TT: What’s New This Year?

The topic for today is: Share your favorite running item(s) you’ve tried this year 

I am a creature of habit so I have not tried anything new that I can think of except for new shoes and new races.


I pretty much only wear Topos ever since I was diagnosed with a neuroma because of their wide toe box. (I already have Magnifly, Ultrafly and Flylyte.) But I did try two new styles:

  • Topos Phantom – These have a 5mm drop and more support and cushioning than the other Topos.  I like to wear them for long runs and long races.
  • Topos Cyclone – These also have a 5mm drop. But they are much lighter and less supportive.  I like to wear them for short races.

As with many of the Topos, I struggle with the lacing. It is often hard to get them tight enough and to get them to stay tied. 

Magnifly Topos are my favorites but still Thumbs Up for both of these.


I love to race and love to try new races and routes.  Many of my go-to races were not happening due to COVID.
These are the races that I have never run before:

  • A1A Fort Lauderdale Half Marathon – 13.1 miles (in Fort Lauderdale) along the eastern coast of Florida (recap)
  • Electric City 5 Miler – a new race along the Mohawk River in Schenectady, NY (recap)
  • Prospect Mountain Road Race – a challenging 5.6 miles to the top of a mountain ending with beautiful views of Lake George (recap)
  • Miles on the Mohawk 10 Miler – a point-to-point race along the Mohawk (recap)
  • Rabbit Ramble 4 Miler – a new location on the rolling hills of Altamont, NY (recap)
  • Firecracker 4 – a very popular race on July 4th in Saratoga, NY (recap)
  • FASNY 5k – a new race in Saratoga State Park (recap)
  • Run for the Roses 5K – a hilly race in Grafton Lake State Park (recap)
  • Whipple City 10k – even hillier race in the countryside of Greenwich, NY (recap)

I would give them all up THUMBS UP!!

Happy Running! What’s new with you? What items (or races) have you tried this year? Please share. 


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

I’m also linking up here:

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

Running with Idols

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 go on a run with any celebrity, who would you go with?

Wow, this is hard. How can I pick one person??

So my first pick would be Joan Benoit Samuelson.

Photo: Tony Duffy/Getty Images

If you have never watched this video, you must (with tissues nearby): Joan Benoit 1984

I’m old enough to remember the 1984 Olympics in LA.  I was actually in Israel at the time.  No interest in running.  I think I watched the gymnastics events only.

Joan qualified for the race 2 weeks after having knee surgery!!!

Then I started running.  And Joan Benoit Samuelson has become my IDOL… She is in her 60s too and she is STILL running and trying for records. (Our birthdays are both in MAY as well!)

I actually met her a few years ago at the Freihofer Run for Women Expo. (I even got her autograph.)

I was also lucky enough to run with her when she came to Albany, NY back in 2012 to premiere her movie.

My second pick may not be someone everyone knows. She is not a former Olympian but she has become my newest idol – Jeannie Rice.
Her Marathon Time Is Astounding—And Not Just for 71 - WSJ
This lady is 72 years old has been running for 37 years without a single injury. She holds the world and/or national record at every distance.

She has run 150 marathons and still runs at least 11-12 miles each day (6-8 marathons a year.)

If you have time, listen to her interview on this podcast.

Both of these older runners have not let age hold them back.  Obviously, they have native ability but we know that just gets you so far.  I’d love to run with either of them and hopefully their zest for life and running would rub off on me.

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! Who is your running idol(s)? And whom would you love to run with? Please share.

Favorite Running Views/Places

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

The Topic for today is: My Favorite Running Places

Unfortunately, this summer I have not been running on my top picks so some of these are nostalgic.

I love scenic routes (especially those along the water) and I enjoy variety.

  • New York City

in Central Park

along the East River

along the Hudson River

  • Bolton Landing (upstate NYS)


  • Washington Park (Albany) 

in the spring


and fall

  • Zim Smith Bike Path 


  • The Crossings

  • Albany Rail Trail


There are a few more that I haven’t mentioned here as well:

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 criteria do you use when picking a favorite route? Are you still running on  your favorite routes during the Pandemic? Please share.

Four Somethings for March

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, 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!

Oops I’m a little late…

1. Something Loved.

My Visit to Montreal.  NYC is my favorite city. I used to take my students (as I was a French teacher) to Montreal often years ago.  I also ran a race there a few years ago.

But this time, I went with a friend as a spur of the moment weekend get away.

We explored the city. I ran, of course. We attended the interactive Van Gogh  exhibit (the highlight of the trip) as well as the Barbie expo (1000 Barbies all in one place.) We ate some delicious French meals and drove to the top of Mont Royal.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Have you been to Montreal lately? If so, what did you do there?

2. Something Said.

3. Something Learned.

I cannot retire yet.

I hate staying home day after day and I love being around people and having a schedule.

I even miss wearing nice clothes and makeup.

my office with only my cat to talk to

Do you enjoy staying at home? What do miss when you are forced to stay home?

4. Something Read.

Running with Sherman: The Donkey with the Heart of a Hero by [McDougall, Christopher]

I recently finished reading this book.

The best-selling author of Born to Run, Chris McDougall agreed to take in a donkey from an animal hoarder after he and his family moved from Philadelphia to the heart of Pennsylvania Amish country. In order to heal this neglected donkey, Chris had to give it a job which turned out to be running and competing in a race. A lot could go wrong and did.

I didn’t love it as much as I expected. It was drawn out and too much back story. Not as much about running as I had hoped.

That being said, it was interesting and at times, heart-warming.  So I would still recommend reading it yourself.

Have you read this book? If so, what did you think?

There is a link-up organized by Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner).

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

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

United Half Marathon VIRTUAL Half Marathon Race Recap

Image result for united new york half marathon 2020

March 15, 2020

It seems like I’ve been planning this race forever.  I got a guaranteed entry last April based on my finish time at the Helderberg to Hudson Half Marathon (2:11:15).

66 so that was helpful as you can see. May get to run it again when I turn 70.

I was hoping to run the race when the course was only through Manhattan. (As of last year, it starts in Brooklyn.) And I had entered the lottery several times in the past but never got in.

So I signed up for the NYC Half Marathon as my 42nd Half Marathon for several reasons:

  • I got a guaranteed entry.
  • I love NYC.
  • I had enough pts for a free hotel room.
  • I ran it last year while recovering from a calf injury and wanted a do over.
  • I had friends running it.
  • They kept last year’s course which got rid of most of the Central Park hills at the end.
  • It’s such a prestigious race. How could you not?

Half Marathon Training:

If you follow my posts, you also know that I am not strict about following a training plan.  I ran my last half marathon on February 16 in Bermuda with LOTS of foot pain.

happy to have survived the pain!!

I skipped or shortened runs and sought the help of PT who used CBD oil, massage, ART, heat ultrasound, laser therapy and every trick in the book. No relief!

My PT recommended that I see another podiatrist who gave me a B12/cortisone shot and a metatarsal pad.

Pain GONE! (mostly)

Do I wish I had gone sooner to her? Or was it not the shot but a combination of all of the treatments?? Who knows?

Though I don’t usually care much about my short runs, I do like to get in a 10, 11 and 12 miler before each half marathon.

For this race, I obviously did not. A few short runs each week and a longish one.  All with some foot discomfort (until recently).

Yes, I was nervous that I was not prepared for run 13.1 miles and I was nervous about my foot pain returning.

So the goal for this half marathon was finishing!! If my foot started to bother me, I would just grit my feet and finish.  It’s a BIG race, There would be many runners finishing behind me.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

And then it happened. As you know, the RACE WAS CANCELLED!!

Over 25,000 disappointed runners.

I ran it last year. I felt so fortunate.

running down Times Square was truly amazing!!

But I was still bummed.

You had the choice of a refund or deferring to next year with no refund for this year and having to pay again for the race. I opted for the refund.

Most runners will not get their shirt or medal because of some greedy persons (who took extras and are selling them on eBay) but I had a friend in NYC who grabbed mine.

So the race was not happening, but I felt guilty about getting the medal and shirt and I wanted to run the race anyway.

I contacted my friends and two agreed to run 13.1 miles with me.

We decided on our normal long run day which is Saturday and planned to meet at 8:00 at the Nisky Bike Path.

running at Nisky Bike Path (on a warmer day)

I worked all day (standing) the day before but relaxed at mah jongg after my usual pre-race dinner of pizza.

Race Day:

I got up early and had my usual race breakfast of oatmeal and coffee.

I checked the weather it looked to be in the 30s and heading up to 40 and a little windy. I didn’t have to worry about bag check and could just leave extra clothes in my car.

Our plan was to run 4 miles in one direction and turn around, make a stop at our cars for water or to remove layers.

As you see, I tried to incorporate some NYC in my outfit: last year’s half shirt, LeBow hat and NYC calf sleeves.

Sherry and I run about the same pace but Stan runs considerably faster. He was nice enough to slow down. I insisted on walking every 2 miles to simulate a water stop (and to catch my breath.)

The course we chose is fairly flat. It was actually warm running with the wind at our backs but then a little chilly running into the wind (but not bad as the trees protected you on this path,)

At the 4 mile turn around, I ate a gel and then had water at our mile 8 stop. I changed to lighter gloves, from my Hokas to my Mizunos, and almost shred my vest. Stan changed hats.

Then we continued in the other direction.

I was getting tired and struggled to keep up. But it certainly helps to have someone to talk to the whole way and we stuck together.

Again we walked every 2 miles and I had my second gel at mile 10.5, our second turn around.

Then we headed back to the car.

We bumped into another friend Chris who was running as she headed back with a cowbell to cheer us on.

And we finished…13.1 done!!

So no crowd support or bridges or parks or Times Square but we did it.  Thanks to Sherry and Stan! I earned that medal and this:

Additional Race Reflections:

We finished at 2:31:39. Our average pace was 11:34. It felt faster but then we walked slowly and for longer than necessary and we chatted a lot. No regrets on that pace.

I am unbelievably happy to have run without that awful left foot pain.

But yes again the bunion on my other foot hurt while wearing the Hokas. (I’m returning them.)

I may go back to my Mizuno Wave Inspires or try something else.

Yes, I am sad that I could not run the real United NYC Half Marathon.

Maybe when I am 70, I’ll be able to run it again.

The Good:

  • The weather
  • flat course
  • friends to run with
  • slept in my own bed the night before
  • view of Mohawk river
  • great post race meal

The Bad:

  • tired legs
  • no water stops
  • no crowd support
  • bunion pain

The Ugly:

  • Nothing 🙂

Would I recommend this race?

Sure but only if you cannot run the real thing!!!

Final Stats:

Next Up:

A local race. The second year for this race. A downhill course. Lots of running friends. Should be fun… IF IT IS NOT CANCELLED!!

Image result for helderberg to hudson half marathon

Update: it was postponed until August 29, 2020

There is now a link-up organized by Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner).

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

I’m linking up also with this link-up:

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! Was anyone else planning to run this race? If so, did you run it virtually?  Would you run it virtually, if your race were cancelled? Please share.


Fred LeBow Half Marathon Race Recap

NYRR Fred Lebow Half-Marathon 2020 logo

January 19, 2020 – 8:00 am

This race honors the late NYRR president and New York City Marathon co-founder, Fred Lebow (1932–1994). The course is two-plus loops of Central Park, which can be a challenge in January! Join the mid-winter fun and camaraderie—and perhaps kick off your training for a spring marathon. You’ll have lots of good-spirited company, and you can enjoy classical music (Fred’s favorite) at the start as well as inspiring Fred quotes along the course!

So I signed up for the Fred LeBow Half Marathon as my 40th Half Marathon for several reasons:

  • I love NYC.
  • I love running in Central Park.
  • I had enough pts for a free hotel room.
  • I had thought my NYC BRFs Cari and Elizabeth may be running it too.
  • It was held on President’s Day weekend so I had the next day off from work.
  • Fred Lebow?!

Half Marathon Training:

If you follow my posts, you also know that I am not strict about following a training plan.  After the NYC Marathon and Stockade-athon 15k, I experienced foot pain.

So I stopped running completely for 3 weeks. I was planning to DNS this race.

But then I started back with some short runs and a few longer ones on the weekend.

Though I don’t usually care much about my short runs, I do like to get in a 10, 11 and 12 miler before each half marathon.

For this race, I obviously did not. And all my runs came with some foot discomfort.

Yes, I was nervous that I was not prepared for run 13.1 miles and I was nervous about making my foot worse. And those hills!!!!

So the goal for this half marathon was just finishing!!  It’s a BIG race, There would be many runners finishing behind me.

Update course map – start at east 102nd and end at west 102nd – 2 full loops

Check out this elevation:

starts and ends with Harlem Hill and you hit it in the middle too! along with Cat Hill twice and 3 Sisters.

Yikes.  But no surprise…I have run in this park and I ran the Shape Half Marathon which was also several loops of the park (but different start and end.)

survived but not smiling

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

Several days before the race, we were notified of this change:

Due to construction on the 72nd Street Transverse in Central Park, we have modified the NYRR Fred Lebow Half Marathon course. The race will now feature two larger loops in Central Park starting on East Drive just south of the 102nd Street Cross Drive and finishing on 102nd Street Cross Drive near West Drive.

Hence, three Harlem hills rather than the normal two…lucky me!

I learned some valuable lessons about pre-race prep during a previous race-cation — rest the legs and fuel adequately the day before the race. I was going to make sure that I did both things this time around.

So I took the bus to NYC on Saturday. The weather was horrendous. Snow made my bus arrive an hour late so I immediately headed to the subway (with my luggage) to meet fellow bloggers Deborah (from Confessions of a Mother Runner) and Cari. The three of us had a great time chatting over popcorn and wine at Deborah’s hotel.

Cari was nice enough to have already picked up my bib to save me enough time to get back to check into my hotel and then take the subway to Brooklyn. I had plans to carb load with my friend Stan who was running the race the next day, as well.

Brooklyn pizza is the best. I had 3 slices…no guilt.

The snow had stopped but now it was pouring. I had my fingers crossed that they were right about the sunshine the next day.

I got back to my hotel rather early in order to plan my race day. I have only run one winter half marathon. So it was a challenge to decide on what to wear to keep warm but not too warm for 13.1 miles.

2 shirts, capris and compression socks, beanie, gloves

Luckily I still had some throw always and foil wrap to add to my outfit.

Race Day:

I brought my usual race breakfast of oatmeal and coffee with me and got up around 5:30 am.  It was chillier than I hoped so I put on my throwaway jacket, DIY arm sleeves, grabbed a foil blanket and called an Uber. (My hotel was on West 39th and it would be a long walk from the nearby subway stop at East 102nd to the start.)

snow on the grass and paths but the roads were salted and clear

I had plans to meet Stan (who was taking the subway from Brooklyn) before the race. I got there way too early.  It was easy to find the start and bag check.  But an hour waiting in the freezing cold was too much.

The sun came up and so did the wind. A bunch of us huddled near a generator for warmth. Eventually they shooed us away saying it was dangerous.

Soon Stan arrived and we met at bag check.  I hesitated giving up my jacket but I knew that I would need it after the race. (I should have worn more throwaways.. and brought a heavier jacket for after… duh!)

Eventually, it was time to separate and head to our respective corrals. I was in I and Stan in G. (I was supposed to meet another friend who was in L but never located her.)

I kept on the foil blanket until I started running

I FROZE!!!! Even my teeth were chattering…along with 5000 other runners (a small race for NYC standards.)

I’ll do my best to recap the race below. (Warning: it’ll be long…)

The Race Plan: Do not get injured!! Do make your foot pain worse!!

There would have to be a lot of walking…There would be umpteen hills!! (and 3 Harlems rather than the usual 2!! plus several Cats and many other annoying smaller ones.)

And stop and walk briefly at every water stop (so I wouldn’t get dehydrated even in the cold) and to stop and walk longer to eat a gel at every other water stop.

Anyway, here’s how the race went:

Miles 1-5:

10:36, 10:34, 10:19, 10:22, 10:48

from nyrr fb page

It took a LONG five minutes or so to get to the start line. As I crossed I waved and yelled to Ali from Ali on the Run blog/podcast who was the race announcer.

It was slow going at first due to the crowd but soon after we ascended Harlem Hill for the first time…

My corral had a 2:10 pacer whom I lost immediately. I never did see the 2:20 one.

My foot hurt immediately but as always the pain faded to a dull ache and then increased and decreased throughout the race. It never felt normal nor did it ever prevent me from running.

Once I started running, I realized that I was indeed perfectly dressed. I even took off my gloves.

The roads were wet but they had so much salt on them, they were not slippery.

I ran up most of the hills. My sore foot always feels better running than walking.  Unfortunately, it felt worse on the downhills where I normally can pick up the pace and make up for my slow uphill running.

I was conscious of this and never pushed the pace (even though tempted on those downhills) during the race.

There were water/Gatorade stops almost every mile of the course. I stopped at each one except the first one.

At mile 2, I took my first gel since it had been hours since my breakfast. (I always struggle to get one out of my pocket, open it and drink water and eat it…)

I knew that Cari was going to be cheering for me on the west side at 79th St.  I was counting the blocks until I saw her (around mile 2.5).

I high fived her as I ran by.

Cari’s pic of me as I ran by

So we continued circling the park… many small annoying hills and then the 2nd largest hill, Cat Hill. I did the same as with Harlem, ran up most and ran slowly down.

Soon we were back on the east side and passed Fred Lebow.  Every runner waved to him as they ran by.

I didn’t stop to get my camera out,,,this was taken on a different run

Miles 6-10:

10:09, 11:44, 10:48, 10:51, 11:13

We passed the start and that meant we were heading for round 2 of Harlem Hill.  I also took my 2nd gel at one of the water stops. They had Honey Stingers and I searched until I found a chocolate one.

credit – cheereverywhere – can always muster up a smile for the camera

As we headed for the west side again, I was looking forward to seeing my friends Cari and Elizabeth. I so appreciated them being there to cheer me on.

And since this was the second loop of the park, there was Cat Hill again, and the statue of Fred and hill after hill after hill.

credits: cheereverywhere – my favorite sign

Miles 11-13.4:

12:21, 11:31, 12:08, 9:05

I ate one more gel since another Harlem Hill was coming for the THIRD time.

At this point, I wanted to be done.  I got a side stitch and it persisted until mile 13. Maybe because I had not done more than 10 miles for a long run.  Who knows? It took my mind off my achy foot.

I ran next a lady struggling with knee pain.  We decided to help each other get to the finish (and swore together about adding that 3rd Harlem Hill).

Finally we turned toward the finish line and then turned again.

I ran as fast as I could…. (Adrenaline took over here!)

I immediately got my medal, my foil sheet and posed for a quick pic.

I grabbed a bagel and pretzels and headed to bag check where Stan was waiting for me.

I was freezing… The wind had picked up… So glad that I didn’t throw that jacket away (wished I had brought my warmer one.)

We headed out of the park, walked many many blocks (oh my foot!!) to the subway and then I walked to my hotel to pack and take a long hot shower.

I met Stan again for lunch and to recap our race experiences. In spite of the pain, the cold, the loops, the monster hills, we did not regret running the race.


Since it had gotten much colder and windier, we both decided to leave the city earlier than planned.

Additional Race Reflections:

Garmin time=2:25:42
Chip time = 2:26:31

My finish time was way slower than my previous two half marathons. (Surf Town 9/8/19 – 2:16:08 and Sacandaga 5/19/19 -2:13:03) which was to be expected. (May have been a PW and definitely the slowest since 2011, my first year.)

As you can see from the stats above, my splits were slower than 9 minute miles and too many over 11 or 12.

Enough whining…I am so grateful to be able to visit NYC and run a race. I am unbelievably happy that after the race, my foot did not hurt worse than before.  My legs felt great. Zero DOMS!!

All in all, I thought this was a great race.

As usual, I wore some new items:

  • race hat – it was warm and comfortable
  • NYC Marathon race shirt  – also worked out well (love wearing race shirts – great conversation starter)
  • Injini toe socks and toe spacer (for my bunion) – got a blister in a new spot but no blister on the other foot where I often get one ??

The tried and true items:

  • Mizuno Wave Inspires (been experimenting with Altras and Brooks) that I had worn for the marathon
  • Skirt Sports Lotta Breeze capri skirt – had a drawstring to keep it tight and 2 pockets for ID, cards and gels
  • Legendware compression calf sleeves – kept my legs warm and supported my calfs
  • Dollar store gloves – secondary use was to wipe my runny nose lol
  • Spi belt for my phone and to attach my bib

The Good:

  • Easy packet pick-up (several days before at Run Center and also race morning near the start).
  • Many porta potties at the start. Long lines but they moved quickly (I was told – did not use).
  • Bag Check. Well organized before and easy pick up at the end.
  • Water and Gatorade stops at almost every mile or so.
  • Gels available at several water stops
  • Many porta-potties along the course in addition to real CP bathrooms
  • Roads were dry even after the previous day’s snowfall.
  • Friends cheering for support.
  • Well marked course.
  • Great crowd support at the big hills!
  • Clocks at 5k, 10k, 15k, 20k (or even more points).
  • Pacers (useful if you started in the correct corral).
  • Very cool medal.
  • Great winter beanie.
  • No lines for post race refreshments
  • Foil blankets put on and taped close for each runner.
  • Blogger met-up with Cari and Deborah and a friend to share the race experience with before and after.

The Bad:

  • Loops!!!
  • Hills in Central Park.
  • Foot Pain.
  • Side Stitch.
  • The course was LONG.

The Ugly:

  • Harlem Hill – 3 times!!

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Do it if you can.  You won’t regret it (unless you hate hills lol).

No, it’s not an easy course. Only a little over 5,000 runners usually participate so small race by NYC standards.

Final Stats:

Next Up:

A Race-cation. In Bermuda!  Should be a blast…

Image result for zooma bermuda

may still be a hilly race but should be WARMER

There is now a new link-up organized by Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner).

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

I’m linking up also with this new link-up:

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! Ever run this race? Have you raced in NYC? What is your favorite half marathon? Ever run one totally under-trained? Please share.


Albany Last Run 5K DNS Race Recap

The Albany Last Run is a very popular local race. In fact, it always sells out (at 1500). The race starts with fireworks and then you run uphill, around the lights in the park and it ends with a downhill. I have run it every year since 2010 and it is one of my favorite races.

This is the course map:

Here are some pics from a previous year:

One year, I ran this race in the rain. Another year, in a blizzard.  This was how I finished the race that year.

snowy, icy and very slippery!!

I was hoping for better weather this year.  Could it be any worse??

Before the race

They used to give out windbreakers for this race and I have them in many colors

I wanted to pick up my bib & shirt beforehand to save time but I was working in NYC.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you may remember that I had foot pain during my last work stint in NYC.  I rested a little.  The pain seemed to fade so I ran two races on Thanksgiving Day and NOT AGAIN SINCE!!!

I would have gone to the doctor but I had to work all last week in NYC.  I did do zero running but I admit there was a lot of walking involved.

The foot pain continued.

So I made the difficult decision to DNS one of my favorite races of the season.

In addition to this race being fun, my running friends gather afterwards for a pot luck dinner.

Yes, it was depressing to get dressed up and not run but the logistics to meet up after would have been too hard if I did not go to the race.

So I decided to go to the race.

Of course, I debated about what to wear… I like to look festive. But it was COLD. I wanted to watch the race but if I were not running, I would be freezing.

I wore much of the same layers as I did last year.

I carpooled with Barbara. Normally we leave my car where I use to take yoga classes.  (I hate that crowded parking garage) and walk the mile or so to the race start. But with a sore foot, that would have been a dumb idea.  It turned out that using the parking garage was super easy to get in and out.

As I mentioned, it is a popular race and I bumped into all sorts of people that I knew– runners from my turkey trot training group, runners from work, runners from tennis and FB friends, etc. (I wanted to have worn a sign that said I HAVE A SORE FOOT!!)

I purposely did not wear running shoes so I would not be tempted to run the race. I also gave my bib (217) to my friend’s granddaughter.

I kept the long sleeved tech shirt (though it was uni-sex and too big)

I chatted with other runners until it was time to head out. It was fun to see all costumes and how everyone creatively got into the holiday spirit. There were over 1500 runners and most everyone was dressed up.

Finally we all left our warm home to go watch the pre-race fireworks. Everyone headed to the start so I watched the fireworks alone.

The fireworks were awesome and I enjoyed them more than usual since I was not anxious to start the race.

About 20 minutes later, the race finally did start.  I wore a long down coat but forgot my gloves so I went inside.

By the time, I got back out there, the speedy runners were finishing. I stood around waiting for all my friends to finish.

the first two to cross

This may have been the best weather we’ve ever had for this race but if you were not running, it was COLD!!! my feet and hands were frozen.

Eventually everyone was done…some ran, some ran slowly and some walked. One of the gang even won her age group.

Every year there are raffle prizes. They randomly pick bib numbers.  Guess what??? I won.  And my friend’s granddaughter was nice enough to give me one of the the prizes – $25 gift certificate to a local restaurant (OK — no $$ loss on this race then LOL)

After the race, we all took off and headed to the post-race pot luck dinner. It was a fun time.

I didn’t run the race. SH##t happens but I am grateful to my running friends for times like this.

The Last Run is a standard on my racing list each year. Hopefully, I will be able to run it in future years!!!

Injury Update:

Good News. Nothing wrong with my foot.
Bad News. Nothing wrong with my foot.

Image result for sore ball of foot"

Diagnosis: Sore foot. It may be sore caused by pressure from the bunion or high arches or tight shoes, etc.

Treatment: Anti-Inflammatory med 2x per day for 2 weeks. No walking or Running for 3 weeks or so. He said even if he found a neuroma or stress fracture, the treatment would be the same – no walking or running for several weeks.

I have to go back Jan 3 and if it still hurts, he’ll schedule an MRI.

Just love doctors!!

There is a link-up organized by Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner).

Since today is Tuesday, I’m also linking up with these ladies and you should too.

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

and Wild Workout Wednesday with NicoleAnnmarieJen, and Michelle.

Happy Running?  How was your weekend? Did you run in a holiday race this year? Have you ever DNSed race but went to cheer your friends on?


Jailhouse Rock 5K Race Recap

August 17, 2019 – 8:15 am

I’ve done this race 5 times before. And I’ve always enjoyed it.

My previous times were: 2009 – 31:04, 2010 – 29:49, 2012 – 30:58, 2014 – 28:25, 2016 – 28:33.

In 2010, I was recovering from an achilles injury and in 2012 from a broken ankle. And obviously healthy in 2014 and 2016.

If I ran it again this year, I would be trying for at least a course PR but with racing, you just never know how things will turn out.

I remembered that in this race, you walk up a hill to start the race and you finished running down this hill. Couldn’t be any better than that. Right?

For some reason, I haven’t run this race the past two years. This year, I signed up because it fit into my schedule

Well, sorta. I should have been running a 12 mile LSD run per my marathon training plan. And I had been in NYC working all week (ran a 5k on Wednesday night) and got back late the night before.  Not ideal.  But welcome to my life!

The race started at 8:15 at the Brookside Museum in Ballston Spa which is about 45 minutes away from my house. I dragged myself out of bed at 5:30 am and left around 6:45 am.

across the street from the museum

This nice local race usually has about 200-300 runners. There’s no parking lot but it is easy to find parking on the street.  There are bathrooms in the museum which is always a plus.

I got there early enough to find a close spot and use the rest room (in the museum). The temps were warm and insanely humid.  (Almost as humid as Wednesday night but with sun).

instead of a shirt, you got a buff – very happy since I have enough shirts

I bumped into a few runners that I knew and chatted until it was time to walk all the way up the hill to the start.

There I found my friend Laurie, whom I knew was running this race.

We started together but I lost her quickly.

The first mile was a gradual uphill but nothing too steep.  I was going to try to hold back but my legs felt like lead so I didn’t need to worry about that. Boy, was it humid!!!!

I was hoping to run the whole thing but around halfway at the water stop, I was out of breath so I stopped and walked for a while. The humidity was killing me.

Mile 2 seemed to be flat but every time I tried to speed up, I felt out of breath so I walked again and again. I knew I had to give up on hopes of a PR and just finish the race.

I walked several times during the last mile.

I knew there was that downhill to the finish… but it seemed forever in coming.

Finally I got to the steep downhill, I wish I was confident enough to go all out but I was afraid of falling flat on my face so I held back.

Then I saw the clock.  It was 28:xx and I ran as fast as I could.

I crossed at 28:30. (There was no timing mat at the beginning).

Although I was dripping wet, I did not feel as bad as I did Wednesday night.  Most likely because I walked several times the last mile.

I grabbed some water and a banana and chatted with some friends while waiting for Laurie.

sweaty but glad to be done

I checked the screen to see if I won an award. My name was not listed so I talked to the person doing the timing and he manually entered my time.

that is a one speedy 60 year old…glad I’m usually in the next age group

They gave awards for 10 year age groups and I won 2nd.

a big cookie – yum!


mile 1 –  9:08
mile 2 – 9:14
mile 3 – 9:05
.14 -7:21

No PR (over a minute faster in June on a harder course.) No course PR. (just a little slower.)

Coincidentally, I recently posted about slowing down.  Well, maybe I am. My last two 5ks have not been stellar performances but I’m not giving up on speed. I’ll attribute it for now to the weather and weariness.

I decided after the race to go to the Zim Smith Bike Path to run 9 more miles.

UGH!! I did not want to…

It was 10 am by the time I started, sunny, still humid and I was BEAT!!!!

The run SUCKED!!! I ran, walked, dragged my feet but got it done.

The only thing that got me through it was some podcasts during and Leah’s Cakery’s chocolate milk at the end!

There is a link-up organized by Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner).

Since today is Tuesday, I’m also linking up with these ladies.

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

Happy Running! Did you race this weekend? Do you have a big race coming up? Please share.




Hudson River Ramble Race Recap

In 2016, I discovered an 8.4 mile race called Race the Train that sounded interesting. You took a train ride along the Hudson River and then raced the train back.  I signed up.  It was lots of fun even with the challenging hills.  I even ran it again in 2017.

Here is the course map.  You can see what I mean about the long early hill.


Well, the train has been discontinued. No Race the Train without a train so now the race is called the Hudson River Ramble. This year was its inaugural year.

Instead of a train, buses transported runners from Johnsburg School to Riverside Station.  Otherwise it was basically the same course. 8 miles (instead of 8.4) beginning on Riparius Bridge and going along the wooded rolling hills of river road a seasonal use dirt road paralleling the Hudson River, turning left to the flats and finishing across from Johnsburg Central School parking lot (instead of the train depot).


Riparius bridge

I thought about staying the night before the race at a friend’s who lived nearby but I got out of work very late. Instead I took the hour and 35 minute drive north on race morning.

The forecast for where I lived was showers and thunderstorms and it rained my whole drive up.  But where the race took place, it was supposed to be sunny and warm.

The rain stopped as I neared the school.  It was in the high 50s (I hadn’t felt those temps in a while and I was almost chilly) but I knew once the sun got higher in the sky, it would warm up (and it really did!)

school parking lot

I arrived around 7:30 am and picked my race packet (a cotton shirt, a bib and a raffle ticket). There were REAL restrooms inside the school too. Always a plus.

cotton unisex shirt Boo!

I was early so I walked around and wound up chatting with a runner, Judy, from NC. We talked running, racing, injuries and she told all about her struggles with recovering from cancer.

matchy matchy I guess because I got many compliments about my outfit

Soon it was time to board the bus. Judy and I sat together.  Obviously not as fun as riding the train and no scenic views of the Hudson River either.

It was still only 8:30 am when we arrived at the train station so I just walked around. I felt really sleepy. I was wondering how I was gong to run 8 hilly miles. I took a SIS energy gel hoping for some energy.

What were my plans for this race?

No goals. I would automatically get a PR (my first race at this distance) and it would be nice if I got an age group award. But my real goal was really just to finish pain-free and enjoy the run.

And that’s what I did.

We started on the bridge as the previous race did. Judy sprinted ahead and disappeared. I just stayed with the crowd (which was much smaller than the previous races.)

The first mile and 1/2 was a STEEP uphill. First on asphalt and then on dirt. I attempted to run but decided that I would be better off walking. Everyone that was running was struggling.  So I ran a little but mostly walked. There was a runner ahead with a neon green shirt. I tried to keep her in my sight and did until the last few miles. Then there was a guy who passed me in a blue shirt. I stayed behind him the whole race.  (Many others did pass me by.)

A young runner and I were running together for a bit and she asked me to run with her. I said “Sure” and we stayed together running a little but mostly walking. But I guess I am lousy running buddy because I lost her and I’m not sure how or when.

There was someone who called out times at every mile. I was hoping to get my pace to between 10 and 11 and keep it there even if I walked the hills. That didn’t really happen (as I found out after the race when I looked at my splits. I never look during a race.)

There were a water/Gatorade stop at every 1.5 mile or so.  I stopped and walked at each one as it was sunny and getting warmer and warmer.  It was probably very humid as well because the temps were only in the high 70s.

Anyway, that first long uphill eventually turned into a downhill but after that it was just rolling hills. They never ended. (How could I have forgotten them??) They weren’t steep or as long except for maybe 2 more steepish ones (The one between mile 5 and 6 was so steep. I could barely walk up it.) That meant there were only 2 more steep downhills.

But because you were running on dirt with rocks, you couldn’t take advantage of the downhills as much as you would have liked. (I always fear a face plant.) And it was very sandy in parts and hard to run fast (even if I wanted to).

My legs felt tired from the get go. Was it from my 3.5 mile trail run on Thursday night? Or 4.5 miles on Wed? (I rarely run more than 3 miles on a weekday run.) Or most likely that I didn’t get a lot of sleep this past week.

It was hilly but I have fared better on hills in the past. I walked way too much and let the hills get the best of me. (I know, do hill repeats. That’s ain’t gonna happen.)

However, the scenery was nice as you ran through the woods (I missed hearing the train whistle as it passed you by) and toward the end, you could see the river. Eventually, you had to run through town in order to return to the high school. The end of the previous race was flat as it ended at the train station. This race added a few more (unappreciated) hills as we finished across from the high school.

Though I had no time goals, I estimated that I would finish between 1:28 and 1:24.  I finished at 1:26:52. (Of course, I hoped for faster.)

Instead of a medal, you got a key chain (with a light)

It was a course PR of course and an 8 mile race PR. 

But I was disappointed as my pace was slower than on the Race the Train course and much slower than on other hilly courses.

I waited at the finish for my friend Sue to cross and the runner that I was supposed to run with.  Both had a tough race.

I went back to the school to get some food.

There were bagels, fruit and lots of homemade baked goods but the highlight was chocolate milk and watermelon.

I ate, chatted and waited around for the awards.

Remember my new friend Judy (the cancer survivor with all those medical problems)? She finished second female (at age 60)!!!

There were 3 in my age group and we all won hats.

After the awards, they gave away raffle prizes but as in the past, I did not win any.

All in all, a very challenging yet fun race. I think I’ll do it again (since I’ll probably block out any memory of those hills LOL)

My HILLY Splits:

mile 1 – 11:28
mile 2 – 11:23
mile 3 – 9:39
mile 4 – 10:59
mile 5 – 10:51
mile 6 – 11:35
mile 7 – 10:59
mile 8 – 11:00

A BOTP finish (50 out 68) and many miles over 11.  A rare occurrence.  But it is what it is and on to the next race (and marathon training).

As I drove back to the marina where we keep our boat, I passed a sign for a hiking trail that I usually do each summer – Cat and Thomas Mountains.  I have yet to hike this summer so on a whim (yes after 8 hilly miles), I stopped, grabbed my water, changed into my hiking shoes (they are always in my car, phew) and started walking up the mountain.

It was around noon and quite warm but at least it was pretty shady but way longer to the top of Thomas Mountain than I remember (like 2 miles or so STRAIGHT UP!!).

I did finally get to the top…

I admired the view, chatted with some folks and then decided not to continue on to Cat Mountain and walked down to my car.

It was actually a perfect recovery for my legs, I think.

The next day, we went back up to go boating, my legs felt great (even with all the hills).

near the marina – just spreading my wings while waiting for friends to show up to go boating on the lake.

There is a link-up organized by Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner).

Since today is Tuesday, I’m also linking up with these ladies.

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

Happy Running! Did you race this weekend? Do you have a big race coming up? Do you struggle on hilly races or do you prepare for them?  How do you recover from a hilly race? Please share.




An A.R.T.ful Approach to a Running Injury

So I love museums and all art-related things but that is not the topic here.  This ART relates to injury prevention and injury recovery.

Image result for active release technique

ART stands for Active Release Techniques. It is usually done by a licensed chiropractor or PT.

I am not an expert but since I am currently undergoing it, I thought I’d learn about it and share what I’ve learned here.

So what are Active Release Techniques?

They are defined as “a soft tissue method that focuses on relieving tissue tension via the removal of fibrosis/adhesions which can develop in tissues as a result of overload due to repetitive use.”

How is it done?

Instead of treating a general area, the chiro uses his/her hands to feel for abnormal or damaged tissue in muscle, fascia, tendons, ligaments or nerves.

In my case, it was my leg but she also worked on my lower back.

He/she then applies intense and repetitive movement-based massage techniques to release buildup of dense scar tissue, restore normal function and decrease bad pain.  My chiro also used a metal instrument (for “scraping”) in addition to her hands.

Is it painful?

Yes and no. Everyone’s pain threshold is different. But on the whole, it hurts!!

I had painful bruises on my leg after the first session.

How many sessions do you need?

That depends as well.  Some respond after one treatment and others need more.  Also it depends on the severity of the injury or if it is just prevention (as in before a big race) or maintenance throughout the year.

Sometimes, you can be in more pain than before the treatment.

I have 6 sessions scheduled (2 sessions per week) which is what is recommended for injuries.

Is it always successful?

I am sure not always but I have read many reports that ART has helped.

The verdict is still out for me.

When should you use it?

Any runner in training is a candidate for ART because it can fix things before the runner even knows there’s an issue. So it can prevent injury.

Of course, if a runner is injured, ART promotes faster recovery and restoration of normal tissue function.

Why am I trying it?

If you know me, you should be surprised.

I have never gone to a chiropractor. I have never even had a massage.  I don’t stretch or foam roll.

So with my first injury, I freaked especially since for the first time ever, I have FOUR half marathons and a 15k in FOUR months and I signed up for my FIRST MARATHON!!!!!!!

Normally, I would just either run through it or just rest for awhile.

With a half in a few weeks, I was worried about not running, losing my training and going into the race, untrained or continuing to train and making my injury worse.

So I’ve rested my leg for the most part, asked my fellow runners for advice and I took the one that made the most sense (to me).

A coach recommended a chiro who specializes in ART. She said what I wanted to hear.  “It will fix everything and you will be fine!!”

Photo Cred: Performance Place Sports Care – Active Release

Read more about it here:

I even received my FIRST taping (after my 3rd visit)- supposed to reduce swelling and speed up the healing…fingers crossed

As you know, the Tuesdays on the Run link up has been retired. There is now a new link-up organized by Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner). The new link up is called Tuesday Topics and starts today!!

Since today is Tuesday, I’m also linking up with these ladies.

I’m linking also up with Coaches Corner–Debbie, Susie, Lora, and Rachel!

and Wild Workout Wednesday with Nicole, Annmarie, Jen, and Michelle.

Happy Running! Anyone hear of ART or have used it successfully?