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, 3:54:58 would've been a 2016 BQ. 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 "LEMONADE 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

Rock N Roll DC Half Marathon - 2015 Race Recap by Breathe Deeply and Smile

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

Today we remember Michael, Leah's brother-in-law, who died on St. Patrick's Day 2003. 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.

We joined Team Lemon to raise money for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation in memory of Michael on St. Patrick's Day. Since 2012, we have raised over $2,876 and we hope to continue to raise more money to fund research and support families affected by childhood cancer.

No donation is too small to fight childhood cancer with Alex's Lemonade!

Thanks for your support!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Rock N Roll DC Marathon Goals

I used to describe myself as the "go with the flow" slow(er) half of @TwinsRun. My easy-going attitude changed when I decided that I wanted to catch-up to the faster half so that we could run the Boston Marathon together.

Leah ran her 1st Boston Marathon in 2013 and she will run her 3rd on April 20.

I've tried (and failed) to qualify for the Boston Marathon (BQ) 5 times since 2012. I've learned some important lessons with each attempt so I was very disappointed when I didn't qualify in Philly. Even though I failed multiple times, I won't give up until I age up and get an extra 10 minutes in 2017. ;-)

To qualify for the 2016 Boston Marathon I need to finish in 3:45. For the best chance at being accepted, I need to finish in 3:43:58 or less.

So, my goals for the Rock 'n' Roll DC Marathon this Saturday are:

A = 3:42:58 (BQ sub 2:02)
B = 3:45:00 (BQ)
C = 3:47:41 (PR)

*I'm determined to finish, if at all possible. The temperature and rain are variables that could definitely affect my ability to meet my A, B or C goals. If necessary, I'll consider the 1st 20 miles a long training run and then walk the final 6.2 miles to save legs for the Charlottesville Marathon on 4/4.

To put my current goals into perspective, I thought I should take a look back at my last 15 marathons:

3:47:42 Philadelphia Marathon (2014)
4:23:56 Rivanna Greenbelt Marathon (2014)
3:56:14 Charlottesville Marathon (2014)
4:04:40 Philadelphia Marathon (2013)
4:04:21 Bank of America Chicago Marathon (2013)
4:34:01 Walt Disney World Marathon (2013)

4:00:57 Philadelphia Marathon (2012)
4:05:58 Chicago Marathon (2012)

4:40:59 Philadelphia Marathon (2011)
5:12:17 Walt Disney World Marathon (2010)
4:39:52 Charlottesville Marathon (2009)
4:21:38 Walt Disney World Marathon (2009)

4:16:37 Philadelphia Marathon (2008)
5:??:?? The SF Marathon (1998)
4:12:58 Marine Corps Marathon  (1995)

Monday, March 9, 2015

Running a Marathon in the Rain - Tips for a Rainy Race Day

#RnRDC Marathon Forecast*
66** % Chance of Rain

*Update as of Wednesday, March 11

I've been checking the weather forecast for the Rock 'n' Roll DC Marathon for the past few weeks thanks (or no thanks) to Now, it's very likely that it's going to rain. In theory and in training, I'm not opposed to running in the rain. I have also raced in some freezing rain and drizzle. However, I never ran a marathon in rain. So, needless to say, I'm beginning to panic. When I'm not in panic mode, I've been scouring the internet for rainy day race tips.

Do you have any tips for racing in the rain?

Here are some rainy day race tips I found that I plan to use:

* Wear different pair of shoes before race

* Wear GORE-TEX running shoes during race

* Dress in tight, water-resistant, moisture wicking layers

* Wear gloves and brimmed hat during the race

* Use anti-friction cream to prevent chafing that can occur when running in wet clothing

* Seal iPhone inside a Ziploc bag inside water-resistant hip carrier

* Cut hole in bottom of garbage bag to wear prior to race and remove just before start

* Stay indoors or under covered space for as long as possible before race

* Stay with group if it's windy and avoid puddles whenever possible

* Change into dry clothes, socks and shoes as soon as possible after race

* Dry out shoes by stuffing with newspaper

If you are looking foor more rainy day race tips, visit these blogs & websites:

10 tips for running a marathon in the rain, cold and wind

Running a Marathon in Bad Weather (@Runners_Connect)

Rain Racing (@RunnersWorld)

Top 10 Tips for Running in the Rain (@50by25)

Racing in the Rain: 7 Tips from Runners (@rUnladylike)

Lessons from Running a Marathon in the Rain - Successes and Failures (@RunToMunch)

21 Tips for Running a Marathon Under the Rain (@thebullrunner)

How to Run Your Best Race in the Rain (@SaltyRuns)

Rain on Marathon Day - Tips and Tricks (@RunAndJumpBlog)

Running in the Rain (@MarathonsAndMacarons)

Marathon Training in All Weather (@WorldRunningCom)

Running in the Rain (@WomensHealthMag)

8 Tips for Running in the Rain (@lafenske)

Prepping for Rainy Weather Conditions (@IRun4Wine)
** Normally, I love to see the number 66 since it's one of my favorite songs by The Afghan Whigs. So, while I mentally prepare myself for a rainy attempt to BQ, I will console myself by watching as many versions of this song as possible. ;-)