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A Lucky Seven(teen) Miler

It just struck me the other day that Boston is only a month away. A MONTH AWAY!!!

So, naturally, it is time to step up the mileage for the race. I have been doing a lot of training, but the thing about training for a marathon whilst ALSO training for a triathlon is that you don't put in the mileage on the run that you do when you are JUST training for a marathon. Is it better? Is it worse? I don't really know. I just know it is different and freaks you (a runner) out a bit mentally, but it all seems to be ok in the end, since the endurance from swimming and biking crossover somehow...

Anyways, so I was super-pumped when I found out that the Runnin' of the Green was not on the weekend of the St. Patty's Parade. The first year we were here, Ross and I discovered the race (toted as the country's largest LUCKY 7k) and had a blast.
Us all at our first Runnin' of the Green! Yep, H&L rode along!
 But in the past couple of years, the St. Patty's parade has become an annual event here in the Strand household. It is big, long and fun and my kids would be devastated (read: DEVASTATED) if we were not to go.
The ONE (and only) time of the year the horns come out.
Ok, so the parents have as much fun as the kids!
Conversely, the parade AND the run are just too much action for one Randi in one weekend. Hence, with both events on the same weekend, no Runnin' of the Green for Randi the past two years. But this year, with the two events on separate weekends - I was all in! Of course, I asked my favorite little leprechaun to join me (Jan) and she gladly accepted.

Then, I learned Heather (also training for Boston) was running and we both had to get in a bit of mileage for that day. No problem. Time to do some fun logistics and whoola - we turned our lucky 7k into a lucky 17-miler. Nothing like getting creative to get the miles in.

Sunday morning rolled around and I was up and atom and down to Heather's. My neighbor (Chris) joined us for a few laps around Wash Park - allowing us to get 8.5 miles in. Then, it was back to Heather's for a quick wardrobe change and meeting up with Tim and Candace for a nice, little jaunt (3+ miles) down to the race site.
Pre-race running partners!
 By the time we got down there, I was tired... and thirsty! With no water anywhere, it kind of stunk. Note to self: ALWAYS carry water.

It was there we met up with everyone, plus 4,000+ of our fellow Irishmen.
Jan and her AWESOME toe sock/arm warmers. Genius!
As it was time to line up, I went to go into wave 1, but it was all full. So I stood around and waited for the race to start and just jumped in wherever and that seemed to work out fine. I wasn't shooting for any pr's. According to my watch, I had 12.23 miles in already. I just wanted to finish and see what I could do.

But as the race started, it hurt. Like, ow! Standing around for so long, my legs had really seized up. I now know why you are supposed to warm-up just before entering the corral. Something I will forever take with me. So I just plodded along, running, trying to see what I could do. My feet hurt and I was running as fast as I could, but I could tell the first 12 miles had really taken a toll on me. I raced along and tried not to look at my watch. The race is filled with hills, so it doesn't seem right to watch your pace. And, before I knew it, it was over (thank goodness!).

And then, there was water. Lots of it! And beer (which took FOREVER to get), but well worth the wait. And then there was more post-race fun, including some photo booth, food and bloody marys at a local establishment with everyone. {FAIL on the group picture here, sorry.}

The couple things I will forever take from this race:
- Don't let yourself get too "cold" (ie, not moving) before a race. It really, really hurts to start and get going. Plus, you will be slower.

- HYDRATE! and plan for it. I didn't want to be "the dork with the water belt for a 4-miler", but I wasn't running 4 miles. Lesson learned: plan for myself. Don't think about others.

- What it feels like to race on really, really sore, tired legs. Believe it or not, this is a very, very good experience for endurance athletes and running long before a race is one way to do it.

- Do a proper cool down. As much as you think it may hurt, it actually pales in comparison to how you will feel if you don't do one. 

- A corned beef sandwich can REALLY hit the spot after a run.
Who'd of thunk?

- This race is really, REALLY fun and should be shared with friends. I am a lucky girl to have such great ones. Had a blast with everyone pre and post! Bummer: no group shot, but... are a few of my fun mates! Luv ya Ginger and Jan!


Jan said...

FYI: There were tons of "dorks with water belts" back with the slow people so you would have blended right in! Thanks for inviting me, I had a blast!

Ginger said...

It was a great day! Glad I could join in.