Tuesday Topics: The Best of 2019

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

My Topic this week is as I and other bloggers have done in past years, is My Year of Running in 2019! (Better late than never…)

Warning. I’m not good at picking just one or even two. Lol

  • Best Race(s):

So what determines a “best” race? Fastest? Best Food? Most scenic course? Most organized? Best swag?

Any or all of the above.

Helderberg 2 Hudson Half Marathon

It was the first annual for this local race and though my finish time was not a PR, it did qualify me the for NYC Half 2020.

Great Sacandaga Half Marathon

Another first annual race and it got me my FIRST trophy.

Freihofer’s Run for Women

How could I not mention the only race I have run every year. Besides, this local 5k was probably one of  my fastest of 2019.

I did enjoy all of my 31 races in 2019. Each one was special in a different way.

  • Best Run(s):

My runs are not usually very good or very exciting.

But I’d say that my best ones were done with my local running friends. We call our group the “Sole Sisters.”

They have gotten me to run longer and faster and to walk less. The best part is being accountable during those hot summer days and long cold winter months.

I would be remiss not to mention that my job has allowed me run on some neat new bike paths and parks in 2019. That has been exciting (the running not the job or the traveling).

Hauppauge, NY

Vestal, NY

Liberty, NY

And then there were my FIRST group trail runs.

beautiful view!

lots of laughs

  • Best New Piece(s) of Running Gear:

I have bought many pairs of running shoes. In 2019, I switched from Nikes to Mizunos.

happy feet from March to November

I have, of course, bought countless Skirt Sports running clothes. In 2019, I experimented with a new skirt (instead of my usual Gym Girl Ultra).

Hello Cascade…

I love my Zensah Compression Calf Sleeves.  I have many pairs of compression calf sleeves and socks but some are too tight, some are not tight enough.  Zensahs are perfect.

My favorite has been my new After Shokz headphones.  I find wearing headphones so uncomfortable that I usually just play music or podcasts right from my phone. Well, I will disturb passers-by no more.

  • Most Inspirational Runner(s)

Well, there are quite a few.

Image result for break 2 hours marathon"

whoa .. sub 2 hour marathon!!

Image result for joan samuelson 2019"

At 61 years old, Joan Samuelson ran within 30 minutes of her winning time 40 years ago!!!!

Meb, of course but my NYCM roommate Lacey who at age 33 has already run 22 marathons (and BQed).

  • Favorite Picture from a Run or Race:

Again there are a few (although I didn’t buy any of them):

Surf Town Half Marathon

NYC Marathon

Great Sacandaga Half Marathon

NYC Half Marathon

  • Race Experience(s) you would repeat in a heart beat:

Well you know I love race-cations so there were several in 2019.

Brooklyn Hot Chocolate 15k

I loved the swag for this first annual race and the weekend shenanigans with friends were unforgettable.

Publix Half Marathon

This Florida race course was beautiful but it poured the whole 13.1 miles.  I need a do-over.

Surf Town Half Marathon

Who doesn’t love a race with ocean/beach views?

I doubt I will be able to repeat any of these but I would if I could.

  • If you could sum up your year in a couple of words what would they be?

Running…Vacations…Friends…Marathon

Looking forward to what 2020 brings…


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

Happy Running! What are some of the highlights of 2019 in running? Please share.

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Friday Five: Looking Ahead

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 this week is: Looking Ahead to 2020

I’m not into goals but last January, I posted about my plans for 2019 and last week, I reflected on them.

I didn’t do so well but that did not discourage me from setting in motion some plans for the coming year.

(Warning: I wrote this post before my sore foot woes and I decided not to delete it cuz you never know…)

1. Run 1000 miles.

It’s a number that I strive to meet each year. I may or may not reach it but I should come close if I have been running consistently all year and I have not gotten injured.

See the source image

2. Add another physical activity to my life besides running.

I’d prefer it to be tennis but that will probably not happen until I retire or get a different job.

So I’d like to take a yoga class now and then, go for lunchtime walks or even hit the gym. 

this instructor is my favorite – she has monthly 2 hour sessions on different parts of the body – geared toward runners

3. Participate often in local running group runs.

This was an unexpected activity from last year.  I ran in many of the ARE summer trail runs. I started late because I hesitated on joining this group. I plan go to ALL of them this year even if my friends are not going.

Huyck Preserve

I also started attending some other group runs such as SOAR and Ice Cream Runs.  If they are scheduled again, I plan to participate.

4. Set a PR or Course PR at any distance.

Realistically I think PRs may be out of reach as I age or my foot continues to be a problem.. But since I often run the same races, possibly I can improve at one race.

maybe at Race to the Lakes 15k?

And first time races or distances do not count lol.

5. And finally…. Run a Half Marathon 15K or Half Marathon Every Month.

Yes, you heard that right. Twelve Distance races in Twelve Months.

(Ok maybe I jinxed myself when I came up with the Half Marathon goal in November – right afterward, my foot started to hurt… so I edited the goal to include 15ks as well)

So it may not happen but it will be fun trying (virtual ones count.)

  • January – Fred LeBow Half Marathion in NYC (doubtful due to foot injury) or Winter Series #4 15k
  • February – ZOOMA Bermuda Half Marathon (fingers crossed for this one)
  • March  – NYC Half Marathon (yes, please!)
  • April – Helderberg 2 Hudson Half Marathon
  • May  – Sacandaga or Steel Rail Half Marathon?
  • June – Race to the Lakes 15k
  • July – Boilermaker 15k?
  • August – a virtual 15k
  • September – Adirondack or Palio Half Marathon?
  • October – Finger Lakes Half Marathon?
  • November – Stockadeathon 15K
  • December – Ted Corbitt 15K or Palm Beach Half Marathon?

Feel free to recommend some…

Happy Running!  Any goals or plans for 2020? When you get injured, do you re-write your goals? Please share.

Bill Hogan Winter Series #2 (3.75 m) Race Recap

hhm15

January 1, 2020 Noon

Every year, the Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club puts on the Winter Series, a series of free races for its members ($5 for non-members). On New Year’s Day, starting at noon, they offer the Hangover Half or 3.5 mile Bill Hogan Run as Winter Series #2.

In 2015, I ran the Hangover Half (as a training run.)

hangover-059

and it was a very cold one

Then in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, I wasn’t that crazy and I only ran the 3.5 Miler.

It was definitely more enjoyable so I decided to run the 3.5 miler again. They call it a 3.5 miler but I realize each year after the race that it is actually 3.75 miles.

Starting at noon meant that I was able to enjoy my New Year’s Eve.

I arrived at UAlbany early figuring that there are a lot of local runners who do these races and I wanted to get a close parking space.

Today it was forecast to be in the high 30s but I was worried about the wind on this course. It is always windy!

I wore the usual winter layers. The good thing was that there is an indoor place to hang out before and after the race.

This race brings out everyone I know who runs – from running groups, races, friends, etc.

hanging with SS (Sole Sister) Jeri

So it was great seeing everyone and catching up. I immediately bumped into runners that I know from races but only one of the Sole Sisters. We hung out inside and chatted until the very last moment when we had to go outside.

SS Judy chose to volunteer rather than run this year

Eventually we did have to leave the nice warm building and climb down the stairs and head to the start.

I just squeezed in near the front in order to keep warm and be shielded from the wind.

My biggest worry, of course, has been my foot. It hasn’t been pain-free since November 10.  There were 3 weeks off from running completely and then a few slow run/walks.

I told myself to have a “relaxing” race and not try anything stupid to make my foot pain worse.

Hangover_Half-002-L

This course is not flat. There are annoying hills throughout. Nothing awful until you are tired (at mile 3).

pic from a previous year…no snow this year but no blue skies either

This was the first year that I can remember that there was NO ice or snow.

I won’t lie. I was a little cold especially with the wind but at times, I was warm and unzipped my vest. I even eventually took off my gloves. I was happy with my clothing choice.

There were 208 runners running the 3.5 miler (and 197 in the half). I was never running alone. I ran with someone I knew several times when they caught up to me but soon they left me behind.

I wasn’t bothered at all by my apparent lack of speed. I was just trying to get a run in. I wanted to run the race without walking too much since I rarely do that during my weekday runs. And I did for the first three miles despite the fact that my foot hurt with every step.  Unfortunately with my 6 miler the previous Saturday, my foot pain eventually went away.  It did not today. I tried to ignore and just finish so the pain would end.

There were no mile markers on the course but I could hear my Garmin beep. I couldn’t pay attention to my pace or time because my Garmin was under my long sleeves. (Probably a good thing.)

another pic from a previous year

As I mentioned, I was running until mile 3.  This was the most boring part of the course as well as uphill.  To make matters worse, the wind cam out of nowhere here. I struggled and the wind seem to suck the life out of my legs.  Runners were passing me by, even a runner pushing a child in a stroller.  I finally gave it and walked.  But it was just as hard to walk into the wind and so I started running again. At this point, I just wanted to finish. and be pain-free.

Finally, it was over and I was surprised to see that the clock read 35 minutes. I knew that it would not be close to a course PR but I actually thought that I was even slower than that.

So I sprinted and crossed at 35:06.

I was content!!

Soon after, a few friends finished. We chatted. One in particular shared her identical foot issues and gave me the name her PT that enabled her to run pain-free. Score!

Eventually Jeri finished too. But I was too busy chatting and didn’t get her pic.

These free races are not chip-timed. They handed you a piece of paper and then you recorded your time.

Mile splits:

mile 1: 9:13
mile 2: 9:12
mile 3: 9:28
.75 – 9:40

Good old positive splits. Nothing has changed for 2020. LOL

Again this year, the course was long!! I was not surprised that I was slower than last year (34:15) and far behind my course PR from 2018 (34:04). Nevertheless, I was happy with how I ran the race. I never felt really tired or that I was pushing hard. I think if it weren’t for my sore foot, I could have run the whole thing and had an even better finish time.

Definitely not disappointed to not have chosen to run 13.1 miles.

For a free race, they have decent refreshments – soup, bread, fruit, cookies, hot cocoa.

And I had all of the above and many pieces of cranberry bread.

I waited around for awhile and chatted with other runners. Another runner also told me about her similar foot pain (bone bruises & tendinitis = 6 weeks of biking instead of running).  It seems that everyone has a story and a remedy…so we’ll what happens with my foot.

At these winter races, they give 10 year AG awards to the top 2 in each group. Two years ago, I won 2nd place and a free loaf of bread. Not so this year. I was 4th I think. Jeri and I did not hang around and went out for coffee instead.

So a race and a perfect way to start off 2020! (Now only if my foot pain would go away soooon!)


Weekly Run Down for 12.30.19-1.5.20: Welcome 2020!

As so the decade has ended…

And I was home for the second week in a row. My running was slow, painful but continuing (which was a good thing, I think.)

Last Week –

  • Monday – My 8 year anniversary… serious ankle surgery due to a broken fibula and tibia…

Five months of recovery and I was back to running.

May 31, 2012 with my running tribe at that time – my first outdoor run was a 5k race LOL

To celebrate, I had to run, right?  Too bad it was raining and sleeting. No choice but to head to the gym for a few miles on the dreadmill.

I seem to be a frequent visitor here

  • Tuesday – New Year’s Eve. I normally would have run but I had planned to race the next day and I was going out with the hubby. But first I rode the bike at the gym.

  • Wednesday – Day Off and I started it with a local race. Winter Series #2. There were several options but I chose the 3.5 miler (or actually 3.75).  I knew a lot of runners here so it was great to catch up. Only one of my “Sole Sisters” ran it this year.

my foot hurt (more than during the 6 miler on Sat.) still glad I did it. Crazy, huh?

  • Thursday – Just in case the doctor told me to stop running, I ran after work again…back to UAlbany with a friend.

for some strange reason, my foot felt a lot better during today’s run

Then I went out to dinner with a former co-worker. The holiday over-eating continues.

  • Friday – Foot Doctor appt. I told him that it felt a little better but that it still hurt. He wanted to give me a cortisone shot.  I wanted a MRI so I could know exactly what was wrong.  So I went for an MRI. Now I’m waiting for the results. After work and before mah jongg, I went back to the gym to ride the bike.

maybe these Altras will cure my foot woes

  • Saturday – Long run scheduled with the Sole Sisters. With a possible half marathon in a few weeks, I had decided to try and increase my distance. Unfortunately there was rain…lots of rain so I got my nails done instead… and did a lot of cleaning around the house.
  • Sunday – Rescheduled long run. It was cold and windy but at least dry. Many (but not all) of the Sole Sisters went able to come to run, walk and or have brunch.

foot pain = a lot, a little, none, repeat = frustrating


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? How did you spend your new Year’s Eve? Have you raced yet in 2020? Any experiences with cortisone shots? Please share.

Friday Five: Looking Back and Having Coffee

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 this week is: Looking Back on 2019

I’m not really into goals but last January, I posted about my plans for 2019.

Here’s what I wrote:

1. Run 1000 miles.

It’s just a number.  But that number means two things to me.  I have been running consistently all year and that I have not been injured.

2. Take some yoga classes.

I’m not good at yoga. I have zero flexibility. But it is relaxing and my life is not. So I think it will help me both mentally and physically.

3. Do some strength or cross training.

I hope to play more tennis starting in June but I do have access to a local free gym. I’d like to get there on some of my rest days.

4. Train seriously for One Race.

Not sure which one but I have already registered for five half marathons so maybe the local one. Or maybe a 5k.

5. And finally…. Finish a 26.2 mile race.

Yes, you heard that right. I haven’t registered yet (next week) but it seems crazy not to take advantage of qualifying for this year’s NYC Marathon.

So how did I do??

1 . Run 1000 miles.

Nope947. If not for my calf injury in February and sore foot in December, I may have reached that number.  As I said, “It’s only a number.”  I am NOT disappointed in my 2019 mileage.

2. Take some yoga classes.

Not until November.  I blame it on work travel which was often insane and marathon training.

So better late than never. I have taken a few classes in the last two months of the year. Maybe that will be a sign of the future.

3. Do some strength or cross training.

No on this one, as well.  I decided to not join a tennis club and play weekly. As a result, I played during my May tennis vacation in May and not again since then.

As far as the gym, just an occasional trip to use the arm machines or the treadmill or recently the bike. Nothing to write home about for same reason as not going to yoga classes.

4. Train seriously for One Race.

A big No on this one too. Due to work travel, I didn’t participate in the Freihofer or Troy Turkey Trot training groups.

No drills. I just showed up for a race now and then and did my best.

5. And finally…. Finish a 26.2 mile race.

Yes, Yes, Yes.

My success story of the year. I ran my first full marathon.

The funny thing about posting these plans/goals is that I don’t remember writing them. So I didn’t think about them all year.

I’m not disappointed at all in how my year turned out (even though 4 out 5 of my plans didn’t materialize.)

2019 was still a good year in my book. (I am trying not to focus on the month of December and how the year ended.)

It’s also that time of the month…

ultimate coffee date

…to join up with Coco Deborah for their ultimate coffee date.

Happy Running!  Any goals or plans for 2019? If so, did you meet them? Please share.

Tuesday Topics: 2019 Assessment

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

My Topic this week is: My Assessment of 2019

I’m a teacher at heart. (once a teacher, always a teacher.)

And you can’t grow in the future unless you assess the past. 

Yes, it was a good year meaning lots of bling, miles and races.  You’ve seen my pictures but do they really tell the story?

Here’s my story:

I ran 947 miles.

I didn’t have a goal of 1000 miles but it was a number than I wanted to meet and I have only done it twice.

2018 – 894.5 miles
2017 – 1041.5 miles
2016 – 1046 miles
2015 – 969 miles
2014 – 911 miles

not this year

I had a calf injury for 5 weeks in Feb-March.  I do think, though, that my marathon training long runs made up for the injury. Of course, minimal miles in December definitely ended any chance of reaching 1000.

My job and travel interferes greatly with getting in the weekday miles.  However, I’m not a runner who needs those high mileage weeks and I also think the lower mileage has helped keep me injury-free for the most part (until December that is.)

I ran 31 races. 6 Half Marathons, 3 15ks, 2 10ks and the rest were shorter distances. Eleven were new races. Five of the new ones were half marathons and of course, there was NYC, my first MARATHON!

Again fewer than previous years. I have run 40 or close to it in the past.

But it was a conscious choice, not because I was injured. Only the last two December races did I DNS.

I’m a social runner and racing to me is a way to run and meet up with other runners. But with the ability to run with runner friends on the weekends, I didn’t feel the need to sign up for as many races.

my weekend BRFs

The ones I did run, I enjoyed and I usually try to run different races each year. But this year, they tended to be halfs. I guess there were not many NEW local races that appealed to me.

I continued to win my age group in most of the races that I entered.

This happens when you are in an old lady’s age group. But still, it makes me happy.

I am most proud of winning in longer races such as Sacandaga Half and Surf Town Half and in NYC races (Brooklyn Speed Series 5k, Building Brooklyn 5k, and Grete Gallop 10K, Hot Chocolate 15k.)

Although I did not have a PR year (like last year), I completed my first FULL Marathon.

I know I am slowing down.  I’m not sure how much or how often.  It just feels harder every time I go out there.

Last year, I had many course PRs at races that I have run multiple times. Not this year.

But I think I am enjoying running more and PRs just don’t seem as important as they used to.

ran most of this race while chatting with Renee

It also helped that I focused on my marathon and I couldn’t be prouder of that achievement.

My Finish times were for the most part consistent (at least for the shorter distances).

Considering my lack of training, (I run but don’t follow a plan per se nor do I do any speed drills), I did ok.

I didn’t break any speed records. But I finished most of my 5ks under 29 minutes. That elusive sub 27 5K still stands (and may stand forever.)

one of my better showings

My half marathon finish times were meh:

Publix – 2:20:29
NYC – 2:16:01
H2H – 2:11:15
Sacandaga – 2:13:03
Surf town – 2:16:08
Hannaford – 2:22:05 (post 7 miles)
NYC Marathon – 2:26.56 (first 13.1)

Not close to my PR (2:06:52) but the important finish time (under 2:12:00) was met in the Helderberg to Hudson Half Marathon. It qualified me for NYC Half 2020 and NYC Marathon 2020.

I conquered my fear of trail running.

I ran this summer for the first time in many of the ARE Summer Trail Running Series. They are held weekly at different local trails.

Huyck Preserve

I enjoyed them immensely. I met new runners. I discovered new places to run. And I never fell.

Thacher Park

Someday, I may even sign up for a trail race.  But I’m not there yet.

Stay turned for Friday when I’ll post what I had planned for 2019 and next Friday’s post when I’ll look ahead to 2020.


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

Happy Running!  Do you assess your year of running? If so, how did you do?

Tuesday Topics: Keeping Sane When You Cannot Run

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

This is a topic that no runner wants to write about.

It’s so popular to say “Running is my Therapy.” But what if it is really true.

What can you do if you cannot run?

Find a new hobby.

It could be knitting, doing a puzzle or an adult coloring book.

It has to be something that you find enjoyable and that keeps you occupied during the time you would be running.

Stay Active.

Walk if you can. Ride a bike. Do yoga. Swim. Work out.

Find a physical activity to temporarily replace running.

Spend time with family and friends.

You have more time now that you do not have to run or have scheduled races.

Contact those people you haven’t spend time with lately and plan get togethers.

Stay positive.

No sense focusing on those DNSed races and missed runs.

Plan for the future. But new shoes or a new outfit. Pick a new race or running goal.

Happy Running! Any other tips? Share it here!
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