Races and a Racing Bucket List

I think I promised this a month or so ago…finally I have a chance to write it.

 

I’m getting together with Robin next week to have lunch and shop and do what we do…but we’re also pulling out calendars to talk about next year’s races.

On my docket for spring:

Krispy Kreme Challenge–even ESPN gets in on this action. Run 2 miles, scarf a donut or 12, run 2 miles back. The challenge: Keep it down.

American Tobacco Trail 13.1–the inaugural half/full marathon was this past March and it got great reviews from folks. The t-shirt design could use a major improvement, but the course is flat and pretty fast…perfect for that 13.1 PR.

Cooper River Bridge Run (10K)–if you’ve never run this race, you should. It’s one of the largest races in. the. world. And taking out that bridge is a great feeling.

Tarheel 10-miler–ends in Kenan Stadium…enemy territory. Fortunately, they let supporters of other ACC teams crash the party. You can bet I’ll be blowin’ in with my red, white and black.

 

And that’s all I got right now. Which means, according to Rob, that we gotta find a January race…and another one in May. We’ll see about that. I like that I’m keeping it local-ish for the spring. And I guess I should start registering for some of this nonsense.

 

And now for the list of races I want to run some day:

The Goofy Challenge: Run the Donald Duck 13.1 on Saturday and then run the Mickey Mouse 26.2 the next day. The pay-off: THREE medals…one Donald, one Mickey and one Goofy. Oh…and I think you might even get three shirts, too….

 

The Flying Pig Marathon (Cincinnati): you get a t-shirt with a flying pig on it. Why WOULDN’T you?

 

The Portland Marathon (Oregon): mostly flat, the city’s waterfront, cool temps, a bridge (surprisingly, I don’t hate them after this year), Mt. Hood, Mt. S. Helens, and really great schwag. And maybe I can work in a Kane concert at Dante’s, too.

 

Army 10-Miler (Washington DC): It sells out in about 30 hours. That’s saying something. Start at the Pentagon, cross the Potomac, run the mall, see the monuments, head back over the river. And it’s only 10 miles, unlike….

TheĀ Marine Corps Marathon (also DC): I really like DC. And you get to see more of the city on foot this way. And a marine drapes the medal around your neck at the finish line.

And speaking of medals…

Nike Women’s Marathon (San Francisco): The finisher’s medal is a Tiffany necklace. It’s put around your neck by a fireman in a tux. Hills? What hills?

 

ING New York City Marathon: “If there’s a chance you’ll run only one marathon, it has to be New York.” Well, I said that about Disney, but EVERYONE says that about New York. Guess I’m gonna have to make it happen some day. Besides, I’ve never been to the Big Apple.

***Note, I will not qualify. I will fund raise or enter by lottery. May I remind you all that I’m an ox?

 

Boston Marathon: I thought I’d never be able to run this one. Ever. (See previous note about qualifying) But then I learned you can fund raise your way in. Score. I’ll be sure to hit all of you up for donations.

 

The Publix Georgia 13.1. It’s sponsored by Publix and it’s in Atlanta. I call that a no-brainer.

 

Myrtle Beach Mini-marathon. By mini, they mean 13.1 miles. But the medal this past year was a surf board that doubled as a bottle opener.

 

Virginia is for Lovers 14K: it’s part of the J & A Racing group‘s race line-up in VA Beach. It’s flat and they have REALLY good schwag.

Speaking of VA Beach: I’m thinking one year I need to do the race challenge: Wicked 10K, Surf-N-Santa 10 miler, VA is for Lovers 14K and Shamrock 13.1 or 26.2. You do all that, and the prize this time around was a cooler and a pint glass.

 

I will run for some schwag. And beer. There has to be good beer.

 

Men’s Health Urbanathlon: Road race meets obstacle course from hell. It looks AWESOME.

 

And maybe some day I’ll tackle a half-ironman. Maybe.

 

So there’s the list. And there may be more to come. I have some people trying to suck me into the USMC Mud Run in SC and the Tough Mudder (Google that SOB…unh uh).

Any takers?

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13.1 Miles of Green

On March 22, the culmination of weeks of training and long runs (some of which were inside) came down to the starting line of the VA Beach Shamrock 1/2 marathon. I lined up with 4 other awesome girls to run the next 13.1 miles. Some people thought we were crazy for doing this thing. I mean, honestly, why in the hell would people PAY to RUN 13.1 MILES. To say nothing of the other crazies who would start an hour later to RUN 26.2 MILES.

Not the people at the starting line. But then, if we’re all crazy, how would we know?

In November, 2007, I completed my first 1/2 marathon at the City of Oaks in Raleigh. That one started when Robin looked at me in August and said “We can do that marathon.” Notice, the marathon was NOT what I completed. With starting grad school that fall, my training schedule blew apart and I dropped back from the full to the 1/2. Robin, with 5 children, did the same. Al, on the other hand, driven by the need to complete a marathon before he turned 30, did the whole thing. When I crossed the finish line, I said my next goal was to run an ENTIRE 1/2 marathon.

I had heard about the Shamrock 1/2 for awhile and thought: it’s flat, at the beach and sponsored by Yuengling…so I knew there’d be good beer at the finish line. I registered for it and sent an email to Robin and Alison to see if they wanted to join me. The group grew to a total of 5 women. We trained…some days together…some days cursing each other when others had a good long run and we didn’t. And then we showed up on a Friday in March to this FANTASTIC house in VA Beach. Our support staff was comprised of 3 of the 5 husbands who chouffered, cooked, shopped, checked the hot tub (and filled it with hot water because it wasn’t getting hot enough), made mimosas, bought us fun stuff at the race expo, got up when we did on race day and dropped us off at the race course (before sunrise)…and were there at the end to cheer us down the home stretch.

Robin stayed with me the entire course…and I was the slowest that day. Somewhere around mile 3 was a beer tent. Miles 5-7 were through a wooded highway with random signs along the way to keep us laughing (Baseball is wrong. Man cannot walk with four balls). Then we ran onto Ft. Story…occasionally catching views of the beach. All along the way was this little bitty girl with her green tights on and then short shorts on over that…and a sports bra…with perfect abs and her little belly button ring. Her and her dude would run past us and then walk. We’d pass them. Then they’d run past us and then walk. And we’d pass them…and so it went for a LONG time. Somewhere between mile 11 and 12, I looked at Robin.

“You see that girl in the green tights? I’m crossing the finish line in front of her.”

And then the 2:30 pacer passed us.

Damn.

Robin looked at me.

“Um. We’re passing the pacer, too. C’mon.”

OK. Green tights girl was one thing. But the pacer? I didn’t know if I had it in me.

“Come. On. I am NOT finishing behind the pacer.”

And we passed him. We finally turned the corner to the finish line…in front of green tights girl and the 2:30 pacer…never having stopped to walk. And we crossed that finish line in 2:27:02.

And it felt AMAZING.

Seriously. I was high off that for the next 4 days.

And here are some pictures from that magical day:

Trying to find the start line

Trying to find the start line

Sunrise over VA Beach on 3/22

Sunrise over VA Beach on 3/22

FINISHED

FINISHED

The happy support staff

The happy support staff

Unaware that I will feel this tomorrow

Unaware that I will feel this tomorrow