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 · friends · happiness · Life

My Running Friends

Today as I was on my regular run I decided to run slower than my body probably would have taken off without direction.  I ran slower because one of my running friends asked me if I ever run slow.  Well the answer to that is yes but lately it’s no.  So being funny or at least trying to I purposely ran close to a 10 minute mile for the 3 that I put up today.  I told her it was for her and it amused her which was my intent.  I have to say that I love my running friends because they keep me realistic, super motivated and brave.  Without them I would run too fast all the time, would not vary my workouts and would be way too hard on myself.  My friends encourage me and cheer for me when I do something successful and they never poo-poo even the small success’.  My friends always have a story of something I have not yet and may not experience that teaches me what to look for and how to handle those things.  My friends have prepared me for bad runs because they have been there.  My running friends are the people who are now my friends who I love talking to, running with and have a lot in common.  They are my confidants, my voices of reason and my cheerleaders.  My friends sign up for races because I get all excited about running them and they don’t mind when I send them stupid meme’s in the middle of the day just because I thought they were funny.  They are my voice of reason and they pretty much just accept me for who I am, quirks and all!  I thought about them as I ran today and was just thankful to have them to share my running life in part.  They are funny, crazy, tolerant, understanding, encouraging, brave, bold, daring and so many other words that inspire me every day.  Some I have known longer than others but each of them is just as important to me and all for very different reasons under the same umbrella.

So here’s a cheer to my running friends who are my extended family and deserve a thank you for keeping me going every day.  I love each of you for all that you are to me and for listening to my incessant ramblings that always are about fitness and having fun.  You are good sports and I’m happy to call you my friends!

Do you have people that share in your passion?

HAPPY RUNNING!

 

2017 · Attitude · motivation · Random Thoughts

Post Race Recap

Yesterday’s race is now over.  It was decent race in that it was flat for the most part and flat is preferable in my opinion.  It was on a military base with big buildings and not many trees so the scenery wasn’t “spectacular” in any way.  It was a cold day to start.  I contemplated a few times before we started putting on my Fabletics leggings for warmth and for their great compressive support.  Maybe that’s why my knee is a bit more sore than I expected.  I decided in the end that it was going to warm up enough that I would regret that decision so I stayed in my outfit which matched Barbara’s.  I preferred looking cute anyway LOL.  I did in fact warm up.  This race I ran for fun not time so I ran at what I refer to as breathing pace and stopped twice for a potty break.  I didn’t have an agenda or a time to beat and in fact I thought about the rest of my day most of the way through all 13.1 miles.  I enjoyed myself not having any pressure or goal.  At this point in my life that is the way I feel like I want to continue my running life, just for fun.  It was breezy and we were running into that headwind several times throughout the course but it was manageable.  I found my joy in giving high 5’s to the kids handing out the water, talking to other runners and just taking my time on a beautiful sunny day.  I finished in 2:14 by my watch but 2:16 according to the official racing time which is probably because of the potty stops I paused my Garmin for.  I knew going into this race that it was going to be the slowest race for me and I was ok with that.  I felt badly for my friend who had some challenges that caused her to have to walk at the end.  James and I waited for her and I ran her into the finish which was fun.  I was happy to be sitting while she made her way to the finish line.  I was in the sun keeping warm, sitting with my son who is my best cheerer and enjoying the day.

Why Do We Race?  It’s a long way to run not only for me who only ran 13.1 but for anyone to run.  Every time I run a half marathon I reevaluate my bucket list marathon and wonder what is wrong with me.  I’m so happy when I’m done and usually at mile 10 or 11 I’m counting the steps until I can stop.  Running puts some big stress on the body and the after effects the older you get are harder and harder to handle.  I’m not complaining, I’m just reflecting.  Post race aches and pains are normal.  My right leg is sore and my right foot hurts mostly because of the bunion I’ve been blessed with.  Basically my body aches, my intestines are definitely squawking these days when I run 10+ miles so I will be glad to have a day off today.  I’m not happy about that because I took Saturday off too.  It needs to be done though because I feel tired everywhere.  Yesterday my right knee was protesting when I had stairs to do too.  I had signed up 8 months ago for this one because I was panicked that my son was leaving for college.  I really feared not seeing him and thought if I could run a race down by URI I could have an excuse to go see him.  In hindsight I see / talk to him much more than I thought but that was my motivation to which I sucked my running friend Barbara into doing with me.  Outside of the physical hurdles that come post race, I will say the post race food was not impressive.  I am not sure what I expect really but open food like pretzels left in bins for any sweaty or dirty hands to touch kinda grosses me out.  I don’t want frito’s or cookies but some runners do.  Salt is good post race, maybe I just didn’t want it yesterday.  I also was a little disappointed by the medal.  As you may or may not know I am a medal whore and really sign up mostly for the bling.  I mean if I’m going to run all that way I want a good reward.  Whatever, it’s done.

Ok, enough of the things that kinda sucked.  The good things were first and foremost, my son James came with me and took pictures of me heading out which made me so happy!!  He was also there as I turned the last corner to the finish and suddenly I wasn’t tired and I had so much energy.  I shouted out to him and ran to him and he ran me into the finish line.  THE BEST!!!  The second best thing about yesterday was that I got to run the race with my friend Barbara.  I love running races with her because she’s positive, realistic, honest and usually always happy.  She worries about the same things I do in race preparation too.  It’s so nice to not be alone and the more  I run with her, the more I enjoy racing.  The third bonus to the day was seeing my son John!  We went to see him, watched some movies, had some lunch, had the best pizza for dinner and then headed home to crash.  SO tired last night!  All in all it was a great day!  Thank you to Barbara for signing up to do the race with me….she is doing another half marathon in 6 days (EEEEWWWW) so she’s my hero!  Thank you to James for getting up so early and being my best cheerer ever!  I love you both!

HAPPY RUNNING!