My Thoughts on the ‘14285’ Boston Bandits.

Yesterday, I saw a tweet going around about the alleged copying of a runner’s Boston Marathon bib. Now, I am not so naive to believe that this is not a regular occurrence at many popular road races, but as a runner, and a three-time Boston-Qualifying-Attempter, it definitely struck a chord for me.

Naturally, outcry from the running community was immediate, and viral – multiple articles popped up about it within hours, including this brash post. What I didn’t expect, however, were the replies from those who not only did not see the actions of these individuals as wrong, but accused runners/marathoners of being out of their gourd for being upset about it.

Now, as a marathoner, I get it. There is something wrong with us – we run 26.2 (or more) for fun. Yes, I realize that sounds like lunacy to a high percentage of the population, and just a few years ago, I thought that, too. But ever since I crossed the finish line of my first marathon in 2011, something inside of me changed. When I reached that goal of a sub-4 my first go-around, I felt like I could do anything…even something big and crazy like qualify for the Boston Marathon. And although I haven’t achieved that goal yet, I know that it *will* happen.

Do the Right Thing

The comments that brushed off the actions of these ‘rogue’ runners as “not hurting anyone” – I just don’t buy it. First of all, it’s just wrong. They stole something – at the most basic level, or if it was “just a race” – they stole a $185 opportunity. Whether they photocopied the bib themselves, or bought it off Craigslist, they went into 26.2 miles on Monday absolutely knowing that they did not EARN that spot. Every legitimate runner on the course sacrificed so much – whether that means hard training, intense fundraising (bibs for Boston have fundraising minimums of $7K!) or both, it is just not right.

But: Marathons are Expensive, I don’t have time to train so who cares if I just run on the streets that are closed anyway, You Runners are Just Wasting Your Time Worrying About This…

Nothing but excuses. Here’s the thing – I do believe in karma and I too, believe that $175+ is a lot of money to run down the streets of any city. But this is our sport, our passion – and as a community, it does hurt when these things happen. We work hard, we pay these fees, and we defend and protect our own because we are runners. We are upset and hurt because these people stole a bib from a legitimate, registered Boston Marathoner.

Even if you’re not a runner, I am sure there is something in your life that you are passionate and connected to. I have written about this before – marathons are more than miles – and if you don’t have a marathon in your life, I suggest you find it now, before it’s too late. Life is too short.

…and a word on Banditing

I’ve read many articles about a history of Boston and bandits. I admit, I haven’t been running long enough to know everything about it, and honestly, I do see the perspective of these runners – but the fact remains – since Boston 2013, the world is a different place. Race officials have to do everything they can to keep people safe, and if that means limiting, to the best of the ability, the race to just those officially registered, then so be it. Maybe that makes me a square, rule-follower, but I’m okay with that.

Summed up?

Maybe a “witch hunt” of these bandits isn’t the best way to make a change, but if even one of those runners steps forward, realizes the impact of their choice and chooses to make a charitable donation, or even do something good for someone else…I think that’s a good first step.

Inspiration account of Boston 2014 Virtual Spectating

IMG_20140421_122343Riveting. Emotional. Jubilant. Crushing.


Those were just some of the words that came to mind as I watched the live feed of the 118th running of the Boston Marathon.

It was the second year that I hunkered down in my makeshift control tower, following runner tracking, watching, mesmerized, as the elites tore down course records in breakneck speed; holding my breath with every course turn, biting my nails as camera angles changed, and dashing for quick restroom breaks, as if I was running myself, so I wouldn’t miss a single moment. Of course, last year, the energy was stolen from the running community, and many wondered if things would ever be the same. And as many predicted, it wasn’t.

It was so much better.

With every runner, from the last ones leaving the corrals in Hopkinton, to the incredible Meb Keflezighi, crossing the finish line as the first American to win the race since 1983, this year’s Marathon Monday in Boston was one to remember. Even 1,500 miles away, on my computer in Sarasota, FL, I felt like I was part of the action, and was inspired by every moment.

I know that I have a ways to go to reach my goal, one that I set out to accomplish back in 2012 – to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I didn’t make it then, and in the few attempts I’ve made, I’ve chosen to fuel myself with the possibility, rather than the burn of defeat, to keep pushing harder. My original goal was 2013. I didn’t know what it took back then, and in each marathon, I’ve learned something more about myself. About running. About what it takes to accomplish the seemingly impossible.

It’s going to happen.

I watched today, and read tweets that ran the gamut – from gleeful goal-crushing, to physically exhausted missed goals, or even tearful decisions to withdrawal from the race. I saw the deep burn of disappointment in Shalane Flanagan’s post-race interview, but you know what? I also cried those tears that fell from Meb’s eyes as the Star Spangled Banner was played, honoring his incredible accomplishment, and smiled as I watched the live camera of the finishing line.

It’s like nothing else.

I have to admit, I became completely swept up in the mania of today, and wondered, albeit briefly, if there was a feasible way that I could get to Boston even sooner than 2016. Fortunately, it was but a momentary thought.

I’ll be training to the strongest of my ability this summer, for my 10th (!! still cannot believe it !!) marathon: Chicago. With a sub-3:35, I’ll qualify for the 2016 running – the 120th Boston Marathon.

This summer, I will focus on perseverance. Strength. Resilience. Pushing past expectations and boundaries…and trust. Trust in my abilities, my resolve…myself.

What did you learn from the 2014 Boston Marathon? Have a favorite moment? Runner? Tweet?

Dear Boston…

As I announced at the beginning of the year, I have joined the ranks of so many runners before me in declaring it my goal to qualify for your prestigious Boston Marathon .

Hopkinton Boston Marathon Start


Since this big goal has been revealed, I’ve brainstormed my race plans and even chosen my first attempt race, The Utah Valley Marathon on June 9.

Utah Valley Marathon


While I am a reasonably positive person, I have weighed the probability of making it on BQ attempt 1 and it’s ‘okay’ at best. Shamrock did not help my confidence (not to sound like a broken record, but 3:45 sounded so reasonable of a goal…) but I also have to remind myself that this training cycle is my third and with each race comes new improvements and learned lessons.

This pic cracks me up...

For example – I might not have made my time goal at Shamrock, but I recovered with incredible ease. I am confident in my physical ability to run 26.2 miles – after all, I shaved off one minute between Marathon 1 and Marathon 2 – if I want to BQ, all I need to do is keep up that trend and run 23 more races, then right? 😉

Silliness aside, I am proud of what I have accomplished so far – after all, just one year ago, I revealed my plans to run my very first marathon. In one year from now, whether I am tapering for my first Boston Marathon, or off on another adventure, I know that toeing the line at Hopkinton will happen.

Beantown – hope you’re ready for me!



Good luck to all my friends running Boston this marathon Monday! Enjoy this weekend, stay off your feet and I’ll be cheering for all of you from Virginia 🙂

Utah to Boston?!

The race….it has been chosen.

June 9, 2012


My friend and teammate Lizzie had been talking about this race for a while, and while I thought it sounded pretty cool, I thought…hmmm, Utah. That sounds far…then I went to the website and saw this:

…and I looked some more and saw this:

Net downhill!

This race was looking pretty fantastic…but still…Utah? I had more thinking to do….and then, like kismet, a good aquaintance back from my WSU days, Haley, posted on my wall suggesting this same race as BQ Attempt #1 – she’s moving to Utah and had already registered!

Um, so what’s a girl to do?


So yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have committed! I feel so… empowered? Scared? Exhilarated?!?

What did you do this week that SCARED you?

Are YOU training for a race? Need a great watch? 

Check out Anne’s great giveaway of a New Balance GPS-enabled watch here.

London Calling.


London Marathon



I was skimming my latest blog posts (“latest” sounds a bit too much of a stretch, as entries have been incredibly infrequent), but it occurred to me just now, as I was writing updates on my personal Facebook page, as well as my related event page (Cupcake Meetups) that I had not yet detailed a pretty big thing going on in my life – training for two big marathons, a PR attempt, and y’know, my third World Marathon Major in a little ol’ place you might have heard of: London.

  • For those keeping score: I’ve run Chicago <2014> and Tokyo <2015>. That leaves New York City, Berlin and of course, Boston.


The idea to run London entered my mind sometime in Ellie’s little little newborn months. Of course, I didn’t start running til about 6.5 weeks postpartum, but seeing as I had not run a marathon since January 2017, the idea was burning in my head. In my research, I had learned that London was a notoriously difficult race to get into as a foreigner (I had entered the lottery once in the past, and obviously, had not been accepted) but the best option, as an American, would be to find a charity entry.

More hours of research later, I narrowed down the field of charities I wanted to apply to (because I also learned that it wasn’t easy to find a charity spot, even) and reached out to other runners who had gone this direction. As luck would have it, one charity runner was kind enough to introduce me to an organizer and after some exchanges, I received the great news that I was accepted to Phab Kids, an incredible UK-based charity that organizes events and activities for disabled/disadvantaged youth and their families. I am so proud to be able to contribute to this worthy cause.

Since then, I’ve posted several updates regarding my fundraising plans, as well as events, but thought it best if I organized things in one place, so from here on, I’ll post updates here, so feel free to bookmark this link if you want to follow along!



  • Cupcake Meetup: we raised about $250!
  • Pi Day Fun Run: we raised $207!


  • DONATE (any amount helps! I so appreciate it)
  • SHARE this page!
  • SHOP my Poshmark closet (all proceeds go toward fundraising)
  • SEND me your ideas/suggestions!


March 2019: I have finally BOOKED MY FLIGHTS, it feels really real!


I’ve received so many amazing tips and suggestions in planning this trip, but I am open to hearing your thoughts and suggestions, too!


Just six weeks to go, and about 4 more long runs.


Thank you so much for your support!!


Bring on the Pixie Dust: WDW Marathon Weekend 2019

So, I was going to write and post this entry earlier this week because, well, I had my dates mixed up and thought early (DVC and AP) marathon registration was opening on the 12th. But, sure enough, I was incorrect. I suppose though, being too early is better than being too late because this registration is a pretty important one: I am ready to take on the Walt Disney World Marathon in January, and I have a pretty big goal, too!

Before I get to that, let’s back up for just a quick second. 2013 – my first WDW marathon (recap here) – I loved it so much. The trip almost didn’t happen, thanks to crazy travel/airline woes, but thankfully, I was able to make it to the start line. The race was sizzling hot, but I just soaked it all up and loved every single minute.  Two years later, I returned to the race weekend to take on the 2015 Goofy Challenge (recap here) with my good friends Megan and Carlee and we had SO MUCH FUN! It was like a 26.2 mile party.

Both of these years were incredible experiences, with finish times that reflected the many, many character stops and interactions – and like most other runDisney experiences, I couldn’t help but notice that if I were to bypass those (magical) distractions, those courses were pretty darn fast. So, with my return to running, why not up the ante and train not only for my fastest Disney Marathon time (4:59), but, (GASP!) my fastest Marathon time, period (3:40).

Screen Shot 2018-07-14 at 10.46.49 PM.png

My third full WDW Marathon Weekend…it’s gonna be magical!

Yes. I have alluded to these plans recently, but this is the first time I am saying it out loud: I WILL RUN A PERSONAL BEST AT WALT DISNEY WORLD MARATHON WEEKEND. And, as a bonus, since I’m “aging up” (to the 35+ age group, standard: 3:40) next year, that also means I am training for a BQ (Boston Qualifier) in the process!

This road will not be an easy one. Between getting my act together with consistent training, working to get enough rest while still staying as much on top of my mom game as physically possible, plus working on my fundraising goals for my second 2019 marathon, that ‘lil ol London Marathon (which, I am completely overdue in writing a post about!!), it’ll be a juggling act, but I feel that it is time.

I’ll be posting more about my training plan, and updating on progress starting this fall, but right now, in the heat of the summer – my dreams are fueled with hot, sweaty base building miles. I’m working on consistency, and establishing an easy pace, so all my miles have been based on effort (no speed or structure).

So…there you have it! I am excited, terrified, and totally pumped – so bring on that registration. This week. I’m ready!

Will I see you at Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend? Running? Spectating? I wanna hear it all!

Fall Plans & Beyond

Holy Moly.

It’s March 30….and by the end of the week, it will be April. And here in Florida, it’s already in the 80s, so it feels like summer…which makes me think of one thing: training for fall races.

Yup, it’s a runner’s logical progression!

So, with that in mind, I’ve been working on my plans, y’know, with my 40 by 40 dreams and what not – working on realistic vs. “pie in the sky” – and it’s a LOT to think about!

Here’s a little insight into my recent brain activities/plans:

2017 – age 33 

SPRING – Tinker Bell Half Marathon in Anaheim, CA – running with my sister, our first runDisney event together!

SUMMER – Lululemon SeaWheeze in Vancouver, BC – family vacation/racecation.

FALL – Marine Corps Marathon? Or another October-ish race? I missed the lottery deadline but have a few leads for charities (I have gotten great recommendations for Do Away With SMA, Fisher House Foundation and Team R4V) and/or considering finding a bib later with the transfer program. I am thinking about it…and with a fall marathon, I need to determine if I am going for a PR/BQ attempt, or simply a completion? Using the current Boston Marathon qualifying standards, running a sub 3:40 this fall (my age up for the 2019 race) would punch my ticket to Hopkinton in 2019. Oh, decisions!

2018 – age 34

FALL – last chance for Boston 2019 (if ran before Sept).

2019 – age 35

SPRING – possibly Boston Marathon, Big Sur International Marathon????

Thinking ahead gets me super excited, and also puts a lot of things into perspective….I mean, yes, I’m rounding a big milestone as I am “aging up” and therefore building a buffer into my BQ time, but that also opens up the fact that I have lots to look forward to, too! Working hard, I can continue to lower my times, improve overall fitness, and establish new goals that I may not have even considered yet!


Temps in the 80’s = Sports Bra Squad for life.

While I work on these plans, I have to admit, I’ve fallen a bit off the wagon, mileage-wise. As I previously wrote in a recent “staying motivated” post, I’ve been working on getting back into a routine, so that should help me re-focus a LOT! Starting next Monday, April 3, I will be participating in a 10-day virtual bootcamp being presented by my Beachbody Coach Nicole, and I am excited to get back into the game with a variety of workouts, nutrition plans, and recipes. While I am not currently looking to lose weight, I am looking to get back into some healthy habits after a few whirlwind weeks of race recovery, travel, and a cycle of sleepless nights/skipped workouts! There are a few spots left, too, so I’m happy to share more info to anyone reading this who might need something similar in their life!

By the end of the 10-days, my goal is to have a tentative plan in mind when it comes to “what comes next…” one of the many reasons I love the accountability of such groups – not only do we share our experiences of exercise programs and swap eating tips, but we share the reasons WHY! I am excited to “meet” new people, as well as spend time with those who have participated in the groups before.

So, there you have it. In about two weeks, let’s see how these thoughts and goals progress!

What races and events are on your futurecast? 


40 by 40

Yesterday, amongst the sea of “I didn’t get in” and “Hooray, I’m in!” posts concerning the New York City Marathon lottery, I got to thinking…when would I run that storied 26.2? I mean, it’s been on my radar a while, though I had not felt the intense desire to run it, or even throw my name into the hat yet.

It’s weird. Most every marathoner I know who has toed the line of this iconic Marathon Major has raved about it – yet still, it hasn’t called to me. In my own quest to achieve completion of these amazing races, I’ve ticked off two of six so far: Chicago and Tokyo. Of course, I won’t run Boston til I run a qualifying time, and Berlin and London will take a significant amount of planning, so those will happen – eventually 🙂

Still, with 16 full marathons under my belt now, I started thinking about my future plans regarding my favorite distance. Six years ago, I would have never imagined completing one marathon, let alone many more!

…then it came to me: 40.

This year, I am turning 33 years old – a pretty good milestone birthday in itself, but I have to say, 40 just seems to have this reputation of being some sort of landmark, doesn’t it? So, how incredible would it be to celebrate turning 40 then running my 40th marathon that year?

Yes, I did the math. A few times (since the first time, my subtraction skills failed me and I had somehow convinced myself that I was halfway through to this goal already, hah!) But, for the record, 40-16 = 24. Completing 24 full marathons in the next seven years does sound daunting, I admit, but not completely out of the realm of possibilities.

In the next few weeks and months, I am planning on working on a list or two of possible races – near and far – to help me reach this goal. I don’t really have any “rules” in mind in completing this goal, other than allowing some races to be repeated (especially closer/local ones) but I’d love to hear your suggestions, too.

But wait…there’s more….and it brings it all full circle!

With the New York City Marathon falling in November, I would LOVE to make THAT my 40th marathon. A real celebration, and something to work toward. In the next seven years, I balk a little at the idea of how much it might cost (as of now, it’s nearly $300) but I have some time to work out logistics, I’d say! Additionally, my other goal is to guarantee my entry with a half marathon time qualifier, so that will keep me working hard in speed and endurance.

…whew! It feels good to get these goals out there 😀


Don’t call it a comeback.


Baltimore Marathon, 2012.

I was scrolling through some memories recently and came upon my recap of the 2012 Baltimore Marathon. It still makes me laugh…I mean…it was a last minute decision, I was treating it as my 20-miler in preparation for my A race a few weeks later, and well, it was Baltimore – super hilly, and not known for fast times.

But, I threw down my best time yet (3:43:18). And I still haven’t beat it (closest was a 3:43:4X at Space Coast in 2013).

Since then, I’ve had some highs and lows in my marathoning life, as well as some other distances thrown in, like 50Ks, and race challenges…and of course, this 9+ month time out 🙂

Now, with 2ish months to go before my little running “speed bump” makes her appearance, I’ve started thinking about how I plan to return to running and racing. I know I want to ease into it, but I also want to start visualizing my next step – so, basically, I need to start find a happy medium in timing, mindset, and planning.

I can hardly believe it myself, but in the four years since my first 26.2, I’ve challenged the distance 14 times. 14! Me, the person who was scared to death to run a 5K in 2010. And believe it or not, the marathon is my absolute favorite. And, yes, I still dream of toeing the line at Hopkinton.

Now, these ideas and plans may change several times in the next few months (and beyond), but tentatively, this is what I think about my future racing endeavors, in the form of a five-year plan…

2016 (age 32) – start running regularly again (3-5 days a week). First races “back” March (Half Marathon Relay) April (10K). Big goal for the year: comfortably run a half marathon at former marathon pace (1:45).

2017 (age 33) Train for a marathon. Gauge strength and feasible goals. Select a race to challenge BQ time.

2018 (age 34) Complete 18-week marathon training program. Qualifying standards may change, but running in 2018 will add cushion with next “age up” at age 35.

2019 (age 35) RUN BOSTON! Dream big for next goals, running and otherwise.

2020 (age 36) Run for fun until next goal pops into my mind…

Before age 40:

  • Another 50K
  • First 50 Mile Race
  • First Ragnar Relay

In the meantime, I am open to any race ideas, strategies, plans or other! I still feel like a newbie runner sometimes, so thinking ahead to a decades+ runner and beyond really gets me fired up!

How far do you plan out your running/racing dreams?

You Can Do Anything (What the Disneyland Half Marathon Means to Me)

This week, I am headed out to Disneyland for the 10th anniversary of the Disneyland Half Marathon. It will be my third running of this special event, and although it will certainly be my slowest showing, it will be no less significant to me and my running career.

Covered in salt, but I don't care!

2011 Disneyland Half (recap)

You see, it was the 2011 Disneyland Half Marathon that was my first big goal I ever set for myself, running-wise. I had just started running in the Summer of 2010, and the moment I crossed my first 5K finish line, I knew I was in for the long haul. I set my sights on a race I’d have a whole year to train for, but as fate would have it, I’d soon learn about a little ‘ol thing called the “Coast to Coast Challenge” (two runDisney halves in one calendar year – for a special medal) so I jumped head first in to training and tackled the Walt Disney World Half Marathon in January 2011 (those were the days you could register pretty darn last minute!) and was ready for more. In fact, the confidence I gained from that first half marathon is what made me realize I was capable of so much more – and that spring, I registered for my first FULL marathon that would take place in November, the Richmond Marathon.

Training for that full distance is what I believe secured my endurance and speed for the second part of my Coast to Coast Challenge at Disneyland, where I went from a 2:04 finish time (WDW) to a 1:48 (DL). While a major PR in just my second-ever half marathon was definitely thrilling, I do not doubt for one moment that it was merely a coincidence that the magic happened for me at the Happiest Place (and Happiest Race!) on Earth. runDisney is what inspired me to push further, and it’s also where I made my own magic come true – and despite the addition of new races, challenges, increased popularity and rising costs, it’s the reason I keep RUNNING back (read more of my runDisney adventures here).

To me, the Disneyland Half Marathon represents something that changed inside of me when I realized that I was, in fact, a RUNNER. I was no longer a person who went out for a jog, or was doing a workout simply to burn calories, but it was something that clicked for me. It was something I wanted to do, and something that I discovered that I was pretty good at.

I still have lots of running dreams (um, Boston, anyone?) but the Disneyland Half Marathon reminds me that you can’t just sit around and wait for a dream to come true, you have to WORK for it – but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun along the way!

Plus – how cool is it that this will be Baby M’s first half marathon? 

What was your running turning point? Do you have a special, or favorite race?