Tag Archives: SeaWheeze

Haven’t hung up my sneakers yet

I’m dismayed. It’s been two months since I last wrote—and that post wasn’t even mine! But thankfully, my feet haven’t been as lethargic as my fingers (which are getting a stern talking to, by the way). I’ve continued to do races, just in a somewhat less elegant fashion than before (and considering I’m the world’s least elegant runner to begin with, that’s saying something).

Rather than write an individual post about each event (my memory isn’t that good and they stretch back to May), here’s a quick roundup of what I’ve been up to. Proof that I keep pinning on those bibs despite the fact that my form has seriously regressed.

Boston’s Run to Remember (5 miles)


Boston’s Run to Remember, 2013. Freezing!

Boston, May 26, 2013
The event: well-organized, poignant, cold
My performance: middling (53.26)
Hubby: 1.35.57 (half-marathon)

* Despite being so late in May, it was a seriously cold morning (I saved a screen grab of the weather, and it was 6C/42F. Brrrrrrrrr). The 5 mile race was late getting started so we all stood around shivering in short sleeves for what felt like forever.
* There was a great deal of significance attached to this race, as it was the first biggie in Boston since the marathon. Sean Collier, the MIT officer killed in the aftermath, was prominent on T-shirts and in speeches. The “Remember” part of the Run to Remember, which usually refers to fallen law enforcement officers, took on new meaning for many. The race itself was huge. In the weeks after the marathon, everyone was a runner!
* The shadow of the marathon hung over this race in its extreme security: significantly, no one was allowed at the finish line and the runners’ area was strictly controlled. It wasn’t inconvenient, but it was sad.

P.R.O.N.E. 5K


P.R.O.N.E. 5K with Tonto (star of cutedogsandhugs.com).

Boston, MA, June 1, 2013
The event: cute, fuzzy, very hot!
My performance: I walked (leisurely) the whole way, so it doesn’t count, but for those keeping score (i.e., me): 1.01.24

* I did this event last year in soak-you-to-your-bones rain, so it was only fitting that this year it would be boiling!
* This race is for Pug Rescue of New England, so there were lots of cute dogs around to make me sneeze, although probably not as many as there would have been seeing it was so hot.
* Tiffany from Cute Dogs and Hugs, her hubby, and I met for the first time at this race last year so it was only fitting that we do it again. However, Tiffany was pregnant this time around, so she, I, and Tonto took a 5K stroll. There goes my average! I’ll never look at Athlinks again.

BAA (Boston Athletic Association) 10K


BAA 10K, 2013.

Boston, MA, June 23, 2013
The event: crowded, hot, poignant
My performance: dismal (1.16.31, a whopping seven minutes slower than my 10K PR)

* If any race deserved to be heavy on the “Boston strong” references it was this one. This was the BAA’s first run since the marathon, and it’s not surprising that their blue and gold signature colors, which had become ubiquitous across the city of Boston, were on prominent display here.
* It was heavier on the celebration than the emotion, which I appreciated, although there was a great moment after the race when the winner of the marathon, Lelisa Desisa, returned his winner’s medal to Boston Mayor Tom Menino and the city. There were some injured folk there from the marathon too, and they got an ovation from the huge crowd that stuck around.
* I also appreciated that this run wasn’t overzealous on the security. Hopefully a sign of things to come.
* Oh, my run was terrible. I walked a huge chunk (I didn’t have a dog with me, so there wasn’t really an excuse). It was hot and my heart and legs just weren’t in it. I’m beginning to think I dreamed 2012.

Mad Half-Marathon Walk

Mad Half Marathon, 2013.

Mad Half Marathon, 2013. Rural splendor.

Waitsfield, Vermont, July 7, 2013
The event: fabulous, picturesque, very hilly
My performance: decent; a little slower than 2012, but fourth overall in the walkers category (3.05.17)
Hubby: 1.44.57

* I love this event. We did it last year (it was the first time I had done a half-marathon distance—I was a walker) and knew we had to go back. It’s an extremely hilly course but worth it for the views (although not necessarily the barnyard odors).
* I can never quite tell how many walkers are in front of me, but I could see at least two, and I knew I had to get ’em. They’re in the photo above, one is in bright pink and the other in the yellow scarf. It took me a while, but I eventually caught up with the pink lady. The woman in yellow was a formidable foe and we walked together for a few miles before I got slightly ahead at about mile 9 and spent the rest of the race alone. I mean, really alone. It’s a lonely walk at the end.
* I could barely move for three days.
* On the plus side, I kept all my toenails this year!

Shipyard Old Port 5K


Shipyard Old Port 5K. Blistering!

Portland, Maine, July 14, 2013
The event:
hot, damn hot
My performance:
I’d rather not talk about it (44.13)
1.43.05 (half-marathon)

* Beautiful setting, but man it was crazy hot this year. The half-marathon course was very hilly and there was a lot of moaning afterward that it was too hilly for the weather, which is just silly.
* Last year’s 5K had a stairwell that we had to run down. This year, we had to run up it, too. Seeing as it was so hot, quite a few runners switched to the 5K. The result: a HUGE bottleneck at the stairs in the first mile. I’m talking almost seven minutes of standing around. I like a good rest as much as the next person, but this … well, I though it was pretty funny, actually. Good thing I wasn’t looking for a PR. I think that ship may have sailed …

This coming weekend: I’m doing the SeaWheeze Half-Marathon in Vancouver. Training? I’m not even going to go there. Promise it won’t take me two months to write about it.


52 Weeks, 52 Runs. No. 43: My second half-marathon. I’ll drink to that!

I have been known to whine about running. This past weekend, my running was all about wine. It was bound to happen eventually.

Wineglass Marathon

“It’s just a 5K with a 10-mile warm-up.” Heehee.

We had been very excited about the Wineglass Marathon and Half-Marathon in Corning, NY (the town that glass built). Not only was this point-to-point event associated with sparkly adult beverages, it promised a mostly downhill route. That’s right: wine, and hills at the good angle. It was already my favorite run. The fact that it was another half-marathon had somehow managed to escape my addled 5K brain until last week. I really wasn’t prepared for it.

We made the 6.5-hour trek from Boston on Saturday to pick up our goodies at the expo. The organizers were clever. They had orchestrated it so the runners collected their packet in one location and their souvenir wine glass and bubbly (that’s right: wine glasses and bubbly!) at a separate spot, in downtown Corning, thus ensuring a steady stream of people that day onto the main street. Genius.

I knew we had to get up before the roosters the next day to drive, park, and hop on a bus to be shuttled to our respective start lines (me: half; hubby: full—his first!). But that advance knowledge didn’t make it any easier when morning came around, neither did getting smooshed on to a smelly school bus in the dark. (My early-morning grouchiness and anti-school-bus sentiment—I have no nostalgia for American school buses, for obvious reasons—are no reflection on how amazingly well this event was organized. It was brilliant all around.)

Wineglass Marathon

It’s waaaaay too early for this!

The half-marathoners were dropped off at a high school a couple of towns over, where we were ushered into the gym to wait (it was 6.30). It was beyond chilly outside (can you believe it?) so I was grateful for the indoor holding pen even though it was rough on the keister (I realized later there was a huge pile of gym mats outside the door that some people had availed themselves of to take a nap; dang my lack of knowledge of American high schools). By the time we were told to line up at the start, I was ready to sleep for a week. An enthusiastic early-morning runner I will never be. How the heck was I going to stay awake let alone upright for 13.1 miles?

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52 Weeks, 52 Runs. No. 35: SeaWheeze recap, aka, does this half-marathon make my butt look big?

It took no less than Lululemon to get me to run my first half-marathon. I guess I was going to have to do one eventually, but I probably would have put it off a while longer had the prospect of running among the Lulu faithful in lovely Vancouver not presented itself.

I forgot, however, that the “Lulu faithful” means predominantly 20-somethings with perfect yoga bodies. And this event brought them all together. Way to make a girl feel as though she doesn’t work out enough. Even though I, um, don’t work out enough. (This fact presented itself at mile 10, but more on that soon.) Oh, and speaking of girls, there were six of us for every guy at the SeaWheeze. Somehow, I don’t think the boys were troubled by it …

SeaWheeze Lululemon Half-Marathon

There were no bibs to sully all the fancy run wear. Instead, we had wristbands and a timing chip for our shoes. The chip featured a picture of Chip Wilson, the founder of Lululemon. We’re convinced he founded the company for this very reason.

This run was two things. It was a brilliantly organized event (and I’m not saying that because I am currently overwhelmed by brightly colored stretchy fabric), and it was physically the toughest thing I have ever done. It was also the 35th run in my 52 Weeks, 52 Runs challenge. OK, I guess that’s three things.

I wasn’t really sure how to approach the race. If I had been more consistent in my training I probably would have had a sense of how fast I could go out and how my stamina would hold up. But I had never run longer than eight miles, so I pretty much had to wing it. Next time, I’ll be better prepared.

SeaWheeze Lululemon Half-Marathon

The start line was under a giant piece of watermelon. Sticky. How did I manage to capture two people not wearing Lululemon?

Thankfully, it started early (7.30), and Vancouver turned on a magnificent day for us. Sunny but not searing, with a lovely breeze along the water. After the past few months of insanely hot runs in New England, this was a rare treat. Or maybe I’m just – shock – getting used to it.

SeaWheeze Lululemon Half-Marathon

Lots of sea exposure.

When you’ve gotta go …

I began quite slowly, hovering around 12 minutes per mile. I figured if I could keep up that pace for the full 13.1, I’d be very happy. (I walked the Mad Half at a 13.50.) Then at mile three, semi-disaster! I had to, er, go. There was a line-up, and it cost me a good four minutes. Four minutes!

Once I recovered from this unsettling diversion and got back on track, I felt decent. I got through the first 10K in about 1.18. Not bad for me. There were unexpected hills though, so I walked a chunk of it. But at least I wasn’t bothered by the heat. (There’s a first time for everything.)

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I’m about to run the SeaWheeze half-marathon. No, really …

Don’t worry, it’s making me laugh too.

We arrived in Vancouver this morning for the SeaWheeze Lululemon half-marathon (my first half as a runner!) after a three-hour delay late last night in Boston followed by an early-morning delay in Toronto that involved us getting off one plane and on to another. Now I feel like I have jet lag, even though I don’t actually have jet lag. Not a good start.

SeaWheeze Lululemon Half

Goodie bag.

Still, nothing like lovely, temperate (wooo) Vancouver and a Lululemon-themed race expo to cheer you up. I’m partially convinced that now the Lulu overlords have cleverly gathered all the fanatics in one place, they are going to round us up and transport us to a remote Canadian compound where we will be forced to power small countries by running on treadmills and performing hot yoga all day long.

Heaven help the person who shows up tomorrow not wearing Lululemon.

… and they were never heard from again …

Anyway, today we picked up our wristbands (instead of bibs), and lined up to get into the expo so we could buy stuff and line up some more to pay for it. We had received our training shorts in the mail a few months back – which of course I used many, many times* – so there wasn’t a SeaWheeze branded T-shirt. That made me a bit sad. I clearly don’t need a T-shirt, but still, sad.

We did, however, each get a pair of flip-flops by Native Shoes that are very cool.

SeaWheeze Lululemon Half flip-flops


The Lulus have clearly put a lot into this event. There was yoga going on outside the convention center, folks giving runners massages, and a dude giving a talk on race nutrition. Tomorrow, we’ll be fed brunch, and then entertained by fun., the band that’s so trendy it needs a period after its name and doesn’t believe in capital letters.


Getting ready for hot yoga.


Massages, and whale watching.

However, there is one thing hanging over all this festiveness.

It’s my fault, but I’m really not ready for this.

So with that in mind, my goals are simple: finish, and run as often as I can. If I do both of those things, I’ll be thrilled.

Wish me luck!

* May not have used them many, many times.

52 Weeks, 52 Runs. No. 34: Blistering! (And I don’t mean my pace)

I think I’m still traumatized after this past weekend’s double shot of runs, the Shark Weekend 5K in Nahant, MA, and the YuKanRun 5K in Cape Ann, MA. Maybe I am suffering from residual heatstroke that manifests itself in the blocking out of salient yet humiliating details, but both runs have managed to blur into one.

If I hadn’t set myself this insane 52-week challenge, there’s no way I would have been outside exerting myself in such conditions two days in a row, especially when I could have broken a sweat just by standing still. It was my most grueling race weekend ever.

Good thing I am about to run a half-marathon on Saturday. What with the lingering trauma and all …

Shark Weekend 5K

This way for sharks!

These runs weren’t just hot. They were also hilly. Swear-inducingly hilly. I’m normally not allowed to complain about hills, but this is an exception. It was comedy. A hill lurked around every corner, meaning maximum grouchiness and slowpokery on my part, especially during the YuKanRun 5K. About a mile into that one, I expressed myself in a manner not fit for a family blog.

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