2012 Hyannis Half Marathon Recap!

Look at how times have changed! The medal on the right is from 2005 when I last ran the Hyannis 1/2 Marathon. I love this year's medal because it's so colorful!

I was looking forward to a weekend on the Cape since I booked my hotel room.  My news about work was not going to stop me from running and I was going to be a good mood!  My running buddy, Nilesh said to me on Friday “Free your mind.” and that’s just what I did.

I went down to Hyannis with my Run Club buddy, Anna, and we had a great Saturday going shopping and out to dinner.  We stayed at the Holiday Inn in Hyannis and it was a short drive to the start.  If we ever run the race again, I’ll make sure to book the hotel room earlier so that we can stay at the main hotel.   We parked about 10 minutes from the start and finish, which meant for a very cold walk back to the car after the race!

My goal for the race was 1:45 since I am coming off a marathon and I did not know if I could clear my mind to run an anxiety attack-free race.  It was a very windy day so it was very cold at the beginning of the race, but I quickly warmed up within the first few miles.   I was surprised by how good my legs felt so I ran as hard as I could.  The course was challenging, but I loved the rolling hills.  It would have been better without the wind though.

As I was a few hundred feet from the finish, my other Run Club buddy, Alex, scared the crap out of me as he jumped out of no where and cheered me on.  It was a good boost and I was able to sprint up the hill to the finish.  I wore my Timex for the race and tried to do splits on my own, but I lost track of the mile markers after mile 6 so I stopped looking at my watch.  When I stopped my watch at the finish, I was pleasantly surprised to see 1:42!  Official results are not up yet so I do not know my exact time, but it was under my goal time so I was pretty happy with my time.  I was also able to run without thinking about work or my uncertain future!  Now I just need to channel that same focus on April 16 and I’ll be all set.  =)

There were a few DFMC teammates also running the 1/2 marathon today, but I did not see them so I hope everyone had a great race!  See you soon at a training run!

Fundraising Update!  Thank you to those who have already donated to my run!   It means a lot to me!!   I am almost to $2K!

If you haven’t donated yet, you can donate here www.runDFMC.org/2012/bettyy

Honor Roll of Donors:

-My old running buddy, April

-My Run Club buddy, Patrick

-My brother in law’s cousin, Corey Chin

-My sister’s bridesmaid, Ketty Lieu

-My BOMF buddies, Mary Martini & Joslynn Lee

-Stuy buddy, Mogan Shieh

-Mrs. Chin’s daughter, Patti Liang

-Mrs. Chin’s son, Wayman Chin

-Mr. Chin

-My SLP co-worker, Katrina Bernstein

-My OT classmate, Sue Boyle

-My aunt and uncle from HK, Ann and Benny Chan

-BMC Resident, Rajni Tanden

-My mom

-My nieces, Jo Jo and Val

-My realtor, Ryan Persac

-My Aussie friend, Matt Ho

-My high school co-captain, Tiffany Choi

-My grandmother

-My uncle, Davy

-One of my best friends from high school, Carolyn Chan

-My buddy Laura’s husband, Christopher Liston

-My running buddy, Glen Graubart

-My aunt, Chris

-My Boston running buddy, Jan Nygren

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The day I lost my job….

What could ruin a perfect morning run in the snow?  Thoughts that I won’t have a job in a few months.   Yesterday, we were told that they were closing my unit and all of rehab medicine at BMC.   The projected date is July 1st, but it could be sooner depending on when our last patient leaves.

We were all shocked by the news and feelings of shock turned into anger very quickly.  A status post could not capture what I’m feeling so I’m blogging instead.

As an occupational therapist, I felt that I had job security because we are rare and we are an important part of a rehab team.   I also felt secure on my unit at BMC because we have been the “dumping grounds” for BMC and other hospitals.  When a homeless person has a stroke or falls and breaks their neck, other rehabs won’t take them because there is no discharge plan so they get sent to my unit.   When someone who has no health insurance has a stroke or spinal cord injury and needs rehab, they get sent to my unit.  When BMC messes up a surgery and the patient needs rehab afterwards, they get sent to my unit.

I’m not being biased, but I truly believe that we provided the best care to every patient, whether they were homeless or not, that came through my unit.  My team of residents, nurses, nursing assistants, therapists, etc worked as a team to provide exceptional care.  We lived BMC’s motto “Exceptional Care Without Exception”.  It was a really sad day at work yesterday.  With my unit closing, BMC will have a hard time placing those patients in another rehab facility.   BMC will not be able to provide the proper care to those patients.

So what do I do now?  My mind was racing yesterday and after a 2 hour run this morning to try to think of a plan, I have no idea about the future.  Here are some ideas that ran through my head….

-Move to Hawaii

-Apply for a job at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA

-Open a running store with my friend, Jay Murphy

-Move back to NYC

-Get a sponsor and become a professional runner

I’ll keep you posted on what I end up choosing, but it will be a hard decision to make as I hard time dealing with change.  If you know me, I am a creature of habit so this really throws a wrench in my life.  I know worse things could have happened so I am going to try to stay calm during this time of transition and look at the positives from this situation.

Back to training…

I am almost over my jet lag and needed to get back on the road today.  The DFMC team is going to run 20 miles tomorrow, but I have to work so I ran on my own.  I decided to run 12 miles since I have only run 6 miles since the HK Marathon.   I am running the Hyannis 1/2 next weekend so I needed to run double digits to make sure that I did not crash next weekend!

There was a major headwind on the way out on the Boston Marathon course, which meant a tail wind on the way back so I ran into the wind without too many complaints.   I left my apartment much later than usual so it was very busy out and I had to dodge everything from people, strollers, dogs, and cars.

I thought about how different my training has been this year compared to previous years and thought about Marathon Monday.   Besides the crazy snow and temperatures last winter, it was tough mentally to train alone and get all the long runs done.  This year, I have the support of the DFMC group runs and I am running races to prep for the marathon.  I usually do not run any of the “Boston prep” races because I do not like waiting in the cold for a race to start.  I am excited to run the Hyannis 1/2 with my friend, Anna, and I’m hoping for warm weather!! 

I felt great on my run today and am looking forward to the rest of the training season!

Fundraising Update!  Thank you to those who have already donated to my run!   It means a lot to me!!   I have raised $1,791 so far.  Almost to $2K!

If you haven’t donated yet, you can donate here www.runDFMC.org/2012/bettyy

Honor Roll of Donors:

-My Run Club buddy, Patrick

-My brother in law’s cousin, Corey Chin

-My sister’s bridesmaid, Ketty Lieu

-My BOMF buddies, Mary Martini & Joslynn Lee

-Stuy buddy, Mogan Shieh

-Mrs. Chin’s daughter, Patti Liang

-Mrs. Chin’s son, Wayman Chin

-Mr. Chin

-My SLP co-worker, Katrina Bernstein

-My OT classmate, Sue Boyle

-My aunt and uncle from HK, Ann and Benny Chan

-BMC Resident, Rajni Tanden

-My mom

-My nieces, Jo Jo and Val

-My realtor, Ryan Persac

-My Aussie friend, Matt Ho

-My high school co-captain, Tiffany Choi

-My grandmother

-My uncle, Davy

-One of my best friends from high school, Carolyn Chan

-My buddy Laura’s husband, Christopher Liston

-My running buddy, Glen Graubart

-My aunt, Chris

-My Boston running buddy, Jan Nygren

Hong Kong Marathon Recap!

I knew going into the Hong Kong Marathon that I was not at my best fitness level, but I was unprepared for the humidity and the elevation changes on the course.  I guess I should have studied the elevation map and converted meters to feet so that I could mentally prepare for the long uphills.
One of the long uphills to the first bridge on the right!
The morning of the marathon, my mom, sister, grandmother, and niece escorted me to the start.
My niece was so excited to be up at 5AM to watch Yee Yee run!
A trip to the portopotty woke me up instantly.  It was a squat toilet portopotty and I had to climb onto this thing to use it.  On my way down, the floor was wet and I slipped!  Luckily I have impecable balance and managed to stay upright.  Had I fallen into the potty, you would have been able to hear my scream in the US from Hong Kong.  My sister could not stop laughing when I told her the story.   For those of you who have never experienced a squat toilet, here is a picture.  Imagine this elevated in a portopotty…
There were no corrals or pace/mile markers to organize runners so I was able to stand very close to the starting line!  This is what the start looked like!
I decided to run with a handheld water bottle with Gatorade because they did not say exactly what sports drink would be provided on the course.  Within the first kilometer, I knew I had made the right decision because I was drenched!  It was so humid that morning, but locals were wearing tights and long sleeves.  I was hot just looking at them!  On the news after the race, some guy commented on how he did not think it was that hot.
They provided a drink called Iso-Tone and they handed them out in packages like this on the course!  I thought it was a huge waste to give out full bottles during the race.   They did the same thing at the Ediniburgh Marathon.  They gave out sports drinks like this one and full water bottles on the course.
 
It’s clear and has a citrus smell to it, but a terrible after taste.  I’m glad I had my Gatorade!   They also had chocolate bars and bananas on the course, but melted chocolate was not appealing to me so I only had bananas.
I also decided to wear my Garmin again because there were only kilometer markers and I would not get frustrated with my watch beeping before each mile marker.  The only problem was that I did not get reception in the 3 tunnels so the Garmin was useless.  It said that I ran 28.86 miles!
I ran pretty comfortably for the first half and crossed the halfway marker at 1:52.  It was after running the 3 bridges and 2 tunnels that I felt a decline.   Medics (not sure if they even qualified as Medics) were standing along the course with bottles of white liquid.  I watched runners stick their hands out for some of the white liquid and rub it all over their legs.  I kept running because I had no idea what it was, but I started to cramp and so I stuck my hand out for this mysterious white liquid.  It did not make my legs tingle like BioFreeze, but it helped with my cramps!  This is what it is:
 
A quick google search says that this stuff is good for joint pain…..
It was the first time that my Hong Kong relatives spectated a race so they did not know what to expect.    The course is not spectator friendly and my relatives only got to see me right before the finish line.  My slower pace caused them to wait extra long for me, but they all had a great time cheering for all the other runners and they even saw a few Hong Kong celebritities.   They were all exhausted afterwards and felt like they had run a marathon too.   I passed around my medal and everyone took pictures with it.
Part of my cheering squad!

Stats from the race:

Men’s winning time: 2:11:24
Women’s winning time: 2:30:09
My official time: 4:05:28
I can’t find out the official numbers of participants in the race, so these numbers are from the guidebook of how many participants were registered.  There were definitely a lot more men in the marathon than women.
Full Marathon: 12,105
1/2 Marathon: 19,343
10K: 37,087