Saturday, May 31, 2014

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

Last year, we joined more than 5,000 people in the inaugural Million Mile Run event organized by Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation to raise awareness of childhood cancer during the month of September (National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month).

This year, we’re ready to do it again! To find a cure for childhood cancer, we’re going the distance to help Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation reach one million miles.

To incorporate walking and cycling miles, the name of this month-long event has been changed to "Alex’s Million Mile – Run. Walk. Ride."

The goal is to collectively run, walk and/or ride one million miles to raise funds and increase awareness of the need to support childhood cancer research.

If twins run (walk and/or ride) in your family, please join our group and log your miles with us. Or, donate $2 or more and help us reach our fundraising goal. Thanks for your support!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Afghan Whigs at Ottobar: Malinda Ann Hill Meets Greg Dulli on Her 43rd Birthday

This happened. On my 43rd birthday. Greg Dulli smiled at me while I was talking to him!

I don't usually celebrate my birthday - or rather our birthday since I'm an identical twin.

And, I've never done anything special on New Year's Eve. 

Luckily, thanks to Melissa, Anne and the rest of The Congregation, I celebrated New Year's Eve in 2012 and my birthday tonight.

It has been an incredible journey (music, running, races and concerts) since Melissa, Anne and I first met at The Afghan Whigs reunion concert at The Bowery Ballroom on May 23, 2012.

I am grateful for social media for connecting me with Melissa and Anne as well as re-connecting me with The Congregation (FYI - The Congregation is a group of individuals who love The Afghan Whigs and all things related to Greg Dulli). Eons ago (otherwise know as the 90s), I was on The Congregation email listserv when I had AOL dial-up. Ouch! I am old. Today, The Congregation is on Facebook which makes it easier for us to connect with each other in spite of the evils of the platform.

While I have been known to live tweet or Instagram a concert or a race, tonight was not the time or place. I refrained from all iPhone use except for one photo with Melissa and Anne before the show and a photo with Greg after the show.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that most of the audience respected the band's request. Greg politely asked one guy not to use a flash and that was it from my perspective. Of course, I was fortunate to be directly in front of the stage so it was easy to be fully present in the moment.

During most of the shows I attended in 2012, I took at least a few photos or videos to share since amateur photography was encouraged. Tonight, I was grateful for the no photo policy so I had no temptation to take photos. I enjoyed being fully present at this show with no distractions from digital devices.

Similarly, I used to love to tweet and run. Tweeting while running was a way for me to connect with other runners. It served its purpose at the time but now I prefer to tweet before and after my run so I can focus on running in the moment and feeling the music while I run.

While I find the most meaning in music and running while I'm alone, I still race and go to concerts for the camaraderie. For me, concerts and races are all about the stories and the connections.

I do hope to write more about my moments and stories. But, it's easier for me to write in 140 characters or less.

In the meantime, please read this post by MamaDeak: Brooklyn, Boston, Baltimore - Maybe I Should be a Roadie. I am always inspired by Anne and her willingness to share her thoughts.

Thanks again to Greg Dulli, John Curley, Melissa, Anne and The Congregation for a night filled with music, joy, laughter, inspiration and gratitude.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Afghan Whigs - Tonight, Tonight, Tonight...

Me, Melissa & Anne on May 17, 2014
Tonight, tonight, tonight... I'll be at the The Afghan Whigs' show at the Ottobar in Baltimore with my 2 best mother runner friends - I like to refer to us as the "Congregation to Conquer Cancer" since we're part of the Whigs' Congregation of fans and we all run to fight cancer.

After running 5 personal records to The Afghan Whigs' new record, Do to the Beast, I may start running during the concert. ;-)

What's on your running playlist?

Do you have a favorite power song?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Why I Run Broad Street: Solace, Community and Sisterly Competition

Why I Run Broad Street: Solace, Community and Sisterly Competition
Originally Posted on WHYY Newsworks

Over the past two years, my identical twin, Leah, and I have shared our experiences on our blog, "Twins Run in Our Family," Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Much to our surprise, we've gained quite a following of runners, twins and/or parents of twins. We're often recognized at races when we wear our shirt that has our logo on the front and our tagline on the back: "If you're passing me, I'm Malinda. If I'm passing you, I'm Leah."

I started running in 1993 for fun, and I finished my first marathon in 1995. Since then, I have completed 12 more marathons and a few dozen races, including three Broad Street Runs. Over the past couple of years, I've become known for tweeting during races while wearing a sparkle skirt or costume. Sometimes I get called out by spectators for tweeting while running, but most of the time people are amazed that I can do both at the same time.

Leah started running in 2007 to lose weight. Since then, she has become a self-professed race addict, finishing more than 100 races, including 24 marathons. She races nearly every weekend and often wins her age group in local races in Charlottesville, Virginia. She has qualified for the Boston Marathon three times by completing a marathon in less than 3 hours and 45 minutes. She finished her first Boston Marathon last year and returned for her second time this year.

In 2010, I was diagnosed with gastroparesis, a condition that causes severe stomach pain, nausea and vomiting. There is no cure for gastroparesis and only a few treatments available with varying success rates. In 2011, I had a gastric neurostimulator (stomach pacemaker) implanted, which has provided some relief. My symptoms can be debilitating at times, but I continue to run whenever possible.

In 2012, our grandmother, affectionately known as "GG," died suddenly of lung cancer. Her unexpected death affected me profoundly. While the grief was intense, I found moments of solace while running.

Because of my experience with chronic illness and grief, I'm truly grateful for every step, and I'm determined to make my miles matter. I'd rather run in a charity race to raise awareness for a worthy cause than run a fast time. Sometimes, much to my surprise, I'm able to do both.

On March 17, 2012, 9 years to the day after Leah's brother-in-law, Michael, died from childhood leukemia, we decided to run together to make a difference. We joined Team Lemon to support Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer in memory of GG and Michael. Over the past two years we have raised awareness and over $2,000 for childhood cancer research.

I ran the Broad Street Run for the first time in 1999 when there were just over 7,000 runners. I ran for the second time in 2012 with over 35,000 runners, and I was happy to finish in 1:29:02.

It's been amazing to see running increase in popularity while people in the running community continue to be supportive of each other. Whether you run fast or slow, we all run together.

Last year, after being present during the tragedy at the Boston Marathon, I decided it was important for me to cheer on my fellow runners on Broad Street. My eyes were full of tears as I saw so many runners wearing red socks in support of Boston.

Yesterday, I was grateful for the opportunity to run Broad Street once again. It's an honor to participate in a race that means so much to so many people while benefiting so many worthy causes. Not only was I able to run to support Alex's Lemonade, I also ran my fastest 10 miler and finished in 1:16:23. Sometimes, it is possible to run for a good cause and a good time.

Why did you run Broad Street? Did you write a race recap? Share your link in the comments section and I'll add your link to the list below.

Adam Furlong's Photos - BSR Cheering

BK's Blog - Broad Street Run Recap

Cocktails and Quinoa - IBXrun10 and My Running Journey

Do It for Youself - 2014 Blue Cross Broad Street Run Race

Jessica Lawor - A Philadelphia Love Story: Broad Street Run Race Recap

Knead to Cook - Philadelphia - The Broad Street Ten Miler

The Midpack - Bandits, Broad Street and The Batman

Miss Adventures Running - Broad Street Run

Monster and Me - Broad Street Run Recap

Navel Gazing - Let the Slower Runners Run Repost

On the In Side - 2014 Broad Street Run Race Recap Part 1

Philadelphia Inquirer - Let the slower runners run by Jen A. Miller

Philly Mag - 10 Lessons from First Broad Street Run Newbie

Philly Mag - 10 Hilarious Signs from Broad Street Run

Philly Mag - Broad Street Run Guide

Philly Nerd Girl - Broad Street Run 2014

The R5 - Running Workout Recap April 28th - May 4th

Rob C Nagel - Success at the Broad Street Run

Runderella - Broad Street Run 2014 - My Favorite Race

RUNFM - Race Recap Broad Street 10 Miler

Running Around My Kitchen - Broad Street Run Recap

Running for the Average Joe - Broad Street Run Recap

Runaway Wonk - Race Review: Broad Street 10-Miler

Sisters Running The Kitchen - 2014 Race Recap

Tania Gail - Broad Street 10 Miler

Tomato Face Runs Again - Broad Street Run 2014 Recap Part 1

Tomato Face Runs Again - Broad Street Run 2014 Recap Part 2

The Triangle Independent Student Newspaper at Drexel University - In Reverence to the Runners

Ups and - Ugly Races - Broad Street Run

Women's Running - Girl Talk: Facing Disappointment

ICYMI - 2013 Recaps

And Her Little Dog Too - Broad Street Run 10-miler Race Recap - 2013

The bFIT Studio - Broad Street Run 10 Miler Recap

Victoria Friele - Broad Street Run in Philly

2014 Blue Cross Broad Street Run 10 Miler - Malinda's 5th Personal Record in 30 Days

Wow! I seriously surprised myself on Sunday. Thanks to The Afghan Whigs for their new record, Do to the Beast, which powered me to 5 personal records in 30 days!

And thanks to the twin powers from the flat Leah that I was carrying in my pocket! ;-)

May 4, 2014
Blue Cross Broad Street Run (10 Miler)

April 27, 2014
Run For Babies Philadelphia 10k

April 26, 2014
Narberth Cystic Fibrosis Run (5 Miler)

April 19, 2014

Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) 5k

April 5, 2014 

On Sunday, I placed 47th out of 2,067 (40-44), 587 out of 19,381 (female) and 2,838 out of 35,169 (overall)  In comparison, in 1999 I finished in 1:46:23  and placed 1,956 out of 2,248 (female). 

I finished exactly 30 minutes faster than 15 years ago. Wow - I do improve with age! ;-)

You catch a glimpse of me racing towards the finish line thanks to @IBXrun10's video on Instagram!

It's not too late to donate to Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. No donation is too small to fighting childhood cancer. Text LEMONADE E1113338 to 85944 to donate $10 or visit our fundraising page to donate $2 or more: Thanks for your support!

Did you know you can run, walk, bike or swim any race with Team Lemon with no fundraising minimum? Visit their website for more information or like their page on Facebook.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

2014 Blue Cross Broad Street Run 10 Miler with Alex's Lemonade's Team Lemon

I'm ready to take on Broad Street with @AlexsLemonade's Running Lemon! Leah and I LOVE this image of the Running Lemon taking on Broad Street and we wish the best of luck to all runners from Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation's Team Lemon! Leah will be our cheer leader from cyber space and I hope to run into other Team Lemon runners and ALSF staff on Sunday. We're still raising money through our "TWINS RUN BOSTON" fundraising page and no donation is too small to fight childhood cancer! You can donate $2 or more online or text LEMONADE E1113338 to 85944 to donate $10. Thanks so much for your support!

So, I told myself I'd never run Broad Street again - but I've learned to never say never. ;-) I'm ready to run my 3rd (and probably last Broad Street Run) on Sunday, May 4th. I couldn't resist running on "May the Fourth Be With You" - and hopefully the force will power me to a PR! ;-)

A Goal: 1:23:12 (PR)
C Goal: #TweetAndRun for FUN! :-)

Fighting childhood cancer, one mile at at time!

For more information about Team Lemon:

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Twin Powers Activate - 4 PRs in 23 Days

The slower 1/2 of @TwinsRun is catching up to the faster 1/2! In just 23 days, @MalindaAnnHill ran 4 personal records for the marathon, 5k, 5 mile & 10k! She is still chasing the unicorn, but @LeahCville better watch her back! ;-)

Saturday, April 5
Charlottesville Marathon
3:56:14 (PR)

Saturday, April 19
Boston Athletic Association 5K
23:11 (PR)

Saturday, April 26
Narberth Cystic Fibrosis 5 Mile Run
39:38 (PR)

Sunday, April 27
Run For Babies Philadelphia 10k
49:08 (PR)

Next up - the Broad Street Run on Sunday, May 4th!
Can I beat my 10 Mile PR (1:23:13)?
Or, beat my course record (1:29:02)?

Do you run with your twin?
Do you run to catch up to your twin?