Running year in review: 2017

2017 running year in review

Here we are at the last day of 2017. I’m usually not sentimental about New Year’s, partly because there are so many different ones during a given “year:” Rosh Hashannah (Jewish), Lunar (Chinese), Tet (Vietnamese), and Nowruz (Persian New Year, aka the first day of Spring), etc. The way I see it, there are plenty of opportunities to reflect and make a fresh start. But 2017 was a particularly good year for me: personally, professionally, socially and athletically, so I’m a little sad to see it go. At the same time, I’m excited to explore new challenges in 2018. Here’s […]

St. George Marathon 2017: Race Recap

St George Marathon 2017

Just back from running the St. George Marathon and some bookend side trips to National Parks (I’ll tell you about those another post.) Heads up: this is going to be a long, picture-heavy post. First, a bit about my impetus for running St. George. I’ve said it many times: I am NOT a marathoner. racing shorter, faster distances (5K-10K) are much easier for me. I had run pretty competitively for my age last year and through this spring, and felt burned out on racing hard. I needed to do a race purely for fun. Just for the joy of running. So I […]

mayor’s cup 5-miler 2017: race recap

Mayors Cup 5 Miler

Philadelphia’s Third Annual Mayor’s Cup race was held on Saturday, August 17, 2017. The Mayor’s Cup brings Philadelphia runners from all these clubs together on the infamously challenging Belmont Plateau Cross Country course, in mid-August for a day of food, fun, and friendly competition. There are no individual awards – teams compete for the Mayor’s Cup, which goes to the fastest team. 

As usual, I ran with my team, Philadelphia Runner Track Club. We won the Mayor’s Cup last year – when the race was ridiculously, painfully and dangerously hot. In fact, the heat index was 110 degrees when my 5-mile race took off last year, making this year’s 73 degree start temperature and 90% humidity feel almost Arctic by comparison. It was definitely still hot and sticky, so you can’t “reason” with your body about how much easier this is to run in. And then again, this is nether a PR course nor a PR race – no race in mid-August is. It’s just a fun day for light running rivalry…

Race review: Paris Pour Elles (aka, How do you say “face plant” in French?)

Paris Pour Elles 10K

As part of my working vacation in Paris, I thought it would be fun to run a race in in the City of Light. Races are few and far in-between in France, so I had to go with what was available. I registered for a women’s only 10K called “Paris Pour Elles” (Paris for Her).

One of the funny things about signing up to race in France is that you need a doctor’s note confirming you are fit to run. In the US, you just sign a waiver, basically saying if you die, it’s your own damn fault.

This was truly a race scheduled for “fun.” My season was finished. I had met and exceeded my goals beyond my wildest expectations in my goal races – PRing in every distance I raced this spring and best of all, coming in 4th in my age group in the wildly competitive Broad Street Run. I even won a 5K!

So I was tired. My body was creaky and my legs felt anything but fresh. All the signs that I should slow down were there. Even my coach directly told me to back off.

But I didn’t. *rolls eyes* …

Broad Street Run: Race Recap

2017 Broad Street Run Recap

Last Sunday, May 7, 2017,  I joined nearly 40,000 other runners and completed my 7th Broad Street Run, the country’s largest 10-miler. It is truly an amazing event: a fast, flat course positioned north to south, past some of Philadelphia’s colorful neighborhoods, screaming spectators, several universities, silly signs and architectural gems. If you’re running for fun, it’s a great way to experience a real slice of the City of Brotherly Love. 

Besides competing for personal reasons, the Broad Street Run is part of the Midatlantic USATF Grand Prix, so many local track teams, including my team, the Philadelphia Runner Track Club, were competing .

We have little to zero control over how life unfolds, and the week leading up to the race was far from ideal….

Cherry Blossom 5K: Race Recap (I won!)

2017 Cherry Blossom 5K

I’m fairly disciplined and can usually will myself into doing speed work or a tempo run solo. But doing it as part of a 5K keeps me honest about my speed and makes it mentally easier to push myself. Plus, it’s more fun! What can be more life-affirming than getting up early on the weekend and soaking in all healthy, active energy with like-minded people? So, this Saturday, I decided to jump into the Cherry Blossom 5K at the last-minute as a more inspiring way to get in a tempo run.

I had run the race before a few times (I actually won it once) and knew the new course included a steep, long hill at the finish. But I figured this would make for a great workout. As a special added bonus, this was the first year I remember when the cherry blossoms were actually blooming on race day.

Hot Chocolate 15K: Race Recap

2017 Hot Chocolate Race Review

Last Saturday, I ran the Hot Chocolate 15K. Race day happened to dovetail with the start of my 21-Day Badass Adventure Cleanse, so I was curious to see what affect, if any, the regimen would have on my performance…

I lined up in the first corral. Runners are usually packed in, but this one was strangely loose. The gun went off more or less right on time. The 5:57 on my Garmin told me I was going way too fast – normal for a race start – so I concentrated hard on holding back. It can be difficult when runners are flying past you, but in a race of this distance, I knew I would catch many of them down the road…. 

Race Recap: Shake Your Shamrock 5K

Shake Your Shamrock Race Recap 2017

The weather has been bipolar the past few weeks here in Philadelphia. A few weeks ago, the daffodils and some fruit trees were blooming. Now, they’re all frozen. One day, you’re running in a singlet and shorts. They next day, you’re freezing your assets off. You never know what to expect, and your body can’t adjust either way.

I had been watching the forecast all week. Saturday, the day I was scheduled to race my first 5K of the season, the temperature was scheduled to be 22 degrees at gun time. Thanks to 15 MPH winds, it would feel like 17 degrees. 

More than anything in the world, I hate to feel cold and I seem to feel it more deeply than most people. I get cold very easily. I’ve even experienced body-shaking and shivers after snorkeling in 80-degree Caribbean waters – while wearing a long-sleeved rash guard. Needless to say, I was not looking forward to this bitter-cold race. I dreaded the icy temps much more than the burn I would feel while racing.

Because of the conditions, I knew I needed to adjust my expectations. I decided I would just use it as speed work and not worry about a fast time.

Shake Your Shamrock 5K: race recap

Shake your Shamrock 5K 2017

March 13, 2017 The weather has been bipolar the past few weeks here in Philadelphia. A few weeks ago, the daffodils and some fruit trees were blooming. Now, they’re all frozen. One day, you’re running in a singlet and shorts. They next day, you’re freezing your assets off. You never know what to expect, and your body can’t adjust either way. I had been watching the forecast all week. Saturday, the day I was scheduled to race my first 5K of the season, the temperature was scheduled to be 22 degrees at gun time. Thanks to 15 MPH winds, it would feel like 17 […]

Frostbite 5-Miler: Race Recap

Frostbite 5-Miler recap 2017

Saturday, I ran the Frostbite 5-Miler with my team, the Philadelphia Runner/Puma Track Club. This year, the race was part of USATF’s Mid-Atlantic Grand Prix Race Schedule, so the field was packed with serious competitive runners.  I had heard from friends about the course’s infamous hills.

The first race of the season is always … well … a shock to the system, mostly the mental system. When you’re racing often, your mind and body get into a rhythm. You know what certain paces feel like. How far you can push yourself. What suffering feels like. (Just kidding…sort of)…