Friday Five: Favorite Race Memories

Favorite Race Memories.  What a fitting topic on the eve of my trip to California where on Sunday I will run my 17th half marathon.  Wait, what? Yes, 17th half marathon (I needed to say it twice, didn’t believe myself the first time). DC_linkup

A lot has happened in my running and racing career in just a few short years.  While I have a special place in my heart for ALL the races I’ve done – good and bad – this is Friday Five with my buds Cynthia and Courtney so alas, I had to pick and choose 🙂 .

1). We’ll start with my first race EVER – the 30th anniversary Hyannis 10K in February 2010. I had no idea what I was doing. I had no idea I’d get a medal. I had no idea it would be so taxing but fun.  And I had no idea this event would singlehandedly change the rest of my life. True story. Hyannis

2). Next up is my comeback race. After #1 above a myriad of health issues arose that slowed the running high I was on.  Following surgeries in late 2010 and early 2011 I was desperate to hit the pavement again.  When I was finally medically cleared I signed up for the Semper Fi 5K in July 2011.  I trained hard.  I also suffered a minor ankle sprain (probably from going out the gate too fast).  I went to this race by myself, ankle wrapped and just did it. There were so many emotions that day and I cried at the finish line.  Having made it through a near cancer scare, the ankle thing, the surgeries and if all that wasn’t enough discovering I ran a sub 30 minute 5k for the first. time. ever.  SemperFi

3). Who can forget your first new distance race?  Immediately after the Semper Fi 5K my trainer basically said – ok, on to a half marathon! I was actually scared. I had never gone more than 6 miles at a time and just didn’t think I had it in me (LOL at myself now!)  I picked a 12 week  training plan and between those runs and my personal training finished the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half in October 2011. (209.6 half mary miles later…) wwbh

4.) “Hometown” PR’s for everyone!  In early May 2013 I was comped an entry into Pittsburgh (for volunteering). If that hadn’t happened I may not have entered that year. I was in the best shape of my life and owned those rolling hills of da ‘Burgh to a PR of 2:03. I was elated, having crushed my prior PR in Baltimore by 7 minutes (take that Ravens nation!)  This set the stage for wanting a sub-2 hour half.  PGHHALF

5.) Boston Strong: “Hometown” PR #2.  Three weeks after my Pittsburgh PR I traveled to Boston for the Run to Remember alongside my bestie’s hubby. You all know I lived in Boston most of my adult life so consider it home second to Pittsburgh. It was the first big race in the city after the marathon bombings so emotions were high all around. I had a medical emergency the year prior so ended up dropping out the night before.  I was determined to run this – both for me and “Boston Strong” – and finished with a time of 2:06 my second best half marathon time to date.  I even unknowingly paced a fellow racer!  My hometowns.  So special.  RuntoRemember

Honorable Mention:  The time I met Mickey.  mickey2a

See? I couldn’t just stop at 5! I have a love/hate relationship with Disney.  I know there are uber fans and blogs dedicated to all things runDisney, but after experiencing this once, then managing the logistics of cancelling 2 other events there, and the expense and saturation of medals and challenges, I am no longer enamored by it. The 2013 Disney Princess Half though was my first runDisney experience and true racecation; and aside from the 3 am wake up call I loved every second of it.  The “happiest place on earth” lived up to the name well after the race was over. There are so many other places I want to see but I will always have this FUN and fond memory!!

Love the nostalgia today!!  For my runners, what’s your favorite race memory?  Also, don’t forget to enter my EleVen by Venus Visor giveaway – open through Tuesday night!!

More about Mar on the Run!


    1. These are awesome memories! I really want to do the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half and also the Pittsburgh Half. I went to school at Pitt so while I know that race would be super fun to run, I also know about all those hills! Congrats for doing so well on that course!
      Kristen recently posted…Friday Five: My 5 Favorite Race Memories!My Profile

      1. The hills are not as bad as you’d think!! An annual race for me for sure 🙂 and I loved loved loved Woodrow Wilson!

    1. 17 half marathons, wow! It’s interesting, but not surprising I guess, how many of us included our first race after a health situation in this list. Being afraid of losing our ability to run, our health or even our lives makes it all the more precious. Have a great race!
      M @ recently posted…Friday Five – Five Race MemoriesMy Profile

    1. I love your honorable mention! 🙂 I love The Awakening and can’t wait to see it again when we’re in National Harbor finishing up the DC Ragnar. I used to look forward to seeing it a Hains Point when running the MCM.
      Debbie @ Deb Runs recently posted…Five Favorite Race MemoriesMy Profile

      1. Thanks, lady! it’s my long run so no expectations on this one except to enjoy the scenery and get my mileage in!

      1. me too! we picekd it pretty quickly too. I love Woodrow Wilson – so special since it’s my first but it’s a great and scenic race!

    1. Great list! So fun to look back at everyone’s accomplishments! I left off two of the most important races to me to go back to my routes and where running started, but I would have added MCM last year (my first) and the BAA 10K…it was the very first race by the BAA after the bombings. So powerful, both of them. Have a great vacation!
      Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…Friday Five: 5 Favorite Race MemoriesMy Profile

    1. I don’t understand the fascination with running at Disney. Seems like a lot of “fluff” lol. My favorite racing memory is running my half marathon PR last fall in 2:02. I trained properly and it felt AMAZING to cross that finish line.
      Nikki @ grab your kicks recently posted…Five Things Friday 8.8.14My Profile

    1. Absolutely love this week’s theme. I’m wondering if we will all list our first races in the list…I know I did. Gettng a PR has to be the best feeling every that translates to the best memories!
      Jenn @ Running on Lentils recently posted…Five Race MemoriesMy Profile

    1. Aw I love this! Haha, I cried at my comeback race, too! I’ve only been to Disney for a race once, and while I want to do the Wine and Dine Half one day, I think that’s going to be it. 🙂
      Lindsey recently posted…Friday 5: Colorado AdventuresMy Profile

      1. Yeah, my first couple of running milestones were crybaby worthy. I’m gonna be a hot mess after my marathon! I signed up for Wine and Dine on a whim and didn’t make it. Those races are too expensive and sell out too fast to try and plan.

    1. Good luck on your 17th (wow!) half marathon. That is my favorite distance too – doesn’t require as much training as a marathon, but still a challenging enough distance that I still have to train in order to finish without walking.
      Marnie @ SuperSmartMama recently posted…Pregnancy Update: 20 WeeksMy Profile

    1. What fantastic race memories! I didn’t realize you were originally from the Boston area (me too). I’m with you about the Disney races — a part of me wants to love them but my overall experience was pretty meh.

      Here’s to you making more great memories!
      Judith recently posted…Running FashionMy Profile

      1. I’m not from Boston, I’m from Pittsburgh but lived in Beantown for 13 years! and yeah, I’m done with Disney – but I’ll always have Mickey! 🙂

      1. it is pretty awesome! we were so delirious after running 13 taking those photos – haha! I had no idea how that would go.

    1. Your #2 memory is very inspiring. That’s a lot to overcome; you’re one tough chica!

      Good luck this weekend on your 17th half. I’m in awe!

    1. Mar, this is a GREAT list! I love reading about your “comebacks” after a medical issue or other setback; those are always so powerful to me. I can’t wait to finish my first marathon later this year; that one will definitely make the list next time! 🙂 Love your list; have a great weekend!
      Tara @ Running ‘N’ Reading recently posted…Friday Five – Race Memories!My Profile

    1. I can fully understand hometown races and how special they can be.And I hadn’t thought about the first new distance race but you are right. The first 20K I did was very emotional for me !

      Thanks for such a great theme this week. I loved reading everyone’s posts and it really comes across how personal racing it. THANK YOU
      Karen – Fit in France recently posted…Friday Five : Five race memoriesMy Profile

    1. Wow! 17 half marathons! That’s fantastic! I’ve only done one and it was my first race too so its at the top of my race memories list.

      I think a first race or a big distance is a pretty good memory for everyone!

      Some great memories you have there!
      Laura recently posted…Friday Five // Favourite Race MemoriesMy Profile

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