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.

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.

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.

 

runner-sig

My Favorite Blog Posts

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

The Topic for today is:  Brag Time: Share some of your most popular running related blog posts!

Not sure if any would be considered “popular” since I do not have a huge following but here are my “favorites”:

The most viewed posts on my blog were:


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! If you blog, which is your favorite or most popular post?  Which of my blog posts have you liked the most? Please share.

Oops, I Did It Again

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

The Topic for today is: What are some running mistakes you’ve made or keep on making?

  • Incorrect Dress

Not dressing warm enough (though this is rare)

I was FREEZING.

and dressing too warmly (too often).

too warm during this race

  • Starting Out a Race Too Fast

ALWAYS.  I think I’ve only had one race ever with negative splits (and only because I was running with someone else).

  • Running With An Injury

I am better about that now but I have raced with a stress fracture and a broken foot.

 can even smile in pain

  • No Warm-Ups or Cool Downs

Guilty as charged.  Always in a rush to get it done.

  • No Strength Training.

Yup.  Nada or rarely on my part. No time. No Interest. Many excuses….

  • Too Much Focus on Speed

I have to say that this is my past.  I used to obsess about my finish times and PRs.

I no longer really care if I get faster.

Now my focus in running is on enjoyment and connecting with friends.  I know that when I run with “slower” runners, I will not improve. But now I get more satisfaction in that I am helping and motivating others.

most likely my slowest half ever… whatever!


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 also made any of the above mistakes or any others? Please share.

Fall Racing Bucket List

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

The Topic for today is: What’s on your Fall bucket list?

Ha ha… nothing this year 😦

But during normal times, which races would I like to be racing?

Local Races:

  • Malta 5k or 10k
  • Helper’s Fund 5k or 10k
  • Apple Run 5K
  • Falling Leaves 5k
  • Great Pumpkin Challenge 5k or 10K
  • Stockade-athon 15k
  • Troy Turkey Trot 5k or 10k

Out of Town Races

  • Newport Liberty Half Marathon (NJ)
  • Hogsback Half Marathon (CT)
  • Smuttynose Half Marathon (NH)
  • Amica Newport Half Marathon (RI)
  • Greta’s Great Gallop 10k (NYC)
  • Poland Springs 10K (NYC)
  • Haunted Island 5k (NYC)
  • Dash to the Finish 5k (NYC)
  • Cocoa Classic 5k (NYC)

I’m also linking up here:

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

Happy Running! What’s on your Fall Bucket (in normal times)? Please share.

Speed It Up

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

The Topic for today is: What speed work do you incorporate in your running?

I was never one to do any speed drills. I used to run 5k races to get faster.

Well, that was then and this is now…

But we all have heard this before – You have to run FAST in order to get FAST.

So here are a few things that you can still do (without any short races) to get faster:

  • RUN VIRTUAL 5K RACES

Sign up and race them.  These are not the same as a “real” races but you can use them as speed drills.

  • RUN INTERVALS ON THE TRACK

Find a high school track and use it to do 400m or 800 repeats. It’s much easier on a track than on the road.

  • DO STRIDES AT THE END OF A RUN

So when you are almost done with your run, just run as fast as you can. Repeat this several times.

Honestly, when I am done, I am done. My number of strides is usually just one LOL

  • ADD SOME FARTLEKS DURING YOUR RUN

During your run, just slow down and pick up the pace for intervals of various lengths depending on how you feel. So it is pretty unstructured in that no pace or distance is prescribed.

I as many others probably do is just run fast to the next mailbox or post, then slow down. Repeat.

This is one of my most frequently used speed drills (though I may not intentionally use them for speed.)

  • TRY TEMPO RUNS

These generally include an easy warmup, then about 20 minutes at 80 to 90 percent effort, followed by a cool-down.  But it can be longer than 20 minutes too.

Tempo runs can often be easier on a treadmill.

  • DO SOME HILL REPEATS

Find a hill that takes between 30 seconds and five minutes to climb at 85-90 per cent effort, and run up it. Then jog back down to recover. It’s a great alternative to track intervals.

My favorite meme on this topic:injury | My First 5K and More...


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! Do you do any speed work? Have things changed without any races? Please share.

Keeping Up That Running Mojo (2020 Version)

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

The Topic for today is: How do you stay motivated to run?

So here’s a few things that get me out the door several times each week this year:

  • FRIENDS

This is the biggest one for me.  I used to have some friends to run with during the week but now I am pretty much solo.  And guess what?  I am running less.

Luckily on the weekends, I do have my tribe.

  • CHALLENGES

There is no loss of challenges to sign up for.  I chose the ONENY Challenge.  I had to run or walk 620 miles between May 15 and Aug 31.

You bet that got me out of my house rain or shine.

  • VIRTUAL RACES

Not my favorite thing.  I have not signed up for that many.  But in some cases, it has been either FOMO or that the race was cancelled with no other option.

NYC Half Marathon

  • MY SEDENTARY JOB

Due to our current pandemic situation, I have been working from home since March 16.

Yup, sitting at the computer ALL DAY.

Running has kept me sane.

  • NATURE

At least during the spring and summer months when the different flowers are my motivation.

I have to admit, if you asked me this question in previous years, I’m sure my answers would have been totally different. I had shorter races on the weekend or was training for big longer race. I wanted to be in shape to do well at my races.  Racing always motivated me to get out and run.

Times They Are A Changin' by Brittany Theophilus on Dribbble


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! How do YOU stay motivated to run? Is your motivation different this year? Please share.

Best Fitness Advice

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

The Topic for today is: What is the best fitness advice you’ve ever received?

You know me, I can’t just pick ONE thing…

So here’s a few of the most important ones:

  • Join a Running Class

Some persons just start running on their own.  They risk acquiring bad habits.  This may lead to injuries.

One day after a tennis match, one player suggested that three of us enroll in No Boundaries, a Fleet Feet-based class for those  wanting to learn to run. The class culminated 16 weeks later with a 5k race. It was a great way to start my running journey. I still recall many of things I was taught by my coaches.

with my partners in crime (back in 2008)

  • Find Your Tribe

Of course, it is more convenient to run when you want, where you want and how fast you want.  But you will definitely find more benefits in running with others.

When I first started running, I blogged and read other running blogs. One day in 2010, a local blogger (The Happy Runner) asked me to help her start a group for new runners (Strong Running Mamas) with the goal of having them run a 5k race. This group grew immensely to include runners of all ages and levels. I bump into someone from that group at almost every race.

the larger group at a 2013 half marathon (yes, we had shirts made up with the group’s name)

Currently, I am fortunate to be part of another group called the Sole Sisters (as a result of a race-cation for the Wine Glass HM). They support me, motivate me and have become friends, in addition to running partners.

most of the group at a local 5k

  • Run longer distances.

It is perfectly fine to be a short distance runner. It certainly is much easier to fit in a training plan and to focus on speed and PRS.

That was my plan for several years. I ran 5ks and I ran lots of 5ks.  Nothing longer.

Then one day, a running friend insisted that I was capable of running a half marathon. I was so skeptical that I signed up for one and didn’t tell anyone (in case I failed.)

My first (2011):

My 41st (2020):

obviously the colors of my running outfits haven’t changed lol

Yes, I got hooked.

In fact, before the Pandemic of 2020, I was planning to run one each month this year. (Yes, 12 in 12 months!!)

  • Run the NYC Marathon

No one needs to run a marathon to consider herself a runner. And if you do, it doesn’t have to be a BIG one like NYC.

Running a marathon was NEVER one of my running goals.

In 2018, I ran the Brooklyn HM fast enough to get into the 2019 NYC Marathon. I was told that it was a “no brainer” to run it since it is so hard to get into and I would not likely get in at a future time through the lottery.

However, my job in 2019 did not lend itself to training for one. Again, I was reminded that there will “NEVER be a perfect time.”

So I signed up. I trained (supported by my “Sole Sisters”).  I connected with fellow bloggers Lacey and Cari during Marathon weekend.  Most importantly, I finished those 26.2 miles with a smile on my face.

best weekend ever!

I could go on and on. I am sure I was given a lot of other good advice related to fitness.  (Much of which I have probably ignored LOL)


I’m also linking up here:

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

Happy Running! What is the best fitness advice you have ever received?  Does any of the advice I received apply to you too? Please share.

Four Somethings for August

January 2018 Share Foru Somethings #ShareFourSomethings

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

1. Something Loved.

Hiking.

I work full-time so I haven’t had time to do any many hikes as I would have liked. But I did take off THREE Mondays from work explicitly for this purpose.

The first one was Cat and Thomas Mountains in Bolton Landing, NY

The second was Vroman’s Nose in Middleburgh, NY

And the last one was Moxham Mountain in Minerva, NY.

I enjoy being one with nature. I also enjoy the challenge (as long as it’s not dangerous for this amateur hiker.) I enjoy the exercise.

Have you done a lot of hiking this summer?

2. Something Read.

Back to my crime mystery borrowed collection.

Undone is a novel by bestselling author Karin Slaughter which combines characters from her Will Trent series and her Grant County series.

I’;m pretty sure I’ve read one or more of these before but not sure which one(s).

It is obviously a crime thriller that is suspenseful up to the bitter end.  What I really enjoy in her books are the main characters and their relationships – Special Agent Will Trent and his partner, Faith Mitchell.

I look forward to the next one to be follow to follow up on their lives especially the challenges.

Have you read this or Slaughter’s other novels?

3. Something Treasured.

Lake Time.  

It has not been the same as past summers, obviously.

But the weather has cooperated on Sundays and Lake George has remained as beautiful as ever.

Each week, we pick a different island to dock our boat at. Different views but the same activities: swimming, eating, drinking, relaxing, reading, etc.

A place to forget about all the problems in the world.

Do you have a summer place or activity that you treasure?  

4. Something Ahead.

??

Last month, I mentioned a Race-cation to NH with 9 friends to run a half marathon.  That is still in limbo. The race is now virtual (NO deferral option and NO refund). Will we still go?  Will it be safe to go?

The next race-cation is in February in Florida. Is this one in jeopardy too???

Publix Fort Lauderdale A1A Marathon

Are you looking forward to anything?


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! What are your somethings? Share at least ONE.