Runfessions for November

It’s that time again. Time to get things off my chest with Marcia’s Runfessions at Marcia’s Healthy Slice

1. I runfess…

I get FOMO looking at those pictures of runners running at sunrise.  I am an early riser so I could do it too but I watch those beautiful reds and oranges in the sky while drinking a cup of coffee and scrolling through FB and IG.

Anyone else struggle to get out there to run in the early morning hours?

2. I runfess…

I searched all summer for my pink compression socks.  Now that it is too cold for skirts, I found them!! But wouldn’t you know it, now I can’t find my favorite buff and running shirt.

Do you misplace things or is it just me?

3.I runfess…

I have had a Strava account for years and never used it.  I finally did because the free virtual 5ks that signed up through NYRR asked you to post there.

I tried not to be embarrassed with how slow my pace was lol

Anyone else use Strava to record runs or interact with other runners?

4. I runfess…

I did not use my Garmin during my recent REAL half marathon but I missed it.  Not in the way, you think. It was so freeing to enjoy racing and not think about pace and finish time.

at mile 10.6

But I had NO stats.  I always look after a race at my pace for each mile.  And of course, overanalyze things.

Does anyone else obsess over their race stats?

5.I runfess…

My recent race made me realize how much I missed the atmosphere and runner connection at a real race even COVID-style. I did register for a 5K in NYC in a few weeks. I am, of course, hesitating to go due to the rise in the number of cases. I’m pretty sure that the race itself will be safe.  Other races have been held there but it’s all the other stuff to worry about.

So I am waiting until the last minute to decide (I can cancel my free hotel room until 6 pm the night before).

there’s always next year…

It’s Friday so I’m linking up with Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostess and visit some other bloggers.

Happy Running! Anything to runfess this month? So glad to get mine out in the open? Can you identify with any of them? Please share.


I Am Thankful

Since it’s Tuesday, I’m joining the link-up organized by Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner)

The Topic for today is: Tell us why you’re thankful for running this year!

There have been no PRs and the slowest running paces ever but running has definitely made a positive impact on my life this year.

Here’s how:

  • Health and Fitness

I always credit running as the reason that I don’t gain (much) weight and I rarely get sick. But this year (with COVID-19), it became even more important.

Running got me outdoors several times each week.

I also tried to run at least TEN miles each weekend for the first time. Even when there were no races to train for, there were also not many activities on my schedule (so why not?)

  • Friendships

In addition to running each weekend, we brunched together after each run and we scheduled weekly evening hikes.

By seeing each other frequently, we definitely bonded more this year. I feel that I know each runner better.

  • Race-cations

I did not run very many races but I did get away for several race-cations.

I had an amazing real race and other shenanigans in Bermuda.

blogger meet-up with Marcia & Cari

I normally run quite a few races in NYC.  I got one in. One is better than none, right?

Fred LeBow HM with Stan

And although the race was cancelled, my friends and I spent four fabulous days in NH.

ocean vacations are the best

  • Half Marathon Record

I had planned to run 12 half marathons in 2020 – one per month.  The Pandemic, obviously, made that pretty much impossible.

Still I had never run more than 6 in one year.

This year, I ran 9!! A New Record.

  1. Fred Lebow, 2. ZOOMA Bermuda, 3. NYC Virtual, 4. Social Challenge Virtual, 5. Steel Rail Virtual, 6. Unofficial Palio Virtual, 7. Smuttynose Virtual, 8. ZOOMA Amelia Is Virtual, 9. Upstate Classic

  • Coping with Tough Times

Unfortunately I lost two close friends to cancer this year. Another friend is currently experiencing complications from serious heart surgery, my mother-in-law, who was in the hospital for a few days, and unfortunately COVID has hit my immediate family. (Hopefully I’ll have good news related to this and will share that on the blog.)

Running has been there when I needed it.

Polar Cap Run to honor my friend Andrea

  • My Virtual Friends

All of you who read my blog even if I have never gotten to meet you, I am thankful for your support.

Hopefully, our paths will cross in the future.

I’m also linking up here:

with co-hosts Coach Debbie RunsConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Laura Norris Running.

Happy Running! How are you thankful for running this year? Please share.

Weekly Run Down for 11.16.20-11.22.20 – Recovery and Five Day Work Week

I was recovering from my half marathon this week and it was my first five day work week in a long time.

Yes, I normally work five days a week.  But lately due to holidays and having to use up some vacation time (due to cancelled 2020 vacations), I have been only working FOUR days a week.

This has been really nice.  I have gotten to do a lot of awesome hiking.

Last Week –

  • Monday – Rest Day. Hoping my blister would heal so I could run soon. After a windy rainy night, the sun peaked out so I was hoping for a nice walk during lunch. As soon as I got out there, however, the sun went in and it turned dark and dreary.  The good news was that my legs and foot felt fine.  No lingering effects from the day before. Hooray!!

So I hit a local trail for a short one after work and continued in a lit neighborhood (Darn Darkness).

  • Tuesday – A busy work day so no time to do anything until after work.  I was trying to be good and take another rest day so I just walked at lunch.  It was another cold cloudy day…craving some  warmth and sun.

beginning to look a lot like Christmas….and I was sporting my new beanie that a got from a gift exchange (Thanks Debbie)

After work I squeezed in another walk on the trails… (Yes, I was tempted to run.)

some interesting trees at Pine Hollow Arboretum

  • Wednesday – I woke up to snow on the ground. Glad that I didn’t plan to run or walk. Another busy work day but I decided that it was time to run again. I headed to the rail trail after work hoping to beat darkness.

nothing like freezing temps and lack of light to make you run faster.

  • Thursday – Today I had time to run before work. But again, it was freezing.  So I wimped out. Instead, I got out at lunch when it was a little warmer. And I decided to do my 2nd NYRR virtual 5k race.  My legs were still recovering from Sunday’s hilly half but it got done.

cold and windy again but at least the sun was out!!

After work, I met my BFF for a walk.  Trying to stay outdoors but we were sooo cold.

  • Friday –  Another rest day with a short walk at lunch.

I took my usual longer walk with friends after work. Finally the temps warmed up a bit. It was great way to get rid of some of the COVID crazies.

not NYC but festive also in Albany, NY.

  • SaturdayLong Run Saturday. Back to the Zim Smith bike path so we could brunch outside at Leah’s. A similar scenario as previous Saturdays.  I got there early to run a few solo miles and then was joined at points by 6 others (walking or running) for additional miles.  In the end, I kept my 10 mile weekend long run streak.

50 degree weather was a welcome improvement over temps during the week…My vest did not stay on.

  • Sunday – Possible rain in the afternoon got me out early for a hike…colder and cloudy but still wonderful to be outdoors.

I decided to hike until it rained but I got lucky and got 8 miles on 4 different trails and never got wet.  Unfortunately I like the last one best and I ran out of time.

these pics are from a short trail but across the street were longer trails but just paths through fields…nothing really to photograph.

Visit #2 to Omni Art…just love to stroll around and see all the different art… I’m pretty sure I still have not seen it all. Need Visit #3!!

President Van Buren lived here and I always wanted to visit…but again the trails were not too exciting

this was surprising and my favorite of all… I’ll be back to do more hiking here.

In the evening, my mah jongg (that has been on pause since March) group celebrated our 12 year anniversary of playing together with  a ZOOM chat (and take-out Chinese food). Can’t want to play again  …. in 2021??

This Coming Week – 

  • Monday –  run
  • Tuesday – run
  • Wednesday –  rest day
  • Thursday –  HOLIDAY, NYRR virtual 5k, dinner with fam hubby
  • Friday – rest day, walk with friends
  • Saturday –  Long Run
  • Sunday – rest day, hiking

I am linking up with Kim and Deborah for

I encourage you to do the same. Grab the graphic, drop your link on the host blogs and play along! Please be sure to always comment on the HOST’s blogs, as well as visit and comment on as many other blogs as you can.

Happy Running! How is your running going? Any “real” races yet?  What did you do for Thanksgiving?  Did you run a Turkey Trot? Please share.

Four (or Five) Somethings for November

January 2018 Share Foru Somethings #ShareFourSomethings

Thanks to Laurie from Meditations in Motion, I discovered a link up started by blogger Heather Gerwing. The fourth Saturday of each month (for me a Tuesday), Heather invites other bloggers to share their “Four Somethings”: Something Loved, Something Read, Something Treasured, and Something Ahead. Sharing these four somethings is a great way to recap your month and highlight what stood out to you. If you are a blogger, you may post your Four Somethings too!

1. Something Loved.

Election Results

I try not to be political on this blog. But what I love that that we’ve broken the glass ceiling and have a FEMALE vice-president.

how cool is that? A runner as VP.

And the wife of the new President is also a runner.

Jill Biden reports to run or exercise EVERYDAY

Are you excited about having Kamala as the new VP? Did you know Jill was a runner?

2. Something Read.

I borrowed this from a co-worker and I was anxious to read it since A Man Called Ove is one of my favorite books.

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

It is about a bank robbery gone wrong, a hostage situation, an apartment-viewing, relationships, parenthood, friendship, forgiveness… I could go on and on.

As with all his books, it was humorous and touching at the same time. I might have shed a tear or two at the end.

Have you read this or Backman’s other novels?

3. Something Treasured.

My Running Friends

Most (or maybe all) are not training for long races like I am.  Yet they offer to run with me.  They show up on Saturdays even if they not running. They support me (even if they think I’m crazy.)

I got the hiking bug and they eagerly joined me.

Do you have people that you have treasured during this pandemic?  

4. Something Ahead.

A visit to NYC and a real race.  I am using my free hotel points and cross my fingers that it will be safe to do this.

Dec. 6, 2020

NYC is always a magical place around the holidays.  Pics below are from 2019.

 I am sure it will be different this year.

Are you looking forward to anything (besides the end of the Pandemic)?

and since it is Friday…

5. Something Learned

Carpe Diem

Yes, Seize the Day because life is indeed short.  The Pandemic has shown us that.  Be Safe (wear that mask if you are indoors or closer than 6ft outdoors!!) but don’t overthink things and miss opportunities. Don’t procrastinate. Get out there.

Has the Pandemic made you less spontaneous?

It’s Friday so I’m also linking up with Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostess and visit some other bloggers.

Happy Running! What are your somethings? Share at least ONE. 

Upstate Classic Half Marathon Race Recap

This was NOT a half marathon that I planned on nor one I had signed up for way in advance.  It was a first time half marathon scheduled only because ALL other local races had been cancelled. The restrictions were the same for the H2H Half Marathon in August (that I ran virtually.)

So I signed up for the Upstate Classic Half Marathon for several reasons:

  • I hadn’t run a “real” half marathon since February – 9 months!!!
  • It was local and I could sleep in my own bed the night before.
  • It was local so I would know a lot of the runners.
  • I was curious to see how I would do having run so slow all summer.
  • With all the new restrictions, I felt that it would be safe.
  • I am nuts!!!

Half Marathon Training:

If you follow my posts, you also know that I am not strict about following a training plan. For 2020, I had the ambitious goal of running 12 Half Marathons – one each month.

During my first two 2020 Half Marathons in January and February, I experienced a lot of foot pain. I ran them but truthfully, it was not fun at the time (except for the fact that I was in NYC and then Bermuda.)

And then the March NYC Half Marathon was cancelled due to the pandemic so I ran that for fun with two friends. The pandemic continued. Races were being postponed until Fall one by one.  I ran the April Helderberg to Hudson and May Steel Rail Half Marathons “virtually” and by myself. Again no fun!!

No more half marathons during June, July, August and September. (I deferred my August half to 2021 and got refunds for both September half marathons when they went virtual.) Eventually my October half marathon as expected went virtual.  But with NO refund or deferral option, I ran another virtual half marathon (however this time in NH with friends).  I also signed up for and ran the ZOOMA Amelia Island Half Marathon as a virtual one.

The difference in the training cycle for this race was that I ran part or all of my long runs solo.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

The last day I ran was Thursday so I took two days off from running. Of course, there was walking (I can’t just sit around).

Packet pick up was easy peasy.  Just went to the race headquarters, drove in, gave them my bib #, rolled down the passenger window and someone masked gave me a bag with my bib, and shirt.

even got my medal BEFORE the race

I did my usual carb loading of pizza the night before and tried to figure out what to wear.  It was forecast to be cold with a chance of rain later in the morning.  I hate being overdressed (and was tempted to even wear a skirt) but with the threat of rain, I reluctantly chose a beanie, long sleeved shirt, vest, DIY arm sleeves, capris/skirt, compression calf sleeves and gloves.

I love their hats and so I bought one

My biggest dilemma was what to do about water.  I hate to carry my water bottle but there would be no cups of water provided on the course, only table to fill up your own bottle.

In the end, I decided on a small water bottle and I squeezed it into my pocket. At the last minute, I grabbed a paper cup, flattened it and put that in my other pocket.

Race Day:

I woke up early and ate my race breakfast of oatmeal and coffee. My start time was 9:07 and I had to be in my corral by 9:00 am. I left my house around 7:45 am and tried decide what my race plan would be on the drive over.

For the last few virtual halfs, I have been running 45:30 intervals at around a 13-14 mi. pace. Since then I’ve been running on my own with my usual run until I’m tired and walk.  Much more walking than I used to do.  At times I have run with friends at 4, 3, or 2:1 intervals.  Still at a very slow pace. I have to admit that I have enjoyed these runs.  I never felt tired when I was done.

So the plan???

HM PR – 2:06:52
Last “real” HM – 2:23:21
Last virtual HM – 2:55ish (didn’t wear a watch)

First Pandemic HM – Just finish.  No time goal!! (prediction – 2:35:00)

The course:

A loop starting and ending in the same location.

and not flat… at all:

My last real half marathon in Bermuda (in Feb) was hilly.  Since then, ALL my running has been on FLAT roads.

Although this was a “real” race, there were many changes from a half (organized by this company) that was held in April of 2019:

I understood all the restrictions and I am grateful for the opportunity to race. I was not worried about catching COVID.

so well thought out

My last concern was my damn foot.  Bunion, neuroma, hammer toe…. I’ve had pain on and off for almost a year.  It’s much better than it had been back last Dec-Feb but it still hurts from time to time.  Sometimes a lot, sometimes just a little.   You never know and I know there are much worse things to worry about so I run. I walk, I hike.

Anyway, here’s how the race went:

I used my GPS to get to the race location, Altamont Fairgrounds. Well, it took me to the wrong entrance for the race. It was blocked but luckily they let me in.  That meant I was coming from the opposite direction and did not have to wait in the long line of cars (the ones that entered the correct way lol). And I got to preview the first 5 miles of the course.

The parking lot was huge. I parked and as soon as I was ready to leave my car, it started to rain.  WTH? It was forecasted to rain later!! And then it started sleeting.  I forgot to mention that it was skirt weather earlier this week and this morning it was in the 20s. Brrrrr.

I waited in my car as long as I could.  I saw one of my friends, Karen, and we headed in together.

We were both in the same wave so we hung out trying to stay dry.

There were 14 waves. Karen and I were in wave 13.  I started in position I in my wave and Karen further back. Groups of four started every 10 seconds. The first wave had started at 8:30 am. A littler before 9:00, they called our wave and we headed over.

Miles 1-3:

I did wear my Garmin watch but I was debating whether or not to use it.  As I mentioned above, the start of each wave proceeded very quickly. Before I knew it, I was crossing the start line (around 9:07ish).

Nope. I DID NOT start my watch. I have only run a half marathon once without timing it and that was only because my watch stopped working.  But I just wanted to relax and not worry about my time. I feared that my pace would be so slow that I would get stressed and not enjoy t he race.

The rain fortunately had stopped but it was still chilly. But actually perfect running temps if you dressed appropriately.  I think I did. But I spent the first part of the first mile, rearranging things in my pockets. I had two in my vest and two in the skirt and I kept switching things until I was comfortable.  Karen who started after me, quickly passed me by.  I was not surprised as she has been running fairly fast paces lately.

It was weird looking down at my watch and remembering that I could not tell my pace.  I did get used to it after a while but every now and then, I’d look out of habit.

Normally in a half marathon, I would run and walk only at the water stops which used to be every 2 miles and every mile toward the end.  Here the first water stop was not until around mile 3. I doubted that I could wait until then to walk (and I was right,)

The 5k race started after the half and it wasn’t long before the speedsters were passing me by.  I was glad to get past their turn around point.

I tried to start out slowly but probably it was not slow enough.  Around mile 2, it already started to get hard…hills.  Not as bad as they would get later. Now they were just rolling ones.

I was not familiar with this course at all but obviously since we were running on roads, there were cars. You were supposed to run on the shoulder but it was slanted and I found it awkward. So I ran toward the middle of the road until a car came by.  I was more comfortable that way. But the negative was not running the tangents. 😦

Miles 3- 6.2:

I stopped at the first water stop and a volunteer filled up my paper cup.  Best idea ever.  I used that same cup the whole race. I wasn’t hungry yet so I waited a mile to eat my GU.

Around mile 4, we passed by Indian Ladder Farms and the smell of fresh cider donuts filled the air. But the wind took my mind off of it.  It became insanely windy for the next 1.5 miles.  Of course, we were running into that wind until the next turn. Ugh!

The rolling hills continued.  As expected, my foot was hurting. But it is what it is.  I taped it but that tape seemed to be starting to cause a blister. Oy!

The hills ceased to roll and started to become steep hills.  Those type of hills where it was even hard to walk up them.  But walk I did and trying to pick up the pace on the downhill.

Miles 6.2-8.75

Every now and then I would glance at my watch. Though I had no idea what my pace was, I could tell approximately how long I had been running.  My pace was by no means fast but considering all the walking, it was not as bad as I feared.

The second water stop was around the 10k point and again, I had my paper cup filled.

The big hills seems to more frequent the second half of the race.

The leader of the full marathon passed me around mile 7 and he was flying. (He finished the around 2:30!!)

Around mile 8, I ate another GU.  I never really felt hungry during the race but knew I should fuel.

Miles 8.75 – 11.1

It think there was another water stop around mile 8.75. I’m sure that I stopped and refilled my cup.

The race continued the same way.  My blister was starting to get painful but there wasn’t much I could do about it. I focused on the scenery which was very pretty…farms, mountain views, etc.

The course marshals were very enthusiastic. I knew many of them.  There were some families camped out in their driveways.  But for the most part, we were running on the roads in the country… no place for spectators.

At one point during this stretch, a runner starting talking to me.  He and I were both struggling with the hills.  This was his first race since he ran a marathon like 15 years ago. I tried to encourage him and then ran ahead.

I guess I was running in the middle of the road lol

the guy I was chatting with is in blue walking up this hill

Miles 11.1-13.3

More hills. They never seemed to end.  And one last water stop.  I just wanted to finish so I skipped it. I never ate my last GU either.

I finally saw my friend Jenn who was volunteering at mile 12.

Mile 13 seemed like a full marathon.  The wind picked up.  My legs just died. To make matters worse, there was one hill after another.  I walked most of this mile so that I could sprint across the finish line and not embarrass myself.

And like that I was done.  Of course, the clock showed the finish time for those who started at 8:30 am. I had no idea how I did until I looked on the website (There was live tracking).


I immediately got my food – a boxed lunch.

I brought that chocolate milk with me. My favorite post race beverage.

But it was too cold to hang out. I immediately headed to my car while chatting with some of the runners that I knew.

Additional Race Reflections:

It seems that my recap above was a bunch of complaints.  But on the whole, the race was a really good experience. I have zero regrets in running it.

In fact, my time was a lot better than I expected.  It gives me hope that I could improve upon it on a flatter course.

No AG awards but I would have been 4th (see below)

The Good:

  • A Live Race!!!
  • Connecting with local runners.
  • Felt safe with the provided restrictions.
  • Decent post race food. (box lunch of pre-ordered sandwich, apple, brownie)
  • Well organized.
  • Lots of pre-race information
  • Easy packet pick up
  • Ample parking
  • Enthusiastic volunteers (even with the cold weather)
  • Live tracking for others to follow runners and runners to get immediate results
  • Free photos (more coming)
  • A live race!!!

The Bad:

  • Hilly Course.
  • Cold, windy weather.
  • No water provided (unless you carried your own bottle).
  • Many restrictions (though necessary due to Covid-19).
  • No Age
  • Most of my running friends did not participate.
  • Not trained for hills or racing (my fault).
  • My sore foot (expected) & blister.

The Ugly:

  • Nothing really

Would I recommend this race?

Sure.  But I prefer the real (downhill) course and to have it scheduled in April

April 2019 (11 minutes faster)

and the Stockade-athon 15k to be held as usual this weekend.

Nov. 2019

Next Up:

Hopefully in February, I will run a half marathon in Florida.

Publix Fort Lauderdale A1A Marathon

Final Thoughts:

2020 has been a crazy year.  Six virtual half marathons.  Not how I planned it.  Nor would I ever race a half marathon not thinking about my finish time (and not even timing it!!)

With all the pandemic restrictions, it was not the race that I would have planned to run but I did it.

Now I am really anxious to run a one without any annoying restrictions!!

In the sunshine…no hills 🙂

Since today is Tuesday, I’m linking up with Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner).

I’m also linking up here:

with co-hosts Coach Debbie RunsConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Laura Norris Running.

Happy Running! Have run a real race yet? If so, how did go? Are you planning to run one? Please share.



Weekly Update for 11.9.20-11.15.20: Race Week…Gulp!

Yes, my FIRST real race since last February. Until now, all my “real” 2020 races have been out of town – NYC, Lake George, Bermuda.

Of course, this one was much different due to all the pandemic restrictions in place.

But my goal was to finish (with minimal pain) and connect with friends that I haven’t seen in forever.

Last Week –

  • Monday – The awesome Fall weather continued.  Still too lazy to run before work but I did get a run in during lunch on the rail trail.

still skirt weather…actually it was even tank weather… Loving it!

  • Tuesday – The sunny warm weather threatened to end by week’s end so I decided to run again today. And before work!!

And as soon as I got halfway, I got a text saying that our power was out.  WTH?  On a clear sunny windless day??

We do have a generator but I cannot work without Internet. UGH!

still in skirt…a little chilly at first but definitely the right choice

Phew, the power came back after an hour or so. Then I could relax and take my usual lunch walk…

on and off the water line

and trail walk at Hollyhock Hollow Sanctuary after work (a quick one due to limited light).

kinda pretty at dusk

  • Wednesday – Veteran’s Day holiday so I did not have to work.  My plans were to hike if the weather cooperated. Rain was predicted for the afternoon so I decided to visit Olana State Historic Site since I had never been there before.

I didn’t want to go too far or do a challenging climb just in case the forecast was wrong.

It was warm but cloudy. And my running friend agreed to go with me.  It’s always more fun not going alone.

pretty views but there were not as many trails as we had hoped so we were disappointed.

We managed to get in 4 miles before we ran out of places to walk so we decided to stop off at Art Omni to have lunch and do more walking.

But the rain came early. We ate and then drove home.  At least we got to see Olana. Hope to go back in the spring when the flowers are in bloom.

  • Thursday – Since I had to work from 10:00 pm – 12:45 am, I took most of the day off. That gave me the opportunity to do a run and a walk/hike during daylight hours.

I woke up to drizzle and cold temps.  I wanted to get one more run in before Sunday so I dragged myself out there. My motivator was a Starbucks red cup. That meant I had to drive to Ualbany to run (don’t have a Starbucks in my town).

brr and sooooo windy plus I forgot my gloves but got it done and got my red cup 🙂

I still had time to kill before work so of course, I decided to get in a hike.  I dressed a little warmer and headed to Bennett Hill Preserve. I had visited there in May but I am trying to mix up new spots and old ones in new seasons.

a very pretty 3 mile loop

When I was finished, I stopped off at packet pick up. It was actually a drive by pick up. I opened my passenger window and they gave me my packet. Easy peasy.

even included my medal

  • Friday – Tired due to yesterday’s work hours and it was cold and dreary.  Not inviting to go outside.  I went for a brief walk at lunch and then a longer one after work with friends. We seem to be limited to the outdoor mall with early sunset (and not wanted to be inside).
  • SaturdayLong Run Saturday.  With a half marathon the next day…this was a walk and brunch instead of a long run.

it was chilly but hey, it’s November. So glad to have these running peeps in my life every weekend

My friend who had serious heart surgery followed by complications was rehabbing in MA. I got an appt to visit her today.  Since it was long drive for a 30 minute visit, of course, I had find a nearby trail. to stretch my legs.

unfortunately, it was getting dark so I didn’t have to get to the overlook….next time.

Then I came home to carb load, stress about the weather and decide on my #flatme.

long sleeved shirt with arm warmers, vest, capris with compression sleeves, beanie, gloves

  • Sunday – Race Day!! Upstate Classic Half Marathon. It was certainly different. I felt safe. It was hard since the course was very hilly. I also did not feel in racing shape and my foot hurt.  Plus it was COLD and windy. But I finished with a smile (that you couldn’t see under my mask). I’m so glad that I took the leap and ran this race. (More details in Tuesday’s Recap).

This Coming Week – 

  • Monday –  rest day
  • Tuesday – rest day
  • Wednesday –  run
  • Thursday –  run
  • Friday – rest day, walk with friends
  • Saturday –  Long Run
  • Sunday – rest day, hiking, ZOOM mah jongg anniversary party (12 years together)

I am linking up with Kim and Deborah for

I encourage you to do the same. Grab the graphic, drop your link on the host blogs and play along! Please be sure to always comment on the HOST’s blogs, as well as visit and comment on as many other blogs as you can.

Happy Running! How is your running going? Any “real” races yet?  How are you dealing with Thanksgiving plans? Please share.

Racing During COVID-19 Times

It’s Friday so I’m linking up with Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostess and visit some other bloggers.

I haven’t run a race since February 2020.

smiling even in the pouring cold rain

Like most of you, I have hesitated to race even once real (in-person) races were offered.

But enough is enough.

I am running a race on November 15.

My Friday Five topic this week is Why You Should (or can) Run a Real (In-Person) Race Now

  1. Precautions are in place.

Staggered starts. Masks wearing when not racing.  No water stops. No spectators. Altered post-race food options. Wide running routes.

STEVE SCHALLENKAMP: Region is returning to a new normal in running | Sports |

Race Directors have put a lot of thought into making sure that EVERYONE is safe.  They do want to continue offering races and they do not want anyone getting sick.

2. Staying Connected with the Running Community.

Most runners are either running alone or with a small group of friends.

Runners who race are social. We need our peeps.

I miss seeing those runners that I know but only see at races.  I have made friends with runners that I have met at races.

I also miss that support that you only get from other runners before and after a race.

3. Supporting the Racing Organizations.

Yes, it is a business like any other.  They need money to stay in business.

You can support them by signing up for virtual races but I am sure they do not make nearly as much income that way.

unfortunately for this race, my only choice was to run it “virtually”

Once the pandemic is over, we will want these organizations in business so we have a nice selection of races to choose from (and at affordable prices).

4. Paying for and Earning Swag.

If you like swag, you do not have to run an in-person race.  You can pay the $$ and run it virtually.

But it is costly.  I just paid $90 for a race that went virtual (with no refund or referral option.)

sure, we had fun but no one was racing it.

If I am not running on that particular course (and I just choose an easier one), I do not feel that I deserve that swag.  I do not even consider it a “race”. It is just a run with swag that you paid $$ for.

yes it would have been a more difficult race in NYC

5. Training and Running Mojo.

Does anyone really follow a training plan if they are not going to be running a “real” race???

Maybe loosely because we are runners and do not want to lose our endurance.

It is very difficult to stay motivated.

I am a runner that gets her mojo from racing.  Not having raced since Feb, has me still running but very casually and very slowly.

just going through the motions while my friends are walking

As I have often said, my opinions are my own.  I am not being critical of those who disagree.  Feel free to comment but not about personal issues, politics or beliefs.

I have a pregnant daughter-in-law, friend with cancer, 95 year-old mother-in-law. I am not being reckless around them IMO because I choose to run an in-person race.

This is about running not COVID.

Happy Running! Have you run a real race yet?  Are you planning to? Why or Why not? Please share.


My Favorite Brands

Since it’s Tuesday, I’m joining the link-up organized by Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner)

The Topic for today is: What are some of your favorite running brands? (Yes, I’m a week early)

  • Skirts, Capris, Tights

SKIRT SPORTS – comfortable, stylish but most importantly for the pockets. In fact, that’s all I own.

  • Tops

For tanks, it’s also SKIRT SPORTS.

For short sleeve and long sleeve, I mostly wear race shirts and only women’s cut ones that fit.

  • Socks

BALEGA for short runs

and KARRAMOR for long runs. They are Japanese and I haven’t been able to find in this country (luckily I have 2 pairs that I got on sale at EMS).


  • Compression

I prefer calf sleeves and LEGEND is my preferred brand.  They are supportive but not too tight.

  • Sunglasses

I’m one of those runners that almost always wears them.  GOODRS are my absolute favorite – so light and so comfy. They come in so many cool colors with cute names.

Image result for goodr

  • Watch

GARMIN hands down though I only wear one for racing. Otherwise I wear my Apple Watch.

I still love my old 205 but now I do use the 230.

Garmin Forerunner 230

  • Sports Bra

Not that I need one but I wear HANDFUL because they are light, non-chafing and have pads (that you could take out.)

  • Shoes

Well, that’s a difficult one…. it changes with each injury.  Right now it’s TOPOS. They are light, supportive, have a wide toe box and are zero-drop.

Topo Magnifly

  • Hats

Baseball cap brand that I like is BROOKS. I hate visors, headbands, etc. These caps are women’s fit, adjustable and lightweight.

Run Happy Sherpa Hat

And Beanies, I like the ones that I have gotten from races. I like to have a cuff so that it stays down.

I’m also linking up here:

Formerly the Running Coaches’ Corner, it’s back with new co-hosts Coach Debbie RunsRunning on HappyConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Fauxrunner.

Happy Running! What are some of your favorite brands?  Do you wear any of mine? Please share.

Weekly Run Down for 11.2.20-11.8.20: Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

Yup, we turned our clocks back.

So now I need to run or walk before work or during the day or after work at UAlbany (where there are lights) or in the mall.

Wish me luck!

Last Week –

  • Monday – Well, it was light but snowing, COLD and insanely windy. Nope, not doing it this morning. I decided to wait until after work when I noticed that sunset was 4:46 pm and I only work until 4 pm.

Guess what? I got an email at 3:59 and never got out until 4:30. So off to UAlbany I went.

first run in darkness since March. The worst part was that I got warm and took off my new RBG buff and LOST IT!!! 😦

  • Tuesday – Again, it was light but raining when I got up. No run!  It did clear up for a lunch time walk. But it was still COLD (30s) and WINDY!!

on the local park trails

Glad that I voted early as I nervously awaited the results all day.  I had a hair appt (yes, I feel safe getting them & I just can’t let myself go.  No judgment here.) so at least that took my mind off the election.

I even stopped at Trader Joe’s on the way home.

  • Wednesday – I had to work until 7:30 pm so I started work later.  That gave me the opportunity to run early and with a friend (even after a sleepless night if you know what I mean.)

We decided to meet at the Crossings (so she could go to Trader Joe’s first).  It was great to have company on the run.

started out cold and windy but quickly warmed up…lots of walking and conversation. All good.

I still had time left before work so I drove a nearby trail – Ann Lee Pond.

very flat looped trail but sometimes you need boring lol

And my MIL came home from the hospital (not pneumonia, not UTI, just a stomach bug!?)

  • Thursday – Today I took the day off.  Just because.

I started it with trail walk with a friend (before she had to go to work). We went to Five Rivers since she had never been and it was close by.  We decided that we need to do this more often.  It was absolutely beautiful.

It just took the stress away…

After the hike I decided to drive to VT and visit another new Fire Tower – Mt Olga. It was a long drive and I hoped that it would be worth it. Once I entered VT, there was snow on the ground. D’uh.  I wondered if I was crazy to try and climb a mountain in the snow.  As it turned out, the trail was dry. Phew. And it was lovely.  I met a family from NJ and the views were amazing.

about a mile each way to the top

Since I had driven all that way, I decided to stop in Wilmington on the way home.  It was a cute little town (I bought some liquor since it is cheaper there) and had ice cream (of course).  Before I left I discovered a trail system and took a short walk.

I’d love to more exploring if I come back this way

I raced home at this point because I had plans to meet my BFF for a walk.

So I did skip my planned run but 10 miles on my legs for the day made up for it, I think.

  • Friday – My usual rest day before a long run day.  The weather was soooo nice (70 degrees!!) that I had to take advantage.  I did a short run on the water line at lunch.

yes, skirt weather in November…the run was slow and hard due to tired legs, lots of leaves, sticks and pine cones on the trail (a hidden message in one of the pictures)

And then after work, due to darkness, we moved our walk to circles around an outside mall.

  • SaturdayLong Run Saturday.  At least it was warmer than last weekend.  It was my taper run.  Half Marathon next Sunday!!  I decided to go early at the Corning Bike Path and run 4 and then was joined for 3 more with friends.  I finished out the last 3 solo and ended the run with a total of 10 miles.  Afterward, we got take-out and went to one the runners’ house to eat and chat.

that shirt and gloves came off pretty quick…what a beautiful day

Afterward I had to rush back out because I had volunteered for the STEM 5k walk (this year not a race due to COVID).  It was on the rail trail starting in Albany.

ended the walk shirts, medals and CAKE!

  • Sunday – It’s Hiking Sunday. Who knows how many more nice hiking days there will be so I took another drive.  This time to Taconic State Park.

Another beautiful day and one of my running friends decided to join me.

First we visited Bash Bish Falls. (They are located on the Mass-NYS border.) They were so beautiful but a very short easy hike.

the 3rd 70 degree sunny day in a row…perfection!!

After the visiting the falls, we explored a few more trails in the park…so many there. We decided that we need to return.

lots of history and scenery

I was so high on nature that I walked on a local trail until it got dark.

This Coming Week – 

  • Monday –  run
  • Tuesday – run
  • Wednesday –  HOLIDAY – Day off – rest day, hike
  • Thursday –  run, work late (4:30 pm -12:30 am)
  • Friday – morning off, rest day, walk with friends
  • Saturday –  rest day, walk
  • Sunday – Upstate Classic Half Marathon!!

I am linking up with Kim and Deborah for

I encourage you to do the same. Grab the graphic, drop your link on the host blogs and play along! Please be sure to always comment on the HOST’s blogs, as well as visit and comment on as many other blogs as you can.

Happy Running! How is your running going? Any “real” races yet?  How are you embracing Fall?  What has your weather been like? Are you recovering from the election stress? Please share.

Ultimate Coffee Date for November

It’s that time of the month…

Only The Best Grandmas Go Running Aqua T-Shirt Front

ETA: 5-25-21

to join up with Coco & Deborah for their ultimate coffee date.

1.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that, in case you don’t know yet, I’m going to be a grandma in May.  We’re very excited.  It is a surprise since my daughter-in-law was told that she most likely couldn’t get pregnant and they have been trying for awhile.

And it’s a BOY so I guess I can start quilting/knitting and shopping.

may have to buy this!!

Any running grandmas out there??

2.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I have a new challenge.  It’s actually one that I thought of when the pandemic started but now it’s a real one:

Before it was announced, I had already visited 17 out of 20.  The 3 left were just not nearby. And I just finished!!!


Are you participating in any challenges?

3.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I also participated in the RGB Challenge.

It was only 78 miles between Sept 20, 2020 and Nov. 3 2020Feb. 1, 2021.  Since I finished in a few weeks, I continued logging my running and walking miles.  My goal was to see how many miles I could accumulate and maybe finish in the top 20 out of over 8,000. (Just call me an Overachiever).  And I did pretty well.  I decided to stop posting on Nov. 2.

17th out of 8078.

Did anyone else Run for Ruth?

4.Over coffee…

I’d tell you I said that I was over virtual races.  And I meant PAYING for them  There are quite a few FREE NYRR races.  And so I did sign up for them (2 in Oct, 3 in Nov, 1 in Dec).

Most are 5ks (and I do get a medal if I do 3 out 5 and record them on Strava).

Dash to the Finish 5k is done!

This is the only longer one.

Virtual NYRR Ted Corbitt 15K

between Nov 30 & Dec 6.

Any more virtual races on your schedule? Free or for money? Anyone want to join me on the Free NYRR races?

5.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I miss NYC big time.  I used to go there several times a month for work

Dec 2019

and several times a year with friends…

Oct 2019

and then there were the races…

Jan 2020

So on a whim, I registered for a NYC race on Dec 6.  Most likely it won’t be safe to go…but a girl can dream.

**6. And I forgot to announce here that I am now (in addition to Skirt Sports), a ZOOMA Ambassador.

I am very excited because I LOVED my ZOOMA Bermuda experience.  I hope to participate in ZOOMA Cape Cod next fall.

Any ZOOMA ambassadors out there?  Anyone planning on any ZOOMA races?

It’s Friday so I’m also linking up with Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostess and visit some other bloggers.

Happy Running! Got anything to spill? Share it here!