Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Each race has a story.

With school out, I've been able to start running again.  For real this time,  its hard to have excuses when I don’t have anything I *have* to do.  Because I haven’t run regularly in nearly a year, it’s more of a psychological challenge I’m currently facing than physical.  Clearly I’m not in the same physical shape that I was when I was running 4-5 days a week, but the mental game of dealing with it and working back into my peak shape is what is the most frustrating.

I was packing up my apartment today I came across my race bibs and medals. Looking at these inspired me to keep moving despite my obviously slower pace and lower endurance.

The first race I ever ran was the Boilermaker in Utica NY.  Most people run 5ks as their first race, but I suppose I was destined to go big. The Boilermaker is a 15k in the peak of summer and it is fabulous.  Maybe it’s because it was my first race, but it is still one of my favorites.

The Pasadena Half-Marathon was my first Half Marathon.  It was a small race and very hilly.  I had only run about 6-7 miles during my training but I completed it at what I expected.  And since the boilermaker gives out pint glasses, it is my first medal.

I joined Vavi Running Club in January of 08 and did a terrible job of training, but did run the La Jolla half marathon.  This race sucked.  It was abnormally hot for San Diego in April and the water stations were not prepared.  Since I was one of the back of the pack-ers there weren’t enough cups by the time I made it to most of the water stations.  Oh, and the hill.  Both up and down La Jolla was an ass kicker,  I’d like to run it again and dominate it someday.

I continued the crappy training all the way to Rock N Roll San Diego.  Surprisingly I survived and finished.  I had done most of my training runs with Jeremy and was lucky enough to run with him until mile 18 when our paces changed.  I also remember run/walking every other song between mile 20-23 until finally shuffling to the finish line.

I was accepted into the Nike Women’s Marathon in October of 2008.  The weekend was awesome, my parents flew out to San Francisco and we got to do all of the touristy things.  The atmosphere was awesome and generally just a great time.  Plus, I get to wear the finishers medal whenever I want without looking crazy.

I love the Carlsbad half marathon.  The course is awesome, with the right mix of hills and crowds.  It’s a great race to PR.  The second time I ran it, I thought that was running with the 2:10 pace group.  I had been sick with an annoying head cold which eventually got the better of me at the top of a hill.  I had to drop back from the group and was super bummed. But as it tunred out, the pace leader was running ahead of schedule and I crossed at 2:09:36 (current PR)

The St. Patricks day 10k was the first race that I ever dressed up for and
it was a ton of fun. And this is one of my favorite medals.

I ran my 2nd race in NY ever at the Adirondack Distance Run.  This race falls very low on my list.  They streets weren’t closed and I could have run from the Village to Bolton landing myself without paying a race fee for open streets for traffic!

I was on a mission to complete the Triple Crown, but missed the beast of the La Jolla, but did run the AFC half marathon.  I had started to run more consistently, which sounds crazy since I had completed 7 long distance races before this one, but it’s true, I have a natural ability to heal and to endure (but not for speed)  This was the first time I ever experienced a PR and the excitement of racing against myself.

note the Tshirt -tag, I never even got my "free " shirt!

I was super motivated to improve even more and began running trail runs and keeping up with a regular running routine.  I signed up for the Camp Pendleton Heartbreak Ridge Half Marathon.  I loved the courses, but that was easily my worst race to date.  It was also the most frustrating since I had trained with a purpose.  I could have dropped out because it was extremely hot, but I completed.

I got the Nike+ sensor to attach to my iphone which was an ultimate game changer.  Keeping track of how often I ran, how far, and being able to compete with my friends completely changed the way that I ran.  I was obsessed.  I followed a half marathon training plan from runners world for the Silver Strand and dominated with a 13 minute PR.  It was awesome.

A few days later I ran my very first 5k.  Yes that’s right after 11 long distance races I ran my first 5k and Turkey Trot.

For Jessie’s birthday, we celebrated by running the first Rock n Roll Las Vegas.  Since I had just pr’ed 2 and half weeks before, I just went out to have a nice run.  It was also when I learned that Vegas can get very cold.  It was 32 degrees at the start, which was the coldest temperature I had ever run in.

Jessie and I ran the Warrior Dash in Lake Elisnore, CA.  Despite all they hype, the race lacked a lot.  Too many people, not enough obstacles and definitely not enough mud.

Since running my first 2 marathons, I was determined to have a successful marathon, however as I finished my graduate program, traveled to my sisters wedding, and had a tons of visitors I dropped my entry to the San Diego half because I knew that I couldn’t get in the necessary miles to be successful.  Despite my busy schedule, I was able to make a 2nd best PR.

I was disappointed with the Warrior Dash, so when more entries opened up for the Camp Pendelteon Mud Run, I was stoked. I had originally signed up as an individual and then found out that some of my camp friends were running and needed another teammate.  The run was SO much fun.  It was definitely muddier and less crowded at the obstacles.

I've only run one race while living in the greater Washington DC and it was the GW Birthday Classic. Which I actually wrote a whole blog post on (see here).

I can see where I started and where I was.  I also know where I want to be, so the road is a little longer than it would have been if I had been able to keep running this past year, but I can’t change it now.  All I can do is to get out there with one foot in front of the other.

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