Friday Faves | Top 10 For September

Here are the top 10 coolest running things I stumbled upon this month:

1. I love this, especially because I’m a week away from my one-year marathon anniversary!

2. Shared by my girl Jenny, we’ve all decided this needs to be turned into an alarm tone.

3. My roomie Kelsey DOMINATED her very first half-marathon in Philly! Couldn’t be more proud of her!

Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 9.51.32 AM4. Oiselle rocked the RUNway at New York Fashion Week. Could not get enough of seeing real, strong ladies working that catwalk in clothes that, well…basically, I want it all. (Click the link for more photos! // Photo by Arthur Mandel Nolcha.)Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 9.54.23 AM5. Yogi-runner goddess and friend of mine Rebecca Pacheco debuted her first yoga class for runners video for Runner’s World. It’s perfect for all levels of runners and new/old yogis alike. (Not to mention it means I can “take” Rebecca’s class without having to drive up to Boston!) Try it out!14DZkDL6. My co-worker Mark Remy, who decided to come out of marathon retirement to try to BQ for 2014, qualified and GOT IN! I trained with him on and off this cycle, and I could see how much he wanted to run Boston next year. I couldn’t be more thrilled and relieved for him. As for his reaction on social media? “WOO HOO!”

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7. Marathon Survival Strategies, including: “Do not, under any circumstances, think, ‘Where, for the love of god, is the 2-mile mark?'” // This is hysterical and totally worth a read.

8. I cannot get enough of this.

9. A photo of RW Gear Guy’s daughter aka “Gear Baby,” who has already figured out how to use the stick. Adorable.large

10. My youngest brother has started running cross-country for his middle school team. And get this, he’s only 13 and has already figured out how to run for fun without getting bogged down by his brain. Totally jealous. I hope he continues to run just for the enjoyment of it; that’s the way it should be. Love that kid way too much. kyleXCWhat are your favorite things from the month of September? Share ’em with me in the comments below!

QUOTE OF THE POST: “Passion is pushing myself when there is no one else around – just me and the road.” – Ryan Shay

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Sisters in Sport | On the Starting Line!

Nearly nine months ago, the running rut that had been dangerously brewing during the final few months of my collegiate career had reached its boiling point. Over ten years of competitive running had taken its toll on me mentally and physically, so I was eager for the fresh start and squeaky clean slate that graduation would bring. I knew I hadn’t fallen out of love with the sport, and I couldn’t wait for the chance to shake off the negative mojo and redefine who I am as a runner.

Come summer, I dove head-first into the uncharted territory of running just for me. I hit the refresh button by shedding structure and embracing spontaneity with my training and tried my hand at a new racing distance…the marathon. Though the build-up was far from perfect, the race itself was absolute perfection. Talk about a tidal wave’s worth of positive energy!

I’ve been riding that wave since that day last October. In (lucky!) 2013, I want to take full advantage of this empowering feeling and run with it!

photo 1-1Enter… the Sisters In Sport bloggers and the Believe I Am training journal, both created by Lauren Fleshman and Ro McGettigan.

One inspiring and compelling discovery I’ve made post-college is the online running community. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been drawn in by a runner’s post or motivated to hit the road myself because of Sunday morning’s inevitable stream of long run-related tweets. I started this blog as a means to join in on the conversation, and you can imagine my surprise (and excitement!) when I was asked to be part of a group of female bloggers dubbed the Sisters in Sport. (Check out the link above to find out what these lovely ladies are all about!) Using Lo and Ro’s Believe I Am training journal as a guide, I want to home in on what truly makes me a happy, healthy runner, and my hope is that some part of my journey will resonate with you, too!

photo 2-1Because this is my inaugural #SistersInSport/@BelieveIAm post, I want to share with you my goals for this year:

  • Keep up this streak of positivity: Whether it be a good or bad run or race, find something that went well and focus on that! (Exhibit A: The super-slow, but incredibly enlightening Walt Disney World Marathon.) 
  • Reintroduce some structure to my training: I want to find a way to love doing workouts again because I flat-out need to get faster. The key? Sticking to a schedule that’ll help me get there. Since college, I’ve rejected any sort of pre-determined plan, so I know I’ll need to up my commitment level and make sure I get in some proper training. (Creating a training plan for April’s Boston Marathon is actually my January goal of the month!)
  • Get fitter from head to toe: That means lots of core (I seriously need to improve my pitiful plank PR), lifting sessions and yoga. I plan to keep track of how often I hit the gym/studio each month to I make sure I actually do it.
  • Break into the 3:1X’s in the marathon: I don’t care if this happens at Boston or Marine Corps this year, but I would be SO stoked to be able to run an entire marathon around 7:30 pace. I know and believe I can do it!
  • Eat healthier in general: This translates into actually cooking more often. I won’t lie, my workplace’s super duper organic environment is starting to rub off on me!    

Between actually writing down these goals down in my journal and having y’all keep me accountable via this blog (the game plan is to write a post per month that’ll recap the previous month and discuss my goals for the upcoming month), I have a feeling I’ll be able to tackle most (if not all) of these goals. I know it won’t be easy, but that’s what keeps things interesting, right? =) Now, let’s get this year-long race underway!

QUOTE OF THE POST: “When you put yourself on the line in a race and expose yourself to the unknown, you learn things about yourself that are very exciting.” – Doris Brown Heritage

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If you’re interested, here are the other super-sweet Sister in Sport bloggers! Check ’em out:

Sarah
Laura
Larissa
Jessica
Jen
Laura
Jocelyn
Jennifer
Nicole
Morgan
Mollie
Jennifer
Sarah
Meggie
Bethany
Lisa
Dorothy
Kaitlin
Jane
Shannyn

Read my other Sisters in Sport posts here

Putting a Face to a (Social Media) Name

I’m quickly realizing that one of most favorite parts about working at Runner’s World is the opportunity to meet runners from around the country (and world). Between the slew of races and events I’ve attended this fall, I got to meet running blogger extraordinaire Dorothy Beal, and her yogi counterpart Rebecca Pacheco. Between the two of them, I finally got the inspirational kick in the butt to get this blog started. If you’re not already following them on social media (see Twitter handles below), get on it. Stat.

Dorothy first tweeted at me out of the blue to congratulate me after Steamtown. I have to say I honestly didn’t know who she was beforehand, but after “stalking” her blog a bit, I was immediately hooked, especially after watching the motivational video she did for Saucony. Not only is she fast, but she’s fast after having kids! I’m nowhere near ready to have kids of my own, but it’s neat to read about her experiences so I can have an idea of what to expect when I get there. She’s also got one of the most poignant mantra’s I’ve ever heard: I run this body. It speaks to every runner and is powerful on so many levels.

A couple weeks later at the Marine Corps Marathon, we got to meet in person! She was there to interview Shalane Flanagan for her blog, and I was hanging around talking to Shalane’s husband while she was doing a signing for Nissan. I couldn’t believe it when Dorothy recognized me from my Twitter photo. I really didn’t think anyone really followed me on Twitter, so it was awesome when she said she’s enjoyed reading about my transition into the “real world” all summer. We immediately hit it off. We geeked out about Shalane for a bit–Do we seriously get to hang out with her? Ahh!–and then I introduced her to a few RW staffers at our expo booth before she went to interview Shalane. I don’t think I’ve met a more positive person, and it was so cool getting to forge a new running friendship. (The best part? She sent me one of her “I Run This Body” t-shirts that I’d been drooling over for weeks. I love that she gave me the opportunity to be an ambassador for her message!)

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I met Rebecca at a Lucy Activewear event in San Francisco in early November. She’d become friends with one of my (super speedy) coworkers and was recruited by RW to be our yoga expert at the event. Rebecca is so quirky and warm-hearted that it’s contagious. Not to mention the fact that she’s got some seriously mad skills when it comes to yoga. (I’m 100% NOT flexible, so seeing what she’s able to do is even more impressive. I need to be doing more of this.) Plus, she’s a runner, too! Even though we’d just met, Rebecca didn’t hesitate to share insightful words of advice about pretty much everything, from boys to starting this blog. Her words were dose of wisdom I needed to gain some perspective and direction on what I hope to do with my life and career. It’s not every day that you meet someone who can do that over 48 hours. Freakin’ awesome.

Follow Dorothy at @MilePosts and Rebecca at @omgal. Do it now.
QUOTE OF THE POST: “The obsession with running is really an obsession with the potential for more and more life.” – George Sheehan