Friday, May 23, 2014

3rd Runneraversary!!!

I realized this morning that yesterday was my third runneraversary!!  5/22/11 was the very first time I crossed a start and finish line ever.  

That is me on the left in the white shirt next to the truck.
I can say the past 3 years have been pretty awesome and tough all at the same time!!  I have run literally HUNDREDS of races and logged THOUSANDS of miles all over the country (and a little in Belize).

I started to reflect on the past three years and there are a few things I have realized/learned during this journey.

The weather doesn't matter.

The day after 26 inches of snow.
95 degrees and humid at sunrise in Belize. 

Crazy rain storm

I have even gotten some of my family and my oldest and dearest friends to join me sometimes.

I have also met a ton of wonderful new friends.

Even reconnected with a friend I hadn't seen in 30 years.

I have done more than just running events....mud runs, Spartan Races and color runs too.

I also got to do a 50 mile relay and a Ragnar too!!!

And sometimes I have been a part of a bigger picture where we run for those who can't run.

I don't only run...I volunteer sometimes too.

I have gotten hurt a few times........

I have gotten close to some famous people.....

I have even become a brand Ambassador for Digital Running Club, Kindrunner and Swirl Gear.

Running is still really tough for me but the most important this I have learned is to just enjoy the times spent with friends and have fun.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Inaugural Bridgehampton Half Marathon Recap.

Ok so I was very excited about this race.  Long Island only has a small number of half marathons and I have done the Diva twice and since the LI half is in the same place I won't do it out of boredom.  So when my friend and fellow Team Chris member, Susan mentioned she was doing the Bridgehampton Half Marathon way back in December I went right home and signed up for the preregistration.  I figured the course would be beautiful and it is only about 2 hours from my house.  Plus I could sleep at my friends George and Frans house the night before so the drive would be 40 min MAX.

Fast forward to spring and a whole bunch of Island Girls Running members signed up too!  This was going to be awesome!!  So Friday after work I stopped by Mama Lombardi's and grabbed dinner and headed out to George and Fran's.  We just ate, hung out and watched TV.  I went to bed around 10.  Saturday morning I got up around 6 and got ready.

The weather was not promising with it calling for rain all morning and then some thunderstorms.  I hit some traffic but still got out to the race with plenty of time to get my stuff and hang out with everyone for a while.  Plenty of portopotties with hardly any lines.  We also posed for a bunch of photos.

All of the following pictures unless otherwise noted were taken by Jeff Littwin.

Just before 9am we headed to the start line.  The race was pretty small, 884 finishers.  So corrals were not needed they just had the times at the side.  I went to the very back as I was not thinking I was going to do well.  I even bet Jeff that I was going to come in last.  

Start line from my point of view at the very back.
I was chatting with a couple of people around us wondering if we were going to start late since it was 8:59 and they had not done the National Anthem yet but then right at 9am the start horn went off.  We looked at each other with a look of shock - no National Anthem?!?!?  WHAT?!?!  (I still hope I just missed it some how)As I expected, since it was such a small race I did not have any issues at the b  eginning of the race, no bottleneck for me at all.  I started with the 3:1 run/walk right at the beginning.

The first couple of miles were pretty boring for me.  I thought running in Bridgehampton would be special and pretty.  I guess since I spent a lot of time out here when I was in my teens it wasn't anything exciting.  It was super humid and very grey which didn't help.  We got sprinkled on once or twice but that was it.  There were next to no spectators out at all either.  Pretty much right away the traffic control was letting cars pass the road blocks.  At first it wasn't too bad.  The cars went slow and on just one side of the street.  It got a bit crazy around miles 4-5 though.

I wasn't taking pictures but I had to take this.  
Yes the cars on both side of the street were moving and you will see there was ZERO shoulder for us to run on so there we were running down the yellow line in the middle of traffic.

**After the race I posted this picture on the Facebook page of the race and I got the following reply:

Hi Gigi. Our apologies that you had an unsafe experience at the race. We work hard with the police to ensure the safety of all of our runners but the course is open except for the first two miles and the last 2/10 of a mile at the finish. We never state anywhere that the course is closed.

Now, I went back to the website and they are correct.  It was never stated that the roads would be closed.  However it also did not state they would be open for traffic and in the 3 years I have been running I have run HUNDEREDS (not an exaggeration) of races and I have NEVER had a race where the roads were not closed with the exception of Ragnar Relay (and for that it was stated MANY times that the roads were not closed)  Plus when you see traffic control and road blocks it also makes you think the roads are closed.

Am I wrong here?

Well I just kept running.  There was a girl in front of me that I used as my pacer.  If I passed her during my running I felt like I was doing well.  She would then pass me when I was doing a walk break.  Mile 6-7 was my favorite of the race.  There was an out and back where I got to see all of my friends running back from the turn around.  I wish I took pictures here but I was just having a good time.  The halfway mark of the race was right at the turnaround.  I hit it at 1:18:35.  I did the math in my head and I realized that if I did the second half exactly the same or faster I could PR.  I just kept doing my 3:1 but it was getting hot.  At one point I had to thank my pacer.  I told her she was keeping me going and she said I was doing the same for her.  It was awesome.  Her name is Jess and we both were pretty positive we had seen each other at races before.  We then came to another but shorter out and back so I got to see some of my friends again.  YAY.  We came to a small bridge and it was low tide LOL.  It was pretty but boy did it stink LOL.

I bought this picture so it isn't stealing LOL
I was caring my hand held water bottle and I was taking a sip at pretty much every walk break.  There were water stops with gatorade every 2 miles but they had tiny dixie cups of water so that was a pain but not too much of a big deal.  I didn't take any gatorade because I had a Hammer electrolyte tablet that I was trying.  The green on my wrist was a bondi band.  I wasn't wearing it since I had my visor on but Alicia was wearing a headband on her wrist to wipe her nose and I thought that was a good idea so I followed suit and it worked great until I spilled water on it LOLOLOL.

I was getting tired but I just kept telling my self that if I got to the 10 mile mark in under 2 hours I could pretty much walk the rest and still PR.  I think I took my self too seriously because I hit 10 miles in under 2 hours and smacked straight into the wall.  I am not sure of it was more physical or mental.  It was like my body was telling me "You said if we hit 10 miles in under 2 hours I could walk".  I was trying to dig deep but it was hard....I just had nothing left.  I would pick out a turn or a telephone pole and just force myself to run to it.  One great thing was there was a 20k marker.  When I hit that I knew I only had just over a half mile to go.  I tried to run for a bit and then I saw a turn up ahead so I knew the finish had to be right around it.  I walk to the turn and told myself there was no more walking allowed.  I pretty much knew I had no chance at the PR anymore but I was too tired to care.  I saw the 13 mile marker about half way to the finish line and I just ran.  I caught up to Jess and we both said FINALLY!  That is when I caught sight of the clock and realized that I actually was going to PR!!  Then I heard my IGRs yelling for me too!!  I sprinted!!  I jumped across the finish line (not at all gracefully either) and the lovely Kris Goz put my medal around my neck as I was trying to not throw up.

I got a bunch of hugs and went to get some water and food.  I got another dixie cup of water, a banana and a half a bagel.  THAT was all there was and I heard the people giving out the water that they had no more to fill more cups.  They may have gotten more brought to them but I could only think about how even thought I was close to last I was not last and those of us that finish towards the end have been out there longer and I think need the water more.

After the last of the IGR girls came through the finish line we all gathered up and took a bunch of pictures before we went to Starbucks and headed back to our cars.

This is Jess!  I can not wait to see her at another race!!
 So yeah I had a great time with my IGRs and got myself a shiny new PR but I will not be returning to Bridgehampton next year.