Category Archives: running
This past weekend I got a more-than-healthy helping of all my favorite things in life: Running, Fresh Air, Beautiful Scenery, Comradery, and Competition, and got to do it with an amazing group. And now I’m back…Reality Bites. I was lucky enough to be asked to be part of an amazing group called The Marathongs to compete in a crazy race called Reach The Beach. Reach The Beach is unique because it’s the LONGEST (in distance) relay race in the whole entire country. Holler!!
The longest relay race in the nation? Yep! 204 miles through the White Mountains in NH, starting at Cannon Mountain in Franconia, NH, and ending at New England’s Jersey Shore: Hampton Beach. The goal is to complete the 204 miles within 24 hours among your team of 2 – 12 people. Our team, The Marathongs, came in 87th out of 480 teams, averaging about an 8 minute pace. Each team member has three legs along the way, giving a little bit of rest in between, but little to no sleep. Everyone on the team ran somewhere between 15 – 24 miles over their three legs. Basically, it was awesome!
Our team comes from all over: West Haven, Ellington, Vernon, and Glastonbury CT, Buffalo, NY, New York City, Boston, MA, and Newport, RI. There were some (super boring) super serious teams, but many dressed up. Our major competition was “The Kilts”, “The Lumberjacks”, who, by the way, ran in jorts – no kidding, and “The Cropdusters”. Most of the teams had really great names. It was really an awesome experience as all the teams were supportive of each other – all with the same crazy goal of running 204 miles and “reaching the beach”.
I think from here, the best way to show our journey is through pictures and videos.
Goofing around before the race, getting our wiggle on!
The MarathonG boys’ dance. Get it boys!!
Who says white girls can’t dance??
It was the longest 24 hours of my life…but surprisingly to most, I’m saying that in the best way possible. Things that happened on Friday afternoon seemed like they happened 2 weeks ago by Saturday night. I dont know if it was the lack of sleep, the overexertion, or the amount of things that happened, but it was truly an experience I will never forget and I’m already counting down the days until the MarathonGs run Reach the Beach in 2014.
Last night at work I had a conversation with one of my co-workers about my morning run the next day. The conversation went a little like this:
Me: So I’ll be running by your house tomorrow.
Co-worker: Oh yea? What time?
Me: Early…I’ll probably pass your place around 5:25AM
Me: What, are you going to come out and cheer for me? haha I would die if you were standing out there with a sign or something.
End of story. Now this particular co-worker is a bit on the unpredictable side. Nothing that he does, or doesn’t do, really surprises me. He’s a rolling stone of sorts. So this morning I was running with one of my girlfriends and as we were coming close to my coworker’s house I was telling her the story. We rounded the corner, and to my surprise, a small sign low to the ground caught my eye.
This was surprising, even to me! But it absolutely put some pep in my step! I have a great appreciation for thoughtful little surprises like this – it will not be forgotten!
Typically throughout the spring and summer I spend many a weekend morning up early to run in races. Some of them are for fun, and some of them are for causes. This past weekend I did a race much different than one I’ve ever participated in before called the Fight For Air Climb. The Fight for Air Climb is a unique type of race that took place in downtown Hartford at City Place. Its not a road race or a trail run, but rather a “vertical race” where we ran up 34 flights of stairs at City Place. A good friend asked me to do this with them and I was was intregued, partially because I have never run in a “stair race” before, but mostly because the money raised goes to the American Lung Association, which is an amazing organization that works to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung diseases, like asthma, emphysema and lung cancer to name just a few. This is something close to my heart as my mother lost her mother to lung cancer years before I was even born and I currently have other family members suffering from the same disease. No one should have to struggle to breathe, something that most of us can do so easily and naturally.
The race itself was…interesting…to say the least. There was a few hundred participants, all raising at least $100, but some over $1,000 for the American Lung Association. How it works was that everyone lines up and every 20 seconds a person starts up the stairs – this minimizes the “stampede” effect. I thought, since I work out frequently and am in pretty good physical healthy, that this would be easy. I mean really, whats 34 flights of stairs?! (That’s totally obnoxious to say, right? Don’t worry, I “got mine”). The stair climbing portion, was in fact easy…What was not easy was breathing.
I’m going to say this in the nicest way I possibly can…whoever thought that having hundreds of people tramp up 30+ flights of stairs in a completely 100% enclosed area with absolutely ZERO ventilation is an absolute idiot. No, seriously. If I knew who the person was that made this decision I’d tell them to their face. My legs were fine, but for about 10 hours after the race my throat and lungs burned with every breath I took. I literally had that irony-blood taste in my mouth for the remainder of the day (I finished the race before 10AM), and consequently 3 days later I’m still coughing so badly I’m literally hacking things up. Its not pretty. I’m sorry for the detailed description, but its the only way to really paint a picture for you! Apparently this is “how it feels to have lung disease”. I’m sorry, but I really don’t think it benefits anyone to make lung disease more prominent. I thought we were trying to raise money to prevent lung disease, not spread it!!
Though the actual race has passed, I still have a few more weeks to collect donations. If you’d like to support the American Lung Association (or my horrific experience this past weekend), please click HERE and click on the “make a gift” link underneath the thermometer. I’m sure just about everyone knows someone suffering from a lung disease, no matter how big or small it is, and any donation to this amazing cause (even if it’s just a few bucks) will really add up and help make a difference!
I’m a runner. By this, what I DO mean is that I have been mostly-consistently running since I was in 5th grade. By this, what I DON’T mean is that I’m an elite, or even a really “good” runner. I run the Manchester Thanksgiving Day Road Race on Thanksgiving Day every year and then basically stuff my running shoes into the back of my closet until March. If you read my blog at all you’d know by now that I HATE winter and HATE the cold. Running and winter are two words that do not go hand in hand. Not in my book anyway! All winter I hole up in my apartment, do puzzles and get fat and then come spring I absolutely dread the thought running, until I get a few runs in and once again achieve that runner’s high. Its takes me about 2 -3 runs, and then out of nowhere I’m border line obessed. I think about it before I go to bed and can’t wait for the morning to lace up my shoes and put in some miles.
Anyway, this past Saturday I ran my first race of the season (“season” is used loosely here, because while most runners will run year round, I consider “racing season” any time of the year when it’s warm enough to be outside and not see your breath. If you can see your breath, its not only not racing season, but you also have no business being out on the streets running!) and it really pumped me up! I went to bed on Saturday night thinking OK, I’m gonna go out for an easy run tomorrow since it’s supposed to be nice. And that it was – low 40’s, not a cloud in the sky…dream day for running! I went out for a quick 4 mile run…9 miles later I happily popped back into my apartment. What happened?
OMG, it was sooooooo nice out, and where I live out in the country there’s a lot to see (and by a lot to see, I mean there’s tons of livestock – see inset pic of my favorite part of country running – the cows). Normally I don’t run with music, but since I just got a new phone I decided to bring it with me so I could use my mapmyrun app and tried out listening to a new running playlist I created. I don’t know if it was the fresh air, getting back in shape, or the music, but my legs just took me and before I knew it I was dancing around town. Now I say “dancing around town”, becuase my playlist was so awesome that I was literally singing (and semi-dancing) along with all my songs. OK, as any runner would know, its much easier to run with a partner…and why is that? because talking makes the time go by quicker! So why not talk, or in my case sing (loudly, and with hand gestures) to yourself!? It’s kind of like that episode of Friends where Phoebe runs “like a kid” through Central Park, except this is real life and I actually do that. Go ahead and judge me, or laugh thinking about. I’m sure I look like the village idiot doing it, but I could care less! It just makes it more fun and something to look forward to, rather than something you “have to do”.
If you’re wondering what on earth could have given me so much pep (besides my everyday bubbly personality), I’ll share my playlist…you may be surprised by the variety, but it really works…throw that puppy on shuffle and you never know what’s around the next corner (pun intented).
- Lady Gaga – Love Game
- Jeremih – Birthday Sex
- Biz Markie – Just a Friend
- Everclear – Father of Mine
- Everlast – What it’s like
- Flobots – Handlebars
- Iyaz – Replay
- Jurassic 5 & Nelly Furtado – Thin Link
- Lady Gaga – Love Game
- Myley Cyrus – Party in the USA
- Soulja Boy – Crank That (Soulja Boy)
- Taylor Swift – Our Song
- 3OH3! – Don’t Trust Me
- Lady Gaga – Beatiful, Dirty, Rich
- Three 6 Mafia – Lolli Lolli
It was really an awesome run, and awesome day, and I really can’t wait to do it up again!! 🙂