Lessons from My Worst Race

Erika, Patty and April posed an interesting question for today’s Tuesday on the Run topic: What was your worst race? Worst kind be defined a lot of different ways – missed goals? horrible weather?  injury? DNF?

For me the race came to mind immediately – the Wicked Half Marathon.  countdown_wickedHalfYou can read about the full debacle here. This was an ugly race for me because I was sick. In hindsight, I knew I didn’t feel well when I left that morning for the drive up to Salem, but I ignored the early warning signs and went anyway. I knew something was off as I waited for the race to begin…again I didn’t heed the warning. You see where this is going, right? Long story short, the wheels came off the wagon a mere 5 miles into the race. I made my first ever in-the-middle-of-a-race porta potty stop, briefly considered the nearby med tent but instead chose to keep going. I went from a run, to a shuffle, to a walk. And yes I did finish, but I was so sick afterwards that I had to wait around almost an hour post-race before I could drive myself home. (Turned out I was at the front-end of a virus that stuck around for several days!)

Lessons learned?

Listen to your body! — Yes there are times to push your limits, but it’s most important to heed the warning signals your body is giving you. There will always be another race.

My kids are a great source of motivation — They eagerly ran, walked and cheered me through the course. As always, they were a great source of inspiration!

Runners are wonderfully supportive — I met some great runners along the course who stopped to check on me and encourage me. And I bonded with many other “walking wounded” all determined to finish the route.

Mental toughness will carry you a long way — While physically my body had given up on this race early on, I still found a way to will myself on. It’s an experience I’m sure I’ll reflect on, the next time a race gets tough.

What was your worst race? What did you learn from it?





Friday Five – Race Memories

Linking up with the fun ladies of the DC Trifecta again this Friday. Today’s theme – Race Memories…so come take a little walk down memory lane with me!


Boston’s Run to Remember — My first half marathon! Without a doubt, this will go down as one of my all time favorite race experiences! My whole family turned out in force all along the course to support me, and my husband surprised me by ordering matching shirts for everyone. Best cheer squad ever. I smiled the whole race! (Recap HERE)IMG_0717






Philadelphia Half Marathon — This was the first time I’d traveled to a race. I just loved everything about this race experience – as you can see from this picture 🙂 Loved the course and the crowd support — so much so that I’m going back this November! (Recap HERE)


ZOOMA Cape Cod Half — What made this race fun was all about the people! I was a race ambassador and the other ambassadors were a great group of ladies to get to know. Also got to meet Sarah & Dimity of Another Mother Runner fame. But best of all it was a fun girls weekend with my running buddy E – we both PR’d and had a blast together! (Recap HERE)


The Time I Played Race DirectorYep one of my favorite race memories is of a race I didn’t even run. A couple of years ago I took on the crazy, stressful and very rewarding task of being race director for the local 5K and kids’ fun runs to benefit my sons’ school. I was both thrilled and exhausted by the time the day was done, and I had developed a serious appreciation for all that goes into race planning. A very worthwhile experience and while everyone can’t play race director, I seriously encourage every runner to volunteer at a race at least once! (Recap HERE)

My Son’s 1st 5K — For those of you who’ve been around here for a while I’m sure you’re not surprised to see this one on the list of my top race memories! Nothing better than watching your child push themselves to reach a goal…and being asked to come along for the ride 🙂 (Recap HERE)  picmonkey_image (5)

Be sure to check out the link-up with Cynthia, Courtney & Mar — I’m looking forward to reading about everyone’s memories!




Friday Five – Great cause, Burpees and other stuff

Hello Friday!

Coffee cup in hand and dog by my feet and a little this and that coming your way….

Stop Stroke Shuffle — Dani over at Weight Off My Shoulders is hosting the Stop Stroke Shuffle 5k virtual race. Dani is once again representing Tedy’s Team at the Boston Marathon and raising money for the American Stroke Association. Proceeds from this virtual race will go towards Dani’s goal of raising $5,000. I plan to run this in honor of my grandfather. Click on the cute medal below to join in!


FFBURPEE#FFBurpee 1000 Burpee Challenge — OK I’ll admit this is a tough one for me….I loathe burpees! They’re hard and truthfully I’m not very good at doing them, but they are effective.

FitFluential is teaming up with Under Armour for this challenge – the goal is to complete 1,000 burpees by February 28th. No that’s not a typo…1,000! Need some extra incentive? How about a complete outfit from Under Armour…not to mention the positive effects on your physique! Check out the details HERE and join me (I’ll need the encouragement 🙂 )

Race Bait & Switch — Have you ever registered for a race only to have the race director announce just days before the start that there’s now a pace restriction? Yep! When I registered for this  5-miler last month there was no mention of needing to maintain a particular pace, yet in the race director’s email yesterday he casually mentions that they’re facing time constraints and runners should plan to maintain a <9 min pace or drop down to the newly added 5K. Not cool in my book! I had already decided to take a pass because this head cold has made speedwork non-existent.

Super Bowl — As a diehard football fan I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that Super Bowl Sunday is just days away. I still haven’t gotten over my beloved Patriots’ u-g-l-y loss in the AFC Championship game. But, we do love football in the RWA household so I will be making jambalaya for the event (it’s tradition), and cheering on the Seahawks!  Any traditional Super Bowl dishes in your house?

…oh and don’t forget the Bulu Box deal ends today!



Here we go again

It’s been school vacation week here and I will admit this is usually a week I dread because it’s usually too cold to be outdoors and every museum, movie theater, arcade, bowling ally or other possible indoor activity is jam-packed with other desperate parents looking to keep the kids entertained.

But despite my apprehension it’s been a good week – We’ve kept the boys busy with skiing and snowboarding, sledding, board (and yes, some video) games, and time with friends. While my running has definitely taken a backseat this week, there’s been some cross-training and my boys have really gotten into the 30-day ab challenge with me 🙂

Once again we’re expecting another snow storm this weekend – yes that’s the third weekend in a row for those of you keeping track! tired20of20snow

The local weather people can barely contain their excitement while I’m seriously not looking forward to another round of cross-training in the form of shoveling.

And, once again I’m scheduled to get my first race in of 2013 – this time it’s the Frosty Virtual 5K/10K/Half Marathon to benefit the American Cancer Society. Since the snow/rain mess is due to kick in sometime Saturday afternoon my plan is to get out uber early on Saturday morning and get my 5K in before my son’s hockey game. At least I know this race won’t be canceled 😉

Are you racing this weekend?
Or have a date with a snow shovel?


The race that didn’t happen

So Mother Nature was in a mood this weekend and Sunday’s race didn’t happen. When a race director describes the conditions as “treacherous” thanks to a combination of a couple of inches of snow and 45 mph winds – I’m good with the decision to postpone the race.

What I was not good with was the email from the race director I received later that said they were not going to reschedule (as they had originally announced), but instead cancel the race! I think if you’re going to host a race in New England in February you should have contingency plans in place that account for the weather. Leaving 1,000 runners with no alternative but a $10 off next year’s registration didn’t sit well with me… and I told the director as much.  I was not looking for a refund but a good faith effort to move forward with the race and I’m just not certain that every effort was made to find a way to reschedule the race in the few hours that passed between the decision to postpone and the decision to cancel.

I’ve had a race postponed due to weather safety issues before and I remember how thrilled all of us runners were when the race was rescheduled – it was a great day out on the course and the runners literally applauded the race director and volunteers for getting it done. Needless to say I returned to run that race again the following year.

Have you ever had a race canceled? How did you feel about it?


First race this weekend!

My first race of 2013 is Sunday – the Wampanoag Old-Fashioned 10 Miler.

2012-OFTM Logo (Small)

(Yes this is last year’s poster)

I ran this race last year with my husband J as a tune up to the RnR USA half marathon. It was a fun race on a nice course and right after the race I pretty much decided that I would run it again this year.

I like the timing of this race – it has kept me motivated to keep hitting some double digit runs post-holidays…something that, given the frigid temps and snowy conditions we’ve had, I have definitely needed. I’m so psyched my friend E will be running this one with me — this will be her first 10 mile race! It’s suppose to snow Saturday night so it could make for interesting conditions. We’ll be keeping our goals pretty flexible and see what the course gives us….and, of course, have fun!

Anyone else racing this weekend?


Monday randomness & a winner

Another un-caffeinated post on a Monday morning….

  • I’d really like someone to explain to me why my son’s hockey games must all start at 7 on a Sunday morning?!?!? It’s going to be a very long season….
  • So race week craziness has returned as I count down the days to this Sunday’s race. As I mentioned HERE I don’t fare well during these weeks!
    • Big goal this week is to try to get enough sleep – something I’ve been sorely lacking of late.
    • While I am looking forward to taking a break from a training plan, I’m already eyeing 6 – 8 races for next year. Haven’t pulled the trigger on any of them yet…oh my poor credit card!

    Yurbuds Winner!

    Thanks to all of you who entered the Yurbuds giveaway — the playlist suggestions were great! And, with the help of Random.org, the winner is lucky #7 Jen from Hello Fitness We Meet Again. Jen, please email me at runningwithattitude@yahoo.com. Congrats!

    Anyone else started shopping 2013 races yet?

    February Rewind

    Good things for the month:
    • 81 miles – my second highest monthly total ever since I’ve started running!
    • Set a 10 mile PR!
    • One of the mildest February’s on record helped continue my outdoor running streak.
    • Left leg continues to feel good (Dr. Needles will be proud)!

    Things I could do without:
    • Missed my goal mileage – while I missed a few runs due to the kids’ school vacation week, the bigger factor here is that I may not be a 5-day a week runner. I missed some runs for no other reason than my body needed the rest. I made sure to hit all my quality runs (long runs, tempo, speedwork) but punted on some of the recovery/easy runs.
    • Had no time to dedicate to making the switch to WordPress. Blogger continues to be twitchier and twitchier (yes that’s a technical term!), so I still want to make the change.

    On the decks for March:

    • While I did incorporate more yoga in February I still haven’t made it to a Bikram class. Determined to get one in this month.
    • 100 miles.
    • More consistent core & strength work.
    • Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Half!

    Friday Five

    • Weathermen in the Boston area are just giddy as they track the Nor’easter heading our way tomorrow. This in addition to the snow that arrived last night. It was just a mere two weeks ago that they were all a flutter over the “record heat” of Columbus Day weekend, and now this. Mother Nature’s twisted sense of humor continues….
    • Given that I raced that weekend and will race again this weekend – I’m not amused. I could care less about snow…I grew up in New England I’m use to it. But, Fall’s my favorite time of year so I’m feeling a little gypped these days. OK, my weather whine is over 🙂
    • J’s joining me for Sunday’s race! We’ll be running a great local race – J’s taking on the 10K and I’ll be doing the 5K. I haven’t run a 5K since this race last year – should be fun!
    • Did you know that there are only 57 days until Christmas? I’m vowing to get out in front of the madness this year – to start planning menus, gifts, cards, etc. early so there’s also time to actually kick back and enjoy the holidays instead of getting to New Year’s Day exhausted.

      •  And, speaking of the holidays – if you’re looking for a little added motivation during this season, check out the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge sponsored by Amanda at Run To the Finish I participated last year, along with 500 others. Amanda does a great job putting this challenge together with great prizes for a little added incentive! Definitely head over to her site and check out the details.

      Good Luck to Everyone Racing This Weekend!

      Run Strong and Have Fun!

      On the Streets of Philadelphia

      I’ve decided to go for my 3rd half this year and just registered for the Philadelphia Half Marathon!

      As you know I’ve been debating taking on a 3rd for a while now but J had urged me to wait until after Providence to see how I felt before pulling out the credit card again. Well the truth is I knew about mid-way through running Providence that I would be doing this again. And by the time I was sitting at home that night with ice on my leg, I was 100% certain I wanted to get one more in before the year’s end.

      So…here we go again…Philly here I come!