#RWHalf Festival Part 1: Runner’s World HQ Tour & S’mores

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. :)

(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’!)

I headed out to Pennsylvania on a Noon flight on Thursday, but first enjoyed a pre-flight Harpoon IPA. Cheers to a fun weekend!

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Once I arrived in Bethlehem, we headed straight out for a fun night at Runner’s World HQ.

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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:

After enjoying a delicious dinner straight out of Runner’s World Cookbook, it was time to have a personal tour of HQ led by the amazing Mayor of Running Bart Yasso and Editor-In-Chief David Willey.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The party continued down the hall to David’s office.

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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.

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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.

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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. :P

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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!

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Next up? #RWHalf Festival Part 2: Amazing Shakeout Run, Altra Running Fun & Expo!

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Come Play Two Truths And A Lie With ME! :)

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.

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Got it?

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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?

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*REVIEW* Mizuno’s #WaveRider18 Will Help You Realize The Power Within

Can a shoe truly help you realize the power within?

Absolutely.

It could be a shoe, a wallet, a piece of clothing or simply seeing the words written on a wrapper that could potentially change how we view ourselves and what we are capable of doing. The important piece of the puzzle is that you are open to the journey that will follow.

Thanks to Fitfluential and Mizuno Running I had the opportunity to take the journey through a sponsored campaign (value $119.99). Thanks folks! But as we all know – ain’t nobody got time for lyin’ so all of my reviews show my true feelings!! Ya feel me? ;)

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Harness the positive energy of every step

When the Mizuno #WaveRider18 sneakers showed up on my doorstep I couldn’t hold back the squeal of excitement that flew out of my mouth. The colors. The colors people. These gorgeous little shoes were a beautiful black, silver and Florida Keys combo. I didn’t know what Florida Keys meant, but I can tell you it is spectacular!! Am I right?

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Wave Rider 18s are lightweight at 7.8 oz

My first rule of thumb when receiving a new pair of sneakers: Take them out on a walk before running! It helps me to get a feel for the style before bringing in my  running form.

I immediately leashed up the pups and took the shoes for a walk around the river.

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Laney watching over my new Wave Rider 18s

I had some lacing issues the first time around meaning I was keeping the shoes a little too tight leading to some discomfort. Taking the sneakers for a walk for the win.

Mizuno adopted the inspirational influence of the Japanese concept of “Hado,”
the intrinsic vibrational life force energy that promotes powerful transformations. 

Since having back surgery in January 2011, I never take a run for granted and look to embrace how every run will enhance my running journey.

This first test run was no different. The new Wave Rider 18 provides the ideal balance of fit and performance, making it the choice for runners seeking a smooth ride in a sleek, lightweight daily running shoe.

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The Dynamotion® FitTM upper and a modified outsole pattern
gives the shoe added durability and an improved underfoot feel.

Power from within moment: I thought about how strong I was to go out of my comfort zone and head to Runner’s World Half & Festival weekend with an amazing group of bloggers that next week. Would I fit in? Would I be cool enough? I didn’t know. I did however pat myself on the back for trying.

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It was a crisp fall afternoon in Boston as I laced up for my first of two runs on Wednesday. I was training for the Runner’s World Hat Trick, which is three races in two days.

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Mizuno’s patented Wave Technology® delivers maximum responsiveness
and a harmonious feel, providing “just enough” support for your run.

So run #1 of the afternoon led me to crash a local high school cross country meet … Oops!! Splits: 8:26, 8:16, 8:18, 4:14. Seeing those 14-15-16 year old boys fly by me as they cruised through their 1-2 mile races immediately had me self-doubting myself. Asking why I should bother being out on the course.

Power of within moment: I peeked down, caught a glimpse of those lightweight beauties and dug deep remembering that no matter my speed I was worthy of finishing that run. I was meant to run.

***

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I’ve taken the journey through Wave Riders 16s, 17s and 18s and the 18s come out as my favorite. The 18s provide a stable ride from landing to toe-off, while eliminating the distortion caused by stress the foot naturally puts on footwear. You know what I mean, right? When that first part wears out before any other portion does and you start feeling all wonky?

So if you aren’t a neutral runner I suggest you give these shoes a try! They are really trying to take all runners into account.

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As I continue to weave the Wave Rider 18s into my rotation of sneakers, I work on what feat I will tackle next, how will I push on through adversity and what I can do to inspire others to do the same.

You may laugh at what a shoe has done for me in a short period of time, but I challenge you to do the same. Step back, lace up those sneakers and see what you learn about your soul while hitting the pavement.

I promise you you will learn more about what you are willing to risk and try than if you hadn’t.

***

How will YOU realize the power within?

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22
Oct 2014
AUTHOR Dani
CATEGORY

Motivation

COMMENTS 3 Comments

Terrific Tuesday: Contest Win, Got Chocolate Milk Delivery & A LÄRABAR Announcement


Whenever I come off a major race weekend – like I just did with the Runner’s World Half & Festival – there is always a sad period. It can last a day, a few or even more than a week. So you can guess that yesterday was a blue Monday.

But it all changed today.

Today became one TERRIFIC TUESDAY!

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Not one … not two … but three amazing things happened today.

Without further ado I need to share it!

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1) I won…

I will wait here until you watch the video!

Did you watch it?

Don’t lie to me.

I will not write anything else until you do.

 

 

 

 

 

See!

Hearing the excitement in my voice was worth the watch, right?

I am freakin’ psyched. I cannot wait to pick out the treadmill and change the lives of my entire family.

Thanks again iFit and Runner’s World!!!

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2) My new Got Chocolate Milk gear and $500 sponsorship money arrived!

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I am in love with the new gear! I chose the Triathlon option of the three I was offered. I guess that is really hooking me in to triathlons for the 2015 year, huh? :P

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I really did love the sprint triathlons I have done so far and would love to test out some Olympic distances, but I am not sure another Half Ironman will be on my radar. For now at least.

I think I let you all know that the $500 sponsorship money will be used to fund my first Ragnar Relay experience in 2015 – Cape Cod in May with Team Running Down A Dream. Our team is made up of 12 weight loss success stories, who have combined to lose 1300 pounds.

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3) I am excited to be working on a new sponsored campaign with LÄRABAR!

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But I am not the only one that is going to benefit. Be sure to tune back to the blog on Friday when my post goes live about my experience with LÄRABAR and the giveaway opens.

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Did you catch that? I will be GIVING AWAY a bag complete with assorted LÄRABARs and RENOLA.

Are you getting excited? Well see if you can contain that excitement until Friday! ;)

***

Isn’t this one sweet sweet way to turn around my post-race blues?

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2015 Road Races

With 2014 still in full swing, I can’t believe I am already looking at my 2015 race schedule. Here’s what I have thus far:

Run Disney Rebel Challenge

January 16 – Star Wars 5k – Starts at 5:30 a.m. PT

January 17 – Star Wars 10k – Starts at 5:30 a.m. PT

January 18 – Star Wars Half Marathon – Starts at 5:30 a.m. PT

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Run Disney Glass Slipper Challenge

February 20 – Princess 5k – Starts at 6:15 a.m. ET

February 21 – Enchanted 10k – Starts at 5:30 a.m. ET

February 22 – Princess Half Marathon – Starts at 5:30 a.m. ET

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April 20 – 119th Boston Marathon – Starts at TBD

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May 8-9 – Ragnar Relay Cape Cod

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September 26 – ZOOMA Women’s Half Marathon (Cape Cod) – Starts at 7:30 a.m. ET

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Half Marathon & Marathon Results

Half Marathons x 23

February 26, 2006 – Hyannis Half Marathon – 2:20:18 (10:43 min/mile pace)

August 14, 2011 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago – 2:12:15 (10:06 min/mile pace)

January 28, 2012 – F^3 Lake Half – 2:05:40 (9:36 min/mile pace)

July 22, 2012 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago – 1:51:43 (8:32 min/mile pace)

August 19, 2012 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Providence – 1:52:58 (8:37 min/mile pace)

October 7, 2012 – B.A.A. Half – 1:48:16 (8:16 min/mile pace)

January 12, 2013 – Walt Disney World Half – 1:48:09 (8:15 min/mile pace)

February 24, 2013 - *Virtual* Half At The Hamptons – 1:58:04 (9:01 min/mile pace)

May 5, 2013 – The Half Of Quincy – 1:44:30 (7:59 min/mile pace)

May 26, 2013 – Boston’s Run To Remember – 1:53:00 (8:38 min/mile pace)

September 15, 2013 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia – 1:44:12 (7:57 min/mile pace) —> PR

September 28, 2103 – ZOOMA Cape Cod Half – 1:47:35 (8:13 min/mile pace)

September 29, 2013 – Rock ‘n’ Rock Providence – 1:54:22 (8:44 min/mile pace)

October 27, 2013 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles – 1:53:19 (8:39 min/mile pace)

January 11, 2014 – Walt Disney World Half Marathon – 2:22:31 (10:53 min/mile pace)

February 2, 2014 – Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon – 1:55:43 (8:50 min/mile pace)

May 25, 2014 - Boston’s Run To Remember Half – 1:50:58 (8:28 min/mile pace)

June 8, 2014 – Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon – 2:08:52 (9:50 min/mile pace)

July 13, 2014 – Old Port Half Marathon – 1:57:44 (8:59 min/mile pace)

September 7, 2014 – Pumpkinman Half Ironman (Half Marathon Portion) – 1:59:22 (9:03 min/mile pace)

September 27, 2014 - ZOOMA Cape Cod Half – 1:54:17 (8:43 min/mile pace)

October 12, 2014 – Boston Athletic Association Half – 1:52:58 (8:37 min/mile pace)

October 19, 2014 – Runner’s World Half – 2:10:35 (9:58 min/mile pace)

 

Marathons x 6

September 24, 2006 – Clarence De Mar Marathon – 5:59:27 (13:43 min/mile pace)

November 3, 2012 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah Marathon – 3:58:49 (9:07 min/mile pace) —> PR

April 15, 2013 – The 117th Boston Marathon – 4:04:08 (9:18 min/mile pace)

January 12, 2014 – Walt Disney World Marathon – 4:45:57 (10:55 min/mile pace)

April 21, 2014 – 118th Boston Marathon – 5:31:18 (12:39 min/mile pace)

April 26, 2014 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon – 4:42:12 (10:46 min/mile pace)

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2014 Road Races

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

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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)

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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

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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

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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

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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)

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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)

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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

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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

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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 Pending

October 18- Runner’s World 10k – 1:01:11 (9:52 min/mile pace) – RECAP Pending

October 19 – Runner’s World Half Marathon – 2:10:35 (9:58 min/mile pace) – RECAP Pending

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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

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December 14 – Yulefest 5k – Starts at 9:30 a.m. ET

 

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How To Pack For A Multi-Race Weekend In ONE Carry-On Bag


Never ever ever going to check my running gear when flying to a race. I couldn’t imagine the panic I would go into having to try and replace those necessary items while out of my comfort zone.

That is why I make sure to pack – if not all of my clothing – at least my running gear in my carry-on.

Now when I went to Disney for one week for the Dopey Challenge, which included four races with different costumes for each, I successfully packed everything in two carry-ons. #WINNING

So how did I turn this…

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… yes that is everything I packed for this weekend’s trip to Runner’s World Half & Festival in Pennsylvania. I am doing the Hat trick which means I am running the 5k and 10k on Saturday and the Half on Sunday.

Anywho. I turned that mess into…

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THIS!

That’s right folks. I am a packing genius.

What?

Too far?

Fine fine. I got my packing groove on and got a little excited.

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Packing for a weekend or week with multiple races can be overwhelming so I break it down to make it easier.

1) Clean off a big space to work with – couch, bed, table. When dealing with multiple races the best thing to do is lay out everything in front of you so you are less apt to forget something major.

2) Begin with the race outfits themselves. Make sure you have the necessary clothing pieces for each race. I usually start from my head and make my way down to my feet.

Sparkly Soul headband, Zensah sports bra, Shirt, Moving Comfort Shorts, Sparkle Athletic Skirt, Fun knee-high socks and sneakers

Once I complete one race ensemble, I put everything in one pile and move on to the second race. I keep the same pattern for each race.

My tad sense of OCD really helps with this. ;)

3) I set up a “shake-out run” or back-up race outfit… just in case! It is also a way for me to bring back-up carpis in case my shorts randomly break down. :P

4) Recovery tools. I pack my Zensah compression shorts as well as two pairs of compression socks/sleeves.

It is tough to know whether a certain airline will let you through with your foam roller or the large Stick so I opt to leave those at home. Plus who wants to snuggle with their foam roller for a flight. I will opt to bring the traveling Stick or Trigger.

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5) Electronics. It is time to make sure that Garmin watch is IN the bag and not left on the charger. IF it is on the charger, be sure to leave a post-it note in its place so you do not forget it when packing up.

While I do not run with music, others will need to include their iPod or other music players at this time.

Additional electronics are: laptop, phone charger, activity tracker charger, etc.

6) FUEL!! How can anyone forget about the fuel? It is a great time to take inventory of what you are missing and will need to pick up at the store or Expo. I am keeping it simple for Runner’s World Hat trick with ENERGYBits and KIND Snacks Bar.

** Once the race gear is set, we can focus on the rest of the weekend. ;)

7) Non-race clothing. I tend to bunch these by types: pants, shirts, underwear, socks, PJs, etc. Thankfully I am only gone for a four-day trip so I don’t require too many extras.

8) Toiletries. Let us NOT forget the deodorant, razors, toothbrush, etc. It is really to benefit everyone around us. ;) Luckily the toiletries are the easiest to buy on-site if necessary.

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Once the necessary items are laid out … and checked about seven times to make sure I didn’t forget anything, it is time to start packing.

This is where the proper carry-on bag comes in handy!

For this trip, I am leaning on my Apera Performance Duffel bag.

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This bag is the perfect size for a carry-on.

To make packing easier I simply pick up my piles, roll up clothing when applicable and place them directly into the bag. I know ground-breaking idea right there. :P

To save space, I will put my socks, underwear, razors, etc inside my sneakers. Every spare inch counts when packing.

Now the best part of the Apera bag would be the side pockets where I can put my sneakers. Each side of the bag can hold a pair of sneakers, which frees up a ton of space within the bag.

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Some runners will wear their sneakers to the airport, but I don’t go that route. I like to keep them in my bag and wear slip-on shoes or flip flops to the airport for an easier interaction with security.

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There are also a ton of pockets, which can hold my Sparkly Soul headbands toiletries and chargers.

And voila my bag is packed for four days of travel including three races and extras!

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I can also sleep easy knowing I can avoid the potential for lost luggage and race-day headaches.

I will carry an additional carry-on for my wallet, reading materials and a place to put any swag I will inevitably pick up at the Expo.

So go on your way my merry friends and pack smart!

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What process do you have to handle the joy of packing for a racecation?

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Dani Dishes: BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

It’s BIG announcement time!! You will have to tune in to watch to see what it is… ;)

Fundraising Page

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Five Fantastic Finds

Social media is great for a lot of things like getting a shout out from Montell Jordan (yup happened and I have it saved!) or it is a way to find new and exciting products.

While I hold my tweet from Montell Jordan near and dear to my heart today I am ready to share 5 new products that have burst onto my scene. Now some may be old news to you, but they are new to me! Yes I live under a rock when it comes to some crazes. Shocking I know. ;)

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Let’s get this party started!

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1) Nuun Hydration

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This is one where I am DEFINITELY late to the party.

Nuun is leading the way in portable hydration with three drink options to keep you refreshed and replenished all day, everyday. All three are ideal to help keep you hydrated and to make the most of the water you drink.

I tested two of the three versions of Nuun: Active Hydration and All Day.

The Active Hydration is a great way to replace the sugary Gatorade I normally use during long runs or races. Nuun has less than 1g of carbs, fewer than 8 calories, no sugar, no high-fructose corn syrup and no artificial flavors or colors. All big plusses in my book when trying to keep a more natural approach to fueling while training. Plus the watermelon is a nice treat during a triathlon transition. ;)

Now I personally do not have a problem keeping myself hydrated as I drink at least 100 ounces of water a day. BUT plain water can get boring so I enjoyed adding in some Grape Raspberry All Day into my mix.

Did you know dehydration is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue? Sugary and caffeinated drinks take you on a roller coaster ride during the day, but with zero sugar, under 8 calories per tab, and a blend of A, B, C, D, E vitamins, Nuun All Day keeps you going.

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2) RUNFELLOW

I love promoting local companies and small businesses whenever possible and Runfellow fits into both. Runfellow is a Somerville-based runner-inspired gear company started by Jillian, who I have the honor to get to know the past year.

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Runfellow is a running community with a focus on motivating and inspiring fellow runners. Our positive, quirky taglines catch your eye, make you smile and push you a little further. We’re not just another running clothing company, we’re a community of runners and for runners.

Not only is Jillian offering cute tanks, tech shirts and long-sleeve t-shirts for both men and women, but she started a kickass running club in the Somerville/Cambridge area that meets every Tuesday night. Location changes every week and is announced on their Facebook page.

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Picture Courtesy of Runfellow

I should also mention that $1.00 from each shirt purchased from the shop will be donated to the Young Survival Coalition, an organization and resource for young women facing breast cancer.

If you are looking for a fun shirt to wear to run/walk a race or spectate then check out Runfellow. And if you are in the Somerville?Cambridge area, come join in for a run. I’ll give you your first high-five!

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3) The Skinnytaste Cookbook

Gina from Skinnytaste.com is one of my favorite bloggers out there. She is also a staple topic during my Weight Watchers meetings since she offers simple low-PPV recipes that my members LOVE because she doesn’t sacrifice taste.

Did you know after having her two kids, Gina turned to Weight Watchers for help to lose weight?

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So when a copy of her book happened to show up at my door (value $30) around my birthday I took it as a sign … it was time to get to cooking. Fine! We all know my wife does the cooking in my house. So really it was time to highlight recipes I wanted my wife to make.

The Skinnytaste Cookbook features 150 recipes – 125 all-new dishes and 25 of her must-haves – covering breakfast dishes, dips, appetizers, salads that won’t bore you, meat dishes, vegetarian dishes, desserts and so much more. It seems like she is including something for everyone.

In her first cookbook, Gina makes sure each recipe offers her personal story behind the concept, her tips for success dubbed “Skinny Scoop,” as well as the nutrition facts. Super easy for my Weight Watchers friends to calculate the PPV of each recipe.

After drooling over the 100 delicious looking photos, I quickly dove into Gina’s “Skinny Basics,” aka her hints for creating a good-for-you kitchen and lifestyle.

I can’t wait to dive in and have an entire weekend of enjoying her recipes starting with Dad’s Jammin’ Crepes (pt 51) and finishing with the Silky Chocolate Cream Pie (ps 295).

And the entire meal will be guilt free.

So if you are looking for the perfect gift for your spouse, mom, dad or fellow Weight Watcher friend, get your copy of The Skinnytaste Cookbook today!

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4) New Balance Glow Beacon Jacket

I am not one that easily becomes obsessed with running gear, but immediately after slipping into this jacket I was hooked.

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An eye-catching layering piece, the women’s New Balance Beacon Vest features 3 levels of visibility details, making you visible from dawn to dusk. First, low-light visibility comes from the bright color, blending safety with style. Second, oncoming-light visibility comes from the 360-degree reflective trim, so you’ll catch the light when headlights and streetlights hit you at night. Third, no-light visibility comes from the revolutionary glow-in-the-dark technology on the sleeves and back: charge the Beacon Jacket under light and you’re ready to go, and ready to glow, day or night.

So what would I look like in the dark? Here you go:

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It is a bit blurry since I was moving so quickly before the camera. ;)

In addition to the great reflective properties, the jacket also offers front zip pockets for storage, as well as interior media pockets for additional storage.

The New Balance Glow Beacon Jacket’s versatility is well worth the $175 price tag.

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5) iFit Active Tracker

Just when you didn’t think there could be another version of an activity tracker enter iFit!

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The iFit Active fitness tracker (value $129) works with its mobile app to track your everyday activity, sleep, and nutrition, while providing you with the tools to live a better and healthier life.

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After entering in my basic information and sharing about the Fox that I am, it was time to customize my settings.

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My favorite feature is “Move Time.” I set my iFit to buzz when I haven’t moved for 30 minutes. It is the jolt I need when I am distracted in work on my computer or sucked into a TV marathon after work.

I also love that it is waterproof. I wore it during my pool workout last week and it lived to tell the tale. ;)

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Now I do not use the calories portion personally, but it is a great feature for those that do.

Please excuse me while I go take some laps around my apartment to hit my 10k step goal!

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Which of these five fantastic finds will you try?

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