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.

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Weekly Run Down for 3.16.20-3.22.20: Wondering When I’ll Race Again

I LOVE to race.

And everyday, another race that I planned on running is cancelled or postponed…  NINE so far. The gyms are also closed…

A little hard to keep the motivation going.

My work trip to NYC was cancelled as well. And on Tuesday, I was ordered to work from home.

Last Week –

  • Monday – Cold temps have returned but at least it was sunny. My first run in my new Hokas. Unfortunately it was solo (and not because of social distancing.)

ran on the rail trail searching for signs of spring…the Hokas = meh

  • Tuesday – A rest day due to a scheduled hair appt (not necessary since the Sat wedding was cancelled…oh well.) But I woke up to finding out that I am now working form home. SURPRISE!! So I had to drive to work to get my files, laptop, etc. Definitely not a fan of being at home. At least I could now walk during lunch…

a short drive away

  • Wednesday – Day two of work from home and another lunch walk.

in my neighborhood

Back out there after work. Not in NYC’s Central Park with Cari and Elizabeth as planned but instead I drove to run in Albany’s Washington park. Solo!

unfortunately I lost the sunshine but found my first sighting of spring

  • Thursday – A rainy rest day but eventually it stopped so I could go for a walk during lunch

you can see my house in the top photo

and then again after work.

on the rail trail after stopping off to pick up my new glasses and a new chain for a necklace – both places will be closing after Friday.

  • Friday – Working at home. Getting into a routine. Lunch time walk.

muddy from all the rain

Online work meetings- thanks to ZOOM.

69 degrees…had to go for a run.  Tired of staying home so I drove to the Crossings followed by a trip to Trader Joes.

could have worn a tank!

No mah jongg. We are taking a break (social distancing….) but I had a second ZOOM video call of day catching up with my mah jongg friends. Gotta love technology.

  • Saturday – Normally our Sole Sister Long run day but it got postponed until tomorrow and I was wondering if anyone would want to run with me (even 6 feet away.)

My Yoga for Runners class got cancelled too. Instead, Samara offered it through ZOOM. My first online class and I enjoyed it (and so did my hamstrings). I’m not seeing this as a trend because I’m picky about my yoga instructors but I am comfortable with how she teaches. Next one is in April.

Afterward, I engaged in my usual Saturday activities of cleaning, laundry, etc. Although home, I still work from 8-4 on weekdays.

In the afternoon, I decided to go for a walk since although it was chilly, it was sunny.  I decided on Five Rivers (and so dd so many others. I even ran into a running friend.)

I so enjoyed the sunshine and being out in the fresh air.

  • Sunday – Long Run day.  It was supposed to be our H2H preview run but that got cancelled (as did the half marathon). I tried to convince my friends to run with me from 6 feet away but no takers. Sigh!

But the advantage of running alone is that I could run wherever and whenever. I decided I needed a different place and a scenic one.  So I drove to Waterford.  I ran toward Green Island for 3 miles  and then back.  Then I ran on the river trail in Waterford for 2 miles and back and the last mile was on an old trail.

perfect weather for running and the problem with scenic is that I had to make too many photo stops.

It was too nice out to go home so I stayed and walked the perimeter of Peebles Island. There were lots of people taking advantage of the weather. I saw an eagle’s nest and two eagles.

As you can see from the top collage, I stopped for ice cream on the way home (a soft-serve kiddie cone:)= my fave )

This Coming Week – 

  • Monday – rest day
  • Tuesday –  run
  • Wednesday – rest day, walk
  • Thursday – run 
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg walk
  • Saturday – 5k race. LONG  RUN
  • Sunday – rest day, walk

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? Anyone training yet for a big 2020 race? Have any of the races that you trained for cancelled? Do you have a treadmill at home? How is this virus affecting you and your family? Please share.

Friday Five: Low Budget Runner

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

And NO I’m not posting about anything related to the Corona virus…I’ll leave that to the other bloggers lol

My topic today is: How to be a Runner Without Breaking the Bank

I know most of you love your gadgets and running outfits but you can spend little money and still be a runner.

Here’s what I recommend (from personal experience):

1. Buy an older version of a GPS watch. They will most likely do what you need (without the bells and whistles.) If the battery dies, surf the web and just buy another. I’ve found mine under $100 on Walmart.com.

I’ve bought the 205 three times already

2. Make some DIY items. For example, cut off knee socks instead of buying expensive arm sleeves. Wear two pairs of cheap gloves instead of lined expensive ones.

Like my arm warmers?

You can even use two tennis balls to roll tight muscles.

Picture of Tape Tennis Balls Together

I put them in a sock and tied the end.

from https://www.sheknows.com

3. Register for races early or with discount codes. Many bloggers are race ambassadors and have codes. Discount codes are often offered on special dates like National Running Day.

4. Buy your running shoes online. Once you know what you like, you can find deals on them at various online stores like Zappos, Runner Warehouse, Amazon, etc.

5. Running clothes from Walmart, Kohl’s and Target work fine. If you have to run in name brands, try online sites like Poshmark, title9 and many others that offer cheaper prices.

This Target jacket is about 10 years old. I have it in white too. I am also wearing two pairs of Dollar store gloves.

Happy Running! Any other ideas for saving money? Have you used any of my ideas? Please share.

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Tuesday Topics: Spring Racing

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

My Topic today is: Spring Racing 2020

So what HAD I planned for this spring? (Now most are cancelled or postponed…)

Some of my Tried and True Races:

  • 03-29-20 – Shamrock Shuffle it’s a fun 5 mile local race that I have run several times. Hoping for dry weather this year.

POSTPONED UNTIL 2021

  • 04-18-20 – Helderberg to Hudson Half Marathon – It will be my 2nd time running this popular downhill local race. Most of my friends will be running it.

it hasn’t officially announced but I’m sure that it will be cancelled.

  • 05-03-20 – Tropicool 5k – I have run this one several times while on my tennis vacation in Fl. It’s a HOT one but still fun.

DATE CHANGED to when I’m not there…

  • 05-09-20 – Summer Smith Memorial 5k – This is a race I run because it is organized by Summer’s mother – Summer died of a drug overdose after her first 5k. And it’s on my BIRTHDAY!! I have to do it, right?

POSTPONED UNTIL???

  • 05-17-20 – Steel Rail Half Marathon – This will be my 2nd time for this one – It’s my current HM PR from 2017. Can I recapture some of that old speed???

still on for now…

  • 05-21-20 – Workforce Challenge – I will run this 3.5 mile crowded race to bond with some of my co-workers. Always a good time at least for the post-race eating and drinking.

I am scheduled to work in Buffalo that day…

  • 05-30-20 – Freihofer Run for Women – This is my favorite 5k – I have run it EVERY year since I started running.  And this year for the first time, I am an Ambassador. You shoild use AMBSS5 for $5 off when you sign up.

still on…for now…

  • 06-14-20 – Betar Byway 5k and Moreau Mile – It’s on the way to our boat so I usually stop off and run both of them.

this conflicts with the NYC mini weekend

Some Possible New Ones:

  • 04-03-20 – Salem April Fool’s Day RaceThis would be just for something different. Most likely the I’d run the 10k as a training run for my April half.

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CANCELLED

  • 04-26-20 – Sasha’s Super Hero RunMy friends talked me into this 5k. It’s for a good cause.

Image result for sasha superhero 5k

POSTPONED to the weekend I’m in NYC for the MINI

  • 6-13-20  – NY Mini 10k – When the NYC Half Marathon got cancelled, on an impulse I signed up for this women’s only race in Central Park.

Image result for nyc mini 10k

should be on!!!!!!!!!!

So as you can see, my busy spring racing schedule is pretty bare.

Looking forward to 2021 anyone?


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! Any exciting racing plans for spring 2020 or 2021? Which ones are you looking forward to? Do you have a lot of cancelled races? How are you are feeling about it? Please share.

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Weekly Run Down for 3.9.20-3.15.20: Race Cancelled!!

We turned our clocks ahead so more daylight. Win, Win on my post work day running (except for the rain.)

Sadly the week ended with the CANCELLATION of Half Marathon #42 and #3 for 2020: NYC Half Marathon!!!

Very upset..all that training…for NADA!

I can get a confirmed entry for next year but I don’t get a refund ($130) for this year’s race and I have to pay another $130 for next year’s race.

That really sucks!!

I will probably take the refund and take my chances with the lottery (or some miracle that I can run fast enough again & get into the timed entry lottery.)

Unfortunately I did not register for the Brooklyn Half because I did not want to run two half marathons that started in Prospect Park.

Enough whining!!

Last Week –

  • Monday – I started the day with a PT appt…my last one!!  It was like graduation.

I love Ashley. I was sad and happy to say good-bye. Now we are just FB friends.

Then after work, I went back to my podiatrist…the one who gave me the shot a few weeks ago. We talked about next steps… Nada! Continue wearing the metatarsal pad (instead of buying expensive orthotics) if it helps and if the pain starts to return, she’ll give me another B12 shot.

celebration drink!!

A beautiful spring day (74 degrees!!) and of course, it was a rest day. I was able to sneak in a quick walk before my meeting for the Freihofers Run for Women Ambassador Program. It was held at the Athleta store in the mall…(so that we would buy something with our 30% discount).

I only knew one or two of the runners so it was great meeting the others. Sorry Athleta, I stayed true to Skirt Sports and only bought a bra.

  • Tuesday – I planned to run with Chris after work and was hoping that the predicted rain would hold off. But it was obvious that if I waited for her to finish work, we would get rained on.  I was right.

a solo run but a dry muggy one

  • Wednesday – Another after work run. This time with Chris. We were as usual had the end of the day draggies but we got it done.

Back at UAlbany for the first time this week

  • Thursday – I cancelled my chiro appt.  It didn’t seem to matter if I was not running the half marathon on Saturday. I may schedule another before my April 18 half marathon (if that race happens.)

My NYC friend did pick up my race shirt and medal.

Instead of a run, I went out to dinner with a former co-worker. Unfortunately she had had to cancel her wedding due this this stupid virus.

  • Friday – Another rest day. I planned to stop at the gym before playing mah jongg.

UGH!!!

  • Saturday – I ran with Stan and the Sole Sisters. Since the NYC Half Marathon was cancelled, Sherry, Stan and I decided to run it virtually (I had to earn that medal and shirt!). It wasn’t easy and Stan is quite speedy so it was faster than my normal long run (but obviously slower than a race.) Chris was there too to cheer us on. And after, we all went out to a delicious and well-deserved brunch.

we ran in both directions on the Nisky bike path…it was a little breezy in one direction but quite comfortable (even warm) in the other

  • Sunday – Another rest day (with NO gym available).  I got my nails done and did some errands and took a long walk with Barbara.

we chatted and chatted, saw an eagle and I wore my new HOKAs (yup, I returned the last pair and trying another…)

This Coming Week – 

  • Monday – run
  • Tuesday –  rest day, hair appt.
  • Wednesday – train to NYC, run in CP, meet up with Cari & Elizabeth
  • Thursday – run on HL or along the Hudson, Billy Joel Concert (cancelled)
  • Friday – rest day, train home from NYC
  • Saturday – Long Run, yoga, wedding (cancelled)
  • Sunday – 10.5 mile H2H preview run(cancelled)

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? Anyone training yet for a big 2020 race? Who was running the NYC Half Marathon?  Ever have a big race that you trained for cancelled? How do you feel when you are done with PT?  Do you regularly see a chiro (even if you are not injured?)  What about orthotics?  Have you spent the $$$ on custom ones? Please share.

Friday Five: Running with a Neuroma

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

My Topic today is about my Neuroma.

Image result for Neuroma

If you’ve been reading blog, you are aware since November 20 and until recently, I’ve been suffering with foot pain….diagnosed as a possible Neuroma.

Being a stubborn runner, I did run.

Here are some of the things that I’ve learned that may help you if you ever suffer from one (and I hope you never do.):

1.Rest and Anti-Inflammatory Medications – The onset of a Neuroma is usually gradual. In some cases (like mine), a Neuroma can occur suddenly. In these cases, taking a few days (or weeks) to rest and allow your body to heal could be beneficial. Similar to rest, a short course of anti-inflammatory medication (over the counter or prescribed) can also allow your foot to heal, if the onset of the Neuroma symptoms is relatively sudden.

Image result for naproxen

2.Injections- Cortisone is basically an anti-inflammatory. When injected in the area of the Neuroma, it can reduce the swelling in the nerve and help it to heal. Other types of injections also exist: a dilute alcohol solution is sometimes used to chemically deaden the nerve. Vitamin B12 can also be used.

Image result for cortisone shot for neuroma

3.Physical Therapy- There are circumstances where PT can be effective. Tight calf and hamstring muscles place added pressure on the ball of the foot. Physical therapists can help reduce pressure on the ball of the foot by working on the stretch and laxity in the calf and hamstring muscles. They may also use other tools such as ART, ultrasound heat or lasers.

Billing for Low Level Laser Therapy featured image

4.Padding- There are a variety of pre-made inserts designed to alleviate the painful symptoms of a Neuroma. The easiest to use is a small adhesive cushion called a metatarsal pad. This pad is a soft cushion with a triangular, teardrop shape. When effective, the metatarsal pad shifts weight in front of the Neuroma, allowing it to heal. If runners cannot find a comfortable over the counter insert, a custom orthotic can be made by your doctor.

my mummy foot lol

5.Shoes – Shoes with a heel exceeding 2 inches, and shoes with narrow toe boxes place increased stress on the toes and the bones along the ball of the foot. This can aggravate a Neuroma. This is also true for running shoes that have tapered, snug-fitting toe boxes. Being mindful of shoe choice can help a Neuroma to resolve. Runners need to try out different shoes to find the one that works best for them.

perhaps?? – lower heal drop and more cushion on the ball of foot in addition to a wide toe box

**Pain Relief Cream – Voltaren (or generic) – This is prescription only and can be rubbed onto the painful area of the foot.


I never thought I would run again without pain.  But I am. For how long? No one knows.  If you have a Neuroma, you are not cured. The pain may return.

If you have read my previous post, you know that I tried all of the above in this order:

  • Rest – for 3 weeks
  • Naproxen – for 2 weeks
  • Cortisone shot
  • PT – for 8 weeks (with ART, heat ultrasound and laser therapy)
  • 4 different brands of running shoes
  • B12 shot with cortisone
  • Metatarsal pad
  • Voltaren (after the pain had stopped, though)

running with lots of pain on Nov. 23

running pain-free run on Feb 23

It is so interesting that someone read my post about running with pain and emailed me about this study:

https://runrepeat.com/arch-support-study

Take a read!!  Food for thought.

Happy Running! Any experience with a Neuroma? What did you think of the arch support study? Please share.

 

Tuesday Topics: Trail Running? Oui ou Non?

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

My Topic today is: Trail Running – Yes or No?

If you said Trail Racing, I would have replied Doubtful.

Until last summer, I was even skeptical about trail running.

But now, it’s a resounding YES!

I am clumsy but I’ve overcome my fear of falling. Just go slow. Duh?

I have gotten over my competitive spirit and don’t care about being last (as long as I don’t get lost.)

Trails tend to be a longer drive away but carpooling with friends makes that doable, as well.

Six Mile Water Works

Each trail is different. Usually scenic. Dirt is easier on the (old) joints.

Tawasentha Park

Where I live, there is a running club (ARE) that organizes weekly trail runs during the summer months.

Indian Ladder Farms

Win-Win on Trail Running.

Huyck Preserve

Can’t wait until they start up again in May!!

Thacher Park

But don’t take my word for it. Here are some posts about the benefits of trail running:

13 Incredible Benefits of Trail Running


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! So what’s your vote on trail running? Please share.

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