Friday Five: The Marathon Ad

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

Ok, I said that I would stop talking about the Marathon but …

Not yet…

If you have never done one, this post is for you.  Remember, I was one of you. I never wanted to run one either.

Why should YOU run a marathon?

1. You’ll stay motivated to run.

For other distances, you may be able to skip runs and still succeed.

But you can’t get away with not training when it comes to a marathon. So having one on your calendar will keep you motivated to stick to a training schedule, at least for those long runs.

On days when your motivation is lacking, you’ll think about how you’ll feel during those 26.2 miles if you’re undertrained or can’t finish the race.

2. You’ll be a great role model. 

It’s hard not to revere someone who is dedicated and determined to complete a substantial goal such as running a marathon. You’ll be setting a great example for many people in your life – family, friends, co-workers, etc.

Even though, it may not be true, people will be telling you how “awesome” you are.

If you are lucky, you will inspire someone to start running or run a longer distance race.

3. You’ll find out that pain is indeed temporary.

Pain, chafing, sweat, tears, and blood will all just be memories.

Yes, you will most likely hurt.  The pain may be so bad to make you want to quit.

But you won’t.

When you see that finish line in the distance, you will forget. You will cry but they will be tears of joy.

4. You’ll gain the confidence you never knew you had.

Although you’ll no doubt experience rough patches during your training. After you’ve logged that 20-miler, you’ll feel like you can conquer the world. Your running confidence will overflow into other areas of your life, such as work and relationships.

You’ll enter that marathon start line with your eyes on the prize (the finish line.)

5. You’ll have a lifetime of bragging rights.

Once you cross that finish line, you’re a marathon finisher and will always be one. No one can ever take that title away from you.

Remember only 1% of population has run a marathon.

Happy Running! Have I convinced you? A little bit? If you ran a marathon already, what was your reason?

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TCS NYC Marathon Recap (Warning: It’s Long)

Image result for nyc marathon

Nov. 3, 2019

After 18 Weeks of training and it finally arrived. My FIRST full Marathon race.

I never had the goal of running a full marathon. Never!

37 (now 39) Half Marathons = happy camper!

Then my Brooklyn Half Marathon finishing time in 2018 qualified me to run the NYC Half Marathon in 2019. Unbeknownst to me, it also automatically qualified to run the 2019 NYC Marathon, as well.

Many runners made me feel guilty for not registering when only 10% of those who enter the lottery get in.

I was hoping that one of my local running friends would get in too. (Nope but she got injured anyway.) But my friends assured me that they would help with my long runs. And they did!!! (Love you guys!)

So I registered to run the NYC Marathon for these reasons:

  • I time qualified and had an automatic entry.
  • If I’m going to run ONE marathon, why not go BIG and run NYC?
  • I am healthy now. Who knows what the future will hold?
  • I found out that blogger and skirt sister Cari was running it as well as a few locals that I know (and even some bloggers who I’m haven’t met yet.) At least I’ll know someone.
  • It’s only a train/bus ride away and I have enough points for a free hotel room for two nights.
  • It’s a fall marathon. Weather should not be too hot or too cold to train or race in.
  • I LOVE NYC.
  • As they say: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Marathon Training:

If you follow my posts, you also know that I am not strict about following a training plan. But on July 1, I decided to download the Hal Hidgen Novice Marathon Plan and at least follow the long run schedule to the best of my ability.

And though I may have re-arranged things, I did all but one weekend long run. (Thank you Weather Gods — none in the rain.)

Besides, the goal for my FIRST marathon was finishing!!

Pre-Race Day Activities:

I took the train to NYC early Saturday morning and met my roommate Lacey for the first time (at the train station).  Together we walked to the hotel and chatted.

It was too early to check in so we left our bags at the hotel and headed directly to the expo at the Javits Center. It wasn’t a bad walk and I was familiar (from previous trips for a 5k) about how enormous it would be. I had planned to grab my bib and shirt, check out the freebies and photo ops.

And that’s what I did. I refrained from buying anything. Basically because I had already purchased NYC marathon gear online to avoid the crowds of the expo.

Earlier in the week, I had grabbed a bunch of tickets for free afternoon events – podcasts at the Run Center with Deena Kastor (12p) and Ali on theRun (1pm) as well as tickets to see Meb at the Mariott.

Since we hadn’t checked into the hotel yet, we did that and wound up skipping lunch and just attending Meb’s event.

Good decision since Meb was awesome. We also got a lot of UCan samples which I hope to try out in the future and tips about running the NYC Marathon.

Probably not a smart move but we walked a lot. How can you not in NYC?  Not sure if it was the boots I was wearing or not, but all day, my lower back ACHED.

So I changed into sneakers and we headed back to the expo (Lacey got some bargains. I bought a car magnet) and then we went out to dinner. My back felt better.

I’m a firm believer in not trying anything new on race day (or the night before) so we went out to an Italian restaurant. We shared pizza and pasta and cannolis for dessert. I have stuck with pizza or pasta for pre-long run and race meals, so I was confident that this would be okay. (We had skipped lunch so we ate dinner too fast to take any pics lol)

Lacey went back to the hotel but I was not tired yet (and too excited to sleep) so I walked around Hudson Yards. I forgot that it gets dark early and had tickets to climb the Vessel to catch the sunset.  Instead, I walked around the the 5th floor of the mall where they had mannequins outfitted in roses.

I went to bed a little later than I would have liked, but because of Daylight Savings Time, I actually felt okay when I woke up at 4:00 am the next morning.

Race Morning:

Lacy was in Wave 1 so she had a much earlier bus to catch.  I lazily stayed in bed until 5:15 am and then ate my usual pre-race breakfast (oatmeal and coffee) in my hotel room.

lots of throw aways over my usual race outfit

I left at 6:15 to walk over to the New York Public Library to catch my 7 am bus to Staten Island.

I knew the weather prediction for the weekend. And it actually turned out to be pretty accurate.

PERFECT RACING WEATHER. woo hoo!

Fortunately, it was not as cold on race day morning as predicted ..in the 40s with plenty of sun and little wind. I was decked out in plenty of throw-aways and was not cold.

Good thing I left when I did because the line for the buses was already pretty long. Cari and I met up on the line and I was amazed at how quickly it moved and how organized everything was so far.

Soon we boarded a bus and were on the way to Staten Island.

After we got off the bus, we had to wait in yet another line to go through security to enter Start Village. Again due to the superb race organization, it moved quickly and before we knew it,  we were in the Start Village!

You were assigned either Green, Orange or Blue and a corral – colors corresponded to where you start (top or bottom of the bridge) as opposed to your wave which corresponded with your start time.

Cari & I were in different waves and different start colors but we hung out together in the village, used the porta-potties, got our Dunkin Donut hats while basking in the marathon excitement.

those bushes spelled out DUNKIN

Eventually we separated into our own color villages.  I had some coffee, a bagel and a banana (my breakfast had digested hours ago), relaxed on the ground (sitting on my foil blanket) and watched the first 2 waves start and cross the bridge overhead.

Time passed quickly as I chatted with many other novice and experienced marathoners. I removed most of my throw-aways when they announced Wave 3 corrals opening.

I only kept my foil blanket (since I didn’t realize that there were more bins for clothing) and Dunkin Hat. Yes, I was chilly but not too bad.  There were more porta-potties inside the corral area. Who knew? So I used them again since the lines were not long.

ha ha 4:25 finish time predicted.

So…as I waited to start, I chatted with many of the runners in my corral. Soon it was 10:35 am and we were moving. Canons fired, confetti was thrown and speakers blasted Frank Sinatra singing New York, New York. I was already moved to tears… as I crossed the start line of my FIRST Marathon!!

The following breakdown is based on my own GPS (which may or may not be accurate):

The Race:

Miles 1-2

12:14, 10:00

The first part of the race took runners to the highest point of elevation: crossing the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge out of Staten Island (borough #1) into Brooklyn (borough #2).

pic from upper level (from FB)

I was in the Green Wave, which started on the lower level of the bridge. I was told that although the view was not as good, it was less windy and the incline less steep. I was happy for that.

So the first mile was uphill and crowded and I ran it very slowly.  I planned to walk it but I was too excited. It was long and steep but not as bad as I had feared. Of course, that meant the mile 2 was downhill. I did my best to hold back. (I may not have been so successful).

Miles 3-13

10:58, 10:42, 10:42, 10:49, 10:32, 11:13, 11:16, 11:50, 11:30, 11:40, 11:53

Everyone had told me to get ready for the “wall of sound” coming off of the Verrazano Bridge entering Brooklyn. It was even louder than I expected. It continued the whole route in Brooklyn!! In fact, at times it was deafening.

Around mile 3, we were running alongside the Blue and Orange waves, both of which started on the top of the bridge. An old friend of mine said she would be at the mile 3 sign marker, I looked everywhere but never saw her 😦

We ran along Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn. The crowd support continued to be amazing. I collected many high fives here and lots of cheers. I was glad that I had put my name on my bib. I was surprised at how many spectators and volunteers called out my name and cheered me on.

After the first 2 miles on the bridge, there were water/Gatorade stops at EVERY MILE. I don’t run intervals, but my plan was to WALK and DRINK at every water stop even if I was not thirsty.

My left foot (bunion area) always hurts at some point during a long race and of course, it did not disappoint.  It hurt early on. I tried to ignore it and prayed that it would not continue throughout the WHOLE race (It did not last long surprisingly.)

Around mile 5, I decided to take my first fuel.  My fuel of choice is GU. But I didn’t think I’d want to eat that many during this LONG race. So I saved my GU for mile 20 and ate a different energy gel at mile 5, mile 10 and mile 15 (SIS, Honey Stinger, E-Gel).  My stomach felt great the entire race and I never felt hungry and energy deprived (Yes, I ate something new on race day…do not do this LOL).

Soon after, I decided to cross to the other side of the street. Not sure why. Just for a diversion. Well, it was at that point that someone ran up behind me. It was Karen, a runner that I knew from home.

We ran together for quite a few miles. I stopped at every water stop and she did not because she carried  her own water. Each time, however, she slowed up and waited for me.  She is a much faster runner and eventually, I purposely slowed and told her to go on ahead.  I felt that I may have been running at too fast a pace to maintain for 26.2 miles. But it was fun to run along side a familiar face.

The Brooklyn crowds really rocked.  Music and screaming around every bend. We turned from Fourth onto Lafayette Avenue in Brooklyn around mile 8. There were a good amount of rolling hills and inclines in Brooklyn but the crowds made the miles go by quickly.

I ate a gel around mile 10 and tried to keep an consistent pace and slow enough not finish the first half of the race under 2 1/2 hours. (I was pretty successful at this!)

The last miles in Brooklyn brought us over the Pulaski Bridge into Queens (borough #3). For this bridge, I did walk the incline and run down it.

There was a supposed group from at running group at home at mile 13.1. I looked but again, it seemed impossible to find people in the huge crowd and I never saw them.

Miles 14-16

12:03, 13:48, 13:10

I’m not sure exactly when things started to go south but I think it was around here. My back started to really HURT. I tried to run in a way to minimize the pain, but my back just seemed to ache. (Same pain as the day before…very strange but ouch!!)

Next came the Queensboro Bridge. I walked up it and ran down it as I did on the last bridge. Many runners paused and took selfies with a view of the Manhattan skyline.  I thought about it my phone was buried in my belt.

Miles 17-20

13:06, 12:49, 14:10, 14:30

At this point, you left Queens and entered Manhattan (borough #4) to run down First Avenue. I continued to run (but at a slower pace) and walk at the water stops (but for a longer time).

There was a lot going on to keep my mind off the pain. I witnessed 2 marriage proposals, countless funny and encouraging signs and most importantly, spectators screaming and calling out my name.

always smile when you see a camera

This part of the race was LIT! The crowds were amazing yet they were behind a barricade for the first time in the race. Still I gave out a lot of high fives. I was starting to have fun in the race again (despite the pain in my back).

I knew that my tennis friends had driven down to see me. I checked my phone and they said that they were at the corner of 1st Ave & 86th (around mile 17.5).

So I walked a bit so that I would look strong when I saw them (so vain of me).

I was worried that I would not find them in the crowd since I had missed everyone else when all of sudden they jumped out into the street and hugged me.

Of course, I had to stop and take a selfie.

It definitely lifted my spirits to see them. I continued to sprint away until I was out of their sight and then I slowed to my painful slog.

Another running friend was at the Gatorade stop at mile 18. I looked and again I could not find her.

In addition to water stops (of which 2 had gels), there was volunteers that would spray you with Bio Freeze, offer you salt tablets, vaseline, etc.)

I finally succumbed to one where they rubbed you with Bio Freeze (on my quads) because I knew I was heading up and down bridge #4.

After crossing the Willis Avenue Bridge (again, all the bridges were hard!), you entered the Bronx for a mile. At this point I was nervous because I had never run more than 20 miles in training, but it was fine! I was not really tired just in pain…

Although you were in the Bronx (borough #5!) a short time, there were really energetic spectators and lots of music. I work in Queens often, so the atmosphere seemed familiar.

So after a quick couple of miles through The Bronx, we crossed the Third Avenue Bridge and headed back into Manhattan for the final 5 miles on Fifth Avenue, up 59th St. and into Central Park.

Miles 21-23

14:56, 14:27, 14:09

You ran through Harlem when you first entered Manhattan from Queens. The crowd support was almost as crazy as Brooklyn!

We continued running up Fifth Avenue and it was a false flat. The incline was a killer at this point in the race and in addition to my back ache, my quads (mostly left) started to throb. Even my right ankle felt weird.

held onto my Zensah arm sleeves until I dropped one on 5th Ave. 😦 Never lost those $1 glove.

Up to now, I had been only walking the water stops and up the inclines of the bridges.  In my race-induced hypochondria, I imagined a slipped disc, strained achilles and a femoral stress fracture.  I decided to just walk, high five every child and not risk serious injury. I was finishing this race…no matter how long it took me.

Fifth Avenue seemed to go on forever. Thank God for the crowds.

Miles 24-26.2

14:32, 13:32, 13:34, 12:37 (.26)

I had no time goal. I just wanted to finish but secretly I wanted to finish without running in the dark.  Remember we lost an hour of daylight.

So despite the pain, I tried to pick up the pace. After running for hours, we finally entered Central Park…yes the hills of Central Park.  The crowds were insane.

Believe it or not, I don’t remember the hills. I was so glad to be nearly the end of the race (though it was far from over.)

Eventually we turned up 59th street heading toward the final stretch of the race. I do remember walking so that I would have enough energy to sprint through the finish line.

And when I saw the finish line, I was ecstatic!

I DID IT!

I ran my FIRST MARATHON.

Garmin Time = 5:27:22 (a little off, I guess)

Getting out of such a big race is a long slog. After we got our medals, the runners received mylar blankets and recovery bags filled with snacks (large bottle of water, Gatorade, protein drink, apples, power bars and more)..

Then there was a long slow walk to either bag check or poncho pickup. I was a poncho runner so my exit was a bit closer (but still LONG).

I’m so glad that I opted for the poncho! It was really nice and fleece lined so it was warm.

It was another slog past the family reunion area and on to exit the park. On my way out, I stopped at a medical tent and begged for something for my pain. They gave me ONE Tylenol (yeah like one was enough. I take 3 for a head ache lol).

I thought about taking the subway (which was free today) but it looked to be so crowded so I decided to walk the final 1 and a half miles back to the hotel.

I had a runner’s high and no longer felt any pain anyway.

Post Race:

Lacey had finished way before me and was anxiously waiting for me in our hotel room so we could go out to dinner and celebrate.

I quickly showered and off we went to a steak house.

wearing my medal of course

We spent the rest of the evening at the hotel bar, drinking, having dessert, debriefing about our race and watching the live feed of the race. (At 10:15 pm, there were still runners on the course….SO INSPIRING!!!)

The Next Day:

I got up early, had breakfast in the hotel and headed off for my appointment at RECOVER. Believe it or not, I felt great…barely any stiffness or pain.  Hmmm??

this felt great & I got lots of freebies – worth the price (ha ha it was free.)

Next Lacey and I walked to Hudson Yards so we could climb to the top of The Vessel and take some pics with our medal.  My idea!! And we weren’t the only crazy ones.

We came to our senses and took the elevator down.

yes ADA only. the attendant told us to hide our medals.

After all that walking, we worked up an appetite.  Good thing because we had plans to meet Cari for lunch.

After lunch, Lacey had to head home so Cari and I took the subway to Jack Rabbit Sports store for more recovery, freebies and shopping.  We used the Normatec boots again. I don’t know if they helped but it felt great.

Unfortunately this wonderful weekend had to end… and I sadly boarded my train to return home.

Additional Race Reflections:

I can’t say enough good things about this race. I may have focused too much on my pain and the slower pace I was forced to run with.  But since that day, all I think about the positives and how I lucky I am to have had this opportunity.

The Good:

  • Abundant communication beforehand about all aspects of the race
  • Organized packet pick up.
  • HUGE expo with lots of samples and items to buy.
  • Many things to do (for free) before the race -podcasts, lectures, runs, etc.
  • Organized, easily accessible and sufficient buses to the start.
  • Dunkin hats, coffee, bagels, bananas in the race start village.
  • Bins everywhere to discard clothing
  • Organized and easy access to corals.
  • Sufficient number of port-a-potties. In the village, corrals and along the course.
  • Prompt wave starts with canons, confetti and Frank Sinatra
  • Sufficient number of water/Gatorade stops – 25, I think – 2 had Honey Stinger Gels
  • Lots of medical support along the course
  • BioFreeze and vaseline provided along the course, as well.
  • Well marked course with mile markers and timing at each mile and clocks at each 5k.
  • THE MUSIC, THE CROWDS, THE SUPPORT
  • Perfect weather
  • No blisters!! No chafing!
  • No stomach issues!
  • Cool medal
  • Post finish line support of food bag, mylar blanket and a fleece-lined poncho
  • Free subways after the race
  • Friends before, during and after (esp Lacey & Cari)

The Bad:

  • The bridges
  • The long walk out of the park
  • MY PAIN

The Ugly:

  • Nothing 🙂

Would I recommend this race?

OMG! YES YES YES.

What can I say? This is an amazing race. Crowd support is incredible. From the Expo to poncho pickup, the organization was perfect. Everyone has to run New York at least once!

Final Stats and Thoughts:

As you all know, I trained  for 18 weeks for my first marathon. I rarely missed a weekday run (although they were shorter than prescribed) and nailed all of my long run distance (except one). Based on my NYRR pace per mile. I was predicted to finish at 4:25. I expected to finish around 5:30. But wouldn’t even be disappointed at 6 hours. I had ZERO time goals.

My official finish time was 5:29:11

This graph describes how I ran the race:

I planned to run 2:30 for the 1st half and 3:00 for the 2nd. What I didn’t plan was that I ran/walked the 2nd 13.1 miles slowly because of pain rather than weariness.


It was a fantastic experience. I am so glad that I took the challenge.  Most importantly, I enjoyed the race (even with the pain) and that’s REALLY what it’s all about!

How am I feeling and What’s next?

I think walking around NYC after the race and the next day helped because I didn’t really have much soreness days after. I also went to see my chiro. She couldn’t believe that there wasn’t much for her to do.  Less tightness than at a normal visit.

I ran the Stockadeathon 15k a week later. Yes, my legs felt tired and I ran it slowly but the good news is that my back did not hurt!!!

post race smiles…always!

Last but not least, THANK YOU!

So I couldn’t end this post without thanking so many awesome people that encouraged me on my marathon journey.

To my running friends. THANK YOU for all of your wisdom, words of encouragement and support during those LONG weekend runs.

Thank you to my Mizuno sneakers!

To my friends (including virtual friends and bloggers), you guys are the real MVP. THANK YOU for supporting me on this crazy 18 week journey and for cheering for me during the race. It means more than you’ll ever know!


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 Nicole, Annmarie, Jen, and Michelle.

Happy Running! Ever run this race or another marathon? How do you feel about your experience? Please share.

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Friday Five: The NYC Marathon Edition

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

So as I am sure you know, last Sunday I ran the NYC Marathon as my first full marathon.

Eventually I will stop talking about it…

but not yet.

What did I learn from this experience?

1. Long Training Runs are easier if you have company.

I was lucky. I never did them alone. I may have run some of the miles each weekend solo but for every run, my running friends were there to support my efforts.  I couldn’t have done without you guys. ❤

2. It is Better to Be (10 Miles) Undertrained than (1 Mile) Overtrained.

I heard this from a fellow blogger and friend. I’m not sure that I believed it.

Basically I felt undertrained because my job got in the way of doing any longer runs during the week. I usually ran 3-4 miles instead of the 5-10 on the training plan.)

in Rochester along the Erie Canal

I worried that my legs would not be strong enough to carry me through 26.2 miles.

However, I think the lower mileage helped keep me injury free the whole 18 week training cycle and enabled me to complete the long weekend runs better.

3. Pain is indeed Temporary.

Yes, my feet hurt. My hips ached. My lower back…Oy. The Pain.

Everything hurt during miles 14-20 this day… so I knew what to expect I guess

But as soon as the race is over, you forget about it and you savor the experience.

Every time I look at my medal, I don’t think about the pain. I smile and I am proud of what I accomplished.

4. Marathon Training does not have to take over your Life.

I was afraid that I would be obsessing and thinking about nothing else but the marathon.

Work being very busy and traveling for 8 weeks during peak training helped take my mind off the suggested weekly mileage.

I went to movies, shows, dinners and spent quality time with my family and friends. I never said I CAN’T. I HAVE TO RUN.

high school reunion (instead of my run)

5. I Enjoyed the Race immensely. I’m glad I did it. But I don’t want to run another.

Back to running short races, skipping bad weather runs and signing up for Half Marathons.

H2H Half

The Good Life. 🙂

Happy Running! If you have run a marathon (or a half marathon), what did you learn from the experience? Please share.

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Weekly Run Down from 10.28.19-11.3.19: Race Week!!

After 18 weeks of training it came down to this….

Last Week –

  • Monday – After work run. I ran solo today near my home because I was having dinner with friends nearby. Another beautiful fall day on the rail trail.
a white cat passed in front of me. good luck, right? (top pic)

The friends that I had dinner with were planning to drive down to NYC to catch me sometime during the marathon (crazy, right?) We discussed their plans. We’ll see what happens on Sunday. I am so grateful that they are even thinking of doing this.

  • Tuesday – Another after work run. This time my running friend Chris ran with me on a UAlbany loop. Glad she was there to drag me along (I had gotten up at 3 am to take the hubby to the airport.)

Afterward, I met my BFF for a walk around the mall.

  • Wednesday – Last run before the Marathon!!  Just a short one on the rail trail (but in a different spot from Monday.)

like my photo fail? (top pic)

  • Thursday – Rest Day due to a scheduled hair appt. and of course, candy distribution to neighborhood kids. (No Kit Kats left for me!! Yay!!)

  • Friday – Another rest day and I needed to pack for the weekend (mostly throw away race clothes LOL). I played mah jongg in the evening to take my mind off the race.
  • Saturday –  Rest Day #3 in a row….This morning I took the train to NYC, met my roommate Lacey, checked into the hotel and then headed to the expo to pick up my race bib. We took a lot of goofy photos, checked out all the free samples.

My plan was to attend a few of the podcasts at the Run Center or meet Meb at Marriott and then head back to the expo to do some shopping….

best decision – Meb was fantastic. And all I bought at the expo was a car magnet.

And not walk too much but you know how that goes in NYC. Then carb load, maybe catch the sunset at the Vessel and finally go to bed early.

oops. missed the sunset so explored the 5th floor of Hudson Yards

Check IG @dsc59 for more pics.

  • Sunday – RACE DAY! MY FIRST MARATHON! NEW YORK CITY!! Early wake up to walk to the NYC Library to catch the 7 am bus to the Verrazzano-Narrows bridge where I waited with other Green Wave 3, corral D runners until our scheduled 10:35ish am start.

I ran, I walked, I cried and ….. eventually I finished 26.2 miles.

Rode the bus with Cari and hung out in the village before the race start….ran with someone I knew from Albany for many miles in Brooklyn, hugged my local tennis friends at mile 17.5…struggled with a lot of pain but cross the finish line with a smile!!

Check IG @dsc59 for more pics.

I.Am.A.Marathoner. (More details in a later post.)

This Coming Week – Recovery Week

  • Monday – rest day in NYC, recovery stuff, photo op at the Vessel, lunch with Cari, bus/train home
  • Tuesday –  rest day, Cat Yoga??
  • Wednesday – rest day, chiro appt.
  • Thursday – rest day, trip to the gym?
  • Friday – run, mah jongg chez moi
  • Saturday – rest day, bib pick up
  • Sunday – Stockade-athon 15K

I am linking up with Kim and Deborah for

I encourage you to do the same. Grab the graphic, drop your link on the host blogs and play along! Please be sure to always comment on the HOST’s blogs, as well as visit and comment on as many other blogs as you can.

Happy Running! How is your running going? What’s new with you? Any tips on marathon recovery? Did you dress up for Halloween? What is your favorite candy and did you buy it? Please share.

Lawson Lake Trail 5k Recap

It wasn’t much of a race for me. But I’ll review it since other runners may be interested.

I signed up to do this race the DAY AFTER my 20 miler…

Crazy, right?

It was not too far away. Only cost $10.  It started at 10 am and I had the day off from work.  There were a BBQ after the race. Several of my friends expressed interest in doing the race.

So why not???

I was VERY sore after the 20 miler and even my hubby doubted that I could even walk 3 miles.

But I woke up feeling NO PAIN. I mean, I felt like I had NOT run the day before.  Go figure.

Even so I was planning to be smart and walk most of the race.

I wound up going with Judy since she did not want to go alone. We arrived very early and got a great parking spot (in a small lot).

We got our bibs and walked around waiting for our friends to arrive.

Eventually they did and we discussed our plans for the race. There was 5k and a 5 miler. We all had signed up for the 5k. (The 5 miler apparently had steep sections and was more technical.)

Some of us thought they may run it.  Jan and I agreed that it was too treacherous to do that and we would walk most of (and try not to get lost.)

The course looped around the start and along the lake a few times at the beginning. I think Jan and I missed messed up one of the last loops. (But we didn’t care.)

For the rest of the race, we ran on the trails.  They had lots of roots and leaves so we walked mostly but at times if it were clear, we ran.

It was so nice to relax during a race and look at the scenery and take pictures.

The weather was picture perfect.

And we never got lost and we weren’t LAST.

As I approached the finish line, I heard our other friends cheering.

So I had to sprint and try to beat Jan. LOL.

And we beat our goal of 1 hour!!

Everyone got a homemade medal.

As soon as we finished, we were treated to cider donuts!!

And then we went inside to get some food.  There were chips, cider, hot dogs, veggie burgers, caramel apples.  Not bad for only $10.

Afterward, there was a fall festival there with lots of activities for kids.

So it was fun-filled morning.  I recommend the Lawson Lake Trail Race. I may do it again if I have the chance.


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 Nicole, Annmarie, Jen, and Michelle.

Happy Running! Do you run trail races or just walk them?

Hannaford Half Marathon Recap

Image result for hannaford half marathon

October 13, 2019 8 am

It seems like I’ve been planning this race forever. I registered for the NYC Marathon and then when I looked at my race training plan, my 20 miler was scheduled for this weekend. I ran this race back in 2013 (post broken foot) and since I run on this route often, I wasn’t particularly enamored with the race.

However, I did run the Hannaford Half Marathon as my 39th Half Marathon for these reasons:

  •  Many of my running friends were planning to run it. (Though in the end, they could not).
  • It is a popular local race and I would know many runners.
  • I needed a long run as part of my NYC Marathon training. so I could just add 7 to it
  • I found out that blogger and skirt sister Cari may be running it.
  • It is a “relatively flat course.”
  • Most importantly, I needed company for my 20 miles (and it turned to be the right decision since my running friends decided to race the day before.)

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 in September. I started a 18 week training plan to be ready for the NYC Marathon on Nov. 3.

As with my half marathon training, I did not really care about my week day runs. They were usually 3-4 miles. However, I did try to do longer runs on the weekend.

So I actually was not training for this half but preparing for Nov 3. Technically I was scheduled for a 20 mile run but just adapted the long runs to make this work.

The goal for this half marathon was finishing!! Not to race it and not to get injured!!!

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

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.

So I went to the expo early to pick up my bib.  I met a lot runners that I knew and scored some good deals ($5 compression calf sleeves). For a small race, the expo was pretty decent.

Then the hubby and I drove to Lake George to spend a relaxing day on the boat with our friends.

carb loading, of course

We came home pretty early and I got together my race outfit.

Another restless night. I have not been sleeping well lately 😦

Race Day:

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

Since the race was supposed to be the last 13 miles of my 20 miler, that meant I had to get to the race start by 6 am and run 7 miles.

So 4:30 am wake up with my normal oatmeal and coffee pre-race meal. It was in the 40s and pretty chilly so I added my DIY arm warmers and gloves to my race attire.

It was pitch black when I started running on the trail and even with my knuckle lights, it was creepy.

So after a mile, I opted for plan B and ran along the main road for the next five miles, watching the sun come up.

Eventually, it was light enough to continue on the trail back to my car.

I ran the 7 miles way too fast since I was anxious about getting back in time, meeting friends, checking a bag.  But it turned out that I returned in plenty of time.

While I was running, I warmed up but now sweaty, I put my arm warmers and gloves back on. Brrr.

I chatted with many runners that I knew. This was a local race and it is very popular.

Soon I connected with Cari who was also running this race since she was here to visit her brother.

We hung out for a while and then headed to the start line.

My plan for this race, as usual, was to stop and walk briefly at every water stop (so I wouldn’t get dehydrated) and to stop and walk longer to eat a GU at every other water stop. I planned to walk whenever necessary and NOT RACE it.

You can watch a video of the course  here – https://youtu.be/DWsqeGaSxr0

Anyway, here’s how the race went:

Miles 1-4:

11:24, 10:10, 9:50, 9:50

Cari and I lined up together but I lost her right away. The race started in Colonie Town Park and we ran around the park for most of the first mile.  It was a bottleneck and you really could not make any headway. And this was the only hilly part of the course.  So after 7 miles, this was a perfect start for me.

After we exited the park, we were running for many miles along the bike path.  The foliage was beautiful and it was a slight downhill.

And as you can tell, I started speeding up and I was running TOO FAST!!

Miles 5-8:

10:30, 10:24, 10:49, 10:57

I stopped briefly at each water stop but by mile five, I was getting pretty hungry so I ate a GU and walked longer.

Eventually we left the bike path and entered the ugliest part of the course. We ran through Watervliet, along the noisy highway and past the Arsenal.

I was feeling great and sailing along until mile 7.  That’s when EVERYTHING started to hurt – my legs, feet, lower back and hips.

So I just painfully trudged along…I was not having fun.

Miles 9-13.2:

11:25, 10:52, 11:11, 11:32, 11:11, (.2 – 8:37)

I stopped around mile 9 for another GU and walked for a bit.  It was still painful to run but I knew I had to finish so I just pushed through it.

At least now we were on the Corning Bike Path with beautiful foliage and views of the Hudson River.

I chatted with a woman feeling the same way but she started walking so I continued on without her.

Finally with a little more than a mile to go, my running friend Chris appeared. She had volunteered to run me in. I told her that after 18 miles (my longest so far), I would no doubt be struggling. And I was.

She ran with me but I stopped and walked quite a few times. The finish line seemed to so distant.

And then I saw it and my running friends with cowbells, cheering me on.  It definitely lifted my spirits and I got a second wind.

I tried to sprint as much as I could (after 20 miles) and I crossed at 2:22:05.

Much faster than I had planned. I was thinking that at marathon pace, it would be around 2:45. It was also a course PR.

After getting my medal and some water. I headed to bag check to put on my race shirt and then to get some food.

I got an additional medal because I ran the Helderberg to Hudson Half in April.

I ate a banana with some chocolate milk and posed for the obligatory medal photo.

I bumped into another friend who is also running the NYC Marathon. She had a PR and was then adding her 7 miles afterward.  Yes, of course, this is what I usually do and the thought did cross my mind so I could have a decent finish time (and win an AG award). But I do think I made the right decision. I was glad to have my 20 miles done.

I headed back to my friends and I celebrated my run with this:

Additional Race Reflections:

The Good:

  • Easy packet pick-up.
  • Decent expo for a small race.
  • Lots of parking.
  • Sufficient number of port-a-potties. At the start and along the course.
  • Sufficient number of water/Gatorade stops) – 1 had Gu
  • Bag Check. Easy pick up at the end.
  • Well marked course.
  • Free Massages at the finish
  • Clocks at several points in the race.
  • Very cool medal.
  • Chocolate milk at the finish.
  • Shuttle bus from the finish to the start.
  • Great weather.
  • Beautiful course in spots.
  • Extra medal if you ran the Helderberg to Hudson race in April.

The Bad:

  • The middle of the course was pretty boring.
  • The course was a little long.

The Ugly:

  • Nothing 🙂

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. It was well-organized. The course was mostly flat and scenic at the beginning and end.

Final Stats:

I have yet to figure out how to negative split a long race.

My finish time was the slowest I’ve had in many years. But not a bad time considering it was a training run. Definitely not complaining. No injuries. (But my first post race discomfort.)

Next Up:

The Big One: NYC Marathon in 3 weeks!!!!!!!!!

Image result for nyc marathon

Nov. 3, 2019


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 Nicole, Annmarie, Jen, and Michelle.

Happy Running! Ever run this race? Which do you prefer – flat or scenic? Do you run half marathons as training runs for a full? Please share.

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Grete’s Great Gallop 10K Race Recap

NYRR Grete's Great Gallop logo

October 5, 2019 – 8:00 am

If you read my blog, you may know that I LOVE races in NYC especially ones in Central Park. (Even though, they are HILLY!)

The Grete’s Great Gallop 10K race takes place just FOUR weeks before the New York City Marathon and covers 6.2 miles of the roads of Central Park, passes the Marathon finish line and ends near where it started.

Click here to read about Grete’s amazing career but to sum it up, she ran her first marathon (NYC) in 1978, won it and then won it again 8 more times. She’s an icon for women’s running in NYC.

I was scheduled to meet my tennis friends for lunch on Saturday, October 5 (the same day as this race) and then go to a Broadway show afterwards (an annual thing).

So it was a no brainer to sign up for this race.  Plus, another Skirt Sport Ambassador, Elizabeth, was planning to run this race, as well. (Unfortunately, she was unable to run it.)

Luckily I signed up early because the race sold out pretty quickly.

Thank to numerous trips to NYC for work, I had enough points for a free hotel room.

I knew that the race would be a hilly one (see map below) but I did run a 5 miler there last year and a 8K there in August of 2017 so I thought that  the course would be similar in difficulty.

Unfortunately, I had had a pretty off running week.  I was driving in traffic all week and training on my feet all day. I only ran 3 miles on Monday and 3 slow TM miles on Thursday. So with Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday as rest days, I should have been pretty well rested for the Saturday race.

So I took the bus to NYC on Friday. After I checked into my hotel, I headed off to pick up my race packet. Normally I might have taken the subway to rest my legs but this was just a fun race so I walked and met my friend Cari (sorry no pic).

cute top – amazingly so many runners did wear this shirt on race day

Cari and I walked back toward my hotel and then I went out for pizza and ice cream (carb loaded like it was a marathon LOL).  I still was not tired so I walked around Hudson Yards.

over 7 miles walking

When I got back to the hotel, I tried to plan out my race outfit for the next day. This is always difficult for me at this time of year. Capris or skirt? Short sleeves or long sleeves?

decided on a skirt, compression calf sleeves, short sleeve top with DIY arm warmers

After a restless night, I got up the next morning around 5:30 am and had my usual oatmeal and coffee pre-race breakfast.

It was in the 40s with a possibility of sun. I added gloves and a throw away shirt to my outfit . What I forgot again was a heat blanket.  DARN!! I decided against bag check (to save time after the race) and hoped that I wouldn’t regret it.

I normally would again try to save my legs and grab a subway to Central Park.  Not this time. Marathon training! I left at 6:30 am and walked the 3 miles to the start.  And it was windy and COLD!!! Brrrr!!!

I wasn’t sure exactly where the start was but saw some runners and knew they were all headed to the same place so I followed them.

I got there very early. There were many runners just running. Probably warming up for the race or doing their long run before the upcoming marathon.

There would be almost 8000 runners in today’s race and the air was buzzing with excitement (or for NYCM).

It was still pretty early and I just walked around trying to stay WARM!!

Finally I headed toward the race start.

I sat on a bench and wound up befriending two other (older) ladies. We chatted and chatted until it was time to get in our corrals.

We lost one lady in the corral behind us so the just Lori and I waited and shivered together (I decided to ditch my long sleeve shirt and lost an earring in the process) until it was time for our corral to get to the start line. It was probably only 10 or 12 minutes but felt like forever.  Brrrrr!

So what was my plan for this 10k race?

I had done a 14 mile training run last weekend and 18 the weekend before. I spent most of this week working and stressing.  Definitely not feeling my best today…the cold windy temps certainly did not help.

No plan.  Finish strong.  Not get injured.  Walk up the hills.  Have fun!  (Spoiler alert – I ran the whole thing  except for water stops and enjoyed it immensely.)

Course Info

The course is slightly more than one counter-clockwise lap of Central Park’s six-mile loop.

Mile 1:  9:38

We started on East Drive near 69th Street  (the east side of the CP loop) and headed north. It was a bottle neck at first which helped to slow me down.  Cat Hill greeted us fairly soon. Cat Hill is about a quarter mile and not as steep as the north end’s Harlem Hill, but it’s a decent hill. I usually walk it but strangely I felt like running. I made it up the whole thing without walking. The rest of mile 1 was relatively flat, and I felt strong, like I could probably keep up this pace for another 5 miles. Maybe. Anyway, what that pace was, I had no idea since I did not look at my watch and the clocks at each mile were 11 minutes or so ahead of my actual time (no idea.) Toward the end of each mile, there was a water/Gatorade stop. I ignored most of them as it was pretty chilly and I was not sweating.

Mile 2: 8:57

We continued along East Drive and passed the Reservoir on the left. This mile supposed included the easiest section of the loop: the ultra-flat stretch that runs along the east side around 90th Street. I guess that explains my fastish pace.

Mile 3: 9:25

This mile was at the northern end of the loop. We first passed the 102nd Street Transverse on our left and descended down a steepish hill (YAY!) followed by a flat stretch. The second half of the mile was going up Harlem Hill, the steepest hill on the course. I am proud to say that I RAN up the whole thing (slowly, but not walking). At this point, I was getting pretty hungry as my 5:30 breakfast was long forgotten (I had planned to take a GU before the race but I was chatting….). I willed myself to wait until the next water stop. We continued past Lasker Rink. I tried to focus on the sites of the park and not my feet or my hunger.

Mile 4: 10:10

This mile and the next went down the west side of the loop and started by heading south on West Drive. There were a few rolling hills here. Compared to Cat and Harlem, these hills were no big deal. My legs were tiring but I was able to run up them.  It helped that I walked for quite a while, eating a Gu and drinking water. Although there were almost 8000 runners in this race, I’m happy to say that there wasn’t really any crowding on the course, at least not around me. I passed some runners and some passed me. But there was always enough space to run and take the tangents as much as possible. The sun warmed the air. I rolled down the arm warmers, took off my gloves and even the wind died down.  I smiled often as the it was PERFECT running weather.

Mile 5: 8:58

This mile continued down the west side (south on West Drive), passing the 72nd Street Transverse, and completing the lower loop of the park before the course turned back onto East Drive. Of course, there were more rolling hills, up and down, up and down. I pushed a little harder here, as I knew I only had two more miles to go. I tried to make up time on the downhills and I am pretty slow running uphill. It is kinda a blur now. I think I stopped for water but only to grab a sip, not much walking.  I just wanted to be done.

I took these pics during my walk out of the park after the race

Mile 6: 9:18

We continued north on East Drive on the south loop of the park. It seemed to be a relatively flat stretch. We passed the start line at 69th Street and then turned left at the 72nd Street Transverse and headed toward the finish line. Of course, it felt like a slight uphill (though maybe it wasn’t.)

Mile +.3: 8:54

I was hoping to be able to pick up speed but my legs felt like lead. I did the best I could. As you can see, that the course was long. I saw the clock each mile and as I crossed the finish line. I had no idea of my actual time until I looked at my watch. And I didn’t really care. I was thrilled to have run a decent race. And NO PAIN!  Woo Hoo!!

I grabbed water and a bagel and immediately headed out of the park. Again I followed the crowds as to not get lost.

Again although I was pressed for time, I decided to walk the 3 miles back to my hotel. I was glad that I did not throw away my arm warmers and gloves. It was chilly in the city.

It was in my hotel room that I logged into NYRR and discovered the good news.

I won an age group award!!! Big surprise!!

So not a PR. My 10K PR is 57:03 (from November 2014) but I am thrilled at how the race turned out. I didn’t push my pace at any time and yet I ran well and most importantly, it was FUN!! I didn’t do my 14 mile training run but in addition to the race, I walked 8 miles. That will have to do!!!!!

After a quick shower, I had enough time to walk to the restaurant (Valerie) where I was meeting my tennis friends for lunch. I rewarded myself (again as if I ran a marathon).

Nutella filled French toast with bacon on the side

After lunch, we headed to Broadway to see Hadestown.

the show was GREAT!

And then we walked back toward my hotel and Penn Sta where we stopped for a light dinner.

So it was fun-filled day.  I highly recommend the Grete’s Great Gallop 10K race. It was well-organized as all NYRR races are. I will do it again if I have the chance.


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 Nicole, Annmarie, Jen, and Michelle.

Happy Running! What is your favorite city to race in? What is your favorite NYC race? Do ever run 10K races? What is your favorite distance? Would you skip a long run for a fun race?