Reasons to get out of bed…

Posts tagged ‘Race to Home Base’

Saturday Morning Motivation – Did vs Gave Up

I know these motivational posters are a little silly, but I really do love them. And to be honest, while running the 9k, Run to Home Base, when I was struggling, I was actually thinking of these posters and they totally helped!

We Need More Cowbell!

Before my 9k, the Run to Home Base (ugh… why doesn’t this rhyme!?) I read a really awesome blog post from one of my favorite bloggers, Running Sunflower. I recommend you read it as well, but let me give a quick summary: it’s about how she went to volunteer at a 10k she was not running. The event had plenty of volunteers, so she rang a cowbell and cheered on the runners. It’s really awesome.

I thought a lot about her post while I was running the 9k. There were so few spectators for that run. Ok, that’s not entirely true. There were a ton of spectators, but they were all inside Fenway Park, hanging out at the finish line. Along the actual course, there were very few. It was a bit of a bummer and I was in some major need of cheering along. This was the first race where I hadn’t figured out how to get my loved ones to show up at multiple parts of the course (I’m a big fan of finding ways for them to walk a couple of blocks and see me at around the 1 mile mark and at another mark around the end – I love having their support). 

Although there were so few, there were still some really great spectators at this event (they were clearly volunteers because there were about 50 people wearing the same blue shirt…) scattered along the course with clappers. They were almost all old enough to be my grandmother or grandfather and I loved every single one of them! 

Many of them yelled “thank you for what you’re doing!” (we had to raise money to run) and I yelled back to all of them, “thank you for what you’re doing!” They may not realize it, but their enthusiasm was really important and valuable. No one had a cowbell though!

It really got me thinking. I need to be a spectator more often. And I invite you to do the same. If it’s a 5k or a 10k, you and/or I would only be out there for around an hour. It’s so nice to have people cheering along during the more difficult (and lesser populated) parts of the race. I need to return the favor to people! If you have a race coming up in the Boston area, let me know and if I can, I’ll come out and cheer you on! I’ll even stop by Best Race Signs for some ideas!

Now… to buy a cowbell!

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!)

 

Where Do You Put It?

Hello wonderful readers! I need your help!

The Run to Home Base is this Sunday and I’m already starting to worry a bit. My first concern when I signed up for the run was that iPods aren’t allowed! I love listening to music while running: it keeps my pace up and my negative voices at bay. Luckily, the wife of one of T’s friends ran this race last year (and will be running it again this year) and she told me that actually tons of people run this with ear phones, they are just discrete about it. She told me to run with the headphone wires under my shirt and I should be fine. Yay!

Here’s a snag in that though, I always run with my iPod in my hand, it just makes sense to me to hold it. But, knowing that I can’t do that for this race, I experimented with placement during last night’s run. I run with a 4-year-old Nano (oh, yeah, I’m hip…) and it lives inside an Otterbox Armor case (because I’m desperately afraid of destroying the fragile iPod).

This is what the back of the case looks like

I started off by clipping it to my shorts pocket (with the iPod basically inside my pocket). That was crazy uncomfortable (and super unstable) and I was afraid it would fall out and smash on the ground. So I clipped it to my waistband. That worked really nicely… or so I thought. While it was stable, it also gave me a friction burn. This stupid burn is 3 inches long on my right hip and totally hurts! 😦

So I won’t be trying that again.

I also own an armband that a friend gave me. Unfortunately the arm band is 1) enormous and 2) made for an iPhone. I’ve used it before, but had to tuck tissues in around the nano so it wouldn’t bounce around. Because it doesn’t fit, it randomly changes songs (which drives me CRAZY!). So it’s an option, but not the ideal option…

When I showed T the burn this morning, he asked if I want to buy an iPod shuffle that I can just clip to my collar and go. It took me FOREVER to buy the nano (I am such a SLOW adopter of technology… and I work at a publishing company that produces tech magazines! I’m so lame). So it seems a little crazy to me that I should own 2 iPods…

What do you think? Where do you clip yours? Instead of working with what I have, should I buy a new arm band or a Shuffle? What do you recommend?

On a sidenote, I would like to thank Nicole M. for her donation! I’m guessing that she’s a reader because I don’t know her in real life. But she actually lives in a town where I run! (on longer runs, I technically run through 3 towns because I live on the border with 2 other towns) Small world! Nicole, who is a stranger as far as I know, made the largest single donation and suffers from my brand of crazy, so I’d like to thank her on two fronts! What’s the crazy, you ask? I had raised $795, she donated $105, thus rounding it up to an even $900! I’m like that as well, I love making things even numbers. So thank you, Nicole! I don’t know how you found me, but I’m glad you did!

Nervous to Ask a Little Question

I work for a company of about 350 people. I directly support about 60 of those employees and thanks to the company softball team and simply having worked here for 5 years, I would guess I know another 30 – 40 people in the building, maybe more.

I am also one of those people who supports EVERYONE’S stuff: “Your son, the Boy Scout, is selling holiday wreaths? Of course I’ll buy one!” Same goes for:

  • Buying daffodils for the American Cancer Society
  • Buying Girl Scout cookies
  • Buying pies to support Pie in the Sky – a food bank-like fundraiser
  • Donating to someone’s triathlon
  • Donating to someone’s marathon run
  • Donating to someone’s push up challenge to raise money for a food bank

You name it, if someone’s pushing it at work, I’m supporting it.

So when I signed up for the Run to Home Base (aka the Race to Home Base because I like things to rhyme) and I was informed that I would have to raise $1000 (or pay 1k if I couldn’t raise it), I thought “Well I support everyone else, I hope they’ll support me.” (Side note, to any of my friends who I haven’t supported in the last few months – this is why! I feel terrible not supporting you and donating to your causes, but I told myself I wouldn’t support anything until I find out if I’m paying the whole thousand for this event.)

I was planning to send out my little e-mail to my coworkers on March 1st. Now, on the 13th, I still haven’t sent it out. I’ve written it… and reread it… and reread it… about a dozen times, but I’m nervous to send it out. Thoughts I can’t seem to shake:

  • Have I said too much?
  • Have I said too little?
  • Have I just not made it sound like a worthy enough cause?
  • Should I send out the form letter suggested on the website instead?
  • Does the form letter sound too much like a form letter and should I go with what I wrote?

Bah! I suck at this…

Are any of you good at this? Do you have any general suggestions? Should I just “man up,” send it out, and not worry about it? Clearly, I’m overthinking it a bit!

Run to Home Base!

I’m starting the new year off right! I’ve already signed up for another race! (which really is a little ambitious considering I haven’t even gone running since Thanksgiving – but I’ve got my gym bag packed and I’m going today!)

Luckily, this race isn’t until May 20th… so at least I have a little time. I’ve signed up for:

The Run to Home Base! (I will most likely refer to this as the Race to Home Base henceforth because seriously, I prefer it to rhyme.)

It’s a 9k through the streets of Boston ending at Fenway Park‘s home base! It’s a race to support care, treatment, and research for returning soldiers with traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress. I whole-heartedly know that I could never do what the men and women in our military have volunteered to do – but I can support them however possible! Afterall, they have most certainly EARNED some quality health care and I hope to help them get it in any way I can.

I hope it’s obvious that I’m little fired up about the cause. I’m also a little nervous about the run, as I was with the others, here and here. For very different reasons though. I’m not worried about making a good time, the website mentions that you shouldn’t focus on time because this course has a lot of bottle necks and places where runners will be held up. I’m not even worried about running the whole time. It’s longer than I usually run (5.59 miles… although I’ll work towards it until May) and it will be mostly cement, so I’m permitting myself a little walking time.

So what am I so worried about? Two things! 1) They don’t permit headphones. They claim it’s for safety reasons. Both my mother and my boyfriend said “so just wear one earbud!” I hope I can get away with that. I’ve only run without music twice. Once I had a TV at the gym so it wasn’t too terrible. The other time was outside and I managed, but I don’t know if I can make it 9k without some RuPaul, Journey, or Dropkick Murphys motivating me to go on. (ironically, I forgot my ipod today!)

2) I have to raise $1000… or they’ll have me pay it. I need to figure out some fundraising ideas!

I’m also completely open to suggestions for a fun/funny pose while they take my picture as I cross the plate! That’s the 2nd most motivating part to the race – the cause being the first, of course. I may not be much of a baseball fan, but I do live in Redsox Nation… so of course it’s pretty cool to run home in Fenway! And have a picture as proof!

So, I’m open to suggestions on how to motivate myself for the run without music and for goofy poses at the end of the race over home base!

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