I’m officially on Summer Break. Yesterday I had to go into school for a few hours, but then I spent the afternoon at the pool and ate a delicious veggie burger. #teacherlife
Today, it’s back to reality. I’ve done laundry, cleaned the bathrooms, and completed various other tasks that I wouldn’t have to do if we could just win the lottery already. Geez. Since none of that stuff is very exciting, let’s recap some races. Like I mentioned yesterday, the Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival was nothing short of amazing. I ran the Hat Trick along with a ton of other bloggers and it felt like a weekend away at some sort of fitness summer camp.
Choosing the Hat Trick meant running the 5k, 10k, and half marathon over the course of two days. How do people run more than that in one day? I may never know. Since I decided to run all three for fun, I was worried that I wouldn’t have any running buddies. Fortunately, a lot of us had pretty similar game plans. The underlying theme? Surviving. I’m only partially kidding.
It is crazy to me that these are my “slowest” times for each distance and yet I am super proud of each race. First of all, I finished. Secondly, I had a blast. And, finally, I learned that knowing when to take it easy is as difficult as knowing when to push yourself. I feel so smart now. These recaps are not going to be like my typical ones would be, because I tried to focus on just enjoying the moment. I basically just snapped photos of things I found funny. Whatever works.
The 5k was scheduled to start at 7:15 am on Saturday, and I’m pretty sure we all woke up to race around 7:14. That was a definite perk to staying in the dorms, for sure.
We quickly headed to the corrals and hopped in with the 9:00 mile pace group. We sort of stayed with them throughout the race. I stress “sort of” here.
Julie, Anne, Dani, Marnie and I ran together for most of the race. I swear to you we laughed the entire time. I think that’s actually the theme for the weekend, because all of these ladies are hysterical.
Before we had finished all of our chatting, we had reached the finished. We all swore there was no way we just ran 3.1 miles. It felt like we had just started. Guess it’s a good thing we had two races on the agenda. 😉
My official race time was 29:52, and I could not be happier about that. I was almost as pleased with my time as I was with the fact that they had cinnamon bagels at the finish. I may not have taken the race seriously, but I certainly put effort into refueling.
Shortly after choking down a bagel or three, a few of us headed back to our rooms to change clothes. It was freaking blazin’ outside at this point. I traded my sleeves in for a tank and felt like a new woman. Then, before we knew it, it was time to head to the starting line for the 10k.
I’ve never done back-to-back races, so I really had no idea what to expect. We started off as a group, but Julie and I quickly decided to hang back. Since I really didn’t know how running three races was going to affect me, I was glad to have someone to slow down with for the 10k. She totally did it as a favor for me, so don’t let her tell you any different.
By the way, a huge bonus of taking your time to run is stopping for important mid-race pictures. Don’t let my clashing purple outfit blind you.
By the time we arrived at mile 4, the hills were destroying our poor legs. Luckily, we were able to laugh about how ridiculous we must have looked hobbling down the road.
Although the 10k course was more challenging than the 5k, we still remarked on how quickly the whole thing flew by. I have got to join a running group, because running with other people is where it’s at.
My final time was 1:04:32. The 10k definitely went down as the toughest race of the weekend, so I’m extremely glad we didn’t decide to push it. I might have keeled over and melted into the pavement. After the race, I grabbed some potato chips to soothe my bruised ego. No big deal.
The following morning, after staying up too late drinking delicious raspberry beer in the “quad”, we woke up and headed to the half marathon starting line.
Usually I’m a little nervous before a race, but there was absolutely no fear going into this one. This whole “winging it” thing is pretty awesome. We were talking on the course about how, yeah, it’s fun to PR and all, but sometimes you just need to relax and remember why you even run in the first place. Go ahead and jot that little bit of insight down in your diaries, folks.
Right when we got going, we realized we were running with Mark Remy. He’s only the most hilarious person, well, ever.
So, naturally, I went in for the butt grab. Isn’t that the most appropriate way to show people how much you enjoy their writing? I got this thing called a restraining order in the mail, so I think that means he remembers me.
Anyway, I ran the half with Katy and her friend Jamie. We talked the entire time, and I can honestly say it would have been a totally different 13.1 miles without them. I can also definitely say I’ve never taken as many selfies or butt-bumped as many gorillas. There was only one gorilla butt-bump, but that also happens to be my current record.
The most amazing part of the half was running the famous Heartbreak Hill, which I learned is actually more of a series of hills, because I’m obviously not qualifying for Boston anytime soon. It’s like a sort of got a taste of the torture that awaits those lucky marathoners. I’m sure running it at the end of a half is exactly the same thing as running it during a full. Exactly.
I crossed the finish line in 2:15:03. I don’t have photos of it like I do with the other two races because we danced in. Hopefully that beautiful mess got captured by the photographers, because I’m sure it will make my family really proud of me. You know you ran a great race when you want to break it down going through the chute. Let’s be real. The one thing I really want to point out is just how well these races were put together. I don’t know how they pull off such perfect race weekends, but I’d be willing to bet that sorcery comes into play.
After the race, we took a celebratory photo with our new friend Steve (a “stranger” who forced us up the hills) and David Willey (only one of the best editors in town, obviously).
We headed to the post-race party shortly after that, where we ate, did handstands and cartwheels, and danced some more.
And, with that, the weekend was over. Depressing stuff. I’m going to be honest and admit that I had lost motivation for running recently. This weekend totally reminded me that I’m lucky to be able to run, that running is as fun as you make it, and that the running community is easily the best in the world. Yep. Consider me back in the game, y’all.
I joked earlier about never running that many miles in one day, but I’m starting to think that a marathon might actually be something I could do one day. I’m saying one day, because my brain explodes anytime I think about adding that to the list right now. You never know, though, right?
Question: Did you ever have an “a-ha” moment when you realized that you could, in fact, run a full? I think, for me, running a full is a lot like having a child. You’re never really ready, but you go in blindly regardless.