Finished off the year with my hometown 5k yesterday. I’ve written about this race in the past, so I’ll keep it short, which actually turned out to be sort of the theme of the day.
Two things of note this year. One, they smartly added a competitive corral at the front of the race. The Angel Run is heavily promoted through the schools (it was started to honor a third grader that passed away) and always brings out a lot of young kids. Which greatly adds to the energy of the event, but also can add to the challenge of the start as you weave and dodge around pre-teens that sprinted out the first 200 yards before abruptly stopping. An expected time of sub-23 got you entry into the corral.
At this point, the Rock ’n’ Roll running series is a pretty well established brand and I’d guess most runners would have a general idea of what to expect when they are the race directors. (They also have a healthy ego as on their About page they claim the RnR format “ignited the second running boom”).
You are going to get a professionally packaged race experience that is used to putting on a big production, typically in a big city with a big entry field. You are going to get bands/entertainment at most mile markers. Well stocked and spaced aid tables. A nice finisher medal. And lots and lots of upset opportunities to enhance your race day experience.
At the Brooklyn Half, I experienced all of that and a few more things, but had little complaint. I knew what I was getting in to. But let’s start at the beginning.
It’s been three weeks since the addition of the new meds and I still sometimes catch myself smiling for no reason during my runs. The difference is just so drastic that I’m almost giddy. I’ve gone from cautiously pessimistic of even finishing without walking to cautiously optimistic of having a really good run.
This was an impulse race, though unlike some of the peanut M&M bags that have snuck into my cart in the checkout line, I never came to regret signing up. The Dover Sherborn Boosters triathlon is a local sprint distance race in a nearby town that I had heard about over the year but just never fit into my schedule. In fact, most of my open water swims in the summer use the same pond and the surrounding roads I’ve criss-crossed on the bike over the years, so there was really no excuse for not signing up at some point. I just didn’t really plan on it being this year. It wasn’t the best day, but it wasn’t the worst, either.
My friend Addy and I had our one year anniversary this month. What’s my biggest lesson learned after one year? It’s not all the high school biology I had to freshen up on. Nor a greater appreciate for the small moments in life. Both of those are true, of course. No, it’s that there is now a line in my story, a clear demarcation of before and after. The phrase “before I got sick” or “since I got diagnosed” comes up almost daily. That is my takeaway. It’s neither good nor bad. It’s just a fact I live with now.
Since my parents bought a place in Brewster and we discovered this late summer race, it has quickly become one of my favorites. It is also the race that almost killed me. I ended up in a kiddie pool instead. Talk about a love/hate relationship.
The Brew Run is a bit of an odd duck when compared to most other domestic road races. It’s 5.2 miles long. It starts at 4 in the afternoon. The primary post-race refreshment is beer and cookies. Weird, but sort of attractive, right? I know I’m not alone.
Is there anything better than an unexpected vacation race. My ideal vacation? Family, friends, warm temperatures, good food and a race. Seriously. I love running to explore new places. Getting a little lost, seeing the sites, finding your way back out again. Much better than relying on the rental car’s nav system or only sticking to the tourist trails. This year’s big trip was out to California with the girls. Half the time up in San Francisco and half the time down in San Diego (with a quick day and half stop in Anaheim – what could the kids possibly like to do in Anaheim!).