Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Lemon Run

Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation's 5th Annual Lemon Run Philadelphia 5K Run/Walk and Kids’ Dash presented by Volvo will be held on Sunday, November 10 at Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park.

The Lemon Run raises funds and awareness for childhood cancer. The Lemon Run is a fun way for 2,000 runners and walkers, including several childhood cancer heroes and there families, to get involved in Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation’s quest to find better treatments and cures for all kids with cancer.

The Kids’ Dash (100 meters for children 10 and under) begins at 8am and the 5K Run/Walk (3.1 miles for runners and walkers) begins at 8:30am.

You can participate as a virtual runner if you aren't in Philadelphia on November 10. Supporters from across the country and around the world will run or walk their own 5K on the day of The Lemon Run.

Online Registration until 12pm on November 6:
$35 for 5K Runner (timed)
$25 for 5K Walker (not timed)
$15 for 100 meter Kids’ Dash (age 10 and under, not timed)
$25 for Virtual Participant (receive t-shirt by mail)

On-Site Registration beginning at 7am on November 10:
$45 for 5K Runner
$35 for 5K Walker

The Lemon Run Schedule:
7am           Check-in / On-Site Registration Opens
8am           Kids’ Dash (100 Meters for children 10 and under)
8:29am      Hero Run
8:30am      5K Begins
9:30am      Hero Speaker & Awards Ceremony

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Twins Run 2 It Playlists

Do you run 2 music?
Twins Run 2 It!
Yes, we entered another contest. ;-)
If you'd Run To It, then vote for our
@TwinsRun in Our Family Playlist(s)!

Thanks for your support! :-)

(PART 1)
Playlist by @LeahCville
Britney Spears - Work Bitch
Big Time Rush - 24/7
Beastie Boys - Sure Shot
The Airborne Toxic Effect - Timeless
Imagine Dragons - It's Time
Yellow Ostrich - Marathon Runner
Sara Bareilles - Brave
Celeste Buckingham - Run, Run, Run
Fall Out Boy - The Phoenix
R5 - Pass Me By
Would you run to this?
If yes, then VOTE: 

(PART 2)
Playlist by @LeahCville
30 Seconds to Mars - Up in the Air
The Ceremonies - Land of Gathering
Die Warzau - Suck It Up
Eminem - Berzerk
Fifth Harmony - Miss Movin' On
Icona Pop - All Night
Krewella - Live for the Night
Synthetic Division - The Rain
Bella Morte - On the Edge
The Killers - All These Things that I've Done
Would you run to this?
If yes, then VOTE: 

Monday, October 21, 2013

2013 Chicago Marathon Race Report

By @LeahCville

I'll miss you personalized TWINS RUN shirt!

In the 2-3 weeks before the 2013 Chicago Marathon, as I continually weather stalked the forecast, I decided that if temperatures weren’t comparable to the near-perfect conditions that lead to my PR last year (3:36:35, 38 degrees at the start, 46 at the finish), I would completely scratch out my A/B goals (A goal = 3:35, -5 min BQ; B goal = 3:36:34 PR). My revised C goal would be to BQ by at least -1:38 (3:43:22), the time needed to gain entry into the 2014 Boston Marathon and a somewhat safe bet on a 2015 qualifying time.

I admit that my confidence in running to my potential was seriously rattled after the 2013 Boston Marathon when I ran far short of my goal, yet persevered to a 3:53:07, only after contemplating just throwing in the towel and walking. The irony is that when I saw my goal of running 3:40 in Boston slip away by the 10 mile point, I rallied and changed my goal to running my 3rd fastest time (under 3:54:47) because I didn’t want to have a “bad memory” of the race. Little did I know at the time, that things would get much worse than not meeting a time goal.

So after much deliberation, I decided that instead of running with the 3:35 pace group like I did last year, I would start out with the 3:40 group and hope I could hold on for the entire race. Knowing my history of running 20 marathons with a positive split (yes, only 1 of my 21 marathons, my 2nd, was a negative split!), I had a feeling that I would probably do so again and thought that if I started at 3:40 pace, I could slow down 3:22 in the 2nd half and still meet my goal (or, worst case scenario, slow down 5 minutes and be a BQ squeaker). Last year I ran the 2nd half 3:35 slower (1:46:30 and 1:50:05).

Malinda sporting a custom Boston Strong
sparkle skirt from Rock City Skirts.

The Boston Marathon was heavily on my mind during the entire trip. I wore my 2013 Boston Marathon jacket with pride and was happy to talk to anyone who stopped me on the street to share my story of the race. Before the walking to the starting line, my twin and I met with a reporter and were interviewed about our experiences as a runner and spectator at the 2013 Boston Marathon and how it affected our plans for the Chicago Marathon.

As we made our way to the starting line, my twin and I posed for countless pre-race photos. However, only one was in the sunlight (and sadly, in that natural lighting shot, I was photobombed by a highway sigh). Darn the flash for uncovering every flaw in your complexion!

We went out with the 3:40 pace group and after running behind them for 2-3 miles, I decided to go in front so I could just run my own pace and not freak out that I was only a few steps from losing them. This could have been a mistake since I did speed up slightly from the goal pace of 8:24 (my first four 5K splits were 8:18, 8:18, 8:22, 8:21).

During the 30K, the pace group that I had been ahead of for the entire race, finally passed me. I started to freak out a bit. I knew that last 5K was considerably slower (8:35 pace) and if I wanted to reach my goal, I’d have to push it into a new gear instead of continuing to slow down. At this point, my tank top was already on the side of the road (I ditched that around mile 13), and I decided to double up on pouring water on my head. This really helped and I was able to run the next 5K faster (8:28 pace).

With 6 miles to go, I reached the bargaining and math stage – if you just run one more mile at this pace, you can slow down for the rest of the race and still reach your goal.

Uh oh. My MP3 player isn't working!

Then with three miles to go disaster struck, my MP3 player froze and I no longer had my power songs to push me through. Thank goodness the crowd support was so intense, it kept me going (I only wish I would have had my shirt with my name on it so I could hear people call my name those last few miles!).

When I hit the 40K point, I started to panic a bit. There seemed to be runners down with medics with even more frequency, others walking slowly in obvious pain. Even though I knew I could reach my goal if I ran a 10 minute mile pace, I couldn’t help but wonder what I would do if something new started hurting, or I stumbled over a runner who stopped suddenly in front of me. I was so cautious and focused at this point that I felt like I was clinging onto my goal for dear life. Seeing so many people on the ground or zombie-like with less than a mile to go really freaked me out. I don’t think I’ve ever been so nervous and scared during the last mile of a race. I had made it this far, the thought of being so close and not running a BQ was terrifying. I started feeling like I was going to throw up (something that never happened to me in a race) and my shoes were so soaked it was like running on sponges! I think that’s probably why my last mile, especially the last .2 mi was so slow, I didn’t dare risk “sprinting” to the end, for fear I’d pull something and then be on the ground too!

Whoo hoo! I met my goal. PHEW!

I think I was happier at the finish line this year, running 6 minutes slower, than I was in 2012 when I ran a PR. Last year, I was disappointed because I really wanted to run under 3:35 and I felt like I blew it the last 4.5 miles. This year, I could have easily given up during miles 16-18, but I focused and pushed through it. I still slowed down more than I wanted to, but I achieved my goal by almost a minute 3:42:23 (-2:37).

I was grateful that we were forced to walk so long through the finish area because otherwise I might have ended up in a ball on the side of the road succumbing to the nauseous and cramping. As soon as I got to the Balboa Tent I went up to runner tracking to find out how my twin did. I was really hoping she had qualified too, but I lost touch with her around the ½ way point so I had no idea what happened. When I found out she ran 4:04, I knew she’d be just as sad as I was in 2011 when I was on pace for a BQ up until the half, but ended up finishing 4:07. I know my sister was disappointed and upset, but I also know she will qualify just like I did. This was just her first attempt at a BQ. I made about 4-5 serious attempts before I finally made it. I have complete confidence in her, because it’s genetic. If I can do it, so can she!


1. Make sure to have at least 3-4 race goals (and one of them should be to finish or to drop out if that's the best choice). All stars must align for you to reach your A goal, but that doesn't mean all is lost. As long as you have different levels of success in your mind, you can still finish with a sense accomplishments. I'm still working towards my goal of one more negative split marathon! (I'm definitely trying for that at the Dopey Challenge!)

2. Practice postive self-talk and have a few mantras to get you through the last 6 miles. I kept thinking "BOSTON" and "EACH MILE IS A GIFT."

3. Listen to your body and make adjustments. I always drink gatorade and not water during marathons, but I felt like the gatorade was making me sick, so I stuck to bananas and water for the 2nd half of the race.

4. I'd rather run through a little discomfort than full-on fatigue! The first 6 miles I was quite aware of my hip and piriformis. I was definitely not running painfree, but I was able to manage it and still maintain my goal pace. It wasn't until the sun was blazing and I started feeling tired that the miles got tougher.

6. Don't always trust your Garmin, especially if you're in a city with lots of tall buildings! I hardly looked at my watch during the race because I knew it wouldn't be accurate. Luckily I only ran 26.37 miles, but I know others whose watches said they ran 27! One of the best things about a race that's large and part of the World Marathon Majors is that you get 5K splits (same with Boston). I LOVE DATA! It's so fun to compare accurate splits from year to year.

7. POWER SONGS! I love finding songs that have a line or two that summarizes what I'm trying to do on the course. i.e., "I can't let you, can't let you pass me by.", "you better run run run", "We always dreamed about this better life, this better life" (For all the songs on my 2013 Chicago Playlist, you can visit my music page.)

8. THANK THE VOLUNTEERS! I made sure to say thank you to every single person who handed me a cup of water (especially since I think I might have splashed a few as I poured the contents over my head!). I can't imagine standing out there for hours without getting some encouragement, especially since they aren't getting paid! So if you have the energy, don't forget to say "Thanks!"

9. Sometimes you get what you pay for and some times you don't, but if there's an "upgrade" option at a race, I usually take it! The Balboa Tent at the Chicago Marathon isn't cheap, but, for me, it's worth the money. A warm place to hang out before the race, easy bag drop, pre- and post-race food, and post-race massages are nice amenities to have. The Chicago Marathon isn't cheap to begin with, but it's a first class experience - from an amazingly organized packet pick-up, to free runner tracking, to an amazing race shirt and results book. The World Marathon Majors are top notch races and, if you can, I'd highly recommend attending at least one!

10. I love race photos! My fave is the one below. I'm looking focused (and am in focus, ha!). I can't believe I don't look more in angst because this was close to the end! There are plenty of other pictures where I'm definitely NOT smiling! :)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Boulevard of Broken Dreams - Coping with Marathon Disappointment

I hadn't heard this song for years and then I heard it on Monday. I laughed and then I cried (sort of). I dreamed of and trained for a BQ. But, I didn't reach my goal in Chicago. Leah and I ran together for 12 miles. But, then I hit the "Great Wall" in Chinatown... she ran on and I walked alone. It was a definitely a "Boulevard of Broken Dreams." Yes, I am disappointed and I will wallow for a bit. But, then I will try again. I have not given up on my goal to BQ.

Last year, I was caught in a tweet and run. Sunday, I was caught in a walk and marathon. ;-)

I may not have reached my goals, but I finished with my 2nd fastest time. 

BTW...Nike Plus was way off again. Although, it felt like 27.7 miles!

Massage me!

Did you run the Chicago Marathon?

Did you meet your race goals?

How do you cope with race disappointment?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Chicago Marathon Results

We ran almost 1/2 of Chicago Marathon together.
We started off with the 3:40 Nike Plus pace group.
Unfortunately we parted ways during the 2nd half.
Leah was passing and Malinda was being passed!

Official Results
Leah @ 3:42:23 (BQ)
Malinda @ 4:04:21

We are waiting to receive our race photos from MarathonFoto so our race reports are in progress. In the meantime, in case you missed our previous Chicago Marathon race recaps, here are a few links to our previous posts:
We Need a Medal for Dropping Out
Chicago Marathon PRs
Leah's Chicago Marathon Race Recap
Caught in the Act of a Tweet and Run
I Run for GG

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Chicago Marathon Goals

Malinda's Goals

A Goal: 3:37:35 (Leah's PR +1)
B Goal: 3:39:59 (2015 BQ -5)
C Goal: 3:44:59 (2015 BQ)
D Goal: 3:50:57 (PR -10)
E Goal: 3:55:58 (Course record -10)
F Goal: 3:59:57 (PR -1)

Update 10/13: In retrospect I should have added another goal or two. ;-)

G Goal: 4:04:58 (Course Record -1)
H Goal: Finish

Fortunately, I surpassed my "G" Goal and finished in 4:04:21.

Now, it's time to read Leah's post "We Need a Medal for Dropping Out" on how to deal with a disappointing race.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

runDisney with Team Lemon

Did you know that you can runDisney with Team Lemon?

Join Team Lemon
Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
January 8-12, 2014

Team Lemon is Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation's national athletic program, inviting all athletes to make a difference in the lives of those affected by childhood cancer. Team Lemon has race slots available in the Half Marathon, Full Marathon, Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge (the Half and Full Marathon combined) and the Dopey Challenge (5K, 10K, Half and Full Marathon combined). If you are interested in any of the race entries, visit

Monday, October 7, 2013

Twins Run Chicago Marathon

Just a few more days until our next race together...

We run 2gether 2 fight childhood cancer!
No donation is 2 small 2 fight childhood cancer!
Can you donate $2 2day?
Thanks for your support!

@LeahCville & @MalindaAnnHill are identical twins but opposite runners. Malinda is the "go with the flow" slower 1/2 who prefers to tweet, instagram & run marathons (4:00:57). Leah is the "Garmin obsessed" faster 1/2 who prefers to run as many races as possible while qualifying for the Boston Marathon (3:35:36) x 2!.

Michael, Leah's brother-in-law, was diagnosed with leukemia as a child. Michael kept fighting cancer with his inspiring Irish spirit, so it was very bittersweet when he died on St. Patrick's Day 2003.

The twins' grandmother, affectionately know as GG, was diagnosed with cancer on Friday, July 13, 2012 and died on Monday, July 16, 2012.

TWINS RUN together to fight childhood cancer, in memory of Michael & GG. Follow @TwinsRun as we prepare to run our 2nd Chicago Marathon together on October 13, 2013.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Our Doubts Are Traitors

Our doubts are traitors, 
and make us lose the good we oft might win, 
by fearing to attempt.”
William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

What's your training mantra?
What's your marathon mantra?