From Philly to Austin, With Love

Whoa whoa whoa. How is it November 28th already? This month has been filled with running, food, family, running family, more food, and lots and lots of Philadelphia pride.

Over the past 10 days, I’ve spent about half of them in Philadelphia.

It kicked off on Friday, November 16th at the Health and Wellness Expo for the Philadelphia Marathon weekend. I chose to run the Rothman 8k this year so I had to get into the city to grab my race packet.

Time was NOT on my side because I (stupidly) scheduled a doctor’s appointment for my son that afternoon. So rather than enjoying the city and visiting Reading Terminal for lunch, I took a train in, ran over to the Convention Center, grabbed my stuff, and ran back to catch the train out of the city… all within an hour. A new travel PR!

The race was on Saturday and started at 10:45am. I didn’t need to be up before the sun, which was nice but I was also totally thrown off by this turn of events. What train should I take? What should I eat? Who would I meet up with for the 8k?

Thankfully I got into the city with at least an hour to spare, naturally, so I took my time walking to the race village. Then I stationed myself in between the finish of the half marathon and the start of the 8k.

And nearly immediately found people I knew!

Larry and Amy from the Sub-30 Club were also running the 8k. Hooray! Larry is a pacer and offered to help pace me through the miles, which was awesome.

The 8k course is along the river, so it’s a standard Philly race in that respect. The distance makes it special though and it’s a nice way to be involved with the Philly Marathon weekend.

We did 30/30 intervals and he stuck with me through the entire race. I wanted to finish under an hour but with self-seeded corrals and the course being congested nearly the entire time, we finished at an hour and one minute. Ooof. So close, yet so far! There was a finish line for the kids race that faked us out, which was cruel but finally we crossed the actual finish line with smiles on our faces.

I did this race in 2011 and it’s grown up in the last 7 years. 2011 there was 1,460 runners, a cotton t-shirt, standard bib, and the knowledge that you ran the race as the awards for your achievements. This year there was nearly 3,500 runners, a tech t-shirt, personalized bibs, a beautiful medal (and the knowledge that you ran the race).

In between this and my next Philly adventure, it was Thanksgiving! We hosted this year and I think we might finally be seeing the light at the end of the leftover tunnel.

Since we were hosting, there were no Turkey Trots for us this year. Instead my son Lucas and I opted to take part in the #TotheStarbucks run.

I heard about this awesome, free event from Rachel and I was immediately drawn in because… well, just read part of the description of the run.

Join us for a morning fun run, the Saturday after Thanksgiving! We run (or walk! That’s ok too!) we have fun, and then we eat some donuts outta a trunk (oh and there’s Starbucks nearby if that’s your jam!) the route is TBA but always has a short 2.5mi and Long 5min distance. 

A given, am I right?

Through the years of running in Philly and going to City Fit Girls retreats, I’ve met lots of people and many of them were at the #ToTheStarbucks run. My son started out running with us and nearly immediately took off to run ahead. I knew that he was in good hands because these were all good folks and I’d meet him at the Starbucks, of course.

Let’s review. A run, handmade medal, donut, photos, and being cheered on. CAN EVERY DAY BE LIKE THIS?

Not to be outdone by Saturday, on Sunday we went to (you guessed it) PHILLY for the Eagles/Giants game. I grew up in central Jersey so I was mostly surrounded by Giants fans, including my dad.

However being in south Jersey for nearly half my life, I now know the “error” of my ways. My son is an Eagles fan which means that we are all Eagles fans. My first game ever was as insane/fun as I expected it to be. And the Eagles WON (it was looking a little dicey at the beginning).

I’m sure it’s not a surprise that I’ve got more Philadelphia fun on the agenda for 2019. My first scheduled event is the first weekend of April, I’ll be running the Hot Chocolate 5k, representing Team BibRave!

Speaking of BibRave, I’ve got some exciting news to share!

Tomorrow I’m off to Austin, Texas for The Running Event‘s TRE Influencer Day! This is an amazing opportunity that I’ve been given (along with some of my fellow BibRave Pros) as a perk of being a BRP.

I’ve never been to Texas before and this will be a short, jam-packed trip. I can’t even properly articulate how pumped I am. I’ll work on that before tomorrow since I’ll be sharing a lot of information on Instagram Stories and maybe I’ll even try my hand at the live feed (gulp, I’ve never done that before!).

What are you looking forward to in the next day/week/month? Have you been to Austin before? Anything I MUST do? I can’t even promise I’ll have the time to do it but I’ll try!

Fall Racing Time!

Okay, okay, I know it’s not technically fall yet. But for goodness sake, can we let people enjoy their fall race planning (and pumpkin spice lattes) in peace? YES, WE CAN!

I’ve got some great races lined up for the fall… and beyond, because HELLO, planner right here! What’s on the agenda? Right this way!

september

The Bird-in-Hand half marathon is this Saturday! I’ll be driving to Lancaster County, PA with Rachel and Katie for this weekend’s race. I expect hills, heat, and beautiful views to make up for the hills and heat. Oh, and check out these medals!

 

Okay, okay, I’m not actually running in any of the Healthy Kids Running Series races but I AM the coordinator for my town’s location! This is my second season as a coordinator and I’m looking forward to encouraging and inspiring children to get outside and find the joy in running.

Being that these races are on Sunday evenings, I COULD run my own local races on Sunday mornings but after last spring I realized that it was a bit too much to handle for one day. Therefore Sundays from September 16th through October 14th are dedicated to HKRS.

october

Disclaimer: I’m promoting the Reebok Boston 10k for Women as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!

That said, if I WERE to run October 8th, I’d really love to run the Reebok Women’s 10k in Boston, MA. Why? Well, because then I’d be able to visit BEC. Also because I love the 10k distance. I haven’t run a women’s race in awhile but I do love the camaraderie and support that happens during these events.

I don’t have Boston Marathon dreams, but this seems like an attainable race! My race bucket list is growing by the day.


Disclaimer: I received free entries to the Scooby Doo Virtual Series 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!

I might not be able to travel to many races this fall but I’m stoked to participate with my best 4-legged friend, Gemma in the first ever Scooby-Doo Virtual Series! Doo Good is the September race while the Scoobtober 5k/10k takes place during October. A portion of registrations go toward supporting the Best Friends Animal Society.

Want to join in the fun? Use code BIBRAVE and save 10% on registration.

Remember up above when I said how much I love the 10k distance? I’m returning to my favorite 10k on October 20th, the Atlantic City Race Series.

This is one that I usually participate in every fall and while I haven’t done a training run in Atlantic City in awhile, I can’t wait to return for this event!

The day after the AC 10k, I’ll be heading to north Jersey for the American Cancer Society’s Breast Cancer walk. No, this is not a race in the traditional sense but I’ll do what I can to support finding a cure for breast cancer and support a dear college friend!

november

My first road race in 2011 was the Rothman 8k during the Philadelphia Marathon weekend and I’ll be returning once more on Saturday, November 17th. The 4.97 mile course is fun because it’s a different distance than the norm and there will be a lot of familiar faces there! It’s a great way to get some true fall miles in the weekend before Thanksgiving.

looking ahead

My son has already asked if we’ll be returning to The Light Run in DecemberAs soon as the registration for that opens, we’ll be joining in the fun.

And of course, in 2019 I’ve already got the Hot Chocolate Philly 5k on my race docket, thanks to Bib Rave. If you want to join me for that, register here AND if you use the code BRHCPhilly when you register you’ll receive awesome EXTRA swag, the Hot Chocolate Armband for your phone/tunes.

Will I see you at any of these? What race are you looking forward to?

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!

Everybody’s talking all this stuff about me… A look back at the 2011 Rothman 8k – Philadelphia Marathon weekend

Right now, there’s a lot of talk in the running community centered around the Philadelphia Marathon. Just yesterday it was announced that the race, which is traditionally held the weekend before Thanksgiving, will be held earlier than normal, November 15th-17th.

This race, in particular, holds a very special place in my heart because it’s the one the gently lured me into running with its siren song.  Anyone who has been to a big race probably knows what I’m talking about… the song that makes you think, 26.2 doesn’t seem THAT far, maybe I should just start running RIGHT now.

I watched Victoria run her first marathon in Philadelphia in 2010.  A year later, I signed up for the Rothman 8k, while she ran the half.  Last year I worked as a volunteer the entire day.  I’d planned to run the half this year but now I’m waffling because the runDisney Wine and Dine is only a week prior.  If I eventually work my way up to a marathon, I’d like the Philadelphia Marathon to be my first.

I’d like to share my old race recap from my very first road because it seems relevant at the moment and this race has always treated me, and the racing community as a whole, very well.

This was the first time that Chicks Vic and Brooke met, which is always fun, because I love when worlds collide. Vic arrived on Thursday night and Brooke flew in on Friday morning.  Both of them were immediately friends (I wasn’t too worried about that) and super adorable. We hit the Philadelphia Marathon expo on Friday and picked up our t-shirts, bags, bibs and sparkly headbands for our Princess race in February.  All of which were absolutely essential.

Started getting (more) nervous on Friday night.  This was my first ever road race and I’d only started running earlier in the year.  My plan, which I had told the girls, was to finish in an hour.  Brooke’s plan, which she told Vic, was for us to finish in under an hour.  Ha!

Took the train in early Saturday morning and lined up.  Since Vic wasn’t running, she held all of our stuff and hung out with us until she needed to scoot to the “spectator” side.  We were toward the back of the pack when we started (no corrals, which was cool for a race of this size) and just sort of took it nice and easy.

The first three miles felt great and I was pretty happy throughout.  Saw Victoria around mile one, which was great and then we headed out to boat house row.  Brooke was chatting away and I was chiming in when I felt comfortable talking but mostly listened to her awesome stories.

Brooke had her Garmin and I wasn’t keep track of our time, which was a good thing.  The clocks along the route marked miles but it was about a minute faster than our actual time (which I didn’t realize because I’m silly and new to racing) so we were actually going faster than I thought.  Brooke took this selfie of us running and it makes me laugh every time I see it!

The turn around point was at mile three and there was a water station there.  Took a cup, drank nearly none of it and reminded myself that I was over half done.

But mile four was rough.  Brooke continued to entertain me, as did the juggling runner who was near us.

I think the reason I didn’t like mile four too much was because the road was sloped, the right side of my body was higher than my left.  So it felt uneven and… off.  I’m picky about my streets.

There was a stupid hill right near the end (hi, who put that there?) and I’m pretty sure that’s when I told Brooke that I felt like I was going to throw up.  She was concerned until I got over that, and the hill, and we booked it to the finish line.  I was pretty happy to see 58:35 and even happier still that it was OVER!

Overall, it was a great race.  I was so fortunate to run my first race with a great friend who was supportive of me AND to have a cheering friend on the sidelines!  This was the third time I’d ever run five miles in my life so the fact that it went so well, I couldn’t have been more pleased.

The Rothman 8k is a great race for beginners, like myself, or people who want to be involved in Philadelphia Marathon weekend but aren’t looking to run a half or full marathon.