2013 Boston Marathon Race Recap

I’m a little delayed on posting this because how do you recap a race that caused you a week of fear and worry and many things worse for so many others? I walked by Boylston yesterday during lunch and still trembled while almost on the verge of tears (I was alone). Its hard not feeling an incredible weight of doom when I walk through Back Bay but at the same time feel an incredible amount of pride for humanity at each race or run I’ve done since.  I’m not over what happened but I’m incredibly lucky and I’m moving forward (because I was lucky enough that I can).  As terrible as things got, there were 27,000 runners who had some major accomplishments whether they finished or not.  I’ll be running in 2014 because I think it’s important to not let anyone change the lifestyle you believe in.  We own the streets.  We are Boston Strong, We will run.

This will be a race report on the race and not what happened afterwards.  If you want to help with a donation, I still believe the official Boston One Fund is the best and honest way (because I really don’t trust all these t-shirt selling/landfillers etc set ups).   If you feel my race report is wrong, I’m sorry, I have plenty of other posts you can read instead.

2013 Boston Marathon Race Report

The morning started relatively routine.  I got up as last-minute as I could.  Around 6:45 and was trying to be in Boston by 7:30 for the shuttle to Hopkinton. I planned on making coffee but in typical fashion I ran out of time.

Boston Marathon 38

I did find time to hug Jack for good luck!

Boston Marathon 37

Tony made me two peanut butter sandwiches to eat on the bus ride over.  I wasn’t going to make the same mistake of not bringing my own fuel for the second year.  I stand on my view that powerbars are one of the most disgusting things you can eat before a race, esp those weird ones at the village.  And one of the worst memories from 2012 was me starving so badly that I called Tony last year to bring me food mid marathon on his scooter!

Boston Marathon 36

I got to the athlete’s village around 8:30/9 and met up with Colleen, whose crazy butt ran a 50K on a crazy trail at Blue Hills less than 24 hours before. The village was a buzzing of excitement, and anticipation!  The porta potty lines were crazy long and I think the reason you have to get to the Athlete Village early is so you can wait on a 2 hour bathroom line.  I contemplated peeing in a corner of a field instead but luckily Colleen’s running club had a bus with a bathroom and I spared a small population a disturbing sight.

At the starting line I also bumped into Robin who was in my corral.  We started together and I was going to try to keep up with her and a 7:30 pace.  However, it felt so good to be running faster and the downhill made it easy and all the fast runners made me feel like I should be running faster, that I completely went out of pace and ran too fast.  I don’t regret it, it felt great to be running at 7:10 pace on the downhills and I still don’t know if I believe going slower would have made me finish faster.

Boston Marathon Sign 3

Around mile 12 I saw Katharina, her daughters and awesome sign!  Team DailyMile FTW!

Boston Marathon 31

She got this awesome photo of me where I think my brain was kinda like “I think I can, I think I can, choo choo!” It’s funny how when you run downhill for several miles even the flat path feels like a wall.  Luckily around mile 15 there were a nice steep downhill right before the heart attack hills started aka Newton Hills to bring your confidence up just before punching you in the gut.  Last time I met these hills was a year ago.  Funny how, I forgot how painful they could be.  Heartbreak hill didn’t break me, that was all the way at mile 20, it was the first two bumps that did the job way before that instead.  By mile 18 I couldn’t lift my legs.  They felt like lead.  I was munching on Chomp gummies hoping the sugar will help but hunger and eating was the last thing I wanted.

At mile 20 my friend Dan was going to meet me.  My phone by mile 18 was dead and I started worrying that I won’t find him but luckily I did.  The plan was that he was going to pace me for the last 6 miles at a 7:30 pace. HA!! It seemed like a perfectly reasonable place since the last 6 miles are mostly downhill.  HA!

Luckily around mile 21 I saw Ana & Melinda to cheer us on.  That got me moving for a little bit.  I regretful didn’t take a photo with them this year =(

Boston Marathon DanTony got this awesome photo of Dan telling everyone to cheer on!  Look at the excitement!

Boston Marathon 32Tony, my roommate and a few of our other friends were holding these signs, Jack stayed up all night working on.  JK Adrienne is the talent in the house.

Boston Marathon 34If you’re wondering what’s happening here? It me hoping that Dan will forget about me, keeping running and I can just roll over to the side and take a nap.  The girl on her phone won’t even notice I’m there!  I don’t remember marathons being so painful but I could barely respond in one word answers.  And I think my pace was probably more at 8:30 than the 7:30s I dreamed of.
Boston Marathon Sign 2

Another sign I ran by around mile 23 from more friends! ❤  Tony’s parents also saw me on the course too and I’m sad I missed them.

Dan giving me the stink eye as I try to justify walking.  I think the conversation went like this.  Dan – Okay next stop light, no more walking, we’re gonna run.  Liana – No response and starts walking slower to avoid getting to the next stop light.

Dan, not gonna lie, I thought about tripping you.  I had no energy to use words, but the thought was there!

Boston Marathon 33

At the start of Boylston, about 1/3 of a mile, Dan left me to finish the race on my own with a warning of no walking.  I think I was so terrified that I sprinted ahead and plus I wanted to pass a few people after being passed by so many.

Boston Marathon Splits

The story my Garmin tells of my ups and downs has no real logic behind the fact that I’m a wreck of a pacer.

My official results 3:26:46
Pace – 7:54
Overall Pace – 7,553
Gender Place – 1,481

Overall I feel happy, I ran a strong race and gave it my all (Dan made sure of that).  Do I wish I have PRed? A little, but I’m more happy that I got to see so many familiar faces along the way.  Thank you BAA and all the volunteers, thank you Tony for putting up with me, thank you friends who all came out on the course and thank you Dan for pushing my lazy self for the last 6 miles.  I hope to see everyone there in 2014!

Boston Marathon 35

2013 Salt Lake City Marathon Expo & Race Recap

In a blurry of SkinnyRunner inspiration, I signed up for 2 marathons in one week.  I’ve always wanted to go to Utah (just Google image Utah and you can see why), so months, months I signed up for the SLC Marathon thinking I didn’t really want to do Boston again after feeling pretty miserable about it in 2012.  Then when registration open, I got lost in the excitement and registered for Boston and bam I was signed up for 2 Marathon less than 5 days apart.  At this point as part of a 50 miler training, I’ve run two 20-milers back to back, but this was more difficult than I thought it would be.  Sadly my aspiration of achieving two sub 3:30 marathons in one week did not come true but I still feel fairly proud of myself despite it all.

Anyways from the start.  The multisport event was held Saturday April 20th, 2013 with included:

Bike Tour:  6:00 am
Wheelchair and Hand cycle start:  6:30 am
Marathon start:  7:00 am
Half Marathon start:  7:00 am
Hyundai Hope On Wheels 5K:   7:10 am
Kid’s Marathon:   10:45 am

Tony ran the half and I ran the full marathon.  I don’t remember the exact cost but I believe when we signed up a year ago I paid $60 for full and maybe $40 for half?

SLC Marathon Expo 1

The expo was tiny relatively speaking and I was a little cranky that they did not do race day pick up.  For out of towners, this meant you had to be at SLC on Friday since the race was Saturday at 7AM and that means extra vacay day.  Those days off are precious and I was a little sad to use it for number pick up but flights were cheaper on Friday morning anyways so win some lose some.  Number pick up was easy, the volunteers were friendly, race shirt was cute and you can see Tony loved it enough to wear it for the race.  The vendor booths were small, I saw a running store, Sports Authority, Dick’s sporty goods and very friendly Dannon yogurt people was yummy samples.  We were there around 1PM and most people just got their numbers and bounced.

SLC Marathon Expo 2

The expo and race also had this beautiful banner that SLC runners signed.  I almost choked in tears seeing it.  Sometimes I get cranky in crowds but I really love my running family no matter where they come from!

SLC Marathon Expo 3

Beautiful!

SLC Marathon

Morning was started at 5:30 AM, where we fueled up with peanut butter and bread.  No toaster, so room temperature bread.  Also since we lacked a knife, we refined our skills of using a fork to spread the PB.  Tony was more skilled than me but refused to stay still for the photo.

SLC Marathon 1

Not gonna lie, it was looking pretty grim as the sun has yet to rise and the sky was crying rain.  Also TMI fact but one thing you don’t want to eat the day before a race is sauerkraut no matter how tasty that German restaurant was.  I don’t really regret, but my stomach has had better mornings.

SLC Marathon 3b

The drive to the race was easy.  Since SLC is a long grid and well planned driving city, it was easy to drive over and avoid the closed of streets.  We got there within 15 minutes and chilled in the car.  Parking was literally a 1 minute walk from the starting line.  Pretty impressive on a race that has 5,000 participants.  You could also take the red line light rail train to the start so I think that helped with parking.

SLC Marathon 3c

Bomb squad trucks and helicopters were on petrol at the start and finish lines.  Security was tight but in no way impacted the enjoyed or lack off for my race.  Great job SLC!!

One thing we had trouble finding was corrals but since the race was starting in minutes we poked ourselves into the crowd that happened to be around a 3:45 pace group.  Before the race started, they played Sweet Caroline, which having lived above Fenway park has always made me twitch.  However, I thought it was a beautiful way to honor Boston and their runners.  There was also a 4:09 pace group of Boston Marathoners which I didn’t know until hours after the race; otherwise I would have joined.

SLC Marathon 4

For the first time in ever, Tony and I ran together during a race.  I was still pretty tired from running Boston and my legs felt dead.  Twice between mile 1 and mile 8 I talked about quitting at the half marathon point.  We ran at about 8:12 pace going mostly downhill, probably my slowest starting pace ever.  I think Tony could have run faster but he didn’t want to leave me behind.  At mile 8, the half and full spilt up and as some yelled “Go Boston!” I bit my lip, sucked in my pain and went forward t the road of no return until mile 26.2.

What was holding me back? My hamstrings! I don’t know if it was the heart attack mountains from Boston or the 9 miles of going downhill but my calves and hammies were screaming and threatening to abandon me and leave my quads to fend for themselves.  The cold wet rain was not helping my constricting muscles either.  Finally after mile 10 I took the first of many walk breaks to keep my legs from locking up.

It was also at the moment that it decided to pour!  Before splitting up at mile 8 with Tony, he asked me if I wanted him to take my jacket since I was hot in the beginning and just had it bouncing around my waist.  I did, but after a second though realized I might regret that in the second half of my race when I was going to do some walking.  Yea when the rain got heavier, and I put on my jacket, I was very happy to have it!

SLC Marathon 6

House decorated with ribbons in honor of Boston around the halfway point.  After mile 9 the course got flatter with a few small gradual ups and downs.  The race support and crowd support was great.  The cheering crowd wasn’t as large as say Boston or NY but a lot of residents set up tents and stood outside their homes to cheer.  I expected race support and volunteers to pretty much die down after the half, but the full was treated just as well as the half!  It was raining and cold so who could blame them and when I ran Hyannis, a lot of the aid stations by the time I looped back for the 2nd half was empty.  Almost felt like a trail race.  Each aid table had water, red Powerade (which for some reason in comparison to Gatorade my stomach can tolerate), and a lot of them (maybe all but I’m not sure) had bananas, orange slices, and triberry Gu.  Since I wasn’t running as hard, or maybe I was too cold, I didn’t end up eating anything until I finished, but the triberry Gu did smell really good!

SLC Marathon 7

The last 6-7 miles were a mostly gradual downhill jog to the finish line.  Had it been a clear day, the view of the surrounding mountains would have been gorgeous for the whole race. It was awesome to run and any time someone ran by in Boston Marathon or Boston sports gear, the crowd cheered go Boston! The cops working the traffic and the people STUCK in traffic would honk and cheer and say great job!  It was a great community feel that I don’t think I’ve seen in any other marathon besides Boston.  Also thank goodness, for my legs, but the course did not end up at the same place we started so I did not have to ascend the 9 miles we descended in the beginning.  I would have cried and probably used up the 6.5 hours we had to finish the race, or had Tony pick me up once I got too cold.

SLC Marathon 7b

The food after finishing was lots of yogurts.  Dannon headquarters is located in Utah and they are a huge sponsor.  Also lots of pretzels and bananas and cookies.  I wasn’t really aware of much because I was freezing when I finished but I knew I wanted two bags of cookies because Tony would steal mine.   Tony also told me that after he finished they had delicious ham sandwiches but I didn’t really see any, probably because he must have eaten the whole table.  They had the shiny race blankets but you had to walk over to a tent in the park to get them.

Since the races end at Liberty Park and starts at Legacy Bridge which I think is miles apart, depending on where you park getting to your car can be tricky. From Liberty park there is a shuttle that takes you to a red line station with parking.  From there you can take the red line to Legacy Bridge area, which is what Tony did since he had a while to wait me to finish.  He did say getting back to the car took a while but I think it was worth it to skip the downhill.

SLC Marathon 8

Net Time – 3:56:54

Overall Place – 220/905

Gender Place – 52/370

Tony finished his half in 1:48:47!

Somewhere along mile 20 when I realized it’s all downhill from there I wanted to go for sub 4, I guess whether we run fast or slow, good days or bad, runner’s still have mini goals.  Although there was no one waiting for me at the finish line, my ego was big enough to congratulate myself on my own! Had I skipped Boston and only trained for this course, I would have probably PRed, had the weather been beautiful, I would have PRed more.   I’m not sure when the total lost elevation was since the race doesn’t provide a chart, but all I can say is that what went down, never really came back up.  If I lived within a driving distance, I would definitely run the course again.  It was beautiful and fun even in awful weather.

SLC Marathon Splits

My splits are very inconsistent but then again my Boston ones aren’t any more logical.

I don’t regret running Boston (I ran a 3:26 race), because aside from what happened afterwards, no PR can replace having friends and family you love along the course.  The strangers in SLC were uplifting and got me to run more than walk, but it’s not the same.

2013 Hyannis Marathon Race Recap

THANK YOU TO ALL THE VOLUNTEERS AT THE HYANNIS MARATHON/HALF MARATHON! IT WAS MISERABLE TO RUN OUT THERE, I CAN ONLY IMAGINE HOW HORRIBLE IT WAS TO STAND THERE. THANK YOU!  YOU GUYS DID GREAT!

I just passed the 20 mile marker and my brain was already shouting, searching, crying for mile 21. What started as a plan to avoid the large puddles has turned into a never ending river fording adventure across a body of water and I don’t even know how to swim!  Every article of clothing is starting to fight against me.  That extra pair of socks I thought were a smart idea were also wet and weighting me down.  My fancy rain-jacket  completely soaked through.  My tights, my socks, my sports bra and everything in between is cutting into my skin with a cold, wet sharpness.  I try to run forward, but I realize my body is refusing to move because it is trembling, no straight out shaking to keep itself warm, and when your muscles are spasming for warmth, getting them to coordinate with your brain to move forward is a challenge that I never knew could exist.  The road is barely closed for all the runners and all I can think at this point is that if I get hit by a car, I won’t be too sad because I can stop trying to run.

But let me start at the beginning, before I thought getting hit by a car was a brilliant solution to being cold, wet, and 6 miles away from the finish line.

The Hyannis Marathon was held on Sunday February 24th 10AM.  There is also a half marathon and a relay.  The marathon registration is $60 and the half is $50.  The price only goes up by $5 to $65 & $55 if you wait last minute.  Compared to Boston Marathon or any Rock n Roll event, the race fee is a steal!  However, you get what you pay for.  NOT MUCH.

The whole weekend is actually a whole grand fiasco with a small fun run Friday, pasta dinner, with some local greatness (BILL RODGERS & GREG MEYER), and a whole giant disorganized (from what I hear) expo.  Tony and I decided to skip out on the expo and the pasta dinner because at $17 per person, I can eat better than that.  If you sign up for the Malden 5K/10K you get a pasta dinner for free but you’re downgraded to local greatness like me and Tony =).

Pre-Race Food & Logistics

Instead of attending the expo, or any of the pre-race events, I spent the weekend packing, worrying and reloading my email.  There was serious threats that with the snow and wind factor (50 MPH) the race was going to be canceled.  The race organizers told us to wait until 4PM Saturday until they would have the final word from the town police about whether we may (not can) run in this weather.  Not gonna lie, a small part of me that has never run in the rain EVER, was hoping for a cancellation, and I know all of Tony was hoping for a cancellation because he doesn’t appreciate the thrill of running many miles like I do.  Luckily, the race was to go on!

Scuba Liana was ready for her 26.2 mile swim.  I spent the rest of evening, packing, repacking, three wardrobe changes in picking out an outfit.  I briefing looked for some cheap lodging, failed and decided Tony should love me enough to wake up early to drive, instead of forking over the dough for a hotel.  Luckily he did!

We woke up at 7AM with a goal of being out the door by 7:30 knowing we’re always a little late.  The drive to Hyannis took about 90 minutes and was relatively traffic free due to horrible weather and it being a Sunday morning.

Fuel – We fueled up on Dunkin toasted almond coffee, Munchkins (for me) and a cream cheese bagel (for Tony).  About 30 minutes before the race, I shoved a piece of toast down my throat because I decided maybe I should have something besides caffeine and sugar in my stomach.

Parking – We actually had no idea where to park, but then again, I have never ran a race where parking wasn’t confusing.  Luckily one of the volunteers flagged us into a spot and then warned that we have a 10 minute walk in the rain to the starting line/bib number pick up.  Good thing I had my fashionable trashbag with me.

Number Pick-Up – Even though half the runners that signed up didn’t show up, number pick up was a wreck.  First there’s two buildings, between the convention center and the hotel, we had no idea where to go to grab our numbers.  There was no sign or anything on the door entrance to remotely assist you.  Luckily, with enough asking.

Swag bag – The swag bag is utter CRAP! Please save yourself the cost and sweatshop labor and don’t hand me a giant over-sized cotton t-shirt when I’m running a half marathon or a marathon.  I rather get nothing at all, then this waste of energy, and resources that will just clutter more landfills.   You’re using valuable volunteers’ time to hand out garbage and that upsets me.  It’s something that always bothers me about races sponsored by Marathon Sports, a local running store chain.  You’re a running store that hopes people will spend their hard earned money on running appropriate clothes and gear, why are you handing out chemically colored cotton giant shirts?

THE MARATHON – I won’t break this race into a mile by mile analysis because really there were three parts to this race, the good, the horrible & the I contemplated death finale.

Miles 1-15 – This part of the race went great, well as great as running in cold rain can feel.  The wind was relatively low.  The course seemed relatively flat, but to be fair I wasn’t really paying attention to the rolling hills.  I had one mission, that was to run, try to avoid major puddles, keep running and finish this race.  All pacing strategy was out the window because I just wanted to be done before the weather got worse.  I made a last minute decision to ditch my long sleeve shirt and just wear a short sleeve shirt under my rain jacket.  At these miles, that seemed like a great idea.  My Garmin was saying I was at 7:07 pace and I wondered if it was broken but kept going.  Around 13.1 mile, my Garmin still claimed I was running a 7:11 pace which would have killed my previous PR.  I waved to the finish line and got ready for my second loop.

The marathon course repeats the half marathon course twice to make up the miles.  As I passed the finish line at mile 13, I questioned myself if I was really going to  go for the full.  My mind said go half, but yet my legs went forward and began the second circle.  Mile 14 & 15 I still felt great and really believed I was going to crush this.

Miles 16-20 – It was around mile 16 that I realized that the small puddles I was avoiding have now consumed the whole path.  The rain was not planning on stopping any time soon and the wind was beginning to pick up.  These too would have been miserable miles had I not chatted with another girl running around a similar pace as me.  The chat distracted me for a few miles but overall I still felt pretty good despite the horrible wetness and coldness.

Mile 20-26 – Around mile 20, the rain turned into a downpour and the wind became bone chilling.  I don’t know if the weather changed drastically, if I hit a wall, or I’ve been so soaked that my clothes were no longer retaining any of my warmth no matter how hard I tried to run.  In a normal marathon, when you get exhausted or want a break, you can slow down and take a little walk, this is not an option when its raining and cold.  The slower I got, the wetter and colder I felt.  A catch-22 that was creating my own personal hell.  I tried to look at the runners around me to see if anyone else felt as miserable as me, and failed.  They all looked so strong, so graceful, and not a bit broken by the weather.  I questioned why I was so mentally weak but then reminded myself there was no where else to go.  It’s either call 911 or keep running.  My pride was all that was left to push me… or maybe I’ve become delirious from the cold and wetness.

The finish – I don’t know how, but after an hour or more of suffering, I saw the finish line.  I was still cold, wet & miserable but I gave a kick and sprinted forward.  I may not be number 1 or even an age group winner but at that point, no one else was going to pass me to the finish line!  As I crossed the finish line, I started crying, literally.  I have never cried at a race before, not even at my first marathon when I was training for a sub 4 hour and ended up with 3:25.  I was so happy to finished, that I couldn’t contain myself with emotion.

2013 Hyannis Marathon

Post – Marathon – As I slowly limped my way inside, I couldn’t stop shaking and I couldn’t find Tony who had my dry clothes..  A girl let me borrow her cell phone because mine was acting up. Everything felt confusing, I even tried looking for a medic station or something because I knew that since I was inside, I shouldn’t be shaking so hard.  Tony finally found me, helped me take of my drenched jacket, and I left to the bathroom to change.  Of course the line was super long as usual even post race so I just changed by the sinks.  I’m not sure if there was post race food, there might have been, but I felt so angry, and so cold that we just left and stopped by Mary Lou’s for coffee instead.  Tony said there was soup and bananas, donuts after he finished the half.  There might have been some stuff left, but who knows, ,my mind was gone at this point.

Post Hyannis Marathon

Yup, that’s the look for a girl who swam 26.2 miles for a chocolate mint coffee and a slice of bread.  Good thing I grabbed a loaf of bread to the car this morning before heading out!

And if you’re wondering what that lovely mark on my forehead is… that’s the markings of my cap that I wore during the race.  The lesser of my battle wounds from that day.

Pros & Cons of Running Hyannis Marathon – I don’t regret running Hyannis Marathon, and I’m glad I stuck through for the full despite the weather.  It was challenging and despite how miserable I felt, I feel a pride in knowing that I survived.  That being said I will probably not sign up for this race again alone.  The race is relatively cheap, the course is relatively flat and I think in nicer weather could be scenic.  However, there’s a lot about the race organization that angered me.  Aside from the cotton t-shirt, I cannot express how angry I am that the roads were not even partially closed.  There were almost 3,000 runners that ran, but from what the race announcers said almost 5,000 people registered (I guess 2,000 of them decided to sleep in and cut their losses).  To have that many people run and not even close a lane of a road was dangerous and unpleasant.  I can do that on my own, without someone charging me a fee to be timed.  We were literally running in something that was less than the shoulder of a road, where all the rain gutter was being drained to on a highway.  Pretty much running in a sewer.  Probably worse road course I ever ran.  I’ve ran Lowell where the road isn’t fully closed but they at least leave a full lane for us to run on.

I have more to say on running in the rain, but I’ll save that for another time as this post is long enough.  Instead the most important part of this, my results:

Overall Place Finish Time Pace Division Name Division Place Division Size Gender Place
91 3:34:25 8:11 F1829 7 43 13

Boston 2014 by 34 seconds!  I’ll take it!

Mizuno with Cat

And just as my shoes dry up, so are the horrible memories and just two days later as I finish writing this, I think to myself it wasn’t that bad, can’t wait for my next one!

Cape Cod Frozen (Half) FatAss 25k Race Report

Cape Cod Frozen Fat Ass Race Recap

My goal for 2013 is to run more trails.  The unfortunate part about it is that I’m terrible at it.  I grew up in NYC, concrete and roads I get, dirt paths and rocks… might as well be Mars to me.  However when a friend mentioned The Cape Cod Frozen Fat Ass a free casual trail race along the beach with a bunch of ultra marathoners (my fellow running addicts who are able to run further than me), I couldn’t help but get excited.

The race actually consists of two official distances 25K (HalfAss) and 50K (FatAss) and then everything in between! Unfortunately getting to the race involved a 4:30 wake up with a 90-100 minute drive.  Luckily I got to go with a fellow running addicted friend so after some coffee (Thank you!) and rubbing of my eyelids, the drive down was actually fun!

The race is put on annually by the Cape Cod Ultra Running society, and being a free race and all, is very informal.  There was a little mix up in start time (some place posted 7:30AM even though it should have been 7AM) so we didn’t get to start until 7:30.  Waiting in 18 degree weather isn’t pleasant.  Luckily they had a little room where we got to pick up numbers (yup we got numbers!) and a pot luck table.  I made whole wheat pumpkin bread which could have used more sugar (I ran out of sugar haha while making it).  Luckily there were plenty of chocolate, cookies, muffins, pretzels, boiled potatoes, bananas and orange slices and anything else you can dream off.  The race organizers also provided a hot and delicious clam chowder and turkey soup!  You can tell I was too busy stuffing my face when I forget to take food photos.

Anyways at 7:33 after some shaking and debating of wind direction we were off!

Cape Cod Frozen Fat Ass Start

The course is a figure 8 that consists of a 5ish mile loop and a 10ish mile loop.  I saw ish because it’s not precise but in total adds up to 15.5 miles for a 25K.  If you do the 50K you get to do the loop twice!

Cape Cod Fatass 25K 8

The first 2.5 miles are on the beach and it took me a good mile to figure out a style.  Do I run on the rocky part of the sand, the softer dunes of dry sand to the left or the wet packed sand from the low tide to the right.  From the scatter of runners, I could tell that everyone else was trying out different approaches.  After a few struggles, I found a good steady comfortable pace of about 8:30 minute miles to the right on the wet sand.  Sadly that sand also had some rocks to work with every once in a while to keep me alert

Cape Cod Fatass 25K 7Half way through the 5 mile loop we made a turn and got to run on a more packed dirt trail behind the sand dunes.  That was a lot more pleasant.  I was eyeballing another runner in an orange jacket who looked like he knew the trail to make sure I didn’t get lost.  The race was well-marked and easy to follow but I have a great history of getting lost no matter what so the orange jacket was my light.  At this point I was on an average of 8:50 minute miles and I realized I was ahead of most of the pack.  Than again I was only running half the distance.

Cape Cod Fatass 25K 3

The 10 mile second loop was just as beautiful and unique as the first 5 mile loop.  Notice anything weird?  I’m not wearing any headphones!! The trail and the experience was too exciting and fun that I didn’t need to distract myself with music or podcasts.

I lost my guy in the orange jacket as he ran ahead of me and was constantly paranoid that I was lost. Although there really was just one trail there, I would have had to work really hard to get lost.

Cape Cod Fatass 25K 4

Did I mention how beautiful it was?  I kept following the tracks of faster runners way ahead of me to reassure myself I wasn’t lost.
Cape Cod Fatass 25K 6 Running within the sand dunes continued for about 5-6 miles.  Some parts felt like running in molasses as the sand was soft and tried to hold me.  The harder I pushed, the slower I ran.  Eventually I learned to try to run lightly as I can to avoid sinking but mostly I just learned to be patient as those parts took a while

Cape Cod Fatass 25K 5

Other parts had hard frozen sand and I had to avoid some ice patches.  I was feeling pretty good when around 10 miles I had a good 9 minute pace going.

Cape Cod Frozen Fat Ass Last Four Miles

And then the last 4-5 miles started.   If you go on the race website, it clearly states This is not a race for wussies. The last 4-5 miles in rocky soft sand with wind against you reminded me when I was happy to only have to do this once.  When my Garmee beeped 13.1 miles, at 1:59 I think i mentally checked out (after patting myself on the back for getting a sub 2 half on the beach).  Last 2.5 miles I was skipping from side to not being about to make up my mind of where/how/why to run this stretch.  My ankles kept rolling over the little pebbles.  I was cursing like a sailor every minute of it!

Photo: 25k complete

And then before I knew it, the misery was over.  I was crossing the finish line of a guy taking my time with a clipboard.  Garmee told me I was at 2:26 in 15.79 miles and 9:17 pace.  I was content with that.  While I was glad to be done with my 25K, I still had 5 more miles to run for my 20 miler this week.  I thought about doing the first loop again but my knees felt shaky and I decided to run around my familiar road territory instead.  That worked for about 3 miles until I got bored bumped into Katharina and did 2 more miles on the 10 mile trail loop with her.    Running on a scenic trail with a friend was a lot more fun than doing circles on the road alone.

Cape Cod Fatass 25K

I had mild regrets about not running the 50K but I got over it pretty fast when I was stuffing my face with soup and inside Katharina’s warm car.  Overall this race was fantastic.  I met a bunch of awesome people, got to run on the beach in the middle of New England winter and just had a fabulous time.  I can’t wait for next year!  I may not be an ultra runner yet but I am fully in love with the community.

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

Tufts 10K Race Recap

First, I have a bad confession to make, when I first read about the Tufts 10K, I really didn’t think I would enjoy running with 8,000 women.  I have traumatic experience of catty women growing up and being relative tomboyish I haven’t always been a “girl power!” type of girl.  However, I was proven utterly and complete wrong.  It was amazing!

I was running with 8,000 amazing, strong, healthy, accomplished women and the best part was that I wasn’t shoved aside, knocked into, or grossed out by any man grunt and sneers like I usually am in Boston 5k/10ks.  Nothing personal men, I’m sure most of you are awesome courteous runners but something about running brings your caveman out sometimes.

Logistics

Number Pick Up was super easy and I picked mine up on Friday at CitySports.  In it came a LunaBar, some coupons/ads, and a pretty awesome long sleeve tech shirt.  Last year it was cotton so I was super excited that they leveled-up to something I could use for those chilly fall morning runs.

The Course

The route was great, starts in the Boston Public Gardens, goes up Beacon street up a slight incline for the Mass Ave bridge and then up and down the Charles River on the Cambridge side.  It wasn’t perfectly flat but it’s about as flat as Boston will get.

My Favorite Part?

The men in tuxes at water station 5!! Yes, men should always just serve women 😉

Tufts 10K Race Report

I was coming from work at an extended lunch break for this run so I was a little nervous about playing it last minute to the starting line.  The race had some cool yoga and warm-ups but sadly I had to miss those.

The only thing cooler than blurry bathroom self portraits are elevator ones!

I was very grateful to find Robin at the starting line.  Actually she found me because little sleep + lots of coffes + no glasses = blind Liana.  How blind?  I almost missed Joan Benoit Samuelson standing right in front of me!

In case you want some impressive statistics, Joan was the first-ever women’s Olympic marathon champion. Benoit Samuelson still holds the fastest times for an American woman at the Chicago Marathon and the Olympic Marathon. Her time at the Boston Marathon was the fastest time by an American woman at that race for 28 years!

Yea, I tried to run with her but about half a mile in I was coughing and gasping as I couldn’t keep up with a 6 min pace!

My original plan however was to try to keep up with Robin. The girl who just crushed her half Ironman, has a speedy record with her training runs being faster than my PRs.  My mind equated keeping up with Robin = PR.  I too lost her in the dust somewhere around 2.5 miles.

Regardless of falling into the dust of two amazing fast women I have to say I’m pretty proud of my own results

Miles 1 – 6:23 – The gun went off and I was blazing with adrenaline

Miles 2 – 6:43 – To be fair this was where the incline to the Mass Ave Bridge began

Mile 3 – 6:53 – Okay I was starting to get a little sad for not being able to keep up my speed

Mile 4 – 7:07 – I always have an inner battle mid race of any distance

Mile 5 – 7:05 – Okay so maybe my internal battle lasted 2 miles

Mile 6 – 6:57 – Men in tuxes serving water really pumped me up!

Mile 6.2 – I messed up my runkeeper but I kicked all the way to the finish line for a grand PR of:

42:54

112th person to cross the finish line out of 8,000 and 52nd out of 1,187 in my age (20-29) division,  PR CENTRAL!

As for Robin, she ran a 41:52 without even looking remotely tired when I found her at the finish line.  My other friend Ana ran her FIRST 10K at 1:03:00!  Not bad for someone who barely trained.  I wish I had time to catch up with her but after finding Tony and   my other friend Adrienne, I had to jet back to work!

The Outfit – Because you need an outfit to PR

Reebok sponsored me and a few other FitFluential ambassadors for the Tufts 10K.  In addition to allowing us to run this fun race, they outfitted us in style! A few weeks before we received Seamless Capri Tights and the Play Dry Short Sleeved Top that I have to admit I have worn religiously with each laundry cycle leading up to the 10K.  True confession again: I’m cheap and most of my running tops are tech shirts I get through races or Target sale workout clothes.  Those work but OMG the Reebok shirt is just soo soft and I love the V-neck!  I’ve been searching for V-neck running tops but the few I purchased have always scratched up my skin. As for the Capri Tights, well it’s been love ever since!  I’ve been wearing them for my recent AM pre-work runs when the sun hasn’t fully risen yet and they’re great as the weather shifts from chilly fall to sunny warm. They’re soft and even though I was a little too dressed up for the sunny weather, they dried up my sweat pretty quickly.  And they make my butt look pretty good.

And yes, anyone who knows me well knows that I wear more purple than an elderly lady so my love for the color was no surprise.  Plus #GetAfterIt is Reebok’s new campaign and I was pretty proud to be strutting the mantra for my PR.1

Thank you FitFluential and Reebok for the opportunity to run the Tufts 10K

Malden Rotary 10K Recap

On March 24th, before the horror of going through my first home inspection in the house buying process (which on a sidenote is really so not cheap!) I ran a 10K.

Malden Rotary 10K is an annual race that’s held every year in my humble city that’s within the Boston Metro Area right off the subway =)

There’s also a 5K which is a lot more popular and by popular I mean 187 runners vs. 117 runners.

I woke up at 8AM, annoyed that the race didn’t start until 11:40. I have a deep hatred for late start races that break up your day and give you fours hours to eat crap before your run. By the way, in case you didn’t know; giant apple turnovers are not ideal pre-race fuel. Even if they’re homemade and even if you’re only running 6 miles.

I thought about doing a long 20 mile run and ending with the 10K but I wanted to race my friends so I stayed home and grazed to harvest that energy in my legs (or so I used as my excuse).

I had this silly idea that it was warm and sunny outside. 12 hours ago I was walking around in flip-flops and a dress; how much different could weather be a night later. Also, P.S. although it may look that way, I promise I do not live in a ski lodge!

I was so excited for this race that I convinced 5 other runners and nonrunners to sign up; 4 of which ran! I have a deep appreciation of local events. Tony skipped out because he wanted to be on time to our house inspection. I decided if I run fast enough, I can do both =).

Chris & Steph ran their first 10K with me and I think I have some serious local competition!

My two other friends ran the 5K. Because the 5K started 20 minutes after the 10K I missed seeing them pre-race. However, I saw Ana at the 3 mile mark where the 5Kers met the 10Kers before I kept running.

Being a local race, the organization was the not the greatest. There were two different start times 11:30 and 11:40 listed. The actual race started at 11:35 so to be safe we shivered a bit at the starting line. I ended up running with the Puma long sleeve the whole time with no regrets!

This is the number one reason why I love local races, besides the lack of driving, I can feel special! Two minutes short of first place and I kept up with that crazy fast girl for the first 3 miles and then I got lazy. Can you hit a wall at mile 3 if its a 10K? Steph finished right behind me! Last year I ran the same race in 51:34 so I can’t be too upset with a 7:30 minute improvement on a 6 miler.

After the 10K, the draining inspection and a much-needed shower, my night only got better. Tony’s parents took us all out for a belated Christmas present at Alfresco in Davis Square, Somerville. I got the seafood linguine cooked to perfection. None of the weird fishy after taste, no closed shells, just pure delicious perfection!

Sadly, there was no leftovers, but I still had plenty of room for desert! Especially when its homemade baklava.