2013 Boston Run to Remember Race Recap

This was my third year running Boston’s Run to Remember and to be honest not much has changed from 2012.  It still features my favorite half marathon course that starts at Seaport, runs through State Street & West End, kills many miles along the Charles on the Memorial Drive, Cambridge , returns through Beacon Hill, and wraps through the financial district of Boston.  If you run the 5 miler instead of the half, you just miss out on Memorial Drive portion of the run.  I don’t know of any other half marathon course that lets you run through so much of the downtown area, if you do please share!.

I skipped the expo and waited by the door until 5PM on Friday so I could grab my number with a friend.  The race volunteers did make sure that not one person got their number a minute earlier.

Run To Remember 1
We watched the storm gather as we waited for the clock to strike 5PM

Number pick up took a minute or two and with the show of Tony’s license, I was able to steal  grab his as well.  From what I could see of vendor set up, similiar to last year the expo would be small.  8,000 runners is just not enough to lure companies out here I guess =(.

Race Swag

The shirt designed this year compared to prior years was really nice.  Although it was cotton, they had a women’s and a men’s fit so I appreciated that much.

Run To Remember Shirt

The other contents of the bag seemed to vary bag by bag.  Mine had like 30 sunblock samples and too many coupons to count.  Meanwhile my friend got no Marathon sports coupon or sunblock.  I also heard that some people got a Boston Strong pin in their swag bag.  Neither mine or my friends got them so I have no idea if it existed.

The night before routine

I don’t usually have a routine but I went to a BBQ on Saturday.  Meats + a few beers = not a great rainy day pre-race routine.  I ended up eating a toast with peanut butter around 8PM because I didn’t want to run the next day with just beef sloshing in my tummy   Tony copied me because he decided he’s doing everything I’m doing so he can PR.  T & I also prepped some PB sandwiches to take with us in the morning before the race and to save some times in the morning.  That worked out great.  We each also downed about 16 oz of water with one Nuun tab each the night before for hydration.

Race Day

We woke up at 5:40AM and quickly got ready.  I wasn’t sleepy but I felt awful.  My period (TMI I know) was starting and the first two days my body always feels like it’s going through hell and back. I know I have ladies that can relate! As for the men? Just be happy I’m ending my details there.

Anyways the drive into Boston took about 15 minutes and here’s an inside tip, don’t take exit 23 if you’re coming from the north as the website says, take the next exit to south station.  You’ll skip the traffic into seaport and just loop around an extra half mile back.  We parked around 6:45, which if we took exit 23, we would probably still be trying to exit the highway.  Seaport has $5 parking lots but I just wanted to park and not worry so we parked at the closest one to race start near Bank of Pavilion for $14 for 2 hours.

The bathroom lines looked long and I was just not in the mood to go into the smelly horrid thing.  Instead I weighted my options and decided that I’ve held in pee for longer than 13 miles before and that I’ll live.

It was also about 40 degrees at the end of May and raining.  Much different than the 70s weather we got blessed/cursed with in 2012.  The race started a little late but few extra speakers were really touching.   There was bagpipes and a tribute to Officer Sean Collier with his family present.  They also had second bibs honoring him that you could wear on your back but I never saw where you could get them.  Another confusing part of the swag bag.

The Race

I’ll let my Garmin summarize the story, the tragedy that unfolded…

Run To Remember Splits

The first two miles were fast and what I expected but after that my heart just wasn’t in it.  That’s what happens when you run a lot of races.  Sometimes you’re just not in the mood to race, or maybe your mind is but you body isn’t.  The 8 miles on the Charles have never felt more tedious.  I’ve run faster on a training run on the Charles in the past than I did during the race.

Around mile 7 as I was making the turn around point, Tony screamed I’m coming after you as I saw him just a few minutes behind me.  I turned to go deep within me to get faster (since I can’t get his ego too big) but there was nothing.  My pace went from 7:24 to 7:20 but then I decided that was too much work.  I kept turning to see if he was behind me, but luckily, I didn’t see him.

Last 2-3 miles were almost more miserable than the last 2-3 miles of a marathon.  I was running sure, but I just wanted the course to end.  My Garmin was ahead by .3 of a mile and I really regretted having it with me.  I’ve run this course for two years without a running watch and had no problem.  Things to ponder.

When we got back to Seaport, I found some strength, I might not be achieving my goal, I might have sucked for 13 miles, but in the last .1 of a mile, I’m passing everyone else by!  I kicked off and found energy that I wish I was able to dig up many miles before!

The Finish Line

I crossed the finish line and found Dan looking like her barely ran.  15 seconds later Tony hopped on over.  There was boxes and boxes of food available from bananas  to oranges, Cape Cod chips, to coconut water, to this almond/granola breakfast thing, to literally whole loafs of bread! The bread people tried to convince us we should take two loafs! I had to politely decline since I could only see so much bread in so short of a time.  We grabbed a small box to hoard all our spoils of the race in.

Run To Remember 6
A cat burglar tried to steal our spoiled while we napped…

The Results

I finished in 1:36:51.  A PR, an almost 2 minute PR, but I still felt a little heartbroken or maybe just tired.  I was striving for a 1:35 and felt really disappointed in myself.  The course was easy but even the 1:36:51 took a lot of effort to reach for the whole race.  The weather was prefect for running since it stopped raining.  However, no matter how hard I tried, my legs just felt heavy for the entire course.  I don’t know if it was the full week of rain and clouds, the lack of speed workouts, or too much running on Friday, but my legs just had no energy.

Overall Place – 368/6,393
Division – 37/1,610

Tony, Dan and I finished the race and we each had 3 medals and 3 PRs

Run To Remember 2

Tony PRed by like 6 minutes or more from two weeks ago.  He ran a 1:43:16 in Providence but crushed it with a 1:37:05.  He also barely runs beyond the races we do, so feel free to hate him because I do! ❤

Run To Remember 4

In 2010, his first race, he ran 1:58 on the same course.  Since three years ago, his training consists of doing half marathons when I run my races and he has cut it by 20 minutes with probably only like 20 runs!

Run To Remember 5
If you’re wondering what a 1:26:54 half marathoner looks like, this is it. I’m incredibly jealous and proud of Dan!

My friend Dan, who I’ll be chasing after during the NYC marathon, completely crushed the race!  We ran the Malden 10K, two months ago and finished within 15 seconds of each other.  However, between those past couple of months, he has secretly become a white Kenyan.

Run To Remember 3

As you can see, just as soon as we finished running, the day started to get gorgeous.  Still cold but the sun was shining!

Did you race last weekend?

Have you ever been a little sad about a PR before?

NYC Marathon, Spartan Freak Out and a Week 21 Recap – 50 Miler Training

The good news –

NYC marathon accept

Yea, don’t think I’ve ever been happier about a $255 charge on my card.  I got into the NYC Marathon on my second year attempt!  Although this will be my most expensive race.

The nervous news –

I’m not more nervous than excited after reading the description of my spartan race.

“3-4 miles with 25 obstacles including a few new surprises. Extremely steep, this course winds up, down, across, and back on this monolithic mountain, giving racers the most challenging sprint in NY Tri-state history.”

I’m pretty sure I’m going to die.  How did I go from 3 miles with 12 obstacles to 3-4 with 25!  Oy.

And now for last week’s training summary because I don’t have my Run to Remember race recap yet.

Monday – Rest!

Tuesday – 8 Miles
Don’t know how but I got myself into a fast run.  I guess that’s the magic of rest days.  8 minute miles on incline 2 on the evil work treadmill.

Wednesday – 13.1 Miles
7 Miles for an hour on incline 3, 8:30 pace.  6.1 after work.  My 6.1 miler felt sluggish and awful.  Got down to 7:58 pace on a path I know I could hit 7:30 or lower on.

Thursday – Rest
It was raining, I was lazy, and the run just never happened.

Friday – 5 Miles
This is probably where I went wrong in my taper.  I was tapering like I would for a full marathon, another mistake but I didn’t want to give up too many miles. And even then I did 1 mile too long.  I should have stopped at 30 minutes but the running felt comfortable that I went for an extra mile.  Ran 5 miles at about 7:50 pace on incline 2.  That was one of my fastest run on my work treadmill.

Saturday – 2 Miles
Testings out my legs, did 2 miles in 14 minutes and felt great!

Sunday – 27 Miles
The first 13.1 miles was the Run To Remember.  I’ll have a full race recap but because although a PR for me, it wasn’t what I was hoping for.  Disappointed a little but I’m okay because there will be more races. After taking a nap, watching some Arrested Development and cuddling with the cat, I finally got enough energy to go for a second run.  I still felt too time constrained for the trails so instead I stuck to the familiarity of the roads.  Ran 12 miles on pavement at about 8:40 pace, took a small drink break and then finished with 2 more on my treadmill.  I got tired of looking at concrete so I figured the spiderwebs in my basement made a great change of scenery.

Total Miles – 55.2

Total Feelings – It was nice to have a break!

Becoming #SpartanStrong as I #LiveWithFire

Although new to Reebok, apparel, I’ve been a devoted fan since October of last year when I got the chance to run with them for the Tufts 10K in some awesome gear.

Tufts 10K Reebok Gear
Also, the only race photo of me I truly love, so I plug it whenever I can 😉

Which on a side note registration is open for 2013 at $40 for 10K all women race.

Okay enough about the good old times and now back to the present.  So when I was presented with an opportunity to run the Spartan Sprint Race with Reebok through my affiliation with Fitfluential, I did not dare to hesitate!

What is the Spartan Race?

“Spartan Race is an international obstacle racing series with three levels of courses: 3 mile Sprints, 8 miles Supers (Olympic Distance) and 10 – 12 miles Beasts (Ultra Distance) where you will run, jump and crawl your way over a dozen or more obstacles put in your way!”

I’ll be participating in the 3 mile sprint in Tuxedo, NY with a dozen or so obstacles, which makes it about a quarter mile run before my limits are tested each time.

This won’t be my first time at the rodeo, or Spartan ring in this case.  I did a sprint back in 2010, way before I realized I was a running addict. I was training for some of my first 5Ks back then.  And of course, Tony was there with me! <333 See Tony, you were there from the beginning of my running addiction, you could have stopped it back then, so this is all YOUR fault. <33
Spartan Race

I know we look a little too clean for a couple that crawled through mud and ran through fire, but it was 90 degrees, we ran a noon heat and there was a run through water obstacle that we went back to as soon as we finished running to clean and cool off in.

It kicked my butt! And arms and legs and every muscle in my body. And I’ve avoided obstacle courses for a few years.  However, now with many more miles under my legs, and many more falls and bruises on my knees, I am ready to return.

Reebok has also provided me with some awesome gear that I’ve been training in.  My training hasn’t been as obstacle focused as I want since I am still focusing on my trail 50 miler as my main goal but if running for 12 hours on a New England trial doesn’t get me in Spartan shape, then I don’t know what will.  Although I still have this fascination with CrossFit that I’ve been too cheap to look into.

I got outfitted with two pairs of shoes, the Reebok Zig Carbon and Sublite Duo Run. When I first saw the Zig Carbon shoes, I really couldn’t imagine walking in them let alone anything else. Although less than 7.5 oz, they just looked so clunky and funky!

Reebok Shoes

However, they have become one of my favorite shoes to work out.  The zig-zag sole makes me feel like I’m flying when I’m doing my burpees. Yes, in order to prepare for the Spartan race I’ve been doing lots and lots of burpees.  I heard you need to do 30 of them for each failed obstacle and I’m preparing for both successes and failures on the course.

The zig-zag sole is designed for responsive cushioning, a full length carbon fiber plate for structured support in the midfoot, and a high abrasion rubber outsole for durability. Plus, I’m in LOVE with the purple and coral color!

I also got outfitted!

Reebok Shirt
I don’t know what looks worse me post 15 trail miles, or our wallpaper construction projection

The Strength ¾ Sleeve Top is from the Reebok One Collection.  It’s very soft and comfortable even when the world (or the trial in my case) feel cold and cruel.  I wish the colors were reversed a little with my black.  The white made a nice display of all the bugs I sadly crushed as I ran through the woods.

Reebok Shorts

A little dumb but the first time I wore the PWR Hot Shorts was during a rainy marathon a day after a 20 miler.  Risky, but I trusted Reebok that much based on my other experience.  If you haven’t noticed I don’t usually run or race in shorts, and prefer skirts.  I have this theory that one half of my butt is bigger than the other because one side of the shorts always rides up.  Not an issue at all during the Providence marathon!  So maybe my behind is lopsided afterall!

I was going to race in the shorts again this past weekend for my half marathon but the temperature dropped to the low 40s.  So instead I wore PWR Fitted Capri.

PVR Capri

I’m still working on the race recap, but I did PR (1:36:51).  However, I can’t seem to locate any photos in my awesome pants other then this slightly weird one of the back.  I love the STRNGTH logo!  Even though I’m not a fan of writing on my butt, this kinda works.

Overall, like everything else, I am in love with Reebok One collection.  The clothes are comfortable, fitted, really SOFT and durable!

Unfortunately the Tuxedo Spartan Sprint event on June 2nd is all sold out, so you can’t join the one and awesome Team Run To Munch but there’s plenty of future events on the Spartan Race calender. I also found a few coupon codes if you’re interested in honor of memorial day.

  • Sprint15 – $15 off any Spartan Sprint
  • Super25 – $25 off any Super Spartan
  • Beast35 – $35 off any Spartan Beast

The codes expire on Tuesday May 29th at midnight EST.

 Have you ever done an obstacle course?  

Do you have any last minute (week of) tips for me?

Running Races in the Rain, First Half Marathon Flashbacks

I’m running a race this Sunday, Run to Remember Half Marathon and guess what the weather is like?

It starts with gross and ends with miserable.

Weekend Weather

But worry not, I’m a pro by now.  If anything Hyannis, SLC, & Providence have though me is that a little rain or a lot of rain hasn’t killed me yet.  Although it did a pretty good number on me at Hyannis.

Half the distance should be easy, and I laugh at 20 MPH winds!  Or maybe I’m just crying from the tears of waking up at 5AM to run in the rain and wind at 7AM.

One word of advice I can give myself and possibly others. Don’t do this!

Cox Marathon

Aside from looking stupid in all your race photos, you will often wonder why you didn’t throw away the sweatshirt.  Fear of being cold? Concept of well I made this far in the race with it, why throw it away now? Maybe it’s a good luck sweat shirt? Yea, do yourself a favor and don’t even start with a sweatshirt.  Just shiver and jump around like the normal kids, or throw it away like the champs do it.

Hat on the other hand? Great idea! There’s something highly unpleasant about having rain and wind hit you in the face, at least the hat will block the rain.

Check out my other brilliant lessons from running in the rain on an older post.

I’ve been hoping for a PR this race since my last one was a year ago.  Although I haven’t been training for speed, I think I earned it… Yea I’m constantly thinking I deserve things I don’t work for.  It part of my charm.

Also Tony will be running this half with me.  That’s very special for me.  Why?

Because not only is Boston’s Run to Remember my first half marathon, but it was also Tony’s! We ran it together in 2011.

And then we limped together for a week straight.  Neither of us trained for it. My longest run was 9 miles and I thought how could I possibly ever run more.  Tony’s run was probably even shorter, but he’s a natural.  Clearly, I’m an idiot or a masochist since now 2 years later I training for the 50 miler in the dead of night in the woods.  Sometimes I wonder what’s wrong with me.  Don’t answer!

The first year I ran Run To Remember I ran 1:48:45

The second year I ran in 1:38:46

Clearly, I’m destined to run a 1:28:45 and qualify for the NYC marathon, because that’s one robbery lottery I probably won’t ever win.

Okay regardless, PR or no PR (although I really hope for a magical PR) I’m excited to run one of my favorite races through my favorite city with my favorite people!

Even if it is a 7AM….

Jack Meower

Anyways tell me about your weekend plans? I know a of people got races!  Are you running Run to Remember? How’s your weather looking?

Yelp Elite Paint-Up Throwdown at The Paint Bar with Slumbrew

I love Yelp and I love being an elite.  Enough to stick through it for 5 years, my longest commitment! About once a month, I have the awesome opportunity to check out some new place with free booze, grub and awesome fellow Yelpers.

This time we went to Paint Bar at their new Newbury St. Back Bay Location (they also have one in Newton).  I’ve heard a lot about Paint Nite that happens at various bars around the country and have been curious about this new painting trend.  My skills died in middle school when I took art and a teacher told me to add an extra layer of paint that literally shattered a whole semesters worth of work. Even drawing stick figures is a challenge

IMG_9269

Paint Bar follows the paint and sip trend of teaching literally anyone (like me) into creating a masterpiece.  The bar was opened by a sister/mother team and is truly a family owned local business.

So of course upon entering, I got in line and excitedly gathered my paint pumps (they tell you how much to get of each color.)
Paint Bar Yelp Elite

Proper Slice provided us some pizzas.  I liked the pesto/olive slice.  And yes it was a struggle to not mix up my pizza plate with my paint plate.

Yelp Paint Bar 2

Then our instructor Mia led us on a fun painting adventure.  We laughed, we drank, we sang and we got our paint on.

Yelp Paint Bar

And yes my crown glowed and blinked like a VIP princess.

Paint Bar Yelp Elite 2

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Slumbrew another awesome family owned local business made sure our thirst as always satisfied and our cups never got empty.  The beers we drank finished brewing just 5 hours ago!  The trick to painting while drinking or drinking while painting is not to drink from the solo cup no matter how appealing it begins to look.

Paint Bar Yelp Elite 3

And yes, my work of art is hanging now for everyone to bask in its glory.

Have your ever done a “paint & sip” event?

50 Miler – Week 20 Recap – Another Week of 80 Miles!

Hitting 80 miles the week before was exhausting and truth be told I did not want to go that high in miles again.  However, I realized with a certain half marathon (I’m going to taper for) and a weekend away visiting family and the Spartan race on the calender, it was time to step up my game and suffer just a little bit more.

Monday – REST! Seriously  I don’t think I loved my rest days as much during marathon training as I do now.

Tuesday – 11.5 Miles
For the first time in what seemed like forever but was only a month, I woke up earlier to run.  Did some mile repeats for about 5 miles at average pace of 7:28.  Felt good to sweat that early again.  However, the wake up is still a struggle.  I ran about 6.5 miles during lunch.  I thought I would struggle after the Cox Marathon but finished in under 52 minutes on incline 3 on the evil work treadmill.  It’s funny how the days you expect bad runs, the good ones pop up.

Wednesday – 16 Miles
My big day of double runs! 8 miles outside on the Charles at what I thought was a fast pace but since I had no Garmin and Runkeeper stopped working on my phone, I’m not too sure.  My evening run almost stopped after 1 mile when it started to downpour on me.  Luckily, I have my basement treadmill and I finished the last 7 in about 8 minute pace.  It felt great!

Thursday – 7 Miles
Ran on the Charles for about an hour for about 7 miles in a relaxed pace. Figured I should use some recovery miles after two days of double runs. People watched and enjoyed the sunshine!

Friday – 4.5 Miles
Planned for 6, was making great speed on incline 3 during lunch when my hamstring suddenly felt tight.  It hurt to continue running and so I immediately stopped and foam rolled like crazy.  I ain’t risking an injury over an extra mile or two! Felt pretty cranky rest of the evening and kept stretching.

Saturday – 23.7 miles!  
My favorite run!  Ran with one of my favorite trail running buddies.  We ran about 13 miles together on different trails in the fells.  After we parted, I got the brilliant idea to run the reservoir trail on my own and took a nice little stumble on mile 20 pretty much bruising up my whole right side.  Between the fall last week and the fall this week, I probably will not be wearing dresses or skirts to work for a while. Yea, if you want to lose the will to run, fall on the end of your run, that did it.  Overall I finished over 20 miles on the trail (the rest were roads) and was on my feet for 5 hours.  I think that was successful enough even with the fall.  Plus whatever issue I’m having with the tight hamstring doesn’t seem to be an issue when I run trails.  Now if only I could learn to lift my legs more so I can stumble less.

I did come across a few heat issues and more bruises than just from falling.  My arm fat chaffed a little (okay a lot) where my triceps should be, and my camelbak which never had an issue before cut into my neck.  I might start wearing bandaid or something to have an extra layer between skin and my camelbak.  Anyone have better suggestions?  Basically aside from my feet where I was well prepared, my skin was feeling pretty raw =(.

Sunday – 18 Miles
I wanted to do about 20 miles because I figured whats better than a back to back 20 miler.  However, I lasted 3 and half hours running and figured between the trails and the rain, it was good enough.  Final round out about 13 miles on trails, 3 on the road and 2 on the treadmill after I had enough for the rain and my Camelbak trying to cut my neck off.  I ran about 2 miles with Tony before he left me and about 11 with some TARC friends. While I love running on the roads alone, I really enjoy company on the trails.  I didn’t track pace too much outside the treadmill run which was about 8:10 pace for the last 2 miles. Trails varied between 11 to 13 depending on the trails and if I had to go downhill.

 Total Miles – 81

Total Feelings – Legs & body feel great, but starting to feel like I always lack time to live!

Zion National Park – Watchman Trail – An Underrated Classic Hike

One of my first hikes as Zion was on Watchman trial, a very classic hike but quite underrated compared to others.  We started the hike around 10AM and was probably one of the more animal filled hikes I had in Zion probably because there was a lot less humans around.  Best part? The hike is only 2 miles and can be completed in an hour – two depending on how much time you take for photos and snacks.

Watchman 3

The hike starts probably about 5-10 minute walk from Watchman Campsite and an even shorter walk from the visitor center

Watchman 5

Within a 10 minute walk you get an amazing view!

Watchman 4 And a new friend, a mule deer
Watchman 2

Lots and lots of lizards

Watchman 1

And a crawly snack for the lizard

Watchman 10

After about a 456 foot ascent, you’re pretty much as the top with this amazing view at 4419 ft.

Watchman 9

One warning, it gets pretty hot since most of the hike is exposed.  Wear sunblock because even in Mid April, within 30 minutes this kid’s neck was fried.

Watchman 8

More lizard friends.  I can tell you after a week of hiking I was a lizard and squirrel expert photographer.

Watchman 7

And Cacti!! Loved how within an hour I previewed all the parts of Zion that I would hike through the rest of the week.

Watchman 6

Another amazing view photo of the Zion Canyons

Watchman 1

The top has a great picnic/resting area to relax and enjoy before making the descent   We heard that 5 minutes before we got there, there was a horned sheep citing but sadly we did not see it.  Overall great hike for the 90 minutes of time!

Last Vegas – Sights Nearby

On our drive back from the Grand Canyon, the first stop we made aside from McDonalds (I love my berry smoothies) was the Hoover Dam!

Hoover Dam

If you’re wondering just how big the dam thing is, here’s a summary:

Hoover Dam 1

Although due to national security or something you are no longer allowed to take a tour of the dam, however, you can admire from above and take a tour of the plant, for a fee of course.

Hoover Dam 3

Parking is about $8 and access to the visitor center and plant is another $11 per person.  If you’re traveling with lots of kids, I don’t think its worth it, but if you don’t mind paying its about a 30 minute tour which includes a short video before they hurry you back out.

Hoover Dam 4

Inside one of the two viewing areas they take you in the plant.  Unlike most government projects nowadays, the Hoover Dam was completed UNDER budget and 2 years early!

Hoover Dam 5

The dam’s generators provide power for public and private utilities in Nevada, Arizona, and California!

Hoover Dam 6

The marble floor had these cool random designs like this plug one here.

Hoover Dam 2

And just in case you’re wondering if this place is still worth seeing, here’s some honors it got above.

Now I’ll skip the part about Vegas strip (for now, because it warrant’s its own post of gratuitous photos.)  Instead I’ll share on a sight that’s about 90 minutes North of Vegas.

Valley of Fire Vegas 7

You would think we didn’t get enough red rock at Bryce  or Zion National Park.   But no, I decided a visit to Nevada’s Valley of Fire was a must.  Besides there’s only so many yard sticks of margaritas a girl can drink in daylight.

Valley of Fire Vegas 6

Valley of Fire of Nevada’s OLDEST state park located 50 miles northeast of Vegas.  The beautiful red rocks formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of dinosaurs.

Valley of Fire Vegas 5

The Valley of Fire completed earned its name as we were melting in sweat within 2 minutes of being out of the car.  I think our dashboard say it was 98 degrees outside.  Dry heat or humid, 98 degrees is hot!

Valley of Fire Vegas 4

A camping shelter Tony found refuge in.  There’s even a fireplace! Maybe in the winter the temperatures get more mild?

Valley of Fire Vegas 3

It’s hot and bright but I suffered from view-point to view-point in the name of photos.

Valley of Fire Vegas 2

There is about 11 miles of scenic drive with look out points.  A few of the look out points have a mile or 2 of hiking trail available that in cooler temps (or those who can wake up early) would have been worthwhile!

Valley of Fire Vegas 1

I think it cost about $10 (per vehicle) to enter the park and we spent around 2 hours between driving and the small visitor center.  Had we been hike ready, we could have definitely spent another hour, (or at least I could have, Tony might have still stayed in the car glaring at me).

Cox Providence Rhode Island Marathon Race Recap

The Cox Marathon and United Healthcare Half Marathon was held on Sunday May 12th, 2013.  There was also a 5K I think on Saturday.  I don’t remember the total cost of registration since I signed up half a year ago, but it was cheaper than a RnR race but not as cheap as a local trail marathon.  I think the cost was pretty high if you signed up last minute.

Anyway, Tony and I had great hopes of making it to the expo, getting our numbers and relaxing in Providence in our AirBnB room.  Than this happened:

Not the best photo, but basically bumper to bumper traffic nightmare.  What should have been an hour drive took more than two.  Why is 93S always a nightmare?  I don’t know how people who live south of Boston survive.  Please share your secrets.

Since we missed our number pick up, next order of business was food.  I got to meet fellow DailyMiler Sara (who was running the half) and her husband for dinner at Spumoni where we shared in their tradition of carboloading.

Past Carbo Load

I’m sad this photo doesn’t do complete justice.  Its basically a seafood pasta dish made for 8-10 people that me and Sara split.  Tony had such a blast that he wants to add pasta dinner to our potential new pre-race tradition.

We kept the night short after dinner.  Since we missed getting our numbers on Saturday, we had to wake up earlier.  I even had time for coffee, a kind bar and half a bagel while I waited for Tony to get ready!  Our room was an 8 minute drive from the start and we found parking about 2 blocks away.  Score! Getting the number was easy but I got a little cranky when it came to getting our shirts.  They only had LARGE for half marathon and Extra Large for the full.  Yea, clearly making people pick their sizes at registration had no purpose.  I wanted to complain (because I love me a good rant) but I knew complaining to the kind misguided volunteer would be mean and pointless.  Instead, I took the shirt they had and decided I could always use a new running dress instead.

Cox Marathon Liana

I felt pretty great and excited for someone who ran 20 miles and broke her butt the day before.  Marathon 7!

Now when I first signed up for the race, I thought the half and the full started together and ran part of the same course.  Since I knew I was not going to race this, I was hoping to have Tony for company.  Well that plan was spoiled.  The marathon and half marathon are two separate races that start at separate time.  The full at 7:30 and the half at 8.  I also think that for the most part they run totally different courses.

Cox Marathon Start Line

I got into the starting line around the 8 min pace area.  I was even a little bit early just to be disappointed.  The race start about 10 minutes late.  Tony told me the half was even worse and started about 30 minutes late.

Cox Marathon

The course started a little hilly that had more downs than ups for the first 5 miles (also meaning more ups than downs for the last 5 miles since it was an out and back course).  However, the next 16 miles or so were pleasantly flat and mostly on a really nice bike trail I would one day like to bike.

Cox Marathon 14 Mile

Sometimes the mile markers felt like they were forever apart like mile 14! I’m pretty sure my Garmin is correct.  Luckily by the course end my Garmin and the finish line mostly agreed.  I was only .2 miles off which between me walking a bit off course after mile 20 for water breaks and all the turns probably made sense.

Cox Marathon 20 Mile

The good part about not racing a course, is that I got to enjoy the views and take some photos.  Seeing mile 20 as my final stretch really lifted my spirits.

Cox Marathon 23 Mile

I think this hill was around mile 22… yea not going to lie, this felt painful!  The last 5 miles were worse than Boston.  While most of the course is flat and easy, the last 5 miles are anything but! After this true heartbreaker, I downgraded to a complete run-walk approach.  I walked most hills and ran all downhills or flat areas.  I called Tony around the start of the hills telling him I should be done in an hour with only 5 miles left.  I knew that as soon as these started, my pace and race was over.

Cox Marathon Finish Line I did try to finish strong though!  Although I walked a little on mile 26, the .2 was a full on sprint of kicking to pass as many people as I can.  Also, I think I should get some extra brownie points of being the idiot who ran with a wet hoodie holding her waist down the entire race.  There was potential for rain and I had a great fear of being cold when I hit my wall so I dragged the ugly old thing through the whole race just in case.  It would have been smarter to wear my arm sleeves instead but eh I’m not too bright at 6AM in the morning.

Cox Marathon Pace Elevation

Looking at my splits, I think a part of me prematurely gave up running after mile 20.  Since I wasn’t racing, and I wasn’t going to PR, my mind convinced me that I didn’t really need to try too hard or really at all and just took the last 6 miles easy.  I was tired, but there’s no real reason why my pace dropped 1-2 minutes per mile just because of the hills.
Cox Marathon Finish Time

After the finished line I was completely drained.  Although surprisingly my legs are champs and did not hurt, my back was killing me!  I must have had some weird posture on the last 5 miles.  As soon as I met up with Tony, I put the stupid hoodie I dragged all race to use by laying on it and stretching on a curb.  I kept it classy.

The food at the end was greasy pizza and bananas.  I happily ate my slice and celebrated myself.  We also had beer tickets but after walking to the car to get my license, I just really wanted to shower.  Actually I’m lying, I was just too lazy to walk the two blocks back for the beer at 11AM.  I’m sad I missed meeting up with more Daily Mile friends but it was Mother’s day so we had to return back to Boston.

Overall, aside from anger issues with the shirts, I thought the race went great and was pretty well organized for a medium size race.  The course is flat and fast (for New England).  The volunteers on the course did a great job.  I swear I think I saw GU or bananas available every other water stop (which were about 1.5 miles apart).  I wish the roads were more closed off but since most of the race was on the bike path, dealing with cars was only a few seconds at a time.  Although some of those few seconds were a little scary.  I think if all goes well, I might come for this race next year in hopes of a PR.

Now the stats because I just like knowing them.

Total Time 3:41:47
Pace – 8:28
Overall Place 269/1,267
Gender Place 65/616

Did you race last weekend or this weekend?

50 Miler – Week 19 Recap – Hit my 50 miler training peak

When I first started “planning,” well actually more like a general visualization of what my training will be like for the upcoming months of the 50 miler, I thought I would have lots of 90s, even 100 mile weeks.  It seemed easy after following one too many ultra runners on facebook who on a daily whim run a 50K like its eating breakfast.

Well needless to say, that did not happen.  On many weeks I struggled to even hit 60 miles, often resulting in 2 runs a day to get my mileage in.  I still think I can handle 90 miles of running a week physically but mentally, I struggle for the time and energy.  I struggle to find time for friends and family, for being focused at a full time 8:30-5:30 (often longer in March/April) job.  I struggle to find time to follow all my TV shows I love (Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time, Vampire Dairies etc.).  Then, there’s this little blog that I love working on.  And this doesn’t even brush any normal life chores, home ownership or interests I may have.  So yes, mentally and time-wise handling a 90 mile week on a regular basis just did not happen like I thought I would.  I considered waking up earlier, but I love my sleep too much and it’s been a cold long winter.  Maybe next year….

So instead I think I’ve reached what will be the mileage pinnacle of this training cycle… 81 Miles.  Here’s a breakdown of how it got done.

Total Miles

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – 16 Miles
I did two runs outsides of 8 miles each.  One around noon at 7:50 pace, one after work at 8:37 pace.  Needless to say, the evening run was a struggle.

Sometimes on rough days, I take even a short run outside and remember just how lucky I am to be able to run where I am.

Wednesday – 6.2 Miles
54 minutes on my work treadmill at incline 3.  I thought I would struggle because I ran the night before.  However, I think the slower evening pace was easier to recover than the faster midday run I took.

Thursday – 7 Miles
Incline 2 on the treadmill after work.  I struggled to wake up early to run so that didn’t happen so evening miserable run it was.

Friday – 6 Miles
About 50 minutes mostly on incline 2 with some 3s thrown in.  It was a struggle to run on Friday, esp with my plans for Saturday & Sunday but I had a goal of wanting to hit 80 miles so I took it slow and stopped as soon as I reached 6 miles.

Saturday – 20 trail miles
About 16 miles of trails.  As mentioned before I fell before I even reached mile 10.  There was crying, there was pouting and then I ran 10 miles more for a total of 4 hours and about average pace of 12 minutes which included my crying/falling time.

Sunday – 26.2 Miles
Cox Providence Marathon.  I’ll have a full recap up when I have time but for now, here’s the summary:

Cox Marathon Finish Time

Total Mileage – 81 Miles

Total Feelings – Cloud 9! After hitting some low worrying points on the upcoming 50 miler, I’m back in the I can do this mood!  I almost ran 50 miles over the weekend.  I was short 3.6 miles! What stopped me on Sunday? I already showered and washed my hair for a dinner.  Yes, I’m a girl, sometimes I skip runs because I don’t want to blowdry my hair again. Deal with it.