Readers Roundtable: Do You Buy Race Photos?

With the exception of this year’s Flying Pig, where the photos simply do not capture just how completely food poisoning ruined my life that day (long story), I always wind up throwing down for pictures of each season’s A-race. I never really thought too hard about it until a recent chat with Poppy. She told me she bought race photos only once as a gift for her parents. For someone who’s been more » Read more

Foggy in Philly: An RnR Half Marathon Race Recap

My goal race for the late summer was the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon on September 17. I’ve done this race two times before; the first time in 2002 and the second time in 2013, so I know very well how fast the course can be. Additionally, Philly is relatively close to us, so it’s an easy trip to make for a great race event. I thought it was more » Read more

‘Tis the Season for Cross Country Racing

Despite the occasional 90 degree day here in Boston, it’s starting to feel like fall. Longer nights, cooler mornings, and the scent of decaying leaves make me think of one thing: cross country. Like many people who started running in high school, cross country was my first exposure to the sport of running. The sounds and smells of fall invariably bring me back to that first exhilarating season, toeing the line more » Read more

Let’s Call This a Comeback

I raced a 5k last Sunday, two years since my last solid race, two years since I felt strong and capable and fit, two years since a race was exhilarating rather than inspiring mixed emotions. During these years, my attitude has ranged from hating running, to missing running desperately, to complete indifference. Many of my friends and family don’t understand why I care so much about running or even why I more » Read more

Surviving the Marathon Training Gauntlet

“Just four more weeks and I’ll be on the start line, and I won’t feel this bad!” I said to myself once a minute during every run last week. But four weeks is a long time and I am so so tired. There are some days, even a week or two stretch during the throes of training that make me want to chuck my trainers into Green Lake and call it a more » Read more

Supplements, Doping, and You: What the Average Runner Needs to Know about Dope

When Olympic swimmer Lilly King waved her finger at a camera and accused Russian competitor Yulia Efimova of doping, it inspired conversations about how athletes respond to negative allegations against competitors, but also how exactly it was that Efimova allegedly doped. Most recently, she, along with fellow Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova and others, tested positive for the heart medication melodonium, prescribed to them by doctors. Efimova’s ban for this, her second offense, more » Read more

To Race Well, You Need to Get Real: My Stanky Creek 25k Race Report

The story behind my Stanky Creek 25k race is much longer and, frankly, more important than the actual race itself. For the most part, the hardest part of a race isn’t the actual race: it’s the months or years of training that lead up to it. But since I started running, and possibly with the exception of my very first marathon and 50 miler, I have struggled with meeting my more » Read more

Readers Roundtable: Racing and Watches

Watches and racing. It seems like something so simple, but deciding whether to wear one, which one to wear, and what setting to put it on if you choose one with multiple settings can be a maddening process! As my husband prepped his race-day gear for his annual half marathon this weekend, he asked me what watch he should wear. We looked at the old Garmin, the new Garmin, the more » Read more

What Everyone Else Expects: a Race Report

The lumbering elephant of a school bus had been on its bumpy slog through the Black Hills of South Dakota for about 45 pitch black minutes when it suddenly slowed to a stop. I peered out the window and could only make out darkness and the outline of a few Port-a-Potties that were gently illuminated by the headlights of the school bus. When I stepped outside a blast of cold more » Read more

Race Lotteries: May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor

Slots, craps, black jack, road race lotteries: they’re all the same. At the outset, they fill you with hope and anticipation. The thoughts of winning and being able to toe that starting line are exhilarating. You begin to plan your life around your winnings. In your mind, you know luck is on your side this time. Sure, logically, nothing is a sure shot, but for whatever reason, you feel that deep down inside, this time, more » Read more

Should You Do a Workout in a Race?

The perfect race scenario goes something like this: You’re in the middle or at the end of a hard, satisfying training cycle. You’ve had this race on the calendar for a while and now you’re rested up and ready to go. The weather forecast looks great, and you’re prepared to leave it all out on the course, experience a little race day magic, and nail a huge PR.  A lot more » Read more

I Raced up a Mountain and I Liked It

Last year Steve Taylor, founder of the Collegiate Running Association and head coach of the Richmond Spiders track and cross-country team, invited me to race a 10k that his organization was helping to put on. Sounds simple enough, right? Six point two miles ain’t no thang. Then he told me the important part: the 10k is a mountain 10k, which means you have to run that six point two miles straight up more » Read more

The Brain Freezer 5k: Cayenne’s Ice Cream Race Report!

This past weekend I participated in the Brain Freezer 5k in Burlington, Vermont. This race is unique in that it requires participants to run half of the race, roughly 1.55 miles, eat a pint of ice cream, then run the rest of the way back. That’s right, an ice cream race! You may wonder why a runner with a sub-three-hour marathon goal would choose to do something silly like an more » Read more

The Mind of the Anxious Runner when Choosing a Fall Race

It’s time, again, to choose your fall goal race. Ok, unless your a super-procrastinator like I am, you’ve probably already picked your fall goal race. Why does fall race season bring out the worst in my procrastinating self? Maybe it’s because it’s the perfect racing season, reminiscent of cross-country for those of us who ran in high school or college, and it rewards us with crisp air and pretty leaves  after training through more » Read more

What We Want You to Say to Us When We’ve Had a Bad Race

Have you ever raced with a friend who ended the race feeling horribly disappointed about her performance? It’s the worst. What do you say? What can you do to help her feel better? In the moment, when witnessing your friend experience the crushing feeling of defeat, it’s hard to know what to say or do, even though you know the pain she is feeling and have almost certainly felt it more » Read more