Summer Smith Memorial 5k Race Recap


May 12, 2018 – 9:30 am

This was the third year for this 5K race which is organized by the mother of one of the STEM runners who died of an overdose after completing her first 5k. This is her story –


I had just returned from 8 days in Florida where I did a lot of eating, drinking and sitting on the beach. I did some running but due to the heat and humidity, it was more of a slog. Plus the forecast for today was cool and rainy.

However, I just had to do this race. I knew that there would be many other runners and volunteers from the STEM program. I wanted to support this cause and I am fortunate to have known and run with Summer.

I did run this race the past two years as well. I remember it as NOT being flat. But I did win my AG and finished with a respectable 28:29 and 27:26 times.

Photos from two years ago (on a sunny day):

It was cool and cloudy (in the 40s) with rain predicted.  I was still exhausted from my Florida vacation, woke up with a headache and really did not feel like running in the rain.

But as soon as I arrived, my mood lifted.

The race starts at a local high school so there are real bathrooms, easy parking, and ample room to hang out before and after the race.

I grabbed a needed cup of coffee and immediately bumped into some purple shirted runners. Many who were in Summer’s STEM group were there. It was pretty emotional. I still get teary-eyed when I think about her.

Sean’s Team

Another local runner that I know also led a team of runners. Her son, Sean, had also died of a drug overdose. I signed up to be on her team (though I forgot to wear a teal colored shirt).

long sleeved tech shirt this year

This race was one of the most organized races I’ve run. After you got your bib, you got a bag labelled with your name with a shirt and other swag. There were tables with representatives from relevant organizations (alcohol & drug abuse) also giving out freebies. And there were great raffle prizes – all running-related.

Before the race, there was a dedication ceremony followed by a balloon release. Many of us cried during Summer’s mom’s emotional tribute to her daughter.

The ceremony was followed by music and a Zumba session.  I opted out. It was raining even harder and I went inside to stay dry and warm.

I stayed inside out of the rain until it was time to proceed out to the road to start the race.

Here’s the course description:

Start/Finish of this out-and-back 5 km course is on West Dr on the south side of Guilderland High School. The course proceeds out West Dr to turn L onto School Rd, continues across the intersection with Depot Rd onto Meadowdale Rd, then bears L at Frederick Rd to Mile 1 on Meadowdale Rd and continues to the Turnaround point. The inbound route retraces the outbound route of the course to Mile 2 on Meadowdale Rd and Mile 3 on West Dr just after the turn off School Rd, and continues to the Finish.

I lined up with one of the STEM volunteers who said she ran at my pace. (Not true, she’s way faster.)  Patrick, my FRW training coach works for the timing company asked me if I was going to PR?  I quickly replied “NO!”

I just did the best I could.  Not PR fast but I wanted to finish with a respectable time.  With the chilly temps and no warm up, my legs felt like lead at the beginning.  It was also a slight uphill for the first mile.  I wore my windbreaker over long and short sleeved shirts because it was raining. My jacket isn’t breathable and I was a little warm so I unzipped it but my hands were freezing and so were my wet toes.

The course levels out a bit and then when we turn left, there is a steeper hill (but not bad at all).  There was a lot of support along the course even in the rain.  Friends of the families who lost loved ones to drugs were holding signs in their memory.  I was glad that I was running to support this charity.

We turned around at the halfway point and continued on this country road back to the high school.  I just tried to maintain a consistent pace. It was raining harder and harder and I didn’t have the energy to push myself to a PR but I knew I had to face Patrick so I saved some so I could sprint through the finish line, at least.

I crossed at 27:XX.  I was satisfied.

I wanted to wait to watch some of the other runners finish but I was soaked and went inside to take off my shirts and jacket, change into a dry shirt and get some food.

I may not look it but I was soaked and freezing

There was chocolate milk, fruit, bagels and donuts.  I was a happy camper.

I hung around because I was pretty sure that I got an age group award.

They decided to move the awards ceremony to the gym. I should have checked the results but I didn’t until they didn’t call my name. Then I checked and I should have come in second in my age group. I told Patrick and he was very apologetic and handed me my award.

Race Splits:

mile 1 – 8:34
mile 2 – 8:48
mile 3 – 8:50
.14 – 7:25

Garmin time = 27:21

amended results

All my laps were under 9 mm.  I was pleased with that (even it was positive splits)!!! It wasn’t a 5K PR but it was a course PR (a few seconds faster than last year.)

Could I have Pr’d?  Perhaps if I were in the right frame of mind and pushed myself to run faster.  It was raining and I had a headache. yada yada.

I must say that I have enjoyed my last four 5ks. I have won awards, my times have been decent (27:xx) – all without any speed work.

And especially this race. I was happy to support this charity. Plus the race was so well-organized. The only negative was the rain!

I am so humbled by these STEM women and others who have overcome adversity. And I am glad to be a part of their lives.

With a half marathon in a week, I had planned to go run 7 more miles and then go to the Tulip Fest in the park. But the weather wouldn’t cooperate. It poured all day so instead I went to a mall arcade and out to dinner with the girl I mentor and her two sons.  (May 14, 2018 was our 10 year anniversary.)

It’s Wednesday so I am joining up with Running on HappySuzlyfeCrazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs for the Coaches’ Corner linkup


Happy Running! What is your favorite charity to support for a race? Do race because of the cause?


Tropicool 5K Race Recap

May 6, 2018- 7:30 am

As you may remember, this race took place during my annual non-running tennis vacation in Naples, Florida. I take lessons and play tennis every morning and then spend the afternoon on the beach.  Each evening I go out for drinks, dinner and dessert with my tennis friends. Eight days of pure relaxation and enjoyment… (every May since 2005)

I love it.  It’s usually my only vacation that doesn’t include a race.  You have to admit that racing during a vacation does add an element of stress.

Last year we changed our dates. We were in Naples two weeks earlier and that meant that the temps were only in the 80s (not the 90s) and that the racing season was not over yet.

I happened upon a 5k race that took place on the Sunday during our stay. One of my friends offered to get up at the crack of dawn and drop me off and another offered to pick me up.

I unexpectedly bumped into a tennis friend who had moved to Naples and despite the heat, did fairly well.

And so I registered for the same race this year.

Here again is the description of the race and the course map:

Enjoy a wonderful 5K race that showcases the beautiful streets of Olde Naples. This course is two loops starting on Broad Street.

I’m not a fan of loops but at least it was only a 5K and I don’t remember it bothering me.

As she did last year, my friend Catalina agreed to drop me off at the race start.  I was familiar with the race location so I didn’t need to arrive as early as I did last year.

The day before the race, on the way to dinner, we stopped at a local running store so I could pick up my bib. Instead of a tee shirt this year, they gave out mugs.  🙂

We went out to an awesome dinner which included a few glasses of wine.  (Oops I don’t usually drink the night before a race but I was on vacay…) Then we went to the theatre followed by a stop at an ice cream shop.  Obviously, it turned out to be a later night than normal.

Sunday morning, I groggily ate my usual race breakfast at 5:30 am.  I got dropped me off in town around 6: 30 am. It was still kinda dark and there were still not many runners there.

i bumped into a runner from NJ and we started chatting. We decided to walk a few blocks to the water and take each other’s pictures.

Around 7 am, We walked back to the start and hung out there. This was not a big race.  There were about 350 runners – all ages and very friendly.

The sun was now out and it was starting to get warm.  But it was not as warm as it could have been.  I checked the weather app on my phone and it said 100% humidity!! Holy cow!!!

As you can see from the map, the course winds around town and through the neighborhoods twice. And it was flat!!

I had no plan for the race – just finish and get back to my tennis friends so we could get on with the day’s activities.

From the get go, my legs felt like lead but my biggest problem was that I had a hard time breathing and I felt dizzy. Was it the heat?  Most likely it was not being acclimated to the humidity. I couldn’t wait to get to the water stop… It seemed like forever but I think it was during mile 2.  I stopped and walked for a while (longer than normal). I actually felt worse after walking so I ran and tried to just get to the finish line without puking.

Eventually it appeared and I gave it my all.

I was shocked when I crossed at 27:xx. I felt so much slower than my last few 5ks.

As soon as I crossed, I saw my tennis friend Rebecca who ran the race last year. We talked for awhile while waiting for the results to be posted.

Last year I was 3rd in my age group. So imagine my surprise when they called my name for Senior Grand Masters Winner.

Apparently the speedy old ladies from last year did not run the race.

Race Splits:

mile 1 – 8:35
mile 2 – 8:57
mile 3 – 9:03
.14 – 7:14

Two of my friends who were not playing tennis came to pick me up after the race. Since the others were playing tennis and taking a lesson, we had plenty of time to hang out in town.

We walked to the famous Naples Pier and then went out to brunch on Fifth Avenue.

I am especially glad all the logistics worked out.  I got back in plenty of time and my friends and I enjoyed a lovely rest of the day.

So back to the race…

The course was small so there were spectators cheering all along it.  Although we looped, I didn’t find it boring because I didn’t even notice.

I enjoyed running around Olde Naples and especially along Gordon Drive where you could see the Gulf at the end of each cross street.

I am so happy that I ran this race again.  I loved the course and it was very well-organized. (I am sure that I’ll return next year.)

It’s Tuesday so don’t forget to link up with these wonderful ladies:

Erika @ MCM Mama Runs, Marcia @ Marcia’s Healthy Slice and Patty @ My no-guilt life

I am also joining up with Running on HappySuzlyfeCrazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs for the Coaches’ Corner linkup


Happy Running! Ever run a 5K race while on vacation?

HMRRC Winter Series #5 Race Recap


2015:  I’m the one with the pink hat & gloves

Yes, I ran another FREE race sponsored by Hudson Mohawk Runners Club .


As you can see above, this weekend, they offered distances of 4.5M and 10M. They also offered (starting an hour earlier) a 20M and Marathon option. (No thank you!!)

I had originally planned on the 10 miler (as I did in 2015 and 2016). It could have been a training run since my half is in FOUR weeks!! But I just didn’t have it in me. It’s not like me to wimp out on a race but I did.

Saturday, instead I ran 10 miles with friends.

It worked out fine and it was great catching up. I enjoyed not running solo (although this time I ran most of my miles alone.)  The best part was that there was no pressure to race the miles and run faster than I should. And it was less windy than today’s weather.

Most runners would have then skipped the race.  But I decided to just run the shorter distance – 4.5 miles.

Run NOT race for free with other runners and also get free food.  Perfect, right?

I woke up to a few inches of fresh snow on the ground.  That made me a little nervous.  However, the roads are usually clear where this race is run.

The weather was warmer than the day before but it was very very windy and so it felt colder.

Barbara and I drove together. There was a high school track meet going on. So I had to drive to a farther parking lot. (Why does someone who can run 13 miles, balk at walking any distance to the start of a race?)

After a chilly walk, we arrived in time to register. (I didn’t register beforehand as I usually do because I was not sure that I would run the race.) I got to see Patrick, my running coach from the Turkey Trot. He was the race coordinator this week. I also chatted with a few other runners that I knew. However, the marathoners and 20 milers had already started and the crowd seemed to be a lot smaller than in previous races.

I decided to take off my fleece vest under my jacket and hoped that the sunshine would keep me warm. We stayed indoors until the very last minute and then made our way outside.

new fresh snow on the track

I had actually run this same race in 2013 and 2014 but they called it a 4 mile race. It turned out each year that it was more like 4.32 miles. So last year, it was re-named a 4.5 mile race but I’m not sure if they changed the course at all.

In 2013, my finish time was 45:15, in 2014, 44:24 and last year, I finished at 42:58. However, it didn’t matter because I wasn’t racing, right?

The 4.5 milers and the 10 milers started together (though the 10 mile racers obviously ran the course twice and more).

We started out in the middle of pack and it was slow going for a while. The road was pretty clear but you had to look out for potholes until we left the campus.

I was ahead of Barbara for a short while but then she passed me by and I never came close to catching up to her.

It was interesting when all of a sudden while I was running my pace, the 10 milers sped by me.  Then, there were times that the 20 milers or marathoners were speeding by me.

But I trudged along and kept moving forward.  I was surprised that my legs felt pretty good and I was running at a faster pace than I expected I would be.  Still, I didn’t want to push it and get injured.

I was cold at the beginning but warmed up when facing the sun (and took off my gloves)but of course, it was chilly when running into the wind.  I felt that I dressed appropriately unlike the guy below:

in the 20s with strong gusty winds

As I was running, I was reminded about how uninteresting this course was and how many times, I have tun it. Besides being all concrete and parking lots, it seems that you are constantly going uphill but never enjoy as many downhills.  (But I’m not complaining. It’s a FREE race!)

Believe it or not, I didn’t walk until the last hill. The wind was insane throughout most of the race but during that last mile, the gusts were so strong that I felt like I was moving backwards. The wind was tiring me out.  But actually, it was easier to push through the wind running slowly than walking.

Finally we approached the campus, and they said 4.5 milers go left and 10 milers go straight.  I was so happy that I had chose the shorter race. I couldn’t imagine fighting that wind for 5.5 more miles.

When I saw the finish line clock, I was shocked that it read 42:xx!!  So I forced myself to sprint so I could cross under 43 minutes. (My finish time was 42:55)

A much slower time that I am capable of. But I was very happy that I felt fine and nothing hurt. I was able to keep my relaxed pace the whole time and I didn’t try to race. Believe it or not, it was my fastest time on this course.

I went inside to get warm and to grab some refreshments – some hot vegetable soup, bread, fruit and then hot chocolate and cookies.

I also met a local Skirt Sports ambassador. We had been friends on IG and didn’t realize that we lived near each other.

They gave awards for the top 2 in each 10 year age group. I WON!! Barbara won an award as well.

again the speedy women in my age group ran the longer distances

So I did what I set out to do – run some extra training miles.

Race splits:

mile 1 – 9.59
mile 2 – 9:54
mile 3 – 9:22
mile 4 – 10:16
.5- 8:41

I was glad that I ran the race. My pace was not as fast as if I were really racing it (my miles were in the 8s that last time on this course) but definitely a lot faster (and more enjoyable) than running alone.

And my next race will be the BIG ONE!!

I’m also linking this post with Susie and Rachel and Debbie and Lora for the Running Coaches’ Corner.

Happy Running! How you are enduring the winter? Did you run or race this past weekend? Are advice for racing and fitting in long training runs?


Shamrock Shuffle Race Recap

This was my third time running this race.

Previous finish times –  2016: 46:28, 2015: 46:29

So it looks like I have been pretty consistent. Not sure what this year would bring. Most likely not a PR (Delmar Dash: 45:26 in 2015).  But if I finish under 50 minutes, I’d consider it a good race.

Now that I’ve run the race twice, I would be at least prepared on how the course went uphill for the first mile, some rolling hills before it went downhill. See below:


I am always a bit nervous about those hills and trying to run fast. Plus I wanted to have enough energy to run 4 more miles afterward as I am training for another half marathon in 5 weeks.

I was hoping that the weather would be a little more spring-like and I could wear a green skirt. But it was not. It was COLD but as cold as two weeks ago at the Runnin’ of the Green race. So I just wore tights under a skirt and several layers.

The race was about an hour drive from my house.  But it had a late start of 11 am so I was able to sleep in. When I arrived, the parking lot was already full, but I found a spot on a nearby street. Everyone hung out in the gym waiting for the race to start.

another cotton tee for my running buddy

I chatted with some runners that I recognized. I also met some new faces.

Then I bumped into Laurie from my Turkey Trot training group a few years ago. We talked for a while being entertained by bag pipes.

With such a late start (11 am), I was already hungry for lunch by the time the race began so I took a GU.

I was undecided about what to wear, as usual. It was cold and damp and looked like it would start to rain at any moment. In the end, I decided on a hat, 2 long sleeved shirts and gloves. (I left the jacket inside for later.)

Soon, we headed for the start. We waited until the last minute so we didn’t have to stand outside long in the cold.

It was not chip timed so I lined up close to the front.

As I mentioned, the beginning of the race went uphill. I took it slow.

I always look happy when I see the photographer.  The lady behind me is one year away from my age group and is super fast.


over the highway bridge (2015’s pic)

Although it was around 30, it was humid and there was no wind, so I took off my gloves and unzipped my shirt. I could have gone with one less layer.


2015’s pic

At first water stop around mile 1.75, I walked a bit. Then I continued running until we got the downhill portion.

Mile 3’s downhills gave me a boost but again at the second water stop around mile 4, I walked again for a little bit.

After that, I just plugged along and refused to walk until I was done.

Finally, I saw the finish line and gave everything I had.

Of course, I tried to beat that young runner (18 year old) to the finish line. And I did!! (barely)

I crossed at 46:10.

I waited around for Sue and Laurie to cross and then went inside to the cafeteria.

The refreshments were not much to speak. I had a brownie and a banana and chatted with Laurie.

We then waited in the gym for the results to be posted. The previous two years, I got 3rd. I doubted that I would win again but you never know when you’re in the old ladies group. But I did!!

In addition to a medal, you got a loaf of Irish soda bread.

I’m still 63 until May.


2015 / 2016 / 2017

mile 1- 8:55 / 9:10 / 9:13
mile 2- 9:31 / 9:30 / 9:16
mile 3- 8:58 / 8:52 / 9:01
mile 4- 9:35 / 9:24 /9:17
mile 5- 9:19 / 9:27 / 9:18

chip time- 46:09, garmin time – 46:08

I enjoyed the race (I enjoy them all) and was happy about how I did considering I do NOT do any speed work. It was not a PR but it was actually a course PR,  20 seconds faster than last year. I was expecting to be a lot slower. I was glad that I didn’t push myself because I had planned more miles for the day…

Though I was tired and cold, I drove to the Zim Smith Trail. As soon as I got there, it started to rain.  I so wanted to leave but it wasn’t raining hard so I just slowly dragged myself along for 4 more miles.

One of the perks of the trail is that you can park next to a bakery.

So yes, I’ll be back to the run on the trail and back to sample more of Leah’s baked goods. Today, I was cold so just had soup.

So I got my 9 mile training run done. It just had a 1 1/2 hour break in the middle.

I am also sharing in the support love by linking up with a Sunday Fitness and Food Linkup hosted by

Ilka from Ilka’s Blog and Angela from Marathons & Motivation

Happy Running! How was your weekend? Any running or racing?


TOTR: Stuff I Love about Running

Since today is Tuesday, I’m linking up with these wonderful ladies:

Erika @ MCM Mama Runs, Marcia @ Marcia’s Healthy Slice and Patty @ My no-guilt life for

Today’s topic is Stuff I Love About Running.

I could go on and on but I will limit it to EIGHT great things:

1. Bling

Yup, it’s cool to get medals.

2. Opportunities to Travel

I don’t travel as much as other runners but I have gotten to visit California, Florida, Vermont, Philly and NJ.

3. Races

I would race every weekend if I could.

4. Running Friends

They are the best….

5. Prizes awarded based on your Age

I love that that I am only competing with other women and the ones that are in my age group.

6. Blogging

If I didn’t run, I probably wouldn’t blog and I would have missed out on meeting some fabulous ladies.

7. Opportunities to Inspire Others

Never doubt that you can have an impact on someone else.  You can.

8. How it makes me feel

Healthy, strong, empowered, young(er)…

Happy Running! Tell me something you LOVE about running.

Don’t forget my giveaway – TOMORROW is the last day – enter it here!!


Bill Hogan 3.5 Mile Race Recap


January 1, 2017

Every year, the Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club puts on the Winter Series, a series of free races for its members ($5 for non-members). On New Year’s Day, starting at noon, they offer the Hangover Half or 3.5 mile Bill Hogan Run as Winter Series #2. (I was Florida for Winter Series #1.)

In 2015, I ran the Hangover Half (as a training run.)


and it was a very cold one

Last year, I wasn’t that crazy. I decided to run only 3.5 miles.


It was definitely more enjoyable so I decided to run the 3.5 miler again this year.

For New Year’s Eve, my hubby and I had a quiet evening – just dinner out and a movie. We usually go Lake George on New Year’s Day and to a party but my hubby didn’t want to and I was fine with it (cuz I secretly wanted to do this race.)


all I drank was this small bottle of champagne

I arrived at UAlbany early and was surprised at how many people were running on New Year’s Day (at least 500.) It helped that the race didn’t start until noon so even if you did party for New Year’s Eve, you could still race this one.

Plus, the weather was perfect – sunny and close to 40 degrees.  Unfortunately it was breezy but it is always windy here (even if it’s isn’t anywhere else.)

This race brings out everyone I know who runs – from running groups, races, friends, etc. So it’s great seeing everyone and catching up.

I immediately bumped into Judy and we hung out inside and chatted with one of her friends until the race began.


in Skirt Sports, of course

I also wound up chatting with another runner that was running the half marathon option. And then we had to hustle to get to the start.

I told myself to have a “relaxing” race.  And I did.  In the beginning, I had to weave in and out to get past the slower runners. But then, it was fine, I tried to keep an even pace. (Except when I passed my Freihofer/Turkey Trot coach, then I sped up. LOL)


This course is not flat. There are annoying hills throughout. Nothing awful until you are tired.

I kept up a decent pace for the first 2 miles. There were no mile markers but I could hear my Garmin beep. I really didn’t pay attention to my pace or time.

By mile 3, I was losing steam. So I started to walk in order to maintain some kind of decent pace. Plus, you were running into the wind the whole last mile.  I walked several times including up the last hill.

Finally, it was over and I was surprised to see that the clock read almost 34 minutes. So I booked it and passed quite a few runners.  There was quite a gridlock at the finish line and it is not chip timed.  You have to stand in line and get a piece of paper and then record your time.

Since I forgot to stop my Garmin right away, I asked my friend (who crossed with me) what her time was and so recorded mine at 34:03.

Mile splits:

mile 1: 9:06
mile 2: 9:03
mile 3: 9:17
.82 – 9:57

Yes, the course was long!! Last year, it was 3.75 not 3.5 miles too.

Surprisedly I was faster than last year. It is nice to know that this relaxing goal is not making me slower.

For a free race, they have decent refreshments – vegetable soup, bread, fruit, cookies, hot cocoa.

And I had all of the above and many pieces of cranberry bread.

I waited around for awhile for Judy and some other runners to finish.

They give 10 year AG awards to the top 2 in each group. I was chatting with some runners and was surprised when they called my name for 2nd in my age group.  (The fast ladies were running the half marathon. Lucky me!)



I chose cranberry walnut

Since I was dressed to run and not tired, I decided to do my usual campus loop.

Well, I usually run it in the dark. It is so different during the day.


My legs started really dragging.  I guess I was tired.  So I just ran and walked, etc.


Finally I finished up a little over 3 miles and went back inside to chat with some of my friends who had run the half marathon.

So a race and a run – what a perfect way to start off 2017!!

Since it is Thursday,  I’m linking up today with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

thinking out loud

Happy Running! Did you race on New Year’s? If not, when is your first race of 2017?



My Award Picks for 2016 (& TOTR)

Last year I linked up with Montana from Pretty Lil Mudder and bunch of other bloggers to give out some awards to the races that I ran.  It was fun so I decided to do it again.

Since I ran 43 races, I had no problem finding a race for each category but it was difficult to just pick ONE race.

Most Scenic Course –

I loved having views of the Gulf while running the Music Half Marathon (in Sarasota, FL).

It was also awesome to run with views of the fall foliage and the river during the Ramblefest Half Marathon (in Adams, MA).

Ashuwillticook Rail Trail

this is the trail we ran on (but in the rain)

Most Challenging Course

Hills are not my friend so I’d say that the most challenging course was Celebrate Life Half Marathon (in the Catskill Mountains).


There were quite a few rolling hills in the Lake George Half Marathon too.


Best Course Support (aid stations, volunteers, people cheering you on, etc)

Again, the crowds come out in mass to support the Vermont City Marathon runners. People were out there cheering the whole race and there was an abundance of water stations and volunteers even during the heart wave. (There were literally life savers for me and others running this race.)

Best Expo

Vermont City Marathon had the best expo. In fact, of the 7 half marathons, this was the only big expo that I attended.


Technically the NYC Marathon had the best expo but I didn’t run that race but went to it to pick up my bib for the 5k.


Best Swag

In addition to the normal race shirt, at the Apple Run 5k, you got a backpack, sunglasses, water bottle, and other goodies.

Most Unique Medal/Award

The most unique medal I received was the handmade wood one from the Camp Chingachgook Challenge.


I get tons of medals for age group awards so I was excited to get something different. I loved winning a Fitbit & $25 gift card to LL Bean at the LL Bean Bright Night 5k and $50 gift card to the Recovery Room restaurant and champagne  at the Malta 5k.


I also like to get practical things. So winning this baseball hat at the Saratoga Palio Half Marathon was great. I’ve already worn it several times.


Best Post-Race Food/Beverages

Definitely one of the reasons I run the Bacon Hill Bonanza 5k is the food. They have chocolate milk (from a nearby farm), homemade cookies & muffins, chili, pizza, vegetarian rice dish, etc.

But the Sarasota Music Half Marathon also had an amazing breakfast buffet.

Best Race Shirt-

On the whole, I didn’t love most of my race shirts. But I guess my favorite would be the sweatshirt that we received at the Celebrate Life Half Marathon.


Favorite Overall Race

That’s a tough one. I enjoyed so many of my races this year.

I’d have to say the Dash the Finish 5k because I got to run in NYC with three Russian ladies and cross the NYC Marathon finish line.

And of course, the Panama City Beach Half Marathon. Running and spending the weekend with seven blogger/friends was amazing and #HoLottaFun.

Race You Are Most Proud of Yourself for Completing

I am proud of completing ALL my races. None ever seem easy. I am especially proud that I can run 13.1 miles!!

But I would have to say that I am proud that I finished the Vermont City Marathon Relay because of how difficult the weather conditions were.

crossing the finish line even though the race had been cancelled & I had to fight to get a medal.

And the Ramblefest Half Marathon because it my only PR this year and it was cold, raining and totally unexpected.


Since today is Tuesday, I’m linking up with these wonderful ladies:

Erika @ MCM Mama Runs, Marcia @ Marcia’s Healthy Slice and Patty @ My no-guilt life for

Happy Running! What awards would you give to the races you ran in 2016?


Veteran’s Day Dash 5k Race Recap

This was a new race for me.  I usually work on Veteran’s Day.  But now I have the day off and Holly & Jackie from my running group recommended it.

They said that the course though boring, was pretty flat.  Perfect, I needed to do one more run before Sunday’s 15k race, anyway.

The race started at 10 am.  I actually could sleep in.  The temps were in the 50s too and it seemed like a perfect running day.

But I was wrong.  It was very windy – 20 mph winds and the temps were dropping.  It felt like it was in the 30’s.

The race was held at a high school and it started on the track.


There was lots of parking and even real bathrooms. I picked up my bib and shirt and returned to my car to stay warm.


long sleeved and cotton – now I have another throw-away shirt LOL

Eventually I had to venture out to start the race.  There were almost 400 racers (many high school boys wearing speedos!!)  I decided not to wear my jacket and left it near the start.


I found several friends including Gary, fellow blogger Christine and Holly.  We started together and toward the front (since it wasn’t chip timed). They were all faster than me so I decided to use them as pacers.

The race started by running around the track and then onto the roads of the campus.  This is a huge campus so though the scenery was not very exciting, you didn’t have to worry about traffic.


As much as I could, I tried to run the tangents and keep my speedy friends in my view.  It felt somewhat like a horse race but I was always bringing up the rear.  Holly was way ahead for the first 2 miles.  Then came Christine followed by Gary. As Holly’s pace slowed, Christine took the lead. As we headed toward the home stretch (the track again), Gary passed Holly and then he passed Christine.  I was still in last place but gaining on Holly.

As soon as I saw the finish line, I put it in high gear and passed Holly. 🙂


I should mention a few other things about my race.  My shoe was untied most of it.  But I didn’t want to stop and lose time. So I just ran making sure the whole time that I didn’t trip.  I was glad that I didn’t wear my jacket, I wasn’t cold (until I finished.) I felt nauseous and out of breath the second half of the race.  In fact, I felt like throwing up approaching the finish line. (As soon as I finished, I felt fine).

I’d be lying if PR thoughts didn’t enter my head.  This was my last real chance this year.  But it wasn’t meant to be.

I grabbed the jacket that I had left on the table and went to find food – there were  cookies, bagels, fruit and chocolate milk and I enjoyed all of it (but craved something WARM.)

Then I found Christine and Holly and we hung out waiting for the raffle prizes and the awards. I wished that I had pants, a warmer coat and gloves.  I was freezing!!!

I didn’t win any raffle prizes but I did win first place in my age group. I told Holly that if I had tried to keep up with in the early miles, I would have crashed and burned.  Someday I will PR…. (under 27:11)


The top three won beer glasses but only the first place winner also got a $10 gift card to Fleet Feet. I hope Holly is still my friend. LOL.


she looks happy, right?


So I ran my second 5k in one week.  (Yes, I am supposedly training for a 15k this Sunday and a half marathon on Dec. 3 …)


mile 1: 9:01
mile 2: 9:12
mile 3: 9:05
      .1:  6:50

Garmin time: 27:43
Gun time: 27:51 (Holly & I both thought we crossed at 27:4x)

I plan to rest up until Sunday when I run the Stockade-athon 15K.

Happy Running!  Anyone run or race on Veteran’s Day?


September Recap

Image result for september

So Fall has finally arrived!! And very recently, we’ve even experienced some cooler temps.

So here’s how September went…

Weekday Runs:

Like the summer, the beginning of the month was still warm and humid and we had very little rain.  I was able to run at least 3-4 times outdoors each week which is great because I do not have a treadmill at home.

Since I finally started working after 12 weeks off, I was limited to where I could run.  I ran mostly at UAlbany (near work) or the Delmar rail trail (near home).

I ran with Alyssa several times. Like Barbara I met her through FB. These were, no doubt, besides my 5k races my faster runs. I struggle when I run with her but she gets me to run faster. She says that I make her faster .  Win-Win. I also ran with Barbara a few times and she is even faster than Alyssa.  In addition, I shared a run with Natalie (my mah jongg buddy) who is a beginning runner.

It’s definitely more fun running with friends.

Long Runs:

There were three of these!!!.  One was a half marathon and one was just added miles to a 5k race.

Total Mileage:

I ran 83 miles this month – 6 miles less than last month even though I ran a half marathon and am training for another this coming Sunday!!  I guess I was slacking off. (I’ll blame it on work and my social life LOL)



I ran four races this month – a half marathon and three 5ks.

I was generally happy with how they went. I did not have PR goals and of course, I would have been thrilled if I got one.  I won age group awards in all three. I guess that’s an achievement.

For a change, none of the races were super hilly.  I knew runners at all of them and they were all super fun.  As you can guess I LOVE RACING!!

Cross Training:

The tennis season has moved indoors and that means that I have be a member of a club and join a contract.  $$$$$ So I don’t play as often as I did in the summer (when it was free and I was unemployed.) I am scheduled to play two Tuesdays a month but do get called to sub on the other weeks.

I DID NOT go to a single yoga class!! Someday I will do, I think.


Miss you, Maria!

I did NOT workout at the gym at all.  Total slacking here!!

I did not go hiking.  I hope to do some this month.  It is so beautiful around here in the fall. But fitting it in (now that I work) is very challenging.

I did walk every day at lunch for 30 minutes – Either around the outdoor shopping mall to get a Starbucks coffee or around a short nature trail.

Other News:

My favorite running groups started up again. The Troy Turkey Trot Challenge group meets on Monday evenings and Saturday mornings.  I only go on Mondays.  I am running with my friends in the 10k group. It will be the one day of the week where I may have to do speed drills.

The STEM group meets on M, W, F and I volunteer on Wednesday evenings.  We are doing the Couch to 5K program with some new and returning runners (who are domestic violence survivors).  We are training them for a 5k race on Nov. 19.

I took a day trip to NYC  to meet up with my Russian friend, Anna, who stopped off there on the way back from Maine.  We had lunch on a lobster boat, walked the High Line and then had drinks on the top of the Standard Hotel. What a full but exciting day!!


I took one last visit to the Saratoga Race Track with a former co-worker.  This time, we only went for the last few races (and I won at each one), headed to the Casino and then out to dinner.


I spent a lot of time (maybe too much) going out to dinner and meeting up with friends and family.

Boating season continued and the weather was great.  I love it at the lake. It’s my “happy place.” I am sad that it will be ending very soon.

Feeling healthy so Life Is Good.

I am now employed so I guess I have $$ to sign up for more races!!

Looking Ahead:

My next half marathon is October 9 and I am (slightly) excited. Is the thrill gone???

I do have a lot of races coming up.  Fall is my favorite time to race.  This is my list so far for the next 2 months:

  • 10-01-16  – Apple Run 5K
  • 10-09-16 – Ramblefest Half Marathon
  • 10-15-16 – Great Pumpkin Challenge 10K
  • 10-22-16 – L.L.Bean Bright Night 5K
  • 10-29-16 – Monster Dash 10K????  (not signed up yet since I am out of town for work Oct 24-28
  • 11-05-16 – NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K (in NYC)
  • 11-11-16 – Veteran’s Dash 5K
  • 11-13-16 – Stockade-athon 15K
  • 11-19-16 – Girls on the Run 5k (STEM volunteer which is good because I’m out of town for work Nov 14-18)
  • 11-24-16 – Troy Turkey Trot 10k and then the 5k

I may have a racing addiction!!!

No monthly goals.

my motto for 2016

I am linking up with a Sunday Fitness and Food Linkup hosted by Ilka from Ilka’s Blog and Angela from Marathons & Motivation

Happy Running! How did your September turn out?  Anything exciting planned for October?  


Falcon 5K Race Recap & TOTR

Image result for falcon 5k albany

So many races to choose from this weekend but I chose this one.

Not for the course but simply because it was on Sunday and my tennis friend (the one who started me running) was going to do the race and we hardly ever run together.


racing together back in November

I am familiar with the course.  I used to run in this park quite often.  It is pretty but hilly.  What I do not like about this race is the fact that you repeat the loop. I always want to done after the first time around.


I ran a race on this course a few years ago and my time was 28:16. So I guess that was the time I was aiming for. The big difference is that I didn’t have any half marathons on the schedule that fall. I ran one a week ago. I also have another in 2 weeks!!  That meant that I needed to add more miles after the race.

I woke up not in the mood to race.

I had a very frustrating Saturday. I had planned to help out a friend and proctor the LSATs, then drive to a former professor’s house to help her with her computer and then in the evening, go to the movies with friends.

I didn’t realize that I would be proctoring special accommodations and that I would be there for 7 1/2 hours. At that point, I wasn’t sure that I would have enough time to visit the professor and get to the movies.  So I postponed the visit until Sunday.

I had thought about going up to the lake on Sunday after the race but now that wouldn’t be possible.

Anyway, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. Finally we had some cooler weather.  When I left my house, it was in the 40s but with bright sunshine. I refuse to dress as if summer is over.  I’ll be wearing those capris and tights for many many months.  So I shivered in a skirt and wore a jacket over my short sleeve shirt until the start of the race. (I almost wore a tank.)

I parked about 1/2 mile away and ran slowly to the start.


When I arrived, I got a text that my friend had decided to bail on the race.  I was disappointed but I immediately found some runners that I knew. I also ran into some people that I used to work with.


with Tom & Sherry

We hung out and chatted for a while. It warmed up quickly and I shed my jacket.


sleeveless tech shirt

It was soon time to start but we realized that we were at the finish line not the start.


So we walked up a hill to the start.


I should mention that this race was run for the high school booster club.  So there were a lot of kids running the race.

Were you Seen at the Albany Booster Club's Falcon 5K & Fun Run in Washington Park in Albany on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016? Photo: Diane Wilson

photo from the Times Union

The start was tricky….trying to run around the kids plus not getting run over by any.  I knew right away that this was not going to be a good race.  I was running as fast as I could and I was not moving.  My first mile is usually in the 8’s but it was 9:22.  Yikes!

Were you Seen at the Albany Booster Club's Falcon 5K & Fun Run in Washington Park in Albany on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016? Photo: Diane Wilson

photo from the TU

I love the course.  It is very pretty especially when you run around the lake. And this time, the second loop didn’t even bother me. But there are hills. I was determined not to walk.  I even passed the water stops.

I was not getting any faster so I finally gave up and walked during the 3rd mile. Luckily the finish was after a downhill so I sprinted as fast as I could so I would not finish over 29 minutes. And I crossed at 28:39.


mile 1: 9:22
mile 2: 9:24
mile 3: 9:21
.1 – 6:50

28:36 (Garmin time)

Tom and Sherry had already finished so we hung out and got some food while waiting for the results.


found my friend’s granddaughter & boyfriend


Were you Seen at the Albany Booster Club's Falcon 5K & Fun Run in Washington Park in Albany on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016? Photo: Diane Wilson

photo by the TU

It seemed to take forever but I guess it was worth the wait since we all won.


I came in first, got my medal and had to rush off.




2 professors from where I used to work (the one taking the photo and the one with the medal)

It was much later than I realized so I had to run back to my car. I rushed to Best Buy to pick up something I had on order and then stopped on my way home to run.  I had already run 1/2 mile to and from the race so I needed to run 5-7 more miles…. in a half  hour. Ha ha ha!!

I got in two miles and called it a day.  6 interrupted miles for my last long run….it will have to do.

I was able to get to the professor’s house and help her.  It took no time at all (if I had known, I could have done it on Saturday.) Then I went grocery shopping, weeded and finished the laundry.

I was sad to miss out on a beautiful boating day.  There may not be many more this season.


our friend Ron with my hubby

Next weekend, I get to do it all over again.


A Saturday 5K and hopefully some extra miles to prepare for my October 9 half marathon. And I am leaving Sunday open for boating.

And since it’s Tuesday, I’m linking up with these wonderful ladies:

Erika @ MCM Mama Runs, Marcia @ Marcia’s Healthy Slice and Patty @ My no-guilt life


Today’s topic is The most challenging aspect of running right now is _______.

My answer is FITTING IT ALL IN!!!!

Family, friends, work, housekeeping, training runs, races, tennis, gym (yes, order here matters).

I don’t know how you working moms do it.  I just have to take care of myself (My hubby is pretty self sufficient) and I struggle everyday to fit in my runs and not neglect the rest of my life.  In the scheme of things, running is not a priority. But I do want to train adequately for my races.

Any advice, you superwomen?

The second most challenging thing (because I can never stick to one thing) is improving BOTH my 5k and my half marathon times.

When I race and train long, I run slower, of course.  I haven’t figured out how to get faster on those short races.  But I don’t want to give up half marathons.  So the answer may be that I can’t run faster 5ks and faster half marathons at the same time.

Any advice?

Happy Running! What challenges you the most in your running?