FFF: Trail Running

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am clumsy. I have fallen when running on the road and have fallen even during races.

check out the blood streaming down my leg

So who would have guessed that this summer, I am running on trails.

Obviously after only a few trail runs, I am not an expert but here are FIVE of my tips to help you enjoy your time running on the trails:

1. Wear Proper Running Shoes.

You can run with normal running shoes but wearing shoes made for trail running will give you more grip on the uneven rocky or muddy ground. It will also give you peace of mind.

we got muddy but no one fell

2. Use Bug Spray/Tick Repellent.

Yes, trails especially in the summertime are buggy.  I even spray insect repellent on my clothes. I also wear compression calf sleeves to protect my legs from ticks.

sweaty but smiling because we had no bug bites

3. Never Run Alone.

Because on the trails there is a  greater possibility of either getting lost or falling, I think it is always best to run with a buddy. If you are alone (or get separated from your friend), make sure you have a charged cell phone with you!

hanging with my buddy Deirdre at Lawson Lake

4. Run on Different Trails.

Even running on the SAME trails can get boring.  If you are not fortunate to be part of group-organized trail runs, explore the Internet and the AllTrails app to find trails within driving distance of where you live or work.  You’ll be surprised at how many hidden treasures you’ll discover.

at Five Rivers minutes from where I live

5. Slow Down and Enjoy the Scenery

In other words, look around. Listen to the different sounds. Don’t miss a distant lake or not stop at an overlook.  Trail running definitely gives you the opportunity to appreciate nature more. It’s ok to walk. It’s not the time to work on speed. I recommend not even wearing a watch!!

stopping an an overlook in Thacher Park

enjoying the trails at Indian Ladder Farms

Happy Running! Do run on trails? If so, any other tips?  Please share.

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Thinking Out Loud Thursday: Holidays, New Running Routes & BitMoji

Since it is Thursday,  I’m linking up today with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

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  • Tonight is Christmas Eve even though weather-wise it feels like spring.

I plan to squeeze in a run today between the rain drops. Tonight we’ll probably spend a quiet evening home (I’m Jewish & my hubby doesn’t care much for the holidays) or maybe I can talk him into dinner out and a movie.

Tomorrow morning, my hubby will open his gifts (I bought my own so no excitement there) and then head to play Santa with my mentee & her sons (I can’t wait to have GRANDKIDS!!)

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I’ve been mentoring Amanda for 7 1/2 years but I won’t bore you with ALL my annual Christmas Photos.

After playing Santa, my hubby & I will go to my MIL’s house for dinner. My SIL, BILs and 2 stepsons will be there also. It’ll be an Italian dinner with lasagna and the trimmings (probably cannoli for dessert – maybe I should squeeze in a run in the morning??)

After dinner, I plan to visit my BFF whose daughter is visiting from CA.

I usually participate in a blogger card exchange but this year, I forgot to sign up.  So here you go, fellow running bloggers:

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  • Speaking of running, I don’t know about you but I get tired of running along the same streets or same paths.

To get me motivated (especially when the weather isn’t perfect), I need a new route.

Last year, I ran a lot on the unpaved rail trail near where I live.

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It is unpaved for almost 2 miles so it’s good for an after work 4 miler.

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Then this year, they paved the rest of the rail trail going 3.5 miles in the opposite direction.

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It is my new favorite place to run and I’ve run on it several times but on Sunday, I was ready for something new.

So I parked my car near where the unpaved trail ended and ran the rest of the unpaved trail.

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It is a little narrow in parts.

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But has interesting features

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and views.

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Several bridges (I love bridges.)

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At 3.5 miles, I turned around.  I think it was the end.  I will explore more next time.

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  • I have a new obsession – BitMoji!

Anyone else?

I used this one last Friday.

It’s still a work in progress.  I’m not sure it even looks like me. But it’s a fun stress reliever.

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Happy Running! What are your holiday plans? Do you vary your running routes often?

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A Walking, Running & Pumpkin Picking Weekend

The weekend started with an hour and half drive to Poughkeepsie to meet my college BFF.

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It was cloudy and chilly but the foliage was so pretty that we didn’t mind.

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We started by walking over the Walkway Bridge.  It is the longest pedestrian bridge in the world.

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It goes over the Hudson River and is about 1.5 miles long.

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After we walked over the bridge, we continued on the Hudson Valley Rail Trail.

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It went for about 4 miles and also was very scenic.

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We turned around and on the way back, we veered of the trail to have lunch in the town of Highland.

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Soup, salad and the dessert above.

The we continued back on the trail and over the bridge again.

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The colors were even prettier on the way back.

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11.5 miles walked for the day!!!

I really got lucky on Sunday.

I was supposed to take my mentee Amanda and her two sons to Ellms Family Farm for the day.

I wanted to run as well.

I got up early and it was raining. Then Amanda got called into work so I was able to wait to do my run.

I have been on our new rail trail but never gone to the end. I decided that today was the day.

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we are losing our leaves in the NE

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love this old bridge

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under 2 more bridges

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still some nice colors here

I think I’ve found a new favorite place to run close to home. 7 miles done!

As soon as I finished, it started to rain again.

Then I found out that Amanda had to work the whole day.

I decided to take one of her sons, the 8 year old, to the farm.

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getting ready to do the maze

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We did have cider donuts & pick pumpkins (just forgot to take pics)

We were there for about 4 hours – exhausting but so much fun!

Happy Running! How was your weekend?

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My Therapy Run

I woke up Monday in a really pissy mood.

I had the day off from work.  I took it off to recover from my hilly 10 mile race.  If you read yesterday’s post, you know that I DID NOT get to run one of my favorite races.

I also spent most of Saturday in a plane or at an airport and most of Sunday, in a car.  None of which were part of the plan.

So, although, I was extremely sleep deprived, I NEEDED A RUN!

Not just any run but a special one.  So I decided to drive to Peeples Island State Park. I had run there last year once and loved it.

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Of course, with unpacking, housework and laundry, I didn’t arrive there until around noon when it was sunny and in the 80’s.

I decided to run around the area first.  There was a nice path after the bridge.

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I also discovered another path along the river.

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I stopped for some water and then continued over another bridge and headed in the opposite direction.

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At this point I had run about 3 miles.  After another stop for water, I finally entered the park’s trail.

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There are a lot of roots and rocks so it is hard to run.  I did a lot of walking but ran when it was safe to do so.

As you can see by the pictures, it’s a very relaxing place to run.

When I finished the loop around the park, I had completed 5.75 miles. Of course, I ran across to the park across the street so I would end with 6 miles!

They may have been the slowest miles I have ever run but I felt 100% better.

Happy Running! Is running ever your therapy?

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My California Trip Recap

The highlight of my trip was supposed to be my 5K race with Mary. But if you’ve been reading my blog, you know that my flight last Friday was cancelled and re-booked for Saturday.  That meant that I missed the race!

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Since Mary signed up because of me, when I didn’t arrive, she decided not to run it either.

After many delays, 14 hours later I arrived in Palm Springs!

After feeling the sunshine and warmth, I immediately changed from a bad to a good mood. And it remained that way, the whole stay.

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view in Mary’s community

Saturday morning, we set out early to hike up the Bump N Grind Trail. It was forecast to be 90 degrees and was already warm when we left.  Fortunately, it is the dessert and a dry heat.

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on the way up

Mary climbs this all the time but me, I was doubtful that I was in good enough shape.

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I struggled and we went slow but I did it!!

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at the top

Then came the fun part.  We ran down it!!!

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It was awesome.  This was the most fun I’ve ever had (almost as good as running a half marathon along the water.)

After our hike, we went to La Quinta Art Festival.  it is supposed to be the best in the US.

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It was really interesting.  I saw a lot of beautiful art.

Then we took a drive because I wanted to see the wind turbines. There are thousands of them!!

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That evening and all the rest of the evenings of my stay, we ate in, Mary cooked something healthy (followed by ice cream) and we went to bed early.

Unfortunately Mary had to work all week. She teaches Special Ed in Cochanella Valley.

So each morning, I went out for a run. On Monday, I ran 2 laps of her community which was about 3 miles.

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On Tuesday, I ventured outside the community for 3 miles also.

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It was so nice to be running in the sunshine with a skirt & tank top on.

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how appropriate to see this on a run

Mary lives across the street from the Indian Wells Tennis Center which was hosting the BNP Paribas Open.  I love tennis so this was perfect.

The downside is that there is a wall around her community so you have to walk almost a mile to get out and then another mile to the Tennis Center. Good exercise, right?  (But it was sooo hot!!)

So Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I walked over and watched the tennis pros practicing, some qualifying matches and on Wed. the women’s round one.

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Kei Nishikori whose coach is Michael Chang

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Stan Wawrinka

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my favorite Roger Federer

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cool, huh?

It was awesome!! Much bigger and better than I could have imagined.

Tuesday, it was so hot that I walked home and sat by the pool.

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Mary worked until 8 pm so I walked back to watch more tennis in the evening.

On Wednesday, for my last day, Mary & I  went back to the Bump N Grind Trail in the evening.

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It was a little easier this time.

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And we celebrated with French desserts!

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Thursday, I left and it only took 8 hours to get home with no airport waiting time and no flight delays.

Despite missing the race, it was a great trip.  Mary was a super hostess and I hope next time, we can run a race together.

Happy Running! Have you had any fun vacations lately? Did you run or race during them?

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Monday Running Update

IMG_4595 Last Week: (AP Half Marathon Training week #7)

  • Monday – 43 mile run, watched pros practice & qualifying matches at the Indian Wells Tennis Tournament, walked 2 miles to & from
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in Mary’s community

  • Tuesday – 43 mile run, watched pros practice & qualifying matches at the Indian Wells Tennis Tournament, walked 2 miles to & from twice
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in the neighborhood outside the community

  • Wednesday – rest, fly home to NY 4 mile run, watched pros practice & women’s first round at the Indian Wells Tennis Tournament, walked 2 miles to & from, 4 mile hike/run with Mary
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Wawrinka, Federer, Murray and Nishakori

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  • Thursday – rest, fly home to NY
  • Friday- rest, mah jongg
  • Saturday –  4 mile race +6 3 more miles
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drizzling and cool but a PR on a new course

  • Sunday –  rest, nails, errands

This Week:  (AP Half Marathon Training week #8)

  • Monday – 3 mile group run with FRW training group
  • Tuesday – rest, tennis
  • Wednesday – 4 mile run
  • Thursday – 3 mile run at lunch, hair appt
  • Friday- 3 mile run, mah jongg
  • Saturday –  GOTR orientation, rest
  • Sunday –  5 mile race + 5 more miles

Happy Running! How is your running going?  Any races ?

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Friday Five: Five favorite fall activities

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Every Friday, three DC area bloggers Mary at Mar On the Run, Cynthia at You Signed Up For What?! and Courtney from Eat Pray Run, DC to host the Friday Five linkup.  Anyone can join with their own Friday Five post (yes, it must be a Friday Five!!)  They encourage you to visit other blogs on the linkup, comment, share and engage!

This week, the theme is My Five Favorite Fall Activities

I love fall especially living in the Northeast.

So here they are my five:

1.  Running

I love running when the temps are cool and the leaves have turned colors. These are some of my favorite places to run…

the rail trail

in Washington Park

along the Schroon River

on the bike trails

along Lake George

2.  Eating & drinking anything pumpkin

Yup, I love pumpkin everything…

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No, I didn’t buy them but I was tempted

3.  Racing

Racing in the cooler temps is the best!  Even better is a race in a scenic locale…here are just a few that I have signed up for…

Apple Run 5K

Great Pumpkin Challenge 10k

Stockade-athon 15K

4.  Going to farm activities

There are several around here but Ellms Family farm  is my favorite. I always take my mentee and her sons.  We go on rides, do corn mazes, pick pumpkins, pet the animals, eat cider donuts…so much fun!

 

5. Hiking

I don’t hike a lot but I do enjoy it and plan to do more this year. These are some places that I go…

Thatcher Park

Five Rivers

Prospect Mountain

Peebles State Park

I haven’t done this hike in Lake George in a few years…hope to do it again.

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view from Buck Mountain

Happy Running! What are your favorite fall activities? 

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Tuesdays on the Run: Going Off-Road: Obstacle Runs, Color Runs, Tris, Cross Country

Erika @ MCM Mama Runs hosts Tuesdays on the Run with April @ Run the great wide somewhere and Patty @ My no-guilt life!

This week’s topic is: Going Off-Road: Obstacle Runs, Color Runs, Tris, Cross Country

Well, this won’t be a long post.

Obstacle Runs: NOPE

I am too old and too clumsy.

Color Runs: NOPE

It would be fun with kids or grandkids. But I am too competitive to spend money to get color thrown on me and run for fun.

Tris: NOPE

I don’t swim well. I don’t enjoy biking so the only Tri I would do would be a relay where I would only have to run.

Cross Country: Maybe

Maybe because I occasionally run on trails and have done ONE trail race.

I like them because I enjoy the scenery but again I am old & clumsy and run slow.

Five Rivers trail

Delmar rail trail

Peebles State Park and I fell running here

I did run ONE trail race and didn’t fall.

 Relays: NOPE
Ragnar – Three days in a van, getting no sleep and having to run in the middle of the night…not for me.  It sounds like fun. It’s something that I would have enjoyed in my 20’s but now I need my sleep.
Seneca 7 – This one is tempting:

No overnights – all in one day…no running in the dark

Happy Running!  Do you do Obstacle Runs, Color Runs, Tris, Cross Country?

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Turning Point 5k race report

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Another new race for me. Besides being new for me, it was moved to a new location. (So no reviews to read up on.)

It took place in Hudson Crossing Park, centered around Champlain Canal Lock 5 Island, just north of Schuylerville, on New York State’s Historic Scenic Byway, Route 4.

I passed by the park after the Bacon Hill 5K (which influenced to me to choose this race.)

photo from the triathlon there in June

I was a little nervous about the trail portion.  I had never run a trail race and my last trail run resulted in a fall.

There also weren’t many runners running this race…Would I be last?

The good news was the perfect weather…sunny and not too warm and no rain (just a little humid.)

The race was about an hour from my house.  I got there plenty early.  I picked up my race packet (another cotton tee shirt to give away) and used the rest room (a real one!)

I walked around a bit..what a pretty location.

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part of the one of the trails

The race was called the “turning point” because the battle of Saratoga (nearby) was won by the Americans and was the turning point of the American Revolution. (In case you were wondering.)

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me & Elisa before the race

Soon I ran into a running friend, Elisa and then a few others that I knew.

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the beginning and end of the race

Soon it was time to begin.  They explained the course which sounded very complicated–Down the road and sharp right onto the trails…to the end, turn around and run the same trail back…run another trail and go over a bridge and turn around and then return on that trail but turn off half way to head to the finish.

It turned out that there were volunteers on the course directing runners and it was very easy to follow.

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on the grass

part of the trail – runners going both ways

running past the water stop

the bridge

another part of the trail

The course was not easy for me.

I am very clumsy so my plan was to take it easy and make sure I didn’t trip and fall.

That wasn’t a problem because it is hard to run fast on dirt and rocky turf (at least for me).  It was mostly flat with a few hills.  The tricky part were the downhills.  I slowed right down on those.

So I didn’t fall but my competitive self was disturbed by my time.  I was tired quickly.  I walked through the first water stop, then walked several times during the next 2 miles. (only one being up a hill.)

Was it the humidity or the trail or what?  How did I do a half marathon 2 weeks ago if I can’t run a 5k without stopping.

Anyway, my friends were waiting at the finish line and I managed to look good sprinting across it at 30:47.

I can’t remember the last time I finished a 5K over 30 minutes!!! (I think it was after I had surgery on my ankle and hadn’t run for 5 months.) I have run faster with a broken foot and a stress fracture.

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we all won medals.–2 firsts, a second and I won third

Even so,  I won in my age group…the perks of a small race and being old.

The refreshments were bananas and granola bars.

Splits:

mile 1 – 9:40
mile 2 – 9:59
mile 3 – 10:09
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Race Goals:

  • Run the whole thing. NO. Walked 3-4 times.
  • Not fall and get hurt. YES.
  • Not finish last. YES.
  • Finish under 30 minutes. NO but close.

Still I had fun.  Racing is always fun for me.

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But with the cotton tee shirt, the food and the distance to drive, this is the first of my NEW races that I may not repeat. The course was very pretty. I would like to come back and run on it for fun.

Happy Running!  Do you like trail races?

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