2017: A Year on the Run

Looking ahead to what races we want to run in 2018 (we just claimed our guaranteed entry for the NYC marathon—our first one!), I’d be remiss not to mention everything we accomplished in 2017; a year we literally spent on the run.

Our initial 2017 run plan included maybe 3 races. Then as the first race passed, that number grew…and grew…and grew. Between both Connor and I, we ran 17 races in 2017. Totally unintentional! Here’s the official list:

United NYC Half Marathon
Blue Cross Blue Shield Philly 10-Miler
Sweet Home Milwaukee 5K (Me)
Airbnb Brooklyn Half Marathon
Queens 10K
Downtown Westfield Pizza Run
France Run 8K (Connor)
New Balance 5th Avenue Mile
Pulmonary Fibrosis 5K
Dogfish Dash
Grete’s Great Gallop 10K
Staten Island Half Marathon
WDW Wine & Dine 10K
WDW Wine & Dine Half Marathon
Race to Deliver 4M
Jingle Bell Jog 5K
Ted Corbett 10K

Top Performances
Of these races, our top performances were: the Queens 10K (where we earned our 10K PR of a sub-60) and the WDW Wine & Dine Half Marathon and 10K (our two most strategic and solid races not only this year, but to-date as well).

Most Resilience
After running the United NYC Half last March (really liked this race a lot!), we set our sights on the rest of the New York Road Runner’s Borough Series in order to get guaranteed entry into the half for 2018. Of the borough races we ran, the Staten Island Half Marathon proved to us both—whether we actually realized it at the time or not—that we have the mental strength and resilience to overcome just about any obstacle in a race. Running the first 3 miles in a steady downpour and not even batting an eye (I am so thankful I was wearing a hat though); we just kept trucking along at our own pace. Seeing my good friend Chrissy at the half way point helped propel us forward in that long middle stretch—seeing the smiling face of someone you know is one of the best motivators! We finished with a very solid 2:25:34 (just 5 minutes off from our PR).

 

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Overall Experience

Well you know this one is going to be Disney. I may be a little bias (#formercastmember), but RunDisney really puts on a fantasmic race. The Wine and Dine races—from the expo and the course to the medals—were simply great. The energy along the course is unparalleled and running through the parks is just so cool.

Honorable Mention
We’d heard about the Dogfish Dash for a few years and got in before it sold out. It was a very hot race and my knee was still bothersome at that point, but we do love a good beer run and this is definitely a must-do for beer runners! Fun fact: the Dogfish Head SeaQuench ale has more electrolytes than Gatorade and let me tell you, it tasted great after running some “off-centered” mileage.

Bottom of the Barrel
Not every race will be a PR or even a good race; this year, that was the Airbnb Brooklyn Half Marathon. We didn’t bonk necessarily, we hit a big wall just after mile 10 and couldn’t recover. The hills in Prospect Park destroyed my knees and Connor was dealing with some wicked calf cramps. I started tearing up as we came onto the Coney Island Boardwalk because I was so happy to just make it across that finish line. And here’s irony for ya, despite walking the last 2 miles, we finished less than 2 minutes off of our PR.

 


Volunteering

When we started running more races with the New York Road Runners, we heard about their 9+1 program which gives you guaranteed entry into the NYC Marathon if you run 9 races and volunteer at 1 event. We’ve been running for a few years now so we figured that if there was any year to try running a marathon, 2018 would be it. For our volunteer shift, we worked the NYRR 60K in Central Park; I was a course marshal and Connor did timing/lap counting. In my neon yellow vest, I stood around 84th street on the 5th Avenue side of the park (the home stretch toward the finish line) on a rainy Saturday afternoon, cheering on runners, making sure the course was clear when they were coming through, and chatting with people in the park. It was a very humbling experience to watch as these amazing runners tackled 37.2 miles around Central Park.

What’s Next?
Good question! We just started training for the United NYC Half which is in mid-March. The new course has us running from Brooklyn into Manhattan—we’re very much looking forward to it! We’ve also got the Cherry Blossom 10-miler on tap for early April in Washington, D.C. which should be fun (and a new race for us!). And then, the Mac Daddy of ’em all—the New York City Marathon in early November.

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