"Aspire not to have more, but to be more"

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Worst. Race. Ever: Hot Chocolate 15k 2011

Want to run the worst race of your life? Run a RAM Racing event. Everything possible that could go wrong will go wrong. Sorry to start this post off so negatively.... but I can't help myself :).

To start things off, you had to purchase a "parking pass" (which was like $15) to park at Rosecroft Raceway. No one enforced the parking passes, so you could have easily parked for free. Next, you had to hop on a bus to the starting line, which wasn't THAT bad, but our driver had no idea where they were going. Once you arrived to the start, it was FREEZING (I'm pretty sure it was below 30 degrees) and there was one small tent for all of the thousands of runners to stand in. Obviously we all didn't fit. About half an hour before the race, they started to corral us at the starting line. They kept doing a count down for when the race was going to start....but it never started.... 1 hour and 15 minutes later the gun went off. We literally stood there and froze our hineys off for 1 hour and 15 minutes. If we had used the "premium" we were given (which was simply a black trash bag with the Ram Racing logo on it), we would have been even colder!  There was no way to stay warm (since we had already handed our bags in) except to huddle together like penguins. Also, you couldn't leave to go to the bathroom, which made the wait that much more painful!

We were told that the race was delayed because of an accident on the highway, even though there were no police reports of accidents - only heavy traffic and there was not enough parking for all of the runners (they had originally had the race open to like 4,000 runners and 20,000 runners wound up being there). Once the race started, we found ourselves running on uneven pavement, and even in the same direction as traffic at one point!! They had one lane closed on a four lane highway and we ran the SAME DIRECTION as traffic, so if a car decided to swerve through the cones or one of us tripped and fell over the line of cones, we were toast. Once we crossed the finish line (which was uphill), we had to walk a half mile up ANOTHER hill to the "chocolate festival". Sounds great, right? Nope. Barely gave us any chocolate! I definitely think this race was a ripoff and would never recommend an event put on by RAM Racing to anyone in the future.

Overall rating? F
Main complaints? Everything that could have gone wrong did. They didn't enforce the parking permits, started an hour late, and the premium SUCKED
Favorite parts? None. Well, maybe the fact that a Prince George's County cop was actually SMILING made it okay haha
Communication before the race? C
Expo? D. Bad. Should have bailed for the actual race once I realized how bad the expo was
Premium? F. Basically the equivalent of a black trash bag with a sticker thrown on
Water Stops/Aid Stations? C. Barely any.
Finisher's Medal? None
Finisher's Festival? We had to walk a mile uphill to get to it once we finished and it was not unlimited Ghiradelli Chocolate like we all thought - we only got a little bit
Would I run this race again/recommend it to anyone? Nope! I would actual not recommend anyone ever run a race put on by RAM Racing

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Marine Corps Marathon 2011

Finished:  15874 out of 21023 Bib #14431 Age:       19 Finish Time:
   Overall : 42.7% , sex place: 5871/8598 , division place: 60
Ice bath once I got home! bbrrrrr

At the finish of my first full marathon - finished in  5:19:05
 I ran my first full marathon on October 30, 2011; the Marine Corps Marathon. I had to get up super early to take the metro to the start....we had to walk in the cold/dark for ~1 mile to the start once we got off the metro. Tons and tons of port-a-potties! It was pretty cool to see the sun rise! All I can remember is that I had layers upon layers upon layers on. After I took last one last potty break, I handed my bag to the UPS men (they have the UPS trucks transport your bags to the finish) and headed to the start! I was so pumped/nervous - my longest run had been ~15 miles , was I ready??
Gun goes off....my iPod dies. How exciting. I had run every training run with my trusty iPod and even made sure it was charged the night before!!! No dice. It was AWFUL! So off I went... 
About 15 miles into the marathon, my feet started to hurt. I cried, stomped my feet and told myself how much I hated myself for walking ! I learned pretty early on in cross country in high school if you walk, you're a failure...and that's pretty much how I felt. It took me just over a year once I started seriously running again that I would get over this awful philosphy that if you walk, you fail. Around mile 18 I met a nice young fellow from Illinois who was also on the struggle bus.... I think his name was Sam (he's in the left of this picture below)

We ran the majority of the rest of the marathon together. My goal was to get to the 14th street bridge before the cut off, and I did! The worst part was probably the 14th street bridge - it was so hot, barren, and no people were there to cheer you on. We then meandered our way through Crystal City (I was delusional by this point--but I do remember there being tons of people and donut holes - which are my favorite). 
One of my friends was planning on meeting me / cheering for me, but by the time we reached mile 21 and I hadn't seen her so I kind of gave up on all hope....and then I saw her at mile 25! From Crystal City to the finish it was quite uneventful - and there weren't many people cheering for you. I did run with a lady for a short amount of time who was running her second marathon (I think?) and we chatted for a little bit - until we were passed by a 16 year old! How crazy. 

Overall rating? C
MAIN COMPLAINTS: VERY crowded, long lines for the metro (even though they had shuttles to Crystal City the lines for the buses were long)-- took me almost 3 hours to get home (College Park!) from Roslyn via Metro!!, horrible premium 
Communication before the race? N/A. Honestly, I don't remember - this was almost 2 years ago! I don't remember anything that bad?
Expo? B. There were a lot of vendors, but I think they could have chosen a better location than the Armory...
Premium? D - they give you an awful mock-neck turtle neck...if you've been hosting a race for as long as you have, you'd think the participants would get a little nicer of a shirt that actually fits them and doesn't choke them, right?
Water Stops/Aid Stations? B - There were plenty of water / aid stations, my only complaint is that they handed out pretty nasty GUs , and if you couldn't stomach GU or weren't able to carry nutrition you were pretty screwed. I still ran with my 4-bottle FuelBelt, but never had to stop to refill the bottles. I took Gatorade and Water at every stop they were offered!
Finisher's Medal? A. Probably the most bad-ass medal I will ever get! It had a spinny globe in the center of it!
Finisher's Festival? C- Really crowded  (I'm pretty sure we were all funneled in to single file lines to get food and that's pretty hard to do when there are tens of thousands of cold, hungry, stinky runners!).
Would I run this race again/recommend it to anyone? No. Too crowded, didn't like the premium; could have been much better!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

2011 Baltimore Half Marathon

Me before the 2011 Baltimore half - ready to  go!
Starting Line
This was my second time running the Baltimore Half Marathon and I loved it! I really don't remember much from it, except my friend Harley drove up with me to cheer me on, and I didn't have the fastest time (2:17). I did finish and enjoyed it just as much as the year before.
Finished 5021 out of 9150 runners
Bib # 30279
Age: 19
Time: 2:17:40
My friend Harley took this picture -- I'm  turning around waving :)

Overall rating? A
Main complaints? None
Favorite parts? I absolutely LOVE running through Baltimore, especially since I've lived in the area my whole life. The "merge mile" (mile 3 of the half when we joined with the marathoners) was pretty inspirational too . I LOVE LOVE LOVE the premium - an Under Armour t-shirt. Can't complain!
Communication before the race? A
Expo? A. Just the right amount of vendors. This year it was in the Baltimore Convention Center which was kind of a pain to find parking for, but there was more than enough room in the venue
Premium? A. Under Armour orange tech tee. 
Water Stops/Aid Stations? A . Definitely frequent enough and well stocked!
Finisher's Medal? A . Cute crab on it - loved it!
Finisher's Festival? B+. The only reason why it's not an A is because there is only one way out for all of the thousands of runners. It was pretty awesome to have men from Helping Up Mission there handing out water and food. THANK YOU!
Would I run this race again/recommend it to anyone? YES Defeinitely. I'll run it every year until the day I die

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Army 10 Miler 2011

Woopsies ... I slept through my alarm and woke up 10 minutes before the race was supposed to start. Lame long-sleeved cotton shirt ... wasn't impressed with the expo, which is probably why I slept through my alarm!

Overall rating? A
Main complaints? Cotton long sleeved t-shirt
Favorite parts? N/A
Communication before the race? average
Expo? C. Average
Premium? D . Long sleeved cotton tee, really?
Water Stops/Aid Stations? N/A
Finisher's Medal? N/A
Finisher's Festival? N/A
Would I run this race again/recommend it to anyone? N/A

Sunday, August 28, 2011

2011 Annapolis 10 Miler

Didn't happen - Hurricane Irene blew through! At least we were able to get our premiums a week or so afterwards. Nice quarter zip - nice and warm!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Baltimore Marathon Trial Run

This past Saturday I ran 14 miles--can't believe I actually did it! Last week I was at Msgr. O'Dwyer Retreat House in Sparks, MD for Camp GLOW, where I was a companion. Unfortunately, York Road is not the safest place to run, so I stayed inside all week--0 exercise and ice cream twice a day really adds up quickly!! I decided to curb the no-run streak and head down to Baltimore for the trial run, which would act as my long run for the week. My shins were really tight early in the run, so I walked for a block, but once they got better, it was much easier to run. It wasn't too hot, and the course is SO MUCH BETTER than last year's course. I feel like this course really takes you through a tour of Baltimore. You run through Druid Hill Park--pretty! This week I plan to stick to my training routine, even though my body wants to swim (I don't have a pool to swim in :( ).

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day 28, 31, 32 : Long run, Dreaded Druid Hills 10K, BWC 5K

I apologize for those of you following this blog...I'm sorry I haven't been updating it every day.

On Wednesday (Day 28th) I got up early and went for an 8 mile run (to Green Clover Drive). I was running through Waverly Woods and all of a sudden it started to rain! I decided to truck through--running in the rain was actually very refreshing (it brought back memories of my cross country days). It was nice to come back and still have my whole day ahead of me.

Thursday I was going to run, but I had a paper for my GVPT100 class I had to finish. I went to lunch at Bare Bones with Fr. Mike, Mr. Lew, Kate, and Martin. Martin is awesome--he helped me develop a marathon training program! I start tomorrow!

Jenna and I after the Dreaded Druid Hills 10K
On Saturday (yesterday) I ran the Dreaded Druid Hills at 7:30am in Druid Hill Park. The run wasn't that bad---the hills weren't much worse than anything in Patapsco State Park (what we ran in high school). I ran with my friend Jenna, from High LI. I beat my 10k time from Memorial Day weekend (I finished in 59:37!) and did not walk one step. Ms. Tracey (now Mrs. Ostendorf) and Webs (my xc coach from high school) ran, too! As I ran to the finish I saw Webs cheering for me--just like the old days!! The fruit at the end of the race was SO refreshing. After we got some pictures, Jenna and I went to 7-11 and got slurpies and then went to Sam's Bagels in Catonsville and got breakfast/caught up. You can see me run in the Dreaded Druid Hills 10K at 11:21 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0AT0J9Ef2s&feature=player_embedded) .

Laura, myself, Aunt Linda, Sarah, Aunt Donna, and Jen after the BWC
Today I did the Baltimore Women's Classic at 8am. Unlike yesterday where there were only 500 runners, today there were 3000+, and all were women! Today was also a 5K, so I was able to get a really good time (6 seconds from beating my PR: 25:21) and wasn't even tired when I finished. Best part of the race--right after I started I reflected on how far we as women have come, and running in the 5K felt so liberating! The course was very similar to the MCVET 10k from Memorial Day weekend, except we didn't go to Ft. McHenry. Jenna ran this race again with me. Aunt Donna, Aunt Linda, Jen, Laura, and Sarah all ran in the race, as well! The race was such a positive atmosphere, and Lynne Brick from Brick Bodies led the warm up...even then though we didn't do it....ANYWAYS! I was so happy with my time when I finished and also I was sooo happy because I beat a girl from my rival high school, Seton Keough!

After the race, I went to 7-11 with Jenna and went to Dunkin Donuts for a blueberry muffin! Nom nom. Then it was time for church--Fr. Mike's last mass at Resurrection! 

Overall--great weekend for running

Friday, June 17, 2011

Day 18, 21, 23: OBX

Running on the beach has always fascinated me--so much that I've never actually done it.......getting sand and ocean water in my new running shoes doesn't really appeal to me and running barefoot on hard sand? Completely out of the question!! Don't get me wrong, I HAVE tried to run on the sand, but I can never quite find  enough hard sand to run on so I always wind up in that soft sand that you can barely walk in......

When I got here (Buxton, NC), I told myself I was going to run and exercise every day of the week, and here I am, Friday night, and I must say I've done pretty good---I've run 3 times and ridden my bike 2 or 3 days out of the 7 days I've been here, so woooooohooo. On Sunday, I ran the loop I ran last summer just around the neighborhood and I thought it was close to 3 miles when I ran it last summer, but it turns out it was only about 2. It was SOO humid, too! Then Wednesday I ran past the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, down to where the beach access ramps are for cars/trucks are and back and that was close to a 6 mile run. I was really sluggish--having a cold definitely does not help you speed up your pace. Then today I ran down Buxton Back Road and along Hwy 12 -- about a 4 mile run. It was very humid today as well, but I got lucky! I missed the rain by just a few minutes. When I got back to the house, I put on my bathing suit and dodged the raindrops as I made a quick sprint for the ocean to cool off--best reward!

Bad news--this afternoon I was laying on the beach and I discovered that my headphones aren't working too well anymore so I'll have to get a new pair--man oh man, at this rate, I'll have to buy stock in headphones! I wish someone would invent ones that don't get damaged from running/sleeping/constant motion.

One week until Dreaded Druid Hills and the Baltimore Women's Classic!!!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day 15: Central Park

On Wednesday night, after an exhausting day spent frolicking through the streets of NYC, I hit the hay at about 2am. I told myself on the train ride up to NYC that I HAD to run in Central Park because I didn't know when the next time I'd be running there would be. I got up at 7am and laced up my running shoes and away I went. I ran about 5 miles around the park and it was a phenomenal run--despite it being a record-breaking hot day in NYC. I'm glad I got up early to run, and it was refreshing to see so many people running, biking, and doing other forms of exercise as well....it makes me want to live there! I walked a ton yesterday, and it was a travel day, so I didn't run...and today was another travel day, so I didn't run......

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Days 5, 7, 9, and 13

WOW! Sorry I haven't really been that great at keeping up with this whole blog thing....no excuse!! Actually... I haven't been running much so you haven't been missing anything. I'll fill you in on what I have done so far. For some reason I can't upload pictures, so I'll have to do that later.

On what I estimate to be Day 5, I did the MCVET 10K with Katie Souza (on the day before Memorial Day) in Baltimore. The temperature was probably about 100 degrees and I thought I was going to birth a child only into mile 1. I finished in 1:02. I was hoping to finished in under 1:05. Next goal is to be closer to 55 minutes!

Day 7, which was a Tuesday, I headed to Charm City Run in Clarksville to get new running shoes. Of course, they didn't have my size, so I had to wait until Day 9 to get them. I got a pair of Brooks Adrenaline to replace my old Pumas from the fall, and boy oh boy, is it nice to wear shoes that fit ! I was surprised to hear that I am size 11 when I've been wearing 9.5 or size 10 for the longest time. I was planning on going for a run the day I got them, Thursday, but I was called into work...and this weekend was so crazy I didn't have time to run until yesterday, or Tuesday. I went for a short run (4.5 miles)  through Waverly Woods and I felt like I was running on a cloud !! Those shoes are SO nice! I can't wait to run a decent distance in them.

Right now I'm on a train on my way to NYC--I was supposed to take the megabus, but I missed it, so I hopped on an Acela Train and I'm on my way to the Raise the Bar Rally in NYC. I hope to go for a run in Central Park tomorrow if I have time.

In other news, I am doing the Dreaded Druid Hills 10K and Baltimore Women's Classic 5K in a few weeks!
Happy Running!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Days 3 & 4: Biking Adventures

Yesterday I decided to take a break from running and take a little biking adventure to Road Runner at Rt. 175 and Rt 95. The trip was about 30 miles round trip. I went to pick up my race packet for the MCVET 10K in Baltimore I'm doing this Sunday morning with my best friend Maria's sister, Katie. It was SO HOT on my ride there. So hot that I did, indeed, get sunburnt, and so hot, indeed, that I had to take a break or two to rehydrate myself. I did try one of those PowerBar Goo packs before I left and wooooowwwee I felt nasty after eating that. I was like eating that nasty flavored medicine when you have the stomach virus and have to stomach it---it was way too syrupy. Anyways, on my way home from Road Runner (where I did try on the Brooks Adrenaline shoe, and I can't wait until I have enough money to buy a pair!), I dropped off Katie's race packet at her house and hung out for a little while. Breaks are great on hot summer days.

Then, today, I went over my friend Kristin's. Kristin is in an intense Pre-Physical Therapy program up at Northeastern University in Boston. It's so intense that she has no summer--she has to take classes and also do her co-op over the summer up in Boston....soooo she's never in Maryland. Luckily, she's home for the weekend so myself and a bunch of friends from when I was in Youth Group back in high school went over and just chilled in her pool. Of course, I rode my bike there. She lives over by Centennial High School so the bike ride wasn't too brutal. The ride home was scorching!

ALSO my dad FINALLY put the air conditioning in--man oh man, I LOVE air conditioning. It feels soooo good to come home to a cool house after being out in the sun all afternoon. I know I do have a pretty nice sunburn, but I'm just scared to see how bad it is.

That's all for today. PEACE

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day 2: bleh and freeze pops

Yesterday I felt really nauseous after my run...even through the night....and was just hoping that it would go away. Which it did, but then mid afternoon today I started to feel sick again. I hope it's not me getting nervous for my runs? Which it could be. Who am I trying to impress though? NO ONE. We had a torrential downpour with an accompanying thunderstorm this afternoon, and for a second I thought I was in monsoon land so I didn't go out for my run until after the sky cleared.

It's weird that I went on my run and couldn't even run the whole thing because I was so angry. I'm not sure why I was upset, I just was frustrated. I think it's time for some Bikram Yoga to ease my nerves. Today I ran a little over 4 miles (was only planning on running 3). I ran up to Rt. 99, back down to Rt. 40, and then up a little trail through the woods and around Chapelgate and back home.

Right before I left school, my dear friend Alex gave me a package of freeze pops and let me tell you, they are the BEST treat after a run. That basically is my motivation to run. Today I had a green one--tasty!


Monday, May 23, 2011

Day 1: Let the journey begin!

I registered for the Marine Corps Marathon a month or so ago. I don't think I have ever been so nervous in my entire life to enter my credit card information before because registering for a marathon is a big deal---you're signing yourself up for months of training, sleepless nights, sweaty t-shirts, and some intense mental preparation. This past fall I ran/completed both the Baltimore and Philadelphia Half Marathons. Baltimore was by far my favorite because it was through my favorite city, but Philly was a close second because it was a fast course!! I ran the Philly Half 5 weeks after the Baltimore Half. WOW!

Today was my first run to kick off my training. It started off with a 9am appt with my podiatrist who told me to get new shoes every 250 miles (which I'm well past) and to NOT get the Vibram 5 Finger shoes (he said they're great to walk in, but other than that they're just a scam). After running endless errands, I came home and laced up my trusty Pumas!

 I ran about 6.4 miles. About 3 miles in I felt like I was birthing a child so had to lay down and take a break .... in the middle of the sidewalk. I ran past a girl that I went to middle school with and we waved--it's always great to see someone you know! With about a little more than a mile to go, I thought I was going to blow chunks, so I just stopped and walked to a restaurant on my trek home and  got some water. It also started to thunder / pour....sooo it was good to take a break.

After a 2 week break filled with finals, moving home, and unhealthy eating, I'm ready to get back into the swing of things! One of my favorite things about the summer is the heat and sweating. There's nothing like coming home after a long run with a drenched cotton t-shirt. Yeah, Under Armour works fabulously, but I love the traditional cotton tee sometimes.

Today I learned that I will indeed get blisters even after only a two week break and that I need new shoes!



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