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!!

70 Comments on Friday Five: Favorite Race Memories

  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

  2. 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 @ readeatwriterun.com recently posted…Friday Five – Five Race MemoriesMy Profile

  3. 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

  4. All great races to highlight and I’m sure we all have similar ones for those same reasons. My most memorbale was running The Bluegrass Half in the pouring rain the entire time and STILL finishing before my goal time lol Us runners are a bit masochistic I think haha
    Kels @ Blonder Side of LIfe recently posted…Switching from WordPress.com to WordPress.org in 5 Easy StepsMy Profile

  5. Loved reading about your racing memories! Running is such a journey.
    Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted…Chasing Joy and Rock & Roll Philly Half Training: Week 4 RecapMy Profile

  6. So many great memories! Good luck this weekend with half #17! You’re going to rock it!
    Kathryn @ Dancing to Running recently posted…Friday Five – August 8th – Race MemoriesMy Profile

  7. Great memories! I love comeback races, I have two of those on my list!! Thanks for hosting the linkup!
    April @ RunTheGreatWideSomewhere recently posted…Friday Five: Race MemoriesMy Profile

  8. I love the theme today! I get to see so many different raes that I want to run. Great memories! The Woodrow Wilson Bridge half is on my list of halfs to run.
    Samantha @FoodFitnessFamilyFriends recently posted…Fav Race MemoriesMy Profile

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

    • 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.

  13. You got some great pics of your fave races!! Love it!
    Helly on the Run recently posted…First day of school!!! Er…I mean work! 🙂My Profile

  14. 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

  15. yey for meeting mickey!
    Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted…Top 5 Race MemoriesMy Profile

  16. Even with the early wake up calls, there’s nothing like a Disney race. I have completed the Princess one the last three years and plan to go back again next year.
    Lacey@fairytalesandfitness recently posted…5 Ways to Preserve Race Memories and A Peek Inside Our ScrapbookMy Profile

  17. 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

  18. Mickey always deserves an honorable mention 🙂
    Rebecca Jo recently posted…Friday Five: Favorite Race MemoriesMy Profile

  19. Ha! I had similar 1 and 2 experiences. I didn’t know what I was doing for my first marathon, so I decided to do another to redeem myself. True runner attitude!
    Michele @apaceofbalance recently posted…5 Favorite Race MemoriesMy Profile

  20. Wow, that’s awesome you’ve had so many half marathons! I love the awakening photo 🙂 I hope you have fun in California.
    Chaitali recently posted…Friday Five – Race MemoriesMy Profile

  21. Of course, amazing memories. and EXCUSE ME? 17??? GET it GIRL! Have an amazing time, kick booty, and enjoy the CA livin.
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Fave Race Moments and Gluten Free Muffin Recipe!My Profile

  22. Great memories!!! I love how Mickey makes the honorable mention.
    Haley @ Running with Diapers recently posted…Five Favorite Race MemoriesMy Profile

  23. 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!

  24. 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

  25. What a fun post! I don’t think I could narrow it done to 5!!!

  26. That’s so awesome you are on #17!!! Enjoy it 🙂

  27. That first half marathon does kind of change your life and starts the passion and belief that you can do this. Great memories! #FridayFive
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Friday Five-Favorite Race MemoriesMy Profile

  28. Great list!! We did the 2013 Disney Princess “together”! That WAS a fun one!!
    Jolene @ Southern Fried Soul recently posted…The Friday Five – Favorite Race MemoriesMy Profile

  29. It’s been so great to read everyone’s race memories! I ran Boston’s Run to Remember last year too – that race is truly one of my faves and I try to run it every year.
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted…Friday Five – Race MemoriesMy Profile

  30. 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

  31. Great that you got to PR in your hometown.
    Abby @ BackAtSquareZero recently posted…Shine Activity Tracker ReviewMy Profile

  32. 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

  33. Such great memories!
    I loved thinking back over my races from my first race to my first half marathon!
    Good luck with your 17th (!!!!!) half marathon!
    Esther recently posted…Five Things Friday – Five Race Memories!My Profile

  34. Look at you and Mickey! So cute.

  35. aw, i love this! love love love that your first race changed the course of your life. awesome. great post 🙂
    Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC recently posted…Friday Five: 5 Race Memories!My Profile

  36. Fab pictures! Especially the Burgh one! Great FF ladies.
    Jennifer recently posted…Friday Five – Race MemoriesMy Profile

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