Linking up today with Jessie over at The Right Fits to share the best + worst of my racing history! Check out her fab blog… she’s a rock star marathoner (16 so far!), fellow MSPer and has an adorable vizsla named Matilda :)
With that, here are my best + worst…
Best crowd support
The spectators don’t get any better than Ironman Wisconsin. Helloooooo, Tour de France style bike course! Running on State Street is pretty rad, too.
Grandma’s Marathon in 2008 crushed me. Training that spring couldn’t have gone better… temps were mild and probably in the 60s for most of my long runs. The humidity + heat arrived on race day, and by mile 18, I was toast. After barfing downtown Duluth, I walked the final few miles. It was painful (see photo below).
The Irish for a Day 10-Mile in 2013. Rain, snow, wind and a race start temp of 30 degrees. Miserable, but it also was the run that planted the seed to push my limits and see what I could accomplish with hard work.
Most beautiful course
Ironman Canada! With mountains on one side and the ocean on the other, there is no better place to bike than the Sea-To-Sky Highway. The run course was beautiful, too, winding through dense woods, along Green Lake (where I saw a bear!) and through Whistler village.
Best finishers shirt
It’s not a finishers shirt, but I really liked this year’s Ironman Wisconsin tees… not boy boxy, and it’s one of my favorite colors – turquoise!
Worst finishers shirt
Hands-down, the 2012 Chisago 70.3 finishers shirt. Three sizes too big and a terrible shade of yellow.
Endless Summer trail run series at Hyland Park. Up and down, through mud puddles and the woods = so much fun!
You can see for miles and miles in North Dakota, so the Fargo half marathon earns this title. The biggest “hill” was an underpass. Ascent per my Garmin: a whopping ~300 feet.
Best start line
I’m not sure I can pick just one. Any start line is awesome because I made it there, healthy (most of the time) and ready to give it my all.
Best finish line
Ironman Canada. There’s nothing quite like crossing the finish line of your first 140.6… overwhelming joy, relief, excitement, some disbelief, pride and so much gratitude… all rolled into one. It’s pretty sweet the second time around, too.
Most emotional finish
Again, nothing quite like that first 140.6 finish line. There was a lump in my throat the entire last mile and tears as I crossed the line. The best part: Having my family there to cheer me on and sharing the experience with my fave ♥
Best finish line food
Hmm… eating post-race is tough. After Ironman Wisconsin this year, I forced down a Coke and an Osmo Nutrition recovery shake, but then couldn’t stomach anything until about midnight when I wolfed down leftover coconut rice. Post-race eats at the TC 10 Mile in 2013… kudos to TCM for having ample gluten-free options.
Best overall swag / gear
Can’t go wrong with Ironman swag! Backpack, tech finishers tee, hat and medal FTW.
Finishers medals are always fun, but the best one: A travel yoga mat at the lululemon RUN: twin K 13k in 2013 – put to good use during post-race yoga in the park, too.
Most disappointing finish
Definitely Grandma’s Marathon in 2008. A photo is worth a 1,000 words – and, isn’t this the saddest race photo you’ve ever seen?! The disappointment!
Race that took the most mental strength
Hmm… Monster Dash in 2011. I shouldn’t have been running because of a nagging hip injury, but it was our first race together (we were Smurfs!), so I slogged through 13.1… ouchie (I didn’t run for four months after this race). If Nick hadn’t ran with and encouraged me the entire way, I would have called it quits. (Also, wowza… my fitness has come a long way since that race. Is that even me in this pic?!)