Race Recaps · Running

South Shore Half Recap

Happy Monday Friends!

I hope your week is off to a great start.  I had such a wonderful weekend filled with races, birthday parties, and lounging.  My dear friend Ali turned 30 over the weekend, so we celebrated with an amazing Dance of the Decades party.  Soooo fun!  Definitely feel like I need more dancing and dress up in my life.

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I’m playing the role of 1950s housewife!

After a late night of fun Dean and I woke up bright and early (thank you daylight savings for the extra hour of sleep) to run the South Shore Half Marathon.  As part of my goal to hit 30 halfs by my 30th birthday, I wanted to get a few of these races in for November.  And even though we have a lot of events going on most weekends we always make time for a run 🙂

So I got ready in my new Oiselle Spandos! #obsessed

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Ate my oatmeal prepared by Dean!

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And we made our way to Hanover Mall!  Since Dean had just finished a cyclocross race the day before (a post on this coming soon) we both were saying “let’s just jog this one…” Well if you know me you know that I LOVE to race.  I get amped up with the people and being amidst great runners and I just cannot phone it in.  I realize that this is not always a good thing (i.e. listening to your body when you need a break to prevent injury), but if I am feeling good I like to push it.

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Getting to the start was super easy!  I had picked up our bibs the day before, so we just parked the car at the mall and hopped on a shuttle school bus to the start by Norwell High School.  Once we were in the corral it was time for some selfies…which Dean endures.  I love that the guy in front of us was planning a friend selfie too!

Of course we started off at a sub-8min/mile pace even though I was like “Dean, let’s ease into it.”  But Dean was feeling ok in spite of a sore foot, so we just went with it haha.  The first few miles felt pretty challenging because we were just warming up, but then we settled into a good pace.  I’m a great uphill runner, but Dean blasts through the downhills and I had to work hard to keep up.

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About 7 or 8 miles in we saw the leader sprinting past us on the out-and-back portion way ahead of the others.  In fact, we didn’t see any women in the front pack, so Dean thought we should try to push it and see if I could get in the top female group.  At this point I was kinda dying.  I haven’t really done any speedwork since MCM and we only slept about 6 hours after a night of drinking and dancing.  But, I just kept thinking if I can stick with Dean who knows.

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After a few brutal hills around mile 10 we were in the last 5k and slowing passing the few women in front of us.  I saw another Oiselle lady out there just as we were coming to the 12 mile mark who was totally killing it!  (I felt bad passing her at first, but we later chatted after the race 🙂

Thank heavens mile 13 was a nice long downhill to the finish.  We race it in with a final time of 1:38:08!  Good enough for 11th female overall and 1st in my age group!

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Here are the splits!

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The post race party included some awesome medals and a beer of course!

Race Rating:

Overall Experience: 4/5

Race Swag: 4/5
*Great medal and cute long sleeve.  The hats also looked great, but we didn’t sign up early enough.

Race Logistics: 4/5

Spectators: 5/5

After the race we popped home to shower, walk Lola, and then went out for breakfast!  My favorite part of racing besides running is planning my meals after hahaha.  We went to Deluxs Station Diner in Newton, which I had totally forgot about!  It is set in an old train station and has fantastic brunch!  Dean got a veggie omlette and I had an egg, goat, cheese, and spinach sandwich.  We also split some sweet potato pancakes, which were AMAZING!

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After breakfast we went over to Wegmans to shop and finally take a stab at meal planning.  I make a whole chicken and was very pleased with my chef skills!

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The rest of the evening included movie watching, puppy snuggles, and some relaxing.  Perfect way to end a packed weekend!

Hope all of you had a great weekend as well!

Meg

Race Recaps

I’m Back and my MCM 2017 Race Recap

Hi Friends,

Wow it is hard to believe it has been almost a year since I have blogged.  During my Betty the Boot phase and injury I just wasn’t motivated to write.  Life was in a bit of a transition (good part being that I was getting to know Dean!) and blogging about not running just did not seem appealing.

But flash forward to now and I have an awesome race recap to share!  I completed the 2017 Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday, October 23rd and it was such an amazing experience!  I think a race recap is a perfect way to re-launch the blog 🙂

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We decided to fly in Saturday and take Monday off, so we could enjoy the day after the marathon (and do something Dean wanted to do haha).  So I started off Saturday morning with a quick shake out run.  I don’t always do shakeouts before races, but I wanted my legs loose before the flight.

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The flight into DC was really quick and easy and we then just made our way over to the expo on the metro.  I have to say DC really has Boston beat on public transportation.  Dean and I both wished the Greenline could hurry up and get faster!

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The expo was a little crazy, but I did get to see my friend Becca from Boston, whose dad was also running!  So awesome connecting with people at race expos.  We toured around a bit and I bought a new running hat and some gu.

After finishing up our expo fun we made our way over to the Air BnB in Crystal City.  I cannot say enough good things about our spot!  It was a private “cozy bungalow” in a very sweet neighborhood, with easy access to the metro.  We had our own little kitchen, which was great for prepping my breakfast and storing snacks (total musts for a marathon).  I would highly recommend this area if you are thinking of running MCM in the future!

After several episodes of The Office and a few Spindrift setlzers it was time for bed!

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Literally drank and entire case of seltzer this weekend

Before I knew it was race morning!  I was definitely a little nervous, but not as much as previous races.  Since my injury I have the attitude that any day I get to run and race is a win, so the expectation jitters are a lot less intimidating.  Good attitude to adopt if you get really anxious before races 🙂

We made our way to the start of the race, which was SO EASY!  Honestly, if you are intimidated by a long race start (aka New York and Boston) this is your race!  I obviously loved my previous big city marathons, but this was such a great pre-race experience.  Dean literally came with me all the way to my starting corral!  Number 1 Sherpa!

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After a quick pic I maneuvered my way closer to the front.  I had heard from others that MCM can be really crowded and slow to start, so I was glad that I moved my way up a bit.

It was a perfect morning and the energy was really special with all of our Marines out there providing support.  I chatted in the corral for a bit with another Oiselle lady named Sarah who just moved to Boston!  Definitely hoping we can connect back here in our hometown.

With the gun shot we were off!

I wasn’t really sure how my pacing for this race was going to go.  I knew if I wanted to get a BQ I had to stick to 8:00min/mile pace, but I also didn’t know if I had this in me.  My training had not been stellar, with moving, PMC training this summer, and just being busy.  So I figured I would settle in around that pace and just see what happened haha.

MCM is also a great race for spectators, so Dean was able to see me at mile 6, 10, 18, and 20!  I could have probably used him at 23 when I was dying, but having him at the finish was perfect.

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Of course I was sporting my Oiselle tank and roga shorts.  And I heard a few birds out on the course cheering.  Love all the lady support!

I was keeping a pretty strong pace with miles just above or below 8:00min/mile pace.  At about miles 18 when I saw Dean for the 3rd time I thought I might just get a BQ!  I didn’t think a big PR was in the cards, but I was really excited about re-qualifying.

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Most of the course through DC was flat and had good crowd support, so that kept me feeling strong.  But around mile 21 we hit the 14th Street Bridge and I started to really feel like “Oh crap, this marathon hurts!!”  Getting to the end of that bridge was a godsend!  For those last three miles I just keep repeating my mantra “hold your pace” as best I could, hoping not to loose too much time.

Once we were back at the Pentagon I knew I had just the last hill everyone talks about to get to the finish.  My legs were pretty smoked, but I wanted to try and come in strong.

Well, that sorta happened haha.  The hill is no joke a quick climb straight up and I had no gas left to pick it up.  But I powered through to the end as was so excited to see the clock under 3:30!  I had requalified with a 3:29:04 time and a 4 second PR!

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As happy as I was my legs were completely dead.  Dean and I sat on the grass for a bit and then slowly made our way through the finish area toward the metro.  As we walked a bit my legs loosened up and I was very happy to have a relaxing afternoon with a hot shower, icy hot, and my iced coffee 🙂

Later that night we ventured into Georgetown for dinner at the The Sovereign, which was fantastic!  It is a German style gastropub with great food and a really nice beer selection.  I would highly recommend it and while it is right in the heart of Georgetown it is a little off the craziness of M Street.

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The next day we checked out some museums and relaxed around DC before flying back.  Overall it was a fantastic race weekend and runcation!  Here are my ratings:

Overall Experience: 5/5

Race Swag: 4/5
*I loved the medal and longsleave shirt, but was not super impressed by the items at the expo.

Race Logistics: 5/5

Spectators: 5/5

Thanks for taking time to read my re-cap!  Definitely let me know if you have any questions about the race!

Pug hugs,

Meg

P.S. Lola had a lovely staycation with her Uncle Mark, so she likely didn’t miss us at all!