Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Discount Code

On Monday I received some exciting news – that my Rock ‘n’ Blogger discount code is valid for next year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll DC races.  Use discount code DANCINGTORUNNING to save $15 on race registration for the half or full marathons.  The race is scheduled for Saturday, March 12th.  (Note, my code is also currently valid for Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona and Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans.)

I would love to run Rock ‘n’ Roll DC again (I ran it in 2014 when it was named Rock ‘n’ Roll USA.)  With Baby Thayer due next month, 2016 will not be the year for me to return to this race, but you can bet that I’ll be cheering those of you on who do choose to run this race in just 15 short weeks.

After crossing the finish line of RnRUSA, now called RnRDC, back in March 2014

After crossing the finish line of RnRUSA, now called RnRDC, back in March 2014

I’ve now run at three different Rock ‘n’ Roll events (Virginia Beach in 2013, 2014, and 2015, as well as Philly this year and DC back in 2014), and all have been positive race experiences.  Rock ‘n’ Roll races are well known for their great on course entertainment, having plenty of water and fuel stops along the course, as well as having lots of post race food available for runners at the finish line.

Interested in running the streets of DC in March?  Maybe drop a couple of hints to your friends and family that you’d like a race registration for Christmas.  The next price increase isn’t scheduled until January, so there’s plenty of time to cash in on the current registration price ($115 for the full marathon, $105 for the half marathon, plus $15 off using code DANCINGTORUNNING).

QOTD: What race(s) are on your 2016 race calendar?

Posted in Races | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Gift List for the Pregnant Runner

Disclaimer:  Although I am a For Two Fitness ambassador, I did not receive any form of compensation for this post.  Instead, I’m just sharing my love of the clothing line with all of you.

With Black Friday ads dominating the media right now, as well as flooding my e-mail inbox, ideas for Christmas gifts have been on my mind a lot lately.  And with me currently being nine months pregnant, I’ve also been thinking a lot about fitness items that I’ve found very useful while maintaining a fit pregnancy, as well as things that I would love to have post delivery as I work towards getting my pre-baby body back.

These items are all on my gift list, and I’m sure they’ll also please the pregnant runner in your life too.

pregnant runner gift list

  1. For Two Fitness clothes – I’ve been wearing For Two Fitness tops since early on in my pregnancy, and they have grown with me as my baby belly has grown.  I was able to wear non-maternity workout bottoms until I was 30 weeks pregnant, but the For Two Fitness capris and pants have offered the perfect fit for my continuously growing baby belly since I started wearing them.
  2. Bosu/Exercise Ball – One of the few ab workouts that I’ve been able to maintain, other than planks, are crunches on the Bosu ball.  I don’t have one of my own at home, but every visit to the gym includes time spent on the Bosu ball.
  3. Dumbbells set – A dumbbells set is the perfect addition to any home gym, especially for moms who won’t always be able to escape the house to head to the gym.
  4. Running shoes – Because what runner doesn’t want a new, supportive pair of running shoes?
  5. Gift card for postpartum running clothes – There is always something so motivating about being able to work out in new clothes!  I would love to be able to add a few new pieces to my wardrobe after the baby is born and I’m cleared by my doctor to resume running again.

QOTD: What gift(s) would you add to a pregnant runner’s gift list?

I’m linking up today with Erika from MCM Mama Runs, Patty from My No-Guilt Life, and Marcia from Marcia’s Healthy Slice for the Tuesdays on the Run Linkup.  Be sure to check out their posts as well!


Posted in Pregnancy | Tagged , , , , | 19 Comments

Looking Ahead to 2016

Though I didn’t realize it would be a year of great change, 2015 has certainly proven to be just that.  Despite having set yearly goals for myself back in January, those goals were quickly reevaluated and modified after finding out in April that I was pregnant.

2016 will also be a year like no other, as I adjust to life as a new mother and work towards getting back to my pre-pregnancy fitness levels.  There’s of course no way to know how long it will take me to bounce back after delivery, which makes it difficult to plan ahead for what races I’ll try and run next year.

For the past 2.5 years I’ve used running races as a way to focus my fitness regimen and to stay motivated when it comes to working out.  My plan is to continue to use races in 2016 to help me to stay motivated, though I don’t plan to go after a certain number of races next year like I did in both 2014 and 2015.  I’ll be focusing on quality races over quantity.

One of the big questions on my mind lately is when I should attempt to run my first post-baby half marathon.  Is late spring too early?  Should I wait until Labor Day weekend?  Should I wait until next fall?  At this point, its hard to answer that question.  Although I ran until I was 32 weeks pregnant, its impossible to predict how long it will take me to get back at running, and more importantly, running long distances.

One thing is for certain: I’m eager to get back out there.  I miss the thrill of training for a goal race, and I miss being able to physically do so.  In some ways, I don’t feel like I’ve trained for a goal race since I crossed the finish line of Shamrock Half Marathon back in March, and I’m extremely eager to focus on training for my next goal race.

After crossing the finish line of Shamrock Half Marathon and completing the Dolphin Challenge

After crossing the finish line of Shamrock Half Marathon and completing the Dolphin Challenge

Will I have answers to my questions anytime soon?  Likely not.  But in the meantime, its fun to daydream about all of the possible races that I could choose from.  And I cannot wait to have my little guy cheering me on as his mommy toes the start line of her first post-pregnancy half marathon.

QOTD: What running goal(s) are you contemplating going after in 2016?

Posted in Motivation, Races | Tagged , , , | 47 Comments

Tips for Staying Healthy Over the Holidays (and a SmartyPants Giveaway!)

Disclaimer: Through my affiliation with Fit Approach, I received SmartyPants Adult Complete Travel Packs in exchange for this review.  As always, all opinions are my own.

Its hard to believe that Thanksgiving is one week from tomorrow!  With Thanksgiving right around the corner, that also means that the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is almost upon us.  But just because you’re spending extra time with friends and loved ones doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your health or fitness levels.

So what can you do in order to stay healthy during the busy holiday season?

healthy holiday tips

  1. Pencil your workouts into your calendar along with your social and family events.  That way, you’ll be more likely to keep on top of your fitness routine and will know which days you might need to make some adjustments.
  2. Don’t be too hard on yourself.  Missing one or two workouts won’t be the end of the world.  December is always a busy month for so many of us, and life is all about finding balance.  And just like a missed workout here or there isn’t a huge deal, shortening a workout here or there also isn’t a huge deal.  Its better to get in 30 minutes of activity than perhaps the full hour that you might have planned on.
  3. Meal plan each week and keep healthy foods in the house.  Even if you find yourself eating out more, especially at holiday parties, having healthy foods stocked at home will help ensure that you’re finding balance in what you eat instead of resorting to processed foods, or even worse, take out, after returning from a long day out of the house.
  4. Register for and participate in a holiday themed race.  Last year, I ran both a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning and then a Christmas themed race in early December.  Although I’m no longer running at this point in my pregnancy, I still hope to get a walk in on Thanksgiving day to help balance the hearty meal that I’ll be eating with family.
  5. Find a way to hold yourself accountable, such as an online fitness challenge group.  Just like last year, I’m participating in the Holiday Sweat Challenge with Fit Approach.   Although I’m working out less than I was when I participated in the challenge last year, its still a lot of fun to have the support of other like minded people during a busy time of the year.
  6. Take your vitamins!  Its easy to forget to take your daily vitamins and supplements when you’re extra busy, especially if you’re traveling.  But your vitamins are super important, especially when life is busy and you’re constantly on the go.

For additional tips, be sure to check out my post from last November on 5 Tips for Staying on Track During the Holidays.

Want an easy way to keep your vitamins with you at all times?  You’re in luck then!  Through my affiliation with Fit Approach, I have the opportunity to share a box of 15 travel packs of SmartyPants Adult Complete Vitamins with one lucky reader.  (You can check out my review of the vitamins here – my opinion on these vitamins hasn’t changed since I first received them back in September!).  Be sure to head over to my Rafflecopter giveaway in order to enter for your chance to win a box of the travel packs!  Giveaway ends on Tuesday, November 24th at 11:59 p.m. EST, and is open to residents in the United States and Canada.

travel pack

QOTD: What is one tip for staying healthy during the busy holiday season?

Posted in Food, Motivation | Tagged , , , , , , | 40 Comments

Facing Reality

On Mondays (or Tuesdays if I haven’t been able to write a Monday post) for as long as I can remember, I’ve shared my weekly training log on here.  My writing a weekly training log has been my main way to hold myself accountable for my training, so that I’ve been able to keep myself on track.

Last Monday and today have been exceptions to that norm.  As I’ve briefly shared in a couple of posts over the past two weeks, I’ve slowed down significantly in terms of my physical activity.  The exhaustion of the third trimester has definitely set in, and its becoming more and more difficult for me to physically keep up with what my mind wants me to be able to do, especially now that I’m 34.5 weeks pregnant.

The reality is that its too painful to run right now.  The reality is that my baby belly has grown to the point that I can’t exercise the way that I want to.  The reality is that I’m slowing down, and whether I like it or not, cannot exercise as consistently as I’d like to.

Its been a hard reality for me to face.  Mentally, I’m geared up and ready to try and maintain the same fitness levels that I was pre-pregnancy.  And this has been a very difficult obstacle to overcome.  They say running, and working out in general, is just as much mental and as it is physical.  And boy is that true.  But the reality is that my body just cannot keep up with what my mind and heart desire to be able to do.

The reality is that I’m struggling to find a balance right now.  The stress of work is taking its toll on me, and I’ve started to face complications with my pregnancy that haven’t been fun to deal with.  Among other issues, the week after Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly I found out that I’ve developed pelvic synthesis separation.  My OB assures me that there’s nothing I’ve done to cause this, and that there’s nothing I could have done to prevent it, but of course, now I get to face the reality of dealing with it.  Some days I’m in more pain than others, and unfortunately, there’s not much that can be done medically in order to help me manage the pain.  Thankfully, neither my health or the baby’s health is in jeopardy, but nonetheless, its still not fun to deal with the chronic pain.

The last time I ran was two weeks ago at Rock 'n' Roll Philly

The last time I ran was two weeks ago at Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly, which will also be the last time that I run for the foreseeable future

Does this mean that I’m giving up working out altogether?  Absolutely not.  But I’ve had to make several modifications.  My OB has suggested that I limit myself to only low impact exercise for the remainder of my pregnancy, and that if it feels like exercise is making the pain worse, then I need to stop.  The other big adjustment that I’ve had to make has been to the frequency and duration of my workouts.  There are many days now that I come home from work and I’m just too exhausted to head to the gym.  I’m trying to embrace these changes as best as I can, and am trying to accept that if going for a walk is all that my body can handle then so be it.

As I’m facing this reality, I’m trying to remind myself that I haven’t failed.  Despite how difficult its been to accept this reality, the fact is that my body just can’t keep up with my mind right now.  And that doesn’t make me a failure.  The reality is that circumstances have temporarily changed, and adjustments have needed to be made.

QOTD: What realities have you recently had to face?

Posted in Pregnancy, Training | Tagged , | 67 Comments

Friday Five – Potpourri v. 8

This week’s Friday Five theme with the DC Trifecta is “Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays.”  I have an upcoming post planned for next week on this very topic, with a giveaway as a part of the post, so be sure to stay tuned for my tips for staying healthy during the busy holiday season.  In the meantime, you can check out a post that I wrote a year ago for tips for staying on track during the holidays.

Today, I thought I’d share some of what I’ve been up to lately and what’s been on my mind.

1.  I’m currently participating in the Grow Your Blog Hop, hosted by Kristy at Runaway Bridal Planner.  I participated in her first blog hop back in February, and found it to be a great networking experience.  Though some of the other bloggers in the blog hop are bloggers that I’ve previously connected with, there are many new bloggers that I’ve enjoyed virtually meeting and connecting with for the first time.

Grow Your Blog Hop 1

2.  Since running/walking Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly two weeks ago, I’ve slowed down quite a bit.  I haven’t run once since the half marathon, and am thinking I probably won’t be running again until after our little guy is born.  I’ve only gotten to the gym twice, and gotten outside one additional time for a 30 minute walk with Preston and Riley.  Now that I’m 34 weeks pregnant, third trimester exhaustion has set in, and listening to my body’s screams for extra rest is more important than pushing my body too much right now.

3.  While I love Christmas, the amount of Christmas stuff that is already out is a bit excessive.  Not only have I heard nothing but Christmas music played in a number of stores that I’ve been in since the day after Halloween, but I came across two radio stations yesterday afternoon that are already playing nonstop Christmas music.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, but can we please get through Thanksgiving first?!?

4.  While I’m not ready for nonstop Christmas music yet, I’ll admit that I have started my Christmas shopping.  With our little guy’s due date being Christmas Eve, I’m trying to get a head start on my shopping and get things taken care of before I start to feel too tired and run down.

5.  We’re slowly but surely making progress towards getting ready for our little guy’s arrival.  Each week I try to spend some time working on organizing and putting things away in the nursery, and last weekend I started packing the diaper bag and writing my hospital bag packing list.  I’m hoping to finish enough laundry this weekend to pack most of my hospital bag so that if I were to go into labor early we’d be prepared and ready to go.

QOTD: What are your thoughts on Christmas decorations being out and Christmas music being played this early in November?

As always, thank you to the DC Trifecta Bloggers (Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, Mar from Mar on the Run, and Cynthia from You Signed Up For What?!) for hosting the weekly Friday Five Link Up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well!


Posted in Miscellaneous | Tagged | 66 Comments

Thoughts on this Year’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon

Back in March, Preston and I registered for this year’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon.  That was about six weeks before we found out that we were pregnant, and when we calculated the weeks we realized that I’d be 33 weeks pregnant during this year’s race.  Although I ran/walked Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly at 32 weeks pregnant, we didn’t want to plan an expensive racecation for a race that I would have had to walk the majority, if not all, of.  The cost of the two races was a huge difference in why I still participated in Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly (which I participated in for free as part of my participation as a Rock ‘n’ Blogger this year).  After fees, our race registration for Wine and Dine was over $200/person, and we didn’t want to feel like we wasted money on a race that we would wind up having to walk.

So we deferred the race.  It wasn’t a difficult decision, but one that we wish that we hadn’t had to make since we had been looking forward to registering for this race for so long.  Throughout the race weekend this past weekend, the more that I saw everybody’s pictures on social media the more that I longed to be there.  Ever since running my first half marathon at Disney in January 2014, I’ve been eager to participate in another runDisney race weekend, and seeing the Christmas at Disney pictures had me reminiscing about our Christmas vacation there last year.

Crossing the finish line of my first half marathon! Photo Credit: MarathonFoto

Crossing the finish line of my first half marathon!
Photo Credit: MarathonFoto

Due to pregnancy insomnia, I’m not sleeping currently sleeping through the night.  Saturday night I woke up around 11:45 p.m. to a number of runDisney Twitter alerts on my phone.  It was then that I first learned that the start time of this year’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon had been delayed due to inclement weather, and that the course had also been shortened to about 6.7 miles.  Many on social media started nicknaming this year’s race “The Wine and Dine Half of a Half Marathon.”

Some of the tweets that runDisney tweeted Saturday evening

Some of the tweets that runDisney tweeted Saturday evening

The course started at ESPN Wide World of Sports, and normally would have taken runners on an out and back on Osceola Parkway, with a brief run through Animal Kingdom.  Instead, the out and back on Osceola Parkway was eliminated, as was Animal Kingdom, and runners instead were rerouted to run on World Drive to Hollywood Studios, where they ran the rest of the originally planned race, which ended at Epcot.

There’s lots of speculation as to why the course was shortened.  There was a threat of additional thunderstorms in the area between 1 and 2 a.m., when many runners would have still been on the course.  I also read about downed tree limbs on the course in Animal Kingdom.  There was discussion that the medical and security staff were only contracted until a certain time, and that by delaying the start of the race until 10:45 p.m. that these staff would have been working beyond their contracted time.  There was also discussion as to where runDisney would direct runners to that were on Osceola Parkway in the event of a second thunderstorm, and how those runners would be safe from Mother Nature.  And lastly, it was mentioned that the roads had to be reopened by 2 a.m., which with the delayed start wouldn’t have allowed for the maximum 16 minute/mile pace that runDisney offers its participants.

I’d like to believe that those are the reasons for the tough decision that runDisney had to make.  I’m trying to not believe the complainers who have argued that runDisney cut the race short in order to ensure profits for Disney at the race after party at Epcot, which still went on as planned.  That thought never crossed my mind until I read about it in several of the runDisney Facebook groups that I belong to.

Several people are naturally upset about the course being cut short, especially those for whom this would have been their first half marathon.  I’ve been trying to think about how I would have felt had Preston and I been in Florida for this race as originally planned.  Of course, I would have been disappointed about the weather’s interference with the race, but nobody can control Mother Nature’s ways.  Its hard to even begin to put myself into the shoes of those who had signed up for this race as their first half marathon, and just how disappointing it would have been to not be able to complete this race as planned.  But the reality is that safety comes first, and I would never want a race organization to put my health and safety in jeopardy just so that the show could go on.

Wine and Dine wasn’t the only race that had to have last minute changes made.  Earlier in the day on Saturday, Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah’s full marathon course had to be cut short due to unseasonably high temperatures and humidity.  Given that a runner passed away during the race, it seems to me like Rock ‘n’ Roll made the right decision on Saturday.

Is there one “right” answer to when the weather doesn’t cooperate?  Of course not.  runDisney has their zero refund policy stated on multiple pages on their website, and they could of course have made the decision to cancel the race altogether.  But they didn’t.  They made adjustments, still passed out medals at the finish line, and honored this race as originally planned for the Coast to Coast Challenge.  Some said they had difficulty wearing and/or displaying their medals since they didn’t complete a half marathon, but many would have also complained had they not distributed any of the medals.

Since I wasn’t there, I haven’t been able to come to a 100% conclusion on how I would have felt had Preston and I been there as originally planned.  Sure, it would have been a disappointment to not complete the race as planned, but at the same time, health and safety always come first.  And for that reason, I support the decision that runDisney made to shorten the course.

QOTD: How would you have felt if you were at Wine and Dine this past weekend? Or if you were at Wine and Dine, what are your thoughts on how runDisney handled the situation?

Posted in Races | Tagged , | 60 Comments

Lessons I’ve Learned from Training While Pregnant

Its been no secret that one of my big goals while pregnant has been to remain as active as possible.  I’ve trained for and completed a number of races while pregnant, my two biggest accomplishments being running Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach at 24 weeks pregnant and running/walking Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly at 32 weeks pregnant.  Like any other race, my training for these two half marathons took lots of time, focus, and dedication in order to ensure that I was as prepared as possible when I toed the start line on race day.

After crossing the finish line of Rock 'n' Roll Virginia Beach back in September at 24 weeks pregnant

After crossing the finish line of Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach back in September at 24 weeks pregnant

While continuing to train for races and living an active lifestyle hasn’t always been an easy task, there’s a number of lessons that I’ve learned while maintaining a fit pregnancy.

lessons from training

1.  While setting goals is a great way to stay focused, including when pregnant, achieving your goals might not always be possible.  I set monthly goals (you can check out my November goals here).  There have been several months when I’ve successfully reached most or all of my monthly goals.  But there have also been several months when I haven’t even come close to reaching most or all of my monthly goals.  The most important thing is that I’ve used my goals to help focus my attention on staying active and living a healthy, fit lifestyle that benefits both myself and the baby.

2.  Listening to your body is more important than ever.  Its important to recognize when your body is quenching the desire to workout, but its equally, if not more, important to recognize your body’s signs indicating that you need extra rest.  Pregnancy is anything but easy on the body, and though it was a mental challenge at first to not be stubborn about taking extra rest days, I’ve gotten better about this as I’ve progressed through my pregnancy.

3.  There’s no such thing as drinking too much water.  Most physicians recommend drinking an additional glass of water (on top of the daily recommended 8-10 glasses) for every 30 minutes that pregnant women work out.

4.  Stay close to the bathroom, especially when your workouts are long and you’re following the suggested additional water intake when you’re working out.  During my long training runs, I either made sure that I remained close to the house or near a public restroom while training outside.  Or if my training took place at the gym, then I made sure to choose one of the treadmills that was closest to the locker room.

5.  Its okay to slow down.  While a slowing pace might be a difficult pill to swallow (I certainly struggled with this at first), its more than okay to run or walk at a slower pace than you were accustomed to pre-pregnancy.  Again, this is a mental challenge, but once you’re able to break through the mental barrier that prevents you from accepting this, working out will likely become much more enjoyable.

Working out is becoming progressively more difficult, but I keep reminding myself that any workouts are better than none at all, no matter how long I can workout for or how slowly I'm moving!

Working out is becoming progressively more difficult, but I keep reminding myself that any workouts are better than none at all, no matter how long I can workout for or how slowly I’m moving!

6.  Embrace your changing body.  As the baby and baby belly grow, it’ll become increasingly difficult to complete certain exercises that once felt extremely easy.  If you lift weights, you’ll likely need to reduce the weight that you lift, and there may be certain exercises altogether that your body just can’t handle anymore.  I’ve had to make several modifications to my workout routine, and I’m sure in the last weeks of my pregnancy I’ll have to make even more changes.

Be sure to also check out my post on Tips for Running While Pregnant.  And as with any fitness activities, its imperative that your doctor approve your fitness regimen prior to starting.  I’m very thankful that my OB has been extremely supportive of my continuing to run and remain active throughout my pregnancy.  Although I’m slowing down now that I’m one day shy of 34 weeks pregnant, I’m also extremely appreciative of all that my pregnant body has allowed me to handle up until this point.

QOTD: What lessons have you learned from working out while pregnant?

Posted in Pregnancy, Training | Tagged , , | 92 Comments

Post Race Celebrations

Its been awhile since I’ve participated in the Tuesdays on the Run linkup (since the end of June to be exact), but when I saw this week’s theme for the linkup, I just knew I had to participate.

This week’s TOTR topic is Post Race Celebrations.  Having completed a number of races, my post race celebrations have varied greatly, from an informal celebration at home with Preston to wine tasting to a fancy dinner out with my parents.  Some of my favorite post race celebrations include:

Wine and cheese on the deck after this year’s Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

wine and cheese

Our baby shower after this year’s Dulles Day 5k

baby shower

(Okay, this wasn’t exactly a “race celebration” but it was a party with friends and family only a couple of hours after completing a race, so I’m including it)

Wine tasting at vineyards in Charlottesville after the Charlottesville Fall Classic 10k in 2013

Celebrating at one of the many wineries in the Charlottesville area

Dinner with Preston and my parents at California Grill after the Disney World Half Marathon in 2014 (my first half marathon)


QOTD: What is your most memorable post race celebration?

I’m linking up today with Erika from MCM Mama Runs, Patty from My No-Guilt Life, and Marcia from Marcia’s Healthy Slice for the Tuesdays on the Run Linkup.  Be sure to check out their posts as well!


Posted in Races | Tagged , , , , , , | 35 Comments

2015 Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon Recap

Disclaimer: As a Rock ‘n’ Blogger I received complimentary entry into this race.  As always, all opinions are my own.

RnRPhilly Recap

Last Saturday morning I completed my sixth half marathon, and my second one while pregnant. You may recall that I ran my first pregnant half marathon in Virginia Beach at 24 weeks pregnant. Although this race was only a short eight weeks later, the two races were drastically different.

My race weekend experience started out Friday afternoon/evening when Preston and I made the drive up I-95 from Northern Virginia to Philly.  With the race expo scheduled to close at 7 p.m., we headed straight to the Philadelphia Convention Center.  Since we had our dog Riley with us, we decided that Preston would drop me off and I would quickly run into the convention center to pick up my bib while he circled around the city streets.

The expo was well organized and easy to navigate.  Packet pickup was a breeze, as was navigating the exhibitors on the expo floor.  Unlike my last Rock ‘n’ Roll experience, I found the exhibitors to be well spaced out and the floor wasn’t crowded at all.  Other than browsing the official merchandise, the only other stop I made was at the Sparkly Soul booth, where I browsed their expo specials and ultimately decided to not purchase anything.

The only official merchandise that caught my eye was this adorable onesie, but given the high price and how quickly babies grow, I decided that the onesie wasn't worth it

The only official merchandise that caught my eye was this adorable onesie, but given the high price and how quickly babies grow, I decided that the onesie wasn’t worth it

I was in and out of the convention center within 15 minutes, and met back up with Preston and Riley.  We made our way across the Ben Franklin Bridge into New Jersey, as we spent the weekend staying at my father-in-law’s house in South Jersey.  I laid all of my race gear out Friday night, and set my alarm for 5 a.m. with the plan being that Preston, Riley, my father-in-law, and I would leave the house at 6 a.m.  We wound up being a bit late, but the lack of traffic getting back into the city, as well as their ability to drop me off only about two blocks from the start line meant that I still wasn’t late for the race.

Flat Kathryn (and baby) ready for half marathon no. 6 (and no. 2 for baby)

Flat Kathryn (and baby) ready for half marathon no. 6 (and no. 2 for baby)

After arriving at the start line, I headed immediately for gear check and then got in line for the porta potties.  I texted Sarah to find out where she and her fiance Matthew were, and it was right after she and I texted back and forth and they were on their way over to find me that my phone died.  And by died, I don’t mean just ran out of battery (it had been fully charged).  I got the blue screen of death on a two week old phone (hence why I don’t have any other expo pictures since I only posted the one of the onesie onto social media).  While I fumbled with the phone trying to get it to turn back on, Sarah and Matthew found me.  It was great to meet up with them and catch up a bit (I hadn’t seen Sarah since Shamrock Half Marathon back in March, and hadn’t seen Matthew since the Disney World 10k back in January 2014).  After a couple of minutes they headed off to find another friend while I continued to wait in line for the porta potties.

Photo Credit: Sarah from Sparkly Runner

Photo Credit: Sarah from Sparkly Runner

While in line, I continued trying to turn my phone back on.  I was devastated for multiple reasons.  My phone was my source of music for the race, and I’m not used to running without music.  But more importantly I started to panic about how I’d get in contact with Preston and my father-in-law after the race.  Thankfully, another woman in line noticed how panicked I was, and offered to let me use her phone to text Preston about what had happened.  Thank you kind lady, I’m not sure what I would have done without you!

After using the porta potty I headed towards my corral.  Since I knew I’d be walking the majority of the race, I lined up on the far right side of the corral so that I could avoid being in anybody else’s way.  The race started at 7:30, and at 8:01 my corral, corral 19, was off and running.

We had a great view of City Hall for the first part of the race, and then weaved through a couple of downtown streets before heading towards City Hall again.  Because of crowding at the beginning of the race, I ran the first five minutes straight, and then started running 1:15 minute intervals, followed by 45 seconds of walking.  After running the first mile, I walked the entire second mile in order to conserve energy.  And it was around 1.5 miles that I heard a familiar voice from behind, a former coworker shouted “I didn’t expect to see you here!” as she ran past me.  It was great to see a familiar face, especially so early on in the race.

Running towards City Hall

Running towards City Hall

At the mile 2 marker I resumed my run/walk intervals, and alternated between running/walking and walking miles for the first 5 miles of the race.  My race plan had been exactly that, and I wanted to stick to it, only letting myself run the last mile of the race if I felt up to it.  I felt good for those first 5 miles of the race, which I’m sure was partly the result of the cool weather that we had on race morning.  I wound up wearing my throw away shirt (my oversized volunteer shirt from last year’s Marine Corps Marathon) until just past the 5k marker, and because I feared that I would get cold later on in the race when I stopped running I tied my shirt around my waist instead of tossing it on the side of the road.

After running my third mile (mile 5 of the race), I focused on walking the remainder of the race.  Although at that point I was feeling pretty good, I didn’t want to jinx myself or prevent myself from being able to finish the race.  As I started walking, I pulled my phone out to see if I could get it to turn on.  It successfully turned on, I quickly texted Preston to let me know my current location, but reminded him to not count on my phone surviving the rest of the race.  And its a good thing we didn’t rely on it, because around 6.5 miles it turned off again.

Shortly after starting to walk the race the course took us along the Schuylkill River, and the remainder of the course was a huge loop along the river.  It was a gorgeous fall morning for a race, and I’m so glad that I had a basic point and shoot camera with me since the scenery was just absolutely gorgeous.  Even though my dead phone made it so that I couldn’t listen to music, I was at least able to take plenty of pictures during the race.

rnr philly course

I made my first porta potty stop just before the mile 6 marker, and then stopped again around miles 8.5 and 10.5.  After my last porta potty stop, I noticed that my hamstrings started to tighten up and that I was feeling increased round ligament pressure.  Both of these led to me slowing my pace down a bit, and for a couple of minutes I contemplated stopping at a medical tent and calling it a day.  But then I got my head back in the game, reminded myself that I could do it, and forged forward towards the finish line.

Part of what distracted me during the race, other than the scenery, were the costumes that many runners wore.  With this race being on Halloween morning, many runners took the opportunity to dress up.  I saw several women dressed as Energizer Bunnies, several takes on various super heroes, but my favorite costumes were worn by a group of 5 runners who were dressed as the ingredients for s’mores.


By the time I got to the mile 12 marker I just wanted to be done with the race, and though I was in some pain I decided to resume my run/walk intervals for the last mile of the race.  My “run” was a slow jog at best, but I slowly but surely made my way back towards the Art Museum and Eakins Oval, where the finish line of the race was.  Just before the mile 13 marker we started a sharp incline towards the Art Museum, which was brutal, but I pushed forward as best as I could and crossed the finish line at 3:26:35 (15:46 pace), though according to my Garmin I finished the race in 3:17:25 (and ran/walked 13.30 miles at a 14:51 pace).  Although this was my slowest of the six half marathons that I’ve completed (my second slowest being my first half marathon), this is one of the half marathons that I’m most proud of having completed.  How many people can say that they completed a half marathon at 32 weeks pregnant?

Since I was at the back of the pack finishing the race, the finishers’ chute wasn’t crowded whatsoever.  After I received my medal, I was handed two bottles of water as well as Gatorade, and found that there was still plenty of food left for us slower finishers.  As with past Rock ‘n’ Roll races, I greatly appreciate that they have plenty of food available at the finish line, but its always difficult to juggle everything.  A bag to put everything into would be greatly appreciated!

There was one thing that they were out of at the finish line, which were the heatsheets.  I don’t know if other runners had taken multiple sheets, or if they just didn’t have enough to go around for everybody.  Either way, I was very thankful that I hadn’t tossed my throwaway shirt, because I wound up needing it at the finish line.

Once I exited the chute, I made my way to the Family Reunion area, where I attempted to turn my phone on again.  Sadly, it didn’t turn on, but Preston, my father-in-law, and Riley appeared in the area about ten minutes after I arrived there.  Thank goodness for runner tracking, otherwise I don’t know what we would have done after the race.

All in all, it was a great morning for a race.  I’m so glad that I challenged myself to complete this race at 32 weeks pregnant.  It was a very scenic course, and was relatively flat.  I’d love to have the opportunity to try and run this race again in the future, to see if its a PR worthy course.  While my dead phone and lack of music put a damper on the day, the race wound up not being nearly as bad as I feared it would be when I first discovered that my phone had died.

Baby Thayer and I post race

Baby Thayer and I post race

QOTD:  What is the worst race morning mishap that’s happened to you?

Posted in Races | Tagged , , , , , , , | 71 Comments