Runfessions for October

It’s that time again. Time to get things off my chest with Marcia’s Runfessions at Marcia’s Healthy Slice

1. I runfess…

I signed up for a series of 8 fall virtual 5k races. They were free and I thought that they would motivate to improve my pace and get more serious about running.

They did not.  I grew more disinterested with each one and my pace got slower and I walked more.

Obviously virtual races are not races in my eyes.

2. I runfess…

I also signed up for a virtual half marathon because it was ZOOMA race, the ZOOMA director bought Skirt Sports (I have been, as you know, a Skirt Sports ambassador for many years) and there was great swag.

AmeliaNoMedal_Mockup_Social.jpg

I am so over paying for virtual races.  I feel bad for the racing companies and charities but no more!!

last one!!

3.I runfess…

I’m struggling with the fact several of my running friends have become walking friends (and my consistent partner is wintering in Florida).  I know it’s selfish but I like company when I run.  And although there are no races, I still want to keep up with my long runs.

I miss the races we used to run together.

4. I runfess…

I want this pandemic to end so I can travel again.  I have a trip tentatively planned in February but Florida is a hot spot and even if there race happens, I wonder if my Florida friends will let me stay with them.

View of the beach in Fort Lauderdale from Florida's A1A. (Photo by Jared/flickr)

I know this is where I will want to be in Feb!!

5.I runfess…

I’m pretty nervous about my upcoming “real” half marathon.  I forgot what it was like to race.  I’m pretty sure that it will my slowest one ever.  I don’t really care about that. I just hope it will be still fun and won’t taint my vision of racing.

STEVE SCHALLENKAMP: Region is returning to a new normal in running | Sports | dailyfreeman.com

the new normal – staggered starts, no water stops, no bag check – masks


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.

Happy Running! Anything to runfess this month? So glad to get mine out in the open? Can you identify with any of them? Please share.

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Weekly Run Down for 10.19.20-10.25.20: Foliage Running and Hiking Continue

Fewer daylight hours every day but still enjoying my hiking opportunities. Oh and my runs too.

The weather and colors have been amazing this fall. The only bright side of 2020.

Last Week –

  • Monday – I thought about taking a rest day. Especially after a half marathon and a tough hike over the weekend but looking at my schedule, it seemed like I may not have time for a run all week.  My legs were feeling surprisingly fresh so I decided on an easy 5k. I drove to the rail trail but veered off in search of a NEW local park (with trails).

my last of 8 virtual 5ks and so excited to locate the new local trails.

I was glad to have gotten that run in since it was raining when I got done with work.  I still decided to check out that new park.

a little muddy…plan to explore it even more on another drier day.

  • Tuesday – A very windy morning with rain on the way so I got in a quick morning walk with hopes of a run and/or walk after work.

lots of color (even with the dreary skies) and Halloween decorations

I went out for a second walk and it still wasn’t raining so I decided on a spur of the moment short run.

not planned so overdressed and no hat…would have run longer if I were prepared to run

I had to go into work in the afternoon and decided to keep on my running clothes (in hopes that no one would see me there) and I could finish my run nearby.

run done at Ualbany…yes those are Christmas balls on that tree

It was predicted to rain and again my STEM volunteer walk assignment was cancelled. So I headed to the Pine Hollow Arboretum to get in a few more steps and to check the damage from our recent storm.

many big trees down and still in awe of the foliage colors this fall

  • Wednesday – My third day in a row of running but rest days were definitely scheduled for Thursday and Friday. Not enough time to go anywhere but the neighborhood.

these blow up decorations seem to be big this year

After work, my running group’s trail walk was scheduled. It seems that our group is getting smaller but still glad to have the company and get it done before darkness.  For that reason, I chose the Pine Bush Discovery Center trails.

still able to get the whole trail in before sunset…only a few more weeks left

  • Thursday – A planned day off from work so I could go hiking with a friend.  Luckily I have had fantastic weather for all my hikes.  Today was the same. My friend chose the Beacon Fire Tower for our hike.  It was quite a difficult one and a long one (6 hours!!). There were 5 of us and we got almost lost several times and met quite a few interesting people. So fun!!

many overlooks with pretty views, the ruins of a casino, a fire tower, waterfalls…

Believe it or not, when I got home I felt energized and not tired so I met my BFF for a few hours of chatting and walking around an outdoor mall.

  • Friday – A rest day and busy work day with just a few walks.

tired of the neighborhood so headed to the hilly part of the water line

After work, I took my usual walk with former co-workers. It was longer than usual and then we hung out and snacked and chatted for hours…no dinner and late bed time. Oh well.

  • SaturdayLong Run Saturday w/the Sole Sisters.  I had a real in-person race on my schedule in 3 weeks so I needed to run 11 miles.  We had originally planned to run the Great Pumpkin Challenge 5k or 10k course, do the Sound Walk in Saratoga State Park and then have brunch. But it seemed to be too complicated especially with a fall event scheduled in town.  So we switched to the Zim Smith Bike Path. I got there early and ran 2 miles solo, then 5.5 miles with Heidi and then 3.5 again solo while Judy, Jan, Chris and Jen did their own thing.  We all gathered for brunch. The weather was crazy. Warm and humid at first and then very cold and windy by the time we finished. Our outdoor brunch days may have ended 😦

sorry about the blurry pic

I wanted to stop on my way home to vote but the lines were crazy long.

Instead I did laundry, cooked and binge watched this:

Emily In Paris Season 2: Everything You Should Know!!

watched all 10 episodes – LOVED it!!!!!!!!! (it’s by the creator of SITC which I was obsessed with, as well)

  • Sunday – I usually plan a hike for Sunday but my college friends wanted to ZOOM and it was scheduled for the morning.

I got up early to get on line to vote.  It was 35 degrees but I dressed warmly and listened to a few podcasts. I got done just in time and was super happy to have gotten it done early.

The ZOOM  was fun. It is always a treat chatting with them.

friends since our junior year of college in Nice, France (one more joined later too)

After the ZOOM, I had decided on a trip to two preserves (Strawberry Fields and Mosher Marsh) that were not too difficult and too far to do after work.

Neither one was very interesting due to the fact that they were flat loops and almost all the leaves had fallen from the trees.  But it was peaceful being alone in the woods and good exercise.

the best part was the road leading to the preserve was lined with signs with the words of John Lennon’s song, Imagine

This Coming Week – 

  • Monday –  run
  • Tuesday – run, STEM walk
  • Wednesday –  rest day
  • Thursday –  run, trail walk
  • Friday – rest day, walk with friends
  • Saturday – Halloween Long Run (12 miles)
  • Sunday –  rest day, hiking

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? How are you embracing Fall? Have you watched Emily in Paris? Have you voted yet? Please share.

So you want to hike?

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.

My Friday Five topic this week is What you need to be a successful hiker

But just like running, if you don’t have the right stuff, it could be a nightmare.

  1. Shoes.

It depends on if you just walking a flat trail or climbing up a rocky one.

Until recently, I just wore my trail running shoes and they worked fine.

proud to have crossed a creek on that log

But waterproof boots are helpful when it is muddy or you have to cross water.  They also offer more support on a rocky or steep trail.

new boots, cheap poles, orange hat and swag bag

2. Support.

Your legs are going up and down. Over rocks and trees.  I usually just use I stick from a tree.  It’s the perfect height and weight for me.

getting to the top with my trusty stick

Hiking poles also work great.  I bought a cheap pair and they broke the first hike.  I did order a new pair.

3. Clothes.

Just like running, wear layers.  You will be cold at first and then warm up.

started out with gloves and a jacket…capris are my favorite since you can add socks for warmth

Wear orange or pink during hunting season.

my shirt is orange

4. Connectivity.

Always bring your cell phone.  Download the ALLTRAILS app so you can track your route. But know that you may not have cell service. So be prepared.

Download the trail map before you go!!!

5. Supplies.

Obviously you need water and a treat for the top of your climb (or end of your trek.)  Also bring toilet paper, bug spray, sunscreen, extra pair of socks, windbreaker.

snack break

You can carry everything in a light back pack.  I actually use ones I’ve gotten as swag from races (as you see in the photo above).

**6. Companions

Obviously it’s more fun to go hiking with someone else.  Make sure you all have the same expectations, ability and endurance. Otherwise it is not fun.

for my running friends, 3 miles with moderate climbs is enjoyable for everyone

I am sure that dogs make the best companions.  I have seen so many hikers with their furry friends that I get FOMO.

if you look closely, you’ll see some small dogs with colorful vests

Happy Running! Do you like to hike? Do you hike often? Any other helpful hiking tips?

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A Race of My Dreams

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

The Topic for today is: If You could Race Anywhere in the World, where would that be?

Of course, I cannot pick ONE place and right now during this pandemic, I might even answer ANYWHERE.

So here are my top picks:

#1 – Paris

As a former French teacher and lover of anything French, this city will always be #1 in my heart.

I have run there and I hope to run there again and again.

Oct 2018

#2 One of the National Parks

Bryce Canyon Half Marathon

I love hiking and I’ve been to Yellowstone, Bryce, Grand Canyon and Zion but that was before I became a runner. I would love to run a race in one or more of these parks.

National Park Race Series Is For Runners Of All Skill Levels

#3 Napa Valley or California Wine Country

I love my wine. So this is a no brainer.

Home - Napa Valley Marathon

Of course, my list could go on and on and one: Alaska, Hawaii, Italy, Switzerland, China, Iceland, Israel, etc.

Just buy me a plane ticket and I’m there.


I’m also linking up here:

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

Happy Running! Any thoughts?  Where is your dream race? Please share.

Weekly Run Down for 10.12.20-10.18.20: Hiking and Racing Virtually – That’s my life

With no races to be had, I seem to be continuing with the virtuals though I would not call it “racing.” I ran a 5k and then another half marathon this past week.

I also feel grateful that the colors this Fall have been amazing and the weather has allowed me to experience them.  I try to get to as many trails as possible.  I think I may have done SEVEN this past week.

Last Week –

  • Monday – A Holiday so a day off from work.  I thought the weather would prevent me from hiking but it did not. I had to change from a Catskill-based fire tower hike to one in the Adirondacks.  And I did it ALONE. It is definitely more fun with someone else but I met so many friendly hikers and I was able to go at my own pace. I can’t wait to do another.

the view from the top of the Spruce Mountain fire tower was breathtaking.

I felt so energized after my climb that I wanted to do another hike.  I passed Saratoga State Park and decided to stop.  I hadn’t been there in ages.  I forgot how much I love this park. Lots of pretty trails and I finally figured out the 5 mile perimeter trail.  The best part was that my hike coincided with a Sound Walk.  When you passed certain locations (if you downloaded the app), you could listen to different music.

such a pretty park. I need to go back…so many beautiful places…so little time

  • Tuesday – We finally got that rain.  Morning walk cancelled and it looked doubtful for the rest of the day.

Finally it stopped by the time I got out of work. I headed to UAlbany to squeeze in a run since although I had hiked, I hadn’t run since Saturday.

the pinwheels were done by students – positive, uplifting messages on each one

When I was done, I rushed to the mall and then back to UAlbany to volunteer with the STEM walkers. Unfortunately the session got cancelled at the last minute so I returned to the mall to finish my shopping.

  • Wednesday – Decided not to run and have a rest day today but took a few walks.

A short one in the ‘hood before work…

finally some sunshine and lots of signs of Halloween

 and a longer one at nearby Van Dyke nature preserve during lunch.

not sure if the colors are more impressive this year or that I am noticing them more

No one was available for our weekly after work trail walk so I was able to pick my own location. I chose Holt Preserve since I hadn’t been there in awhile.  It is getting dark so early so I have to be careful and not choose a long one or one that is far away.

this is one of my favorites – trails, a pond, view of the Helderbergs

I didn’t do all the trails so I had time to visit another preserve before it got dark – Holly Hock Hollow.

I only had time for the creek trail but it was pretty though not as much water as in the spring

  • Thursday – Back at it again for my next to last virtual 5k. Very windy and warm…just not feeling it!

drove to a new neighborhood for variety to complete my 6th virtual 5k…each slower than the previous lol

Then a walk on the trails at local Elm Ave. Park during lunch.

hope you’re not getting tired of my foliage pics because they are motivating me to get out there several times a day…these tall trees blocked the wind too

After work, we went out to a family dinner to celebrate my stepson’s birthday. At least that’s why I though we went to dinner. It turned out that it was to tell us that we’re going to be GRANDPARENTS!!

due May 25. My b-day is May 9 and my hubby’s May 21. So exciting!

Is it too soon to start shopping?

Running Baby One-Piece - Future Runner

  • Friday – I woke to rain…ugh. And it rained all day. At least it was a rest day but still, I like to get outside.

Have umbrella, will travel. I walked in the morning.  It drizzled on and off.

still can find beauty in the rain

It was pouring during lunch but I still took a walk.

I love that these leaves are heart-shaped…quite a challenge to take a pic while holding an umbrella

Luckily I was able to convince my friend to walk in the mall (with masks) after work.

  • SaturdayVirtual Amelia Island Half Marathon. I was debating on whether or not to do it this morning or later in the day or Sunday or even next weekend. The only good thing about virtual races is you have that choice.

It was raining all night but when I woke up, it had stopped so I decided to get it done. I had hoped to have company for many of my miles but I wasn’t sure how many and with whom. Others were arriving later and walking.  My goal was to finish 13.1 and have my treats from Leah’s Cakery as a reward.

So I drove to Zim Smith early and Barbara offered to run with me.  We ran about 2.5 miles and then Heidi arrived.  We ran about 2.5 more miles together and then I ran the rest with Heidi. I run at whatever intervals my friends want.  When alone, I just run and walk when tired.  We started at 5:1, then went to 4:1, then 3:1, 2:1…get the picture. I finally took off and sprinted the last mile.

The weather was perfect.  Wish I was actually running in Amelia Island but running with friends is the next best thing.

  • Sunday – Boating Sunday has officially been changed (our marina is closed) to Hiking Sunday until winter.  Beautiful weather continues…but always decisions to be be made: long or short, flat or mountain, mountain or fire tower, alone or with friends, north or south, near or far???

Well, I missed my boating days so I decided to get views of the lake from above.

First I drove to Pilot’s Knob Preserve.  I hiked up to the view with a new friend. Then continued on my own the rest of the way to the waterfall.  Not a difficult hike but hilly and long!!  Still worth it for the views of the lake.

Not done yet.  Next stop was Prospect Mountain. Yes I could  have hiked up the 5 miles to the top but instead I drove up stopping at all the overlooks and then finally hiking to the summit.

Up North, a lot of leaves had already fallen so it was probably past peak but still a beautiful Fall day…very grateful!

This Coming Week – 

  • Monday –  run or short hike
  • Tuesday – run, STEM walk
  • Wednesday –  run, trail walk
  • Thursday – DAY OFF – rest day, long hike, mall walk with BFF
  • Friday – rest day, walk with friends
  • Saturday – Long Run (11 miles)
  • Sunday –  rest day, college ZOOM, short hike

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? Any “real” races yet?  How are you embracing Fall? Any experiences with power outages? Please share.

Virtual Smuttynose Half Marathon Race Recap

The Smuttynose Rockfest Half Marathon & 5k

It seems like I’ve been planning this race forever. As with all my big races, I impulsively sign up way in advance (and then often regret it LOL).

So I signed up for the Smuttynose Half Marathon (long ago before the Pandemic) for several reasons:

  • My running friends decided to make this part of a group vacation in NH.
  • It was a flat course.
  • It was scenic. Ocean views.
  • There was great post race food. Beer and Lobster Rolls.
  • Nice swag.

Half Marathon Training:

If you follow my posts, you also know that I am not strict about following a training plan. For 2020, I had the ambitious goal of running 12 Half Marathons – one each month.

During my first two 2020 Half Marathons in January and February, I experienced a lot of foot pain. I ran them but truthfully, it was not fun at the time (except for the fact that I was in NYC and then Bermuda.)

And then the March NYC Half Marathon was cancelled due to the pandemic so I ran that for fun with two friends.

The pandemic continued. Races were being postponed until Fall one by one.  I ran the April Helderberg to Hudson and May Steel Rail Half Marathons “virtually” and by myself. Again no fun!!

No more half marathons during June, July, August and September. (I deferred my August half to 2021 and got refunds for both September half marathons when they went virtual.)

Eventually this half marathon as expected went virtual also but with NO refund or deferral option.

So I guess I was running one more virtual half marathon….

The difference in the training cycle for this race was that I ran at least TEN miles every weekend.  For all four months. Sometimes I even ran 11, 12 or 13 miles (until the last two weekends before the race when recovering from an inflamed SI joint. I only ran 8 and 9 miles)

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

The group decided since we had already rented a house that we would go anyway.

We left in the rain on Friday and took the scenic route to NH stopping in MA for a delicious lunch.

Once we arrived at our AirBnB in Hampton Beach, the rain had stopped.  After we got settled in (and the house was amazing), we drove our planned route and staked out the turn around (mile 6.75) and water stop locations (mile 2.75 and mile 9).

Then after sitting in a car all day, we decided on a dusk walk on the beach (with added shenanigans) before ordering in pizza for dinner. (The pizza was a little too greasy for my tastes and too many sweets were consumed but hey it wasn’t a serious carb load meal in my book).

The advantage of this race was that we could pick the day, the start time and the course.

Some of the group did not plan to run the 13.1 miles but walk it. I was fortunate to have some company for the virtual 13.1 miles.

My plan was to run on the other runners’ plan.  It would be intervals. It would be slow but we would enjoy it.  My first enjoyable half marathon of 2020!!

So I planned my outfit (sorry no #flatme) and tried to get a decent night’s sleep.

Race Day:

Although the original race was scheduled for Sunday, we decided to run it on Saturday instead.

I ate my usual breakfast – oatmeal and coffee.  Due to the dinner the night before, my stomach immediately felt off (and continued that way until after dinner…ugh)

We drove to the race start for a modified version of the real course (and we had driven the day before).  It was basically the same but without all the twists and turns.  We would just run straight along the water longer.  This way, hopefully, no one would get lost and we would not lose anyone who was walking. And it would be easier for Chris (our non-running “sherpa” to follow, cheer us on and stop at the planned stops)

Not too much exciting stats to report.  I did not wear a watch. I depended on the others to tell me when to turn around and when to run and when to walk.

Anyway, here’s how it went:

Miles 1-3:

pre-race pic

The two who were walking started first.  They were about a mile ahead of us runners.  I didn’t know at the time but they were walking at a pace fast enough to BEAT the runners! And they were focused on that the whole race.

and we were off..

The runners had decided to do 45:30 intervals the whole way.  Of course, there would be as many photos stops as needed.  The goal was to finish and have fun.

yes, I was the one taking the pics

The course couldn’t have been more scenic.  We ran along the boardwalk or sidewalks for the most part.  The ocean was in view the whole way.

At every beach, there were open bathrooms if needed.

Miles 3- 6.75:

The weather was absolutely perfect for a race (sunny and 50’s)  Too bad it wasn’t a real one.  But it was so relaxing not to worry about finish time and pace.

totally enjoying myself but this was early on. lol

At our first water stop, we shed our layers.

At one point, we lost the boardwalk and had to run along the road.   It seemed so short in our drive the day before but of course, longer today.

It was mostly flat except for one hill (as seen in the pic above).

The mansions along the water were breathtaking.

The route was so scenic that I took umpteen pics (I won’t post them all, I promise).  But when you walk every 45 seconds, it’s easy to take pics.

Miles 6.75-13.1

It may have seemed like forever but finally we arrived at our second water stop and we turned around. I should mention that I thought we would catch the walkers.  But who knew they would be walking at a 15:xx pace because they were intent on beating us.

The way back was the same as the way there. The same views.  Warmer temps but a nice breeze.

I was secretly glad that this wasn’t a real race because I felt nauseous the whole time.  I felt worse when we were walking so on the way back, I ran ahead often.

Then I would wait until the others caught up.

There was one more water stop before we hit the finish line (of toilet paper).

I wasn’t sure when that was since I wasn’t wearing a watch so I stopped and waited for someone to catch up.

Eventually, we stopped at 13.1 miles!!!

No finish line???

Nope, we misjudged the distance (in the car) so we walked until we saw the walkers (who had joyously beat us). The we each sprinted across the “finish.”

So fun. I’ve never had that much fun in a race.

Immediately we took off our shoes and ran into the ocean.

Yikes.  COLD!!!!

Following the our ocean dip, we headed to refuel at a nearby restaurant.  Lobster Rolls & Beer or whatever. We thought we should send our lunch bill to the Race Director. LOL

Additional Race Reflections:

The Good:

  • The weather
  • Flexible start time
  • Flat course
  • Scenic (ocean view)
  • Not crowded with other runners
  • No clock, no pressure.
  • Running with friends
  • Open real bathrooms
  • Our own support vehicle
  • Swag (when they ship it to me)

we bought our own matching race shirts

The Bad:

  • No Mile Markers
  • No crowd support
  • No clock at the finish line
  • No Deferral or Refund Option for this race
  • Lower cost for the virtual option than the real race BUT the same swag ($39 vs $90)
  • Not a real race hence no post-race refreshments (beer and lobster rolls) or entertainment or race photos, etc.
  • Generic Swag rather than original awesome swag

does not say Smuttynose nor NH nor half marathon, etc

The Ugly:

  • Nothing really

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. But the real thing would have been a lot more exciting, I’m sure.

Next Up:

On a whim, I signed up for this Pandemic local Half Marathon:

very hilly, staggered starts, must carry your own water…why did I sign up??

Hopefully in February I will run this one in Florida.

Publix Fort Lauderdale A1A Marathon

Final Thoughts:

2020 has been a crazy year.  Five virtual half marathons.  Not how I planned it.  Nor would I ever imagine ditching my Garmin and not thinking about my finish time during a half marathon.  I did not record my time for any of these “races.” Good or bad?  I haven’t decided.  Time will tell.


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


I’m also linking up here:

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

Happy Running! Have you been training for a big race? Are you running it as a virtual race?  Have you done any Virtual Races?  If so, how did they go? Please share.

 

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Runfessions for September

It’s that time again. Time to get things off my chest with Marcia’s Runfessions at Marcia’s Healthy Slice

I cannot believe that it is Fall.  Where did the summer go??

1. I runfess…

I signed up for a series of 8 fall virtual 5k races.  I don’t normally wear a watch but you have to post your times in order for it to count.

Instead of my Garmin, I used my Apple watch.

The problem is that I am so out of shape, that I stop and catch my breath every 30-45 sec (no exaggeration).

A bigger problem is that my watch may be on auto-pause. (actually sometimes it stops when I stop and then sometimes it does not. I never manually pause it.)

You get my drift?

2. I runfess…

I also signed up for another virtual 5k and 10k.

And I actually won my age group in each.

sign of the times…no shirt but a mask instead

At least this time, the faster runners did not run the race so I don’t feel as guilty about my awards.

3.I runfess…

I intended to run last Saturday but three of my friends had decided to walk instead of run. I gladly joined them

Who am I? Choosing to walk rather than run??

at least it was 6 miles so I could earn brunch from Leah’s

4. I runfess…

I am very comfortable running intervals at 13-14 min pace.

30:30 intervals but so enjoyable to run slow and with friends

Though I know that if I raced, this would make me very unhappy.  But it doesn’t bother me enough to run alone and try to regain some of of former speed.

5.I runfess…

I’m an amateur biker… so amateur I’m not even sure that I use the gears correctly and….. I don’t have a helmet (I know, I know, I will get one soon!!)

first bike road trip – 7 flat miles

Don’t worry.  You won’t ever see me and Big Red in a duathlon.


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.

Happy Running! Anything to runfess this month? So glad to get mine out in the open? Can you identify with any of them? Please share.

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Speed It Up

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

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

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

Well, that was then and this is now…

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

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

  • RUN VIRTUAL 5K RACES

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

  • RUN INTERVALS ON THE TRACK

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

  • DO STRIDES AT THE END OF A RUN

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

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

  • ADD SOME FARTLEKS DURING YOUR RUN

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

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

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

  • TRY TEMPO RUNS

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

Tempo runs can often be easier on a treadmill.

  • DO SOME HILL REPEATS

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

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


I’m also linking up here:

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

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

Weekly Run Down for 8.24.20-8.30.20: Just Another Manic Monday…

My second Monday in a row OFF from work!!!

Manic because I stress about weather and what to do and where to go.  It’s important when you work 5 days a week and have limited days off.  I want to make the most of them.  So far so good.

Two summer Mondays had already been filled with hiking adventures.

Exciting news on the Skirt Sports front this week. As you may know, the company went out of business….

thumbs up for Skirt Sports + ZOOMA

But then it was bought by someone else… the owner of the ZOOMA race series.

 at the ZOOMA Bermuda – one of my favorite race experiences

In NYS, gyms were allowed to open this week. The latest on my free gym:

no surprise here…hopefully they will open before it gets cold.

Last Week –

  • Monday – Day off from work! Woo Hoo!!

The day before I was at a tennis gathering on the Schroon River so I decided not to return home and stay up in the Adirondacks so I could run and hike there. (Lots of thunderstorms but missed them in both places 🙂 )

instead of a run, I opted for a walk and breakfast with a view. I didn’t want my legs to be too tired for my hike

I met my friend in North Creek (about 40 min from the marina) and we drove to the trail head.  My friend recommended Moxham Mountain since it had some great views and it was long but not too difficult.

she was right… it was amazing!!! It was worth the 4 hours!!

We were able to explore North Creek and the Mosaic Project before the rain came.

almost finished after 9 years in the making

  • Tuesday – After work, I had a hair appointment. I was planning on a rest day since I usually run on Mondays. But I did not run yesterday so I had hoped to squeeze one in at lunch.  It was so humid and it looked like the skies were about to open that I opted for a walk instead.

not too many flowers still around but I love when these white ones turn to pink

After my hair appt, I stopped off at The Crossings to get in a few miles before the next pop up thunderstorm.

another slog but didn’t get wet..yes that’s a Christmas that I frequently photograph here

  • Wednesday – I did get to run in the morning today before work. With the cooler temps, I should have been peppy but I was not lol.  Though it was in the 50s, I felt overdressed in my half-zip due to the bright sunshine.

my waterline path is overgrown 😦 but I did find some unopened sunflowers in my neighborhood

and then a walk at lunch.

fear not…there are still some flowers.. such as these red ones.

For our weekly trail walk, we returned to Thacher Park.  We chose a different trail in order to view Hang Glider Cliff. The weather and the company were PERFECT for the walk.

someone was even going to propose at the top (see pic below) …how sweet ❤

The walk was long enough to earn a dinner at one of my favorite places again – Maple on the Lake.

I wore a sweatshirt and sweat pants so I was not cold this week (as we ate outside (for the view)

  • Thursday – Whether or not I would run today was dependent on work and the weather. Rain was predicted for most of the day. When I was doing the challenge, if it were raining, I’d just grab an umbrella and walk.  Now…nope I skipped walking in the rain before work.

Only had a short break for lunch and it was POURING and thundering! Nope. Not happening.

My only hope for some activity today was after work. The rain had let up so I took off for a run at the Albany end of the rail trail (for a change of scenery).  No trails today due to the mud situation.

got it done before another storm

  • Friday – Rest Day Friday.

But due to Saturday’s weather forecast, we decided to postpone our long runs until Sunday.  That messes with my head.  Do I still rest???

Yes, but there were several walks. No time before work but one at lunch.

I decided to go to the nearby nature preserve trail since I hadn’t been there in a while.

On the way….guess what I passed??

I LOVE sunflowers!! I don’t know if they plant them every year but I’ve never seen them.  Then again, I’ve never gone to nature preserves before the pandemic.  So I ran to them and back (about 1/2 mile) and then only had time for one loop of the preserve.

Another walk right after work but only had time for the neighborhood.

happy to find some pinks and purples still around 🙂

And of course, ended my day with my weekly walk on the rail trail with former co-workers.  We returned to our original meet-up spot and headed in the opposite direction (so we wouldn’t be tempted to buy the gourmet popcorn lol)

6 miles!!

  • SaturdayLONG RUN DAY POSTPONED.

Rain, rain and more rain. I was hoping for a break in the weather to get in a bike ride or walk. It did stop and after all my errands and cleaning, I decided I needed a road trip.

So I headed out to find a hike with a decent waterfall. And I did…the best one I’ve seen so far.

On my way home, I stopped off at Art Omi, a nearby outdoor sculpture garden.  It was so interesting and perfect for distancing…everything was so spread out.

  • SundayLONG RUN DAY RE-SCHEDULED.

So normally Sunday is reserved for boating with the hubby.  Luckily for me, he is flexible.  I could run and skip boating or just head up and meet him after my run.

Since Alyssa did not defer the H2H half marathon, we wanted to support her virtual quest and so we met at Zim Smith bike path so we could have brunch at Leah’s.  (Food is a priority).

I arrived earlier and ran some miles with Alyssa and then circled back and ran intervals with Deirdre.  In the end, I completed 12 miles.  I earned my Dark n Stormy, quiche and brownie and chatted (for longer than I ran) with the other 6 Sole Sisters.

The weather was great…glad I didn’t run in the rain/humidity on Sat.

This Coming Week – 

  • Monday – rest day
  • Tuesday –  run, mall walk with BFF
  • Wednesday – rest day, trail walk
  • Thursday – run
  • Friday – rest day, walk with friends
  • Saturday – LONG RUN 
  • Sunday – rest day, Boating on Lake George

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? How are you surviving the summer heat?  Please share.

Four Somethings for August

January 2018 Share Foru Somethings #ShareFourSomethings

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

1. Something Loved.

Hiking.

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

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

The second was Vroman’s Nose in Middleburgh, NY

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

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

Have you done a lot of hiking this summer?

2. Something Read.

Back to my crime mystery borrowed collection.

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

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

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

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

Have you read this or Slaughter’s other novels?

3. Something Treasured.

Lake Time.  

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

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

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

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

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

4. Something Ahead.

??

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

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

Publix Fort Lauderdale A1A Marathon

Are you looking forward to anything?


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


I’m also linking up here:

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

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