April Recap

I can’t believe April is over already… Time is flying by!!

So here’s how things went:

Weekday Runs:

The weather was fickle – there were warm days and then there were cold days. There were even rainy and windy days.  I was still able to run 2-3 times each week – mostly after work.

Long Runs:

There were a few races with extra miles added on. Then I ran a half marathon. So I continued to run higher mileage on the weekend.

Total Mileage:

100 miles this month!

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I was pleased that my mileage is back up because next month, there will be a lot fewer miles run.

Races:

I ran FOUR races this month – a 5 miler, a 5K, a half marathon and a 10K.

I was generally happy with how they all went. I did not have PR goals and of course, they could have been faster but the shorter races were the first part of a long run.  And the half marathon had hills which I had not trained for. The 10K was the week after the half.

Cross Training:

I had taken a few weeks off from tennis to heal my sore elbow.  I started back playing once a week and now it feels FINE!! Yay!!

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happy to back on the court with my friends – played 3 times this month.

I DID NOT go to a single yoga class!! I planned to but something usually got in the way.  Next month, I promise! (Wait, I said that last month and the month before!!)

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I continued to walk at work (around the building and to Starbucks or the park). I have also started going to the mall to get more steps in on days when the weather is lousy.

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My Starbucks addiction continues!!

I did not go to the gym at all.  My elbow is healed so I have NO excuses…just lazy (or have other priorities).

Sat am at the gym

Other News:

I ran 4 times with the Freihofer Challenge Training group. We started out the month with snow, then there was rain and we ended with sunshine. I enjoy running with my “advanced” group friends and coach Patrick.  He has had us running 400m intervals.  These are tough for me because they often come on the day after a long run. 

I’ve also started my volunteering with STEM. These year’s group is so enthusiastic.  It makes it even more fun.  I am paired up with a lady who is very speedy, as well. No goofing off here.

The place where I  work participated in the Million Mile Month for the month of April.  I changed my original goal of completing 100 miles to 300. And I did it!!!!

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I’m reading a new book that I am enjoying.

I finally got together with my mentee and her 2 sons. I hadn’t seen them in months. We went to the Firefigher’s Museum and had a blast.

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After missing a monthly gathering with my tennis friends, we did get together this month.

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lots of laughs and we did solve the mystery.

Feeling healthy so Life Is Good.

Looking Ahead:

I am not training for my next half marathon in May. It’s another hilly but scenic course. I am looking forward to spending time with AJH and visiting the Burlington VT area again.

May 29, 2016

I have been busy signing up for spring races.  This is my list so far for the next 2 months:

  • 5-01-16 – Cherry Blossom 5k
  • 5-03-16 – practice GOTR 5k
  • 5-07-16 – Mastodon Challenge 15k
  • 5-08-16 – Mother’s Day 5K (for GOTR)
  • 5-12-16 – Albany Law Day Against Domestic Violence 5k
  • 5-14-16 – Summer Smith 5k Addiction Awareness Run
  • 5-29-16 – Vermont City Marathon Relay
  • 6-04-16 – Freihofer’s Run for Women 5k
  • 6-12-16  – Run for Help 5k (for STEM)
  • 6-26-16 – Adirondack Distance Run 10m

And May is my favorite month!!!

Flowers are in bloom and it’s my birthday and I go on vacation!!!  Woo Hoo!!!!!!!!!

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you’ll see a lot of my runs here

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May 9 = annual b-day out with a former co-worker

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a week of tennis in the Fla. sunshine

No monthly goals.

my motto for 2016

Happy Running! How did your April turn out?  Anything exciting planned for May?  

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Runfessions March

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

I runfess…

I STILL can’t seem to motivate myself to run in the morning before work.  It’s not that I sleep in but I am lazy.  I sit around watching the Today show, eating breakfast and reading email/blogs. Then all of a sudden, it’s time to go to work.

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When I am busy after work and I need to run, I have to run at lunch.  It’s ok now because it is still cool out.  That will change when it gets warm and I will be too sweaty to go back to work.

How do you early morning runners do it?

I runfess…

Last month, I couldn’t go to yoga or the gym because I had tennis elbow.  Good excuse, right?

Now, my elbow feel fine…but I still haven’t gone… no time, no ambition, too lazy.

I need an intervention!!

I runfess…

I din’t taper for my last half marathon.

I usually run 8 miles the weekend before but I ran 11 miles on Sunday.

11 miles

11 miles

Then I ran 4 miles on Monday, 5 miles on Wednesday, 2 miles on Thursday….

OOPS!

I ran my second fastest half so I guess it was okay and if it weren’t so f##in hilly, I might have PRed.

I runfess…

I also did not recover after my last half marathon.

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My bad!

I ran 3 miles the next day and also on Wed & Thurs.  Plus I have 10k on Saturday and a 5k on Sunday.

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my legs were TIRED!!

I runfess…

I still have my Starbucks addiction.  I stop on the way to the park. And I walk to the park everyday at lunch.  (Darn, I wish they would close that store!!!)

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I even walked there in the rain

However, I have discovered their Chocolate Banana Smoothie.  Tell me it’s healthier than a frappuccino!

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I runfess…

I don’t like hills. I walk rather than run up them.  And I don’t train on hills.

So why do I sign up for hilly races?

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May 8 – HILLY!!!!!

May 29 – Hilly

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I haven’t signed up yet but I probably will…

Happy Running! Anything to runfess this month?

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Friday Five: Running in the Spring

Every Friday, three DC area bloggers Mar 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!

My Friday Five topic is Five Reasons to Love Spring Running.

It’s no secret.  Spring is my favorite season to run.

 1.   More Hours of Daylight

I have a hard time getting out of bed early enough to run before work.  Now, it is still light enough to run after work.  I love it!!

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winter

 

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spring

  2.   Less Baggage

I usually run after work so I have to carry all my running gear to work. Now my bag is so much lighter. No gloves, no jackets, no vests, no tights, no extra layers, etc.

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winter

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spring

  3.  Prettier Scenery

Flowers, leaves on the trees.  Need I say more?

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winter

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spring

  4.  Nicer Clothes

Skirts, tank tops.  No jackets over my nice shirts.

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winter

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spring

  5.  More Racing Ops

In the spring, there are several races to choose from EVERY weekend.

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winter virtual race

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spring racing

Happy Running! What is your favorite season to run?

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TOLT: Lake George Half Marathon Recap

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

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Here’s what I’m thinking about today…

My last half marathon!

Here’s how it went down:

April 24, 2016 —   9 am start

Half Marathon Training

Since I ran a half marathon 6 weeks ago, I only needed to run 9, 10, 11, 12, 8 miles and I actually ran 9, 10.5, 11, 12 and 11 so I should have been ready. As you can see below, only one long run was without a long break in the middle.

As I have mentioned many times before, I don’t ever follow a strict training schedule.  I just make sure than I do my long runs on the weekends and run a few times during the week (usually for 3 miles.)

For my last half marathon, I should have trained on hills.  But I didn’t so I suffered the consequences. This time, I did do hill repeats (but only once.)

Plus, I have been racing …a lot.  That counts as speed drills, right?

And of course, I planned my race outfit keeping my fingers crossed that it would be warm enough to wear it.

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at the last minute, I reversed the top & bottom colors.

I mean we had snow at the beginning of the month so you never know.

Pre-Race Preparations

My 2nd half marathon in 2011 was the Lake George Half Marathon.  It was poorly run by another company that has since gone out of business. This new race is run by 3C Race Productions and has gotten good reviews.  (I ran their Saratoga Half in 2014.)

Plus, the weather in 2011 was horrible – freezing rain and sleet for the whole 13.1 hilly miles.

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Yes, the race is hilly and most likely the same course as the one run by the other company (except that the finish line in 2011 was on Beach Rd not up a hill to the Fort.)

The Half Marathon course starts on Beach Road and heads East on Beach Road past Fort William Henry, around the loop, and back on Beach Road. The course then turns right on Lake Shore Drive (Route 9) and continues all the way to the turnaround point at the Lake George Club in Bolton Landing. The course returns back on Lake Shore Drive to turn left on Beach Road up onto the sidewalk to take the path up to the Finish Line at the Fort William Henry Resort.

I run most of my half marathons alone. Many are destination races too.

But this time, my running friend Barbara signed up for the race too so we decided to drive up together. It was nice to have her company. (We could worry before together and whine after LOL)

Below is a map of the scenic course:

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Most of the race has views of the lake

More importantly this was the elevation:

uphill, downhill, rolling hills…repeat….NO REST FROM THE HILLS!!

Race Day

I got up early (like 5:30 am) and had my usual race breakfast of cream of wheat and tea. It was nice to sleep in my own bed before a big race (although I really didn’t sleep well…as usual.)

I met Barbara at the Park n Ride at 6:30 am so we could drive together up to Lake George. The ride took about an hour.

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view from the hotel looking toward the start

I had a hard time deciding what to wear. It was COLD (in the 30s) and breezy. At least it would be sunny and hopefully warm up later on.

In the end, I shed my long-sleeved shirt and wore a tank, my DIY arm sleeves, a windbreaker and gloves.

They had emailed us not to park in the Fort William Henry Resort parking lot and not to use the hotel facilities.  So we drove to the lot below on Beach Rd. No one was parked there so we decided to risk it and park at the hotel. (It worked out fine.)

We got our bibs and a short-sleeved sleeved tech shirt and then went back to the car to stay warm.

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Finally we went into the hotel and used the restrooms (Rebels we are… not really… lots of racers were in the hotel lobby too.)

There were real bathrooms there which is always nice. And we could wait indoors where it was warm until the race started…

Eventually we had to make our way down the hill to the street in search of the start line.

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The race was on the small side (maybe 200 runners) and not particularly well organized.  We lined up in the road and the race director yelled go (5 minutes after the race was supposed to start.)

A lot of the race is a blur but here’s how I remember it:

Miles 1-4:

9:27, 9:54, 10:15, 10:13

 I lined up pretty close to front.  I wasn’t sure if the race was chip timed or gun timed. Barbara started further back.

We began along the lakefront on Beach Road. From there, we followed a quick loop eastward down into Lake George Beach State Park, and then headed westward again along Beach Road, past the start area, and then turned right to head north onto Canada Street. Once on Canada Street, we followed it for a stretch before turning onto Lake Shore Drive.

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around mile 1.5

The only flatish part of the race had ended.  I was happy that I started out slow.

Now the uphill battle began.

We would continue on Route 9N or Lake Shore Drive, all the way up to the turnaround point just past the half-way point.

My hubby and I own a boat and we keep it in Bolton Landing, about 2 miles north of the turn around point.  I have been driving this road for the past 10 years most weekends from May – October.

The hills were no surprise.

I realized quickly that I didn’t need my jacket.  Although it was breezy for the first mile, once we  headed north, we no longer felt the wind.  I tied my jacket around my waist (which annoyed me because it kept moving around). I kept on my DIY arm sleeves until the last few miles.

I made sure that I stopped and walked at every water stop. The first one was around mile 2.  I thought that I would see one in another 2 miles but that wasn’t the case.

The worst part of the race (actually it was almost the whole race) was that you ran with traffic.  That meant you had to run on the very narrow shoulder of the road.  Often, the road was uneven and with holes.  Plus, you had to make sure that cars moved over enough (especially after the last half I ran when someone got hit by a truck). It was very nerve-wracking to say the least.

Barbara who started behind me quickly got ahead of me and stayed that way for the rest of the race.  For awhile, I could see her, but every time I stopped to walk, she got farther ahead. (Her hill training apparently worked!)

Miles 5-8:

9:45, 10:39, 10:41, 11:02

It was unending hill after hill but not as steep as the map shows which means that the steep downhills weren’t there either.  I thought that I may walk up EVERY hill like the last race but the during the first half of the race, I ran/walked up them.  For the most part I was happy with how I was tackling them.

Finally at mile 5.75, there was the second water stop.  I could finally eat a GU.

I spent most of the first half of the race (except for when I was looking down at the uneven pavement and pot holes) admiring the lake and reminiscing about the sites along the lake (such as, the Inn at Erlowest where my hubby & I went for an anniversary dinner, a motel where stayed before we had a boat you could sleep on, a deli where I’ve stopped to buy sandwiches, etc.)

At the halfway point, I was at 1:05 or so…not bad with all those hills. (Unfortunately there would be no PR, I could not hold that pace.)

Then things started going downhill (and I’m not talking about the course.) I started developing a blister on the bottom of the left foot and one on the right side of my right foot. (Even with all those moleskin I put on my feet… grrr).

And my lower back was aching. (I think I was leaning forward running up those hills.)

Finally at mile 7.5 we turned around, had water and started heading back.  Mile 8 was the first mile sign that I saw (I don’t know how I missed the others or were they not there?).

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this is not from the race but from when I’ve run on this same road

Miles 9-13:

11:01, 11:26, 11:13, 10:38

The longest and steepest hill came between miles 8 and 9.  And my body was already done with hills. As you can see from my pace, I was walking more and more.  I took another GU around mile 10 even without a water stop. Finally there was some downhill but too little, too late.

Mile 14:

10:14 (definitely not a sprint to the finish)

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Barbara crossing the finish line

Eventually, I took a right and headed up (yes, up) a dirt path, then another sharp right that led to the finish line.  I had zero energy left at this point and was glad to be done.

Garmin time: 2:16:30
Gun Time: 2:16:58
Chip Time: 2:16:56

Barbara was there waiting, as well as, a boating friend of mine.

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with my friend Kathy who lives nearby

As soon as you were done, you gave the race director your bib number and he printed out your results and gave you your award if you won one.

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Yup, I won second in my age group and got a beer glass.

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I quickly went back to my car so I could change out of my sweaty clothes.

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Then the three of us went out to lunch in town. It was too cold to sit outside but we had a nice view from our table.

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lobster bisque & turkey, apple, brie Panini = YUMMY!

Additional race reflections:

The Good:

  • No rain.
  • Perfect running weather – cool, no humidity, little wind.
  • Close enough to be able to sleep in my own bed the night before.
  • Organized packet pick-up
  • Real bathroom
  • Warm place to wait before the race
  • I shared my race experience with a friend
  • Scenic course with lake views
  • No major injuries. (just the usual sore feet)
  • Immediate results and you didn’t have to wait for an awards ceremony
  • I finished and beat my previous course time.

The Bad:

  • Running with traffic
  • Uneven narrow shoulder to run on
  • Hilly course
  • Post-race refreshments left much to be desired (I didn’t even have anything)
  • No crowd support (saw 2 people cheering on the course)
  • No official race photos (there was someone who posted on FB but he stopped before I crossed the finish line.)
  • The 5k runners got the same medal and 5K AG winners got the same beer glass.  (And Half Marathoners ran 10 more miles!!)

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My friend Tom who ran the 5k

The Ugly:

  • the Hills
  • the Road
  • the Traffic

So there are more positives than negatives!!! Overall, it was an OK race. Running with a friend is great.

Would I recommend this race?

Not really.  There are better ones out there. But if you do run it, you better train on hills.

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Final Stats:

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I’m still 62!!

And I definitely walked more and slowed down (as usual) during the 2nd half of the race.

I wasn’t thrilled with my results.  But I wasn’t unhappy.  After all, I didn’t train for hills. It was far from my slowest time.  In fact, it was my second fastest half marathon and faster than the first time I ran it.

Every time, my lower back started to ache, I fixed my form and stopped hunching over my shoulders.  And my awful feet only received two minor blisters.

The day after, I felt great and was even able to go for my group run (though I didn’t do the speed drills and ran slowly.)

However, if I want to run another hilly course, I’ve got some work to do… (Wait a minute, I said that last time.)

Next Up:

I have two races this weekend. Yes, TWO!!

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I signed up for the 10k on Saturday.  It’s a nice small local race along the Hudson River and there’s a free pasta dinner the night before.

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last year with 2 friends

Then on Sunday, I signed up for a 5k.  Normally these two races are not scheduled on the same weekend. 

This one is a local race in a quiet neighborhood that raises money for ALS. Maybe there’ll even be cherry blossoms this year.

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last year also

Last year, I won age group awards in both races.  But after just running a half marathon and racing two days in a row, I have no such lofty aspirations.

I’m looking forward nice spring weather and enjoying my runs.  I may add more miles on Sunday (if I feel good) after the 5k or may be I’ll just enjoy not training for my next half marathon.

Happy Running!  How do you handle a hilly race?  Do you have any races coming up?  What are you thinking about today?

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Wednesday Word: Dreamer

Deb Runs

Every Wednesday, the Deb from Deb Runs will be providing a word about which to blog. Kind of like a nice little blog prompt. Posts can be fitness or health related, but don’t have to be, so really anyone can play along. Just be sure to link up with InLinkz on Deb’s main post, and share the love by reading and commenting on other’s participant’s posts.

Today’s word is DREAMER.

The first thing that comes to mind, of course, is John Lennon’s song, right?

I don’t think of myself as a “dreamer.”

a person whose ideas and plans are not practical or based in reality

I think I know my body’s limitations.

Sub 8 minute miles? Sub 27 minute 5K? Sub 2 hour half marathon?

I don’t think so.

I want to run for a long time.  I don’t want to risk getting injured.  I am realistic about my abilities.

That doesn’t mean that I won’t give it my best shot in every race I run.

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I WILL!

Now this would be dreaming:

But seriously, before I was a runner, I used to read about the Freihofer Run for Women.  I used to think that it was an awesome feat to be able to run 3 miles.

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Thousands of women did run the race but I wasn’t the least bit athletic and never thought I could or would.

Once I decided to try running, this was the first race that I wanted to do.  To me, it meant that I was really a “runner.”

after the race

my 3rd of out 8 FRWs.

So I guess, in a sense, running the Freihofer Run for Women was “a dream come true.”

Then after a few years of running 5ks, I wondered (or dreamed) about running a half marathon.  But I was 58.  Could I???

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YES, I COULD!!!!!

Happy Running! Are you a “Dreamer?” Do you or did you have a running “dream?”

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TOTR: Race Swag

with Erika @ MCM Mama Runs,
Marcia @ Marcia’s Healthy Slice
and Patty @ My no-guilt life

This week’s topic is Dream race swag. What’s the best thing you ever got? What would you love? 

I personally like things that are useful.

Here are some of my favorites:

I still use this lunch bag that I won as an Age Group award

AJH got 2nd place...we won a lunch bag which matches the race shirt
I love socks.


Glasses are cool. It came with a green tooth brush.


Wind breakers are practical.  I have them in green, blue, yellow and orange. (Unfortunately they stopped giving them out.)


Coffee mugs are great.

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And gloves are handy.

I recently got a sweatshirt that I really like.

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I’ve also gotten rain ponchos, ice packs, water bottles, food samples, baseball caps, sunglasses, towels, etc.

In addition to useful items, food is another swag item that I appreciate:

I have gotten gift cards for free ice cream and free donuts.  I’ve won restaurant gift cards.

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I’ve run 180 something races.  That’s a lot of swag. (Mostly junk but some good stuff.)

So what would be the perfect swag?

A jacket or sweatshirt, Starbucks or ice cream gift card, coupon for a free massage or gym membership, samples of energy bars or gel. (I could list other things but they would be cost prohibitive:) )

Happy Running! What would be your perfect swag?

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Monday Running Update

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Last Week: 

  • Monday  So we went from winter to summer here, it appears. It was 75 degrees for my lunch walk to the park. The tulips aren’t looking to great (due to that recent snowstorm?) but still a lovely walk and a delicious Starbucks chocolate banana smoothie.

Sunday night, I woke up with an ache in my right Achilles.  It kept me up most of the night. I was panic-stricken imagining DNSing my half and all my summer races. But it was fine all day so I decided to go to my group run.  We were scheduled for a 10 min warm-up and cool down and then 8 400m intervals at 5k pace with 2 min. jogging in between.  I asked my coach what I should do after an 11 mile run the day before and a half marathon coming up.  I was considering not doing the speed repeats.  He recommended doing them but not at 5k pace but at 15k pace. So that’s what I did.  It was 79 degrees and my legs were tired but the laps got easier as I ran them.  My 400 m times were not speedy like last week but in the 2:10-2:15 range. The best part was that my Achilles felt fine…no pain at all (phew!)

  • Tuesday – The day started out cool and cloudy but got better and I again went for my daily afternoon walk. More good news – my elbow pain has mysteriously disappeared and I played tennis without worry. Afterwards, as usual, we went out to dinner.
  • Wednesday – Another beautiful spring day and a walk to the park.

After work and before the STEM ladies arrived, I ran one loop around campus.  Then I was paired up with Michelle again.  She was even speedy that last week. (But the French lady can no longer come on Wed.😦 ) It was a fun workout. Love these ladies!

  • Thursday – It was too busy at work for me to get out and walk but I did squeeze out a run. The closest place to go was the track. Not exciting but got it done.

After work, I went out to dinner with two coworkers. I actually walked to and from the restaurant.  The reason why is below:

I also shared an appetizer (chicken meatballs) and the dessert was shared as well. Everything was delish.

Then I stopped off to go grocery shopping and to buy ingredients to make charoset for the seder the next night.

  • Friday – The day started out rainy but improved and was quite warm. I had to do some errands during lunch (forgot to buy the horseradish & gelfite for seder) and only got in a short walk to Starbucks.

non-fat milk, sugar free syrup, no whip so don’t judge

In the evening, one of my mah jongg friends hosted our annual Passover seder.  Always a good time (and there were as many non-Jews as Jews there.)

MJ Seder 2010

  • Saturday – I tried to make myself rest.  I didn’t run but got in a lot steps doing errands and housework. Then I went out to dinner with the hubby to carb load for the next day.
  • Sunday – I completed my 19th half marathon. I ran it with my friend Barbara on a perfect running weather day but those hills…I barely survived.
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2:16:56 and 2nd in my AG

24 miles done with 4 runs and 3 rest days.

This Week:  (5 weeks until Half Marathon #20) 

  • Monday  Freihofer Challenge Group Run (4 miles?)
  • Tuesday – rest, tennis
  • Wednesday 3 miles, Mystery Room & dinner out with my tennis friends
  • Thursday4 miles, mall walk wiht BFF
  • Friday rest, pasta pre-race dinner, mah jongg
  • Saturday 10K race
  • Sunday5K race
Once again, I am linking up for the Weekly Wrap hosted by Holly @ HoHoRuns and Tricia @ MissSippiPiddlin.   See rules here.
http://hohoruns.blogspot.com

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

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