Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hardcore Holidays

Since the half I haven't done much running. I climbed back on the lazy train pretty fast. It was nice to get home from work and not feel like I HAD to go run. However, I wanted to get back to running, I planned to get hardcore and do some running over Thanksgiving. Danielle and I met up Thanksgiving morning for the 4 mile Turkey Trot around the Old Port.

I had never run this before....given the fact I had never run ANY race until this past June, that makes sence:-) All I knew was that it was a 2 mile loop full of hills that we ran twice. Sweet!

And because we ran the loop twice, it means we ran all those stupid hills twice...including this one. Bogus.

After the race I went home and enjoyed Thanksgiving with my amazing family, watched football, took a nap and watched Home Alone...twice:-) Danielle and I ventured back out for a Midnight Fun Run in Freeport. We really had no idea what we were in for...but since we are hardcore, we were up for anything. Turns out the run was chasing Santa on his red harley around Freeport. haha. They said it was a "1 mile run". Mmm not so much. Try like .5 miles. Oh well....we got a sweet LL Bean water bottle free for running....I'll take it. We went to some shops that opened at midnight and then headed home. To complete the hardcore weekend we got up and braved the mall for black friday shopping and then tonight will celebrate Danielles 29th Birthday!!! Woot Woot!:-)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Chilly Half Marathon Recap

So It's been a week since I ran my first half marathon, and I am finally getting around to writing my recap.

My mom and dad arrived around 2:30 to pick us up and head to Newton. As soon as my mom arrive, I lost it...which you will see is one of many times I cried this weekend. She told me I didn't have to do this, that no one was making me and I told her we WERE going and I WAS running. There was no choice in that.WIth that, I collected myself and we were off. Our first stop was the Nike outlet in Kittery....I still hadn't gotten pants to wear and the forecast predicted rain. My awesome husband bought me a new pair of running pants, a new shirt and ear warmers!:-)

It was pouring rain all the way to Newton which I was less than thrilled about I just kept picturing running the race in a downpour...awesome. So we made it, and ventured out to find a carb filled dinner! mmmm, I love carbs. I never did make it to the store before I left to get my bananas and peanut butter for my breakfast so we planned to find a store while we were in Newton. However, after dinner driving around town was not our idea of fun. I had this brilliant idea (I know...shocker) that room service could deliver me something yummy:-) I called when I got back to the room only to find out that room service doesn't start until 6:30am...BOGUS! I explained to the nice lady that I needed to eat around 5:00am and all I wanted was some bananas and peanut butter! She sent up a huge fruit bowl with a giant scoop of peanut butter on the side for me that night! I'll totally stay there again!:-)

All night long I was getting 'good luck' texts from my friends. I had planned to save them and post a few of the good ones on here....there were some good ones!:-) Buuuuuuut, I deleted them the other day by mistake...booo. I made myself go to sleep around 9:30 and my alarm was set for 4:45...yikes! Who would of thought I would wake up BEFORE my alarm..oh yes, I did. I got up to shut the alarm off on my phone when I noticed I had a new text...from Twitter. It said "for @gksarahj5 (thats me) ive run races in the snow, heat & rain, ive been hurt, hungover, sleepless & alone... it makes u HARDCORE! just DO it :-)" clearly i started crying one was awake yet and I crawled back into bed and layed there for a little while. I collected myself, yet again and got up and got ready for the day.
We arrived to the start about an hour before the race. I had to pick up my packet annnnnnd I got a small t-shirt! I was excited! The closer it got to race time, the more excited I was getting. Forget all the nerves, tear, and fears I had...this was it! I got a few more texts....
"Good Luck. Kick the half marathon's butt. We are proud of you!"

" GO GO GO. Run hard, don't be afraid to walk, and don't drink the colored water"

" Good Luck sexy runner girl!"

My mom was super camera happy....a few pre race pics....

Before I knew it, I was off.....annnnd crying again (this makes #3). The first 4 miles flew by. Usually those are my worst miles and I want to crawl in a hole and die until I get in my rhythm. I was feeling great. There was a girl running next to me for most of this, before she fell behind. I was passing people, I felt great, and I had a good pace going, I was having FUN! I big debate I had before the race was if I should wear my long sleeve shirt or not. I decided to, but at mile 1.5ish it came off. It was quite a scene because of course I didn't stop to take it off...just kept running. The old lady next to me tried to help...I assured her I was ok:-) I made it to mile 6.2 some where around 57:00. I was pleased because my goal has been to run a 10K in under an hour....and had this been a 10K, I would have done it. Alas....I had 7 more miles left! This is also where the "gentle hills" kicked in. I'm not so sure gentle is the word I would use to describe them. Of course I can't remember now, but I think there were only 4 or 5 but they were long, winding, steep hills. Thank you to the nice lady and her 2 little boys who served water 3/4 of the way up the worst hill! I forced myself not to walk and to keep going....which I did. My pace slowed down quite a bit though from about mile 7 on.

The course was so pretty, it was all through residential areas and HUGE mansions and some wealthy neighborhoods. It was kind of cool not knowing where the course was going, there were a lot of turns. After I passed mile 9 I realized that every step I took after would the the longest run I had ever had. I chatted with a nice lady for a while who told me that we were done with the hills and it was flat the rest of the way! I promptly told her I needed a massive downhill and a drink of water and I'd be ok:-) I am assuming she lived in the area since she stooped at a house, took off her jacket, thew it in the front door and then picked up her newspaper and tossed it on her front steps and continued on. At some point I was behind a lady and the back of her shirt read "....and I'm getting married next weekend" I really wanted to know what the front said, but didn't have the energy to get up to her to read it.

Finally, mile 10!! Only 3 more left. I can do this. ANNNNNND I was surprised to see Ruddley waiting for me. He ran the last 3 miles with me. I needed it so bad. He asked how I was doing and if I had stopped to walk yet and I told him I was hanging in and had not stopped yet. He replied "I'm so proud, I love you". He told me my family was up ahead waiting for me....

Mile 11!

In all the excitement of seeing my family and getting water, I missed the mile 11 sign. For the next mile I thought I was STILL on mile 10. I was so mad. I knew I was running slow and stopping to walk at times, but I knew I had to be farther then that!. I yapped at Ruddley for most of mile 11 and all of 12 telling him how much my butt and hips hurt! He was such a good supporter and continued to remind me how many french fries I can have on the way home!:-) We finally got to mile 12 and I was shocked....but soooo happy I was closer then I thought. Just 1 more mile!!! This was the LONGEST mile ever!!! We started to smell some food cooking and we thought it was from the finish line party, turns out that was not the case, and Ruddley says "can you smell that? LETS GO!". Apparently he knows what motivates me...mmm fooooood!

We rounded the corner onto the last stretch, he pointed out the finish line to me and I put my head down and gave it everything I had. I started crying one. last. time. I had the BIGGEST smile and I was soooo happy. I could see my family waiting for me and the announcer announced me as I came through the gate.

I was soo happy to be done. All I wanted was a big glass of water so I went to this tent where the lady had a ton of water. Of course it was some "special" water and she felt the need to tell me all about how great it was for you. All I wanted was the stupid water with no explanation! My family met me and mom was was again camera happy and I seriously couldn't even stand on my 2 feet without almost falling over. In a matter of 5 minutes my legs were in sooo much pain...all I wanted to do was sit down. I made an attempt to go into the school for the little awards ceremony thing but that was a major fail. I needed to sit ASAP.
With that, we hopped in the car and ventured home. I really thought I would sleep the entire way...but I was still so excited that I talked everyones ears off:-) Once I got home, I showered, changed and made a home on my couch for the rest of the day!:-)

I can't wait to run my next half! Ruddley is already planning to run his first.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

It's finally here...12 weeks later...

Wow. I seriously can't believe 12 weeks has already passed. For a while I felt like I race day would never come and now here it is, tomorrow morning! I can tell you right now this blog is not going to be any kind of organized thoughts because I have so much going through my mind right now--

My weekend started Thursday night at 10:00pm and since I got out of work I have done nothing but think about this race. Am I ready? Will I have to stop and walk? Can I do it? Am I in over my head? What will I wear? Will it be cold? Is it going to rain? YIKES!!! Danielle and I had our usual "we're bored and both have the day off, lets go to the mall" trip yesterday where I tried on 3 pairs of running pants and 2 long sleeve shirts. I found a pair I really like and think we will stop at the Nike outlet on the way to the race today and see if they have them. I thought I knew what I was going to wear a few weeks ago but I wore it on my 10-mile disaster run and decided that was NOT the outfit for me. My pants were falling down, the under armour long sleeve was riding was quite a scene.

Part of me really can't believe I am doing this. That I have worked hard, all on my own, to run this race. Just 9 months ago 13.1 miles was something I never dreamed of doing.....ever. After I started running some races I thought it would be cool to do, but quickly talked myself out of it. Finally I said "just do it" which also happens to be the motto for the month of November thanks to Danielle.

I feel like I have a lot to do today:
*I need to finish my laundry and make sure my socks, sports bra and underwear I need are all fresh and ready to go
*Print out all the info for the race, I don't want to get there and find out what I need is 2 1/2 hours north.
*Go to the store and get some Bananas/peanut butter for race day breakfast along with some other stuff. What that is, I'm not quite sure.
*Pack my bags which will probably include every piece of running apparel I have (which isn't much yet) because I can't make up my mind what I want to wear and if my shopping trip is a major fail I need a plan B.
* Charge my ipod!! This is the most to have clothes to wear:-) The race website says "ipods are highly discouraged" which in my world means, I can wear them. It also says if you wear them you will not be eligible for any awards...HELLO!? Have we met? The only award I might win is the "best turtle pace" award. I'm not worried.
*Finish cleaning my house. I know when I get home on Sunday, cleaning is NOT what I will want to do and I hate starting the week off with a dirty house.

Another thing that is stressing me out is that the packet pick up was on Wednesday and Thursday of this week and race day. I live about 2 1/2/ hours north of the race and there was no way I was going to drive down to pick it up and drive back in the middle of the week (although I seriously thought about it). In an email I got from the race people it said that t-shirt sizes are not guaranteed. I was pissed. I love the shirts, thats why I register early, so I can get the "free" shirt! I told Ruddley the only size left would probably be an XL, so he would get to wear it and pretend like he ran the race, not me. haha. He liked the idea. I just wish on the morning of the race I didn't have to worry about picking up my packet....I'd like to be able to relax. Oh well. Guess I don't have to worry about forgetting my number or timing chip.

It's now about 7:00am- I've been tossing and turning all night and finally got up around 6:30 in hopes that writing this blog will help me clear my head and be able to get a little more sleep before I start my day. My parents and my awesome little brother are picking Ruddley and I up at 2:00 today. We'll pack the car and head south. My roommate and his girlfriend are in Boston this weekend, I'm hoping we can meet them for dinner tonight and I'm really hoping to see them at the finish line tomorrow.

I guess that's it for now... 24 hours and 20 minutes until the gun goes off. Wish me luck!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Making Strides 5K

This weekend I ran in the Making Strides 5K. This was a fundraiser for OT equipment for my little brothers school. His school as seen a rise in the number of kids with Autism and Occupational Therapy is something that is very beneficial to these kids. The goal was to raise $10,000....we raised over $11,000!!! It was FREEZING and POURING rain out and we still had a great turnout for the race. This was the first 5K I have ever done...and it went by so fast. I finished first in my age group and also raised $270.00. Like I said, I hadn't done much running this past week so it was nice to run again.
Sarah's little sister Anna and I before the race
annnnd we're off!:-)
Just coming into the finish line. I need to take a lesson from chicrunner on good race photos!
Finishing the race with Zach!
Post race picture with Zach! This race was for you buddy!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

GU 'n stuff....

So this week running has been put n the back burner (not sure 4 weeks before the race is a good time to put running aside...oh well). I've been working both of my jobs this week and haven't found time to run. I refuse to get up at 4:30am to run...I suppose that doesn't make me a hardcore runner. But I don't care. It's too dark and cold and I LOVE my sleep. However, I did get my 8 mile run in on Sunday. I was super tired from working an overnight the night before and I wasn't able to get much sleep when I got home. I decided that this would be a perfect time to try one of my GUs that I had bought. I don't plan to use them for the 1/2 but I wanted to try one anyway and thought that maybe it might give me a little energy for my run. wrong.

Danielle had warned me that if you don't train with GU before a race, you will get sick. I tried the highly recommended Tri-Berry and washed it down with almost an entire nalgene bottle of water ( it was that gross). Seriously, not 2 minutes after I sucked it down I was in the bathroom power puking my brains out. Oh, it was so gross. (PS, I HATE puking...alot!). I thought "Well, she wasn't lying about the getting sick thing". Once I was done I brushed my teeth and went off for my 8. so gross. If I ever run a race that requires me to need to have some extra fuel mid run I might try chicrunners peanut butter and jelly idea...GU is not my friend.

Why, oh why do the first 3 miles of every run suck so bad? I always want to stop and walk and once I get to mile 4 I am finally in some kind of zone and I feel great. If only the first 3 miles could be like that too. It started raining about 1 mile in...sweet. And it was cold rain. I went on a route that I had never run before. It was kinda cool. I ran by a nice horse farm and some sweet houses that I didn't know existed in my town. Dunkin Donuts was somewhere around mile 4ish. I was so tempted to stop but I kept truckin' along. I got some good hills too which was nice. The course description for the 1/2 says "flat through 4, rolling hills through 8 and flat on the way back". My question is, what's the definition of 'rolling hills'? I've also been doing some of my runs near where I work because there are more hills there and I need to run them, as much as they suck. The last mile was rough. I felt like an old lady. I was freezing, my legs didn't want to take me any further and my right hip/lower back was killing me. BUT, I made it. I was proud of myself for running the whole way and finishing strong.

I was able to get my 5 mile run in on Tuesday, but that's it. Next time I will run will be Saturday. I am running in a 5k which is a fundraiser for my brothers school. His school is seeing an increase in the number of kids who are diagnosed with Autism. A group called Making Strides has formed to raise money for an Occupational Therapy gym to be built at his school. The purpose of this gym to to provide these kids with the equipment needed for them to grow and be successful. I am super excited about this race and want to thank everyone who has donated money. This truly means a lot to me, my family and of course Zach. Their goal is to raise 10,000 through a variety of fundraisers...I'll keep you updated! I also made a pretty sweet shirt to wear on race day, stay tuned for pictures.

One last, kind of random note...I'll be in Nashville, Tennessee for a wedding May 15...anyone know a good race to run that weekend?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A new challenge...

All summer I have been debating running a half marathon. Part of me thinks its still to soon to do and another part of me thinks I can do it. The most logical 1/2 for me to run would have been the Maine Marathon and Half Marathon, which took place October 4th (also happens to be my wedding anniversary for those of you who would like to put it in on your calendar). For anyone that knows me, doing things the easy and logical way is just not my style. I kind of like to make things complicated and hard on myself. Awesome, huh? So after much debate and many thoughts such as "there is no way you can run a 1/2" (most of these thoughts came while I was out running and wasn't feeling very good) I decided to not run the local 1/2 just yet.

At the end of August, Sarah came home to visit and we stopped at Cadillac Mountain Sports to get her sister a birthday present. They also happened to have the latest edition of Runner's World, which was all about running half marathons. Of course I bought it. The next day I went to my part time job, where I have a lot of down time.... and read the entire magazine. So many cool races I never knew about, a 12-week training plan that looked manageable. That's it! I'm doing it! However, 12 weeks put me to the middle of November. There was no way I could run the Maine Half Marathon. I searched online for a half in November and found the Chilly Half Marathon in Newton, MA.

I found a race, I had a training schedule, now did I have what it took to train and run the race? I guess it was time to find out. I put in about 4 weeks of training before I finally decided to sign up for the race. I wanted to make sure I was up for it before giving them my money. I signed up. There was no turning back. I sent several friends a text something along the lines of "ok, i'm freaking out now!" right after I signed up.

In 2.5 hours, it will be exactly 4 weeks until the race. I'm excited, scared, nervous, and ready to run.... I think. Today I have an 8-miler. My longest run outside (I've done 9 on the treadmill before). I felt really good at my 7-miler last weekend, so we'll see what today brings. I have learned sooo many things since starting my training...

1. Running is a serious head game. "I can't do this", "yes I can" "no, I want to stop and walk" "you will be so proud of yourself once you are done". Yes, these are the things that run through my head while running. That's why I love my music so much. It gives me something else to focus on.

2. I eat....a lot. I am hungry All. The. Time. My diet has never been great anyway. It usually consists of a light breakfast, lunch, and a little dinner, more often then not, something fried and yummy (I think I am keeping Wendy's and BK in business) I never really "snacked" before. Snacking is now a full time job for me. I get super hungry around 3:30 now, which is new. I could eat a full meal then, and eat dinner at 6:30-7:00 and be just fine.

3. I am super tired. This whole getting up early for work thing....not working so well. I have been going to bed at 9 (seriously? 9:00...I used to stay up until at least 11-11:30). I've been missing all my TV shows, and we all know how much I love my shows. I have a new love for DVR. My life has been Work. Run. Eat. Sleep for the last 2ish weeks... which is when this training thing really started kicking my butt.

4. Running in old clothes is just not as fun as looking good while running. Since I am new to this whole running thing, it means going out and buying running gear. I love it. The bank account does not:-)

5. The colder it gets, the slower I run! Grrr. I was so proud of myself because since the Trails to Ale at the end of September, I have knocked about 30 seconds off my mile pace. Crazy! I'm not quite sure how that happened, but I'll take it. The last week it has gotten so cold and I am back to my turtle like pace. It's only going to get colder... A new challenge I'll have to figure out.

In about 3 hours, I will have been up for 24 hours straight. Like I said, I don't like to do things the easy my brain is not really functioning very well right now:-) However if you have actually read this entire post...I'm impressed. Like I said before, this blog is really for me to track my progress...because I know I will be making a lot of it and I think it will be pretty cool to go back and read about. I enjoy reading other runner's stories and find a lot of inspiration from them so I thought I would share mine with you.

Sorry for the rambling...I'm looking forward to getting to bed soon and a good run later on. Oh! (an off topic side note…) Today also happens to be Pizza Sunday. Every Sunday during football season we don’t make any plans, get the 5-dollar Little Caesars pizza, bud light and watch football all day. If that's not an awesome training diet, I don't know what is.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Inspirations and Motivators

Before I go on with anymore posts.... I need to talk about my inspirations and motivators because I WOULD NOT be where I am right now without these people. I know I won't be able to put into words all my sincere love and gratitude for these people, but I'll do my best.

*Ruddley- My amazing husband who has tried for years to get me to run with him and I always told him I couldn't, that I'm not a runner, that I might die! Ruddley has been there for me every step of the way, literally. He has run every race with me so far and been there waiting for me at the finish line. When we go for runs together he always tells me how proud he is of me and keeps me going strong even on days when I'm pretty sure I can't get any closer to dying:-) He pushes me to work harder and to run faster. I love him!

*Danielle- I became amazing friends with Danielle just about a year ago. Danielle has been running for years and has 9 1/2 marathons, 1 full marathon, a 200-mile relay, and wayyy too many 5Ks and 10Ks under her belt. I look to her for all things running related (and more). She even offers to run with my turtle pace. She tweets while she runs-which I love. She's overall hardcore and I love her. Danielle has been a huge supporter of my running adventures and I can't wait to run more races with her.

* Kate- I've been friends with Kate since High School and we were roommates in college together (couldn't ask for a better roomie!) she too is super hardcore. I don't get a chance to see her much since we live so far away. But I can always count on a text on race day from her to wish me luck. Kate has one of those "can do" attitudes. If she wants to do something, there is nothing, and I mean nothing that will get in her way.

* Sarah- My best friend since 2nd grade...Sarah is now a pilot in the US Air Force which I think is SUPER cool and crazy all at the same time. I don't get to talk to her much- but I am always excited to tell her about my running success.... she still can't believe it. I think she has one of those "please pinch me and make sure I am alive" moments every time I talk to her about running. I am trying hard to get her to run some races with me...she says she is too busy working to train. Bogus. :-)

* Mom and Dad- My parent's have been my biggest supporters my entire life. They have allowed me to do anything I want and I'm so lucky to have such an amazing mom and dad. Sounds corny, I know. But it's true. They came to every soccer game in HS (well almost mom missed 2 my junior year and both games I ended up in the ER...she vowed to NEVER miss another game. She didn't), the carted me around New England to play travel soccer and sent me to Sweden to play. They haven’t made it to a race yet...but I know I've got plenty more down the road.

* Nichole and Zach- My little sister and brother. Err...not so little anymore. Nichole is 19 (yikes!) and Zachie is 12. Both were adopted by my mom and dad and have been through so much more in their life then I could ever imagine. They are both fighters and so strong. I only hope that one day I can be as inspiring to someone as they have been to me. Nichole is an amazing artist and my house is filled with her artwork (more please Nichole:-) and Zach is pretty much the coolest guy ever. He is autistic and battles everyday to fit in with his peers. He loves life, science, and soccer. He is currently playing on his schools soccer team. I am so proud to be their big sister.

* My ipod- Yes, I am thanking my trusty ipod. I could not run without it. Music is a HUGE motivator for me and I think my play list might be a whole post in itself. I know you are all dying to know why I have Christmas music on my ipod:-). Anyway, I will not enter a race where ipods are banned. Nope, can't do it. I love my music. I need to drown out the sound of my heavy breathing and feet hitting the pavement. I don't even like it when there is a pause between songs. I dunno...just a weird thing. Sometimes I even start singing while I'm out running...and can I just tell you how much Ruddley loooooves that.

* Running magazines (love Runner's World) and blogs. Hearing other people's stories, tips and ideas makes me want to get out and run forever. My life as I knew it was over the day I discovered running blogs. Hello headaches from staring at the computer and a sore butt from my rolly chair! Who knew I could read about running for hours? Lame. Welcome to my life:-)

There are many more people and things that keep me going, inspire and motivate me. But I felt that I needed to mention these people since you may read about them in later posts. I always hate reading about people and wondering who they are or what kind of relationship they have to the person writing. So, there it is.

Trails To Ale 10K- 9.20.09

This by far has to be one of the best races...for a few reasons...

1. The course is super flat and fast.... I like that.

2. 3.5ish miles of the course is around Back Bay, which I love to run!

3. There is FREE beer and pizza at the finish line...seriously? Amazing!

The Portland Trails to Ale was my 3rd 10K...make that my 3rd race period, and my best time so far (which I'm still not sharing because I'm still not happy about it:-). Considering there were no hills and it's the fastest course that I've run, I would hope it was my best time.

I have a hard time getting up early in the morning, and since all these races start anywhere between 7:00-8:00am I need to get up early. I' had been reading that you need to eat at least 2 hours before the race which meant 5:00am! Yikes! I was still working on the pre race breakfast thing... this time I had a banana and peanut butter with high hopes that it would fuel me and not come up at the end.

I ran this race with Ruddley and my amazing friend and inspiration, Kate. Seriously, this girl is awesome (D1 softball player, 1/2 marathon, marathon, sprint triathlon... you name it, she'll do it!). Kate told me she would run with me and I warned her, I run like a turtle. She assured me she would stay with me during the whole race because she was "out of shape"...Yeah. Right! Kate stayed with me for the first 2ish miles before she asked if it was ok if she went ahead...(see, I told you she was nice. She felt bad for leaving me in the dust!). Kate took off, Ruddley was ahead of me and I was running alone...again. Seems to be a theme so far "Sarah, don't worry, I'll stay with you" and then they realize I mean it when I tell them I am slow and they take off. I kind of like it though, I just turn my ipod up wayyyyy too loud and zone out and run. I haven't mastered the whole talking and running thing yet so I don't mind being on my own. At some point my friend Jim passed me, tapped me on the shoulder and said "pick it up slow poke"...thanks Jim for your kind words of encouragement:-). He too took off ahead of me.

Around mile 5 I saw a guy power puking on the side of the road and I just thought to myself "don't look...don't look.... at least it's not you this time". I got to mile 6 where the dude was calling out the time (at this point I still didn't wear a watch while running). I was 20 seconds from my goal time and started to sprint, and then my brain kicked in. I realized I couldn't run .2 miles in 20 seconds so I slowed down a little, did not want another finish like the LL Bean, and finished strong. Oh! And the banana and peanut butter worked wonders! I could have eaten a little more though... next time!

Kate, her new pup Tug and I after the race:-)

Kate, Tug, ME, Ruddley and Jim.

annnnnnd the free beer table!:-)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Ok. So I know its been FOREVER since I have posted...but life took over and I got busy, and honestly wasn't quite sure blogging my running life was worth it anyway. Really, who would care besides me? WRONG! I have decided this blog is for me. A way to track my running progress and if you would like to follow along with me, feel free. So since my last post I have 2 more races to update you on. I won't give you all the boring details (mostly because I have so many things I want to blog about and need to catch up, annnnd at this point, I don't remember all the details!) So here goes....

My next race after the LL Bean 10K, was the Beach 2 Beacon 10K on August 1, 2009, which I mentioned before. All I have to say about this race was it was HOT and I did ok. So far I haven't really been impressed about my race times...I'll get there. Right now just finishing a race is amazing to me. The best part of the B2B is the HUGE amount of supporters during the entire race. Once you get past the first mile (which is so full of emotions anyway because you are running with 6000 people, fighting for a spot on the road, that it flies by) the streets of Cape are lined with people for the next 5.2 miles. To quote Danielle "if you are in Cape on the day of B2B and have nothing else to do, you sit and watch the race". So. True. I'm not sure how many people's houses I passed that had hooked their garden hose up to a tree and sprayed the road with water, or people that brought their sound system on to their lawn and blasted music. My favorite part was around miles 4 and 5.... 2 bagpipers played on the side of the road...I have a huge soft spot for bagpipes. In-fact its the only point (except for the finish line) that I turned my ipod off to listen.

I suppose this race was a slight improvement over the LL Bean. I didn't have to stop and go pee and I didn't throw up at the end...SUCCESS. Although I really need to figure out the whole eating/drinking thing...soon. So many people I know ran this race so it was fun to catch up with them at the finish. I was of course the last one of the group to finish...that will change someday!

This is Ruddley and I after the race...looks like I'm leaning on him to stand up...probably true:-)
This is Christine, Kaden ( my amazing neighbors) Ruddley and I. Kaden just turned 2 and ran the "kids fun run"....Christine also ran B2B with us.
And finally Mackinna (Christine's daughter who also ran the kids fun run) and I:-)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

July 4, 2009

My alarm went off at 5:30am and I thought "Since when do I get at up at 5:30am to go RUN!?" And then I got excited. I put on my new outfit I got for the race (If I was going to run a 10K, I deserved to get a new running outfit!). I debated what I should eat for breakfast...I had never run this early and hadn't figured out the eating/drinking thing yet. Whoops! I had an apple and some water and off we went to meet Danielle. This was also Ruddley's first road race as well- although I am sure he wouldn't admit it, I bet he was just as nervous as I was. As we were waiting for the race to start, Danielle shared a story about how when she runs races she often worries that she will be the last one and looks over her shoulder to make sure she is not. Little did I know, that story would haunt me the entire race. The Star Spangled Banner was sung, the gun went off and off I went...literally. I was so excited, all this work and training and I was finally running a race. I had my ipod on and Kelly Pickler's song "best days of your life" came on. I was feeling great...until I hit the first mile and the guy who was giving out mile splits yelled "8:38". Holy shit! I had never run that fast....ever! In fact, I am a slow runner. I usually run a 10 minute mile. Danielle was long gone, Ruddley was up ahead and I tried my best to recover from my sprint to the 1st mile (of course looking over my shoulder every now and then to make sure I wasn't last). This was also about the time a guy passed me while juggling 3 balls. That made me feel real good:-) Somewhere about mile 3.5 I realized I needed to use the bathroom. I tried to convince myself I only had just under 3 miles left to run and that I could make it. Mmmm, not so much! I darted into the woods, did what I needed to do and was back at it. Although it was hard to get back into my rhythm and I ended up walking for a little bit, which I was not happy at all about. Oh well. I ran through lots of back roads of Freeport before finally turning onto the main street and I knew I was almost there. I passed the mile 5 marker and just as I got to the mile 6 marker I started to feel very sick, very quickly. I only had .2 miles left to run. I could see the finish line and all I wanted to do was run hard through the finish line and get a good action shot of me by the race photographers. I did not mean me mid-puke as a good action shot. I almost lost it a few times and as soon as I crossed the finish line I looked very hard for a trash can or a building I could hide behind. I had no luck finding either. There was nothing I could do...that apple I had for breakfast came up right in the middle of the street among all the people who had just finished the race. I felt awesome! But, I finished and that's all I had hoped for.

Sarah...Running? Yes, it's true!

I know many of you are shocked to find out that I, Sarah Emerson, have started running! I know what you are thinking, and the answer is no! It's not running to McDonalds for french fries, or to Beals for a M&M ice cream, I have taken up the fine sport of running! For those of you who are not aware, I hated running. A lot. I always wanted to be involved in sports when I was younger and I loved soccer, so I quickly found the one position that didn't require much running and went with it. I was a goalkeeper. By the time I was 10 I was studying the fine art of goalkeeping and became quite good at it and therefore was not forced to pick another position, one which might cause me to have to run...even a little bit. In fact, it was a running joke growing up about how much I hated to run and what I would do to get out of it. It may also have to do with the fact that I am pretty lazy and have turned being lazy into a sport of it's own.

So, how did I get to enjoy running enough that I felt I could blog about it? Well fast forward to February 1, 2009. My good friend Danielle was running in the Mid Winter Classic, a 10 mile race around Cape Elizabeth. Being the good friend that I am, decided to meet her at the finish line with a Bud Light (because really, anyone that runs 10 miles in the middle of a Maine winter is totally deserving of a Bud Light at the finish line). Danielle told me roughly what time she would be finishing and so I arrived about 20 minutes prior. As I sat in my car (because there was no way I was standing out in the cold until it was closer to the time she was going to finish) I watched the winner finish and all the runners that followed him. I started to get kind of excited, and oddly enough, I enjoyed watching strangers finish this race. I watched as the time got closer to when Danielle said she would be finishing and my excitement built and got out of my car to cheer everyone on. Then, I saw Danielle come down the hill (you can always count on her to have an awesome running outfit on! Soccer socks? why not!) I prayed that she didn't trip on the snow and ice covering the road and met her at the finish line!:-) I had so much fun and was completely inspired.

I had plans to go to the gym after her race and decided I would run on the treadmill and see how far I made it. I joked and sent Danielle a text telling her "I'm going to go for a long run today, like 5 miles!". At that time, 5 miles was like running a marathon. So I got on the treadmill and just started running...6 miles later I got off! What did I just do??? I was shocked (granted I took a quick rest after every mile for a sip of water, but I finished!). I quickly called everyone who would care to tell them about my success at the gym. A few days later I decided that I wanted to run the Beach 2 Beacon, a very popular 10K in Cape Elizabeth in August. Running a 10K was something that always sounded fun but I never thought that I could do it. I figured it was only February and I had until August to train for it. So I registered, along with 5999 other runners and now there was no turning back. I was going to run my first race.

A few months later Danielle asked if Ruddley and I wanted to run the LL Bean 4th of July 10K. At that point I had been running quite regularly and jumped at the idea (it also helped that the first X number of people to sign up would get a free pair of $100 running shoes). So, there is was, I had just signed up for 2 10Ks and up until the few months prior had never run more than 3 miles without crying. You could say I was a little nervous. Running had become such a blessing for me through the winter and spring though and it quickly became my way of dealing with stress and for some strange reason, I looked forward to it.
Danielle and Melissa after the Mid-Winter Classic
Danielle with her post race bud light thanks to ME:-) Notice the soccer socks?
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