Mainely Running
Join me as I train in Maine and race all over the world in pursuit of my goal to run a marathon on all 7 continents

Sunday, February 12, 2012

26.2 with Donna: National Marathon to End Breast Cancer

I am totally on a post race high after a great race and race weekend. Yesterday I hit up the race expo to pick up my race number and check out the vendors. The race schwag was awesome: we got super cute tie-dye bags and a long sleeve technical t-shirt. Best of all, everything was pink. Yeah!

Even the KT tape was pink. I love this stuff. It makes a huge difference. I have a couple rolls at home, but it's just not the same when I do it myself. So I was excited to see they were offering free expert taping. I had my right IT band taped since it's been bothering me lately.
After I had thoroughly exhausted the expo, both my feet and my wallet I headed to my hotel- the Springhill Suites. I used my points from work travel so it was free. Can't get better than free. I sorted out all my stuff from the expo, and then got all my stuff ready for the morning. At 4 am, having everything ready to go makes a huge difference.

Then it was back to the convention center for the pasta dinner. I waffled on whether or not I wanted to go, since I'm flying solo this trip, but I'm so glad I did. I should now by now that I can sit down at any table of stranger, and still have a blast if they're runners. I sat with these 2 sisters who were in their late sixties. One has been running for years, and she convinced her sister run this as her first half marathon. Another woman at the table just turned 70 and has done 24 marathons in the past 3 years. Talk about inspirational!

The panel at the dinner was also fantastic, all my running idols: Jeff Galloway, Bart Yasso, Bill Rodgers, Joan Benoit, and Donna Deegan. I didn't know much about Donna before the race
Other than that the race is named after her. Her story is pretty inspirational, she has had cancer 3 times but has managed to live a normal life and enjoy every minute of it. That was the over-all theme that came from all the speakers. Seize the day, enjoy life. We are incredibly lucky to be healthy enough to run for recreation. After being a bit of a running funk lately, this was just the message I needed.

I woke up early, early this morning to freezing cold. It was 28! At home I’d be good with that, but this is Florida! I am glad I packed my capri tights and not just shorts. And I went with the long sleeve race shirt instead of my tank top. Even with that it was freezing waiting for the shuttle bus in the cold and dark. The Floridians were dying!

But once the race started, the cold was forgotten. What an awesome race. We ran up the bridge and over the inland waterway just as the sun was rising. Then we got to run down on the hard pack sand on the beach for a couple miles. The time flew by than any race I've ever done.

I didn’t want to go too fast since my focus is still on training for Rome so I stuck with the 2:10 pace group. I felt fantastic. At mile 10 I just couldn’t help myself and forged ahead. The last mile was pretty tough, as we had to go back up and over the bridge. It was a good incline and there was a wicked headwind. But the crowd got me up and over and soon I was coasting into the finish in 2:04. 

And then I thoroughly enjoyed the after party. I got a free massage, some hot soup to warm up my hands, and then hit up the pink champagne booth twice. I don’t think I’ve ever had champagne at 8:30 am before, but hey why not? I LOVED this race and can’t wait to sign up for next year.

And I am so cheesy I can't resist taking pictures of myself in the mirror back at the hotel.

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