Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Two Year Anniversary of Racing

I ran my first race on July 3, 2012. It seems like a lifetime ago. Since then I have ran many races but every year I make certain to run one race. That race is the Finish at the 50 at Gillette Stadium. I ran it on July 3, 2013 and again this year on July 2014. It is hard to measure any progress in this race because they have changed the course each year that I have participated. This race can be a true test because it starts at 6:30 PM and the heat and humidity is always a challenge.

This race means a lot to me. I was running on my own before hand but running with people and in a race changed everything. While I was not competing necessarily against the other runners it allowed me to compete more against myself and embrace others seeing me run. It can be hard to start racing because it is intimidating when you see the elite athletes. What kept me going was knowing that I was getting better with every run. Whether it was being able to run a longer without having to take a walking break(which are completely okay) or running faster than I had previously, I saw improvement. Alstom I have seen many inspirational people running races. Survivors of cancer and other diseases, Team Hoyt and those who have overcome other obstacles, but still run are true inspirations. I can honestly say that buying my first pair of running shoes is one of the best things to happen to me.

Friday, April 11, 2014

I'm Baaaaaaaack!

*makes triumphant return to VStR*

Oh, hey everyone. Long time no post! Kudos to Louie for holding it down for us since I went M.I.A. in October. Grad school has sort of taken over my life these last 6 months and blogging (and even running -_-) has been the first few things to be put on the back burner. If you're wondering what I've been up to, check out my personal blog, FivEleveNinety! But here's a little update on my running life:
  • I did survive Hartford and had an amazing time running my first marathon! There were a few disappointing aspects of the event itself (no shirts, medals, and wrong bibs), but the actual race was great. Here's the vlog from the day of the race and my immediate post-race review:

  • I ran another half in December with little to no training. I finished, but GOD it was miserable, haha! Do not recommend it at all!
  • Took a few month break from racing, but ran a 5K with Louie on his birthday.
  • I volunteered at the Fool's Dual half, which Louie talked about here!
The past few months I've been less focused on running and a little bit more focused on getting any kind of exercise in that I can when I can find the time, as well as stretching much more. My schedule is so jam-packed with items for work and school that pulling 12 hour work days is the norm for me, and sleep is the main priority. I'm hoping with the school year coming to the end toward the tail end of May I'll be able to focus more on getting back on my running game. (I do have a multi-distance race and a marathon coming up this year, so I gotta get my act together!)

I'll try to be better about posting more frequently here, as I'm sure I'll be running more frequently, at least in the summer months! See you guys soon. :)

Volunteering at a Race

     On April 6, 2014 Riley and I volunteered, with our friend Nick, for the Yukan Run Fool's Dual in Gloucester, MA. This was a first for both of us, but something we were looking forward too. The funny part about this volunteering assignment was we were sent to three different water stops throughout the course.

     One of the coolest part of volunteering for this race was the people we were able to meet. I know from my experience, I met runners of different levels. One member of my team ran ultra marathons, while another was waiting to have knee cap replacement surgery so she could continue running. It was awesome to hear the experience of other runners. Turns out a few of us had run the same races and it was great to hear how others thought the race went.

     Now on to what volunteering actually entailed. My water station was the water stop for both mile 5 and mile 8 of the half marathon. We had Gatorade, Water and some of the GU energy packs to hand to runners. It was interesting to be on the other end of a water stop. It can get pretty hectic and you want to make sure the runners are getting what they want at the stop. Handing a runner a cup that they think is water only to find out it is gatorade after they dump it over there head would be awful. To avoid this we called out what we were holding and runners grabbed their drink of choice. The GU energy supplements went pretty fast as well.

    If helping out you fellow runner or fellow human being by volunteering is not enough, when you volunteer at YUKAN Run events you are given free entry into one of thier events. You can pass this on to someone so they can run the event you are volunteering at or save it for a later event. Also, you received a pretty cool light-up jester hat as a volunteer as well.  So there are rewards on top of the rewarding experience of volunteering.

    This experience was awesome. I cannot wait for my next experience volunteering and luckily I do not have to wait that long. I will be volunteering in the Power Bar, Finish Area of the Boston Marathon. I expect this to be a lot crazier than this experience, but it will be absolutely amazing.



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

An Update

Hi All, 

I know the posts here on VS. the Road have been very random with no rhyme or reason lately. We'll run a few races without a race review and then post a race review or we just have not been posting anything at all. Life has gotten pretty hectic at the moment between grad school, work and trying to breath, finding time to write has become difficult. 

This is not a goodbye post however. With Spring  comes race season and with race season comes a new commitment to VS.  the Road. Be on the look out for some new posts about volunteering at races, race reviews and just general tips. 

The first of these that I hope to post is in my first experience volunteering at the Yukan Run Fool's Dual in Gloucester, MA.  It should be up by the end of the week. 


Monday, March 10, 2014

Hyannis Half Marathon 2014

Last year Riley and I ran The Hyannis Half Marathon and it was the first half marathon either of us had run. This year I decided I wanted to try and tackle it again. The race was on February 23.

The registration, number pick up and expo went just as well this year as I last year. I picked up my number and did some shopping at the expo on Saturday and showed up to run the race on Sunday. Even the weather was cooperative this year. Last year it felt like we were running in a monsoon. 

Now to the race itself, it was a beautiful day to run on Cape Cod. With the nicer weather this year, it's no wonder there was such a great turnout of runners. With the nicer weather it was a lot easier to appreciate the scenery around the course. If you want to run a great half marathon, I highly recommend this one. 

As for my performance on the day, I set a  new personal record by finishing in 1:52:05! I'm pretty excited to say the least. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

What to do in 2014

So, after last years large amount of races, I ma stuck trying to figure out what I am doing this year. So far, I have registered for The Hyannis Half Marathon, BAA 5k, BAA 10k, Warrior Dash, Rugged Maniac, Yuakn Run Triple Threat, BAA Half Marathon and The Zombie Run.  I plan to add one or two marathons, March, April, and July Half Marathons as well as the Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Hat Trick, a Spartan Race Trifecta, and a Tough Mudder.

New for 2014 are my plans to volunteer. I've signed to volunteer for the Yukan Run Fool's Dual and BAA Boston Marathon.  I want to see the other side of racing. I have spent a lot of time running races and have yet t volunteer for any. This year that changes. Volunteers make it all possible. Without them there would be no races. They motivate runners to keep going and they provide the necessary support of to set-up and run races.

Volunteering for the Boston Marathon holds a special place this year for myself and many others. I have the privilege of working in Boston and on April 15th I witnessed much of the aftermath of the bombings. I look forward to being on the course this year and witnessing this great event show the resilience of not just the City of Boston but the entire running community.

Overall, I plan to make 2014 a great year from a professional, personal and athletic standpoint. It all comes down to being better. Better than last year, better than I believe I can be, and better than people think I am.

2014 is all about better.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Louie's Very Delayed Hartford Marathon Review

It's been almosttwo and a half months since Riley, Nick and I completed the Hartford Marathon. I considered skipping doing a review for this race. At first I did not want to write a review because part of the experience was bad. I will get into that later. Then I debated skipping this review simply because it has been so long since the event. Now to state the obvious, I have decided to write a review or well more of a recap.
Waiting at th starting line. Photo Credit to Riley.

The events of the day before the marathon. We headed for the marathon around 6 o'clock and this was the start of this going badly. We ended up hitting rush hour traffic on the way to Hartford and barely made it to check in on time. Upon getting to get in, Riley and Nick recieved marathon relay bibs in place of the official marathon bib and I received a generic Hartford Marathon Foundation bib. There check in was strange in that they did not have numbers assigned to pre-registered runners and instead you were given whatever number they reached for during check-in. 

After checking in, it turns out that they had run out of the official t-shirts. We were asked to write down our name, which race, address, and shirt size as they would be mailing them to us.  As of this post , we have not received our race shirts. We were informed that the order was placed the end of November and we would have them in four to six weeks. 

So next up is the race itself.  For the race itself, I have nothing but good things to say about the course and the volunteers.  The course itself had a lot of great scenery and whether it was running on water or through downtown Hartford, it was beautiful. The first six or so miles were run with those running the half marathon and then from there we split off onto our own course. The marathon course was lined with both spectators and volunteers water stops were frequent enough. They averaged about every other mile or so. 

Crossing the Finishline!
Physically, the first half of the marathon went pretty well. Having ran a few half marathons this year I was prepared for that. I came into the marathon with a sore ankle and after the halfway mark it started to act up, but I just kept running. Eventually, it turned into a run then walk then run routine, but even so I managed to finish the marathon. That was all that counted. 

Crossing the finish line was amazing. We were greeted with water bottles and what we call "space blankets". What we were not greeted with however were the hard earned finisher's medals. They had run out of them as well. Once again we were asked to put our name, event and address on a sheet of paper as it was going to be mailed to us. We have all received them in the mail. It is easily the coolest finisher's medal in my collection. 

Note: That is not the official shirt. It was one I purchased at the race day expo.

A few fun and random notes from the race:

1. Riley and I started singing Livin' on a Prayer at mile 13. "Ohhhhh, We're halfway there."
2. The highest elevation we had to climb was at mile 25. 
3. It was inspirational to see many of the runners who also achieved there goal of finishing a marathon. It can see like a daunting task.
4. The Cracker Barrel has the greatest bacon cheeseburger and apple cider ever.*

*This could have just been my hungry self making me believe this.