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Posts tagged ‘New England Patriots’

Finish at the 50 – Race Recap

The Finish at the 50 10k was last week (on the 3rd of July). It was a nice race but the weather was terrible. I was totally a back-of-the-pack runner but it was my first ever 10k. I’m a bit torn between feeling like “that was pathetic!” (grumpy and frowning) and “I have so much room for improvement!” (optimistic and looking forward to future [yet to be chosen] races).

The race was at 6 pm in the evening. I think all 6000 of the runners were hoping that the temps were going to drop a little by then. While it was in the high 80s during the day, weather.com was claiming the temp would drop to the mid 70s. I’m pretty sure it didn’t and it was probably mid 80s by the time of the race. Plus, the humidity was supposed to drop to about 50% by the start of the race (which is pretty low for New England), but I think it remained around 80%.

It was BRUTAL! In addition, the time leading up to the start of the race was totally stressful; my wonderful boyfriend and I were trying to find my mother (so T and my mom could watch the race together), but she kept getting lost and stuck in the stadium. I guess they actually found one another right before the race started, but I never saw them together. I gave up on the search and just joined the lined up runners. T and my mom watched me cross the starting line, but I never saw them.

I never got my picture with Jerod Mayo, I’m going to assume I was too slow and he had already left. 😦 But I did get to see him as I crossed the starting line! At 6’1”, he was a lot shorter than I imagined. I don’t know why, but I always think of football players as 7 foot tall Titans. I was still super excited to see him though and I’m glad he donated his time to this.

Breakdown of my thoughts and missteps during the run:

  • My shoelace came untied in the first 1/5 of a mile, so lame!
  • I wish large groups of walkers wouldn’t seed themselves at an 8 minute pace, it’s a pain to run around them in the beginning of the race!
  • There was no 1 mile marker, but I started to walk somewhere between where I think the mile marker would have been and the actual 2 mile mark. I took a total of about 20 steps. That’s right, it was so hot I couldn’t even run 2 whole miles! Although by my second walked step, my thoughts revolved around how I thought I was going to pass out… and in reaction to that thought, I started running again… not even close to a sane thought, I know.
  • I walked through all of the water stops (about every mile), but ran the rest of the time.
  • After my cup of water at the 3rd mile, I thought about turning around and getting a second cup because I still felt dehydrated. I didn’t though, the thought of turning around was too weird during a race.
  • That led me to drink 2 cups of water at the 4 mile water station. That was stupid, I immediately felt like I was going to ralph on the sidewalk (luckily, I didn’t).
  • Some really awesome people created their own water station outside of their house. Unfortunately, it was like 5 houses away from the official 4 mile water stop, so not a ton of people went to them. However, that doesn’t take away from their awesomeness!
  • At about mile 4.25, some really awesome people were hosting something resembling a block party to watch all the runners, they also had their garden hoses hooked up with some sprayers and they were spraying water in a nice arc that covered half the street. We runners could decide to run on the “raining” side of the street or the dry side. I chose the wet side and got nicely misted. I seriously wanted to kiss those people! It instantly cooled me down and the rest of the run was much more pleasant.
  • I have decided that any spectator who accurately yells “less than a mile to go” is wonderful! I love that person every time!
  • A woman in front of me heard the cheer above and got so excited about it that she almost ran into a yield sign. The comedy was enjoyed by all (and she didn’t actually hit the sign, so all was good).
  • I got a side stitch with .25 miles to go (just I was running back into the stadium parking lot) I’ve never gotten a cramp while running before (that I can remember).
  • The end of the race involved running through the stadium’s underbelly (where the players do!), through the chute, through the inflated football helmet, and onto the field. I ran through the underbelly with a man who did a really great announcer impersonation. I learned this when he turned to his adult daughter (or very young girlfriend, I’m guessing daughter) and proclaimed “Announcing the New England Patriots.” First, he sounded spot on. Second, it was so cool that someone else was thinking that! That would totally be on the speakers if we were the real players, we were in the right spot. It totally brought a smile to my face. So thank you, mystery guy!
  • 60 yards before the finish line, I got to high-five my director of marketing (he also ran the race and was waiting for his daughter to finish)! This is the  first time I’ve ever seen someone I knew during a race! (besides my super awesome support team comprised of my boyfriend and parents)
  • This was the second race where I charged (sprinted to) the finish line! I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been holding back on the run or if the fartlek work is paying off, but it felt great!
  • Also, I wore the same shirt for this, my first 10k, that I wore for my first 5k. I don’t know why, but that thought makes me happy.
  • My race playlist was perfectly timed. The song that comes over the speakers after a touchdown (“This is Our House” by Bon Jovi) came on just as I was running onto the field!

All in all, my sweaty/overheated/pathetic effort is reflected in the numbers:

Place: 2713/2992 (Gross!) 
Division: 565/629
Gun time: 1:22:34
Net time: 1:15:07 (yep, it took over 7 minutes to get to the starting line – the 10k and 5k runners all started at the same place and time)
Pace: 12:06

There were no timers on the course (which I thought was a bummer considering how large this race was) and I don’t wear a watch, so I don’t know if my pace was better in the beginning and I petered out or if I was this slow the whole time.

Even with the heat and my poor performance, I still loved the race itself. It was a fun idea and a great location. Now I need to work on getting stronger and faster so that my next 10k will be better (and I won’t be in the back of the pack!)

I don’t have a lot of pictures because they wouldn’t let spectators on the field.

 

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Can’t Wait to “Finish on the 50!”

I’ve signed up for another race and I’m super, super excited about this one! As in… this is the only race I’ve ever talked about for months before even registering!

I’ve signed up for the Harvard Pilgrim “Finish on the 50” 10k! Why am I so excited about this race, you ask? Two reasons:

  1. I’m finally believing in myself enough to do a 10k. They even have a 5k option and I’m choosing to step it up to the longer distance!
  2. (and the stronger of the two reasons) It ends on the fifty yard line of Gillette Stadium in Patriot’s Place!

I feel like this, so far, is my year of sports themed races. I’ve already signed up for a race that ends at home base in Fenway Park – which I affectionately call (while bastardizing the name) the Race to Home Base. However, why is the Finish on the 50 more thrilling? Well, I live in RedSox Nation, but (and I’m sorry if I offend anyone) baseball has too many games in a season to keep my attention. But I love the Patriots! (and you can read about my antics at a Patriot’s game here)

This was taken at my first Pat's game ever. Dr. Daddy took me and I'm wearing a jersey I borrowed from my brother.Taken this year in freezing temps! Not a "fair weather fan" anymore! Under all those layers I have on my own jersey...

I am so excited to get to run on the field! So, so excited! I’m nerding out for certain!

Right, so now I need to take that excitement and turn it out with some running! I should get on training! July will be here before I know it.

with my wonderful boyfrend at a different game. I'm about to get MUCH closer to the field!

Identity: Confirmed!

Last weekend felt like it was very much about identity. I talked earlier about the moment that made me question my long-held view of myself. Here is the moment that reaffirmed another aspect of myself (I’m really sorry this post is sooo long). Plus, my dad called me a “superstar” after this moment, which was a nice bonus. My dad and I have a great relationship, so it’s not out of the ordinary for him to tell me he’s proud of me, but it’s still nice to hear.

Before I talk about the exact moment, I feel I should give you some background.

First, I like to call my father’s side of the family my “United Colors of Benetton” family, out of love. I’m going to give you the rationale in the quickest possible way. My father came from NYC and was raised Irish Catholic (or rather is Irish and was raised Catholic). He was the youngest of four children. I feel odd using their names so this is how I will refer to them: Sister #1 (oldest), Brother, Sister #2, Dad (youngest).

In the 1960s, Sister #1 married a black man (long before Heidi Klum and Seal) and produced my only Male Cousin.

I don’t know all of the details, but at some point she and her husband divorced. Sister #1 and Male Cousin moved to Canada. In Canada, Sister #1 came out of the closet as a lesbian, and now has a partner of about 30 years. Her partner is Jewish. About 15 years ago (and 10 years ago), they adopted 2 girls from China (they adopted them separately with a 5 year gap between the adoptions). My Canadian cousins speak 4 languages: English, French, Cantonese (I could be wrong though, it might be Mandarin), and American Sign Language (Sister #1 works as an ASL translator, so the girls know it, too). The eldest of the two had Chinese dragons at her Bat Mitzvah. How cool is that?!

Brother, moved to Germany when he joined the air force in the late 1960s and has never moved back to the states, although he visits often. He married a sweet woman from Virginia who is afraid to fly, but has all the gentility you’d expect from a southern woman. They never had any children.

Sister #2 moved to San Fransisco in the 1970s. She dances to the beat of her own drummer. To give you an idea of her level of awesome: her favorite color is Chartreuse, for her 50th birthday she died her hair pink (not old lady pink, but PINK), for her 60th birthday she died her hair leopard print (she described it as “time-consuming”). About 20 years ago, she joined the “Big Brother/Big Sister” program. Her “little sister” was pregnant at the age of 16 when they first met. I’m going to say that the “little sister” was not prepared to be a mother. My aunt became the child’s legal guardian when the daughter had to go to summer school for kindergarten because she missed too many days of school (her mom couldn’t get her there). And she’s been my cousin (as far as I’m concerned) ever since. I feel the need to reference: she’s in college now, so missing too much kindergarten isn’t the end of the world. She’s African-American (just so you get the full picture of the diverse family, otherwise, I couldn’t care less).

So we’re a pretty good mix, I would say. The benefit of being from this type of family is that you learn you’re not allowed to hate anyone from any walk of life because they are most likely in your family! We’ve got it all: different races, different countries, different sexuality, different religions, and a wide variety of view points! It’s a great way to see things.

So, experience #2 that colors my upcoming story: George Carlin! One of the best gifts my boyfriend has ever given me was a ticket to see George Carlin live (during his final tour as it turned out). A few minutes after he went on stage, some jerk started to heckle the venerable George Carlin… George invited anyone in that man’s row “to stab him.” George’s reasoning was that the heckler thought that because he paid for his ticket, he had the right to say anything he wanted. However, the rest of us paid for our tickets to hear George say anything HE wanted. The heckler’s ticket did not negate the rest of our tickets. The heckler promptly shut the f*** up. And George was fabulous!

Finally, I was raised by hippies (who were all about LOVE). I don’t tend to join in to the negative chants at the football games. I’m not the drunk girl walking in, shouting about how a certain opponent performs fellatio if you catch my drift. If  I had a stadium of 65,000 people chanting that I sucked, I’d cry. But I’m totally down with the positive stuff about my own team. So yes, I will always join in a spirited chant of  “Go Pats! Go Pats! Go Pats!”

So, the story! Finally! On Saturday, I was in Gillette Stadium at the Patriot’s Game (vs the Denver Broncos) with my father, brother, and one of my dad’s friends. Oh and 65,000 other people. My father is a season ticket holder and this ticket was a Christmas gift to my brother and I. As a note, the person who owns the seats behind my father’s always sells his, we have no idea who he is, but there are always fans of the opponent behind us. Most of the time, they are nice to us, and we are nice to them. The people behind us this time were a group of four; two couples. One couple were Pats fans, one couple were Broncos fans, but all friends. The ladies were nice, and the men were DRUNK.

If you’re not a football fan, let me tell you how the game went: it was a bit of a blow out and Pats fans were happy. It was also 20 degrees during the game, with the wind chill factor, it felt like 9 degrees. I was wearing 4 pairs of pants, 6 shirts, and have hand and foot warmers. I know how to dress for cold weather!

At half time, the ladies behind us left because of the cold. And that was when their men started showing how much alcohol they had been enjoying. 25% of what was coming out of their mouths was the N word. Another 25% were synonyms to the N word. And I’m listening to this s#!t getting pissed. Normally at football games, they announce that if anyone is acting inappropriately, you can anonymously report them via text. However, they never made that announcement on Saturday…

So I turn around and politely ask them to stop it because “racist stuff isn’t cool.” To which, the Pats fan lets me know that “racist stuff is never cool, that’s why it’s racist.” And they’ll “try to stop, but it’s just coming out, and what can [they] do?” He also asks how I feel about religious stuff. Now when he says that, I think that he means he wants to make fun of Tim Tebow for being Christian. And my thought was “really? You want to make fun of the dominant ruling class in the country? You’re going to get punched in the face so fast!” I tell him “whatever.”

That’s when they start yelling that Julian Edelman is a Jew.

They follow that up by using an F word that rhymes with maggot as EVERY OTHER WORD that comes out of their mouths!

I ask my brother if these guys realize that they are nut height to my fist. My brother (also raised by said hippies) says “you’re not going to punch them.” And he was right, I wouldn’t be able to punch them. I could probably only get one of them before bedlam would break out.

I could feel all of my muscles in my back getting tighter, my shoulders were getting closer to my ears as they tensed, and my hands were balled into fists. And I looked at my dad to the left and realized he was in the same stance. My brother to my right was clenching his jaw. And that’s when I realized, F those guys! I’d asked them to stop and they didn’t. And their ticket and their enjoyment did not negate my ticket and my enjoyment.

Off I stormed. I went to the top of our section and told the tiny, 75-year-old woman who checks out tickets to make sure we’re in the right spot (and not crashing). She says “Oh, I’ll have to get my supervisor, hold on.” Well, one of the 6 state cops nearby hears that and comes over. He’s JACKED! He authoritatively asks me what’s going on and now it’s a very different situation. I was confident with the little lady, I was nervous with the trooper: “Um… well… there are some guys being kind of racist.”

“Where?”

“Um, row 34”

He marches down to row 34. “Who are they?”

But he’s next to the row, so I, on a stair above him, have to lean onto him to see down the line. Finally I see the guys and point them out. Into the row rush 4 of the 6 cops. The other 2, stand a few stairs up, watching, in case anyone throws punches. I don’t know what to do with myself to get out of the way. I went back up the stairs to stand next to the little ticket taker.

The cops rush the guys up the stairs, so now I’m standing next to them! Ah! I rush back to my seat and the men get hauled off! Kicked out of the game!

I get back to my seat and everyone is gossiping about it. Now I feel guilty, a little like a narc… or even a bully myself.

My dad turns to me “Whoa, I wonder what happened!”

I happened. They were bugging me.”

You got them kicked out?”

“Yeah, shhhhh!”

My dad gets all proud and starts telling everyone and I get really embarrassed and nervous and try to quiet him down.

He pointed out to me that everyone around us was glad they were gone. Those jerks were ticking everyone off.

My brother pointed out that the guys to the left of the jerks were probably really glad they were gone. I’m not sure where they their ancestors were from and I think there is a lot of pride tied to one’s heritage, so I don’t want to guess incorrectly, but I do know that the ancestors of those guys were from closer to the equator than my Irish ancestors. They were probably glad the racists were gone.

I got people kicked out of the game! And I reaffirmed to myself that it’s true, I DON’T tolerate hateful, racist behavior.

Taken before the drama

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