November 2012 Archives

Team Run With The Bear

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Sunday, October 28th dawned cold and grey here in London. Not a big surprise for this time of year. Once again I was up early (although the clocks had changed here in the UK the night before so I did get a good sleep in first), dressed to race, and heading out the door. In many ways today was my easiest race yet. First off, the start line was right next to a tube stop which is easily reached (with one change) from the train that stops one block away from our front door. Secondly, this was the first race for me where time really didn't matter. I knew I wasn't going to be anywhere near my personal best, and frankly it just wasn't important to me. Thirdly, the plan was to meet up with the Run Dem Crew crowd, figure out who to run with, and just go have fun.

As expected the train trip was easy and fast, and I started running into friends as soon as I changed trains. Our meeting place was a very short walk from the tube station, and it was easy to find the rest of the Crew. We hung out for a while freezing. Did I mention it was cold? Finally we headed over to the start as a group. We were supposed to be in a few different starting corrals, but ended up just hanging together all the way to the actual starting line  (which took about 45 minutes to finally reach). We had lots of fun hanging out, calling to friends, trying to keep our toes from freezing, etc. Then it was finally race time.

By the time we hit the start I had formed a little group with Cory, Fleur and Kevin with a plan to try for a sub-two hour race. Between us we had all sorts of fatigue issues, injury issues, and concern about level of training issues. So we were all clear that the time was a hope, not an obsession. You don't really need a blow-by-blow of this race. I'll just drop some impressions on you. Such as me hanging out and dancing in the space between runners going up to the Royal Observatory and runners coming back down. Grooving to the tunes of the many DJs along the course (this was Run To The Beat after all). And being really amused when one of them totally blew a transition and just did a dead stop in the middle of a tune. And then announcing to us all that that was rubbish (her messing up, not the song). In case we didn't know. Cory and I making snarky comments about some excessively pink costumes some people were wearing. And then Cory and I complaining that there isn't enough pink running kit for us guys. The enormous fun of running past the large and raucous Cheer Dem Crew section around mile 11. Cory and I trying to goad some spectators into bandit-running the last mile with us. Us trying to pump up the crowd lining the final mile of the course. Thinking about all of the support and encouragement I have gotten from people throughout my whole multi-race journey. Talking to my friends about how they had to represent all of the people who were with me in spirit but couldn't be there in person (they were all fine with that). Crossing the finish line arm-in-arm.

And thus ended this amazing journey of 3 Races. 22 Days. 52.4 Miles. But there is a coda. Tuesday night I brought all three of my medals to Run Dem Crew. We have a tradition that people bring their medals with them to a Run Dem Crew session. You write a short note, and Charlie presents you with your medal. And people cheer for you. It's a really great tradition. And one of the nice things is that people will come for medals on nights when they aren't running and aren't getting a medal. We just come to cheer for everyone else. So the Tuesday after Run to The Beat was my night to get my medals (along with lots of others, including my friend Melissa who also run the Amsterdam Marathon as her first marathon). You can see a picture of me at the medal ceremony at the top of this page (taken by my friend Orsii, the little bear). And here is the note that I wrote:

It started out as a fundraising challenge and ended up with some serious running. 3 races. 22 days. 52.4 miles. 5 months of training Over 500 miles run. 4 PBs: 5k, 10k, Half Marathon, Full Marathon. First full marathon training run and first full marathon race. Over £1500 pounds raised for Cancer Research UK. None of this would have happened without Charlie and Run Dem Crew. You inspire me, support me, and help me be a better person.

Royal Parks Half: 1:40:14
Amsterdam Marathon: 3:42:59
Run to the Beat: ran with good people, celebrated, had a great time.

Thank you to all of you who have been part of this journey. And for those of you who are wondering, yes I am planning on running more marathons. I've already signed up for five races for next year, so please do keep checking back for more updates on running, training, racing, etc.


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This page is an archive of entries from November 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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