Tag Archive | Runners World Hat Trick

A Line in the Sand

Most “dedicated” runners on even a “normal” run put their bodies through pounding that most people don’t understand.

Tell someone that you ran a 50K and ran for 7 plus hours and they look at you like your insane.


Tell someone you ran a marathon and you usually get asked why followed by  something about how they could never do that.

Tell someone you’ve ran a half marathon and they still don’t get why but you seem a little more normal to them.

Where does the line blur?

I know people who ran as a way to get in shape.  People close to me.   Then the moment they are faced with an issue that stems from their running, they stop.  Now I am not saying they are wrong for stopping as each person must do what is best for them.   I’m talking about the rest of us.    Those of us who for some strange reason there is no line in the sand.

No weather too bad to keep us from a run.

No injury that our first question isn’t,

“How long till I can run.”

It just becomes part of who we are.

We are runners.

Pure and simple.

Now there may be those who can not push through and injury and circumstances will stop them from actually running, but in their heart of hearts they are still runners.

Today my feet our sore.   I’m putting anti-inflammatory cream on them.   I’ve got a line from my favorite sports bra (you know you have one too) that proves that I’ve gained some weight as it now chaffs.  My quads are tight and will require stretching.

These are normal things to me.   Just another day at the office.


They are only normal to some of us.

The rest of the world thinks we are insane.

They might not be wrong, but it’s a good insanity.

This is why runners are both awesome and always cheer each other on regardless of pace, distance, or terrain.

We got your back


It’s nice to know there are so many that have mine



Run and Run Some More.

You can’t be a runner long without hearing the expression


Sometimes it’s funny to hear.   Sometimes it’s annoying to hear.   Sometimes, I even say it.  It really depends on the way it’s said.

But there is truth to this.   Sometimes we overthink, over analyze, and just forget to enjoy the beauty of the actual run.   This weekend was different.

There was a part of me that wanted to run my races as races and not run them the smart way to run them to put myself in best position for NYCM.   Part of me wanted to attack those hills in Bethlehem.   Part of me wanted to see how if I could have run these races better than my first year of racing.  Part of me wanted to test my legs and feel the burn in my lungs.   But I needed to remember that in 20 days, I will be standing at the start line of the NYCM and then it will be go time.

I will say though that there is something to be said about running a good race, a smart race, and a fun race with friends.   We had a blast running together.   You get to chat away the miles.    You get to take in the course a little more.   You get to stop for photos if you want and you may even meet people that you might not meet otherwise.


Bethlehem is a really pretty course.   It was still a very tough course and those hills are wicked.



It’s funny, I the first year I ran this in 2014 I didn’t know what to expect.  I went into it with the race mentality.   I had great finish times.   In looking at my results now, I’m actually shocked.   In my age group, I was 41 for 5K, 29 for 10K, and 50th for the Half.   Although not racing this year, I still was in the the top 100’s for my age group.   I went into this in 2014 not even knowing if I could finish these races and now it’s a stepping stone for a larger race.   All that being said, I had a much better time this year.   In 2014, I ended up not only running the races by myself, but starting them and ending them alone.   I may not have ran as fast this year, but I had a much better race experience.   I had fun.   I laughed  until I cried at one point.

Life is better with friends!

I am so happy that I ran this again and would love to do it again.  Maybe with some more friends (hint. hint).

Whose in for next year?

Strike A Pose!

I was taught by the Master (yes, I mean you Robyn) on how to strike a pose while running a race.   I’m not to her level yet, but I have come a long way from some of my race pictures.


Let’s see if I’ve got this right…

Keep your eye out for the camera people.

When you spot them – Big Smile, Raise your arms in the air and make it look easy.

Still working on that, but I will say that my photos from the Hat Trick came out much better (not all of them), than let’s say my photos from my Sprint Triathlon.   Part of that may just be the nature of the beast because it really is hard (at least for me) to look all together while looking like a water rat at the same time.   It’s a work in progress.   I’m still looking for a way to look good while doing a Tri.  (Yes, I may be that shallow.   Although, maybe not because I do still share those photos).

Case in point….


Anyway, I would love to show you actual race photos, but I really don’t have many during events except for the time a friends husband came and took pictures.   I have a few before selfies and maybe a couple after, but not many during.   Why is that when there are trained professionals throughout the course taking photos.   Photos that I now have been trained to smile and pose for.   Like this one from the Half at Runner’s World Festival.


I LOVE this picture!

I would LOVE to have a copy of this picture, but I don’t.

I also LOVE how the two guys behind me are showing how truly tiring running a race is at the finish line.  Therefore making me look that much better.

I hope I don’t get in trouble for sharing.  Don’t mind the dots…..

So if I love the way my pictures came out, why have I not ordered them?

Ok.   Let’s start with that I am a mother of three boys.  Two of them starting their braces and one of them in speech.    These minor things usually come before my race photos especially when I’ve already paid for the race which I certainly understand the cost there.   What I do not understand is why race photos are $60 to download or $45 to order 4 photos. And for the Hat Trick, its triple the cost.  Now I am not beating up on Runner’s World because the cost of Race Photos is across the board!

I further understand that they do need to pay the photographer for their time.   They need to pay to sort the pictures or what ever magical program is used to match the photo to me.   I get that there are costs.   I know that there is nothing free in this world and I’m NOT expecting free, but come on people.   Really 60 bucks!   I wonder how many people actually buy these photos.   I don’t know many. We LOVE to look at them.  We wait for them to be sent, but most of us  of the people I know don’t buy them.

Here is a thought….



I admit if the price was between $30 and $40,  I probably would be more tempted to purchase them.

I just can’t justify $60

Am I the only one who feels this way?

Do you spend the money on your race photos?

Would you buy them if they were cheaper?

Race organizers, please listen to us and I bet you will make more money that way and also have happier runners!

Running With The Pack

Pace Setter

As I’ve discussed before, I’m usually a solitary runner when it comes to my training.   Not because I’m a hermit, it just seems to work out that way.   I’ve said before, I don’t mind and kind of enjoy it.   That being said though, I do like to run with friends too.  Especially on Race Day.   Not to say that I haven’t run by myself at an event, but usually I stand at the starting line with someone.  I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve gone to an event solo. Hat Trick Day 1 and Hat Trick Day 2.   Yup, that’s it.   What a time to be flying solo too, when there is so much to see and do.

I will admit that I didn’t think much of  being by myself for my 5K & 10K.   These were shorter runs.   These were the type of runs I do all the time by myself.   Plus with the 10K being my goal race, I was focused on making sure that I followed my plan.  There wasn’t much more to think about before and during the race except making sure that I was where I needed to be when I needed to be there.  No time to think of anything else.  Eye on the prize.   Eye on the prize.   It worked too because I was right where I wanted to be even a little faster than I thought I would be.

On the morning of the Half though, things were a little different.   It was a longer race.   I had more time to wait and was less worried about making sure that I was in the right spot when the race started.   I discussed with my running Mama’s my strategy for this race.   Since I had a really good 5K & 10K and was feeling good, I thought that I would start with a pace group.   I was playng it by ear weather to start with the 2:10 or 2:15.   My thought process was actually to start with the 2:10 because if I felt the need to drop back I would be able to pick-up a latter pace group and still finish in under 2:30.   Sounded good.

I wadded through the runners standing around waiting for the start of the race.   I noticed something as I was standing there alone.   It seemed like everyone had a buddy.   Now, I know that isn’t the case, but it certainly felt a little lonely.  This was only my third half and the first one I was running on my own.   It was time to put my big girl shoes on and do it on my own.   But I also know myself, I know that I tend to go out to fast and end up running reverse splits this way.   In my previous two Half’s, I let Robyn or Janna set the pace.   They calculate and run and I just play follow the leader.  I’m a good follower.   This is why I wanted a pace group.

Now there are some who may think letting others set the pace proves that you are somehow less of a runner and that I’m somehow “cheating.”   I don’t buy that.   Unless someone else is also taking my legs and running with them, these running snobs can kiss it.   To me this is no different that having a coach tell you what to do.  Do you think less of me because I admit this?

So as I was bobbing and weaving looking for a pack to join, I saw the pace setter.   From the back, she looked like one of my good friends.   This woman had spunk dancing to the music.   Plus she had pink gloves on.  No sure if you’ve noticed or not, but pink tends to be my color for running.   I was sold.   I weaved my way into the pack and I stayed.    Then during the run, you realize that you do start to think of yourself as a pack.   We heard a few times, “Go Pace 2:10.”   I wasn’t alone anymore and it was nice.

We also had a leader.  Someone to follow.   Someone who knew what she was doing too.    Someone who gave you confidence that she knew what she was doing, so it was easy to follow her.   I’m sure we’ve all heard the story of the pace setters who blew it.  This was, obviously, not going to happen. Ingrid not only led us but also talked us through the course.   It was a beautiful course, but a slightly (Ha Ha) challenging one with rolling hills, step hills, but also some blessed down hills and flat parts.   Ingrid knew them and told us what to expect.   I knew that on those big hills not to worry about pace and go by effort, but it was reassuring to have someone say those words out loud.   She also reigned me in when I was getting ready to go too fast on a downhill reminding me that just because it’s downhill doesn’t mean you push too hard.

I stayed with the pack.  I felt good.   My legs felt strong.   I got to the point that I was pretty sure that I was going to hit my target.   Then something changed.  I started thinking that maybe I should pull ahead, but I was worried.  Then  Ingrid told the Pack that if you were feeling up to it to go for it.   She even told us when to take the leap.   I pulled away feeling strong and confident.   I also knew that if I fell back it would be ok.   So off I went.

My last three miles, I ran




Finished with a 7:05

I know I would not have been able to finish this strong without my pace group.  Not sure if another pace group would have worked as well, but this was a great fit.   The bar has been set very high for the next pace group I join.   There is something to be said in running with the pack, but in the end I am a bit of a lone wolf too.

This Is It!!


Today was the last day of the Big Event.   I’ll be honest as Dawn as my witness, once I signed up I wondered if If could do it.   I went into this with a goal of just finishing all three races.   I went into this not really knowing if I could do it. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to run it a few days ago.   As you know though, I didn’t take this weekend lightly.   I trained and busted my butt.   I can say that now because not only is it over, but I am really happy with the way it ended.

If you read yesterdays post, you know that yesterday was also a good day.

For a recap

5K – used it as a warm-up

Time: 29:39

Wanted to finish under 30

Age Division (45-49) – placed 41 out of 99

Gender 390 out of 959

Overall 793 out of 1595

Pace: 9:31

10K – Target Race

Time: 57:19

Wanted to finish under 60 minutes

Age Division – 29 out of 64

Gender 265 out of 1016

Overall 605 out of 1635

Pace: 9:13

Half Marathon – Crap Shoot

Time: 2:06:08

Division 50 out of 152

Gender 556 out of 1333

Overall 1206 out of 2311

Pace: 9:53

To say I am pleased is really an understatement.   You are talking about someone who NEVER would have ever thought of herself as a runner.   Someone who still remembers the “fat kid” she was as a young child.   I’m still shocked at myself.   I honestly was worried that I would not be able to do the half after running the previous day.   But not only did I finish, I ended up with a personal record.   I didn’t get here alone though.

So I would like to give a shout out to the people who made this possible

Yes, I know I didn’t win, but for me this is a big win.

(Hey I will never win an Academy Award, so I’ll take my moment:)

Dawn (Yup, you made the blog again) – Thank you for being my biggest cheerleader and being the one to encourage me to sign up for this in the first place.   Without you there pushing me (you know it’s your specialty -getting people to sign up for things).   Plus, you’ve been so helpful with sharing your knowledge, words of encouragement, and a fun running buddy too.

My Running Group –  You know who you are!   You guys kept me on track and honest with my training.

Cue the music….

Ok, this was a BIG, BIG, BIG event.   So Big that they call it a festival.

Expect more posts about it because there is so much more to tell.


Don’t be that Runner

Running with the Pack



RaHat Trick Day 1

So I think if your putting on a running festival


you are Runner’s World Magazine, you pretty much should know what you are doing.

Guess what?

They really do.

  1. Great Expo
  2. Awesome Goodie Bag with pair of socks, nice hat, and some other stuff
  3. Bands and DJ’s out on the course playing great music
  4. Bagpiper out on mile 4 of the 10K to bring a smile to your face
  5. Water Stops as indicated
  6. Getting in and out for Parking easy
  7. Cold drinks and food at the end
  8. Easy tracking of finish times
  9. Port-A-Potties in the Right Place and enough
  10. Really nice course with lots of police and staff help
  11. All around a event run perfectly

Now that we know Runner’s World did.

Do you want to know how I did?

I’m going to tell you anyway!!

I really had two nice runs today.

On my 5K, I had to work hard on reigning myself in.   I was caught up in the moment and fun of it.   I, literally, had to tell myself to slow down (What the hell!   When did that happen?).    I reminded myself that this was not my targeted run and just warming up.   My goal for this race was to finish around 30 minutes because I did want the hour in between the two races today.  I finished in 29:39.   Slipped right in under the wire!

I started the 10K around the 9:30 marker.   Thought this would be a nice place to start.  I paced myself in the beginning as I sometimes go out to fast, but I didn’t hold back a lot.   I was feeling good and this was my target race, so I went for it!   Had some really good miles and I will admit that I sprinted when I hit the mile 6 marker (aren’t you proud, Jeanene?)  My goal for this race was to finish in just under an hour.   I finished strong at 57:19.

I’d do the Happy Dance, but I’m tired.

Came home to spend time with family (or was it do laundry).   Going back for a good night sleep at Mom’s.

Two Down.

One to Go!!


In the Game

It’s been a rough week to say the least, but I finally got my head back in the game!

I’m excited for tomorrow.
I’m nervous for tomorrow.
But most of all,
I’m ready for tomorrow.

My husband encouraged me to do it. There really is no reason not to do it. So, therefore, here I am all packed up, clothes out, 3 alarms set, and ready to go.

Got my race plan all mentally ready to go. Who would have thought that I need to remind myself to slow down, but that’s what I keep telling myself.

5K – Slow & Steady. Just warming up. No need to burn myself out as this is not my target race. This is not going to be a PR. This is just prep with a bonus medal at the end!!

10K – Run baby run! Anything I do will be an official PR as I’ve never raced a 10K. I’ve run enough training ones, so hopefully I can give it all I got and walk away with a smile. Plus some more bling!

If all goes well, I might even make it to my you guests soccer game too.

The plan is back in place. The laces are tied and all I need is to get some sleep:)


One Day at a Time


I had a plan.

It was all worked out.

  The Road Runner’s Hat Trick location is within a 10 minute drive of where my parents live.   I was going to make an adventure of it.   Sleep in late.   Sleeping till 7:00 on a  race day would feel absolutely sinful.   Have my Mom drop me off near the venue.   Have her pick me up when I was done with the expo.  Maybe take a dinner.   Back to her house early to get a good night sleep and basically repeat for the Half Marathon the following day.   Easy Peasy.

But Life really is never easy peasy.

Life is full of complications.

Some good. Some bad.   This is a mixture of both to be honest.   Good because my Father-in-Law was a wonderful man who did not deserve to suffer.    Good because he was a proud man who would have hated not to be able to do for himself as he always did.   Bad because we are left missing him.   Bad because we know how special he truly was.  Bad for so many reasons, but we remind ourselves that this is the way he would have wanted it.

 He was a man who knew what was important.   His whole world was his family.  He was married to the same woman for 58 years and they were still just as in love as when they first married.   No lies.   Just way too cute.   He worked hard and raised 9 children.   At the end he was surrounded by these children holding his loving wife’s hand with her name of his lips.   Not a bad exit in the whole scheme of things.

Well done, Pop.

Well done.

Rest easy and know that we will take care of Mimi and that you leave a legacy of love behind you.

This is not how this post was supposed to go either, but again things are complicated. This was supposed to be a cut and dry post saying that after all this time with my sole focus being on this event, my heart just isn’t in it.   I think you can understand why.    There will be no funeral at this time as he is being cremated.   There will be a service for him, but not yet.  The service will be a celebration of him.   Therefore, we are trying to keep a somewhat normal routine.   The boys have been going to school and their normal activities.  My husband thinks that I should run.  The boys have their activities this weekend and it was planned anyway.   Normal activity.

So at this time, I think I will run.   I’m going to go pick up my bib (bibs?) Friday as planned.   I will not stay at Mom’s.   It won’t be as convenient, but I think I should be home at night.   I think the boys need that or maybe I’m the one who does.   Race morning is for getting up early anyway.   Who knows maybe I will still drive to Mom’s and just have her drop me off.   The plan is still forming.   The plan is still evolving.

One Day at a Time.

Keep on Keeping on….Maybe

I’ve been counting down and training for what seems like forever.

The race is in my site.

Now with just being in days of achieving my goal, I may not run it.

I hope that I do because if I do that means that the unthinkable yet totally expected has not happened.   In the end though as fun and challenging as this has been, it is not as important as those I love.  If I do not race this weekend, it will not matter.   There will be other races.   Other challenges.   The biggest challenge in life though is to watch those we love in pain knowing we can not help, to be there when they need us even if it just means being there.   In my heart of hearts, I hope that isn’t this weekend.   I hope it isn’t this month.   I wish it never had to be, but that is not the way life works.

At this time that is all I want to say.

So for now, I will bury my head in the sand and continue with my prep for this weekend.