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Posts tagged ‘Race Recap’

Diva Dash Recap

Let me start by saying that I LOVED this race! I’m pretty sure this is the first race where I thought to myself “Man, I can’t wait to run this again next year” WHILE still running it! It was a ton of fun and if it comes to a city near you, I recommend checking it out.

My team and I put our best foot forward for this event… and we did it in pink, zebra striped socks!

First, it was a 5k with 11 obstacles. The obstacles consisted of climbing over mountains made out of hay, dirt, and tires (separate mountains). Climbing over “jersey barriers.” Scooting through a maze that was also covered in a net around waist height (so you had to bend down to go through it). There were plenty of balance beams. We had to carry large logs for awhile. And my favorite: the thing where you have to run with your feet through tires (so you get some nice high knees) while also being hit by inflatable pink balls!

My favorite obstacle. Looking for my teammate.

On top of the fun obstacles, the course itself was pretty challenging. Some of it was on a paved road, some of it was over gravel, but most of the running was a gorgeous trail run through the woods. Obviously, this part is specific to the Massachusetts one. I like to consider myself a trail runner (although let’s be real, half of my trail is paved), however, my trail is along the Charles River and is mostly flat, flat, flat. The trail for this 5k was LEGIT! It was winding, thin, and constantly going either uphill or downhill (steeply). And we actually had to hop over fallen trees! Luckily, everyone started in preassigned waves that were separated by 15 minutes, so I never felt like the course was crowded. Absolutely top-notch orchestration, I have to admit.

Besides the actual run, there were a lot of things that I liked about this race. It was my first ever “Women-only” event. If all “women-only” events are this nice, I will totally be doing more of them. Everyone was so cordial! Plus, so many people really thought about what they were wearing. I loved it! I wish I had gotten pictures of my favorites, but let me at least describe them.

  • For about half of the run, I followed some women from a Boston Book Club, the back of their shirts read “I like BIG books and I cannot lie” (oh how I love it!)
  • There were about 20 women in aprons as “Domestic Divas”
  • There were some shirts that read: “My mascara runs faster than you!”
  • “If you run faster, you’ll get wine sooner! “
  • “Oxygen PLEASE!”
  • And one of my favorites: some women from a labor and delivery unit at some hospital (it said on the front of their shirts but I can’t remember now) had on the back of their shirts “We deliver!”

My team all dressed up. Who doesn’t love Animal from the Muppets?! Also, this is what happens when a bunch of theater nerds creating a running team…

Everyone was so friendly and encouraging the whole time, I had no idea women could all be so supportive of each other. Early on in the race, I knew I wouldn’t be the fastest, but I could try for the nicest! So anytime I was passed by someone or actually passed someone, I threw out a compliment. It was so easy! Everyone had on something cute (even if it was just a pair of socks that said “Bad Ass (with an arrow pointing up).” It was great chatting everyone up. Of course it was easier to talk to everyone because this was my first race without music. Whoa! But one of the women on my team ran my pace, so we had each other to talk to the whole time. That’s a first for me and it was awesome!

That was actually another of my favorites for this race. I ran as part of team of 10! We were a variety of speeds and we all mostly ran our own race… but with a buddy who was similar to us. I loved it!

They also have the best swag bag I’ve gotten so far:

Our swag included a t-shirt, a drawstring bag, a canvas bag, a magazine, and a Luna bar.

Plus, 90% of the vendors at the vendor fair were giving out free goodies. For example:

  • Socks from Asics
  • Frozen greek yogurt pops from Yasso
  • 5 hour energy shots
  • More Luna bars
  • Sahale Snacks – I took the cranberry, sesame seed, and honey covered almonds – AMAZING! I totally recommend them!
  • Beer from Coors light
  • Coconut water from Zico (I’ve tried coconut water a ton of times and I must be missing something, I never see the appeal)
  • And samples of about half a dozen energy or recovery drinks – most of which tasted pretty chemical filled.

There were just a few things that I think Shape could work on for next year:

  • They could use some bottles of water at the finish line. Instead we were given 3 oz dixie cups that we could fill up ourselves… dehydration was plentiful
  • On the course we were handed the same cups and we could also fill them up ourselves, on Facebook a lot of runners complained that they should have been filled up for us and I can see their point. I was running slowly so it didn’t bother me, but if I was going for speed I would have been pretty upset.
  • Something to nibble on at the finish line would have been good (none of us knew about the Luna bar in our bags). Once we realized everyone was giving out samples, it wasn’t so bad. But those first 30 minutes waiting for all of our friends to finish was a little tough without food.
  • They had a bag check at the race and I’m glad I didn’t use it (I left everything in my car), it was a total disaster!

All in all though, I would totally do this race again! It was a blast!

Because I didn’t know what the run/obstacles would be like. I didn’t go in with many expectations. I was hoping to finish in 45 minutes. I thought there would be more upper body stuff (there was really only 1). Next year, I know to be smarter on the obstacles. When going over the Jersey Barriers (you know, those large sometimes concrete road blocks, these were plastic though), I lead with my right leg on all of them and my right glute hurt like whoa the whole time. Next year, I need to switch up the leg choice every other time.

The course’s jersey barriers

Final stats:

Time: 44:53:97
Place: 3184 (out of 5489 total – thus 58%)
Division Place: 1379 (out of 2286 – thus 60%)
Pace: 14:58
On my team, I was the second fastest runner (well… tied for second when you count my racing buddy, one other women on our team beat us by about 15 minutes). I’m pretty psyched about that too!

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The Color Run Recap

Ugh… I’m so torn on how to write about this run… do I complain for the next 500 words because it was terribly, TERRIBLY organized or do I try to find the bright spots? Am I completely mad at the organizers or am I also partially mad at myself?

Hmmm… I guess I’ll try to both find the bright spots and tell you why it was so terrible I can’t envision myself ever doing this run again (and tell you why my brother out-law is thinking about writing a letter of complaint to the organizers).

Back story: I run alone all the time. I’ve never gotten to run a race with anyone else. It’s lonely. So when I saw the Color Run (a run where they throw different colors at you every kilometer), it looked like so much fun I invited my boyfriend’s family to join me on a team. My boyfriend’s brother’s fiance, Sarah, is a runner. She was training for a marathon happening in April until she broke her foot over the winter, which obviously effed up her training. However, she’s now healed and she’s clearly a runner, so I knew I could talk her into a 5k. I also invited my boyfriend’s sister, Jen, because she keeps starting the Couch to 5k program. Jen also invited their aunt (by marriage), Jeannie, who is only 2 years older than Jen (Jeannie is 8 years older than me) and is super, super awesome. Jeannie is also a runner and regularly does races. Jen also signed her ten-year-old daughter up for the race.

I was super excited to do something fun with my boyfriend’s family! So excited that I bought decals from runnerdecals.com and made everyone a pint glass as a little gift.

Runner chick (about 1.5 inches tall) from RunnerDecals.com

Then, a few days before the race, Jeannie dropped out because the run is 3 hours from her house and her husband is super sick and she has small children.

The day before the race, Sarah dropped out because she was feeling swamped with work (and homework) and the race was about 2 hours from her house. At this point, I’m feeling really bummed. Jeannie and Sarah are the two that I fit in with best. I also learned a few days before the race that one of Jen’s friends would be joining us. By 5 o’clock on Friday, I was trying to reset my expectations, and change back to excited from disappointed.

Jen, at one point, told me that because I was the most fit, I could run my own race and they would see me at the end. But I told her that would defeat my goal. I was there to run with them, not alone, no matter the pace. We ended up walking 90% of the course. The walking was ok, but kind of boring. Oh well, right? So that’s why I might be a little mad at myself. I didn’t have a “runner’s high” when I reached the finish line. I wasn’t proud of myself for working it. It was just a leisurely stroll… that took us about an hour… (after running the 10k though, this 5k felt so short, in the good way) 

Ok, now here’s why I’m mad at the organizers: first things first, their website is rubbish. It doesn’t have any race details, just explanations of how they attack you with color, etc. They never told us the address of the race, just the town: Amesbury, MA. For awhile, the website called it “The Color Run – Boston” which is really misleading… Amesbury is about an hour north of Boston on the NH border. Eventually they changed it to “The Color Run – New England” which is much more accurate. The website never had the start time of the race – they e-mailed us that 2 days before the race.

Next: e-mails! They sent a lot of information in e-mails, but some of the information they only sent to the team captain and she was supposed to send it to the rest of us. Hey Color Run, why? You have our e-mail addresses, you could have sent it to everyone! Plus, she didn’t know which we got and which we didn’t, so she didn’t send them to us.

Our group (plus one spectator – 6-year-old nephew) before the color run – still in the parking lot. We were team Pixel Pixies – Jen made us some really cool wings to wear.

My main complaint: traffic and parking! In many of the e-mails, they told us that “a lot of people” would be attending this race, but never said how many. They just warned us that we should carpool. They should have said what “a lot” meant. 2,000 runners? 20,000 runners?

We also weren’t allowed to park at the race (which wasn’t a loop – the finish line was legitimately 3.1 miles away from the starting line). We were assigned to a parking lot 7 miles  (and 3 highway exits) from the finish line. There was another parking lot 12 miles away from the starting line. School buses would drive us from the parking lots to the start (and from the finish back to the lots).

The race was scheduled to start at 10 am (with waves until 10:45). At 9 am, we were one mile from the parking lot. At 10:30 we arrived at the parking lot! In our car, we all carpooled (as recommended), we were surrounded by hundreds of other people in their carpools. We jumped out of the car, hit the port-a-potties (EWWWW) and hopped on a bus. We made it to the starting line around 11 (and there was still at least one bus behind us).

Jen and her friend run through orange, the first kilometer marker

The finish line was visible from the highway and there were tons of rubberneckers trying to figure out what was happening there… woo congestion!

The course was beautiful. A couple of minor hills and it was mostly along a wide river. Simply lovely. And the color zones were fun! And being with T’s niece (and his 3-year-old nephew in a stroller) was great.

One downside, there was only one water stop (in the middle of a hot day in JULY)! Quality planning…

At the finish line

So we get to the finish line around noon and the line for the buses was at least 1/2 mile long and 10 people across. We ate lunch for an hour (we had to buy a Powerade because the water at the finish line tasted like pool water – chlorine and dirt!). Then we got in line ourselves… where we waited for 2 hours. We didn’t get to our car until a bit after 3 pm.

We were too late for the “color parties” so we made our own!

Getting to the race was stressful and congested. Then we were alone on the course. Once we got to the finish line we were stranded there. The buses couldn’t even get to and from because of accidents on the highway. It was so poorly organized! In other states, the Color Run might be ok, but having us park so far away and then be stranded was a poor idea. They simply couldn’t take care of the crowds.

Our entire group (with our spectators) waiting for the bus back to our car

Their tag line is “Happiest 5k on the Planet.” Unfortunately, I would disagree…

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.

 

Rove the Cove 5k

I ran a 5k on Saturday. Since you haven’t heard of this plan yet, you’re probably thinking it was pretty impetuous. It sort of wasn’t, but I had a lot of mixed feelings about it beforehand. “The Cove” is a park/playground in one of the suburbs west of Boston, along the Charles River. Specifically it’s within walking distance of T’s sister’s house. She is the one who told me about the 5k… months ago. Jen (that’s right, my wonderful boyfriend’s sister and I have the same name) is the soccer coach for her 10-year-old daughter’s team. At one of the games, Jen told me that she was trying to recruit the girls on the team and their moms to all run the Rove the Cove 5k (as it benefits the community association… and I wouldn’t be surprised if the town soccer teams have something to do with the community association). When she told me this, I wasn’t quite sure if this was an invitation to join or if she was just telling me about it because she was excited. (This is where my mixed feelings about the run started.)

Back story: I grew up with a little brother and we’re almost 4 years apart. Because he is male and I am female (and because my parents are pretty awesome), our relationship was never a competitive one. We always had separate interests – with the exception of liking high school drama… but it’s not like we were going out for the same parts.

Me and my little brother… when we were little.

I don’t want to create a competitive relationship with my sister-out-law (T and I aren’t legally married, so she’s not my in-law). Honestly, I would love to train with her but she and I have very different schedules. I’m a busy bee with work and theater and she’s a busy bee with her kids’ schedules. I would love to legitimately be friends with her, but we’re in very different places in our lives. So I was very worried about stepping on her toes and signing up for her race.

In the end, I decided to do it. It cost $12 for early registration, it was only a few miles from me, and I figured if she didn’t want me there, she wouldn’t have mentioned it along with “we’re trying to get as many people as possible to sign up.” Plus, I’m really embarrassed about running a 12 minute mile at the Race to Home Base 9k and I wanted to do a run that would make me feel more confident (especially before my 10k in July).

It turned out that she and her daughter didn’t run the race (I think they might have actually had soccer game at the same time), which was a bit of bummer because I would have LOVED to have run with them, but I’ll still get the chance at the Color Run.

I’m really glad that I did the run though. I’ve never done a small run before. Only 122 people finished (another 17 people signed up and “did not finish” according to the results). My next smallest race had 1150 finishers… It was a really nice vibe though (even if I was one of the slowest, clearly beaten by a bunch of 10 year olds).

I also tend to run “fast and flat” races, and even my neighborhood training ground isn’t very hilly. This was VERY hilly though! If I added up all of the flat bits, it might equal 1/2 mile of flat. And these weren’t soft, rolling hills; these were steep, aggressive hills. By mile 2.5, my calves were ready to quit. I’m taking it as a challenge though. Part of me really wants to run the course every week until I’m good at it! One really great highlight is that Jen’s husband and 6-year-old son were out on their front porch cheering on the runners! Their house was near the end of the race and I really needed some cheering at that point. It was so nice to see them! One other highlight was around the 2.25 mile mark, a 6-year-old girl was on her lawn with a cowbell, cheering everyone on! Yes!

My wonderful boyfriend didn’t make it to this race. Unfortunately, he had to take our little girl kitty to the vet that morning. We think she cut herself while crawling under a fence. She has a cut on her back that had gotten swollen, so she had to go to the vet for antibiotics and to lance the cyst. Luckily for her, the vet doesn’t think the cut was from an animal, so she’s not quarantined from other animals. Luckily for me, she’s a little miss priss and she’s more than happy to stay inside all day (curled up on the couch) until the wound heals and her fur grows back.

(Pictured here in a cape she made for herself out of a brown paper bag)

It was a bummer not to have my biggest fan at this race, but it was for a good reason. The biggest downside was that I parked too far away from the park (there is another park right next to it and I parked on that side… oops!) so I had to run with my new, race t-shirt in my hand. I usually run with a bottle of water and the shirt was about the same size, rolled up. So it really wasn’t much of an issue. And because there were so few people, no one was in jeans or a funny costume, nor did anyone have a good sign. So I didn’t feel bad about missing a  photo-op for one of my favorite bloggers, Jill.

Oh! And because the race was so small, they didn’t give prizes to the top people in age categories. Instead they entered all finishers into a raffle. And I won! (along with about 40 other people… seriously the Auburndale Community Association are AWESOME fundraisers!) But I was the second winner, so I had my choice of the table of prizes and now I’ll get to buy myself some new clothes from a local business called The Dress Shop! I’ve never been before, but I’m excited to support a small business and for new clothes!

Oh and some other good news? Despite all the hills, my first mile was 9:25! WAY better than 12! So I’m feeling better about myself… even though my total time puts me closer to an 11 minute mile.

My final stats for the Rove the Cove 5k:
Time: 33:49
Place: 102/122 (84%)

That’s it for stats… they don’t even show the ages of the other runners (unless they are under 18) so I’m not sure how I did in regards to my age group. Based on my own calculations though (ok… I counted), I came in 44 out of 55 women (6 of whom are under 18… 3 finished before me and 3 finished after me). So clearly, this race is nothing to brag about, but I’m still glad I did it.

Run to Home Base – Recap

It’s over! Yay!

I meant to write a post about my expectations for the race, but since I ran out of time, let me start there.

I didn’t have high expectations, that’s for CERTAIN!

Reason #1: I had to wake up at 5:45 in order to make it to Fenway in time. I am not a morning person, I am the antithesis of a morning person, in fact. I wouldn’t mind if I never saw a sunrise for the rest of my life. Sunsets are fine by me! My wonderful boyfriend and I may have gotten into a little quarrel on Sunday morning for no reason other than I’m a total grouch in the morning (and he is not – he was checking his e-mail on his phone when my alarm went off). Luckily for my relationship, both he and I are really great at admitting when we are wrong/cranky/being annoying – we both quickly apologized and all was well again.

Reason #2: I was working a charity event the night before and knew I wouldn’t be home until about midnight. (I don’t pay attention to dates well)

Reason #3: I didn’t eat dinner because I was focused on the event mentioned above.

Reason #4: My training was extremely weak to say the least. I’m pretty sure I’ve only run about 4 times so far this May (not counting Sunday), and I don’t even remember running in April (then again, I don’t remember much about April thanks to finishing my Master’s thesis…)

Based on that, I wasn’t really expecting to have a great run. I was semi-planning to run 2 miles, walk a mile, run 1.5 miles, walk .5 mile, run the rest (almost a mile). I was also expecting to cry the entire time! “Why?” you ask. Because I was told that lots of our active duty soldiers at the race run in their full uniforms (complete with boots and packs). I know this sounds nutty, but active duty soldiers make me sad. I couldn’t quite explain it to T before the race, but after the race, I think I can try. I’ll explain at the bottom, I promise.

So, low expectations for the race. How did it actually go?

Better than expected. Although, as expected, I didn’t get home until midnight and didn’t fall asleep until after 2 am. Oh, and I completely skipped dinner. I had a yogurt at midnight, does that count?

However, I only walked about 1/2 mile! Not too bad! (all things considered…) I ran the slowest I’ve ever run during a race and my right foot cramped for about the first 3 miles, but at least I ran most of it!

Me and Wally (the mascot)

Race highlights:

  • The second song on my race playlist is “Shipping Up To Boston” by the Dropkick Murphies. It came on just as I rounded a corner to a beautiful view of the Prudential Center (which is quite a Boston landmark) – it seemed so fitting!
  • Another song that seemed appropriate came on just as I started to cross a bridge to run back across the Charles River and into Boston. In front of me was this gorgeous view of this city I love, and on comes This is Our House by Bon Jovi – perfection!
  • I thought there would be more of a breeze as we were going to be running up the Charles River, across the river, up the river, down the river, back up, back over, back down. Unfortunately, the breeze didn’t kick in until mile 4, it was so appreciated though!
  • I got to high 5 a man running in a kilt (um… awesome!) Now T wants to get a sport kilt so he can run in one too (especially interesting because T had back surgery four years ago and isn’t supposed to run on pavement…)

I didn’t cry while running!

Very few people ran in full uniform because it was already 80 degrees when we started. But I totally cried during the opening ceremonies. First, the speeches from the vets who use the Home Base services were really touching. Secondly, I was sitting behind a girl wearing a shirt that said “I’m running to home base [Marine Corps logo] He’s deploying to Afghanistan.”  A few rows in front of her were was a girl wearing a shirt that said “I run because he serves.” I couldn’t look at either without tearing up.

Lessons learned from this race:

  • Sunblock needs to be part of my running gear. Just because I run at twilight under a canopy of trees, doesn’t mean I race there.
  • Cross training is important! I never cross train… but my arms and shoulders still hurt where as my legs didn’t hurt at all.

Oh, and we raised a total of 7 million dollars for the Home Base Program!! AWESOME!

After the finish line and on the way to home plate, the Home Base Program had a bunch of signs with horrific facts that I think help explain why thoughts of the military make me cry. Here are some of the ones I can remember:

  • Unlike in wars of the past, Iraq and Afghanistan soldiers fight all day, every day: 24/7.
  • Unlike in wars of the part, there are no clear front lines and agreed upon battle times. Our soldiers cannot retreat to a safe place for rest and respite.
  • More veterans have taken their own lives than soldiers have been killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined.
  • A veteran attempts suicide every 80 minutes. An active duty soldier attempts suicide every 36 hours

That’s what makes me so upset when I think of soldiers and veterans. They cannot unsee so many horrific things. Of course, I’m grateful to them for what they do and what they are willing to risk, but I feel overwhelmed when I think of those risks. It’s so easy to feel sorry for those who die in combat, but what about those who survive? They have endured trauma that so many of us can’t even fathom and yet they go so unsupported by this country that they love. We expect them to eternally be strong heroes, but sometimes I think of the internal damage they must have and it makes me want to cry and I wish I could help them. Plus, what about their families? Besides being left behind to worry about the soldiers’ safety, the loved ones also have to assimilate the changes in their loved ones personality and demeanor. They deal with the horrific traumas without even fully knowing what they are.

It’s terrible and my heart genuinely goes out to them. I’m really glad I could be a part of this. Plus, T wants to be a part of it next year, which is pretty awesome!

Final race stats:

Place 1300 (out of 1485 finishers – 87.5% – this seems really low considering I was number 1544 and somewhere in the middle of the numbers… there were 3 start waves (and a walking wave), I wonder if this was only against my wave)
Age/gender group: 204 (out of 250)
Net time: 1:07:21
Pace: 12:03 (slowest I’ve ever run in a race!)

 

MS Race Recap!

Hi all, I’m so sorry for being away so long! The end of the semester mixed with the approaching holidays mixed with college application deadlines has led to me feeling completely overwhelmed. I haven’t even gone running since Thanksgiving!

My run went pretty well though!

I mentioned before that I’m not a morning person and I was worried about eating and drinking enough. My alarm went off at 7 am. I hit snooze. My alarm went off again sometime after that (for some reason my alarm doesn’t do the standard 9 minute snooze… it will range from 9 minutes to 30 seconds, I’ve never figured it out). I hit the snooze again, drank a pint of water, and ate a banana that was waiting for me on the bedside table. I ate it with my eyes closed… but I propped myself up on an additional pillow, because that makes eating in bed/asleep acceptable, right? I may have hit the snooze again… and got out of bed at 7:30. I ate a yogurt and had another bottle of water.

I got ready and got rid of some of that water before leaving the house.

Of course right after I got there and checked in, I had to go to the bathroom. Here’s a fun fact about me, dear readers, I will NOT use a port-o-potty unless it’s absolutely necessary. Lucky for me after the running started, the feeling subsided, but I certainly regretted drinking that much water before the race.

The race itself was ok. I have no idea where the start line actually was, it wasn’t really marked. I put myself to the back of the line and ended up having to run around an ambulance parked in the middle of the street… so I’m guessing I was a good distance away from the start. This race didn’t have a “net time” like the last one, so I’m guessing it took at least 30 seconds to get to the start line… and I’m totally guessing that because it means my time improved from the last one. (actually, after looking at the hundreds of other people who crossed the start line before me – in the professional photos – it might have taken me 90 seconds to make it to the starting line just like the first race). I wish this race had pace signs to figure out where to start (start here if you have a 5 minute pace, 6 minute pace, 10 minute pace, etc), like the last one did. Other comparisons with the last one include: there were no mile markers here which was a bummer, and no one told me at the half way point what my time was. Oh well, no big deal.

I made it though! Even with the hills and it being cold! There were a few points where I seriously thought about walking. I had the names of the people I know with MS on my back (shown below) and it really helped motivate me. It was like they “had my back” or were pushing me from behind… these were the images I thought about to keep me going. At one point, I was thinking about walking and thought “Well, Terry would understand.” (Terry is in a wheelchair.) But then the other half of my conscience reminded me that Beth would not have approved! So even thousands of miles away, she motivated me to keep going!

I blurred their last names, just in case they might prefer that. This was taken after the race.

These are my final stats:

  • Gun time: 32:25
  • Pace: 10:26 (better than last time!)
  • Place: 793 (out of 1150)
  • Place out of just females: 375 out of 616
  • Place for my age/gender category: 113/185

    Mile 1, he didn't see me coming... so it's a little blurry, but clearly I wasn't tired yet.

     

  • Around the 2.75 mark. So glad I had people cheering for me at this point!

I had also tasked my boyfriend with a few chores for my run:

  1. Support me and yell nice things as I run past (check!)
  2. Take a picture of me running… (check!)
  3. Take pictures of anyone running in jeans (fail)

I really like reading joggingjeans.com’s blog and really wanted to contribute to it. But alas, neither of us saw anyone running in jeans. However, when I looked through the professional photos, I found this!

It’s at the start line, so he’s not really running yet, but he’s in jeans and he’s wearing a number!

So all in all:

  • I had fun
  • I would run another Thanksgiving day race (next year, I want a silly hat!)
  • I achieved my goals of: finishing, running the whole time, I finished in under 35 minutes, and even though I don’t know my net time, I’m still betting that I beat it.
  • I raised $165 for MS research

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