Between ending the lacrosse season and a 3 day field trip to Cape Cod with my students, I am FINALLY here and ready to recap the Boston Run to Remember Half Marathon.
This was my 3rd time running this race and is the only half marathon that I have run 3 consecutive times.
It was also my 3rd time staying in the Hilton at Logan Airport with my mom. Prices are cheap, transportation to the start line is quick and easy, view is spectacular and post-race brunch is delicious..which is a necessity. It was also the 3rd time that my mom and I set an early departure time but ended up leaving hour(s) past the intended time 😉
Time of departure aside, my mom and I met up Saturday afternoon and were off to Boston. We had a few pit stops that had to be made along the way…
Marathon Sports was a necessary stop because I have been struggling to find the perfect shoe. The Asics Gel-Pursue have been my go-to for the past year and although I have tried to explore different Asics, I always end up coming back to the pursue. Well sure enough they had the Asics Pursue at Marathon Sports and sure enough the shoe expert said that it was a good fit given my foot structure. But I also had my eyes on the beautiful Brooks Launch running shoes. I have been contemplating trying out Brooks because I have heard great things about the brand. The second I slipped them on, it all made sense.. they felt amazing. So amazing that I felt the need to walk out of the store with them on and wore them for the rest of the day 🙂
I also felt the need to talk a picture of how awesome they were while standing in line for my over-priced/standard Boston price Americano.
A Whole Foods stop for some pre-race fruits and a Sushi lunch was also mandatory
..and of course another over-priced drink.
But this was a drink I didn’t mind spending $4 on because it was delicious! You can’t even imagine the excitement I had when I went to my local Whole Foods this past weekend and saw a sign “2 for $5” for them. Definitely walked out with 4 different flavors.
And after multiple stops throughout Boston, we finally made it to the Expo!
The Boston Run to Remember expo is always pretty decent. Nothing too crazy but you have a solid amount of samples..free samples are what make an expo awesome, right?! It’s hard to judge the expo when your last Expo was the Disney Princess Half Marathon. Lets just say the expectations are set pretty high after you experience that. After the expo we headed back to the hotel to relax..and catch up on Grey’s Anatomy with a Boston Skyline view.
We had reservations at the same restaurant that we ate at last year, Salvatore’s. It still holds as some of the best pizza that I have ever had. So delicious that I even still have a picture of my pizza from last year….
In the midst of inhaling the pizza, my mom was chatting with the bartender about last year’s race which somehow turned into a convo about my time and place last year which then led to the bartender saying “If you get top 3, you can come back tomorrow evening and I will buy you your meal”. First of all, you should never offer to buy a female dinner after racing….we/I can EAT. So I guess you can say, my lack of placing top 3 was because I am overly generous and did not want the bartender to go bankrupt 😉
The race was at 7 so we had a 5am wake up. I wasn’t too nervous because I had no idea what to expect. I have been getting in my long-runs but my mid-week runs have been limited. I have been focusing on strength and Crossfit rather than improving my race times. I want to be ready and prepared to jump into half marathons for fun but fast times are currently not my main focus. Last year, I ran a PR (which was beat this past fall) of 1:27 and with most PR races, there was a whole lot of pain and struggle. It is hard to enjoy the beautiful Boston scenery when your fighting to hang on. This time around, I decided to take it all in and not focus on time.
3 minutes slower than last year which is still a bit hard to accept but it was truly an enjoyable race and I can’t say that about many races that I’ve raced hard in.
The expo samples may have been limited but they certainly made up for it after the race!
If I had any class/dignity left in me after the race, it was definitely out the window when I grabbed an empty cardboard box and just started loading up on every possible (free) sample I could find. Thankfully, I found a bag to transfer everything which made me feel a bit more classy.
Another reason why I decided to take the slower, more enjoyable racing option was because the next day was Memorial Day which means HERO WOD at Crossfit. I was already signed up for the 10am session and I definitely did not want to skip on this fun!
Not your typical ‘day-after-half marathon-workout’ but I am so glad I have some energy left from the race because this was crazy, challenging, and so rewarding!
I can’t say enough great things about working out with these people. They are so strong, so motivating and they always keep me humbled. Each person has a different strength and a different weakness. Crossfit is such a mix of different abilities which is why I love it so much. There is always something (multiple) things to improve on which keeps me wanting to come back and push harder everyday.
It sometimes worries me that I am not getting in as many runs and I have been lacking the motivation to push myself in races. I am naturally a competitive person and will always want those race PRs and those super speedy times, however, I am still mentally recovering from some really tough races and I just want to get back to the joy of racing before I return to that level of pain and struggle. I also need to keep reminding myself that although I am taking my racing lightly, I have been pushing myself harder and faster everyday in Crossfit. There are so many goals I am trying to reach in that arena and I have been really fighting hard to reach some solid benchmarks. Balancing running and Crossfit has been manageable but there is a lot of give and take. In the fall, my focus was on racing. I was only able to make Crossfit 3 days a week because I needed to get in high mileage. I was improving in Crossfit but certainly not as much as I am now. I guess you could say, I Crossfitted with caution which limited my achievement in that aspect, however, I ended up racing some fast half marathon times. This past spring is opposite, I skip more weekday runs because I want to give my crossfit workouts everything I have without tired legs. Despite my lack of racing PRs, I’ve set some solid PRs on the rower, on many lifts, and FINALLY just set the highest Max Double Unders.
So, with all this PR talk, I will end with this. At the end of the day, no one really knows what your PRs are/is, many probably don’t care, and SOME DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT PR STANDS FOR! (Personal Record by the way) Just got out there, do what makes you happy, do what keeps you coming back for more, and do it for YOU!