TT: Running in a Group

My TT topic for today is: Running in a Group

This one was easy for me because that is my preference and I am lucky to live in an area where I have access to many different running groups.

So here’s why it’s beneficial to run in a group:

  • It’s fun and inclusive.

You’re never alone.  There’s always someone faster and slower than you. No one is ever left behind in group running.

  • You will be motivated to run faster.

My long runs with other runners are faster than when I run alone.

  • You will be less likely to cancel.

Especially if you’ve paid for the training.  Or people are waiting for you. And even if the weather is not ideal, you will most likely show up.

  • You will make new friends.

You will then bump into them at races or make plans to race together.

we met at the Turkey Trot Group runs

fellow Freihofer Challenge groupies

  • You may run at a location that you normally wouldn’t choose.

I’ve run at parks and in neighborhoods that I had never been to before.

path near Knickerbocker Area

Indian Ladder Farms

  • It will prepare you better for race conditions.

Yes, no one ever runs races solo.

  • Chatting with others will make the miles go faster.

The funny thing is while we run, we rarely talk about running.  But after…a different story.

  • You may learn something new.

You’ll learn about new races or new gear and even get running tips.

Now you may ask “How do I find a Running Group?”

  • Check out your local running store.

In fact that’s how I started running… through a group at our local Fleet Feet store.

  • Ask at a local race.

I’ve also met people at races and we’ve made plans to run together.

Some races even have training groups. We have several that do here and they are a great way to meet other runners.

  • People may ask you to join or start a group as result of reading your blog.

That’s exactly how I joined my first running group (Strong Running Mamas)

and my current one (Sole Sisters.)

Local runners read my blog and the rest is history.

  • Join a virtual group through FB.

Virtual groups can be just as fun fun and supportive.

You can join ones based on products you support (Skirt Sports, Zensah, NUUN, etc) or races you run (NYCM. ARE, MCM, etc. or even the type of running or workouts you do (Galloway, yoga, Peloton, etc.).

Happy Running! Do you often run with a group? If so, what benefit(s) does it offer you as a runner?  How did you find your group? Please share.


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

I’m also linking up here:

with co-hosts Coach Debbie RunsConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Laura Norris Running.


Weekly Run Down for 10.23.22-10.30.22: A Quiet Week

No travel.  No work trips. No races.

Sound boring?

Last Week:

  • Sunday – The leaves are falling quickly so I decided to do some leave peeping before they were all gone.

I also decided to stay local.  But there was a brand new trail nearby so off I drove.

it was very pretty and it connects to another bunch of trails.

I could have continued from there to additional trails but I decided to drive to the main parking lot.

no beaver sighting but it’s one of my favorite short trails there.

I moved my car to one more parking lot and had time for one more short trail

the Vlomankill was pretty shallow but I still got to enjoy the sound of running water

  • Monday – #nevermissamonday but I had to figure out when the weather would be better to run. It was raining in the morning but I had hoped it would either be dry during lunch or after work.

I got dressed to run at lunch and as soon as I got out there, it started to pour. Being mostly a fair weather runner, I decided to wait until after work.

So I drove to run at UAlbany since I was meeting my BFF for a long walk near there after.

the rain had mostly stopped… just a drizzle and still some pretty foliage to admire

  • Tuesday – Always checking the weather. I had thought of having a rest day but it looked like rain was predicted for Wednesday so I decided to run after work today.

I didn’t realize until I got to the rail trail that it must have rained recently…

70 degrees, 90% humidity and lots of wet leaves

  • Wednesday –  Finally taking a rest day. It was tempting to participate in a SOAR group run but I went for a walk (at Pine Hollow Arboretum) and did some errands instead.

75 degrees in October? I bet these leaves were confused (but beautiful even at dusk)

  • Thursday – Back out for a run today. Not as warm as the day before but sunny. I waited until after work and drove to the Albany end of the rail trail.

What a difference a day made… I was actually chilly!!

  • Friday – Rest Day!!

Not so restful as I had to work and clean the house so I could host mah jongg.

  • SaturdayLong Run!! Finally able to meet my running friends.  No race today!!

I got there early and ran 2 miles with Barbara and then met Sherry & Stan for 9 more.  Afterward, we went out to brunch with the others who were either walking or running fewer miles. (<3 my group!)

It was chilly and foggy when we started but it warmed up nicely

  • Sunday – Volunteering at a local trail race. Costumes, food, colorful foliage and lots of familiar faces… Should be loads of fun.

Hairy Gorilla Half Marathon & Squirrelly Six Mile

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday –  DAY OFF – run, hike?
  • Tuesday – run
  • Wednesday – rest day
  • Thursday – run
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday Long Run (12 miles)
  • Sunday –   Hiking?

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Running with a Group
  • Friday – Ultimate Coffee Date

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 races run or planned? Have the fall foliage colors peaked where you live?  Please share.

Runfessions for Oct. ’22

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

1.  I RUNfess… 

You know how they say “Never wear anything new on race day”?

I ordered these new Topos (Specters rather than Phantoms) and they were supposed to come after my last half marathon.

So I planned to test them out on a long run and wear them for my 15K and half marathon races in November.

But the shoes arrived early…

thumbs up… no worse than the shoes I was going to wear.

2.  I RUNfess…

I hate tapering.  Before a race, I get antsy and want to run even more.

The week before my last half marathon, I ran SIX days in a row!!

But I did take two days off before the race.

3.  I RUNfess…

I organized a college reunion in NYC …

We went out to lunch and then since we were all French majors, we visited The Little Prince exhibit at the Morgan Library.

because I wanted an excuse to run there. (I hope my friends don’t read this blog…)

fait accompli

4.  I RUNfess…

I will be limited on my NYC racing because I no longer work in the city and I’ve used up all my hotel points (unless anyone has any advice on cheap places to stay.)

So my last two stays will be in Dec for this race…

Ted Corbitt 15k Classic - New York City, NY - 12/3/2022 - My BEST Runs - Worlds Best Road Races

another bucket list race checked off

and in March for this one:

United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

Hopefully it will be a healthy re-do of 2019

5.  I RUNfess…

I bought each of my running friends Maine Marathon mugs as Christmas gifts to motivate them as they trained for our recent race-cation in Maine (or maybe to selfishly have training partners..)

But I forgot to give the mugs to them.

I discovered them when I was packing for the trip so I brought them to Maine.

it became a race memento instead….

Happy Running! Anything to RUNfess this month?  Please share!







It’s Friday so I’m also linking up with bloggers, Me (My First 5K and More), Running With AttitudeRun Laugh Eat PieRuns with Pugs, and Zenaida!

So Join in!

And don’t forget to link back to your hostesses and visit some other blog

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Summer Smith Memorial 5k Race Recap


October 22, 2022 – 10:00 am – The Crossings

This was the 7th year for this 5K race which is organized by the mother of one of the STEM runners who died of an overdose after completing her first 5k. This is her story –


I was in the middle of training for a November 15k race and a half marathon…

However, I just had to do this race. I knew that there would be many other runners and volunteers from the STEM program. I wanted to support this cause and I am fortunate to have known and run with Summer.

The first 4 years that I ran this race, it was held at the end of May and started at a local High School.

Due to COVID, the 2020 race was cancelled (but run virtually) and in 2021, the date was changed and the location was switched to The Crossings.  The Crossings is not my favorite place to race. I have run there so often but it is what it is.


I guess they decided that this was a better date and location since this year’s race was held again in October and at The Crossings.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

It was a few weeks after a half marathon (Oct. 2) and a few weeks before another half marathon (Nov 20).

So I’ve done the short runs on weekdays. It was a little challenging this week since I was in NYC and then Rochester.  But I got it done.

And long runs on the weekend? 13.1, 8, 3.1 miles…

I carb load with pizza whether it is 13.1 miles or 3.1.  I also wear a similar outfit:

always a skirt and compression calf sleeves!!

Race Day:

The race, as previously mentioned, started at The Crossings where there are real bathrooms, easy parking, and ample room to hang out before and after the race.

I arrived early just to make sure I got parking. I had already picked up my race packet on Thursday after I returned from Rochester.

Honestly, I didn’t really want to run a race.  I know, that sounds strange coming from me.  But I was pooped having spent two days in NYC and two days in Rochester this past week.  (I don’t sleep well and even worse in hotels.)

I knew once I got there, my mood would change.

Several who were in Summer’s STEM group (that I had mentored) were there. It was pretty emotional. I still get teary-eyed when I think about her.

Unfortunately, for the first time, there were no STEM participants running this race as their first 5k.  That was disappointing. I hope the program resumes in the spring.

This race is always one of the most organized races I’ve run. After you got your bib, you got a bag labelled with your name with a shirt and other swag. (There was also packet pick up two days before at Fleet Feet which I had taken advantage of.)

There were tables with representatives from relevant organizations (alcohol & drug abuse) also giving out freebies.

There were also many many raffle items and this year, I remembered to bring $$.

Before the race (at 9 am), there was a prayer, dedication ceremony and many speeches.

followed by a balloon release.

31 balloons were released for Summer (that was her age when she died).

Then purple balloons released for the others who also lost their lives due to drugs or alcohol.  Probably not a dry eye in the crowd.

The ceremony was followed by music and a kids race.

I waited around and chatted with many of the runners that I knew and two whom I haven’t seen since the last STEM race.

Kim (center) was a participant and Annette a mentor.

The race’s start was delayed until 10:15 so I had some coffee and something to eat (my breakfast was at 6 am)

I also talked to my former Freihofer & Troy Turkey Trot Training Challenge coach (who was timing the race.)

As you can see, it was very cool (low 40s) before we started the race. I had on a jacket, two shirts, arm warmers and gloves.

Then the sun came out and I wisely took off my jacket, arm warmers, gloves and even my long sleeved shirt.  There was no bag check so I just hid them under a tree.

The course:


a 3.2 loop around the park

Elevation according to my Garmin:

looks hillier than it was… mostly flat with some rolling hills

I have run this 5k route for several races … and it’s never been one of my better 5ks. But you never know.

Mile 1:

I lined up pretty close to the front since there were many slower runners and walkers in this race. It was not chip-timed (from the start) either.

I just did the best I could.  Not PR fast but I wanted to finish with a respectable time.  With the chilly temps and no warm up, my legs felt like lead at the beginning.  There was a lot of support along the course.  Friends of the families who lost loved ones to drugs were holding signs in their memory.  I was glad that I was running to support this charity.

It felt really hard to breathe. I thought it was the cold air.  But probably when I look at my pace, as usual I started out too fast. The course was a loop and the trees were at peak color.  Running into the wind was a bit annoying.

Mile 2:

The rolling hills started during this mile.  I slowed down and I felt a lot better  The crowd also spread out and I was following a women in red most of this mile. She kinda acted as my beacon.

As per usual, I stopped to walk at the beginning of this mile.

This was a water stop so I stopped again and grabbed a cup.

The crowd support was great.  Every volunteer that I passed who carried a sign (for a loved one lost to drugs/alcohol), thanked me for running the race.

Mile 3-3.1:

Ok now I was getting tired.  I probably could have dragged myself through the last mile and not walk. But I always felt energized after a quick walk and I did.

But as I got closer to the finish line, I walked one more time.

Finally the finish line was in sight, I gave it all I had (which wasn’t much at this point).

I looked at the clock and it said 28:XX. Phew!

I was pleased. I knew all the walks would definitely prevent me from having a sub 28 finish. I never considered a PR.

Post Race:

I hung around for awhile, chatted and then looked at the results.

I was starved since I had eaten breakfast 5 hours ago so I had some chocolate milk, a brownie and pizza.

I did win my age group. I was surprised because it was 60-69 (and I am 69.)  And the lady in red who was ahead of me?  Apparently I passed her at the finish line and she was in my age group!  (And yes, she pointed that out to me!)

By the time, I got back to my car, changed my shoes, it was almost noon.  I really did not feel like running anymore… but I did drag myself around the park and a trail to add some more miles to my legs.

Additional Race Reflections:

I was happy to support this charity. Plus the race was so well-organized. There were over 200 participants. Many who have overcome drug or alcohol addiction.

I am so humbled by the STEM women and others who have overcome adversity. And I am glad to have been a part of their lives.

Tyler has WON this race 6 years in a row honoring his brother. 


    • Ample parking.
    • Well marked course.
    • Varied park scenery.
    • Indoor restrooms
    • Flatish course.
    • Immediate results.
    • Chocolate milk.
    • Many familiar faces.
    • Crowd Support
    • Great Post-race Refreshments (pizza!)
    • Important cause.


    • Too familiar a course
    • Annoying uphills and WIND
    • No photos
    • Same medal as previous years (and no date on it)
    • No speedwork to prepare (my fault)

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. Great organization. Great cause!!!

It will in the spring again (I believe) and back on its original course.

Final Stats:


4 walks in a 5k?? Geez…

Next Up:

a 15k  on November 13 and another half marathon on November 20.

Stockadeathon – 15K Road Race


Happy Running! What is your favorite charity to support for a race? Do race because of the cause?







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

Weekly Run Down for 10.16.22-10.23.22: Travelling Week

Yup, on the road again.

The highlight of my week was going to NYC!

My least favorite part of the week was a work trip to Rochester, NY.

Oh, I also managed to squeeze in a 5k race on Saturday.

Last Week:

  • Sunday – I took the train down to NYC where I spent a lovely day.

I had lunch with some college friends and then we visited the Morgan Library.

We were all French majors so it was appropriate to see Le Petit Prince exhibit and most of us had also read The Personal Librarian.

Afterward I went to the top of Summit One for views of the city at sunset.

just breath taking

I ended the day in Bryant Park with Cari.

notice our healthy dinner

  • Monday – Rain was in the forecast but Cari and I crossed our fingers that we could get a dry run done in Central Park before she had to go to work.

and we did!!

It started to sprinkle but not enough to deter me from some more leave peeping miles in the park.

The sun peaked out by the time to head to my museum visits.

First a quick one to Cooper Hewitt (since it was on the way and free.)

Then on to the Jewish Museum (which surprisingly was free too). There was a special exhibit on the 60’s (and I’m old enough to remember them) among other things.

I took the subway back to my  hotel to check out.

My final stop was to another friend’s apartment before heading home.

  • Tuesday – Back to work. No time to run until after work.

I didn’t pay attention to the temps and I was quite chilly

  • Wednesday –  This afternoon I had to drive to Rochester for work (3 1/2 hours.) After checking into my hotel, I wanted to run on the Erie Canal trail before dark. I was staying a different hotel than I usually do so I asked the desk clerk where to go. She pointed out the trail and told me to park in the hospital parking lot.

Oh, it was COLD and raining so I think she thought I was nuts.

just drizzling most of the time but then it started to pour and I took cover in a nearby REI store (where I should have parked. lol)

I had to return to my hotel to change out of my wet clothes before heading out to dinner .

  • Thursday – On my way home from Rochester, I decided to squeeze on one more run. This time I headed to where I used to park (Schoen Place) to run on the Erie Canal..

It was dry but overcast and windy.

cold… but still so pretty

One last stop before leaving Rochester:

never too cold for Abbotts!!

Once home, I had to pick up my race packet and stop at Trader Joes (for flowers and everything pumpkin lol)

  • Friday – Rest Day!! No mah jongg due to COVID exposures but time to unpack, carb load and get together a #flatme.

  • SaturdaySummer Smith Memorial 5k. I was pooped from all the travel this week and wasn’t feeling the run. But as soon as I got there my spirits lifted.

There were some speeches, many raffle items, memorial balloon launch and tears by many (who knew Summer or anyone who died due to drug/alcohol addiction.)

perfect weather (except for the wind) and I managed to win my age group but didn’t win any of the raffle items

I never regret a race…but my legs were not happy adding more miles after.

it warmed up nicely and the wind died down

Finally got to celebrate my stepson’s birthday with a dinner out.

  • Sunday – I need to do some leaf peeping before it was past peak. But I need to get out early before the crowds hit.

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday –  run
  • Tuesday – rest day, walk
  • Wednesday – run
  • Thursday – run
  • Friday – rest day, vet visit, mah jongg chez moi
  • Saturday Long Run
  • Sunday –   hiking?

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Summer Smith Memorial 5k Race Recap
  • Friday – Runfessions

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 races run or planned? Has the weather been fall-like where you live

FFF: Girls Weekend Race-cations

As you may know, I’ve run a lot of half marathons. Many have been run alone, one on vacation with my hubby, a few with one friend, several with friends locally.

But my fondest memories and the ones that were the most fun were the races that I travelled to with a group of friends.

I’ve been fortunate to have run half marathons in Philly, Panama City FL, Corning NY, Las Vegas, Montreal, Hampton Beach NH (x2) and most recently Portland ME. – all with wonderful groups of women!!

Here are a few reasons why Girls Weekend Race-cations are the best:

1. Training Support

When you are training for the same race, you get support for your runs and race goals either in person or virtually.

2.  Cost Savings

It is definitely cheaper to share a room or house with friends than staying in a hotel solo or with your hubby.

3.  Visiting New Places

I love to travel and explore new cities. In addition to the race itself, there’s always time to see the sites.

4. Sharing Your Racing Experience With Others

You go to the expo together, carb load the night before, line up at the start and meet after the race to debrief.

5. Forging New Friendships

You may run together but spending 24/7 together for several days creates a strong bond.

And you learn many things about each other…

(Remember- What happens in ____________ stays in _____________, right?)

Happy Running! Have you ever taken a Girls Weekend Race-cation? Please share.







It’s Friday so I’m also linking up with bloggers, Me (My First 5K and More), Running With AttitudeRun Laugh Eat PieRuns with Pugs, and Zenaida!

So Join in!

And don’t forget to link back to your hostesses and visit some other bloggers.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Great Pumpkin Challenge 5K Race Report

There’s an interesting story behind this race.

Early in my running life, in 2010, I mentored a group of women who wanted to run a 5k. I had already run several 5ks at that point.

After their 5k, they signed up for a 10k. I had never run that far nor did I intend to but they begged me to run it with them. It was the Great Pumpkin Challenge 10k.

Right before the race, I had a terrible migraine (and never had one since) and wound up in the ER with scary high blood pressure.

I was so disappointed (and pissed) that the next day, I signed up for my first half marathon.  (My motto was “Life is too short. Just do it!”)

And I ran it in January of 2011 (I told no one but my hubby that I was doing it since I was afraid that I would fail. Says the runner who has since run over 60 of them. LOL)

So I guess this race was a turning point for me.  I realized that you are capable of more than you think.

I went back to eventually run the Pumpkin Challenge 10k.  In fact, I ran it 4 times from 2014-2017.

I remembered that each time that I ran the 10k, I had wished that I could stop after the 5k.  The 5k was rather flat and the 10k was all hills.

So this year, I decided to run the 5k (and then run in the park for fun after to add extra miles.)

Though I have run 7 half marathons already this year, I have also run eight 5ks (see my stats below:)

PR = 27:04 – Back in 2018.

Based on my recent 5k efforts, I had no PR dreams as old age has set in.

And I don’t train for my 5k races. I never do any speed drills. But if the other old ladies didn’t show up, I could maybe win an AG award.

My hope for the race was enjoy it, to finish uninjured and have enough in the tank to run more miles after the race. (My next half marathon is 4 weeks away.)

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

Surprisingly I had time to run 3 times during week.

My legs felt pretty good even though it was only two weeks after running 13.1 miles.

Race Day:

I hate figuring out what to wear in the Fall. It’s chilly in the morning and then it warms up and I’m always overdressed.

I wore long sleeves because I liked the shirt (from 2014’s race) and hoped I wouldn’t be too warm..

I ate my usual race breakfast (coffee & oatmeal) and then headed up to Saratoga (about 45 min. drive)

This used to be a very popular race with about 1500 runners. But with a three year absence, I wasn’t sure how many runners would be there.

So I left for the race early in case I had to park where I needed walk a long distance to the start.  It was quite easy to find the race parking.

The race was to start at 9:30 and I got there at 8:15 am. I parked in the parking lot near the finish line. It was still in the 30s so kept on my jacket.

the fog still hadn’t burned off

I immediately ran into runners that knew.

I picked up my bib and race shirt. One of my friends didn’t get a shirt so I gave her mine. I have a zillion.


Luckily there was a fire place and hot coffee. There were also real rest rooms.

But eventually I had to head to the start line. I put my jacket in bag check and voted for my favorite pumpkin.

I lined up with some other runners that I knew. They were all running the 10k.

I also bumped into another Skirt Sports ambassador.

No need to be up front since the race was chip timed.

Both the 5k and 10k started together at 9:30 am.

Course map:

blue is the 5k course and green, the 10K (apparently the 10k course was a little different this year)

post-race according to my Garmin

5ks are so short that I barely remember what happened.

Mile 1:

Usually I struggle not to start out too fast. Not today. I felt like I was running in cement boots. I just couldn’t get up enough speed.

I was chilly at first and wished that I had kept on my gloves.  But eventually (as I knew I would) I warmed up.

from the last one in 2017

I didn’t realize until after the race that I wore the running shoes that I wore for my half. I usually do shorter races in lighter shoes. Oops.

The course was a mixture of dirt paths and roads… all very scenic (except for the part running around the SPAC parking lot).

Mile 2:

I tried not to walk but around 1.5 mile, I gave up on that idea.

Mile 3-3.1:

There was a water stop during this mile since we were almost done, I skipped it.  Most likely this was for the 10K runners.

I think there was slight hill or I was just losing steam and I walked again.

It was such a relief when the 10k runners kept running and we could turn right and finish the 5k race.

As soon as I saw the finish line line, I sprinted but could only manage 28:xx.

Post Race:

The refreshments were in the pavilion near the fire. I grabbed some pasties and fruit (there were tons and mostly homemade).

I watched some of my friends finish the 10k…

and then we all chatted while waiting for the results to be posted.  If I didn’t win, I wanted to take off so I could get in some more miles

I came in 2nd.

It turned out that my friends also won an award.

the awards were cool wine glasses

more happy winners!!

I was pooped but the weather was too nice to head home.  Besides my training plan called for 9 miles today.

I moved my car several times.  There was a high school track meet going on plus I wanted to see the foliage, geysers, springs in several parts of the park. I ran some and walked some and finished with this:

random food truck with warm homemade pumpkin bread pudding – YUM!!!

Additional Race Reflections:

The weather was chilly but turned out to be great for running. I always enjoy the race atmosphere.  This one did not disappoint.

My 5k finish time was slower than my last 5k but that was not unexpected.  I’d love to be back finishing 5ks in 27:XX or even faster..

Not thinking that will happen but it may if I could run negative splits.

What was disappointing was that there were no miles in 8:XX (not even the first mile).  Was it the shoes?  Or was it just not my day?

Oh well, there will be more 5k races. Just happy to be to out there. and healthy enough to run.


  • Ample parking.
  • Well marked course.
  • Varied park scenery.
  • Both 5k and 10 options.
  • Virtual option offered.
  • Indoor restrooms nearby
  • Flatish course.
  • Immediate results.
  • Great age groups award swag
  • Lots of homemade baked goods
  • Hot coffee pre race
  • Fireplace to stay warm
  • Lots of familiar races.
  • Peak foliage


  • Crowded park since a high school cross country meet was happening at the same time
  • Wrong shoes

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. Great organization. You may be able to PR for the 5k but the 10k would be a challenge.

I may even sign up again for the 10k next year.

Final Stats:


only 2 walks!!

Next Up:

A local 5k on Oct. 22

7th Annual Summer Smith 5k Addiction Awareness Memorial Run 

a local 15k on Nov 13

Stockadeathon – 15K Road Race

and then a local half marathon on Nov. 20.


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

Happy Running! Did you run or race this past weekend? Any Fall races on your schedule yet? Do you enjoy 5ks? Please share.


Weekly Run Down for 10.9.22-10.16.22: Back to Shorter Distances

I have break from running half marathons.  My next one is not until Nov 20 with a 15k the week before.

So why not run a 5k race two weekends in a row?

The first one was this past Saturday.

Last Week:

  • Sunday – Our boat is away for the season so I took advantage of the free day to volunteer at our local half/marathon.

I had so much fun!!!

hanging with some other volunteers

My assignment was to give out water at the finish line.

I got to see all the half marathoners finish.

I got to see the speedy marathoner including the winners (with course records.)

The best part was seeing a friend PR and BQ, I got to give him his medal and a big teary hug.

and the weather was PR perfect

  • Monday – A Holiday so a Day Off!

I started the day with a run at Vischer Ferry Preserve.

followed it with a walk on many of the trails. 9 miles for the day and the country store was closed so no post-run/hike snack 😦

Ended it with a wake (for my running friend’s FIL.)

  • Tuesday – Rest Day since I was busy at work and I had a hair appt after work.
  • Wednesday – Squeezed in a run at lunch

Looks like Fall, feels like Summer!!

and then after work, I met my tennis friends for a dinner out.

even though I no longer play tennis, it’s nice to keep connected with these ladies at our monthly dinners.

  • Thursday –  I had planned to go to the office and then after work drive to Six Mile Waterworks and run the loop.

With thunderstorms predicted, I decided to squeeze in my run at lunch and then go to the office.

windy and humid but NO RAIN!!

I did make the right decision as it started to rain when I got out of work.

  • Friday – Rest Day #2.  Evening mah jongg and getting my #flatme organized.

this is the race shirt from this race 8 years ago!

  • SaturdayGreat Pumpkin Challenge 5k

I’ve run the 10k several times but this was the first time for the 5k which was held in Saratoga State Park. We had perfect weather and it was so much fun hanging out with friends.

my legs felt like lead but still managed 2nd in my age group.

It was too nice a day to go home so I wandered around the park… some running… some walking… some driving

geysers, springs, waterfalls, pumpkins and more…

  • Sunday – Early morning train to NYC to meet my college buddies for lunch.

Park Ave Tavern - Review of Park Avenue Tavern, New York City, NY - Tripadvisor

We plan to spend the afternoon in the Morgan Library looking at the Belle and Little Prince exhibits.

I had booked a hotel room for an overnight stay so I will be free to explore the city.

SUMMIT One Vanderbilt Experience Ticket | New York City

Summit ONE.!!!

And of course, I plan to meet up with Cari. Stay tuned (and check IG for pix.)

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday –  DAY OFF – run in NYC, train home
  • Tuesday – run
  • Wednesday – drive to Rochester (for work), run?
  • Thursday – run?, drive home
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday Summer Smith Memorial 5k (+ more miles)
  • Sunday –   hiking?

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Great Pumpkin Challenge 5k Race Recap
  • Friday –  Girls Weekend Race-cations

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 races run or planned? Has the weather been fall-like where you live? Please share.

FFF: Why I Hate Fall

I hate fall

Yes, I know that the colors of the leaves are pretty and it’s easier to run with cooler temps


1. I have to wear shoes.

IOW it’s really too cold for OOFOS and sandals.

Shoes hurt my toes.

Boots hurt my ankles.


2. Most flowers are dead.

Decorative echinacea seedheads

You may be wondering what I will be taking pics of when I run.

I am too.

3. My after work running routes are limited.

There are no lights in my neighborhood or on any of the bike paths.

In fact, the only place I can run after work is UAlbany.  That was not so bad when I worked in my office (since it was nearby.)  But not when I am still working from home.

4. No more homegrown fruits and veggies.

Organic Homegrown Fresh Summer Produce Heirloom Tomatoes Vegetable Harvest Stock Photo - Download Image Now - iStock

Just the expensive tasteless ones in the supermarket.

5. Less likely to eat ice cream after my runs.

What will I eat post run, race or hike?

***What Fall really means:

Word winter is coming scraped by hand on the frozen rear glass of car, auto glass covered with snow, cold winter season concept, first snowfall is a difficult weather for drivers and transport Winter Stock Photo

Happy Running! How do feel about fall? Please share.







It’s Friday so I’m also linking up with bloggers, Me (My First 5K and More), Running With AttitudeRun Laugh Eat PieRuns with Pugs, and Zenaida!

So Join in!

And don’t forget to link back to your hostesses and visit some other bloggers.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Maine Half Marathon Race Recap

Maine Marathon | Maine Half Marathon | Maine Marathon Relay

Race-cations have been an annual tradition with my running friends since 2017. We started in Corning, NY and then traveled to Montreal, and Brooklyn, NY.

The past two Octobers, my friends and I rented a house for 3 nights in Hampton Beach, NH and ran a half marathon (among other fun shenanigans.)

This year, the house that we rented was located in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.

So I signed up for the Maine Half Marathon (in Portland) as my 61th Half Marathon (54th if you don’t count the 2020 virtuals) for several reasons:

  • A race-cation.
  • Nine of my friends would be running/supporting the race.
  • Running along the ocean.
  • There was a marathon and marathon relay option.
  • Lobstah rolls to eat and lighthouses to visit…

Surprisingly, I was also named as an Ambassador for this race.

Half Marathon Training:

If you follow my posts, you also know that I am not strict about following a training plan. But I do run 3 miles several times during the work week. My weekday runs are sometimes solo and sometimes not.  The last one was unplanned. I just needed to try out new shoes.

And on the weekends, I try to do my Long Run. Usually most of my miles are with one or more of my running friends. However, some shorter races did interrupt my mileage (as shown below).

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

My taper consisted of a 5k race + several easy runs (as mentioned above). I did schedule two rest days before the race. Perfect, right?

We carpooled and left for Maine on Saturday morning with a stop for a delicious lunch (in Hampton NH)

Ginger & Clove Cafe in Hampton, NH Now Open and Hiring

before checking into our AirBnB in Old Orchard Beach, ME.

almost all the bedrooms had a view of the ocean…

After we all picked our rooms, we headed to the expo in Portland (held in the gym of U of So. Maine).

We were in and out in no time… not much interesting to buy. We just picked up our bibs and shirts (in addition to a shopping bag and a Dunkin Donuts gift card).

while our cheerleaders made signs.

and then we explored the race logistics (i.e. where to park on race morning).

By the time were were done, it was time for an early dinner. We parked in the waterfront area and had pizza (of course).

FoCSP Flatbread Pizza Community Bake | Flatbread Company Portland Maine | Tue July 26, 2022

Coincidentally, two bloggers were also in Portland and we coordinated a very quick meet-up.

who recognizes them? Deborah and Debbie

Finally we headed home, #flatmes were organized and we headed to bed early (though I never can sleep the night before a race.)

I did make a last minute switch to NEW shoes

Race Day:

Sorry to be a broken record about not having a time goal. But my goal for races these days is to FINISH happy (that is not injured and ready to do another.) But if I had to guestimate my time, it would have been between 2:15 and 2:30.

Actually, even more important would be to run a smarter and less painful race than my last half marathon four weeks prior. Slower the first half so that I can enjoy the second of the race… (Spoiler alert: it didn’t really happen.)

Video of the course:

Maine Half Marathon | Portland Maine | October 4, 2020

The race was advertised as follows:

The half marathon takes place alongside the Maine Marathon. Enjoy the Back Cove, views of Casco Bay and fall foliage along the out-and-back route. All three races are together for the first 6.5 miles before the half marathon heads back to Portland. The courses features a mixture of rolling hills and flat sections, but start and finish with two flat miles along Baxter Boulevard. (dirt path detour due to construction.)

The half marathon course is well supported with water stops with Gatorade (lemon-lime Endurance Formula) located approximately every two miles. 

according to my Garmin (after the race)

One of my friends was running the 6 am early start marathon. Four Three of my friends were running the marathon relay and then three of us were running the half marathon.  Both races started at 7:45 am. Two others (as pictured above) were cheering us all on.

As you can imagine, coordinating the race logistics would be quite challenging.

To complicate things further, one of my friends had to leave before the race due to a death in the family. That meant that one of the relay runners had to run two legs rather than one (and change the leg that she originally planned to run.) Oy!

It did get sorted out and we all left for the race.  It wasn’t far but what we didn’t consider that there would be so much traffic.

We planned to park in the parking garage (as we did for the expo) but my car (the half marathoners and relay runner #1) wound up taking a detour and parking (maybe illegally) in a bank parking lot near the start.

We ran to bag check to get rid of a bag with warmer clothes for after the race.

we all wore throwaways because it was quite chilly (and windy).

Then we headed to the start line. (Unfortunately there wasn’t enough time to coordinate meeting Deborah.)

My memory is a little vague but here’s how I remember it:

Miles 1-3:

Bag pipes played to begin the race.  I lined up with my friends at the over 11 minute mile sign.  Since it was chip-timed, I really didn’t care where I started.

I was cold so I kept on my gloves and throw-away jacket. The course started at Back Cove and we ran along a path that circled Casco Bay. Though it was very windy, the temps were perfect for running.

We almost immediately had to detour due to construction onto a dirt path.  It was so much narrower than the road we started on that we came to a complete stand still.

But I enjoyed the scenery and the dirt felt softer on my feet. I was happy so far.

The wind seemed to stop and I threw away my jacket.  The temps couldn’t be more perfect.

I was determined NOT to start out as fast as my last half marathon so I walked a bit at the mile 1 sign and then again at the water stop around mile 2.

Eventually we ran over the Martin Point Bridge which was the beginning of the rolling hills that continued throughout the race.

There were pacers and I was ahead of the 2:15 runner until the second half of the race.

Miles 4-6

There were so many water stops during this race.. It seemed to be one almost every mile. I stopped at most of them to walk and ate my first GU at mile 4.

As you can see from the map, we ran inland for a bit but still the scenery was so pretty. And it warmed up enough to get rid of my gloves. And then the sun came out (glad to have those Goodrs.)

I unsuccessfully tried to spot my friend at the first relay exchange.

And around mile 6, we encountered the steepest hill.  As per usual, I walked/ran up ALL the hills. It has always worked for me and has enabled to run faster on the flat sections.

All the music especially the drummers helped me to forget about hills and enjoy my run.

Miles 7-9

Finally we got to the turn around..  This was a relief knowing that I was heading back. It also gave me to the opportunity to see any of my friends who were behind me.

The 2:15 passed me and I never saw her again.  But I never saw the 2:30 pacer so that was good news.

The monster hill turned into a downhill so I picked up some speed.

I was hoping that my new shoes would be miracle workers and I would have zero pain. Unfortunately that was not the case.  My lower back started to and continued to ache. My right bunion and left neuroma hurt on and off until the end of the race.

I don’t regret wearing new shoes since my feet didn’t hurt worse (and the pain disappeared as soon as I finished running.)

I continued to walk when necessary, especially at the water stops.  I ate a 2nd Gu around mile 8.

I was surprised at how much crowd support there was and volunteers supporting all the water stops.

back over the bridge (smiling for the camera even in pain)

Miles 10-13.1

The course was repeating itself with just a few changes. Instead of along the water, we ran through Payson Park.

It was still beautiful.. The sun was out and I was even getting warm. I rolled down my arm sleeves and covered my Garmin. I wasn’t concerned one bit about my finish time. I was so ready to be done!

One last Gu for this road so that I wouldn’t feel dizzy after the race (It worked, I think.)

Of course, it seemed like forever until I saw the finish line. But when I did, I sprinted (even though my legs started to cramp… OUCH!)

my friend is the one in pink with the cow bell.

I crossed at 2:18:XX and I was very happy!!  And it was an awesome feeling to hear my friends cheering me on.

must stop that watch!!

Post Race Activities:

After I got my medal and foil sheet, I went and got my bag since I was quite cold.

I also grabbed some snacks. There were cups of cookies, bars, fruit, chocolate milk, etc. Then I headed to the finish line to wait for the two other half marathoners.  I also found our Relay leg #1 runner.

As I mentioned, it was very windy and cold in the finish line area. I was glad that you didn’t feel the wind on the course. We had quite a wait ahead of us so Sherry and I went to find the food trucks.  Instead of using our $3 coupon, we ordered hot chocolate but they ran out and we had to settle for coffee (that we waited 1/2 hour for)

Soon our Relay leg #2 runner finished and we all found a spot in the sun to wait and nervously track Deirdre, our marathoner. I finally was getting hungry and ate several slices of pizza among some other snacks..

It was not an easy course and especially the 2nd 13 miles but she finished and we were all crying happy tears.

While Deirdre was recovering, we tried to figure out when our last relay runner (who ran legs 3 & 4) would be finishing.

thumbs up… at the last minute she had to run TWO legs instead of ONE!! Rockstar!!

We timed it perfectly so that the other two relay runners could join her and cross the finish line holding hands.

I think I enjoyed cheering in our friends as much as running the race.

Some of us took advantage of the free massages provided (I did not but should have…)

Eventually we all headed home to relax, debrief,

too cold to soak our feet…

shower and then head out to a celebratory meal (in walking distance from our house.)

Additional Race Reflections:

It was so fun to be out there and soaking up the racing atmosphere. It was even more fun to run a race with friends.

During the first half of the race, PR thoughts always run through my head.. but I knew that I had NOT trained well enough for that and just focused on finishing the race healthy.  I may never be that fast again…but the good news is that my finish time was was over 2 minutes faster than my last half marathon (and a more challenging course.)

There’s still hope for this old broad.

More importantly, I felt fine the next day and ran Tues, Wed, Thurs, and Sat without any after effects.

our happy group (sorry no jumping on the beach this year…)


  • Part of a 4 day race-cation with friends.
  • Bay and Ocean views.
  • Easy Packet pick-up
  • Nice gender-specific long sleeved tech shirts
  • Post race refreshments – pizza, snacks
  • Food coupon for $3 for the food trucks and coupon for two free beers (though we used neither)
  • Crowd support along the course.
  • Friends cheering you on at the finish line
  • Music along the course (including bag pipes and drums)
  • Varied route – bridge, water route, neighborhoods
  • Pacers
  • Free Photos
  • Instant race results
  • Great swag for AG awards (pottery)
  • Nice medal provided to all runners.
  • Abundant water stops and porta-potties
  • Free massages offered.
  • Perfect weather
  • Plenty of free parking (lots and parking garage)


  • The course was long
  • Some early start marathoners went off course
  • Relay logistics were poorly managed
  • Cold and windy in the start/finish area

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. yes. For all the reasons mentioned above.

Final Stats:


Walking definitely slowed down my pace. I already mentioned that things usually go downhill for me after mile 7…

My legs were more crampy after the race than usual. I attribute that to running those two 5ks and skipping those long runs (but sometimes fun trumps finish times). But it could have been that it was colder than I’m used to.

No award… I’m still in that age group where many runners are still very FAST.

times for 65-69

All in all, I was happy with my results,

Next Up:

two 5ks …

22nd Annual Great Pumpkin Challenge 5K/10K

7th Annual Summer Smith 5k Addiction Awareness Memorial Run – Oct. 22. 2022

followed by a 15k and another half marathon in November.

Stockadeathon – 15K Road Race

Nov. 13, 2022


Nov. 20, 2022

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

I’m also linking up here:

with co-hosts Coach Debbie RunsConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Laura Norris Running.

Happy Running! Have you run a fall race yet? If so, how did go? Are you planning to run one? Any race-cations planned? Please share.