Weekly Workout Wind Up (5/23-29/13)

This was a tough week. The back started acting up on Tuesday so I had to take some downtime near the end of this wrap up... Better to listen to the body than push through and hurt yourself more! I had to take a couple days off from Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred, but I will be sure to do all 30 days in the end!


Thursday, May 23: Day 13 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred and 5k Run

may 23-1

may 23-2

Friday, May 24: Day 14 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred and 2-Mile Run

may 24

may 24-2

Saturday, May 25: 3-Mile Run and Day 15 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred

may 25

may 25-2

Sunday, May 26: Boston's Run To Remember Half Marathon and Cambridge 5k Freedom Run 

may 26-1

may 26-2

Monday, May 27: 4-Mile Walk and 35-Minute Elliptical Session with Linds

may 27

Tuesday, May 28: Day 16 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred

may 28

Wednesday, May 29: Rest Day

Cambridge 5k Freedom Run - 5/26/13 - 24:57 (8:02 min/mile)

As we left Boston's Run To Remember, the wife & I had a game plan that we had figured out the day before. The route from Race #1 to Race #2 should've taken about 7-8 minutes. Plenty of time since we got to the car at 9:21. Welllll I then apparently forgot the route for the Run To Remember and our original game plan was completely ruined.

Thankfully I can think quickly on my feet ... okay usually not at all, but somehow I was going to get us from Storrow Drive to the Galleria Mall (where the start was) if it was the last thing I did. :O)

Apparently all of my Weight Watchers At Work meetings in Cambridge paid off because I was actually able to navigate us there in about 15-17 minutes.


We nabbed a spot on the street and quickly made it over to the Start area to meet up with Team Slumbrew, grab our beer wristbands and hit up the bathroom.

Yes, I made it through the whole Half Marathon, the post-race chaos and ride to Race #2 without going the bathroom. Thank you tiny bladder for coming through when I needed you most. :P

We made it to the Start Line with 5 minutes to spare and in enough time to take part in the 1-2-3 FREEDOM chant! :)

Such a powerful Start

The wife even got to wave one of the USA flags used in the previous day's #onerun to kick off the race.

As soon as I crossed the Start Line, I hit my Garmin and was wondering what the heck I was thinking. :P

How would my legs make it through another 3.1 miles?

But, I know they physically could as I have run farther distances in a day, but not all at the normal 5k or half speed.

So I just told myself to put one foot in front of the other and enjoy the amazing costumes at the race.

This race was also not about time, but about completing this challenge of back-to-back races and enjoy the day with my fellow Slumbassadors. :)

Eddie (race director) had told me the course was pretty flat - actually they said pancake flat - which I was with them until about Mile 2.5 where a gradual incline started forming.

Oh come on! I had made it this far.

Then I just dug deep and tried to catch up to my teammate Mark, who was JUST ahead of me on the right hand side.

I just kept telling my legs that we were that much closer to the beer.

As we rounded the final turn (which is also deceiving because they move the Finish Line back from where the Start Line was), I saw fellow Slumbrew teammate Eric cheering us on and he said "Dani, run it out."

So I did ... and as a result - this awesome photo was born! ;)

Photo Courtesy Cambridge 5k

Mark looks amazing and I look like well, I was finishing up my second race of the morning. :P

I came across the Finish Line and the wife was there to help me make it to water.

I somehow managed to run a 24:57 (8:02 min/mile) - which I will gladly take!!

The entire Slumbrew team rocked the race!

Aren't we one amazing group? ;)

I love catching up with my fellow Slumbassadors - we hadn't seen each other really since the last race and a quick Slumbrew launch party for Lobstah Killah!

It's amazing the people beer and running can bring into your life. :)

I finally got to meet fellow Fitfluential Ambassador, Kristen ... it fun meeting Social Media friends in real life!

Thanks for the pic Kristen

And after everything she went through in Race #1, Kim battled through and completed the Freedom Run 5k as well.

A couple of people asked us if we had won the Run To Remember and that is why we had medals. Of course my immediate response was "Oh no, they give them to everyone."

Ugh, next time I am going to say I won! I mean they don't know. ;)

I even got to see a handful of my Weight Watchers members and was so proud of all of them!

So overall, it was one amazing day where I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and had one amazing time!

Thank you to my wife for putting up with my crazy antics of running back-to-back races and getting up at 5:30 on a Sunday.

I also want to thank Caitlin and Jeff from Slumbrew for allowing me to be the Team Captain.

It is an honor for me!!


Did you race over Memorial Day Weekend? Would you ever do back-to-back races?

Boston's Run To Remember - 5/26/13 - 1:53:00 (8:38 min/mile)

This was an emotion race. No if ands o buts about it. Last year I ran the Boston's Run To Remember 5-Miler.

The medal alone would've made me sign back up. BUT, it was the cause - money going to fallen police officers - and the overall awesomeoness of the race that had me signing back up.

But for 2013, I upped it from the 5-miler to the Half Marathon option.

I just wanted to see more of this amazing town. :)

So after signing up just when registration opened, I was set for my Memorial Day weekend race.

That is until Ed from Cambridge 5k contacted me letting me know he was starting a new Memorial Day 5k - Freedom Run - on May 26. Ahhh same day as the Run To Remember.

As Captain of Team Slumbrew, I would HAVE to be at the Freedom Run. I nervously asked Eddie what time his race would be at. He answered: 10am.

Okay okay. I could make that work. Run To Remember Half at 7am and Cambridge 5k Freedom Run at 10am.

I was just crazy enough to try and pull it off.

Thankfully my wife was on board to be the driver and my friend Kim was also signed up for the back-to-back races. Well, the support was there so I was in.

On Sunday (May 26), the alarm went off at 5:30 and it was high 30s/low 40s and drizzling. What AWESOME weather to go run 16.2 total miles in.

How amazing are the socks?

I am obsessed with those socks!! :)

We hit the road just after 6, hit some traffic coming off the exit for the race, but I was able to meet Kim at our designated meeting spot at 6:30 just as planned.

The Run To Remember had banned spectators and backpacks at the Finish Line after what happened at the marathon so we had to go through a security stop on our way to the Start Line. Thankfully I was bag free so I scooted through quickly.

Unfortunately, there were few port-a-potties so I had to hold it - a risk in itself. :P

But, I brought a disposable water bottle so I could at least take my ENERGYBits before we started. Phew!

At 7am, they started the pre-race ceremony for the victims of the Marathon bombing especially Officer Sean Collier, who the race was partially dedicated to.

With extra pre-race speakers, I was getting worried with timing to get from Race #1 to Race #2, but I tried to block that out byt really being in the moment.

Kim had been shooting for a 1:50-1:55 finish time and I was sticking with her this race so that was my plan to. :)

The bullhorn sounded and we were off.  We started from the Seaport and headed to the Financial District of Boston.

Running towards the Old State House

Once past the State House, we  made our way past Mass General Hospital and out to Memorial Drive (where a good portion of the race is in an out and back portion).

After running over the Longfellow Bridge, we hit Memorial Drive just as we hit Mile 3.

Then the scene appeared.

All along Memorial Drive and in front of MIT, there were police car after police car from all over Massachusetts. In front of the cars, stood police officers from all over the State. Cheering on the runners, probably dealing through their own emotions from Marathon Monday and many were crying.

As I saw a couple police officers wipe tears from their eyes, I started clapping and crying myself. I was immediately drawn back to that exact moment on Marathon Monday when everything changed.

At that moment in the race, I realized this race would be more than a race. This would be MY closure for what happened on Marathon Monday. This race would be more than miles or time.

We continued down Memorial Drive, running along the Charles River, past the gas station where Officer Sean Collier was killed on that fateful Thursday night in April and back towards the Longfellow Bridge.

I love the out and back in a race because I am inspired by the elite runners most likely lapping me in front of me and then once I make the turn, I love seeing all the smiling faces of the people behind me enjoying running as much as me.

I'm not the best in-race photog! :P

Plus, this time around, I actually knew a bunch of people running so it was great to spot a familiar face in the crowd.

As we passed Mile 8, I could see Kim's face change from a smile to one of pain. Damn hamstring.

Something was going on with her. She wanted to stop. She wanted me to keep going with her. But, I told her we started this thing together - we would be finishing it together no matter what.

So off we went, walking when she needed to, jogging slowly or running fast to just get it over.

While back on the Longfellow Bridge, Kim exclaimed how she couldn't believe we weren't even at Mile 10 yet. Hey, at that rate, we could've walked the rest of the way and still finished under 2 hours - like she had wanted. I also let her know we were at 9.88 miles so basically at 10. :0)

But, I told her no matter what we would get across that Finish Line.

And Kim did it. She gritted down and was a rock star! The tears were rolling down her face. She said she couldn't make it. She just wanted to sit on that bridge and stop.

But did she? NO!

She just kept moving one leg in front of the other.

There was no stopping her.

I offered as much encouragement as I could. I didn't know if it was helping or not, but I just tried to let her know I was there for her. I was even singing New Kids On The Block ... badly! The people around us DEFINITELY didn't appreciate it. :P

But, I didn't care. I was going to do anything I had to to get Kim across the Finish Line.

Then before I knew it, we were passed Mile 11. We were back on Arlington St. We were near Boylston Street (Finish Line of the Marathon). Boston Commons was on my left and before I knew it - there it was.

On my right, was the exact stoop I sat on with Robin, Steph and Eric as I waited to be reunited with my family on Marathon Monday. That stoop where I ate all the food Robin had with her and just sat there in shock in my space blanket.

I was transported back to that moment and I started crying. I was trying to release all the feelings that were still pent up inside me.

So we had Kim crying from her leg and me crying from the Marathon memories.

Again, I'm sure the crowd was like what is wrong with these girls. :P

We hit Mile 11.5 and I knew Kim would need provisions after we finished so I texted the wife to bring her an ice pack and some ibuprofen. Thank you technology!

We passed Mile 12 and were in the home stretch. Kim was bearing down and we were turning onto the final stretch of the race.

We had the Finish Line in our sights and Kim kept saying "I can't do it!" Oh hell no, I was in full cheerleader mode at this point. I was trying to get the crowd to clap. I was telling her she ate miles for breakfast (thanks Alan ;)) I was doing anything I could to just get her to cross the line - even if she had to crawl.

But she didn't, we ran over that Finish Line together hand in hand.

And the Run To Remember photogs caught on post Finish hug on camera ... and I am so glad they did!!

We finished in 1:53:00 (8:38 min/mile pace) and I couldn't be prouder.

But, since we didn't kick off right at 7 - we had to haul booty to get to the next race.

I texted the wife as soon as we had our awesome medals and Kim's bag in hand.

We made it to the car at 9:20am and headed towards the Freedom Run in Cambridge.

While swapping out bibs, I did take a moment to take a pic of my sweet medal.

Isn't it pretty?

I told Kim that next year we will run the Run To Remember Half again and it will be her redemption run!


Will you join Kim & I at the Boston's Run To Remember next year? Have you had a race that became about more than the race itself?

Weekly Workout Wind Up (5/16-22/13)

I have had one amazing week workout wise. I am loving adding variety to my workout and starting to really add strength training into the regime. I know that I am starting on the ground floor, but at least I am starting! I was in a car accident in 2006 that left my left shoulder pretty weak. BUT I am done allowing that to hold me back. I am also done letting my fear of the weights floor at the gym stop me from starting to lift. Thank you Jillian Michaels DVD for allowing me to break out of my comfort zone in the safety of my own home gym. :)  

Thursday, May 16: Day 6 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred and 4-Mile Run

may 16

may 16-2

Friday, May 17: Day 7 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred and Walking Around Boston

may 17

Saturday, May 18: Walking Along The Beach/Ogunquit Beach and Day 8 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred

may 18

may 18-2

Sunday, May 19: 12-Mile Run, 45-Minute Walk With Friends and Day 9 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred

may 19

may 19-2

Monday, May 20: Day 10 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred and 5-Mile Run

may 20

may 20-2

Tuesday, May 21: 3.15-Mile Run, Day 11 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred (Day 1 of Level 2) and 30-Minute Swim

may 21

may 21-2

may 21-3

Wednesday, May 22: Day 12 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred and 5k Run

 may 22

may 22-2


I can’t wait to add more swimming to the mix next week… :) :)

Have You Met Roxie?

Soooo remember that time I signed up for a triathlon? Oh you don't because I haven't mentioned it on here... ;)

Well, in case you need to jog your memory you can check out the fateful day here.

Don't worry I will wait here until you are all caught up.




Well you are a fast reader.


... after completing the Boston Marathon on April 15 and taking some time off (okay not really as much as I should have, but there was some time off) it was time to come up with a triathlon training plan.

And that's where we hit the snag of ... oh you need a bike to complete a triathlon!

Say whaa??

So before coming up with an actual training plan, step one became: buy a bike. :)

Thankfully I have amazing friends and social media folk to steer me in the right direction. I had a long list of shops to check out.

Since I never shop alone (and my parents were kicking in some money as a belated christmas present), my dad and I headed out to a local bike shop - Ace Wheelworks - on Friday May 3 to start this whole process.

It brought back flashbacks of when he and I went to buy me a car as my college graduation present. <<shiver>>

I walked into the store like a blank slate! I was definitely going with the suggestions from the guy at the store. I trust the experts.

He steered me towards the Specialized Women's Road Bikes. They looked great. :P

Well he wanted me to try a Specialized Dolce Compact, but they didn't have one ready for me to ride.

My dad had to get to a dinner thing so we set up an appointment to go back to Ace Wheelworks the following day after 3pm to road test the bike.

We went back on Saturday, May 4 and had a different person helping us. But she quickly won be over with her knowledge of the bikes and especially how a woman would feel on the bikes.

It was weird to be back on a bike. I don't think I had ridden a bike since maybe high school? But, just like they say it, it was like riding a bike. The mechanics came back to me as soon as I got on there. Yes, I was still a little nervous, but it was great to feel the wind in my face.

I love that bike shops have you take the bike for a ride to find the right fit ... just like I do with running sneakers!

I test road 3 different styles ranging in three different price ranges and even tried a Trek Bike as well...


Dolce Elite Compact Equipped

... but felt most comfortable on the Specialized Dolce Sport Compact. They only had the red option in stock and I was hoping for the charcoal and teal. The woman made a call to Wheelworks other location and they had one in stock! SCORE!

may 4 actual

Isn't it pretty?

I wasn't ready to pull the plug on the sale yet, so we set up another appointment the next day to test ride the charcoal/teal Dolce Sport Compact. Woo!

After the bike shop, the wife and I headed to KMart for some shopping and I found THE bike I would use for my triathlon.

may 4



On Sunday morning (May 5), we headed to Quincy so I could run the Half of Quincy then it was time to get back to the task at hand.

My dad, wife and I headed over to Farina's in Watertown to see what they had to offer. Their featured brands are Cannondale and Giant. The guy had me try a Giant. I took it around the blocks a couple times, but it was over my price point (cheapest option they had in stock) and just didn't feel right.

We finished up right on time to head back to Ace Wheelworks to see if it was in fact the bike of my dreams.


How could it not be?

I took the bike for a test ride and as soon as I pushed off I knew it was right. :) We were a match made in Heaven.

Boy are bikes expensive!! I know I could have taken more time to look at used models, but friends kept stressing to get the right feel and I am such a bike novice I wanted to trust the experts.

My crew and I pow-wowed and it was a consensus that this bike and I were made for each other ... and it was under the price point. I had been hoping to spend less than $1k on this bike since it is my first bike.

may 5

The Happy Couple

I went with the basics for Day One by just adding a water bottle holder. I can go back within the first month of purchase to pick up other essentials - like a bike lock, pedals with clips, another water bottle holder, etc.

I signed on the dotted line and the bike was mine.

There was just one little issue...

We rolled up in my Jetta. Yeah no real room for a bike in there with the three people.

So I had to make a date to pick the bike up on Tuesday (May 7).

Once the bike was selected, it felt like ages before I could pick her up.

With work schedules and weather, I've gotten out on the bike twice so far:

may 10

A quick 8 mile ride with my dad (May 10)

may 15

A solo trip around the Mystic River before a downpour (May 15)

It was crazy for me to see how much farther you get on a bike in the same amount of time I run. Yes, I know that should be obvious, but still. My first ride was a 2-to-1 ratio of bike miles to run miles. I hear the correct ratio should be 4-bike miles to 1-run mile. Eek! I have to work on my pace.

This week I am heading back to Ace Wheelworks to pick up a lock and an odometer to record my mileage/pace so I can start riding this baby around the city. :)

Oh and how could I forget!

Remember to call her Roxie ... she likes to be referred to by name! ;)

*** Do you have a bike? Did you name it? Are you hooked?

Weekly Workout Wind Up (5/9-15/13)

You will soon find out that this week I started Jillian Michaels 30-day shred ... I am wicked excited for the incorporation of strength training into my regime!!  

Thursday, May 9: Walking around 4 Weight Watchers Meetings


Friday, May 10: 4-mile Run and 8-mile Bike Ride

may 10-1

may 10

Saturday, May 11: Family Walk and Day 1 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred

may 11

may 11-2

Sunday, May 12: MOMs Run 5k and Day 2 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred

may 12

may 12-2

Monday, May 13: 5k Run with Heather, Day 3 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred and Family Walk

 may 13

may 13-2

may 13-3

Tuesday, May 14: Day 4 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred and Rest Day

may 14

Wednesday, May 15: Day 5 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred and 30-min Bike Ride

may 15

may 15-2


I can't wait to add swimming to the mix next week... :) :)

My First Relay Experience: 26.2 Challenge Team Relay

And I am a race pushover. What does that mean? Well, it seems when a friend brings up a race and I have the time/funds - I sign up.

Plain and simple.

It happened ... again!

Last Wednesday (April 24) while at The Dubliner in Cambridge with friends for the launch of the latest Slumbrew brew, I asked my friend George what he had coming up for races over the weekend.

George and some members of his running club - The Most Informal Running Club Ever or TMIRCE - was taking part in the 26.2 Challenge Team Relay on the Saturday (April 27) in Plymouth.

And they were looking for a 6th member for their team.

**Interest Peaked**

Over the next 24 hours, we got confirmation that they did indeed need a 6th runner ... and BAM! All of a sudden I am signed up for my first relay race.

The 26.2 Challenge Team Relay is set up a little different from other relays I've heard about.

The 26.2 Challenge is a team relay race for you and five of your friends. It's an out-and-back style course, one member is running their butt off while the other teammates party, dance and enjoy the entertainment provided at our transition area.

Each member of your team will run an equal portion of the 26.2 distance. As one runner heads out the next relay member waits for the exchange. The whole event is one big party; live DJ spinning tunes as the runners take off and come in. Vendors line the exchange area offering samples, goods for sale and sage advice.

I picked up two of my running mates for the day - George & Jen - at 7am and we were off to Plymouth. The website told us to be there at least an hour before the race started (which was 9am) so we cruised into the parking lot just before 8am. Perfect.

We claimed a part of the parking lot - like the other teams were doing - and waited for our teammates.

Everyone else on the team was a member of TMIRCE so I was the only newbie. But, it is always nice to meet new runners!

As the members of the group talked about the paces they hoped to attain that day, I just kept hoping I wouldn't be the person that would slow down their overall time. They were hoping to place and I didn't want to ruin the chances. I was 12 days out from the Boston Marathon so I wasn't sure what my legs would produce.

After getting acquainted, picking up bibs and having some pre-race snacks, it was time for our first runner Jen to hit the Starting Line. It was so odd to have the race begin and not be at the Start Line. I was slated to run the 4th out of our 6 legs on the morning.

Thankfully our teammate Erin had a stop watch so she kept it running throughout the race so that we could all be prepared in enough time for our legs of the run.

We were each set to run 1/6 of a marathon or 4.36 miles.

Jen (34:04), Christina (31:27) and George (33:38) all OWNED the course.

As I saw George turning the corner, I was in place at the Start Line - ready to FINALLY kick off my leg of the race. :)

2013-04-27 10.46.35

Photo Courtesy of RaceMenu

Quick hug from Alain at Racemenu and I was off.

I didn't know anything about the course except some quick snippets from the teammates that had already run.

I think my legs were just a TAD happy to be out running because I ran the first 3/4 of a mile at a 6:45 min/mile pace.

YEAH - those isn't my normal pace in the least so I immediately told my brain and my legs to sllloowww it on down!

This wasn't a 5k - this was 4+ miles so I couldn't get burnt out too quickly.

Oh I also almost went the wrong way about 1/4 of a mile into the race - yeah, I missed a sign, but thankfully righted my ship quickly.

We had to go around the first water stop twice - once at the beginning of the run and once at the end. There were plenty of volunteers out on the course, which made the odd transition a little easier.

So thank you volunteers!! :) :)

Once through the first mile of the race, it was a clear out and back along the water in Plymouth. The sun was shining and the water looked beautiful.



The sun was beaming down on us, but I tried to stay committed and focused on the goal of keeping a sub 8 min/mile pace. That was my only goal of the run.

I could feel my body starting to get tired around the 5k mark so I buckled down. And as my Tedy's Team Running Coach, John, would say "Just Run!"

So that's what I did.

I pushed through the final mile and can say taking my ENERGYBits before the run helped.

I crossed the finish line in 31:18 - HELL YEAH.

2013-04-27 14.04.08

I will gladly take the results.

I grabbed a water and rejoined my team to wait out our final two runners.

Our last two runners - Erin (29:57) and Nathan (24:31) - DOMINATED the course. Nathan ended up being the fastest person of the day. YES, his slip said 1/473 - hot DAMN.

So as a group we finished the 26.2 mile course in 3:04:57...

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... and headed inside to grab a beer while we waited for the official results to post.

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With the $25 entry fee, you had entry to the race, a 26.2 Challenge beer mug and one free Mayflower Brewing Company.

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Me, Alain (RaceMenu), Steven (26.2 Challenge Organizer)

I drank my beer, ate a yummy chicken caesar salad and had a great lunch with team as we celebrated...

2013-04-27 13.25.41

... our 3rd place finish in our division (running club).

In the end we were the fifth team overall out of 79 teams. Not. Too. Shabby!

I had a GREAT time participating in this relay. It was a change of pace from normal races.

And I will definitely look to do something like this again!


Have you participated in a relay race before? If so, what time? Did you love it?

Weekly Workout Wind Up (4/25-5/1/13)

While I am in between training plans - Boston Marathon and my first triathlon - I am winging the workouts. ;) I can't wait to be back on a new training plan soon...  

Thursday, April 25: Rest Day


Friday, April 26: 45 min Walk

april 26

Saturday, April 27: 26.2 Marathon Relay Challenge ... my leg was 4.36 miles

april 27

Sunday, April 28: 60 Min Spinning

april 21

Monday, April 29: 3.1 Mile Run and 45 Min Spinning

april 29

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Tuesday, April 30: 2.13 Mile Run with Laney

 april 30

Wednesday, May 1: 5-Mile Run

 may 1


Weekly Workout Wind Up (4/18-24/13)

This will be one BORING wind up as I took it easy the week after the marathon. :P  

Thursday, April 18: Rest Day


Friday, April 19: Rest Day (trapped inside due to lockdown)


Saturday, April 20: 26:20 min run in honor of Marathon Victims

april 20

Sunday, April 21: 60 min Spinning

april 21

Monday, April 22: 2.62 mile Run with the pup

april 22

Tuesday, April 23: Rest Day


Wednesday, April 24: 4 Mile Run

april 24

Runner's World Shakeout Run

I love meeting other bloggers. I love running. I love reading Runner's World. So an invite to a couple of the Runner's World events during Boston Marathon weekend was an honor.

I thank my friend Robin for suggesting my little blog be able to attend. :)

The run was later opened up to all runners as it was posted on Runner's World's Facebook page the day before.

The more the merrier right.

The event kicked off at the New Balance Store on Boylston St at 7:30 Saturday (April 13)morning.

2013-04-13 07.15.09

My dad was dropping me off (again I am a cool 30 year old) and we of course got there early so when I walked in only the New Balance employees were at the store.


Originally Bart Yasso was said to be attending the event, but after tweeting with him he said he wouldn't arrive in Boston until Saturday afternoon. Darn, I wanted to meet him.

As the store started slowly filling up with Runner's World staff, I met a couple bloggers that I hadn't known before. I met Brittany from Btypes.com, who qualified for Boston while running her first marathon (Wow!) and Katherine from NeonBlondeRunner.com, who I actually already followed on Twitter and Instagram.

I love finding new blogs to follow and new runners to use as inspirations.

Very quickly I realized I was the only person in the store who was running The Boston Marathon as a charity runner. IE, I was the slow poke in the store. The only person in the room/run that didn't qualify for the Marathon.

Ouch! Nothing quickly cuts down your confidence than the question: "So where did you qualify for Boston?"

Yeah, nope I didn't qualify. I am a charity runner. In the moment it hurt, but as I thought more about it that night I was/am honored to run for a cause. I raised over $5k for the American Stroke Association. I was running in honor of my grandparents.

Not qualifying for Boston is not something I should've been ashamed of.

But when you get asked that question rapid fire in a morning, it cuts you down just a little.

How can it not?

After mulling around, it was time to actually get out and run. I had no idea how long the run would be or where it was going. It was kind of nice to just follow the crowd. :)

We kicked off the run so quickly that my Garmin didn't have time to locate satellites (shocking) so I used Runkeeper to track our run.

We headed out down Boylston St towards Boston Common. We did a big lap around the Commons before heading to the oldest street in Boston. Even I - someone that grew up in Boston - had no idea where they were taking us.

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2013-04-13 08.05.14

Everyone was extra cautious on this part of the run since no one wanted to get injured two days before the big race. It was cool to run up and down the old cobblestones - slippery, but cool.

We ran back through the Commons before hooking a right onto Boylston St to the New Balance Store.

2013-04-13 08.13.53

We ended up doing a 2.5 mile loop, which was relaxing and good for the legs as I was running the BAA 5k the next morning.

2013-04-13 09.07.18

Runner's World had a nice little breakfast spread after the run, where I chatted with some of the Runner's World folks I actually followed on Twitter. It's always nice meeting social media contacts/friends in real life.

2013-04-13 08.18.22

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Mmmm snacks!

2013-04-13 08.18.17

The New Balance store is pretty sweet if you haven't checked it out before...

2013-04-13 08.20.31

And it looks like they like to #Sweatpink like my FitApproach ladies and I do!

2013-04-13 09.08.15

I especially had a great time chatting with Caitlin, one of Runner's World web producers. Thanks for hanging out with me as I stood around not really knowing anyone!! Much appreciated...

Once the event was over, I wondered around Boylston St near what would be the Starta Area for Sunday's 5k and the Finish Area on Marathon Monday as I waited for my dad to get me.

2013-04-13 09.02.19

2013-04-13 09.02.34

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(Looking back it is crazy to see how much this would change on Monday afternoon)

I want to thank Laura from Runner's World for extending a Shakeout Run invite to me. It was a great experience and a nice casual run to help simmer my nerves for Monday...