Tag Archives: 10K

Runner’s World Festival 2013 recap, aka, 10K is really, really far

Given that Runner’s World CRO Bart Yasso is currently stalking my husband (seriously, he seems to be at EVERY one of Hubby’s runs), it seemed only fitting that we should go to the Runner’s World Half and Festival in Bethlehem, PA.—Yasso’s hometown—last month.

OK, so I may have got that stalking bit backwards, but we were pretty excited about this event. Hubby especially, because he got to do the Hat Trick (there was even a hat to mark the accomplishment)—a 5K, 10K, and half-marathon over the two days of the fest, otherwise known as running for crazy people. I, on the other hand, was signed up for the 10K, which was possibly 10K more than I should have been signed up for, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Runner's World Half Marathon and Festival

Runner’s World Half Marathon and Festival at the SteelStacks in Bethlehem in Pennsylvania.

The festival was held at the SteelStacks, a cultural/recreation center that has been developed in the shadow of the former blast furnaces of the Bethlehem Steel Plant (Bethlehem is an old steel town that is being revitalized). It made for a very cool backdrop. I love how we keep winding up at these places we would never have visited otherwise.

Bart Yasso has a saying: “Never limit where running will take you.” (When he autographs something, he signs that. I know this because of the stalking.) It’s so true.

I put my name down for the 10K long before a 10K became out of my grasp due to a lack of preparation and other reasons. But I didn’t want to be a piker so I figured I’d do what I did for the Wineglass Half and walk the majority of it (the Wineglass tech shirt got quit a bit of love as I was waiting at the start).

Runner's World Half Marathon and Festival

Lining up for the 10K start, and not freaking out at all …

I think I jogged for about 10 minutes before I decided I’d had enough. I used to joke when I first started doing these races about coming last and being at the back of the pack. But now I really am at the back. I turned around at one point to see only a handful of people behind me. Crap! (On further observation, it turns out that there were also a handful of people behind them, so it wasn’t as dire as I thought. But still … )

Runner's World Half Marathon and Festival

Lovely old town.

Man, why is 10K so far all of a sudden? This run seemed to take an eternity. The route was great, very pretty, and flat, but such. a. long. way.  I’ve done two half-marathons in the past few months, and it STILL seemed like I would grow old and die before I finished this race. Man, I really need to start running my runs again.

When I got close to the finish, Hubby met me to encourage me in (read: give me a shove), which meant I went from a walk, to a slightly faster walk, to a sort-of run across the finish line. He even managed to capture some pictorial evidence of my, er, triumph.

Runner's World Half-Marathon and Festival

Check me out, I’m, um, running! I don’t look like a moose from this angle.

Apart from the 10K torture, the festival also had a bunch of panels and keynote speakers (Dan McGilvray, who directs the Boston Marathon, was there). We went to a few, including a talk by Yasso himself about his life on the run. The man is one compelling speaker. He’s a lot of fun to listen to,  and very passionate about what he does. I mean, his title is chief running officer! Everyone should make sure they get to one of his talks.

Oh, and there was also a dog run. You’ve got to love an event that has a dog run.

Hopefully we’ll be back next year. And hopefully by then I won’t feel like a complete running fraud!


One of us is a real runner. Can you guess who?

The event: Runner’s World Half Marathon and Festival
The location: Bethlehem, PA
The date: October 18-20, 2013
My time: 1.30.22 (best not to think about it too much)
Hubby’s time
: 20.39; 43.42; 1.41.21
The T-shirt:
 Blue tech long-sleeved shirt
The aftermath: Lots of good eats at the expo


Haven’t hung up my sneakers yet

I’m dismayed. It’s been two months since I last wrote—and that post wasn’t even mine! But thankfully, my feet haven’t been as lethargic as my fingers (which are getting a stern talking to, by the way). I’ve continued to do races, just in a somewhat less elegant fashion than before (and considering I’m the world’s least elegant runner to begin with, that’s saying something).

Rather than write an individual post about each event (my memory isn’t that good and they stretch back to May), here’s a quick roundup of what I’ve been up to. Proof that I keep pinning on those bibs despite the fact that my form has seriously regressed.

Boston’s Run to Remember (5 miles)


Boston’s Run to Remember, 2013. Freezing!

Boston, May 26, 2013
The event: well-organized, poignant, cold
My performance: middling (53.26)
Hubby: 1.35.57 (half-marathon)

* Despite being so late in May, it was a seriously cold morning (I saved a screen grab of the weather, and it was 6C/42F. Brrrrrrrrr). The 5 mile race was late getting started so we all stood around shivering in short sleeves for what felt like forever.
* There was a great deal of significance attached to this race, as it was the first biggie in Boston since the marathon. Sean Collier, the MIT officer killed in the aftermath, was prominent on T-shirts and in speeches. The “Remember” part of the Run to Remember, which usually refers to fallen law enforcement officers, took on new meaning for many. The race itself was huge. In the weeks after the marathon, everyone was a runner!
* The shadow of the marathon hung over this race in its extreme security: significantly, no one was allowed at the finish line and the runners’ area was strictly controlled. It wasn’t inconvenient, but it was sad.

P.R.O.N.E. 5K


P.R.O.N.E. 5K with Tonto (star of cutedogsandhugs.com).

Boston, MA, June 1, 2013
The event: cute, fuzzy, very hot!
My performance: I walked (leisurely) the whole way, so it doesn’t count, but for those keeping score (i.e., me): 1.01.24

* I did this event last year in soak-you-to-your-bones rain, so it was only fitting that this year it would be boiling!
* This race is for Pug Rescue of New England, so there were lots of cute dogs around to make me sneeze, although probably not as many as there would have been seeing it was so hot.
* Tiffany from Cute Dogs and Hugs, her hubby, and I met for the first time at this race last year so it was only fitting that we do it again. However, Tiffany was pregnant this time around, so she, I, and Tonto took a 5K stroll. There goes my average! I’ll never look at Athlinks again.

BAA (Boston Athletic Association) 10K


BAA 10K, 2013.

Boston, MA, June 23, 2013
The event: crowded, hot, poignant
My performance: dismal (1.16.31, a whopping seven minutes slower than my 10K PR)

* If any race deserved to be heavy on the “Boston strong” references it was this one. This was the BAA’s first run since the marathon, and it’s not surprising that their blue and gold signature colors, which had become ubiquitous across the city of Boston, were on prominent display here.
* It was heavier on the celebration than the emotion, which I appreciated, although there was a great moment after the race when the winner of the marathon, Lelisa Desisa, returned his winner’s medal to Boston Mayor Tom Menino and the city. There were some injured folk there from the marathon too, and they got an ovation from the huge crowd that stuck around.
* I also appreciated that this run wasn’t overzealous on the security. Hopefully a sign of things to come.
* Oh, my run was terrible. I walked a huge chunk (I didn’t have a dog with me, so there wasn’t really an excuse). It was hot and my heart and legs just weren’t in it. I’m beginning to think I dreamed 2012.

Mad Half-Marathon Walk

Mad Half Marathon, 2013.

Mad Half Marathon, 2013. Rural splendor.

Waitsfield, Vermont, July 7, 2013
The event: fabulous, picturesque, very hilly
My performance: decent; a little slower than 2012, but fourth overall in the walkers category (3.05.17)
Hubby: 1.44.57

* I love this event. We did it last year (it was the first time I had done a half-marathon distance—I was a walker) and knew we had to go back. It’s an extremely hilly course but worth it for the views (although not necessarily the barnyard odors).
* I can never quite tell how many walkers are in front of me, but I could see at least two, and I knew I had to get ’em. They’re in the photo above, one is in bright pink and the other in the yellow scarf. It took me a while, but I eventually caught up with the pink lady. The woman in yellow was a formidable foe and we walked together for a few miles before I got slightly ahead at about mile 9 and spent the rest of the race alone. I mean, really alone. It’s a lonely walk at the end.
* I could barely move for three days.
* On the plus side, I kept all my toenails this year!

Shipyard Old Port 5K


Shipyard Old Port 5K. Blistering!

Portland, Maine, July 14, 2013
The event:
hot, damn hot
My performance:
I’d rather not talk about it (44.13)
1.43.05 (half-marathon)

* Beautiful setting, but man it was crazy hot this year. The half-marathon course was very hilly and there was a lot of moaning afterward that it was too hilly for the weather, which is just silly.
* Last year’s 5K had a stairwell that we had to run down. This year, we had to run up it, too. Seeing as it was so hot, quite a few runners switched to the 5K. The result: a HUGE bottleneck at the stairs in the first mile. I’m talking almost seven minutes of standing around. I like a good rest as much as the next person, but this … well, I though it was pretty funny, actually. Good thing I wasn’t looking for a PR. I think that ship may have sailed …

This coming weekend: I’m doing the SeaWheeze Half-Marathon in Vancouver. Training? I’m not even going to go there. Promise it won’t take me two months to write about it.

For whom the cowbell tolls

Because the weather has been seven levels of crap here in Boston, I thought I’d cast my mind back to a happier time—one that didn’t involve wearing winter socks at the end of May and shivering my butt off. (UPDATE: So, Memorial Day turned out to be a stunner, but it was a cold, cold road to get there.) My sunny time-machine moment comes courtesy of the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K in Richmond, Va., which was a month ago, but I had to post about my awesome adventures in Pittsburgh first, so I’m a little out of chronological order.

Ukrop's Monument Ave 10K 2013

Waiting for the elites to start the Ukrop’s 10K. Look at that sky!

I’ve done a lot of races, but the Ukrop’s 10K is officially my favorite. It’s the happiest run around. You should all put it on your calendars for next year. Ukrop’s is a huge event (40,000 participants) but run so smoothly you’d think it was tiny. It has a superior expo (having also been to a number of expos, I know that for sure. Is it possible to get expo fatigue?). And it has a fantastic course: flat as a pancake, which, as you all know, speaks to me. As do pancakes, but that’s another story. The route, which travels out and back along Monument Avenue (wide road, gorgeous houses) is lined with great bands and crazy spectators. There are so many bands, in fact, that you don’t need headphones. I love that, because my new headphones suck.

It’s such a big race that Hubby’s 10K is over before mine even starts, which I find more amusing than it probably is.

Ukrop's Monument Ave 10K 2013

Walking to the start of my run. Hubby has already finished running. Or has he …

It’s become a cliché to say that I wasn’t prepared for a race, but this time I had a legitimate excuse: a horrible, no-good, weeks-long cold, which on the flight down from Boston had developed into horrible ear pain. At the risk of sounding like a whiner, it was really, really, really bad.

But I wasn’t going to spend yet another runcation stuck in the hotel (hello, North Carolina Half), so I decided to suck it up. I was meant to be in a slightly faster corral, but I hung back a bit, assuming I’d just walk the whole way. Hubby, who had finished his 10K in fine form, as is tradition, decided he’d run/walk along with me for moral support. He also brought along a cowbell.

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I think I may have forgotten how

About three weeks ago, I caught a cold that turned into a keep-me-up-all-night-hubby-sleeping-in-the-guest-bed cough from heck. So I haven’t been doing much at all besides working and sleeping—and sometimes sleep working.

During this hacking-up-a-lung period. I went to one of my regular Tuesday night Strength & Stride classes at the Y, just for kicks. I couldn’t walk for four days. No kidding. I honestly believe my muscles have forgotten how to exercise. They have a pretty short bloody memory. Wasn’t it just a few months ago that they were helping me reach new heights of activity and red-facery in my 52 Weeks, 52 Runs challenge?

This past week, I got something in my inbox that put the fear into me.

Ukrop's 10K number


This race, in Richmond, Va., which I ran triumphantly (relatively speaking) last year, is on again this weekend. In 2012, I was freaked out about it because it was my first 10K. In 2013, I am freaked out about it because I think I may have forgotten how to run. Something about bibs and heel striking and IT bands …

Two weeks ago Hubby and I traveled to Charlotte, NC, where I proceeded not to run the North Carolina Half-Marathon. While I am determined to go one step further and actually start the Ukrop’s 10K, I imagine there will be very little running involved. Maybe a little jogging …

Ukrop's Monument Ave 10K

Last year’s Ukrop’s 10K.

It’s a good thing my entire identity is not wrapped up in running (and thank goodness it’s not), as I’d be having a major existential crisis right about now.

Wish me luck!

52 Weeks, 52 Runs. No. 14: Did someone say 10K?

I ran 10K this past weekend.

No, really, I ran 10K.

Some might say that what I was doing was jogging. But that’s just semantics. For a distance of no less than 6.2 miles, I did not walk. I may have slowed briefly to obtain water, and I may have adjusted my pace to snap a photo or two, but there was more than enough running involved to make up for all of that. Did I mention that I ran 10K?

Ukrop's Monument Ave 10K

The super-fast folk take off at the start of the Ukrop's Monument Ave. 10K in Richmond, Va. Meanwhile, a photographer runs for his life.

The occasion of my triumph (which may be overstating it) was the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K in Richmond, Va., No. 14 in the 52 Weeks, 52 Runs challenge. We had signed up for our second mini-runcation many moons ago. At the time I could barely get through a 5K, and had no idea how I was supposed to go any farther. I still felt that way a few weeks back. Although I had been racking up the 5Ks, and had even managed my first five-miler, I wasn’t exactly powering through them with ease, as anyone who has seen my face at the end of a run will attest (I’m not even going to address my frankly ludicrous running style; let’s just say you would have a hard time distinguishing me from a moose).

But I was excited about this run. For one, it has been named one of the best races in the US by USA Today. And it is one of the 10 biggest races in the country, with more than 40,000 runners participating. That’s right, 40,000.

Particularly amusing was the idea that Hubby would complete the entire distance before I even started. So ginormous is this event that runners were put into waves depending on their estimated finishing time. Hubby was in Wave C; I was in Wave WA (jog/walkers: 90 to 100 minutes). Not only did I have time to watch him come home, we were able to squeeze in brunch and a movie before I started. OK, maybe not, but I think we had time.

Ukrop's Monument Ave 10K

Hubby's wave. Fast folk.

Ukrop's Monument Ave 10K

My wave. What we lack in speed, we make up for in enthusiasm.

It was a drizzly day, which was perfect for me. I have a narrow temperature comfort zone at the best of times, but it’s reduced 10-fold when I’m running, or jogging, or whatever you want to call it. Cool with 100 per cent chance of cool is my ideal situation …

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