My fall race schedule

fall running

After mentioning that I was getting ready to start my fall training soon, I got several emails and twitter inquiries about which races I was doing – so I thought I’d share my fall race schedule here!


Smuttynose Rockfest Half Marathon — advertised as “flat and fast” with beer and lobster rolls served at the post race party – what’s not to love? This one’s been on my N.E. must-run list for a while.

Tufts 10K — This one’s going to be a “wait and see” since it’s a week after Smuttynose – but I love this event and I haven’t run it in a couple of years. There are always a few friends running so I’m going to try to keep this day open and if the legs feel go enough I can always register on race day.

Canton Fall Classic — The starting line is literally 2 miles from my house and the course covers streets I run on a regular basis. It’s a great local race and it’s always fun to see so many familiar faces!


Philadelphia Half Marathon — I ran Philly in 2011 and by half way through the race I knew I wanted to come back (you can check out the recap HERE)! I loved the course, the great crowd support and the 3+ minute PR I snagged — I’m hoping lightening will strike twice as this is my goal race of the fall.


I’m sure there will be some fun 5K requiring Santa garb 🙂

I’d like to slip in something during September to kind of track how my training’s going – but I’m going to wait to see what Coach Bennett has to say on that.

The fall should be a lot of fun – can’t wait!

What have you got planned?


Tufts 10k Race Report

I had a lot of fun yesterday – despite the heat & the cranky ITB! The Tufts 10k for Women is a fun event – there’s a great spirit and energy to it that was on full display yesterday!

If you saw my quick post yesterday morning than you know I was going into this race with no idea how it would play out – I was just going to go run and see what happened. Did I mention that it was 82 degrees and a 12 noon start?

This was my friend E’s first 10k so we headed in together and got to the race with an hour to go before the start. We hit the porta potties, stretched and chatted and hung out until they called the seeds to start lining up.

The race announcer made a point of telling us that the temperature had climbed 2 degrees just in the time it took us to line up! (Fabulous!) Tufts is the USTAF 10k Women’s Championship so there were lots of cheering as the elites were introduced. But I think the biggest cheers came when the group of women who have run this race every year since it’s inception (35 years!) were acknowledged! 

E was remarkably calm – I remember being so nervous last year for my first 10k! We had already discussed how we would manage the race – she had told me that she wanted to focus on running her own race and not worry about holding me back. So we hugged as we shuffled towards the start and then we were off.

Did I mention it was HOT?! Yeah…it was.

The first mile was a nice flat stretch with, most importantly some shade. But ohh those middle middle 4 miles, we were baking along the Charles River! The water stops were very chaotic – the volunteers seemed overwhelmed by the number of runners looking for water – there were crowds and you literally had to come to a dead stop, work your way through to get water and then work your way back out of the crowd…clearly not ideal! But the runners were great – passing cups to each other, some stopping to pour water for others, making jokes, just making the best of it. Gratefully, partial shade returned at mile 5 and thru to the finish.

As I planned, I just ran by feel – sometimes my pace was good and sometimes the combination of the heat and my ITB told me to slow down and just take it all in. And I did – I chatted with other runners, encouraged where I could, thanked volunteers, rocked out to my tunes, high-fived the kids on the route and tried to enjoy the ride. Once again my family was out on the course cheering and I found E’s family along the way as well.
As I hit the final stretch to the finish, the race announcer was actually urging runners to not sprint in because of the heat – trust me, not an issue for me at that point 🙂 Joan Benoit Samuelson was once again greeting runners at the finish line, and I got a high five again from her. Such a great touch to the race! I made it through the finishers chute, hit the water and food tables and circled back around to find E – she looked great and seemed to have had a good time!

We eventually found each other and my family. We took pics, did a quick sweep of the expo and then my boys let it be known that lunch was long overdue, so we headed for the cars.

Love this pic – just wish my little guy’s head wasn’t cutoff!

All-in-all a good day. I would love to run Tufts again next year, but this time really “race” it. With the new course design (flat start vs. the downhill with a sharp turn at the end of years past) and more traditional fall weather, it would be really fun to see what I could do at this distance. But isn’t that one of the beauties of running, there’s always the promise of “next time?”


Just a few hours til race time

“Just take your time and have fun. 
Every race is not a PR but every race is an experience. 
Just enjoy the crowd/other runners.”
 — Runnerbee08 during #runchat (Twitter)

In about 4 hours I’ll be lining up with 7500 women for the Tufts 10k for Women….and I have no idea what to expect. I ran this race last year – it was my first 10k – so I know it will be a great atmosphere, but as for how I’ll do today I don’t have a clue.

I ran very little last week and not at all the week before as I try to coax my ITB away from a full revolt. And with Philly just 6 weeks, I don’t want to do anything that will put me further behind. So I’m basically going into this race without any expectations. My strategy is to see how I feel and just enjoy the experience!

Wish me luck!


Post-Vacation Randomness

  • Thanks to everyone who offered advice about whether to run during my vacation or give my irritable ITB a rest. The overwhelming response was to rest – which I did, as much as walking around Disney with two energetic boys can be called rest! 
  • This was our family’s first trip to Disney and we had an absolute blast! Just watching my boys’ faces as they took it all in is something I’ll never forget!
  • And yes…as a couple of you predicted, now I do want to do a Disney race at some point 🙂
  • Just gotta say I found it really disheartening the number of overweight children I saw at the parks – made me just want to shake the parents and ask “Do you see what you’re doing to your children?!?” (OK I’m climbing down off my soapbox)
  • Took my first run in a week this morning – nice and easy 3…my left leg felt ok so we’ll how this week goes. I’ve got the Tufts 10k on Monday and at this point I have no expectations, except to go and have fun!
  • It was really great to be so unplugged for these last few days….I’ve got a lot of blogs to catch up on…so I’m off to do some reading….and mounds of laundry!

Heat-induced Randomness

I think this heat & humidity is turning my brain to mush. I can’t put a coherent thought together…but then, this is why then invented bullet points (isn’t it?)

  • I blew my streak of early morning runs today – slept through my alarm and then it was too late to get out before the heat and getting the kids off to camp. So it looks like I’m moving my tempo run to Sunday.


  • This is what the forecast looks like for the next few days. Friday’s 11-miler should be interesting…I may be looking to set a new PR for how early I can get out on the road. Tell me again why I registered for a half marathon in August?! 
  • I’ve been trying to plan a family vacation for the fall — the kids have a couple of long weekends so we thought we’d try to take advantage of the airline fares being lower then. Also wondering if I can loop in a race into these plans if the timing/location works. 
  • I’m still all over the place on fall races – the only one I’ve registered for is the Tufts 10k for Women. I ran this race last year with my friend Kathy and had a great time. As soon as it was over I knew I wanted to run it again!

    Have you figured out your fall race plans yet or will you just wing it?


      Reflections and a First Run

      Got out today amid the fog and light rain to log my first run of 2011!

      I have been resting my left ITB for the past two weeks — though I did sneak in 2 miles on the dreadmill on NYE’s day ’cause I really didn’t want to end the year on injured reserve if I could help it.  So the hope today was to just get out on the road and run a slow and steady, pain-free 5 miles. Mission accomplished!

      I was also itching to try out some of the new gear I got for Christmas – especially my new Garmin Forerunner 305 (courtesy of my wonderful hubs J)! I am so excited to figure out how to use it to help with my pacing – which, according to my new little running partner, can be a bit erratic.

      It felt so good to be out there this morning – I kept thinking about how far I’ve come since that first “run” last January…where 1 mile felt like it went on forever …..and, then I didn’t try to run again until March! Hmmm, yeah I can definitely say I’ve improved in the dedication department 🙂

      But thanks to the C25K plan, that 1 mile turned into 3 and I ran my first 5k in June! Followed by:

      In between there were miles in the crazy heat, rain, bitter cold and…yes, even on the dreadmill. There was an off and on argument with my angry left leg. There were goals met…and some not. I discovered a wonderfully supportive and inspiring running community. And, I found a piece of myself that I hadn’t tapped into in a long time.

      Can’t wait to see what 2011 brings!

      Race report – My 1st 10k

      Another first for me – on Monday I took on the Tufts 10k for Women! My first race at this distance and definitely the biggest sporting event I had ever participated in!

      My friend Kathy was also running, so we decided to head into together on the train. It was great to have Kathy there, we just chatted away per usual and it really helped me from being nervous. We got to the race, I had my final debate about Bondi Band and sunglasses vs. visor (went with the visor) and then we checked our bags. While Kathy went for a quick warm-up I made one last pit-stop — the lines were long but not too bad, gave me a chance to stretch and chat with a bunch of people.

      Getting to the starting area proved to be very chaotic — narrow picturesque Boston street meets 7500+ women! Kathy &  I did what we could to not lose each other while trying to inch our way to the front of the 10 minute group. Finally the elite runners were off, a big cheer went up from the crowd and we started shuffling our way towards the starting line. Kath & I high-fived, wished each other luck and were off!

      The first mile was all about weaving in and around people. It was great to see my Hubs, the boys and Kathy’s family right where we planned. (Can you tell I’m a little excited!)

      The energy among the runners was great! And it was awesome to see the elite runners flying past us at the first loop back along the river. Throughout the race, everyone was very encouraging, cheering each other on!

       I was feeling pretty good until just after the 3rd mile marker, then the angry left knee reared its ugly head! I had been worried about my knee all last week, but had started to feel hopeful when I got through Thursday’s speedwork without pain. Mile 4 became a very long mile and my plan to make the second 5k faster than the first wasn’t happening. My pace fell off but I tried to just focus on my tunes and take in the great views of Boston as I crossed the bridge back over the Charles River.

      As we made the turn down Commonwealth Ave, I knew my hubs and the boys would be at the far end and that gave me a lift. The knee continued to nag at me but now the 5 mile marker had come and gone and I could see the family!  There were lots of husbands and kids along this stretch and high-fiving the kids was fun! A special thanks to the two little cuties who yelled “You’re awesome!” after I high-fived them!!

      By now I could hear the race announcer and music so as we made the final turn I just pushed with whatever I had left – keeping my promise to myself to always finish strong! I swear I had a huge grin on my face for that whole final stretch! And as I crossed the finish line I got a high five from Joan Benoit-Samuelson – who had finished and continued to stand there and greet runners – how cool is that!

      Here’s Kathy and I post-race!  We hung out for a bit, got some food, let the kids play and then did a quick run through the expo. I happily introduced Kathy to Bondi Bands and picked up a SpiBelt for myself!

      This was just my second race this year, and each race is definitely a learning experience. My official time was 1:07:53, and while I didn’t run the race I’d hoped for, I think I did a pretty good job of staying within myself and pushing through the knee issues. And I had a good time doing it!


      Hello October!

      Despite the hectic pace of September, I logged 70 miles – my highest monthly mileage so far!

      And now it’s October – race month! I have been inspired by many of you training for your marathons, halfs, 10ks and 5ks. It’s helped me to stay focused and motivated for my first 10k race. Only 9 days till the Tufts 10k!

      So my goals for October are simple:

      • Keep building the mileage.
      • Baby my tweeky knee — lots of ice!
      • Enjoy my race experience! Trust that I can do the distance, run my own race and take in the moment! If I can do that, it will be a great race (whatever the clock says will be secondary)!

      So what are you planning for October?

      Have a Great Weekend Everyone!

      4 Weeks to Go!!

      If you think you can do it, or
      if you think you can’t do it
      you are right
                                           — Henry Ford
      In just 4 short weeks I’ll be lining up to run the Tufts 10k for Women. This is a race I have thought about running for quiet some time, but never thought I’d get to a point where I could actually run 6.2 miles. Even when I signed up back in July, the thought of covering that much distance was daunting! 
      But it’s amazing what a shift in your beliefs can produce — I have now completed my 6 mile loop multiple times and yesterday ran my second 7-mile run! With still 4 weeks left, I now know I can complete the distance! I also know it will be easy to get nervous and psyche myself out multiple times between now and October 11th, so I’ve printed out this quote and taped it to my mirror to remind myself it’s all mental now!
      Happy Running!

      A little weekend rambling

      Some days just call for bullets points…..

        • Ran 7 miles for the first time this morning….and best of all, I felt really good afterwards!
        • It’s funny how much farther 7 miles seems than 6. I’m sure I’ll feel the same way the first time I do 8!
        • There is something to be said for how going to bed early (vs. falling asleep on the couch) positively affects the next morning’s run.
        • I love that when I got home my kiddos were sitting there waiting for me and broke into applause when I came through the door!
        • Chocolate milk has definitely become my post-run drink of choice!
        • I am thankful that yamuna body rolling helps keep my left leg in check.
        • We’re off on vacation tomorrow and I’ve been obsessed about how to get my runs in! (I spent over an hour on Google maps trying to plot out a couple of runs.)
        • I’m debating whether to sign up for another 5K that will be held 2 weeks before the Tufts 10K – is there any downside to running the two so close together?

      Hope you’re enjoying your weekend!