Pasta Dinner… and My First Half Marathon!

I survived my first half marathon!

Thank you for all the well wishes, dear friends. Boston’s Run to Remember was definitely the most memorable (and longest) race I’ve ever ran, and I’m so happy I was able to do it. It was a hot and humid morning, and I felt dehydrated as early as mile 2, but I chugged some water and Gatorade at each water station and was able to complete the full 13.1 miles with a giant smile as I crossed the finish line.

Sure, now I can barely walk, and my abs hurt even from just taking deep breaths (proves that running is such a good core workout), but I’m still pretty much on a runner’s high. So this is how it feels! Woohoo! I am totally signing up for another half, and eventually a full :)

When the race started, it was cloudy and muggy. The sun eventually came out, but it was very hot and humid.

The half-marathon was on Sunday, and I was a bundle of nerves and excitement on Saturday as I picked up my bib at the expo. However, I had a plan: a plan to spend Saturday night with friends and enjoy a big serving of carbs! As you may know, I have been using my half-marathon training as an excuse to ingest pasta regularly. I love pasta and when my friends suggested a low-key night at the North End (Boston’s Little Italy), I was definitely up for it. We decided to brave the lines at Giacomo’s.

For those of you not familiar with the North End, I find that there are always several places with long lines of people snaking out the door: Giacomo’s and the Daily Catch for pasta (I love the black squid ink pasta there), and Mike’s Pastry and Modern Pastry for cannolis. If you’re the (hungry) type who doesn’t want to wait in line for a restaurant, there are dozens of other wonderful choices all over the North End. But if you’re the (patient) type who considers waiting in line as part of the experience, then I can personally assure you that the wait is worth it.

just look at all those luscious plates of pasta!

also please note that part of the experience of dining at Giacomo's is that you'll all be squeezed into small tables

I ordered one of the night’s specials, which was a wild mushroom ravioli with pesto and goat cheese. It was delicious, it tasted light yet filling. My friends and I shared the calamari and mozzarella appetizers, and we were all stuffed after we polished off our meal. My friends let me try their pasta dishes too, and I really liked the Giacomo sauce which is a vodka-cream-tomato sauce. The Giacomo sauce seems to pair well with seafood; I just didn’t want to eat seafood before a race but I’m planning on getting it for myself next time. Giacomo’s provided the perfect pasta dinner.

During the race day itself, I woke up bright and early and ate a good breakfast: oatmeal with Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter and a banana. Then the actual race just seemed like a blur! I felt like it went by so quickly even if the last few miles felt agonizingly long. I also felt pretty familiar with the race course, as we ran majority of it along Memorial Drive, which is where I’ve been running for the last few months. There were water stations every two miles, and also Gatorade and GU energy gels at mile 8. I don’t like those GU shots at all, but I did bring my own energy fuel: citrus flavored sports beans. This is my favorite flavor, mostly because it reminds me of orange vitamin water. When I finally crossed the finish line, I was ecstatic!  Now I’m taking a few days off, then running the Chase Corporate Challenge 5K on Thursday with my co-workers (hopefully my shins wouldn’t hurt by then).

I loved my first half-marathon, and I appreciate all the well wishes and support from my family and friends, so thank you all! And special thanks to Lizzy for helping me come up with a personalized training plan. Now the question is – what should be my second half marathon??

I wouldn't normally post a sweaty, no make-up photo of me, but I'm making an exception this time to show off my race medal :)


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