Saturday, April 23, 2016

Fun running the Boston Marathon

The sound of crickets has been dominating my blog lately, so I'm finally breaking the silence to write about my experience of running Boston totally for fun.

The last time I ran Boston in 2012, I went into the race with ambitious PR goals. Actually, they weren't ambitious at all, but it was hot as hell that year. The disappointment of  my performance that day, although great considering it was 80+ degrees, left me real bummed out about Boston and not itching to return any time soon. I should mention here that during my first Boston experience I spent a lot of time focusing on not getting heat stroke* and very little time looking around/paying attention to the spectacle that is the Boston Marathon. *2016 was a wee bit warm as well, but this time I didn't care. I was mostly happy our cheerleaders wouldn't freeze while waiting for us at mile 22. 

Once I finally found my enthusiasm for the marathon again, I chose to run the Richmond Marathon (which you can read about here, here, and here). This race was like a dream: injury-free and nearly flawless training cycle, perfect race weather, and my legs showed up ready to do some work. Big ol' PR. My dear friend qualified for Boston in that same race, and we decided we would go to Boston together in 2016.

That was all back in 2014, and my running since then has majorly sucked (I'll save my sob story for a different post). So as Boston approached, and my training was still in the toilet I thought, "Hell, why not throw time out the window and go soak up every moment of this race?"

So this time I brought my phone, ran with a friend, and had a ball.

Here are some highlights:

Athlete's village is best experienced with a buddy. Primo people watching!

Exhibit A: This man is more hardcore than I will ever be.

Start line selfie--stoked to finally start running!


Trying to capture the hoards of runners

I didn't partake in any kissing, but there were ample options.

Fun running means you can veer to the side to pick up a rose.

Exhibit B: Not sure but I'm impressed.


Finally we can see "the sign"


As if approaching the finish isn't emotional enough (cue the sweaty tears)

Done, tired, and happy! What a wonderful day to run a marathon!!

What these photos don't capture is how many times I was laughing, slapping hands, singing along to music, and gawking at everything.  I soaked up this experience to the max.  Fun running the Boston Marathon was one of my best decisions!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Four on the Fourth: race day recap

Pre-race: waking up to a lovely Raleigh sunrise and vibrant neighborhood flowers

Four on the Fourth was my first race "back" after many months of low motivation and a lack of enthusiasm. Based on my track workouts in the last few weeks, I felt like I could actually give a solid race effort, so I gave it a go...

The race was decently sized (600 people) so I never had to run solo, which was REALLY nice. I started out conservatively knowing that the second half of the race was mostly uphill. I watched a group of women take off ahead of me and I sat back and waited...


Mile 1: 6:12 (downhill)
Mile 2: 6:21

At mile 2.5-ish, I decided it was time to start making my move forward and pass some ladies. I pushed the pace slightly and tried to increase my effort (although my actual speed wasn't necessarily increasing because, ya know, hills). Thankfully, I had some cheerleaders on the course that gave me an extra boost during this time too!

Mile 3: 6:21

My favorite part of the race was right in the last 1/2 mile. I was definitely in pain and doing my best to reel in the 1st place woman. I pulled up along some guy who could clearly tell I was trying to catch 1st place.. He ran next to me/ cheered for me/ encouraged me during this last half mile, helping me close down the gap. I couldn't find a final gear to pull ahead of her, but either way I was so grateful to have a random stranger help me push in the final stretch of the race. This is why running is the best.

Mile 4: 6:18

All things considered, I was really happy with this race...because I was RACING. The effort was refreshing. 2nd place female + homemade pottery and locally roasted coffee were a big bonus!