Friday Five 2.0: Girls Weekend Race-cation

I am 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.

I have traveled to California and Vermont to run a half marathon with one friend.  I have also spent a weekend in Philly with 4 other women to run a half marathon and it was so much fun.

Spoiler Alert: I am currently in Panama City Beach with 7 other awesome women and tomorrow we will be running a half marathon together!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My topic for today is Five Reasons to Take a Girls Weekend Race-cation.

1. Training Support


Heidi, Adrienne & 1 training together for March 2014 race weekend in Philly

When you are training for the same race, you get support for your runs and race goals either in person or virtually.


sharing some miles with Judy

In addition to local blogger Judy, I have connected with and supported my other partners in crime for this weekend’s race through blogging, Instagram and FB.

2.  Cost Savings


Lisa & Andrea – my roommates whom I had never met before the weekend in Philly

It is definitely cheaper to share a room with friends than staying in a hotel solo or with your hubby.

This time, Holly has graciously offered her home to 7 running bloggers – most of whom she has never met in person. Thank you Holly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3.  Visiting New Places


even in the rain, we visited all the sites of Philly

I love to travel and explore new cities.  I have never been to Panama City Beach or this part of Florida.  I am especially looking forward to beach views and sunsets.

Image result for panama city beach


4. Sharing Your Racing Experience With Others




the Philly group – Andrea, Adrienne, Lisa, Heidi, me (& Heidi’s hubby)

I have raced most of my half marathons alone.  I have enjoyed each one but not nearly as much as the one in Philly (in spite of the rain). We went to the expo together, carb loaded the night before, lined up at the start and met after the race to debrief.

I am sure the same will be true this weekend and I expect it to be totally awesome!!

5. Forging New Friendships


Andrea & I at VCM relay

The Philly group has kept in touch on Facebook.  I have bumped into Andrea at several races.  We had planned another race-cation with Lisa but ZOOMA Cape Cod got cancelled.  We still hope that another will happen in the future.

I can’t wait to share everything that happens with my NEW FRIENDS this weekend in Panama City Beach!!!

( Maybe not everything – What happens in Panama City Beach stays in Panama City Beach, right?)

Happy Running! Have you ever taken a Girls Weekend Race-cation?




November Recap & TOLT

Image result for novemberTime has just flown by.  I can’t believe that it is now December. I feel like I just wrote my October Recap.

Anyway, here’s how November turned out:

Weekday Runs:

We’ve been lucky and had a pretty mild November with very little rain or cold temps (until the last week.) So I was able to run at least 3-4 times outdoors each week which is great because I do not have a treadmill at home.

I ran mostly at UAlbany (near work). It’s easier than driving to run. Plus, it’s now dark when I get out of work.

I ran mostly alone.  Barbara was injured.  Alyssa was busy and I was in NYC one week.

It’s definitely more fun running with friends. I hope I get to do that more next month.

Long Runs:

There were a few of these! One was a 15k race race, one was miles added to a 5k race and one was actually 8 uninterrupted miles.

Total Mileage:

I ran 90 miles this month –  6 fewer than last month (cuz I missed a long run) but I should definitely hit 1000 for the year next month. (After Saturday, I will be at 993!!)



I ran six races this month – a 15k, a 10K and four 5ks.

Yes, 6!!!

I was generally happy with how they all went. I did not have PR goals but my finish times were not far off. I even won an age group award in the Veteran’s Day 5k.


I knew runners at all of the races and they were all super fun. As you can guess I LOVE RACING!! I wish there were more races during the winter months.

Cross Training:

I still play tennis (indoors now.) I am scheduled to play two Tuesdays a month but do get called to sub on some of the other weeks.

I DID NOT go to a single yoga class!! Someday I will. I hope!


Miss you, Maria!

I did NOT workout at the gym or at home at all. Total slacking here again this month!!

I did walk almost every day at lunch for 30 minutes – Either around the outdoor shopping mall to get a Starbucks coffee or around a short nature trail. When I was in NYC, I walked everywhere!!


what’s not to like about working near here for 5 days…

Other News:

My running groups ended this month.

I ran with the Troy Turkey Trot Challenge advanced group several Monday evenings. Those were the only times that I did any speed workouts. I hope to see these women (and do drills) again in the spring for the Freihofer Training Challenge group runs.

I volunteered with STEM group on most Wednesday evenings. Their 5k race took place on Nov. 19. It was a tremendously rewarding experience. I plan to volunteer again with this group, as well.


Jenn on the left is the founder of the group, Kim in the middle is our success story

I extended my race trip to NYC because my friend Anna from Moscow flew in and invited 2 of her Russians friends (now living in DC & Chicago) to join her. We had a busy time yet fun time together. And I got to meet fellow blogger, Karen, again.


Feeling healthy so Life Is Good.

Looking Ahead:

My next half marathon is December 3 and I am very excited. It will also be a blogger meet-up!! I’m actually more excited about this than the race itself.

I do have a few races coming up. Things slow down around here when it gets cold.

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

  • 12-03-16 – Panama City Beach Half Marathon (in FL)
  • 12-10-16 – Albany Last Run 5K
  • 01-01-17 – HMRRC Winter Series #2 – 3.5M
  • 01-15-17 – HMRRC Winter Series #3  – 10K
  • 01-29-17 –  HMRRC Winter Series #4  – 15K

No monthly goals.

my motto for 2016 & I’m sticking to it!

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

thinking out loud

Happy Running! How did your November turn out? Anything exciting planned for December?


Wednesday Word: Endorphins


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.

This week’s word is ENDORPHINS.

Image result for endorphins quotes

In other words, RUNNING makes me HAPPY.


I’m not gonna lie.  Sometimes running is painful.  Some races are a struggle.

But I’ve never regretted a run I’ve taken …

Runners World 5K

Runners World 5K

nor have I regretted a race that I’ve completed.

Image result for endorphins

Happy Running! Does running or anything else give you endorphins?


Monday Running Update


Last Week:

  • Monday – Winter has arrived. It was cold. (In the 30s but with the wind, felt like 19!) I reluctantly went to my Troy Turkey Trot Training group run since it was our last one. We did some speed drills and it wasn’t so bad at all.

  • Tuesday – Sat in a training all day and it started with this:

So I had to go on a quick cold windy run before playing tennis.  But at least my tennis game was indoors.

  • Wednesday –  Rest day. Went for a walk in the mall with my bff after work.
  • Thursday –  I ran both the Troy Turkey Trot 10k and 5k races. I raced the 10K and ran the 5k for fun. Both were fun!!

no PRs here but my times in both were better than last year – 57:51 and 30:57. Happy that the weather cooperated.

Then we had Thanksgiving dinner at my MIL’s that evening. I ate back all the calories t hat I burned off in those races.

I forgot to take a group picture but here’s my hubby’s nephew cutting the turkey

  • Friday – Rest day and work day. A nice quiet day because everyone took the day off. Besides work, I took a walk at lunch and played mah jongg in the evening.
  • Saturday – A rainy morning so I decided to do my last long run in the afternoon after my hair appt. I wasn’t sure how rested by legs would be after Thursday so I asked Judy to run with me. We did a nice slow run/walk on the Nisky bike path (except for the last 1/2 mile that I did at race pace. )

That evening the hubby and I went to the movies since we hadn’t been in a long time.

Image result for allied movie

  • Sunday – Rest day. Got my nails done and a lot of other stuff in preparation for my upcoming race-cation.

 23 miles done with 4 runs and 3 rest days.

This Week:

  • Monday4 mile run
  • Tuesday – Rest day, pack for race-cation
  • Wednesday3 mile run, monthly tennis dinner out
  • Thursday – Rest day, fly to Panama City Beach, FL!
  • Friday – Rest day, bib pickup, carb load with 7 awesome bloggers
  • Saturday – Panama City Beach Half Marathon, celebrate with 7 awesome bloggers
  • Sunday –  3-4 mile recovery run
  • Monday – another 3-4 mile along the beach, fly home
Once again, I am linking 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?


Turkey Trot 10k and 5K Race Recap

Image result for troy turkey trot 2016

This was my 3rd time running this 10K and my third time being part of the Turkey Trot Challenge training group.

I really enjoyed this race my first time in 2014 (in spite of the snowstorm) so now I look forward to this race every year.

happy because it was and still is my 10K PR (check out all the snow!)

Then last year, I decided to run both races – the 10K and then the 5k.  Why not? I was already dressed and ready to run.

The weather was a lot better and I had a blast even though my finish times were not great.


post 10k and before the 5k

The course was the same again this year.

I picked up my bib on Sunday so I didn’t have to rush on race morning.


short sleeve tech shirt but unisex so even S is too big


But I did want to arrive early to get parking. I parked in the bowling alley parking as I did the previous two years and walked a few blocks to the Atrium where I could wait for the race to begin.

I checked my jacket and shirt & 5K bib since I wouldn’t need them until after the race.


At least this year, it hadn’t snowed the night before. Plus the predicted rain/sleet didn’t happen🙂. It was cold and cloudy in the 30’s but no wind. And of course, you had to be careful not to overdress because you will get too warm.


long sleeve shirt under my jacket and yes, I was too warm.

I chatted with members of my training group and some other friends until it was time to brave the cold.

Participants gather in the Atrium for the 2016 Troy Turkey Trot in Troy, NY, on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. (Michael P. Farrell/Times Union)

inside the Atrium – photo from the TU

The 10K started at 8 am followed by the kid’s one mile race & a one mile walk and then at 10 am the most popular event, the 5K.

Last year, I had problems with my Garmin so I made sure to turn it on early. I squeezed into the crowd at the 9 minute pace group with Susan and Joan from my training group. I knew Susan from way back.  I used to play tennis with her and her husband on Sunday mornings.  It turns out that her daughter sang the national anthem and her husband was the race announcer.

My plan for the race was to not to start out too fast and to run at an even pace and to save some for the last mile. (You’ll see that I didn’t keep to that plan…)

For some reason, this race seemed a lot more crowded than last year. For my pace, it never thinned out. I was running in a crowd the whole race. My legs never seemed to get going. I just couldn’t run fast today.


a pic from a previous year

The course is pretty flat. You run over the Green Island bridge twice near the beginning and then run through Troy before you turn around and run back.

There was a some crowd support. (More for the 5k.) There were even guys handing out bottles of beer.


I saw an old tennis friend who was volunteering and I high fived her twice.  A former student (and runner/blogger) passed me by. That was cool since we have never run the same race before.

There were quite a few water stops. I skipped the first one and even the second but I questioned my judgment because I was dying for a drink by the 3rd one.


Timing clocks were placed at every mile. I didn’t have to look at my watch to know that I was slow and had NO chance of a PR. I wasn’t sure that I could even finish under 1 hour.

Finally, I stopped to walk at the last water stop. It was a little after mile 4. I walked for a while. I thought about taking a GU to give me some energy but since my stomach felt off the whole race, as well, I changed my mind.


This walk gave me a second wind but it didn’t last.  As soon as I passed the photographers, I started to walk.  I wanted to at least sprint through the finish line. Unfortunately some of my friends were watching and yelled at me to stop walking and run.


As usual, it seemed to take forever to run the last .2 miles….

But as soon as I saw the finish line, I gave it everything I had (which wasn’t much at this point) & I crossed under 58 minutes!! (My chip time was 57:51.)

Not a PR but really a decent time and faster than last year so I tried not to get too bummed about it.

10K Splits:

mile 1 –  8:54
mile 2 –  9:15
mile 3 –  9:14
mile 4 –  9:41
mile 5 – 9:17
mile 6 – 9:17
.22 –  8:30



This year, like the previous year, I signed up to run a second race, the 5k about an hour later


doing a power pose for our friend Dr. Tom

So I got some food (and some chocolate milk) though I wasn’t really hungry and then checked out the results.


Nope. No age group award.  Those old ladies are still speedy.

So I walked back to the Atrium. Boy, was it crowded… 5 thousand or more runners squeezed into a small building.

I just wanted to find my friends and rest my weary legs.

I had already picked up my bib but I needed to get it from my checked bag. And I was so sweaty that I wanted to change my clothes. (However, I decided just to ditch my gloves and my jacket and add a another shirt.)

I did find my tennis friend and we hung out until it was time to line up.

This was the second time that I had run the 5k race.  It was just an out and back course and you didn’t run over the bridge at all.

Finally it was time to get into the starting area. You were supposed to line up by color but we just squeezed in anywhere we fit.

pic from a previous year

Of course, my legs were tired from having already run 6.2 miles (at race pace) so all I wanted to do was finish.  I was hoping to come in under 30 minutes but I wasn’t sure that was possible. I didn’t want to push it since I had a half marathon to run in a little over a week.

The 5k is the fun race.  Many runners are dressed in costume.  Many families were running together.  There were walkers, etc. Everyone was there to have a good time.

Costumed runners make their way in the 2016 Troy Turkey Trot on Nov. 24, 2016. (Michael P. Farrell/Times Union)

photo from the TU

It was so crowded that I had no problem slowing down in the beginning. Like the previous race, it was crowded the whole race.


And my legs were not cooperating. They wanted to run slow. And so I did. And it seemed to be colder.  I was regretting leaving my gloves behind and taking off my jacket.


Before I knew it, the race was over. I actually stopped to walk at the same point as in the 10K.  I wanted to pass the photographers yet have enough energy to run across the finish line.

I crossed around 32 minutes which was 30:57 chip time. (Faster than last year so a course PR!)


I got some more chocolate milk and then went back to the Atrium to get my bag and meet my tennis friend.  We had planned to go out for coffee after the race.

No chance of an award in this 5k!!!


5K Splits:

mile 1 – 10:03
mile 2 – 10:02
mile 3 – 9:49
.14 –  8:02


Gee…look at that…negative splits!!

So not to be a Debbie Downer…

The Good:

  • The weather – not too hot or too cold. If the sun came out, it would have been too warm. It was perfect running weather.
  • Race organization – considering the number of runners, it was very well organized.
  • Race location – place to stay warm indoors with indoor bathroom and bag check
  • Chocolate Milk at the finish
  • Medals for both the 10k and the 5k
  • 15K PR – each of my race times were disappointing but if you add them together, it was 1:28:46 which is a PR.
  • Good preparation for my half marathon in 10 days
  • Running 9.3 miles lets me eat more Thanksgiving food
  • Knowing lots of runners.  Racing is fun with friends.
  • NO PAIN…no blisters…lower back and feet felt great. Thumbs up to my Nikes! (and I didn’t wear compression socks.)

The Bad:

  • my 10K time – considering I was in a training group for this race and I ran this course the past two years, I wanted to have finished faster!!
  • post race refreshments – I would have liked pizza or soup or cookies but at least they had bagels this year
  • same medal for both the 5k and the 10k (if you run both, you have 2 of the same medals)
  • unisex tee shirts (in my case, 2 shirts that don’t fit)
  • my 5k time – the last 5k at the Stockeadathon 15k was faster and there were huge hills
  • I ran the first 5k of the 10k too fast and I should have known better.

Overall, I enjoyed the races. I am glad that I ran them. I think I will do both next year too.


Starbucks, what else?

After the race(s), we went out for coffee and we debriefed about our races.

Then later that evening, I ate back all the calories that I had burned off.

Today I am linking up with a Sunday Fitness and Food Linkup hosted by Ilka from Ilka’s Blog and Angela from Marathons & Motivation

Happy Running! Did you run off that turkey?


Runfessions – November 

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

Don’t be jealous but I am meeting her in the flesh next weekend!!!! Woo Hoo!!

I runfess…

I was in NYC for work for 5 days last week. I packed very light.  In fact, I only brought ONE pair of capris and one sport bra.  Don’t judge.  I packed 3 different tops.

I runfess…

Though I was in NYC for work, my mind was fixated on “Where and when I could run each day.

I was more prepared this time than the last.  I knew where to run.  I planned better too.  I ran on the way to work (left clothes there the day before) and during lunch.


East River Greenway is great place to run.

I runfess…

I ran SIX races this month. Remember I suffer from the FOMO disease.

I ran two in one week and two in one day!!

Of course, I am running a race next weekend too.

I runfess…

Running 6 races in November just means that my long runs were non-existent or should I say non-traditional.


5k plus 10 with several breaks

I runfess…

Does anyone have amnesia when it comes to dressing for a new season?  I can never remember what to wear for what temperature.  That’s why I love summer.  No decisions – skirt & tank.

Now it’s – what kind of hat, which gloves, how many layers, tights or capris?  And it takes awhile to get it right.



I runfess…

I have a half marathon next Saturday.  I am more excited about meeting some fantastic bloggers than about my finish time.  So I hope Holly, Tricia, Marybeth, Wendy, Karen, Marcia & Judy can pull me through these 13.1 miles.

Image result for running bloggers ecard

Happy Running! Anything to Runfess?





Friday Five 2.0: Being a Running Mentor

I am 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.

Today’s topic is a free one so I am choosing: Five Reasons To Mentor New Runners

1. Finding New Places To Run

When I volunteered in the STEM program last year, I ran at UAlbany because the group chose to run there.  Now that I changed jobs, it has become my go to place to run. It’s safe and lit up at night.  And in the winter, they keep the sidewalks clean.


2. Meeting New People

The other mentors in the STEM program are awesome. It’s always fun to meet other runners. We bond instantly. I always look forward to meeting the new mentors each year.


last June – runners & mentors

I haven’t had as much contact with the running buddies in GOTR but the ones I have met were very nice.

3. Fits into your Running Schedule

I run after work anyway. So my STEM runs fit right in. Yes, they are walk/run but often, I get there early and run a few miles or I stay afterward to run. It causes no lapses in my training.


4. Making a Difference in Someone Else’s Life

I can’t explain how it feels to watch women who have suffered so much in their lives be successful.


And to see the joy young girls get from participating in their first race.


I actually did so little but hopefully me being at their practices and races did make a difference.

5. It’s motivating.

New runners’ enthusiasm for running is contagious. It actually makes me want to run more!!

FRW - 2010

The picture above was from my first mentoring experience in 2010. They were a bunch of young mothers running their first 5k. These ladies actually are responsible for me pushing myself to try a half marathon.

Recently my friend from Russia decided to become a runner (because of me).  I guess I mentored her from afar without even realizing it. She even hired a coach back in Moscow.  We got to run together for the first time recently when she flew to NYC to run a 5k.

along the Hudson River, NYC

along the Hudson River, NYC

Happy Running! Have you ever mentored a new runner? If so, how did you benefit?