Tag Archives: rock n roll virginia beach

Tropical Storm Hermine vs RnRVB

Tropical Storm Hermine tried her hardest to beat Team Rock n Roll Virginia Beach.  After threatening torrential rains and brutal winds Friday afternoon, she forced cancellation of the night’s American Music Festival concerts many were looking forward to.  Saturday and Sunday’s shows were moved inside with limited space.  While unfortunate for runners who traveled from long distances to attend this Labor Day weekend tradition, everyone’s safety was both the city and Competitor Group‘s (the parent of Rock n Roll) top priority.

As far as Rock n Roll Virginia Beach events, Saturday’s Mile in the Sand was also canceled by early Friday afternoon compliments of Hermine’s impending arrival.  After getting that news and hoping to bear the rain I made my way over to the expo as early as possible.  I picked up my swag, chatted with my RWB friends and stocked up on energy gels.  While herminethere I learned Mile in the Sand entry fees were automatically being refunded to all registered runners and they would still be able to collect their medals, towels and t-shirts.

Kudos to Competitor Group for this.  Those things were paid for and, honestly, what else would they do with thousands of items?  I guess they could have been donated but this decision was much better.  All in all, Competitor Group did an excellent job of handling the weather induced situation.  By Friday evening refunds were available not only to Mile in the Sand registrants but to runners of every race should they not wish to travel into Hermine’s path.  Emails were sent out a regular intervals to keep participants apprised of any and all changes to race conditions or expectations (like fewer bands for the half on Sunday).  They were as accommodating as anyone could possibly have expected them to be.

Luckily, even though Saturday’s race was cancelled, the beach was still open.  I took a walk down there at high tide, and almost blew away in the 40+mph gusts, but the surf was amazing.  It gave me a good idea of what to expect for wind conditions at Sunday morning’s 5k.  With possible rain, 25 mph NNE winds and gusts over 45 I’m not feeling too confident about hitting that PR.hermine

Every other runner will also be dealing with Hermine’s wrath but it just doesn’t seem like a best performance type of environment.  However…you never know, right?!  I’m estimating the first 1200M will have a crosswind, then a headwind for about 800M and a friendly tailwind for everything but the final 400M where it’s back in your face for the Finish.  I’m OK with that.  I’ll still give it all I have and get a good workout.


How do you deal with weather changing your race plans?  Did you get out and play in Tropical Storm Hermine?

2015 Rock n Roll Virginia Beach

The 2015 Rock n Roll Virginia Beach was my second opportunity to pace this event.  Last year’s RnR VB was my very first pacing experience (you can check out that recap right here) and I loved it.  I was excited to be with the 2:15 group again, hopeful I would see just as many runners hit new PRs in 2015.  Joining me in pacing duties would be my friend Eric from Hampton Runner.  Much like 2014 had been my first time pacing, the 2015 Rock n Roll Virginia Beach would be his.

Race weekend started with a few hours at the expo pacer booth.  Eric and I answered questions, calmed nerves, strategized and planned for a fun Sunday.  The weather forecast at that point was calling for rain from about 4am to noon on Sunday so we definitely expected to get wet which, we decided, is much better than the stifling heat and humidity that usually accompany the Labor Day Weekend race.

Before I knew it, race morning was here! 2015 Rock n Roll Virginia Beach morning started with cereal and a two mile run to get in the day’s called for 15+.  As predicted, it rained a bit during this short warm up run. The rain dried up while I made a quick change into my pacer shirt, ate a banana and chugged some water before a short walk to the Start.  It was really nice to not have to worry about parking this year since it can be a challenge for this race.  Once arriving in the Start corral area I made my way to Corral 12 for a group picture with the amazing Team RWB runners.  It was great to see such a huge turnout and so many flags.  After the photo I cruised towards Corral 9 to meet up with my pace buddy Eric.

We chatted for a few minutes with our pace group members then the National Anthem was played, the hand cycles were off and, just after Corral 1 hit the course, rain started to fall again.  The cool drops felt pretty good on a humid morning, much better than last year’s heat, humidity, sunshine beat up even after already having to dry out once. Not much longer and we, too, were off and running the 2015 Rock n Roll Virginia Beach!

We rocked through Miles 1 and 2, sticking with our plan to walk through the water stops. The rain had disappeared and everyone around us was pumped up. The course itself is mostly flat with the only big exception being the bridge over Rudee’s Inlet that you traverse both early and very late. The damp, overcast and cooler weather was much more runner friendly than last year because there’s not a ton of shade through most of the course. The 2:15 group continued steadily racking up miles as we made for the long straightaway after the bridge. Eric and I spent most of this stretch looking for Port-a-Potties. Unfortunately, many had lines four or five people long that we couldn’t hang out in for fear of not being about to get back on track with our pacing duties. A few more well stocked water and enthusiastic cheer stations later, 2015 Rock n Roll Vigrinia Beacharound Mile 8, we were finally able to relieve ourselves.  Phew!  During the last five miles I munched on two packs of fruit snacks, chewed on course provided oranges, downed popsicles and drank a few cups of water while encouraging those around us to stay strong.

Hitting the bridge once again at Mile 12 just before turning to round the inlet parking and set foot on the final Boardwalk stretch we sent several runners ahead to strong finishes while cheering on those who were fighting to get there.  2015 Rock n Roll Virginia BeachAfter crossing the Finish Line, we grabbed 2015 Rock n Roll Virginia Beach medals, Gatorades, chocolate milks, bananas, chips, more ice pops and a pace team photo.

The 2015 Rock n Roll Virginia Beach was the race’s 15th anniversary and the race shirts feature one of the city’s favorite landmarks, King Neptune, while the medals just scream beach with Neptune, sea turtles, sunglasses and more.  I like both and the Brooks tech shirt is a nice touch.

The race was a blast and I can’t wait to be a part of it again next year.  The course support was better this year than last, especially in terms of the number of bands, with the standard fully stocked water, GU, ice pops and Gatorade stops.  Eric was a great pace team partner who nailed on his first time out and I’d love to team up again.  Hopefully the weather will repeat itself for 2016’s event earning our pace group more PRs than ever.


Did you race this weekend?  Have you ever run Rock n Roll Virginia Beach?

Moving, RnRVB Expo + Fuel

Phew!  It’s been a whirlwind of a week.  Between moving, unpacking, organizing, working, working out, eating and sleeping I can’t believe it’s Thursday already.  As if that all isn’t enough, I have a busy Rock n Roll Virginia Beach weekend coming right at me and marathon training is rnrvb exponagging at me each day.

Needless to say, Doug and I are super excited to be in our new place.  It was a long day to get everything unloaded and start unpacking but it’s not been as bad as it could have.  A bonus?  Not one thing got broken during the process!

Another benefit of the move is that I’ll be able to walk to the RnRVB Expo.  It’s a little more than two blocks from our house and I’ll be there all afternoon tomorrow from 1pm to 5:30 (come visit me at the pacer booth!).  I’m excited to be with the 2:15 group again this year along with my buddy Eric from Hampton Runner as he paces his first half marathon at this year’s 15th annual race.

Hopefully I’ll have a chance to step away from the booth for a moment to go on a shopping spree.  With my marathon training coming up faster than I’d like to think, I’m going to give GU another shot by picking up all of the flavors I have yet to try.  I’d like to find something that both gets the job done and tastes good to me.  My previous experiences (two flavors) have not been wonderful but my go to of peanut M&Ms is just not going to work.  If GU doesn’t end up being the answer there are lots of other options and the sooner I start exploring the better.  After my RnRVB Expo shopping spree we’re going to check out the American Music FestivalSteve Miller Band is playing Friday night and we might try to catch 38 Special, Fuel and G. Love and Special Sauce (one of my Philly faves) over the course of the weekend, too.

I’m excited to help some runners PR in the better weather this year, listen to some good music and finish getting settled in the new house.


Are you running this weekend?  Will I see you at the RnRVB expo?!  How do you fuel marathon training runs?

Fall Racing is Almost Here

It’s August!  Time to start getting ready for fall racing and working towards some new PRs.  I’ve had a busy few weeks with three race weekends in a row (RnR Chicago, Kill That 5k and Joggin for Frogmen) and am looking forward to some easy weekends with nothing more than a long run on the schedule.  My fall racing schedule includes a little bit of everything and will be lots of fun.  I’m pacing and racing at the half marathon distance while looking to PR at both 5k and 10k in the next few months.

Fall racing season kicks off with Rock n Roll Virginia Beach and it will be here before I know it.  I won’t be racing this one but will be pacing the 2:15 group again this year.  Eric at Hampton Runner will be my pacing partner and we couldn’t be more excited to help people reach their half marathon goals.fall racing

Next up is the Heart of Ghent 10k on 26 September.  Along with some cooler weather this flat course will give me a chance to hit the new 10k PR I’ll be looking for.  I had a great race last year (super comfy tees) and it’ll be a nice opportunity to push myself without a PR attempt half marathon on the schedule until December.

Two short weeks later I’ll return to pacing for the Hartford Half Marathon 2:00 group.  The next day it’s racing mode (hopefully) for the Narragansett Half Marathon and to check off my second state for the weekend.  Neither race will be fast but I’m looking forward to pushing myself for the first time in the second of back to back half marathons.  After a whirlwind trip to New England, I’ll be back in Virginia Beach for a little breather and five weeks to dial my training in for a 5k PR attempt at the Harbor Lights 5k on 21 November.

Fall racing will wrap up with a trip to Louisiana for the Baton Rouge Beach Half Marathon.  It’ll be a quick one night stay as I use this flat, uncrowded race as my 2015 half marathon PR goal race.  Even though I have plenty of fall racing on the calendar, each event has plenty of wiggle room for training tweaks if I feel I need them and I’m looking forward to going after new PRs as the weather cools down.


What’s on your fall racing schedule?  Going for any new PRs?

Back in Action and Awards

I’m back in action!  A rough run on Saturday had me staving off more until today but thanks to the weather, things got shuffled around a bit.

After fighting a little with both of my ankles over the weekend I reevaluated my schedule and Sunday night decided my legs were feeling well enough to stick with it.  Until I read the week’s weather forecast.  A predicted high of 27 on Thursday.  While I don’t mind running in frigid temperatures, it would be my first genuinely cold run of the season and I didn’t want my final long run before Rock n Roll Arizona to suffer because of it.  Luckily I was able to adjust my training schedule to accommodate winter.  Here’s what the week will end up looking like:

Monday – Strength training
Tuesday – Rest  Shakeout run with 2x 200M strides
Wednesday – Interval Work
Thursday – Long Run (10 Miles)  Rest
Friday – Shakeout Run  Long run (10 miles)
Saturday – Race Pace Run (4 miles+)
Sunday – Heavy lifting

My legs were beaten up after a heavy dose of front rack walking lunges Monday and the shakeout ended up being exactly what I needed.  It was a day earlier than I had planned on running again but a short jog before heading out let me know my ankle would be fine.

I’m happy to be running pain free again and am even happier to have received some cool awards.  They’re awards I earned in 2014 but I waited to share until they all arrived.

My age group award from the Heart of Ghent 10k print with a plaque commemorating my 10k PR.  It was very hard to photograph with my phone!awardsRock n Roll Series Heavy Medals!  Rock Encore and Triple Crown earned for Rock n Rolls in Nashville, Virginia Beach and Las Vegas.  The Triple Crown is HUGE!


What cool awards or medals did you earn in 2014?  How do you decide if you’ve recovered enough to run?

A New Workout + Myrtle Week 3

Myrtle Week 3 isn’t technically finished yet, with Rock n Roll Virginia Beach coming up on Sunday, but since both the race and its expo will get their own reports, I wanted to share myrtle week 3two other exciting things about this week.  1. I overcame a slight injury and 2. I completed an awesome new speed workout on Wednesday.

Let’s start with the injury.  At some point during last week’s GHDs and sit-ups, I strained the transverse abdominal on my right side.  I rested Saturday, did a long run Sunday and a light recovery run Monday which meant I didn’t notice anything more than normal muscle fatigue until I went to strength train on Tuesday.  As soon as I went to powerfully engage my core (tuck jumps) or anteriorly tilt my hips (pull-ups), I knew what I had done.  The Myrtle Week 3 Core Muscle Strain of 2014.  Combine the fact that I hadn’t noticed the strain for three days and the lack of pain when I wasn’t trying to use that muscle, I knew my little injury wasn’t serious and I’d be just fine after resting it.  At least I could still run and do some things in the gym.  I bailed on my planned workout to avoid making things worse and settled for heavy back squats.

When Wednesday morning rolled around, I was excited to take on a new speed workout.  My legs felt pretty good for having an unexpected heavy lifting session Tuesday and  cooler, low humidity weather was on my side for a day.  This is what the as yet unnamed 6.5 mile workout looked like:

1 mile warm up
4 x 400M 5k pace with 200M recovery
1 x 800M 10k pace with 400M recovery
4 x 400M 5k pace with 200M recovery
1 x 800M 10k pace with 400M recovery
1 mile cool down

I was fried by the time I finished but ecstatic with how the session had gone.  My 400M and 800M laps were fast, steady and consistent which made me happy since I hadn’t done a hard track style workout in a over three weeks.  This is a tough one but definitely deserves a try!

A light shakeout run Thursday helped my tired legs get back on track for this morning’s Race Pace 5k.  The heat had returned and it was definitely not the run I wanted to get in on a sun baked, crowded boardwalk.  I fought through it, knowing that I was paying for going so hard on Tuesday and Wednesday and that I was a little bit dehydrated.  Even though it wasn’t the outing I had hoped for, I’m glad I gutted it out and made myself a little bit stronger.

Tomorrow is a rest day then it’s long run Pace Day on Sunday.  I’m really excited to wrap up Myrtle Week 3 with the 2:15 group and looking forward to meeting lots of awesome runners while hopefully helping them accomplish their PR goals.  I’ll also be at the Expo Saturday until noon at the Pacer Booth, right next to Garmin.  Come visit me!


Are you running RnRVB?  Have you tried any new workouts lately?

Myrtle Week 2 Training Recap

Myrtle Week 2 is in the books!  Because I decided to volunteer as a pacer for the 2:15 group at Rock n Roll Virginia Beach next weekend, I’ve had to rearrange my schedule a tiny bit.  I’ll still be getting in a 13+ mile long run in Week Three but it won’t be the finish hard run I had planned on.  This didn’t concern me because I’m feeling so good about my training that I was happy to move it up a week.  In addition to moving my finish hard long run up to this week, here’s how the rest of Myrtle Week 2 went!

Monday:  60 minute tempo.  Sort of.  I was waiting on some rain to cool things off and get the pavement wet so I could take my new shoes out in the yucky weather but it took its time showing up.  I held off as long as I could then eased into a late afternoon run, peaking with 1200M at 5k pace around minute 30 then gradually decreasing my pace.  As soon as my watch face showed minute 37, the sky turned black, the wind kicked up and huge, cold, hail like raindrops began to fall.  I was OK with this, it actually felt really good to get soaked with cool rain and brisk breeze.  The lightening, however, I was not OK with.  I got home as quickly as I could, arriving at minute 43.  Needless to say, the 60 minute tempo run was cut short and I cooled down by jogging up and down the stairs a few times.

Tuesday:  Heavy lifting of the front squat and push press variety with the same bar for a bazillion reps (or 84).  My shoulder struggled but I could tell it has definitely gotten both stronger and more stable while the front squats felt light.  My legs powered through the workout but my mind knew I’d pay.myrtle week 2

Wednesday:  Five mile recovery run, foam rolling, stretching, massaging.  Sore as expected, this was much needed.

Thursday:  A ‘light’ cross training workout.  I say light because tabata GHD sit-ups sound much easier than they are, especially when you rarely use a GHD.  Sit-ups?  ALL DAY.  On a GHD?  Umm, nope.  The workout also included 30 front rack walking lunges.  Overhead walking lunges, DB walking lunges?  Yes, please.  With a bar in the front rack position?  No, thanks.

Friday:  Sore glutes, sore abs, sore quads and 14 miles (10 easy, finish with 4 hard) on the schedule.  It was also very humid, quite hot and altogether miserable outside even at 7:30am.  I rolled first thing in the morning then again just before my run.  It helped mildly.  Around mile 6, I knew I didn’t have enough to get the workout I wanted so I ended up doing an easy 10 that was mostly unpleasant and involved 4-5 stops for stretching.  I also decided to skip out on the Myrtle Week 2’s speed work and get that finish hard long run in on Sunday with eight easy, three hard and a one mile cool down.

Saturday:  REST!  My legs felt surprisingly good after Friday’s 10 miles.  I stretched, rolled and a did few air squats to get everything moving but otherwise just relaxed.

Sunday:  I pushed it on this 12 miler because I’ll be taking it easy during Week 3’s long run at the Rock n Roll and it went wonderfully.  Let’s start with the amazing weather.  Temps were in the low to mid-70s, humidity hovered around 60% and a nice breeze to keep me cool meant I was excited to get out and work hard this morning.  With eight miles at 15 seconds faster than long run pace, three at 10k pace and one cool down mile, Myrtle Week 2’s long run was a tough workout that left me feeling really positive.

This week was full of solid training and I’m looking forward to the next eight.  Myrtle Week 3 starts with a light recovery run tomorrow then goes into cross training on Tuesday, two days of intervals and one race pace run before rest on Saturday.  I’ll be out doing my long run Sunday at RnRVB with the 2:15 group and can’t wait!


Have you ever used a GHD?  Did you love it?  Are you running Rock n Roll Virginia Beach next weekend?

My First Pace Group and Myrtle Week One

After a much needed weekend off to shake off last week’s less than ideal long run, I began my ten week Myrtle Beach training with a solid round of workouts in Week One.  Monday and Tuesday are recapped here while Wednesday featured an eight miler with six at long run pace and the last two at half marathon pace.  Thursday was strength training with power clean and jerks to a new 1 rep max (yay!) and I rocked a great fifteen miler on Friday.  Yesterday was a light five and change mile run made up of two easy, two at 10k pace and a cool down to wrap up Myrtle Beach Week One.

Week Two features two tempo runs, two strength training days, one day of speed work and one fourteen miler but things heat up in Week Three.  Week Three of my Myrtle Beach Training includes the Rock n Roll Virginia Beach on 31 August.  I planned all along to use this as a long training run and because of that choice, I’m excited to announce I’ll be pace grouppacing the 2:15 group!  This will be a totally new experience for me.  The only other time I attempted to run with a pace group was my very first half marathon in Richmond, November 2012.

My goal was to finish under 2 hours with an elevated goal of breaking 1:55.00.  I found the 2 hour pace group at the Start and got ready to rock the race.  As soon as I crossed the line, something felt off.  I looked down at my watch when it beeped for the first mile and was shocked.  The 2 hour pace group had just clocked an 8:30!  I had been shooting to maintain a 9 minute pace so I forced myself to slow down and fall behind.  When the 2 hour group stopped for water a mile or two later, I passed them and never saw them again.  I ended up finishing in 1:54.04 then saw a lonely 2 hour pace sign cross minutes later.  Even though I was incredibly happy to have hit my sub 1:55 goal, I was disappointed and surprised the pace group had gone out so fast.  I felt for those who had counted on the pacers to keep them moving because we all know how going out too fast can ruin the final few miles of any race.

This is something I’ll be very aware of as my pacing buddy, our group and I cross the starting line to, hopefully, lead a few of our new friends to PRs at Rock n Roll Virginia Beach.  The pace for a 2:15 half is a hair slower than my easy recovery speed which makes me a little concerned I might try to pick it up.  I’m glad I’ll have my watch, a pacing pal and plenty of runners to help me keep it in check for my first pacing experience.  It’s going to be great to be exposed to a different side of racing and I hope I get to high-five lots of happy, successful runners at the Finish.


Have you ever led pace group?  Is it something you would like to try?  Will you be running with me?

Base Building Week 11

Another good week of training is in the books!  This past week was the final week of mileage increases and since I started base building 10 weeks ago, I’ve really come a long way.  With the weather being hot and humid lately I thought I might struggle this week.  I didn’t!  Each of my runs went as planned and heading in a recovery week, I am really happy with how all of the base building went.

I started the base building process with 30 miles then added 2 miles each week until I hit 50.  I ran a bit more than 50 this week and here’s how I did it:

Monday:  Race Pace 4 miles.  I wasn’t sure about my foot but it felt better and with the evening’s low humidity, I pushed hard on this outing and turned in a solid performance.
Tuesday:  LSD 9 miles and heavy front squats.  It was a little warm running through the state park in spite of the shade and I took it slow at the start.  I finished the run strong and my squats felt really good.
Wednesday: Recovery 45 minutes.  Man, did I need it.  My legs were fried from Tuesday’s workouts and I was more than happy to go nice and easy in the early morning humidity.
Thursday: LSD 8 miles.  After my sore legs on Wednesday I expected this to be more of a struggle than it was.  A warm up mile led to seven more that were about 10 seconds faster per mile than I had planned on but the pace felt good, so I stuck with it.
Friday:  30 minutes barefoot in the deep, soft sand.  I was trying to test my foot a bit and it help up.  I threw in a few pick-ups to get my quads and calves burning, making this base buildingworkout a good mini-threshold session then cooled down and recovered with 10 minutes very easy.  Afternoon deadlifts wrapped up my Virgina Beach workouts for the week.
Saturday:  1200M repeats over hills while at home in Philadelphia.  I was really excited to get some hill work in and I needed to do some speed work, too, so why not put them together?  It was a tough workout that felt good and didn’t leave me feeling exhausted for Sunday’s long run.  I also took my brand new shoes out for a spin on this run and not only was I bright and sparkly, my feet felt great and I totally forgot about the pain I had had a week earlier.
Sunday:  A long run to get those remaining miles, I ended up with 11.5 miles littered with surges at race pace on a shady, fairly flat trip around the Falls Bridge Loop.  I felt like I could have kept going for another 4-5 miles which really made me feel good and got me exciting to enjoy some rest before putting my legs to the test with some hard, fast long runs.

With my base building complete, I’m looking forward to seeing how I feel in a few weeks.  The next seven days will be lots of recovery with easy, short runs and light cross training to give my body a break.  I’ll probably do another 50 mile week (August?) to see what I’ve retained as I roll into my training plan for Myrtle Beach in October.  I also registered for Rock N Roll Virginia Beach this weekend.  I’m looking at it as a long training run that’s sure to be hot and humid with 10,000 of my running buddies.  I have no finish time expectations, hoping to have as much fun as I did in Nashville and stay motivated through the dog days of August.


Are you running RnR VB?  How’s your training going?