The Boston Marathon

Marathon Monday is just a few days away and my Facebook feed has been blowing up with all things Boston. It’s only natural that I talk about it too.

The Boston Marathon was never something that was on my radar. In fact, the 2013 bombings made me weary of ever signing up for a race. I knew it existed and was kind of a big deal, but other than that I never paid attention to it. I had only been to Boston for one day in my entire life, so it’s not like I had any real connection to the city.

After running my first half marathon I decided to take a big leap and sign up for my first full marathon. I was on a night shift when I pulled the trigger, and I tend to make drastic decisions when I’m tired. The race was over a year away, and I had 5 more halfs, a 10 miler, and a 10K in the meantime. I added Portland to my spreadsheet. Yes, I keep a spreadsheet. It also includes races I want to do. It looks a little something like this:

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I looked up the Boston qualifications standards, laughed to myself, and added Boston 2017 to my sheet – followed by “lol jk”. Months went by, I ran more races, and I tried to figure out what my time goal should be for Portland. I put in some of my better half times into the ol’ Race Times Predictor. Wait what? My predicted marathon time would qualify me? I decided to sign up for the Surf City Marathon as opposed to the half as a backup qualifier. I wasn’t convinced I could do it, and am forever greatful for the people who believed in me and encouraged me. I ended up qualifying at both, with 6 minutes to spare at Portland. I went to Powell’s on my last day in Portland and while perusing one of the mainy aisles this caught my eye:

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Sold. I sat there with my coffee and began reading it. I had chills. The whole thing sounded EPIC. The energy. The crowds. The vibe of the entire city the weekend of the race. The race itself. No wonder people nearly kill themselves trying to qualify for this thing. I still can’t believe that a year from now I will likely be a part of it all, and I cannot WAIT. Sometimes I want to cry just thinking about it. I know it won’t feel real until I have that “confirmation of acceptance” in my hand. Only 6 more months to go…

Good luck to everyone running on Monday. Enjoy every moment, beccause you are a part of something HUGE.

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Ragnar So Cal Recap

Over the weekend I was blessed with the amazing opportunity to run Ragnar So Cal with Team Nuun. For those who don’t know what Ragnar Relays entail, it goes something like this:

  • Teams of 12 (or 6 for the Ultra crazy people) runners
  • Two vans with 6 runners each.
  • Each team member takes turns running their legs of the relay. You meet at “exchange points” to drop off the next runner and pick up the person currently running. The first 6 runners in “van 1” run while “van 2” hangs out/sleeps/eats. After the 6th runner vans 1 & 2 meet at the “major exchange” and van 2 starts running. Now it is time for “van 1” to chill.
  • Everyone runs 3 times. Distances vary. Total distance is 200-ish miles.
  • Little (if any) sleep during the event.
  • Lots of snacks.

We all met on Thursday afternoon at our hotel in San Diego. Aside from a little pre-race interaction on Facebook, we were mostly strangers from all over – San Diego, LA, NYC, Chicago, Honolulu, Seattle – we even had two from Canada (Vancouver and Winnipeg)! We decorated our vans with window paint, walked to dinner, and hung out before heading to bed.

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Van 1 looking fly. P.S. a “kill” is when you pass a runner on your leg.

Friday morning we woke up too early for our own good, had breakfast and then went to Better Buzz for some coffee realness. After packing up the cars van 1 headed to Huntington Beach to start the race. Yours truly was Runner #1. After pickup up our bibs and all that it was off to the races with a casual 1 PM start time.

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Starting the race with 5 fast dudes. I beat 2 of them! My first leg was only 2.3 miles.

The unfortunate part about starting so late is you hardly see ANYONE on the course or at the exchanges. It was sad and a little lonely. When we made it to Exchange 6, the first major exchange, there were like…3-4 other teams there? So much for huge party! At least we got some sweet shots and hung out at the Nuun booth.

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Exchange 6 team (minus Tony because he was running) jumping photo.

They took off and we went and had dinner. In-n-Out it was because why not? After that we had the long trek from Orange to Vista for the next exchange. The rest of our team was finishing in San Clemente (there was a gap in the course because Camp Pendleton is in the way and there is literally nowhere to run). After more coffee, hanging out with my NP Hugs & Harmony 2.0 friends, and a short warm up, I began my second leg around 11 PM. This one was only 3.9 miles. We carried on until the wee hours of the morning along dark streets and bike paths. At least at this point we had caught up to some of the other teams. Yay! People! KILLS! We finished up at Exchange 18 where we finally met up with the rest of the team again. We sent them off and heading to Exchange 24 and finally tried to sleep. I might have had 2 hours of sleep max. In the back row of an SUV. Sitting up. Quality napping right there. Around 5 AM I started my final leg. This was the longest of 3 at 7.9 miles. The best part is the second half of my leg was along Coast Highway in Carlsbad. The sky started to light up as I ran along the beach and it was awesome! I passed 57 other teams on the way. Peace, suckas! I made it to the exchange point and just like that I was done running for the day. What? ALREADY? Spent the rest of the gorgeous morning along the coast as van 1 finished up.

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Van 1 minus Winnipeg at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas.

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Van 1 all done running! Taking in the views at the Torrey Pines Gliderport.

Because we are runners the only logical thing to do after we were done was to brunch HARD at Swami’s. We met up with Van 2 at a couple of exchanges to cheer them on and proceeded to the finish area to wait for them. Around 3 PM our final runner was making the turn towards the finish line and we all ran in with her. Woohoo Team Nuun was DONE! After having the obligatory free beer we headed to the hotel to shower – FINALLY A SHOWER – and relax. Pizza by the pool? Yes please.

Overall it was one truly amazing experience. We raced. We ate. We cheered LOUDLY for each other and other random runners. We bonded like crazy. Went in strangers and came out friends. Every last person on my team was positive, funny, fast, supportive, inspirational, and an all-around good time. I couldn’t have asked for a better team. I miss them already. Big shout out to Nuun Hydration for letting me be a part of this epic journey (and keeping me #hydratedAF).

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And the finisher photo! Boom.

Side note: still waiting on official results but we might have placed 1st in our division!