Trails aren’t the only way to get out and enjoy nature. Us City Slickers can get outside and explore just like our friends from more rural areas.
I have the joy and pleasure of residing just outside Boston allowing me access to city, beauty, history and nature.
So how do I get outside and explore my city?
Here are my top 3 tips to enjoying your city:
1) Take a walking or running tour of the city. I’ve done the Freedom Trail Run, a run along the Freedom Trail in Boston offered to tourists and residents alike each day (value $40 per person).
The Freedom Trail Run is geared to all fitness levels and ages. It was such a cool and different way to explore the historical aspect of Boston and not be stuck on a trolley tour.
2) Take advantage of the amazing nature trails just outside of the city. While New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine offer glorious views and countless hills/mountains to climb, we don’t always have the time to travel that far. One can go just 30 minutes outside of Boston to the Blue Hills Reservation.
Pack up your friends, your pups and your LÄRABAR bars and get out there!
Enjoy a breathtaking view or two.
Can you spot Boston out there in the distance?
3) Lace up your running or walking sneakers and just do it! I know it is a deep and brilliant idea, but it is true. And Cheap!!
Meeting up with friends? Take a walk around the Charles River!
Looking for a new date idea? Lace up your sneakers while your partner rides their bike.
Want to take your racing off the road and onto the trails? Check out the VERT Race Series – a great trail series for beginners!
Phew! Now I am working up one serious appetite thinking about all of these sweet activities. Thankfully LÄRABAR sent me this sweet LÄRAbag with bars and RENOLA. RENOLA is a grain-free, gluten-free mix of non-GMO fruits, nuts and seeds.
LÄRABAR the Original Fruit and Nut Bar™ features a delicious, gluten-free blend of unsweetened fruits, nuts and spices, with some flavors including coconut oil, chocolate chips or other simple ingredients. The bars are made from whole foods and each indulgent flavor contains no more than nine ingredients and at least ¼ cup of fruit or more.
For my Weight Watchers snackers, the 1.6oz LÄRABAR bars are 5-6 PPV each, while the single-serving RENOLA granola are 5 PPV. Definitely a manageable PPV for a snack, while being active on-the-go!
My favorite flavors for LÄRABAR are: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Chocolate Chip Brownie. Are we seeing a theme?
Now in honor of National Take A Hike Day on November 17, LÄRABAR has been kind enough to offer me 16 LÄRABARs and RENOLA to give away to you amazing folks!!
So here’s how to enter the giveaway (open to US Residents 18+):
Comment below with an answer to one of the following two questions!
1. Which flavor of LÄRABAR they are most excited to try and why?
2. Share your #getoutside story and why they would love to receive the LÄRABAR to compliment their outdoor adventures.
Winner will be chosen Monday November 3 at 10am EST.
Can’t wait to know if you are chosen? Use this LÄRABAR Coupon for $0.50 off a bar!
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by LÄRABAR, but all thoughts are my own – ain’t nobody got time for lyin’!
October 29 is #WorldStrokeDay!
1 in 3 Americans don’t know how to recognize a stroke. When you don’t know what to look for, you can’t save a life. Tedy’s Team and I want to change that and you can help us!
Download and share American Stroke Association’s stroke warning signs.
F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke. When you can spot the signs, you’ll know that you need to call 9-1-1 for help right away. F.A.S.T. is:
|Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?|
|Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?|
|Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?|
|Time to call 9-1-1 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.|
Today, approximately 1,300 Americans will lose their life to, or become severely debilitated by a stroke.
THINK YOU ARE HAVING A STROKE? CALL 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY!
I will be lacing up my sneakers to run the Boston Marathon in 2015 with Tedy’s Team in honor of my Stroke Heroes – my grandparents and my wife’s father – in addition to all of the others affected by Stroke. This will be my third Boston Marathon with Tedy’s Team and I am excited to take on the challenge and hit my fundraising goal of a combined $21k raised to #FightStroke!
If you would like to help me reach my goal AND virtually share a mile with me on that day, a $20 donation to Tedy’s Team would make any mile you want yours!! Sound like a fun plan?
Let’s Do It!
Click here to donate today
Leave a blog comment letting me know which mile you would like to sponsor
26.2 For ME
Thank you all for your support and remember F.A.S.T!!!!
And the Lie was….
3) I took a mid-run selfie with Bill Belichick during the Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville marathon.
While I did speak with Bill during RnR Nashville I did NOT snap a selfie. Congrats to those that figured it out!!
#1 occurred during the RnR Savannah Full Marathon in November 2012. I was bit by a dog on the course.
#2 happened in July 2011 – read about it here!
Thanks for playing!!
I love the game two truths and a lie and sometimes play it with my running buddies during those cold winter long runs. Since I love it so much, I thought I would share the game with all of you.
Okay the rules are easy. Of the three statements below – two are truths and one is a lie. Your objective: pick out the lie.
Here we go:
1) I was bit by a dog while running a marathon.
2) While running in Chicago one morning, I discovered not one, but two dead bodies.
3) I took a mid-run selfie with Bill Belichick during the Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville marathon.
Soooo it is up to you: which is the lie?
With 13.1 miles left on the schedule, the Runner’s World Half on Sunday October 19 would round out the Runner’s World Half & Festival Hat Trick.
(Note: Runner’s World did sponsor my participation in the RW Half & Festival, but all comments are my own – ain’t nobody got time for lyin’!)
For a third-straight morning the alarms in our room were blaring at 6am. Thankfully I laid my race gear out the night before so getting ready in the morning would be a breeze.
Presley and I headed downstairs to grab another free breakfast from the Comfort Suites bar/breakfast area. I also brought my KIND bar with me to use for pre and during race fuel.
We met up with the third amigo Doug just after 7 to head to the Start area. The Start for the half was just past the Start for the 5k and 10k. We remembered Bart talking about hiding in the casino pre-race for warmth and bathrooms so we made our way there.
It was blustery that morning and my lack of a throwaway t-shirt was a quick regret. Brrr…
Thank you Sands Casino for letting us crash your party to stay warm.
We waited as long as possible in the warmth before making our way to the Start Area. It was definitely chilly, but we made the most of it working some sweet dance moves to keep warm.
We also saw that Matt left his mark on the course without even being there. Hi No Meat Athlete Fan!
We’ve been to so many races at the same time (she used to live in Boston), but this was our first action shot together. I snapped the pic and wished her a fun race. You can see Doug and Presley in the back of this photo wondering why I sprinted ahead to snap a selfie without them.
The wind was something fierce that morning and we braced ourselves for the upcoming hills.
Mile 1: 9:52
Mile 2: 9:36
We worked our way through the city streets and neighborhoods of Bethlehem. With the RW Half you truly were getting a glimpse of the majority of the city.
The neighbors were out in full force once again and if they didn’t provide enough entertainment for you there were the other participants to check out.
Like these two running in sumo wrestler costumes. I give those two sooo much credit for donning those outfits on a day like we had – wind wasn’t their friend. haha. They were awesome to run near and totally took a pic with us while we took a port-o-potty stop. I wish I could find them to get a copy of it.
Mile 3: 12:07
Mile 4: 9:12
Can you tell which mile we stopped to take a break? It was great because I saw my friend Jacqueline and we used the port-o-potty break as a spot to catch up. Except we took an extra minute chatting before realizing we were in the middle of the race and should probably keep moving. Ha.
The hills DID allow for some pretty sweet views.
As we came down from this hill, we noticed a Happy Birthday sign – but the runner was nowhere in sight. Darn! We wanted to find him to make our “Singing Happy Birthday during a race” 3-for-3 for the weekend. Sadly we never caught up to him and no Happy Birthday was sung during the Half.
We started asking random strangers if it was their birthday, but no one fit the bill.
At the crest of the next hill, I saw the wonderful Sarah from SparklyRunner.com! Ahh what an amazing sight to see a familiar face. Mid-run selfie – check!
This little selfie put me far behind Presley and Doug so I had to play a little catch up.
Then the mile of fun truly started.
We had seen these bears all over the city so we had to stop and snap a pic.
Then have a dance break with the band.
Mile 5: 9:48
But Mile 5 fun led to Mile 6 heartbreak – the never-ending hill complete with angry drivers.
A quick shot of the line of cars that we passed.
There was one older lady that was super angry at the runners – not sure if she was late for church or what – but she was honking and calling out to runners. You can see Presley was not sure what her deal was.
Thankfully we spotted a cop coming to the rescue just after we passed by.
I’m not sure how the cars ended up on the course, but they definitely should not have been there. Especially ones with road rage. We didn’t see anyone get hurt or touched by the cars, but always a scary sight to see cars on a course.
As we made our way up the never-ending hill, I spotted Sarah’s boyfriend Matt and made sure we took a pic.
He was so in the zone with his music I had to call his name a few times before he heard me. Yeah I looked like a complete stalker. I have no shame.
Mile 6: 9:36
There were rumors flying around that the second-half of the course was flatter than the first so we held on to that thought to keep us moving forward. Note: that person lied.
We took a right and headed towards tiny neighborhoods and it was great to see families out on their lawns cheering on runners and offering up orange slices, etc.
We happily took a gentleman up on some Twizzlers. I enjoyed Twizzlers during my 20-Miler back in March and they really hit the spot!
Who says we don’t fuel properly?
Mile 7: 9:25
Mile 8: 9:46
We were in Mile 7 and knew the Skirt Sports ladies would be hosting the water stop just after the Mile 8 marker as well as a #SkirtEncounter activity – volunteers would put you in a Skirt Sports skirt that you would be able to keep.
So of course Presley and I had to take part. Thanks for capturing it Doug.
When I wear skirts I like to double them up! It was something I never thought I would do during the race and I am glad we didn’t pass up on the opportunity.
We waited for Presley to take another port-o-potty break before we got back to business.
Mile 9: 10:52
After leaving the neighborhood, we took a left on an incline heading towards a cemetery. As we made our way back up the incline, I noticed this gentleman rollerblading along the race. I had spotted him earlier, rollerblading and texting on his phone, but I couldn’t get a pic then.
Once through the cemetery (interesting scenery), we actually caught up with comedian Liz Miele. I totally blew it in the catching an action shot with her, but it was great chatting with her. We explained more about what bloggers do/mean and she shared more about her running journey with us. It was such a cool experience.
It was during that time that we also passed another church and I HAD to take the opportunity to meet Jesus.
Oh hey Jesus!
High-five for days!
Mile 11: 10:07
We had just two miles left, which meant we were making our way back to streets we took in the prior day races. We could see runners who had already finished walking along the course with their medals.
We also used these final two miles to come up with our Finish Line pose. The important things right?
It was a great distraction as my legs were starting to feel the toll of the prior two days. My rainbow socks for the half were not compression and my legs could tell.
There was great crowd support coming into the final two miles and we soaked it all in.
Mile 12: 9:10
Mile 13: 9:05
We opted for a Charlie’s Angel finish pose with Doug in the center and Presley and I on the outside. Doug went down the Finish chute getting high-fives from both sides of spectators.
And I send a big thank you to Sarah for getting these awesome shots of us.
Can you tell I was having fun?
And just like that it was done!
Finish Time: 2:10:35
It was pretty spectacular that we actually ran all three races around the same exact pace and we didn’t even set out to do that.
After grabbing our heat sheet blankets, bagels, bananas and water, we headed back towards the Expo to meet up with the Altra Running guys one last time.
Doug knows how to rock a heat sheet!
But first I asked Presley to snap my pic in front of the Finish Line (first pic in this post) and then I yelled to Bart. He turned around and said “I loved your Charlie’s Angels Finish pose.” YAY! People knew what we were doing!!
And we got this magical pic.
The course was definitely hilly. I found this meme online and couldn’t stop laughing!!
Hahahahhaa!! I have never done the RW Half before so I am not sure how the course changed, but it definitely didn’t feel that flat or fast.
Overall the race was a blast and had a great mix of scenery and small town neighborhood feel. The hills were tough and I applaud those who chose to race or PR on this course. I am not sure how many others experienced the traffic on the course and if that was also in the past RW Half races.
I had a ball taking in the signs, spectators and give a HUGE thank you to all of the volunteers along the course.
Once we said good-bye to the Altra Running crew, we headed back to the hotel. Presley and Doug had earlier flights than I did so we went back so they could shower before grabbing a quick lunch. Of course my lunch included a celebratory beer.
Oh this was DELICIOUS!! I need to find more STAT.
And with all of that the Hat Trick was complete. Bling for days…
Have you ever run the RW Half? How did you tackle those hills?
Here is how the 2014 race schedule is shaping up so far:
January 1 – 1st Run 5k – 23:43 (7:39 min/mile pace) – RECAP
January 9 – Disney Family Fun Run 5k – 32:05 (10:21 min/mile pace) – RECAP
January 10 – Walt Disney World 10k – 1:05:40 (10:35 min/mile pace) – RECAP
January 11 – Walt Disney World Half Marathon – 2:22:31 (10:53 min/mile pace) – RECAP
January 12 – Walt Disney World Marathon – 4:45:57 (10:55 min/mile pace) – RECAP
February 2 – Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon – 1:55:43 (8:50 min/mile pace) – RECAP
February 14 – Stop Stroke Shuffle 5k *Virtual* – 26:18 (8:29 min/mile pace)
March 1 – Black Cat 20-Miler – 2:57:59 (8:54 min/mile pace) – RECAP
March 16 – Craicfest 5k – 24:17 (7:49 min/mile pace) – RECAP
April 19 – BAA 5k – 25:08 (8:06 min/mile pace) – RECAP
April 21 – 118th Boston Marathon – 5:31:18 (12:39 min/mile pace) – RECAP
April 26 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon – 4:42:12 (10:46 min/mile pace) – RECAP
May 11 – M.O.M.’s Run 5k – 24:14 (7:48 min/mile pace) – RECAP
May 13 – Strides Against Stroke 5k *Virtual* – 26:16 (8:28 min/mile pace)
May 18 – 18th Annual Mystic River Herring Run & Paddle 5k – 24:39 (7:57 min/mile pace) – RECAP
May 25 – Boston’s Run To Remember Half Marathon – 1:50:58 (8:28 min/mile pace) – RECAP
May 29 – Boston 5k Summer Series Race #1 – 23:29 (7:34 min/mile pace) – RECAP
June 1 – Freedom Run 5k – 23:55 (7:43 min/mile pace) – RECAP
June 7 – Runner’s World 5k – 28:28 (9:11 min/mile pace) – RECAP
June 7 – Runner’s World 10k – 58:49 (9:29 min/mile pace) – RECAP
June 8 – Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon – 2:08:52 (9:50 min/mile pace) – RECAP
June 21 – Rock and Run Boston (Obstacle 5k) – 45:32 (14:38 min/mile pace) – RECAP
June 22 – BAA 10k – 51:37 (8:19 min/mile pace) – RECAP
June 30 – Summer Sizzler *Virtual* 5k – 25:21 (8:10 min/mile pace)
July 3 – Finish At The 50 (10k for me) – 53:01 (8:32 min/mile pace) – RECAP
July 13 – Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon – 1:57:44 (8:59 min/mile pace) – RECAP
July 17 – Boston 5k Summer Series Race #3 – 24:19 (7:50 min/mile pace) – RECAP
July 20 – Iron GirlWebster Sprint Triathlon – 1:26:54 – RECAP
July 30 – F.A.S.T. (Fighting Against Stroke Together) *Virtual* 5k -27:44 (8:57 min/mile pace)
August 14 – Boston 5k Summer Series Race #4 – 24:57 (8:03 min/mile pace) – RECAP
August 17 – Falmouth Road Race (7 miles) -1:00:49 (8:41 min/mile pace) – RECAP
August 24 – Race To The Row 5k – 23:46 (7:39 min/mile pace) – RECAP
September 4 – Boston 5k Summer Series Race #5 – 22:39 (7:18 min/mile) – RECAP
September 7 – Pumpkinman Half Ironman – 6:06:03 – RECAP
September 13 – Big Bad Wolf 5 Mile Trail Race – 41:41 (8:21 min/mile pace) – RECAP
September 14 – Buzzards Bay Sprint Triathlon – 1:27:01.3 – RECAP
September 17 – The Dani Ryan Holmes-Kirk 3rd Annual 30th Birthday 5k Run-Walk Ramble *VIRTUAL* – 26:03 (8:24 min/mile pace)
September 27 – ZOOMA Women’s Half Marathon (Cape Cod) – 1:54:17 (8:43 min/mile pace) – RECAP
October 5 – Oktoberfest 5k – 24:16 (7:49 min/mile pace) – RECAP
October 12 – BAA Half Marathon – 1:52:58 (8:37 min/mile pace) – RECAP
October 18 – Runner’s World 5k – 30:29 (9:50 min/mile pace) – RECAP
October 18- Runner’s World 10k – 1:01:11 (9:52 min/mile pace) – RECAP
October 19 – Runner’s World Half Marathon – 2:10:35 (9:58 min/mile pace) – RECAP
October 25 – *Virtual* Pug Run 5k – 25:29 (8:13 min/mile pace)
November 2 – South Shore Half Marathon – Starts at 7:30 a.m. ET
November 9 – Boston River Run 5k – Starts at 9:00 a.m. ET
November 15 – Spartan Sprint Fenway Park – Starts TBD
November 27 – Gobble Gobble Gobble 4-Miler – Starts at 9:00 a.m. ET
December 14 – Yulefest 5k – Starts at 9:30 a.m. ET
So how does one celebrate a successful Five & Dime and carboload for the following day’s half?
I am sad that I missed some of the amazing seminars especially the ones with Bart Yasso and Mark Remy, but I needed a little rest. Plus I had the pleasure of listening to both men speak during the Heartbreak Hill weekend.
Once we were properly rested and refreshed, the three amigos headed out for a quick snack en route to the Expo for an evening of laughs and carbs.
But first let’s take a selfie. I mean it is the Funhouse, where fun people meet and party!
I was psyched to hear Liz Miele’s comedy set, but first David Willey graced the stage.
Liz was hilarious and got on to Runner’s World radar because of this I’m A Runner video from 2010.
Also we did in fact get a shout out before she started the set. Go us!
Additionally I made friends with one of the pacer’s for the Half and quickly we had Matt replaced. I kiiiiid. But it was fascinating to learn more about pacing as it is something I’ve thrown around as a possibility.
After a great comedy session, we caught up with the Runner’s World PR team of David and Beachy. Presley and I asked Beachy to take a photo for us and this happened.
After a selfie session, the real picture was finally taken.
(Note: Runner’s World did sponsor my participation in the RW Half & Festival, but all comments are my own – ain’t nobody got time for lyin’!)
Before heading to the pasta dinner with the Runner’s World Editors, Doug, Presley and I stopped by the Altra Running booth to ask founder Golden some questions.
Prior to heading to Runner’s World weekend, Altra was nice enough to send us each a pair of sneakers to test out. Well I liked the sneakers I had, but they were a little too minimal for me – I needed a little more stability.
So I was able to grab Golden‘s ear on the subject and he said I was in the wrong shoe compared to what I normally wear. He switched me from the One to the Paradigm. I immediately noticed a vast improvement and cannot wait to try out the new shoes when they arrive.
Since the Expo had actually shut down awhile back, we invited Golden to enjoy some pasta with us and he agreed to join us. It was great to chat with him further about his running career and philosophy on running. We also met some great people at our table who were also participating in the Half the next day.
The pasta and salad was delicious and straight out of the Runner’s World Cookbook.
Thanks to Golden for throwing signs with us before we retreated back to the Comfort Suites bar. This night turned into an early night once an unruly bar attendee ended up having the cops called on him. Ummm yeah that was our cue to head upstairs and be asleep by 10pm.
Overall it was a great day with friends and lots of laughs!
Up next? #RW Half Festival Part 5: The Half.
Want to run a 5k? Sure!
Want to run a 10k? Absolutely!
Want to run them on the same day? Umm… sure thing!
Hello Five & Dime.
Apparently Runner’s World Half & Festival was more than just getting together with bloggers and checking out Bethlehem, PA – there was going to be running involved.
(Note: Runner’s World did sponsor my participation in the RW Half & Festival, but all comments are my own – ain’t nobody got time for lyin’!)
Once again the alarms were blaring at 6am so that Presley (my roomie) and I could hit up the Comfort Suites free breakfast area/the Comfort Suites bar/where the karaoke magic happened before heading to the race. I opted for an english muffin with butter.
We met up with Matt and Doug at 7 so we could head down to the races. Thankfully the Start area was less than a mile for our hotel so we had an easy warm-up walk before running. We recanted the amazing karaoke fun and came up with our game plan for the actual races. We planned on running both together. No matter the pace we would stick together and have fun. This would be my first time having three people to run with and make sure to capture in my mind-run selfies.
The weather was chilly, but I was happy to show off my Runfellow t-shirt! Representin’ Somerville baby!
We stretched and loosened up with a little pre-race dancing… Taylor Swift “Shake It Off” anyone?
The crowd was pumped up and ready to run. We were ready for a fun run!
I also opted to bring my pink sparkly microphone prop from the previous day’s Amazing Shakeout Run to interview some fellow runners along the course.
We crossed the line and were off.
As we made our way through Mile One, I heard the other runners discussing the upcoming hills along the course. Oops should’ve looked at a course map pre-race. Eh we like surprises.
And my fellow participants weren’t kidding about the inclines. I was really happy to not be fighting for a PR that day.
Mile 1: 10:34
There was a sweet DJ along the course mixing some tunes, as well as other local high school bands, polka music and more. They were setting us up to dance our way through the race.
Mile 2: 9:32
Without even knowing it we were picking our pace up and approached negative splits.
I started interviewing Presley and Doug to get their thoughts on the race.
We made our way back towards the Start line and I wasn’t sure what the path back would be. It was become the final stretch for all three races.
We ran parallel to the Finish Line before taking a loop around the block, which brought us right past the Casino.
Mile 3: 9:00
We used the last 0.1 to come up with our Finish Line photo pose. We opted for using something Altra Running founder Golden Harper taught us to correct our posture during a run – think of reaching towards the Sun!
Unfortunately I didn’t get a good photo of it, but I heard it was a hit with the Altra team.
Final Time: 30:29
With one race down and one to go it was time to refuel with water and a banana. The 5k began at 8am with the 10k to follow at 9:30. This left ample time to hit up the restrooms and catch up with friends between races.
Hey sexy bloggers!
Sarah from SparklyRunner
After catching up and refueling it was 9:17am and time to head back to the Start Line for Round 2. We rocked some more sweet dance moves to loosen up and it was GO time.
The 10k started the same way as the 5k, but thankfully avoided one of the bigger hills from the beginning of the 5k by sending us left to cover more ground. Since the race announcer did remind us the 10k would be double the 5k. Oh right.
As we made our way through the first couple of miles, we fell into a nice running groove. It was interesting to run with Doug and Matt who are two mainly ultra marathon trail runners, while Presley and I mainly stick to road racing. It was nice to hear about their racing experiences in ultras compared to those on the road. The more laid back style seems to be the biggest.
Mile 1: 9:59
Mile 2: 9:55
Mile 3: 9:40
We made it through half of the race before someone – Presley – needed a bathroom break. Once she hopped in the port-o-potty we all decided to stop. I don’t think I have ever taken the time to have a bathroom break during the 10k, but the quick break was nice.
We were making sure to utilize all the water stops and powerade when available.
After tackling yet another short climb we headed into Bethlehem’s historic residential district, where the streets are tree-lined, flat, and wide.
And that is where we saw Editor-In-Chief David Willey running with participants. I saw him running back and forth with runners that I wondered how many miles he was actually logging during the races.
Of course I asked him for a selfie…
His response: “Sure I’ve already done 10 so far this race.”
Then the group HAD to be included.
Thanks to David for letting those “bloggers” be selfies #11 and #12.
Mile 4: 10:31 (port-o-potty stop mile)
The crowds were out in full force with handmade signs and tons of high-fives. I would like to say I was 5-for-5 with high fives. Yeah little kids like my style. Haha.
As we wrapped through the Bethlehem neighborhoods, the quaintness of the town really started to show through on that Saturday. The vibrant Fall colors were gorgeous to run through.
All parts of the town were out to cheer on the runners, local churches singing, Lululemon employees out with their witty signs, local high school teams manning the water stops. It was a great vibe.
I need to thank these three for making this race fun and for dealing with my “Guys get over there and take a picture” requests over and over again.
Mile 5: 9:12
During the final mile, we caught up with marathoner and comedian Liz Miele, who would be performing that night before the pasta dinner. It was great to chat with her before her set. We were also hoping it would get us into the act. *Fingers Crossed*
Runner’s World gave her a STAFF shirt to wear, which led to many runners to believe she was a writer for Runner’s World rather than a comedian. Haha.
Mile 6: 9:04
With yet another Finish Line on the horizon, we needed a game plan. This time we would go for a jumping Finish Line photo. Again I didn’t get a good shot of it, but will tell you all it was EPIC.
Runner’s World website did a great way describing the Finish Line:
The finish lies under a flaming arch in the shadow of the massive Bethlehem Steel blast furnaces, the first of which went into operation in 1863. From these massive structures, the rail lines that traverse our nation, the Navy ships that fought in both World Wars and countless steel I-beams that serve as the skeletons of many of our nation’s iconic skyscrapers were born.
Final Time: 1:1:11
And the Five & Dime was ours!!!
Overall they were beautiful courses with some climbs/hills. I loved the energy of the crowd and the eclectic music along the route. I do wish the time between races was a tad shorter. I know you need to leave ample time for everyone to finish the 5k, but it was tough to have almost an hour between races.
After the races, we stopped by the Expo one more time to snap another Runner’s World cover so you could actually see my phone at the top – the previous one was blocked by the title.
We went back to the hotel to clean up and grab some lunch before Matt deserted us to
avoid the half spend time with his wife for their anniversary.
Next Up: #RWHalf Festival Part 4: A Saturday Night In Bethlehem, PA!
Alarms starting blaring at 6am on Friday morning – also known as Day 2 of the Runner’s World Half & Festival weekend. Presley from Run Pretty and I blindly started hitting snooze on our iPhones before realizing there was no time for snoozing!
Day 1 of the #RWHalf weekend brought us to Runner’s World HQ and the Comfort Suites Bar. Since Day 1 set a high bar, I was excited to see what Day 2 would bring.
In case you haven’t picked up what I am laying down – our “let’s take it easy because we have 22.4 miles to run this weekend” shakeout run turned into a “it’s Amazing race and I need to win” 4-mile all-out sprint.
Let me back it on up for ya.
We huddled together in the Comfort Suites lobby at 7am on a Friday morning ready to get the 411 from David and Beachy (otherwise known as Laura). They let us know we would be breaking into 4 teams of 4 (each team would be joined by a member of the Altra Running staff).
It was captain time and guess who got picked.
That’s right. Apparently the PR staff thinks I am a tad competitive.
Saayy whhaa?? Not sure where they got that. <>
Please pick a team name. Done.
We headed outside behind the hotel to get the first clue, which was sponsored by Skirt Sports. Our Altra rep stood by 4 bags of costumes to help each of the bloggers grab a costume, change and run back to tag the next blogger. Once all 4 bloggers were dressed, you snapped a pic and received your first clue.
Since we were the second team done, we had the added bonus of adding a second Altra employee – yay Ashleigh – to our crew. We bound out of the parking lot.
Now we probably should’ve stopped and figured out where we were going before leaving the parking lot, but we were ready to roll. That led to a little extra mileage added to our total. While in the moment we regretted, but thankfully didn’t hurt our overall performance.
Since this was a group of bloggers we had to Instagram and tweet our locations each time we figured out a clue. Thank GOODNESS I have mastered the art of running and IGing.
(Note: This is where my friend and Zelle Editor Elizabeth‘s son asked her if I was Katie Perry. #DayMade)
As we made our way through the first two clues, the third was sending us to the Sands Casino. Yes for the first time ever I can say I have sprinted through a Casino.
It was JUST before entering the Casino that we made our move from second place to third! Take THAT Team Wombat.
After texting in our final pic to the Runner’s World PR team, we received our final clue and headed back to the ArtsQuest building. We were a quick crossword puzzle away from first place.
That’s right – WE WON!
Did y’all expect anything less from me?
Each Team Domination member will receive a $100 gift card to Altra Running!
Once the other three teams returned, it was breakfast and story time.
While enjoying strawberries and yogurt, Budd Coates spoke to us about his book Running On Air. He was talking about the proper way to breathe while running. He did some exercises with us where I learned I cannot follow directions. Ha.
Following Budd was Golden Harper, creator of Altra Running AND the current marathon record holder for a 12-year-old with 2:45. Yeah you read that right.
It was fascinating to hear more about the Altra Running story. I had no idea the company was so new on the market – about 3 years.
After getting a sneak peek at what Altra is coming out with in 2015, it was time to hear more from iFit.
Prior to #RWHalf weekend, each blogger had been sent an iFit Tracker to test and I had really gotten hooked on mine. In addition to testing out the trackers there was a small competition amongst the bloggers put on my iFit.
And. Guess. Who. Won.
And I won a…
I am BLOWN away and psyched. This will benefit not only me, but my entire family. My mom had her knee replaced this past summer and had been wanting a treadmill. Now we have one.
After hearing more about the iFit products, including a membership where you can link google maps to your treadmill and basically run anywhere in the world. I mean really? Wicked cool.
Once I was officially pumped from my win! It was time to get a quick “learn to run” session with Golden before Yoga for Runners.
Yoga for Runners was HILARIOUS. The noises of agony we were making were loud and unanimous.
Since this reiterated that I need to do more yoga, the yoga gear they hooked us up with will come in handy at home. The instructor told me to start with easy poses for 15 minutes a couple of times a week and build up. I let her know how bored I get in yoga classes, which is why she suggested starting small.
After so much activity and winning :P, it was time for lunch. The chefs created another delicious meal out of the Runner’s World Cookbook, while we listened to Elizabeth from Zelle and Sean MacMillen from Team RWB.
It was finally time for me to grab my selfie with Bart Yasso! #TripMade
With a happy stomach and an inspired heart, it was time to head back to the hotel, clean up and sneak in a nap before the evening began.
We headed to pick up our bib, t-shirt, hat and socks (we got all three since we were doing the hat trick) before heading down to the Expo floor. I made sure to thank our sponsors before gunning for the “Pretend you are on the cover of Runner’s World” booth.
Yes folks those covers you saw on social media were in fact fake. Womp womp!
Then Presley and I wanted to be recognized on the cover for our selfie taking skills.
What the photog caught
What we caught
Doing a cover shoot was fun. <<Hint Hint Runner’s World Hint Hint>>
With the Expo officially owned, it was time to do some carbo-loading … Casino style.
While I personally do not gamble, I am really good at WATCHING other people gamble.
Presley hadn’t gambled before so Doug and Matt were going to be the mentors.
The gambling didn’t go well so we grabbed salad wraps and headed back to the Comfort Suites for some karaoke. The locals had the place packed so we did our best to grab a table and blend in. Well as much as we could being about 35-30 years younger than the rest of the people in attendance.
Adorable duet from Matt and Doug.
Even Pamela joined in on the fun.
After closing down karaoke (it’s how we roll), we all headed upstairs to bed with visions of not one, but two Finish lines dancing through our heads.
Up next? #RWHalf Festival Part 3: Five & Dime!
When one gets invited by Runner’s World to hang out for a weekend of racing and other fun running-related fun, you clear your schedule and jump on the next plane to Emmaus, Pennsylvania!
So that is EXACTLY what I did!
Fine you all are on to me. There wasn’t much on that calendar anyway, but let this girl dream. Okay?
The Runner’s World Half & Festival took place in Bethlehem, PA October 17-19. I, and 14 other bloggers, invaded Bethlehem on October 16 to get a head start.
I headed out to Pennsylvania on a Noon flight on Thursday, but first enjoyed a pre-flight Harpoon IPA. Cheers to a fun weekend!
Once I arrived in Bethlehem, we headed straight out for a fun night at Runner’s World HQ.
That’s right. This girl got to go to Runner’s World mecca. Pretty sweet.
On the ride from our hotel to RW HQ, we were able to get to know each other. I knew a handful of the bloggers, but was excited to meet the rest of the crew.
Here is a list of who was in attendance:
- Matt from No Meat Athlete
- Katie from Ms Fit Runner
- Kristen from Fit Bottomed Girls
- Sarah from Picky Runner
- Ali from Ali on the Run
- Presley from Run Pretty
- Katie from Runs for Cookies
- Jamie from From Couch To Ironwoman
- Beth from Shut Up And Run
- Lauren from The Foodie Runner
- Charlene from FAB Running
- Dick from Better Cheaper Slower
- Aliah from The Get Fit Diva
- Doug from Rock Creek Runner
The first stop on the tour was the Kiva. A Kiva is a room used by Puebloans for religious rituals. The writers and editors go in to think, brainstorm and find possible clarity. I tried to bottle up all the positive energy I could from the room. I will be selling it on eBay later.
We continued upstairs to see the actual offices.
As soon as you made your way through the first set of cubicles, you enter an area covered in pictures of Runner’s World covers from around the world. In the middle you will find a large table, a standing desk with treadmill and a stationary bike.
A spot where employees can do their work and work out at the same time.
Just around the corner we saw THE wall. The place where the next issue of Runner’s World was being drawn up.
Along the top you could see every Runner’s World cover since January 2010. David Willey and Bart Yasso shared their stories of their favorite covers. It was fascinating to hear, which they loved more. I wish I had taken down better notes during that time, but I was secretly trying to write Dani and Weight Off My Shoulders on the blank pages of the storyboard for the next Runner’s World.
Yeah it didn’t work. Darnit!
Then it was time to enter the magical place known as Bart Yasso’s office. I cannot put into words the inspiration that room exudes to the people that walk into it. I really did try to harness as much as I could before having to vacate so someone else could get in.
The party continued down the hall to David’s office.
David has been the Editor-In-Chief for 11 years and go toe-to-toe with Bart when storytelling. Seriously, I could’ve listen to those two swapping running stories all night long. I have a lot of reading from Dr. George Sheehan to do based on recommendations from David.
Photo of Dr. George Sheehan hanging in David’s office
After a quick visit to the bike room, where the Bicycling Magazine test bikes hang and commuters leave their bikes, it was S’mores time.
Woo! S’mores. I can’t remember the last time I had a good S’more. It was great to finish the tour with sugar.
Anyone notice Mark Remy totally photobombing my pic? I knew he wanted to get mentioned here on my blog.
After bidding the RW Editors adieu, we loaded on the bus to head back to the Comfort Suites. There was a killer DJ turnin’ beats at their bar and we couldn’t miss our opportunity to hear some sick tunes!
Next up? #RWHalf Festival Part 2: Amazing Shakeout Run, Altra Running Fun & Expo!