(image from left to right: Deb and Clayton at the Boston Half Marathon; Sarah and Nathan at the Cambridge Oktoberfest 5K)
In between apple picking and getting ready for Halloween (have you downloaded your You’ve Been Boo-ed printable yet?), there’s been a fair amount of running happening this month. Both Sarah and Nathan ran the Oktoberfest 5K in Cambridge followed by Deb and Clayton’s impressive finishes at the Boston Half Marathon. Now I know you must be thinking who dressed up in lederhosen, were there any injuries sustained, how did Clayton compensate for air resistance from his hair …? Read on to find out!
(image: Clayton is ahead of the pack!)
After running an uncomfortably humid half marathon in Portland this summer, I thought I would be done for a while. But thanks to some arm twisting by Jen, Mike, and Deb, I found myself signing up for the BAA Half too (oooohhh, peer pressure). What began as a dizzying race to the start—workouts in between rock climbing and volleyball, a last minute bike tire change the night before, and a day-of arrival with literally only a minute to spare—ended in a magical race to the finish! It was a quintessentially New England fall day complete with breathtaking foliage and flannel-wearing bystanders. I felt like I had my own personal cheering section with Sarah and Nathan at nearly every three mile checkpoint. They truly gave me a burst of energy every time I saw their sunshiny faces! Towards the end of the race, though my legs were feeling sluggish, a blaring Mumford and Sons song at mile 12 gave me the opportunity to haphazardly lip sync along the remainder of the run. I finished 2 minutes shy of my goal time, but I can't complain, I got a PR (personal record)! The day ended on a great note for everyone it seemed! Turns out Deb didn't pull her calf and my friends Jen and Mike are even talking about signing up for other runs! So proud of everyone! Yay, running!
(image: Avery and Abigail cheer go, Mom!)
Technically speaking, I ran the BAA Half Marathon last weekend. While Clayton ran his PR, I ran my PW (personal worst!). But surprisingly, I’m okay with it. I must be losing my competitive edge (or maturing). The backstory is I was running on a bum calf, which means that two weeks prior to the race, I pulled my left calf muscle during a long(ish) run and had to stop “training” altogether if I had any chance of getting through 13 miles. I did my best to hydrate and heal, and I showed up at 8AM on race day, only then realizing that this may be a terrible idea. I thought I was done at mile 2 when the soreness started creeping in. But while I was legitimately uncomfortable for the rest of the run my calf never fully popped. Yahoo! This may have been due to the "controlled" pace, the stopping-and-stretching at every mile marker, or just being well hydrated for the event. Whatever the case, I made it through and finished. Despite it being my PW, there were still so many highpoints: seeing my husband and girls at miles 9 and 11 and seeing Sarah & Nathan at mile 1, and then again at mile 13, where they were joined by Clayton - now a spectator (thanks, guys!); the incredible weather; congratulating Clayton on his PR (holy impressive!); and being among the running community—all hopped up as they are on bananas and endorphins—it’s a good crowd. Next up: physical therapy!
(image: Sarah's winning smile)
The Oktoberfest 5K was my first road race, and it was a blast! The weather was perfect—not too hot, not too cold—and the crowd showed up in an amusing array of Oktoberfest-inspired gear. Nathan proved to be a most excellent running buddy, providing the perfect mix of chatty companionship and inspiration along the way. I was hoping to finish the race at around the 30-minute mark so my 29:32 net time was a perfect first outing. After the race, there was a party for runners where we were treated to delicious German food and cider from local companies. I'm already looking forward to the WGBH 5K as well as the Yulefest! Thanks to Clayton and Deb, our personal cheering leaders/paparazzi along the way! Seeing friendly and familiar faces along the route made the experience that much more enjoyable, and I was happy to return the favor at the BAA Half Marathon. A special thanks to 32 for driving up from Long Island in the wee hours of the morning to make it in time for the race!
(image: Nathan and Sarah cross the finish line.)
Pre-race: I say to Sarah we forgot our lederhosen; I think it makes you run faster, especially in the Oktoberfest! There are plenty to go around, some great outfits: lots of suspenders and feathers in caps. I think Sarah is such a big fan of Germany and its World Cup glory that she doesn't need to pretend by dressing up.
0 km: The starting gun is fired, but we are packed in behind a few hundred other runners; we eventually cross the start two minutes into the race. Rounding the first corner, Clayton surprises us by jumping out from behind the small tree where he was taking cover and running along beside us cheering and getting our picture.
2 km: Has this street always had a very gradual uphill? I've never noticed until trying to run it. Good news is, should be mostly downhill on the route back.
3 km: Sarah says to go on ahead if I need to (with my long legs). I tell her that if she wasn't running next to me, I would have stopped at the café we passed ten minutes ago.
4 km: We see more friendly faces, with Deb and her family cheering from the sidewalk! Makes it so much better. Deb told her two girls to keep a look out for the really tall guy and Sarah.
5 km: Cross the finish! We are in the middle of the pack, but Sarah beat her pace, and I accomplished my goal of running the whole way. Best part of an Oktoberfest race—the post-race beer garden and pretzels!
(image: Jacob Wirth's pretzels at the finish were worth the run!)