Thursday, February 21, 2013

TRR #PlankADay 5K - Final Race Instructions

Who's ready to run and plank!?!?! Race runs from Saturday (2/23) until 8pm (Eastern) Sunday night (2/24). Race distance is a 5K. The finishers form is posted on the Twitter Road Race page on my blog. You MUST submit your time by 8:00pm (Eastern) Sunday night to be counted as an official finisher. After the cutoff time, submissions will no longer be accepted.

Only submit your time once. If you realized you made a mistake or are unsure if your time was submitted, email me at and I'd be happy to check and make any necessary corrections for you.

IMPORTANT: When you enter your time into the form, PLEASE be sure you enter it in the correct format, which is HH:MM:SS. For example, if you ran your 5K in 31 minutes and 10 seconds, please enter your time as 00:31:10. If you enter your time as 31:10, leaving out the 00: for the hour placeholder, the form is going to think it took you 31 hours and 10 minutes.

The results will be posted shortly after the race concludes on Sunday. I'll tweet the results link once it's ready. 

Race bib, FAQs, and giveaways can all be found on the Twitter Road Race page. I'd like to thank Sherry (@DrSherryPagoto), Nuun Hydration (@nuunhydration), DC Road Runners, and Elizabeth (@turtlegirl00) for donating the giveaway items! Also, a special shout out to @hellomisspotter for designing the race bib and to the #PlankADay founders, Sherry Pagoto and Mike Bauman (@mbfgmike), for teaming up with me for this race!

If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to tweet or email me and I will be happy to answer them. I wish you all a great and safe race! Have fun out there and don't forget to tweet about your race using #TwitterRoadRace!

Happy Running!


Monday, February 18, 2013

TRR #PlankADay 5K - Giveaways


I'm very excited about the upcoming Twitter Road Race this weekend! If you haven't signed up yet, what the heck are you waiting for?!?!? You can sign up here. If you have run in previous TRRs, you will notice some slight changes for this race. First, you will have until 8pm (Eastern) on Sunday to submit your finishing time. Second, Plank-A-Day founders - Sherry (@DrSherryPagoto) and Mike (@mbfgmike) - are teaming up with me! So, be sure to get your plank in after your run! Third, there will be giveaways! Submitting your finishing time automatically enters you to win! Read on to see what the giveaways are.

Sherry will be giving away a Plank-A-Day t-shirt for craziest planking picture. So, plank, snap, and tweet (using #TRRPlankADay5K) to be eligible to win! (1 winner)

The awesome staff at Nuun Hydration (@nuunhydration) have kindly donated 4 tubes of Nuun to be given away! (4 winners)

My running club, DC Road Runners, is giving away three male and three female DC Road Runners technical t-shirts! (6 winners)

My twitter friend and featured runner Elizabeth (@turtlegirl00) has donated two beautiful handcrafted scarfs and one wallet she made. (3 winners)

Winners will be contacted via Twitter. Have a great run!


Twitter Road Race: FAQs

Q: Can I run the race on a treadmill?
A: Yes.
Q: Can I use a 5K split from my training run over the weekend for the TRR?
A: Yes. 
Q: I have a 5K race the same weekend as the TRR, can I use my time from that race towards the TRR?
A: Yes.
Q: I tweeted my finishing time using #TwitterRoadRace, why isn't my time included in the final results?
A: You must also enter your time in the finisher's form on the TRR homepage.
Q: I ran in the race, but I forgot to enter my time in the finisher's form before it closed. Can my time still be included?
A: No. All times must be submitted before the race officially ends (8pm Eastern, Sunday).
Q: Do I need to be a Twitter user to participate?
A: No, but it's strongly encouraged.

If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to email me at and I will be happy to answer them.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I run because...

Running is a never ending journey that allows us to discover inner strengths we didn't know existed. This discovery has a tremendous impact on our life. We start to realize that the impossible is possible, not only in running, but in all aspects of our lives.

I call my blog "I run because..." because I feel that each post I write expresses all the reasons why I run. The other week, I reached out to the running community on Twitter and asked them to finish their own "I run because..." sentence. Below are their inspiring responses. Thanks to all that participated in this fun post!

I run because... I enjoy the scenery, it's a great way to challenge myself and other people think I am nut for doing it. -Scott @ScottLCaldwell

I run because... as a survivor of open heart surgery, it allows me to maintain a fit heart, clear my mind, and enjoy the outdoors, all within my own comfort zone. I can find my limit, push my limit, or relax my limit, because with running, there is no limit! -Kevin @KMKrawczuk

I run because... I'm addicted to running. I also run because I'm scared that if I stop I'll become fat again. -Jeff @jwind911

I run because... I am the most honest with myself in the moments and miles of a long run. I love myself the most; I forgive myself the most. Running strips away a certain amount of armor that we all have. I confess my deepest thoughts and feelings to running companions (real, or imaginary). Inevitably, I always feel at peace when I finish that final mile. -Mia @mrommel

I run because... of its amazing ability to alleviate stress, keep myself in shape, provide near-free entertainment and connect with an amazing running community. -Eric @carlsonem

I run because... I can't seem to stop. -Carolyn @22crusher

I run because... I love to compete. While I'll never have to worry about winning a race, the drive to compete for a new PR keeps me lacing up my shoes on a daily basis. -Denny @DizRuns

I run because...  I fell in love with proving to myself that I can do it! I continue to beat the negative remarks made to me with each mile I run and race I complete! -Brandy @OSUluvingirl

I run because... of the challenge and the sense of accomplishment. -Debra @doggiediva59

I run because... sometimes it's the only way to make the voices in my head shut up. It helped me lose 48 pounds and improve my health. I'm less of a jerk when I do and one day, there'll be zombies back there. -Krister @KristerDunn

I run because... it's a way I can honor my mother and help to change the lives of others affected by cancer. -Briana @easierthanchemo

I run because... running completely, positively changed my life. -Crystal @KCtoCapeCod

I run because... it's a way for me to stay happy, healthy and stress free. I want to be able to enjoy the life I've created for a long time and running helps me with that. I like the competition against others and myself that running allows me. Alisha, Caleb and Hannah ... my family. -Chuck @clswannie

I run because... it gives me strength in every aspect of my life. It pushes me past barriers I never thought possible and the other runners I have met inspire me to become my best self through running. Running has made me strong and taught me the value of pushing through even when times seem tough. -Karen @superwomankw

I run because... it makes me feel strong and exhilarated. I run because I meet interesting, positive people but also because it has allowed me to become comfortable with myself and appreciate my own company and "me" time. -Michelle @FineFettle

I run because... I want to remember a fantastic friend by raising money for cancer research. -Melissa @MileageMama

As for me, I run because... it's my passion.

Run hard!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Runner's Spotlight: Meet Crystal

I hosted my first Twitter Road Race about a year ago. Following the race, I read so many great blog posts about everyone's run. When I came across Crystal's post, I was amazed. To say the least, her racing conditions were not ideal, but that didn't keep her from heading out the door! Over 6 inches of snow had already fallen and it continued to fall as she ran. Crystal's run that day contained one element that all runners need to be successful, determination.

One year after she began running, her determination has led her to the gates of her first marathon! I wish her nothing but the best! Good luck and crush it!!! Fellow runners, meet Crystal! 

Q: When did you start running and why?
I started running in mid-January 2012 to lose weight. Then the love and passion grew from there.

Q: What are your current running goals?
My current running goals are to finish a full marathon, run a sub-2 hour half marathon, and to run 1,000 miles this year.

Q: You're about to take on your first has your training been going and what are your emotions going into this race?
My training has been really great. I finished my half marathon in October with no thoughts of another big race for awhile. Then I just started pushing myself further, to see how I felt. Pretty soon I was at 18 miles and friends told me I should register for a full marathon. So I thought WHY NOT?! I've been able to get in a lot of great long runs. One over 21 miles and another just under 24 miles. Mentally I'm feeling both confident and nervous. I think it's normal to be nervous about something that you've never done. I feel thankful to have such a wonderful support network.

Q: If you could use only one word to express what running means to you, what would it be?

Q: What is your weirdest/funniest running moment?
Showing up about 15 minutes late to a winter race in a sweatshirt with a million Christmas bows on it. They had already pulled up the start line but we decided to run it anyways. It was pretty epic.

Q: Who is the biggest motivator in your life?
The biggest motivator in my life would be my husband, Joe. He really makes me feel like I can do absolutely anything that I put my mind to. 

Q: What is your favorite quote?
"but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31

Q: What was your most memorable race?
I ran a 5k many years ago and I was the very last person in the race. Around mile 2 I had the police escort car breathing down my neck. I contemplated just quitting but I didn’t. I finished and most all the runners had stuck around to cheer me on. Then last summer when I ran my first half marathon about 18 minutes faster than my goal time. Those are both memorable in different ways.

Q: If you could only give one piece of running advice to a newbie runner, what would it be?
My advice is be consistent and stay the course. At first it's hard, really hard. Then somewhere along the line as you train and mature as a runner/athlete, it gets easier. During that 5k that I came in last, I had no idea that years later I would become a runner. Yet I did and I LOVE IT!

Be sure to check out Crystal's blog and Twitter!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Race Recap: 'Icy-8' 8-hour Adventure Trail Run

This race lived up to its name! The temperature was in the low 20s at the start and it didn't warm up much throughout the day. The mud on the trails was frozen solid and gave my feet a good beating. The nozzle on the hose of my water pack froze and I would have to hold it in my mouth and wait for it to thaw out so I could drink my water. It even formed an icicle on it!

Sounds awful, right? Nah, it was awesome! Timed ultras are a lot of fun. Instead of running until you complete the official race distance, you see how many miles you can run in the allotted time. I say this time and time again, but if you're interested in running an ultra, I highly recommend it! It's a totally different race experience and the runner camaraderie is awesome!

A couple weeks before the race, the race director emailed all the runners with a cool idea. Since the race fell on Groundhog Day, he created a special Groundhog Day division. The race course consisted of two loop options, 5 or 8 miles. Runners were allowed to combined loops and run each loop in either direction, if they wanted to. However, if you signed up for Groundhog division, you had to commit to one loop and you had to run it in the same direction throughout the race. I liked the idea, so I signed up for the 8 mile loop.

The race was held at the Lake Anna State Park in Spotsylvania, VA, which is about 1 1/2 hours south of DC. I used this race as a training run in preparation for my 100 miler next month. I figured this race would be a great opportunity to run a longer distance on the trails. My goal was to get in 40 miles, or 5 laps around the long loop. I started off at a 10 minute pace and was able to maintain that for a good portion of the race. I tried my best to limit my transition time after each lap so I could maximize the race time available.

About halfway through my 4th lap, I was starting to hit a slight wall. Hills that didn't seem so steep on the earlier laps were now harder to get up. When I started my 5th and final lap, my legs were pretty toasted and I thought that I was in for a hard lap. But, when running an ultra, you go through periods of time when you feel like complete shit and times when you feel fresh as a daisy. When I was about 36 miles in, I began to bounce back. I was able to put in some nice miles at the end and had a real strong finish!

Lap 1 - 1:20:19
Transition 1 - 5:02
L2 - 1:19:59
T2 - 6:07
L3 - 1:21:27
T3 - 18:02
L4 - 1:23:55
T4 - 9:28
L5 - 1:28:13

Total time: 7:32:36
Total mileage: 40 miles
Garmin Upload

I was glad to be done, but also happy that I still felt fairly fresh. I knew in the back of my head that if this was my 100 miler, I would still have 60 miles to go [gulp]. Once I changed into some dry clothes, I hopped into my car, blasted the heat, and began to thaw out. About an hour after the race ended, the award presentations began. The winner ran a total of 53 miles! When it came time for the Groundhog Day division awards, I was stoked when I heard my name called as the 2nd overall finisher. The race director had handmade wooden plaques made for the Groundhog division which were pretty sweet looking. I hope to run this race again next year!