TOTR: September Report Card

Image result for welcome september
Fall has arrived. And we had some nice cool dry days but summer temps and humidity did rear their ugly head too.
Here’s how September worked out for me:

Weekday Runs:

I was able to run at least 3 times outdoors each week which is great because I do not have a treadmill at home. I prefer to run 4 times but sometimes it just doesn’t happen.

I ran at UAlbany (near work), near home, in a local park and at the Corning Bike Path. I even ran while in Rochester, Buffalo and Liverpool for work. My weekday runs were usually around 4 miles.

I ran alone most of the time. But Alyssa was able to accompany me a few times and new Judy once. I also hooked up with Laurie, a former turkey trot group member. It’s definitely more fun running with friends.

I thought the Turkey Trot running group started up again on Monday, September 18 and I would get to re-unit with my running friends as well as meet new ones. I even registered.  But it turns out that they changed the day for the first time this year – Tuesdays!!!  I cannot do Tuesdays… So no group runs or drills for me this fall.  Boo Hoo!!!

PP hills, I’ll miss you!!

Long Runs:

Long runs began in preparation for my next half marathon. I also snuck in a half marathon as a training run. The 11 miler was my only decent effort but at least I got the miles in.

Total Mileage:

I have run 87.5 miles this month so far. An increase over previous months and I am still feeling healthy so all is good.


I had several races on my schedule this month.  I skipped a local 5k but instead the next weekend, I ran the Saratoga Palio Half Marathon as a last minute training run.  It was a hot, humid day and I bonked the last 3 miles. I also ran the Helper’s Fun 10K, a hilly small scenic race. For this one, I ran a smart race, had a course PR and won my age group so I was a happy camper.

Cross Training:

I played tennis once (indoor season has started.) Again this month, I was out of town working every Tuesday 😦

I did NOT go to work out at the gym at all!!!! Not once! Nunca! Jamais! And my free membership ends in October!!!!

I thought I might fit in a yoga class. I did NOT!!

I did walk occasionally at lunch. Not everyday like I used to. I find it hard to tear myself away from my desk and I have been traveling a lot.

I finally got to go hiking after my 10k race. I loved it!!!

Other News:

The hubby and I continued our boating on the weekends. It was actually warmer in September than in July & August.

Despite working ALOT, I also managed to attend my weekly mah jongg games and monthly dinner with the tennis ladies. 

As you can tell, running is not my whole life. I think it is important to make time for other things that bring you pleasure….family, friends, food….

Feeling healthy so Life Is Good.

Looking Ahead:

Two half marathons (#28 & #29) planned- October 1 in Corning, NY. and November 12 in Las Vegas.

I also have quite a few shorter races planned. I have to squeeze them in before the winter.

This is my list so far for the next 2 months:

  • 10-01-17 – Wineglass Half Marathon
  • 10-08-17 – Ramblefest 8k or 10-07-17 – Apple Run 5K / ZOOMA Cape Cod Virtual 10K
  • 10-14-17 – Great Pumpkin Challenge 10K
  • 10-22-17 – ZOOMA Amelia Island Virtual 12k
  • 10-29-17 – Goblin Gallop 5k?
  • 11-11-17 – RnR Vegas 5k
  • 11-12-17 – RnR Vegas Half Marathon
  • 11-18-17 – Girls on the Run 5k (volunteer with STEM) or maybe 11-19-17  – Race to Deliver 4m in NYC
  • 11-23-17 – Troy Turkey Trot 5k and Troy Turkey Trot 10k

I am linking to Deb at DebRuns for her October Race Linkup:

Deb Runs

No monthly goals.

This motto worked for 2016 so I’m sticking with it in 2017!

Since today is Tuesday, I’m also linking up with these wonderful ladies:

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

Today’s Topic is: Give your running month a letter grade.

I’d say overall a B+.

You know, zero gym attendance, skipping lunch time walks, slacking on those long runs, easy lackluster weekday runs. I know I can do better.

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup




Running Update: 9.18.17-9.24.16


Last Week: Taper Time

  • Monday – Recovering from yesterday’s half marathon.  Actually, everything felt great but better safe than sorry.
  • Tuesday – Another work travel day. This week, I was back in Rochester, NY.  It’s a long drive but there are two choices of places to run – along Lake Ontario or along the Erie Canal. I was ready to run at 2 pm but my co-worker asked me to help him set up and we couldn’t start until 4:30. Grrrrrr! So I chose Lake Ontario and found some cool trails across the street. But I had to cut it short to get back to check into my hotel.

  • Wednesday -I got in one more run along the canal before the drive home.

Along the Erie Canal starting at Bushnell’s Basin

  • Thursday – Today I reunited with Alyssa for a run. We decided to run on the Corning Bike Path.

Summer temps continue

  • Friday – Rest day and evening out with the mah jongg ladies.
  • Saturday – Today I ran the Helper’s Fund 10k in Chestertown, NY. It was warm but not as humid as last weekend. I ran the whole race with another runner who forced me to take it slow. It was a nice small race and I had a course PR and even won my age group.

58:17. A happy surprise.

After the race, I took two hikes on nearby mountains and visited a friend who lived nearby.

  • Sunday – Boating Sunday.  And a beautiful day it was and the hottest day of the summer so far and it’s fall LOL. I spent most of the day floating on the water.

18.2 miles done.

This Week: Race Week

  • Monday – 3-4 mile run with Laurie
  • Tuesday –  rest day, tennis
  • Wednesday 4 mile run with Alyssa
  • Thursday rest day or 3 mile run before dinner out with the tennis ladies
  • Friday – day off (early morning 3 mile run if not done the day before) and drive to Corning, NY
  • Saturday – rest dayCorning, NY for the expo & carb- loading with running friends
  • Sunday – Wineglass Half Marathon

Please link up for the Weekly Wrap hosted by these wonderful bloggers Holly @ HoHoRuns and Tricia @ MissSippiPiddlin.

And with Jess @ the Right Fits and @Jess Runs Atlanta

Linking up with the Jess's

Happy Running! How is your running going? What’s new with you? Please share.


Friday Five 2.0 – Fall Activities

It’s Friday so I’m linking up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostesses and visit some other bloggers.

The topic for today is: Fall Activities

The NE is the prettiest place to live in the Fall (though I may be biased).  So here are 5 of my favorite things to do around where I live:

1. Running

Obviously this is my favorite thing to do in all seasons.  But it is even more enjoyable when it is not hot and humid and the leaves are changing colors.

2. Racing

Yes, this is running-related but I love to race in the fall because there are so many races to choose from each weekend.  Every organization is trying to squeeze in a race before winter.

3. Hiking

The cooler weather makes hiking even more enjoyable. And then there are the pretty foliage to look at…

4. Eating

Cider donuts, homemade apple pies and pumpkin-everything… Need I say more?

5. Boating

It may not be warm enough to swim in the lake but it’s still beautiful.  Love riding around, hanging out by a bonfire and grilling on one of the islands.

** 6. Apple Picking and Farm Activities

I must add these since they are the only ones specific for fall.

Happy Running! What are your favorite fall activities?

Saratoga Palio Half Marathon Recap

2008 Saratoga Palio Poster (Palio!) Tags: race poster memorial compassion run promotional legacy scholarship palio halfmarathon 5k fund mentalhealthcare melaniemerolaodonnell

Sunday, Sept. 17, 2016 – 7:45 am

Ok, I broke all the rules here.  This is a repeat half marathon.  I’ve made it a practice to never repeat halfs. (only because there are so many to choose from…)

I did not plan on running this race. My runs had not been going well.

But I felt the need to race to lift my spirits.  It was too late to register for the Dunkin Run 5k, 10k or 15k. The HMRRC 2.5 or 5.9 was  on a really boring course so that left this race.

I could have registered for the 5k and just tacked on extra miles to count it as a long run but I just decided that an additional lonely solo 9 miles would not be any fun.

Besides, my running partner, Alyssa was running the half in hopes of a PR.  I could be there after the race to celebrate with her.

Half Marathon Training

Training? What’s that? Only kidding…

I tried to get in all my double digit runs on the weekends but they were intended to prepare for Wineglass which will take place two weeks later on October 1!!

The 11 miler was ok but the other two were downers.

During the week, I always ran 3 times and usually for 3-4 miles. No drills…just plain easy running (with walk breaks). Sometimes alone but many times this year with a friend. The ones with a friend were my better runs.

Pre-Race Preparations

Runners start the race in downtown Saratoga Springs along Broadway Avenue, and from there they head south down along Broadway toward Saratoga Spa Park. From there, they spend the next few miles of the race running through the park’s roads and trails. Later, the course heads north along Nelson Avenue all the way back into downtown, and next brings runners north up into the finish line in Congress Park.

This was the new course from last year which I ran.  I remember there being hills but much of the race is a blur. It was raining during part of the race and I had a nosebleed during part of the race.

Anyway, below is a map of the course:


More importantly, this was the elevation:


Yup. There are some hills but compared to Lake George and Race the Train, this was nothing!

I decided to wear my normal half marathon outfit – tank, skirt, cap, compression socks. Although we had been blessed with cooler dry weather, this weekend was predicted to be warm and humid.

Race Day

I got up early (like 5:00 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 left around 6:00 am and it was already 63 degrees and HUMID. I was thinking that this weather would make for a very uncomfortable 13.1 miles! (I was right!)

I tried to park in the same location as last year – the hotel parking lot but it was already full.  I did, however, get a close spot on the street.  Unlike last year, I didn’t drive up the day before and pick up my race packet. I picked it up today and then used the restroom in the hotel.

long sleevd shirt

It was early so I had plenty of time to chat with the other runners while waiting for the race to begin. I quickly bumped into Alyssa and we walked to start together.

I ran into so many people that I knew. Some running the 5k and many running the half. It is a very popular local race.

Soon it was time for the crowd of 1200 or so to take off. Alyssa and I started together close to the front but not too close. Alyssa wanted to PR and that meant under 2:18.  I knew that she would have no problem but I think she thought that she would need my help.  So I agreed to run with her but I knew that I wasn’t excited about running a fast pace in this humidity. I reminded her that it was a training run for me and at some point, I may let her go ahead and not hold her back.

pic from FB

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

Miles 1-4:

9:16, 9:26, 9:47, 9:47

photo from the Gazette

I was planning to run a consistent pace of around 10mm but as you can see, I started out too fast. Everyone was passing me by. I kept wondering how they could run so fast at the beginning of a half marathon. Alyssa and I ran together and chatted for the first 4 miles. It is the first time that I have ever run a race with someone else.

Yes, we saw the photographer!!

The course started us running down Broadway. It was a slight incline but nothing too bad. Then we headed down Route 9 (So) until we turned around at Crescent Ave and headed back on Rte 9 the same way. There was a water stop around mile 2 and I walked. I walked through ALL the water stops. Next we turned and ran around the backside of the park and eventually down Avenue of the Pines. At least, this part of course was shady but it was sooo humid!

I guess we didn’t see the photographer here

I was feeling very strong in the early miles. There were mile markers at every mile and a clock at the 5k, 10K, 15k and 10m points. I think my 5k time was around 29 minutes.

Miles 5-8:

10:45, 10:07, 10:19, 10:00

At this point, Alyssa and I separated for good. I started to get stomach cramps and needed to walk.  Alyssa was still running well (in fact, she ran the whole thing!!) so I told her to go ahead.

We continued to run around the park for the next few miles. Finally around mile 5.5,  there was the 2nd water stop. Here I walked and took a GU. My stomach felt better and I started to pick up the pace again.

always like to ham it up for a photographer

I was still running close to a 10 minute pace (thanks to those fast early miles). That, of course, put PR thoughts in my head. I tried to dismiss them but they wouldn’t go away! There was another water stop around mile 8 so I walked and took one more GU.

walking…. I said to the photographer: You didn’t take a picture of that (he took 2!!)

Miles 9-12:

11:07, 10:53, 11:29, 10:54

We were still running around the park. Here is where things started to get ugly. My back was getting achy and my feet were starting to hurt especially the annoying blister I was getting on the bottom of my foot. But the pain was still bearable. At mile 9, we hit the biggest hill of the race. I started to run up it but then decided that it was too late in the race for that and walked/ran it. There continued to be smaller but annoying hills after that. Sweat was dripping off me (and I’m not a sweater.) My 10 mile time had slowed down to 1:42. PR chances GONE!!

Soon we exited the park, ran down Rte 9.

After Rte 9, we headed back into the park and down Avenue of the Pines, past the baths and finally out of the park for good. We crossed Rte 9 and ran down Crescent Ave, turned onto Jefferson, then onto Circular, and finally Spring St. where we could hear that we were getting close to the finish line.

proof that at your worst, you can still smile for the photographer!!

At mile 12, I just wanted to be done. I walked and took my last GU and tried to pick up speed (but there wasn’t much left in the tank.)

Mile 13-14:

10:24, 10:10

It seemed like the finish line would never come. And one more hill at the end. Not fun! I didn’t even try to run up it. I knew my finish time was slow so I gave up and walked. I did try though sprint through the finish line. The clock read 2:15:xx and I wanted to at least beat 2:16 but I did not.

Gun Time: 2:16:29
Chip Time: 2:16:19

Post Race:

I got my medal (and a bumper sticker).

Alyssa was waiting at the finish line with her parents.  She was so happy.  She finished in 2:13 and took 5 minutes off her previous PR.

We went into an air-conditioned building to escape the heat.  We were both so sweaty.  I sat down because for a few minutes. I felt very light-headed like I was going to to faint. It passed but it seems that humidity is not my friend.

After we cooled down, we went to get some food. There was a pretty nice spread – bananas. muffins, donuts, cookies, pizza, etc. I ate it all.

Next we checked the results on their computer.

I was a little disappointed to not get an age group award because I was 3rd last year. But this year, there were more women in the age group and speedy ones!!. I guess I was getting used to always winning them.

would have needed a PR this year to capture an award.

After chatting with some other runners, we headed back to our cars. Since they gave a coupon for free beer and food at a local bar called Druthers, we decided to check it out.

pic from FB

I’m not a beer drinker but free is free. They also had mac n cheese, pulled pork sandwiches, cheese brats and a band playing. We hung out for a little while and relaxed.

Additional race reflections:

The Good:

  • Close enough to be able to sleep in my own bed the night before.
  • Organized packet pick-up
  • Real bathrooms before and after the race.
  • Air conditioned place to hang out after the race.
  • Lots of familiar and friendly faces.
  • Enthusiastic volunteers.
  • Scenic course esp. through the park.
  • No major injuries (just a blister on the bottom of my left foot)
  • Immediate race results from a computer.
  • Nice selection of refreshments – the pizza and cider donuts were delish.
  • Free beer & food at a local bar.
  • My BRF got a PR

The Bad:

  • No bag check and the start and end were in different places.
  • Big Hill at mile 9.
  • Hill right before the finish line.

The Ugly:

  • The HUMIDITY and heat

So there are way more positives than negatives!!! Overall, it was a great race. I loved it!.

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. Yes. Yes. I don’t usually repeat half marathons but I did for this race.

Final Stats:

I definitely slowed down as the race went on. I always do. My last 3 miles were were 5 minutes slower than the first 3.

My finish time was almost 10 minutes slower than my last half marathon and almost 5 minutes slower than this same race last year. Then I reminded myself that it was a training run not a race. But who am I kidding? Initially, I was bummed.

It was NOT my finish time that bothered me but the way I ran the race. It was hot and humid and I should have started slower and try to run a more even pace.

Last year (even with a bloody nose) my split times were all 9 or 10 mm. Nothing slower!!

Of course, it has me wondering:

  • Was my last PR a fluke?
  • Should I start out my next half marathon slower?
  • Should I ditch the Garmin? (I didn’t have it during my last PR race)
  • Maybe it was just the humidity?
  • Or the blister on the bottom of my foot?

In the end, I am super happy that I chose to run this race rather than running a lonely 12  or 13 miler. All races are learning experiences, right?

Now that Alyssa has a PR, the pressure is off me for Wineglass. She’s on her own. I predict another PR for her. (Gone are the days when I beat her by 20 minutes in a half.)

Next Up:

A (hilly) 10k and then another half marathon.

Wineglass Half Marathon presented by Dresser-Rand - A Siemens Business

October 1, 2017

I’ve never done one so close in time. 2 weeks apart! Yikes!

But I’m looking forward to nice fall weather and enjoying my races/runs.

This week I am also joining up with Running on HappySuzlyfeCrazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup


Happy Running! Any advice for running two halfs close together? 





TOTR: Fall Race Schedule

Today is Tuesday so don’t forget to Link-up with Patty, Erika, and Marcia and either meet some new bloggers or catch up with ones you already know.

The topic for today is: Fall Race Schedule

Believe it or not, I’ve cut back on my racing but here’s a list of those I am thinking of running:

  • 9-23-17 – Helper’s Fund 10k

I’ve done this hilly race a few times. It’s in a small town that I love to visit in the fall and summer. I’ve signed up so it’s a go….

  • 10-01-17 – Wineglass Half Marathon*

This will be my 28th half and it will be a girls weekend away so it should be a lot of fun. Can’t wait!!!

there will be at least 10 of us running the race

  • 10-08-17 – Ramblefest 8k* or 10-07-17– Apple Run 5K / ZOOMA Cape Cod Virtual 10K

I haven’t decided which one yet. I’ve done the Apple Run several times. Ramblefest is a farther drive but my last two half PRs were here. So who knows??

  • 10-15-17 – Great Pumpkin Challenge 10K

Another fun popular local fall race that I usually try to put on my schedule each year. Maybe I’ll even wear a different shirt this year LOL

  • 10-29-17 – Goblin Gallop 5k*? / ZOOMA Amelia Island Virtual 8k

This would be a new one for me.  My friend Sue recommended it.

  • 11-11-17 – RnR Vegas 5k*

This is just for the bling and a warmup for the next day.

  • 11-12-17 – RnR Vegas Half Marathon*

Another race-cation with the ladies that I met in Panama City last December. A race down the Las Vegas strip at night.   How much fun is that?

Can’t wait to see some of these ladies again and meet Kim (Running on the Fly)!!

  • 11-18-17 – Girls on the Run 5k (volunteer with STEM) or 11-19-17 – Race to Deliver 4M* (NYC)???

If I go to NYC, I won’t be able to run the STEM runners’ first 5k on Saturday. On Sunday, I have a college reunion lunch and tix to a Broadway show with my tennis friends. So why not add a race to the day?

  • 11-23-17 – Troy Turkey Trot 5k and Troy Turkey Trot 10k

Yes, two races in one morning so I can eat a lot food later.

Happy Running! Which race(s) are you looking forward to this fall. Do share.

Running Update: 9.11.17-9.17.16


Last Week:

  • Monday – Alyssa & I had to switch our weekly run from Thursday to today.  We were both dragging but it was fun to catch up.

A beautiful day to run in the park. Wearing my Florida shirt for those who in the path of Irma.

  • Tuesday – Another work travel day. The weather was quite summer-like and I was able to get a run in along Onondaga Lake.

After dinner, I went back to the lake to catch the sunset (and an ice cream cone).

  • Wednesday -I got in one more run along the lake before the drive home. Boy was it a hot one!! Has summer returned?

some days 3 miles feel like 13…

  • Thursday – It was a rest day and I needed it!!! I also needed to do some errands after work.
  • Friday – Just a short run at Ualbany before mah jongg. Yes, the summer humidity is here!!

I planted the rock in memory of my friend who died from ovarian cancer.

  • Saturday – We decided to switch it up and go boating today rather than Sunday. The weather was gorgeous.

Afterwards, we went out to an Italian restaurant for dinner.

  • Sunday – So many choices. A 5k, 10k, 15k, 2.9, 5.8, half marathon or long run. Which one did I choose?

It was not planned and it didn’t go as planned. The humidity killed me the last 3 miles but at least Alyssa got her PR.

Unfortunately I got rear-ended on the way home.  I stopped at a red light, the young girl behind did not.  I am fine.  The car can be repaired.

27 miles done.

This Week:

  • Monday –  rest day
  • Tuesday – 4 mile run in Rochester
  • Wednesday rest day
  • Thursday – 4 miles with Alyssa
  • Friday – rest day, mah Jong 
  • Saturday – 10k race – TAPER time
  • Sunday – rest day and boating

Please link up for the Weekly Wrap hosted by these wonderful bloggers Holly @ HoHoRuns and Tricia @ MissSippiPiddlin. See rules here.

Happy Running! How is your running going? What’s new with you? Please share.


Friday Five 2.0 – Running Routes

It’s also Friday so, I’m linking up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostesses and visit some other bloggers.

The topic for today is: Unique Running Routes

I’m not so sure these routes are unique but they are ones that I have enjoyed.

1. On the Erie Canal Trail in Pittsford, NY

The Erie Canal goes from Albany to Buffalo, over 350 miles but since I am often in Rochester for work, I get to run on the trail here. I love the water, boats and bridges.

2.On the Albany Rail Trail in Delmar, NY

Mostly paved but still about 4 miles are unpaved. It is 9 miles from Albany, NY to Altamont. On the Albany end, you run under bridges and see a waterfall. The other end just wooded and ends at a railroad crossing.

3. On the Lakeside Trail in Rochester, NY.

The lake is Lake Ontario and the trail runs along the lake but also continues onto a wooded trail. I’ve enjoyed running in the sand, collecting sea glass and gazing at the expansive view of one of the Great Lakes.

4. On the Onondaga Lake Park Trail in Liverpool, NY

Water is a common theme for my running routes. This must be the most popular place to walk, run or bike in Liverpool because it is always crowded. And the sunset is incredible.

5. On Peebles Island and Lock 2 in Waterford, NY

There is a wooded trail, several bridges, a waterfall.  I don’t run here that often but I should.

Happy Running! Where is the most unique place that you’ve run?