February Recap

February Goals:

  • Run 3-4 times each week (no matter how cold it gets.) Yes.
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at UAlbany

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in Washington Park

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  • Walk several times a week while at work. No!!! Boo!
  • Get some strength training or yoga done. A little!
  • Run with someone else when possible. Yes! Barbara, I met her  on FB.
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I’ll get a picture next time…my phone died but she pushed the pace on my first 5 cold miles. So much better with company. The 2nd 4 miles were torturous!!

  • Do long runs on the weekend to start to train for half marathon on April 18. Yes.
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post 4 mile race

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  • Complete a 10 mile race. Yes.
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no PR but 2nd fastest 10 miler.

  • Complete a 4 mile race. Yes.
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a new PR at 37:40 and 2nd in my AG

  • Volunteer at a race. NO. Only because it got cancelled due to the cold.
  • Run at least 80 miles.  Yes! 82 miles

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March Goals:

  • Run 3-4 times each week (no matter how cold it gets.)
  • Get some strength training or yoga done.
  • Start running with a training group.
  • Do long runs on the weekend to start to train for half marathon on April 18.
  • Complete a 5K race.
  • Complete a 5 mile race
  • Complete a 4 mile race.
  • Run all my races under 10 min. mile pace.
  • Volunteer at a race.
  • Run at least 80 miles.

Happy Running! How was your February?  Anything special planned for March?

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Friday Five: What I Like About Running in the Winter

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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 FREE so I chose:  5 Things I Like About Running in the Winter

All I have been doing on this blog is complaining about how cold it is and how I hate it!

So I decided to point out what I like about winter running:

1. It doesn’t rain.

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not a fan

I will run in the snow and cold but I will not run in the rain. Hence, no rain is a good thing for my running.

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happier here

2. I don’t sweat.

So I have less laundry because I can wear my running clothes more than once.

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And I can sneak out at work and go for a run and not be sweaty for the rest of the day.

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lunch break run

3. It’s pretty outside.

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Well, at least most of the time.

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4. There are free races.

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Race fees add up. I am lucky that our local running group (HMRRC) sponsors 6 free races during the winter. There are 3 distances to choose from at each race.

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It’s informal so it’s just a run with friends and food after.

5. There’s not a lot to do and it’s get me outside.

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In the summer, there’s boating, biking, hiking, tennis, gardening…many things to do outdoors.

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But in the winter, I don’t ski, ice skate, snowshoe or snowmobile.  Running is my only outdoor activity.

Happy Running! What do you like about running in the winter?

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Runfessions February

This month I’m linking up again with Marcia’s Healthy Slice for Runfessions.  This my second Runfessions post.  Maybe I will continue to do this monthly.

Most of my Runfessions from last month repeated themselves except that I didn’t eat ice cream this month.

This month has been very very cold. In fact, the coldest, ever!!!

Here are my Runfessions:

1.  I was not very good about the Take the Leap 30 Day Yoga Challenge.

I had good intentions and I love yoga.

So I started out well but it went down from there.

I watched some videos, I downloaded some apps.

But I really prefer going to classes and I didn’t get to any. The one I like is on Wednesdays and Saturdays and I always seem to have something more important to do.

Some days, I have just done a one minute plank and a few quick stretches.

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Finally, I quit it all. Nada.

2. I hate the treadmill so much that yesterday, I suffered rather than use it.

I had planned to run on the treadmill so I didn’t bring my warmest outdoor running clothes.

Luckily I forgot my clothes at work (and you know that I have no qualms about re-wearing running clothes.)

The day before it was almost 30 degrees so I didn’t bring my fleece-line tights nor did I have an extra shirt or warmer hat.

Yesterday, it was 18 and single digits with the wind chill.  Out I went. I thought that it wouldn’t be so bad.

The good news is that it was my fastest run in a long time.  The bad news is that I froze.  I was cold the whole time.  I couldn’t feel my face or my fingers by the time I was done.

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Still… better than the treadmill.

3.  I can’t stop myself from signing up for races.

If I am supposed to training for a half marathon in April and then one in June, why am I signing up for short races???

It messes up my weekend long runs… but I love racing, I guess.

  • 3-07-15 – Shamrock 5K (Palm Springs, CA)
  • 3-14-15 – Runnin of the Green 4 m
  • 3-22-15  – Shamrock Shuffle 5m
  • 3-29-15 – Delmar Dash 5m
  • 4-04-15 – Rabbit Ramble 4m ?? (if I’m not away for Passover)
  • 4-11-15 – Bacon Hill Bonanza 5k
  • 4-18-15 – Asbury Park Half Marathon* (in NJ)
  • 4-26-15 – Cherry Blossom 5k
  • 5-02-15 – Spring Run Off 15K
  • 5-09-15 – Mastodon 15k
  • 5-10-15 – Mother’s Day 5K (for GOTR)
  • 5-30-15 – Freihofer’s Run for Women 5k
  • 6-07-15 – Betar Byway 5K
  • 6-13-15 – Walkway Half Marathon*
  • 6-21-15 – Adirondack Distance 10m

Well, that’s it for now.

Happy Running!  Have any Runfessions to share?

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TTT

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1. I am sick of this cold weather. It’s sad when 20 degrees feels like a heat wave.

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I will run outside in the winter but below zero, I draw the line.

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As a result, there has been very little running since the weekend. (It was -11 when I left for work on Tuesday.)

I’ve had enough. Elsa, “Stop!!!!”

Just a side note…

no surprise that this February is the coldest

2012 was the winter that I broke my ankle and could not run!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2.  I am at the age where more of my friends are retired than not.

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just 2 of us here are not

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just 3 of us here are not

Guess where they spend the winter?

Florida!

Guess where I want to be?

Florida!

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January 19, 2015 =Heaven!

3. To make myself feel better about the weather, I have been registering like crazy for spring races.

  • 3-07-15  – Shamrock 5K (Palm Springs, CA)
  • 3-14-15 – Runnin of the Green 4 m
  • 3-22-15  – Shamrock Shuffle 5m
  • 3-29-15 – Delmar Dash 5m
  • 4-04-15 – Rabbit Ramble 4m ?? (if I’m not away for Passover)
  • 4-11-15 – Bacon Hill Bonanza 5k
  • 4-18-15 – Asbury Park Half Marathon* (in NJ)
  • 4-26-15 – Cherry Blossom 5k
  • 5-02-15 – Spring Run Off 15K
  • 5-09-15 – Mastodon 15k

The snow will be gone by then, right?

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love this pic!

Happy Running! What’s going on with you these days?

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What I’m Reading Wednesday

I like to read and I like to run so joining this book club was a no brainer.

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I was lucky to work at the NYS Bar Exam for two days and had nothing to do but READ.

Wendy from Taking the Long Way Home chose the book below:

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Here is the summary from Goodreads (in case you are interested…)

This laugh-out-loud comedic memoir of life as an overweight runner moves along at a five-minute-per-mile pace. Jennifer Graham doesn’t run to lose weight—she runs because she loves it. And as much as she runs, her excess poundage never leaves. So she accepts her body type for what it is, and runs for the sheer joy of it. But along the way she must endure not only her self-made exhaustion and lactic acid, but also the bemused stares of neighbors, offers of a car ride from strangers, and disdain from the dominant strain of runner—those long, lean “shirtless wonders.”

The story revolves around her decision to run a serious half-marathon race, and her imaginary coaching relationship with the spirit of Steve Prefontaine. The late, great Oregon distance star gives her advice and encouragement, and doesn’t like excuses. (“Yeah, I know he’s been dead thirty-five years; it’s a minor metaphysical challenge.”) Moreover, the race is one month after Graham’s ex-husband is getting remarried (to a skinny woman), and the emotional rollercoaster heightens the intensity of her running. As she says, “If training for it doesn’t help me get over the pain, at least it will keep me preoccupied.”

Her irreverent, hilarious, and brutally honest story will appeal to runners and non-runners alike, fat or thin.

I downloaded it to my iPad and read the whole thing in ONE day.

I loved it.

And I smiled while reading the whole thing. I might have laughed out loud but I was at an exam where I was require to be silent.

I enjoyed the conversational tone of her writing and I will remember many of her inspirational remarks. I found myself nodding when I read them:

  • When talking about, though 50 lbs overweight, being able to run without stopping – “Maybe the difference between the people who can and who can’t has nothing to do with their bodies. Maybe the difference is what’s in their dreams”
  • When talking about those runners who ran the Boston Marathon in a Nor’easter – “No, we’re not (nuts). We’re addicts. We’re addicted to serenity and joy.”
  • “When I exercise, I feel good. When I don’t exercise, I don’t… I prefer to feel good…”
  • “There are some people who think that runners are snobs. These people are called non-runners. And they’re right, of course.  There is a certain hubris you develop when you do things no one else does.”
  • After running a half marathon – “There is a runner’s high, yes, but no less significant is the runner’s afterglow.  It is the delicious exhaustion of a body used to completion.”
  • After finding a pair of running shorts that don’t ride up – “What’s on my legs, how they feel, is as important as what’s on my feet.”  (I feel this way about running skirts and why I hate shorts.)
  • “In the beginning, I’d been rigid as a lamppost with regular routes, times and distances from which I didn’t deviate.” (Yup.  I took me years to discover those bike paths that I frequent now.)
  • (There’s) a significant communication gap between a runner and a non-running spouse.  The non-runners don’t know the right questions to ask.” (Yes, unfortunately true but not a deal breaker. I am happily married to someone who lacks “speed goggles.”)
  • “If someone is watching me…I tend to straighten my shoulders and lengthen my stride, pick the pace up just a little.” (Always…even if I think they may be looking.)
  • “… jack rabbits are faster. But in a race, I’m on my feet twice as long as they are.  Shouldn’t that count for something?” (Sure, I’ve felt like that especially when running in the pouring rain.)
  • About running a race with an iPod- “…it would take away from the experience. Why run in a group if you’re only going to be present in your head?” (I feel the same way. I never race with music.)
  • …”if I lived without mirrors and I was unable to see my face, I would think I was thirty-three.” (I feel younger than ever.  If if only there weren’t those wrinkles and gray hairs…)
  • “I believe walking has benefits, but running has more.”
  • “I believe everyone who can run, should.” (Yes!!)
  • “The sense of accomplishment is always within.” (Have to remember that!)

I also identified with a lot of the story.

No, I am am not overweight and I do not run to lose weight.  In fact, I have gained weight since I started running.  (I would like to say that it is muscle but my clothes tell me otherwise.)

I remember running my first mile by measuring it with my car odometer. Then I progressed to the Nike sensor in the shoe and syncing it to my iPod.

I remember training for my first half marathon.  I didn’t tell anyone because I was afraid that I wouldn’t succeed.

Of course as soon as I crossed that finish line, I realized that I was addicted and wanted to run more.

I also realized that running half marathons was not just for elite super fast serious runners.  Anyone can if they put their mind to it.

This book is a great read for someone who wants to run, but thinks it’s just for skinny or fast runners. Graham makes running seem desirable for everyone, no matter their weight or speed.

If you’re looking for motivation to get started running, she definitely delivers. And if you’re an experienced runner, you will still enjoy the entertaining way she tell her stories.

If you like to read and like to run, why not join this book club too?

Here are Wendy’s instructions:

We’re going to read one book per month and comment or review it collectively on my blog or link to your blog! You don’t have to be a blogger to participate. And you don’t have to read the selection of the month if it doesn’t interest you. Any running or fitness related book is welcome. 

Just a couple of rules:
1. If you do link to my blog, all I ask is that you link back to me via your blog or whatever social media you participate in. Sharing is caring, after all! Plus the more people that participate, the more fun and lively the discussion will be! The link up logo is below and on my facebook page.
2. Please keep your comments friendly. Honesty is welcome, but try to keep it nice. 
3. The book I choose is just a suggestion. I’ll try hard to appeal to everyone, but it doesn’t always work that way. Any fitness/running/nutrition related book is welcome.
4. And if you have a book you want to suggest, please let me know! I’m open to suggestions.
5. I’ll post the book suggestion on my review around the 14th of each month. 
6. The link up will be open on/around the 14th of each month and stay open for 2 weeks. 
7. I’m going to try my best to have authors participate as well, so if you have questions for them, don’t hold back! Now’s your chance to get all your questions answered.
You can also join the Goodreads group that I’ve started. But all the discussions will take place on the blog. It’s just another place to connect! https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/157349-taking-the-long-way-home-running-book-club
Please use the linkup photo above on your review and link back to the blog.
Happy Running! Have you read this book?  If so, what did you think?
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Tuesdays on the Run: Motivation

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: Motivation

There are many things that can be motivating for a runner…

  • Losing Weight

I do not use this as a motivator but I know many runners that do.  And I know for a fact that it has worked for them.

  • Eating What You Want

unfortunately I have eaten a whole pint in one sitting

I use sweets a reward.  If I ran, in my mind, then I feel better about eating them.

  • The Bling

cold and rainy but worth it

Sometimes that “big” medal is what gets you out there and gets you to the finish line.

  • Other Runners

my Love Run training run motivators

It’s more fun to run with others.  They can motivate you to run faster and take fewer walk breaks. Chatting also makes the miles go by faster.

  • That Feel Better Feeling

a cold run is better than no run

When you are tired or stressed, don’t you feel better after a run??

Well, I do.

  • Cute Outfits

new hat, skirt & tank

Not everyone is a fashionista.  But I know when I get something new to wear I want to get out there and run. It may be new running shoes, new compression socks, new skirt or whatever.

  • Beautiful Scenery

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Not everyone is lucky enough to have a view of the mountains or the ocean when they run. But having something nice to look at certainly can distract you from the monotony of the run or the pain of the distance.

  • Music

Sometimes downloading new music or creating a new playlist is motivating.  I personally can take or leave running with music. But other runners get lost in their tunes.  Their pace matches the beat of the music and the songs carry them through their runs.

  • Social Networking

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My blog keeps me accountable.  If I don’t run, I have nothing to write about.  For others, it may be Facebook or Instagram.  Sharing your running experiences can keep you motivated.

Happy Running! What motivates you to run?

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Monday Running Update

IMG_4595 Last Week: (AP Half Marathon Training week #4)

  • Monday -DAY OFF – 4 mile run on the TM, tennis
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too cold and windy outside

  • Tuesday - rest, tennis
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post tennis birthday celebration

  • Wednesday – 3 4 mile run
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25 degrees! Warmest weather in a long time

  • Thursday - 4 3 mile run on the TM, mall walk with BFF
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I refuse to run outside when it is below zero with the wind chill

  • Friday- rest, mah jongg
  • Saturday –  8.57 mile run, Chinese New Year’s party
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16 degrees with 40 mph wind gusts!!!

  • Sunday -  rest 3.3 mile run, errands
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34 degrees!! Heat wave!!

This Week:  (AP Half Marathon Training week #5)

  • Monday -work at the Bar Exam, rest, tennis
  • Tuesday - work at the Bar Exam, rest
  • Wednesday – 3 mile run on the TM, tennis dinner out
  • Thursday - 4 mile run
  • Friday- rest, mah jongg
  • Saturday –  9 mile run
  • Sunday -  volunteer at  HMRRC Winter Series #6
I’m linking this post up with Tara at Running n’ Reading for her Weekend Update!

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

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