Rock n Roll Marathon Series Global Tour Pass Giveaway!

So you may have read last week that I’ve got a busy year ahead.

And since running is currently a no go, I wasn’t able to use my Rock-n-Roll Marathon Series Global Tour Pass for 2016, an awesome perk that comes along with being a race series and brand ambassador.

I was hoping to at least run #RnRDC in March, but my body stopped cooperating early in the first trimester. My other “must-run” RnR races for the year in September and October (Philly and Brooklyn) don’t seem incredibly feasible, as I will then have a newborn on my hands.

So instead of fretting about the timing, I decided to share my pass with one lucky reader and postpone my race plans until 2017.

Up for grabs is a 2016 Global Tour Pass worth $479. It gives you entry to any and all RnR races in 2016.

Click on the image below to enter:


This giveaway will begin Monday, May 23 and will last one week, ending at midnight on Monday, May 30 (Memorial Day.) There’s only one pass up for grabs and only one winner. I received this pass (a $479 value) through my role as a #RocknBlog ambassador. While I love this series, all opinions on my experiences are my own. Winner must be a US, Canadian or European resident. Current #RocknBloggers are no eligible to win the pass. Cheating to enter this giveaway will disqualify entrant. Required entries are a must to be considered for prize.

And HEY! Since I know you all love a deal, use my discount code “ScootaDoot” to save some cash on an upcoming Rock n Roll Marathon race. Save $15 on entry of the marathon and half-marathon distance at 2016 RnR events.

dad skeet 319


What’s on your Rock n Roll Marathon Series bucket list? What RnR races do you want to run in 2016?

#RocknBlog 2016

I am honored to again be selected as part of the Rock n’ Roll Marathon Series ambassador team as a Rock-n-Blogger.

This will be my second straight year with the energetic team. Last year I had mighty plans, but some injuries and other life happenings sidelined me more than expected, so I wasn’t able to attend any of my scheduled races. Heck, most of my racing plans went out the window after I hurt my knee last March.


So this year, I am going to slowly work my way back to half-marathon distance with a goal race or two in sight. Which races might that be? I’ve got my eye on a few, but time will tell which ones make the cut.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s great news Vic, but what does it mean for US? Well! I will soon have a discount code to share with you. I haven’t gotten it yet, but once I do, I’ll be sure to share here and spread the wealth.

In the meantime, tell me what RnR races you’ve done and which ones are on your bucket list!


Registration open for Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon

Registration opened today for the inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon, to be held Saturday, Oct. 10 2015.


Competitor Group, which operates the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, last week announced the return of the road race. The 13.1-mile course replaces the former RnR Brooklyn 10K, held from  2011 to 2013.

Early registration to tackle the new course comes with a discounted prerace fee of $55. And please note that because registration is steeply discounted, discount codes like mine – RUNNINGWITHVICTORIA – won’t work during the prerace sale (but it will once the race is full price – which will likely cost more than this special.)

I’m excited for the big day as I love fall in NYC. The crisp air, the changing leaves and this just happens to be my birthday weekend! And yes, I will likely be there as part of the Rock ‘n’ Blog ambassador program.

The race begins in Prospect Park and includes out-and-back jaunts along Eastern and Ocean parkways, before runners complete the final three miles in Prospect Park. Click here for the course map. Like other RnR races, this Brooklyn course will feature live bands along the route and a concert at the finish line. The concert headliner has not been announced.

More than 17,000 people are expected to participate in the new half marathon, according to the Rock n’ Roll Marathon Series. In comparison, nearly 20,000 people competed in yesterday’s NYC Half Marathon.

Have you run in NYC? Have you completed any Rock ‘n Roll race?  Would a new course in Brooklyn interest you?


Let’s run Rock ‘n’ Roll!

I’m excited to announce that I will be part of the Rock ‘n” Roll Marathon Series’ 2015 blogger team!


I discovered RnR races back in 2010 and have run one each year since – New Orleans, St. Pete and Washington DC to name a few. I love the atmosphere of each race – and how each course is as unique as the cities they races are held in. I love to travel, to race in unfamiliar cities and to jam to live bands as I run along a course. And who can say no to a complimentary post-race beer?

rock3After 13.1 miles in DC earlier this year

And this news comes with a perk for all of you! Soon I will have a discount code to share with you all on entries for the 2015 Rock ‘n’ Roll races. The series offers 5K races, 1/2 and full marathons and challenges  that include a combination of several running events.

As I look toward 2015 and my race schedule, I already planned to run the RnR race in Washington DC, again with my friend Traci. We’re both excited to return to DC for another fun event, But I’m not sure what other races to tackle – Chicago, Philly and San Diego are my front runners. But Vegas, Savannah and Portland are also woo-ing me.

I’d love to hear which RnR races are your favorites and why! Which races shouldn’t I miss? Which RnR race is on your running bucket list?


Guest post: There’s a first time for everything

“What was I thinking?”  This is the question that kept running through my head on Friday night – the night before my first half marathon.  Less than six months before I thought anyone who ran more than a 5k for fun was insane.  Less than six months before that I was among those who swore I’d never run unless someone was chasing me.  With a knife.  And there was a delicious fruity and alcoholic drink waiting for me when I was safely away from said knife-wielding maniac.

Well, there I was, my alarm set for 4AM, running gear meticulously lain out – double and triple checked (because I’m a little obsessive like that) waiting for sleep.  It came intermixed with dreams of showing up naked or, even worse, without my race bib. Thoughts like, what if I have to use the bathroom on the course? and what if I break an ankle half a mile from the finish line? plagued me. At one point I woke up cursing the friends who talked me into a race with promises of glory and pride and bling!  Did I mention that among these friends was your favorite runner and mine, Meridith?  Thanks, Mer.

I decided that 3:45 was close enough to 4am and rolled out of bed.  Up and at ‘em!  I threw on my clothes – what a process it was to figure out what I was going to wear!  All winter I had been training in sub-freezing weather, but that morning it was 50 degrees.  Yikes!  Too warm for cold weather gear, not quite warm enough for my regular stuff.  So I found a happy medium. Then it was time for breakfast. Peanut butter and sliced banana on wheat toast.  For the record, yuck.  But it works.

After a few last minute words of advice from my runner husband and a kiss for luck, I was out the door by 4:50. My stomach was still churning when I met my friends at the rendezvous point for carpooling into DC.  Thank goodness for the former DC-dweller turned suburbanite who drove us downtown, because the rest of us would’ve been completely lost.  Fast forward:  we park in the lot, hit the portajon, take Metro to the starting line. It was there that we discovered the VIP portapotties.  Yes. V.I.P. porta potties. Complete with red carpet and velvet ropes. Who knew?  After seeing the lines for the not-so-important-people restrooms, I briefly wished I had forked over the cash for the climate controlled, easily accessible luxury.


Then it was time to find our corrals.  Since the girls I rode in with are considerably faster than I, we headed in opposite directions.  I found myself in corral 30 and luckily made a new buddy – another first timer with fast friends in an earlier corral.

Corral pals!

Corral pals!

She made waiting for the start so much less stressful.  Don’t get me wrong, I was still bouncing on my toes anxious but, had Angie not been there, I might have had a very different experience.

The energy at the race was fantastic!  Because it was a Rock ‘n’ Roll event, there were  great bands along the course and those who lived on the course put their boomboxes on their front porches or had their car stereos blasting.  Good thing too! The local cell and data network was so overloaded because of the influx of people that my Pandora app wasn’t working!  The volunteers at the water and Gatorade stations were fantastic, but the cheering crowds, some with signs, some handing out beer, made the race!

I started out strong.  I kept telling myself to slow down and try not to bonk.  It totally worked for the first 5 ½ miles.  Then came the hill.  I will have nightmares about this hill for the rest of my life.  The elevation climbed from 24 feet to 197 feet in less than 1/3 of a mile.  When I tell you that it looked (and felt) like we were going straight up, I do not exaggerate.  Probably 85% of the people around me had to walk it, and some even did so backwards to take the strain off their hamstrings and shift into using their quads.  It was rough.

Accurate sign is accurate.

Accurate sign is accurate.

My legs were fried by the top and it really messed with the rest of my race. At that point I made a conscious decision that I would basically power walk uphill and only run the downhills.  I wasn’t happy about it, but I did what I had to do to get it done.  Thankfully, the end of the race was downhill so I was able to run through the finish line and smile for the cameras.

I collected my medal (which, if it wasn’t so darn heavy, I would wear it until the ribbon gave out) and headed through the finishers’ chute.  I was very happily surprised when I turned at the sound of my name and realized that Victoria, another of my favorite Scoot a Dooters, had found me in the midst of 25,000 people.


All in all, it was great day.  I am incredibly proud that I completed the course and have a shiny new medal to show for it.


I am hopeful that the whole experience will be like childbirth in that it’s pretty painful, but worth it, and a few days later you want to do it all over again.  It better be since Meri and Vic suckered me into signing up for another half in six weeks.  Yikes!

Keri is a stay-at-home mom to twins who loves to travel and over-indulges in historical fiction. She has been known to tone down her innate awesomeness in order to make those around her more comfortable.

Everyone has to start somewhere! We want to hear about your firsts – whether it be your first run, 5k, 10k, half marathon, or marathon. What did you do beforehand that worked well? What would you do differently?

RnR USA: Racing in Washington DC!

It was well over a year since my last Rock n’ Roll marathon event and I was long overdue.

So when my friend Traci asked me to join her for the 2014 Rock ‘n’ Roll USA marathon and half-marathon, the decision was simple. We headed south Friday, the day before the race, and after a quick stop to drop our bags at the hotel we headed to the race expo, held at the Armory. We’d left behind about 20 inches of snow from a mid-March blizzard and were itching for warmer weather.

We were in and out of the expo quickly, as we were on a schedule and needed to get to Virginia. The expo had quite a few vendors – running gear for any and all was aplenty! But we retrieved our race packets and changed Traci’s corral quickly. She bought a new shirt and visor and we headed right back out door.

On race morning, we left early and took the Metro in from Virginia to Central DC. We arrived just before 6 a.m. – well ahead of the crowd of nearly 25,000 runners. We were able to drop our bags (to collect after the race) with ease and found an indoor restroom to use multiple times before we headed to the starting corrals along Constitution Avenue, adjacent to the National Mall.

We headed into our corral, right next to the Museum of Natural History, about 15 minutes before the 7:30 a.m. race start and chatted race strategy for a bit. Before we knew it, it was time to toss the throwaway clothes.

pantsFarewell, old friend

It may sound silly, but I was rather attached to this pair of pants and honestly, I wasn’t completely willing to discard them. They’d accompanied me to numerous regattas over the years, including The Head of the Charles and even Worlds in St. Kit’s. They also came with me to celebrate my most recent marathon in NYC. But I knew they would go to good home, as all discarded clothing is collected and donated in the DC area.

Before I knew it, we had started moving toward the starting line. 12 minutes after the first wave started the race, we joined them on the course.

rock1The start

Within the first mile, we ran past The White House and the Washington Monument. Our second mile brought the Lincoln Memorial and a run-by of Arlington National Cemetery. The next few miles flew by – we hugged the Potomac River, we ran through a wooded area by the National Zoo and up one darn steep hill toward Calvert Street.

I knew that hill was coming, but ouch. STEEP!

I ran the half to pace Traci for the first part of her full marathon. Our goal was to stay as close to 10-minute miles as possible, even building in a bit of a buffer as we ran. Every so often, I’d call out our pace — letting her know if were were going too fast or too slow.

Shortly after we passed the Mile 7 marker, Traci let me know she needed a bathroom. We spotted a gas station and veered off the course. Why not? It couldn’t hurt to ask.

Inside, the clerk waved Traci into the employee-only restroom as soon as it was vacated by another relieved runner. I stretched and thanked him repeatedly as she was otherwise occupied.

Two minutes later, we were again on the road and on a mission to make up at least half of the lost time. We sprinted by a hill on Harvard Street and zipped past Howard University before we pulled in the reigns.

We were back on track.

We didn’t chat a whole lot those last few miles together. We were busy admiring the views – particularly of The Capitol building as we ran south along North Capitol Street.

The half course included 12 live bands and the full course had twice as many on-stage performers. I loved the live music as I ran ran past each stage. Also on the course were thousands of DC residents and fans, many holding witty signs and offering beer to runners. No really, it’s beer, a few fine folks chanted as we ran by.

Traci and I split apart shortly after mile 12, and I cheered her along, knowing full well she was on track to meet her time goal of 4:30.

My last mile was my fastest of the race. I zipped past other runners and cheered as I bolted along those last few streets. Several last turns and I reached the finish line just outside RFK Stadium. 2:06:31. I’ll take it!


I grew up not far from DC and my family visited many times each year. But as an adult, I hadn’t spent much time in our nation’s capital. I actually hadn’t been there in over a decade, outside the airports. Running through DC – past monuments and neighborhoods – yielded a flood of childhood memories.

I bee-bopped my way around the post-race party for the next few hours and cheered a few friends to the finish. I spotted friend Keri shortly after she finished her FIRST-EVER half-marathon!

rock6With Keri, who is GLOWING, after her first half! Congrats lady!

I also enjoyed a post-race beer at the concert beer garden. The beer’s included in your race entry. Sweet!

rock3my blinged-out beer

A jammin’ post-race concert is always a large draw for the Rock n’ Roll Marathon races, and RnRUSA was no different. Indie-folk rock band The Head and the Heart headlined the post-race concert to a lively crowd.

rock4With The Head and the Heart, after the concert

Then it came, the notice I’d been waiting for – the text that Traci had finished her race! She surpassed her goal and bested her previous marathon time by 30 minutes! It took me another 30 minutes to locate her – but we connected at our prearranged meeting spot and together headed back into the beer garden for her celebratory drink!

rock5Traci and me, post race!

We had a fabulous day and look forward to running again in 2015!

Have you run in our nation’s capital? (In a race or just for fun?) Have you ever paced a friend? What’s your post-race drink of choice? BEER? Gatorade? chocolate milk? Tell me in the comments!

All I want for Christmas…is a runcation.

Today’s the day.  People all over the United States are engaging in the frantic nocturnal scramble for commerce.  There will be some running involved, hopefully no running over.  Maybe a little kickboxing.  Some deep breathing exercises.  All in the effort to save a little cash.  And believe me, I need to save a little cash!  This year, I’ve spent more money on runcation and race entry fees than any other non-essential expense.  Quicken showed me this cute little pie chart and the category of “Race Expense” was the third biggest piece, right after “Mortgage” and “Household”.

I don’t how this happened, I had a race budget!  But you know, after SoCal Ragnar, I had to do Napa so I could get that double medal.  And all my friends were running in Washington, I couldn’t let them have fun without me.  And I had to do the Wine and Dine after Tink, because of that Coast to Coast medal.  And there was no way I was going to run in Disneyworld and not take my kids to other happiest place on earth.  Oh, and after experiencing the awesomeness of the ROC race in San Diego, I just had to do it again in Anaheim.  And so the story goes.  I have a hard time saying no to races and when I do say no, I’m green with envy when I see my running mates posting pics on facebook!

This year, I don’t want a lot for Christmas.  There is just one thing I need…are you hearing Mariah Carey yet?  All I want for Christmas is to race!  So here it is, my Runcation Christmas List.

1. Any East Coast Ragnar or any Trail – I’ve been wanting to do this for awhile now.  And I’m dying to get the Scoot Chicks in a van.  D.C., Cape Cod, and Ontario are high on my list, but really any of them would be amazing.  The trail race is a new series.  Instead of a van, you camp and the race trails loop out from the camp site.  It’s a different kind of relay but I’m anxious to take it on!

2. E.T. Full Moon Midnight Half-Marathon – Sci-Fi is kind of my thing.  Just ask my X-Files and Star Wars ringtones.  This course runs along Highway 375, which was named Extraterrestrial Highway by the federal government, in the Nevada desert in the middle of the night.  Oh, and did I mention it borders Area 51?  The whole idea of this race gives me chills.

3. Spartan Sprint – It seems like everyone I know loves these races.  And I love dirt and I love adventure so I think I might love this race.  Of course, I also think I’ll need to beef up before I attempt something like this.  My upper body strength sucks.  So push-ups, here I come.

4. Rock ‘n Roll Half-Marathon – It’s pretty simple…music is awesome, running is awesome, running to music is double awesome.  The best part about this race series is that it is EVERYWHERE.  Madrid, Scotland, Ireland…oh, how I dream of the day I can run in a foreign country!  I might have to settle for L.A. this year, but one of these days…

5. Challenge Nation – This is the Ultimate Urban Scavenger Hunt and like a lot of these races, it’s everywhere.  I can’t think of a better way to explore a city I’ve never been to before.  It’s part physical, part mental, and a whole lot of adventure.  The race part is a 5k and there’s prize money to be won. If I can’t be on Amazing Race, then I’ll gladly settle for this!

6. John Muir Trail –  This isn’t a race but it’s top on my list of things I must do before I die.  The trail is 211 miles long and runs from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney in California.  It’s a hike, you carry your stuff on your back and sleep in a tent.  No showers, no bathrooms, just me and the Sierra Nevada Mountains…and probably some other people because I can’t see myself doing this alone.

Rock n’ Roll Marathon’s 2013 St. Pete half race recap

A foot of snow fell in upstate New York last weekend, completely blanketing much of the region and wreaking havoc on everyone’s travel plans, mine included. I was headed to sunny Florida with my colleague and friend Traci to race her first-ever half marathon. Nothing would stop us from getting there. Not even Snowmaggeon 2013, which blessed me with a 70-minute commute home Friday afternoon. (It normally takes about 15 minutes)

Somehow, our flight south was not canceled. It wasn’t even delayed! We headed to Buffalo (with a generous snow-buffer delay) early Saturday morning. By early afternoon, we were in Tampa. We cast our snow boots aside and welcomed the sunny skies.

We stopped by the Rock n’ Roll Marathon race expo at Tropicana Field and collected our bibs and a few other choice goodies. We also stalked the PowerBar booth for their delicious new banana blueberry Performance Energy Blends. Apparently, it will be sold in stores soon, but I haven’t been able to find it just yet.

Fast forward to race morning:

We left our beachfront hotel around 5:30, which allowed plenty of time for us to drive the 12-mile route back to Tropicana Field, battle any potential race traffic and park before the VIP parking lot closed out.

Purchasing VIP parking tickets was hands down one of the best race decisions we made. We arrived minutes before the lot closed and parked within a 100 feet of a row of portable toilets. I know, that doesn’t sound stellar at all. But it WAS! We hit the bathrooms not once, but twice without waiting in any lines. Anyone who has been at the start of any race knows what a luxury this was.

We soon dropped off our shared check bag, and anxiously awaited our 7:30 am race start. Soon enough, we hopped into the corrals.

At the starting line

We’re so excited! And we just can’t hide it! (pre-race, of course)

Before we knew it, the race was underway and our corral was released.

We were off! We took the first mile a wee bit too fast. We were excited and ready to go, go, go! We rounded the first turns, which looped us around the baseball stadium, and up a hill to our first water stop.

It was going to be a warm day, so we had to hydrate early on, I told Traci as we headed toward the water station.

Then, Traci was body checked by a massive linebacker reaching for water. I dodged around more arms and legs. Grabbed water, drank water. Didn’t trip.

But I lost Traci.

I am the worst coach ever.

I repeatedly yelled her name. I frantically scanned the crowd. Then I finally realized she must’ve kept running. I start running again, whipping out my cell phone and I prayed. And yes, I was the jackal talking on my cell while running a race.

“Oh thank God!” I gushed when Traci picked up.

“I lost you,” she replied.

We chat for a few more moments, she tells me where she is on the course and I realize I am way behind her, so I tell her I am on my way and speed up to catch her.

Huff huff. Puff puff.

Damn, my legs are not pleased about this sudden sprint.

Where is she? There’s mile 2. Annnnd queue Traci’s smiling face. THANK GOODNESS!!!

Sadly, though, I am basically wheezing since I ran at 8:30 pace to find her again. And this was just a few weeks after my Disney marathon. Phew! It took me several miles to get my breathing pattern back to normal. Well, as normal as I was going to get for this run.

We didn’t chat much as we ran those next few miles — ya know, since I was trying not to die and all. We passed a few bands, some less-than excited spectators and repeatedly dodged a runner who stopped dead in the middle of the course to snap pics.

We also honored our wonderful nephews. At miles 6 and 10, we thought of Traci’s nephews and at 3 and 8, we thought of mine. It’s a wonderful way to pass the time while paying special attention to those you love most. Right, smiley Riley?

Soon enough, we passed an air field and dreamed of flying to the finish. Next, we raced onto The Pier, which was quite breezy. Stellar views but boy was it getting HOT.

Soon after we left The Pier, we started dumping water on our heads instead of drinking it. We were hurting. But let’s be realistic, it was in the teens yesterday and we were racing in 75 degrees. Given all that, we were still on pace for our projected goal time. Not too shabby.

Three more miles and we started to fade a bit. But we kept plugging away.

As we rounded a corner toward final mile – mile 12 – I encouraged Traci to run ahead. She was close to her goal and had a bit more spring in her step than I did. She didn’t want to, but finally did.

That last mile was rough. The cramp I’d been harboring much of the race felt like a dagger in my side. All I wanted to do was walk. But I didn’t I kept going. Soon enough, the finish line was straight ahead.

I sped up, at least that’s how it felt. I can’t even imagine how I must’ve looked at this point. But soon enough, I crossed and moments later Traci and I found one another.

We collected our post-race treats and sat along the beach. A slice of heaven.

Our view. I like oceanside runs!

Traci conquered her first half-marathon and is weeks away from her second race. I’m so proud of her!

PSA: I am not one to endorse running with a cell phone, since running is truly my only time to unplug. But our cells saved our butts here.Hands down. I will never run a race without my cell in tow again.