Filtering by Tag: Runner's World Half Marathon

Finding the love, again

Three years ago this week, I fell back in love with running as I had one of the greatest experiences ever at the Runner's World Festival.

It was my third time at the event, but really the first time where race day really felt like an after thought. It was all about connecting with other bloggers who truly love running and spreading the word about all things running. 

Look, we even were on the "cover" of Runner's World magazine ...

runners world cover.jpg

... Well, not really, but it was FUN. I was ready to get back to regular blogging and refocus on doing great things. 

But the truth is, I was running through an injury at the time. Or at least trying to. I did that for another several months before FINALLY going to a doctor and treating my already-known-self-diagnosis of plantar fasciitis. 

I won't rehash what happened after that race - I've documented it well enough that I've dealt with injury after injury after injury (I think three is right ... could be four)

I've almost quit on running several times, even when the moments haven't been so low. I've gained some weight here and there, my running has been so slow, I often have felt like I've had no signs of progress, I'm tired ... all those thoughts and more have crossed my mind since that awesome weekend. 

But in the past month (and since my last post almost two months ago) though, I've stop caring about being fast or slow or tired, and don't care that I really should lose some weight. 

I just want running to be fun again, and eventually, great ... again. Maybe the greatest is in a couple of months at my next race, or maybe it’ll be in 2019 … I just know it’ll happen.

I really don't have a point for this post other than a bit of reflection and even a little bit of sadness that the Runner's World Festival is here again this weekend and I'm so far away from it. Far away physically; far away emotionally. 

But it's those pictures and those memories that keep my drive going to find the love for running again that I had then ...

Understanding success

Runner's World Half Marathon medalAs I near 10 years of running, I have been doing a lot of reflecting that hasn't made its way to pen and paper or a keyboard and computer screen. One of the big things on my mind lately is the definition of success and what it really means to me. When I look back at my running highs and lows, the greatest moments haven't been my PRs. The greatest moments have come when I've been challenged.

Sometime in the next year, I'll probably have a top 10 list of moments that have helped me define success -- things like finishing the 2010 Richmond Marathon and the 2012 Cleveland Half will likely be on that list.

Another may very well be this past weekend's Runner's World Half Marathon.

As I only briefly wrote about heading into the weekend, I fully planned on doing the Five and Dime -- the 5K and 10K on Saturday. I had given in to my story of not being in shape enough to run the half marathon because I knew I couldn't perform like I wanted.

Once I got to Bethlehem, though, I started thinking about it. Why shouldn't I run the half? Sure the Five and Dime was a big challenge, but why not just run 13.1 for one more "running just to run" race?

So I opted for a big trade -- sleeping in on Saturday (9:30!) and run on Sunday.

The half marathon was certainly no race for me -- except for that mile I ran hard to get away from a very annoying pace group -- as I finished in just under 2:05, my second slowest official half marathon ever and a far cry from my 1:40 half marathon PR.

For a long run though, it was what I needed for some motivation -- big-time hills, perfect weather and thousands of people at the event celebrating running. Finding motivation, to me, is a huge success.

I said in my previous post that this weekend could be the spot where I fell back in love with running. It could very well be possible that this race is the one that gets me focused on a 10 miler PR in December and then even bigger things in 2014.

Only time will have those answers for me, and I'm ready to get there.

Falling back in love?

My favorite quote of the weekend was during Dave McGillivray's presentation. Dave is the Boston Marathon race director. For much of the past year, I have felt disconnected from the running world. I've had so many more downs than ups since I fell apart at the Richmond Marathon. Without diving into it too much, before this weekend I found myself glad I've given myself this break.

No pressure, no major goals, no thinking about running other than doing enough to not get too far off track, no getting wrapped up in what other people were doing.

After my experience this weekend at the Runner's World Festival, though, I know that it's time for change. In my mind I've been ready to make some changes, but I haven't pushed myself enough to take action.

It's time to refresh my goals. Really refresh them. And be realistic about them. And be harder on myself as I get closer to them.

I can get into all that later, as this post really isn't about me. It's about this group of 20 people over the weekend who have help me realize I need a new path.

As a full disclaimer, Runner's World paid for my trip to Bethlehem, Pa., and treated 20 of us bloggers to an experience like no other.

While the swag was nice, the experience of meeting so many people I knew by blog name or Twitter name only is what made this weekend truly special.

It's easy to say that this weekend is the moment where I fell back in love with running, but I won't know if that's true for another month or so. Like any good relationship, it's going to take time to figure that part out.

As I think about how I want to really sum up the weekend, I have trouble finding the right words. Fellow blogger and #fitblog founder Katy (who was the inspiration for starting #runchat) said it best in her post:

From the Runner’s World staff and editors to the volunteers to the passionate sponsors who seemed truly excited to meet and work with us, this weekend affected me deeply. Thank you is not enough ...

For those of who blog regularly or enjoy conversations on Twitter, I have to blunt with you: don't hide behind your phones or computer screens.

Go to races. Socialize. Meet other people you think you know so well. You'll be rewarded with experiences that will change you forever.

As for the actual running this weekend? I'll save that unexpected story for later in the week.

Thanks to Running Skirts for hooking up me, Scott and Bart Yasso with a skirt at the Skirt Olympics.

Bloggers at the Altra clinic.

The Running is ... board from Altra.

Runner's World cookbook

Awesome items from Icon Fitness

Eat Run Repeat and Stuftmama with their tiny silverware.

Scott and I with #fitblog founder Katy, our inspiration for #RunChat

A huge thanks goes out to sponsors who provided gear or other information directly to the bloggers at the Runner's World Festival: Altra, Running Skirts, Ortholite, Icon Fitness, Bondi Band, Injinji, PRO Compression, SPIBelt, The Stick, Wild Planet, Belvita, Deer Park Water (Nestle), Run Donna, and Bermuda Marathon.

Join the Runner's World Half Marathon and Festival

Runner's World Half family, #runchat In just a few short weeks, I'll be heading to the Runner's World Festival once again. With so many things going on in my life, and my desire to focus on the Richmond Half, I've opted to skip out on the half marathon this year and instead do another crazy aspect of the weekend -- the Five and Dime.

The Five and Dime is the 5K and 10K, back-to-back, on the Saturday before the half marathon. I don't know how to really prepare, or how I'll approach either race, or if I'll just do it for pure fun, but I'm certainly looking forward to this opportunity for a unique race experience.

I'd love to have you join in. My #RunChat partner Scott will also be there that weekend.

You can register now with a 10% discount code for either the half marathon or the Hat Trick, which consists of the 5K, 10K and the half.

Enter the follow codes when registering: 10% off Half: runningbecauseRWHalf 10% off Hat Trick: runningbecauseRWHat

Race dates are Oct. 19 and 20.

For more information about the Runner's World Half Marathon and Festival, visit their website.

Running because SHE can

I won't give you a long drawn out intro to this post -- I asked my wife Christina to write about her Runner's World Festival experience where she ran her first 5k. Without delay, here you go: Bart Yasso, Christina, Runner's World

For eight years I have stood on the sidelines, cheering on my husband David in more races than I can count. I have gotten up before the sun and dressed in layers.

I have held signs, swung clappers and rung cow bells. I have seen the sheer exhaustion, and triumph, in every runner’s face.

I have watched anxiously for David’s face to appear among the crowd, and at one marathon even backtracked from the finish to see how I could help him after I got a text that he was going to start walking.

This year, after eight years of being a spectator, I decided to take on the challenge of a 5k.

I’ve always hated running. Gym was always my least favorite class in school. Exercise was never discussed in our household growing up.

It’s not that as kids my brothers and I weren’t active, we just didn’t make it a point to “exercise.” I’ve never had a problem with my weight, either, so physical activity never appealed to me.

David brought some exercise into my life. I joined him when he lifted weights (thinking I could tone my arms in time to wear a strapless gown at our wedding), and we did a lot of walking in our neighborhood and hiking in the mountains.

I actually ran a race in 2007, the July 4th Academy Mile in Lynchburg, Va., but since I felt like I was going to die at the end I don’t really think it counts.

Runner's World Festival - Conner

I still really didn’t start running until David signed me up (with my permission) for the Runner's World 5k on Oct. 20.

I recorded my first run on July 24 and at the time was only using a stop watch.

Once I switched to using MapMyRun on my iPhone in mid-August and could see how far I was running, I was much more motivated and enjoyed trying to beat my previous runs.

Yes, I said “enjoyed.” It didn’t take long to actually look forward to going out at 7 a.m. for a run, whether it was to prepare for the 5k or just to have time to myself to get the day started.

The week before my race was the first time I did 3 miles. I ran/walked 3.02 miles in 36:11, and I was very pleased.

Runner's World 5k finish

I figured that with the momentum of the crowd at the race, I would have no problem with a 12-minute-mile pace.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. I didn’t wear a watch or take my iPhone, so I had no idea how I was doing.

Plus, I found out after the race that the clock at mile 2 was off by quite a bit, so I was under the illusion that I was running a decent pace.

I finished in 40:01. Although I was disappointed, I keep reminding myself that I DID finish, and actually came in ahead of about 100 people.

I know I could have pushed myself more, but, as my chiropractor pointed out, I now have a PR – one that I have already decided I am going to beat.