2012 Race Recap and Lessons Learned

I completed 15 different events in 2012:  5 Full Marathons in 5 different states, 7 Half Marathons in 4 different states and Washington, DC and 5 runDisney races (7 medals) .  Unfortunately, I didn’t complete everything on my race calendar due to a torn TFL in early June and was sidelined for 3 depressing months.  I also had to drop out of triathlon training and tri events in 2012 as well as marathon coaching.  I also put on 10 lbs and then worked with a nutritionist to keep my diet in check as I was cleared for fall run training.
My 2012 race season began once again at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in Orlando, Florida.  I would be completing my 4th WDW Marathon, 3rd Goofy and 2nd Dopey.  This year, I was not only running with my Hartford Marathon/Glastonbury River Runner friends, but my BFF, JoLynne, who was training for her very first WDW Half Marathon and my daughter was going to complete her first WDW 5K.  I once again PR’d in the Marathon!
Lessons learned from the WDW Marathon Weekend:
  1. Apparently my son doesn’t want to wake up at 5am to run a 5K and I can’t make him
  2. The GPS tracker app is super accurate and helps my family know EXACTLY WHERE I AM on course.
  3. My husband does not understand that even though I will NEVER win a race, I still cannot stop and chat with him DURIPicture 398NG a race.
  4. When your BFF mentally breaks down at mile 12.5 of the 13.1 mile Half Marathon, you must not tell her that the finish line is “right around the corner” or she will hold this over your head FOREVER.
  5. Instead of spending $$$ at the spa for a massage bring $20 to use in the massage tent after the race.
After WDW Marathon weekend, I normally take the remainder of January and February off from running and ski.  My running gals and I planned our first out of state run in March at the Inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll USA 1/2 Marathon, March 17th in Washington, DC.  Next to Walt Disney World, Washington, DC is one of my most favorite places to visit.  There is so much to see and do that you could never see it all!  This course had us run by the US Capitol and the White House.  It was a great way to jump start our marathon training in 2012.
Lessons learned from the Inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll USA 1/2 Marathon:
  1. Just because both a marathon and half marathon are offered, you don’t HAVE to run the full!
  2. It is worth the money to have your hotel as close as possible to the start/finish of a race – you might have to walk back to the hotel!
  3. Remember that your running friends will forgive your bad temper and hysterics during the race, but it doesn’t hurt to apologize for your bad behavior.
Next up on the calendar was the Inaugural Cheshire 1/2 Marathon April 28th.  I was so happy with my finish – 2:16:18 – run/walking 3:1!
Lessons learned from the Inaugural Cheshire ½ Marathon:
  1. It’s nice to have a few close-to-home races on your race calendar so you can sleep in!
  2. It’s also nice to have no preconceived expectations – you never know, without that extra pressure you place on yourself, you might even set a PR.
  3. Remember to change it up – I listened to music during this race and ran faster!  Yes, the power of Rob Base and EZ Rock really do have an affect!
I joined a triathlon training group – Team Training, New England on May 9th.  I cannot say enough about this training group!  Open water swims, hill repeats, and swim clinics – they are amazing.  Unfortunately, I injured myself before I could complete my triathlon 2012 goals, but cannot wait to sign up for 2013’s training.
I celebrated Mother’s Day by running completing my 3rd US State in my quest for 50 Marathons in 50 States by the time I turn 50 at the 9th Annual Delaware Marathon in Wilmington, DE May 13th.  This was my first 2 loops of a 13.1 marathon.  There are good points and bad points to this – Good Point – you know what you have in front of you during the 2nd loop, Bad Point – you have to run past the finish line half way through the race and you won’t be finished until another 13.1.  It’s kind of depressing.
Lessons learned from the Delaware Marathon:
  • Looped races aren’t fun unless you are finished at Lap 1
  • Request late checkout so you can shower before heading home
  • Don’t drive when you can take the train!  The Amtrak station was located directly next to the race start/finish
Being the stupid person I am, one week later I signed up for the Shires of Vermont Marathon, Bennington to Manchester, Vermont May 20th.  I also suckered in my running buddy, Alison, into signing up for the race too.  Who would have known that it would be 91-degrees that day!  Of pulled 49 people off the course due to heat exhaustion.  Alison and I walked miles 8 to 26.2 and we couldn’t even come in last!  We would never have survived that day out on the course for 6.5 hours with the support of the race volunteers.  They were outstanding, even when I through a fit at mile 23 that the course was not measured correctly and I was really on mile 23.5!
Lessons learned from the Shires of Vermont Marathon:
  1. In Vermont, the term “Flat” is relative
  2. Running back-to-back marathons are stupid, but do however qualify you to be a Marathon Maniac!
  3. Misery loves company!
Next up on the schedule was the Amica Iron Horse ½ Marathon in Simsbury, June 3rd.  UGH!  No idea why I insisted on signing up for this race.  My body needed a break and I was not listening until I heard  a pop and my hip go out at mile 6.  Having torn my ACL skiing I knew that I was in deep doo doo and instead of finishing the race with my pal, Janice, I stopped at mile 7 and went straight into the medical tent.
Lessons learned from the Amica Iron Horse ½ Marathon:
  1. If you think you should stop, you should stop!
  2. Sometimes it is worth the extra money to sign up for a race on race day
  3. If you are going to run marathons and race triathlons you will eventually be injured
As soon as my orthopedic surgeons officed opened on Monday morning, I called and scheduled an appointment.   My MRI showed a torn TFL or tensor fasciae latae muscle.  And apparently my MD had never seen such an injury before, and he’s seen a lot of injuries and there was no way to repair the tear and I was to stop all activity for 3 months (June, July and August) and rest for the Marine Corps Marathon at the end of October.  This meant no triathlons, no swimming, no biking, no hiking, no running, no training, no coaching, and no nothing!  Cancel the sprints, cancel the marathons, cancel Disneyland – it was not going to happen.  Depression set in and it was not good.
Lessons learned from my torn TFL:
  1. Strength training is important and you should not skip it!
  2. Rest is important and you should not skip it!
  3. You should not ignore your running friends just because you can’t run!  They are the only ones who can understand your pain of not being able to run.
My original plan was to run the Rock’n’Roll Providence – 1/2 Marathon, but convinced my other BFF, Nicole, who was training for her first ½ marathon and the 2013 WDW ½ Marathon to run the Relay with me instead!  I talked my Ortho into allowing me to do the race since it was NOT a ½ marathon and ONLY  8 miles!  When Nicole picked me up at mile 5 I was the happiest I had been in two and half months!
Lessons learned at the Rock’n’Roll Providence ½ Marathon:
  1. Downgrading your race is important to your recovery – both physically and mentally
  2. A relay event can be fun and a welcomed change!
  3. You still get the same medal
No matter what my Orthro had told me about Disneyland – I refused to listen and I still held on to the fact that I was registered for the Disneyland ½ Marathon and 5K race.  After running the Providence Relay’s 8 miles, I knew that running Disneyland’s ½ wouldn’t be difficult and I was up to the challenge even if I had to walk the miles instead of running.  I was lucky to travel and stay with my running pal, Alison, and her daughter, Danielle.  This was my second Disneyland ½ Marathon and Coast-to-Coast, but my 1st Disneyland 5K.
Lessons learned at the Disneyland ½ Marathon:
  1. Actually stopping for photos at a Disney event is worth the added finish time
  2. I do not have the power to just “take it easy” at a race
  3. It’s okay if you pee your pants during the race – we’ve all been there
I registered for the Colebrook ½ Marathon only because of the Pig finisher medal.  Yes, that is correct.  I run for bling.  I’m not proud of it, but it’s the reality.  It turns out that this ½ marathon is an awesome event!  The race t-shirt is adorable, the medal is cute and the finisher food is outstanding!
Lessons learned at the Colebrook  ½ Marathon:
  1. I am not an elite marathon and I should not run 4 miles prior to the race start
  2. Having mile 12 run uphill is mean
  3. Colebrook is a town located in northwestern Connecticut close to the Mass boarder
Once I have a goal, I have a hard time not sticking to the plan.  Since my in-laws live in Keene, New Hampshire, I knew that I could get through “running” the Clarence DeMar Full Marathon, September 30th, even if I had to walk, I could complete and cross off another State marathon in 2012.
Lessons learned at the Clarence DeMar Full Marathon:
  1. Making new friends at races makes the race go by quicker
  2. No matter how hard I try, I still can’t come in last place
  3. Bananas eaten at mile 20 is pretty close to heaven
The 37th Marine Corps Marathon on October 28th was an outstanding experience.  I love Washington, DC.  I love the Marines.  I love running with 30,000 of my closest friends!
Lessons learned from the 37th Marine Corps Marathon:
  1. I don’t like being called ma’am, but will make an exception for cute Marines
  2. Sometimes it’s better to have your race hotel close to the FINISH and not the START!
  3. Seize the day and let your loved ones know you love them
The final “race” of 2012 I registered for at the last minute and again only for the t-shirt.  This was a non-bling event and I only ran knowing that I could use this as a training run and not a race.  Seth’s Fat Ass 50K in Springfield, Massachussettes was Dec ember 15th.  The race was 10 laps of 3.1 miles around Forrest Park (home of the Bright Lights).  Love, love, love this event and easily completed 20 miles with a great time.  Next year I plan on finishing the entire event, but not this year.  It was important to finish my long runs for Goofy on a positive note.

Lessons learned from the Seth’s Fat Ass 50K:
  • I will run for a cool tech shirt
  • Running 3 miles multiple times isn’t so bad
  • Ultras could be super fun, but not this year

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