My Husband: The Reluctant Runner

I have to let you all in on a little conspiracy.

I really like tricking my husband into working out and making him think it was his idea. Or, at the very least, making him think that he enjoys it.


"Wasn't that fun? Didn't you love it?" "No."

“Wasn’t that fun? Didn’t you love it?”

Dude and I are both pretty chill people so as far as marriage goes, I’d say that generally speaking, ours is one of quiet happiness. Okay, maybe quiet is not the right word… we do have two boys and a dog!

Spicing things up by forcing your reluctant running partner to do races with you definitely gives you something to chat about! I mean, who wouldn’t want to hang out with me for an extended amount of time, exerting all energy?

There have been various 5ks over the past few years. Last summer I signed us up for our local 4 miler on the 4th of July. And while he didn’t love it, he didn’t hate it either. (There were a lot of hills.)

So I have to think, what’s the next logical step for this guy? Some might say a 10k. Well, yes, many might say a 10k.

But… BUT!

There’s the Broad Street 10 Mile Run in the amazing city of Philadelphia. And friends, this has all the components of a great race for Dude.



1. It’s in Philly and the course on Broad Street is entertaining throughout. Philadelphia is truly an enthusiastic city. Whatever it does, it does it loudly!

2. It has a TON of crowd support. Seriously one of the best races in terms of crowds that I’ve run thus far. Feeding off the crowd’s energy can carry you a long way!

3. THE SIGNS. This goes along with number 2. Giggling while running is good for your stride.


4. There’s even a medal at the end! And bananas! And pretzels. Who doesn’t love pretzels? Even our son, who eats maybe five things, loves pretzels.

5. Tailgating with friends after the race. (This is a big one that I’m selling hard. Dude loves his beer.)

I’ve been working hard on talking him into this race. I know that he can do the distance. And this is our trainer’s favorite race of the year; Dude would definitely win some brownie points with him being there.

From now until February 13th, the lottery is going on for the race. A few of my favorite girls are hoping that we are chosen during the lottery and since the time to hesitate is through, I’ve decided that Dude is going to be in our lottery group. Our conversation this morning went a little something like this.

Me: “Have a great day! Oh, by the way, I’m going to register you for the Broad Street lottery. If you don’t want to run it, I’m sure we could transfer the bib to someone at the gym.”

Dude: “I don’t think it make sense to go into it with the intention of doing a transfer.”

Me: “Well, obviously not. My intention is for you to RUN it. Yours should be too.”

Dude: “Oh. Yeah, I guess it’s only $43.”

Me: “Come on, what’s the worst that can happen? It can’t hurt.”

Dude: “Yes. Yes it can.”

I can tell that he is really, truly excited about this and really, a little nudge in the right direction is usually all he needs to get the wheels turning. May the odds be ever in our favor!

Have you entered a race lottery before? What race have you run that has great crowd support? Ever do a 10 mile race? Do you know anyone who doesn’t like pretzels?

Full circle at the Philadelphia Marathon

Four years ago, I decided to run a marathon. One marathon.

After much deliberation,  I picked Philadelphia. My mother was raised there, my sister lived there. It was home. I ran the race and had the time of my life. I reached what I long thought was an unreachable goal.

Last weekend, I returned. And yep, it was well worth the wait.

As always, I stayed with Meri, who decided to run the Philadelphia half marathon after years of cheering and volunteering at the race.

We hit the expo midday Saturday, collected our goodies and connected with Dimity of Another Mother Runner. We even managed to leave without spending too much money. Huge success.

The day’s weekend’s highlight, however, was meeting friends old and new.

At high noon, we met with fellow running bloggers Karla, Jen and Katherine and my longtime friend Claudia at the Reading Terminal Market.


Katherine (left) Jen, Karla and Meri

We all gabbed like old pals for more than an hour…. and then we met up with broken chick Kyle, who planned to run Philadelphia Marathon with us until she sprained her ankle.

Kyle is thrilled to be in the land of grilled cheese

We three carb-loaded at our beloved Pop Shop in NJ before we all attempted to settle down on marathon eve. A great chat, lots of  laughter and race-morning planning filled our evening.

phlbibReady to go!

Fast forward to marathon morning. The 4 a.m. alarm woke us in time to catch the 5:40 train into Center City. We walked about a mile to the start area, where we dropped our bags and wished one another a great run and headed into our respective corrals.

Somehow, in a mass of 30,000 runners, I connected with my training partners Gary, Traci and Jen in the purple corral. We all planned to start together with the 4:15 pacer, but race our own races. While waiting, Gary met Justin, a man from Allentown who joined our running crew for the day. (More on him later)

With Gary, Traci and Jen (note the art museum behind us!)

Soon enough, we hit the road. The first few miles flew by and pretty soon Gary, Justin and I were all running as a well-oiled 10-minute-mile pacing team. I jabbered along much of the first half, pointing to landmarks and sharing stories. Running through Center City was fantastic, between Independence Hall, several bands and streets lined with cheering fans and volunteers.

The miles clicked by and I felt fantastic. My Garmin watch was acting up, clearly giving me false readings as I ran by skyscrapers, so I went by feel.  It totally paid off. Looking back at my stats, I ran a solid 10-minute-mile pace nearly the whole race. I slipped a bit in those last two miles.

I was feeling it Sunday. I powered up the hills at miles 7 and 9. I flew on the straightaways. I was in the groove.

At the half, I felt invincible. I spotted three cheering friends near the art museum and Boathouse Row. Childhood friend Kelly, who ran the half Sunday morning, waved me down and ran alongside me for a bit. Her words of encouragement carried me for miles.

I pulled ahead with a smile on my face. This was the race I’d been waiting for.

Around mile 20 in Manayunk, running pal Cynthia waved me down as I started to get the inkling that my legs felt heavy. Her smiling face motivated me to keep moving forward. (Thank you!)

I started to struggle around mile 21. Justin ran a bit ahead and I recall thinking how nice it was to see him get a surge of energy. It was that moment I knew he’d reach his own goal, no matter how hard those last few miles were.

Several times he circled back, checking to make sure I was holding my own. Thank you Justin!

We ran into Traci around mile 22-23 and the three of us pushed on together. I walked longer at each water stop, but didn’t throw in the towel, even though I desperately wanted to. My legs were on fire and my breathing was labored. I was doubting my training.

Then we approached the art museum and the  crowds carried us in. With a high five from Mayor Nutter, Traci and I crossed the finish line together at 4:25. We both PRed and were thrilled we were done. Justin waited for us on the other side and also ran his best time. Triple PR!

We each received a beautiful medal, rivaled only by the soft pretzel handed out in the runner food line.

Eventually, we found the rest of our group and started learning about everyone’s races. LOTS of PRs in our running group! I cannot wait to hear all about everyone’s adventures.

With Traci and Meri just after the full


 From left, I’m with Traci, Brittany, Charlotte, Aileen, Gary and our new pal  Justin

Philly is a tough course, but there really is nothing like it. I loved my first 26.2 in Philly for just that reason – it was my maiden marathon and showed me I could accomplish anything I set my mind to. Five years later, I completed a far different training cycle that included multiple missed runs, illnesses and other demands taking away from my training time. I went into the weekend feeling strong but told myself not to overshoot or stress over a goal time.

So I didn’t. And it paid off. Philly, you’re my city. Running the Philadelphia Marathon the second time is like coming home.

Did you run Philly? I want to hear all about your race! Ever meet a new running pal and run a race together?

Do You Believe In Signs?

For the past few months, I’ve been considering running a full marathon. It’s one of those things that I keep saying, “Well, that might be nice to do someday” which is a drastic change from the “Oh hell no!” declaration I made when I first began running three years ago.

I have my eyes set on the Philadelphia Marathon and with registration opening tomorrow, it’s decision time. Of course there are some reservations I have about signing up. Primarily, plantar fasciitis foot pain after a long run and the fact that… well, 26.2 is a ridiculously long distance to run. But never mind that.

Let’s discuss the various signs that are pointing to YES, MERIDITH, YOU NEED TO DO THIS!


#1 Registration is tomorrow and tomorrow is my birthday.

Registrations cost money (yeah, I’m one of those crazy people who pays for my races) and I need to buy myself a birthday present! Easy peasy lemon squeezy. The laying out the money is the easy part of this whole shebang.

#2 The Philadelphia Marathon keeps posting things like this on their Facebook.

photo via Philadelphia Marathon

photo via Philadelphia Marathon

I think they are trying to lure me with the promise of water, Gatorade, and flying cups. It’s working, Philadelphia Marathon, it’s working.

#3 Philadelphia Marathon is where I watched my first marathon, ran my first road race (the 8k), volunteered and cheered for Kyle.

That’s right, I’ve actually been at the Philadelphia Marathon for the past four years but haven’t participated in the half or full. That obviously needs to change. If I’m going to be there ANYWAY, I might as well be running.

4 years ago when Victoria finished her first marathon - the inspiration to get moving!

4 years ago when Victoria finished her first marathon – the inspiration to get moving!

#4 I ran the Back on My Feet 5 Miler this weekend (and was in good company with Karen, Cyanne, and Hollie). Karen and I stuck together; within the first mile, our conversation turned to the Philadelphia Marathon. We chatted about pros and cons and thoughts on signing up. During the second mile, we turned a corner, only to face a steep hill.

And this was right in the middle of the street…


Karen says it best on her Instagram photo. (That’s the Philadelphia Marathon logo.)

#5 The time factor. In September my Little kiddo starts full day Kindergarten. Pooks will be in 4th grade. I’m going to have all this free time. (That’s said sarcastically.) But I will have a bit more time to run during the day and maybe even get some of my long runs done on a weekday rather than a weekend.

I could tell you all the doubts, nervousness and negative thoughts (what if, you can’t, but your foot…) swaying me in the other direction but I’d much rather focus on the signs that point to YES.

Have you run a marathon? How did you decide to make the leap? Will I actually do this tomorrow??? (I’m sort of freaking out.)


Philadelphia Marathon’s biggest fan

My favorite race that I’ve never run? That would be the Philadelphia Marathon! I’ve cheered/volunteered for the past four years, since Vic ran her first marathon in 2010. Why so much love for a race I’ve never participated in? Well, it’s the race that made me WANT to run.

When I caught wind of Kyle’s plans to run Philly as her very first marathon, I swooped in (Eagles fans, that one was for you!) and said, “You’ll stay with me! I’ll make sure you get there and back and it’s going to be awesome and there will be signs and I’ll cheer and you’ll sleep at my house and have an amazing time.” I bossed my way right in and she, thankfully, was very receptive!

She arrived on Saturday and immediately my kids tried to talk her into roughhousing with them (she wisely declined). Instead, we went to dinner with Megan and her four year old at The Pop Shop for a little carb loading… for both of us. I mean, spectating takes a lot out of a girl and I needed to prepare!

Megan's 4 year old daughter is gearing up to be a professional photographer!

Megan’s 4 year old daughter is gearing up to be a professional photographer!

We headed home around 8 and got Kyle all tucked in by 9, with visions of finish lines dancing in her head. Our alarms were set for the heinous hour of 3:15 (her) and 3:30 (me) – hey, that extra 15 minutes does matter.

Who has two thumbs and is ready to run a marathon? THIS GIRL!

Who has two thumbs and is ready to run a marathon? THIS GIRL!

Out the door by 4am, we made our way to the train station and were quickly underway. To entertain her, I showed her the video that Bec, Cam, Jenn and I made during Hurricane Sandy. Because hey, what takes stress away more than watching people being silly for six and a half minutes? Nothing, that’s what!


This was my last sighting of pre-marathoner Kyle.

Following the swarms of other runners and spectators, we made our way to the start line. In past years I’ve walked Victoria right up to her corral but with the heightened security following the bombings at the Boston Marathon, I was only allowed to go so far before I had to send her on her way. We parted with a big hug and off she went to the security check point and to find the orange corral.

And off I went to find a Starbucks. Which, not surprising, I did… and then sadly realized it didn’t open until 6:30. It was only 5:30. So I hung out right outside for the next hour, watching runners walking to the start (okay, fine, I was eavesdropping!) and chatting with family members and friends who were hanging out waiting for Starbucks to open as well.


Pacers heading to the start

It was right around this time that I saw a yellow Team Athletic skirt and Team Lemon shirt walking by. I’m super bad at recognizing people from picture alone. I always play the, “Is that… nooooo. Well, it might be? Maybe?” game and wind up not saying anything at all. However, there was no mistaking Malinda from Twins Run in Our Family! So much fun to see her and wish her well during the marathon!

Malinda's tweet

Malinda’s tweet

While waiting for Starbucks to open, I also met Andrea. Andrea had run a marathon the previous day and her husband, Cooper, was doing the half before the Eagles game. Happy to have a friend, we stuck together waiting for Starbucks and then headed to our first spectating position, just in front of Love Park.

Spectating at the Philadelphia Marathon is pretty fantastic because the course is easy to navigate, even as a fan. Miles 1 and 6 are just a few blocks from each other so once fans see their runner go past mile 1 (or anywhere within that range, give or take a half mile), they can then cross the couple of blocks to see them after they’ve circled through Old City.

The chair athletes came just around the bend a little after the 7am with the Elites following behind.

So fast, they were blurs. Literally.

So fast, they were blurs. Literally.

I knew to look for Kyle in the orange corral but Andrea wasn’t sure which corral Cooper was starting in so we just kept our eyes peeled! Everyone was looking fresh in that mile and while I completely missed seeing Kyle, I did manage to catch a shot of Cooper!


Soon after orange passed and I realized that I wasn’t going to see Kyle, we decided to hunt her down by mile 6. We crossed the couple of blocks and waited for people to clear their cheering posts so we had prime spots.


I was holding my “May the course be with you” sign, which runners really seemed to be digging! It got high fives and smiles. Andrea had her cowbell and was ringing it as we cheered!

Again we saw Cooper, looking strong!


And AGAIN, I didn’t see Kyle. Thankfully, she saw me (or maybe she saw the sign) because she HIT ME as she went by. Love hurts, folks.

After that Andrea and I made another stop at a Starbucks for their bathroom and snacks before making our way toward the start/finish area. At this point we had to say our goodbyes as she was waiting for Cooper to finish his race and I was hiking out to miles 15/25 to catch the ever elusive Kyle.

The second part of the race was much quieter than the first, as the marathoners make the long trek to South Philly, visiting Manayunk before making their way back to the finish line in front of the art museum. I wanted to be out there to lend support, not only to Kyle but to other runners as well. My throat was already sore by this point (I might have been a tad bit too enthused during the first cheer zones) and my foot injury from the week prior was rearing its ugly… foot.


The sign says “Speeding triggers red light” – I bet that was for all the speedy runners!

Got Kyle’s half split just as I was a passing mile 14 (I think; they didn’t have mile markers at every mile) and stopped walking to cheer and search the crowd for her. Yet again, she found me.

Hello, I’m a horrible friend. Pleased to meet you. Awfully embarrassed!


Really, Meridith? Really?

I continued walking along because I knew that Cyanne was just up the way a few miles and we’d planned to meet up by mile 17. However, my heel was super cranky and I knew I’d regret adding additional miles to the day (I rounded out the day at 10 miles – should have just ran the half!) (Not really.) so instead I planted myself just before mile 25 and let Cyanne know I’d see her in a few weeks at the Ugly Sweater Run.

I was going to get the money shot of Kyle during the 24th mile! I spent a couple hours (that is not an exaggeration) searching for a little blonde in a white Alaska tank and capris.

While I was scanning, I saw Malinda again and got to cheer for her out on the course! I know so many other people who were running and yet somehow missed all of them – I was cheering for all of you, I promise.

By this time, my cheering was less vocal (because ouch), more smiling and blowing my whistle. I’d brought candy to hand out but at that point, no one wanted candy, they just wanted the finish line. Totally understandable.

And then… I saw KYLE.


Is it really her?


IT REALLY IS!!! It’s almost marathoner Kyle!

I shouted! I whooped with joy! KYLE! KYLE! I KNOW HER! I asked, “How are you feeling?”

“Like I’m dying!” she said, cheerfully.

I jumped onto the course with her and ran a couple of steps. “Water’s just ahead. Then mile 25. And then you’re done! AND WE CAN EAT ALL THE FOOD!” With that, I hopped off the course, she continued on toward the finish line; I hobbled over to the path to walk the rest of the way and meet her at the family meetup area.


The next time I saw her, she was a marathoner! Absolutely incredible and such an inspiration, this girl! Kyle ran to raise money and awareness for the Joyful Heart Foundation, which is why we (the Scoot a Doot Chicks) chose that particular wording. Here’s Kyle’s recap!

So why do I go every year to watch the Philadelphia Marathon? Well, as Katherine Switzer said, “If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon.” I haven’t lost my faith in human nature but watching the runners of the Philadelphia half and full marathons certainly reminds me to move into each day with a joyful heart and a grateful one.

Is there a race that you spectate at year after year? Have you ever watched a friend complete their first race, whether it be a 5k, 10k, half or full marathon? What fills your heart with joy?

Guest Post: Kimberly and Kyle take on the Philadelphia Chocolate Tour

Scoot a Doot note: Hey gang! Meet Kimberly and Kyle.

kimberlyandkyleKimberly was the winner of our Philadelphia Chocolate Tour giveaway and chose Kyle to join her on the excursion. We asked if they’d like to blog their experience and Kyle jumped on the task. (And now I’m singing Sugarhill Gang.)

Last weekend, before we joined Team Scoot a Doot for Jog ‘n Hog shenanigans, Kimberly and I embarked upon a voyage of gastronomic delight throughout the streets of Philadelphia (quiet, Springsteen). That’s right, folks, we jumped on the chocolate bandwagon!

Kimberly had the good fortune to win the Philadelphia Chocolate Tours giveaway a few months back, and we decided that since we were already planning to head up to Philly for some ice cream-fueled nonsense, we might as well make a weekend of it.

kyle1Things kicked off at the Reading Terminal Market. Our tour guide, Jeffery, lead us inside the Terminal to the Famous 4th Street Cookie Company.

kyle2Of course the first thing we sampled was the classic chocolate chip cookie. What else would you expect? And you know what? It was delightful.

kyle3You simply cannot go wrong with a chocolate chip cookie. It can’t be done.

From the terminal, we hauled our cookies (pun intended) over to Verde, a small boutique that houses Marcie Blaine Artisanal Chocolates.  Literally. In the back of the shop, amongst all of the way-too-cute purses, and jewelry, and dresses, is a small kitchen where the confections are made.

kyle4This shop features a ton of great flavors and uses organic, locally-sourced cream and butter, as well as honey and produce, to create their confections.

kyle5There was even a bacon-flavored truffle. Bacon. Amazing.

kyle7We sampled two kinds of chocolate bark: Pub Crawl (with pretzels, smoked almonds and cashews) and Cherry Ginger. Both were very good, but my penchant for anything ginger made the latter my fave.

It’s a good thing the samples were small, because I’m about 98% sure I could have eaten A LOT more of that noise.

After evading the temptations of the chocolate and the absolutely adorable merchandise throughout the store, we continued on our trek. The next stop? Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland. Yup. That’s right kids. Fancy European chocolate.

kyle8All of the fancy chocolate.

kyle9Our sample? Heaven. Wait. I mean, the Dom Perignon Gold Crème Champagne Truffle.

Yeah, like I said. Heaven.

kyle10Basically, that little ball of chocolate was probably the most decadent thing I’ve had. Ever. In my life. I don’t know what that says about my life… except that it’s pretty awesome.

Leaving Teuscher was tough, because basically, I wanted to eat everything in that store. So much delicious chocolate. But, we had to make our way to the next stop. A stop I was most intrigued by. A stop where we would sample chocolate hummus.

Before you get all weird and freaked out about it, let’s preface this by saying that Kimberly, who has a strong dislike for traditional hummus, loved this stop. It’s fair to say that I did, too.

FreshaPeel Hummus creates a number of sweet and savory hummus flavors, from lemon kale to pumpkin (which legitimately tasted like pumpkin pie). We sampled all of these, but the best, the best, flavor was Chocolate Cherry. The proprietor mentioned that you could enjoy this hummus on a cracker or on fruit… I immediately jumped in and said “also on a spoon.” Because, quite frankly, that’s all I’d need. It was that good. Trust me.

kyle11You could even feel good about pigging out on this particular chocolate treat, because it’s hummus and it’s generally pretty healthy. Or at least that’s how I rationalize it. I have no qualms about this.

Following the hummus magic, we stopped at John & Kira’s, a small, innovative company that combines delicious treats with promoting positive social change. Their French-style chocolates are created with ingredients from family farms and urban gardens. Which I think is pretty cool.

We were fortunate enough to sample quite a few confections at this stop, but my favorite was probably the Mighty Urban Garden Mint bar. Mint and chocolate is always a favorite flavor combination, but this sort of transcended all other mint-chocolate situations. This was aromatic and the mint was really, really fresh. I wanted more of it. That small little chunk was not nearly enough.

kyle12Our last stop was probably the perfect way to end the tour. It was a hot day and we’d been walking a lot, so gelato? Yeah. Perfect.

Capogiro is home to the number 1 gelato in the world. According to some (probably) arbitrary contest, but I digress. Regardless, this gelato is the best I’ve ever had, so the title is relevant.

We sampled four flavors of chocolate gelato: Moka, Cioccolato Scuro (rich, dark and serious), Ciaccolato con Caramello (chocolate with caramel), and Cioccolato.

kyle13Of the four flavors we sampled, my favorite was probably the Cioccolato Scuro, because in my book, the darker, the better.

Basically, there are few things better in life than frozen chocolate treats. Gelato is no exception. Especially not this stuff. Out. Of. Control.

All in all? The tour was a delight. Kimberly and I were so happy to have been afforded the opportunity to indulge in such a tasty treat thanks to the benevolence of our favorite Scoot chicks. We second the motion: if you’re ever in Philadelphia, do a chocolate tour. Do it! You won’t be sorry.

Philadelphia Chocolate Tours Giveaway Winner


From the response to our Philly Chocolate Tours Giveaway, it is clear to see that you all love chocolate just as much as we do! White chocolate apparently doesn’t get much love (although a few like it but all say it’s not chocolate!). You all love your dark and milk chocolate just fine, thank you very much.

Ready to meet our winner? Ready to befriend our winner in hopes that they take you along with their companion ticket?

chocolatetourwinnerKimberly is our lucky 87 and the winner of the Philadelphia Chocolate Tours giveaway!

Congratulations, Kimberly! We at Scoot a Doot salute you and hope you enjoy your tour.

And hey, if you need someone to join you… we’ve got a couple of volunteers. Just saying.

Philadelphia Chocolate Tours Giveaway

Back in March, Chicks Vic and Mer treated themselves to a Philadelphia Chocolate Tour after running a 5k.


Mayhaps you remember reading about the snowy run and the delicious tour in Philly. Despite the weather, we had chocolate and when we have chocolate, we are happy campers!


Om nom nom!

The good people of the Philadelphia Chocolate Tours thought that our readers would enjoy checking out the sights and tastes of Philly and generously offered up two gift certificates for free walking tours. (See, that’s sort of work out related. Plus, there’s health benefits associated with chocolate!)

Since we know that chocolate is always better with a friend, we’re keeping the pair together.

Who could resist?

Who could resist?

Grab your bestie, grab your significant other, grab a group and split the difference of the remaining tours, grab a stranger (just make sure they’re consenting to all this grabbing) and try your luck at our Scoot a Doot Philadelphia Chocolate Tours giveaway! Encourage them to sign up, too, and increase your chances – woohoo!

This giveaway starts today, May 9th, and goes until midnight on May 14th.

What’s your favorite type of chocolate? And do you consider white chocolate to be chocolate? This is a very pressing matter!


Click the pic to enter!

This giveaway is for a pair of gift certificates for the Philadelphia Chocolate Tours. You are responsible for getting to and from the event. If awarded the winner, we will require your mailing address so we may send you the gift certificates. You are responsible for contacting Philadelphia Chocolate Tours to set up your tour date, based on availability.

Keep Calm and Hog On: Scoot a Doot’s Jog ‘n Hog winner!


We found this little piggy after the Broad Street Run!

You might have noticed from our blog, Facebook, and tweets that we are super excited for the Jog ‘n Hog this summer. When you combine two of our favorite things (running and ice cream), you just know it’s going to be a good time!

Team Scoot a Doot is currently fifteen strong and we’re proud to announce our 16th team member.


A big congratulations to Linda! She’s the winner of our Jog ‘n Hog giveaway.

Linda, we salute you! Start your training: jog around the neighborhood and then treat yourself to some ice cream!

If you want to join Team Scoot a Doot or create your own, scoot on over to the Jog ‘n Hog registration page.

If Broad Street were easy… it would be called your mom!

In the Cinco de Mayos of years gone by there’s been sombreros, brightly colored flags, margaritas and Mexican beer.

This year? Running! (Followed by margaritas/beer for some. I just wanted food, which probably comes as no surprise.)

Vic as we headed to the subway station.

Vic as we headed to the subway station.

The Blue Cross Broad Street Run takes place in Philadelphia, PA and is a 10 mile race that has been held on the first Sunday of May since 1980. Unlike many other races, it’s a point to point race and most of the run is downhill (but don’t be fooled like I was, there are a couple of uphill points!).

The sports complexes in Philly are all near the end point of the race (the Navy Yard) and were open for parking. We, along with many other of the 40,000 runners, made our way there bright and early, Sunday morning.

Thanks to Brandi for this group shot of us outside of the Septa station.

Just a couple of our friends that ran the race! Thanks to Brandi for this group shot of us outside of the Septa station.

Runners were able to ride the SEPTA, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Broad Street line free of charge the morning of the race. There was someone at the turnstile checking bibs, which was the “ticket” onto the train. She’s got a ticket to ride. Okay, I’ll stop singing now.

It was a bit chilly early on so most of us were wearing throw away gear that would then be donated once we warmed up and discarded them to the side. The guy checking our bibs jokingly said, “I feel like I’m on Runners Gone Wild and you’re all flashing me!”

That’s us: wild and crazy runners! Sidenote: the shirt that I decided to chuck was my swim team shirt. From when I was eleven. Yes, it was time to let that one go.

On our way to the start!

On our way to the start.

The train dropped runners off directly by the corrals, which was quite convenient. Most of our group headed off to a different corrals so my partner in running, Moe, and I said our goodbyes, good lucks, and good races.

Getting there early, we decided to suss out the porta-potty lines and found it to be long. And winding. We decided to skip it and find ones on the course.

Moe and I situated ourselves in the last corral, which was the BEST corral. Because pink is the best color (besides purple and turquoise).


Broad Street is a notoriously fast course, with the course record being 45 minutes. My goal was to finish around two hours, which I thought was an achievable and likely goal. This was, by far, the largest race I’d ever participated in and I’m not a huge fan of crowds so I was a bit nervous. The nerves proved to be unnecessary as the corral I was in was comfortable and roomy.

With a field of 40,000 runners, the wait time to get to the start was expansive. In that time I stepped on a discarded GU Chomp (ew!), tripped over people’s throw away clothes, and tried to peer over a sea of people to catch a glimpse of the starting line.

I prayed for a good, safe race for myself and my fellow runners. The Philadelphia police presence was reassuring and visible throughout the entire race.


With the events at the Boston Marathon still being so fresh in everyone’s minds, Philadelphia saluted Boston by providing every runner with a heart sticker that said “From Philly to Boston with Love” which all of the runners wore.

The race organizers also encouraged the runners to wear red socks as a loving shout out to our friends to the north, as well. Red socks for the Red Sox. We ordered ours from ProCompression.


Thanks to Chick Vic for this shot!

Crossing the start line, we all chimed in to “Sweet Caroline”. I was a little teary as we started off (and I wasn’t the only one). Races are always a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me but this one, especially so, as it was my first after the Boston Marathon bombings. Never once did I consider not running but I suppose there will now always be a “what if” that niggles at the back of my mind; that was never there before a couple of weeks ago.

The clock read 49 minutes when we finally crossed the start line. This time I actually remembered to press start on my Garmin and we were off!



When we first looked at this map we thought that instead of water stations, maybe they’d have Dunkin’ Donuts stations. Alas, those were cheering zones.

And not soon after we were off, we were stopping at the first row of porta-potties that we saw. There was a short line, only about five people deep and while we had to wait a couple of minutes, it was worth tacking on the time at the start. Every other stop we saw for porta-potties had a line of at least twenty people (every time we saw that, Moe and I would pat ourselves on the backs).

broadtemplecheerThe crowd support along Broad Street was, in a word, incredible. There were no “quiet” areas; no places that lacked the cheering and enthusiasm of people. It was so motivating. A few people that stood out were the children at Temple University Children’s Medical Center, who were wrapped in blankets and had their nurses outside with them, cheering for the runners. All the emotions! I swear, I cried more on this race than any other.

There were also many children along the route, and can I just say that they were very excellent high fivers. Enthusiastic and hands outstretched, I zigzagged from side to side to make sure I could get as many as possible (while being aware of the runners around me).


Caught this pic of Moe in front of City Hall, mile 5 of the race. This was the YAY CITY HALL moment.

So, let me tell you a little bit about Philadelphia City Hall. It’s right smack in the middle of Broad Street! It marked the halfway point and as you circle around, you then wind up on the other side of Broad Street. This area was thick with people cheering. Can I say it again? Incredible!

I ate my GU as I walked through the water station. I decided that if I was going to be walking at any point during the race, I was going to walk with purpose. Chest out (no problem there), shoulders back, head high, smiling. And fast. I ran much of the time but during those walking breaks, I did so with speed and confidence. It felt great!


Along with the children (and their equally amazing adults), cheer squads, churches, bands – there were people with signs! I love me some race signage. I mean, really. These are incredible! There were also official high five stations, worst parade ever signs, and dudes in sombreros giving motivation (with beers in hand). Oh, and a giant IHOP pancake. I love a race where everyone is out to have a good time, especially the spectators.

By mile 8, I was wishing for another GU. Or a banana. Or fresh legs. Something. But at that point, I knew there was only two miles left. As opposed to the usual 5 I’m used to with half marathons. That thought perked me up and spurred me on.


The Navy Yard sign was just ahead and I knew that from there, I had a quarter mile left. I was very grateful that my trainer’s wife, Sarah, let me know that the sign didn’t indicate the end of the race! I did pick up the pace a bit when I saw the sign and from there, steadily increased through the finish line.

Finishing the race with high fives from military made my heart swell and my eyes tear a bit. Again! I received my  medal from a volunteer and then Moe and I were able to track down food. After getting food and water (which was blissfully cold!), we found Vic and my husband, who were waiting at our predetermined meeting point.

broadstreetmedalsVic finished about a half hour earlier and we came in just over two hours, which I was very happy with!


The cost of the Broad Street Run is low and the positive perks make it one of high demand. The most difficult part was exiting the parking lot after the race, which took both patience and perseverance (next year, we’re bringing a picnic along!). 2013 was the first time they did a lottery process for people to take part.

I was thrilled that I was able to run this year, it’s been on my bucket list since I first heard about it. I’m already crossing my fingers that I get to take part in next year’s race.

What’s the largest race you’ve every participated in? What’s number one on your race bucket list?

Edited to add: Here’s a link to Vic’s recap too!

Jogging, hogging, and blogging: meet Team Scoot a Doot

For the 2nd annual Jog ‘n Hog, Team Scoot a Doot is a crazy bunch of characters hailing from all over the Northeast. So far we’ve got 13 people (edited to add – make that 15) who are ready to take on the challenge of running two miles, eating either a pint or quart (!?!) of ice cream, and running another two miles.

Prepare yourself to meeting some of our crazy bunch! And hey, who knows, maybe this will entice you to join us. *Hint, hint, there’s a GIVEAWAY further down in this post.*

We asked our runners to share their Jog ‘n Hog strategies as we prepare for this amazing event (happening on July 21st, clear your social calendars).
Team Scoot a Doot member, Megan and her daughter, Finn.

Megan being adorable with daughter, Finn.

Megan – Be me. Be amazing. And, keep running a 5K a few times a week to make sure I stay in top form so that I don’t completely die mid-race. Sort of guessing the ice cream will refuel me, though, even if I am tired after the first 2 miles. Ice cream is an energy food, right???
Sorry ladies, Matt is taken (by Megan!). Here he reads his very special Runner's World, which we've been told is not about the RUNS.

Sorry ladies, Matt is taken (by Megan!). Here he reads his very special Runner’s World, which we’ve been told is not about the RUNS.

Matt – Binge. Purge. Rinse. Repeat.
Christina gives a shout out to Boston.

Christina gives a shout out to Boston.

Christina – My entire strategy revolves around not vomiting. I will consider the entire event a success if vomiting is avoided.
Bad ass!

Bad ass Jen, ready to conquer the Down and Dirty!

Jen – I have no strategy. Ice cream runs through my veins and sustains me so it’s no big deal for me. Ben and Jerry’s is my regular life’s blood.
Brandi likes long walks on the beach...

Brandi likes long walks on the beach…

Brandi – Run fast two miles. Eat. Then walk one mile… and run to the end. And not throw up.

Only Vic could get run over by a parked car!

The leader of the pack!

Vic – I plan to run like the wind for the first two miles, inhale my vat of ice cream and try not to vomit for the next two miles. That likely means walking the last two miles, for the record.
Typical day for Kate!

Typical day for Kate!

Kate – All out for the first 2 miles. Eat and enjoy the ice cream while laughing with friends. Run, walk, crawl or whatever it takes to get to the finish line. Most importantly I plan to have FUN! That’s what it’s all about, right?!
Official baby kisser of Team Scoot a Doot, Jena!

Official baby kisser of Team Scoot a Doot, Jena!

Jena – My strategy is to try and keep the ice cream down during the last two miles.
Not ice cream.  Not interested.

Not ice cream? Not interested.

Mer – Jog. Hog. Tweet. Pictures. Blog.

And hey, who goes to a race and doesn’t bring along their very own cheerleader? Not Team Scoot a Doot, that’s for sure!

Bec enjoys spending her free time getting to second base with the Bewitched statue.

Bec enjoys spending her free time getting to second base with the Bewitched statue.

Bec – My initial goal was not to toss my cookies. Or my ice cream. If that wasn’t possible, my goal was to toss my cookies with grace and style. However, due to some recent dietary changes, any cookies and ice cream I eat (or toss) have to be dairy free. So, my new goal is to come and cheer you guys on. And maybe hold your hair back, if you need that. I’m a giver, what can I say?

It seems like many of the members are a bit concerned about puking. So we asked Boss Hog about any such incidents in the inaugural race.


Fair enough.

You want in on this action, don’t you? Well, friends, let’s get down to brass tacks.

May 1st, prices for the Jog ‘n Hog kick up a couple of bucks. The way we figure it, why pay more when you can pay less? Currently, the Whole Hogger (quart) is $30 and the Half Hogger (pint) is $27. As of May 1st, both fees increase by $5. “In the immortal words of The Doors, The time to hesitate is through.” (Name that movie quote for extra cool points in our book.)

If you join Team Scoot a Doot, you get the added benefit of being on a team. (And hanging out with US!) The teams have room for 20 and we’d love to have you.

Or, you can roll the dice on our Jog ‘n Hog giveaway. The Scoot a Doot Chicks are hosting a raffle for one free registration!

Click the pic to enter!

Click the pic to enter!

This giveaway is for one entry to the July 21st, 2013 Jog ‘n Hog, taking place at Shady Brook Farm in Yardley, PA at 8:30am. You are responsible for getting to and from the event. If awarded the winner, we will be sharing your name and email address with the race directors of the Jog ‘n Hog and they’ll be giving you a code so you can Jog ‘n Hog with us.

So, what do you say? Have you ever taken part in a running event that involves food? Will Team Scoot a Doot puke? What would your Jog ‘n Hog strategy be? Let us know down below.