National Running Day + Adding Fun into Training

Happy National Running Day! I’m sure you’ve been inundated with information about events and deals…so here’s just a quick recap if you haven’t heard yet:

  • Westin Hotels: If you are in NYC today, come by Westin Grand Central at 10:30 for a chance to win some free gear, meet NY Yankees pitcher David Roberston and go on a 5k run!
  • Timex: Use hashtag #IMARUNNER on Twitter and Instagram to celebrate the day. For every use of #IMARUNNER on National Running Day, Timex will donate $5, up to $20,000, towards the Boomer Esiason Foundation’s Team Boomer program.  Individuals who contribute content via the hashtag #IMARUNNER will also be qualified to win Timex® IRONMAN® watches.
  • Sparkly Soul Giveaway: Enter to win one of three 5-packs of headbands
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Races/Festival: Register today and save $20 on all US races (today only), learn about the new Running Festival at 5 locations across US
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Fun Runs: 21 locations across US and Canada are hosting fun runs
  • I Run This Body gear: All shirts are on sale (today only!)
  • NYRR events: Fun runs, giveaways and/or water stations will be set up at various locations across NYC.
  • Women’s Running Magazine: Subscribe today for only $1 an issue!


I’ve mentioned a few times already that I am trying to keep the stress level down this training cycle. In the past, I had the mindset that I couldn’t have fun or do things less than 100% because it would mean I wasn’t completely dedicated. And I was always so envious of other runners who could train hard but also make time for things that seemed to bring them so much joy. And so I am making a conscious effort to do things that bring me happiness – even if they don’t technically “add” to my training. Things like running with my sister 1-2 times/week and running with friends when our schedule permits. In the past, I’ve been so determined to follow a training plan that I wasn’t willing to run easier/slower than I typically do on easy days or deviate at all from a training plan.

I’ve also always been of the mindset that when I sign up for a race, it’s to race, not run for fun. Part of it is on me – I have a hard time going easy in a race setting. But even more so is that it takes a lot of sacrifices on my husband and family’s behalf (to watch the boys) so I can race and I feel a bit selfish to utilize their resources if the race doesn’t mean something. I might as well save our money and my family’s time and just go on a 13.1 mile run around my neighborhood, you know?

BUT, the past few weekends were different. We’ve had some great local races less than a mile from my mom’s house and so the logistics worked out pretty nicely to have family watch the boys so I could run. And even better was that I ran the races with my sister and niece – both of whom were running their first races!

Last Monday was the Memorial Day 4 miler. I ran and paced my youngest sister, Nicole, in her first race (and what would become the fastest 4 miles of her life)! It was also my first time of really pacing someone – trying to stick to the race plan while also trying to motivate and push her to keep working hard (while not being too forceful or annoying) was not as easy as I thought it would be…but it was way more rewarding and exciting than I could have imagined. And my sister did fantastic – she ran strong from start to finish and even ended the race with her fastest mile!

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My whole family was out cheering for my sister – parents, sisters, my son, niece, nephew!


This past weekend was the Marty Egan Memorial 5k and was another amazing, fun experience. My sister and niece had talked about doing the race and so I decided to forego my plans of racing the 5k and offered to run/walk with my niece. (I ended up pushing my oldest in the stroller while running with my niece.)


Littlest guy jumped in stroller at mile 2.8 and I ran/walked with my son and niece to the finish!

I can’t even begin to explain to you how happy it made me to be able to share this day with my niece. For years she’s talked about doing a race with me – I see her on my morning runs as she is on her way to school and we yell, wave and I try to catch them in the car. And she loves to see all my medals (I’ve given her a few over the years and she keeps them hanging in her bedroom) when she comes over our house. So to be with her as she crossed the finish line of her first race, watch her receive her first medal (from the kids run post-race) and see how happy and proud she was of HERSELF was truly special for me.



And just as exciting is that my oldest sister (my niece’s mom) has caught the running bug and ran the 5k (her first!) this past weekend as well. She has been doing some run/walks on her own (she used my BOB stroller for the first time yesterday with her son!) and wants to continue to train!


So I may not have gotten a new PR the last two weekends, but for me, I got more. There will always be another race to run and race and another chance to PR. But there won’t be another “first race” for my sisters and niece. And my heart is full from being able to share these moments with them.

Have you ever paced someone? 

Do you do races for fun? Or are you a racer only? 


I don’t post here every day, but I post all of my workouts (and other happenings) on Instagram on a daily basis {NYCRunningMama}.

For More NYC Running Mama training updates, pictures and ramblings, check out:

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    11 thoughts on “National Running Day + Adding Fun into Training

    1. I’ll definitely be doing some races for fun next season, this time around it was all about trying to PR and it was exhausting!
      I’ve never paced someone but I’d love it, it would be so cool to help someone else reach a time goal, or just keep them company if that’s what they need. Looks like you had a great time with your sister!
      2 Cups ‘N Run recently posted..3 Day Taper Experiment: UnnecessaryMy Profile

    2. While I love challenging myself and I definitely like getting my money’s worth out of things…I think it is SUPER important to also make it fun and not go to an extreme. It is also more important to me to encourage others (especially family) and show them how awesome running can be than to get in an extra training run or speed session :)
      Sounds like you have had a great week!!!!!!
      Jen@milesandblessings recently posted..10 reasons to run!!!!!My Profile

    3. Oh my goodness, I love the pics of you with your sister and your niece!!! That is fantastic! Just pure joy on your face 😀 Congratulations to them (and to you!!)

    4. Having 3 young kids I completely get what you mean about racing. Since it’s time and money for my family, I make sure to “get my money’s worth” with racing to avoid guilt…it has to feel purposeful!

      Of course, it hasn’t always played out so favorably because it didn’t take my mental or physical health into the equation. Accepting limitations can be freeing when it means you do more “fun” running or social running, which is so good for the soul! I love your perspective!
      Michele & paleorunningmomma recently posted..The Illusive “Balance” – Doomed to Fail?My Profile

    5. I actually saw you on Sunday with your niece and son in the stroller. I was biking and pulled over to watch the race.

      Nothing better than to inspire those around you. Congrats to your sisters and niece and to you for changing your mindset this race cycle. Running is fun. And sometimes the competitive side in us just needs to calm down for a bit to focus on the fun :)
      Sally @ sweat out the small stuff recently posted..Hashtag city and a few splurgesMy Profile