Santa Speedo and Jingle Bell Run Recaps

After losing a bet to a friend in 2006, my boyfriend Rob was forced to wear a speedo and run in 20 degree weather throughout the streets of Boston in what is now known as one of the biggest events in December, the Santa Speedo Run. Four years later, and no lost bets to be had, Rob is still running in a speedo. Why? Maybe it’s the frostbite? Maybe it’s the self deprecating nature of flaunting oneself throughout the streets of Boston? Maybe it’s the beer? Whatever it is, it’s always a good time for us to switch roles, where he is the runner and I become the dedicated cheerleader.

The run starts and ends at Lir, an Irish bar in Boston’s Back Bay, with the runners making their way down Boylston St, taking a left onto Arlington and then looping back onto Newbury street. This area is historic, beautiful and also one of the busiest shopping areas in New England, so you can only imagine how shoppers who unknowingly stumble upon the race react. Oops!

The event is silly, but it’s not without great causes associated with the run. The race benefits three charities, and this year over $230,000 was raised by 500 runners wearing speedos, not too shabby!

Now, it’s time for some incriminating photos….

 

Rob & I enjoying some pre race libations

 

Rob is Ready!

Chris Rowe!

 

Running in Speedos with Style!

 

Here they come!

 

Rob's friend Joe, who came all the way from Chicago for the run

Studs.

 

Priceless

 

You thought it was over, nope! The holiday cheer continued through this past weekend when I ran the Marathon Sports 4th Annual Somerville Jingle Bell Run 5k. I’ve always meant to sign up for this race, but I end up procrastinating for some unknown reason and missing the deadline, not this year! The race started at 11am right in Davis sq, so it was perfect for people who were coming in from out of town, or live in the city and enjoyed a few too many winter warmers the night before 🙂 I ran with my best friend Kaitlin, who ran in a red Tutu, and my marathon buddy, Michele! Michele’s Husband has an amazing SLR, so he assumed the role of photographer to capture the amazing costumes worn during the race.

Without further ado…

Kaitlin, Michele, Foxy & Me

Michele and my back

These reindeer stayed hitched for the entire 5k, impressive!

Mr. Grinch wears a Celtics jersey?!

Red faces love free beer after a cold run!

The Quinns!

Kaitlin, Me, and Maddie, Kaitlin's little sister showing off the fun medals!

Overall it was a great run! There weren’t a lot of spectators along the course, but the amazing outfits definitely made up for it! I also enjoyed the fact that there were limited hills, very much appreciated Marathon Sports. The post race celebrations, which I heard spanned over several bars in the area, were absolutely amazing. Everyone was in good spirits and happy to have run such a run race. It definitely wasn’t my fastest 5k (25:09), but considering how I was running through Laryngitis and a head cold, I was happy with the time. Plus, it’s all about getting into the holiday spirit, right?!

I definitely give a huge thumbs up for both of these runs. It’s a great way to bring together friends, raise money and share in some good old (and sweaty) holiday cheer!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Falmouth Road Race Recap

On August 15th I ventured back to the scene of my most painful race of 2008, the Falmouth Road Race. As I outlined earlier, this race is certainly not a friend, it is an evil enemy just lurking and teasing me to come back for more. My brother is a huge advocate of this race, so he usually breaks me down and gets me to sign up for the lottery every year. Since I got in this year, I decided, what the heck, I’ll give it a go.

Sunday Morning Pre Race

So the morning of the race I woke up around 6am and started gathering my things. Since Falmouth is on the way back to Boston, my boyfriend and I figured it would be smart to avoid additional traffic headaches and head back home directly from the race. So as I prepped everything, I was also packing up my excessive amount of bags for the weekend! My brother and sister in law were also awake and we all chatted over coffee and breakfast on our race strategy. My brother, who was in better shape than past years, wanted to break an hour and finish the race feeling strong. My sister in law and I both mentioned that we wanted to take it slow and enjoy the amazing scenery, whatever happened, would happen. My overly generous boyfriend and caravan driver, woke up and we quickly piled into his car and left for the race.

The drive to Falmouth from my mom’s house in Yarmouth is a long and tedious one, we had to take a road that is littered with stop signs and traffic lights–ick! As we approached the center of town, the traffic changed from steady movement to a complete standstill. After sitting in stop and go traffic for 20 minutes, my brother, sister in law and I all hopped out and decided to go the rest of the way on foot. Everywhere we looked there were runners sporting their numbers scrambling to make one of the shuttle buses to Woods Hole, which is the scenic start of the race. Luckily there were thousands of other people waiting behind us for buses so we were in great shape.

Fast forward to the runners village, and I quickly broke off from my brother and sister in law in order run to the bathroom. If you know me at all, you know this is a huge source of anxiety for me, and even if I don’t need to, I end up popping into a porto-potty multiple times before a race, just in case. Luckily, my impulsive idiosyncratic ways paid off, because from the moment I got in line to when I entered the porto, was over 40 minutes–Yikes! I was in and out in a flash, and then proceeded to the start line, with roughly 7 minutes to spare.

On my way to my wave, I ran into a coworker and her husband, which was a fun treat and lightened my anxious mood. Once I made it to my area, I spread out and stretched quickly, then did my ritual jump up and down (residual habit ingrained in me from year and years of swim meets) as I was beginning to settle in, I looked to my left, and who was there but @petfxr! She didn’t even notice it was me at first, but just wanted to comment on my colorful race day shorts 🙂 We chatted briefly and it definitely helped lighten my mood even more since I had a running buddy in my wave. The weather was cloudy and a nice 70 degree temperature, absolutely perfect road race weather. I was hopeful that this was going to be the year that turned my animosity towards the Falmouth Road Race around.

The Race

Before too long we were off, and as usual, the start was a complete disaster. Picture extremely narrow roads and over 10,000 people trying to squeeze through all at the same time, not fun. Luckily I felt good and just settled into a groove and tried to run at my own pace and avoid zig zagging around people. Things finally started to break up a bit around the first mile marker, which is at the picturesque sweeping view that Falmouth is most commonly known for. As soon as I came around the bend and saw the lighthouse I said to myself, now this is beautiful, enjoy this. As I said these words I realized that in 2008, I was already hating my life at this point, so the race was already going exponentially better in that regard.

I took the next few miles at my own pace, but holding roughly 9 minute mile pace, which is exactly where I wanted to be, not too fast, but not too slow. I made sure not to use up all the gas, as I knew the coming hills would potentially pose some problems for my knees. I continued to take in the scenery and just enjoy the fact that I was actually able to run. After not being able to run for nearly 5 weeks, I was so elated that I was back that it really helped bouy my mood throughout the race.

I felt good until about mile 5, when the hills ended and I hit the straight aways near the beach, owww, I thought, this hurts. I continued to focus and my pace slowed a bit, but I made a promise to myself “just make it through without walking!” I soldiered on, and the next mile was difficult, but I was treated to seeing my boyfriend just before the 10k mark, so that helped give me a little boost for the end of the race.

Thumbs up for Falmouth!

Then, I conquered the final hill, and what a battle it was. I dug deep and just kept telling myself, DON’T WALK, DON’T WALK, DON’T WALK, and that shortly after the hill ended, was the finish line.

The INTENSITY never stops!

When I reached the top I saw the gigantic American flag waving in all it’s glory over the finish line, hallelujah!!! I made it! When I crossed the finish line I put my hands up in joy and thought to myself, now that wasn’t so bad! I made my way to the finish festival, found some ice for my knee and enjoyed some post race snacks and water. I was just so happy that I didn’t hate my life that I didn’t even care about my time, I was done!

Post Race Thoughts

Overall I thought I had a really solid race. I accomplished all of my goals

  1. Slow and Steady– In order to make sure that I don’t reinjure myself, I’m going to take things very slow and steady, particularly the brutal hills near the end of this course-CHECK!
  2. Take in the Scenery– The last time I ran this race I went out so fast that I wasn’t able to take in the true beauty of the race. This time I’m planning on hanging out and enjoying the scenery and actually enjoying myself :)One BIG Check, this race is BEAUTIFUL!
  3. Use the spectators to fuel me through the race– One of my memories from FRR ’08 was the sheer number of spectators that come out to cheer on runners. It was similar in volume to the amount of people that come out to watch a marathon, which is very impressive!- Check! I loved the spectators!
  4. JUST FINISH– ‘Nuff said!- CHECK! And, I didn’t walk!

And my time: 1:02:47, which is actually 30 seconds slower than my time in 2008, but considering my approach and overall outcome, I thought that 2010 was a great race and a good time, especially considering my come back.

I will certainly be entering into the lottery next year, and trying to better not only my time, but my overall experience. Thank you to all of the dedicated race organizers and volunteers for making this a fabulous event.

Oh, and afterwards my boyfriend and I were able to relax at my friend Sarah & Mike’s wonderful beachside house in Falmouth, cheers!

Enjoying beautiful Black Beach on Buzzards Bay

Falmouth Road Race Prep!

This coming weekend is the 38th running of the Falmouth Road Race, and I am pleased to say that I am running this year! The race is one of New England’s most storied and prestigious road races, yet it most certainly will never outshine the most prestigious race in the nation, the Boston Marathon. It’s picturesque beach side location and challenging course make it appealing for serious and casual runners a like. Just saying “Yeah, I ran Falmouth” brings a certain level of credibility and respect to any running conversation.

For those who know me well, will retell the story of when I ran the Falmouth Road Race in 2008, it was a terrible experience and I vowed to never run the race ever again. My boyfriend was dumbfounded when I admitted to him that I thought the 2008 ING New York City Marathon was easier than the Falmouth Road Race. Yes, I realize that NYM is 19 miles longer than FRR! However, much like my curses and vows to never run another marathon, I am running Falmouth again. Yes, I truly am a glutton for punishment.

Since I’m just getting back into the running swing of things and this race is a particularly challenging course, I’ve decided to outline a few goals for Falmouth 2010.

Goals for the 2010 Falmouth Road Race

  1. Slow and Steady– In order to make sure that I don’t reinjure myself, I’m going to take things very slow and steady, particularly the brutal hills near the end of this course
  2. Take in the Scenery– The last time I ran this race I went out so fast that I wasn’t able to take in the true beauty of the race. This time I’m planning on hanging out and enjoying the scenery and actually enjoying myself 🙂
  3. Use the spectators to fuel me through the race– One of my memories from FRR ’08 was the sheer number of spectators that come out to cheer on runners. It was similar in volume to the amount of people that come out to watch a marathon, which is very impressive!
  4. JUST FINISH– ‘Nuff said!

Hopefully if all goes well, the race will be an enjoyable experience for me and it won’t end in me cursing one of my favorite hobbies. Until next time, happy running!

Signs that Spring is Right around the Corner: Volume 1

This winter, no matter how you slice it, has been a LONG and cold one. I know I have posted about becoming a skier, but pshhh-winter, you’ve got to go! I can’t even convey how happy I am each day I see the thermometer go up just one degree-Spring time is almost here! With the coming of spring, so begins the emergence of spring and summer road races-a tradition I love to partake in. Of course, the most harrowed road race in the United States kicks it all off, the Boston Marathon! I can’t wait to make my way out to Heartbreak hill and cheer on my fellow marathoners. I know just standing on the sidelines will reignite the passion and fire for running and competition that has gone dark this long, cold and dreary winter. Each year I attend the Boston Marathon it gives me goosebumps because I know that someday, that will be me. images-5