Thursday, July 9, 2015

Mayflower Brewery 1/2 Marathon

I was SO excited for this race for so many reasons.

1)  My good friend Sarah signed up to run with me and it was going to be not only her first half marathon, but her first race EVER!

2)  It was my second 1/2 of the year and I was ready to cruise!

3)  I ran a 10K in Plymouth, MA a few years ago and although it was hilly, it was super fun

4)  More free beer ;)

Leading up to this race, maybe I didn't train quite as hard as I could have, but I was feeling good, coming off of a great month of May races.  The Saturday before, Sarah and I ran together along the Cape Cod canal, a 10-mile, moderate paced run to see how we matched with each other.  It went great!  I was so ready.

After that 10-miler, I was feeling some knee pain that I wasn't a fan of, so I took it easy the week leading up and tapered even more than normal, which may have been my first mistake.

The morning of the race was awesome.  It was perfect weather starting out, with a promising outlook for the morning.

The first few miles were as expected, and it took a while to find a good stride.  There was a significant part of the course that ran along a packed dirt bike path, which I was not prepared for.  There were large divots and loose rocks that were difficult to see until you were right on top of them due to the amount of runners packed in on the course.

Also, it felt like the ENTIRE course was uphill.  I know it's all perception... but I can tell you that this was the most difficult course I have ever completed, aside from Tough Mudder... which was on a mountain.

One great aspect that I will applaud the race coordinators for was the water every mile.  I think that if it were not for that, there would have been some serious issues for people along the course.  It got hot FAST that morning and as someone who does not normally take cups from water stops, I took at least one cup every single mile.

All in all, it was certainly the most difficult race that I can remember completing in a long time.  Although it was torturous at times, I am certainly thankful for the experience because after reaching PR's in so many consecutive races, it was refreshing to have me knock me down a peg and really have to work for it.  Now, I am not going to stop striving for PR's but I am proud that I was able to finish in the tough conditions.

I am SO proud of my girl Sarah, and I cannot wait until we run our next race together :)

Harpoon 5Miler 2015

I was so excited to be selected in the lottery for the second year in a row for this race!  It supports a great cause, The Angel Fund, and is all around a fun race.  A pretty simple course with minimal hills, and a fun look at a part of South Boston that I probably wouldn't ever see otherwise.  And hello, free beer?! No brainer ;)

Mother's Day 5k

The second annual running of the Mattapoisett Mother's day 5k

This year the weather was a bit different.  It was a much cooler day which was nice.  The race was fun and I love the route.  It is through the waterfront neighborhoods of Mattapoisett, MA. Very fun!  I look forward to participating in the years to come :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Cox Providence Half Marathon

This race was AMAZING

Of course being my first race of the year, I was so anxious to get out there.  I had compulsively checked the weather for over a week leading up to that morning, I had tried on what I would wear, and I set up my typical spread on the dining room table the night before.

The weather that morning was ideal for May in New England.  It started out cool, with a forecast to warm throughout the day.  A start time of 8:00am was ideal to be able to finish before the day got too hot.

The race started out awesome, I felt great and found my pace pretty easily.  Thankfully, the course was such that my boyfriend and family were able to move easily between mile-markers and see me several times throughout the course without much trouble.  The first "checkpoint" was mile 4.  I was feeling good, I had found my stride, I got my water bottle exchange from Randy and I was on my way.  The next was at mile 9, on the opposite side of the park from where I saw them at mile 4.  I slung off my running belt because by then I had burned through all but one of my Gu's, and I knew I wouldn't need my inhaler.  The next checkpoint was the finish line... piece of cake!

This was taken by the race photographers at Mile 11 - not too bad huh?!

Here is a brief rundown of my emotions throughout the race:

Miles 1-3: ok, here we go. Where is the pacer? I hope I don't have to pee soon
Miles 3-5: Hit my stride, I've got this. Piece of cake.. Wait is that a hill?
                 (Mile 4: See my family, get a fresh water bottle, now I can conquer the world)
Miles 5-8: This was a bad idea. Maybe I should walk for a bit. Nah, that's an even worse idea.
Miles 8: Hell ya! Only 5 miles to go... Wait is that another hill?!
Miles 9-11: OK for real, almost there!
Mile 13: all the above mentioned emotions at once.

Just after seeing my family at mile 9, a woman ran by me who started singing the song playing from my phone.  One thing you should know about me is that I really dislike wearing headphones.  So I place my phone in my armband and play my music on speaker as loud as it will go.  When I am training at home, alone it's never an issue.  But at races, I can never tell how people will react.  Sometimes they love it, other times I think they cringe, but oh well!  Well, this woman ran up beside me and was so happy to hear that song she started singing right along.  Come to find out, her name was Adrienne and she was chasing the same finish time I was!  So we ran along together for the remainder of the race.  Although I will say that the last 2+ miles she more like dragged me along.  But I was so thankful for her in that moment because without her, I would have slowed down.  I was feeling tired and I was already on good pace, so I would have eased up a bit. But she wouldn't let me quit.  We pushed hard up those last few hills and each got a PR!  

My new friend Adrienne! She is a rockstar!

It was a fantastic way to begin race season 2015!  Bring on the next one ;)