Friday Five 2.0 – 2017: The Year of Running with Friends

It’s Friday so I’m linking up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostesses and visit some other bloggers.

So today, I am going to start looking back on this past year.

I had several years that I could name The Year of Injuries and Recovery (2011, 2012, 2013). And a few that I could name The Year of the PR (2014, 2015). And then 2016 was The Year of the Half Marathon (I ran 6).

But this year, there were NO injuries. Hooray for that. There were a few PRs and 6 halfs but what made this year special were those runs/races shared with friends – both new and old.

Image result for running with friends

1. I ran the Polar Cap Run, Freihiofer Run for Women and the Race the Train with my former blogger friend, AJH, now running friend from VT. She loves to travel and race as much as I do. I am so jealous that she has retired. Hopefully that means more opportunities to run with me.

2. Strange circumstances put Sue and I together for the Shape Half Marathon. We had so much fun that we returned to NYC to run the France Run together. Hopefully we will run the Brooklyn Half or another race together in 2018.

3. Thanks to Judy, I got to participate a girls race-cation for the Wine Glass Half Marathon. This group of runners and I have continued our bonding at other races and weekly runs.

4. Some of last year’s PCB ladies decided to go to Vegas to run the Rock n Roll races. Others returned to PCB. Hopefully we can get the wHOle gang together next year.

5. And lastly, all the friends that I have met through running groups (Freihofer and Turkey Trot challenge, STEM, GOTR), races, social networking, etc. that have supported, motivated and inspired me. You guys rock! And thanks!

Looking forward to more of the same for 2018.

Happy Running! How about you… How would you describe your running in 2017?

TOTR: September Report Card

Image result for welcome september
Fall has arrived. And we had some nice cool dry days but summer temps and humidity did rear their ugly head too.
Here’s how September worked out for me:

Weekday Runs:

I was able to run at least 3 times outdoors each week which is great because I do not have a treadmill at home. I prefer to run 4 times but sometimes it just doesn’t happen.

I ran at UAlbany (near work), near home, in a local park and at the Corning Bike Path. I even ran while in Rochester, Buffalo and Liverpool for work. My weekday runs were usually around 4 miles.

I ran alone most of the time. But Alyssa was able to accompany me a few times and new Judy once. I also hooked up with Laurie, a former turkey trot group member. It’s definitely more fun running with friends.

I thought the Turkey Trot running group started up again on Monday, September 18 and I would get to re-unit with my running friends as well as meet new ones. I even registered.  But it turns out that they changed the day for the first time this year – Tuesdays!!!  I cannot do Tuesdays… So no group runs or drills for me this fall.  Boo Hoo!!!

PP hills, I’ll miss you!!

Long Runs:

Long runs began in preparation for my next half marathon. I also snuck in a half marathon as a training run. The 11 miler was my only decent effort but at least I got the miles in.

Total Mileage:

I have run 87.5 miles this month so far. An increase over previous months and I am still feeling healthy so all is good.


I had several races on my schedule this month.  I skipped a local 5k but instead the next weekend, I ran the Saratoga Palio Half Marathon as a last minute training run.  It was a hot, humid day and I bonked the last 3 miles. I also ran the Helper’s Fun 10K, a hilly small scenic race. For this one, I ran a smart race, had a course PR and won my age group so I was a happy camper.

Cross Training:

I played tennis once (indoor season has started.) Again this month, I was out of town working every Tuesday 😦

I did NOT go to work out at the gym at all!!!! Not once! Nunca! Jamais! And my free membership ends in October!!!!

I thought I might fit in a yoga class. I did NOT!!

I did walk occasionally at lunch. Not everyday like I used to. I find it hard to tear myself away from my desk and I have been traveling a lot.

I finally got to go hiking after my 10k race. I loved it!!!

Other News:

The hubby and I continued our boating on the weekends. It was actually warmer in September than in July & August.

Despite working ALOT, I also managed to attend my weekly mah jongg games and monthly dinner with the tennis ladies. 

As you can tell, running is not my whole life. I think it is important to make time for other things that bring you pleasure….family, friends, food….

Feeling healthy so Life Is Good.

Looking Ahead:

Two half marathons (#28 & #29) planned- October 1 in Corning, NY. and November 12 in Las Vegas.

I also have quite a few shorter races planned. I have to squeeze them in before the winter.

This is my list so far for the next 2 months:

  • 10-01-17 – Wineglass Half Marathon
  • 10-07-17 – Apple Run 5K
  • 10-14-17 – Great Pumpkin Challenge 10K / ZOOMA Cape Cod Virtual 10K
  • 10-22-17 – ZOOMA Amelia Island Virtual 12k
  • 10-29-17 – Goblin Gallop 5k?
  • 11-11-17 – RnR Vegas 5k
  • 11-12-17 – RnR Vegas Half Marathon
  • 11-18-17 – Girls on the Run 5k (volunteer with STEM) or maybe 11-19-17  – Race to Deliver 4m in NYC
  • 11-23-17 – Troy Turkey Trot 5k and Troy Turkey Trot 10k

I am linking to Deb at DebRuns for her Sepember Race Linkup:

Deb Runs

No monthly goals.

This motto worked for 2016 so I’m sticking with it in 2017!

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

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

Today’s Topic is: Give your running month a letter grade.

I’d say overall a B+.

You know, zero gym attendance, skipping lunch time walks, slacking on those long runs, easy lackluster weekday runs. I know I can do better.

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup



Ultimate Coffee Date – June

Confessions of a Mother Runner

Since today is the first Saturday in June, I am joining up with Coco & Deborah for their ultimate coffee date.

Over coffee or tea…

I’d tell you that my free 3 month gym membership ends today and if I complete my race (Freihofer’s Run for Women), I get another 3 months.

So far, it’s working out. I’ve used the machines at least once a week…sometimes even twice. That’s impressive for me! I’ve not taken any classes. None that interest me fit into my schedule.

Over coffee and tea…

I’d tell you that I am enjoying not having to train for anything.  I can skip runs and run on the weekend whatever distance I choose.  (Oh wait, I always do that LOL).

Seriously, I don’t feel guilty if I only run 4 miles on a Saturday.  But I do have a HILLY 10 miler at the end of this month so I guess I better get out there.

Over coffee and tea…

I’d tell tell you that I am going to miss my group runs.  Both the Freihofer’s and STEM weekly runs are over.  There won’t be anything until September. I am used to not running alone.  I got spoiled.

A group at work says they want to run weekly but they are not very serious (Only one person showed up last week.).  Hopefully Alyssa will keep me company.  Maybe even Barbara?

Over coffee and tea…

I’d tell you that I was just in NYC for work.  I arrived Wednesday and the first I did after checking into my hotel was RUN! I also ran after work on Thursday.  I LOVE RUNNING IN NYC!! I was tempted to run again yesterday but decided to save my legs for today’s 5k.

Over coffee and tea…

I’d tell you that I am also going to NYC for work June 19-21 and July 5-7.  Of course, I tried to find a race during that time.  And there is an informal 5k in Brooklyn on July 5 at 7:10 pm.

Yes, I did sign up…. (only cost $7.50)

Over coffee and tea…

I’d tell you that I am a ZOOMA ambassador. Of course, that means that I promote and run their races.

Image result for zooma ambassador

use DARLENE2017 to get 10% off your race registration

The first one is tomorrow in Annapolis – a half marathon and a 10k.

I have a local 5k today so I guess I will have to add a 5k to my 5k to do the ZOOMA Annapolis Virtual 10K.

Over coffee and tea…

I’d tell you that boating on Lake George has started.  I have been on our boat the past two weekends.  Now I have to coordinate running/racing with boating and the weather.

Happy Running! Got anything to spill? Share it here!


Running Update: 4.10.17-4.16.17


Last Week:

  • Monday – Tonight was week 4 of the Freihofer Challenge Group run. The plan tonight was 10 minute warm-up, then run 4-6 400m @ 5k pace w/200 m rest, then cool-down. It was tough especially since the temps hit 80 degrees today. Though I was one of the slowest of the group, I did 5 repeats each in 1:53  (That’s fast for me).

3 sweaty miles with some needed speed work

Afterwards, I rushed off (without stretching and sweaty) to our mah jongg seder to celebrate the first night of Passover.

  • Tuesday – After setting up for Wednesday’s training, I planned to stop at the Crossings (since I was nearby) to run. But had to go back to work so I ran at Ualbany instead. Another very warm day but I’m not complaining.

  • Wednesday – A scheduled rest day after a long tough day at work. It was also my first day volunteering with the STEM runners.  They are doing the Couch to 5k and being week 1 and day 2, we only ran for 1 minute and walked for 1.5 minutes. It was fun and great to meet the new group.  I hope they stick with it.

week 1, day 2

  • Thursday – Today Alyssa and I decided to run in Washington Park since neither of us had been there in ages. Even though Alyssa didn’t feel great, it was still a decent effort. Better than running alone.

cloudy and chilly…spring is fickle here

  • Friday – Another scheduled rest day due to an after work hair appointment. (I’ve got my priorities.)
  • Saturday – Today I ran the Code Blue 8k. It was a new race for me and I knew that it would be hilly (and it was.) But it was sunny and that made all the difference and I loved the course.

4th in my AG but happy with 46:26 (GT) 46:01 (garmin)

After chatting with my friend Judith for awhile, I decided to continue my run at Saratoga Spa State Park. It had warmed to the 60s and it made for a perfect running day except for a fall about 2 miles in on a trail. With the help of some strangers (tissues & band-aids) and the spring water, I was able to continue my run but settled for 6 more miles rather than the planned 7.

I even washed my blood soaked socks in the spring LOL


This helped forget about my wounds.

  • Sunday – Rest day again but a busy day around the house.

Then we went to my mother-in-law’s for Easter dinner with the family.

Gym was closed so went for a walk instead. Can’t beat the views.

 2 more weeks to go!!

24 miles done with 4 runs and 3 rest days

This Week:

  • Monday – FRW Training Group Run (3-4 miles)
  • Tuesday – 3 miles
  • Wednesday –  STEM group run (week 2 day 2 of Couch to 5k)
  • Thursday – 6 miles with Alyssa
  • Friday3 miles, mah jongg
  • Saturday – rest day, gym
  • Sunday Lake George 5K + 5-7 more miles

Once again, I am linking up for the Weekly Wrap hosted by these wonderful bloggers Holly @ HoHoRuns and Tricia @ MissSippiPiddlin. See rules here.

Happy Running! How is your running going? How is your running weather?


Running Update: 4.3.17-4.9.17


Last Week:

  • Monday – Tonight was the third Freihofer Challenge Group run. We ran 4 miles with 5 one minute strides in the mix. Holy Moley! My legs did not like that. But my back pain is gone. Go figure.

snow has washed away. and yes they make us stretch after.

  • Tuesday – A rainy day but a rest day. After work, I went to hear Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor speak.  What an amazing lady!!

She walked through the audience as she spoke and she shook my hand. Everyone got a free copy of her book too.

  • Wednesday – A nice running day so Alyssa and I met again at the Crossings for a run.

  • Thursday – Another rainy day. I bailed on my run but went to the gym instead.

Machines and the bike. No treadmill!

  • Friday – A scheduled rest day and a stressful day at work followed by an evening with the mah jongg ladies.
  • Saturday – Today I ran the Bacon Hill Bonanza 5k. It was so so windy and cold or at least it felt that way. But I ran a decent race and won my age group.

27.32 and I walked during the last mile.

I was too cold to run more so I left and then changed my mind and stopped at the Zim Smith Trail. My legs were tired and it was one of my worst long runs. I walked. A lot.  And finally gave up after 7 pathetic miles.

The sun came out when I was almost done but it was still cold and windy

  • Sunday – Rest day #4 but a busy day. I even managed to get to the gym for the 2nd time this week.

 3 more weeks to go!!

20 miles done with 3 runs and 4 rest days

This Week:

  • Monday – FRW Training Group Run (4 miles), Mah jongg Seder
  • Tuesday – 4 miles
  • Wednesday – rest day, gym, STEM group run (week 1, day 2 of Couch to 5k)
  • Thursday – 6 miles with Alyssa
  • Friday – rest day, hair appt, mah jongg
  • SaturdayCode Blue 8K race7 more
  • Sunday – rest day, gym?, TAXES!!

Once again, I am linking up for the Weekly Wrap hosted by these wonderful bloggers Holly @ HoHoRuns and Tricia @ MissSippiPiddlin. See rules here.

Happy Running! How is your running going? How is your running weather?


TOTR: What I learned in 2016

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

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

Today’s Topic is: Tell us something new you learned about running in 2016

Well, I learned a few things.

  • Carpe Diem

Yes, Seize the Day.  I got spoiled with the amount of time off (and the salary) that was afforded me with my last job.

I am glad that I took those race-cations because they won’t be as frequent in the future.

You have to take advantage of those opportunities because you don’t know when they will disappear.  (This applies to good health as well as free time.)

  • I can still get faster.

That 5k PR still stands from 2014 but I shocked myself with a half marathon PR.  So I’m not giving up the idea of getting one for the 5k, 10k and 15k …YET.


  • Running is better with others.

It is easier to schedule your running when you run alone. I did that for most of my week day runs last year. However, you run better/faster if you run with someone else and it’s more enjoyable so you may run longer.

I guess that’s why I race so much but this year, in addition to Judy, I have found two more running partners.


Thanks Alyssa and Barbara

Happy Running! What did you learn about running this past year?


November Recap & TOLT

Image result for novemberTime has just flown by.  I can’t believe that it is now December. I feel like I just wrote my October Recap.

Anyway, here’s how November turned out:

Weekday Runs:

We’ve been lucky and had a pretty mild November with very little rain or cold temps (until the last week.) So I was able to run at least 3-4 times outdoors each week which is great because I do not have a treadmill at home.

I ran mostly at UAlbany (near work). It’s easier than driving to run. Plus, it’s now dark when I get out of work.

I ran mostly alone.  Barbara was injured.  Alyssa was busy and I was in NYC one week.

It’s definitely more fun running with friends. I hope I get to do that more next month.

Long Runs:

There were a few of these! One was a 15k race race, one was miles added to a 5k race and one was actually 8 uninterrupted miles.

Total Mileage:

I ran 90 miles this month –  6 fewer than last month (cuz I missed a long run) but I should definitely hit 1000 for the year next month. (After Saturday, I will be at 993!!)



I ran six races this month – a 15k, a 10K and four 5ks.

Yes, 6!!!

I was generally happy with how they all went. I did not have PR goals but my finish times were not far off. I even won an age group award in the Veteran’s Day 5k.


I knew runners at all of the races and they were all super fun. As you can guess I LOVE RACING!! I wish there were more races during the winter months.

Cross Training:

I still play tennis (indoors now.) I am scheduled to play two Tuesdays a month but do get called to sub on some of the other weeks.

I DID NOT go to a single yoga class!! Someday I will. I hope!


Miss you, Maria!

I did NOT workout at the gym or at home at all. Total slacking here again this month!!

I did walk almost every day at lunch for 30 minutes – Either around the outdoor shopping mall to get a Starbucks coffee or around a short nature trail. When I was in NYC, I walked everywhere!!


what’s not to like about working near here for 5 days…

Other News:

My running groups ended this month.

I ran with the Troy Turkey Trot Challenge advanced group several Monday evenings. Those were the only times that I did any speed workouts. I hope to see these women (and do drills) again in the spring for the Freihofer Training Challenge group runs.

I volunteered with STEM group on most Wednesday evenings. Their 5k race took place on Nov. 19. It was a tremendously rewarding experience. I plan to volunteer again with this group, as well.


Jenn on the left is the founder of the group, Kim in the middle is our success story

I extended my race trip to NYC because my friend Anna from Moscow flew in and invited 2 of her Russians friends (now living in DC & Chicago) to join her. We had a busy time yet fun time together. And I got to meet fellow blogger, Karen, again.


Feeling healthy so Life Is Good.

Looking Ahead:

My next half marathon is December 3 and I am very excited. It will also be a blogger meet-up!! I’m actually more excited about this than the race itself.

I do have a few races coming up. Things slow down around here when it gets cold.

This is my list so far for the next 2 months:

  • 12-03-16 – Panama City Beach Half Marathon (in FL)
  • 12-10-16 – Albany Last Run 5K
  • 01-01-17 – HMRRC Winter Series #2 – 3.5M
  • 01-15-17 – HMRRC Winter Series #3  – 10K
  • 01-29-17 –  HMRRC Winter Series #4  – 15K

No monthly goals.

my motto for 2016 & I’m sticking to it!

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

thinking out loud

Happy Running! How did your November turn out? Anything exciting planned for December?


Monday Running Update


Last Week:

  • Monday – The weather really warmed up. It felt like summer not fall.

Usual lunch walk

I returned to the Troy Turkey Training group after a week off.

The hills made this workout tough but I know that these speed drills are important.

  • Tuesday – It was even warmer today – a record high 85 degrees. I had to spend the day inside observing a training.

My view for 7 hours

At least I got in a walk at lunch.

I also played tennis that evening and went out to dinner after, as usual (shared a pizza).

  • Wednesday – We were still enjoying our abnormally warm weather. I was alone today for my run.  Alyssa and Natalie were unavailable and Barbara ran in the am. So I dragged myself through two laps of the campus or 6 miles before my STEM volunteer run. Since I would be busy on the weekend and next week, this could count as my long run.

  • Thursday – A rainy day. No lunch walk. But miraculously the rain stopped and I was able to run with Alyssa. 

Alyssa is that little orange dot. She continued for another UAlbany loop.

Unfortunately I have lost one of my running partners. Barbara fell and chipped a bone in her ankle and is out for 6 weeks. 😦

  • Friday – A well earned rest day. At least today I remember to bring an umbrella so I could take a walk at lunch.

I even skipped mah jongg to stay home and pack and relax.

  • Saturday – Today I had a planned day at Ellms Family Farms with my mentee and her two sons.  But the weather did not cooperate.  We postponed it until next Saturday.  Instead I went to the movies with friends. This is one of my all time favorite books and I was very excited when they made it into a movie.
Image result for a man called ove movie

Loved it!!!

 Then after the movie, I had to rush off to run a 5K race. (Luckily I picked up my bib earlier in the day since it was at a different place than the race.) I came sooo close to bailing on this race.  38 degrees. Windy. Pouring rain. But I ran it. And it was not fun!!

At least I won my age group. $25 LL Bean gift card

  • Sunday – Definitely a busy day.  I took the train with my 9 tennis friends to NYC.  We separated because I was having lunch with college friends, the ones whom I spent my junior year in France with. We have reunions every few years to reminisce.

Image result for cafe un deux trois nyc

    Where else would a bunch of French majors have brunch?

Then I met my tennis friends because we had tickets to a Broadway show.

Image result for waitress show

It was terrific!

2 people missing from the top pic and one on the bottom – ❤ my friends

17.5 miles done with 4 runs and 3 rest days.

This Week:

  • Monday – travel to NYC for work, squeeze in a run after arriving
  • Tuesday – NYC for work, squeeze in a run after work??
  • Wednesday – NYC for work, squeeze in a run after work?? or maybe a show??
  • Thursday – NYC for work, squeeze in a run after work??
  • Friday – NYC for work, travel home
  • Saturday – day at Ellms Family Farms with mentee
  • Sunday 9 mile run
Once again, I am linking up for the Weekly Wrap hosted by these wonderful bloggers Holly @ HoHoRuns and Tricia @ MissSippiPiddlin. See rules here.

Happy Running! How is your running going? Any races?


Friday Five: Not Running Solo

It’s Friday so I am linking up with three DC area bloggers Mar at Mar On the Run, Cynthia at You Signed Up For What?! and Courtney from Eat Pray Run, DC .  Anyone can join with their own Friday Five post (yes, it must be a Friday Five!!)  They encourage you to visit other blogs on the linkup, comment, share and engage!

My Friday Topic is Five Reasons Not To Run Alone

  1.  Safety

Obviously you are safer in numbers. Or at least with one other person.


Especially if you run in the dark – either early morning or late evening, you should not run alone (if you can help it.)

2. Forging Friendships

Running is what you have in common so it’s what brought you to together.

img_2276But while you are running, you wind up chatting about work, family and basically all your problems.  Now you are not just running friends but friends.


Judy & I have even gone to the movies together in addition to planning race-ations.

3. Staying Focused

In order to run with other people, you have to plan.  You have to agree on a time and a place. It’s takes a lot of coordination.


Alyssa works in Albany til 4:30, I work in Guilderland til 4 and Barbara is retired & lives in Delmar – we still manage to run together once a week

After all that planning, you wouldn’t think about skipping the run…even if it is 95 degrees or 10 below.

And if you pay to be part of a training group, you don’t want to waste money and your friends are there, so you show up and run even if it’s raining or you just ran 13 miles the day before.

4.  Improving Your Running

I get very distracted when I run alone.  I stop and take pictures.  I walk when I am tired. When I run with others, I don’t want to slow them down so it forces me to run more consistently.  In fact Alyssa always jokes that even though we don’t try, we always have negatives splits.

with Alyssa

And you are lucky enough to have a faster runner want to run with you, you will get better.


she left me in the dust in this race but we do run together.

5. It’s just plain more FUN.

The miles go by faster.  The hills don’t seem as steep.


11 miles with Denise discovering that we were both French majors at the same college….

Happy Running! Do you prefer to run alone or with others?



Monday Running Update


Last Week:

  • Monday – Tonight was our second Troy Turkey Trot Training group run. Again my legs were tired from the running that I did on Sunday. When this happens, I can’t take full advantage of the training group drills. But I did my best but it was tough.  Thankfully, it got dark before we could run another hilly loop.

  • Tuesday – Just work with a short walk at lunch and tennis in the evening. We went out to dinner after and I shared a pizza. No dessert!
  • Wednesday – I met up with Alyssa for a run before my STEM volunteering. The weather was perfect.  I am still dragging.  Luckily, Alyssa continued on her own for another loop and my STEM group is doing the Couch to 5k walk/run.

Afterward I met my BFF for some steps in the mall.

  • Thursday – My hair appointment interfered with my planned run.  (Hair color is important!!)  Afterward I wanted to squeeze in a short run before it got dark but it was my MIL’s 91st birthday and I had to stop by for dinner & cake.  (Another skipped run! Grrrr!)

ziti, meatballs, lasagna, rum cake – Oh my!

It was nice having all the family together – my MIL, BIL & his son, SIL, 2 stepsons & their girlfriends & my hubby (In the picture above are my MIL, nephew, BIL, sons’ girlfriends)

  • Friday – Rest day but at least I walked at lunch. In the evening,  I had my weekly mah jongg game (at my house)
  • Saturday –  I ran a 5K race.  No PR but 2nd in my AG.  This is one of my favorite 5ks.


Afterward, I ran almost 7 more miles.  I drove to the Zim Trail which has become my favorite place to do a long run (Could it be Leah’s cakery?)


  • Sunday – I thought we’d go boating today but the weather was iffy so my hubby signed up for two tennis tournaments. I did lots of cleaning up around the house and went for a walk in the mall. (There may have been some retail therapy involved too.)

18 miles done with 3 runs and 4 rest days.

This Week:

  • Monday Turkey Trot Training group run (3 miles)
  • Tuesday – rest, tennis
  • Wednesday4 mile run with friends+ volunteering with STEM group
  • Thursday – 4 mile run, dinner out some former co-workers
  • Friday – rest, mah jongg
  • Saturday – rest, boating ??
  • Sunday Ramblefest Half Marathon!!
Once again, I am linking up for the Weekly Wrap hosted by these wonderful bloggers Holly @ HoHoRuns and Tricia @ MissSippiPiddlin. See rules here.

Happy Running! How is your running going? Any races?