#bostonstrong

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BlRN7ziCAAAf1qrI always get chills when I get to the bit about the runners who ran those extra two miles.

Some shit’s going down tonight, I don’t even know, they were detonating backpacks while I went through Copley I guess and there’s someone in custody and honestly I just would wish people stop trying to blow up other people.

race report: Cohasset Road Race by the Sea!

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Yesterday I drove down to Cohasset, MA to run the Cohasset Road Race by the Sea, a pretty 10K (6.2 miles) along the coastline of Massachusetts. It was a glorious, perfect blue day.

And…. well.

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This is the excited face of someone who doesn’t know the hell she is about to endure. Also, 50% of my running pictures look like this. I need a new pose.

This was my first-ever 10K race and I will just say I did horribly. I went out too fast, I wasn’t expecting the hills (maybe I’ll look at the course map next time?), and at about mile 3 I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to make it. I did finish, which was my main goal, but I had to take a short walking break in the middle (secondary goal was to run the entire thing, boo), and I barely finished ahead of the race’s oldest runner, an 80-year-old man. I mean he’s obviously a badass because he’s 80 and running 6.2 miles (what have you done lately?), but it still didn’t make me feel great since I consider myself a relatively-fit 28-year-old. In my defense (sort of), I woke up this morning too sick to go to work, so that might have had something to do with yesterday’s performance, but I am still not happy with the result.

The other 50% of my running photos look like this. Fierce pre-race Grace.

The other 50% of my running photos look like this. Fierce pre-race Grace.

The race itself was great though, I would totally run it again. The route was beautiful quaint New England and the race was very well-organized; bib and race shirt pickup was as efficient as a local election, but with much better organization than any election I’ve ever participated in. Everyone was friendly and smiling, and the team managed over 1000 runners easily. And having had some horrible experiences with the Color Run, I was even happy at how smoothly the parking experience went. (It’s the little things, guys, that really aren’t that little.)

So next year I will hopefully be in even better shape and prepared for the hills and not fighting off a pre-sickness and we’ll have a similarly perfect blue day to run the 39th Cohasset Road Race by the Sea!

The finish line, calm and waiting.

The finish line, calm and waiting.

unpopular opinion: Captain America II is just kind of an OK movie

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~~~WARNING: RAMPANT SPOILERS~~~

captain-america-winter-soldier-poster-evans-610x872Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Captain America: The Winter Soldier Rides Again or whatever the movie is called. There was wit, there was action, there were some very necessary Cap-as-a-man-out-of-time moments. I think this movie contains my favorite 30 seconds of Nick Fury ever, and small touches like Natasha wearing an arrow necklace (Black Widow + Hawkeye = OTP) really added depth to the Marvel story as a whole. The action was impeccable—the elevator! Bucky and Steve mano-a-mano! Every scene with a car!

But while I liked all of the individual pieces of the movie, as a whole they didn’t add up. I enjoyed the heartbreaking scene with old lady Peggy, but narratively it didn’t need to be there. (Maybe it would have been a good post-credit sequence?) The first third of the movie dragged for me, until the actual Plot showed up and there was a clear reason for the movie to be happening.

Mostly, the surprising/not-surprising twists annoyed and bored me. (I wasn’t kidding about the spoilers, guys, stop now.) We all know they’re not going to actually kill Nick Fury. He’s a spy. He’s the spy. Even his death lies. And we all know Robert Redford is the bad guy the instant he strolls on screen. The people I saw the movie with argued that those things weren’t supposed to surprise the audience, they were just supposed to surprise the characters. OK. That’s a perfectly valuable narrative device—except that for the entire movie the audience knows that the Winter Solder is Bucky Barnes and is waiting for Steve to figure it out and react to it. You can’t hang all of the major points of the movie on the same narrative device. You just can’t.

On that topic, I was also disappointed in how little Bucky Barnes actually meant to the story. That assassin could have been anyone and the only thing that would have changed was the final “I won’t fight you” fight scene. There was so much going on, and I think the Bucky story suffered in the grand scheme of events, which is a shame because there was so much potential there.

As an entry in the Marvel universe, the movie is overall satisfactory, and I’ll definitely rewatch it and enjoy it. However, I’ll be rewatching it the same way I watch, say, Watchmen—because aesthetically I enjoy all of the individual scenes, characters, and jokes, but not because I enjoy it as a movie event. Which is a shame.

The Guardians of the Galaxy trailer looks amazeballs, though. Bring it, Marvel.

long run report: 3/23/14 (plus, overcoming the 3-mile wall)

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(for those of you who aren’t here for the running, I promise the next post is about comic books)

Distance: 5 miles (longest run evahhhhhh)

The snow has finally melted.

Still gloomy outside and icy in the water, but at least the path is clear!

Still gloomy outside and icy in the water, but at least the path is clear!

This means I can run on the reservoir again and not destroy my body trying to run up and down hills. Hurray! And today it meant I had a nice flat 5 miles to run, scoring my longest distance ever. Hurray again!

It’s very fulfilling when you pass your previous longest distance (in my case, 4 miles and a bit) and then you can spend the final mile going “every single step you take from here on out is your longest run ever.” And then if your music randomly shuffles to Final Countdown at the end, that helps a bit too.

Getting to 5 miles has been a longer journey than I expected. After my knee surgery and PT, I got back up to around 3 mile runs in time for my first 5K in October. Now it’s March, which means it’s taken about 6 months to add 2 miles, which seems excessive. I could blame the cold and snow (I only run outside) or I could blame my own laziness (usually valid), but I think in this case I just mentally couldn’t break past 3 miles. 3 miles was my goal distance for so long, because it was a good “starting” goal, that when I got there I just couldn’t readjust my thinking to the new goal of 4 miles. I knew I wanted to run 4 miles. I signed up for a half marathon, so I knew I needed 4 miles and then some. I just couldn’t do it.

But I hate to fail at things. I’m signed up for a 10K in a couple of weeks (this one) and I think that helped me do it—I don’t want to fail at that 6-and-a-bit miles, so I’ve been able to finally bust through my 3-mile wall.

I like to think I have enough self-discipline that I don’t need an external impetus to succeed, but maybe that’s just not true.

*signs up for more races*

long run report: 3/2/14

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Distance: ~3.25 miles

Funny story (funny/not funny), my Garmin couldn’t find me today so I wasn’t able to track my time or mileage properly. Sigh. Has anyone else had this problem? Is it because it was overcast? It worked fine in the same area earlier this week.

Anyway, I was trying to find a flat route today, since I’ve (accidentally) done hills for my last few runs and I’ve been feeling it in my feet. Went partway around the reservoir until it got icy, then retraced my steps.

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This part is so much nicer in summer.

So my run ended up pretty flat but not quite as long as I wanted. Then I came home and had pancakes, which meant I had to say “pamcakes” a lot, because Hellboy.

Hellboy_Pancakes1Pamcakes2If you think this post on running has simply turned into an excuse to post Hellboy comics, you would be correct.

Runners: Assemble!

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SO.

Today I was at work, like you do. Working, minding my owns, etc. BUT THEN. I left a meeting and got back to my desk just in time to see this tweet from RunDisney:

At which point I pretty much lost my shit. An Avengers half marathon at Disneyland?? There may have been some of this:

And maybe a little of this:

Of course, now I have to choose: Avengers in November or Disney Princess in February? Probably can’t manage both. There’s something magical about taking part in the First Ever in the Entire World Avengers Half Marathon, but I’ve been looking forward to the Princess Half for literally years. I don’t know what to doooooo.

(And yes, I have a costume picked out for both races and no, I am not telling you what they are.)

Anyone out there planning to do either? Both? HELP ME DECIDE, OBI-WANS.

long run report: 2/22/14

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Distance: 4 miles

Accidentally ran up Heartbreak Hill today because FUNSIES. I mean, actually, I accidentally ran down it, and then I had to go up to get back home again. I guess I didn’t realize it was quite so close.

oy vey

Nothing like a blue sky and a nice hill to make you feel alive.

I need to find a new route so I’m not doing my long run and hill workouts at the same time, because that seems like kind of a poor idea. My Garmin (present to myself before sudden vet bills occurred yesterday) will arrive sometime this week, so it will be easier to make up (hill-free) routes as I go and still keep track of my distance.

It’s so cool seeing all the other runners emerging from hibernation. Springtime + Marathon training = lots of running friends!