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My Philadelphia Marathon Weekend!

Hey fellow runners and friends,

Ready or not the holidays are here. ~ I hope you had a Wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend! Before you know it, we will be celebrating Christmas, with December right around the corner.

Stepping back a bit to last weekend… The Philadelphia Marathon was another memorable weekend for me over 20,000 other runners and spectators.

The highlight of my Philadelphia Marathon weekend was working and volunteering at the 2016 Philadelphia Marathon Health & Fitness Expo. On Friday and Saturday, I worked in the Seminar Area, introducing and presenting awesome speakers and presenters like marathoner and author, Bill Rodgers, Deneen R. Young, YoungLife Coach~Beyond Fit and Mark Sullivan, coach with and LEGacy runner with the Philadelphia Marathon. And I was the announcer on Saturday encouraging runners to attend the Seminar Area.


Marathoner Bill Rodgers and I after his memorable talk about his awesome running career. 


Deneen R. Young, YoungLifeCoach ~ Beyond Fit and I after her inspiring conversation on fitness and positive self talk.

On Saturday, I was blessed with the opportunity to serve as a Half Marathon Pacer with Philadelphia Runner on Saturday, November 20, 2016. I was joined by fellow Pacers, Leslie and Molly as we lead runners to a 2:15 finish on the new half marathon course. As a Pacer for half marathoners, the experience is truly rewarding, while the race was challenging, due to the back to back hills the downhill and the flat course after mile 10 was welcomed after we tackled the tough second hill that felt more like two hills.


Leslie Russell Winder and I after pacing our group of runners to a 2:15 finish.

I was happy to serve as a Pacer this year to help runners accomplish their race goals, after running the 8K in 2010, the half in 2011, the marathon in 2012 and the half again in 2013. Last year and the year before were my first year not running the race (2014 and 2015), since I was a part of the Marathon Internal team and worked behind the scenes on race day. This year I just worked onsite at the Expo.

Also, this year was different, because we ran on a new course. As I mentioned above the course was a challenge, especially if you don’t think of yourself as a hill runner or if you didn’t train on hills. Another major thing was if you were familiar with the previous course, it had less hills and it you had the opportunity to run on Chestnut Street in your own personal parade among Philly fans and friends.  At least it feels like a parade when you are running through the Philly streets. Fond memories from my previous half and full marathon.;-)

As I wrap up my thoughts about the half marathon, a word that comes to mind is perspective. Some people loved the new half marathon course, some people preferred the previous course. The great thing about running and life, it’s all about what you choose to focus on. Some people chose to focus on the beautiful fall day. We had sunshine and warm weather, despite it being a little chilly at the start, it felt more like a spring day after the race got underway.

The marathoners on the other hand had a cold windy day. Despite the colder temperature it was actually a better day temperature wise for the marathon so much so that the men’s winner, Kimutai Cheruiyot set a course record of 2:15:53 and the women’s winner, Taylor Ward finished with a time of 2:36:23. Also, several of my friends that ran the marathon set personal records. ~ Great Job marathoners!! ~ I am looking forward to 2017 already and marking Philly as my 4th marathon.



My NYC Marathon Journey… What an Experience!

The TCS NYC Marathon in one word is an EXPERIENCE! 

I am now a two-time Marathoner, thanks to the TCS New York City Marathon and the Minding Your Mind Foundation. Whoo Hoo! ~ I ran this past Sunday to honor my friends and family members and others touched by mental illness. I am so Thankful for my AWESOME friends and family members who donated to Minding Your Mind. We are Blessed to Be a Blessing!

After the run w Medal 1

Post Race Photo ~ Proud TCS NYC Marathoner!

My marathon journey included so many thoughts and emotions. If you are reading this and you ran this past Sunday or in any marathon, you know exactly what I am talking about.

During my 26.2 miles I thought about my mother-in-law who passed away Saturday morning, just before I left Delaware for New York City. I thought about how much pain she went through last year after losing her leg and I thought about the pain that she had recently endured while in the hospital.

She was my inspiration to push on past the foot pain and cramps I experienced off and on during miles 8 – 20 +.

I thought about my sister and the pain that she’s experiencing. The pain of depression, hopelessness and denial. My work with MYM is just beginning. I am working on educating my sister and others that it’s okay to admit that you need help. We all need help at some point in our lives.

As you see, I had a lot to keep me busy during my journey to 26.2. ~

More thoughts and questions during my RUN …

  • Why am I doing this again? Yes! Running for a charity makes it all worth it.
  • Is this my idea of Fun?
  • Dig Deep!
  • What a Beautiful DAY!!
  • I am so Thankful for the crowd support.

The weather

What a Beautiful Day for a Run! We were truly Blessed with Great running weather.

I started out with my long sleeve shirt. (I got rid of my shirt on the Verrazano Bridge, between mile 1 and 2.)

Before the Run - MYM Shirt 1

Before the run! ~ Wave 2, Orange Corral

Underneath, I had my sleeves on along with my Nike shorts and my Elite Access Running tank. (Perfect Running attire for my run!)

Brooklyn Photo from Gabrielle

Mile 9 (Brooklyn) captured by my NABJ friend, Gabrielle. Feeling good after experiencing a little foot pain.

Course Strategy

What a course! Yes, It’s challenging and hilly. Prior to the race I attended the course strategy session on Saturday at the Expo and it was Awesome and on point. The advice that was given by the speakers were to be patient with the first two miles, due to the crowds and miles 3 on to mile 20, still keep it easy. Mile 20 on to the finish is when you actually should speed up. ~ This advice is actually good for marathons overall.

Looking to run New York in 2016 or 2017? Check out the following strategy article. It’s GREAT!


Me and Mel at the Expo 1

Melanie and I enjoying the Expo.

Crowd Support

The crowds were Amazing! ~ What a Parade!! The New York Fans are Phenomenal !! Watch out Philly! When I ran my first marathon, the Philadelphia Marathon in 2012, I felt the same way. I had my own personal parade going on!

I was so excited to see friends on the course. Shout out to my friend Gabrielle and her hubby at mile 9.  Of course BGR! was out on the course. In addition, it was great to have my virtual cheers from BGR! DE and Philly. My friends were tracking me during the run.  Around mile 15 or so, I saw my running buddy, Andre Parker, Black Men Run.

Perks on the course!!

I think it was mile 15, the race organizers were giving out salt packets and vaseline. Major perk!! Some how, I didn’t think about vaseline prior to the run. I was so happy to rub it on my thighs because during my earlier miles, I felt a little chaffing coming on. Thank God for the vaseline! I got it just in time.

Eventhough the perks are good be careful with the oranges and bananas that people give out on the course, eating those during the run can cause bloating and cramps during the run.


What you eat the day before will fuel your run. (Thanks to my nutritionist/trainer, To-Ze, I truly believe this and I watch what I closely the day before each run.)

I had fried chicken and a baked potato with butter for dinner, my other option was steak and a baked potato.

The fats will change the viscosity of the blood giving you longer lasting fuel through the race instead of spiking insulin levels like carbs do.

Say No to carbo loading! There are so many articles out there about the benefits to carbo loading, but it’s really not the best thing the night before a race. If you want to eat more carbs earlier in the week, that’s fine. Special Note: Carbs turn in to sugar and too much sugar can cause you to have stomach cramps during your run.


Get plenty of sleep and rest during the week leading up to the Marathon. It will make a difference in your race performance.


Trust your training! You put in the the time and the miles. You Got This! If you missed some training time, like me, consider your race a nice training run and run your best. And have Fun!! Enjoy the run, relax your mind and enjoy the parade.

Post Race…

My thoughts after the race… Thank God I finished!! ~ The New York City is one of the toughest marathon courses. I feel like I can run any marathon now. Perhaps the Chicago Marathon. I hear it’s flat and fast. I need this after running slower than planned in New York. I would love to run four hours or less. My personal record was Philly. I ran the Philly Marathon in 4 hours and 25 minutes. My NYC time was 4:59:38 thanks to my walk breaks and cramping. I would love to beat it before retiring from marathons. For now, I plan to focus on half marathons, 10 milers, like the Broad Street Run, 10K’s and 5K’s. I feel the need for speed! 🙂


I had a light massage at Alternative Therapy Massage Spa on Monday and a nice hot bath with Epson salt Tuesday night and my legs feel Great! ~

Me with Medal

Day 4 of rocking my TCSNYC Marathon Medal.

Special Thanks!

I am so thankful for good friends and family! Shout out to Tanishia and Edward Drew and family for helping me get to, around and from New York with no worries.

Thanks to my running buddy, Melanie Eversley! Melanie and I met up at the Expo and attended the Generation UCAN event with Meb and Dathan.

Meb & Dathan

Generation UCAN event with Melanie, Meb and Dathan.

Shout out to Anthony Raynor, Race Director for Bermuda Marathon Weekend for an AWESOME Race Weekend Experience. It was AWESOME experiencing the NYC pre race events and getting to the starting line with no worries. I am happy to be part of the Team!

Next up:

My Birthday!! ~ Friday, November 6, I’ll be 46 years young. Instead of running this year, I’m going dancing on Friday night.

The GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon — I Love the Philly Marathon! My hometown race. Normally I run the Half or the Full, but I serve as the National PR Consultant for the Philly Marathon, so I’ll be working the race and cheering on my friends.

Huffin’ for Pumpkin Pie 5K  — The day after Thanksgiving, I’ll be coaching and running with my client Tonie as she takes on her second 5K.

Bermuda Marathon Weekend — I Love this race! For the second year I will run the Bermuda Triangle Challenge. ~ 3 Races.3 Days.4 Medals ~ I’m excited to run the Mile, 10K and Half Marathon. My hubby Wayne will join me this year as a runner. He’s running the 10K. Last year he served as my photographer. 🙂

Miami Half Marathon Thanks to my BGR! Buddy Deneen, several ladies signed up to Run Miami when the race was offering specials earlier in the year. I’m signed up to run the half marathon the week after the Bermuda Marathon.

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