever I could do to distract myself…but I was slowing down. When the 2:30 pacer passed me, I was deflated. Now a new mental battle began, and I’ll tell you the internal dialog was not pretty. I could not believe that my race was being derailed by a ¬†f$^&# headache!

The universe sent me just what I needed around mile 8 in the form of Roz and Carla. Roz, a Half Marathon Maniac in the middle of a half marathon double-header, had been encouraging Carla, who was taking on her very first half. Soon we were a threesome – chatting, sharing fueling tips, and most of all supporting and encouraging each other. It was the pick me up I desperately needed.

As we entered Prospect Park and the final hills, I was really hurting РI told Roz and Carla not to wait for me and that I would do what could to keep up with them. They pushed ahead and I just tried to keep them in my sights. I spotted J and he came out to run with me until I had just about a half mile left. I willed myself to the finish and was finally done.

I quickly found Carla and Roz and there were lots of hugs all around. (I truly love how running bonds people!)

brooklyn-swag

Race swag included a black hoodie for         completing both Philly & Brooklyn!

It¬†was just not my day – this race was not a reflection of my training. So, back to the drawing board I go…

Some final thoughts on the race itself:

  • Overall this was a well organized race, as I’ve come to expect from Rock ‘n’ Roll
  • Bands along the course seemed a little sparse
  • Nice course, especially ending in Prospect Park
  • Post-race food was plentiful
  • Expo was definitely lacking in both layout and vendors
  • Fun medal & race shirt

(Disclosure:¬†As a member of the Rock’n’Blog team, I received a free race entry. As always, all opinions are mine!)

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2016 RnR Philly Race Recap

(Disclosure:¬†As a member of the Rock’n’Blog team, I received a free race entry and VIP upgrade. As always, all opinions are mine!)

On Sunday, I ran¬†the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon – my 10th half marathon!

I’ve been trying to figure out what to say about this race. As you all know, this was my first half marathon after a two year hiatus. This was not a goal race – just a re-introduction to the distance. But, you know I like to keep it real here, so I’ll be honest, this was not the triumphant return I had secretly hoped for. No…I did not have a goal time, but I had wanted (and expected) to run this much faster than I did.

So settle in while I share the good, bad…and downright u-g-l-y of Sunday’s race.

Janelle & I pre-race

The Good….
Blogger meet-ups! Once I arrived at the race, I made a beeline for the VIP tent to meet up with Janelle from Run with No Regrets. It was so nice to finally meet – she’s as nice as she seems from her blog! We got to chat for a bit and soon Kathryn from Dancing to Running joined us. We made our way to the top of the “Rocky steps” to meet up for a “We Run Social” photo, where I finally got to meet Dani from Weight Off My Shoulders. I feel like I’ve known Dani for years – we couldn’t believe we just were finally meeting! It was fun to hangout with everybody and it helped me keep my mind off my nerves.

werunsocial

VIP Upgrade! While I didn’t take full advantage of the full VIP food spread, it was definitely nice to have food and drinks to readily available. And, porta potties with no lines? Enough said!

Race atmosphere! I love the RnR vibe and this race did not disappoint! I enjoyed the bands and cheer squads along the route, and even had one band’s guitarist come down off the stage to briefly rock out with me ūüôā

The Bad…

While the VIP area was a nice perk, it would have been nice to have a way for non-running family to join at a reduced rate. My husband J couldn’t enter without us purchasing a full price package at the expo – the main reason I skipped returning to the VIP area post-race.

My fueling – I woke up with no appetite and as a result my pre-race fueling was sparse. I forced myself to choke down a banana, but could only manage a bite or two of my GU waffle. The wait in the corrals was long and by the time I was approaching the start my stomach started to growl…not good.

The Ugly…

on-the-courseThe humidity was soul-sucking and proved to be my complete undoing. Despite having run in the soupy muck for most of the summer, I could not find my rhythm. I felt ok through the first 5 miles but could feel a headache forming by mile 6.  By mile 7, I had stopped at a med tent for Tylenol, and by mile 9 I had a front row seat on the struggle bus. Despite my best efforts to stay hydrated and down Clif blocs (with extra salt), the humidity took its toll.  I reminded myself that this was more of a training run than a race for me, but it was hard to not feel defeated. Time to shift my focus РI high-fived every kid along the course, encouraged other runners and started run/walk intervals.

Around mile 9, I was so grateful to come across fellow Rock’n’Blogger Nellie from Brooklyn Active Mama. We had run into each other just before the start and it was great to see her. She was so positive and we kept each other company for a couple of miles. My other saving grace was my amazing husband, who had rented one of those city bikes and was biking all over the course! At last the finish was in sight and I was done.

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So #10 is done and training for Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn continues!

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2016 Finish at the 50 Recap

screenshot-www.finishatthe50.com 2016-03-07 19-45-53

Last weekend the family and I headed down¬†to Gillette Stadium to take part in the Harvard Pilgrim Finish at the 50. I love when the whole family gets in on the act, and this one was extra special because it was my youngest’s first ever 5K! He rocked it! ūüôā

Family race

He was so proud of his medal!

The 5K was scheduled to start at 6 p.m. and the 10K at 7 p.m., so we decided to head to the race around 3:30. Parking was a breeze and we found a great spot where we could watch the fireworks later. There were no lines for either the bibs or t-shirts, so we were done in no time leaving a bit of a wait until the start of the race. We milled around Patriots Place, seeking shade and trying to stay hydrated and cool. As we inched closer to 6 p.m. and the temps were still hovering around 78, I was once again cursing myself for signing up for the 10K.

Side Note:  OK, so I just have to put this right here and say that I really have a love-hate relationshp with this race! I love how well-organized it is and that it has really turned into a great family-friendly event. But the combination of the heat and the late start are just uber challenging for me.  Earlier in the week I had, in fact, thought seriously about switching to the 5K and joining my son and husband Рactually who am I kidding, that thought went through my head right up until the moment I got my bib! But, the RC coaches and I agreed that the 10K fit better with where I am in my training plan, and that I should just treat it as a hard training run.

Soon the 5K was off! I had positioned myself where I could easily catch my husband and son in two spots along the first part of the course. I cheered them on and then headed back to the main plaza to listen to the music and wait from the 10K to be called to the start. My husband J sent me texts and selfies so I knew how they were making out. No sooner did I head the start area then I spoted them on the ramps of the stadium closing in on the finish.

Now it was my turn. There were significantly fewer of us running the 10K, and several of us joked that all of the 5Kers knew something we didn’t. Just after 7, we were off. We followed the same loop around the first parking lot the 5K did, but then turned away from the stadium heading for Rte 1. I was thankful we were not on Rte 1 sharing the road with cars for long, as the route quickly took us off into the residential neighborhoods behind the stadium. And, this is where the rolling hills began. A downside of this race (for me at least) is the general lack of spectators – some residents were out in their driveways and front yards and did their best to cheer. The kids were the best and I high-fived as many as I could. The burst of energy I felt during the first mile was short-lived and by the time I reached¬†the long, slow climb that was mile 4, I had hit my heat wall – there was some walking involved. I locked in on a woman in a t-shirt with a fireworks burst on it and promised myself I needed to keep her in my sights. “Follow the fireworks” became my mantra.

As we returned to the stadium, we could hear the music and the announcer, but it was a cruel tease, because instead of heading into the stadium loop, the course veered away again for an out and back across the parking lot. I did not love this part of the race course at all – seriously, who wants to run through people tailgaiting?! Miss Fireworks and I leap-frogged each other and I passed a couple of runners I hadn’t seen since mile 2. Finally, I was back within the stadium, and heading for the final tunnel and on to the field. There were lots of people in the stands and on the field, and I love that the announcer calls out each runner by name and the finish line is shown on the jumbotron – so fun!

50 bling

With our races done, we headed back to our car for well-deserved picnic and to wait for the fireworks – always a good show!

This race is really well done and a fun way to spend part of a 4th of July weekend. The volunteers were really friendly and encouraging, and all of the water stops were well staffed and stocked, (though some Gatorade would have been a welcome addition). I really was not a fan of the out and back thrown in at the end – I think it would have been better to add that extra mile to the neighborhood section of the course. I’d also encourage the race organizers to offer a better selection of post-race food – while I love KIND bars, KIND bars and water was not much of a post-race selection.

I’m sure my family will be back again next year, and I’m most certain that I’ll be sticking to the 5K ūüėČ

Did you run a 4th of July race? Do you avoid summer racing or embrace it?

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2016 Run to Remember Race Report

2016 RTR FinisherI know I have said this so many times, but must say again Boston’s Run to Remember is one of my all time favorite races!

On Saturday morning my husband J and I headed in town for packet pick-up, and as always it was a breeze. There were a ton of volunteers manning the tables, so getting our bibs, t-shirts and commemorative coins took no time at all. I chose the coin honoring the police and J selected the one for EMS. We did a quick loop around the expo, and while I eyed the Oofos, I just couldn’t bring myself to spend $45 on flip flops! On our way out, we stopped to take in the banners acknowledging all of the fallen law enforcement.

Too many names!

Just too many names on this list

On Sunday morning, the race started at 7, so we were up and moving by a little after 5. After facing heat and humidity on Saturday (90’s), it was a relief to wake to cooler temps (60’s). The outdoor parking lots were quickly filling, so we decided to opt for parking at the Seaport Hotel (the host hotel). Yes more expensive, but the clean indoor bathrooms were a huge win in my book!

There was a moment of silence for State Trooper Clardy and Officer Tarentino, both recently killed in the line of duty, followed by the National Anthem and then we were ready to go. I was so glad the race organizers opted for the wave start – we were in the 3rd wave and crossed the starting line in just about 12 minutes. The first mile was still thick, but we managed to find space to run comfortably. I knew I was a little amped up at the start and definitely went out faster than I probably should have. I told J I needed to slow down and encouraged him to go ahead, but he had told me he was planning to run with me and was happy to go at whatever pace. We saw a friend at the first water station and stopped for a quick hello.

The miles clicked along, while¬†we chatted up other runners, ¬†and thanked volunteers and police officers working the course. My left hip/knee woke up shortly after we passed the mile 3 marker, and got more cranky as we went along. I paid no attention to time though, this race was all about enjoying the experience and the camaraderie of runners. Before I knew it we were back on Atlantic Ave and getting ready for the final turn over the bridge to the finish. I will say the climb up the bridge felt l-o-n-g, and I was grateful for the enthusiastic spectators. The best part is once you crest the bridge, it’s a nice downhill into the finish. J and I agreed to push it into the finish – and just like that we were done.

Happy finishers

Post race, boys scouts were handing out medals and there was an abundance of water, bagels, bananas and various snacks (I do urge the organizers to consider adding chocolate milk and Gatorade). We knew our boys would be up by now and waiting for us to get back for breakfast, so we took a few photos and headed for the car.

From start to finish this is a well organized race! The pre-race communication was excellent (including switching from the half to the 5-miler), packet pick was a breeze, and the along the course there was plenty of water, Gatorade and enthusiastic volunteers. If you get the chance to come to Boston over Memorial Day weekend, you should run this one.

RtR Medal 2016

Overall I was happy with the way things went – while I can see improvements thanks to the new strength training routine, there’s still work to do, and I’ve got lots of notes to share with Trainer Stacy this week. I’ve got plenty of time until my fall races, and am getting the details on my training plan finalized (more on that later). For now, I’m happy that my long hiatus from races is over.

Linking up once again with Holly and Tricia for the #WeeklyWrap rp_WeeklyWrap-1-300x300.jpg

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BAA 5K – A Family Tradition

 

BAA 5K BibsOn¬†Saturday, my husband J, our oldest son and I were up and out early to run the BAA 5K. This was our 2nd year all running together (my 3rd time overall) – it’s quickly becoming a fun family tradition!

Just like last year, it was perfect running weather, as we gathered with 10,000 of our closest friends. Yes 10,000 runners for a 5K. So to say it was crazy crowded would be an understatement.

Courtesy of the Boston Herald

Courtesy of the Boston Herald

With so many runners, the BAA is still trying to find the best way to get everyone to the start line – especially a challenge when the winners are crossing the start/finish line within 15 minutes of starting! Last year volunteers had to quickly move corral barriers to get runners moving as the elites closed in on the finish. So this time around, they had us line up along Beacon Street and split the start/finish line so the elites had a clear path. There was also a pulse start. Once again, we were still shuffling to the start when the elites came in, but at least we got to see them this time!

Group shot

What I love about this race is the vibe – there’s just a great feel about it. People just seem to be having a really good time, high-fiving and encouraging each other on the turn-around; there were lots of kids running with parents, and overall the crowd support along the course was awesome. Since my son had done absolutely no running beyond sprints for basketball and lacrosse, and one trip to the track with me, we decided to try a run/walk approach. We talked about doing set intervals, but in the end we just kind of did whatever we needed to when we needed to – which worked just fine. With our names on our bibs, I loved all the shout-outs my son got and it was really fun to see him enjoying the whole experience. I’m really proud of the effort he put in!

Running down Boylston St definitely brought a range of emotions that I still find hard to put into words two years later. It’s always something to watch people’s reactions to crossing over the Marathon famous finish line. Soon came the final turn back onto Charles Street and the finish line. Getting our medals, post race food and race shirts¬†was easy-breezy, ¬†and we took some time to hang out on the Commons and enjoy the atmosphere before heading off to grab¬†breakfast.

Despite the crowd, this is becoming a family favorite and I think my youngest son finally wants to give it a try next year. Let the family tradition continue!

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Friday Five: Run to Remember Race Recap

Over Memorial Day Weekend I ran what has really become one of my favorite races – Boston’s Run to Remember!

RTR shirt

I’ve been trying all week to get around to writing a race recap but it kept slipping further and further down my to do list. So instead of my typical recap, it’s coming at you Friday Five style….

Oh the HumanityRTR crowd 1!¬†– I think the first time I ran this race in 2011 there may have been 7,000 runners total running both the half marathon and the 5-miler. This year there were 12,000 of us hitting the streets! The race announcer said if you totaled all the human mileage we’d reach half way to the moon!

 

Public Garden

Sights and Sounds — Police cadet chants as they ran, “Boston Strong” cheers and cow bells, high-fiving police officers lining the route and super enthusiastic volunteers! Passing Faneuil Hall, Beacon Hill, the Public Garden and Boston’s waterfront.

Keep it Simple —¬†My runs have been so schizophrentic¬†lately¬†that I really had no idea what to expect from this race. My goals were simply to have a solid run and enjoy the race. Coach Bennett suggested that I just run by effort and not worry about a specific pace. For half a second I considered not even wearing my Garmin, but I knew I’m just too Type A for that! I did manage to not really look at it until I hit the final mile.

New Distance — While it was my third time running RTR, this was my first time running the 5-miler. I like this distance – it’s not quite the all-out gut-wrencher that a¬†5K can be. ¬†And I think it (or a 10K) makes a better pairing with a half marathon than a lot of the 5Ks I typically see (oh race directors are you listening?!)

Camaraderie and Community — From the expo the day before to volunteers throughout the course and at the finish line, I saw many friends and familiar faces — and I know there were so many more out there that day that I didn’t get to see! Despite the large crowd there’s something about this race that makes it feel very “local” if you know what I mean. I loved how encouraging runners were to each other and especially appreciated the older gentlemen who ran next to me in the final stretch. He must have sensed I was tiring – we chatted for a brief minute and then he urged me to get going and finish this thing…and I thanked him and I did!

RTR medal

 

This is race is really well done. If you ever plan to be in Boston on Memorial Day weekend, I highly encourage you to register for this one!

 

Do you have a favorite race you’ve run again and again?

 

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BAA 5K Recap

What a beautiful day! And, what an emotional day!

BAA5K 2014

On Saturday I ran the B.A.A. 5K with my husband J and our oldest son. It was a beautiful morning for a run – a little chilly, but picture-perfect clear blue skies. Because there were going to be so many more runners this year, we decided to park a few blocks from the start and walk over. Not only did it make a breeze to get in and out easily – but the parking garage also had a very nice lobby with clean bathrooms! (Always a score to avoid the porta-potties!)

As we made our way over I could tell my son was a little nervous but excited. This was going to be his second 5K and with a much bigger crowd than the local race we did last summer. And there were so many runners – in an effort to let more people participate in Marathon weekend, the BAA had increased the field of the 5K from 6500 to 10,000. (8,640 actually ran – but still an awful lot of people for a 5K on Boston’s narrow Back Bay streets!) Given the chilly temps and crowds, we decided to keep our extra layers on and skip the bag check. We snapped a couple of quick pics and then heeded the call to head to the corals.

BAA5k 2014 Collage

Yes someone was being goofy ūüôā

The corals were jammed and it was a challenge to stay together and find anywhere to slide in.  As we stood waiting you could just feel the energy РI mean obviously runners are always pumped up at the beginning of a race, but this was different. We chatted with other runners and many joked that there were so many of us that the elites would be finishing before we crossed the start. Well in fact that almost did happen!

As we shuffled our way to the start, the announcement of the lead man’s first split was 4:3X. Yes they were flying…and we were soon going to be in the way! No sooner was the announcement made than volunteers started moving corral barriers to open up the street and get us moving faster to the start – so much for self-seeding! It was chaotic but we were finally off.

We tried our best to stay together while also trying to find some open space to run – at some point I ended up ahead of J and my son and pulled up to wait for them. They caught up but my son wanted to take a walk break so they urged me to just keep going so I ran on. I knew even before we started that this was not a day for chasing a sub-30 – this was a day for taking in the moment and I did. ¬†I thanked volunteers, marveled at runners with prostetic legs gutting it out and enjoyed the spectators chanting “Boston Strong” along the course. When we reached the turn-around, runners were hooting and hollering and high-fiving – we were all just having so much fun! I came across J and my son – he was slapping hands with so many runners. It was great to see him see the running community at its best!

The route took us on the famous “right on Hereford, left on Boylston,” and as we reach the corner of Boylston there was an enormous American flag hanging over the course from a firetruck ladder. As I turned on to Boylston it hit me, I hadn’t been back here since the bombing…consciously or unconsciously I hadn’t been back here since I ran last year’s 5K – before everything that happened happened. I wasn’t prepared for the rush of emotions that only got stronger as I passed the Forum, site of the 2nd bombing. I’m not sure I can even put into words what I was feeling as I ran down Boylston and across that famous finish line – it was a lot to process. Soon came the final turn back onto Charles Street and the finish line. The finish area was more chaotic than the start so unfortunately I missed seeing my husband and son finish but heard the race announcer give them a nice shout out as they came across the line! We collected our medals and race shirts and, at my son’s urging, headed off to breakfast.

All-in-all a great morning – the B.A.A. does such an awesome job (though I do hope they return the field to its original size next year)! It was a great event to be a part of and I especially loved how in awe my son was of getting to cross the Marathon finish line. ¬†He’s already talking about running it again next year – and that’s just fine with me ūüôā

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First race and a Tweeked Knee

heart-medal1My quest for #14in2014 got underway this weekend. My training plan called for some race pace miles for Saturday’s long run so it seemed like a perfect time to put some of those miles towards the Stop Stroke Shuffle 5K. I had so wanted to do this run on the road but after taking a quick trip in my car to survey the roads there was just too much ice.

So I headed to the gym – not to self NEVER go to the gym on a Saturday at 9! I finally got a treadmill, did a quick warm up¬† and then got started. It was a fairly uneventful run until the final half mile or so – that was when I felt the first twinge in my left knee. It was soon followed by another that lasted longer than the first. Not good….and I knew by the time I finished my knee was really unhappy. I still had miles left to do but when I tried a cool down run it was pretty clear that I just needed to pack it in.

Since then there’s been a lot of ice, a compression knee sleeve and rest. I passed on Sunday’s recovery run in favor of more shoveling as cross training.

Race #2 is just two weeks away and at this moment I’m not feeling very confident about making it to the starting line – it’s a 10 miler and thanks to cutting Saturday’s run short, the longest run I’ve logged so far is just 6.5 miles. While it’s not a goal race, I’m not loving the idea of heading into a race under-trained….on the other hand, I’m not crazy about passing up the chance to run this 10-miler. I’ll be checking in with Coach Bennett this morning to get his take on it.

WWYD – Would you run or sit this one out?

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