Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Nike Women's Half Marathon DC 2013

This past weekend was the inaugural Nike Women's Half Marathon in Washington, DC.  Since I participated in and absolutely loved the Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco last year, this event had big shoes to fill!  After the Expotique was just as cool, I had high hopes for the event.

I woke up very early race morning, got ready, and met my team in the lobby of our hotel.  After some chatting and a group picture, the team walked to the metro together.  After a few stops, we got off the metro.  There it was--race village just as the sun was rising over the DC skyline.  The team separated as we all headed to assigned corrals. Joan Benoit Samuelson and Shalane Flanagan gave runners a quick peep talk.  Looking down Pennsylvania Avenue, past the start line, at the Capital Building was an amazing way to start the race.  It was the most breath taking start line I have ever experienced.

As beautiful as the sights at the start was, the corral system was equally as bad.  At the Expotique, each runner is given a bracelet with a corresponding corral based on their estimated pace per mile.  As it turns out, the corrals were to small.  All the runners could not fit into the corrals.  Those of us who did not get to the corrals early, were stuck waiting on the sidewalks.  Race directors allowed farther back corrals to start before the runners on the sidewalk in the closer up corrals get to the start.  It was quite a mess!

Aside from the disorganization at the start, it was an amazing race!  The course felt crowded the entire time, so it felt hard to hit my stride.  I decided early on to stay with friends, take it slow and enjoy the scenic course.  The course was the perfect running tour of DC.  We hit all the highlights--the Washington
Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Capital Building, the cherry blossoms, the beautiful Potomac River.  The course was interesting for the entire race--the beginning was in the city.  Then we ran past the DC mall, then across the Arlington Bridge and back, and along the Potomac. The last mile was through the heart of DC--right past the United States Capital Building.  Then it was on to the finish line and to that beautiful little blue box waiting just for me!

Instead of firemen in tuxedos, we were treated to ROTC boys in tuxedos!  I got my Tiffany necklace medal, my finisher shirt, some snacks and some water.  My friends and could not wait to pull the ribbons off those boxes and see our finishers medals.  Nike and Tiffany did an awesome job, don't you think!  This was an amazing race.  If you ever get the chance to do a Nike race--do it!

A dream is a wish...


Monday, April 29, 2013

Runner Inspiration From Joan Benoit Samuelson

The night before the big event, each Team in Training participant is invited to a big "Inspiration Dinner".  They treat us like celebrities at this event!  Coaches, family, and staff cheer participants on as they enter the event on a red carpet.  We eat dinner together, and then are treated to some amazing speakers.  The inspiration dinner for the Nike Women's half marathon in DC was amazing!

Among the speakers was the President of the Leukemia and Lymphoma society.  She told us we raised over $6 million to fight cancer!  She also told us about some amazing advances the LLS is helping to fund.  Another speaker was an leukemia survivor, Anna Lynn.  I have heard her speak before at another TNT inspiration dinner.  She is a great speaker, very motivating and entertaining.  I was happy to hear her speak again.  The headliner of the night was Joan Benoit Samuelson!

Joan Benoit Samuelson and Shalane Flanagan
I am a bit embarrassed to say that I did not know who Joan was until that evening.  As much as I love to run, I don't know much about the history of women runners.  Joan gave us a quick list of her running accomplishment--wow!  She is amazing! Joan entered the Boston Marathon as an unknown in 1979 and won!  She was the first ever women to win a gold medal as an Olympic Marathoner in Los Angeles 1984.  She has won her age group at the Boston Marathon in five different decades.  I could go on and on!  Joan is also a wife, mom, running coach and author.

What I liked best about Joan and her speech was how supportive she was to women runners of all ages.  She told us the best way to share our love for running and for life was to share our stories.  She said "Your stories move us all...Keep telling them for miles and miles to come".  I love this!  This is why I started this blog in the first place.  I though I had a story to tell.  I hoped that telling my story would move someone else to run, to get healthy.  I would like to thank Joan for inspiring me, and I would like to thank Team in Training for giving me the opportunity to hear her speak!

A dream is a wish...


Nike Women's Half Marathon DC Expotique

Nike always has the best expo, or Expotique as they call it.  The Expotique at the inaugural Nike Women's
Half Marathon in DC stood up to that standard!

I was lucky enough to hit DC Friday morning this some friends.  It is about a two hour drive for us.  We put our kiddos on the school bus and we hit the road!  We got to DC around 11 am, check into our hotel and hopped the metro to Georgetown.  After a 10 minute walk, there it was--the Nike Expotique.  First stop was the packet pickup line.  Actually, there was no line.  We walked right up got our packets.  I was a bit disappointing that the bag check bag was plastic, unlike at the Nike San Francisco Expotique where we got nice drawstring back packs--but the rest of the goody bag was very nice!  We got our bib, lots of coupons, some Paul Mitchell shampoo, Bare Escentials samples and an elastic bracelet that said "We Run DC".  We also got this cool little credit card thing to swipe at the Expotique with the chance to win some Nike prizes.

Next stop--the Expotique!  Since I had an amazing experience at the Nike Expotique in San Francisco, I was worried the DC Expotique could not live up to it.  I wanted my friends to experience as good as an event as I did.  I think Nike lived up to my high standards!  What makes the Nike Expotique different than other expos is there is nothing for sale.  Everything is free for runners to enjoy!  It's a nice thank you for the runners, and a great way to relax before the big event.

When we entered the Expotique tent, the first stands we came upon were the Team in Training booth, and the booth of a local massage agency.  They were giving runners quick massages.  I turned the corner and saw the booth I was waiting for-the bareMinerals makeovers!  I am a big fan of the brand, so I was so excited when they announced they were a race sponsor.  bareMinerals was giving free 5 minute makeovers. It was so much
After our makeovers!
fun!  After my makeover, I had the opportunity to tweet a message about my experience and receive a free, full size product.  I got a mascara.  So cool!

Up next was the Paul Mitchell stand.  They were giving free hair up-do's.  I did not participate in this one, but a few of my friends did.  They looked so cute--and ready for the prom when they were done.  Paul Mitchell was giving out dry shampoo spray.  I love the stuff, so I was so happy to snag one.

After makeovers, we checked out the Nike fashion area.  There were so many fun clothes and shoes to try on.  Next, we tried our luck to see if our
My name on the wall!
swipe cards would win us anything.  Sadly, none of us won.  After refueling with a Luna Bar and some Nuun, we were done with the Expotique.  Next, it was time to shop!  We made the short walk to the Niketown to check out the Nike Women's Half Marathon race merchandise.  They had lots of cute stuff this year.  A friend even snagged the exclusive Tiffany blue shoes!

I was so happy that Nike did a great job with the DC Expotique.  My friends and I loved it.  Nike really does through the best expos in the business!
The Tiffany shoes!

A dream is a wish...


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hershey 10k 2013

I had planned to post this last Monday, but in light of what happened in Boston, I decided to wait a while to post it.  On Sunday April 14th I ran the second annual Hershey 10k.  I did the first one last year, so I guess that makes this a legacy event for me.  Not only was this a great race, but I got to do it with my Team in Training teammates, so it was a great race!

My pre race preparation for this race was very different for most races.  My daughter and I had the stomach flu the day before the Hershey 10k!  All day before, and all night--up till the time I left for the race I considered not doing it.  I was not actively sick anymore, but I still did not feel well and I knew I was dehydrated.  I did not want to miss out on the event or cheering on my teammates--so I decided to go.  I went into it promising myself I would not push myself too hard--just to do what I could.

My running buddy Lish and I got to the event early, got our packets and went to the Team tent to meet up with our teammates.  The Hershey characters were there for a meet and greet exclusively for TNT members at first.  The start of the race was sort of awkward--it was hard to even find the start line.  It was not well marked, and the race started in the opposite direction as last year.  That was not the only thing they changed course wise!

I enjoyed the race last year--but my only complaint was that we spent very, very little in Hershey Park.  The course change this year ensured a lot more time in the park.  Like all of Central Pennsylvania, this course was very hilly.  The race started out in front of Hershey Park Stadium.  We ran out the parking lot, around Giant Stadium, then out Hershey Park Drive.  Next we ran behind the Hershey outlets and into the park!  We ran through the Hershey Boardwalk, then past the new roller coasters, through most of the park, and then back to Hershey Park Stadium for the finish!

At the finish I got my finisher medal, some water and a snack bag--complete with Hershey's chocolate. I felt okay for most of the race, although I could feel I was dehydrated.  I did not drink anything until the first water stop at mile two, but then I drank two cups of Gatorade and a cup of water.  This was a big mistake!
All the water sloshing around in my tummy did not make it feel all that great.  This meant it was time to slow down!  By this time, the TNT walking team caught up with me.  Usually, this would be an insulting--walkers had passed me...--not with the TNT walking team.  They typically walk 12-13 minute miles.  The walking coach is very inspiring, so I decided to hang with them for the next few miles--all the way though the park.  Less bouncing helped my tummy.  By the last mile, I started to run hard again for a strong finish.  I finished four minutes slower than last year--not bad considering how awful I felt the night before the race!

I would like to thank the Hershey folks for putting on a great event.  They took the not so great parts of the race from last year and made it a better race. The Hershey 10k is a

great event that I can't wait to do again!

A dream is a wish...


Monday, April 22, 2013

Runners for Boston

This evening I attending our local "Runners for Boston" event at 6:30 PM.  This event was held locally at our running store--Flying Feet in York, PA.  The event was also held all over the county.  It was set up for runners to show solidarity with each other, but also to raise money for One Fund Boston.

The York PA event was very moving.  I met several friends there--all from my Team in Training team.  Everyone who donated $20 or more got a shirt.  The owner of Flying Feet gave a little speech at the beginning.  He got chocked up when he was speaking about the victims.  He said " I have an eight year old grandson..."  I could hear him holding back the tears.  Half of the crowd was tearing up.  It was a very moving experience.

We had three local runners in the crowd who were at the Boston Marathon last weekend.  On the course, I
got to interview one of them.  He was telling me he finished the race about 15 minutes before the bombs went off.  He also told me he will be going back to Boston for sure next year.

After a quick speech and a ready, set, go--we were off.  This was not a real race.  The store owners was joking about not having the permits.  No official start or finish line.  No bibs.  Runners did not get competitive on the 2 mile out and back course.  Some people ran the course two or three times.  It was so nice to just be out there together--supporting other runners.

I would like to that Susquehanna Printing for donating the shirts!   I would also like to thank Flying Feet for getting this event
together with such short notice, and for the yummy snacks at the finish.  We runners are a strong, tough, supportive group.  The best part of the evening was who I spent it with.  I hate the reason we were there, but I am so proud to be part of such a wonderful community of people.

A dream is a wish...


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Runners Unite!

All over social media in the past 30 or so hours, lots of people are sharing ways to support and pay tribute to all those in Boston--the runners, the spectators, the residents...anyone affected by the tragedies.  The two most popular ways were to wear a race shirt today in support of runners everywhere, and to run today in honor of those who no longer can.

There were many distances that runners pledged to run today--the most popular being 4.09 miles or km in honor of the time on the clock when the explosions happened.  Some chose to run 2.62 miles to symbolize  the length of the marathon.  My running friend and I dedicated our run for this evening to Boston.

I took to Twitter this morning and asked people to Tweet me their pictures of support!  I was amazed by the response we got.  The rest of the page is filled with pictures friends have sent me.  Fellow runners--you are amazing!  The support everyone is showing to Boston proves that there is so much more good in this world than evil.  Thank you so much for sending these in!  I will leave you with a quote.  "We all may be perfect stranger...But we run, therefore we are friends."

A dream is a wish...


Monday, April 15, 2013

Prayers to Boston...

My plan for today's post was to tell you about the awesome race I did yesterday. Then the world of running was changed forever...

I am sure by now, everyone has heard about the tragedy at the Boston Marathon.  As a runner, this is personal!  No, I will never, ever in my wildest dreams qualify to run the Boston Marathon--but these are my people.  These are the people we pass on the trail, the people we wave to as we run past each other on the road when its still dark in the morning.  These are the people we wait in port a potty lines with. The ones
who cheer us on and high five us as we cross the finish line--even though they have been finished for hours.  These are my people.

The people who qualify for this event have literally been training for this for years.  You have to submit a crazy good time from another full marathon that you completed.  To runners, the Boston Marathon is the Super Bowl, the World Series.  These are the best of the best, the elite.  These are the people we look up to, the runners we learn from.  I personally know several people who ran the Boston Marathon this morning.  All but one of them has been accounted for.  The last one is in my prayers.

Runners are some of the most supportive group of people you will ever meet.  They welcome everyone, no matter your ability.  You don't have to have a runner's body to be included--you just have to have a runners heart.  The Boston Marathon is a celebration of life.

Please keep runners, spectators  and volunteers in your prayers today.

A dream is a wish...


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sparkly Soul Headbands

Hello, my name is Amy and I am a headband junky...

In all seriousness, I love, love, love headbands.  I wear one every single day.  Blair Waldorf stole the headband thing from me.  I hate having hair in my face.  All day, every day I am wearing a headband.  When I heard of a new headband brand, I had to try it out.

Sparkly Soul headbands are based in New York City.  They were founded by a triathlete and a marathoner--women who know what it means to play hard!   Who better to design a headband for athletes?

I have tried out every headband brand out there that I know of.  I have to report--these headbands rock!  Not only are they super cute (who does not love to sparkle?), but they are super effective.  I have had my Sparkly Soul headband for about two weeks now.  I wanted to try it out doing as many activities as possible so I could give you a complete review.  I have ran in it--outside and treadmill, taken spin class, yoga, strength training, HIIT workouts videos, grocery shopped, chased after a bunch of kids and a lot more boring stuff...my Sparkly Soul did not slip once!  It stayed put and kept my hair out of my face, all while looking cute at the same time.

The thing I like best about my Sparkly Soul headband is that it is solid all the way around.  The other sparkly
headbands I have tried have about a three inch stretchy section that goes in the back of your head and the rest is a non-stretchy fabric.  My Sparkly Soul headband is stretchy all the way around!  The other headbands I have get stretched out pretty quickly when I wear it as often as I have my Sparkly Soul over the past two weeks.  After two weeks of abuse by me and my little girl, my Sparkly Soul looks just as good as it did when I pulled it out of the package.

Not only did the lovely ladies at Sparkly Soul give me a hot pink headband to try out--they want to give one to one of you too!  It's Sparkly Soul giveaway time!  There are lots of options to enter.  You can entry each way once per day! The entries must be made with the below Rafflecopter app.  Also, please click to the right and be a follower of this blog before you enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow Sparkly Soul at:

Instagram/Pinterest/Tumblr (SPARKLYSOULINC)
Google + (Sparkly Soul)
LinkedIn (Sparkly Soul, Inc.)

Thanks for checking out my new running headband obsession!  I hope you like Sparkly Soul as much as I do! Good luck everyone!

A dream is a wish...


Monday, April 8, 2013

Kona Kase Review

As part of being a Sweat Pink/Fit Approach Ambassador, I was given the opportunity to check out a Kona Kase and tell you what I tough of it.  Kona Kase is a nutrition delivery subscription box.   I am such a product junky that this was right up my alley!

Each month Kona Kase will send you box full of nutritional products.  Past boxes have included GU, Clif Crunch bars, Clif Blox, Honey Stingers Waffles, GU Brew, Balance Bars, Gatorade blocks, and lots of other lesser known products like nut butters, pure dark chocolate bars, and various other snacks.  I am always on the look out for new and exciting products to enhance my runs.  Still to this day, after countless races, I do not have my race nutrition down.  Trying out the new products is so much fun!

The boxes cost $15 per month.  This can be a great value is you add up the prices of all various items you get to try out, plus
shipping.  I know that I can walk down the nutrition aisle of my local running store and spend alot more than that on a month's supply of nutritional products.  Kona Kase and I have teamed up to give you a chance to try our your very own.  Use the code "pumpkintoprincess" to get your first box at half price!  Check out their website for more info about Kona Kase.  I can't wait to check out next months box for more goodies!

A dream is a wish...


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

New runDisney Corral Placement Requirments

runDisney has released new proof of time guidelines that go into effect for the 2014 racing season.  Check them out below. 

There has been lots of opinions about this today in the blog world and all over Facebook.  Some love the change, some hate it.  I, for one, welcome the change.  At all of the runDisney events, people complain about slow people in the corrals ahead of them.  People complain about runners "lying" about their expected finish time, to get in an earlier corral.  Maybe some do.  I would not accuse anyone of doing this, but I am not saying it does not happen either.  This new method keeps everything a little more official.  Now you have to show proof of a time under 3:15 for a half.  The one group this could adversely effect is first timers.  If you are a first timer, you may be much faster than 3:15, but with no time to show you will be in the last corral.  That is really the only down side of this new announcement I see.  

What do you think of this new announcement?  How will it effect you?  

A dream is a wish...


If you believe you will finish the Half Marathon in less than 3:15 hours or the Marathon in less than 6:30 hours, proof of time is required for start corral placement. Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge and Dopey Challenge participants should adhere to Full Marathon proof of time requirements. Please reference the Race Pacing Chart below for finish times and associated pacing per mile.

 A Proof of time must be provided from a certified race reflecting results after January 1, 2012.

 Half Marathon - 10K or longer
 Full Marathon - 10 Miles or longer

 A valid proof of time provided at the time of registration must include the following*:

 Name of Race
 Finish time

 *For example, Walt Disney World Marathon, 26.2, Orlando, FL, 1/13/13, - 3:35

 If you do not have a proof of time to submit, list "N/A" at the point of registration. If proof of time is not provided by November 1, 2013 you will be placed in the last start corral. If your proof of time data is incomplete or cannot be verified, you will be placed in the last start corral. To provide or update your proof of time, you must email all proof of time data requested above to disneysports@trackshack.com. No corral changes will be made after November 1, 2013.

 As a reminder, you will no longer be able to bring proof of your estimated finish time to the Runner Relations booth during the Expo and have your start corral placement changed.