Thursday, April 30, 2015

Boston Marathon Expo Fun

The day before the Boston Marathon, I got to work the Skirt Sports booth at the expo.  This had me more excited than I have been in a long time. I was so happy when Emily of Runs with Hope became an ambassador because that meant we could go together.

My alarm went of super early, but I had slept well and felt good.  I met Emily and she drove to the bus station which took us to the T.  Figuring the T out was a little confusing but once we got on the right one, going in the right direction, it was easy.
On the bus heading to Boston.
Ready to work!

As soon as we were off the T, we saw Boston marathon runners everywhere. It was easy to find the Convention Center and the Skirt Sports booth. We changed into the newest Skirt Sports Products and soon after the doors opened for all the runners.

There is nothing like a marathon expo. It is exciting and fun. Heartwarming and motivating. But the Boston expo took it to the next level.  I was so happy to be there. It was amazing to hear everyones story.  Stories about the struggle to qualify or the reasons they were running for charity. The charity stories get me every time.

I was thrilled to meet Noelle of Skirt Sports in person. She was so nice and super cute.  I did miss meeting the founder of Skirt Sports, Nicole DeBoom because she was at an awards ceremony.  Her husband is now part of the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame!  A big congratulations to him!

I also got to meet Laura of Mommy, Run Fast. We have been friends on the computer since 2012. She was running her first Boston and I was so happy to be able to wish her a good race in person.  And a good race was what she had!

Elizabeth Comeau of Runner's World and Zelle, came by to say hi to me. It was great to meet her in person too.  It is so nice when your computer friends become your real friends.

The biggest thrill of the weekend though, was meeting Kathrine Switzer.  She was so kind and cute.  She was genuinely interested in what you had to say. She took photos, signed books, race bibs and shirts.  She even made a video for one gentlemen's daughter.  We had to cut the line off and that was really hard to do.  I think we were able to accommodate almost everyone.  If you haven't looked at the 261 Fearless line yet, just click on the Skirt Sports link to the right and use the discount under it.  You can also get Kathrine's book there and I highly recommend it.
Kathrine signing my book and me looking like I am in love.  Well, I kind of am...
Katrine speaking to the crowd of runners.
Giving a little history. I am holding up the sign.
The whole group!

My favs so far are the the Switzer Skirt and the Kathrine Tank and the Courage Capri.

Once Emily and I were finished working the booth, we took some time to walk around the expo. So many great vendors!  We had fun but it was so very crowded.  I was getting tired and hungry, so we said our goodbyes to the Skirt ladies and went on our way.  We found a great little sandwich place and then we headed home to Rhode Island.

It was an exhausting day but so much fun. I hope I get the chance to do it again.

Marathon Monday, we stayed home and watched the race. I knew a few people running so I was tracking them. Such a challenging day to run with the wind and rain, but they all finished and I am so happy for each of them.

Have you ever worked an expo before? Did you run Boston? How was your race?

I am just a few days out from running the Philadelphia Broad Street run and I have really been looking forward to this race.  I know it will be an amazing weekend and I can't wait to tell you all about it.

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Monday is the 119th Boston Marathon.

I have friends running, some for the first time. They are all women.  

I wonder where we would be if Kathrine Switzer never donned her bib, number 261, and challenged the "men only" rule of the Boston Marathon.

That was 1967 and the race directors tried to pull her off the course. She still finished in 4:20.  


Kathrine Switzer toed the starting line fearless and did what she knew she had to do. We can all learn from that.

As part of being a Skirt Sports Ambassador, I get to run in the #261fearless Virtual Race this Saturday, April 18.

By doing so, we are celebrating everything it means to be a runner but more importantly a woman.  Many incredible women paved the way for us and it is our duty to keep the truth alive and raise our little girls to be strong, independent and fearless women.

I plan to run this one with my my daughter and my son if he wants to.  I will make it fun and not worry about how fast we go or if we take a break to smell the flowers. We will be outside with one another living the life I know we were meant to live.  Happy, healthy, strong and fearless.

Will you be running with me? 

As I said in my last post, I will actually get to meet Kathrine Switzer on Sunday at the Boston Expo. I can't wait to tell all of you about the experience which, I am sure, I will never forget.

So tell me, what does fearless mean to you?

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole

Middletown Half Marathon Recap

The Middletown Half Marathon is the first race in the HMF Triple Challenge. It was also my first race of the year.

BRF#1 and I trained all through the winter, outside, and I felt ready for this race. One of the highlights was that Middletown is where Sarah, aka Professor Badass lives and I was going to spend the day with her.

My last run before the race the temperature hit 40.  The day of my race it was going to be 70. I knew this would bother me, but it is what it is.

The race was at 11:30, so no super early wake up which is nice.  I didn't have to leave my house until 8:00 and I was at Sarah's by 9:30 am.

We were just a few minutes away from the race and we got primo parking.  We got our numbers and shirts and watched the kids races.  It was very cool to see the littles have such a good time. They were given capes instead of shirts and a good bit of the kids raced in them. It was super cute.

Sarah was running the four miler and her friend Snarky Girl, (Sarah's name for her) was running the half and said she would run with me.  Both races started at the same time and I was thrilled to hear that because it meant I would run those first few miles with Sarah.
Sarah and I with a picture of our good friend Chris.

Both, Sarah and Snarky Girl are speedy runners but are coming off an injury. I wanted to maintain a 10:30 pace and they said they were good with that.  I know they both could of gone faster but appreciate the company.

The race start was crowded but spaced out quickly and nicely.  We hit a hill right away.  The beauty of running with locals is they know every inch of the road. They told me what was coming up and I also saw their town with two lovely tour guides.

My first six miles I felt ok but was a little over my goal pace.  Mile seven I hit a 12:07 pace, not good.

Snarky Girl and I are running and chatting when just before mile eight she saw a friend standing on the side of the road and then realized another one of her friends was sitting down.  She was crying and in pain complaining of stomach cramps.  We stayed with her until her husband came to pick her up.  She is ok and we got to see her later that day.

The break of standing was good and bad.  It was nice to have a break but hard to get going again.  Mile eight was 12:09.

Most of mile ten was a dirt road that was very rocky. Little rocks that you felt with every step. I couldn't wait to get off that stretch and feel the ground again.

My pace stayed in the low 11's here until I picked it up in the final mile.  It was hot and the sun was beating down on us.  My only goal was keep going forward. I was happy to have Snarky Girl with me. She kept talking and kept me focused. I was not my normal talkative self and I feel bad about that.

When we turned onto Main Street, it wasn't long until Snarky Girl saw her husband and kids. Her kids ran out to run in with her and I gave them space.  Right before the finish line, I saw Sarah and she snapped a picture.  I was so very happy to stop running.  My official time was 2:32:32 but my Garmin time was 2:27. I was hoping for a 2:25 or better so I guess I was not too far off. And, of course, we stopped for 5 minutes to help a friend.
I am in the purple waving coming into the finish.  SG is right behind with her two cuties.

The post race food was fantastic, and the medal was really nice.  We hung out just a bit to eat and then we went back to Sarah's house for a little get together.

It was nice to just sit and talk with Sarah's friends who were all so very nice.  I had a great time and would do it again.

I love, love this shirt! Which is better than just one love.

BRF#1 also ran a half on Sunday.  She had a fantastic race with a new PR, 2:00:43. There is a sub 2 half marathon in her future for sure. Way to go Jenn!

I have a  pretty exciting weekend coming up. I will be running the #261Fearless Virtual race and also working the Skirt Sports booth at the Boston Marathon Expo.

The virtual race is inspired by Katherine Switzer who was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon.  I am thrilled that on Sunday, I will get to meet her at the Skirt Sports booth.

Are you running Boston?  I will be working the expo on Sunday from 9 to 2.  Please come on by and say hello!

So there we go. First race of the year and half marathon number nine complete.  And still, so much cool stuff to come.  Glad you are here with me.

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole