2014 Adrenaline 5k – PR Assist

Jay and I are quickly approaching 11 years of wedded bliss. There’s a lot we have in common, the core being that we are both nerds. We totally and completely geek out over things that we are passionate about. For example, we were both at the Veronica Mars movie Friday night, giggling and chair dancing. (Okay, maybe I was the only one chair dancing.)

Some things he geeks out over, I just… I don’t understand. Like Lord of the Rings. Let’s not even talk about the fact that I didn’t see Star Wars until he forced me to watch it in my late twenties. Or his reaction when I fell asleep while we watched.

To be fair, the pendulum swings the other way as well. I geek out over running. And try as he might, he just isn’t at the same level of Running Geek as I am. Bless his heart! That’s why when he actually signs up for a race and seems slightly excited for it, it makes me even more stoked. Think puppy with peanut butter.

I’ve participated in the Haddonfield Adrenaline 5k for the past three years; the first year I was fairly new to racing and he was there for emotional support, last year he joined me on the course for his first ever 5k. This year we decided to stick together so that I could help him PR.


This race is in its 9th year and the reason why I think it’s an area favorite is because of one simple fact- it’s a race for runners, by runners. The Haddonfield (Moorestown/Mullica Hill) Running Company has been in business for 17 years and hosts the event; they know what runners want.

Close parking – CHECK
Packet pickup both prior to and on race day – CHECK
Fun/fast course – CHECK
Party after at the store – CHECK
Another party that evening at a bar – CHECK (not that we were there, but parties are always a good time!)

Since it’s a favorite among the area residents, we always see a good handful of people we know at this race. It’s not uncommon to post “Who’s going to be at the Adrenaline 5k?” on Facebook and have resounding YESES come back at’cha.


Hail, hail, the gang’s all here!

It was a bit rainy prior to the race which was a surprise and we all watched the clouds overhead to see what Mother Nature was going to throw at us. However, she was just playing around this time. Probably because she knew it was Megan’s 40th birthday!


Close to 9am, Jay and I moseyed on over to the starting line, waving to our fast friends and placing ourselves toward the back of the pack.


Just over 900 runners.

The game plan was pretty straight forward, we’d run the first straight away and then switch to 1:1 intervals for the remainder of the race. I decided to ditch my watch and just go with what Jay felt comfortable with, taking my cues off of him for pace.

Promptly at 9am, the race started and we crossed the mat around 1:06. From there, I followed Jay. The first half mile or so, I hung directly behind him so that he could weave and find a comfortable spot in the pack. The race is through the local town which is super cute, so I spent a good portion of the run checking out the houses and waving to the residents along the route.

We took advantage of the down hill (that comes before the uphill in this race) and Jay grabbed a quick drink of water around 1.8 miles. There’s one uphill and it comes just before the mile 2 mark. I wasn’t sure how Jay would approach it but when I tell you that he FLEW up that hill, I’m not exaggerating. He seriously pushed and it was crazy impressive!

As we wound our way back to the main road and the final stretch of the race, I could tell that he was ready to be done. During these times I tried to push the pace on the walking intervals so that he wouldn’t slow down too much.

There were adorable little girls giving high fives in the middle of the street that helped make that last stretch more fun (I was having fun the entire time but I was trying not to be too rah-rah cheerleader). You can see the finish line about a quarter mile down the road and it definitely helps the morale to know you’re nearly done.

Once we were about a tenth a mile away from the finish, Jay was ready to push hard and finish strong. Right around this time, our friends were along the route, cheering as we went by! We crossed the finish line, he stopped Runkeeper and realized he’d hit a personal record, cutting his time by nearly a minute.



Brandi and Sean found us and we got a couple of post-race snacks (they had an assortment of bagels, bananas, oranges and water) before heading over to the Running Company store for the post-race party!

Two of my favorite race buddies.

Two of my favorite race buddies.


Why yes, those WOULD be Jersey cakes. Jersey pride!

The store hosts an ah-mazing party, with food from the local catering company, Apron. There was an incredible sweet potato salad that was called Born to Run salad that was so good, it would have made Bruce sing. We chatted with friends, snacked on food, and drank beer (yes, at 10am). And since we were there, Jay and I got our long overdue running shoes.

All in all, an incredible time, as expected! We’ll be back and maybe, just maybe, I’ll turn Jay into a full-fledged Running Geek.


What do you geek out about? Ever run with a friend (or a husband or a wife) and “help” them PR? Did you see Veronica Mars? (Because we should TOTALLY geek out together over that.)

Show Us Your Medals!

Ahhhh, medals: the tangible evidence of completing a race. They are the proverbial icing on the cake of months of hard work and training for a race.

This past week I reached out via Facebook (our own and the Run Blog Society community page) and Twitter, asking people to share pictures and stories of their favorites. And wow, did people answer the call! To quote the A-Team, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

So without further ado…


Kyle at An Accidental Optimist.

“The first one is a fave because it’s a horseshoe. You can’t get much cooler than that. The Amish made it. I ran the Bird-in-Hand half with Vic. Good times all around!

The second one is because it’s from MY FIRST MARATHON, Philadelphia 2013.”


Michele at A Pace of Balance.

“This is from the Nation’s Triathlon which I completed September 2013.  It was an Olympic distance and was my first tri since 2003 BC (before children)… so really, it was my first tri.

I loved this race for many reasons.
1) I did the race with my sister and in fact, it was her birthday/Christmas/Mother’s Day gift to me.  She guided me through the whole thing.

2) The course. Washington DC. Need I say more?

3) I felt like a bit of an underdog.  I didn’t decide to do the race until about 8 weeks out.  I am an avid runner, but I had to really improve on the bike.  If you see my bike in the pic, you’ll notice it’s a hybrid and not a fancy road bike like the majority of the people had at the race.  It was my mommy bike which I converted into a race bike by getting rid of the baby seat, slapping on some cage pedals, and installing a speedometer.  Boom.  Someone actually said to me during the race “Girl, you are killing it on that bike of yours!”.  And I was.  I kept up with the seasoned crowd.  I finished in 3:01, which I think is pretty good for a first timer.  To me, the medal is a reminder that I should never sell myself short and we are always capable of more than we realize.”


Ruth at The Run and I couldn’t pick just one – so she sent along a handful of these awesome medals!


Julie at Run. Walk. FASTPASS. Repeat.

“Jost Running was looking for running bloggers to  review their Virtual Race Medals as they launched their business last year.  Each month an new medal came out for that month’s race. I was amazed at the detail and “pop” in their virtual race medals. I was not a fan of Virtual Races when I signed on, as I live in a big city with PLENTY of race opportunities, BUT I loved the idea of running the race my day, at my time, my route – and getting my bling in the mail.  I am German and yes I love beer. The Oktoberfest Medals just made me smile…who can’t use another bottle opener.  Seriously, my favorite medals in looks. Fun designs and a great reward for long training runs especially when you have a hard time getting out the door.  They converted me to a fan of the Virtual Race.”


April at Run the Great Wide Somewhere.

“I traveled alone to the race [Space Coast Half Marathon], but felt strong and got a PR.  The course was gorgeous, all the runners were friendly and polite and it was very well organized.  And the medal is so beautiful and sparkly and has a space shuttle on it!”


Meredith at Just An Ordinary Girl in FL.

“The Dumbo Double Dare race medal hold the number one spot. Not only was this an inaugural race, but also represented a huge accomplishment for me in completing 19.3 miles in 2 days!”


Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!

“I had a longtime goal to do a triathlon by age 40, and with 3 kids and a more-than-full-time-job, I did it. And I loved it!” [Athleta Iron Girl]


Summer at Running with Pixies.

“My favorite medal is the 2013 Princess half marathon medal. Even though it was my third time running Princess, and my 5th half marathon, there was something about that race that clicked and made me realize that regardless of my finish time I was, in fact, a real runner.”


Sue at This Mama Runs for Cupcakes.

“The Marine Corp marathon medal is my favorite because it is the medal from my very first marathon! A lot of hard work and time spent away from my kids for this!”


Jennifer at Rescuing and Running.

“Wine Glass Marathon, Corning, NY is a fabulous weekend getaway in the beautiful fingers lakes region of NY!  It was a wonderful girls weekend of awesome regional food, wineries, glass art,  and a beautiful 26.2 mile run through rural NY countryside.

The medal, which is actually glass, is handmade  by a local Corning glass artist. It is beautiful and very unique! In addition to the awesome finishers medal, the race swag is top notch. We got a great drawstring back sack, a good technical long sleeve tee, wine glass, and  a small bottle of Champagne made and labeled specifically for the weekend.  The course was beautiful with many supporters along the way. The post marathon food options is the best I have ever seen with offerings of pizza hot out of an oven, several hot soups, sandwiches, cookies, fruit, bagels, chocolate milk! I cannot say enough about this wonderful regional marathon.”


Sara at The Classy Crafter.

“Six months of training all boiling down to one race and truly figuring out what your body is capable of.” [Walt Disney World Marathon]


Lisa at Lulu’s Big Adventure.

“This medal is from the Canada Army Run Half Marathon, which I ran in September 2013. Not only do I love that they created a dog-tag medal in the army spirit, but this race was special to me. I knocked over twenty-five minutes off my last half marathon time, and I came in well under my goal of 2 hours. I was really nervous about how I was going to do at this race, since I am incredibly injury prone and trained in the stifling Brazilian heat all summer. So, when I had such a wonderful race experience and achieved such a big PR, it was a special moment for me.”

So there you have it, our second installation of “my favorite medal”! You can check out the first post, from Vic, here.

I love seeing the different favorites that were sent and also hearing the logic behind why each person loved their favorites the most. You’ll notice that we had no repeats – so many different races and reasons! Many thanks to all those who shared. You rock!

What’s your favorite medal? Link us to a blog post or pictures in the comments so we can check them out.

Our first meeting


Before we ever met in person, Meri and I were pen pals. We wrote letters almost daily for months before we finally met in person this week, 21 years ago.

I had been dying to meet Meri in person for months and, somehow, successfully badgered my parents to let me spend Thanksgiving break in NJ with Meri and her family.

It’s become quite the joke in both our families, that my parents were willing to ship me off to strangers for a few days, and that Meri’s family didn’t reject inviting an unknown teenage girl into their own home.

“They seemed like good people,” my mother says when prodded about the decision. Our moms spoke on the phone several weeks prior, approved of each other and decided to permit my trip.

Mother knows best. But little did any of us know, this journey was the first of many meetings for Meri and me.

I should further explain our background. Meri and I were pen pals for many months before our famed in-person meeting. We actually met through a mutual friend who I befriended at a concert in NJ one year prior. Meri was a close friend of the concertgoer, who months later moved to the Midwest.

We wrote daily, chatted on the phone and send each other “audio letters,” that’s a recorded, rambling message on a cassette tape. We shared a love of writing, music, books and Disney. And we loved address labels and stationary – still do!


The day before Thanksgiving I boarded a train alone for Trenton, NJ. Little did I know I was traveling on the busiest travel day of the year. I also didn’t have a clue I’d need to switch trains in Philly without anyone to guide me. Sure, I was 16 but I still hadn’t gotten my driver’s license and had never traveled solo before.

And, of course, I had overpacked. (Because every girl needs two suitcases and a video camera for a 4-day adventure to visit her bestie. Right?!)

I was a bit overwhelmed in the travel hustle, but managed the board the correct train (twice!) and hours later arrived in Trenton. Meri and her dad were waiting for me at the station.


We hugged, squealed and giggled like (well) teenage girls. Then we made a music video. (I wish I could say I was kidding, but I’m not. We were so cool.)

Exhibit A of our coolness factor

Exhibit A of our coolness factor

The weekend festivities went all too fast. We danced, we sang, we swapped stories. We enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with Meri’s family, which was also my first holiday away from my own home. We attended several parties with Meri’s friends and watched Aladdin in the theater.

It should be noted we are wearing each others jackets. Why? Because.

It should be noted we are wearing each others jackets. Why? Because.

We spent Black Friday in NYC – where ironically we did not shop, but visited the Natural Museum of History and Hayden Planetarium (I fell asleep!) then walked all over Central Park and midtown, avoiding subway vents on each block because we were afraid we’d fall down to the tracks.

All dressed up and nowhere to go.

All dressed up and nowhere to go.

We stayed up until early morning hours gossiping and giggling.

And of course, we took lots of photos. We still laugh at our fateful decision to get portraits taken as a pair. That’s where we came up with this beauty:


The weekend was the first of many get-togethers over the next two decades.


Together, we’ve explored NYC many times, sang along in concert with boy bands, savored chocolate in Hershey, PA, hiked a canyon in California and ran hand-in-hand through Cinderella’s Castle in Florida.

I cheered alongside Mer’s parents as she earned her masters degree.



And she cheered as I ran my first marathon.

Philly Marathon 2010

Philly Marathon 2010

We were each bridesmaids in the other’s wedding and I am auntie to her two incredible sons.

vic-treeboysChristmas 2012

Ironically, we both lost touch with our mutual friend, but we were blessed with each other. And this week, I can’t think of a better reason to be thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Who else is thankful for a longtime best friend? How did you meet? Will you also share embarrassing photos with us? Tell us more in the comments.