My life has endless blank pages…

I’m now self-hosted! Please visit my new URL for all the continued awesomeness 🙂

http://sheenabean13.com

Run for education!

VPEF’s 10th Annual Loop the Lagoon Fun Run – Ever since high school graduation, I haven’t been up north for this run, since I was in San Diego and in Europe for a year.  They’re celebrating their 10th anniversary (and my 10 year high school reunion is this summer, oy), so I’m glad I’ll be participating (finally!)

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I was looking for a shorter May race to keep the legs from completely hating me, so this was perfect.  When I saw an email and subsequent Facebook post from Fleet Feet Vacaville about joining Team Fleet Feet for the run, I knew I had to hurry up and register. 1) They had a $5 off code (woo!) and 2) if you joined Team Fleet Feet, you got an awesome technical Team FFVV shirt (double woo!).  Around $26 for a local 5k, supporting the schools and a tech shirt, YES PLEASE! You know the way to my heart.

Disclosure – This post is sponsored by Under Armour through FitFluential

Under Armour is reaching out to all the ladies out there once again.  This is the 3rd part of their What’s Beautiful campaign – a way for ladies to join up, set goals and challenges, and use social media to track our progress.  The biggest and best part of the campaign? They are urging us to redefine what is beautiful.  OK, an even better perk? You’ll be in the running for awesome swag from Under Armor along with a chance to partake in a yoga and relaxation retreat in Costa Rica (HOLLER!).

I’m lucky enough to be working with the campaign along with a ton of other awesome ladies from Fitfluential.  It’s a  way to showcase what we’re made of. To set goals, track them via social media (and teams) and to support each other in reaching our goals in all things fitness related. It’s female empowerment to the max.

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Often times (I’m guilty) we go to the gym or we’re in a class or out on a run and we are constantly looking at others and comparing ourselves.  We judge ourselves, our happiness, our fitness, etc., based on someone elses fitness level or achievements. STOP DOING IT LADIES! Listen to your own heart and your own body! Do what’s best for you. No person is the same, so let’s quit acting like we are.  Let’s set goals for ourselves, let’s provide healthy and helpful challenges to our fellow womankind and then support the hell out of each other to reach those goals.

You can set challenges, accept challenges from others and basically rock your fitness in a way we normally don’t.  You can set up your own profile here, and/or join a team (or many teams!) that fit with what your fitness goals are.  I started Team Run Happy.  Team Run Happy is a place where you run for the love of running. You run hard. You run strong. You run with soul and run with heart. Just run! I’m working on creating a banner image and hopefully be able to edit team information as I made a smidge of a typo :/ If you’re interested in participating and meeting (even online) some of these fabulous ladies, please consider joining my team!  Please share this with friends — the campaign is open to ALL women.

Here’s a little bit more about the What’s Beautiful campaign from the Under Armour website:

Together we’re redefining the female athlete by setting epic goals and pushing past where we’ve ever been and where we thought we could go. Join us. Set your own personal goal. Then document your journey by posting videos and photos that tell your story from start to victory.

We’ll continuously post challenges for you. But that’s just the beginning. Show us your journey. Show us what makes your story the one that stands out from the rest. If you meet your goal, set a new one. Make it even bigger. Prove to everyone, and yourself, that you have more than what it takes.

Each week, Under Armour will be giving away swag bags full of loot to participants. they will feature top performers on their website. after 8 weeks, they will announce 10 finalists who have documented the most impressive & motivated journeys toward the goals. mid-july, winners will be announced! three winners will receive a trip to Costa Rica for a 4-day retreat.

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You’ve read this far and there’s only one thing left to do: think of a goal and sign up for the What’s Beautiful campaign today!  Need more info before joining the community?  Check out this UA Women video for a little inspiration, or follow the hashtags #whatsbeautiful and #iwill on Twitter and Instagram.

#IWILL

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Yesterday I posted on my Twitter account about helping out Boston one more time.

#Saucony has come out with these sweet #BostonStrong Lace Medallions (shoe tags):

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I received a couple responses from fellow bloggers about absolutely loving these. They are available for pre-order (will ship in about 4 weeks) and every single penny of the $5 cost (for a pair) goes to One Fund Boston.

Description from their website:
In an effort to inspire runners to honor and support the people most affected by the tragic events that occurred in Boston on April 15, Saucony has created the #BostonStrong Lace Medallion to be offered as a fundraiser for The One Fund Boston. The two-sided medallion features the viral hashtag and unity motto #BostonStrong on one side and a custom-designed, laced-up heart icon on the other. For every pair of medallions purchased, Saucony will donate 100% of sales to The One Fund Boston, established by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino to help the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

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I pre-ordered 4 pairs (totally not overkill when all of it goes to One Fund Boston… Plus, I like even numbers, and since shipping is free, an even $20 is perfect).  A pair or 2 for myself, and a couple pairs for friends (… or a giveaway on the blog perhaps?).  Pavement Runner and myself are (not so) secretly holding out hope that Saucony will come out with color and city-specific lave medallions, and would love a pair of #BostonStrongSF in orange. If that happens, I’ll be buying more for sure.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER your #BostonStrong Lace Medallion

I’ve always enjoyed walking around town, and during the year I lived in Germany, I only drove twice (during road trips). Transportation around our little university town was all walking or biking (or to get up or down the giant hill between town and the dorms, the bus).

It was precisely that walking that kept me from blowing up like Violet Beauregard in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, since I love food. Europe provided me with so much deliciousness that I was able to keep steady weight, while eating said weight in pastries and gelato and German bread.

When I started the job at the end of last month in San Francisco, I started walking every day. I take the bus into San Francisco and then walk a mile to work. After work I walk another mile to the transit center. When doing errands in the city, if its under 2.5 miles, you just walk (unless you’re under a strict time constraint). Walking sometimes gets you there faster than a cab or bus.

Tonight after work, I got home just after 7pm and needed to go to the bank to deposit some cash. I quickly changed clothes, grabbed a drawstring bag from my trunk and headed out to run to the bank.

I made my deposit and then headed to the grocery store to pick up a few apples, a few bananas and a big bundle of asparagus. I put all of it in the drawstring backpack and had intended on walking home so as not to bounce/bruise the fruit, but just after leaving, my bladder decided it wanted to go from empty to full in a matter of about 5 seconds.

I held the drawstrings of the backpack taut to the sides, holding the fruits and veggies firm against my back and started to run. Oh man was it the most awkward run EVER.

Did I look ridiculous with my arms like that? YES. Did I possibly semi bruise the banana that was up against my back? YES. Did I give my shoulders rope burn from the drawstrings being tight and rubbing on my shoulders? YES (and ouch). Did I make it home with minimal seconds to spare before peeing my pants? YES (and whew!)

It wasn’t fast but I did my errands with no car, no emissions and no wasted time!

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I know awhile back I did a blog post showcasing a few of my favorite things (cue Sound of Music), but wanted to do a quick blog post shoutout to a company that already does good things on an everyday basis, but has stepped up in a tremendous way in support of those affected during last weeks Boston Marathon and the One Fund Boston foundation – BIC Bands.

BIC Bands offers non-slip headbands for those of us that are active (and also tend to get a little schweaty… and for those of us with crazy cray hair like myself).  The company was founded as a fundraiser when the owner/founder/genius was part of Team in Training (another organization near and dear to my heart).  We all know what a pain it is to have hair flopping to and fro when we’re trying to handle our business, and thus the non-slip headbands were born.  They come in a bunch of different styles, colors and sizes and promise no headaches (can I get an amen?!).  Each month a portion of their sales is dedicated to a different charity.

When the tragedy at the Boston Marathon occurred (and subsequent manhunt, shootout and lockdown), BIC Bands quickly stepped in and knew they could help.  Medical costs are not cheap.  Treatment is not cheap.  Amputations are not cheap.  Prostheses are far from cheap. Rehab is not cheap.  The One Fund Boston was set up to help those directly affected by the bombings.   As of when I refreshed the page, crowd-sourcing has generously and miraculously come up with $26,398,865 in donations for One Fund! Amazing, right?! And that number is growing every few seconds (literally, it kept changing when I was refreshing the page). Over $8.5 million from public donations and over $17.5 million from corporate donations. YOU GUYS ROCK!

In comes how you can help in a way that won’t break your bank, but will fill your heart with lots of warmth and good feelings.  BIC Bands is offering a limited edition Boston Strong headband.  Every single penny of the $12 band cost goes directly to One Fund Boston. Every cent.

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And, if you spend $50 or more, you get free shipping! Not that I needed the extra incentive to buy the Boston Strong headband, but I have a runcation coming up in June with my roommate from freshman year of college, and we wanted to make this race special.  It’s the 3rd attempt for both of us to try to get up to Seattle for the Rock n Roll Seattle 1/2. We’re determined… 3rd times a charm right?? And on top of that, we met and became roommates when we were babyfaced teenagers in 2003. This year is our 10 year friendiversary! I wanted to get us something special, and matching glitter headbands is the perfect idea! That’s 3 right there, so I might as well go for the free shipping option, right? 🙂

I can’t wait for my Boston Strong headband to get here and start wearing it out, showing my support and that we will never forget!

If you’ve been wondering how you can help, even if you’re nowhere near Boston, please  consider purchasing these limited edition Boston Strong headbands.  You get a little something for yourself, and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to One Fund Boston. They have been such a great success, that they quickly sold 750 bands in about 24 hours and had to order more ribbon!  As of this morning, BIC Bands have already sold 973 bands Boston Strong bands, which is equal to $11,676 which will directly benefit those affected on 4-15-2013. Again, you guys ROCK! That combined with the overwhelming success of the #BostonStrong<city> runs that happened a week after Boston, just goes to show what an amazing community the running family (and the rest of the world) is!

You can order the bands in three different sizes: small (19″ for children or small-headed adults), standard (20″), or large (21″). Show your support by clicking the link and pre-ordering your BIC Band. Show off the love, support, unity and perseverance that has been going on all around the world!

Last night after work, I headed down to Crissy Field to join a ton of other runners in support of Boston.  TO show unity, support, love and admiration for all they’ve endured the past week, how resilient you are, and to give an air high-five to all of the first responders, especially those involved with shutting down an ENTIRE city, and not resting until the final suspect was captured alive.  They sure picked the wrong city to mess with!

I got off work late, the bus I was supposed to take didn’t show up, so I hopped on the next bus and didn’t realize until after $8.60 had been deducted from my Clipper card that I had jumped on a Golden Gate transit bus (charter bus) and was possibly not on the right one at all. After a few seconds of panic (because I literally only had my phone, drivers license and a $20 bill), I decided to just get off at the next stop with another guy. Turns out that was actually the stop I wanted and after him going one way, me running through Palace of the Fine Arts, and then meeting up again at a red light, we discovered we were both looking for #BostonStrongSF. Unintentional score!  We ran to Crissy Field, looked for the biggest crowd (and the news van) and headed that way. I was blown away at the site of all those runners.

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Brian being interviewed by Channel 7

The first thing I see when I run up is the awesome Pavement Runner being interviewed by Channel 7 news.  Please check out the news clip online about the event!  I tried to embed the video but it didn’t want to cooperate 😦

Brian was the genius that first thought of people organizing events in their city one week after Boston. When you think of something like that, you always hope that people will pick up on the idea and form a little group to show our love. Never in my mind did I think it would be as big as it was.  Over 120 cities organized events for yesterday after work, in the US, Canada, London and Paris. I was blown away and filled with immense emotion when I saw their pictures and read their recap blog posts.

Pavey said on his blog when announcing his idea:
“I’m organizing a global event: #BostonStrong<city>

         A run for us to unite and show our strength.
        A run for those that were unable to finish. 
        A run for those that may never run again. 
       A run for us to try and make sense of the tragedy that has forever changed something              
       we love.”

I couldn’t have said it any better myself.  People read that, took it to heart, and started organizing runs and fundraisers to raise money for One Fund Boston.

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Brian started things off with offering words of support, explaining why he wanted to organize an event like this, how amazed he is at how quickly the idea grew, how thankful he is for the support, and shared our own sentiments about why we’re all out there. We are a community. We are a family. When you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us. When one of our hearts hurts, we all hurt.  We had a moment of silence to pay our respects, and I thought back to watching the Bruins game and how emotional I got while watching the entire stadium singing the national anthem. 

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Thanks to Pavement Runners photographer for this one 🙂

ImageAnd then we were off! It was great to see how far along the horizon we stretched.  People wore blue and yellow, people wore black ribbons, people wore Red Sox hats and jerseys.  A few people even wore Boston Marathon memorabilia, some from previous years, and a couple that were actually in Boston last Monday, and experienced the mayhem firsthand. Cue emotions yet again.

Parts of the run were just runners, walkers and dog walkers, and a few parts were sharing the road with cars. A couple people rolled down their windows and asked who we were and what we were doing. A few people honked and gave us a thumbs up from their cars. A few people handed out high fives like it was their job. And what an awesome job to have!

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Our run was 3.5 miles along the water. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day in terms of weather, or a more perfect running route.  Mother Nature was showing her support as well, shining sun beams down on us, and giving us a light breeze to cool us down when we needed it.

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Sending our love from coast to coast

After finishing up the 3.5 miles, everyone stayed until the very last person came in, cheering them in the entire way.  Afterwards, Sports Basement Presidio had an event with free refreshments and beer, with ways to donate to One Fund Boston, as well as 10% of any purchases going to One Fund Boston.  I wasn’t able to make it to that since I needed to catch the bus back towards work, walk another .5 mile to work, pick up my bag, walk .75 miles to the nearest BART station, take BART 25 minutes to Oakland and then take the bus back to Alameda. Long night for sure.

Thank you to EVERYONE who took part in this event around the world. I felt your love and support and unity, and I’m hopeful that Boston can as well!

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Please disregard my misshapen heart. I’m short 🙂

You can shake us, but you cannot break us. We are one. We are united. We will not be stopped. We are Boston Strong.

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#BostonStrongSF Event

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Here are the details for tonight’s Boston tribute run in my area:

Location: Crissy Field; meet at San Francisco Bay Trail, near Golden Gate Promenade/Parking Lot
Date: Monday, April 22, 2013
Time: 6PM
Distance: 3 – 4 miles
Facebook Event Page: RSVP here

Wear a race shirt, or Boston Marathon colors (blue & yellow). Bring a friend.

Ways to Donate:
Charity Happy Hour:
Snacks and drinks (beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages) will be available at a separate charity event at Sports Basement Presidio after the run (6:30) to help raise money for One Fund Boston. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/events/440702202684021/

 

#RnRSF Race recap

OK, so I think it’s time for my 2013 race recap.  After taking a few day pause after the Boston Marathon to absorb all the information, cry a little bit, sleep a little less than normal, and tell my family how much they mean to me, I was able to wrap my brain around writing race recaps.

I was lucky enough to win a free race entry to the Inaugural Rock n Roll San Francisco 1/2 marathon on April 7th.  I had about 2 months notice, so had to quickly prepare, since I hadn’t run much since my 10k at the end of October in Virginia.  I knew it wasn’t much time to prepare, so I probably wouldn’t get proper training in, but how could I turn down a free entry to race in a city that I love, and it was their first RnR event in the city?! There was definitely no question that I had to accept!

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I made a paper training plan (I love it. Graph paper and school supplies and color-coordinating things … all things I love! Ridiculous, I know).  I got about a month into training and was feeling really great and then I went down to San Diego for a week to visit family, and run along my old stomping grounds (the beach!).  I got 2 runs in and then I started noticing that my shins were starting to feel tender. Oh no, I know that feeling wall (unfortunately).  I started to ice my shins in the hopes that it would go away. After a couple days of icing, it was still feeling the same (I could feel the tender spots when I walked, so I knew running at that time was completely out of the question), and then my calves started to tighten up.  When I say tighten up, I mean they were basically locking up. They were so tight that I was walking funny because I couldn’t straighten my legs when I walked. They felt extremely tight and painful and bruised – like someone had taken a baseball bat to them.  It was something I had never felt before and honestly, I was getting scared.  I continued to ice my shins, and would try to stretch out my calves as much as I could, which basically amounted to dropping my calves off of the curb until it was painful, which didn’t take much.

I couldn’t do anything but wait and hope that it improved. At that point I was 3 weeks from the 1/2 marathon. I had to make the decision to make this a fun race; enjoy the scenery, run if I could, walk if i needed, stop and take pictures and just have fun. No anticipated finish time and no goal other than to finish and run the entire race with a smile on my face.  Up until race day, the longest run I had prior to that was on March 6th and it was 5 miles. I hadn’t run in an entire month and the longest run I had under my belt wasn’t even half the course. I was in trouble!

But being in trouble in a beautiful city was totally worth it 🙂

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I started the race in Corral 22 of 25. Who was I kidding; I wasn’t about to win this thing! I had no business being in a corral earlier than 22. I saw the 2:45 pacer and thought how amazing that would be if I could just do 2:45 (far from a PR, but at least it was a goal), and then quickly just decided to run what felt good. To listen to my body and respond accordingly. I was wearing my Garmin, and used it for a few minutes in the first mile to see what pace felt comfortable.  I quickly realized I was going faster than the 2:45 pacer, and instead of hanging back with them, I decided to just keep going at the pace I was at, since my legs felt good and my lungs were functioning properly.

Crazy elite runners in the front. A girl can dream, right?

Crazy elite runners in the front. A girl can dream, right?

This is the furthest back I've ever started a race - 3 corrals from the back.

This is the furthest back I’ve ever started a race – 3 corrals from the back.

If you’ve never run in San Francisco, you’re truly missing out. It is an absolutely beautiful city with scenery all around. You look one way and you’ve got the Bay Bridge; you look another direction and you’ve got Alcatraz and Angel Island.  Then turn a little to your left and you have the Piers, boats, the seals and the Golden Gate Bridge that stretches into the Marin headlands.  And it doesn’t stop there folks! We’ve got something to please everyone!

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I purposefully set this as my first song so that I'd start the race off pumped up.

I purposefully set this as my first song so that I’d start the race off pumped up.

This race started and finished in North Point, near Ghiradelli Square  (not great for cheap, long term parking but fabulous for clean indoor bathrooms!), and even though you start in a semi-residential area, you quickly run through the Marina, by Crissy Field, with distant views of the GG Bridge, and then start winding uphill near Fort Mason just before the 5k mark.  At that point, the first hill, I slowed down a bit to save my energy and tried to lengthen my stride (short legs), and you can see people that started earlier than you/are faster than you already coming downhill. Oh man, I had some time to make up!

When I ran Nike Womens 1/2 in SF in 2011, I loved the fact that people living along the marina (you know, in my dream houses) would stand in their pj’s with a hot cup of coffee (or tea… or a hot toddy more likely) in front of their homes, or on their balconies, or stand in their front windows waving to everyone.  I know that’s a huge race for SF, and there wasn’t any of that during this race, so I’m hoping once this race gains some notoriety over the next couple years, people will be just as supportive.

It's always nice to see a familiar face at races :)

It’s always nice to see a familiar face at races 🙂

Also, speaking of Nike Womens, can I get an Amen for #RnRSF not being ridiculously crowded?! When I ran Nike, I had to literally fight my way through crowds for the better majority of the first 9 miles of the 1/2 marathon. No bueno. While I would really love to see race etiquette become more widespread, it’s just not happening. I know I wasn’t planning on running this race for time, but it was REALLY nice to not have to forcefully slow myself down, as to not run into people walking 6 across, or stopping in the middle of the lane to take pictures, or not move at all when you politely say “on your left,” or have to turn your body sideways to squeeze through people.  Since RnR just took this race over, registration was capped and it sold out lightning fast.  It was a refreshing change from the crowded course of the RnR San Diego that I’ve run a couple times.

By the time I got to mile 3-4, I was still feeling pretty good, and was enjoying the scenery and people watching 🙂   I would randomly look at my watch every once in awhile, more out of curiosity that anything, and found that I was keeping a decent pace.  I kept running at whatever felt comfortable, and every once in awhile would send a little mental message to my IT band to hang in there.  This is where the hills started to make their entrance.

So close, yet so far!

So close, yet so far!

This is about mile 5. I stopped to take a picture of myself... let me just say selfies during a race, and trying to get yourself and the background in, is not easy. Thankfully there were lots of us struggling, so we all took turns taking pictures of each other.

This is about mile 5. I stopped to take a picture of myself… let me just say selfies during a race, and trying to get yourself and the background in, is not easy. Thankfully there were lots of us struggling, so we all took turns taking pictures of each other.

Also, at this point just before the bridge, just after I finished having the above photo taken, I heard someone yell my name, and turned around to see one of my old Team in Training SD teammates, Captain Jenn, walking up for a photo op, too! It’s always awesome to see friends along the course, especially those you didn’t even know were there!  I hung back for a minute or 2 to take a few pictures for them, said my goodbyes and headed off to the beginning of the bridge.

7I ran behind/with the girl right in front of me in this photo for most of the bridge.  The photo on the back of her tank top was a memorial for her father, who passed away a week before the race. Naturally, I got all emotional, thinking back to why I started running, why I joined Team in Training, and had a mini conversation with my nephew.  The picture button on my fuel belt is of him, and he’s been with me for every single race I’ve run since the beginning of 2010.  For me, running is an emotional journey.  I get teary eyed at random points throughout the race, thinking of people, thinking of my life, thinking of those I miss, and thinking about the journey I’m on.

I passed her with a nod of understanding and solidarity for those of us who run in memory of a loved one, and continued on to finish up that part of the bridge and begin my journey into the second half of the race… but not before stopping for another photo op with the SF skyline in the background!

8By the time I hit the 10k mark, I was so far off my current 10k PR time, and when I hit the halfway point, I was about 15 minutes behind my 1/2 marathon PR time, so I knew I wasn’t even going to be close to normal in terms of time, but I was feeling good and strong and every other positive emotion possible, so I kept going, and picked up my pace when my legs and lungs felt good enough. Finish strong, that’s my new goal.  At this point in the race, we turn around and head back on the other side of the bridge, back into San Francisco. That’s when people started honking at us from the bridge (always an amazing feeling).

When I looked at my watch at mile 9.5, I had somehow made up quite a bit of time and was close to my normal 1/2 time at that point/gave myself a few mental high fives.  I was still feeling good, so I was confident I could at least squeak by around/just under 2:30, especially since I had passed the 2:30 pacer at mile 2 and hadn’t seen her since.

Less than 4 miles to go!

Less than 4 miles to go!

I saw this guy at about mile 10ish and he totally made my day. I had to stop for a few seconds to get a picture of this. Inspirational signs are the BEST during a long race. Fart, poop, shart, sweat and Chuck Norris jokes are my personal favorites 🙂

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When I got mile 11 and looked at my watch, I was really surprised to see that I was really close to my PR time that I set back in October at Crawlin Crab 1/2 marathon in Virginia. Super stoked! I just had to keep up that same pace to be close, but as you know, the wall is fast approaching. I usually hit it around mile 10, and it stayed away for an extra mile, but right as I was passing the mile 11 marker, it was like my legs wanted to give up.  My lungs were burning a little more than normal and I was getting tired.  I picked a person in front of me and just told myself to keep stride with them.  I didn’t need to pass them, but I couldn’t let them get any further ahead of me.  Little things like this really get you through a race.

I had to take one more walk break to calm my lungs just before mile 12.  30 seconds of walking can really rejuvenate your legs… and your mind. Just after mile 12, we approached our last hill, and I heard sirens behind me, which is never a good sign.  I kept looking back because I couldn’t tell where they were coming from and wanted to make sure I wasn’t in their path.  When I looked ahead, I saw 2 ambulances in the grassy area, and knew the sirens behind me were headed to that spot, so I pulled to the left to give them room on the grass/walking path.  As I got closer to the 2 ambulances, I saw the EMT’s on the ground, and hoped it was just someone short of breath, or a gnarly cramp.  But as I got right next to them, I saw a woman on the ground, shirt and sports bra cut off, with the defib patches on her chest and they were trying to resuscitate her.  This is never ever something you want to see, and after sending her all the positive thoughts I could muster at that point, I continued on, but that sight shook me mentally and emotionally and I couldn’t concentrate after that. It’s a mental image you just don’t want sticking around in your head.

I looked down at my watch one more time at mile 12.5 and realized I could really close to my PR time as long as I didn’t do anything wrong.  I turned off my music (I usually do at that point, so I can hear everyone cheering while you are finishing).  I took a deep breath and tried to kick it into whatever my high gear was at that point.  I still felt good at that point, but exhausted.

Triumphant exhaustion

Triumphant exhaustion

I looked at the clock as I was crossing the finish line, but had no idea how much later I had started from the 1st corral, so that wasn’t very helpful.  I stopped my Garmin right after crossing and looked at the time as I got my water bottle and tried to catch my breath.  “Holy crap, you may have just PR’d…”  But I didn’t want to get my hopes up until the official times were out because my Garmin hasn’t been exactly reliable in past races.

I grabbed a half banana, a little bag of pretzels and started to drink the supplied water while waiting for my medal and Finish Line photo opp…

BOOM SHAKA LAKA! 1/2 marathon #8: rocked it!

BOOM SHAKA LAKA!
1/2 marathon #8: rocked it!

After that it was time to walk around, let my legs cool down (and not lock up), stretch EVERYTHING out, and see if I could find any familiar faces.

Finish area GLORY.

Finish area GLORY.

After stretching for a little while and stalking looking on Twitter, I knew Pavement Runner was still in the area, so we coordinated a meet up.

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After this photo, Brian and I decided to walk over to the stage area, where the Finish Line band was playing.  Because of the layout of Ghiradelli Square, everything was a bit spread out, and the stage was tucked into a back corner. If he wouldn’t have reminded me about the band, I would have never known they were there. So glad he mentioned it!  The Mowgli’s were chosen as the Finish Line headliner and they did not disappoint! I had never heard of them before RnRSF announced them, but quickly fell in love with their lyrics, their music, their energy.

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Since I still felt pretty decent, I decided to forgo the taxi and just walk to where I had parked my car that morning, just over a mile away. It was a nice cool down walk, but I could feel my left knee getting just a smidge stiff about halfway through, so I knew I had to foamroll my IT band that night… and my bladder was about to explode by the time I got to my car, which is never a good feeling (but one I have quite often).

All in all, this was a fabulous race, one I would proud to do again and again.  I know they plan on changing the course next year, but still incorporate the bridge.  Due to the fact that they only recently took over the race,  there was no time for band permitting, so there was only a band at the beginning and end of the race.  If it were any other race, I wouldn’t have even given it a second thought, but since it’s a Rock n Roll event, it was a little disheartening that there was no rockin or rollin.  I completely understand why, though, and don’t fault them at all for it.   Don’t worry Competitor, I’ll be back!

#RunnersUnite for Boston

I had initially wanted to post my race recap from the #RnRSF 1/2 marathon on April 7th.  And then yesterday happened, and it just didn’t feel right to dedicate my time to myself, but would rather dedicate the time showing my gratitude for my running community.
 
I am overcome with love, emotion, tears & support this morning, that my Facebook, entire Twitter & Instagram news feed are #runnersunite photos. I am so blessed to be a part of a global community that I consider family, who all come together today to show our support for Boston. Wearing race shirts and/or blue & yellow proudly, and running 4.09 miles to show that we are strong, we are fighters, and we are all in this together.
 
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Even though we still do not know who is responsible for such a heinous and horrible act, we as a community are rising up.  The Boston Marathon isn’t a political event; it wasn’t even the runners that were targeted, since the bombs were set off on the sidewalk, where the spectators were. Boston marathoners are the best of the best.  They are strong, mentally and physically, and will come back as strong as ever. 
 
I will never be fast enough to qualify for Boston, but it’s always been a dream of mine to be a spectator. I had always envisioned sitting or standing at the finish line, watching the elites finish first, and staying until every runner is in.  I was in Boston the last week of March for work training. I walked down Boylston; I stood in Copley Square.  I may not have been there, but as a runner and a human being, yesterday hurt my heart and soul.
 
Today, we as a global family, unite to show support for Boston. To show that this will not stop us. To show that through tragedy and tears, love and support will shine.  Thank you to the runners, to the spectators, to the first responders, all who ran in to help without a second thought as to their own safety, to help those who were injured.  Thank you to the people of Boston for opening up your homes and hearts to people displaced by the bombings.  Today is just a day of gratitude and thanks, and another reminder to not take anything for granted.  You are on this Earth for a short time; live every second to the fullest, have no regrets, hug those you love. Surround yourself with love and positivity and more importantly, stand strong and give back.
 
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Join me and show your support today:

  • Join  the Runners Unite Facebook Group
  • Wear your Race Shirt or Blue and Yellow, and post photos on Instagram or Twitter. Post your support and love and positivity on social media outlets and spread the love!
  • Run 4.09 miles or 26.2 minutes and download the Virtual Run bib

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