Hey there!!! After being away most of last week for Chicago and Runner’s World this week is already flying by! I’m sorry that I didn’t get the chance to check in yesterday but I promise that I WAS working on this recap for ya.
Instead of dragging out my recap I’m going to give it to you all at once, so grab a cup of coffee (or tea) and if you’re having the same weather as us today maybe a blanket and curl up because this is a long one.
Before we start I want to thank Runner’s World and Altra for everything that they did for us this weekend. None of this would have been possible without them!
Our official program started on Thursday night, after my roomie Sarah arrived and we caught up on life we headed down to the lobby to meet everyone else in the group. If you’re curious our blogger group included….
- Katie – Ms Fit Runner
- Kristen – Fit Bottomed Girls
- Sarah – Picky Runner (<- my ROOMIE!!!)
- Ali – Ali on the Run
- Beth – Shut Up And Run
- Matt – No Meat Athlete
- Doug – Rock Creek Runner
- Presley – Run Pretty
- Dani – Weight Off My Shoulders (fellow Bostonian )
- Katie – Runs for Cookies
- Jamie – Couch to Ironwoman
- Charlene – FAB Running
- Dick – Better Cheaper Slower
- Aliah – The Get Fit Diva
- Erika – Black Girls’ Guide to Weightloss
We introduced ourselves and chatted a bit before we headed off to Rodale/Runner’s World Headquarters for a BBQ with the staff! I guess I wasn’t quite in blogger mode yet because I didn’t take many pictures while we were there but I did really love seeing the layout of the December issue! It was really cool to see how the magazine actually comes together.
Bart Yasso’s office was also a favorite because he has a ridiculous about of race bibs and medals everywhere!!!
We ended the night we s’mores before heading back to our hotel to get some shut eye before the busiest day of the weekend!
Runners are generally morning people and the staff at Runner’s World is clearly no different! They had us up bright and early at 7 AM on Friday morning for The Amazing Shake Out Run – a 3-4 mile run that incorporated teams, clues, and competition. Our team came in last ( ) but we still had a great time getting to know each other along the way.The run ended at the main building of the event where we had breakfast with some of the staff and a bunch of people from Altra. After breakfast we listened to quite a few interesting talks. Bud Coates summarized his book “Running on Air” and explained how our breathing habits are really tied into our running and injury prevention – we were given a copy in our welcome bag and now I can’t wait to read it!!!
One of my favorites of the day was Golden Harper (the founder of Altra). He told us all about how he got his start in the running shoe industry and what makes Altra’s shoes different. It was really interesting to hear all the reasoning behind zero drop shoes and how much Altra’s shoes have helped people with injuries feel better! The main thing about Altra’s shoes is that they allow your feet to run as naturally as possible which prevents a whole gamut of foot issues. Did you know that 73% of American’s have documented foot problems?? If you are in that percentage I highly recommend Altra they are great!!!!!!
We also got to hear all about iFit’s gadets and treadmills from Kendra. I want one of their treadmills in the worst way! You can type in any route in the world and watch the loop on your TV while the treadmill simulates the incline/decline of the road! How cool would it be to run in Paris one day and Australia the next??
We also got a quick running form lesson from Golden – here he’s talking about “proud posture”. You can find all of his tips to improve form here!
After a morning full of running we transitioned into a recovery for runners lesson where we did some yoga and stretching moves. We used a resistance band for some of the moves that we did and I was sore afterwards! Like I said last Friday I really need to work on my strength right now!
Lunch was followed by a VERY well deserved lunch! Everything was straight out of the Runner’s World Cookbook and it was delicious! I had salad, sweet potato salad, corn bread and chili. There were also mushroom tacos which I heard were to die for (mushrooms are one of the few foods I do not like – ick!).
While we were eating we had the pleasure to listen to Sean MacMillen tell his story of how running saved his life after he returned from serving in the army in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was such an encouraging story and seeing Sean and his RWB (Red White Blue) teammates throughout the weekend was so motivating. They ran all the races carrying American flags and always had the biggest smiles on their faces!After lunch we had the rest of the afternoon/evening free. Ali, Sarah and I picked up our bibs, checked out the expo and got our cover photos taken! (jk)
We were about to head to dinner when we noticed that the kids’ races were about to start and we just HAD to stick around for the cuteness! There was a quarter mile, half mile, and full mile race. All the kids did a great job and had a great time (there were definitely some tears but many more smiles). That kid in the yellow below totally killed his race and lead from beginning to end! Superstar!
After the kids’ races we headed to meet some of the other girls for dinner at Mama Nina’s. Bart had recommended it earlier in the day and it DID NOT disappoint!!! The free bread was these amazing little rolls covered (and I mean covered) in olive oil and garlic… so good.
I ordered the Penne alla Vodka and while it wasn’t quite as good as Carmine’s it was still a 9 out of 10 (Carmine’s is an 11!!!!).Friday night was early to bed for me so that I would be well rested for the next morning’s races!
Saturday morning we were all up early for the free breakfast at the hotel – instant oatmeal and half a plain bagel for me. A little before 7 we headed out to walk to the starting line of the 5k/10k, dropped off our bags at the bag check, used the bathroom and got in our corral for the 8AM start of the 5K. Everything about these races was AMAZING… bag check was really easy, I never waited in a line for a bathroom all weekend (and they were INSIDE bathrooms not porta-potties), and all of the volunteers were really helpful!
I checked my phone for the 5K so I don’t have any pictures from the race. I started out easy because I hadn’t done any sort of warm-up besides the walk to the start and around the 3/4 mile mark I noticed that I was near the front and since my legs felt good I decided to see how my legs would respond to some speed. I passed all the other women over the course of the next miles and cruised the last mile just to hold my place because I knew the 10K was coming up an hour later! My splits were something like 6:00, 5:30, and 6:00 and I finished in 18:38, as the first woman! I really love the picture that Runner’s World has on their website of the finish line… there’s nothing quite like getting whacked in the face with the tape, haha!
The majority of our blogger group met up inside to keep warm between the 5K and 10K and of course we had to snap a pic! We hydrated, snacked and stretched before heading out again for race #2 of the day!
Katie and I decided to run the 10K together because we wanted to make sure that we took it easier than we had taken the 5K. We ran side-by-side for the whole thing and just took in the beautiful (hilly) course! I hadn’t had time to put my phone into my bag between races so I was carrying it and since neither of us have ever taken a mid-race selfie we decided to go for it! Not too bad for our first time We finished as the 5th and 6th ladies and outkicked a guy right at the end…. I don’t think he was too happy about that! haha
After recouping from the races we grabbed lunch and speed back to the race headquarters for two seminars – Mark Remy and Bart Yasso.
Mark Remy talked about his writing process and was hilarious as usual, if you don’t read Remy’s World you should start!
Bart told us all about the crazy races that he’s run in his life – like the burro race he ran with a burro named Taco Bell. Funniest thing I’ve heard in my life! All of his stories made me want to travel the world and run races for a living… that job would pay well right??
Right before dinner we went to the comedy show with Liz Miele – not only is Liz a comedian, she is also a runner!!! And she had a really funny view on some common runner issues! If you’re in NYC you should totally hit up a Liz Miele show… she’s great!
After we had laughed so hard our abs hurt it was finally time for dinner! Another meal straight out of the Runner’s World Cookbook, with homemade pastas, sauces and meatballs. I tried to have a little bit of everything but my favorite by far was the kale pesto…. I need to make that ASAP!
Another early night for me because what do you know… we had another race the next morning! :O
The half on Sunday morning was the last event of the weekend. After taking the 5K and 10K harder than I was planning the day before I wasn’t really expecting much out of my half time – especially since I had heard that the course was really hilly. I went into it planning on running anywhere from 7:00-7:00 pace but ended up feeling good and just went with the flow and allowed the guys around me to pull me along. Believe it or not I’ve never actually run a half marathon race before (I know… crazy!), let alone after a marathon, 5K and 10K all in one week! There were some tough uphills but the downhills made up for it, as did the beautiful course and the amazing crowd support! I kept my pace even for the first 12 miles and then kicked it up a little the last mile. I finished as the 7th woman overall in 1:27:14 – which ended up averaging about the same pace as the 10K the day before.
I loved the distance and that you kinda just settle in on a pace and cruise for awhile and then pick it up at the end if you have anything left! I’m signed up for a half in December and now I’m really looking forward to seeing what I can do when I go into a half well trained and fresh… I’m thinking low 1:20s?
Very quickly after the race on Sunday everyone started getting ready to head home. Katie and I grabbed a quick lunch for the road and started the drive back to reality.
It was so hard to say goodbye to such a great weekend and all the wonderful people that I met – bloggers, RW and Altra staff included! The Hat Trick was a really fun experience and one that I hope to participate in again in the future!!!
Phew, You made it!!! Now go do something fun to celebrate… like maybe sign up for the Runner’s World Half and Festival 2015!!!!!!!!!!!!
What is the craziest race/run that you’ve ever done??
If you have kids, do they run kids races/fun runs?
Mid-race selfies – yay or nay?
**Disclaimer: Runner’s World sponsored my involvement in this weekend’s events by providing entrance to the Hat Trick and my accommodations, but all opinions are my own!**