Monday, October 21, 2013

Firsts and Nexts

Over the past year and a half, I have had the privilege of running some "first races" with some of my nearest and dearests.  First it was a 5k with Amy in Portland, ME...then a 5K with Derek in Franklin, MA....and this month I got to run another couple firsts:  My co-worker/friend Katie ran her first 5k (at one of my favorite races, no less) and a couple friends ran their first half marathons - all in the same weekend!  

I was so excited for Katie and her first race.  After I posted a picture about the Huff N Cuff 5k on Facebook, Katie registered!  Running your first race at the Huff N Cuff definitely sets the bar high.  Truth be told, I am a little biased, since a friend is the race organizer, however it really is an awesome race - great schwag (long-sleeve T and a snazzy pint glass), live music by the talented Brian Richard, oh yeah, and free beer. Yup, I said WACHUSETT beer.  Happy girl, right here.  (I had to let Katie in on a secret - all races don't have as great a post-race party and race schwag as this race.)

Anyway, we had a great time, with exceptional company. And I was super proud of Katie - her first race and a PR no less! 
Katie and I - pre-race! (Yes, blue was the Training Dept. uniform for the day)
The next day was...dun dun dun...Smuttynose.  As beautiful as Saturday was, Sunday turned out to be the complete opposite.  I should have known, it being Smuttynose and all.  As my friend Henry said, "I've run Smuttynose 4-5 times, and it has rained every year I've run."  Thanks for jinxing us again, Henry. (Kidding!)  Alas, I saddled up the next day with CRB and plans to meet up with at least a few of the dozen or so people I knew running the race.  

CRB and I - ready to run!
It was so chilly and windy at the start that I just wanted to get going.  We met up with Jessica, who was running her very first half marathon that day (yay Jess!), and found our corral.  

Now, I had planned on going for a PR that day, and for the first 10 miles, I felt like I could do it.  Then it happened - tight IT band, lower back pain, knee hurt...I just fell apart.  It definitely wasn't my worst half, by a long shot, but it was not the PR I wanted.  Next up - Rock'N'Roll Half in VEGAS!!  Just have to keep myself healthy and well for a few more weeks. 

A couple days before my October Race Extravaganza (a.k.a. October 5-6), I received a packet from the B.A.A.  It was my "participant" certificate and 2013 race record book.  I've said it since April, the B.A.A. has be so classy and amazing in how they have communicated with all involved in the marathon this year.  It was overwhelming and emotional to look at these things...the proof that April 15 did actually happen, and it wasn't just a bad dream.  Emotions from my first marathon came flooding back.  I just sat and stared at it for awhile.

My first marathon
And then, a couple weeks later another package arrived.  My signed copy of 4:09:43 from Hal Higdon.  He had emailed the 75 of us to say it was coming.  When I picked up my number for the 5k, Henry said, "Hey! You're famous!"  I must have had a confused look on my face, because he said, "Hal's book. I read it. You're famous!"  I felt humbled that Hal chose my blog and a small piece of my story to tell.  I felt more touched that Hal, a runner, told the story of us runners on that day.  He felt it. He encapsulated how we felt (at least a small number of us...the true gamut of emotions that day will never be truly understood.)

Wow. So humbled. 

Next, I have my sights set on Las Vegas. I want my PR. :) 

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