Thursday, June 2, 2016

Global Running Day!

I picked the right week to get back to running! Today is global running day! In observance, I ran 1.25 miles this morning... It was supposed to be three, but I hit the snooze button 5 or 6 times too many. My bad. Hey, 1.25 is better than 0.0, am I right? Yes. Yes I am.
I was recently contacted by Eventbrite to write up a post about my most memorable race experiences. I figured Global Running Day is the perfect time to do just that! It's impossible to pick really, but let's see if I can try and keep this from getting too long...
Obviously your very first 5K is memorable! Unfortunately, I have no media from that big day. I can still talk about it though. I got into running because I had turned 29 and I was getting chubby. Many of my friends were avid runners and I felt some pangs of jealousy when I saw all those happy race photos on Facebook. So I secretly started the couch to 5K program and it culminated with me running the 5K at the Hartford Marathon. Go big or go home right?! It went great, and I finished just over 30 minutes. Not bad for the first time! And I ran the WHOLE THING! Nice work self.
I was much leaner then...
After not dying in my first 5K I decided to keep at it. I ran the Turkey Trot that November which is a 5 mile race, and then just kept on running races.
My next most memorable race was something I really never imagined I'd do. Along with my sister-in-law and a close friend, I ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon. The first half for all three of us!

That was such an amazing race! There are photo ops every mile, sometimes with princes, some with characters, you name it! There is a boring stretch of pavement when you're running from one park to the other, but since it's Disney they think of everything! They parked some rather attractive firemen up on a bill board. They were waving to us and cheering us on! We stayed at a Disney hotel because they had a shuttle to and from the race. Upon our return back to the hotel, the entire lobby stopped what they were doing and cheered for us. It was crazy! Seriously, that trip is one of my most favorite memories. Great times with great women!
I think the race that was the most emotional for me was my most recent half. (Notice I didn't use the word last ;)) I ran the Outrun 38 half marathon, almost exactly one year ago today. I've posted about Outrun 38 a few times here on the blog, and I encourage you to visit their website, but especially their Facebook page. It's an amazing group doing wonderful things for Cystic Fibrosis research. And I've never encountered more uplifting people in my life. I wrote an entire post about it last year, which you should also read because shameless plug...

But to summarize:
My very best friend since we were little girls ran this race with me. She's ten times the runner I'll ever be, but she shuffled along next to me, despite my needing to walk probably 40% of it. She never complained, she just stayed by my side and supported me the whole way through. It meant the world to me then, and probably even more now.
All of these things are awesome, but the most memorable moment came a little bit after we finally finished. Because just a few minutes behind us was the face of the Outrun 38 group. Her name is Liz and she's 39 years old living with CF. Yes living with CF at the age of 39. That is impressive in itself. But there she was at the finish line, after running the ENTIRE HALF MARATHON! At 39. Battling CF. Amazeballs my friends. Even my cold little heart shed a tear.
I would say these are my top three memories. BUT, I also have a few memories that weren't so great... I PR'd at the NYC Half Marathon a few years ago with a time of 2:09. That should be why it's memorable, but it's not. It's memorable for a couple of reasons. First, my dad arranged for a black car to take us to the race in the morning since we had to be there at 4 am. Our driver didn't know where Central Park was! Really. My family's apartment is literally 3 blocks away. So there was that. On top of that silliness, it was about 15 degrees when we arrived at our corrals. I had brought a bagel to eat while I waited but it actually froze solid before I could get to it. Yep. 13.1 miles on an empty belly. Awesome. My toes froze before I actually crossed the start line and I had to run on ice blocks for the first 3 miles. Seriously, despite getting a PR, it was the worst race ever! You can tell because again, I have no media.
Another not so great race memory that stands out comes from the 5K they hold the day before the Boston Marathon. Fun fact: we get to finish at the same finish line! So it was REALLY crowded as you'd expect. I was running with my friends from the Princess half above. My sister-in-law led us up onto a sidewalk to try and get around a large group of runners. On my way back off the side walk, I supermanned onto the pavement. I think it looked painful because I heard, "Oh..OH!" Yeah, the second oh was when I bounced. I'm so graceful. Despite some bloody knees and elbows though, I finished that race strong!
But we cropped my knees out of the finish photos...
Of course you never forget the races where you wear ridiculous outfits, or jump over fire then get covered in mud, or the ones when you place in your age group, or the one where you get your step mom to run her first race...

I'm so glad Eventbrite approached me to write this post! It was really fun to look back at all the races I've done. While running isn't my favorite thing to do, it's given me the most amazing memories. Not to mention the friendships! Oh running... I hate to think I owe you. But clearly I do. It's definitely time to get back at it.

Eventbrite is a great resource to find local races and events near you. You can also use their website to promote your own event and even sell tickets to your own event!

What are your favorite race memories? Or the worst ones? Have you ever dressed up to run? Let's talk about running in the comments!


  1. You are quite the runner!! I have a deep and abiding hatred of running, but I imagine I'll do the Tulsa Oktoberfest 5K again this year because free beer. :P

    1. Correction: I WAS quite the runner. Haha. Not so much now. And I hate it too. So much. But I like my friends. So at least there's that.