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Respecting the Boston Marathon

6 Jun

Unless you have lived under a rock for the last couple of months, you have heard of the tragic events that occurred on April 15, 2013…the day of the 117th Boston Marathon. Like many of you, I struggled to even find the words to express how I felt about what was unfolding that day. I still have difficulty even wrapping my brain around all of it. I mean, what kind of people would do this? To marathon runners? Why? How?

The Boston Marathon is the one race that, for me, if I were ever able to qualify for it, would basically be the equivalent of making it to the Olympics. Even if I qualified…and ran…and finished dead last…I would be “the world’s greatest” in my own mind. And then April 15th happened. And then the one event that has topped my race bucket list for the last 8 years….seemed scary…and tainted. All of a sudden, staying closer to home and continuing to run “small town” events (though lacking the prestige and fanfare) seemed so much more secure and reliable. I let thoughts that I never thought I would think (Does that make sense?) run through my mind…”I mean, is the Boston Marathon really THAT big of a deal? Do I really want to keep running large events where stuff like this can happen? Should this really be my end-all-be-all pursuit?” For a while, I just let those thoughts marinate.

After the bombings, every news channel and media outlet was clamoring to get the “goods” on the story. Although some efforts were being made to tell the stories of the victims, survivors, runners, first responders, and spectators, a shift was made more quickly into covering these guys (I did not even want to type their names). How did they do it? What was their plan? Were they terrorists? Where were they from? And on, and on, and on…

Upon receiving the June issue, many readers were surprised that it did not cover the Boston Marathon, and, in fact, it made no mention of the race whatsoever. As explained by this post by David Willey, Editor-in-Chief of Runner’s World, much of the editorial content for the June issue had been finalized and the issue was already in production. Runner’s World committed to dedicate their July issue to covering the Boston Marathon. Yesterday, the tablet edition of the July issue was released and I was so pleased with the way the event was covered.

Very few publications have reported the stories from what I would consider “my perspective”, that of a runner. Runner’s World is one of those publications that I feel has handled the media aftermath of the bombings in the very best way. Yes, they reported the details of that day, but they also told the stories of people who were stopped at Mile 25, people who had been out there cheering for a loved one, people who were trying to connect with their friends or family members. I don’t know, maybe I just see so much bad stuff on the news that I have become numb or detached from it, but the way Runner’s World covered the events of April 15th kept the “human element” at the forefront. These people are so relatable. These people they reported on could be my friends, my running buddies, people in my running club.


Runner’s World – July 2013 Cover Art. (Photo courtesty of Runner’s World)

I have been a subscriber to Runner’s World for the last six years and this is the first cover that I can recall without a runner on it. Usually the covers are graced with images of runners (celebrities or not) sporting perfect form, the hippest gear, and a smile on their faces. This cover couldn’t have been more different. The Boston Marathon medal is an icon, and displaying it in this way communicates respect, honor, reverence, and solidarity for this race and our community. Reading about and understanding the creative process that went into achieving this cover image was truly fascinating. I highly encourage to take the time to read about it here. The minimal nature of its design allows the image to fully impact the reader, and I like that.

For the April 1996 issue of Runner’s World, the 100th Boston Marathon medal was prominently highlighted on its cover. For this issue, showing the medal on its own seems like a most appropriate and respectful “hat tip” to a race that has meant so much to the sport of running and to the history of Runner’s World. Though the messages of both covers are different, you cannot deny the power in these images.

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After having some time to let the shock dissipate and reading this issue, I plan on letting the Boston Marathon continue to rest in the #1 spot on my Race Bucket List. Reading the articles of runners who will persevere and make our running community stronger than ever gives me hope. I admire the way so many runners, running clubs, running brands, etc. have banded together to show strength and unity. In the future, I’ll make more of an effort not to take racing for granted and maybe I will be a little more careful and aware at ALL events I run, whether local or national or whether I’m racing with hundreds of runners or with thousands.

(The July issue of Runner’s World was available on tablets yesterday and will hit newsstands on July 11. If you have a subscription, you should be receiving it this week.)

If you would like to support The One Fund in their fundraising efforts to provide financial aid and support to victims of the bombings, please click here.


If you would like to show your support for The One Fund in your local communities, please consider purchasing and wearing a silicone support band from Go Sport ID. 100% of all proceeds from the sale of this bracelet go directly to The One Fund and support their fundraising efforts.


How were YOU affected by the Boston Marathon bombings? Were you there? How did it make you feel?


Man Runners vs Lady Runners

11 Apr


Things October Brings

3 Oct

October is, by far, my favorite month! Even though Christmas is my favorite holiday, the month of October always seems to bring extra special things. This year, it brings extra EXTRA special things! Here are just a few reasons why October is a good month…

Breast Cancer Awareness Month
I am a huge supporter of Susan G. Komen for the Cure and have participated at many levels in several chapters of this organization. I have run in more Race for the Cure 5k races than I can even remember, have walked in five 3-Day for the Cure events, and have crewed one 3-Day for the Cure event. In fact, I am even in a promotional video for the 3-Day for the Cure! Granted, I am in it for 0.27 milliseconds, but hey, I am in there! Breast cancer is a disease that has personally affected my family and I do everything I can to help support finding a cure for it. I secretly fear that one day I will be diagnosed, as I am in a genetic “high risk” category. However, I do the best I can to help keep my body strong and healthy by eating right and getting exercise so that I am able to handle anything that may or may not come in the future. I believe that all the research being done to find a cure is worthwhile and I believe that we will see a world without breast cancer. Every woman deserves a lifetime!

The Saints love tatas, too!


Dropping Temperatures and Fall Fun
October ushers in wonderful things like cool snaps, decreasing temperatures and fall festivals. While I realize that Autumn technically starts in September, it is during the month of October that I really feel like fall is upon us. Leaves start turning and falling off the trees and I can hear the crunch of them as I shuffle down the sidewalk. Oh, and pumpkin-flavored menu items start showing up on restaurant menus and in grocery stores. Even though I know it is super healthy, I am not a HUGE fan of pumpkin. I do, however, love me some roasted pumpkin seeds!

Halloween and Costumed Races
Really, do I need to say anymore? Aren’t we all just big kids inside? Who doesn’t love the costumes, the candy, and the spooky (cheesy) Halloween soundtracks!? C’mon, you know you love it when Monster Mash is played on the radio! Halloween is my second favorite holiday of the whole year and I literally start planning my costumes (yes, PLURAL) for the parties I will be attending and the races I will be running MONTHS in advance. In fact, I have a whole post dedicated to some of my favorite running costumes coming later this week, so be on the look out for that!

Race Volunteering
I have promised my husband no more races until after Baby Key arrives. While I know when to stop or slow down when running on my own, all of that common sense flies right out the window when I am in a race environment. My pack mentality completely takes over and my uber competitive monster rears its ugly head. So, to prevent myself from overdoing it, I am going to be volunteering at several local races so that I can stay active in my running community! Plus, it is super fun to support others and experience a race in a different way!

…and last but certainly NOT least…in fact, this is the MOST EXCITING thing this October brings…

Baby Key
Yep, it is highly likely that Baby Key will have an October birthday! YOWZA! Picture me with my eyeballs bugging out of their sockets because that is pretty much what I look like ALL THE TIME these days. While technically my due date is not until November 7th, my doctor has informed me that women who remain very active during pregnancy (read = women like ME) typically deliver one to two weeks early because their bodies are pretty much just “ready to go.” Trust me, this body is DEFINITELY ready to go! Let’s get this show on the road and let this mama-to-be get back to running…with the Baby Jogger, of course!

What does October bring to you? Do you have anything special or fun going on this month?

Running is for Lovers. It’s a FACT.

9 Aug

This has to be true, right? After all, how do you think I went from being a runner to a being a pregnant runner? 🙂 I kid, I kid…a little…

Really though, how had I not heard this before? I mean, I know that when I am able to run/exercise/work out often, I find myself to be “in the mood” more often (TMI?), but I did not know there was scientific research to back this up. I though maybe I just had some quirky turn-ons. 🙂

“A study from Cornell University in the US concluded that male runners have the sexual prowess of men two to five years younger, while females can delay the menopause by a similar amount of time. Meanwhile, research carried out at Harvard University found men over 50 who run at least three hours a week have a 30% lower risk of impotence than those who do little or no exercise.” – Runner’s World “Complete Guide to Running”

When you think about this analytically, this really makes so much sense. From a physical standpoint, in general, runners tend to be fitter, healthier, have improved stamina, and have more endurance. Emotionally, runners tend to be happier, more confident, have lower stress levels, and have better self-images. These overall physical and emotional effects make runners more desirable to others. This, in turn, can make a person more eager to have sex and perform better when doing so.

Surprisingly, did you know that the converse could also be true? Researchers are currently exploring claims that a more active sex life can actually make you a better runner. Dr. Ted Fenske, a cardiologist, is currently conducting research to see if women perorm better or have an athletic advantage in a race from having sex the night before. Distance runner and threee-time Olympian Lynn Jennings seems to agree with the correlation. She has stated before that “sex the night before solidifies my core feeling of happiness.” For women, it has been found that the effect of sex on running is largely psychological.

With both running and sex, it is important to also note that you can actually overdo it. (Sorry, guys!) Doing 3 to 4 running sessions per week are sufficient for achieving your “desired results.” Overtraining with running (or any sport) can lead to decreased energy and overall fatigue…thus, the libido suffers. This leads to a direct loss in sexual appetite (YIKES! Who wants that!?), so keep that in mind. As runners, we have the tendency to be a little compulsive on occasion; it is important to remember that sometimes you CAN have too much of a good thing.

Whether you buy into the research or not, it definitely presents something interesting to think about. Without giving away too many personal details (Sorry, husband!), I know this research reflects this runner pretty accurately. 😉

What do you think of the correlation between running and sexual prowess? Based on your experience, do you feel like it is accurate?