Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Event Map

View The Race Within US in a larger map">

If you would like to literally view our cross country progress, check out our The Race Within US map, which will be updated as new run locations are added to our schedule! A link to the map will always be available in the right-hand column.

Upcoming Events

First, some great news: in the past few weeks we’ve raised nearly $550 for Girls on the Run SoleMates. Totals are not yet available from HFH and Don’t Bully My Breed, but we’ll update you all soon. If you would like to support any (or all) of these amazing organizations, please know that 100% of your donation goes to the programs and services offered by each org. We would be thrilled if you chose to support these groups in honor of the challenge we are undertaking!

That said, here are our summer and fall run schedules so far. All of these events are walker friendly, so please consider joining us on the course no matter your pace!

May 30 – Kristine and Mark will be spending Memorial Day weekend in Madison, WI to run the Madison Marathon – the “Cheesiest” marathon in the country.

June 26 – Kristine will be rocking out at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon, and Jennifer Provencher, a new Race Within US member, will be walking the half marathon course at the event. The race is sold out, but if you’re in the Seattle, WA area, you can still be a Rockstar Race Weekend Volunteer and help make the event a great one. The post-race concert (free and open to the public) will headline Tonic and support the American Cancer Society.

June 27 – Miri will be running the Boston, MA 13.1 Marathon, which takes participants through the historic Prowse Farm where the Suffolk Resolves were drafted for the first continental congress in 1774. The course also takes runners over the Great Blue Hill, offering panoramic views of the entire metropolitan area from its summit, and past Milton Academy, whose famous alums include TS Eliot, James Taylor and the Kennedy’s.

July 10 – Miri and Connecticut-based friends will run through Hartford, CT for the Red Dress Run for Women, a 5K exclusively for women to support the Go Red for Women initiative, which teaches women how to improve and maintain their heart health.

July 13 – Miri and New Jersey-based friends will race through Hoboken, NJ’s waterfront in the Party With Purpose 5K. Party With Purpose is a charitable organization whose motto, "Work Hard, Play Hard, Give Hard", could easily describe the motivations behind The Race Within US!

August 21 – Miri follows Kristine in running in Madison, WI – this time by running the Madison Mini Marathon, aka “the MMM”. The MMM takes participants past the Wisconsin State Capital, the Henry Vilas Zoo, the Wisconsin Arboretum and finally along Lake Mendota and University Bay before finishing with a big party at the UW Memorial Union alongside Lake Mendota.

October 17 – Kristine takes on the challenge of running the Mount Desert Island Marathon in Bar Harbor, ME. Mount Desert Island Marathon was named by Runner’s World magazine as the Most Scenic marathon in the country – if you are able to participate, it is sure to be an event you’ll remember forever! There are 2- and 3-person relay options available for those who do not want to complete a full marathon, but want to enjoy this spectacular event.

November 6 - Kristine will take on Indianapolis, IN by running the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. Course highlights include the Colts' Lucas Oil Stadium, Mass Ave cultural district, Butler University, the Indianapolis Museum of Art and many more.

November 7 – Miri will run her second, and Mark will run his first, ING New York City Marathon, which takes runners and walkers through all 5 boroughs of New York City, culminating with a Central Park finish line. Even with 40,000+ available race slots, the NYC Marathon sells out via lottery on the opening day of registration. However, you can still join one of the biggest marathons in the country by running/walking with a charity team, by volunteering with the NY Road Runners, or by joining the 2 million people who line the streets to cheer. The energy in NYC on marathon day is electrifying for bib-wearers, event volunteers and cheering supporters alike!

We’ll update you periodically on additions to our schedule. We also would love to hear from you with suggestions on where we should run in other states and what races you’d like to see us run!

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Beat is On

Isn't it amazing how the right song can motivate you to run an extra mile, or to kick through the finish line? Like most, I have a "Running" playlist filled with my favorite songs to keep me moving. Mine has just enough songs to last through my goal marathon time - if I haven't heard a repeat by the time I cross the finish line, I've achieved my goal.

As for songs, my playlist is stacked with upbeat songs ranging from classic motivators like "Eye of the Tiger" to reggae to cheesy pop and boy band songs that I would otherwise be embarrassed to admit listening to.

My Running playlist also includes a lot of foreign music. Somehow, my body responds to the beat of the music even though my brain has no clue what the lyrics mean. I stopped asking people to translate songs after I learned that my favorite song by Algerian singer Khaled was a bitter song about divorce - I had assumed it was a peppy, energetic love song! Now I enjoy keeping pace to the song tempos and not paying attention to the words, though I admit there are a few that make me want to sing out loud - and I sometimes do, so if you hear me singing on the road, feel free to join in!

What do you listen to when you run? Please share your favorites. I'm always looking for good suggestions and I am sure others are, too.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Slowing Down

The reason I'm supporting Girls On The Run (GOTR) SoleMates throughout my quest with The Race Within US is because I'm a volunteer GOTR coach twice a week with 6th grade girls at a school in Harlem, in upper Manhattan. Each session, my fellow coaches and I engage the girls in a running-based game or activity meant to build their self-confidence, teamwork, and enjoyment of a healthy lifestyle. Recently, our lesson focused on slowing down and enjoying the experience of taking part in an outdoor activity - stopping to smell the roses, so to speak.

Despite teaching this lesson, I find it often difficult to follow, especially living in New York City. But on Saturday, I finally internalized that lesson and had a fantastic slower-than-usual run with 2 of my favorite run buddies, Monica and Betty. We're all busy professionals who sometimes struggle to slow up and enjoy the route. This time, none of us felt like racing. We wanted to enjoy each other's company, as well as the Central Park scenery.

It took us quite a bit longer than usual to run 6.2 miles, but it was the most fun and rejuvenating run I've had in a while. It was a fantastic reminder that slowing down sometimes is as important on the road as it is in life in general. I hope that you will all remember to slow down once in a while and really enjoy the things around you. I also hope you will take a moment to consider supporting GOTR SoleMates, either by making a donation using the link in the right column, or by volunteering with your local GOTR chapter.

Friday, May 14, 2010

I am a Runner

While I was surfing the site “Running in the USA”, a great source for nationwide road races, I came across their list called “You Might Be A Runner If…”. We’ve all seen similar lists before – they circulate through email chains, Facebook, etc. “You Know You’re A Child of the 80s If…”, “You Know You’re Addicted to your Blackberry If…”

Of course, it’s fitting for there to be a list geared towards runners – we’re a unique bunch as far as athletes go. We can run alone or with a group; hit the road for hours or only minutes; we don’t need a field; we don’t need a specific uniform or any special gear (except for comfy sneakers, though barefoot running is gaining popularity); and we can literally take our runs on the road with us anywhere we go, in any city, in any state, in any country.

This past October, Kristine and I went to Italy on vacation. I was at a critical point in my training for the ING NYC Marathon and was hoping not to run alone through unfamiliar streets in the cities we were visiting. Kristine, of course, packed her sneakers so she could run, too. We emailed a Milanese running club and, without hesitation, they invited us to join them for their evening run. We were thrilled! Unfortunately, a flight delay caused us to miss that run – but we still saw how welcoming the running community is to new joiners. When runners I meet plan to visit NY, I always invite them to come out and run with me. I love to show others my favorite road and trail routes. I think that makes me a Runner.

Here are some of my favorites from Running in the USA’s “You Might Be A Runner If…” list. If you nod and laugh while reading these, you’re either a Runner or you know one very well – and that Runner is probably grateful for your understanding his/her unique commitment to his/her sport of choice.

Your day isn't complete until you've put your run in.
Your daily run is like therapy, or an anti-depressant.
You get upset about injuries because they keep you from running, not because you have actually damaged your body.
Your non-running friends consider every race you run a "marathon".
You consider getting a PR almost as great as winning the race.
You feel an instant kinship to any other runner you pass by on the street.
You get jealous of any runners you pass by while driving, wishing that you were running, too.
You are proud of and respect all runners of all abilities.
You've ever thought "I'm gonna be sore tomorrow" with a feeling of happy anticipation.
You know that runners come in all different shapes and sizes.
It doesn't scare you to drink from a cup that some stranger hands you in the middle of the road.
The high you feel after a race outweighs the anxiety you feel before it.
Your ipod has a "running" playlist
You have ever found rain during your run to be rather refreshing.
You have a list of all the races you plan to run for the next 12 months.
You're too lazy to take the garbage out on Friday but you get up at 5am to run a 10k race on Saturday.

What do you think makes you a Runner? Leave your comments and let us know!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Rose by any Name Smells as... Sweet?

Thanks to the Red Dress Run for Women in Hartford, CT on July 10, I'll have the chance to run through a park filled with more than 15,000 fragrant, blooming roses. But the real roses of the day will be the 1,000 women of all ages, shapes and sizes who will be running and walking to celebrate being "Red Dress Women" who are empowered to protect their heart health by using the knowledge and tools offered by American Heart Association's Go Red for Women initiative. After completing the course, we just may not smell quite as sweet as the roses lining our 5K route....

The best part about running the Red Dress Run, aside from knocking another state off the list, is that I'll be doing it with one of my best friends, Marisa. She's like family and I'm really excited to be sharing this special experience with her! We've been through nearly every milestone together since meeting at age 11, and now she'll be helping me get one step closer to my goal for The Race Within US. We'll also have a few other friends joining us, so it is sure to be a memorable day. I'll happily post pictures afterwards, but I would also encourage any local women to join the event. You can walk, run, or cheer! There will be yoga and pilates in the park, too, as well as health- and athletic- related tents from companies and non-profits such as Whole Foods, Fleet Feet, I Run Like a Girl, and of course, American Heart Association.

Running around the U.S. to help the world

Here is a recent news article of some of the great work done in Haiti by the volunteers with Hospitals for Humanity. They are sending medical teams there monthly to help with the continued need from January's earthquake.

Running Buddies

Here are 2 of my favorite running buddies, Bruce and Lexus. Just 2 examples of the sweetest dogs in the world that Don't Bully My Breed tries to help. Visit for more information on this great nonprofit organization.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Run Like the Wind Blows

Thinking about the challenge of running the roads of all 50 states kind of makes me think of Forrest Gump running and running and running.... In the movie, Forrest accumulates followers who run behind him as the miles pass under his feet and the scenery of each state gives way to the next. I like the idea of meeting new people and gathering up fellow runners to join me as I cross through the country pounding the pavement. But this isn't just a personal goal for me - it's a group challenge meant to raise awareness for some amazing non-profit organizations. So, I hope that you'll all pass on word about The Race Within US, share the link to this blog with your family and friends, and share your comments and suggestions with us. And most of all, I hope that I'll get to meet more of you along the way... but unlike Forrest Gump, I hope you'll run step by step beside me instead of at a distance!

Checking off New Jersey

I'm being doubly charitable by running Party With Purpose 5K in Hoboken, NJ on July 13th! Party with Purpose is a road run and waterfront celebration that raises money for local children's charities, such as Boys and Girls Club and Jubilee Center of Hoboken. In addition to supporting those causes, I'm of course continuing to support and raise funds for SoleMates.

If you will be in NJ or the NYC Metro area in July, please consider joining me for this fun event. The scenery is great and the after-party is even better - you'll get to meet lots of like-minded runners! Leave a comment here and let me know if you're planning to run. I'll gladly organize a get together for the occasion!

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Running Pic for a Running Blog

Kristine and I ran the Oak Brook Half Marathon together Labor Day 2009. This pic must have been taken prior to mile 10 because we're both smiling....

We'll be pounding the pavement in Illinois again this coming year for The Race Within US. But, will it be the Chicago Marathon or back to Oak Brook??? Or both?!

HFH features Race Within US on its Website!

Kristine has been featured on HFH's website! We're all helping to raise money for HFH in addition to all of our other favorite charities. But The Race Within US was Kristine's brainchild, developed to aid HFH so we're especially proud of HFH's support of our challenge!

Next up!

Kristine will be checking off Wisconsin by running the Madison Marathon on May 30th along with a couple other Race Within US members. Stay tuned for a full report after the run!

Other races already on the calendar include: Seattle Rock-n-Roll Marathon (Kristine), Boston 13.1 (Miri) and ING New York City Marathon (Miri).

We're also looking to put together a relay team for the Office Max Hood to Coast relay in Oregon... we missed the registration for the 2010 relay so we're hoping to get into the August 2011 event. Anyone want to join the team? You have 14 months to train for it!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Who are the Crazy Cross-Country Runners?

We're 2 lawyers, one from Chicago (Kristine) and one from NY (Miri), who met during a 2003 law school semester abroad in London. We both love running and have been lucky to run together over the past few years despite living in different cities.

Since we also both try to support our favorite charities as much as possible, we have decided (along with a group of other friends and fellow runners) to run a road race in each of the 50 states to fundraise for our chosen charities - Hospitals for Humanity (HFH), Don't Bully My Breed, and Girls on the Run SoleMates. Links for donations are in the About Me section of our blog!

If you've found your way to our blog, but haven't yet met us in person, here's a pic we took in Cinque Terre, Italy in 2009. See - we really love to travel! :) Of course, most of the pics we'll post from here on out will be running photos....

Keep an eye on our blog for updates on where we will be running and when. We appreciate your donation support and/or your joining us for a run in your home state. Feel free to add comments suggesting good road races in your local area!