Runfessions for October

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 signed up for a series of 8 fall virtual 5k races. They were free and I thought that they would motivate to improve my pace and get more serious about running.

They did not.  I grew more disinterested with each one and my pace got slower and I walked more.

Obviously virtual races are not races in my eyes.

2. I runfess…

I also signed up for a virtual half marathon because it was ZOOMA race, the ZOOMA director bought Skirt Sports (I have been, as you know, a Skirt Sports ambassador for many years) and there was great swag.


I am so over paying for virtual races.  I feel bad for the racing companies and charities but no more!!

last one!!

3.I runfess…

I’m struggling with the fact several of my running friends have become walking friends (and my consistent partner is wintering in Florida).  I know it’s selfish but I like company when I run.  And although there are no races, I still want to keep up with my long runs.

I miss the races we used to run together.

4. I runfess…

I want this pandemic to end so I can travel again.  I have a trip tentatively planned in February but Florida is a hot spot and even if there race happens, I wonder if my Florida friends will let me stay with them.

View of the beach in Fort Lauderdale from Florida's A1A. (Photo by Jared/flickr)

I know this is where I will want to be in Feb!!

5.I runfess…

I’m pretty nervous about my upcoming “real” half marathon.  I forgot what it was like to race.  I’m pretty sure that it will my slowest one ever.  I don’t really care about that. I just hope it will be still fun and won’t taint my vision of racing.

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

the new normal – staggered starts, no water stops, no bag check – masks

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.


Paranoid vs Vigilant

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

The Topic for today is: Distinguishing Between Being Paranoid and Being Vigilant

I’ll relate this to running, of course.

First it was Covid19.  Then this.

What I am saying is not meant to be critical of anyone. Everyone deals with dangerous situations differently.

So let’s start with COVID-19….

My hubby’s family acts as if COVID-19 doesn’t exist. No masks, Lots of hugging, Family indoor gatherings. etc. (and my MIL in 95 and my DIL pregnant!!)

If they were runners, they would high five other runners, congregate at start and finish lines of races and run side by side in groups.

I always wear a mask when I have to or think I should. I am always sensitive to others’ feelings and I want to protest them (and myself), of course.

But life goes on. I see my friends. I’ve gone to hairdressers, chiropractors, dentists, and even the mall. I run with my friends. They have been part of my weekly bubble since May.

I feel safe. I feel that I am vigilant. I do not put others at risk.

When is it being “paranoid?”

According to the dictionary, when you “feel that you’re being threatened in some way, … even though there’s no proof that it’s true.”

In other words, avoiding situations where you would never get COVID-19. Thinking that every cough is COVID-19.

Coronavirus Memes To Help You Get Through These Scary Times

Yes, the virus is dangerous.  I’m not downplaying that.  But the risks are not always as high some people believe. It is ok to go to a doctor or to the hair dresser. It is ok not to wear a mask when you are outdoors and not within 6 feet of others.

If a race is being scheduled, they have taken all the necessary precautions so that the runners are safe. You can run on bike paths and still be safe from the virus. Just wear a mask or pull up your buff when others get too close!!

Now onto the other dangerous situation. – being attacked while running alone.

A runner recently was attacked while running alone on a popular bike path – one that I run on fairly often (and alone sometimes).

on the Zim Smith bike path

I got many texts from non-running friends telling me to either NOT run there or to not run ALONE.

And yes, I will continue to do both.

Right after that attack, I went for a run on a nearby bike path and there was no one else there.

But my first thought was “Was I safe?”

That really annoyed me.  Of course, I am. It could happen but I can’t not run alone for fear that an insane person will jump out of the bushes and attack me.

Yes, that is being paranoid.

Just wondering … Do you protect yourself when you run alone (knife, pepper spray, whistle, other?)

Personally I prefer to run with others or where others are around. But it’s not always possible.

safe in numbers

Again, I respect you all and this is not an attack on anyone who feels differently!!

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! Any thoughts?  Do you feel vigilant or paranoid at times when running? Please share.

Weekly Run Down for 10.19.20-10.25.20: Foliage Running and Hiking Continue

Fewer daylight hours every day but still enjoying my hiking opportunities. Oh and my runs too.

The weather and colors have been amazing this fall. The only bright side of 2020.

Last Week –

  • Monday – I thought about taking a rest day. Especially after a half marathon and a tough hike over the weekend but looking at my schedule, it seemed like I may not have time for a run all week.  My legs were feeling surprisingly fresh so I decided on an easy 5k. I drove to the rail trail but veered off in search of a NEW local park (with trails).

my last of 8 virtual 5ks and so excited to locate the new local trails.

I was glad to have gotten that run in since it was raining when I got done with work.  I still decided to check out that new park.

a little muddy…plan to explore it even more on another drier day.

  • Tuesday – A very windy morning with rain on the way so I got in a quick morning walk with hopes of a run and/or walk after work.

lots of color (even with the dreary skies) and Halloween decorations

I went out for a second walk and it still wasn’t raining so I decided on a spur of the moment short run.

not planned so overdressed and no hat…would have run longer if I were prepared to run

I had to go into work in the afternoon and decided to keep on my running clothes (in hopes that no one would see me there) and I could finish my run nearby.

run done at Ualbany…yes those are Christmas balls on that tree

It was predicted to rain and again my STEM volunteer walk assignment was cancelled. So I headed to the Pine Hollow Arboretum to get in a few more steps and to check the damage from our recent storm.

many big trees down and still in awe of the foliage colors this fall

  • Wednesday – My third day in a row of running but rest days were definitely scheduled for Thursday and Friday. Not enough time to go anywhere but the neighborhood.

these blow up decorations seem to be big this year

After work, my running group’s trail walk was scheduled. It seems that our group is getting smaller but still glad to have the company and get it done before darkness.  For that reason, I chose the Pine Bush Discovery Center trails.

still able to get the whole trail in before sunset…only a few more weeks left

  • Thursday – A planned day off from work so I could go hiking with a friend.  Luckily I have had fantastic weather for all my hikes.  Today was the same. My friend chose the Beacon Fire Tower for our hike.  It was quite a difficult one and a long one (6 hours!!). There were 5 of us and we got almost lost several times and met quite a few interesting people. So fun!!

many overlooks with pretty views, the ruins of a casino, a fire tower, waterfalls…

Believe it or not, when I got home I felt energized and not tired so I met my BFF for a few hours of chatting and walking around an outdoor mall.

  • Friday – A rest day and busy work day with just a few walks.

tired of the neighborhood so headed to the hilly part of the water line

After work, I took my usual walk with former co-workers. It was longer than usual and then we hung out and snacked and chatted for hours…no dinner and late bed time. Oh well.

  • SaturdayLong Run Saturday w/the Sole Sisters.  I had a real in-person race on my schedule in 3 weeks so I needed to run 11 miles.  We had originally planned to run the Great Pumpkin Challenge 5k or 10k course, do the Sound Walk in Saratoga State Park and then have brunch. But it seemed to be too complicated especially with a fall event scheduled in town.  So we switched to the Zim Smith Bike Path. I got there early and ran 2 miles solo, then 5.5 miles with Heidi and then 3.5 again solo while Judy, Jan, Chris and Jen did their own thing.  We all gathered for brunch. The weather was crazy. Warm and humid at first and then very cold and windy by the time we finished. Our outdoor brunch days may have ended 😦

sorry about the blurry pic

I wanted to stop on my way home to vote but the lines were crazy long.

Instead I did laundry, cooked and binge watched this:

Emily In Paris Season 2: Everything You Should Know!!

watched all 10 episodes – LOVED it!!!!!!!!! (it’s by the creator of SITC which I was obsessed with, as well)

  • Sunday – I usually plan a hike for Sunday but my college friends wanted to ZOOM and it was scheduled for the morning.

I got up early to get on line to vote.  It was 35 degrees but I dressed warmly and listened to a few podcasts. I got done just in time and was super happy to have gotten it done early.

The ZOOM  was fun. It is always a treat chatting with them.

friends since our junior year of college in Nice, France (one more joined later too)

After the ZOOM, I had decided on a trip to two preserves (Strawberry Fields and Mosher Marsh) that were not too difficult and too far to do after work.

Neither one was very interesting due to the fact that they were flat loops and almost all the leaves had fallen from the trees.  But it was peaceful being alone in the woods and good exercise.

the best part was the road leading to the preserve was lined with signs with the words of John Lennon’s song, Imagine

This Coming Week – 

  • Monday –  run
  • Tuesday – run, STEM walk
  • Wednesday –  rest day
  • Thursday –  run, trail walk
  • Friday – rest day, walk with friends
  • Saturday – Halloween Long Run (12 miles)
  • 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? How are you embracing Fall? Have you watched Emily in Paris? Have you voted yet? Please share.

So you want to hike?

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.

My Friday Five topic this week is What you need to be a successful hiker

But just like running, if you don’t have the right stuff, it could be a nightmare.

  1. Shoes.

It depends on if you just walking a flat trail or climbing up a rocky one.

Until recently, I just wore my trail running shoes and they worked fine.

proud to have crossed a creek on that log

But waterproof boots are helpful when it is muddy or you have to cross water.  They also offer more support on a rocky or steep trail.

new boots, cheap poles, orange hat and swag bag

2. Support.

Your legs are going up and down. Over rocks and trees.  I usually just use I stick from a tree.  It’s the perfect height and weight for me.

getting to the top with my trusty stick

Hiking poles also work great.  I bought a cheap pair and they broke the first hike.  I did order a new pair.

3. Clothes.

Just like running, wear layers.  You will be cold at first and then warm up.

started out with gloves and a jacket…capris are my favorite since you can add socks for warmth

Wear orange or pink during hunting season.

my shirt is orange

4. Connectivity.

Always bring your cell phone.  Download the ALLTRAILS app so you can track your route. But know that you may not have cell service. So be prepared.

Download the trail map before you go!!!

5. Supplies.

Obviously you need water and a treat for the top of your climb (or end of your trek.)  Also bring toilet paper, bug spray, sunscreen, extra pair of socks, windbreaker.

snack break

You can carry everything in a light back pack.  I actually use ones I’ve gotten as swag from races (as you see in the photo above).

**6. Companions

Obviously it’s more fun to go hiking with someone else.  Make sure you all have the same expectations, ability and endurance. Otherwise it is not fun.

for my running friends, 3 miles with moderate climbs is enjoyable for everyone

I am sure that dogs make the best companions.  I have seen so many hikers with their furry friends that I get FOMO.

if you look closely, you’ll see some small dogs with colorful vests

Happy Running! Do you like to hike? Do you hike often? Any other helpful hiking tips?


A Race of My Dreams

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

The Topic for today is: If You could Race Anywhere in the World, where would that be?

Of course, I cannot pick ONE place and right now during this pandemic, I might even answer ANYWHERE.

So here are my top picks:

#1 – Paris

As a former French teacher and lover of anything French, this city will always be #1 in my heart.

I have run there and I hope to run there again and again.

Oct 2018

#2 One of the National Parks

Bryce Canyon Half Marathon

I love hiking and I’ve been to Yellowstone, Bryce, Grand Canyon and Zion but that was before I became a runner. I would love to run a race in one or more of these parks.

National Park Race Series Is For Runners Of All Skill Levels

#3 Napa Valley or California Wine Country

I love my wine. So this is a no brainer.

Home - Napa Valley Marathon

Of course, my list could go on and on and one: Alaska, Hawaii, Italy, Switzerland, China, Iceland, Israel, etc.

Just buy me a plane ticket and I’m there.

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! Any thoughts?  Where is your dream race? Please share.

Weekly Run Down for 10.12.20-10.18.20: Hiking and Racing Virtually – That’s my life

With no races to be had, I seem to be continuing with the virtuals though I would not call it “racing.” I ran a 5k and then another half marathon this past week.

I also feel grateful that the colors this Fall have been amazing and the weather has allowed me to experience them.  I try to get to as many trails as possible.  I think I may have done SEVEN this past week.

Last Week –

  • Monday – A Holiday so a day off from work.  I thought the weather would prevent me from hiking but it did not. I had to change from a Catskill-based fire tower hike to one in the Adirondacks.  And I did it ALONE. It is definitely more fun with someone else but I met so many friendly hikers and I was able to go at my own pace. I can’t wait to do another.

the view from the top of the Spruce Mountain fire tower was breathtaking.

I felt so energized after my climb that I wanted to do another hike.  I passed Saratoga State Park and decided to stop.  I hadn’t been there in ages.  I forgot how much I love this park. Lots of pretty trails and I finally figured out the 5 mile perimeter trail.  The best part was that my hike coincided with a Sound Walk.  When you passed certain locations (if you downloaded the app), you could listen to different music.

such a pretty park. I need to go back…so many beautiful places…so little time

  • Tuesday – We finally got that rain.  Morning walk cancelled and it looked doubtful for the rest of the day.

Finally it stopped by the time I got out of work. I headed to UAlbany to squeeze in a run since although I had hiked, I hadn’t run since Saturday.

the pinwheels were done by students – positive, uplifting messages on each one

When I was done, I rushed to the mall and then back to UAlbany to volunteer with the STEM walkers. Unfortunately the session got cancelled at the last minute so I returned to the mall to finish my shopping.

  • Wednesday – Decided not to run and have a rest day today but took a few walks.

A short one in the ‘hood before work…

finally some sunshine and lots of signs of Halloween

 and a longer one at nearby Van Dyke nature preserve during lunch.

not sure if the colors are more impressive this year or that I am noticing them more

No one was available for our weekly after work trail walk so I was able to pick my own location. I chose Holt Preserve since I hadn’t been there in awhile.  It is getting dark so early so I have to be careful and not choose a long one or one that is far away.

this is one of my favorites – trails, a pond, view of the Helderbergs

I didn’t do all the trails so I had time to visit another preserve before it got dark – Holly Hock Hollow.

I only had time for the creek trail but it was pretty though not as much water as in the spring

  • Thursday – Back at it again for my next to last virtual 5k. Very windy and warm…just not feeling it!

drove to a new neighborhood for variety to complete my 6th virtual 5k…each slower than the previous lol

Then a walk on the trails at local Elm Ave. Park during lunch.

hope you’re not getting tired of my foliage pics because they are motivating me to get out there several times a day…these tall trees blocked the wind too

After work, we went out to a family dinner to celebrate my stepson’s birthday. At least that’s why I though we went to dinner. It turned out that it was to tell us that we’re going to be GRANDPARENTS!!

due May 25. My b-day is May 9 and my hubby’s May 21. So exciting!

Is it too soon to start shopping?

Running Baby One-Piece - Future Runner

  • Friday – I woke to rain…ugh. And it rained all day. At least it was a rest day but still, I like to get outside.

Have umbrella, will travel. I walked in the morning.  It drizzled on and off.

still can find beauty in the rain

It was pouring during lunch but I still took a walk.

I love that these leaves are heart-shaped…quite a challenge to take a pic while holding an umbrella

Luckily I was able to convince my friend to walk in the mall (with masks) after work.

  • SaturdayVirtual Amelia Island Half Marathon. I was debating on whether or not to do it this morning or later in the day or Sunday or even next weekend. The only good thing about virtual races is you have that choice.

It was raining all night but when I woke up, it had stopped so I decided to get it done. I had hoped to have company for many of my miles but I wasn’t sure how many and with whom. Others were arriving later and walking.  My goal was to finish 13.1 and have my treats from Leah’s Cakery as a reward.

So I drove to Zim Smith early and Barbara offered to run with me.  We ran about 2.5 miles and then Heidi arrived.  We ran about 2.5 more miles together and then I ran the rest with Heidi. I run at whatever intervals my friends want.  When alone, I just run and walk when tired.  We started at 5:1, then went to 4:1, then 3:1, 2:1…get the picture. I finally took off and sprinted the last mile.

The weather was perfect.  Wish I was actually running in Amelia Island but running with friends is the next best thing.

  • Sunday – Boating Sunday has officially been changed (our marina is closed) to Hiking Sunday until winter.  Beautiful weather continues…but always decisions to be be made: long or short, flat or mountain, mountain or fire tower, alone or with friends, north or south, near or far???

Well, I missed my boating days so I decided to get views of the lake from above.

First I drove to Pilot’s Knob Preserve.  I hiked up to the view with a new friend. Then continued on my own the rest of the way to the waterfall.  Not a difficult hike but hilly and long!!  Still worth it for the views of the lake.

Not done yet.  Next stop was Prospect Mountain. Yes I could  have hiked up the 5 miles to the top but instead I drove up stopping at all the overlooks and then finally hiking to the summit.

Up North, a lot of leaves had already fallen so it was probably past peak but still a beautiful Fall day…very grateful!

This Coming Week – 

  • Monday –  run or short hike
  • Tuesday – run, STEM walk
  • Wednesday –  run, trail walk
  • Thursday – DAY OFF – rest day, long hike, mall walk with BFF
  • Friday – rest day, walk with friends
  • Saturday – Long Run (11 miles)
  • Sunday –  rest day, college ZOOM, short hike

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? Any experiences with power outages? Please share.

Take a Hike

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.

My Friday Five topic this week is Why I Like To Hike.

By hiking, I don’t only mean climbing mountains (though they are fun too). I mean doing walking trails especially ones with a view at the end.

  1. No Pace or Distance To Worry About. 

You can go slow or fast.  Run or Walk.  You can go as far as you want and then go back to where you started.  Pretty simple.

You can do it alone or with friends. Anytime, anywhere.

2. It’s Great Exercise.

Your legs are going up and down. Over rocks and trees.  You also use your arms to help you climb or hold onto trees. It’s a workout!

3. You Get To See Nature At Its Finest.

Trees, flowers, birds, animals.  Butterflies are my favorite.

4. It’s Peaceful.

I spent quite some time on a hike just looking out. You can forget about all the problems in the world.

5. It’s FREE.

Most hiking trails are well-marked, have parking and don’t cost a thing. And there are so many to choose from.  Just download the AllTrails app and take a look.

**6. It can be Challenging.

If you are competitive, there are hiking challenges – The Fire Tower Challenge (Complete 18 in Adirondacks and 5 in Catskills) or be a 46er (climb all the high peaks in the Adirondacks).

Or climb to the top of a mountain. The feeling of reaching the top is just as gratifying as a PR.

Happy Running! Do you like to hike? Do you prefer the challenging ones or just trail walks?


Virtual Smuttynose Half Marathon Race Recap

The Smuttynose Rockfest Half Marathon & 5k

It seems like I’ve been planning this race forever. As with all my big races, I impulsively sign up way in advance (and then often regret it LOL).

So I signed up for the Smuttynose Half Marathon (long ago before the Pandemic) for several reasons:

  • My running friends decided to make this part of a group vacation in NH.
  • It was a flat course.
  • It was scenic. Ocean views.
  • There was great post race food. Beer and Lobster Rolls.
  • Nice swag.

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 this half marathon as expected went virtual also but with NO refund or deferral option.

So I guess I was running one more virtual half marathon….

The difference in the training cycle for this race was that I ran at least TEN miles every weekend.  For all four months. Sometimes I even ran 11, 12 or 13 miles (until the last two weekends before the race when recovering from an inflamed SI joint. I only ran 8 and 9 miles)

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

The group decided since we had already rented a house that we would go anyway.

We left in the rain on Friday and took the scenic route to NH stopping in MA for a delicious lunch.

Once we arrived at our AirBnB in Hampton Beach, the rain had stopped.  After we got settled in (and the house was amazing), we drove our planned route and staked out the turn around (mile 6.75) and water stop locations (mile 2.75 and mile 9).

Then after sitting in a car all day, we decided on a dusk walk on the beach (with added shenanigans) before ordering in pizza for dinner. (The pizza was a little too greasy for my tastes and too many sweets were consumed but hey it wasn’t a serious carb load meal in my book).

The advantage of this race was that we could pick the day, the start time and the course.

Some of the group did not plan to run the 13.1 miles but walk it. I was fortunate to have some company for the virtual 13.1 miles.

My plan was to run on the other runners’ plan.  It would be intervals. It would be slow but we would enjoy it.  My first enjoyable half marathon of 2020!!

So I planned my outfit (sorry no #flatme) and tried to get a decent night’s sleep.

Race Day:

Although the original race was scheduled for Sunday, we decided to run it on Saturday instead.

I ate my usual breakfast – oatmeal and coffee.  Due to the dinner the night before, my stomach immediately felt off (and continued that way until after dinner…ugh)

We drove to the race start for a modified version of the real course (and we had driven the day before).  It was basically the same but without all the twists and turns.  We would just run straight along the water longer.  This way, hopefully, no one would get lost and we would not lose anyone who was walking. And it would be easier for Chris (our non-running “sherpa” to follow, cheer us on and stop at the planned stops)

Not too much exciting stats to report.  I did not wear a watch. I depended on the others to tell me when to turn around and when to run and when to walk.

Anyway, here’s how it went:

Miles 1-3:

pre-race pic

The two who were walking started first.  They were about a mile ahead of us runners.  I didn’t know at the time but they were walking at a pace fast enough to BEAT the runners! And they were focused on that the whole race.

and we were off..

The runners had decided to do 45:30 intervals the whole way.  Of course, there would be as many photos stops as needed.  The goal was to finish and have fun.

yes, I was the one taking the pics

The course couldn’t have been more scenic.  We ran along the boardwalk or sidewalks for the most part.  The ocean was in view the whole way.

At every beach, there were open bathrooms if needed.

Miles 3- 6.75:

The weather was absolutely perfect for a race (sunny and 50’s)  Too bad it wasn’t a real one.  But it was so relaxing not to worry about finish time and pace.

totally enjoying myself but this was early on. lol

At our first water stop, we shed our layers.

At one point, we lost the boardwalk and had to run along the road.   It seemed so short in our drive the day before but of course, longer today.

It was mostly flat except for one hill (as seen in the pic above).

The mansions along the water were breathtaking.

The route was so scenic that I took umpteen pics (I won’t post them all, I promise).  But when you walk every 45 seconds, it’s easy to take pics.

Miles 6.75-13.1

It may have seemed like forever but finally we arrived at our second water stop and we turned around. I should mention that I thought we would catch the walkers.  But who knew they would be walking at a 15:xx pace because they were intent on beating us.

The way back was the same as the way there. The same views.  Warmer temps but a nice breeze.

I was secretly glad that this wasn’t a real race because I felt nauseous the whole time.  I felt worse when we were walking so on the way back, I ran ahead often.

Then I would wait until the others caught up.

There was one more water stop before we hit the finish line (of toilet paper).

I wasn’t sure when that was since I wasn’t wearing a watch so I stopped and waited for someone to catch up.

Eventually, we stopped at 13.1 miles!!!

No finish line???

Nope, we misjudged the distance (in the car) so we walked until we saw the walkers (who had joyously beat us). The we each sprinted across the “finish.”

So fun. I’ve never had that much fun in a race.

Immediately we took off our shoes and ran into the ocean.

Yikes.  COLD!!!!

Following the our ocean dip, we headed to refuel at a nearby restaurant.  Lobster Rolls & Beer or whatever. We thought we should send our lunch bill to the Race Director. LOL

Additional Race Reflections:

The Good:

  • The weather
  • Flexible start time
  • Flat course
  • Scenic (ocean view)
  • Not crowded with other runners
  • No clock, no pressure.
  • Running with friends
  • Open real bathrooms
  • Our own support vehicle
  • Swag (when they ship it to me)

we bought our own matching race shirts

The Bad:

  • No Mile Markers
  • No crowd support
  • No clock at the finish line
  • No Deferral or Refund Option for this race
  • Lower cost for the virtual option than the real race BUT the same swag ($39 vs $90)
  • Not a real race hence no post-race refreshments (beer and lobster rolls) or entertainment or race photos, etc.
  • Generic Swag rather than original awesome swag

does not say Smuttynose nor NH nor half marathon, etc

The Ugly:

  • Nothing really

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. But the real thing would have been a lot more exciting, I’m sure.

Next Up:

On a whim, I signed up for this Pandemic local Half Marathon:

very hilly, staggered starts, must carry your own water…why did I sign up??

Hopefully in February I will run this one in Florida.

Publix Fort Lauderdale A1A Marathon

Final Thoughts:

2020 has been a crazy year.  Five virtual half marathons.  Not how I planned it.  Nor would I ever imagine ditching my Garmin and not thinking about my finish time during a half marathon.  I did not record my time for any of these “races.” Good or bad?  I haven’t decided.  Time will tell.

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

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! Have you been training for a big race? Are you running it as a virtual race?  Have you done any Virtual Races?  If so, how did they go? Please share.



Weekly Run Down for 10.1.20-10.11.20: RnR (Race-Cation and Recovery)

I actually posted about Friday-Sunday before I left for vacation so it was guesstimate on what would happen and I was pretty accurate. lol.  But I decided to start this Run Down that Friday to give you the real story.

My vacation was amazing. I knew I enjoyed the company of my running friends but staying in the same house is a different story. This was our 4th race-cation together but usually there is a real race and we stay in a hotel. So much more relaxed without a “real” race and we got along fantastically. But “What Happens in NH, stays in NH” so I can’t give you all the details but there was a lot of laughter and we social distanced to the best of our ability…

Monday I was still in NH and Tuesday, I took the day off to recuperate from my vacation and go hiking with a good friend.

So only a Three Day Work Week! Woo Hoo!!

Wednesday, however, we had a HUGE storm and wound up losing our power… I had to actually to go work in my office to use the Internet.

Just a reminder that there’s still plenty of time to sign up if you want to join me on the Run for Ruth challenge – Click here.

I have another Virtual Half Marathon (ZOOMA Amelia Island) in a few weeks and a sorta real local one on Nov. 15. So I need to keep up that running.

The Week Before –

  • Friday – Travel Day and a rainy one. We took several cars and decided on a scenic route through Mass. The foliage was gorgeous in spite of the clouds.  We stopped for lunch in the cutest place ever with the best food (a restored farm from 1700’s)

Hilltop Cafe in Wilton, MA

We arrived at our AirBnB in Hampton Beach, NH late afternoon.  We were pleasantly surprised at how beautiful it was. The internet pix did not do it justice.  After getting settled in, we drove our race route for the next day to determine where our turn around and water stops would be and then we went out for a dusk walk on the beach.

of course, we had to do a jumping pic…and yes there was drinking and eating to be done

We ordered in pizza for dinner to carb load for our race the next day and went to bed earlyish.

  • Saturday – Race Day.  Not exactly since there was NO race and the original one was scheduled for Sunday.  But the weather was perfect so we decided to get our Virtual 13.1 done.

I got up early and went to the beach to catch the sunrise and go for a pre-race walk with Jan.

even more impressive than the pix.

I had mapped out our own race route.  6.5 miles along the ocean and then turn around and re-trace the same route.  We would start at the official start which was about 2 miles from our house.  Two from group had decided to walk the course so they left first and then the rest of the group (4) started our “race.”  One runner was not going to run but be our sherpa. We had pre-decided stops for her to drive to so we could get water and snacks.  All of the beach bathrooms were open.  The runners stayed together the whole race. Best finish line (toilet paper) ever.

and that water was COLD!!! Ice bath for the feet.

After our race, we were starved so we quickly refueled with lunch at an outdoor restaurant with an ocean view (I had a lobster roll!!) We spent the rest of the day relaxing, recovering. We did go out to dinner to celebrate at the Smuttynose Brewery (the sponsor of the “real” race) before returning home for a birthday celebration (3 b-days – a 50, 61 and 70).  In addition to the race, the BIG birthdays were the actual reason for the weekend away.

  • Sunday – Recovery morning again started with sunrise viewing on the beach followed by a walk with Jan and Chris.

yes, that’s a porno photo shoot in the top pic

Today we decided to road trip to Maine.  We walked around Ogunquit and along the Marginal Way before we had lunch (outdoor ocean view) there.

since we had not gotten race shirts, we bought matching Hampton Beach shirts

Next we drove to Wells to do a scenic hike.

at Wells Reserve at Laudholm

Finally we ended the day in York to see the Nubble Lighthouse and have ice cream.

no, not too cold for ice cream!

We opted for dinner at home instead of going to a restaurant.  Lots of snacks and alcohol left to consume.

Last Week –

  • Monday – Last day of our vacation.  Got up early with Deb and Jan to see the sunrise but it was clouded over. We came home, I had breakfast and then went for a run with Heidi.

so sad to leave my ocean views!!

We packed up our stuff and headed home. We all met up on the way for lunch in Mass (golf course outdoor restaurant with scenic views of the mountains.) Then Deidre and I ended the day with a trip to a knitting store and ice cream shop.

perfect end to a perfect trip

  • Tuesday – I took the day off from work in case I was tired.  But really, I just wanted to go hiking if the weather cooperated.  And it did. My friend chose a hike in the Catskill Mountains. She neglected to tell me she chose a “challenging one.”  And it really was.  I survived (but broke both of my NEW hiking poles. lol).  The views made it worth it.  It’s always a win-win when you emerge unhurt and want to do another.

hiking to top of Blackhead Mountain – 1,745 ft elevation gain

It took ALL day and when I got home, I forgot that it was Tuesday and I was supposed to volunteer in the STEM group walking program . Oops.

  • Wednesday – Back at work and another beautiful fall day. Luckily I decided to sneak out at lunch for a run.

yes, these legs were weary but I’m glad I dragged them through the miles…

As soon as I finished work, a surprise storm arrived and it was like Kansas in the Wizard of Oz.  We and everyone else had no power so I decided to explore a new local nature preserve.

a nice 1 mile loop that recently opened.

Still no power so I met my BFF for a walk around an outdoor mall.

  • Thursday – I woke up to no power. I took a walk to survey the damage in the neighborhood.

our house was spared. my neighbors were not as lucky.

We do have a generator but that does not give us TV or Internet.  That meant I had to go into my office to work. Not too exciting. But after work, I headed off to Tawasentha Park for our running group’s weekly trail walk. Running out of daylight so this may be our last or next to last one.

Yes, it was chilly out.  I didn’t dress for it so instead of our usual post walk ice cream, we headed to Panera’s for HOT soup.

And the power finally returned!!

  • Friday – Started the day with a short chilly but sunny run. I was back to working from home.

I remembered that I had not done my virtual 5k this week

Then the power went off AGAIN.

So I went for a walk.

still some interesting flowers in bloom

Luckily the hubby came home and hooked up the generator.  But we lost power for about 1 1/2 hours.

Normally I’d be taking a LONG walk and having snacks with my former co-workers after work but some friends organized a ZOOM memorial for our friend who died recently from cancer. So it was a rushed walk so I get home.

  • SaturdayLong Run Day.  Yes, our big race was over but I had signed up for a virtual half and then a real one. So I had to keep up my miles. We met on the rail trail. I decided to run 4 miles solo and then run more miles with the others. I stopped briefly to chat with Barbara and the the others took off walking. I had to practically sprint for 2 miles to catch up to them.  I ran 3 miles and then ran back (with some stops along the way.)  It was my my first long run without intervals and running alone since May. Quite an adjustment!!

a little chilly at first but it warmed up nicely

It wouldn’t be a long run unless we gathered for brunch after.  My hubby had been planning our last boating outing but the forecast was for wind and rain up North so he went to play tennis and I did stuff around the house (catching up from being away last weekend)

And I got to see Cari for a few minutes.  She stopped by that evening on her way to Utica.

windy hair lol but so glad to connect after 8 months

  • Sunday – Boating Sunday may now turn into Hiking Sunday. An early morning drive up to the Adirondacks. This time instead of climbing a mountain, we hiked down to some ponds (Cascade and Stephens).  The scenery was awesome.  Fall is the best time of year for hiking.

almost 10 miles of hiking but mostly flat and I crossed a stream by walking across a log (pretty scary for me)

This Coming Week – 

  • Monday –  Holiday – DAY OFF – hike or run or both
  • Tuesday – rest day, STEM walk
  • Wednesday –  run, trail walk
  • Thursday –  run, dinner out for stepson’s B-Day
  • Friday – rest day, walk with friends
  • Saturday – Virtual ZOOMA Amelia Island Half Marathon
  • 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?  How are you embracing Fall? Any experiences with power outages? Please share.

Ouch! My Achy SI Joint

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, If you are experiencing similar problems, please consult with a doctor.

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.

So, my foot stopped hurting and I was running 10-13 miles every weekend pain-free.

Time for a new injury…not funny!

I guess my topic this week is: SI Joint Inflammation or Dysfunction

1. What is the SI Joint?

  • Its full name is the sacroiliac joint.
  • There are two of them in your lower back, and they sit on each side of your spine.
  • Their main job is to carry the weight of your upper body when you stand or walk and shift that load to your legs.

See the source image

2. How do you know your have it?

  • Dull or sharp pain on one side of your lower back or buttocks
  • Increased pain when standing up from a sitting position
  • Hurts to bend over
  • More painful in the morning

3. What causes it?

  • You take uneven strides when you walk or run
  • Injury from a fall
  • Too much sitting
  • Arthritis
  • Worn cartilage
  • Pregnancy

Except for the last one, I could justify this injury for all of the above. I have weakness in the left leg due to hardware in my ankle and recent neuroma pain.  Since March for my job, I sit ALL DAY!  I fell recently on a trail when running and who knows, I’m OLD so it could be arthritis and/or worn cartilage.

4. How do you treat it?

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Heat
  • Naproxen or ibuprofen
  • Massage or trigger point therapy
  • Visit a chiropractor for re-alignment
  • PT exercises

so lucky to have this outside on my deck

I immediately saw my chiropractor in addition to all of the above.

trail walk instead of a run

I walked a lot since it didn’t hurt to do so. I took time off from running and started back slowly. Muscle Massage Gun Deep Tissue for Athletes, Pokehome Deep Tissue Massage Gun Percussion Muscle Massager Handheld Deep Tissue Massage Gun, 11 Speed High Intensity Vibration, 6 Heads Included: Health & Personal

my new BRF (that I bought for my hubby’s tennis elbow – which he never used lol)

5. What can you do to avoid it?

  • See your chiropractor regularly
  • Warm up and cool down before and after your runs
  • Use a foam roller or Theragun after exercise
  • Avoid sitting for long periods of time

2 weeks later – no pain

I was lucky that my SI pain did not last long. I have heard that it can last from weeks to months (and it can re-appear). Little by little I was able to bend with less pain. I think seeing my chiro right away helped and by moving more and sitting less. But who knows?

Happy Running! Have you ever suffered by SI joint pain or back pain? If so, what did you do to get rid of the pain? Please share.