2012 Newport Unitedhealthcare Half Marathon Recap

The Amica half marathon took place October 14th.  I think registration was $55 for the half and $85 for the full when we signed up.  I’m sure it was slightly lower a few months before and higher closer to the date.   originally signed up for the marathon but pansied out due to a crappy run, busy work schedule and being whiny and switched last minute to the half.

United Healthcare Half Marathon

I think technically the half is called United Healthcare and the full was Amica but I keep hearing them being used interchangeably so if I mix them up, know I’m talking about the same thing.

Expo & Swag Bag

The expo was held the day before and was open til 7PM! I was super excited about it being open late due to my history of missing number pick-up when RnR expos close before 5PM.  So if you drive up after work, it’s a pain to get there in time.

The expo was small, I think they had a local running retailer there, I think powerbar stand was there and Vermont Cabot cheese samples which were my favorite.  I often wonder if I’m judged when I go up and get 5 samples.  There wasn’t anyone else there so I’ll write it of as okay!

The Course and Race

The course for the half is truly one of the most beautiful courses that I have ever ran.  I don’t think I ever ran a race on the east coast that gave so much both historical street and ocean view access to the runners.  Great job!

I woke up around an hour before start time.  I wasn’t expecting much from my body so I think I ate one of those go lean bars or something with protein and sugar.  Not my smartest prerace fuel but with rain in the forecast I was feeling quite negative.

The shuttle buses were super easy as we were staying only a few minutes from shuttle bus area and we got to the starting line about 15 minutes early.  Just enough time to use the porta pottys… except the lines were super long and after standing and not moving for 10 minutes I gave up and decided maybe I’ll just run fast enough to hold it in.

Yup those are the bathroom lines!

Doesn’t Tony look excited?

The weather grew more and more ominous as race start was delayed.  Finally 15 minutes later we were given the okay to go!

From the beginning, Tony ditched me and decided he wanted nothing to do with the 7min pace corral.  What can I say, I had great ambitions.

I had Runkeeper couch set to 7:15 but my splits ended up as follows –

mi Pace (min/mi) Elevation (ft)
1 7:01 66
2 6:42 -44
3 7:15 14
4 7:11 -33
5 7:29 0
6 7:28 -1
7 7:40 1
8 7:23 0
9 7:19 13
10 7:45 -16
11 7:47 36
12 8:12 30
13 7:32 -65

Most of the miles went by okay.  My favorite and least favorite were miles 6-8 that were along the super windy ocean drive that took no prisoners   Miles 7 the wind went against you that I thought I was going to kneel over but by mile 8 we switched directions and the wind pushed me forward in glorious strength.

Mile 12 was a tough one for me.  My legs felt dead, I took a short walk break and found a safety pin in my shoe!   I don’t know how I ran 12 miles with a safety pin in my shoe but I guess the cold blocked it all out.  It was a good mile to walk through as the last mile went through the rows mansions and fancy houses.

The last half mile was filled with people cheering, including my own friends and I knew walking was simply not allowed.  I shuffled my way forward and when I saw the clock was at 1:37 I knew that if I just pushed hard enough I could have a slight PR.

The Results!

Total Time 1:38:08
Pace 7:30
Place 166/3346 overall 28/1993 female 14/621 Age group

Boston Spring Half Marathon Discounts & How to Find Race Discount codes

I’m still alive!!

I have much to write about… well actually mostly photo blog about my trip to Spain.  However, between limited internet and my mom I’m way behind my usual travel blogging schedule. Let’s just say that bringing my mom to Spain has been a once in a life time opportunity, meaning, once in a life time is more than enough!

While checking my emails I saw some discounts or promo prices on half marathons I’ve been debating about signing up and thought I would share.  I always get frustrated when I can’t figure out when registration opens or when race fee discounts are available so i figured I’d save you some frustration.

2013 Boston Run To Remember has opened up as a 2 week promo price of $45 (Until November 13).  It’s a no frills type of race and compared to the BAA half marathon, a lot less pretentious. I’m waiting for registration to open up at http://www.bostonsruntoremember.org

2013 New Bedford Half Marathon has a $5 off promo equaling to $45.  Code is AXNEWBED5.

I talked about both of these races in my 2013 New England Races post.

How I find race discount codes

1. Twitter stalk – Rock n Roll/Competitor group is always posting different promos for their races on twitter

2. Zozi – You can’t plan for these but I always see random half marathons pop up on the site.  Usually I’m a bit disgruntled as I already signed up for that race.  Also if it’s a half marathon, it will sell out as they are always limited quantity!  They also do a lot of those mud/obstacle course races on the site among other things.

3. For races I know I want to do, I sign up for the mailing lists and see when registration opens up.  This doesn’t usually get me a code but it does get me the lowest race fee.

I know other deal sites have things now and then but I haven’t found any good consolidated source.l  Anyone computer techny enough to start a site for it?  Like a retailmeornot for races!

Well it looks like it finally stopped raining so I’m out to find some flamenco dancing!

Rock N Roll Providence Half Marathon Race Recap

I wanted to post a recap before my hectic workweek started so please don’t get too offended at the typos and lack of gratuitous photos of me and Tony.  

What a crazy stressful but exciting 24 hours!  Finally back in Boston and this is how I feel:

The Rock N Rock Providence Half Marathon took place in Providence Rhode Island on August 19th.  It started at a sweet time of 7AM.  I think the cost ranged from $65-$125.

The expo – I can’t write a review because I missed it by 2 minutes! Yup this is part of the stressful 24 hours.  We left Boston at 3PM and planned to get there at 4PM to pick up our numbers but traffic was crazy!  After crawling 10 miles in an hour we got moving.  Even with kinda legal speeding we made it there by 5:02! Yes, two minutes late and they would not let me pick up our bibs.  While being stuck in gridlock traffic I might have had a semi crying breakdown.  It’s not the end of the world to miss a race but I was looking forward to it for a few weeks now!  Anyways luckily some of my awesome dailymile friends assured me that I could get the bibs before the race at the solutions tent.  And seriously if you’re picking up numbers for a RnR race, don’t ever run late.  Those people literally slammed the door in my pace and said no to me as I was clawing at the door at 5:02PM.

The Course & My Experience – I thought the course was killer.  I haven’t been running at the treadmill as often as I used to and instead have been taking my runs to the streets but more on the crazy hills later

Anyways from the start.  Set my alarm to 5:40, made it out of the b&b by 6AM.  Got to the race area by 6:10.  I left the car while Tony looked for parking and searched out the “solutions tent”  which was all the away across the park.  So I jogged to the tent.  Tried to grab mine and Tony’s number and even though I had his ID and signed life waiver, they still would not give me his bib!  Freak out a bit, called him and freaked out some more for him but hey at least I got my bib.

Luckily he saw meter parking and didn’t deal with the mall parking which takes like half an hour to do.  I got my race shirt (which is actually really cute and girly and Tony is totally thrilled to rock it on all his runs now).  Since I had crackers and a jacket and swag bag, I needed to check my bag.  Bag check was all the way once again across the park where I started.  Jogged there and it took like 1 second so that was easy except I realized I forgot my headphones!  So here I am running my first race without music, or runkeeper to pace me.

Then my epic potty journey started!  (P.S. I’m starting the movement where runners talk about their potty needs just as often as they talk about about their injuries).

While running back and forth across the field of the park. I found a runner’s refreshment area that I never knew existed at RnR races.  They had bananas, oranges, mini bagels and water!  I chugged a bottle of water since I don’t really think I hydrated well the past 24 hours which of course just ended in me needing a potty right after I got into my corral which were of course was across the damn park.

Crap, the portapotty line did not move.  I waited on it for 15 minutes with little movement and gave up and thought maybe I can hold it in.  Ran back across the park and got back into corral 1 when my stomach was like nope you should go find a potty. So I jumped out of the corral for the second time and was thinking maybe I could sneak into the elite/staff portapotty by the start of the line but then I saw the bus terminal and went in there. It was 6:54 and I had 6 minutes to gun time so I was getting antsy. Plus I told Tony I would meet him in corral 1 even though he joked that the bag check was probably the last time we’ll see each other during the race.  The bus station potty aside from being next to the starting line was clean and only had a 10 minute line (which is much better than the 25 the other porta ones outside where taking.)

By the time I got back into the starting line corral 4 was starting so I jumped to the front of the line.  Mile 1 was easy enough.  The crisp morning air felt nice on my race and I ran forward at some stupid crazy speed. By mile 2 I caught up to corral 3 which started 3 minutes before us and even found Tony.  I told him my epic tale before we parted ways again.

After mile 3 the hills started and I was like this isn’t too bad… I’m doing okay.  I can run without headphones.. one there’s a guy sounding like he’s about to die right next to me… I should not stare, should not stare.  Then mile 4 & 5 came and I thought my legs were going to die.  I suddenly regretted not running Tony’s hilly route more often and opting for my easy normal trail instead.  I cursed Providence and all the cute houses I ran by.

Mile 6-8 I’m not too sure what happened, but I think I spaced out.  There was a big down hill which was pretty enjoyable.  I don’t remember anything too scenic or visually stimulating until about mile 8.  Luckily the bands throughout the course were pretty enjoyable so I rocked out to them in my half delirious sleep deprived stressed out state.  Did I mention that I decided it was a good idea to not grab water until past mile 8. Yup I’m clearly a master at racing strategy.  I didn’t feel thirst until around mile 6 where no water was to be found for the next 2 miles.  Mile 8 was also along the waterfront of a park which I enjoyed!  I really enjoy all the miles in the park to be honest, maybe because they were mostly downhill.

Mile 9 had another hill and I cried a little inside.  Luckily it ended much faster than the hills in the first 5 miles.  Mile 10-13 were I think in circles around the same area where mile 1 was.  We ran out at mile 10 and I saw mile 12 marker on the other side where faster runners were making their way.  I told myself I just have to make it through this loop and I’ll be almost done with 1 mile to go.  I ran and ran and mile 11 marker seemed like it took FOREVER!  However one good thing about running without a phone was that I had no concept of time.  Usually when I get tired I tell myself run 5 minutes and walk a bit.  Since I had no idea what 5 minutes was I told myself I can’t stop until I reached the mile marker so I hustled forward.  Mile 12 marker seemed to pop up surprisingly fast and it was at that moment that my legs started to feel dead.  Since I had no phone to do my walk run routine I just told myself to keep running no matter what, no matter how slow it felt.

Finally the 13 mile marker came and just saw you don’t get too comfortable, you get to finish your last .1 miles up a steep climb through the finish line.

Per the website, the elevation looked liked this:

These always look a lot easier on a computer than on my legs as I run.

The Course Support

The support seemed awesome.  They had cute cheerleaders/boosters,, some locals and friends cheering, and some cool bands along the course.  I do think they could have used a few bit more water stations especially in the second half of the race when the sun came out and it was getting hot.  I only saw water every 2.5 miles or so it seemed.  They also had Gu at mile 8 which I think is nice of the race to provide since no other half marathon besides RnR ones that I ran did that.  However, I was too thirsty to use it and too lazy to open it.

The Swag, Medal and Post Race Refreshments

The swag in the bag was a bunch of fliers for RnR, some energy bean sample, a Gu and TUNA?!  Super weird but I’ll try it.

The shirt was nice and metals as usual are huge and heavy!  It’s more of a self defense weapon than a metal. The food post race was a little bare for my taste for the lofty race fee . They had bananas, oranges,those marathon bars, water, Gatorade, milk and popsicles! Its not as cool as clam chowdah and pizza at smaller races but food is food.  Either way I took a popsicle and refueled with my late night 7/11 purchase.

Yes it’s perfectly normal to eat a rice crispie treat the size of your forearm.

I didn’t get a chance to stick around for the concert afterwards but I did hear it was a rocking good time.

 Also, Michelob Ultra was a sponsor so everyone after the race had one drink..  However, you know what’s the one thing I don’t want at 8:40 AM in the morning?  Light Beer! Wish I could have used it in the PM instead =)

The Results and Finally Thoughts

This guy got a PR!

1:47:45 and if you want to be more angry?  His training consists of running about 10 miles a week or so!  And no he doesn’t cross train or do anything else.  Yes, I’m jealous.

That’s okay because I still beat him

And although it’s not a PR and I kinda wish I ran faster, I’m still okay with my results considering I didn’t taper and ran 45 miles before the race since Monday.

Overall, the race was very well-organized and any major bumps I had were not a result of the competitor group but were instead my personal situations.  I would recommend running the race again next year!

Gardening & Fish Tacos

I know today was a successful day, it involved a 15 mile run, gardening and fish tacos with me being at home in PJs by 10.

I know, you think I’m possessed but it’s been anB exhaustingB week! B I’m old now, gone are the days where 5 hours of sleep was all I needed for the week. B Before I get to today, I’ll recap the rest of the week.

Wednesday was a 6 mile run plus Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones. Love JM beyond words! B I gave up on doing the ToneItUp workouts as I see them as ineffective for the amount of time I need to put it. B I prefer Jillian’s wam bam thank you pain style instead.

Thursday’s run seem easy with an incline of 2 (vs. 3) and my speed up 30 seconds less per mile (8:30 vs 9:00).

Tony and I went to Cirque Du Soleil Totem on Thursday night as well. B The show was fun but 3 hours long so we got home way past our work bedtime.

You can still get discounted tickets on Goldstar for a discounted price of $30 and it’s well worth it!

We were trying to figure out a cheap (relatively) place to get dinner in the Seaport area which was no easy task, luckily with yelp I found Yankee Lobster Co.

The scallops and shrimp was yummy but even Tony didn’t touch the haddock. B It tasted like rubber so if you go there skip the fish and chips (although the chips were yummy) and get the scallops and shrimp. B So good! B It’s also right next door to the HarpoonB BreweryB so if you have extra time and are in the area take a tour.

I also picked up some curried couscous from the farmer’s market and voila dinner was grand.

Friday I ran 11 miles and was not in pain. B I’m trying to make up for the lack of running last week due to Chicago heat and exploration desire. B I want to PR again at Providence next month. B I know the chances are slim since I PRed at my last two half marathon but I’m going to give it the old college try! B If not, I’ll just mark another state of my half marathon check list.

As for today… Well today was busy. It started with meeting with a contractor to go over bathroom additions. B (Who wants to donate bathroom labor to the Liana’s home charity?). Eventually we ended up at Mahoney’s; a plant nursery. B My eyes were wide with wanting to plant every vegetable out there. B However, its end of season and there were not much options. B So luckily I did not blow all my pennies on plants that will probably die. B Aside from lack of ever having a garden, having a history of killing most house plants I owned (most of it was due to keeping my house at 45 degrees when I wasn’t home); the main problem is that our house doesn’t get direct sunlight much. B We have these trees that create lovely shade to sit in for people not veggies.

I present you my garden. B The previous owner lovedB cinder-blocks! B While I hope to remove them in the coming years, for now I’m leaving it as is. B I did spend like two hours elbow deep in the dirt trying to pull out all sorts of weeds and roots from god knows what. I think some of the weeds might have been older than me. B I felt bad for killing my elders but they had to go!

We got one head of lettuce to test out. B If the lack of sunlight doesn’t kill it, I’m sure the bunnies will eat it before I get to it.

We are also testing out one pepper plant!

TheB Impatiens my mother planted and the violet petunia that was on sale so I got it.

Our Herbal corner with my little Mrs. Burns Lemon basis and the giant mint plant I got today. B I’m now on the look out for dill but Mahoney’s was all out. B I hope my basil survives as I dragged it all the way back from Chicago’s Botanical Gardens (they were giving one out for free and it almost died when my luggage tried to crush it.)

After a visit to the garden shop and the farmer’s market, we got hungry. B Suburban living makes you hungry. B Luckily I had a EverSave coupon for a Mexican joint in Stoneham. B Three Amigos is a small family ownedB restaurantB of the main square in Stoneham. B We scanned the menu and wanted everything. B Luckily we learned that we can’t eat everything and tacos make crappy leftovers once assembled.

Tony’s huge steak burrito cookedB perfectly. B I can’t vouch for the meat being the highest grade but it was tender and I couldn’t taste the fat pieces that I usually do in cheapB MexicanB places.

I went with fish tacos! B I love fish tacos.

We also got adventurous and ordered the hot carrots. B It was interesting, sort of like pickled peppers.

By the time I was done de-weeding and pretending to garden it was 6:30 and I was determined to get a run in. B Yes, I can’t believe I did 15 miles today… This might be my longest run since May. B I’ve just been calling quits at 13 and I was pretty close to stopping at 11.4 when I stopped by the house for a little potty action (charming I am). B Regardless I went back out there and slowly pushed through the final 3.6 miles. B I started the run around 6:30 in the evening and decided to go at a comfortable pace which involved me not checking my pace or time and just running for the feel it. B I listened to “Grow your grub” B podcast and zoned out for a bit. B Of course I had no idea what any of the gardening things they talked about but it made me motivated! B I think not counting the home water/bathroom break I had an average 9 minute pace. B Afterwards I was starving again, so of course two bowls of noodles make a great source of refuel.

Do you have a garden? Any tips? Do you know anything that grows in shade besides mose?B

Also, ever do any home reconstruction projects on your own?

Sunday Runday – Week 1 of Maybe 50K Training

First of all, Happy Father’s day to the man who made me who I am today and to all great fathers in the world. B I’m very fortunate to have grown up and been surrounded by some very wonderful men in my life. B Sadly, I do not get to see either of the two father figures in my life on this day or often. B My grandfather passed away a few years ago and I miss him dearly. B Because I just moved and have been unpacking for a week I didn’t get a chance to go to NY to visit my parents but I hope to go down soon and visit them in the next few weekends.

If you’re on DailyMile, you’d notice I’m back on the running juice! B I am doing more cross training and more stretching, some ART therapy but for the most part I notice very little difference between running and not running for my tightB piriformisB muscle. B That does not mean that the 10 days off were a waste. B It gave my legs a nd knees some much-needed time off. B It also allowed me to reset my training cycle. B I have a few marathons coming up in the fall but I think ultimately I’m going to train for a 50K. B Not sure which one yet, but I’ve noticed I’m much better training for distance instead of speed so I always seem to get injured when I try to go fast. B Although I’m a forefoot runner, I’m still a very clumsy runner who always bouncing from side to side and yet somehow manages to not fall. B If I had to make a bet on the first runner to trip over her own feet, I would bet its me. B In fact there have been plenty of times on training runs where I somehow managed to kick myself while running on windy days. B The ART doc told me my hips are misaligned and maybe that’s part of it. B Hopefully as I work some more on strength, I can become a more balanced individual (no pun intended).

Its Sunday and this concludes what I’ll consider my first week back in training. B Just because it’s a regular Runday, doesn’t mean you can’t dress up.

My next race is RnR half in Providence and I wanted to test out my racing outfit I got this week. B Best (or maybe worst?) part, it cost me around $50. B Let’s face it, running trends like all others can add up pretty fast and I confess I’m a tool like all others to cute pinks objects. B Running accessories are no exceptions. B I tried to hold back but I finally caved it.

Target Tech Shirt $7 on sale

Marshalls Running Skirt with a zipper pocket in the back $14B I got this on Friday as I hunt down all running skirts except FILA that come in size XS so if you’re interested in one go and get one fast as I never see the same things there twice. B Only exception is FILA skirts because they suck! B I haven’t run in one but I tried on 3 and they already felt uncomfortable before I even started running. B At least in my humble opinion.

Zensah Calf Sleeves $34 as they were 20% off this week at City Sports. B I know I shouldn’t have but I just could not resist. B Perfect for those slightly cool days like today.

So a backwards recap of week 1 of training:

Sunday Run

Total Mile Ran today 10.52 – Outside – 2 podcasts (Running with the Pack & Jillian Michaels) worth!

Total Time 1:28:50 Average Pace 8:27

I stayed on the usual paved road that runs along the fells and did two loops. B It was hot and part of me wanted to stop after my first one and call it a day. B I was running with a full bottle of water to hydrate (Nunn tab for taste and electrolytes). B With the exception of slower start and ending miles, my middle miles were at aB consistentB 8 minute pace. B I’m using the runkeeper couch that I have set to 7:30 my goal race time. B I don’t expect to be running at that speed and to be honest when I first went running I was only targeting a 9 minute mile but wasB pleasantlyB surprisedB that with no stronger effort I was down to 8:30. B I think hearing how far I am off pace from my ultimate goal is just a good reminder to me of my long-term plan.

Saturday Run

Total Miles Ran 10:55 Outside through hills, roads, some trails in the Fells and 7 miles of it were with Tony.

Total Time 1:43 Average Pace 9:46B

I was only going to do 8 miles but Tony and I ran at a fairly easy pace that I just felt like I wanted to stay out a bit longer in the amazing weather we had. B Good thing I did because after I got back, mother nature turned cold and cloudy! B I also caved in and brought a pair of compression shorts and yes they’re totally worth it if you have misaligned hips where you flutter side to side. B This kept me all up and centered. B Maybe it’s just my jiggly butt that makes me run silly.

Friday Run

No Run had an ART appointment instead.


7 miles on the Elliptical, 1.5 miles to the Y & back jog. B I felt sore from Wednesday’s run. B I did the hour-long senior citizens sculpt class at the Y. B I think I’m the only young person there but it’s better than nothing. B Otherwise the only lifting I get is picking up some heavy bricks ofB chocolateB pounders from Trader Joe’s. B Either war I enjoy the more relaxed easy-going environment and am adding the Tue/Thurs class to my training cross training schedule.

Wednesday Run

I didn’t know what to expect from this run. B This was my first longish run on the treadmill in a while. B I had a plan B to quit at 8 miles but I roughed it out for 10! I did the first 8 on incline 3 and the last 2 in a super slow walk/run routine on incline 2. B I still believe that running on incline helps me be faster on pavement. B It did feel good to be rebounding with the old treadmill I saw so much of during March.ues

Totals Miles 10.03

Total Time 1:33 Average Pace 9:11B


Total Miles 4.5 I don’t have the total time or pace as I felt so angry about just being too exhausted to run. B I just moved and was running on 5 hours of sleep. B Lack of sleep = dead legs. B I debated for a while about skipping the Y class but I really had no excuse so I sucked it up, went and felt much better and stronger. B I can almost do 2 big girl push ups.

Monday Run

First day of the week… First day with lack of sleep. B Living on a street with more trees is nice. B Living on a street with birds waking you up at 4AM is a lot less pleasant. B I’m adjusting but Monday was rough.

Totals Miles 6.1

Total Time 55 minutes Average Pace 9? I don’t remember the incline, might have been 2 or 3. B I didn’t run last weekend due to moving so i felt happy for the run.

In summary, 42 miles for my first week back… Not bad. B I feel okay and pretty good since before I took a small break I was running 60-70 a week. B Since my intermission hasn’t been too long I’m following the approach of 20%B mileageB increase until I’m at 55-60 and then possibly 10%. B I need to have a strong base by September 15 as that’s when I’ll be working weekends and running will have to be drastically cut back on the weekdays. B I’ll resume mileage after October 15th to wrap up final training for Philly Marathon before a one week taper of the Weekend of November 18th. B Rough draft of the plan so far. B It’s in my head, now I just need to get it down on paper.

I think for week 2 I’llB targetB 48 miles.

National Running Day!

It’s my favorite holiday! B National Running Day! B I ran today! B After a 10 day break, it felt great to hit the treadmill! B I’ll go more into my doctor/running experience but I wanted to share some sales that are tempting me beyond human levels.

If you’re like me and signed up for races or other email lists I’m sure you’re email is going off the hook with deals. B Some of them are pretty sweet. B Here’s the ones tempting me at the moment.

Rock n Roll $20 off all racesB B – I think I’m going for the New Orleans Marathon for $75 in Feb. B Southwest flies there so bonus points! B I need to use my miles before they go bankrupt like all the other airlines

US Road SportsB B – Only $10 off but their races are a lot cheaper than RnR. B I’m eyeballing the SLC marathon. B It’s around the same time as Boston but I think if I canB re-qualifyB for 2014 I might skip 2013. B I know I want a redemption race from the 2012 failure but I’m not sure when I’ll take it. B Small rant but, I don’t think I actually enjoy Boston compared to all my other races. B In fact aside from the Spartan Race, I think Boston was my least favorite run. Having to take a day off from work and then sit around for 3 hours before running wasn’t too exciting.

City Sports –B 20% off, not sure what I’m buying yet but I’m sure I can find a few things I need.

Let me know if you know of any other deals!

2012 Boston Run to Remember Recap

On May 27th 2012, I ran Boston’s Run to Remember Half Marathon.This was the 6th year this race was happening and my second time running it.As I mentioned before this race has a lot of significance to me since it was my first half marathon a year ago.Now I’m back on the course 2 Full Marathons and 3 Half-Marathons later.Needless to say I wanted to PR, I wanted to PR and race; however, with my recent mystery leg strain I was nervous about the results. Luckily, things worked out great and number 4 half marathon is in the books!

Boston’s Run to Remember actually has two races – A half marathon (13.1 miles) and a 5-miler.Net proceeds benefit community & kids programs of the Boston Police Runner’s Club.I think in total there are 8,000 runners between the two courses.Last year the race started at 8AM but this year due to the horrible heat problems in the prior year they started the race at 7AM for the half and 7:15 for the 5-miler.


The race fees start at $45 for the half & $30 for the 5-miler and gradual raise as the race approaches.I don’t remember what I paid but I signed up relatively early so it was either $45 or $55. Definitely a bargain compared to the BAA & Rock n Roll races.

Expo & Swag Bag

The race expo is really small.I got my number in about 30 seconds.There were almost no exhibits other than Marathon Sports, Odwalla samples and those weird Basement people that are always at any expo/convention possible.They did have popcorn and a bouncy house for the kids.I wanted to go into the bouncy house but some people thought I might cause injury to those smaller than me and should probably refrain.You get a free T-shirt with registration but it’s cotton, white and unisex so it’ll either go to Tony or Goodwill.The other swag included some bottles of Zinco coconut water.Not as good as VitaCoco but free is free.

The Race Course

As a Boston resident, I think the course is pretty sweet.

The 5-miler is entirely in downtown/financial district of Boston while the Half Marathon adds its 8 miles by going across the river into Cambridge with an out and back on Memorial drive along the Charles River.The course is also pretty flat and fast.Aside from the ramp for the bridge to cross the river that you hit twice (once going in and once coming back) there were no major hills.If you’re really curious, there is a driving video available of both the 5-miler and half marathon on the race’s website.

My Splits & Recap

My splits are a bit of an estimate because I don’t have a fancy Garmin (hint you know who that reads this) .I used Runkeeperapp for the Iphone which worked okay enough but when I finished running my total mileage was 13.69.I looked at the map and it seemed the signal bounced in some parts so I adjusted those miles by a minute or 2.I did use the runkeeper coach tool to stay at a 7:30 pace and avoid the crash that I had at Gloucester Half two weeks ago.For the most part it sort of worked.My average pace for the race according to official results was 7:32.

Prerace – I woke up at 6AM and woke Tony up and out to drive me to Boston at 6:25.I have the best bf/driver in the world!We made it downtown in a record breaking time of 11 minutes by 6:26.He went back home while I made my way to the Boston harbor Hotel since Fancy Hotel bathroom is way better than race portys.Munched on a Kashi Go Lean bar and drank my bottle of water with a fruit punch Nuun tab.It was a hot day and I wanted to skip the first few water stops so I tried to hydrate to capacity.At 6:50 I walked over to the start of the line.I passed a few friends who were running the 5-miler but no one wanted to run the half so I walked over all alone.I haven’t ran much in two weeks since Gloucester Half so I wasn’t sure what to expect.I was a bit nervous but I still excited as I am on every race day.

Mile 1-3 – 7:37, 7:33, 7:29B I ran slow and very cautious in the first mile.There were over 6,000 runners so I had no grand dreams of leading the pack this time.There was a very mild incline as we ran out of the Seaport District into the Financial District of Boston.Afterwards we made way past the State House and edged around Beacon Hill as we headed for the Longfellow (a.k.a. Salt & Pepper) Bridge.People said the first few miles were congested but I didn’t really see any issues in my pace area.

Miles 4-6 7:20, 7:25, 7:27B Miles 4-6 were along the Charles going a little bit past Harvard.I speed up a bit since this part of the course was flat flat vs. relatively flat for the first 3 miles.I did get water at the second or third water station.The weather was muggy and probably already reached 70 by 7:30AM.

Some people can look really cute when they run

I am not one of those people

Miles 7-9 7:15, 7:23, 7:40 At the turnaround point on the Charles I got super excited and my pace picked up a bit.I was ready to gun it but I started to feel hot so I stopped for two cups of water at the water stop around mile 9.The fun part was I screamed and cheered on the runners making their way still towards Harvard Square while they cheered us for making the loop back.

Miles 10 – 11 – 7:37,7:38 These were the miles coming back into Boston.As we got back on the Longfellow bridge I remembered that Laura from DailyMile was going to be cheering on at the bridge.A small part of was hoping/praying she wasn’t on the Cambridge side of it. That’s where my walking/slow jog started and I felt ashamed.It wasn’t steep but I definitely felt the difference going from Memorial Drive flat to climbing up a small ramp.Luckily, I saw her on the down-ramp of the bridge on the Boston side where I was running again.


Miles 12-13.1 – 8:06,B 7:53 I wouldn’t say I hit a wall at mile 12 but I definitely felt some regret for skipping a water station.My legs started to feel heavy from dehydration as we went around in circle of the Financial District/Post Office Square area.When I realized I was about a half mile away from finish I gunned it with any energy my dehydrated self had.I heard my friends in the background about .1 mile from the finish line and my heart soared!

I was tagged in 17 MarathonFotos, these are the two best ones.You can only imagine how bad my other ones are.

Post Race Food & Festivities

When you finish the race you empty out indoors into what looks like a warehouse of bagels, bananas, oranges, Cape Cod chips, water & Zinco Coconut water.In reality you’re inside the World Trade Center Convention area where the expo was held.There were a bunch of volunteers giving out medals.I started to sweat immediately as it felt a lot more hot indoors than it did outdoors as I swayed looking for water.I couldn’t find any bottled water but I found some cups and took 2 at a time.Ryan, Dan & Ana, my friends who ran the 5-miler found me as I was dripping sweat.Gross, I know but that didn’t stop me from sitting in a chair.


Overall time : 1:38:46 my new PR!

Overall Pace: 7:32

Overall Place 340/5411

Division 41/1392 (Female age 19-29)