Ahh… I don’t even know where to begin recapping this past week and weekend — it was pretty awesome and there’s just so much to talk about.
First thing first, Isaac and I completely finished moving into our new place on Wednesday. Woo-hoo! We’re definitely still living in boxes but it feels good to have one house to take care of, clean and organize instead of two. Plus, unpacking is always more fun than packing (at least when it comes to moving.. not so much when it comes to vacation).
Anyhow, despite having a frantic week of moving and a house full of unpacked boxes, on Thursday afternoon I hopped on a plane to Bethlehem, PA for a blogger event at the Runner’s World Half Marathon and Festival! Kind of crazy, but it actually felt good to take a break from all the chaos of moving for a trip.
A few weeks ago I mentioned that I would be running my first 10K since dislocating my patella and this weekend was the race! Not going to lie, I was apprehensive — not only thinking about how my knee was going to hold up for the 10K but also worried about being the only blogger not running the Hat Trick (all three races) or the Half Marathon. Turns out, I had nothing to worry about!
Let’s start from the beginning…
Touring Runner’s World Headquarters + Dinner with the Editors
Thursday night we visited the Rodale headquarters in Emmaus, PA (one of their four headquarters) for a BBQ dinner with the editors of Runner’s World. We ate well (I had a salad and veggie burger with a lettuce bun), but the highlight of the evening was when Bart Yasso, the Chief Running Officer, took us on a tour of the Runner’s World offices.
It was so cool to see where the magic happens.
Bart showed us his office, which happens to be covered with race bibs (he’s run over 350 marathons!), the office treadmill desk (I totally need one of these!) and the pages from the December issue of Runner’s World (they had just sent the issue to print). After the tour they had s’mores for us and then we headed back to the hotel to rest up for big day of all things running on Friday.
Friday Morning Shakeout Run
We woke up bright and early for a shakeout run with Bart Yasso and Budd Coates, author of Running on Air.
Budd lead a quick breathing session and then the run started at the famous Steel Stacks — right outside near the finish line for the 5K, 10K and 1/2.
With Monica before the run. Can you tell I was chilly?
We ran around the town of Bethlehem, passing by cute shops, restaurants and beautiful trees with changing leaves along the way. It was an easy three miles and a great way to see the city by foot and run some of the course before the race.
At the end of the run, one of the Festival sponsors, Running Skirts, hosted a Skirtolympics — a race where we had to run to one area and put on a running skirt, back to the start and put on compression socks, then back.
Janae was a speed demon and won, but the highlight of the race was seeing Bart Yasso wear a running skirt and pink compression socks.
He’s totally got the legs for it.
4 Steps to Better Running
We ate breakfast and learned all about Altra Zero Drop Footwear, the main sponsor of the Runner’s World Half and Festival. We learned why zero drop shoes are ideal for runners and had the co-founder of Altra, Golden Harper, lead a “Learn to Run Clinic” where he broke down the 4 Steps to Better Running.
- Balanced Forward Posture – standing tall, keeping chest forward and shoulders relaxed, but back
- Compact Arms – Short, compact arm movement with elbows not extending in front of the waist, unless you’re sprinting
- Proper Foot Strike – Landing softly with a bent knee and avoiding overstriding and excessive heal striking
- High Cadence – Maintain approx. 170-180 steps per min, count 30 steps per leg in 20 seconds for a 180 cadence.
Recovery for Runners
After learning all about form, we had a Recovery for Runners session with Melanie Douglas, an RD, NASM-certified personal trainer, AFAA-certified instructor and product developer at Icon Health & Fitness.
Oh, and we also got a cool bag to carry it all in. I’m sure I’ll be featuring these items again once I have a chance to play with them at home, but for now I’m thinking my favorite product was the band because it allows you to stretch and get in a little resistance training at the same time. Multi-tasking as it’s finest!
Runner’s World Cookbook Lunch
After the stretching it was time to eat again. On the menu:
- Caprese Farro Salad
- Simple Green Salad with a Mustard and Cumin Vinaigrette or a Nutty Olive Oil Dressing
- Mushroom Tacos al Pastor
- Spicy Fish Tacos with Pineapple Slaw
- Banana Oat Energy Bars
All the recipes are from the new Runner’s World Cookbook (which is packed with delicious looking recipes) and while we were chowing down, we got to hear from Joanna Golub (Runner’s World Nutrition Editor/Cookbook Editor) and Lydia Maruniak, the chef who came up with the mushroom taco and banana oat energy bar recipes.
I tried everything and it was all amazing. I can’t wait to recreate the mushroom tacos and energy bars at home for Isaac. He’s going to LOVE them.
Meet and Greet with Summer Sanders
After lunch we had a meet and greet with Olympic Gold Medalist, Summer Sanders, who also happens to be on the cover of the November 2013 issue of Runner’s World. This was one of the highlights of the day for me — we got to hear about her training to become a swimmer (she started swim team at age 4), her dedication to the sport, why she runs now (she loves to chat) and how she and her husband feel about raising their kids to play sports. She was so down to earth, super friendly and a great story teller. I could have listened to her talk for hours.
PS – Please tell me you remember her from Nickelodeon’s Figure It Out.
ProForm Treadmill, Expo and Packet Pickup
We snapped pictures with Summer and then headed over to the Arts Quest building to learn about ProForm’s Boston Marathon treadmill + the iFit as well as pick up our packets and check out the race expo.
This treadmill was awesome. The speed goes up to 15 MPH and you can adjust the speed super easily (without breaking stride) with the SpeedRing, which is a little gadget you wear on your finger. The treadmill also has built-in marathon training programs as well as the capability of using iFit — a program that works with Google Maps to bring up different running routes — so you can run your normal route outside on a rainy day or on specific race courses so that you can train on courses before running them. It’s pretty sweet!
Once we were done at the expo we headed back to the hotel. I was exhausted so after grabbing a to-go salad with friends from Ruby Tuesday’s, I headed back to the hotel room to catch up on work stuff and relax before Saturday’s race — which I’ll be back to recap a.s.a.p.
Have a great Monday!