2017 · brenna gimler · bucket list · Falmouth Road Race · Finishers Medal · friends · Goal crushing · goals · happiness · Hills · Hitting your Goals · Running Environment · Running experience · Running Friends · summer running

Falmouth 2017

I ran Falmouth again this year.  This is the second time I’ve run this one.  I don’t run it for the medal because they don’t give medals usually as I learned the hard way last year.  Come to find out they give medals at this race every 5 years.  This year was the 45th running of this bucket list race so guess what I got!  Yep a medal!  It’s beautiful and so worth the 7 mile struggle over hills in the heat. 

@FalmouthRR is something you do for the experience not the race itself.  You know, I stood in a sea of people that you just don’t understand until you do it.  12,800 runners is almost indescribable.   and not one incident of violence… Imagine that!  Not one fight or argument.  Another several thousands of people that lined the ENTIRE 7 mile route.  So many people and we all had nothing but love and respect for each other.  We smiled, picked each other up, congratulated one another.  We were courteous and friendly.  We came from all parts of the country: Nigeria, USA, Kenya, Canada and many other places.  No one had any racist or supremacist attitudes.  No one marched with signs or jeered or drove cars into the crowd.  We all just had love and happiness in our hearts.  When you see someone get emotional because another runner went down, that’s love for your fellow humans!  That is how it should be.

ANYWAY…  Today was many things. It was definitely all about the bling and the experience.  As those of you who know me well understand, I love me a good medal!  The race itself is always a hot one which makes it harder than other races. IT took us 25 or so minutes to actually walk from where we hit the main drag TO the starting line because in this race they do a pulse start which just means we set of in groups of like 50 at a time then they wait a minute and send the next group.  It spaces us out and helps keep things moving.  Even this small detail is just one of the many things that make this my all time favorite race ever!  I wasn’t sure my race would be a good one because of the time of month it was.  I’m always slow just before the blessed event so I was expecting it to be hard, but went into it just wanting to have fun at the very least. That I did achieve with no problem whatsoever. I wanted to beat my 1:18:15 time from last year and amazingly I did!!! I finished unofficially at 1:15:51! I believe 100% that that accomplishment is directly attributed to all the core workouts I have been doing.  It definitely paid off because the hills were a bitch, especially the one at the very end that made 7.1 miles feel like 13.1.  Over the 7 .1 miles I was perpetually stuck in a large group of runners the entire way so it was nearly impossible to run swiftly when you’re crowded in.  I was grateful that that I couldn’t “take off” because it forced me to run a better more controlled race.  Probably why I finished two minutes faster than last year.  The feeling of struggling for 7 hilly hot miles seems to fade away as you give that last and final ounce of energy to push up that last horrible hill.  When you crest it you can see the gigantic American flag that is hoisted above the finish line by a crane just a hundred yards below.  You somehow find strength as people are cheering and shouting and you see the Jumbotron with the life finish line stream for those waiting for their loved ones to cross.  The air is electric with excitement and you run to that beautiful painted word on the street “FINISH” that sits under the banner just above that signals the end of your 7 mile journey marked by a stomp on the timing mat to seal your race time.  You can’t explain how it feels, you have to experience it yourself.

The Falmouth Road Race organizers, volunteers & medics are outstanding! They should get their own medal for the perfected work of making this race such a smooth well oiled event!  I’m not kidding you, it is so well organized, you don’t have to search for porto o potties because there are literally about a hundred in the waiting area.  Medics were visible with clearly marked signs at several points along the way ready to help those who needed it,.  The police rode bikes along the route to ensure things moved along nicely.  The people of Falmouth and friends / family of runners literally just line the streets cheering for you, soaking you with their hoses, giving you oranges and ice and 5 bands set up along the route and played music for us as we passed.  There weren’t just a few… there were people that in some places were several rows deep just watching us come through.  Some gave high fives (the little kids are my favorites to high five.  They are wonderful cheerers!)  Many blasted the radio, some had cow bells and others had horns. There were so many this year, more than last I thought. Any time I thought I might do some walking beyond just stopping for water I just couldn’t do it because the excitement of being there was compelling. I just cannot say enough good things about this wonderful race. 

When you use the word Chaos mostly you think of confusion and craziness that leaves a bad taste in your mouth.  The gathering spot after the race can only be described as chaos.  I’ve never seen or experienced organized chaos until I ran Falmouth.  So many people all in the same spot but it’s oddly and strangely organized.  From the pick up letters at the back of the field where families go to meet runners to the guys handing out the Yasso bars @eatyasso   by the way, is by far the best at the end of a hard race!  The band and the tent volunteers handing out post race goodies somehow swiftly corral all those people through with no waiting line.  The whole race was start to finish amazing and something that you should do if you want to see how a good race is run.  I can’t wait for next year!!

One of my favorite parts of my experience lies outside the race itself.  I run this race with my friend Barbara and we stay with our friends Gary and Gail who live in Falmouth.  Staying with friends who give you a ride to the busses and fight the crowd to pick you up from the finish line, who feed you and give you a place to lay your head for free absolutely makes the experience just that much better. Running this race with my friend, even though we don’t run together, is the BEST!  knowing that I’m sharing something amazing with her is special.  Taking selfies and pictures throughout our days there are memories that I cherish.  Having someone to share what will become a tall tale that I tell my grandchildren later in life is one of those things that money can’t buy!  I really love my running friend(s).  This part of the experience and not having to worry about crowded restaurants, overbooked hotels, driving to the start or finding parking or worrying about my belongings while I’m racing turns what could be a crazy stressful weekend into a wonderful weekend of memories instead!

HAPPY RUNNING!

 

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2017 · Blessings · brenna gimler · Discipline · Family · Finishers Medal · happiness · Hitting your Goals

The Moments That Tell You That You’ve Arrived!

So there are things along this journey to being fitter that are kind of like milestones for me.  One is pulling on clothes that I like in a size that makes me smile.  Another is when your friends or co-workers tell you that you look good which is always nice.  One of my favorite all time motivational smile-infusing happiness-creating things that have happened to me is when my kids tell me nice things without trying to make me feel good.  Let me explain what I mean by that. 

I know that I look good.  Good compared to my old self and the healthiest that I’ve ever been.  Good is relative I realize because I understand that I am not shaped like Barbie or the tall and skinnies of the world and that is just fine with me.  I am happy with the 161 average weight that I seem to hover over these days because I’m muscular and in fact also shorter at 5′ 4″ tall.  This means that I tend to grow out instead of up or evenly distributing my ever fluctuating weight because that’s the law of physics.  I will never be Jessica Rabbit or have Heidi Klum’s legs sadly. I’m me and I know my boundaries and I’m fine with them.  My job is managing all of that within the confines of the fitness routine I put in and keeping it all in check to stay between 150-165 roughly.  I am always striving to get to the bottom of that range but truthfully I don’t care if I never see the big one-five-oh again.  I work out and I work out pretty regularly, by choice and sometimes twice a day.  It’s a little bit of an addiction and definitely a habit for sure. Something I’m just always working on like Mr. Holland’s Opus, just not ever done.  I want to live to the crazy age of 96 so this is a good path to help me get there.

Now nothing and I mean nothing means more to me in this world than my kids.  It is super important that they are proud of me and want to be with me and talk to me and hug me and hopefully always like my kisses! I hope they always tell me about their days be it good or crappy.  I would die if I couldn’t be with and around them.  They are just awesome!  So, in the flow of two conversations recently, one with each son (19 and 17 respectively),  we were discussing super skinny something or other and I said to one son that if whatever the statement were, was true I’d be super skinny.  His answer melted me to pause my thought and compose my fast melting self.  He said “You are super skinny Mom.” and he kept moving on with his thoughts about whatever it was that we were talking about.  He wasn’t looking for accolades or a hug or even a response.  It was his honest opinion.  PAUSE: my son thinks I’m super skinny!  woo hoo!  On another day not long thereafter I was talking to the other son about something weight related (not necessarily mine) and whatever I said it prompted him to say “well it’s harder to get any smaller than you Mom, you work out all the time.” and he too proceeded to add to the conversation as if he had just said “the sky is blue”.

There it was again from a different source.  From the one who wouldn’t sugar coat something to make you feel good (that’s his father in him). They both simply had said what they believed to be true which was like getting the best race bling ever!  For those of you who do not know I am a medal whore.  I Race for the prize because why should I not be rewarded for running for 2+ hours right?  As I reflected on these thoughts that my sons had about me, it occurred to me that I have reached a personal milestone in my healthy lifestyle endeavor in this life.  I have achieved the admiration of my kids who are proud of me for all this crazy hard work that I do.  It’s become so much a part of who I now am that they don’t question it as being Mom’s new workout habit but more like part of what their Mom does.  Some mom’s garden (I do that too) and some Moms do crafts and some Moms drive trucks.  My kid’s Mom cooks great meals, sings new words to old songs, runs in the rain, would do anything for her kids to be happy and she also does fitness and that’s cool to them.  I couldn’t have gotten two better compliments in the world than those two matter of fact statements made in passing by my sons.

Well, that was longer than expected but sometimes they are.  Remember that there are those moments that tell you that you’ve arrived that you have to cherish and lock away for the days where you feel like you aren’t doing anything right.  They are the moments that motivate us and push us to strive for more every day.

HAPPY RUNNING!

2017 · Attitude · brenna gimler · Finishers Medal

Why?

Why would someone throw away a racing finishers medal?  I’m really asking a question here because it perplexes me about why someone would run a race and then toss their prize!  This one, perhaps just for me, was challenging with what felt like an all ascent first half in the heat and humidity.  I felt like it was tough and around mile 8 I felt like quitting.  I find around mile 7 or 8 in most half marathons that I start getting tired and somewhere around 10-11 I’m looking forward to the finish.  Now, this race was not my best time.  I came in at 2:17:43 and my best half was completed in 1:57 and change.  Given the weather and the swelling in my legs from the get go, it was a respectable time.  I’m not competing against anyone so it’s just a matter of remembering the situation.  Anyway, it seemed like the longest race ever and I was happy to finish.  Never happier to stop for good and to hold what I feel is an achievement medal.  I struggled and feel like I earned it.  So on my way home I got behind someone stopped at the exit who was throwing away what I thought was trash.  Turns out it was his medal.  I saw him pick the bib out of the trash and keep that which is weird.  Anyway as they drove off a guy walking next to that full trash with the medal on top picked it up and shrugged as if to say “what the hell are you doing guy!”.  This is the same thing I was thinking and if fact I said to that guy who put it back in the trash, you should keep it for yourself!  Why do people do these things?  I’ll never know but I feel like if they ran out of medals, that guy ought to be held accountable for wasting one.  Gheesh!  Anyway, I’m very proud of mine and I’m keeping it.  It is for this reason that I just don’t understand why someone would throw it away.  Even if it’s your worst race you ever ran, you still earned it!  It kind of made me mad to see that but Se La Vie guy!  This medal was a honking medal not some cheapo flimsy gold painted plastic thing.  LOOK AT IT!!!  It was heavy and huge!  Whatever!  I’m keeping mine and I hope you regret throwing yours away dude.  I can’t imagine why or what made you do it or what it takes for you to keep one for that matter.  Who cares!  I have mine and that’s all that matters.

HAPPY RUNNING!