Thursday, March 21, 2013

Twins Run Boston 2013

On Sunday, April 14, @TwinsRun Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) 5K together to support Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer

On Monday, April 15, @LeahCville will run her 1st Boston Marathon while @MalindaAnnHill cheers. 

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Racing to the 2013 Boston Marathon

So I've been reviewing my races so far this year and trying not have a panic attack about how I might perform at the Boston Marathon.

I've been much slower and that's concerning.

Here's a breakdown (2013 vs 2012):

New Year's Day 5K

23:10 vs 23:09

(OK, this one was close.)

Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge (1/2 Marathon on Saturday & Marathon on Sunday)

(5:50:05) 1:48:17 & 4:01:49 vs (5:46:29) 1:50:22 & 3:56:07

(It was HOT this year so that probably didn't help. And, I probably ran the half too fast. Oh well!)

Princess Half Marathon

1:44:09 vs 1:40:05

(Once again, it was MUCH hotter this year than last year, so that could be part of it. The good news, Malinda and I finished 1st in sister / sister team category!)

Martha Jefferson 8K

37:58 vs 37:08

(Can't really explain this away with weather because it was nice and cool. At least I came in 2nd in AG, was 4th last year. And there was no one near me at the end. Last year I was passed by two women within feet of the finish line, ouch!)

Ten Miler (2013 Charlottesville / 2012 Cherry Blossom)

1:18:14 vs 1:12:26

(The Cville course is notoriously hilly instead of flat like Cherry Blossom so I can't really compare those two races, can I? I just wanted to run my 3rd fastest 10-mile race and I did that by nearly a minute. And, at least I came in 3rd in my AG!)

So what's my problem?!?

Last year was AMAZING and I can't really hope to have success like that consistently.

I just wonder if I should continue to panic or CHILL OUT... if there's a reason for this that I can fix or if it's just a phase?

Is it because I weigh a little more than I did last year at this time (could 5-7 lbs, could that make that a huge difference?!?) or have I been holding myself back in these races because I know the big prize - BOSTON - is just mere months or weeks away?

I definitely knew that I wasn't trying for a PR in any of these races, because it was a race for "fun" and training or because of the forecast or because within the first mile when I just wasn't feeling it. So instead, when appropriate, I did my best to run as close to my ideal marathon pace (7:55 - 8:00) and run comfortably hard rather than push it and constantly check my watch.

Some people might say I race too much, but I've actually raced LESS so far this year.

In the 5 weeks between my Princess Half Marathon PR and Cherry Blossom 10 Miler PR last year, I also ran a 4 miler, 8K, 1 mile, and 5K in between. And I PRd in those distances, too!

This year, I had 3 weeks between the Princess Half Marathon and the Charlottesville10 Miler and I only raced the Martha Jefferson 8K in between.

Oh well, at least I'm having fun while I'm running.
All the anxiety doesn't set in until I'm resting. :)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Running Together to Remember on St. Patrick's Day

Michael, Leah's Irish brother-in-law, died of leukemia on St. Patrick's Day.

Today and all days, our thoughts are with those who loved Michael and all those who had the privilege of knowing him.

Michael with Leah's son, Laoghaire

The Connor Family
Leif, Jenn, Michael, Fran, Laoghaire, Keith, Walter and Leah

Cathy, Laoghaire and Walter

We run together in memory of Michael, Walter, and Cathy who all died from cancer.

One year ago we started our 1st fundraising page with Team Lemon to raise money for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer in memory of Michael. Four months later, our grandma GG died of cancer, too.

Over the past year, we ran four races together and raised over $1,500 in memory of Michael and GG.

This year, @TwinsRun Boston Athletic Association 5K on April 14 and Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 13 together to support Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.

"Fighting childhood cancer, one mile at a time."

Any donation is greatly appreciated!

Thank you for your support!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Irish Twins Run Together

It's been a year since we decided to run the 2012 Chicago Marathon together with Team Lemon. We wanted to run in memory of Leah's Irish brother-in-law, Michael, to support Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer. Four months later, our Irish grandma "GG" died suddenly of cancer. Over the past year, we ran 4 races together and raised over $1,500 to fight childhood cancer.

We're identical (and 1/4 Irish) twins running together to remember Michael and GG. While we didn't race together today, we each ran 10 miles at the same time. Another virtual run together. We'll run the B.A.A. 5K together on April 14 and our 2nd Chicago Marathon together on October 13.

Leah's Charlottesville 10 Miler

Malinda's 10 mile Cherry Blossom training run

We're grateful to run together to remember.

Today, it's 8 months since GG died.
Aileen O’Connor Hill
January 7, 1938 – July 16, 2012 

Tomorrow, it's 10 years since Michael died.
Michael Connor
November 23, 1973 – March 17, 2003 

Leah's brother-in-law, Michael Connor, was diagnosed with leukemia as a child. Michael fought cancer with his inspiring Irish spirit, so it was bittersweet when he died on St. Patrick's Day 10 years ago. 

Our Irish grandmother, Aileen O'Connor Hill, (affectionately know as "GG") was diagnosed with cancer on Friday, July 13, 2012 and died on Monday, July 16, 2012

We run 2gether to remember Michael & GG. No donation is 2 small 2 fight childhood cancer.  Could you skip a green beer or Irish coffee this weekend and donate $2? ;-) 

Thanks for your support!

“Fighting Childhood Cancer, One Race at a Time”

Saturday, March 9, 2013

16 Character Photos from 2013 runDisney Princess Half Marathon

It's been almost 2 weeks since I ran my fastest Princess Half Marathon (1:53:43). I'm still trying to gather my thoughts for an official recap. I'm still amazed that I ran one of my fastest half marathons and I stopped for all 16 character photos. Luckily, since I started off relatively fast, the photo lines were much shorter this year. I finished an hour faster than last year - I guess most of the 331 princesses who finished ahead of me didn't want to stop for photos. ;-). More importantly, Leah and I surpassed our goal and finished 1st place in the sister/sister team division

Mary Poppins and the Chimney Sweepers! 


Buzz Lightyear

Alice and the Mad Hatter

Princess Aurora and Prince Philip




Princess Minnie and Prince Mickey

One lonely pirate! ;-)


Lilo and Stitch

Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen

A Bug's Life


Some day, my prince will RUN! :-)

Running through Cinderella's Castle

Crossing the Finish Line

Distance: 13.1 miles 
Division Place: 39 / 2,706 
Gender Place: 331 / 21,238 
Overall Place: 395 / 22,739 
5K Split: 26:52
10K Split: 55:16
15K Split: 1:21:57
13.1 Final: 1:53:43

Monday, March 4, 2013

Perfect Princess Reflects on the 2013 runDisney Princess Half Marathon

When I saw the final weather forecast for race day, I knew my A goal (PR 1:40:04 and ideally under 1:35:59) was definitely unrealistic.

I still wasn't sure about B goal (1:43:51, which would be better than my 2011 time of 1:43:52) and was pretty confident I could still meet my C goal of under 1:45 if I ran smart and kept as cool as possible by pouring water over my head at every stop like I did during the warm Disney Marathon.

Despite having personal goals, the bigger quest was to come in the top 3 for the sister/sister team competition. I knew if I ran my potential and my twin ran under 2 hours we had a shot.

Well, when I saw my finish time was 1:44 rather than 1:40 I started losing hope about placing for the team awards

I decided to put on a happy face and go straight to the princess photo opps before changing into some dry clothes. After saying hi to Ariel and Snow White, I returned to the Race Retreat, grabbed my bag (no wait!), and stripped off the soaking wet clothes in the changing area (an awesome perk of the Race Retreat, they even had towels to dry off with!).

After emerging in a fresh outfit and dry shoes, I was trying to decide if I should look for the place to redeem my complimentary alcoholic drink coupon (mmmmm) or find a computer to track my twin. That's when Malinda gave me one of the biggest shocks of the weekend by appearing and declaring, "I kicked A$$!" 

I must admit my first response wasn't very kind (keep in mind I missed my A goal by 4:05 and B goal by 18 secs so I already felt deflated that I ruined our chances in the team competition). I came around, however, after chugging my mimosa and was incredibly proud and in awe of my twin's stellar time! She's not so slow after all! ;)

Later that evening we were sitting outside Beaches & Cream when I decided to check to see if the team results were posted. I was incredibly nervous and excited as I scrolled through page after page of open women's teams, then mothers/daughters. When I finally got to sister/sister and saw TwinsRunInOurFamily at the very top of the page I screamed in the crowd with absolutely no inhibitions, "WE WON!!" I couldn't believe it! Malinda and I hi-fived each other and whoo hoo'd in pure delight! Goal accomplished!!

I've never been big on team sports. I love running because it's just me against myself and I'm only responsible to me and not fellow teammates. Yet, runDisney events are something that my sister and I have enjoyed together since the beginning. So, it made sense for us to work together towards a common goal of placing in the top 3 of the sister/sister teams (I had no illusions about actually winning!). 

The best part of our win is that we really did achieve it together. Although we didn't run side-by-side like we did at Mickey and Minnie's Royal Family 5K, each of our individual performances were equally vital to the team win! Can't wait to do run together again in Boston at the BAA 5K on April 14!

We beat the 2nd team by just over a minute so if either of us slowed down just a few secs/mile we wouldn't be celebrating our win. Of course I'm pretty nosy, so I searched the photos for the other top teams and none of them stopped for character photo opps like Team TwinsRUNinOurFamily did. I had 11 pictures taken by MarathonFoto photographers that came out great!

I'm already counting the days until we get to defend our sister/sister team title at the 2014 Princess Half Marathon.

Prince Naveen, Leah, Princess Tiana
 Alice, Leah, Mad Hatter
 Princess Aurora, Prince Philip, Leah, Cinderella, Prince Charming
Leah & Genie
Leah & Pochontas 
 Pirate & Leah
 Belle & Leah
Leah & Gaston
Mushu, Leah & Mulan
Prince Mickey & Leah
Ariel & Leah
VILLAINS photo found! 
Leah & Snow White

Don't blink & you'll see @LeahCville!

Running through Cinderella's Castle

Crossing the Finish Line