Sunday, March 16, 2014

Race Report - Marathon Park Prep Half Marathon

Today, I completed the Marathon Park Prep Half Marathon - #4 is in the books! 

I'll be honest... I was hesitant to run this race. Long story short (never short): I was signed up for Quincy Half last spring. It was canceled. Free/Deferred entry for this year. Town of Quincy said, "Heck no!" and it was moved to Ashland. (cue whiny voice) But, I just did Ashland in October! Sucked it up and decided to run. Free is free! 

I really enjoyed myself out there today. I was familiar with the course and that helped me mentally to know where I was and to save myself for the Green Street Monster. After doing this course in the fall, I also knew that in order to reach my goal, I needed to open up on the downhills. It was cold and windy at the start, but the sun was shining and I warmed up quickly. Finished with about a 2 minute PR for an official time of 1:55:41. Garmin gave me a free second! 

Other perks included an awesome shirt, 

food and drink tickets featuring Long Trail Ale, 

easy parking and plenty of port o' johns. Sorry, no picture of that! The hills are tough and challenging, but this race gives you a HUGE sense of accomplishment, no matter your time.

What's next? I plan to rest up for a few days and then it's time to prep for my first 10 mile race. Newport 10 Miler in 6 weeks! 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

2 Years

It's been 2 years since I started this blog. Time flies! 

I remember it was a cold and quiet February vacation week in MA and I needed something to do. What's funny is that since then, life has gotten busier (because I wanted it to) and I've had very few days without some sort of checklist or work to be done. 

The bad part? It's my running that's been suffering from "too busy" and "too tired" excuses. I recently got a membership to our town's athletic center so that I can use a treadmill when it's dark or too cold. I'd prefer to run on the roads, but THIS means I have no excuses. Seriously. 

Good news: I had a great, but icy, 11 mile run yesterday! That was just what I needed to boost my confidence for the last few weeks of training before the Marathon Park Half Marathon. I still got it! 

Because know I needed it, hoping this quote will be good for you too: "Either you run the day or the day runs you." - Jim Rohn 

Here's to year 3! 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Why Run #20

Start somewhere today. Don't put it off. You can do something, no matter how "small" you think it is in terms of your long-term goal. Every step you take is one you'll be thankful for when you get there. 
- Caressa Sharp

Friday, January 3, 2014

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Holiday Miles

My miles have been few and far between since the half marathon in October. Don't feel bad for me. When I'm not on a training plan, excuses abound! Here's proof that I haven't been completely lazy, only slightly lazy. Thanks to family and friends for helping me get out the door! 

Thanksgiving Run 


Christmas Run 


Happy 2014! 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Race Report - Ashland Half Marathon

Fall race --- check! 

On October 27, 2013, I ran the 2nd Annual Ashland Half MarathonI'll be honest... I didn't think I was going to have a good race. (Who does, really?)  My training was "eh" and I kept hearing about the hills, hills and more hills along the course. Nevertheless, as race day was approaching, I was nervous, but looking forward to the challenge. 

One of the cool parts of this race was getting to meet Bill Rodgers and Bobbi Gibb. How 'bout that! Very inspiring to have some of America's running legends cheering for everyone and being so supportive of the race. 

The starting line was at Marathon Park in Ashland which was the original starting line for the Boston Marathon way back in 1897. The course took us through quiet, scenic neighborhoods, behind Ashland State Park, on miles 2-4 of the Boston Marathon course, up the painful Green Street Monster and down the rolling, what-felt-like-never-ending Winter Street to the finish line. A tough course, for sure. The Green Street Monster, a killer hill perfectly located at mile 11 (not perfect), was probably the hardest of them all. Picture this: you're on a flat road, you turn left and a wall is placed in front of you. That is the Green Street Monster. 

Luckily, I chatted (read: mutual grunts of frustration and understanding while climbing the hills of Ashland) with some fellow runners around me and it really helped me stay focused so that I could finish with a PR. One guy, as we were on the descent towards the finish line, asked me what time I was shooting for and assured me that I could do it. That little bit of motivation helped me push to the end. Races are great like that. 

I'm happy to report that I finished with a time of 1:57:29, taking a 1:13 off of my previous PR at the Run to Remember. And MarathonMike, the speed demon that he is, finished 2nd overall. Overall, for crying out loud! 

Race Goodies 
The course was a challenge, but I think that makes it more rewarding. Loved the Long Trail Ale at the end and the encouraging signs up Green Street. Well done, Ashland Half! 
 P.S. Kara Goucher favorited my tweet! For real! 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fall of Running

The school year is in full swing and has been since Day One back in August. I do like having a routine after a routine-free summer. But, the transition can be a little tough. 

The real scoop is that in the midst of everything, I have still found time to run. A couple of years ago, that would not have been true. Plain and simple. 

Finally, I've got the relationship with running that I've been looking for. I still have room to improve, but I look forward to running to keep me healthy, to keep me happy, to set goals and to build friendships. 

Next weekend is the Ashland Half Marathon and after my 11-miler this weekend, I think I'm ready. If not, at least I've enjoyed beautiful scenery while training. 

Quiet roads in Sherborn, Ma
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