Race Recap: 2018 Philly 10k

Anyone who has run a Philly race knows that people from this area do things with their whole heart.

They love their sports teams loudly (and um, might be a bit notorious for being jerks to the opposition).

They have feisty debates over what food is best and whose food is best.

And Philadelphians know how to throw a quality race. The Philly 10k is no exception. The 2018 race was its 5th year in existence and while I’ve always heard amazing things about it, it was my first year running.

The City Fit Girls know how to have a good time! I was at their fit retreat a week prior and saw many of the same faces again at the Philly 10k. I’ll be blogging about the retreat… eventually!

The main reason I haven’t registered during the past 4 years is that it’s always held at the end of August and I know that I’m not the best at running through the summer heat. Couple that with it being through South Philly and being bit outside of where I comfortably know my way around in the city, I’ve always sat this one out.

When registration opened earlier this year, my awesome friend and fellow mullet crew runner, Rachel, encouraged me to sign up. She’s one of my favorite people (to run with and just in general) so naturally, I did. And even when she got hurt and had to drop this race from her race card, she still encouraged me to run AND even found me a fellow City Fit Girl friend to run with.

She may be my meatball but we took our post-race selfie in front of Humpty’s Dumplings.

AND, THERE’S MORE! Since she was volunteering at the pre-race party/packet pickup, she was able to grab my race bag for me so I didn’t have to haul my cookies into the city twice! PLUS! She hosted me the night before the race, carried my stuff around with her, and made sure I was fed and happy the entire time!

Because she’s awesome like that.

The Philly 10k starts and ends on South Street and winds through a part of Philly that others don’t usually touch. Ah, South Street. I spent many of my college evenings there. I got my tongue pierced there. Went there with friends to get tattoos. I digress. Never in a million years when I was in college did I think I’d be running a 10k there, that is for sure.

Hooking up with Brooke, who lives locally, was a godsend. She gave me a running commentary (har har) of all the places we were passing and what was up ahead. Most of the streets were tree lined, which helped keep the sun from directly beating down on us.

The first corral started at 7:30am and it got hot quick. We started with 3:1 intervals until it got uncomfortable and then did whatever we felt like for the rest of the race.

Pat’s or Geno’s? Cheesesteak smells good, even at 8:30 in the morning.

It was warming up significantly as we plodded along. The water stops were run by different Philly running groups, all of whom were very enthusiastic and shouting out our names. Some were reading bibs but then I realized that I actually KNEW people too, which was super exciting.

Philly doesn’t want any runners dying from heatstroke on their watch so there were a few fire hydrants open, which I took advantage of.  Plus, there was a guy handing out water bottles. He wasn’t an official water station but he had a baby with him and looked legit so YOU KNOW I TOOK ONE.

(It was sealed, don’t worry.)

It was cold and wonderful and there was a coupon for Devil’s Den on it. (Which we didn’t go to but I WILL BECAUSE THEY GAVE ME ICE COLD WATER.)

Thank the Lord! Amen!

After a few more turns and a few more friend sightings, we were coming up along the home stretch.

Rachel was there, camera in hand, waiting for us to come down the way!

Oh look, I’m talking. Big shock, I know. photo: Rachel

Brooke warned me at the begin that when we turn onto South Street aka the Finish Line Street, we still a bit to run. Actually, you can hear her telling me that in this video at both the start line and then when we are running that last stretch!

After we crossed the finish, we got towels that had been dipped in ice water, water, and bananas. And you know what that means…

Brooke did not get the message that we were taking a banana phone picture until hers was half eaten. photo: Rachel

Instead of medals, the Philly 10k has a surprise giveaway at the end of the race. In the past it’s been a map of the course (twice), a pennant, and a reusable bag. This year it was a poster. At first I thought it was a map of the course with pictures from the past 5 years. It’s not. But whatever!

So, let’s recap the recap.

Race: hot but awesome
People along the race course: awesome
Rachel and Brooke: hot and awesome
Me: doing this race again in 2019

Have you ever done the Philly 10k? Next year maybe I’ll race it. Maybe I’ll train for it. MAYBE.

Don’t Look Backwards – You’re Not Going That Way

Somehow, some way, it’s the middle of May.

I’m not sure how this happened. We were just sitting here, watching the snow fall last month (literally, it was just last month). New Jersey managed to skip over spring completely. Oh wait, not completely, because ALLERGIES are here in full force.

But yeah, other than that, it’s basically summer with temps most days in the 80s. Or raining. That’s what we’ve got going on over here. Summer or rain.

Here, for example, we were able to give out awards to our awesome HKRS runners… right before the skies opened up to a lovely downpour. Thanks to Kathleen B Photography for this picture!

At the end of 2017, I shared my race plans for 2018. Due to changes in plans and a few injuries, three of those didn’t happen. Did that stop me for registering for more races? NO! IT DID NOT. And now that the spring Healthy Kids Running Series is complete, I can begin training once more, the way I should prepare for races.

june

The inaugural Bungalow Beach Run is a 5 mile race that takes place in Atlantic City. As soon as I heard about this race, I knew I had to register!

First of all, it’s held by one of my favorites, the Atlantic City Marathon Races Series.

Secondly, the first 100 people to register get a beach towel (and you know I was one of those first 100 people!).

Registration cost was only $35 when the race opened (hello, affordable) and is currently $45. There’s day of packet pickup, medals, beer, entertainment, and THE BEACH. Plus, many of my local friends signed up for this one so I know it’s going to be a good time. I can’t wait!

august

Here’s a destination race for me – Vacation Races Elk Double. I’ll be taking a little trip across the country to join Jenn at her favorite race weekend!

I’m so excited for this for several reasons:

  1. JENN. I get my Jennifer! I haven’t seen her for far too long and I can’t wait! Not only that, but I get to spend 16.2 miles with her.
  2. Colorado. If you’ve been there, you know what I mean. If you haven’t been there, you should go!
  3. I’m bringing my family along with me! My boys are SO EXCITED for all things travel related but they’re really fixated on going to Colorado. Probably because of number 2.

So yes, I am really pumped for this and while I don’t want to rush time along or anything, I am very much looking forward to August! (And yes, I totally just copied and pasted my blurb from the previous blog. Not even going to pretend otherwise.)

I love a good 10k and I have it on good authority (aka all of my friends RAVE about this race) that The Philly 10k is amazing! This races sells out quickly each year and its piqued my interest mainly because it’s a race that takes place in Philly but not by the Art Museum. For those who live around this area, we know that most races happen on the same course, or at least a good portion of it does.

NOT THE PHILLY 10k! The course goes through South Street and Center City, which is a refreshing change! Sure it’s in August, and sure it may be hotter than the surface of the sun, and sure I might be regretting this in a few months… but for now? I’m stoked.

september

Back in 2013, Vic and Kyle ran the Bird-In-Hand Half Marathon. I believe it was then that I added this race to my bucket list. Five long years later, I have finally registered. Rachel and I needed a destination road trip and when she mentioned Bird-In-Hand, I said SOLD!

Last September we ran the Shenandoah Half together but since it’s not returning this year, we decided to set our sights on a tried and true race. Many runners, including many Team Shenanigans members talk about their love for this one so I’m really excited to experience all the hills it has to offer. Having run Ragnar PA last year also gives me a good idea of what to expect.

HEALTHY KIDS RUNNING SERIES HAPPENS MID-SEPTEMBER TO MID-OCTOBER. I’M BEING SMART (THIS TIME) AND NOT REGISTERING FOR ANY RACES DURING IT. I LEARNED MY LESSON!

october

I’m going back to A.C. and I’ll give you a hint: I won’t be doing the marathon, half marathon, or 5k during this race weekend. That’s right, it’s my favorite race distance, the 10k! I’ve run this race a couple of times in the past, both times were in the rain actually so I’m not really sure how the bodes for this October but I’m hoping for a nice fall day.

And I’m just going to put this out there: Finish Line Beer Garden.

Do with that what you will.

november

My very first road race was the Rothman 8k in 2011 during the Philadelphia Marathon weekend. While I was laid up with my broken wrist and in the middle of what I like to refer to as FOREVERWINTER, I decided that I was going to return to the race where it all began for me. After posting about it on Facebook, a good amount of people decided they’d sign up too! (I swear, I didn’t even work at talking anyone into it.)(Okay, maybe a little but they were highly motivated!)

I’m looking forward to this one because I really like this race weekend but I don’t want to do commit to training for a half (or full, for that matter – but that sorta goes without saying) around that time of year. A late November 8k is just right and since the weekend before Thanksgiving it always leaves me with warm fuzzies about running as we go into the holidays.

As always, there could be another race that comes on my radar for 2018 but these are the ones that are set in stone for now! I’m looking forward to all of them. I’ve adjusted my goals for this year, I’m not looking to PR any of these races and with my training thus far, I don’t think it’s very likely. My main goal is to get them done, remain injury free, and have a good time!

Race Recap: Run Inspired 10k

With fellow BibRave Pro, Ryan (IRUNONBEER)

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Run Inspired 10k race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

You know the song from Grease that goes: “I’ve got chills, they’re multiplyin'”?

I’ve decided to change that lyric to “I’ve got hills, they’re multiplyin'” in honor of the Run Inspired 10k!

Eating hills for breakfast, indeed.

The 2nd annual Run Inspired 10k in Winterthur, Delaware was held on October 15, 2017. The race benefits Operation Warm, which provides winter coats for children living in poverty. It’s a great cause and one that I was happy to support.

The start and finish were in the same location, and surrounded by the “race village”, which is where the Finishers Party was held. Bib Pickup could be done on Friday or Saturday at the Delaware Running Company or (as I opted to do) day of at the Registration tent for no additional fee.

At the bib pickup I was given my race bib, a long sleeved poly-blend women’s cut shirt, and a drawstring bag.

Parking was in a field, on a hill, overlooking the race village. There was also premium parking available a bit closer to the race village. The only issue was this year’s weather was rainy prior to the race, leaving the grass wet… which made for wet socks and shoes. Not ideal, but thankfully I prepared ahead of time by slathering my feet with 2 Toms Foot Shield.

There were 747 runners/walkers during this race (the 2016 inaugural race hosted 1,397 participants) and the management encourages both runners and walkers to participate.

Corrals are self-seeded with paces up to 10 minutes and then a “walkers” corral. A suggestion would be to extent the running corrals even further, as I know many (such as myself) employ the run/walk/run technique. The course was a bit tight at the beginning of the race and spreading paces out a bit further might assist with that.

As for the course, it was absolutely gorgeous! Hosted at the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, there was beautiful fall foliage and many things to look at along the way. From reading a previous review on BibRave, I knew that the course would be hilly (something that those from the area wouldn’t automatically assume because most of Delaware is flat as a pancake).

It was definitely a challenging course! I took advantage of the flat portions and the downhills as much as possible.

The volunteers stationed along the course and at the water stations were fantastic and encouraging. There were smiling faces everywhere. A portion of the course (1.5 miles) is along the road and it was clearly marked off with police officers directing traffic. I felt very safe.

The last push of the race was, unsurprisingly, uphill. It would have been very easy to be disheartened but my family was waiting for me and I could see them cheering. I usually don’t bring my family along to races because I fear they’ll be bored but with the knowledge of the Finishers Party, I knew there would be activities to keep them busy.

I returned to find my younger son’s face painted and my older son “tattooed”. They also loved winning prizes at the Operation Warm tent and were encouraged to keep playing, which is something I appreciate. And something my husband appreciated even more while trying to keep them entertained!

My older son saw me coming during the last stretch and ran on the grass beside me for the last two tenths of a mile. He was so excited and it was so great to have him there! As I crossed the finish line, I was given very cute medal. This race was not even close to my PR from last fall, but it was such a challenge, I was proud that I got it done.

Took my Eagle Creek Duffel along to carry the family’s stuff! Review to come soon.

There was a long chute in which I was able to grab a bottle of water immediately and get a good amount of snacks! They had popcorn, chips, soft pretzels, cheese curls, lemonade, and iced tea. It was a great spread, especially for a 10k. My kids had their eyes on my snacks immediately (and naturally, I shared with the kiddos).

Each finisher also got a drink ticket on their bib with their choice of either beer or wine. I opted for the Dogfish Head Namaste (and naturally, I shared with my husband).

The Finishers Party had food trucks, a musician, beer garden, vendors, and more. It’s unfortunate that the weather was overcast. Had it not been, I think we would have stayed longer. After sipping my beer and enjoying a few songs from the musician, we decided to pack it up and head back to the car.

Overall, it was a great morning and a race I’d consider returning to in the future. It was most certainly inspiring and Operation Warm is a worthy cause!

Unless another race comes along that really inspires me to sign up, the Run Inspired 10k was my last of 2017. Never say never, of course, but I’m looking forward to maintaining for a few months rather than training.

#REALwomenmove

#REALwomenmove

Real women move.  Yes, they sure do.  But what does this mean to me?  It means that it doesn’t matter what your body shape, size or fitness level is.  It means that you are getting off the couch and doing something.

When you think of an athlete do images of super fit people in Runner’s World come to mind?  Do you think of someone with either huge muscles or no body fat?  That is what media wants us to think.  But to me, it is someone that is strong.  Someone that has the willpower to get out there and try to weather their storm.  Someone who will try  to run their first 5K or a marathon, it doesn’t matter as long as they are becoming a better version of themselves.

There is a giant tree near my home.  I run by it as much as possible.  It is America’s largest Bebb Oak on record.  Some call her Grandma Bebb Oak.  She has her own Facebook page.  To me, she is strong.  Her limbs are heavy and her bark is brittle, but she still stands.   She is said to be well over 200 years old. To me she is strong and she is real.

I used to be a slave to the scale.  If a certain number didn’t come up, I wasn’t happy.  If my pant size wasn’t the right number, I was disappointed.  Now I realize that my body is strong.  I might not have the perfect amount of body fat.  I might be slightly overweight at times.  I have never been accused of being skinny.  On the flip side, I have been labeled as determined, hard core, and relentless.  My legs are more like tree trunks, like that Bebb Oak tree.   But those tree trunks get me to the finish line of 100 mile races.  I think that if you can believe it you can achieve it.

So get out there and do the impossible.  Do what you think you cannot do.  Don’t let others establish your limits because they see you in a different light.  Redefine yourself. Accept yourself, love yourself.   Prove people wrong.  Be strong and prove that #REALwomenmove!

#REALwomenmove is a new campaign by my favorite clothing company, Skirt Sports.  It is based on REAL women, REAL bodies, REAL inspiration.  Skirt Sports believes we all can and should embrace fitness and health.  We should be strong, confident and not judge, but rather encourage other women.  You can read more about #REALwomen move and check out their great running skirts and other great clothing items at skirtsports.com/realwomenmove

***Disclaimer: I am a brand ambassador for Skirt Sports.  They provide me with discounts on their products.  Regardless of this, I would wear their products and sing their praises.  It’s a company I believe in and am I’m proud to be a part of their family.

Sandy is an Ultra runner who’s on state 35 of her 50 state quest! She loves to push herself and encourage others to dare more than they dream. Sandy shares her running adventures on her blog, TheUltraFreak 

A Walk in Her Shoes Feeds a Village

We love doing good, don’t you? We knew you’d say yes! We knew that because our readers are the kindest and sweetest. It’s true. Pat yourself on the back.

We know you like to give back, especially when it’s super easy to give. And we especially love when our training miles count for something. That’s where this fantastic charity event comes in. It’s called the Walk in Her Shoes Challenge, and its goal is to bring awareness to the struggle women and girls face in some of the world’s poorest communities. The Challenge’s goal is to bring equal opportunity and human dignity to women and girls in developing countries. Here’s a quick video to learn more.

One of my Skirt Sport Sisters started a team called the Sole Sisters, and we’d love to have you join us. It’s free, and you don’t have to donate or raise funds if you don’t want to, but your walking and running miles are valuable and count toward the Challenge. You can join our team here. We have already raised enough to build a well for clean drinking water! What I love about this Challenge is that it helps women and girls get access to necessities like clean water, good hygiene and basic medical care so that they can spend more time in school and earning a living than gathering food and water. It’s an empowering program that helps enrich communities around the world.  If you’re so inspired, you can donate to our team by clicking on the graphic below.

I hope to call you teammate soon! Do good, feel good, always, Scooters.

What are your favorite charity events? Have you ever participated in a virtual fundraising event before? Tell me all about it!

Make Your Future, Danny

At the beginning of 2015, I heard about the concept of a vision board, and I immediately loved the idea of visually framing your goals for the year in an inspirational and motivating artsy poster type thingy. I like visuals. And colors. And art. So I made one, and I loved it.

Throughout the year, I pulled it out and checked things off. I referred back to it as I set race goals and accomplished other milestones. It made me feel good and helped stay me on track! I was loving it! At first, I was feelin’ like

Early on I knew I’d not be able to accomplish it all. I’d set too many goals for myself and I ended up feeling like a bit of an overwhelmed failure as a result. I have history with this.

NOT THIS TIME, YO. This year, I kept it simple. Flow-y. Stress-free. And colorful, of course. Most people make a collage using magazine clippings and poster board, but because I’m lazy, easily annoyed by glue, and sans magazines in my house, I always draw my board. Meh, it works for me.

 

This idea isn’t new, it was only new to me because I’m not hip. Soooo, I won’t go into the details about how to make a vision board because you probably already know all about it. In case, though, this great blog post by Vanessa R Williams will tell you how to make the best vision board ever!

What I want to tell you is that I think it’s worth your time to do this exercise. Especially if you have a big year ahead full of lots of goals or milestones. A few pro-tips though. One, make sure to include stuff that renews your body, mind, and spirit on there. Don’t forget to refill your cup. Two, be realistic about what you can do. Be fierce, but gentle with yourself. Most of all, make YOUR 2017 happen!

If you made/make a vision board for this year, I’d love to see it! Tweet me your photo. @scootadoot

Save

Building Each Other Up

I met Nicole DeBoom when I stopped in the Skirt Sports warehouse to pick up a Christmas gift for Mer last year, and my girl crush started then. Not because she’s the Ironman winner, a successful entrepreneur, or because she is hilarious, but because she is real. Authentic. I know that word gets thrown around a lot these days, but you know when it’s genuine and when it isn’t. Nicole is the real deal, and so is her message.

At a recent event, she shared a few stories. Stories about how she made her first running skirt an wore it as she won 2004 Ironman Wisconsin, and of her calling to help women change their lives. And in this video, she shared the story of her daughter’s birth, and, trust me, it was one for the books. My sides were aching by the time she finished. She is the cutest.

Earlier this year, she started a Podcast called “Run This World” where she talks with “…visionaries who are creating change in the world”. Nicole and her guests go deep, and they aren’t afraid to be honest about the struggles they’ve had on their journey. They share their stories with us, and in doing so, empower us to tackle our own challenges with grace and self acceptance. This is why I enjoy working with Skirt Sports, because they are genuine in their goal to help women feel feed good in their skin and in life.

Nicole in the skirt that would inspire Skirt Sports

Nicole in the skirt that would inspire Skirt Sports

My favorite episode so far was an interview with Kara Burns titled “From Prison to 26.2”. By the title you can guess what it was about. I was so touched by Kara’s forgiveness of herself and her determination to move on from her past. Kara reminded me that no matter how hard we think something is, it can be overcome with discipline and determination. She was so honest about her mistakes and their consequences, and she didn’t shirk from  the pain she caused those she loves the most. She is a beautiful soul, and I hope to meet her at a Skirt event one of these days. Her positivity and was truly inspiring.

nd_podcastgraphic_flirt

Every episode has the same root message, love and positivity. We can always use more of that! Nicole and her guests inspire us to pursue our goals and keep sight of what’s truly important.  Next time you go for a run, check her out. Each episode lasts about 45 minutes, so they’re perfect for tuning in while you get in a few quick miles. I highly recommend it!

 

What do you like to listen to while training? What’s your favorite Podcast?

Save

2016 Cooper Norcross Run the Bridge 10k Recap

benfranklinbridge

A lot can change in four years. 2012 seems like a lifetime ago at this point but it was actually the first time I participated in the Run the Bridge 10k. Dinosaurs weren’t exactly roaming the earth but it was pre-Scoot a Doot days, when I used to blog about my races on Tumblr, so I think that’s saying something.

Packet pickup was quick and easy – I live right near one location of the South Jersey Running Company. When you register you are able to choose your packet pickup location of choice.

I was in and out of the store in less than 3 minutes, although they did offer bridge runners 20% off that day. I refrained but it was a challenge! There was also a 15% coupon in the race packet so my plan is to get back there soon for new Mizunos for the Philly half.

The packet had the race bib, long sleeved cotton t-shirt, and a couple of papers regarding the course and other little odds and ends.

shirtandbib

The race benefits the LARC school, which is a local school that assists students with disabilities at no cost to the families. It’s a great cause and one that I feel really good about supporting while participating in the race.

The emails from the race management were informative and they kept good communication lines, which is always appreciated! They suggested getting to the parking lots early and I did just that. Roads apparently started closing around 7am so I arrived at 6:30. Plenty of time to tailgate in my car with water and a banana and play on social media – #runnertailgating.

Most races I’ve done I wind up carpool with friends or meeting up with them for pre-race pictures/post-race drinks. I was solo for this race – I saw a lot of people I recognized from other races and our local Run 856 group, but I wasn’t there with anyone. I missed my buddies!

bridgegroup

Campbell’s Field used to host the Camden Riversharks, a minor league baseball team, but within the past year the organization disbanded. I’m not sure what they’re doing with the stadium now that the Riversharks are no longer playing there but it was well kept and ready to host 4,000 runners and walkers.

A plus of being at the stadium was that there are real bathrooms to use prior to the race. I will always opt for that over port-a-potties. They were also offering coffee and other assorted things, as well as checking IDs for the post-race beer garden. Very cushy in comparison to other races!

bridgewalktostart

The walk from the stadium to the bridge provided a warm up and there were two lines of port-a-potties along the way, as well.

As the name suggests, the Ben Franklin Bridge is a huge portion of this race. Once on the bridge, there were no official corrals but they did have pace markers for people to self-seed. I placed myself in between the 11-12 minute mile, which I knew was what I would be doing for this run.

bridge11min

We started exactly at 8:30. I don’t have any pictures from the course because I was just trying to focus on breathing and getting up the hills of the bridge. I haven’t done much hill training so the incline, while slow and steady, was still felt. I definitely took advantage of the downhills. There was brief stint in Philadelphia around the loop and then it’s back for round two of the bridge.

The second part of the race is through the streets of Camden, along the waterfront, near the Battleship New Jersey, and then back to the stadium. There were 3 water stations and plenty of police and volunteers throughout the route. Not many spectators but the enthusiasm of the volunteers was fantastic!

My legs weren’t too pleased during the second portion of the race. Additionally I think I made a mistake with pre-race fuel by taking it too early. I wound up finishing in 1:13. Not my best, but given the course it was pretty much what I anticipated. I’m definitely proud of getting out there and getting it done!

bridgemedal

Finishing on the field is always exciting and immediately after volunteers had medals waiting for us.

There was plenty of water, chocolate milk, snack bags, bagels, waiting for the runners. There were lines for each and I wasn’t exactly sure what was what so I just found the end of one and stood in it. You can probably imagine my happiness when I found out it was the beer line! YES PLEASE! I think this was the first year that they offered a beer at the end of this race. (Yards, for those interested.)

bridgemer

Easy getting to my car and I was back home before noon. Mother Nature had my back this time because the weather was perfect! A lot can change in four years but this race stays consistently challenging and great.

Next race for me is the Philly half. I’d like to get a couple of training runs in before then – possibly do a bit more hill work in the interim. But first, this week is the start of No-school-vember – my kids are off Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Give me strength! 😉

2016 AC Marathon Race Series 10k Recap

Other working title: Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours!

If you’ve hung around these parts for awhile, you have probably noticed that there are a few races series that I return to, time and time again. The Atlantic City Marathon Races Series is one of THOSE races. I usually sign up as soon as registration is open and wait with bated breath for race day to arrive.

So why? Why do I love the AC Marathon Race Series like I do?

Mermaids ready to run!

Mermaids ready to run!

My running partner, Chrissy and I have been training there weekly. We know the ins and outs of the boardwalk. We say hello to the same AC ambassadors each week. We know where the boardwalk has the very slightest bit of incline (going into Ventor City, if you’re wondering) and we know landmarks.

When you run a race course over and over again during training runs, it’s comfortable during race day. (Even if it’s raining and windy!)

2016ac10k1

For a $15 fee, the race series has morning of packet pick-up, which we both opted for. The drive to Atlantic City is less than an hour for both of us and staying at home is a comfort we both appreciate. I am so grateful that the race director added this option – it cuts down on travel time and expenses.

2016ac10k2

The packet pickup was open from 7am-8am and the race called for a 9am start time. As we are overachievers, we arrived at 6:53am, had our packets in hand by 7am and had about 2 hours to mill around. We used the time to make ourselves comfy and snapped usies, while chatting with staff and fellow runners.

2016ac10k3

Another thing that’s great about running in AC is that while the conditions might not have been what most would consider ideal, you can wait in the hotel lobbies/casinos until right before the event. After spending over an hour in my Broad Street corral in the pouring rain, this was a significant upgrade. (Have I done something to piss off Mother Nature? Our track record lately isn’t too fantastic!)

Chrissy and I decided we would run our own races for this event. My goal was to hit 1 hour and 10 minutes; I was fairly confident at this point in my training that I could do it.

My previous PR was 1 hour and 11 minutes, which was back in 2013 during the Run the Bridge 10k. It’s been haunting me ever since because I haven’t been able to break it for a few years.

2016ac10k4

About 10 minutes before the start of the race, we reluctantly went outside. We wanted to get our bodies used to the colder temperature before we started running. We bounced on our toes while singing along with The Go-Gos song that the DJ was playing and tried to think happy warm thoughts.

The rain pelted us in the face as we sang the Star Spangled Banner and we all exchanged bemused looks with each other as the song came to an end. Were we all really this crazy to go running in the cold rain? Apparently yes, yes we were.

I don’t have any pictures from the course because my phone was safely tucked away in my belt. I held a Gu in my hand to keep it warm and also so I didn’t have to fiddle with my belt mid-race.

I ran the first mile straight and then fell into my 2:1 intervals. My watch was about .08th of a mile off so when I hit their mile marker, I was only at .92 on my watch. Not quite sure how that happened but it worked for my mental game.

I was alone with my thoughts for a majority of the race so I thought about past races and experiences in Atlantic City, which made me smile. Occasionally I chatted with people I was running near and for awhile I hung out with a group of ladies that were listening to Justin Timberlake. Score!

2016ac10kpants

Our pants were a big hit! $10 on Amazon, holla! When I got to mile 5 I saw that I was under an hour by a couple of minutes and I was feeling great so I decided it was time to push the pace.

And just like that, I had an angel on a bicycle appear to help me with the push. My own personal escort – who knew middle/back of the pack runners got those? He asked me my name, told me he liked my pants (that’s what they all say!), and rode next to me telling me that I was awesome and that I was nearly at the finish. Thanks for the confidence boost, Terrance!

Terrance then pedaled ahead so that he could cheer for me right near the finish line, too. What a guy! This is yet another reason why I love Atlantic City! Everyone, from volunteers, to other race participants, to dudes on bikes, is so encouraging. It’s a small race and everyone feels like a friend.

During mile 6 I jumped back into running straight, sans intervals. My legs felt strong and my mind knew I was capable. That was my fastest mile at 11:15!

Crossing the finish line felt like coming home. I saw the clock and I knew that I was going to hit my 1:10!

2016ac10kmedalmer

Party like a rock star!

Chrissy rolled in minutes later and I was able to catch her crossing the finish line of her first 10k race! Score!

2016ac10kchrissy

We grabbed our bags from gear check and went to check out the beer garden. You read that right: the BEER GARDEN. In the past there’s always been a cup of beer at the finish of the Atlantic City races. This time? We each got a flight!

2016ac10kbeer

We were able to enjoy the band and hear the race winners announced before we decided that it was just too cold to hang outside any longer. We grabbed lunch at Harry’s Oyster Bar and had the best burgers ever! Chrissy and I spend a lot of our training runs talking about food (and burgers in particular) and we both agreed these hit the spot!

The 5k/10k shirt was white but they were out of my size so I got the blue one instead (which is cool by me, I love it!)

The 5k/10k shirt was white but they were out of my size so I got the blue one instead (which is cool by me, I love it!)

So let’s recap, shall we? PR CITY, BABY! Flat course, great fellow runners, fantastic volunteers, random bike escort (can’t promise that to everyone but hey, you never know) and a beer flight. Here I am, baby, signed, sealed, delivered, I’m yours!

Next up for me is another 10k – Run the Bridge. Think I can hit another PR? It’s a more difficult course, elevation wise, but I’ll be able to take advantage of the downhills on the bridge. And then the Philly half – another tried and true for me but with a different course this year! Will it live up to my expectations?

 

2016 SkirtSports Ambassador

My first experience with SkirtSports was last summer when I participated their 13er race event. It was a really fantastic women-only race on a gorgeous course where I got a 10k PR and made a few new friends. How can a race get any better than that? Oh yeah, CAKE. THAT’S HOW. Cake is always going to be the way to my heart.

13ercollage

At that event, I met Noelle, SkirtSports’ Community Outreach head cheerleader. She told me about the monthly clinics and fun runs they hold at their Boulder headquarters and I decided to check it out. Lo and behold, they were a blast! They even let me Periscope a talk Dimity McDowell was giving.

cliniccollage

Before leaving that clinic, Noelle gave me one of their skirts to try out in exchange for an honest review.  I was already crushing hard on the vibe SkirtSports was giving off at their events, but the Lioness skirt turned my crush into full blown twitterpation. The quality was impeccable, and its smart construction and pockets, it definitely helped me get through my toughest half to date.

lionesscollage2

So when I found out earlier this month that I had been chosen to be a 2016 Ambassador Captain for SkirtSports, I was over the moon. I’m learning that this is a fantastic group of inspiring women, and I’m honored to be among them. I am so excited to get to know them and learn their stories. That’s one reason why it was easy for me to put my name behind the SkirtSports brand. There were other reasons, too.

AmbassadorStamp21k

The SkirtSports Message is all about supporting real, everyday women of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds pursue and achieve their healthy living goals. Pro triathlete and founder Nicole DeBoom was inspired to start the company after noticing her reflection in a window on a training run. She decided  to find a way to offer flattering performance wear to support all women in being the best version of themselves.

realwomenmove

#REALwomenmove is a social media campaign intended to encourage each other in our fitness activities and achievements.  Who is a REAL woman?  She is proud of who she is. She is confident. She does not judge, but rather, encourages other women. She is comfortable in her own body. She accepts and loves herself as she is. She prioritizes health and fitness in her busy life.
This is a message I can get behind 1000%.

Running Start Program  is designed to pair beginner runners who face barriers to developing fitness goals with Personal Motivators who help them overcome those challenges. Personal Motivators are women who’ve also overcome obstacles to fitness in the past and can share their experience and support. Anyone can apply to join the program.

Photo Credit: SkirtSports Website

Photo Credit: SkirtSports Website

The Clothes are well made, well priced, and most importantly, adorable! They carry sizes XS to 22, and as a seamstress myself, I’m definitely impressed with the construction of their garments. The prints are super cute and colorful, and they make some of the most practical running clothes I’ve seen. Their phone pockets are a big hit with me, and they are working on the Gotta Go Skirt which will make life much easier for all of us on those long runs when nature calls. Seriously, they’re thinking of everything.

I’m beyond excited to be a part of this program for 2016 and to have the opportunity to share all the good things (and discount codes) with you. These ladies are doing amazing things and spreading an inspiring message of love and support of one another. I know we can all get behind that!

 

Are you a Skirt Sister? Who inspired you to start your running journey? What is one thing you try to do to support others at races? Let’s chat in the comments!