A Tale of 5 Mugs

I try to collect a mug from every state I visit — I started this tradition before I became a runner, but it has become even more important to me since I started to try to run a half in each state. I’ve talked about this a few times on the blog, including another Friday Five about how I choose my mugs

These mugs remind me of the good races, the bad races, the weather, the training, and how hard I fought to finish a race.

So for this free Friday with the Friday Five  from Cynthia from You Signed Up for What?, Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, and Mar from Mar on the Run,  I’m talking about five races, their mugs, and what they mean to me.

I am working on recapping all my half marathons to date, and you can look for the next one on Tuesday. I’m still not even halfway through my halfs!

“Glowing” with happiness to finish my first half

Vegas, Baby!
Your first half probably will always have a special place in your heart. It was also the first (but not last) time I met my friend Natalie in real life.

I probably should have tried to photograph it somehow to show off the fact that the medal glows in the dark. I already owned this mug, by the way, having visited Vegas many times.

A PR along the ocean

Another half that will always have a special place in my heart: because it was my comeback from an awful half, because you come in running along the ocean, and because of the lobster roll at the end.

This mug reminds me that we can overcome our challenges.

One of my favorite mugs & medals

Heartbreak Hill
Much like Lola, I felt called to do the one and only Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half. I’d always assumed my MA half would be on the Cape, but when this race was announced, I knew it was my only chance to run up the infamous Heartbreak Hill, because I’m not fast enough to qualify for Boston.

Not to mention there’s the whole pesky I’ve never run a full marathon thing.

Like so many of my spring halfs, unfortunately it was an unusual heatwave. In fact, until I did ZOOMA Annapolis, this was my hottest half. So my finish time wasn’t what I wanted it to be, and I ended up walking up Heartbreak Hill after training so hard for it.

It was the first time I tried taping my knees, and I have never felt better after a race (except for some horrible cramps due to the heat and not getting in salt immediately after finishing).

I love this mug because it was made in Hopkinton (where the Boston Marathon starts). We also visited the Boston Marathon finish line after the race.

Love the mug; the medal is meh, but the race was good

Green Mountain Half
It’s a simple mug, just like it was a simple, no thrills race. Unless you call that wind thrilling (not)!

But notice the paw print.

It was a hard fought PR for me and I use this mug on days when I know I have tough workouts ahead of me.

Too bad I don’t drink beer, eh?

Shipyard Maine Half Marathon
Another spring race, another heatwave, another race where they ran out of water 3/4 of the way through the race at one of the aid stations.

So yes, this was a disappointing half marathon. Again! But I use this mug on days that I need to remind myself that the most important thing is to just keep running.

Talk to me. Leave a comment or answer a question:

What do you use to motivate yourself to train?

Do you collect anything race related? What is it?

Do you keep reminders of the bad races?

* Disclaimer: this is an affiliate link. I make a very small commission if you buy this product from Amazon after clicking through my link.

33 thoughts on “A Tale of 5 Mugs

  1. I do love your mug and medal collection. I still have the shirts from the DNS races and the shirt and medal from the painful walk half….so yes, I do keep things from bad races. I am glad I’ve had the chance to meet up with you a few times.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Do you ever actually wear the ones from the DNS races? I’ve worn the second Vegas one — although now since I have a lot of cute running clothes, I don’t wear the race tees as much! Sometimes to work out in.


      1. Yes, I wear all of my tech shirts to workout in. Might as well get use from them. I don’t wear them outside because I wear long sleeves….less sunscreen to put on.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That is a nice collection. I do not really collect anything, except the medals. I really love the Boston medal, that is very special. That is great you got to run part of the marathon course, even if you walked the hill. I will never be able to BQ either…even at 90 lol

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I didn’t realize that RW heartbreak hill half was only a one time thing.

    My husband and I use to collect the Hard Rock Cafe Hurricane glasses from all the countries/cities we visited. We only started doing that cus one of our friends did it and we thought it was cool. Well at this point in our lives they have been sitting in our dining room hutch for 11 years and we never touch them. I think it’s time to let them go, but wow, what a collection it is!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fun collection and great memories! I collect race pint glasses but have foregone mugs because the Starbucks collection is more than enough. I’m kind of bummed I was not collecting them when I ran MCM and Boston, alas I do not have the DC or MA mugs. I do love cracking out either the pint glasses or mugs when we entertain. Fun convo starters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t get a mug in RI, CT, or MD. Especially bummed about MD since I lived there a year a long time ago.

      I looked but couldn’t find one I loved.

      I’m actually kind of possessive of them.


  5. What a great collection, and I love that you have a story behind them all. I don’t really collect anything from races except the medals… and I keep the bibs (for now).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t really collect anything besides medals from my races. of course, The memories last forever.

    I recently started collecting Starbucks mugs but I only have 4. (NY Moscow, Florida, California).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What great memories and how satisfying it must be to have a happy memory every time you have a drink! Alas I have no training schedule, no motivation other than pleasure and fitness, no event history and no medal collection!!! However on reading your blog I think that I need to make some memories with momentoes, so that I can have happy mugs too!😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sure that you don’t suck at running! Although I haven’t done an event in a long time, I do like to mull over my apps which give me little maps of the route. It’s just a different kind of token😊I have special running memories from our various holidays, especially Italy.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I use Snapfish to make photo mugs of vacations and special event (like my son’s graduation) and love using those, but my son filled a cabinet with the mugs he made in ceramics!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, we have tons of collections from the places we visit.. magnets, mugs, and Christmas ornaments. One day we’ll have to minimize and simplify, but not today.

    You’ve got a great collection going on there! It’s gonna be huge by the time you’re done! 😀

    How’s your mom?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not a big magnet person. Probably a reaction to my parents who were. And of course as I said to Wendy, no Hannukah ornaments. Thankfully!

      My mom hasn’t been doing well at night, but better during the day. Recovery is hard when you get older!


  10. This is a great idea for race memorabilia. I don’t know how you manage to remember all the details of your races. I can remember a few, but just the overall feeling, nothing detailed.
    I don’t collect much unless it is really useful. Since I live in an apartment and space is limited, I don’t keep things.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I keep a journal. 🙂 I I used to have a blog on sparkpeople, so I wrote recaps there, too.

      Some of the ones that fell in between SP and my journal may be a bit more hazy.

      The mugs are useful (and used), but they do take up space!


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