Being an “Inspiration”

In 2002, 2004 & 2006 I went to Kursk, Russia and stayed with a wonderful girl named Anna.

April 2006

We have kept in touch.  She visited in 2002, 2003, twice  in 2012 and once in 2013.

May 2012

September 2012

March 2013

In September 2012 when she came to visit, I was running a race and she wanted to come watch.

drinking out of my Starbuck’s Moscow mug before the race

She was very excited about the race, took lots of pictures and even a video of me running.

This is the email that I just got from her:

You’ll be surprised to learn I took up running as well.  I think it happened largely due to my watching you run that early early morning in the park.

In the summer I used to run in the park, but not it’s getting chillier. I bought a fitness club pass and yesterday was my first day of running indoors.

Now isn’t that cool??

Happy Running! Have you ever inspired someone to start running?

“Swirl On”


Swirlgear’s mission is:

to become the women’s running apparel brand of choice while also celebrating the strength, style and spirit of real women runners! We are a brand new company and do not advertise, so we rely on our Brand Ambassadors to help spread the word about our brand by proudly wearing our gear. Team Swirlgear is comprised of everyday women that are simply positive, passionate about health and love to run. They also benefit from some pretty great incentives!

Since our Brand Ambassadors are typically busy professionals, full-time mothers, or mix of both, we do not require that they do anything more than have fun while wearing our gear with pride! They also stay connected with our community of over 500 women across the country and Canada on our private Swirlgear Brand Ambassador Facebook page. Not only do they keep each other motivated and share inspiring stories of how running has impacted their lives, but they also love to meet and share photos of them “getting their Swirl on” at running events everywhere!

I applied to be an Ambassador and then ordered this top. (I actually ordered a while ago but it took forever to get it. Like SIX Months.)

I hesitated on whether to order a small or a medium. I usually wear a small but I don’t like tight tops so I ordered a medium.

Well, it was worth the wait.  I like the material.  I also like the longer length (so it doesn’t ride up) and the zip pocket (for a key or a GU). BUT IS IT IS TOOOOO BIG!!! I could have sent it back but it took 6 mos to get here and everyone who ordered seems to have the same issue.  The time for wearing tanks in the NE is almost over. So I washed it and put in the dryer and I took in the seams on top.  It isn’t perfect but it is wearable (especially if you wear a sports bra underneath.)


after my 5K race on Saturday

If I order more Swirlgear, I will order a long sleeve or short sleeve top in size SMALL!

The downside to Swirlgear is that they don’t have a lot of styles, colors and prints–yet.  They are a new company, and they are working on expanding. They have definitely added a lot more tops to their fall line.  I am hoping they will add more bottoms – capris, shorts and SKIRTS!

Also the tanks run very wide on top and extra long.  They should have mentioned that on their site.  I feel sorry for them having to deal with all the exchanges.

The other issue for me is cost.  While they are not higher priced than many other quality brands, their items cost more than I normally spend on my running clothes.  I often buy my clothes at Target or Walmart. The quality is definitely there, though, so if that’s the most important thing to you, it would justify the expense.

As a Brand Ambassador, I can offer you free shipping on any Swirlgear purchase using the discount code swirlon at checkout.

And if you are interested in becoming a SwirlGear Brand Ambassador, you can go here to find an application and check things out.

Happy Running! What makes an item the perfect piece of running clothing for you?  







Disclaimer: I was provided a 50% discount on these items as part of the Swirlgear Brand Ambassador program.  They were purchased with my own money, and all opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesdays on the Run: Fueling Options & Tips

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: Fueling Options & Tips

This is so individual.  Everyone has different tastes, flavor preferences, digestion issues, fitness levels, etc.

But here is what I use for fuel when I run…

Before a Run:

I never go out for a run on an empty stomach. If it is in the morning, I eat a bowl of hot cereal (2 packets.)

unfortunately they don’t sell this flavor anymore

If it is in the afternoon, I usually eat some type of protein/energy bar.

During a run:

  • Gels- I usually take one gel before a race and every 4 miles during a long run or race.

I prefer peanut butter or salted caramel

I like these but you have to order them online

  • Chews & beans- These are not my preference but I have taken them. I find them too sweet and too much like candy.

  • Water supplements – I prefer just plain H2O. But I know many people like to add electrolytes to their water.

If I did, I would use Nuun.

After a run: I like carbs such as bagels and cookies and fruit especially bananas and watermelon. If I have the choice, it would be ice cream!



  • Be prepared.  Carry fuel with you just in case.  (I have forgotten to bring something & it’s not fun.)
  • Never try anything new during a race. Always try new products during your training runs.
  • Dieting is not a good idea if you are running.  Rather than skimping on food to lose weight, just eat healthier.
  • Do what feels right for you. Some runners don’t eat before they run, gels upset some runners’ stomachs, etc.
  • When you find what you like, buy in bulk.  FleetFeet sells gels – buy 10, get 2 free.  You can buy online.

Happy Running! How do you fuel your runs?


Monday running update

20140625-122436-44676505Last Week:

  • Monday – 2 walks at work, 4 3 mile run

AM walk

PM walk


  • Tuesday - walk at work, rest, tennis (rain, rain)
  • Wednesday – walk at work, (rain) 3 mile run, yoga
even on the track

intervals in the rain (light rain) after work

  • Thursday – 2 walks at work, 4 3 mile run

AM walk – almost feels like fall


PM walk to the park


  • Friday-  DAY OFF, party at the marina
  • Saturday -5K race + 3 1 more mile, boating

Jailhouse Rock 5K – 2nd in AG award


picnic on Log Bay Island (Lake George)

  • Sunday – 3 miles, day at my mentee & family



This Week:

  • Monday – walk at work, 4 mile run
  • Tuesday – walk at work, rest, tennis, mall walk with my BFF
  • Wednesday – walk at work, 4 mile run
  • Thursday – 2 walks at workhair appt
  • Friday-  walk at work, 4 mile run, mah jongg
  • Saturday – tennis party on Schroon River
  • Sunday  6 mile run???, more partying on the river

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


FUNday SUNday

and  I wasn’t boating.

It started out a slow 3 mile run in the neighborhood.

My hubby stayed up at the lake but I came home.

I haven’t seen Amanda, the girl I used to mentor, in a while. In fact not since May.


Then I decided to take them all to Hoffman’s Playland.  It’s a local amusement park that’s been around forever but is closing Sept 15.


Richard is 7 1/2 and Matthew will be 3 on Friday.

They went on all the little kid rides.






and one big kids’ ride that they begged me to go on with them.


yes, I was screaming!

Then we had dinner at Subway and of course, ice cream for dessert.


I think he liked it :)

It is sad that this place is closing :(

Happy Running! Do you like amusement parks?


Jailhouse Rock 5K race report

The race started at 8:30  at the Brookside Museum in Ballston Spa (about 40 minutes away.)

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve done this one 3 times before (in 2009, 2010, & 2012).


I’m the one in the pink compression socks

I know that you walk up a hill to start and you finish running down this hill.

the hill is VERY steep

It was chilly for an August race.  It felt more like fall than summer. But nice weather for running. I wore my new Swirlgear tank (though it was too big) and hoped that the sun would warm me up.

I got there early enough to find parking and use the rest room (in the museum). I bumped into 2 runners from my age group – one very fast and one slower than me.  We chatted and then it was time to head up the hill.

I turned on my Garmin and I realized it was almost dead.  It must not have been on the charger correctly.  Oh well, I was hoping that it just might last 3 miles.

The first mile was a gradual uphill but nothing steep.  I tried to hold back but I am not good at that. There were no clocks on the course but someone called out 9:20 somewhere after mile 1.

I was hoping to run the whole thing but around halfway at the water stop, I was pooped already so I stopped and walked for a while.

Around 1.7 miles, my Garmin stopped.  So I guess I had to run blindly.

Mile 2 seemed to be flat and then at the same point, I think someone called out 16:xx.

Without a watch, I was lost.  I can’t believe how I depend on it.  I like to know how far till the end of the race and what my pace is.

I knew there was that downhill at the but I found myself walking AGAIN, right before it.

Finally I got to  the steep hill, I wish I was confident enough to go all out but I was afraid of falling flat on my face so I held back.

Then I saw the clock.  It was 27:xx but it was too late to get a PR…those darn walks!!

I crossed at 28:25.

I was happy. It was faster than my previous two 5ks.



While I was waiting for the times to be posted, I ran into another runner that I met at 2 other races.  She is 59.  She finished several minutes ahead of me but was 6th in her age group.  I came in 2nd in my group.  (I guess that will change next year when she is in my age group.)



race swag – hat for my ag prize, tech tee shirt, Xmas ornament, a package of cards

After the race, on the way back to my car, I passed the Iron Spring.


it is on the Xmas onrament

Then I noticed a trail so I took it.


It was only 1 mile out and back but very peaceful.


On one side there was brook flowing.


Although it was not warm and it was getting cloudy, I decided to drive back up to the lake.

I wanted to run some more but it was late and everyone was heading out to one of the islands.


Log Bay island on Lake George

We hung out all afternoon – eating, listening to music and watching the boats go by.


the marina gang

As for my 5K,  I am satisfied with my efforts but as always, feel that I can do better.


mile 1 –  9:03
mile 1- 1.7 – 9:26
mile 1.7-3.1 – ???

Race Goals:

  • Run the whole thing (haven’t been very successful at this lately.) – NOPE – walked twice
  • Under 10 min mile splits – YES!
  • Finish under 30 minutes – YES!
  • Win an age group award – YES – 2nd
  • Finish happy & uninjured – YES!

My next 5k is Sept 7.  After that, I need to prep for my 10 miler in October.

Happy Running! Any racing plans this weekend?


Friday Five: Freebie


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 a Freebie so I chose to write about the 5 reasons “Why I Run”:

1. because it makes me feel healthy

I do not healthy most of the time.  I do not follow any special diets.  I don’t make smoothies or eat kale. I eat meat, I eat carbs and I love my sweets especially ice cream. Running is one of the few healthy things that I do.

running + ice cream = :)

2. because it makes me feel active

I have a sedentary job.  I sit at a computer most of the day.  Some days, I don’t even leave my desk. Running gets me up early in the morning or out after work.

running in the park after work

3. because it gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment

Even after a poor race, I know that I have done more than those who have stayed home.  When I say that I ran 13.1 miles, people who are not runners are “in awe.”  Every time I cross that finish line, I feel proud!


finishing a 5K

at my first half marathon

4.   because it makes me feel young

At 61, I may not be the fastest and PRs are getting harder to come by, but I still finish faster than a lot runners that are younger than me.

see those younger ones behind me LOL

this recent picture is featured on the race website –

5. to be party of a community

Runners are awesome people.  Even when I go to a race where I don’t know anyone, I always end of chatting with someone. I have met so many people because of running, many of whom I now consider my “friends.”  And then there are the bloggers…you are my “virtual friends.”

before the Adirdondack Half Marathon

pre-Love Run Half dinner


at a recent 5K

at one of several races with fellow blogger AJH


recent race with Judy, Facebook friend

Happy Running! Why do you run?