Category Archives: Races

Not the Boston Marathon Recap I Wanted

Boston Marathon Boot  happyfitmama.com

Say hello to my little friend.

Prior to the afternoon of April 20th, this was going to be a Boston Marathon recap full of excitement, celebration and tears of joy.

Rather, I have no race recap but lots of tears.

At mile 6, one of my worst fears came true. I got intense ankle pain out of nowhere. It wasn’t an ache. It was radiating pain that went down into the arch/beginning of my heel. I tried to walk it off. I tried to stretch it out. It wasn’t going anywhere and just got worse with every step.

At mile 8, as much as I wanted to keep going, I knew my race was over.

I’m disappointed. I’m angry. I’m sad. I feel bad for having my family make the trip to watch a race in the freezing cold, pouring rain and then not even get the chance to see me run by.

I’m f*cking pissed off. You know what also pisses me off? When I’m trying to write f*cking in a text and it auto corrects to ducking. Really?

Why on this day? At this race? At this time?

Why?

I’m distancing myself from social media for a bit. While I’m so extremely happy for everyone who had an amazing race, it hurts way too much to see it. I need some time to wallow in my grief of what was supposed to be my “IT” race of the year. I had huge expectations for it and to see those expectations disintegrate within minutes, is quite painful. Yes, I know it could have been worse. Yes, I know I have a lot to be thankful for. Yes, I know it’s only running.

But it meant a lot to me.

Thank you for all the kind emails, texts, tweets and Instagram messages. I truly appreciate the concern. I just need some time to lick my wounds.

My Top 5 Running Moments

We all know that not every run is THE BEST run ever. I definitely have my “I hate running” moments. Of course, just like a bad day, you tend to forget about those bad moments and only remember the good times.

Amanda recently posted her top 5 running moments. It got me thinking. Could I narrow it down to just 5? That’s tough. There’s something great about every run.

Here’s what I came up with today. I’m sure it’ll change tomorrow!

1. Reach the Beach Relay – Even though I crashed and burned during my first leg, I had an amazing time running with new and old friends. Who knew running in the middle of the night on no sleep could be so fun? Team #islagiatt is already registered for September with 2 vans reserved for 12 stinky runners.

Team #islagiatt group 1 | happyfitmama.comReach the Beach Relay Leg 1, Leg 2, Leg 3

2. Honolulu Marathon – How could this NOT be on my list? It’s Hawaii after all! It was even more special helping Kailey cross the finish line of her first marathon. From the crazy long plane ride, meeting all the other Saucony 26 Strong Teams, the unique expo and race, to hiking up Diamond Head the day after. It was definitely a memory that will never fade.

Honolulu Marathon mile 25 | happyfitmama.com

3. Vermont City Marathon – You never forget your first, right? This was supposed to be my big marathon debut. It actually turned out to be the marathon and trip from hell. What could go wrong, did. I swore I’d never run another marathon. But the bad memories faded. Don’t get me wrong, I still remember every single one. At least now I can laugh about it!

VCM Marathon - happyfitmama.comYou can also read about the trip from hell Aftermath.

4. Seacoast Half Marathon – This race was my first half marathon and my first ever real race. Why start out with a shorter distance, right? Last year was the first year in a very long time that I did not run it (stupid injuries!). I’d have to say my most memorable year of running it was 2012. It was the first year where I really got into training for it and had a goal of going sub 1:50. That race showed me that I can improve my running with hard work.

seacoast half marathon 2012 - happyfitmama.co5. Mother’s Day 5K – Some races aren’t about your finishing time. This race meant a lot to me because it was my kids first official race and the first race that we ran as a family. It was the best Mother’s Day present to see the joy on my kids faces as their little legs ran free. Although I will admit that it really bothered me to see my finishing time, especially because it was part of a race series. Oh well, I took one for the team on that one. It was worth it!

Daddy and Daughter  HappyFitMama.com

What are your top 5 running moments?

Eastern States 20 Miler Recap

Eastern States 20 Miler Bib  happyfitmama.com

Going into Eastern States 20 Miler, I had one thing on my mind – What’s going on with my right knee?

Let me back track a bit. Thursday morning, I was doing what was supposed to be an easy 10 mile run. Around mile 6, my knee started hurting. No warning what so ever. Of course, in typical runner fashion, I pretended I didn’t feel anything. After about another 2 miles with the same pain that wasn’t going away, I decided that I should probably stop running. I did the usual routine – ice, stretch, etc afterwards in hopes that it was nothing. I also decided to take Friday and Saturday off from running to really let it rest.

Race day came on Sunday. My knee was feeling OK, no pain, just an occasional ache here and there. Sarah taped my knee up and we took off for the race. I forgot about my knee because it felt good.

I wasn’t really sure how I was going to run. Do I treat it as a training run that I just paid for or do I keep it long run pace for the first 10 and then drop down to goal marathon pace for the last 10? Sarah didn’t really have a plan either, but we both agreed that we wanted to just not get injured (she’s nursing an ongoing Achilles and bone spur injury). We’d go by what felt right.

Apparently, going faster felt right.

Eastern States 20 Miler Outfit | happyfitmama.com

The weather was almost perfect at the start – sunshine and temps in the upper 30s. I dressed just right – Saucony long sleeve top and capri’s. The fun thing about this race is that we run in 3 states (Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts), through 7 towns and the majority is along the beautiful seacoast. We had a short walk from bib pick up at a school to the starting line. It’s a very relaxed race. You line up and then someone shouts “go!” Or at least I think someone did because everyone started running. There is no timing chip or starting mat. You just go!

We ran along at a comfortable pace (although way faster than our usual long run pace) for the first couple of miles. (Thanks for the WOOHOO! Robin!) At one point I realized I hadn’t heard a beep or vibration for a mile marker yet. For some reason my watch was set to indoor and was essentially in stopwatch mode. After messing with it (thank goodness for easy touchscreen capability!), I got it started correctly. Since there were ZERO mile markers on the course, I assumed we were a little over 2 miles into the race at this point. I never realized how much I love seeing mile markers till this race. I need a countdown!

For the first 3 miles or so, there was not much of a wind. As soon as we reached the coast, the headwind smacked us right in the face and stayed for the duration. Sarah and I were trucking right along feeling good. We were in shock every time that my watch beeped (hers wasn’t working right either) with our splits. We tried to slow down but it felt so slow when we did. It felt good, so we kept it up.

Mile 1-2: ??? Mile 3: 8:17, Mile 4: 7:51, Mile 5: 8:15, Mile 6: 8:16, Mile 7: 8:13, Mile 8: 8:22, Mile 9: 8:11, Mile 10: 8: 18, Mile 11: 8:11

The wind really started to pick up at this point. We were completely exposed. In the previous miles, there were groups of people so it was easier to draft a bit. Not so much anymore. It was nice to see Kailey and her son at some point (mile 12?) spectating. Even if it’s for a brief second, it matters!

Eastern States 20 Miler  happyfitmama.com

Mile 12: 8:25, Mile 13: 8:20, Mile 14: 8:13, Mile 15: 8:25, Mile 16: 8:22

Around mile 16-17, Sarah and I both stopped for a water stop. I was trying to choke down some water and then stopped to fix my KT tape that had come loose on my shin. By the time I started up again, Sarah was way up ahead. I gave her the wave to keep going. Bad mistake on my part! Without having company, I started to think too much. Particularly about my knee. It was starting to bug me a bit. And then there felt like there was something stuck on the bottom of my shoe. No matter what I did to try to scrape it off, it just wouldn’t go away. I stopped to fix it and found some kind of gummy chomp stuck in the grips. Gross! After scrapping it on the curb, it finally came loose. Stopping that one time, threw me off. I started to have visions of calling Ron to pick me up and drop me off a 1/2 mile from the finish. I wanted to be DONE especially when a cop directing traffic tells you “1 mile to go!” and it’s really 2 miles.

Mile 17: 9:12, Mile 18: 8:53, Mile 19: 8:34, Mile 20: ?? Forgot to stop my watch!

Official time: 2:48:20.

Post Eastern States 20 Miler | happyfitmama.comAnd yes, that is a big pile of snow behind us!

For the most part, I felt really, really good for the duration of the race even if my knee wasn’t 100%. I’m actually shocked that I felt so comfortable and was able to run at those speeds yet still carrying on a conversation for almost the whole race. And the pacing? I’ve never been that consistent with pacing in my life! That truly was marvelous.The part that makes me worry is how much the wheels fell off once I didn’t have someone to run with. I won’t have Sarah to rely on Marathon Monday. Her wave starts way ahead of mine. My mental game, as usual, still needs some work before race day.

What would you rather run in – cold, snow, heavy rain or wind?