Races I’ve Run

Live for Liv 5k

21 July 2013

Tracked distance: 3.26 mi

Time: 31:57 (9’48”/mi avg.)

Westford, MA

Ready for our first race!

Ready for our first race!

My very first race! (Yeah, I’m a running baby – ha!) In addition to never running a race before, I was never much of a runner. I regularly went to the gym and ran on the treadmill, but typically not for much more than 2 miles at a time. I heard about this 5k and figured I could run 3.1 miles with a little extra practice. The foundation hosting the race, the Live for Liv foundation, really struck a chord with me. I ran this first race because I was excited about the anti- domestic violence efforts it supported, and ended up achieving something wonderful for myself as well as supporting an amazing charity. Two friends were awesome enough to run it with me – so it was a first for more than one person there! Looking back, I’m actually super impressed by my time – I trained a lot for this short race. My first long runs were BRUTAL – 4-5 mile distance runs where I ran-walked about 12’30”/mi in agony!

Pushing for the finish line!

Pushing for the finish line!

Race swag ;)

Race swag 😉

Tufts Health Plan 10k for Women

14 October 2013

Tracked distance: 6.42 mi

Time: 1:05:27 (10’11”/mi avg.)

Boston, MA

The girlfriend and I. She looks photo shoot ready, upstaging a barefaced me, classic!

The girlfriend and I. She looks photo shoot ready, upstaging a barefaced me, classic!

My second ever race I decided to go big. It was of course double the distance and was a much, much bigger event. The Tufts 10k for Women is apparently the biggest women’s race in the country. There were thousands of people there gathered in Boston Commons – and that also meant awesome race swag! There was tons of free food and drink before and after the race, as well as plenty of fun little prizes at the City Sports booth. I ended up winning a pint glass and a pink reflective band, nice complements to the awesome technical long-sleeved race shirt and the City Sports bag that came with it. That, and the City Sports coupons that I received, which I soon put to good use on a proper pair of running tights (I wore old compression capris for the race that chafed and were horribly sheer for lack of anything better), made my day. The course itself was wonderful. I am a proud New England girl, and I loved that the course started on the Commons, went down by Newbury, over the bridge, and back. It showed off the beauty of Boston, and every mile was dotted with cheering supporters (especially Newbury and the Commons). Additionally, the race was designed so that for large portions of the race, you were running past people on the other side of the street, and as you ran you could see the entire giant moving body of the race. It was actually really inspiring, all of us sweating together, running together and part one another. I ran the race with my lovely girlfriend, and we both appreciated the supportive atmosphere as well as the “woman specific” nature of the race. You wouldn’t get cute women’s long-sleeved technical shirts and post-race nutrition of Luna bars and organic energy drinks at your average co-ed race!

Grant Park Turkey Trot 5k

30 November 2013

Tracked distance: 3.13 mi

Time: 32:34 (10’09”/mi avg.)

Chicago, IL

Modeling our cozy race swag in front of the skyline.

Modeling our cozy race swag in front of the skyline.

As I went to Illinois for Thanksgiving to visit my girlfriend’s family, we decided to do a Turkey Trot in the city to celebrate the kick-off of the holiday season. This race was a much smaller, more local event, much to the girlfriend’s surprise (it was only her second race – and my third – after the Tufts 10k!). The swag for this race awesome – instead of your average t-shirt, they gave out sweet fleece-lined hoodies with the race name and the Chicago skyline printed on them. We were so excited about our new hoodies that we made the mistake of wearing them during the race – not a tragedy, but just too warm for sweaty old me! I also goofily forgot to double-knot my sneakers – so I had to stop not once but TWICE to tie my shoes! That accounted for part of the dip in my time, I think. That said, I was still comfortable during the race, as I had invested in some good running clothes: tights from City Sports (thanks to the coupon from the Tufts 10k!), technical long-sleeved shirt (also from the 10k), Smartwool PhD tech-compatible running gloves, and my beloved Lululemon “Race Me” ear-warmer. The course consisted of a pleasant loop around Grant Park that showed off the Chicago skyline and took us along Lake Michigan. One minor micro-aggression was the fact that I believe not many people who ran this particular race were familiar with road race etiquette. As it was a small race, there were no designated corrals, so walkers and runners were left jumbled together. Furthermore, quite a few people had to stop to walk – totally fine! – but would stop in the middle of the road, putting their safety and the safety of others at risk. That made me a little grumpy, but besides that and my own silly oversight with my shoelaces, I really enjoyed this fun little Turkey Trot (especially because the terrain was so blissfully flat and Midwestern)!

Somerville Jingle Bell 5k

22 December 2013

Tracked distance: 3.18 mi

Time: 31:45 (9’59”/mi avg.)

Somerville, MA

Photos courtesy of my darling parents

Photos courtesy of my darling parents

Excited to begin and somewhat chilly...

Excited to begin and somewhat chilly…

This was maybe the most fun race I’ve taken part in thus far. I love, love, loved the environment. I was supposed to run it with my girlfriend and two mutual friends, another couple, as a fun sort of holiday double-date, but it was postponed on account of a snowstorm and neither significant other could make it so my friend and I ran it without my girlfriend or her boyfriend, substituting my little brother in instead. My parents came and watched as it was my brother’s first race, which was super cute and fun. This was the first race where I had finally come fully prepared. It was unseasonably warm – about 45 degrees or higher – and I was happy as can be in my full-length running tights, double-knotted Nike Lunar Glides (learned my lesson there!), Brooks long-sleeved technical shirt, running gloves, and holiday elf cap in lieu of my Lululemon ear-warmer. People ran in incredible costumes – I even saw a giant toy soldier struggling along in its boxy costume! This 5k kicked my butt, though – I hadn’t run in a week on account of the horror of finals, and was relieved when the finish line came into view. I was glad that I broke 10’, however, which is something that is hard for me to do on runs that happen off the treadmill, especially after a tough and tiring week! This was a last hurrah of sorts after my miserable finals period that had been immediately preceded by that horror the LSATs. Race swag was pretty good – two coupons to Marathon Sports (a local running store), cute lime green graphic cotton t-shirt, and a matching finisher’s medal that doubles as a bottle opener (always useful!).

St. Pat’s 5k

8 March 2014

Tracked distance: 3.14 mi

Time: 29:53 (9’30”/mi avg.)

Providence, RI

My ponytail is doing something serious right here - is it being magnetically drawn to the State House?

My ponytail is doing something serious right here – is it being magnetically drawn to the State House?

5kMy first race of 2014! Such a great run. Like my December 5k, it was unseasonably warm, so I was able to get some much-needed vitamin D. It was 55 degrees F, which means that this New Englander was comfortable, even warm, in cropped City Sports running tights and a long sleeve brushed tee from Brooks. I’ve decided after this run and the Somerville Jingle Bell Run that I really like holiday-themed runs 😉 . Like a lot of holiday runs, this one was packed and full of people of all levels of ability. Unfortunately, this was another race where there were no designated corrals, so that turned into a little bit of a safety issue/general pain for everyone. Needless to say, I did a lot of weaving between walkers/slow joggers during the first mile (like an asshole hell-bent on improving her time). After that, people kind of naturally staggered themselves. But then after that first frantic mile, I heard my Nike+ tell me that I had run a 9’22” mile – way below my goal pace! I powered on through (there were a lot of agonizingly slow and drawn-out uphill climbs) and ended with a 9’30″/mi average… And I had been hoping that I would get a 9’40” best case scenario! I finished with a gigantic sweaty grin on my face next to a sweaty leprechaun and plenty of folks in lime green. My girlfriend and parents were waiting for me at the finish line like the best support team ever. A really fun, family-oriented race. Also, the t-shirts were rad! A nice technical polyester long-sleeved shirt with a Celtic design on the front. And all this in my beloved Providence. 🙂

Newton 10k with 5k chaser

18 May 2014

Tracked distance: 6.2 mi

Time: 1:06:15 (10’40”/mi avg.)

Newton, MA

Race swag! Technical t-shirt, water bottle, and refreshments.

Race swag! Technical t-shirt, water bottle, and refreshments.

My new favorite hair tie from the Athleta table.

My new favorite hair tie from the Athleta table.

I ran this race with my girlfriend and a lovely mutual friends of ours. It was a really small race in the suburbs (albeit a relatively well-populated suburb), so the race mostly drew in really “serious” runners who were in the know. This race definitely did not come at a great time for us – next time I will not schedule a 10k in the middle of finals! We came to the race sleep-deprived and stressing, but the good part of this is that the 10k forced us to get out of the finals mindset. The first three miles were rough. It was very hilly, and all of us were really tired by mile 4. Luckily miles 5-6 were much less hilly, and we were definitely in the rhythm of the race by then. Nevertheless, we had to take it really slow. We stopped at every water station, because it was not only hilly but pretty warm out, so we were all really sweaty (especially me). We took it slow but finished strong – which is all you can really ask for! Felt awesome afterwards – my training paid off to make sure that my body was prepared to go through this race strong and without any issues. The post-race festivities were awesome – a lot of free swag and samples, from coconut water to greek yogurts. The shirts were awesome – nice short sleeve in a technical fabric, and one of the stations had these nice free water bottles. That said, I’m not sure I would run this race again. It was really small, which is fine, but because it was a more “serious” race, the feel wasn’t very communal or fun. Honestly it felt kind of isolating – running a sparsely populated race in the middle of suburbia wasn’t exactly awesome in terms of energy. Still a good experience, though.

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