2016 RnR Philly Race Recap

(Disclosure: As a member of the Rock’n’Blog team, I received a free race entry and VIP upgrade. As always, all opinions are mine!)

On Sunday, I ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon – my 10th half marathon!

I’ve been trying to figure out what to say about this race. As you all know, this was my first half marathon after a two year hiatus. This was not a goal race – just a re-introduction to the distance. But, you know I like to keep it real here, so I’ll be honest, this was not the triumphant return I had secretly hoped for. No…I did not have a goal time, but I had wanted (and expected) to run this much faster than I did.

So settle in while I share the good, bad…and downright u-g-l-y of Sunday’s race.

Janelle & I pre-race

The Good….
Blogger meet-ups! Once I arrived at the race, I made a beeline for the VIP tent to meet up with Janelle from Run with No Regrets. It was so nice to finally meet – she’s as nice as she seems from her blog! We got to chat for a bit and soon Kathryn from Dancing to Running joined us. We made our way to the top of the “Rocky steps” to meet up for a “We Run Social” photo, where I finally got to meet Dani from Weight Off My Shoulders. I feel like I’ve known Dani for years – we couldn’t believe we just were finally meeting! It was fun to hangout with everybody and it helped me keep my mind off my nerves.


VIP Upgrade! While I didn’t take full advantage of the full VIP food spread, it was definitely nice to have food and drinks to readily available. And, porta potties with no lines? Enough said!

Race atmosphere! I love the RnR vibe and this race did not disappoint! I enjoyed the bands and cheer squads along the route, and even had one band’s guitarist come down off the stage to briefly rock out with me 🙂

The Bad…

While the VIP area was a nice perk, it would have been nice to have a way for non-running family to join at a reduced rate. My husband J couldn’t enter without us purchasing a full price package at the expo – the main reason I skipped returning to the VIP area post-race.

My fueling – I woke up with no appetite and as a result my pre-race fueling was sparse. I forced myself to choke down a banana, but could only manage a bite or two of my GU waffle. The wait in the corrals was long and by the time I was approaching the start my stomach started to growl…not good.

The Ugly…

on-the-courseThe humidity was soul-sucking and proved to be my complete undoing. Despite having run in the soupy muck for most of the summer, I could not find my rhythm. I felt ok through the first 5 miles but could feel a headache forming by mile 6.  By mile 7, I had stopped at a med tent for Tylenol, and by mile 9 I had a front row seat on the struggle bus. Despite my best efforts to stay hydrated and down Clif blocs (with extra salt), the humidity took its toll.  I reminded myself that this was more of a training run than a race for me, but it was hard to not feel defeated. Time to shift my focus – I high-fived every kid along the course, encouraged other runners and started run/walk intervals.

Around mile 9, I was so grateful to come across fellow Rock’n’Blogger Nellie from Brooklyn Active Mama. We had run into each other just before the start and it was great to see her. She was so positive and we kept each other company for a couple of miles. My other saving grace was my amazing husband, who had rented one of those city bikes and was biking all over the course! At last the finish was in sight and I was done.


So #10 is done and training for Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn continues!


Wrapping up Race Week

Happy Monday all!

I’m back from Philadelphia and enjoying a much needed rest day after running the RnR Philly half yesterday. I’ll have much to say about Sunday in my recap later this week. But for now, I’m joining Holly and Tricia once again for the #WeeklyWrap link-up.


Monday, 9/12:  Yoga

Tuesday, 9/13:  3.2 mile run

Wednesday, 9/14:  6 mile progressive run with 1 mile warm-up and cool down

Thursday, 9/15:  Rest day

Friday, 9/16:  Final run of the week – 3 miles and the legs were feeling really good!

Saturday, 9/17:  I headed to Philadelphia with my husband. Travel was super easy and after dropping our bags at the hotel we headed for the expo. We breezed through packet pick-up and then my husband was very patient as I checked out all of the vendors. All of the Brooks T-shirts were super cute and I just couldn’t resist adding one to my collection. I also couldn’t resist a new headband from my fave Sparkly Soul, and picked up an organic multivitamin designed for runners. We took a walk and then wandered the Terminal Market for lunch (my gosh you can get lost in that place!) before heading back to the hotel to chill.


Sunday, 9/18: RnR Philly

So how was your week? Do you shop the expos or avoid them?



Friday Five – RnR Philly Goals

RnR Philly Race Weekend is here!

RnR Philly

I’m on a plane to Philadelphia tomorrow morning to run the RnR Philly Half on Sunday. My husband J will be traveling with me, while my kiddos get a “guy’s weekend” with my brother. I’ve got a bunch of errands to run and packing to do, but I thought I take a moment to share some goals for this weekend.

Complete the distance, upright and happy — It’s been 2 years since I’ve toed the line for a half marathon, so above all else, this race is about returning to 13.1, enjoying the ride, and laying the ground work for more to come!

Start slow — Even in my recent long runs, the RC coaches have been urging me to start much slower. I know I’m going to be super psyched at the start of the race, but the goal will be to start slow for the first couple of miles and gradually pick up the pace.

Finish strong — My last long training run was 11 miles and I sputtered through the last couple of miles. For Sunday, I’d like feel strong in the final few miles and be able to push to the finish.

Pay attention to hydration — It looks like Sunday will be humid…seriously, where is fall?!? I’m still on the fence about whether I’ll run with my hydration belt or my handheld…or just rely on the water stops. But the goal here is to be smart and stay well-hydrated.

Enjoy all of the RnR goodness — From meet-ups with some #RocknBlog teammates, to bands along the course, to the VIP upgrade (hello indoor bathrooms!), to the great atmosphere that is a Rock ‘n’ Roll race! I’m going to soak it all in!

Who else is race-bound this weekend?

I’m linking up with Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia for the #FridayFive.




RnR Philly Week 11 – Back to School Shuffle

I had fully planned to write a couple of posts this week…but then that phenomenon called “back to school” swept through my house leaving a trail of school forms, new schedules, and dazed kids in its wake.


Needless to say, it was a bit of “workout shuffle” as I worked around the kids being up earlier in the morning, figuring out the new bus schedule, and coordinating pick-ups. It was more of a workout-when-you-can kind of week vs workout-when-you-want-to. But, I did manage to (mostly) stick to my training plan.

Monday, 9/5:  Yoga – my hamstrings let me know it has been awhile since I’ve done any yoga. So needed!

Tuesday, 9/6:  4-mile run

Wednesday, 9/7:  Strength workout with Trainer Stacy, and my new gym BFFs, kettlebells.

Thursday, 9/8: Alternating tempo run from hell…ok I may be exaggerating a little. I decided to do this workout on the treadmill that way I could just set the pace and hope to hang on. This one was tough from start to finish. I struggled to hold the paces and overall it was slower than I wanted. In hindsight, I was a little intimidated by this workout when I saw it on my plan and let it psyche me out a bit. Running is so mental after all….

Friday, 9/9:  To shake off the creeping negativity, the RC coaches suggested that I might be better off with a rest day instead of the 3 miler on my plan. I agreed and spent the day catching up with a friend.

Saturday, 9/10:  A solid 7-miler to put the Negative Nellie back in check!

Sunday, 9/4: Rest day.

Joining Holly and Tricia once again for the #WeeklyWrap link-up.


How do you shake off a bad run?


RnR Philly Training – Week 10

Happy Labor Day!

I’m taking a quick moment out of what has been an enjoyable and lazy long weekend so far to join Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap. I love this link-up as it helps me to stay accountable on my training, and it’s such a great group of supportive women!

Even though, as I mentioned over coffee, I’ve switched up my goal races, I’m continuing to count down to #RnRPhilly since it’s the first big race on the horizon. So how did week 10 go?

Monday, 8/29:  Nice 3-miler. It was overcast and kinda felt…dare I say it…fall-like!

Tuesday, 8/30:  800 meter repeats. Dear lord when do these get easier?!? Probably not…5.25 miles done.

track shot2

Wednesday, 8/31: Strength day – Lots of core and resistance band work.

Thursday, 9/1: Allergies reared their ugly had with a vengeance which made sleeping tough. Lack of sleep and trouble breathing = rest day.

Friday, 9/2:  I don’t usually run on Fridays, but wanted to make up for missing Thursday’s run. Also it was a beautiful cool morning, so 3.5 miles happened.

Saturday, 9/3:  11 miles – I really wanted this to be a great run, especially since it was my last long run before Philly. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t 🙁  I was having a really solid run until mile 8…and then I wasn’t. Around mile 6 I started feeling a lot of discomfort in my right glute where it attaches to the hamstring. I took a short walk break and thought I had it under control, but in mile 9 the wheels completely came off the bus… I finished but not as strong as I had hoped.

Sunday, 9/4: Rest day.

My last couple of long runs have definitely been my nemesis, and I don’t know how that will translate on the streets of Philly. Only time will tell…

Are you training for anything right now?


RnR Philly Week 6 – Enjoying the Cutback

Hard to believe last week marked the half way point in training for RnR Philly. It was also my birthday week and my husband J planned a great birthday getaway to one of our favorite inns in the White Mountains. So it was perfect timing to see that the RC coaches had a cutback week on the training plan.

Monday, 8/1: Strength Day

Tuesday, 8/2:  Track workout — 400 meter repeats, plus warm up and cool down – 3.25 miles

Wednesday, 8/3: You know how crazed work becomes right before you take a few days off…yeah well that was this day! Yoga was necessary!

Thursday, 8/4:  Day off so I slept in until almost 9 (What?!?) and then got in 4 easy birthday miles, before a much needed mani/pedi – the hot stone leg message was the highlight!

Friday, 8/5: I swapped Saturday’s LSD to today and got it in super early before we left town. I ran 6.5 miles, and probably faster than I should have, but it was a picture perfect morning…and I was ready to head out of town 🙂

Saturday, 8/6: 4.25 miles of hiking. I thought it would have been cooler in the mountains, but surprisingly, not so much. But the scenery was beautiful and worth it.

White Mtns

Sunday, 8/7:  Rest Day

The inn we stayed in serves the biggest country breakfasts and amazing 5 course dinners – and we indulged to the fullest! It was a great weekend and now I’m having a hard time getting back to reality 🙂

rp_WeeklyWrap-1-300x300.jpgSo that’s my #WeeklyWrap! As always, big thanks to Holly and Tricia for hosting this linkup! By the way this wonderful linkup is celebrating its own birthday so be sure to stop by and see what this great group of bloggers are up to.


RnR Philly Training Week 4

Happy Sunday all!

Just checking in for a brief recap on Week 4 on the road to Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly….

Monday, 7/18: Rest Day

Tuesday, 7/19:  Rest Day

Wednesday, 7/20: Woke to a rare cool – ish morning. After two full days of nothing more than icing and rolling I was itching for a run. Seemed like the perfect time to run my Guitar Solo Virtual 5K! I drove to one of the flattest streets near home and busted out 3.1. No leg pain certainly called for a little post-run air guitar 🙂

Air guitar

Thursday, 7/21:  Cross-training = 40 minutes on the Arc Trainer

Friday, 7/22: Rest Day.

Saturday, 7/23: 8.2 miles. It was 75 degrees with 93% humidity when I checked the weather just before heading out. Note to self…sometimes ignorance is bliss! I was holding together relatively well until somewhere in the middle of mile 6. Then the struggle bus pulled up and I hopped on board. I’m grateful my husband J had decided to run with me, and at his suggestion we switched to a 2:1 run walk for the final two miles. Mentally, it got a lot easier to run when I knew it was only for short bursts.

Sunday, 7/24:  Strength day – lower body focus

So just 11.3 miles this week. But thanks to sticking to the plan of rest, rolling and icing – plus a trip to my massage therapist, they were pain free miles – so that’s a big win in my book! The RC coaches have revised my training plan and assure me I still have plenty of time, and I know they’re right. This week I’ll be aiming to return to at least 3 days of running, plus 2 strength workouts.

So that’s my #WeeklyWrap! Thanks to Holly and Tricia for hosting this linkup!



RnR Philly Training Week 3

While my goal this week was to ramp up the mileage, the nagging discomfort in left leg, quickly made it clear that I needed to play it smart and go easy on the running for another week. So how did things go?

Monday, 7/11: Strength day

Tuesday, 7/12:  3 easy miles, plus squats (the challenge continues).

Wednesday, 7/13: Strength session with Trainer Stacey. Wednesdays have really become my fave workout day of the week lately.

Thursday, 7/14:  An unscheduled rest day. I woke up just feeling really off and it never got better, so I passed on my 6 mile cutdown run and skipped the squats.

Friday, 7/15: 4 miles on the mill – I just was not up for dealing with the oppressive heat, so off to the gym I went. Oh, yes and there were squats.

Saturday, 7/16: Rest day scheduled. It was parents’ visiting day at my son’s overnight camp so this “rest” day included 4.5 miles of walking and hiking the trails in and around the camp.

Sunday, 7/17:  8 miles scheduled – 5 miles done. Saturday’s camp fun followed by a 3+ hour drive home left me feeling pretty beat up Saturday night. I should have rolled, but instead I crashed on the couch and caught up on House of Cards. When the alarm went off Sunday morning, my legs already felt tired. The nagging pain in my left leg returned in the 4th mile, and as I reached mile 5 I knew it was better to listen to my body and stop. I walked another mile until my husband came by to pick me up.

What’s so annoying about the left leg is it only gets aggravated on hills…and it’s practically impossible to run in my town without encountering a hill.

Hills 2

Icing and rolling does help – so guess what I’ll be doing this week?! I’m also headed to the massage therapist – always a good thing! The RC coaches are tweaking my plan (there will be no hill repeats, as originally planned), and I’ll give 8 miles another go next weekend.

So that’s my #WeeklyWrap! Thanks to Holly and Tricia for hosting this linkup!



RnR Philly Training – Week 2

Well, another week on the road to Philly is in the books, and I have to say it was a mixed bag at best.

Monday, 7/4: Core and upper body strength work – giving my legs a rest after the previous night’s 10K (accept I did do my 50 squats)

Tuesday, 7/5: Scheduled rest day – and I needed it! Squat challenge continued.

Wednesday, 7/6: Strength session with Trainer Stacey. This was another awesome session with everything from Turkish getups with weights, to pull-ups to circuit training with a medicine ball, kettlebell and free weights. We worked every muscle group and kept a good pace on the circuit.

Thursday, 7/7:  A crazy work day combined with a sick kiddo meant I missed my scheduled cutdown run. 50 squats done.

Friday, 7/8: Strength work – core and lower body focus.

Saturday, 7/9: 7 mile LSD. My left knee really started to squak at me around mile 3, and I debated whether to cut the run short. I’m glad my husband J had decided to run with me – it gave me the nudge I needed to keep pushing to finish the run. Lots of icing and rolling followed.

Sunday, 7/3:  Cross-training was on the schedule, but my legs felt meh after yesterday. I’m fairly sure the knee pain was actually a combination of a super tight quad and ankle, so I opted for yoga and some yamuna body rolling.

So the mileage was way down this week, but the strength sessions went really well…like I said a mixed bag. I slacked on my rolling and icing and I think that contributed to my cranky leg on Saturday’s run. So I’ll be rolling like it’s my job this week, as I up the mileage.


I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin for their Weekly Wrap link up.  Link up and join us!


So tell me, how’d your week go?


RnR Philadelphia Half Training – Week 1

This past week marked the 12 week countdown to the RnR Philly Half Marathon! After having to step down from the half distance to the 5-miler for Boston’s Run to Remember, I am really more focused than ever to get back up to 13.1 miles.


Looking forward to adding this one to the collection!

So how did this week go?

Monday, 6/27: 3 easy miles

Tuesday, 6/28: Threshold intervals – 3 x 1600 meter repeats, plus warm-up and cool down. OK I only did 2 – I decided to go late in the day to help adjust to Sunday’s upcoming 10K, and the humidity was just soul-sucking. I knew I was in trouble after just the mile warm up and it went down hill from there.

Wednesday, 6/29: Strength work with Trainer Stacey! We focused on glutes and obliques. There was a lot of sweat, swearing and laughing – a good session!

Thursday, 6/30:  Rest Day: Got a much need sport massage.

Friday, 7/1: 5 mile steady-state run – nailed it! Also started Marcia‘s squat challenge. My goal for this week – 50/day.

Saturday, 7/2: 1.25 mile shakeout run with my son & husband at the track. Another 50 squats.

Sunday, 7/3:  Finish at the 50 10K – race recap to come! (And, yes, I did get my 50 squats in)

All in all a good week!

And don’t forget, if you join me in Philly or at any of Rock’n’Roll’s fall races (I’ll be running Brooklyn and Vegas as well), you can save a few bucks by using my discount code ROCKATTITUDE.

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin for their Weekly Wrap link up.  Be sure to stop by and check out what they’re up to.