TOLT: Every Picture Tells a Story

Every time, I run a half marathon, I like to look back at my previous half marathon races.

All 13.1 miles, yet all are so different.

I can’t believe that this will be my 20th.  And 15th after my ankle surgery.  (So Dr. Ortho, I will run again!!)

naples 1-11

#1 – My first and BEST was the Naples Half Marathon in January of 2011.  My goal was just to finish and I did.  It is one of my proudest moments. Plus it was on my wedding anniversary and my hubby was there.


#2 – I immediately registered for the 1st annual Lake George Half Marathon in April of that year.  Unfortunately, I had to run in sleet & freezing rain for 13.1 miles & without my Garmin. I was happy to survive and my time was a PR until 2014.


# 3 – Out with strained Achilles for 6 weeks during the summer of 2011 delayed my training for the Adirondack Half Marathon  (so I walked the 2nd half of the race.)  It was still fun because I was running it with lots of friends and you got run into the lake after crossing the finish line.

my 4th Half Marathon 10-23-11

# 4 – Again impulsively, I decided to sign up for the inaugural Fall Foliage Half Marathon as a training run. This was my hilliest half but I finished injury-free. All was good.

Ellen & I with our bibs

# 5- My goal race of that year (2011) was the Santa Clarita Half Marathon that I was running with a friend in California.  This time it only poured for half the race and I finished with a disappointing time.  So did my friend and we lamented over Bloody Marys.

After 5 half marathons in 2011, there were NONE in 2012. (The year of the broken ankle & foot stress fracture.)


#6 – My next Half Marathon, the First Watch Half Marathon in Sarasota, Fla, came in 2013 16 months after serious ankle surgery and 5 months after a foot stress fracture.  I was just glad to be running again. The course was beautiful, my friends were waiting at the end and I was so happy.


#7 – The Mohawk-Hudson Half Marathon in the fall of 2013 was supposed to be the one where I would be seriously training and hopefully get a PR. Then I broke my foot. With a late start to my training and my weekly miles not what I would have liked, again this half marathon was just “I’ll be happy to finish.” And I did. I enjoyed it since it was my first half where I slept in my own bed the night before. My hubby was waiting at the finish line and we headed right up to the lake afterwards.


# 8 – For the Love Run Half Marathon in the Spring of 2014, I was injury-free for the whole training but I trained during an awfully cold, snowy winter.  Despite running in monsoon rains, I managed to PR. I made new running friends and we had a lot of fun during our weekend in “wet” Philly. We plan to re-unite in Cape Cod this September.


#9 – That summer, after running a 10 mile race, I impulsively registered for the Saratoga Springs Half Marathon.  This taught me to never run one in the summer.  It was very humid, I felt sick and for the first time, I struggled to finish upright.


#10 – Impromptu and free. I registered for the Hangover Half Marathon for New Year’s Day 2015 and ran it as a training run on a cold, windy, lonely, boring course. And it was my fastest.  Go figure?


#11 – Training in frigid temps and running in Florida in January I thought would give me problems but the stars were aligned and I had the BEST.HALF.EVER in West Palm Beach. Beautiful weather, awesome scenery, a big PR and age group win.

Asbury Park Half Marathon

#12 – I had awesome aspirations for the Asbury Park Half Marathon in April 2015. But foot pain ended that and I had a disappointing finish time. Still, it was fun running along the ocean in Bruce Springsteen’s hometown.

VCM Relay

#13 – The Vermont City Marathon Relay on Memorial Day weekend was an unplanned race. Although, my finish time was slow, I thoroughly enjoyed this race in beautiful Burlington, VT and sharing it with AJH.


#14 – The Walkway Half Marathon was my 5th of 2015. I was looking forward to running this inaugural race and especially to seeing this new and highly publicized bridge. I had not trained much since April, overslept and ran without my Garmin so I was not disappointed with my slowish time. And I enjoyed the course. I have since returned to walk it with friends.


#15  – I had really been looking forward to running a RNR race.  Unfortunately, the first annual RNR Brooklyn Half Marathon in October 2015 was very poorly organized plus I had a painful backache during the last half of the race. Still I unexpectedly met a former student of mine and enjoyed sightseeing during my weekend in Brooklyn.


#16 – Another race-cation in Florida for the EAU Palm Beach Half Marathon in December 2015.  It rained the whole time I was there except for during the race.  But it was so warm and humid that I wished that it had. I was disappointed in that I was hoping for a great finish time like the last time I ran there. Moral: you can’t control the weather.


#17 –  I decided to try Florida again in February 2016.  This time it was for the Sarasota Music Half Marathon. This is, so far, my favorite race, despite the cold windy weather.  If I ever repeat a half marathon, it will be this one!!

Celebrate Life HM

#18 – I ran the Celebrate Life Half Marathon in March because the money went to victims of cancer and their families. The course were horribly hilly but the weather was perfect.  It was fun taking a bus to the race with other local runners.


#19 – The Lake George Half Marathon in April was almost a repeat race except that the finish was different and it was run by a different company.  So I expected the hills. The weather was perfect and I enjoyed Barbara’s company.

#20…. Vermont Marathon City Marathon Relay

I’m excited to run this race again.  I will be running the second half of the marathon course instead of the first (like last year.). I don’t feel prepared at all to run 13.1 miles so we’ll see how I do.  Just hoping for good weather, no injuries and I’m sure I’ll have a fun weekend in Burlington.

thinking out loud

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

Happy Running! What are thinking about today? Please share.



Wednesday Word: Freedom

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 FREEDOM.

Isn’t that what running gives us?

  • Freedom to run WHEREVER we choose.
  • Freedom to run ALONE or with a GROUP.
  • Freedom to run WHENEVER we can.
  • Freedom to run for FUN or in a RACE.
  • Freedom to do DRILLS or just run.
  • Freedom to run SLOW or FAST.
  • Freedom to run to RUN/WALK or RUN or WALK.
  • Freedom to run LONG or SHORT.
  • Freedom to run on ROADS or TRAILS or TRACKS or TREADMILLS.
  • Freedom to run with MUSIC or our THOUGHTS.
  • Freedom to run in any WEATHER.
  • Freedom to run in COSTUMES.
  • Freedom to run in FASHIONABLE running attire.
  • Freedom to run for a CHARITY.
  • Freedom to run for a PR.
  • Freedom to run …..




I think you can substitute “Running” for “Freedom.” What do you think?

Happy Running! 


TOTR: Ideal Racing Conditions

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

This week’s topic is: Racing window of comfort. What are your ideal temperature/conditions for race day?

  • Sunshine
  • No Wind
  • 50 degrees
  • Awesome Scenery and minimal hills

Celebrate Life HM
Perfect weather conditions…but those HILLS!!


Great course but TOO HOT and TOO HUMID!!

Happy Running!  What are your perfect racing conditions?


Monday Running Update

mon r u
Last Week: 

  • Monday – The warm weather has left.  It was chilly and so windy.  I walked to the park to catch my last glimpse of the tulips

After work, I went to my last Freihofer Challenge Training group run. On the schedule was 800m repeats.  I’ve never done more 400m so I was hesitant but I did it. 6 of them!! It was tough but I know it was good for me.  My fastest was 4:01 and my slowest 4:20.  Most of them were around 4:10 which is a 8:20 pace. Not that I could run that for more than a mile.

  • Tuesday – A little warmer today but cloudier and muggy.  I had time for a short run because after work, I needed to go home to pack and prepare for my 3 am wake up the next morning.

  • Wednesday – Got up at 3 am for an early flight to Florida.  We arrived without any issues.  We started off our vacation with a wonderful lunch. Then spent the afternoon relaxing at the pool. In the evening, we went to a concert…lots of fun.

so nostalgic

  • Thursday – I got up early for a steamy  run.  Then I played tennis which was followed by a tennis lesson.  As we always do, we packed a lunch and headed to the beach. In the evening, we went out to another lovely dinner.

post lesson pic

  • Friday – Today was pretty much a repeat of Thursday except we went out to a Comedy Club for dinner.  Another awesome day.

dinner at a comedy club

  • Saturday – Another vacation day in Florida –  running, playing tennis, tennis lesson, beach. For dinner, we went to the Ritz (yes, the Ritz!!) and watched the sunset over the Gulf.

living the good life…

  • Sunday – Running and playing tennis but instead of a tennis lesson today, we drove to Marco Island to take a boat ride – saw umpteen dolphins, walked along a private beach and then had dinner on the water.

slower everyday but still lovely


This Week:  (1 week until Half Marathon #20 – Taper Time) 

  • Monday  Wednesday – running, tennis, sunning, fun with friends
  • Thursday –  rest
  • Friday – STEM run, mah jongg
  • Saturday – drive to VT, VCM expo, pasta dinner
  • Sunday VCM Relay (13.1 miles)
Once again, I am linking up for the Weekly Wrap hosted by Holly @ HoHoRuns and Tricia @ MissSippiPiddlin.   See rules here.

Happy Running! How is your running going?  Any races? Did you have a nice Mother’s Day?


Friday Five: Enjoying a Non-Running Vacation

Since it’s Friday, I’m linking up with three DC area bloggers Mar at Mar On the Run, Cynthia at You Signed Up For What?! and Courtney from Eat Pray Run, DC .  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 Ways to Enjoy a Non-Running Vacation.

Right now I am in Naples, Florida for 8 days with 9 NON-RUNNING friends.  You know how much I love to run and still I always have a great time.

  1. Find another sport that gets you moving.


We usually play tennis for at least two hours every morning. Not many miles on the legs when playing doubles but I’m still moving (and sweating.)

2. Get those miles in however you can.

isn't this even more inviting??

No better place to walk than along the water.

bike riding every morning around World Tennis Center

I also have access to a bike to ride around the neighborhood.

3. If possible, squeeze in a few short runs.


It’s tough when you stay out late every night and you get up early to play tennis.  So the runs are short but rewarding.


4. Do other things you enjoy that you usually do not do.


We go to the theater.


We visit gardens & parks.

during our sunset cruise
We go on sunset cruises.

5.  Eat healthy during the day but in the evening, do some no-guilt splurging.


I eat my usual oatmeal in the morning, yogurt & fruit at the beach for lunch and then…. No limits!


We go out to dinner every night.  It is always a blast.

Happy Running! Do you take non-running vacations?  What do you do to for fun instead of run?



Thinking Out Loud Thursday

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

thinking out loud

Here’s what I’m thinking about today…




Happy Running! I am not.  I am ON VACATION! Woo Hoo!


Wednesday Word: Encourage

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 ENCOURAGE.

What does it mean to “encourage?”

  • to give support, confidence, or hope to (someone).
  • to give support and advice to (someone) so that they will do or continue to do something.
  • to help or stimulate (an activity) to develop.

This easily applies to running.  We can encourage others to become runners, to complete their first 5k, to run faster or to run farther.

I am always looking for opportunities to encourage/mentors other runners.  It may be due to the fact that I was a teacher for so many years and that I think running is a great thing.

There’s the STEM (domestic violence survivors) program which I have been active in.

and GOTR (for girls in grades 3-5) where I have been a running buddy.


I’ve also mentored SRMs (Strong Running Mamas), a beginning runner’s group.

FRW - 2010

Even when I run with a friend, I try to be encouraging.


However, I think encouraging others is easier than encouraging yourself.

I think we tend to expect a lot of ourselves and we are also over critical of our performances….

  • “I should have run faster.”
  • “Why did I start out so fast”
  • Why did I walk up all those hills?”
  •  What can’t I finish under XXX?
  • “I’ll never be that fast.”
  • “I’m so slow. No one will want to run with me.”
  • “Why am I always injured?”
  • Will I ever win an age group award?”

Have you ever said to yourself any of the above?

Happy Running! How do you encourage others?  Do you encourage yourself?