Friday Five: What I Learned From My First Marathon

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.

Enough time has passed since Nov 3, 2019 that I can be objective about my first marathon experience.

I had no idea what to expect ….

Here’s what I learned:

1.The Marathon is More than a Race.

There are training runs…lots of them and hopefully supported by your friends.

There’s the expo and pre-race activities.

Of course, there’s the race itself which is obvious. 26.2 miles…

Finally, there’s also the post race experience.

I am happy that I chose to go big…

NYC rocked all aspects of the race!!

The finish line was not the only important thing that happened that weekend. Who knew?

2.Preparation and Recovery are Different for Each Runner.

I chose the Hal Higdon plan but quickly realized that I could not do the longish mid-week runs due to long work days and lots of work travel. (I traveled for 8 weeks during peak marathon training.)

So I stuck to my normal short runs 3 times a week and then added a long run on the weekend. However, I did worry that I was not as prepared as I should have been. And I had not run as many miles as other marathoners.

After the race, many runners cautioned me about recovery. One even said that she took off a month after her first marathon.

But I felt great. I ran a 15k race a week later.

Just like pace, preparation and recovery are individual things.

3.Your Mind Really Does Control Your Legs.

During the second 13 miles of the race, I was convinced that I was injured…my lower back, my left quad, my right ankle. They all ached.

As a result, I just could not move my legs fast.  I was not tired. I wanted to get to the finish line. But my mind said “Slow Down! Don’t risk your future races.”

But I was not injured.  I felt perfectly fine the next day…as if I had not run 26.2 miles.

I do not regret my finish time at all.

enjoying the early miles with a friend

I only regret that my mind did not let me enjoy the second half of the race.

4.The Pain is Worth It.

Yes, it hurt. It hurt more than I thought it would.

the painful slog near the end in Central Park

The pain quickly faded from my mind. I mostly remember the crowds, the excitement, the energy, the music, the sights, etc.

If it weren’t for my darn foot, I may have considered running this marathon again.

5.I am One and Done.

For an millisecond, I thought about registering for NYCM 2020.

It’s not that I think my foot pain was caused by all the miles.

It’s that I feel so grateful that in 2019, I was able to run 6 half marathons, three 15k races and a FULL Marathon…without any foot pain.

What if this pain occurred during my marathon training and even worse, during the race??

Don’t want to take the chance!

Heading to the finish line and doing the happy dance

I’m linking also up with Coaches Corner–Debbie and Marc.

Happy Running! If you ran a big race, what did you learn that was unexpected? Please share.

Friday Five: Looking Ahead

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.

My Topic this week is: Looking Ahead to 2020

I’m not into goals but last January, I posted about my plans for 2019 and last week, I reflected on them.

I didn’t do so well but that did not discourage me from setting in motion some plans for the coming year.

(Warning: I wrote this post before my sore foot woes and I decided not to delete it cuz you never know…)

1. Run 1000 miles.

It’s a number that I strive to meet each year. I may or may not reach it but I should come close if I have been running consistently all year and I have not gotten injured.

See the source image

2. Add another physical activity to my life besides running.

I’d prefer it to be tennis but that will probably not happen until I retire or get a different job.

So I’d like to take a yoga class now and then, go for lunchtime walks or even hit the gym. 

this instructor is my favorite – she has monthly 2 hour sessions on different parts of the body – geared toward runners

3. Participate often in local running group runs.

This was an unexpected activity from last year.  I ran in many of the ARE summer trail runs. I started late because I hesitated on joining this group. I plan go to ALL of them this year even if my friends are not going.

Huyck Preserve

I also started attending some other group runs such as SOAR and Ice Cream Runs.  If they are scheduled again, I plan to participate.

4. Set a PR or Course PR at any distance.

Realistically I think PRs may be out of reach as I age or my foot continues to be a problem.. But since I often run the same races, possibly I can improve at one race.

maybe at Race to the Lakes 15k?

And first time races or distances do not count lol.

5. And finally…. Run a Half Marathon 15K or Half Marathon Every Month.

Yes, you heard that right. Twelve Distance races in Twelve Months.

(Ok maybe I jinxed myself when I came up with the Half Marathon goal in November – right afterward, my foot started to hurt… so I edited the goal to include 15ks as well)

So it may not happen but it will be fun trying (virtual ones count.)

  • January – Fred LeBow Half Marathion in NYC (doubtful due to foot injury) or Winter Series #4 15k
  • February – ZOOMA Bermuda Half Marathon (fingers crossed for this one)
  • March  – NYC Half Marathon (yes, please!)
  • April – Helderberg 2 Hudson Half Marathon
  • May  – Sacandaga or Steel Rail Half Marathon?
  • June – Race to the Lakes 15k
  • July – Boilermaker 15k?
  • August – a virtual 15k
  • September – Adirondack or Palio Half Marathon?
  • October – Finger Lakes Half Marathon?
  • November – Stockadeathon 15K
  • December – Ted Corbitt 15K or Palm Beach Half Marathon?

Feel free to recommend some…

Happy Running!  Any goals or plans for 2020? When you get injured, do you re-write your goals? Please share.

Friday Five: Looking Back and Having Coffee

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.

My Topic this week is: Looking Back on 2019

I’m not really into goals but last January, I posted about my plans for 2019.

Here’s what I wrote:

1. Run 1000 miles.

It’s just a number.  But that number means two things to me.  I have been running consistently all year and that I have not been injured.

2. Take some yoga classes.

I’m not good at yoga. I have zero flexibility. But it is relaxing and my life is not. So I think it will help me both mentally and physically.

3. Do some strength or cross training.

I hope to play more tennis starting in June but I do have access to a local free gym. I’d like to get there on some of my rest days.

4. Train seriously for One Race.

Not sure which one but I have already registered for five half marathons so maybe the local one. Or maybe a 5k.

5. And finally…. Finish a 26.2 mile race.

Yes, you heard that right. I haven’t registered yet (next week) but it seems crazy not to take advantage of qualifying for this year’s NYC Marathon.

So how did I do??

1 . Run 1000 miles.

Nope947. If not for my calf injury in February and sore foot in December, I may have reached that number.  As I said, “It’s only a number.”  I am NOT disappointed in my 2019 mileage.

2. Take some yoga classes.

Not until November.  I blame it on work travel which was often insane and marathon training.

So better late than never. I have taken a few classes in the last two months of the year. Maybe that will be a sign of the future.

3. Do some strength or cross training.

No on this one, as well.  I decided to not join a tennis club and play weekly. As a result, I played during my May tennis vacation in May and not again since then.

As far as the gym, just an occasional trip to use the arm machines or the treadmill or recently the bike. Nothing to write home about for same reason as not going to yoga classes.

4. Train seriously for One Race.

A big No on this one too. Due to work travel, I didn’t participate in the Freihofer or Troy Turkey Trot training groups.

No drills. I just showed up for a race now and then and did my best.

5. And finally…. Finish a 26.2 mile race.

Yes, Yes, Yes.

My success story of the year. I ran my first full marathon.

The funny thing about posting these plans/goals is that I don’t remember writing them. So I didn’t think about them all year.

I’m not disappointed at all in how my year turned out (even though 4 out 5 of my plans didn’t materialize.)

2019 was still a good year in my book. (I am trying not to focus on the month of December and how the year ended.)

It’s also that time of the month…

ultimate coffee date

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

Happy Running!  Any goals or plans for 2019? If so, did you meet them? Please share.

Friday Five’s Runfessions for December

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

Can they be called RUNfessions if I didn’t run??


1. I runfess…

When I was working in NYC, I did not RUN due to a sore foot, but I did WALK…

I mean it was NYC during the holidays… I wanted to see the decorations…. Did I interfere with the healing of my foot???

Should I have just stayed in my hotel? 

2. I runfess…

I did not run one of my favorite (fun) races but I went anyway. I dressed up as if to race and even kept the race shirt.

And yes, I admit, I had serious FOMO.

Anyone else not race but go to cheer on their friends anyway?

3.I runfess…

I was hoping that the podiatrist would see a stress fracture on the xray.

At least then, you rest, it heals and you run again.

But seeing nothing and recommending rest does not make you feel satisfied.

Anyone else ever have one of those frustrating undiagnosed injuries?

4. I runfess…

Even though I was not running and didn’t know when I would run again, I still shopped for running-related items? Not sure why?

Anyone else buy running gear while they were injured?

5.I runfess…

My 2020 goal was 12 half marathons in 12 months. Well, that will not happen…but I’m having a hard time planning my running comeback.  (Yes, there will be one).

I may DNS the January Half in NYC but should I also downgrade the February one (in Bermuda) to a 10k or just slog it.

Image result for zooma bermuda"

Anyone else impatient when coming back from an injury?

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? Please share.


Friday Five: Motivation Tips

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.

My Topic this week is: Motivation to Run

There have been many days where I struggled to get out the door … so here are my recommendations.

Hopefully they will help you when you need that extra “motivation.”

1. Call a Friend

It’s harder to skip a run when someone is waiting for you.

2. Put it on your Calendar

It’s just as important as a work meeting or a dentist appointment. So schedule it.

3. Prep the Night Before

If I ran in the morning, my running stuff would be on the floor next to my bed. Since I run after work, I pack my running clothes the night before.  It’s so easy to skip the run when you are tired in the morning or wake up late.


4. Plan your post run Reward.

It may be coffee or ice cream or brunch if you need food gratification. Or maybe a shopping trip.

5. Register for a Race.

If you have a race on your schedule, you are more likely to get that run in.

Image result for fred lebow half

Jan 19 – my next one!! Well, maybe not… more like Feb 16.

Happy Running! Do you struggle with running motivation from time to time? Any other tips that you can share?

Four (or Five) Somethings for November-December

January 2018 Share Foru Somethings #ShareFourSomethings

Thanks to Laurie from Meditations in Motion, I discovered a new link up started by blogger Heather Gerwing. The fourth Saturday of each month, Heather invites other bloggers to share their “Four Somethings”: Something Loved, Something Said, Something Learned, Something Read. If you are a blogger, you may post your Four Somethings too!

It’s time even though it’s Friday. LOL

1. Something Loved.

Marathon Weekend.

Not just the race but

  • the day preceding: the expo, the Meb talk and carb-loaded dinner and dessert
  • the day of: hanging with Cari beforehand, crossing that finish line, post race dinner and bar chat
  • the day after: Normatec boots, climbing the Vessel and brunch with friends

and PERFECT weather all three days

I am a lucky lady.

2. Something Said.

I attended a talk by Meb the day before the NYC Marathon…so I’m kinda obsessed with things that he has said:

“Like the marathon, life can sometimes be difficult, challenging and present obstacles, however if you believe in your dreams and never ever give up, things will turn out for the best.”

Words to live by, for sure.

“But I also realize that winning doesn’t always mean getting first place; it means getting the best out of yourself.”

In other words, celebrate finish lines not finish times. And if you do your best, you are a winner.

“Nobody said it’s going to be easy. You have to dig into yourself. Think about your family. Think about the journey itself. THINK IN THE MOMENT.”

Definitely true!!! About a marathon or any challenge in life.

3. Something Learned.

I know it’s corny but I learned that:

Image result for i can do hard things"

I ran 26.2 miles at age 66. With plates and screws in one ankle. With many shortened or missed weekday runs.

I was not sure that I could run a marathon especially one as hard as NYC.

Now I know that I can.

4. Something Read.

I recently finished reading this book. It’s about the power of words and thoughts. If you were told the day of your death, would you live differently? What if you knew you had only 5 years…what about 50 more? Would such knowledge predetermine the knowledge of a date becoming the truth of the date? This is a story that indirectly asks these questions. Four siblings visit a fortune teller who gives them each a date. The trouble is, they are just children and this knowledge (whether true or not) directs all their future choices. Interesting story of the power of influence and belief.

5. Something Seen.

Hamilton on Broadway

and Les Miserables, the Concert movie.

Image result for les miserables concert movie tickets"

I absolutely loved Hamilton and Les Miz is my all time favorite show and sound track.

On cloud nine.

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! What are your FOUR or Five somethings? Share at least ONE.

Friday Five and Ultimate Coffee Date for December

It’s that time of the month…

and that time of year

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

1.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I taken up yoga again.  I used to go weekly and then my favorite yoga instructor left and I stopped going.

I’m not one to do things at home. I need to sign up for a class and then I’ll go.

I started with Cat Yoga and it was fairly enjoyable… very low key so a good way to start up again.

that’s me in the pink skirt…thanks Lloyd for the pic

I’ve gone to Hot Yoga too …the participants can bend like pretzels but I do what I can and I do enjoy the warm temps.

I also attended a Yoga for Runners class which focused on the lower back/spine …just what I needed. (I plan to attend another one fro upper back and shoulders.)

And of course another Cat Yoga class at the same location as the Yoga for Runners class.

Do you do yoga? If you do, do you do it on your own or sign up for classes?

2.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that though it’s no surprise but I am hating the cold temps and early winter weather conditions.

My biggest problem is that I have amnesia when it comes to dressing…I am either overdressed or cold.

too warm in that heavy vest

Do you remember how to dress to run from season to season?

3.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that in addition to hating the weather, I despise the lack of daylight.  It cuts down on the places that I can safely run after work.  There’s only ONE lit up route and that’s UAlbany….BORING.  I like to run in different places.

I may have to get up early and run before work. UGH!!!

Do you run outside in the dark?

4.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I am back to traveling for work.

Last month it was 3 days in NYC.  Not complaining…

I met up with running friends Cari and Elizabeth and also saw HAMILTON!!!

Work travel can have its perks now and then.

This week I am back in NYC for 5 days.

Good news is that in Manhattan, there are loads of places to run with lights… and of course at Christmas time, lots to see and do.

Anyone else love to visit NYC at this time of year?

5.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that now that my marathon training and marathon is over, I’m debating a new challenge for 2020.

Image result for 12 half marathon in 12 months"

One half marathon each month???

I already have one planned for January (Fred LeBow in NYC), February (ZOOMA in Bermuda), March (NYC Half), April (Helderberg 2 Hudson) and May (Sacandaga or Steel Rail)….

What’s 7 more?  LOL

What do you think of my my goal? Has anyone ever run 12 halfs in one year?

Of course, I wrote this post before I had a sore foot….all these racing plans may be on hold….

It’s also 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!