I still have a few posts coming up associated with the Runner’s World weekend, but with my new job, school and my sister-in-laws wedding this Sunday, blogging has only been able to happen about twice a week. Once I am settled into my new job, that will be changing as I will have more “spare” time, I hope.
You can read my 5K/10K post here if you haven’t already and you should prior to reading this one as those were the first two races in the Runner’s World Hat Trick. After running these two races much faster than I had planned, it was clear by Saturday night that the half was going to be difficult, if not impossible.
Saturday night prior to the half started with a VIP dinner with the editors of Runner’s World. I can safely tell you that this was the best pre-race dinner I have ever had and even though I didn’t pay for it thanks to Runner’s World, I most certainly would if I ever attended this race in the future.
The recipes were from the Runner’s World Cookbook (review to come soon) and included salad, farro, mini chicken meatballs, mini beef meatballs, kale pesto and a delicious chocolate mousse dessert!!
After dinner we headed over to the auditorium to hear The Keynote speech by Dave McGillivray, who is the race director for the Boston Marathon. Dave spoke about his life and how he overcame being the “last pick” as a child. His story is an inspiration and as I sat there I became inspired and motivated, knowing I would run the half the next day, no matter what.
Dave runs the miles of his birth age every year on his birthday and has done this since he was a kid. This past year he ran 59 miles on his birthday, I told you he was inspiring, but what stuck in head the most was what he said after someone asked him what he would do when he turned 88. Would he run 88 miles on his 88th birthday? Dave’s answer was, I don’t know, it’s my game, my rules. MY GAME, MY RULES!!! I love this statement and this is the statement that would forge me ahead in my half marathon the following day. If you want to learn more about Dave and then you should definitely read his book, The Last Pick: The Boston Marathon Race Director’s Road to Success, I know I will!
After listening to Dave’s speech I really thought about the half marathon and how I wanted to run it. I have been struggling with enjoying my running versus running fast. While I probably will always want to be faster, I wasn’t sure if that was the ultimate goal of running and if it even should be, which was making me start to dislike running when I didn’t go as fast as I thought I could. With my legs sore and the half marathon looming, I decided I wanted to run with Janet. Janet is one amazing women, who happens to run a little slower than me, but I wanted to slow down for this half and I also wanted to get to know Janet better, it was a win-win situation.
MY GAME, MY RULES!!!!!
Janet was nice enough to allow me the privilege of running with her for the half. Janet is an inspiration, she had been involved in a car accident years ago in which she almost lost her life and her leg, thankfully the doctors were able to save both, but it would requires years of therapy for Janet to be able to run again. You should check out her website to read her complete story. I knew that running with Janet the next day would be an amazing experience.
When I woke up Sunday morning my legs were killing me from the races the day before, I knew I had run them too fast, but I was determined to finish the “Hat Trick”. My roommate Linda and I hit the 6:15 am shuttle to take us close to the race start, thankfully we could stay indoors pretty much right up to the beginning of the race.
Linda and I prior to the half.
I met up with Janet around 7:30 am and we headed to the start with David and Scott from Runchat after dropping our bags at the bag drop. It was about a 10 minute walk to the start and we left David and Scott to line up at their pace time, which was much quicker than our 12:00 minute/mile goal. We hopped over the fence just in time for the Star Spangled Banner!
I told Janet I would follow her lead for the entire race, when she walked, I walked and when she ran I ran. While I did try to motivate her along the way, I did not want to push her or myself too hard. The start of the race was like a cruel joke…..half a mile downhill and then what felt like six miles uphill. The first half of the race was mostly a horrible uphill and for this Long Island girl from the south shore, hills are pretty foreign to me and no I did not train for them…….big mistake.
For the most part the pace was comfortable for me. I was talking to Janet and other racers, just enjoying the scenery, the people and the run. I have never enjoyed a race like I enjoyed this one. Mile seven is my favorite mile because then the countdown starts, six miles to go!!!! This part of the race was mostly downhill, which also made those last six miles much more enjoyable than the first six.
I got my second wind after mile eight and Janet encouraged me to go on without her, but I told her over and over again that I started this race with her and we were going to cross that finish line together. I was having a blast and for the first time in a long time I really remembered what I loved about running, it was not the speed, but the running itself and the community of runners.
Janet and I crossed the finish line together, we both got a high five from Bart Yasso and the feeling of accomplishment for completing the Runner’s World Hat Trick!!!!
This was actually my slowest time ever for a half marathon, but amazingly, despite it being my slowest rime, it was my favorite half marathon to date!!! This half marathon helped me to realize what I love about running and that is the run and the people. While I will always chase speed, it is not my ultimate goal, my ultimate goal is to be able to run for the rest of my life. MY GAME, MY RULES.
Janet taught me that I don’t HAVE to run, I GET to run and that is a privelage.
This weekend, especially the half marathon, reignited my love for running. The next big goal ahead for me is the 2014 NYC Marathon, which I plan to not only run, but I plan to enjoy it. Fast or slow. MY GAME, MY RULES.
A big thanks to Runner’s World for making this weekend possible and to all the awesome sponsors who provided all the awesome swag!!!
A special thanks to Janet for inspiring me through the Runner’s World Half Marathon and showing me what is really important.
This may be the most important post on the Runner’s World weekend, but it is not the last, I still have more information and recaps coming your way. The next posts will be up sometime after my sister-in-laws wedding Sunday!!!
Have a great weekend all!!!!