Oh man – where to start?  This past weekend in Boston was so much fun, and the 5K and 10K were just the icing on top of the cake!


Probably my favorite part of the weekend was seeing my buddies.  There was a big group of bloggers that Runner’s World invited to the race, and it was nice to see both familiar and new faces.  The race starts on the Boston College campus, so we actually all stayed in the dorms!  I haven’t been in a dorm since I was, oh, 19 years old?  It was everything that I remember it being!  Julie was my roomie; we had a blast!  (Oh, and soon we’re going to be NEIGHBORS!!!) <— I can’t wait to babysit her doggie.


The weekend kicked off on Friday morning with a workout with the November Project.  The free fitness movement, which started in Boston, is now available in about a dozen cities across the country.  Basically, a group of like-minded people meet up and do a crazy challenging workout.


Our November Project workout included tackling a giant, nearly 1 mile long hill (with an incline varying from 6 – 17% – yikes) and darting under an obstacle.  If you’re a regular, you do the hill five times – OMG!  I did it once and walked the entire thing.  I was terrified that I’d burn myself out before the race.  It was no joke!


After the November Project, we all headed out to breakfast.


And then we went back to Boston College for some race activities.


The cool thing about the Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon Festival is that Runner’s World really wanted it to be an EXPERIENCE – not just a race.  So in addition to the 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, and Doggie Race (which was adorable), there are all sorts of lectures, seminars, movie screenings, and meet and greet opportunities that racers can attend FOR FREE!


For example, there were lectures on Women’s Running, Sports Nutrition, and Staying Injury Free.  There were some big-name runners on hand – like Shalane Flanagan!


We also attend the race expo.  I’m going to dedicate an entire post to the race sponsors and swag because I got to try out some AMAZING running gear – hopefully I can do some giveaways, too!  Spoiler alert:  The best thing I tried out was a new product from The Stick – it’s a special massager for trigger points on your neck.


Okay – onto race morning!


Here’s a list of the runners who were invited to the race by Runner’s World – if you’re looking for some inspirational fitness or running blogs, check these ladies and gents out!


Julie: www.pbfingers.com

Charlene: www.fabrunning.blogspot.com

Matt: www.nomeatathlete.com

Anne: www.fannetasticfood.com

Katie: www.runsforcookies.com

Sarah: www.sarahfit.com

Jason: www.strengthrunning.com

Theodora: www.preppyrunner.com

Presley: www.runprettyblog.com

Amanda: www.runtothefinish.com

Katy: www.katywidrick.com

Karla: www.runkarlarun.com

Heather: www.relentlessforwardcommotion.com

Marnie: www.runstreet.com

Sarah: www.pickyrunner.com

Larisa: www.larisadixon.com

Jessica: www.keepingmommysane.com

Dani: www.weightoffmyshoulders.com


So, as mentioned in this post, I was pretty nervous about tackling the 5K and 10K back-to-back just because I haven’t really had a great last few months of running thanks to the first trimester blahs.  But my buddies convinced me that I could do the races if I followed a walk/run plan that would clock me in around 13:00-minute miles.  I knew the official cut offs for the races was a 19:00-minute mile and a 15:00-minute mile pace, which I was PRETTY sure that I could maintain.  I wasn’t looking to break any personal records – I just wanted to get out there and walk/run with my Little One.  Baby’s first race!


So, on race morning, I lined up at the back of the corrals.  It’s fun to hang out in the back – people are extra friendly!

photo 2 (2)

The 5K was first.  My game plan for this race was to go easy and really try to pace myself.  The course was a nice loop around a nice lake, but there were a LOT of hills.   I mostly walked up the hills and ran on the downhills and flats.  I finished in 41:25 – a 13:20-minute mile.


In between the 5K and the 10K, I fueled up on potato chips…

photo 2

And Swedish Fish.  Um, yes.  That was a totally awesome idea.

photo 4 (2)

And then it was time for the 10K!  My plan for the 10K was again to walk/run, but to start off as easy as possible and hopefully pick it up towards the end (with the understanding that THE hill – Heartbreak Hill – would be during Mile 5).  Again, I started off in the back, but I quickly found two of my bloggie friends to walk/run with.  I stuck with them for about two miles.

photo 5 (2)

After Mile 4, I decided to pull away.  I ended up running the second half of the 10K about 3 minutes faster than the first – even with the big hill!  I was proud of myself for that because, to me, that meant that I had paced myself really well through the races.  I probably could’ve completed the whole thing faster, but I was mostly concerned about having fun and being safe for the bump.


I finished the 10K in 1:21:36, a 13:08-minute per mile pace.

photo 1

We spent the rest of the day watching the doggie race (like I said – totally cute), listening to workshops, and stretching out.  I was so sore by the time I arrived back in Charlotte on Saturday night.  But then on Sunday, I woke up and attended a flow yoga class… And ended up feeling better than ever.


So – I truly cannot say enough great things about this festival.  If you’re looking for a great race for next year, sign up to receive alerts about the 2015 Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon.  To me, this event stood out for several reasons:  it was SUPER well organized; the ‘extra’ speeches and workshops were both fun and educational; the expo was great; the medals were so cool; and I loved the option to combine races together to make an entire weekend out of it.


Did you race this weekend, too?  How did you do?


As mentioned, my attendance at the Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon was sponsored by Runner’s World.  For more of my past race recaps, click here. 



  • Lauren @ La Dolce Pita June 9, 2014, 7:33 am

    Eep! I went to Boston College so I was so excited to see the picture of you standing out by the sign… and the dorm pic brought waves of nostalgia. Ah, college 🙂 Sounds like you had two good races, congrats!

    • Caitlin June 9, 2014, 7:34 am

      Your college was so pretty! I ate at the Mexican restaurant across the street 2 times!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat June 9, 2014, 7:39 am

    Oh my gosh, this sounds amazing! I am most definitely signing up for alerts for 2015. Races are awesome, and even more fun when you do them with friends. That’s so cool that such a big group of you got to spend the weekend together – the bump too! Looking forward to hearing more about all the festivities. 🙂

  • Alett June 9, 2014, 7:40 am

    Loved the recap – and you’ve definitely sold me on taking part in the festival next year if only for the doggy race with our new rescue pup (we had to sadly say goodbye to our jack russell in december). After doing one of the Summit Ave climbs with november project Heartbreak hill must have been nothing! (I still cannot do that first side of Summit Ave with november project without stopping for a 30 second break!) – great vibe with those peeps though 🙂
    Anyway, glad you came out to do the races and super happy that you raced smart – yay YOU! xo

  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More June 9, 2014, 8:08 am

    How fun! I love Boston! I went to Berklee College of Music and every time I go back to Boston, I’m filled with so many wonderful memories and feelings. Such a great city!

  • Elizabeth {Positively Healthy} June 9, 2014, 8:09 am

    Awesome job on the races! It looks like you had a blast!

  • Anne @fANNEtasticfood June 9, 2014, 8:36 am

    So proud of you for rocking the five & dime! Told ya you could do it. <3

  • Nikki @ grab your kicks June 9, 2014, 8:40 am

    What an awesome event! I would love to attend a race, expo, and conference all in one! Looks like an awesome opportunity to catch up with fellow bloggers too. It was fun following all the pics on Instagram this weekend! 🙂

  • Emma June 9, 2014, 9:06 am

    My mom ran a full marathon when she was 5 months pregnant with me- you can do it!

  • Jenn@Mark My Miles! June 9, 2014, 11:41 am

    Looks like an amazing time!!! Great job on the races!!!

  • Rebecca June 9, 2014, 12:18 pm

    Sounds like a fun weekend!!
    I never actually lived in a dorm, because I was never a “true” freshman. I transferred in as a junior and ended up living in an apartment setting both junior and senior years. I WILL be in a dorm in two weeks when we stay at the college we’re helping out for a week! It’ll be me and a girl a couple years younger in a room together, and I think it’s going to be fun! Lots of work during the week, but also fun. 🙂

  • mindy @ just a one girl revolution. June 9, 2014, 12:34 pm

    I think I’ve said this about two dozen times at this point, but SO JEALOUS! It looks like you guys had a blast!!

  • Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork June 9, 2014, 12:56 pm

    Looks like such a great time! Congrats on doing both races pregnant! So impressive!
    So sad I missed it–was stuck at home with many other obligations this weekend. I tried to enjoy the weather as much as possible before it gets too hot. Maybe next year!

  • Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork June 9, 2014, 12:59 pm

    P.S. I’m a huge fan of The Stick! We originally bought the smaller one to bring with us on vacation to Europe because I was dealing with an injury and foam rollers take up too much room. Not only did it take up minimal room, I actually like it more then the foam roller many times! I use it on my IT band, glutes, and forearms.

  • Bre & Ree June 9, 2014, 3:34 pm

    Congratulations on finishing! It looks like you had a fabulous weekend!

  • Katy Widrick June 9, 2014, 3:53 pm

    I loved catching up with you this weekend — you did such a great job and you inspired me!

  • Natalie @ Twenty-Something Talk June 9, 2014, 4:16 pm

    November Project is just about the coolest thing I’ve ever heard of, what an awesome thing for the community!

    PS: I LOVE seeing all my favorite bloggers link up! This seems like something I need to try to attend next year!

  • Kyndal June 9, 2014, 4:41 pm

    What a fun weekend it was!

    I’m a proud member of November Project and we’re actually in 17 cities now, woo! And I bought the trigger point stick too, and the foot one (using it at the office while I type this!).

  • Elyse June 9, 2014, 5:55 pm

    Great job! So fun to see you in my city. I ran the half on Sunday and loved the race! It was a tough course, and hot, but so well-organized, positive and fun! I’d definitely do it again and maybe add the other races in too.

  • Amanda June 9, 2014, 9:20 pm

    It was fun meeting you at the expo on Friday. I think I was a bit tongue-tied meeting some of my favorite bloggers all together! Haha! I thought the entire weekend was super well organized too. I ran the hat trick and my goal for all three was just to enjoy myself (I didn’t wear a watch and what a difference that makes!). Saturday I felt great in the 5k and 10k. Sunday I felt pretty good but I could tell my legs were a little tired. Plus it was pretty warm out!

    So glad you had fun! I’m already looking forward to next year! 🙂

    • Caitlin June 10, 2014, 11:15 am

      It was so nice to meet you! I’m glad you had a good race!

  • Jessica @ KeepingMommySane June 10, 2014, 1:26 pm

    I had a blast with you girls this weekend!!

  • Jen @ Bagels to Broccoli June 10, 2014, 2:20 pm

    My husband works at BC and we live right down the street – so weird to see all the bloggers I read with pictures of my neighborhood! I didn’t get a chance to see the half marathon but went on my Saturday morning run along the Chestnut Hill Reservoir when the Five+Dime were going on and it was so inspiring seeing all the runners go by :D. I kinda wish I had done at least the 10k but I was still recovering from the Boston Run to Remember a few weeks ago, but I will definitely be doing it next year I think!

  • Kelly @ Finding a Skinnier Me June 10, 2014, 4:07 pm

    Okay now that looks like fun. And I know you are pregnant, but it is nice to hear about others run/walking. I am just starting out at running and I walk a lot still. Made me feel like a non-runner but after reading this I feel better!

    Great job on the time!!!

    • Caitlin June 10, 2014, 4:18 pm

      Walk/running is the way to go!!!

  • Luna665 June 11, 2014, 7:09 am

    This sounds like a really fun weekend, and event! Great job on the double race! I wish I can be strong a running mama like you are, one day. And great blogs list. It’s nice to have new “reading material” hehe.
    I ran a 50 miles trail ultra this weekend, I placed first — but only because it was a small, local event!It was a lovely experience!

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