Get Up and Go! Healthy Kids Running Series

My kids really like playing outside with our neighbors.

They also really like their video games.

I can’t fault them for this and I can’t even say “kids these days” as I sit here at my computer, typing this blog entry. We all enjoy technology and when the winter months of the Northeast slowly drag along, the comforts of being inside far outweigh the dreary, frigid days.

However, we’ve been seeing hints of spring over the last week. We had two beautiful days when I wore a t-shirt and capris and got to soak in some much needed vitamin D.

On those days, as soon as homework was done my kids were out the door, running around and playing. I actually felt bad calling them in when we had to go to karate, piano, Scouts, or whatever else was on the agenda.

Which is why I am extremely excited for the Healthy Kids Running Series. And, I’m even more excited because I’m the new coordinator for our location here in New Jersey!

A friend of mine was the coordinator in the fall and thought that I would be a good match for taking over in the Spring… and here I am! Encouraging kids and making running fun is something that I try to do on a daily basis ANYWAY, so it’s a natural fit.

Plus, as I’m sure many of you know, I’m a Type A planner. Being a HKRS coordinator is a planner’s dream. I get to have lists and deadlines! Being that it is a non-profit I get to work with sponsors for the location and meet people within my community. But best of all, I get to spread the love of running to children. While it’s a 5 week race series, the emphasis is on FUN.

The adult running community in our area is a great one, full of inspiration and motivation. Run856 encourages all of its members, the focus isn’t on a pace but rather the community aspect. It took me until adulthood to enjoy running and see its benefits. I’d like the kids to find the fun sooner rather than later!

My goal is to show the kids the running community includes them and that together we can win OUR races. It might not as the first person to cross the finish line but by showing up, bettering ourselves, and cheering for our friends we all excel.

I’m sure I’ll have stories along the way and I can’t wait to experience my first event when I’m actually working with the kids and parents on April 8th. Stay tuned!

Run the Vineyards 5 Miler


This is the race that almost wasn’t for me. I signed up on a whim after seeing friends talking about it on Facebook and promptly forgot that I signed up for it.

And then remember.

And then forgot again.

And then got an email about the event and re-remembered.

To say I’ve been a little preoccupied would be an extreme understatement. We’re selling our home. We’re buying a new home. Our entire family was in the best wedding of 2016 (not biased, just saying). And oh yes, I was a chairperson of the Color-A-Thon fundraiser at my kiddo’s elementary school, which was held on Saturday.

Anyway, what was I saying?

Oh yes, Run the Vineyards 5 miler was one that sounded really great when I signed up for it but then with all that’s going on, I was second-guessing my decision.

But… packet pick-up was at my favorite local Running Co.the race was held practically in my backyard at Heritage Vineyard, and some of my favorite local friends were going to be there. Not to mention the best part, WINE AT THE END. Hello. All the second-guessing was for naught. I was in!


Brandi and Kate LOVE this race and were the ones who suggested I check it out. Thanks girls!

When I heard that it was partially road but mostly trail running, I got a touch of the nerves. Beat the Blerch NJ showed me just how much of a trail runner I am NOT. I really didn’t want a repeat of that experience. Kate and Brandi both reassured me, multiple times, that it wasn’t going to be anything like that which helped calm me down.

The race had about 600 runners, which felt like the perfect amount. I strategically placed myself among what I hoped would be similarly paced folks and hoped for the best. My goal was to run the first mile and then fall into 1:1 intervals, 1 minute walk/1 minute run.

Thankfully, I actually got my corral placement right because within the first mile, there wasn’t much room to do a lot of bobbing and weaving. This area was all dirt/grass trails and the smell of farm animals wafted through the air.

Soon we turned onto paved roads, which lasted for 2-ish miles. I loved this portion of the race because it was right near the house that we are moving into in just a few short weeks!


It’s really easy to forget just how beautiful New Jersey can be, but runs like this help you to remember.


FullSizeRender (8)

Soon after we saw the Heritage Vineyards sign, we took a turn off the road and actually through rows and rows of vineyards. There were volunteers placed along this portion of the route to make sure we didn’t take a wrong turn.

Tell me more about this wine you speak of.

Tell me more about this wine you speak of.

As a wine (drinking) expert, it was really neat to see all the different grapes and signs for each.

I ran without music, something I’ve been doing more of recently, and just took in the sights and sounds.

We weaved through more of the vineyard and by this time the field had spread out a bit so there was plenty of room to open up with running.


And also take pictures without risking myself or others.

Did I mention the fact that I was feeling really good the entire course? Pushing on the run intervals, I was able to keep a pretty consistent pace. I had a goal of finishing in an hour, which would put me at a solid 12 minute mile. It’s not my best but it’s given the terrain, I figured it would be achievable.

I was warned about a hill near the end of the race. I don’t feel like you can get the full grasp of the angle from the picture, it was definitely a bit more intense than the other hills throughout the course.

I kept going with my 1:1 intervals and motored up the hill. Eh, it felt like I was motoring anyway.


After this there was only about a half mile to go before the race was over and the majority of it was downhill, so I picked up the pace a bit more and crossed the finish line at an hour… and one minute. I missed my time goal by one measly minute. Figures!

Immediately after crossing the finish line, I ran into more friends; another perk of a local race. Friendly faces everywhere!

I got my finisher’s “medal”… a wine tumbler! Of course, I took advantage of my wine ticket.


Jersey Blue

Busy Bee Brandi had to leave for another engagement but Kate and I planted ourselves on the ground and enjoyed our wine while catching up with one another. It was a Good Day For A Run, for sure, and I can’t wait for another.


You can find me this Sunday running with 40,000 of my closest friends at Broad Street in Philly. What race do you have next? How’s training going? Have you ever chaired a fundraising event?