Friday Faves | BOSTON, BOSTON, BOSTON

Here I am, typing this out from my hotel room in BOSTON! I cannot really wrap my brain around it all, but it’s slowly starting to sink in. (I snagged an official jacket earlier this afternoon (see below) – I feel so “official!”) For obvious reasons, this week’s Friday Faves is all about Beantown. I’ve included a bit of what I’ve seen today, too! Here we go!

  • Via @whitrunsthis:
    large
  • While I waited to interview Serena Burla, I chatted with Kara’s husband, Adam, while he held Colt during Kara’s interviews. I told him how neat it was to finally “meet” Colt in person and asked him if Colt recognized his mommy on TV during her races. (He does! *Cue cuteness overload!*) It was incredible seeing the pro runner + motherhood dynamic – all I can say is Kara does it with grace.
  • Insanity. Enough said.
  • Thanks to the ever-wonderful RW Facebook fans and Twitter followers, I pulled together this Boston Marathon advice-filled article full of insanely inspiring tips from Beantown vets. Gave me chills!
  • I found out what’s written inside these amazing uniforms for Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher today. In Shalane’s, it reads “Dare to be different.” In Kara’s, “Courage to believe.” LOVE.

    oawib

  • THANK YOU TED! =)
  • I wrote about the awesome Americans flying under the radar on Monday, Stephanie Rothstein-Bruce and Serena Burla. Check it out here.
  • This is sort of Boston-related, but I HAD to share: Lauren Fleshman is officially writing for RW! The tweet below includes a bit of the awesomeness (and click the link to read it, too!)
  • And here are some shots from the weekend so far!
Kara's Boston Banner!

Kara’s Boston Banner!

The finish line is being set up! So ridiculously cool.

The finish line is being set up! So ridiculously cool.

The girls at the press conference. (Ignore the dude's head!) This was the first time I've seen both of them together, and man, they giggled the entire time. It's obvious how close they are!

The girls at the press conference. (Ignore the dude’s head!) This was the first time I’ve seen both of them together, and man, they giggled the entire time. It’s obvious how close they are!

The jacket. And man is it schnazzy.

The jacket. And yep, it is pretty schnazzy.

Stay tuned for updates throughout the weekend–probably more on twitter than here depending now how busy I am–and my race report early next week! To everyone running Boston, GOOD LUCK!

QUOTE OF THE POST: “Here’s my mantra: ‘Every mile is a gift.'” – Amby Burfoot, winner of the 1968 Boston Marathon.

Friday Faves | “Maranoia” and More

Can’t believe it’s ALREADY Friday again! Here’s this week’s “Friday Faves” list:

  • I’ve been plagued by the marathon taper crazies this week i.e. My brain has been buzzing with thoughts like: Why do my shins/heels/knees hurt? Why do I still feel sick? Why have I felt like absolute CRAP this whole week? Buhhhh! But, the insanity has produced some wonderfully appropriate tweets:
  • On confidence, which happens to be my Sisters in Sport April goal of the month (more on that hopefully this weekend! Stay tuned!):

     

  • 5 Faces of Pain via Oiselle. Favorite line? “Don’t eat a chili cheese dog from 7/11 for breakfast.” Do yourself a favor and watch this, now:
  • My latest Runner’s World “Social Studies” post, which includes this madness: large
  • Our RW Newswire editor’s Boston Marathon coverage plan, seriously:large-1
  • And because we’re only NINE days away from Boston, here’s a chills-inducing post from @paceofme on prepping for April 15.

QUOTE OF THE POST: “So I went for a run. And things got better.” – Mark Remy (Read the rest here.)

Friday Faves | Boston…Because, Heck, We’re Only 15 Days Out!

Sorry everyone, this is a day late! (Crazy busy day at work yesterday, but I digress…Better late, than never!) Here are a few things that got me excited this week:

  • For starters, Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher ROCKED the 10-K at Stanford last night. (Shalane nabbed the World A-standard, and Kara was just over a second off of it! Whoo!) I’ll definitely be thinking about what’s happening a few miles down the road in Boston during the race. These ladies certainly have a shot at doing something special on April 15!

    And this, which makes my inner track nerd freak out a little:

  • I successfully snot-rocketed WHILE running yesterday. Guess I finally got over my fear of getting it all over my face. A killer cold’ll do that to ya, huh? On a related note, my coworkers are snot-rocketing masters:
  • Truth:
  • Even Shalane gets the marathon taper crazies!
  • I think I might just have to start doing this, too.
  • And to close, what an awesome perspective:

QUOTE OF THE POST: “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller

Friday Faves | Seriously Silly

Get ready, this week’s list is full of both silly (see #1) and serious (scroll down to the bottom!) blog posts and tweets. Have at it people:

And in this week’s selection of favorited tweets:

If you’re wondering why I posted the tweet above with Matt Long, read this and watch this, and prepare to be amazed, inspired, and moved by this man’s story.

QUOTE OF THE POST: “Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re probably right.” – Henry Ford

Friday Faves | Pies and Surprises!

In no particular order of importance (or on any scale whatsoever), here’s this week’s Friday Faves…just a teeny tiny bit late:

  • In what might be the sweetest (pun intended) use of social media ever, two sinfully delicious pies were delivered to my coworkers desk in celebration of Pi(e) Day. She tweeted that she wished we had pie at RW HQ, and not two hours later, @Stridebox had pies delivered to her desk. Long story short, this:

    lead to this:BFWEaNjCYAAZ_Q9Seriously. Read the whole story via Storify here.

  • For the ladies: Now I might be mistaken for a 12-year-old boy when it come to my chest, but this post titled “Have Boobs, Will Test Your Sports Bras” from Once Upon A (L)ime had me laughing literally every other line (and also made me grateful that I’m small). She’s my newest follow on my blog reader, and I can’t wait to read what else she has to say!
  • I added two races to my race calendar this week: the NYC Half on Sunday (stay tuned for a Race Report) and the Golden Gate Relay (I found out one of my legs goes over the Golden Gate Bridge! AHH!) Best. Surprise. Ever!
  • These still-so-freakin’-cool Flyknits left over from the paint-themed photo shoot for the Spring Shoe Guide:
  • “8. Running when all I want to do is eat and sleep and stay snuggled under a nice comfy blanket.” – from Shalane Flanagan’s post about 13 things she hates about running. She should pin Jordan’s tweet (below) up somewhere because it’s awesome. I should, too.
  • This video for the Boston Marathon Banner Day. Gives me chills! 30 MORE DAYS!

QUOTE OF THE POST: “I love this time of spring. It’s starting to get warm, the end of training is in sight (or at least the taper is), and I can practically smell the vaseline Boston feels so close. I’m so excited for you. There is nothing like the first Boston! It’s so much fun! We’re going to have a great time.” – in an email from my coworker, gazillion-time marathoner, and RW Challenge coach extraordinaire, Jen Van Allen

Friday Faves | From the Twitterverse

For this edition of “Friday Faves,” I pulled a few of my “favorited” tweets from this week:

QUOTE OF THE POST: “For me, running is a lifestyle and an art.  I’m far more interested in the magic of it than the mechanics.” – Lorraine Moller

Friday Faves | A Little Bit Of Everything

Although this week’s list is a little all over the place, it includes a bit of humor, sportsmanship, motivation, and inspiration:

  • In what might be the worst (and most hysterical) interview ever, a TV anchor asks Mo Farah if he’s ever run before after his win at the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Half-Marathon:
    If you think this is funny, check out this post created by my boss, Mark Remy. It takes the clip to a whole new level.
  • RW’s “Big Guy” blogger Ted Spiker wrote a short but sweet post about race-day perspective that even includes a nifty graphic. Head over and check it out!
  • Though it isn’t running related, this clip about a high school basketball player is a heartwarming example of an incredible act of sportsmanship, and it is worth sharing. What makes it especially cool is that I went to Franklin High School. I’m definitely a proud Cougar alum! Watch it:
  • This made me want to lace up and run, even though it was almost 9 p.m., via my Boston Bound, Steamtown Marathon racing buddy @WhitRunsThis: large
  • A good daily reminder, via Believe I Am: 480677_470756076312426_312079256_n
  • Love this. That is all.

QUOTE OF THE POST: “I’ve learned that finishing a marathon isn’t just an athletic achievement. It’s a state of mind that says anything is possible.” – John Hanc

Friday Faves | Reasons Why I Love Running

In honor of Valentine’s Day (I’m sorry, I had to give in to the chiche cheesy-ness!), this week’s list touches on some of the reasons why I LOVE to run:

  • My quirky and super-clever boss Mark Remy writes some seriously brilliant blogs every week (check it out here), but this one from Monday is one of my all-time favorites“The Most Important Word In Running”
  • Fellow Sister in Sport chica Morgan (@MoHoSjo) ran a speedy indoor 3K this past weekend and wrote a recap that made my feet literally itch to get back on the track. On running her PR: “A new PR flashes on the screen and I take in a long sweet drag of doing something that I have never done before…In the past I would run a PR and immediately begin thinking ahead to what I needed to run next. I absorb the moment, allow the endorphins to keep me up smiling all night, and I am delighted with the possibilities on the horizon but content with things as they are.” – Read the rest of “Breaking Speed Limits” here.
  • Here’s the most brilliant use of halftime during a basketball game ever:  
     
    Read more about the halftime mile at the University of Portland here.
  • This awesomeness via @TheRunnerProbs:
    BCykt8NCUAAVhZT
  • And also this via @ihaverun:life is like a marathon
  • Even though Valentine’s Day is SO NOT my holiday (and that I’m a day late now), I have to share this runner-inspired Valentine’s Day gift guide via Running For Dummies“How To Win Her Running Heart”. A sneak peek:

    giftguide

    I NEED those undies!

QUOTE OF THE POST: “Running has always been a relief and a sanctuary—something that makes me feel good, both physically and mentally. For me it’s not so much about the health benefits. Those are great, but I believe that the best thing about running is the joy it brings to life.” – Kara Goucher

What do you love about running? 

Race Report(s) | RW Run-Up & Empire State Building Run-Up

Ninety floors and some 1,500+ steps later…what I was thinking this week?!?

Here are my recaps for the two run-ups I, well, ran up this week:

Awkward pre-race photo for the win?

Awkward pre-race photo for the win? (Photo cred to Cait’s awesome sunglasses camera!)

Runner’s World Run-Up

Not to be outdone by the ESBRU, my fellow RW staffers and I held our own run-up at RW HQ. (Yep, all four floors of it!) And boy was it glaringly apparent right off the bat that my stair-climbing technique needs some serious work. (This wasn’t surprising since my steeplechase career proved my overall lack of coordination.) Overwhelmed by the excitement (and hilarity) of the start, I completely forgot to go two steps at a time and take advantage of the railings to pull myself upward. Before I knew it, I was bringing up the rear at the finish of our fake race. Thankfully, I have a 86 floors to nail down that technique and take on the media heat tomorrow. Plus, I’ve got some experience throwing elbows at the start from cross-country! Editors of Vogue, I’m ready for you! Check out the video of our event here.  

Empire State Building Run-Upkelly ripa

Holy wow was this race unlike any other that I’ve ever run. I learned that stairs are so NOT my friend. But I also realized that it’s seriously satisfying to say that you’ve run up that ginormous building, especially when you’re  standing alongside it taking in it’s massiveness. That feeling–plus the stunning (but brief) views of NYC at the top–made the experience totally worth it.

There it is! The lights were orange in honor of the race!

There it is! The lights were orange in honor of the race!

The race itself? It was *cough* intense.

I lined up at the front of the media heat–my toes were literally on the starting line!–and I immediately noticed the padded doorway into the stairwell no more than 10 meters away. Talk about a dead sprint into a narrow door frame! I felt the usual mix of excitement and adrenaline while I waited for the gun, but there was an added layer of anxiety as I eyed that ominous-looking gray stairwell. What was this going to be like?!? I tried to distract myself with the fact that Kelly Ripa and Natalie Morales had just lined up beside me–how cool?!?–and I attempted to look not like an idiot while the press took pre-race photos of us. (See above photo!) New goal? Beat Kelly Ripa.

rw crew

The Rodale crew pre-race!

The sound of a horn unleashed the mad rush to the doorway. I actually had an awesome start and was one of the first into the stairwell. (Yay, my years of cross country paid off!) But, like at the RW Run-Up, the craziness thwarted any effort to establish a steady rhythm. I went from one-stepping to two-stepping to using my arms to pull me upward to power jogging without the railing. It wasn’t coordinated or pretty at all.

By Floor 15ish (yeah, I still had 60+ floors to go), my adrenaline had worn off and my stair running turned into a plodding march of survival. The dusty, dry inside air had me breathing heavily and my quads were screaming already, which had me wondering Hadn’t I just run a marathon? Where did all that endurance go? I swear to God I’m fitter than I feel right now! I settled into a two-step hike, using the railings only to keep me upright because I couldn’t figure out how to use them to pull some of my weight. Stupid lack of coordination. I stared (more like glared) down at the steps to avoid the urge to look up at what floor I was on, much like I used to ignore the lap counters when I ran track. I still had way too many floors to go. It was like you could literally feel the weight of the building on top of you.

Around the 40th floor, Kelly Ripa started bearing down on me, and before I knew it we were sharing each staircase. She had a teammate cheering her on, urging her to keep going, and I tried to pretend he was yelling those encouraging words to me. (It was incredibly quiet and lonely throughout the entire race, so there was not much to distract me from my blaring omg-please-let’s-stop-how-many-more-floors?-this-is-insane-consumed thoughts.)

I held off Kelly for maybe 20 floors, but she was rocking this powerful and steady pace. My pace certainly hadn’t picked up any by this point, and she finally passed me somewhere in the 60s. I concluded that she is basically the Energizer Bunny. You go girl!

photo 4

Done and done. Heck yes!

When we were within a few floors of the finish, I started to feel hints of cool air circulating down the stairwell. Sooooo close! I tried to trot up the last few steps–I wanted to go out with some shred of dignity!–and finally reached the open and wonderfully flat landing at the top. I was rewarded with a blast of cold, fresh air and an awe-inspiring view of the city. I staggered through the finish, totally relieved and happy that that wild ordeal was over.

I bumped into Kelly again after the race, and I mumbled something along the lines of, “Awesome job! That was crazy right?” and she told me she agreed. We high-fived each other (I’m sure my mum is totally jealous of me right now! haha) before I was herded into the elevator.

I ran it in 18:29 and was the 5th female in the media division. One news story described it as a “vertical marathon,” which is entirely accurate. I learned that going up is a much different experience that going forward, and that my runner’s strength didn’t exactly apply to 1,576 steps. Overall, I’m SO glad that I got the opportunity to run it, but I think I’ll stick to my marathons for now and leave that craziness for the pros like our Gear Guy Jeff Dengate (who, by the way, won the media heat!)

photo 1

The bling!

photo 2

QUOTE OF THE POST: “It’s not a stair race, it’s a race to the top.” – Jeff Dengate 

Read my other Race Reports here

Race Report | Lehigh Covert Classic Indoor Mile

Reunited! The itch satisfied at last.

Reunited! The itch satisfied at last.

Here’s a quick race recap for my quick, debut track race as a Lehigh alum – the mile!

Once I arrived, I won’t lie when I say it felt surreal going through the pre-race routine again – I warmed up through campus with a teammate, hit the bathroom, cheered on the 5-K girls, hit the bathroom again, stretched out, picked up my hip numbers, stretched some more, went on one final bathroom trip, laced up the spikes, shed my layers, slapped on the numbers, and hopped on the track for some striders. I even did my high-knee/butt-kick drills that I’ve done before every race since middle school because, heck, I’m a little superstitious! Even though it’s been a few months since the last time I did this, it felt so familiar. And it felt incredible.

If I had any real goals going into this race, they were:

A) To break 6 minutes.

B) To not get last.

C) And above all, have fun and enjoy the opportunity to be back out there again!

When the starter lined us up on the track, I reveled in the surge of adrenaline and the dead silence that buzzed with that pent-up energy once the gun was up. Then with a bang, we were off! We sped around the track, jostling for position. I settled in the back, but within meters I found myself surging past a few girls. (Yes! The competitor within me was finally bubbling to the surface again! Booyaa!) I tried to keep my pace as I clicked off lap after lap, soaking in and loving every moment of it. My teammates’ cheers carried me through the rest of the race, and before I knew it, I crossed the finish line. What…a…RUSH!

Now, it was by no means fast – I ran 5:45, which is about 30 seconds slower than what I could do in college (not to mention I’m in marathon training, not MILE training! Ha!) – but I’m SO glad I ran anyway. Today made me truly appreciate and be thankful for my experiences at Lehigh. They made me the runner I am today, and this race forged a connection between the old me and the new me. It certainly was a step toward figuring out how I want to approach my running in the future!

Plus, I think it rekindled a bit of that competitive flame! I’ll admit I was eyeing another open runner in the 3-K, and I desperately wanted to race her!

P.S. I might just start a yearly streak with this race. Don’t want those spikes to gather too much dust in my closet, right? =)

QUOTE OF THE POST: “The mile has all the elements of drama.” – Sir Roger Bannister

Read my other Race Reports here