Busy weekend ahead

Work is giving us Friday off! Woo Hoo!

So I decided to head to Connecticut a day early.

Fonda is front & center

Fonda, one of my traveling tennis friends, recently bought a condo in Torrington, CT and invited all of us for the weekend.

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view from the condo’s deck

But if I go a day early, that means I will leave a day early.  My friend Linda is coming with me.  This will free up some beds for Sat. eve and leave me available to do a 5K on Sunday.

Sunday, August 3 in Chesterown, NY

Yes, another race. Yay!

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there is 3 mile trail around this pond

So Friday I will be driving 2 hours to CT, playing tennis, swimming, maybe running…

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the pool

and then Saturday, more tennis, swimming, female bonding, etc. and driving home from CT.

May - tennnis vacation in Florida

love my tennis friends

Sunday, I will have to get up early to drive up to Chestertown (about 1 hr 15 min.) for the race. I may run some after and then go boating for the rest of the day.  (The race is 15 minutes from the marina.)

me schroon r

running in Chestertown

Chestertown is hilly and I will most likely be tired from 2 days of tennis. So hopefully, I will have a good race.

Goals:

  • Run the whole thing (This never used to be so hard.)
  • Beat my last race finish time (30:49)
  • Get an age group award
  • Finish uninjured

So a busy but fun weekend ahead.  Hope the weather cooperates.

Happy Running! What are your plans for the weekend?

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What I’m Reading Wednesday

WIRW

Sorry this is not a running-related post.

Monday & Tuesday while I was proctoring the NYS Bar Exam I did a lot of reading:

From Goodreads:

New Bremen, Minnesota, 1961. The Twins were playing their debut season, ice-cold root beers were at the ready at Halderson’s Drug Store soda counter, and Hot Stuff comic books were a mainstay on every barbershop magazine rack. It was a time of innocence and hope for a country with a new, young president. But for thirteen-year-old Frank Drum it was a summer in which death assumed many forms.

When tragedy unexpectedly comes to call on his family, which includes his Methodist minister father, his passionate, artistic mother, Juilliard-bound older sister, and wise-beyond-his years kid brother, Frank finds himself thrust into an adult world full of secrets, lies, adultery, and betrayal.

On the surface, Ordinary Grace is the story of the murder of a beautiful young woman, a beloved daughter and sister. At heart, it’s the story of what that tragedy does to a boy, his family, and ultimately the fabric of the small town in which he lives. Told from Frank’s perspective forty years after that fateful summer, it is a moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him. It is an unforgettable novel about discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God.

I just loved this book!  I couldn’t put it down.

From Goodreads:

This debut novel tells the story of Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I. who becomes the sole survivor of a family tragedy. With her strict African American grandmother as her new guardian, Rachel moves to a mostly black community, where her light brown skin, blue eyes, and beauty bring mixed attention her way. Growing up in the 1980s, she learns to swallow her overwhelming grief and confronts her identity as a biracial young woman in a world that wants to see her as either black or white. In the tradition of Jamaica Kincaid’s Annie John and Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, here is a portrait of a young girl – and society’s ideas of race, class, and beauty.

I loved this one too!  I highly recommend it!

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Not done yet.  Just reading it to see what all the hype is.  So far, it doesn’t compare with the writing and character portrayal of the two books above.

From Goodreads:

After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

M. L. Stedman’s mesmerizing, beautifully written novel seduces us into accommodating Isabel’s decision to keep this “gift from God.” And we are swept into a story about extraordinarily compelling characters seeking to find their North Star in a world where there is no right answer, where justice for one person is another’s tragic loss.

The Light Between Oceans is exquisite and unforgettable, a deeply moving novel.

I haven’t read it yet but I will soon.

From Goodreads:

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Laneis told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark

Looking forward to reading this one, as well.

Happy Running! Have you read any of these? What did you think? Any other good books to recommend?

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Tuesdays on the Run: Speedwork

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: Speedwork: How to run faster

This a tough topic for me because I am not good with prescribed runs or formal drills.

So here is what they say to do: 

Woman stretching during run in a forest.

  • Be Prepared for a Little Discomfort - Some beginners have difficulty running faster because they’re afraid of feeling uncomfortable. But one of the first steps to getting faster is to learn what it feels like to pick up the pace. When you’re pushing yourself during speed training, expect to get out of breath and feel your leg muscles burning.

Runners feet

  • Work on Your Turnover - If you can increase your stride turnover, you’ll run faster. Start by running at about your 5K pace for 30 seconds and counting every time your right foot hits the ground. Then jog for a minute to recover and run for 30 seconds again, this time trying to increase the count. Focus on taking quick, light, short steps — as if you’re stepping on hot coals.

Runner on track

  • Try Interval Workouts – Interval workouts are a fun way to work on your speed. You can do track workouts, such as 400m (one lap around the track) repeats. After a 5- to 10-minute warm-up, alternate between running one 400m at your 5K pace and jogging one slow, easy recovery lap. Start with two or three 400m repeats (with a recovery lap in between each), and try to work your way up to five or six. Or, if you’re running on the road, you can use lamp posts or telephone poles to mark intervals. After warming-up, try sprinting for two lamp posts, then recover for two, and keep repeating the pattern until you’ve covered a mile.

Woman running

  • Do a Tempo Run Once a Week – Tempo runs help you develop your anaerobic threshold, which is critical for running faster. To do a tempo run, start your run with 5 to 10 minutes of easy running, then continue with 15 to 20 minutes of running at about 10 seconds slower than your 10K pace. Finish with 5 to 10 minutes of cooling down. If you’re not sure what your 10K pace is, run at a pace that feels “comfortably hard.”

Running Uphill

  • Try Some Hill Training - Hill repeats are an efficient way to build running strength. Find a fairly steep hill that’s about 100 meters long. Run hard to the top of the hill, and slowly jog back down. Start with 3 to 4 repeats once a week, and gradually work your way up to 6 to 7 repeats.

Man Weighing Himself on Scale

  • Lose Weight – If you’re already trying to shed some pounds, here’s more incentive: Research has shown that, on average, runners get two seconds per mile faster for every pound they lose. So, for example, a 10-pound weight loss would shave about one minute off your 5K race time.

Runner lying on the couch

  • Don’t Forget About Rest Days – Don’t assume that running hard every day will make you faster. Rest is critical to your recovery and injury prevention efforts, so don’t forget to take at least one day off completely each week. Your muscles actually build and repair themselves during your rest days. So, if you run every day without taking days off, you won’t see much improvement.

Runners in race

  • Be a Smart Racer – It’s possible to shave some seconds or maybe even minutes off your finishing time with smart racing strategies, such as making sure you don’t start out too fast.

Now here’s what I do:

I should say that I don’t do much speedwork.  In fact, I rarely even do the first 2 below. I know I should and I would probably be faster if I did.

  • Modified Fartleks – In other words, I ran as fast I can until the next mailbox or lamp post.  I repeat this several times. I do this maybe once a week during a run. I also always end my runs running very fast.  I think this is because I want to be done sooner. But it does give me practice in running fast and sprinting through the finish line.

  • Track Intervals - I walk one lap of the track (400 m) and then run one lap fast.  I repeat 12 times. So I have completed 3 miles but only 1.5 miles running. Sometimes I only run/walk a half lap because 400 m of walking is boring but in the end, it is the same distance.

now he knows how to rest

  • Rest Days – I rarely run two days in a row. If I do, it may be a morning followed by an afternoon.  If my legs are tired, I run slower. Sometimes I even take 2 days off before a race. As you age, your legs need more time to recover.

  • Run a lot of races. Someone once replied when I said that “I don’t do speedwork” that “your races are your speedwork.”  This is probably true.  I am not motivated to run fast and not walk during my training runs.  I just do the miles to get it done.  However, in a race, my competitive nature takes over, I want to be fast.

Happy Running! What do you do to get faster?

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Monday running update

20140625-122436-44676505Last Week:

  • Monday – DAY OFF -4 5.5 miles, several walks

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post-run walking  in Schroon Lake

post-run walking in Schroon Lake

  • Tuesday -walk at work, rest, tennis
AM walk

AM walk

  • Wednesday – 3 mile run before work, walk at work (too busy), yoga (thunderstorm)
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so so humid

  • Thursday – 4 3 mile run before work,  walk at work
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refreshing – humidity gone

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  • Friday – walksat work, rest, mah jongg
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walked to lunch and after though I know we didn’t want off those calories

  • Saturday- 5K race + 2 more miles, boating
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5k trail race

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  • Sunday -rest

This Week:

  • Monday – work at the bar exam, 4 mile run after
  • Tuesday -work at the bar exam, rest
  • Wednesday – 3 mile run before work, walk at work, yoga
  • Thursday – walk at work, staff picnic, 5 mile run
  • Friday-  tennis. hiking (in CT)
  • Saturday – tennis, swimming, dinner out (in CT)
  • Sunday – 5K race + 3 more miles, boating

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

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Post Race Relaxing

Right from my trail race, I headed up to the lake.  I tried to focus on the positives from the race – I didn’t get hurt, I got an age group award, etc.

My hubby was driving up with friends and hadn’t yet arrived at the marina when I got there.

If I had know, I would have run some more miles at the race location.  It was very scenic.

Even though I had lost my running mojo, I decided not to sit around and wait at the marina but run a little more.

So I headed for the Sagamore hotel.

pretty gardens in front

I ran around a little but was tired so headed back to the marina.

On my way, I spotted some people looking at something so I ran over.

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a beautiful waterlily garden

I have been running around the Sagamore for the past 7 summers and had never seen this garden. I was mesmerized and took a lot of pics.  I’ll only bore you with a few.

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Yes, I love lilies!!

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I managed to squeeze in 2 more miles before we headed on the lake to spend the rest of the day.

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The forecast was for clouds and possible showers but it turned out to be a beautiful day.

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First we hung out in the bay with friends.

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Then we went to another island to barbecue with other friends.

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Sadly, eventually it was time to head back to the marina. We didn’t stay overnight since storms were predicted.

Happy Running! How was your weekend?  Do you have a favorite flower?

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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.

starting

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
.14-    8:15

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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Friday Five: Goals

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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 Goals:

I always have lots of goals, but here are my top five for 2014:

1. Do not get injured. So far, so good.

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2.  Run 3-4 times a week ALL YEAR. Yes!

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in the freezing cold

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in the spring

during my vacation

during my vacation

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on the trail in summer

3.  Finish all races (except 15ks & half marathons) at under 10 min. pace per mileAlmost all.

4. Run at least 10 NEW races. YES! 13 already!!

Mayor's 10 Mile Race

Mayor’s 10 Mile Race

First Place - WooHoo!

Betar Byway 5K

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first annual Love Run

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Mom’s Day 5K

Bacon Hill Bonanza

Bacon Hill 5k

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Spring Run Off 10K

Lighthouse 5K

Lighthouse 5K

Rabbit Ramble - April

Rabbit Ramble 4m

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Strawberry Fest 5K

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Adirondack Distance Run

Cherry Blossom 5K

Cherry Blossom 5K

5. Run a half marathon and a 10 mile race. Yes! 2 of each. The  Love Run and the Saratoga Springs Half Marathons and the Mayor’s Wellness and the Adirondack Distance Run 10 milers.

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Mayor’s 10 mile race

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Adirondack Distance Run

Happy Running! What are some of your goals?

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