Here is what I have so far for 2013:
January 1 – 1st Run 5k – 23:07 (7:27 min/mile) – RECAP
January 12 – Walt Disney World Half Marathon – 1:48:09 (8:15 min/mile) – RECAP
February 3 – Super Sunday 5 – 38:34 (7:43 min/mile) – RECAP
February 24 – Half At The Hamptons – CANCELLED
February 24 – *VIRTUAL* Half At The Hamptons – 1:58:04 (9:01 min/mile) – RECAP
March 10 – Half Of Quincy - CANCELLED
April 14 – B.A.A. (Boston Athletic Association) 5k – 27:35 (8:54 min/mile) – RECAP
April 15 – 117th Boston Marathon – 4:04:08 (9:19 min/mile) – RECAP
April 27 – 26.2 Challenge Team Relay – Team: 3:04:57 … Me: 31:18 (7:11 min/mile) – RECAP
May 5 – Half of Quincy – PR 1:44:30 (7:59 min/mile) – RECAP
May 12 – MOM’s Run 5k – 23:31 (7:35 min/mile) – RECAP
May 26 - Boston’s Run To Remember (Half Marathon) – Starts at 7:00 a.m. ET
May 26 – Freedom Run 5k – Starts at 10:00 a.m. ET
July 14 – VERT – Sasquatch Trail Race – Starts at TBD
August 4 – Boston Triathon – Starts at TBD
September 15 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon – Starts at 8:00 a.m. ET
September 21 – VERT – Big Bad Wolf Trail Race – Starts at NOON ET
September 28 – ZOOMA Cape Cod Half Marathon – Starts at 7:30 a.m. ET
September 29 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Providence Half Marathon – Starts at TBD
October 12 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn 10k – Starts at 7:30 a.m. ET
October 27 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon – Starts at TBD
December 1 – Yulefest 5k – Starts at TBD
I love super local races … especially ones for a good cause.
The MOMS Run 5k in Somerville, MA fills both those criteria.
Three friends and I ran this race last year and had such a great time it was a no-brainer to sign up again for 2013.
The race really won be over last year with 1) great beer and 2) an AMAZING post-race spread of food.
Good food + good beer = good race.
This year, the wife and I were joined by my BFF Sarah, her husband Brandon and their daughter Joanna.
Can you tell how excited Brandon was to run his first 5k?
There was rain on the forecast for the day and it was spitting on and off while we mulled around pre-race. The race itself began at 10am, but we knew the rain was really supposed to end at 1pm – but were hoping it may end early just for us.
Tori & Joanna
As we stood around chatting and stretching, a couple blog readers (Sally and Jenny) came over to say hi! YAY! I love meeting people that enjoy reading my blog …
With about 15-20 minutes to go before we lined up for the race, it was time to take my ENERGYbits and get #PoweredByBits.
And as the walkers kicked off the first wave of the race, the rain began to fall harder. Oh YAY … not!
I didn’t mind the rain so much, but it was causing the temp to drop – which was frustrating.
Finally, the walkers had gone as well as the wheelchair so it was time for the runners to hit the pavement.
Sarah and I were aiming for low 7 min/mile pace, but even at the Start my legs were feeling as heavy as lead. I wasn’t totally sure why – maybe leftover soreness from last week’s half or the previous day’s workout (Day 1 of Jillian Michaels’ 30-day shred).
But, right off the bat I knew I wasn’t going to reach my goal of a sub 23 min half.
I told Sarah to run off without me, but being the good friend that she is she stuck by me.
Plus, it was going to be on the last races we would run together as she is moving to Maine next month. Sad I know!
The race started on a gradual hill – AWESOME, my favorite – and thankfully did offer a downhill at some point. Since you know, what goes up – must come down … at some point!
We hit Mile One in about a 7:38 pace (if memory serves me correctly).
I was upset. What was going on. I wanted to will my body to go faster, but it wouldn’t.
But, I powered on.
And then came another hill. Really Somerville? This course was hillier than I remembered for sure.
I believe Mile Two (with hill) was about a 7:45-ish minute mile.
Okay, going in the wrong direction.
But once we hit Mile Two, there was a glorious glorious downhill.
It was time to make up some serious time and try to save the race.
AAannddd then about 1/2 a mile from the Finish came a pain in my left hamstring that I had never felt before. OOUUCCHH!!
But, I wasn’t about to stop. For a second, I thought I wasn’t going to finish – then I remembered I finish what I start.
So Sarah motivated me through the last 1/2 mile.
Thank goodness for Sarah’s positivity at the end.
Plus, I saw my friend George ahead and I had to try and catch up to him and finish as close to him as possible. It’s fun being competitive with friends – as long as it is friendly competition. Like George and I have. It is motivating to have a friend with a similar pace that runs as many races as I do.
We finished in 23:31 minutes … a 7:35 min/mile pace.
No PR BUT a course PR as in 2012 I finished the race in 24:06.
So I was wicked mad when we finished then I remembered how I finished my first-ever 5k in March 2005 in 38:21. Yeah this race was about 15 minutes faster. I will TAKE THAT!
Sarah and I met up with George and grabbed a celebratory Harpoon!
Brandon (Sarah’s husband) rocked his first 5k run and finished in 30:19 … while pushing Joanna in the stroller up the hills. I was wicked impressed and proud!
As Sarah and Brandon got in line for food, I hung with a sleeping Joanna. AND got 2 extra free beers from a guy who had a gluten allergy and he said I deserved them on Mother’s Day!
Well, no need to tell him I wasn’t a mom so I gladly thanked him and took the beers.
As the rain picked back up, we moved our group inside to eat some of the delicious food provided from local Davis Square establishments.
I even got to see a friend from college and fellow AOII sister, Nadia, who I hadn’t seen in ages.
She has embarked on her own weight loss and fitness journey so it was great to connect.
I saw a handful of my Weight Watchers members walking and running in the race as well!
After Joanna made sure the Mile markers were safely returned to the Finish line…
… it was time to part ways and head to home.
But, first Joanna decided that my beer needed a side of Mother’s Day flower (that the race handed to all Moms).
Even with the rain, it was a great morning. I was annoyed with my race results, but reminded myself that running is about the friends, family, experience and beer!
Thank you to all the race organizers (especially my friend Paul), volunteers and Somerville cops for all you did to make a great race experience for all…
The Half of Quincy was originally slated for March 10 – a perfect training run to prep for The Boston Marathon.
Then the snow hit and it was postponed.
The announced make-up date was May 5. About three weeks after the Marathon.
I could’ve deferred to next year … but why bother!
I thought it would be a great way to test my legs after the Marathon.
So I decided to run it on May 5 as planned.
My wife and dad were going to come along once again to spectate. It would be the first race both would spectate since being a mere 20 feet from the explosion on Marathon Monday.
This race would be a big race for all of us!
The alarm went off at 6am on Sunday (Happy Cinco De Mayo!) and we went through the normal pre-race motions.
We were out the door by 6:45 – after I had to search around the house to locate my Team REFUEL singlet.
That is what I get for not prepping all race materials the night before!
As always I made us leave the house with plenty of time to spare since we had to find parking and pick up my bib before the 8am start.
After finding street parking, we headed into Quincy High gym to pick up my bib.
The woman handing out the bibs actually reads my blog!! (YAY)
(Note: I wish I had gotten her name so I could say thank you properly!)
It was also nice running into some Racemenu teammates as well as some Twitter friends/bloggers that I was finally able to meet in real life.
I stopped by the ENERGYBits table to say hi and pilfer some water so I could actually take my ENERGYBits before the run. Thanks again guys for coming through in a pinch.
Now that I was #PoweredByBits it was time to head to the Start Line.
I went into this race with ZERO expectations. Okay not zero – the only one was to finish in under 2 hours. I had no idea what the body was going to be capable of and I didn’t know the course whatsoever. So we set the expectations low.
It was amazing to be surrounded by so much blue/yellow from The Boston Marathon. You could see how many people also had originally slated this as a training run for the Big Day.
Before I knew it it was time to start. I actually found another Racemenu team member, Nancy, just after we crossed the Start Line. It was nice to see her since I knew she ran the Marathon as well.
It’s funny that now the first question you ask a person that said they ran Boston this year is: “Did you get to Finish?” or “Where did you get stopped?” Thankfully Nancy was able to Finish before the explosions as well!
Neither of us knew the course, but a guy running by us let us know there would be some hills on the course. This was a different course than in previous years, but there would still be hills involved.
Just like during the 26.2 Challenge, I started out fast. I was going sub 8-minute miles for the first 5 miles or so. I tried to reel my body back in. I had to remind myself that this was a 13.1 mile race not 5 or 6 miles. Sometimes I think my body forgets.
We actually looped back near the Start/Finish and at the Mile Four marker were my dad and wife. It was nice to see there smiling faces. It gave me the little push I needed.
But as I hit the halfway mark of the Half, I realized I was well ahead of pace for a PR.
All race long I knew I had to be sub 8:15 min/mile pace for a new shiny PR.
And I was well ahead of that.
I even felt like a real runner during the race. I was buckling down, pushing myself up the hills and only went about 10-15 seconds slower when going up the hill. And made the time up on the flat.
This is something many of my fast friends do so I really felt like maybe I am becoming a better and stronger runner. Instead of always feeling like a poser.
By the time we hit Mile 10, the heel pain that magically showed up in the Marathon around Mile 15 flared up again. But I knew this time I only had to push through a few more miles.
But, did I mention they were the hilliest few miles of the course? Yeah, exactly.
I want to give a quick shout out to the great spectators along the course – especially the little kids giving away twizzlers near Mile 10. It’s like they knew how much we all needed that little sugar rush.
Once I hit Mile 11.1, I texted my wife to let her know where I was so that they would be in place at the Finish. Then I yelled out of profanities at the Hills and the foot pain. Oops! Thankfully no little kids were around.
The pain was there, but not unbearable. So I dug deep and ran all out to the Finish once I hit Mile 12.
The last 1/4 of a mile was actually around the Quincy High track, which was sort of frustrating because you could see the Finish, but it felt like it was miles away. At least for me.
I was trying to distract myself by doing math in my head to see if I could break the elusive 1:45 half time I had dreamed out.
My previous PR was 1:48:09 set at Disney in January.
I saw my wife & dad cheering just before I crossed the line, hit stop on my Garmin, grabbed my medal and chugged water as quickly as possible.
The Garmin read: 1:44:27.
Was that real? Maybe I missed some time or it had a glitch.
I officially finished the race in 1:44:30 – a 7:59 min/mile pace.
I had to triple check the results to make sure 1) they were legit and 2) they were actually MINE.
But, they were!
I finished 193rd out of 672 overall and 18th out of 127 in my division (F 30-39). CRAY CRAY!
I give big props to the Half of Quincy organizers who basically had to set up 2 races due to the postponement. The course was full of police and volunteers stopping traffic and giving encouragement along the way. It was one of the best organized races on the course itself that I’ve participated in. I didn’t have any “nearly getting hit by a car” instances.
I didn’t get to try any of the post-race fare because I had to jet home, but everyone was raving about the spread. No beer though – so a negative in my book.
I ran into Liana from Run To Munch at the results board and was able to offer her a ride home and get to chat with her a little about her running career.
Once we got home I was finally able to enjoy #myafter of a big glass of chocolate milk.
But, you also know I needed a celebratory beer so I took care of it myself by enjoying a Slumbrew Naked Hopularity!
Also please excuse the really unflattering photo of me
Overall, this was one amazing race day. I still can’t believe what my body is now capable and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me.
Next up … M.O.M.’s Run 5k on Mother’s Day (May 12)!
And I am a race pushover.
What does that mean? Well, it seems when a friend brings up a race and I have the time/funds – I sign up.
Plain and simple.
It happened … again!
And they were looking for a 6th member for their team.
Over the next 24 hours, we got confirmation that they did indeed need a 6th runner … and BAM! All of a sudden I am signed up for my first relay race.
The 26.2 Challenge Team Relay is set up a little different from other relays I’ve heard about.
The 26.2 Challenge is a team relay race for you and five of your friends. It’s an out-and-back style course, one member is running their butt off while the other teammates party, dance and enjoy the entertainment provided at our transition area.
Each member of your team will run an equal portion of the 26.2 distance. As one runner heads out the next relay member waits for the exchange. The whole event is one big party; live DJ spinning tunes as the runners take off and come in. Vendors line the exchange area offering samples, goods for sale and sage advice.
I picked up two of my running mates for the day – George & Jen – at 7am and we were off to Plymouth. The website told us to be there at least an hour before the race started (which was 9am) so we cruised into the parking lot just before 8am. Perfect.
We claimed a part of the parking lot – like the other teams were doing – and waited for our teammates.
Everyone else on the team was a member of TMIRCE so I was the only newbie. But, it is always nice to meet new runners!
As the members of the group talked about the paces they hoped to attain that day, I just kept hoping I wouldn’t be the person that would slow down their overall time. They were hoping to place and I didn’t want to ruin the chances. I was 12 days out from the Boston Marathon so I wasn’t sure what my legs would produce.
After getting acquainted, picking up bibs and having some pre-race snacks, it was time for our first runner Jen to hit the Starting Line. It was so odd to have the race begin and not be at the Start Line. I was slated to run the 4th out of our 6 legs on the morning.
Thankfully our teammate Erin had a stop watch so she kept it running throughout the race so that we could all be prepared in enough time for our legs of the run.
We were each set to run 1/6 of a marathon or 4.36 miles.
Jen (34:04), Christina (31:27) and George (33:38) all OWNED the course.
As I saw George turning the corner, I was in place at the Start Line – ready to FINALLY kick off my leg of the race.
Photo Courtesy of RaceMenu
I didn’t know anything about the course except some quick snippets from the teammates that had already run.
I think my legs were just a TAD happy to be out running because I ran the first 3/4 of a mile at a 6:45 min/mile pace.
YEAH – those isn’t my normal pace in the least so I immediately told my brain and my legs to sllloowww it on down!
This wasn’t a 5k – this was 4+ miles so I couldn’t get burnt out too quickly.
Oh I also almost went the wrong way about 1/4 of a mile into the race – yeah, I missed a sign, but thankfully righted my ship quickly.
We had to go around the first water stop twice – once at the beginning of the run and once at the end. There were plenty of volunteers out on the course, which made the odd transition a little easier.
So thank you volunteers!!
Once through the first mile of the race, it was a clear out and back along the water in Plymouth. The sun was shining and the water looked beautiful.
The sun was beaming down on us, but I tried to stay committed and focused on the goal of keeping a sub 8 min/mile pace. That was my only goal of the run.
I could feel my body starting to get tired around the 5k mark so I buckled down. And as my Tedy’s Team Running Coach, John, would say “Just Run!”
So that’s what I did.
I pushed through the final mile and can say taking my ENERGYBits before the run helped.
I crossed the finish line in 31:18 – HELL YEAH.
I will gladly take the results.
I grabbed a water and rejoined my team to wait out our final two runners.
Our last two runners – Erin (29:57) and Nathan (24:31) – DOMINATED the course. Nathan ended up being the fastest person of the day. YES, his slip said 1/473 – hot DAMN.
So as a group we finished the 26.2 mile course in 3:04:57…
… and headed inside to grab a beer while we waited for the official results to post.
With the $25 entry fee, you had entry to the race, a 26.2 Challenge beer mug and one free Mayflower Brewing Company.
Me, Alain (RaceMenu), Steven (26.2 Challenge Organizer)
I drank my beer, ate a yummy chicken caesar salad and had a great lunch with team as we celebrated…
… our 3rd place finish in our division (running club).
In the end we were the fifth team overall out of 79 teams. Not. Too. Shabby!
I had a GREAT time participating in this relay. It was a change of pace from normal races.
And I will definitely look to do something like this again!
Have you participated in a relay race before? If so, what time? Did you love it?
… you’ve all been waiting for!
Or not at all, but let me pretend you were all just hitting refresh over and over again on my blog until this very post hit the page.
So I already did my emotional piece about what happened AFTER The Boston Marathon on that fateful Monday, April 15 – which you can read here – so this post is about the race itself.
I wanted to make sure I got one good night of sleep the night before so I hit the hay by 7pm thanks to some Tylenol PM. I needed to make sure I had plenty of time to sleep with this wake-up call waiting for me Monday morning.
How could I not LEAP out of bed with these notifications on my phone?
I was pumped.
I had to make sure I was at Boston Common in enough time to catch the 7am bus to Hopkinton. As we’ve learned, I’d rather be early than late so the wife and I hit the road by 6:15 so I could stop at Dunkin Donuts before waiting in the bus lines at Boston Common.
I’ve never been so excited to put on a race outfit as I was that morning. I was honored to proudly wear my Tedy’s Team singlet with my Gramma and Grampa – my Stroke Heroes – on the back.
Since it was sooo early in the morning compared to when my wave of the race was actually taking place – 10:40am – I was able to get a Dunkins Iced Coffee and bagel to enjoy before the run.
The wife dropped me off at Boston Common and I got in the endless line to load the bus to Hopkinton. It was an amazing feeling being surrounded by so many amazingly talented runners.
I even made a friend while waiting in line. She was another charity runner, who thankfully had run Boston before so she was able to give me her thoughts behind the race.
We actually were able to board our bus just after 7am. As the bus began to pull away from Boston Common, I realized I left my Garmin at home.
You HAVE to be kidding me. On just the most important race of my life, I forget my watch.
I texted my dad and my wife to get their thoughts. My dad said “well one less distraction.” Yeah, not what I wanted to hear.
Thankfully they love me more than I deserve and they got in the car to meet me in Hopkinton.
Since they left just 10-15 minutes after my bus, I knew – okay hoped – they would get to me before we headed to the start line.
The roads in Hopkinton close at 7:30 so they had to park at a nearby office building and take a Marathon Shuttle to the Start area.
I’m lucky – I know.
While they drove to Hopkinton, I tried to calm my nerves.
It was just a sea of bodies when our school bus finally rolled into Athlete’s Village.
Thankfully the girl I was with knew how to walk around the crowd and get to the charity meet-ups spots, which were outside the village.
Once we parted ways (I wish I knew her full name so I could check in on her), I took out of Google Maps printout and made my way to the Tedy’s Team pre-race house.
It was nice to walk up and see a bunch of familiar faces.
I headed inside and checked in with my teammates. It was great to have a roof over our heads (especially if the weather had been uncooperative), bathrooms and foam rollers.
My dad and wife arrived right on time … for pics with Tedy Bruschi himself.
After getting final hugs and good luck wishes from my dad and wife, I headed back inside to try and calm the pre-race jitters.
I made the decision to run without headphones/music. I did however keep my headphones in the pocket of my pants JUUUSSTTT in case I needed some motivation.
It was great being surrounded by a great group of teammates, who were thankfully feeling exactly what I was.
Photo Courtesy Of Tedy’s Team
Before I knew it, it was time to start heading to the Start Line.
Before we left the house, I made sure to take my Energybits.
I walked out the house door and it was time for a group meeting led by Tedy before we headed to the Start Line. Standing in a circle, holding hands with our running coach John and one of my teammates, I just started crying. I, and many others, couldn’t hold the emotions in any longer.
We walked as a group to the Start Line area. Tedy opened the corral for us and we headed in as a group. It was great to get one last hug from Zack (Team Director) and Tedy before heading to our corral.
As I made my way through the crowd, I reconnected with some of the team in Corral 5. My running mate Nanci was shooting for the same finish time as I was – around 3:55-3:57 – so it was nice to find a running partner right off the bat. Nanci was wearing a pacing band so we could see if we were starting out too fast or not. It was specially designed for the Boston course. Why didn’t I have one myself? Because I’m a slacker.
It was finally our time to cross the Start Line and Tedy was at the mic to wish us off.
And as I started my Garmin I once again made the realization that I was freakin’ running THE Boston Marathon.
The crowd was amazing right off the bat. There were guys offering Corona Lights at Mile Two. Thanks, but we really needed to wait til double digits for that.
As Nanci and I cruised through the first Half of the race, we realized we were about 1-2 minutes ahead of schedule. We tried to reign it in a little since we knew we would need extra gas for Heartbreak Hill.
I was wicked excited to get to Mile 12 because that meant I would finally experience the Wellesley College Scream Tunnel. I had heard so much about it … and the girls didn’t let you down. The girls lined both sides of the street – mainly the right side – with signs in hand and offering up kisses to the runners. I’ve definitely never seen that before.
Entering Wellesley Center, we saw a group of soldiers running in full gear. I give so much credit to those folks.
As Nanci and I hit the halfway mark, Nanci had to make a pit stop so we parted ways. I hoped in the back of my mind that we would meet up again later in the race, but it didn’t happen. :/
I thought about taking out my headphones since I was now alone, but I couldn’t. The crowd was constant and empowering.
It was a lifesaver having my name written on the front of my singlet as well as on my arm itself.
Picture from post-race as you can tell by my sunburn
I was also got an in with the crowd thanks to my outfit.
The Sparkly Skirt from Team Sparkle was a HIT with the women and girls in the crowd – especially the teens.
The Superman socks were a big crowd pleaser with the young boys especially.
So having some eye-catching running accessories really help with getting crowd encouragement!
It also helped people I actually know spot me in the crowd. One of my Weight Watchers members told me after the race that since I posted my outfit on social media before the race they knew what to look for … and actually spotted me!
The crowd was carrying me through the run as right heel pain started taking over my thoughts during Miles 15-16. I didn’t know what to do. I hadn’t experienced pain like that before.
But, there was no way I was going to stop.
So as I approached Mile 17 and Heartbreak Hill, I bore down, dug deep and just ran.
And you know what?
I ran the entire span of Heartbreak Hill. I didn’t stop or walk once. One of my goals for the race.
The crowd on Heartbreak was rowdy and having a good time. I wished I could’ve stopped to have a beer with them.
But, the idea of seeing Tedy’s Team’s Running Coach John at Mile 20 kept me going.
I saw the 20 Mile marker and just ran towards John. I blurted out everything that was going on – the pain in the heel, being scared of what it was, etc.
John gave me some Swedish Fish and told me to just dig deep and finish strong.
Simply put – “just run!”
It seems easy enough.
With that little boost from John, I was off to finish Heartbreak. I never thought I would be so happy to see a Mile marker as I was for Mile 21!
Thank you BC for the reminder! In case I had forgotten that the toughest part of the Boston Marathon was over.
The right heel pain continued, but I had to push on.
I knew the course. We’ve been running it every Saturday since December 1 – just 5 more miles to go.
My pace had started to slow. I knew it. I could see it on my Garmin and in the text updates from the BAA.
I wasn’t happy. But, I wasn’t going to let it stop me.
I tweeted when I hit Mile 22.
As the pain in the heel (which occurred every time I pushed off my right foot) continued, I made the decision to stop at each of the remaining medical tents to stretch out the calf as much as I could. It was a suggestion by John to help – so I was willing to try it.
Bravo to the people working the medical tents!! They immediately came to my aid asking if I needed anything.
I walked a tad during Mile 23 and 24. But once I saw the Mile 25 marker…
… I was going to run through WHATEVER pain I felt.
Seeing that sign just reminded me how close I was to the dream – the Finish Line.
And the crowd was AMPED! Many were still milling around from the Red Sox victory in Kenmore Square and they were happy to see us.
They could see the pain and the doubt, but they were there to give whatever they could to us.
(I am tearing up thinking about the energy and love I felt during that stretch)
My friends usually cheered from outside the bar Lower Depths in Kenmore, but as I passed by they weren’t there. I was hoping for a familiar face, but at that moment everyone in the crowd sounded like a friend.
As we took that left on to Boylston, I couldn’t help but smile. No matter what was happening in my foot – which was the ONLY piece of my body that hurt – I was going to finish this thing. Boylston St is the epitomizes the Marathon.
I caught a glimpse of the Mile 26 marker and tried to make my body go faster. In my mind, I was Kim Smith out there. But, as you can see in the pictures I was just kinda trekking along…
Just after Mile 26, I waved to my dad and wife on my left-hand side and then turned to my right to wave to Tedy and Tedy’s Team crew on the second floor of The Lenox Hotel before passing over the Finish Line.
And promptly trying to catch my breath. Not sure why I get so winded after marathons – same thing happened in Savannah in November. But as I walked through the Finish shoot, I found my mom in the crowd on my left. I stopped to chat with her … when the explosion happened.
Just before the explosion, in the moment when I was catching my breath – I was angry. I officially finished in 4:04:08 for a 9:18 min/mile pace.
Dammit! I really wanted to finish under 4 hours again. If we took out my stop my with coach and the medical tent stops, it would’ve been under 4.
But, I let that go with what was happening around me.
Again, that experience is recapped here if you need it.
But, as my mom told me to get much-needed water – we were separated. So I grabbed a space blanket and my medal and tried to find my family.
This picture was taken after my family and I were FINALLY reconnected. It felt like hours. This is the smile of 1) Finishing the Marathon and 2) Jubilation of being with my Family again.
We thankfully found a cab and headed home, where I was greeted with gorgeous flowers from my parents.
After some much needed family snuggle time in bed with the pups and doing some media interviews with old colleagues from Chicago, it was time to have some celebration/thankful family dinner with my parents.
Enter BBQ and some Sam Adams.
Oh that beer was delicious…
My final stats weren’t what I wanted …
… but I will have redemption in 2014!
Overall, the Boston Marathon was like no other race I have ever – and probably will ever – participate in. The crowd, the love, the excitement, the sounds, the smells, and the unity shone through during each and every mile.
Was I happy that of all days a random heel pain had to occur then? No.
But such is the life of a runner right? Not every race will be perfect and you never know how your body will perform on a given day.
So in the end, I am pleased with how I did because I represented myself, my family, my Stroke Heroes, my teammates and my followers to the best of my ability. I also completed my third marathon – not bad for someone that used to weigh in the 230s and not bad for someone who ran their first marathon in 5:59:27.
I gave 110% on that pavement!
But Boston BE READY … I’m comin’ for ya again!
Yes I ran a 5k the day before The Boston Marathon.
But, here’s why.
1) I love the race. I did it last year and was psyched that the race started/finished on The Boston Marathon Finish Line. Plus, last year they had chocolate chip bagels at the end – you had me there. (2012 Recap)
2) I needed to do a shakeout run the day before the marathon any way so why not get a medal for it. Right?
3) My BFF’s birthday was Marathon Monday and I couldn’t celebrate with her on the day of SO we I treated her to the 5k race as a birthday present.
After a fun Saturday morning run with Runner’s World and a Saturday afternoon with friends and teammates, Sunday started with a 6:15 wakeup call. Sarah was to arrive at my house by 7am – and she is usually pretty prompt. Thankfully the wife was going to give us a ride in town and with road closures for the Marathon, we headed out just after 7am for the 8am start time.
Yeah, it took us about 10 minutes to get there so we were niiiice and early. Well, better than getting there late, right?
Being there so early meant we could mull around the Marathon Finish Area and snap some good pics.
Just stepping on that Line gave me goosebumps for the following day.
I wanted to just jump in a time machine and fast forward the 26 hours til start time.
Can you see the excitement in my face?
I am rocking my orange Pro Compression socks for the event.
We met a nice woman who was more than happy to take our pic. After grabbing this shot, she asked if she could get creative. She asked us to sit on the Finish Line and pose. I was game because I knew I wouldn’t be able to do that the following day.
I can’t believe now how much this picture now means to me after the explosions that followed the Boston Marathon.
It is a picture and a moment in time I will cherish forever.
Once we snapped some pics, the chill in the air started wearing on us so we had to get moving. There was still a good 30 minutes until the start of the race.
Why oh why do I make us get to races so early?
But this did allow us plenty of time to people watch, hit the port-o-potties and get right where we wanted to in line.
Now, the other reason I needed Sarah there was to keep me on pace.
I have a hard time holding back – especially in a race – and Sarah is my voice of reason. The one that can get me to scale back.
Our goal was to run around 9ish min/mile pace. Much slower than my now normal 5k speed so it was going to be a mental exercise for me as well. Since we know I really needed to keep the energy for the following day – the BIG SHOW.
After a great rendition of the National Anthem it was time for the race to finally start.
I hit Start on the Garmin and it was go time.
And we immediately started out too fast.
We are just too darn speedy … or so we told ourselves.
But, we tailed it back to about a 9 min/mile pace.
It was comfortable. It was nice.
It was fun to just run with a friend and have a conversation without any sort of shortness of breathe.
Let me tell you when I started running back in 2005 and could barely handle a 12 min/mile pace – I never thought I would call 9 min/mile pace comfortable.
We were really able to enjoy the scenery and the time together.
Sarah is leaving me for Maine at the beginning of June so we are trying to make the most of our time together as we can.
As we ran along the Boston Commons and weaved ourselves through the streets of Boston, we noticed some pairings participating in a “Blindfold Challenge.” One person wears a blindfold and their partner acts as their guide – it is an amazing concept.
But, as we took our left turn on to Boylston Street, we noticed a pair in front of us. Sarah and I looked at each other, locked eyes and at the same time made the comment that we couldn’t let them beat us.
We had been great all race about keeping the pace down. BUT, we both decided that a little sprint at the end wouldn’t hurt anyone. Right?
So we locked in and put in extra effort for the last 0.2 miles.
It was thrilling to run down Boylston Street and know that the following day it would be lined with fans and my family cheering me on. And when I crossed that same Finish Line the next day I would conquer the Boston Marathon – something I never thought possible when I topped the scales at 235 lbs.
We finished with a time of 27:35, which is a 8:54 min/mile pace. Again, a tad faster than we wanted BUT good for us.
My legs felt great afterwards and were ready for the next day.
I also got to FINALLY show off my Got Chocolate Milk Team Refuel singlet in an actual race. Doesn’t it look good with my orange Pro Compression socks.
We grabbed our post-race goody bags (as you can see in the picture above), but where was my chocolate chip bagel?
There weren’t any bagels post-race. You’ve gotta be kidding me. I had my little heart set on a post-run chocolate chip bagel. Ouch! Boo! Wahhh!
I picked up the pieces of my little broken heart and Sarah and I headed to the T stop to head home.
We met Tori and headed to Dunkin Donuts so I could at least have my Iced Coffee. I mean I do Run On Dunkin.
After Sarah headed home, it was time for a RELAXING afternoon.
Putting the legs up was my Number One Priority for the afternoon.
But, eating was also important … so the wife and I headed out for a quick lunch before it was back to the couch.
Yup nerves were starting to kick in!
I wanted a good night of sleep so I laid out my outfit for the following day, took a couple Tylenol PM and was asleep by 7pm.
Ready to ROCK the Boston Marathon…
Let’s just call this the race that almost didn’t happen.
One always takes a risk signing up for a race in New England … in the winter … that a race could be called due to weather. But, you never think it will happen to a race YOU sign up for. Okay, well maybe that is just me.
My friend Sarah and I had signed up for the Half At the Hamptons on November 24. Yup, three months before the race so clearly we didn’t know what the forecast would be that day.
At the beginning of February, Boston was hit by Blizzard NEMO where roughly 30 inches of snow landed by my house. So I thought that would be it … but I was wrong.
As the weather reports started hitting the week before the run, people started talking snow, snow and more snow! But, you always have to take the weather forecasts with a grain of salt – again especially in New England.
As the week went on, the forecast got worse. By Thursday (February 21) they were calling for 6-12 inches in New Hampshire, which is where the race was being held.
Rumblings started that they would be deciding by Noon on Friday whether the race would go on as scheduled on Sunday.
I DID NOT want to see the race called. I sent positive thoughts to the weather gods…
… but they must’ve been blocking them because we received news I didn’t want.
After much agonizing and discussion, we are very distressed and sad to announce that the 2013Half at the Hamptons is cancelled. The weather prediction for Saturday night into Sunday morning is predicted to dump 6-12 inches of heavy snow and up to 40 mph wind gusts. There will not be a makeup date. We are just as disappointed as you are and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We want to say thank you to everyone involved in the race for working with us and the Ashworth and Town of Hampton for being our gracious hosts.
Race cancellation decision process: The final authority on whether the race can be held is determined by our Assembly permit which is issued by the Town of Hampton and the HamptonPolice. With the promise of inclement weather it has been determined that the roads are unsafe for our event and our permit has been cancelled. Therefore we are unable to conduct the race.
I was bummed when I saw this come across my email.
Then I immediately went to social media and my friends came up with an idea: Come run the Hyannis Half on Sunday instead!!
The wheels started turning, but that race too was possibly going to get canceled as well due to high winds (50mph or so) and their decision was coming down by 4pm on Saturday. At that point, my friend Sarah said she wouldn’t be able to do that run.
We decided to run our own 13.1 mile race on Sunday near our house.
So late Saturday morning, the wife and I headed up to NH to collect our race t-shirts and medals. They didn’t allow bib pick-up, but we were able to get the rest.
That night I asked the wife to design a couple of custom racebibs for Sarah and I and she didn’t disappoint.
Aren’t they amazing? I wish you could see the seagull design she put as the background, but it is a little to faint.
She wanted to put our numbers on there, but I said NO! Sarah and I are the elite runners today so everyone will know us by our names.
Okay, I’ve just always wanted to be considered one of those elite runners. If this was the only way possible, I’ll do it.
I met Sarah at her house at 8:30 yesterday morning since she had a nice 13.1 mile loop close to her house.
We stretched and hit the pavement.
Running at normal race pace was not our goal for today’s virtual run … especially once we hit the River path and BAM there was the snow, ice and puddles. This was just a TINY TINY preview for what we would experience over the next 13.1 miles.
But, we are professionals – okay not really – but once we started we weren’t going to stop until we hit 13.1 miles.
Once we hit Mile 5 I looked down only to notice that my bib had blown off thanks to the winds. Boo! It was nice while it lasted.
My knee was a little sore from the lack of traction on the course, but once we moved to the street the pain seemed to go away.
My Garmin beeps every time you complete a mile and the splits were all over the place during this run. I could tell when we hit a patch where the road was completely clean because we would post a 8:15-8:35 min/mile then when we were wading through the snow/shuffling over ice we had a 10:00+ min/mile pace.
Again, we weren’t going for any PR today … especially with the wind/rain.
Thankfully I gave the Sparkly Soul headband and Got Chocolate Milk visor combo a try and it was PERFECT! The curls stayed in place and the rain was kept out of my eyes. I think I will be breaking this out again for many runs to come…
As we made our way back to Sarah’s house, we realized we would be hitting her place at about 12.9 miles and CLEARLY I wouldn’t let us finish short of 13.1 so we started sprinting.
And it was our luck that we were still heading right into the wind for that final .75 miles. But, we did it.
While we ran, I kept telling myself in my head that no matter what I wanted to try and finish in under 2 hours – even with the conditions.
And. We. Did!
Did I mention it was also raining while we were running?
As soon as we walked back into the house, we grabbed our medals and took our post-race pic.
Yeah not my best attempt at a selfie, but Wyatt (the pup) wasn’t offering to help at all.
I’m proud of Sarah and I for sticking with our plan of running today. No rain. No cancellations. No wind. No ice. Nothing would stand between us. Sarah put a lot of time into training for the run and I had already worked it into my marathon training.
So no matter the time. We won … and we really did since the race was just 2 of us and we finished together!
WOO! I came in first.
C’mon let me have this one.
I think my Superman socks got quiet a workout today with jumping over ice/puddles and flying in the wind.
I picked up my usual post-race Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee, but was planning on grabbing a fat free Chocolate Milk at the same time to refuel – but they only had whole milk.
It just meant another stop on the way home to make sure I gave my body what it needed:
Lowfat chocolate milk contains the right mix of carbs and protein scientifically shown to help refuel muscles. Chocolate milk helps restore muscles quickly to their peak potential.
Once I refueled, the wife and I headed to lunch and I was able to enjoy my post-race celebratory beer!
Even virtual races deserve beer, right?
While this may not have been the race I expected or desired, it was still a great morning with a great friend. We pushed past some boundaries and kept our eye on the prize.
So never let a little race cancellation get in YOUR way!!
If there was ONE piece of advice I could give to fellow runners, it would simply be: volunteer at a road race!
It gives a runner a new perspective on what goes in to putting a race on and may change some people’s unappreciative attitudes.
Last Sunday (January 27), I met up with the Racemenu and RACE crews to help stuff bibs … which I had never done before.
I liked getting into the rhythm of putting the chip, safety pins and twists ties (for the chips) in the envelopes. Plus, they supplied free pizza … and I can never say no to free pizza.
The bibs were being personalized with each runner’s name so we didn’t actually have to stuff the bibs themselves that day.
The experience was great and it was cool to get to know the people running the race better.
On Saturday (February 2), I had free time after my 16-mile training run with Tedy’s Team for The Boston Marathon so I signed up to help with bib pick-up from 12-4 at the New Balance Store on Boylston St.
It was cool to be the one handing out the bibs, chips and t-shirts to the runners and wishing them a good race. Plus, everyone loves finding out that with their bib they would get 15% off at the New Balance store all weekend long.
Keeping a smile on my face was easy during the 4-hour shift as I LOVE seeing other runners excited to race. Some were nervous about the impending snow and cold weather, but most were ready to get after it. Plus, there was free beer at the Finish … how could that not get you pumped for a 5k or 5-mile run to kick off Superbowl Sunday??
I missed setting up the station, but made sure to stick around and help break down the bib pick-up location. The four of us worked quickly to make sure we got out of the store on time.
Plus, I ended up using my own bib to get 15% off the one New Balance shirt I had my eye on since seeing them at The Falmouth Road Race in August.
Isn’t it great?
Then yesterday was Race Day (February 3)! I signed up to both volunteer and run the race … why not, right?
I was told to be at the race by 8am to get my location. I met Kim at 8 and was assigned to set up baggage claim.
I was intrigued by this spot since I rarely use bag check myself and wanted to make sure I set it up the best way I could since there were over 1,500 runners signed up.
Thankfully we had a large space so we were able to set up 8 different rows designated by an orange cone where each row could hold 200 #s/bags if needed (1-200, 201-400, etc). Within each row, there was a second cone denoting the second 100 #s (100, 300, etc) to make the area as organized as possible.
Yes my math mind loved this activity.
By about 9:30, Kim said she needed more help at Registration as those volunteers needed to head to the course itself. So I happily headed to registration to help hand out bibs and t-shirts. It was sprinting back and forth between bib table and t-shirt table so it was a perfect warm-up for the race itself. Plus, I was able to see a couple people I knew pre-race.
Finally at about 10:15am, I headed to do my personal prep for the race itself (which started at 10:30am). The port-o-potty lines moved quickly, but thankfully the race director had to tow some cars on the course so the Start was slightly delayed giving me plenty of time to get in position.
I had NO idea what to expect from the run since I had done 16.2 the day before, but as soon as the gun went off I booked it … and felt great.
I somehow had a sub 8 minute/mile pace the entire run, which I didn’t expect, but happily accepted.
It was snowing while we ran through Cambridge, which set a lovely scene.
I caught up with my friend George just before Mile Four and helped push him along the final hump/hill.
I just reminded him that “we had 1.08 miles til beer” and that “we eat 1 mile runs for breakfast.”
Hey! Those things keep me moving too.
I ended up clocking in at 38:34, which was a 7:43 min/mile pace … WOW!! I really don’t know how I did that.
As soon as I finished the run, I headed to the beer tent to grab a celebratory drink (of course!) then headed to find Kim to see where I could help.
I ended up going back to bag check to help with the masses, who just wanted to get home and out of the cold. I tried to move as quickly as my tired legs would take me because I knew how cold the runners were. We ended up having about 6 of us on hand to knock out the long line of people waiting.
Once the bag check was under control, I actually was able to meet up with Tyler from Popchips, who has helped me with some giveaways here on the blog and at my 30th Birthday Charity 5k. It was great to finally put a face with the name.
After catching up with Tyler, I realized it was already Noon and time for me to hit the beer tent and pour beers. I have NEVER helped at post-race beer distribution before, but I wanted to make sure to be on my A-game since I DO know how important beer is to runners.
Samuel Adams, Long Trail Brewing, Mayflower Brewing Company and Shipyard Brewing Company donated bottles of beer, while Bantam Cider provided kegs. I was put on bottles so thankfully a co-volunteer let me borrow his iPhone that had a bottle opener attached to it – yes I need one of those too!
My hands were frozen, but it was necessary to be on the other side of the beer. Many runners can get testy when waiting for free beer – seeing/experiencing what the volunteers go through (frozen hands, delays in beer delivery, running out of cups, etc) makes you appreciate and understand the wait a little more. I am not a person that ever got “bitchy” at a post-race party, but I definitely wouldn’t in the future after trying to open beer bottles with frozen hands.
Once we ran out of bottles of beer, I headed back to the post-race party tent to find Kim. They needed help breaking down the Finish Line so I headed that way. I wasn’t very strong, but helped out however I could.
I did learn how to properly fold the American flag in the triangle pattern.
Following Finish Line breakdown, I headed back to the post-race party tent to help clean up the tables and empty cups that were strewn around as people danced to Bearfight.
As the party started to wind down, I headed out around 1:30 as the wife arrived to give me a lift home.
Overall it was one AMAZING experience.
I don’t think many runners are aware of what truly goes in to putting a road race on.
To get a truly well-rounded understanding, I recommend that EVERY runner volunteers at a local road race at least once in their life.
And please remember to always thank every volunteer and police officer along the course … they give a lot to be help secure your safety and that you have a kick ass race/party!
Boy does 2am really creep up on a person!!
Even when you DO go to bed at 7:15pm the night before.
But that first 2am alarm went off and I SHOT out of bed.
Maybe it was excitement … maybe it was adrenaline … maybe it was that I was scared shitless I would miss the bus thus missing the start of the race thus missing the race itself.
Yes I was freaked out by past participants’ blog posts about crowds that I made sure our butts would be on the first bus out of our hotel come hell or high water!
So I was out of bed and prepping quickly. I was looking forward to this day for so long.
I rarely dress up for races (more than just the fun knee socks I wear) so this was out of my usual realm, but I was excited for it. I was loving how the Jessie from Toy Story costume had turned out and couldn’t wait to see what spectators thought too!
I was ready! Needless to say the wife wasn’t moving quite as quickly or as happily as I was … she was none too pleased with the start time.
We headed out of the hotel room by 2:45am and as we turned the corner to the bus stop saw 7 completely empty busses sitting there with 0 people waiting to get on them.
Well at least we guaranteed we would get to the Start area on time and we would get a seat.
As we sat on the bus, I was posting pictures, tweeting, etc and all of a sudden my phone rang – it was Suzi Storm. She didn’t believe I was actually up and en route to a race so she needed actual proof … my voice. It was nice to chat with her and maybe that chat played in to my awesome race – maybe it now needs to be a pre-race tradition. Suzi, thoughts?
We idled for awhile while more runners loaded on to the bus. Yet as runner after runner got on the bus not that many were dressed up and for some reason this worried me. Like I would end up being the only person dressed up, which in the deep part of my head I knew was incorrect. It still had me freaked for a minute until a couple Tinkerbells got on the bus and I felt more at ease.
The busses rolled out and we were off to the Start area, which was set up in the Epcot parking lot. The busses dropped us off and we all made the trek over to the party area with the usual bathrooms, bag check, port-o-potties, etc.
It was amazing standing around and checking out the costumes people put together for the race. Talk about great people watching!
We hit up the port-o-potties and headed over to get a pic in front of the official 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon logo.
There was a DJ on hand as well as a camera catching some runners’ sweet dance moves on the big screen. Oh watching some people try to Gangnam style never gets old.
As we did some laps around the Start area (since we were there so early ) checking out merchandise and just people watching, we spotted Sarge from Toy Story!!
He said: “It’s my old friend Jessie. How are things around the toy chest?”
After snapping a pic with Sarge, we ran into Kat. Yes 23,000 runners and Kat finds us. Good work Lady!
Isn’t she the cutest Piglet?
The organizers started asking everyone to get on the other side of Bag Check, which was the holding area before the walk to the Start Line. So we headed over there thinking we would then immediately head to the Start Line, but nope. We just all kind of stood around looking at each other for what felt like forever.
But, finally we got the go ahead to start the 20-something minute walk to the Start Line. Of course we hit the port-o-potties one final time before we did.
Thank you Disney for having PLENTY of port-o-potties that I barely had to wait in line even with 23,000 runners!
The walk was lengthy but the time passed by chatting with the wife and Kat and listening to the DJs along the way.
It was pitch black along the walk so I spent most of the time looking down at my feet since the last thing I wanted to do trip mere minutes before the race!
Then I saw it…
Blurriness means action shot
At this point, the three of us turned left towards Corrals A-E, while some kept straight for Corrals F-H.
Kat actually ended up being in my Corral so we bid the wife farewell at Corral C and headed to Corral A (yes still in shock at being in that location).
But it ended up being the best place for us to be!
Such a cool experience being up with the elite runners. They are amazing to be around.
And look how close we were to the Start Line!
I was finally able to meet Kelly from (@According2kelly), who I’ve been following for ages. She was running the Goofy with a friend dressed as Goofy. Great costumes by both (you can actually see her in right corner of pic above). She pointed out that Drew Carey was on the sidelines so Kat and I saddled over to snap a pic.
He was supposed to run, but got injured unfortunately.
We then tried to photobomb the interviews that were happening next to us in order to get on the jumbo screens set up near the corrals. Hoping that maybe the wife or a friend would notice us. But I don’t think they did.
We then saw Carissa and her cohosts take the stage!
Sorry for the glare but Carissa is second from the right!
Kat actually knows Carissa so it was nice to finally meet her in person – even briefly – after following her online.
She rocked her interview with Joey Fatone … again I tried to get my Jessie hat on the screen in the background as much as possible.
Thankfully having Kat with me really helped pass the time.
Because before we knew it it was time to send off the wheelchair runners, which meant we were up in 5 minutes!
Goofy, Donald and Mickey came out to count us down!
As the characters counted us down, I reminded myself I was there to have fun. I didn’t care about the time or the pace or the finish. I just wanted to soak up the sights and sounds of Disney.
Then … the fireworks went off and so was I!
It was 5:35am and freakin’ dark!! Thankfully they brought in lights to help along the highway, but I still made sure to keep an eye on the ground since I had no desire to fall.
I was really impressed with the number of spectators that were lined up along the left side of the highway at that time of day.
I started out at my 5k pace and quickly had to slow myself down and remind myself that we were running 13.1 miles NOT 3.1. I was getting swept up with the other – faster – runners and I had to bring it on in.
There were marching bands and spectators all along the 5 mile stretch of highway AND the first character stop – Pirates Of The Caribbean!
It was at this moment that I decided I would stop at as many characters as I could. If there was a lengthy line then I would reconsider depending on the character.
But do you know what I found out? Most elite runners weren’t there for pics with the characters so there was barely a line while I ran.
Yes I know this was EXTREMELY lucky compared to many of the runners in the later corrals who had much longer lines.
But I took advantage of my location and posed. Instead of fumbling with my iPhone, I just went with the professional photos and prayed they all came out afterwards.
All of this happened as we headed toward the opening of Magic Kingdom.
Not too shabby for an action shot
We were going to run right through the Magic Kingdom – how cool is that?
As we went through the parking lot near the test track, we got to see our first character stops!! YAY!
Chip And Dale
Nightmare Before Christmas
I had to stop and snap a pic of this awesome sign hanging above one of the overpasses as it read: “Quackin’ Up Your Pace” But of course you can’t see that part in my iPhone pic. Harumph!
Then we entered the park itself.
Spectators were amazing!! People lining the streets calling out “Hey It’s Jessie” … “Go Jessie Go” … “Awesome costume Jessie” …
It was amazing. I honestly felt like a Rock Star! I wanted to high-five every one of those people for how early they had to get up to be there.
All of a sudden there it was Main Street USA. I was running down Main Street USA towards THE CASTLE!!
I even saw Robin waiting to cheer on her husband while I was running!!
We were only in the Magic Kingdom itself for maybe a couple miles but it was amazing.
Best part? Besides all of the character photos of course.
Running THROUGH yes THROUGH the Castle was out of this world!
Can you still believe how dark it was?
After we left the Magic Kingdom it was a lot of highway time as we headed back towards Epcot for the Finish. I wasn’t prepared for so much highway time so I was a little disappointed on that, but of course it is to be expected with how far the parks are from each other.
But Disney did a great job of loading the course with characters!!
Check out the rest of my in-race photos here:
As we approached Mile 10, I started to realize that my time and pace was faster than I had anticipated. The whole race I felt as if I was just sprinting to the next character rather than running a Half. We can maybe call it lengthy interval training?
There was a little loop/turnaround to point us towards the Epcot parking lot/entrance just before Mile 11 and there were some announcers there yelling out where people were from so I proudly shouted “Boston” before someone behind me yelled “Mars.” Okay not taking it seriously.
But as I hit the Mile 11 marker, I realized I could PR. I had to do some calculations in my head, which always help to pass the time, and figured that I might just do it. It would be close, but if I put the pedal to the metal I could do it.
So I just let loose. I skipped the final 2 character spots, which was okay because it was Stitch (I had already gotten one with Lilo) and Phineas and Ferb (who I got the day before).
I gave it all I had in that home stretch. I think you can easily figure that out in the pictures below:
All that was going through my head was keep moving forward! People had started to slow. It had started to get warmer. There were people walking. I just had to keep running.
Then it was there … the Finish Line!
I had never been so happy to see because I KNEW I did it … a PR! Which was great, but the real excitement was how much stinkin’ FUN I had during that race.
You think I liked it?
Could you tell I was on my way to clicking of my Garmin Forerunner 110?
Unofficial PR via my Garmin. Previous PR had been 1:48:16. I then awaited official results…
Catching my breath was #1 on the priority list after finishing.
#2 – grabbing this sweet medal of course!
#3 was heading to the medical tent to try and find out if they had cough drops since I couldn’t get the darn cough to stop. Interesting fact – they had none. I just started downing water to see if that would help.
(Lesson it turned into bronchitis by the time I got home)
I was able to spot my parents at the Finish Line before heading to grab my professional Finish Photo and much needed FOOD!!
Yeah this is why I don’t normally run in cotton shirts – ew!
I made my way back to my parents to hang with them while we waited to cheer on the wife to finish.
Before settling in with them to wait, I quickly headed over to have my medal engraved as a keepsake and on my way I ran into Robin (again!)
Thanks for snapping this pic Robin
We got the text that the wife finished in just over 3 hours (brutal brutal heat) so we headed towards the Finish Area to meet her. While waiting, I had to snap one last pic with the ears.
After meeting up with the wife, we headed over to the busses to head back to the hotel to shower, grab some breakfast and prepare for a day at the Magic Kingdom.
I made sure to include some low-fat chocolate milk as part of #myafter! It is one of the best ways I have found to Refuel after a grueling long run or race!
Thankfully my parents had the tracking so we had my information pretty quickly for the official time and I had gotten the PR by 7 seconds. HEY, a PR is a PR, right? I was pleasantly surprised since I was just hoping to finish sub 2 with all the stopping I had planned (and did) do!
The official official stats still shock me. I mean these numbers are really mine. Wow!
I wonder what the time would’ve been without the character stops!
OVERALL, this was one of the funnest races I have done.
Were there things I would change? Sure. I wish there was more time in the park itself. Maybe weaving through the different lands, etc. But I know logistically that would be tough.
So I think Disney knows what they are doing and pump up the time on the highway with marching bands, characters, DJs and FANS!!
Would I recommend this race to a friend? In a heartbeat because magic happened that morning and I want everyone to experience it!
See ya for the Goofy Challenge in 2015!
The race that almost didn’t happen.
I found out on December 21st that my grampa had cancer and had about 6 months to a year to live … then on December 27th I found out he passed away. Well apparently 6 months was really 6 days.
We thought the funeral would be on New Year’s Day so I didn’t think I would run this race. But then I found out the wake would be held on January 2nd.
So the race was back on.
Since hearing about my grampa’s passing, I had been using running as a great – cheap – version of therapy to work out my emotions. I was really looking forward to just cutting loose on the race course and just enjoy the time.
This marked my 3rd straight New Year’s Day 5k.
1/1/11 – I had a herniated disc and had to walk the New Year’s Day 5k in Chicago so it took the wife and I finished in 48:37 (15:41 min/mile)
1/1/12 – I was healthy, besides a small knee injury and was able to run the New Year’s Day 5k in Chicago in 25:27 (8:13 min/mile)
1/1/13 – well….
The wife and I signed up for the 1st Run 5k (which offered a 10k as well) in Lowell, Mass – about a 30-45 minute ride from our house depending on traffic. It’s funny that this race was the closest one to our house offered on New Year’s. Slightly different from the 15 minute bus ride we took in Chicago.
The 1st Run 5k run had me at: the medal was a wine bottle topper. Oh yeah!!!
We didn’t get out the door as early as I had wanted so we made it to the race with about 5 minutes to spare and still had to pick up our bibs and our hats. I love when races move outside the realm of t-shirts and offer different fitness gear as race swag.
Of course I had to hit the bathrooms before the race started so we tried to use the one women’s bathroom inside the VFW but the line was pretty lengthy. So us females took charge and took over the men’s bathroom as well. My dad was there to act as a lookout for us thankfully.
It did the trick until we walked outside and realized there was ZERO line for the port-o-potties … uncharacteristic for a race.
After finally getting all squared away we made it to the Start Corral just in time. I even ran into Amy again (who was going to rock the 10k course).
They did a 10 second countdown in honor of New Years and we were off…
In a shocking turn of events, I didn’t look at the course map ahead of time so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
As we approached Mile One or so, I ran by two people I know – Robin, who was running with her sister, and Sara, who participates in my Boston Marathon training runs on Saturday mornings. Yay more familiar faces.
It was the halfway point or so through the race when we took a turn towards the River and BAM enter the wind!! We ran straight into the wind for the second half of the race. I felt as if I was running in place for most of the that trek.
I was mentality out of the race and ready for it to be over so the final couple tenths of the race felt like they would never end.
We passed the Mile Three sign and I was pretty happy I had signed up for the 5k instead of the 10k – especially the 10k was just the 5k loop AGAIN. No thank you.
I tried to turn up the legs and push myself past the finish line as quickly as possible.
Thanks for the great action shot race photographers
I knew it wasn’t a PR (which I know I don’t need to get each time out), but I was pleased with the race overall and was happy I beat that darn wind.
So the Yankee Timing Company did this really cool thing where you could swipe your race bib up to this computer on the side of a truck and up popped your results on a TV screen – right after the race. Cool, right?
I will definitely take 23:07 and be happy!! How could I not when my first 5k time was 38:21 in March 2005. I am constantly amazed and thankful for how my body and my running has improved over the past couple years especially with the herniated disc/back surgery in January 2011.
Plus how sweet is this medal?
We caught up with Amy’s husband, Chris, Janine. Sarah and my fellow Tedy’s Team member Nanci after the race before heading out to refuel with some Dunkin Donuts.
So my New Year’s Day races are:
1/1/11 – I had a herniated disc and had to walk the New Year’s Day 5k in Chicago so it took the wife and I finished in 48:37 (15:41 min/mile)
1/1/12 – I was healthy, besides a small knee injury and was able to run the New Year’s Day 5k in Chicago in 25:27 (8:13 min/mile)
1/1/13 – I ran in honor of my Grampa and hopefully made him proud in the 1st Run 5k finishing in 23:07 (7:27 min/mile)