Runner’s World Takes on Naming Disney-Themed Gu Flavors

Last weekend, Runner’s World editors traveled to Orlando for the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend with the Runner’s World Challenge. Before the trip, editors decided to name Gu flavors based on Disney movies (#disneyGU) and a trend ensued… – By Hannah McGoldrick, associate multimedia editor
  1. So this game is the GU-fee challenge? RT @RWGearGuy Little Mermalade (orange flavored) @caitlingiddings @cowboyhazel @meghgrace #DisneyGu
  2. @meghgrace you’re on a roll! How about Snow White Chocolate and the 7 grains? #DisneyGU #RWGoofTroop

Running the Race for Recovery Virtual 5K/10K

Yesterday as I was browsing through Twitter I came across a bunch of tweets about a virtual 5K and 10K dubbed the Race for Recovery to raise money for relief efforts for the destruction in NY and NJ caused by the monstrous storm, Hurricane Sandy.

As I started to read more about the virtual race, hosted by Michele, author of the running blog NYC Running Mama, I knew I had to take part. I have been looking for a way to get involved with some of the volunteer efforts but because I don’t live in New York or New Jersey, the only option was to simply donate money. While that’s a really good option, I wanted to do something a little more proactive to show my support.

I also felt a need to support Michele in her efforts. She decided last weekend to begin organizing this amazing effort and has been able to raise almost $5,000 already. Michele reached out to different running brands and running companies, including my amazing place of employment, Runner’s World, to donate prizes for race participants.

As soon as I finished reading her post, I was on her Crowdrise page before I knew it. Michelle has set it up so all of the money donated will go towards the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund, a foundation focusing on clean-up efforts on the NYC, Long Island and New Jersey coastlines- the areas most severely affected by Sandy.

All you have to do to register for the virtual race is as follows:

1. Make a donation here!

  • Make a minimum donation (your race entry fee) of $20 on Michele’s Crowdrise page.
  • This money will also be your entry into the more than 40 different giveaways.

2. Register for the virtual race here!

  • Date- Saturday, Dec. 8 (Can’t run that day? No problem. Run whenever you want!)
  • Where- Anywhere!
  • Distance- Michele is asking people to run, walk, bike a 5K, 10K or both!

3. Download your race bib here!

  • Oh yeah, this virtual race even has race bibs! Download yours and where it on your run to let everyone know you’re supporting the Race for Recovery

4. Complete a 5K and/or 10K- also don’t forget to snap a pic and tweet it to Michele (@NYCRunningMama)

5. Enter your race results here!

  • Michele will use the results to randomly select winners of the giveaways.
  • Finish time is not important. This is about raising money for a good cause and having a little fun while we’re at it!

6. Have fun!

Oh yeah and I forgot to mention, the grand prize is a dream visit to our very own Runner’s World headquarters in PA! We’ll give you a tour, go on a run, bring you to our test closet filled with goodies and so much more! According to Michele’s website, the grand prize will be awarded to whomever raises the most money. So, if you’re planning on running on Saturday, Dec. 8, or really any other time, why not do it for good? It’s only $20 (a lot less than many “formal” races) and you’ll be helping out countless people affected by Sandy.

I know I’ll be out there on December 8th running a 5K and a 10K, along with some other RW staffers and maybe a few folks from Men’s Health. If you need more details please visit

Have you ever done a virtual race? Will you do this one? (Pretty please!)

Saying goodbye to my home, family and friends and starting a new chapter

I really can’t write about this too much because I will become far too emotional but tomorrow I am moving away from Massachusetts, where I have lived my entire life, to start a completely new chapter of my life down in Pennsylvania where I will begin working as an associate editor at Runner’s World magazine.

This is a huge step for me as I know it will further my career but it’s also a big step because I am walking into the unknown. My entire family, including the majority of my extended family, lives in and around the Boston area. In fact, only one of my aunt’s ventured to move away from the homeland and relocate to California. Besides not having any family in Pennsylvania, I also don’t have many friends. I have one friend who lives in Philadelphia (an hour from where I’m moving), one friend who lives 45 minutes from where I’m moving but she’s about to move to Korea to teach English for two years and a second cousin in New Jersey, again, about an hour away.

Moving to Pennsylvania and taking on my dream job at my favorite magazine is a risk but it’s one I’m willing to take. Although the risk does not come without sacrifice- moving away from my family and all of my friends- I think it will allow me to grow and develop as my own, adult self. I desperately don’t want to leave my support network but if I’ve learned anything in the past few weeks I’ve realized how truly blessed I am to have them in my life. They’ve been so supportive throughout this process that I think they would have been mad at me if I had not taken the job. Of course they want me to stay in Massachusetts for their own sanity but I don’t doubt they will be coming to visit me very soon.

So, in closing, this post is just a huge thank you and see you soon (not goodbye, I hate goodbyes) to my parents, my little sister, my entire extended family, especially my cousin and one of my closest friends Paige who honestly, without her I might not even be where I am with running now, to my two best friends Sydney and Angela, who I know are going to miss me but have been practically packing my bags for me!, and to all of my other friends, especially some of the ones I have only recently met, everyone has been supportive and led me to where I am now.

I also want to send out a HUGE thank you to all of my blog readers who have also been supportive of me through reading and exchanging stories and conversation. You all are truly an inspiration :)

That being said, tomorrow morning I’m off and driving away into the unknown. It’s scary, but I like it. See you soon!

Testing out the “speed demon” interval run

I may be one of the few people who actually enjoys doing speed interval runs- in fact, I think they can be fun. I think they are challenging and I feel like they teach me to push my limits. Also, of course I can see the benefits during my long runs as my times get faster and faster.

However, while I was training for the Hampton Rockfest Half Marathon, I was doing the exact same interval workout and it was getting dull. I was following a training plan and since it was my first half marathon, I made sure not to stray too far from the plan. Now that I’m done with the half, I thought it would be a great opportunity to test out some new interval workouts to mix into my weekly runs.

I knew I wanted to do some speed work today so last night I searched on the Runner’s World website for some new interval plans. I came across an old article about different treadmill workouts and of course the one called “speed demon” caught my eye. This run was based on time instead of distances on the track which was good because the local high school track is closed during the day.

The run basically called for six 3-minute repeats at 20 seconds faster than your latest 5K pace. I would strongly urge anyone who wants to try this to use your most recent 5K pace, not the pace you ran during a PR. I say this because you may have run a fantastic race a year ago and PR’d and you may want to use that pace. But, it’s important to keep in mind the shape you might have been in when you ran that race may not be the same shape you’re in now. You could be in better shape, but you may not be so it’s important to base your speed intervals on your last 5K pace.

That being said, here are the rules of the “speed demon” interval workout.

I thought this was a really great workout and it was nice to switch things up and try a new run. I thought it was challenging but not too hard that I was on the verge of dying. I think when I run it next week, I’ll go a little faster (progression is key!).

Do you have a favorite interval or speed workout? If so, I’d love to hear about it! Please share your favorite speed work run in the comments section below!

I’m now an editor at Runner’s World

I am very pleased to announce I recently accepted a position as associate editor of multimedia at Runner’s World and I literally could not be more excited! This news is truly a testament to how running has completely changed my life during the past year. Before I started running, I was committed to becoming a traditional journalist- maybe breaking into the political journalism realm- but, as I continued to run and blog about health and wellness I realized how huge of an impact health and fitness journalism has on communities.

As more studies develop in regards to health and wellness, making exercise and nutrition accessible to everyone is becoming more and more important. Once I started to recognize this, I made a decision to focus on health and wellness reporting so I could make exercise, and especially running, accessible for anyone. Although I’ve never claimed to be an expert, I think through reporting on different issues pertaining to running, people are able to get the information they need to start their own “journey to fit.” Runner’s World is dedicated to educating and informing readers about all-things running and is focused on speaking to all runners, regardless of skill or experience level. I am really looking forward to becoming a part of a team that has such a strong dedication to spreading the message of health.

While accepting this position means I will be leaving my family and my closest friends to move to Runner’s World headquarters in Emmaus, PA, it’s going to be an amazing opportunity that I’m sure will open up doors for my career. I just wanted to send out an update to everyone and to thank all of my friends and family (and my dedicated Fit Girl Happy Girl readers!) who’ve been so supportive of me during this whole process!

How to relieve a side stitch when running

Are side stitches cramping your running style? They were for me last week when I began training for the half-marathon. But after a little research I learned that you can actually overcome them with a few basic tricks.

Medically speaking, a side stitch is a spasm or cramp of the diaphragm muscle. There are many reasons a side stitch can occur including dehydration, bad running form or just general fatigue. For me I think it could be dehydration but according to many of the blogs and message boards I’ve read, side stitches tend to occur early on in a runner’s career. I’ve only been really running since March so that could also be the reason.

Whatever the cause, there are easy cures for side stitches. The For Beginners Only blog on the website for Runner’s World suggests massaging the area in pain. As always with a side stitch, you should stop running first, then:

“… press your first two fingers in and slightly upward directly where it hurts and hold for about 10 seconds. While pressing in and up, take more deep breaths. You can continue this process of pressing in and up, all around the edge of your ribs up to your sternum.”

Another technique I used last week that worked was to slow my pace, or come to a walking pace, and stretch my right arm over my head to stretch out the right side of my abdomen. If the stitch is on your left side, use your left arm. This worked well and helped relieve the pain so I could continue running.

The best news about side stitches is that with continued exercise and running, they should go away altogether. So, stay hydrated, stretch before a run and hit the pavement!

Trying to run a sub-30 5k? Join the club!

"The hardest step for a runner is the first one out of the front door."

As I was perusing Twitter the other day, I came across a tweet from Runner’s World promoting a new club set up by RW blogger Ted Spiker. The club is called the sub-30 club and its goal is to help motivate runner’s who are trying to run a sub-30 5K.

“What I’ve come to realize is that even though a 30-minute 5K is barge-like for many,” Spilker writes, “plenty of other runners are working their knickers off in an effort to drop the 3 for a 2.”

This could not be truer. While running a sub-30 doesn’t seem like a huge feat to seasoned runners, for the newer runners out there it is an admirable goal. I just started getting into running in February and while I haven’t run my first 5K yet, it’s my goal to run it in at least 29:59 minutes. To reach my target time, I thought I’d join the club and help out other runners who have the same goal.

So, if you’re trying to run a sub-30, or if you already have and are looking to help motivate some newer runners, join the sub club. We can all use a little extra motivation here and there so I would suggest joining on Facebook at The Sub-30 Club (from RW Big Guy Blog).

(While you’re at it, like my Facebook page to stay up-to-date on Fit Girl Happy Girl)