Friday, August 7, 2015

Alex's Million Mile: Run. Walk. Ride.

Last year, more than 12,000 people logged miles as part of Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation's 2nd Annual Alex’s Million Mile event to raise funds and awareness for childhood cancer during the month of September (Childhood Cancer Awareness Month). 

This year we’re getting ready to do it again! To find a cure for childhood cancer, we’re going the distance – running, walking or biking one million miles and beyond. That’s a long way, but the way we see it, a parent of a child with cancer would go that far (and then some) to find a cure.

1 month, 1 cause, 1 million miles...

Kids with cancer need your help!

The goal is to collectively run, walk and/or ride one million miles during a single month: September, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Our goals are to exceed a million miles, raise awareness and find cures for childhood cancer.

• Who can participate? 

Anyone, anywhere can join and fight childhood cancer!

• Do I have to do this myself?

Nope, you can choose to participate individually or you can start or join a team for added fun and motivation.

• How many miles do we have to complete?

There is no minimum, or maximum. You complete miles at your own pace. Every mile you log during September counts!

• So, why one million miles?

One million miles is 40 times around the equator or two round-trips to the moon. But it’s less than five miles for each kid or adolescent who will be affected by childhood cancer this year, worldwide. Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children under the age of 15 in the United States. That’s why it is vital that we raise money to cure it, now.

We hope you'll join us on our #Journey2aMillion!

If you're a twin or parent of twins, your welcome to join our team, "@TwinsRun in Our Family"

Or, you can register as an individual or your own team at

Monday, July 20, 2015

Malinda's 1st Ultramarathon: The Stroehmann Back on My Feet in24 Philadelphia Race Challenge

I finished my first ultramarathon!

After several disappointing BQ attempts (Rivanna Greenbelt Marathon, Philadelphia MarathonRock 'n' Roll DC Marathon and Charlottesville Marathon), I was grateful for the opportunity to accomplish another goal.

Since I am in the midst of training for the Rivanna Greenbelt Marathon (otherwise know as my 8th attempt to #Train2BQ) and I wasn't in training for an ultra, I kept my A, B, C & D goals realistic.

Surprisingly, in spite of the heat, humidity and nausea, I was able to surpass my A goal and finished 67.68 miles in 18 hours 19 minutes and 46 seconds.

As Joan Benoit Samuelson says, every race tells a story. I wish it was easier for me to write my story. Since this was such a meaningful experience, I'm going to try my best to gather my thoughts.

In the meantime, I wanted to thank all the in24 Philadelphia and Back on My Feet Philadelphia staff, sponsors, volunteers, runners and spectators! It was rewarding to accomplish my goal while supporting a great cause!

Some random thoughts as I start to piece together my story...

* My race mantra "Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt." ~ Shakespeare

* Many thanks to Runner's World for the opportunity to run my 'dream race.' My Twitter image with the hashtag #morningwin #RWInspireEntry was selected as a winner of the INSPIRE CATEGORY in the MY MORNING RUN photo contest presented by BELVITA. Part of my prize included an entry into my ‘dream race.’ I couldn't think of any better dream race than the in24 Urban Ultra - a  challenging race to support a worthy cause.

* When I checked the results page, I noticed my official results were missing my final loop. I started to panic and even started to doubt whether or not I really completed 8 loops (that's what sleep deprivation does to you). I contacted Pretzel City Sports and they responded promptly. My chip never recorded the final lap but since they also recorded the times manually, my official time was correct. Phew!

* Setting up my bag of clothes and phone charger cases inside of Lloyd Hall next to an outlet was one of the best decisions I made. Next year, I will bring a surge protector outlet strip so others could charge Garmins, phones, etc. throughout the day and night.

* This race appealed to me since I prefer to run familiar routes and I've run the river loop many, many times. And, I'm definitely a "lone ranger" runner since I prefer to run solo rather than with a partner, group or pacer. While running by myself was ideal for me this year, I hope to run together with Leah (and maybe another mother runner or two) next year.

* I've been following Gerard's ultra training, so I was excited to see him at the starting line and once along the course. He wrote a great recap of his first ultra experience.

* I'm always excited when I run into another running twin, so thanks to the twin who said hi before the start of the race.

* After I took my first break, another twin came up to me. She met Leah at the 3 Bridges Marathon in Charlottesville. Small world!

* I received quite a few "love your skirt" shout-outs while wearing my Sparkle Athletic skirts. It's always good to receive some encouragement as others are passing you. ;-)

* The massage after loop 4 was the best - it hurt soooooo good. I only wish I would have had a chance for a 2nd massage after 50 miles!

* If I have a slight aversion to a food (raisins), I should not eat it during the 2nd loop of an ultra-marathon. If I ever eat another raisin again, it will be too soon.

* If I see one of  my favorite  foods (pizza) but can't imagine eating it on a run, I should not eat it during an ultra-marathon. I regretted eating that slice almost immediately.

* The volunteers were amazing - very enthusiastic and helpful. I made certain to thank them every time I passed by.

* The Fishtown Beer Runners' tent was awesome, too.

* I greatly appreciated the shout-outs from my Twitter followers and the #run215 crew.

* The Midnight Madness runners were fun to watch and the encouragement kept me going.

* I should have rested in Lloyd Hall before walking to train station - the 90 minute wait was more painful then any part of running, walking or crawling the 67.68 miles

* I'm so glad I brought ...
- iPhone (I listened to music the entire time and it really helped to keep me going)
- iPhone case chargers (I never had to worry about running out of battery on my iPhone)
- Mio (heart rate monitor and tracking app for my running / walking crawling pace)
- MileStone Pod (another tracking app for my running / walking / crawling pace)
- Knuckle Lights (they are AWESOME and worked very well on the extremely dark parts of MLK Drive)
- SkirtSports top with bra pocket for iPhone (worked so well to hold iPhone so could play music without ear phones)
- 3 Sparkle Athletic skirts (they didn't get too weighed down with sweat and were an attention grabber)
- Extra bras / skirts / shirts / socks / shoes
- Compression tights

* I should have brought ...
- Even more extra bras / skirts / shirts / socks / shoes
- Blanket to lie down on
- Towel for a shower
- Diet Canada Dry Ginger Ale
- Coffee maker (or maybe in24 could provide coffee?)

* I will do before next ultra ...
- Include longer runs with walking breaks
- Start long runs in afternoon / evening
- Bring chalk to write inspirational quotes on the path. P.S. the family of #73 did an amazing job with the motivational messages this year!

Before I started running, my plan was to run the first 20 - 22 miles as my usual marathon training long run. At first, I thought I could run a 9:30 pace. But, once I started running, I just hoped I'd be able to to run between 9:45 - 10 pace.

Official lap splits including breaks

Overall, my first 50.70 miles (6 loops of 8.46 miles) went much better than I expected, especially considering the heat and humidity.

The first 3 loops went according to plan. I ran the first 22 miles slowly. Then, I started to run very, very slowly. After my 3rd loop, I decided it was necessary to change my clothes. I was soaking wet from sweat and everything felt heavy and irritating. I decided I was going to ditch my "Twins Run in Our Family" shirt and run in my bra - desperate times called for desperate measures.

I paused my Nike Running (and my Milestone Pod app pauses automatically) app when I took breaks since I knew I'd get my overall time from the race results. I wanted to keep track of how fast (or slow) I ran (or walked) each loop and how much time I took off to rest, change, etc. I wish I had a Garmin since Nike is notoriously inaccurate for pacing and mileage but at least I have a general idea of my pacing.

MileStone Pod (3 loops before break)

Nike Running app (6 loops, paused runs)

I knew I would walk my 7th loop and it went pretty well. At this point, since I already reached my A goal, I felt that any additional miles I could accumulate would be an added bonus. Of course, since I was still feeling relatively well, my mind started to wander and wonder if I could get to 75.  As I progressed through the loop, I started to get more tired and more nauseous, but I kept going since it wasn't incapacitating.

Nike Running app (loop 7)

My 8th and final loop was the most difficult. It was still hot and super humid. I wasn't in pain but I was extremely exhausted and  nauseous. Since my legs still felt fine, I kept walking. I knew this would probably be my final lap and I had my eyes on the prize of  66 miles (the title of one of my favorite songs by The Afghan Whigs). Then, my mind started playing tricks on me again. In the back of my mind, I thought if I could rest for an hour, I might be able to go one more lap, but I my gut was telling me (literally and figuratively) that probably wasn't the best idea.

Nike Running app (loop 8)

As I rounded the last quarter mile the voices inside my head debated on whether or not I should tell the timers I was done or resting. Physically, my legs were getting tired and a bit cramped, but I wasn't in any pain. However, I was extremely nauseous and exhausted. Since I still have my eyes on the prize of a BQ at the Rivanna Greenbelt Marathon and/or Philadelphia Marathon, I didn't want to jeopardize my training, so I decided it was best to quit while I was ahead.

The 2 hours before I was able to get on the train home were the worst hours of the entire experience. As I started to walk towards 30th Street Station, I was overwhelmed my nausea and exhaustion. I felt like I was walking through molasses. I had to stop a couple times to rest (something I never did along any of the 8.46 mile loops). My muscles started to cramp up a bit more so I knew I made the right decision to stop at 67.68 miles.

More thoughts will be added in the coming days so stay tuned for more details ...

More information about ultramarathons

Ultramarthon Dos and Don'ts from Top Ultramarathoners

More information about Back on My Feet and in24 Philly

Back on My Feet - Run a Mile in Their Shoes

My in24 Philly Race Weekend Recap

in24 Race Reviews on BibRave

Sleep Running - Midnight Madness

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Stroehmann Back on My Feet in24 Philadelphia Race Challenge - Urban Ultra Lone Ranger

What will you do #in24 hours? Beginning at 10am on Saturday, July 18, Malinda will attempt her 1st ultramarathon*! Originally, Malinda planned to run / walk 50 miles with Leah. Unfortunately, Leah can't run this year since she's in training for the Chicago Marathon. So, time will tell how many miles Malinda can run, walk and/or crawl solo. As of today, Malinda's "A" goal is 50 miles, "B" goal is 40 miles, "C" goal is 30 miles and "D" goal is 26.3 miles. *Anything over 26.2 miles is an ultra, right? ;-)

The Stroehmann Back on My Feet in24 Philadelphia Urban Ultra is a true test for any long-distance runner who has tackled a marathon and is looking for something more. The race has become one of the most popular ultras in the country. Challenge your will by running as many 8.4-mile laps around Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River Running Loop in 24 hours. 

There is still time to volunteer or register for the Urban Ultra, Midnight Run and Justice for All 5K. For more information, visit:

in24 Race Recaps and Ultra Related Links:

Back on My Feet - 20 in 24 Lone Ranger - 2010

2011 20 in 24 Ultramarathon Recap

The Lone Ranger Ultra Marathon

Death One Step at a Time - My Adventures Dabbling in a 24 Hour Race

Back On My Feet 20 in 24 Recap

Philadelphia 20 in 24 is a 24 Hour Race

2013 Back on My Feet 24 Hour Challenge

After 24 Hours, They Cross the Finish Line

Stroehmann Back On My Feet

2012 20 in 24 - Laps 4-6

20 in 24 Lone Ranger - Pre-Race Plans

20 in 24 - The Night Before - Packing-up

20 in 24 - The Event Itself

20 in 24 - The Final Loops

20 in 24 - More About the Race

20 in 24 - Even More About The Race

20 in 24 - The Aftermath

Monday, May 4, 2015

Why Did You Run the 2015 Blue Cross Broad Street 10 Miler?

Sadly, the flatter 1/2 didn't beat Broad Street
If found, please return to the faster 1/2 ;-)

On the first Sunday in May, about 40,000 runners run down one street in Philadelphia. Why do they run? The reasons are as varied as the runners. Jon Lyons (founder of RUN215) created this video to share the beautiful note written by Paul Viggiano.

Why did you run Broad Street? Share your answer and/or race recap link in the comments so we can add to this post! P.S. Comments will be posted after moderation.

The slower 1/2 of @TwinsRun is gathering her thoughts for a recap. In the meantime, @MalindaAnnHill wanted to thank to Dunkin' Philly for the opportunity to run with Team Dunkin!

Team Dunkin' colors in sparkle skirt

Twins Run On Dunkin'

2015 Blue Cross Broad Street Run Race Recaps

Chasing My Sunshine: Broad Street Run Recap

Dietitian Jess: Broad Street #4 Race Recap

Glitter Runner: The Broad Street Run - A Philly First Filled with Ups and Downs

CaraMcCollum: The Reluctant Runner: How I Came to Run the Broad Street Run

Kevin McGuire: 2015 Broad Street Run Recap

Larry G. Wapnitsky: Broad Street Run 2015 Recap

The Little GSP: Broad Street Run

Lucious Life and Decor: Weekend Recap - Broad Street Run

Novel Runner: 2015 Broad Street Run 10 Mile Race Recap

PB and Jillie: Race Recap - Broad Street 2015

The Road Less Run: The Broad Street Run - A Recap from a Spectator's Point of View

Runderella: 2015 Broad Street Run Race Recap

Running for the Average Joe: Race Recap - Broad Street Run

Scoot a Doot: The Good Life - Philadelphia's Broad Street 10 Miler

Spit That Book Out: Broad Street Run - Off the Bucket List and in the Books

Tattooed Kicks: Broad Street Run 2015 Race Recap

Vito Runs 365: Jeff's Story and a Recap of the BSR Expo - On the Run:  Racing - Who Annoys You Most? - On the Run: We Finished - That's What Matters

NBC Philadelphia: Blue Cross Broad Street Run Recap

NBC Philadelphia: Blue Cross Broad Street Run Fans and Runners Social Posts

NBC Philadelphia: 1st Time Blue Cross Broad Street Runner Honoring Slain Friend

Comments from RUN215 Facebook Group:

"I ran Broad Street to spend time with a friend I hadn't seen in a while...we decided to ditch our race plans and just go out to enjoy each other's company, enjoy our city and enjoy the Broad Street electricity. It was the most fun race I've ever run (and I've run many!)...there is something to be said for turning off the Garmin and soaking in the surroundings! I also ran in support of Students Run Philly Style - what an amazing organization!


Monday, April 27, 2015

One Twin Ran the 2015 Boston Marathon

It all starts here

Just over a week ago, my two kids and I traveled to Boston for the 3rd year in a row. My daughter has been proudly wearing her 2015 Boston Marathon finisher’s jacket every day since it arrived this winter. She informed me that she never wants to run Boston herself. She has different dreams and hobbies. I like to think that she wants to be a part of my support team. Or, maybe it’s just that she really loves the color purple.

3 Boston Marathon posters & medals

Having raced Boston twice before, I had plenty of data to analyze and use to devise my race day strategy. In 2013, I ran the first half in 1:51:15 and the second half in 2:01:52. In 2014, without wearing my Garmin, I ran the first half in 1:47:18 (my season best for any half that year, doh!) and paid for that mistake by running the second half in 2:04:52.

Since I just finished a ten miler in 1:16:42, I was feeling confident that I could run the first half in 1:50 and second half in 2:00 to finish in 3:50 or faster, meeting my A goal of beating my time from last year and running faster each year. My B goal was a sub 4 and goal C was to finish.

Boston is the one race you have to finish no matter what (unless you’re in the medical tent).
Flat Malinda didn't feel so good ;-)

Even though I did not check my Garmin, I was hitting each 5K as planned up through the halfway point which I reached at 1:50:22.

Exhibit A: The only under-dressed runner. ;-)

Then, all of the sudden, I just felt like I could barely move. I was wet. I was cold. And I was thinking holy sh-t I still have a looooooong way to go. I decided to stop at the nearest port-a-potty. I sat there texting my twin, “help. I want this over.” (my hands were so cold I could barely type!).

Malinda panicked a bit at this time

I tried to pull it together and tell myself, “OK, so you’re not going to hit your A/B goals, just finish without injuring yourself because Grandma’s Marathon is in less than 9 weeks and you don’t want to blow that, too.”

The one thing I was still looking forward to was seeing my sign in Wellesley. Thank goodness, I did! Despite all the rain, the TWINS RUN IN OUR FAMILY was one of the few signs still intact and legible. YAY! That lifted my spirits.

Munger Hall Cheer Sign

I don’t remember much about the rest of the race except when the music stopped in the Newtown Hills I was cursing up a storm. Darn Bluetooth! I think I accidentally hit the wrong button when I was adjusting the headphones. So, I had to spend a couple minutes walking trying to figure it out. I knew there was no way I could keep running without some tunes. When the headphones fell out of my hands, I did not even have the energy to bend over to pick them up. Instead, I grabbed the backup pair I had stashed in the pocket of my SkirtSports hipsters (I love those! Wish they still made them!). I also dropped flat Malinda, but luckily I had a spare. ;-)

When I finally got my headphones working, I changed the playlist to “I Wanna Quit Songs” which had 6 songs that I knew would keep me going … including “In This Together” by Apoptygma Berzerk. I kept thinking, "I wish I were running this with my twin. I wish I could enjoy the experience even though my time is gonna suck."

But, I was so uncomfortably cold, wet, hungry, and tired that I could barely keep myself motivated. I reminded myself what race director Dave McGillivray said during the Q&A the day before, “99% of people who start the Boston Marathon complete it. You will finish this race.” I did not want to be in that heartbroken 1% (This year, 2% (555 people) did not finish).

Somewhere in Brookline I saw a volunteer holding a mylar blanket and I grabbed it, screaming, “THANK YOU!” I have never been happier to see silver foil in my life. I wrapped that around me and ran with my arms tucked inside for at least 2 miles (and I have the photos to prove it!).

When I hit mile 25 I knew I only had half a mile to go before I would see my coach, Mark Lorenzoni. When I saw him, there’s a photo of me with my arms raised in apparent victory like I was about to finish the race. Actually, it was so I could run over and give him a huge hug. I can’t remember exactly what I  said, but it was something like, “Oh my god this just sucked today.”

Thanks, Andrew Zapanta, I think ;-)

Another Charlottesville runner who came to take photos told me to keep going and waved me on, but I just wanted to enjoy the moment of seeing my coach, who helped me get to Boston for the 3rd time in a row.

Coach Mark before the race

Once I let go of Mark and decided to finish the race all I could think of is when I finish I’ll get a nicer blanket so  I took off as fast as I could, which actually was not very fast. And every time I saw a photographer I slowed down a bit because I really like getting race photos. I was so obsessed with getting some decent pictures that  I also stashed lipstick in my hipsters pocket and applied it when I took a walk break with a mile to go.

I finished the race in 4:08:13 which is my slowest marathon since 2010. I was disappointed, but not devastated.

2015 Boston Marathon Finisher Photo

I was mad at myself for losing a glove on the way to the starting line, for taking off my long sleeve shirt and arm warmers early on in the race, and for not buying a waterproof jacket and better gloves the day before.

Why did I take my clothes off?

I wore the same outfit (tank top and skirt) running in 40-45°F rain that I wore the previous two years when it was sunny and 55-65°F. What was I thinking?!? After having a post-race debriefing with my coach, we determined that because I wasted too much energy trying to stay warm (before the race and during it), I just hit the wall.

Random thoughts:

Favorite sign of the day (besides the personalized TWINS RUN sign of course!) – “PAIN is just French for bread.” HA HA HA HA! I never saw that one before. I laughed out loud! And thought, “Wow, warm bread would actually be really good right now, I’m starving. Mmmm.  Bread.”

I have never enjoyed a stale piece of candy more than that snack size Milky Way a spectator handed me somewhere on the streets of Boston. I was so hungry at that point, but I could not drink any Gatorade for many miles previously because it just made me feel even colder. I savored that chocolate for a while because it took forever to melt in my mouth because I was so cold and could barely chew.

I am pretty sure that I acted like a crazy teenage super fan when I went up to talk to Dave McGillivray on Sunday before the Q&A. I was wearing my Rivanna Greenbelt Marathon shirt and told him how I started one of the newest races that got people to Boston. I told him that we had a 50% BQ rate. He was like "Wow, that’s probably one of the highest," and then I laughed and admitted, “Well, we only had 12 finishers.” I went on to talk about how excited I was to be in Boston and help other people get there. I told him that every correspondence from the BAA made me excited because I respected the organization so much.

Josh Nemzer and Dave McGillivray

That being said, I have to say I am extremely disappointed that the BAA allowed Liza Hunter-Galvanto to run in the elite women’s start after having served a two-year suspension for doping and will likely receive $10K in prize money.

During the Q&A someone asked about doping and Josh Nemzer, Boston Marathon Operations Manager, spoke strongly against it. Yet, they seem to be inconsistent on enforcing the ban of athletes who have tested positive due to failed drug tests.

I was privileged to meet Wesley Korir just a day after watching his inspiring film, “Transcend.” When I asked him if he really only ran 30 miles a week before the 2013 Boston Marathon, he said, “Yes, don’t try this at home.” Ha ha ha. I highly recommend this special film.

I'm no good at DVD product placement

Mark Remy gave me the greatest photo with Flat Twins Run Malinda. Thank you, Mark!

This is real love

The 12:30 a.m. fire alarm on race day at the Sheraton, not cool. But at least Mark Remy made me laugh about it later that morning. :)

On the bus to Hopkinton, I had a great conversation with a Swiss man running his first Boston Marathon. He would not tell me his goal, he said that was something just for him to know, but seeing that he ran 3:35:43 I think he nailed it! Wow! Congrats!

Instant runner friends

Seven runners who ran the Rivanna Greenbelt Marathon in 2014 completed the 2015 Boston Marathon. Both the September and October male winners came in the top 100 overall! Congrats Wesley Turner and Michael French. In the past week I have received 21 registrations for the 2015 Rivanna Greenbelt Marathon. We have almost reached capacity! I cannot wait to see how many people get their BQ for 2016/2017 … and one of them better be my twin sister! :)

Friday, April 17, 2015

One Flat Twin Cheers and One Fast Twin Runs the 2015 Boston Marathon

Flat @MalindaAnnHill ready for Boston

@LeahCville's 2014 Finisher Photo

On Monday, @LeahCville will run her 3rd Boston Marathon.

@MalindaAnnHill watched Meb race to victory!

Sadly, @MalindaAnnHill won't be there to cheer in person again this year.

Scream Tunnel Sign for @TwinsRunInOurFamily

Thanks to the Scream Tunnel at Wellesley's Munger Hall, there will be a sign for Leah and all twins! :-)

@TwinsRunInOurFamily Logo in Boston Colors

Do twins run in your family? ICYMI - we've been fortunate to meet some of our favorite runners and one day we will run the Boston Marathon together!

 Bart Yasso & Dick Beardsley

Towering over Desi Linden ;-)

Joan Benoit Samuelson - Run Your Own Race

We're inspired by stories of twins that run together!

Seeing Double at the Boston Marathon

Identical Twins with Autism Find Joy in Running

Autistic twins bring inspiration to Boston Marathon

My Twins with Autism Run to Make a Difference

Otsego Twins Take Boston Marathon in Stride, Finish Race Together

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

One Boston Day - Together We Are Better

2014 Boston Photo taken by @MalindaAnnHill

"Today, the Boston Athletic Association and Boston Marathon Principal Sponsor John Hancock join the City of Boston in celebrating a new annual tradition: One Boston Day. One Boston Day is a city-wide celebration that recognizes the unity and strength of our city.

One Boston Day is a time when we as a community can honor and remember all of those affected by the tragic events of April 15, 2013. One Boston Day is also a day to come together and celebrate

Boston's spirit, and the strength, resiliency, and compassion that epitomizes our city.

Mayor Marty Walsh established One Boston Day with the desire expressed by many survivors to pass on the kindness, generosity, and support they received following the 2013 Boston Marathon. The City of Boston will hold a moment of silence at 2:49 p.m. to mark the two-year anniversary, with church bells ringing throughout the city shortly after to pay tribute and celebrate the lives of those effected in April, 2013.

On One Boston Day, individuals, businesses, and organizations across the City will display their humanity and unity by encouraging random acts of kindness and spreading goodwill. One Boston Day is a chance for everyone to get involved, embodying the spirit of the Boston community.

Whether it's giving up your seat on the T or saying 'thank you' to the City's police and fire personnel, we encourage everyone to take part in One Boston Day."

One Boston Day
Statement from Colonel Timothy P. Alben:
"The Massachusetts State Police remember the loss of three innocent victims two years ago today, the hundreds of others who suffered pain and trauma that day, and the loss of the fourth victim four days after that. Martin. Lingzhi. Krystle. Sean. And all the survivors whose lives were changed that day. On this One Boston Day and every other day, they inspire our work to seek justice for those who have been harmed, and to provide safety in our communities."
--Colonel Timothy P. Alben
Massachusetts State Police

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Charlottesville Ten Miler Race Recap

My very first long distance race was the 2007 Charlottesville Ten Miler. I was thrilled when I finished, having raced more miles than I ever had run at one time before, all under 9 minute mile pace (8:41 to be exact, finishing in 1:25:29).

Eight years later I have a very special relationship with this race, having helped four directors with behind-the-scenes technical and graphic design work, including creating the artwork for the 2009/10, 2011, and 2015 shirts and medals.

On Friday night before the race, I helped hand out cowbells I designed to volunteers who’d be lining the course cheering and protecting runners from traffic. Their enthusiasm and willingness to help was inspiring. Every time I heard a cowbell along the course on Saturday, I felt thankful and proud.

I have run this race six times and don’t think I have ever run a negative split. When I saw the 5 mile clock display 37:xx, I quickly did that the math and thought, “oh sh-t, I’m not going to run this race in 1:14, what the hell have I done?!?” I tried not to panic and realized that even if I slowed down 3 minutes in the second half I’d still beat my goal of finishing under 1:19.

Having spent almost my entire winter training cycle on the treadmill, with only four races since January 1st, I wasn’t confident I could tackle the hills of Charlottesville. I remember feeling all sorts of negativity during the final 2 miles of the race last year and was hoping I wouldn’t feel that way again. Luckily some of my favorite power songs like Paul Simon’s “Obvious Child” helped get me up those last few long, gradual inclines.

I never looked at my watch during the entire race, so when I came down the final stretch and saw the clock say 1:16, I was shocked. It was my 3rd fastest ten mile race ever. My PR is 1:12:36 at the 2012 Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run (a completely FLAT course) and my 2nd best time was 1:16:36 in 2011. It was 4 years later and I was able to run 1:16:42 on a much more challenging course despite making the classic racing mistake of going out too fast.

Reading many of the comments on the race evaluation forms warmed my heart and a few nagged at me. I know you can’t make everyone happy, but to read that someone thought the medal was too big or the design was boring stung quite a bit.

A few random thoughts:

* I designed the new Charlottesville Track Club mile marker flags that made their debut at the race. I smiled every time I saw one, even if the wind did turn a couple around the wrong way. :-)

* So many people yelled out my name. I’m so glad I don’t wear headphones (I have my iphone speaker on instead). I didn’t even recognize everyone who knew me. It’s so amazing to have so much support in this town!

* I got a ton of compliments on my Rock City black and silvery fairy skirt. I love dressing up for races with stand-out red lipstick and some sparkle!

* I feel a bit guilty for not saying thank you to all the volunteers (I was saving my energy), but I did try to wave.

My fave comments from volunteers and participants:

"My favorite part of volunteering was learning that the wonderful CPD officer assigned to "my" intersection for actual traffic directing duties had volunteered to be there. She was super. A close second was how many runners smiled back or said thank you on their way by as I cheered and rang my cowbell to the point of a hole in my glove and a bloody knuckle (true story!)."

"You guys have, hands down, the BEST and FRIENDLIEST volunteers. The medal is awesome - I will cherish it forever!"

"I run this with friends each year. This year about half declined to drive down, citing last years shirt and the sometimes iffy quality of the medal. I was pleased that I could text them pictures and note the return of quality swag. I'll gladly wear this shirt running. Thanks."

"Beyond satisfied! Perfect event, as always!!! My favorite race of the year. And any runner that complains in this survey should come run a race in philly -- that will teach them. This race is incomparable. So well organized and well executed. Having access to JPJ arena makes the race so calm and clean and easy and lovely. Thank you!"
"Cheering was great - there were a lot more bells this year. I liked how the stickers matched the medals, matched the shirts."

"Loved the logo design on the shirt and medal! The medal was also much better than any of the past 4. It was substantial and very well designed."
"The medal and shirt were AMAZING. I absolutely love them both. I will have that medal with the others on my wall forever because it's the memories that matter. Great job on the design! I love all the street names on it! Brilliant!"

"The medal is a great memento with the whole course listed on it."

"I loved the giant mile markers this year."

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

50+ Rock 'n' Roll DC Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K Race Recaps

Malinda, the slower 1/2 of @TwinsRun, finished the rainy Rock 'n' Roll DC Marathon in 3:54:58, It was her 16th marathon, 6th attempt to BQ and 1st marathon in the rain. If only we were born in April instead of May, 3:54 would've been a BQ for 2016. However, since we were born in May, Malinda will try 2 more times to finish in 3:45 or less - the Charlottesville Marathon on April 4 and the Rivanna Greenbelt Marathon in September (date to be determined).

Malinda didn't reach her BQ goal but you can help us reach her Team Lemon fundraising goal of $345. No donation is too small to fight childhood cancer with Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. Text "E1121983" to "85944" to donate $10 by text. Or, donate $3,$4, $5 or more online: and thanks for your support!

Did you run any of the Rock 'n' Roll DC races on Pi Day? Let us know and we'll add your recap to our list!

Rock 'n' Roll DC Photos

2015 Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Marathon and 1/2 Marathon by

Rock 'n' Roll DC Race Reviews

Moulton, Nelson snag first-place finishes in Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon via Run Washington

Rock n Roll Washington DC via BibRave

Rock 'n' Roll DC Marathon and Half Marathon via RaceThread

It's My Party Edition by Runner of a Certain Age Podcast

Rock n Roll DC Half Marathon Recap - Episode 62 by The Running Lifestyle

Race of the Month - Rock n Roll Half Marathon & 5k by Run it Like a Mom

Rock 'n' Roll DC Marathon Recaps

Comeback by WUSsies

The Best Day of My Life by Train. Race. Repeat.

Why I Run by IRUN.FIT

Surprises are the Most Fun - Rock and Roll DC Marathon Recap Part 1 by Running is Hard

Rock n Roll DC Marathon Race Recap Part 1 by Jess Runs ATL

Throwing the “Runner Rules” Out the Window by Runner(ish) Girl

Race Recap – DC Rock N’ Roll Marathon by Slimplify Life

D.C. Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon: A Soggy Sign of Spring by Chasing Mailboxes

DC Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon: Daddy Daughter Adventure by Angela Hubbs Fitness Professional

My Dad’s Marathon by Echo Dolphin

iHOPE Team Participates in the Rock 'n' Roll DC Marathon by Project Hope

Rock 'n' Roll DC Half Marathon Recaps

Being Realistic - RnR DC Half Preview by Miles to the Trials

Rock n Roll DC Recap by Tina Muir

DC Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon by The Aqua Life

Rock n Roll DC Half Marathon Recap by Barking Mad About Running

Rock n Roll DC Half Marathon by Adventures by Katie

Rock n Roll DC Recap and Review by FitNicePT

Rock n Roll DC Half Marathon Weekend by Treats and Sneaks

Review & Recap - Rock 'n' Roll DC Half Marthon by Kat Runs DC

Rock n Roll DC Recap by Running on Candy

Rock 'n' Roll DC Half Marathon by A Change of Pace

Rock n Roll DC Half Marathon Race Recap by I Used to Drive a Minivan

A Mindful Half Marathon - How Meditation Got Me to the Start and Finish Line by Martha Brettschneider

Rock n Roll DC Half Marathon Recap by Brooklyn Active Mama

Rock n Roll DC Recap and a Cool New Way to Fuel Motivation During a Race by This Mama runs for Cupcakes

Race Report - Rock n Roll DC Half Marathon by Fat Slow Triathlete

Race Report - Rock 'n' Roll DC Half Marathon by PB and PRs

Jon's Race Report: Noah Get Your Ark (Rock n Roll DC Half Marathon) by Endurance Union

RnRDC Recap - When Things Don't Go As Planned by Blondies and Burpees

DC Rock n Roll Half Marathon Recap by Planes, Trains and Running Shoes

Rock 'N' Roll DC Half Marathon Recap by Lunges, Long Runs and Lattes

Rock 'n' Roll DC Half Marathon Race Recap by KookyRunner

Rock and Roll Marathon Series: DC Half Recap by Preppy Runner

Rock ‘n’ Roll DC 2015 Half Marathon Race Recap by Fannetastic Food

Rock N Roll DC Half Marathon race recap by Out and About

Rock ‘N’ Roll Half-Marathon in Washington, DC by The Running Griffin

Rock n Roll DC Race Recap – Hello, Sub-2! by You Signed Up For What?!

Rock n Roll DC Half Marathon Recap by Run Steff Run

Rock 'n' Roll DC Half Marathon Race Recap by We Run Disney

Race Recap – DC Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon by Heart & Sole

RNR DC Weekend Recap by MCM Mama

Race Recap: Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Half Marathon Part 1 by Pittsburgh City Girl

Rock n Roll DC Recap by I Run for Wine

Rock n Roll DC Half by Beyond Defeat

The Rock n Roll DC Half Marathon by The Lewis Report

White House chief of staff Denis McDonough runs Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon via Washington Post

Rock 'n' Roll DC 5K Race Recap

2015 Rock ‘n’ Roll DC 5K Race Recap by Run Jenny Run

Race Recap - Rock n Roll 5k in DC by 30Somethingtherapy

Rock 'n' Roll DC Expo

Rock 'n' Roll DC Expo by Adventures by Katie

Rock 'n' Roll DC Volunteers

Volunteering for Rock n Roll DC by Chelsea Eats Treats

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Remembering Michael on St. Patrick's Day

Michael Connor
November 23, 1973 ~ March 17, 2003

Today we remember Michael, Leah's brother-in-law, who died 12 years ago. Michael was diagnosed with leukemia as a child and relapsed as an adult. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and all who had the privilege of knowing him. 

Three years ago today we joined Team Lemon to raise money for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation in memory of Michael. Since 2012, we have raised over $2,000 and we hope to raise more money this year to fund research and support families affected by childhood cancer.

No donation is to fight childhood cancer with Alex's Lemonade. 

Text "E1121983" to "85944" to donate $10

Or, donate $5 or more online:

Thanks for your support.