Friday, November 30, 2012

My New Baby

Over the summer I trained for my first triathlon and have been hooked ever since. I grew up as a swimmer and can easily finish a tri swim towards the front of the pack with minimal training. I have been taking my running to the next level by training for a marathon and taking 20 minutes off my half marathon PR. The thing that I really need to work on is the biking portion.

After I quit swimming I knew I wanted to get into triathlons but I wasn't sure how much I would like them or how long I would stick with it. I didn't have a bike so I bought a hybrid bike that I could use pretty much anyway I wanted. I completely two triathlons on my hybrid and after a super hilly course I decided I was ready to dive head first into the world of triathlon by purchasing a bike.

I wasn't sure what type of bike I wanted to get, all I knew is that I wanted something faster than my clunky hybrid. After a few months a looking here and there I found a shop about 35 minutes away that seemed like the perfect fit. They offered a fit where you ride a completely adjustable bike and based off of your measurements and comfort choice they can tell you what bikes would be a good fit. While this may not be necessary to people who have more experience with bikes I found this to be helpful beyond words.

I went last weekend for my fit and was suggested the Cannondale Synapse, Cannondale CAAD 10, and the Scott CR1 Team. We discussed the different bikes and ultimately decided on the Scott bike. I decided not to purchase the bike then, though, because I wanted to do a little research on my own before I dropped a good chunk of change on the bike.

Ultimately I decided to get the Scott bike and went back this morning for my final fit and to pick up the bike. I am completely giddy over this bike and every time I look at it I can't help but smile with excitement. I know I made the right choice and can't wait to train with it this summer. It's hard to see in the picture but the bike is black with sliver/gray writing and purple details. I think it's perfect!

I just need to think of a name. Any ideas?!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Off Season Running

This morning I went for my first real run post marathon and boy did it hurt. Not even 2 miles in my legs were already tired and reminding me I ran a marathon 2.5 weeks ago. I wasn't expecting to feel this way after taking 2 weeks completely off with the exception of last week's turkey trot. I am glad that I have a good chunk of time to fully recover before I jump back into training.

It was supposed to rain this morning with temps in the upper 30's. I like running in the fall/winter despite icky weather because I get to wear clothes that I haven't worn since last winter. Lame, I know. Anyway, I dressed warm this morning wearing long tights and a short sleeve shirt with a rain jacket overtop. I completed my first cold weather running morning with a fleece headband and gloves.

The only problem was that it ended up not raining until the last 15 minutes of the run. I was cold when I started, quickly warmed up & then got really cold again towards the end. Despite the back & forth weather and how grumpy my legs were it was still such an enjoyable run. I ran without my Garmin and just focused on being in the moment and not worrying about silly numbers.

I think I'm going to take a cue from Jess and skip the watch until training starts up again. I like not having any pressure to run a certain speed or distance. And hopefully when I start training for the Nike Women's Half Marathon in April I will feel completely refreshed, rested and ready to train my butt off.

Monday, November 26, 2012

What I Learned from My First Marathon: The Race

I decided to split my typical "what I learned" post into two parts since my first marathon was such a big deal to me. Training and the actual race were two different beasts so I wanted to treat the post as such. If you missed what I learned from training for my first marathon you can read it here. Now onto what I learned from the race

1. If possible, have your spectator carry extras of everything
I was lucky enough to see my parents multiple times during the Harrisburg Marathon. I took the idea from the Ironman to have a special needs bag filled with stuff just in case I needed it. In the bag was extra GU & Shot Bloks, socks, bodyglide, chapstick, hair ties and other stuff that I am forgetting. At first I thought the idea was stupid but when my Shot Bloks fell out of my pocket at mile 5 and I didn't have any extra with me I was so glad I had extra in that bag. I saw my parents around mile 8 and never ran into any fueling issues.

2. Run your own race no matter what
I started the race with the 4:45 pace group because I didn't know where else to start. For the first 10 miles I stuck with the group despite that the pace didn't feel as easy as it should have. I knew I should have slowed down but I liked the idea of running a 4:45 and so I clung onto the group for as along as possible. Miles 10-20 were absolutely miserable because I was already feeling pretty crappy. Lesson learned. Pay attention to your body and don't get caught up in what others are doing.

3. You are always more capable than you think
I felt so crappy during miles 17-20 that I walked almost all of them. I was going to walk the last six miles too had Robert not come to the rescue. I ran the last six miles only stopping at water stations and felt pretty damn good for the last six miles of a marathon. I was amazed with myself the entire time. I had all but given up and then ended up passing everyone in sight and cruising to the finish. The mental aspect of racing and training has repeatedly proven to be my downfall.

4. Make friends with the people around you. 26.2 miles is a long time to get to know people
When I was running with the 4:45 pace group I was constantly talking to the others about what races were their favorites where they were from, what their goals were, etc. Despite how bad I felt it really made the time go by quicker. And those last 6 miles with Robert, they were something I never thought possible. I was in a lot of pain but we kept chatting and stopped paying attention to the fact that we were running a marathon. We talked about everything and just enjoyed being out there. And in the (delayed) spirit of Thanksgiving, I am incredibly grateful to Robert for taking me under his wing and helping me as much as he did.

5. 26.2 miles is a long time, period
The thing about the marathon is you can experience just about every emotion possible throughout the course of the race. Just because you are feeling great now doesn't mean you won't feel crappy later and vice versa. I learned the hard way that you can't dwell on things. No matter how bad you feel you will also feel better for times. Those hard mental times make it really easy to give up and throw in the towel but it is so important to just ride out the storm.

6. Running a marathon is 90% mental
Honestly, when I woke up the morning of the race I wasn't mentally into it. I didn't want to race that day and from the minute I crossed the starting line my legs felt heavy and slow. I was upset about not running New York and just couldn't get excited for this race. My attitude was bad and only got worse. Running a marathon is not something to be taken lightly. If you are not excited for it it will show in your performance.

Friday, November 23, 2012

York YMCA Turkey Trot 5K 2012 Race Recap

The York YMCA Turkey Trot is one of my all time favorite races. I run in almost every year and always have a blast. This year my mom and dad, my boyfriend and I all ran it. The race is only a few miles from our house so we were able to sleep in a bit and ended up getting there around 8:15. I was hoping to run Tuesday or Wednesday but I just didn't want to so this was the first time I ran since the Harrisburg Marathon. I was a little nervous about how my legs would feel and contemplated doing a short warm up but never got around to it. Even though it is a "small local race" there were over 4,000 runners. Pretty impressive for York, Pa!

The race started a few minutes late but before we knew it we were off and running. My boyfriend decided to stick with me for the first mile but I could tell he wanted to run faster. I tried to keep up with him but my lungs didn't really want to. I really struggled to fall into a groove during the first mile and was getting frustrated. A little after the first mile my boyfriend decided to run ahead of me so I could do my own thing. I loved that he ran with me but I'm glad I didn't hold him back the entire time. During a nice downhill I started to find my rhythm. My chest was really burning and I was having trouble breathing but my legs felt pretty good. Definitely couldn't tell I ran a marathon a week and half before.

The last half of the race was much better than the first. I started to pick up the pace and finally felt comfortable in my stride. The course was new due to the increase in runners and I was really loving the rolling hills. I love flying on the downhills! The end of the race snuck up on me and before I knew it it was time to sprint to the finish. I felt great the last half mile and was reminded why I love running. As soon as I crossed the finish line and stopped running I felt like I was going to get sick though. This seems to be a common occurrence after 5K's. After grabbing some water I went to find my boyfriend and my parents. Everyone had a great race!

Mom- 27:47
Dad- 28:07
Boyfriend- 23:30
Me- 25:41

This was my mom's first ever running race and she has been been training for months. She had a botched knee surgery 9 years ago and started to run in the spring. It took her awhile to build up to running a 5K but she did great. My dad just had hernia surgery 2 months ago and this was his first time running since the summer. Both did awesome! My boyfriend didn't do a best time but would have had he not run with me for the first mile. He is the best! I'm really happy with my time. I didn't care too much about my time but a PR is always nice.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What I Learned from My First Marathon: Training

When I signed up to run the ING New York City Marathon back in March I really didn't know what I was getting myself into. I was intrigued by the marathon and wanted to give it my best shot. I pictured myself doing all the things that I thought marathons did, like ice baths, foam rolling, compression socks. I thought if I acted the part then I would be a real marathoner. The problem is, nothing ever goes according to plan. Even after finishing the Harrisburg Marathon I still don't feel like a marathoner. I don't even feel comfortable calling myself a runner yet. Despite all this, I learned more than I could have ever imagined. I think it is important to write down these things so I don't forget them the next time around, and hopefully they provide some help to others. So here we go.

1. Long runs will end up consuming the entire day
I lucked out in that I could do my long runs on Friday since I didn't have class and then have the rest of the weekend to do weekend things. The trail that I did my long runs at was anywhere from 30-45 minutes away depending on traffic so that added 60-90 minutes to the whole trip total. The actual runs lasted anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on how long I was running plus a few minutes here and there for switching out my water bottles. I would have to wake up early in order to eat breakfast in plenty of time. Then after the run I often would take a nap because I was tired. My day would start at 6:00 and I wouldn't be back to the apartment until 1:00. This ended up working out for me since I had no Friday classes but it sure took up the entire day.

2. Expect setbacks during training
The month of September was pretty rough for me. Instead of really pushing myself and getting into the heart of training I had to take a week off from running to rehab a strained quad muscle. Even before that week I had backed off of training quite a bit to try to relieve some of the pain. Then I had to ease back into training. I didn't really plan for anything to go wrong and so the rest of my training was messed up. I did the best I could for the rest of training but that setback really messed some things up. I am now allowing for setbacks in my training so that if something does go wrong it won't greatly affect my race.

3. A running partner is a wonderful luxury
I did almost all of my training by myself and I was fine with it most of the time. I truly like running by myself so I really didn't mind it. It was the long runs that really got to me. I was constantly doubting myself and I often cut runs short because I thought I was doing terribly. For my last three long runs I asked my dad my bike alongside with me to keep me company. What a difference. The time flew by and I knew I couldn't bail out early. I still don't have anyone to run with though (hint, hint anyone who lives in Baltimore County).

4. Long runs are invaluable to training
Due to my minor injury in September I got behind on my long runs. I did two 14 milers, a 15 miler, a 16 miler and a 20 miler. Next time I want to do a lot more long runs to get more comfortable running for longer distances. While my training did get me across the finish line in under 5 hours I know I can make significant improvements with more endurance training. I also think it's important to do some longer runs during the week to held build endurance. My brain hasn't quite caught up to my body so I kept thinking 7-8 miles was too much plus a long run but when I did try it I did absolutely great.

5. Bad runs are just a part of the program
At the end of the summer I wrote a post about how I had been having some really great training runs. I most likely jinxed myself because I had a whole slew of bad runs throughout September. Bad runs are annoying but they will always happen.

6. Strength training and other forms of cross training will help keep you healthy and happy
When I first started marathon training I was also training for a triathlon. I ran 3-4 times a week, biked twice, swam once, did yoga 1-2 times and did strength work 2 times a week. I saw great improvement in every area and I felt great. Once school started and I was pretty much only running I strained a muscle in my quad. I don't think that was a coincident. I put so much importance of the actual running that I neglected to do anything else. Not again.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Planning Ahead: Spring 2013

As sad as I get when a training cycle comes to an end, I am even more excited about what will be coming next. After I finished the Harrisburg Marathon I found myself with no races on my calendar except for the Thanksgiving turkey trot I'm running. With the cancellation of this year's NYC Marathon there is a good chance I will receive guaranteed entry into next year's race but that is just speculation as of now.

I tossed back & forth the idea of running the Pittsburgh Marathon in the beginning of May but wasn't sure if running another marathon so soon was a good idea. Regardless of whether I run the NYC Marathon next year or not, I still want to run a fall marathon and I worried that 3 marathons in 12 months wasn't a smart move.

While I am typically a person with a plan I try not to plan to far ahead. I try to live in the moment as much as possible. I do want to spend more time training for triathlons this year though. My ultimate goal is to do an Ironman and I think the best way to start that journey is to establish a base and get comfortable racing sprint and Olympic distance triathlons first. I also really like focusing on different things throughout the year to prevent burnout. If I ran the Pittsburgh Marathon I wouldn't have much time for triathlon training because of the longer recovery time associated with marathons.

Last spring I ran the Rock N' Roll USA Half Marathon in DC but didn't completely love this race. I didn't want to travel for a race but wasn't getting excited for any of the races around. I ran 3 half marathons in 2012 and between those 3 dropped 20 minutes. My current half marathon PR is 2:03:00 and now I am itching to break two hours.

Enter the Nike Women's Half Marathon. I found out about this race back in September but thought I would have to enter the lottery in order to get a spot. The race is also pretty pricey for a half marathon at $160. Earlier this week I found out about the college registration that is both guaranteed and only $125. Three cheers for being in college! I registered for this race hours after registration opened on Friday and am beyond excited. Spring 2013 is all about running a fast half marathon. Bring it on!

Post Marathon Recovery & Update

I still can't believe I ran my first marathon last weekend. It seems like so long ago, yet so close at the same time. 2012 has been a really big year for me and I made a lot of progress in my running and training. I have spent the majority of the year training for something and haven't really had a break. Not only did I need a physical break from training to recover from running 26.2 miles but I also needed a mental break. Balancing school with training is always hard for me because I feel guilty going for a run when I have a test the next day. I feel I should be studying even though the break will probably help me in the long run.

So for now I am enjoying not doing anything. I took off the entire week from all exercise more for my mental health than anything else. I really enjoyed the extra time to clean up my apartment and focus more on my schoolwork. It was a much needed stress-free week for me. By Friday I started to get a little stir crazy and wanted to do something active but I restrained so I could completely focus on resting and relaxing. I don't want to feel forced into working out again. My goal is to be anxious and excited to exercise with no pressure.

Even though I haven't tested my legs out on the roads yet they are feeling pretty good. My whole body was pretty sore Monday and I was waddling instead of walking but there wasn't much actual pain. By Tuesday I was pretty much back to normal, only more tired than usual. Besides my total body soreness Sunday & Monday only my calves were really sore Tuesday & Wednesday.

Not working out all this week also allowed me to catch up on sleep. I was in bed by 10:30 Monday through Thursday instead of my usual 12:30 bedtime. I had a lot of trouble sleeping Sunday night because I was so achy but the rest of the week has been glorious. I was amazed at how tired I was the entire week.

This next week I will start easing back into exercise but will only do what I want. I want to enjoy the off-season and start my next training cycle feeling rejuvenated and rested. I am running a 5K on Thursday and will hopefully run once before that to loosen my legs out before the race. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Harrisburg Marathon Race Report

It has now been two days since I ran my first MARATHON! This has been such a long journey and one that I am sad has come to an end. This has also been an incredibly rewarding experience. I have learned so much about myself and am even more excited to train for my next marathon.

When I found about the NYC Marathon being cancelled I chose to run the Harrisburg because of its close proximity to my house. Harrisburg is a small race that doesn't have an expo so I picked up my bib before the race. We got there around 7:00 and the race started at 8:30. There was a nice enclosed pavilion with heaters that runners were allowed to wait in. I especially liked that there was no line for the bathroom until about 15 minutes before the start.

The race started promptly at 8:30 and there were no corrals. There were some pace groups to help runners decide where to line up. I wasn't sure where to up so I hopped in with the 4:40 group. The start of the race was not as exciting as I would have liked. I expected to be emotional when I crossed the starting line but I didn't really feel anything.

I saw my parents a few times within the first few miles and felt pretty good. The 4:40 pace group was all getting to know each other and I really enjoyed feeling that I was not alone. I also liked the idea of just following the pace leader and not worrying about how fast I was going.

In retrospect, I should not have tried to run with a pace group. There were times when I wanted to slow down some but was afraid to fall behind. I wasn't running my race and that is a mistake I will not make again.  I split off from the group around mile 12 and was so glad I did. I slowed down and ran however felt comfortable.

Despite splitting off from the group I still wasn't feeling fantastic. Miles 14-20 were absolutely brutal for me. My legs felt terrible and I didn't want to be running. There were hardly any spectators, which I hated. Around mile 18 a long serious of hills started which is where everything fell apart.

My knees hurt so badly and only felt worse with each uphill and downhill. I was just going to walk to the finish line because of how miserable I was. At almost exactly the 20 mile marker I met a man named Robert who tried to get me to run again. I didn't want to run but I wanted the race to over even more.

So I ran. We ran together all the way to the finish and those 6 miles were my favorite of the entire race. I felt the best and happiest then. Throughout those 6 miles we talked about ultra running, marathons, injuries, and life in general. There were also periods of time where nothing was said and those were just as wonderful.

I felt so at peace running with someone else. I was and am so incredibly grateful to Robert for putting me first despite the fact that I had never met him before. He ran a 50K the day before and was running the marathon to put in miles for training for his first 50 miler. I am honestly not sure I would have run any of those last 6 miles if it wasn't for Robert.

The greatest feeling during any running race is feeling strong during the last mile. I didn't feel fast but I felt in control. We were even able to pick it up during the last half mile. I never thought I would say that I enjoyed the last 6 miles of a marathon so much.

I finished in just under 5 hours, which I am okay with. I would have liked to run faster but I did what I could. It was a really hard day both physically and mentally. Some days produce great runs and others, bad runs. Sunday was a bad run day. I wish I could have changed the outcome of the race but it is what it is.

All in all it was a great experience that taught me so much about myself as a runner.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Night Before

Tomorrow is the big day. After the whirlwind of events last weekend I wasn't sure if I would be running a marathon this fall or not. I had all but made up my mind to bag the marathon and ran a half instead when I made the impulsive decision to not give up on my dream. So now I am running the Harrisburg Marathon tomorrow as my first ever marathon. It's definitely not what I expected would be my first marathon but I am out of the world excited for it.

The plan was to come home Thursday night and spend all Friday and today relaxing and getting my homework done so I could enjoy race weekend. But then a meeting popped up on Friday and before I knew it I had gotten none of my homework done at the end of the day Friday. I woke up determined to get as much done as possible without stressing out. It wasn't my ideal day for before a big race but it could have been so much worse.

I have been a good endurance runner and have been eating every carb that comes my way today. I have also had enough to drink to probably fill a bath tub. I have been living in my compression socks and have been staying off my feet. I feel well rested and ready to race tomorrow.

I'm not sure what tomorrow will bring for me but I am letting go of all time goals and focusing on solely enjoying this experience. I will only have one first marathon and I want it to be as memorable as possible. I want to finish tomorrow's race inspired to learn how to improve at this distance not regretting my decision to sign up to run 26.2 miles. I am not wearing a watch and quite frankly I don't give a rats ass what my time is. I am doing this race because I love running and I have something to prove to myself. I will worry about time goals during shorter races.

Despite all this excitement I am still really nervous. On Friday I told one of my professors I was terrified. When my nerves start to overtake my thoughts I try to remember being told by a writer for Runner's World that if you aren't nervous there is a serious problem. I have trained for this race. I ran a brutal 20 miles a week after knocking 18 minutes off of my half marathon PR from the spring. I may not have trained like an experienced marathoner but that is because I am not one. This is my first marathon and only my second year of casual running. Yes, casual running. I run because I enjoy it. Racing is an added bonus.

Tomorrow I am going to run the most enjoyable 26.2 miles of my life.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The NYC Non Marathon

Before I went to bed on Saturday night I decided I had to go for a run in Central Park before heading home on Sunday. I woke up with plenty of time before we had to catch our train and could hear tons of runners screaming and cheering in the park. My uncle's apartment where I stayed over the weekend overlooks Central Park and when I looked out the window Sunday morning I saw hundreds of runners enjoying the beautiful morning. I quickly got dressed to go for a short run but never expected my run to be so inspirational. 

My dad and I walked over to the park and were greeted with hoards of happy runners, many of whom were wearing their NYC Marathon shirts. It was an absolutely gorgeous morning in New York, one that would have made for a very enjoyable marathon. 

After arriving I quickly started running to warm up and also so I could run as much as possible before catching the train home. When I first started running I knew there were a lot of would-be marathoners out but I had no idea the extent of what was happening in the park.

I was amazed how as soon as I started running I felt like I fit in. I have a really hard time calling myself a runner and often feel like I stick out among runners. I feel that other runners have more experience and in general run more than me and therefore I am inferior as a runner. But while running in Central Park on Sunday morning I truly felt like I was a part of the unique marathon experience. I didn't know anyone so I hopped in with a group of runners from Mexico and chatted with them for awhile. I never would have imagined I would use all my years of Spanish while running.

As I was running I passed a large group of runners who were all wearing their NYC Marathon shirts and wearing their bibs. I found out from the runners from Mexico that a lot of runners were running the full marathon throughout Central Park. I couldn't believe just how many people actually ran a marathon on Sunday morning.

After a mile or so I left the group of runners from Mexico and sped up a bit. As I was nearing the would-be marathon finish line I had to slow to a walk because so many runners were out. The finish line was gated off so you couldn't run through it but there were tons of runners taking pictures near it. 

The bleachers were still set up and were filled with both runners and spectators who were out to cheer on all the runners. A group of runners from Sweden or Norway (I think, I really can't remember which country) set up a makeshift finish line for everyone to run through. People were out with cowbells, signs, water bottles supporting all the runners who were doing what they do best.

It was during this run that I knew I needed to run a marathon this fall. Originally I was torn over whether I should run a marathon or a half marathon but this run was pure inspiration. The movie Spirit of the Marathon could have been about the run in Central Park on Sunday. There was so much energy and emotion among all the runners. I was so proud to be a part of such a wonderful community full of dedicated and motivational people.

Monday, November 5, 2012

NYCM Replacement Race

When I found out that the NYC Marathon was cancelled I decided I would run the Philadelphia Marathon instead. Except the Philadelphia Marathon was closed within an hour of the cancellation. I thought about running Richmond but really had no desire to make that my first marathon. I've heard great things about Richmond but I just couldn't get mentally on board for that race. I didn't really know of any other races within the next few weeks that would be easily able to get to so I decided to run a half marathon in December and shoot for another PR. I figured I would just retrain and run a spring marathon.

Late Saturday night, after spending the day exploring New York I started thinking about how I did want to run a marathon this fall. My training may not have been perfect but I still trained with the intention of running marathon on November 4th. I called my mom but was still undecided about what I should do. I decided to sleep on it and decide later. When I woke up in the morning I went for a run in Central Park and decided during that run that I needed to run a marathon this fall.

I had heard about a small marathon being held on November 11th in Harrisburg, Pa about 45 minutes from my parents house and a little less than two hours from my apartment at school. I was hesitant about running such a small marathon since crowd support really helps get me through races. Once I got home I checked out the facebook page I saw that dozens of fellow displaced NYC marathoners would be running this race. I saw how accommodating the race officials were and knew this would be a great race.

Harrisburg Marathon- November 11, 2012

If it is even possible I may be more excited for this race than I was for the NYC Marathon. This whole thing has been such a unique experience and I am in a weird way glad to be a part of it. My respect towards the running community grew exponentially this weekend and after spending the weekend touring the city and am itching to run the race next year. I never would have imagined this is how everything would have turned out but I am excited and ready to take on the challenge.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Lot Has Happened...

A lot has happened since the last time I posted. I meant to post all this past week leading up to the NYC Marathon but I couldn't get internet connection and then when I did things just got too crazy. Up through last weekend I didn't know that Sandy was supposed to even hit New York. I knew some rain and wind was expected but I never expected all the damage and destruction that happened. I followed the reports all through Monday night since campus was closed on Tuesday and started to realize how bad things were. When I woke up on Tuesday morning I called my mom in tears that there was no way the marathon could be held. I was sure that it would be cancelled based on everything I was seeing on twitter.

But then the marathon wasn't cancelled. In fact, we were told that the race would absolutely happen. I didn't understand how that was possible but I figured that they knew their city best and they wouldn't have said the race was going to be possible if it wasn't. I continued my taper expecting to run a marathon today. As the week continued I kept seeing how uncomfortable many runners were with the idea of running a marathon while so much of the city we were supposed to run through was under water. A lot of people decided to defer to next year but I didn't know what to do. I had paid a lot of money and not only me but my family had sacrificed a lot to get me ready for this race. There was no way that I couldn't run if the race was still being held.

Friday morning my dad and I took the train out of Lancaster and arrived in New York around 2. We walked from Penn Station over to the expo and spent a couple hours wandering around, listening to speakers, and just soaking everything in. The more time I spent at the expo the more I wanted to run this race. Sometime around 5 we decided to finally leave and head over to my uncle's apartment where we were staying. While in line for the bathroom I heard a girl say that her friend had text her that the marathon was cancelled. I instantly had a pit in my stomach. A lot of people said it was a rumor and shrugged it off. I knew though that what we were hearing was true.

I quickly told my dad what I had heard and then jumped on my phone to see what I could find out. I saw on CNBC that the race was off. We walked over to the registration booths to try to get a confirmation but the volunteers hadn't heard anything until then. After receiving a phone call from my mom that it was all over the news that the race was cancelled we headed to a local pizza place to try to catch the press conference on their TV. We could only get the local news station but it was enough. The race was not happening. I was heartbroken but at the same time relieved. I knew it was the right decision but it should have been made Tuesday or Wednesday.

My dad and I decided to make the best of our time in the city and what started off as a nightmare turned into one of the most enjoyable experiences.