I love calling Boston my home. It is one amazing place to run and explore. Boston's Run To Remember 5-miler and Half Marathon takes place every Memorial Day weekend. Since moving back to Boston, I haven't missed the race. I did the 5-Miler in 2012 before upgrading to the Half in 2013.
Because I wanted more time running through this amazing city. Of course!
The Run To Remember is honors Massachusetts Law Enforcement Officers killed in the line of duty by celebrating their lives and giving back to the community. Net proceeds benefit Community and kids programs of the Boston Police Runner's Club.
Last year's race was extremely emotional as it was the first race in Boston after the attacks at the Boston Marathon Finish Line. I think I cried from Start to Finish, but it was extremely cathartic. You can read more about that race here.
This year I popped into the Expo on Saturday afternoon, while out running errands. The Run To Remember Expo is pretty tiny and for me each year the highlight is seeing my Sparkly Soul girls. But more on that later... ;)
I quickly grabbed my bib and my shirt and took a quick lap around the Expo before rushing back outside as my wife was waiting for me.
I had to keep the number private to make sure no one swiped it! I didn't realize it was the 10th anniversary until I saw the bib. Cool!
As we headed about our day of errands, I got on the horn to my friend Susan for the details. Ones like: so the race starts at 7, right?
Yeah I am not one to look at the details too far ahead of time. Oops.
So I set my alarm for 5:45 expecting to be up at 6 and out the door by 6:15.
I was so tired that I forgot to set my clothes out the night before or really decide what I was going to eat for breakfast.
Let's just say that led to a frantic wake-up, but thankfully I live about 7-10 minutes drive to the race that I wasn't too worried.
Until a Tedy's Team running mate of mine brought up traffic ... then last year started coming back to me.
The wife and I hopped in the car and headed out. It wasn't until we were pulling off the highway that I realized ...
I LEFT MY GARMIN AT HOME!!!!!!
Ahhhhh! Dammit! I had no running partner for the run. I left my music at home. And now no Garmin.
I tried to take a quick breath and calm myself down.
Now I am not one glued to the timing of the Garmin, it just keeps me from going out too fast.
The wife kindly dropped me off as close to the Start area as possible and I headed to the masses. Thankfully I could skip the security line since I wasn't doing gear check.
I immediately found a port-o-pottie line and hung out in that until the race started. Talk about good timing. I got into my pace area just as the horn went off.
I didn't know what to expect at the race as I had done a brick workout (23.6 mile bike & 2 mile run) the day before and my left hamstring was giving me pain. So I lined up around the 8 min/mile pace.
I attempted to start Runkeeper when I crossed the Start Line so I would have some guess of pace. I think it finally clicked 15 seconds into the run - close enough!
I was ready to just have fun while running.
The course would be different from last year due to construction and since I never look at course maps - I had no idea what it meant. :P
We went over the Mass Ave bridge just before Mile 4. As I was taking a mid-run selfie a woman asked: "Do you want me to take that for you?" I smiled and let her know it is more fun to do it yourself.
Apparently the folks around me aren't used to the mid-run selfie because people kept telling me how impressed they were by my "skills." Hey! It made MY day! :)
We headed out to Memorial Drive and my favorite part of the run - the out and back. It is great seeing elite folks WHIZ past you. I was in a great group of folks too because we were all clapping and cheering them on.
When you do the turn around on Mem Drive, I then immediately start looking for friends I know! Thankfully being local I know a ton of people at any given race because social media friends, old coworkers, Weight Watchers, school, etc. I think half my Facebook timeline told me they would be there. ;)
I was getting frustrated though. I had only seen 2 people so far that I knew. I knew there were more out there. But as we headed back to Mem Drive, I saw my Tedy's Team teammate Larissa running towards me. She and her fiancé Eddie were running (his first half) so I was able to yell: "It's my favorite person," which caught her attention. Then give both of them HUGE high-fives.
Around this time I knew the Runkeeper was off, it doesn't like the tall buildings of the city at the beginning, but it seemed as if I was at about a 8:30 min/mile pace. Which was fine by me and my body was feeling comfortable. I wasn't going for a PR so I wasn't really trying to calculate what finish time that would put me at.
So I turned my attention to my next selfie ... of course!
Just before we took the right back onto the Mass Ave bridge, we hit Mile 9.
I was telling someone the other day - I might not be good at running, but DAMN I am getting the hang of the mid-run selfie! ;) Now mastering the mid-run selfie doesn't mean they are always pretty or flattering - as exhibited above.
As we headed back down Beacon St towards the Seaport (aka the Finish), a previous used water stop was being used again and guess what? I had an old Weight Watchers member Jenny give me water both times. Yes, it is the little things in life sometimes. It was great to see her and get a little "Go Dani!" when I needed it.
I was in the zone, taking in the brownstones, trying to ignore the slight pain in the left hamstring when some guy ran by and said "I will not lose the tutu contest to you." Which I was thrown off by. He was rocking a lovely purple tutu. Now I don't want to knock him, but technically I was wearing a skirt - a Sparkle Athletic skirt to be exact. I let him have his moment and continue on.
We hit the Mile 12 marker and I got the "man I don't want the race to end" pang that I always get at Mile 12 of a Half. But on the flip side I said "yes! Only one mile to go" after having done 2 fulls in April. I was happy to not have to keep going another 13+ on that day.
Now the final push down the Seaport is deceiving. You take the final turn and you think the Finish Line should be RIGHT there.
Every year I feel like I am on a treadmill and will never cross that freakin' line.
Thanks for the photo Kelsey!
Even though I felt like I was going nowhere, I felt strong so I gave whatever I had left at the end.
It was an odd feeling not having my Garmin to pause at the Finish. :P But I stopped Runkeeper which had a time of 1:50 and change.
Darnit! Had I realized earlier in the run I could've finished sub 1:50. Eh - it's okay. It was about 6 minutes slower than my PR anyway.
I headed into the World Trade Center to grab water and my medal. I made sure to look for blog reader Patty, who was handing out medals. Thank goodness for her eyes because she spotted me before I could spot her. :) It was a cool experience getting my medal from a reader/social media friend. Sorry we didn't grab a pic together.
As I got my medal, my friend Kelsey came up. She had rocked the 5-miler that morning.
We headed back inside to grab some more water and check out the Sparkly Soul booth.
It was great chatting with creator Dari and I cannot WAIT for you all to see what Sparkly Soul has coming out next!! :)
I picked up a few of the new colors ;) and headed towards the train to head home.
Since I already had my water and my chocolate milk was waiting for me at home, I stopped by Dunkin' on my way.
It was great to add the 2014 medal to the group...
While we were celebrating the Half with lunch, the official results came in:
Finished 1,601 out of 7,172 overall and 181 out of 1,409 in my division (F30-39). I can't even believe I was in the top 13% of my division and top 23% overall. I remember finishing 3rd to last in my first full marathon and thinking I would never place in a race higher than that ...and now look.
I never take any run for granted and work hard to keep improving. But the run is about more than the pace and the time - it is about celebrating my health!
And on this day it was the men and women that have sacrificed their lives for the Boston area community. Police from all over Massachusetts lined the path during Mile 3 - cheering and high-fiving runners. While New York Police were both running and volunteering to patrol the course and make sure the runners were safe.
Until next year Run To Remember... :)
Have you run Boston's Run To Remember 5-miler or Half Marathon?