Monday, October 29, 2012

Before Frankenstorm

Just a few instagrams from my
#TweetAndRun on Sun, Oct 28
The calm before Frankenstein's Monstorm

Marathon training milestone
800 miles since June 23!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Run Like a Princess with runDisney

Want to spend a night in Cinderella's Castle?
Enter daily for your chance to win!
 If we win, the kids are staying with grandma! ;-)
We're in training for the 5th Annual Princess Half Marathon!
Our princesses are in training for the Royal Family 5K!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Running with Gratitude Grief, & Gastroparesis (#Irun4GG)

It's been a difficult 3 months..
The pain of grief & gastroparesis can be intense...

In spite of the pain, I keep on running...

I finished the Chicago Marathon in 4:05:58

Michael & GG were with me...

Every step of the way...

I find solace in running...

I'm grateful for every mile...

Training for my 3rd Philly Marathon...

Identical twins run with Team Lemon

In memory of our grandma "GG"

and Leah's brother-in-law Michael.

Can you donate $2 to Alex's Lemonade?

Are you training for the Philadelphia Marathon?

Are you a runner with chronic illness?

Do you find solace in running?

Malinda's posts on Grief, Gratitude & Gastroparesis:
Grief & Gratitude
Sep 24, 2012

Grief & Gratitude. On Friday, July 13, our grandma "GG" fell. In the ER, she was diagnosed with cancer. She died 3 days later on Monday, July 16. It's been 10 weeks since GG died. We are still crying and missing you.

Tweeting While Running: #TweetAndRun
Sep 13, 2012

I've been using the hashtags #Irun4GG (I run in memory of my grandma GG), #GGplaylist (Random Shuffle + Grief + Gratitude) and #TweetAndRun. After honing my skills at cutting, pasting, cropping and typing while running, ...

Philly Undy 5000 Race Recap
Sep 08, 2012

Since Katie lost her husband to colon cancer, I was so grateful for her support of my tweet to bring awareness to the Undy 5000 and grieving families! I'm still trying to gather my thoughts to write a post, but wanted to share a ...

Twin Powers Activate on @TwinsRun ...
Aug 28, 2012

TWIN POWERS ACTIVATE! Can you donate $2 on @TwinsRun 2sDay? · THANKS for your support! Malinda Runs 2 #GGPlaylist! Random Shuffle = Grief & Gratitude Love to get ...

Gastroparesis & Grief
Aug 19, 2012

Gastroparesis & Grief. It's been a difficult 5 weeks... The pain of grief and gastroparesis has been intense... Each day can be a struggle, but I keep on running... I find solace in running and I'm grateful for every mile... In 7 weeks ...

@TwinsRun 2gether
Jul 29, 2012

The twins' Irish grandmother was diagnosed with cancer on Friday, July 13 and died on Monday, July 16, 2012. Her sudden and unexpected death has affected the twins profoundly. Their grief is intense, ...

The Afghan Whigs
Jul 28, 2012

We are still grieving her loss, but we keep running in her honor and in her memory with Team Lemon to support Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer. Our grandma GG always had great sense of humor ...

#GGplaylist (Grandma's Songs & Signs)
Jul 27, 2012

#GGplaylist = random shuffle + grief + gratitude. Posted by TWINS RUN in our family at 1:21 PM · Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook. Labels: #GGplaylist, Afghan Whigs, grandma, Gratitude, Grief, ...

Random Shuffle + Grief + Graditude = #GGplaylist
Jul 25, 2012

Random Shuffle + Grief + Graditude = #GGPlaylist (July 24). Random Shuffle on iPhone = #GGplaylist. Grief + Gratitude <--> Great + Grandma. Follow #GGplaylist on Twitter & Instagram!

Blue Monday & #GGPlaylist
Jul 23, 2012

We are still grieving her loss, but we keep running in her honor and in her memory. She always had great sense of humor & her spirit is still with me on my #run! #randomplay shuffle songs = #ggplaylist! #irun4gg #runchat # ...

Random Shuffle + Grief + Graditude ...
Jul 23, 2012

Random Shuffle + Grief + Graditude = #GGPlaylist (July 23) ... Share to TwitterShare to Facebook. Labels: #GGplaylist, Afghan Whigs, Chicago Marathon, GG, grandma, Gratitude, Grief, instagram, Malinda, Marathon Training ...

I Will Say Your Names & Remember
Jul 20, 2012

They hold onto the grief that binds their love to you. They will remember the insidious unknowns. That stole your breath, stopped your beating hearts. They will relive your last moments, last touches, last breaths. And rewind ...

"GG" . . . Our Grief & Gratitude
Jul 19, 2012

“I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in ...

In Loving Memory of "GG"
Jul 17, 2012

We will continue to fight to end cancer in their memory. We will advocate for palliative care & hospice, too. We thank you for your support during this difficult time. "Grief is not the process of forgetting. Grief is the process of ...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Caught in the act of a #TweetAndRun during 2012 Chicago Marathon

Caught in the act of a #TweetAndRun
during 2012 Chicago Marathon ;-)

Chicago Marathon Race RT in progress...
Malinda's 1st #TweetAndMarathon
Malinda's 8th Marathon & PR (4:05:58)

Sep 27, 2012
#TweetAndRun #RnRPhilly Race Tweets & RTs. Still trying to actually write a race recap for the Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon. In the meantime, in case you didn't realize that I really do #TweetAndRun...
Sep 20, 2012
#TweetAndRun #RnRPhilly - 1:57:07. Is he reading the back of my @TwinsRun shirt? Or, is he checking out my ass(ets)? ;-). This may be my favorite race photo(bomb)! :-). Still working on my race much to write!
Sep 13, 2012
I've been using the hashtags #Irun4GG (I run in memory of my grandma GG), #GGplaylist (Random Shuffle + Grief + Gratitude) and #TweetAndRun. After honing my skills at cutting, pasting, cropping and typing while running, ...

Sep 19, 2012
Did you run, cheer or follow on Sunday? In the meantime, in case you couldn't follow,. below are some of my tweets & instagrams! @MalindaAnnHill. (Slower 1/2 of @TwinsRun). #RnRPhilly #TwinsRun #TweetAndRun ...
Sep 08, 2012
TWINS RUN in our family ... Since Katie lost her husband to colon cancer, I was so grateful for her support of my tweet to bring awareness to the Undy 5000 and grieving families! I'm still trying to gather my thoughts to write a ...
Sep 03, 2012
Were you part of the Cyber ChEAR Squad? Did you #TweetAndRun during the race? Will you #TweetAndRun during your next race? Just a few examples of our Cyber ChEAR Squad tweets!

May 27, 2012
ODDyssey Half Marathon Race Retweet. RUN --> TWEET--> INSTAGRAM --> REPEAT. 13.1 miles in 2:20:50. I'd never thought I'd say this... My iPhone is now a race essential! Debated on whether or not to wear my costume ...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Leah's Chicago Marathon Recap

Chicago Marathon

PAULA!!!!!! Brrrr. Epic Garmin Fail. Ouch. PR. OUCH!!!

Wow. I'm in pain! I do not like that, but luckily I have something else to think about. I'm not sure what was more exciting this weekend - meeting Paula Radcliffe and getting my photo with her (actually TWO pictures, thanks Malinda!) or setting a new marathon PR while qualifying for the 2014 Boston Marathon. Ok, I do know ... it was meeting PAULA! Paula, my idol, my hero, my inspiration! I can't say how much I loved reading her autobiography and learning more about her struggles. I was giddy when she replied to one of my tweets on Friday and was shaking for nearly an hour after meeting her in person on Saturday. I can't believe how amazingly lucky I was to have that experience. HURRAY!!!!

(Here I am telling Paula how happy I was to get a reply to my tweet to her!)

So let me get to the race report!

I started off the marathon at 8:30 pace for at least 1/2 a mile and I was proud of myself for starting out on my target pace (Paula had said on Saturday to trust your training, pace yourself and focus on your goal!). However, when we went into a tunnel and weird things started happening with my Garmin. One minute I'm going 9:30 minute pace, the next 7:45, I had no clue what to think! I reset it hoping that would help give a more accurate pace, but then it was saying I was going 10 minute mile. WTH? I ended up resetting it a total of 4 times and after the last one I just switched to the clock because I didn't trust it anymore. I never looked at my garmin again for the rest of the race!

Luckily I caught up with one of two 3:35 pace groups (I started in Corral C, but I'm pretty sure the group I ran with started in Corral B). I hoped that I could stick with them until mile 20. I started fading around mile 17 and somewhere between miles 18-19 they were out of sight (ahead of me!). I thought, oh well, I still can BQ (3:45:00) even if I can't run under 3:40.

I knew when I got to the 20 mile point that if the clock said 2:45, I would be ok. Since I started around 3 minutes after the gun went off, I knew I could run 10 minute miles and still reach goal.

When I had 4 miles to go I started to get painfully uncomfortable (damn you piriformis!!) and figured if I wasn't going to PR, I didn't have to kill myself by pushing harder through the pain. Although, to be honest, I think the only way I would have gone any faster is if I had someone like Kristen Keller running with me and encouraging me like she did the final mile at the Turkey Trot last year (thanks again for that, btw!)

When the finish line was within site I was searching for the clock but couldn't see it clearly until I was less than 200M away. When I saw it was still under 3:40 I think in dug a little deeper and picked up the pace a notch to make sure I made it. That was the first time I finished a marathon and had no clue what my unofficial time was! I tried to check my phone, but as soon as I entered my password i got the low battery signal and it turned off. Doh!

The walk through the finish line area to the Balboa tent was almost as painful as last year. Shifting from running to walking made all the pain intensify and all I wanted was my phone charger, a cold beer, and a massage (in that order!). I think it took me nearly ten minutes to get to that beer and massage. At least I met a very nice guy who chatted and shuffled with me to the tent (and I BEAT him!).

The post-race massage was my longest and best one ever! The perk to getting a ticket to the Balboa tent and finishing in a reasonable time was NO wait! I even had two therapists work on me simultaneously. What a luxury! It was painful, but also relaxing and they forced my legs to engage in some post-race stretching.

During the massage I started to shiver and regretted that I didn't pack an extra long sleeve fleece top in my bag. Despite the chills I grabbed another cold beer (mmmm!) and on my way to find a seat, I found a vent blowing out heat. Heaven! I sat on the floor in front of it and changed my socks and shoes, noticing that I had a new black toenail on the toe next to my little toe on my right foot. Wow for a little nail that can cause a lot of pain! I've never had a problem with that toe before so that was kind of strange.

When the heat mysteriously stopped I decided to walk over to meet my friend Amy and the kids who were getting bored. To my huge surprise I saw my twin Malinda walking towards me! Either I was in that massage for longer than I thought or she was smoking fast on the course! And she was! She even beat my time from last year AND ran a negative split (something I've only done once in 19 marathons!). WAY TO GO MALINDA! So proud of you!

So I didn't hit my A goal (3:34:59), but I did achieve goal B (PR/-5BQ for 2014). I'm a little bummed that I didn't run a negative split, but considering I could only judge my pace when I passed a mile marker clock, it could have been a lot worse! My 2nd 5K was my fastest and I am certain that's why I started fading the last 3-4 miles. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I had no business running nearly 3 sub-8:00 miles in a marathon. DUH!

A few random thoughts....

The temperature difference between last year and this year coudn't have been more stark. Last year I started the race in a bra top. This year, I was covered in a lot of layers. I left my extra shirt and jacket on for almost three miles. I ditched the gloves around the 10k pt and the arm warmers and fuzzy headband a couple miles later.

Pet Peeve: I really wish they would alternate flavors of Gatorade at the various stops. I never want another cup of lemon-lime! I would have paid extra for some fruit punch and a variety of other flavors.

I'm so grateful to my long-time friend Amy for taking my kids to the race and getting this cool picture of me in Chinatown. I look unhappy, and at that point, I think I was ready to be at the finish line!

I loved having my name on my shirt. I almost felt like I was still in Charlottesville because I heard my name so much! :)

This marathon didn't feel as easy and pain free as my previous PR at Charlottesville. After that marathon I actually walked home 2 miles after the race and felt fine! After the race yesterday, I was struggling to walk without wincing and could barely keep up with my sister! And I'm still pretty sore today.

So here are my stats!!

Chicago Marathon PR's

Race Recaps from Twins in Progress...

Personal Record for Leah!

 Personal Record for Malinda!

Best PR of all, we met Paula Radcliffe!
 Malinda and Paula
Leah and Paula
Thanks for inspiring us, Paula!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Leah's Chicago Marathon Goals

"I had goals. They were evil goals, but they were goals."
Dr. Doofenshmirtz

A Goal: 3:34:59 or faster (BQ-10 2014)
B Goal: 3:38:03 or faster (PR)
C Goal: 3:39:59 or faster (BQ-5 2014)
D Goal: 3:44:59 or faster (BQ 2014)
E Goal: 3:59.59 or faster (breaking 4 hours for the 5th time)
F Goal: 4:07:44 or faster (course PR)
G Goal: Dropping out if I'm in as much Piriformis pain as I was from mile 10 - finish in 2011

Goal A should be realistic based on my marathon PR (3:38:04) and my past race performances.*

BUT.... you never know what will happen on race day!

So I'm trying to think about other scenarios. I believe I'll be satisfied as long as I get a BQ for 2014! :) And if I can't do that, I can try again at Three Bridges and/or Disney!

Race Time Predictor Chart | Women's Race Predictor | Jeff Galloway's Calculator | McMillan's calculator
3:28 - 3:31 potential based on 10K PR
3:30 - 3:32 - 3:33 based on 1/2 marathon PR

3:24 - 3:25 based on 10 miler PR

FYI: If I run the first half of Chicago any faster than 1:48:00, I will be asking for trouble! 

I'd like to stay between 1:48-1:52 for the first half. And run 1:46-1:51 for the 2nd half.
2012 Chicago Marathon
2011 Chicago Marathon
Race Day Temperatures
High: 52°F
Low: 41°F
High: 80°F
Low: 57°F
Race Start Temperature


Marathon Time Conversion = Charlottesville Marathon in 3:38:04

Boston Marathon
Chicago Marathon
Walt Disney World Marathon
Comparable Finish Time




Course Time Difference
Weather Time Difference
Total Finish Time Difference
Compare Race Details to Charlottesville MarathonCompare Race Details to Charlottesville MarathonCompare Race Details to Charlottesville Marathon

Comparing last year's Chicago Marathon with my PR

Kilometerschicago '11cville PRMiles
Net 5K0:26:3224:43.23m
Net 10K0:52:4248:55.56m
Net 15K1:18:531:12:449m
Net 20K1:45:371:37:1712m
Net Half1:51:401:45:1813m
Net 25K2:13:562:01:4915m
Net 30K2:43:252:27:3018m
Net 35K3:16:352:53:1821m
Net 40K3:52:153:20:5324m
26.2 miles4:07:453:38:0426.2 miles

mile-by-mile spilts for top 4 marathons....

CvillePR!!!nat'l2nd fastest3bridges3rd fastestdisney4th fastest
2nd half1:52:55
negative split!


Chicago Marathon Playlist

Music to Move Me to PR (BQ)! 
by Leah Connor
I need between 3:35 (goal A) to 4:10 (goal E) of music ...
So this is work in progress...

top tier (3 hrs)
It's TimeImagine Dragronts
All I Ever WantedThe Airborne Toxic Event
Anna SunWalk the Moon
Anywhere In The WorldMark Ronson feat. Katy B
Are We All We Are Pink
Blow Me (One Last Kiss)Pink
Butyric AcidConsolidated
Call Me MaybeCarly Rae Jepsen
Chasing The SunThe Wanted
Cupid ShuffleCupid
Do It AnywayBen Folds Five
Every Time You GoEllie Goulding
Gangnam StylePSY
Give Me Everything (Tonight)Pitbull Feat. Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer
Glad You CameThe Wanted
Gonna Make You SweatC & C MUSIC FACTORY
Good Time (Original Version)Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen
Here Comes The Weekend Pink
Hot In HereNelly
How Come You're Not HerePink
I Got It (What You Need?)Galactic
It's TimeImagine Dragronts
I've Been Losing Youa-Ha
Let's Go (Extended Mix) 2012Calvin Harris feat. Ne-Yo
Little TalksOf Monsters and Men
Live Your LifeT.I. (featuring Rihanna)
Magic B.o.B (featuring Rivers Cuomo)
Midnight CityM83
Please Don't Leave MePink
RocketThe Wanted
RunawaysThe Killers
S&M (Remix) Rihanna (Featuring Britney Spears)
SatelliteThe Wanted
Save YourselfStabbing Westward
She's So MeanMatchbox Twenty
Slut Like You (Explicit Version)Pink
Stay On The OutsideWhitey
Sure ShotBeastie Boys
Tear It UpDelta Spirit
The Theory Of RelativityStars
The Truth About Love (Explicit Version)Pink
TitaniumDavid Guetta & Sia
Tonight Is The NightOutasight
Too CloseAlex Clare
Turn Up The MusicChris Brown 
Up All NightOne Direction
Walk of Shame (Explicit Version)Pink
Walking on a DreamEmpire of the Sun
Warrior (Bonus Track)Kimbra
We Are Never Ever Getting Back TogetherTaylor Swift
We Found Love (Ft. Calvin Harris)Rihanna
What Makes You BeautifulOne Direction
WhistleFlo Rida
Written In The StarsTinie Tempah Ft Eric Turner
You Make Me Feel (feat. Sabi) Cobra Starship

maybe songs 7.2 hrs...
All InLifehouse
All That you AreGoo Goo Dolls
All The Right MovesOne Republic
All the WayNew Order
All We AreOneRepublic
Antidote (Original Mix)Swedish House Mafia feat. Knife Party
Anything, Anything…Dramarama
Bad RomanceLady GaGa
Beggin' On Your KneesVictorious Cast
Better Than RevengeTaylor Swift
Between Something and NothingThe Ocean Blue
Bittersweet SymphonyThe Verve
Bizarre Love TriangleNew Order
Boys Boys BoysLady GaGa
Break Your Heart ft. LudacrisTaio Cruz
Breakaway (Extended Version)Big Pig
BreakevenThe Script
BreatheMichelle Branch
Breathe MeSia
Brighter Than The SunColbie Caillat
Brilliant MindFurniture
Broken MusicA Kiss Could Be Deadly
BulletproofLa Roux
BYouSabrina Bryan
Called Out In The DarkSnow Patrol
Calling YouAqua
Candy Everybody Wants10,000 Maniacs
Can't Be TamedMiley Cyrus
Can't Help Falling In LoveRadio Disney Ultimate Jams
Cruel, Crazy, Beautiful WorldJohnny Clegg & Savuka
DJ Got Us Fallin' In LoveUsher
Dog Days Are OverFlorence And The Machine
Feed The TreeBelly
First TimeLifehouse
Fly On The Wall (David Khane Remix)Miley Cyrus
Good LifeOneRepublic
Halfway GoneLifehouse
Here Comes The SunThe Beatles
How Far We've ComeMatchbox 20
I Call Your NameJohnny Clegg & Savuka
I Go CrazyFlesh For Lulu
I Gotta FeelingBlack Eyed Peas
Immigrant SongTrent Reznor & Atticus Ross
In MotionThe Social Network - Soundtrack
IntergalacticBeastie Boys
It's OnCast of Camp Rock 2
Krafty (Radio Edit)New Order
Mr. BrightsideThe Killers
NotbrokenGoo Goo Dolls
Oops! I Did It AgainBritney Spears
party updmx
RobotMiley Cyrus
Semi-Charmed LifeThird Eye Blind
Send Me on My WayRusted Root
Seven Nation ArmyThe White Stripes
She BopCyndi Lauper
slackjawedthe connells
Somebody Told MeKillers
Somebody's BabyPhantom Planet
Something That I WantTangled
Steady As The Sidewalk Cracks(!!! Chk Chik Chick)
stole my heartOne Direction
Stop And ErasSelena Gomez & The Scene
Supermassive Black HoleMuse
Take My Heart AwayJohnny Clegg/Johnny Clegg & Savuka/Savuka
TeethLady GaGa
Telephone (featuring Beyonce)RO2A.ArabLionZ.CoM
Tell Me A LieOne Direction
The SignAce Of Base
There Is A Light That Never Goes OutThe Smiths
This YearThe Mountain Goats
Thorns (distant vocals version)Wumpscut
Time is Running OutMuse
Time of Your LifeGreen Day
Time Stand StillRush
Too Early For The SkyJohnny Clegg & Savuka
ToxicBritney Spears
TryThe Connells
Tub ThumpingChumbawumba
Two More Lonely PeopleMiley Cyrus
U + Ur HandPink
UnwellMatchbox Twenty
Viva La Vida (Edit)Coldplay
Waiting Outside The LinesGreyson Chance
Walking On A DreamEmpire Of The Sun
WannabeSpice Girls
Watch MeBella Thorne & Zendaya
We Are YoungFun.
We Built This City On Rock And RollStarship
What Do All the People KnowThe Monroes
What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)Kelly Clarkson
what the hellavril lavigne
What You Know (Young Empires Remix) Two Door Cinema Club
Whataya Want From MePink
Who Says?Selena Gomez & The Scene
You're The ReasonVictorious Cast feat. Victoria Justice

Monday, October 1, 2012

Leah's 5K Before Chicago Marathon

Charlottesville Catholic School All-Terrain 5K

Eight days out from the Chicago Marathon, I decided to run a local 5K that I've never run before. I had always been leery of any race with the words "All-Terrain" in the name because I do not perform well on trails or grass. I ran my first and only trail race back in 2007. I fell twice and nearly tripped multiple times over 6.2 anxiety-ridden miles. I ran my first cross-country race last year and, once again, I was so terrified of slipping and falling that I had a lackluster time (both in terms of finishing and enjoying the experience!). 

Since I'm going to be moving next summer, I figured this is the last time I could try the course and when I saw amazing race pictures from the previous year's event, I knew I had to give it a shot (yes, I'm obsessed with getting race photos!).

My goal for the Charlottesville Catholic School All-Terrain 5K was to NOT get injured. I knew I wasn't going to PR on a course that wasn't exclusively on pavement, so some of the pressure was off. After reviewing past race results, I knew that I could place in the top 3 overall if nobody super fast showed up or at least win my age group. 

The first mile was on the road or paved trail so I flew through that in 7:07. Then it started to get challenging and I stopped checking my watch and just tried to keep up with those around me and not get passed. I spent most of the 2nd mile behind a high school girl and a much younger boy. As soon as there was an opening, I passed both and didn't look back. With less than a mile to go, I heard a woman say, "You're the first woman! Go!" and my first thought was, "Uh oh, I'm going to blow it!" I knew I didn't have it in me to sprint to the finish line after barely making it up the last steep hill. 

When we got to a turnaround point and I could see who was behind me I got even more worried. I saw the high schooler and I was confident she wasn't going to pass me, but there was another woman on her heels and SHE was who I was worrieda about. Well, my fears were realized in the final stretch and she did fly by me. Oh well! 2nd place is nothing to be upset about. And I did beat a lot of fit looking guys! :)

After the race I congratulated her and told her I was so afraid during the trail portions because I had the marathon in a week. And she said, "Oh well now I don't feel as good about beating you!" I told her she did an amazing job! :)

My Splits