Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Still a little time left in the year.....

I am trying to cram just a few more things in to make 2013 the most awesome year ever.  Last week I went to the Taza Chocolate Factory in Somerville, MA for a tour.  I love their chocolate and I knew they were nearby, then discovered a few months ago that they do tours and talked about it with some friends and wanted to go but couldn't settle on a date.  Then there was a Groupon for it and my friend bought it.  So, last Friday we went.  FREE Chocolate samples and a cool tour - yup it was awesome.

I'm still going strong with the Holiday Run Streak too.  Goal to run at least one mile per day between Thanksgiving and New Years.  Today is Day 14.  Friday after the chocolate tour was rough, I didn't want to run and I had plans to meet some people for drinks.  I squeaked in 1.85 miles from my house and quickly changed and walked to downtown Lowell for a beer. 

Saturday I ran my 10 mile loop with a friend(which is really 10.5-10.75 depending on if I go all the way around the block at the end).  It was cold but not too bad, the sun was out and felt great.  We averaged a decent comfortable pace talking the whole time.  After the run I had a whole bunch of things I wanted to do and errands I needed to run, but I ended up taking a shower and then falling asleep on my couch for the rest of the day watching movies.

Sunday I had signed up for a race in Gloucester, MA.  The Holiday Half Merry-thon.  It was actually two races.  A 2.62 mile run followed by a half marathon.  I had low expectations for the race and was really just using it as a training run for Disney.  I had 20 miles on my schedule for the day, but opted for the race instead.  When I picked up my bib I noticed it was #179 - Sean Collier's MIT Badge number.  It was a special bib number.  Nothing different about it, but the number itself holds special meaning now and I wanted to wear it proud and run strong in memory of the brave man that once wore the number on his badge.
I had a sharpie in my car and I wrote on the bib "Collier Strong" and drew a little ribbon shape next to it.  The 2.62 mile race was a nice warm up because it was in the 20s and I was freezing.  And just as I was approaching the finish I bumped into a girl I had met a few years back in Disneyland.  She was running 13 halfs for 2013 with her mom and this race was #12.  We finished and chatted for a bit before the half marathon started.

I really didn't expect much and started out really easy.  I felt great and settled into a solid pace.  After the first few miles I was feeling really good and thought about Sean Collier and tried to picture the image of him in uniform that was shown in April and that hung on a cross in Copley Square with notes and flowers.  I repeated to myself "run strong" over and over again.  The course was really hilly and challenging but I felt light on my feet and the fastest I have been all year.  I saw my splits on my watch going down and down mile after mile.  After the first half I thought it might be possible to negative split the race and maybe even finish in 2:10 or 2:12.

I kept pushing myself a little more and a little more.  I saw people walking up the hills and thought I'm not stopping.  I can gut it out and get through this.  I pictured Sean's image in my mind and pushed on.  With just 2 miles left I looked at my watch and started doing math. 2:10 was definitely within reach and I could even be under that.  I picked up the pace and turned my feet over faster and faster.  Run strong. Keep moving forward.  Keep running.  Don't stop.  I crossed the finish and grabbed my medal and stopped my watch - 2:08:50!!!!!!  I said a little thank you in my head and teared up.  It was my best half marathon all year and I felt amazing.
Here are my splits:
1- 10:27
2- 10:25
3- 10:11
4- 10:10
5- 10:27 (took my first gel at 4.5)
6- 9:53
7- 9:54
8- 9:30
9- 9:53 (took my second gel at 8.5)
10- 9:31
11- 9:50 (last big hill)
12- 9:06
13- 9:06

Almost perfect negative splits.  I couldn't have possible paced it better unless I was a robot or being paced by a pro.  Once I got back to my car and changed into a dry shirt and warmer layers, I texted my friend Denise and started crying I was so happy.  After a really hard year of disappointing races and difficult days far outnumbering the good days, I finally had the most amazing race ever. 

In other news, last week I got my invitational entry to the Boston Marathon.  I mailed out my holiday cards of my photo with Santa and mailed out more letters to previous donors and a few small businesses that I support throughout the year.  I got a few donations over the weekend and continue to make great progress towards my goal to raise $10,000 for Dana Farber.  And I got the flyer for the painting party fudnraising event I am having in early February.  I am really hoping that more donations roll in before the end of the year since it is the ONLY thing I want for Christmas.  I would LOVE it if I hit $7500 before the end of the year.

You can help me get there!  Donate today at Make my Christmas wish come true!

No comments:

Post a Comment