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

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Philadelphia Marathon 2012

If there was any race that I feel like I did everything right for, it was the Philadelphia Marathon 2012. It all started with my train ride up to Philly from New Carrollton ... it was my first time taking the train from New Carrollton (normally I would metro from College Park to Union Station and pick up Amtrak there). Well let me back up a little bit .... my 21st birthday. The Philadelphia Marathon was on November 18th....my 21st birthday was on November 13th. When I first signed up for the race, I told myself that I was going to wait to go out for my 21st until Thanksgiving. Why? I have no idea. After talking with my friends, they guilted me into going out for my 21st and boy oh boy - that was the best idea all of training! Thanks to Looney's Pub of College Park, MD for a great night. 
The days leading up to the marathon I honestly wasn't too stressed out like I had been for my first full marathon. Training had gone really well and I had one 20-miler in the tank, and countless 13-16 mile runs. I felt ready to go! The day I was heading up to Philly (Saturday) was also the last Senior Football game at UMD and there was a huge senior tailgate before the game with free drinks from the school...so what did I do? Had my fill of bottomless mimosas :) . I ran into some old friends, got a picture with Testudo, and went back to my apartment and did some last minute packing for the marathon! My friend was supposed to pick me up and give me a ride to the train station....but he was over 20 minutes late, and I almost missed my train! By the time I got to Philly, I was ready for bed. I went to the Expo, got my packet, and then went to the California Pizza Kitchen and had some  yummy food & wine...then off to bed! 

I believe the race started at 7 - I was up at 5:30 and out the door by 6...at the start of the race by 6:30. Met some guy named Ben when we were in line for the bathroom and wound up running the race with him. I kept a 9:35ish pace the whole race! I didn't even run with music for the first half ( I had Ben to talk to), and I'm pretty sure I didn't munch on any Clif Shotbloks until after the 13.1 mark! Something that I found kind of odd was that the half marathoners & marathoners started at the same time...but then the half marathoners peaced out at mile 12.9 for the finish. I honestly wasn't the biggest fan of that because then you have to run the next 13.3 by yourself and that's kind of depressing to think about when you're only halfway done...

Mile 18; when I realized I was going to
break my life goal!
I was cruising. I hit mile 18, looked at the clock, looked at my split time sheet I had taped around my wrist, and then looked at the clock again -- I was ~20 minutes ahead of schedule...I was going to break my lifetime goal of 4:30!!!!!! We ran through Manayunk and a guy asked me if I wanted a beer and I said YES! From that point on, I just ran like the wind; never hit the wall and I felt amazing. Mile 23 was about the time my hip started to hurt and I was ready to be done running - I felt like I had been running forever.  I gave the last few miles all I had left and had a great finish - even high-fived the Mayor of Philly! Great post race party and tons of food. I even remember joking around with the one guy that was giving out Gatorade that I wouldn't accept any from him because he had Steelers gear on. I got my medal, found my friend, and off we went back to her house where I took a nice long shower and we went and had bottomless mimosas for lunch. I took a train back that night and it was kind of funny because everyone that had run the marathon was hobbling their way on the platform. It was kind of hard to get up the next morning - my whole body ached, but I was able to muster up enough energy to go for a ~2 mile run to loosen things up (at like a 13 minute mile pace). Would highly recommend this race!

Overall rating? A
Main complaints? No Under Armour tech tees (those are still my favorite :)) and I don't think there were Philly pretzels at the finish as promised (maybe there actually were and I'm forgetting 7 months after the run haha)
Favorite parts? My favorite two parts of the marathon were probably mile 13 and mile 26. Why? Because of the large crowds cheering for you! I also loved how they played music from Rocky at the start and the finish. It's fun to run through a big city with tons of people cheering for you!
Communication before the race? A
Expo? A. Tons of vendors!
Premium? B+. The color is kind of boring (gray), but I liked how it was gender specific and wasn't too busy (had the marathon logo on the front and the map of the marathon on the back)
Water Stops/Aid Stations? A . Definitely frequent enough and well stocked!
Finisher's Medal? A - pretty awesome! Nice ribbon, heavy medal!
Finisher's Festival? B+. Loved how it was right at the finish line, was kind of bummed there was no beer!
Would I run this race again/recommend it to anyone? YES!

Placed 6451 out of 11427. Bib # 11628
Age: 21
Official Finishing time: 4:17:31

Overall rating? A
Main complaints? None
Favorite parts? The entire race!
Communication before the race? C - I wasn't sure about packet pickup and I would check the website multiple times for answers...but they were never there. I eventually broke down and emailed the race director and had my question answered
Expo? A. Huge and had tons of vendors!
Premium? A. EnduraFit gender-specific long sleeve shirt with the course map on the back. The color was gray...
Water Stops/Aid Stations? A . Definitely frequent enough and well stocked! 
Finisher's Medal? A+. 
Finisher's Festival? B+. They didn't have beer :(
Would I run this race again/recommend it to anyone? YES!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Baltimore Half 2012

Running around  the lake
Me at the finish!
Place: 2492/10248 Bib # 30556 Finishing Time: 1:56

After running countless races for myself, I decided to run for others. I signed up to join the "Every Yard for Yeardley" (in memory of Yeardley Love) team and helped my good friend Zach train for the Baltimore Half. In all of the races I've run, I must admit, helping someone train and watching them complete their first half marathon is probably the biggest sense of accomplishment I have ever had. It's pretty inspiring! I've run the Baltimore Half a few times before, and this year was my best time (PR of 1:56) yet!

Overall rating? A
Main complaints? None
Favorite parts? The premium!
Communication before the race? A
Expo? They switched back to M&T Bank Stadium this year - I prefer M&T over the Convention Center. Everything flows much better and you don't feel like you're lost in an ocean
Premium? A. Under Armour Cold Black tee (I'm wearing it in the above pics)
Water Stops/Aid Stations? A . Definitely frequent enough and well stocked! Great crowds
Finisher's Medal? A, probably one of my favorite ones
Finisher's Festival? A, even though it was crowded just like years past. I've come to accept the fact that it will only ever have one exit.
Would I run this race again/recommend it to anyone? YES Defeinitely.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Annapolis 10 Miler, 2012

At the start...during the downpour
Second race of the year in Annapolis - can't complain! The course was very similar to that of the Zooma Half I did two months ago, but a wee bit shorter. Apparently the city of Annapolis isn't too thrilled that there are so many foot races in their city, so they are trying to shut down races over time. Hopefully the Annapolis 10 Miler is here to stay!

I don't think any of us were really 100% positive that this race would happen because of the thunderstorms in the area. I remember driving from College Park to Annapolis in a complete downpour. I had two Luna bars for breakfast (halfway into the race I wish I had eaten more!) . As soon as the race started, it started raining cats and dogs! It rained backwards, sideways, the wind was blowing....yeah I'm pretty sure I should have had my bathing suit on! It was POURING!! Once it finally stopped raining, the sun & heat came out full force ...which sounds nice, but it was awful because when you're soaking wet, that's the last thing you want. Oh well, other than the rain, I enjoyed the race.

Place:             Bib number:                    Time: 
1662/3863 5246 1:32:15

Overall rating? B
Main complaints? The rain
Favorite parts?  Nice course through a historic town
Communication before the race? A
Expo? Small race packet pickup, so no expo
Premium? For those of us that were signed up to run the race last year (and it was rained out), they gave us a hat. I think we got a shirt too
Water Stops/Aid Stations? A .
Finisher's Medal? N/A
Finisher's Festival? 
Would I run this race again/recommend it to anyone? Yup. Has some hills but isn't bad

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Baltimore 10 Miler, 2012

Place: 1795/4687Bib:  3442

I've heard lots of wonderful things about the Baltimore 10 miler, but I've never run it! I've done the Baltimore Half Marathon a few times, but I've never ventured to the "wild side" for the hilly 10-miler.

Signed up online, did packet pickup the day before the race and then the day of the race I was all set. I met up with my good friend Katie Audy and we ran part of the race together. It was quite hilly - much more so than the half marathon. It does follow some of the same course as the Dreaded Druid Hills 10k. It was also hot as HADES this day, so I was definitely struggling. The premium was pretty nice - since the race I've worn it a lot (it was a white quarter zip). Definitely would recommend it for others to do!

Overall rating? A
Main complaints? The heat 
Favorite parts? The premium!
Communication before the race? A. Same group that puts on the Baltimore Running Festival on puts this on 
Expo? None. Packet pickup was kind of randomly at Druid Hill Park (even though that's where the race was)
Premium? B. A white, generic long-sleeved quarter zip with the Baltimore 10 logo on it.
Water Stops/Aid Stations? A . Definitely frequent enough and well stocked! Friendly folks
Finisher's Medal? N/A
Finisher's Festival? B. Tons of watermelon and snacks, but I was kind of disappointed that other fellow runners were walking off with boxes of treats....leave some for the rest of us, would ya?
Would I run this race again/recommend it to anyone? Sure

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Zooma Annapolis 2012

When most runners hear about a new race in town, they want to give it a try, right? At least I do! I did make the mistake with the Hot Chocolate 15k last year, but this year I was willing to give a "new race" a try! That's why I signed up for the Zooma Annapolis Half Marathon.

Jenna & I
Placed: 365/1220 Bib 7656 Time: 2:03:20
I did this race with my good friend Jenna. We missed the start because we were in line for the potties - but have no fear - we had timing chips in our bibs (or maybe on our shoes,  I can't remember) so our clock started when we crossed the starting line. Water stops were pretty frequent and I know that I was glad have my fuel belt. From what I remember, the course did have a few hills in it, but it was almost identical to the Annapolis 10 miler course. My favorite part was probably the group that stood at the top of the bridge and cheered for us - really helped those uphills get smaller :)

Overall rating? A
Main complaints? Premium was an off-brand and the expo was in a small room in a hotel
Favorite parts? The premium!
Communication before the race? 
Expo? B. It was okay, kinda small . They did have lots of give-aways though
Premium? B. Off brand black tech tee (I'm wearing it in the above pics) I always am a fan of the Under Armour ones :)
Water Stops/Aid Stations? B
Finisher's Medal? C. We got a necklace. Not a Tiffany necklace..but a necklace. I know we were told beforehand we'd get a necklace, but I prefer to run for medals :)
Finisher's Festival? B. I'm pretty sure they had wine but it was so hot I just left. They did have lots of cold water though!
Would I run this race again/recommend it to anyone? Yup, but I'd recommend the Baltimore Half over this one (who wants to run long distances in the heat anyways?)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sole of the City 10K 2012

This was the first running of the "Sole of the City 10K" hosted by Charm City Run. I loved the run and think it was really well organized event! Would recommend to all.

Overall rating? A
Main complaints? None
Favorite parts? The premium!
Communication before the race? A
Expo? None- but they did have race day packet pickup
Premium? A. Under Armour long-sleeved quarter zip
Water Stops/Aid Stations? A . Definitely frequent enough and well stocked! Wish they had used paper cups instead of plastic cups
Finisher's Medal? N/A
Finisher's Festival? A. Great boxed lunches from the Greene Turtle!
Would I run this race again/recommend it to anyone? YES Defeinitely.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Run for Love 5K

This morning my good friend Emilie Cecil and I "Ran for Love". The course started at Fraternity Row at the University of Maryland, and wrapped its way around Lake Artemesia. Although it was untimed and a little short of a 5K, I still had a great time :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

2012 Cherry Blossom 10-miler

This was one of the first
runs I did for Lew Goode,
 battling brain cancer.
One of my dear friends, Lewis Goode was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago. This was one of the runs I did "for Lew". Ever since he was first diagnosed, whenever I lace up my running shoes, I run for him. Whenever I hit a wall in a run, I think of Lew and he helps me get through. This is for you, LEW!

I'm glad I did the George Washington Relay two months ago! I didn't really train much for this 10 miler, but I really enjoyed it. It was great to be out in DC, and after not "making the cut" last year, I was happy to lace up my shoes and run with thousands of other runners in DC for this historic event. In 2011, I entered the lottery, but was not chosen to run so I opted to volunteer (I helped with the random drug testing for the elite athletes :)).

Overall rating? B
Main complaints? None really - race was punctual, court marshals were around
Favorite parts? Probably the fact that it retraced part of the Marine Corps Marathon 2011 course.
Communication before the race? A
Expo? C. Kinda small - was in the National Building Museum, but wasn't bad for an expo for a 10 miler!
Premium? D. The shirt sucked - the design was lame and all we got was a cotton tee. I understand it's expensive to host a big event like this in such a large city, but come on... at least give us a tech tee :)
Water Stops/Aid Stations? A . Definitely frequent enough and well stocked!
Finisher's Festival? C. Average. Nothing to write home about
Would I run this race again/recommend it to anyone? Yeah

Ran for "Lew"

One of my favorite pics - kind of invigorating
to have the guy behind you tear his shirt
off :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

George Washington Memorial Run: Marathon Relay

Two of my best friends and I have been running together since high school and decided we should all run together in a race...which wound up being the GW Memorial Run in Greenbelt, MD. Apparently it has been put on for 50 some-odd years by the Washington Road Runners. I ran the first leg of the run, which was the longest leg(~9.3 miles) , and really enjoyed it. This was one of my first low-key races, and I really enjoyed it! I'm not sure what my time was exactly, but our team name was "Da Gazelles". I had a great time and really think the race was put on well - they had a great meal at the end of it! No complaints :)

Overall rating? A
Main complaints? It was a smaller race, but that isn't really a complaint
Favorite parts? Running through a hidden gem of Prince George's County - the Beltsville Agricultural area!
Communication before the race? A
Expo? Wasn't one. Nice that we had race day packet pickup
Premium? A. Black Brooks tech gender-specific tee
Water Stops/Aid Stations? A .Plenty of water!
Finisher's Medal? None
Finisher's Festival? They had a hot meal for us in the Greenbelt Community Center - loved it!
Would I run this race again/recommend it to anyone? YES 


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