The Birthday Post

Yup. It’s my birthday.

And I enter a new age group.  (If you read my blog, you know my age and in the medical world, it’s a biggie.)

It won’t necessarily mean more age group awards because there are speedy ladies in this age group too (depending on the race.)  But I am happy to be injury-free and running…often.

A  few months, I wrote a post entitled Getting Older Rocks and I still believe it.

So what are my plans for the day?

Probably very similar to last year on this day:

RUN… Play Tennis … Relax on the Beach (in Naples, Florida)

Followed by Dinner out with my friends and hopefully a Sunset on the Gulf.

My final thought today:

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I’m also linking this post with Susie and Rachel and Debbie and Lora for the Running Coaches’ Corner.

Happy Running! So how do you usually celebrate your birthday? Do you run?

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The Older Adult Onset Runner

I say older adult because you are technically an adult when you hit 21.  I did not start running in my 20’s or my 30”s.  Not even in my 40’s.

I was 55 when I started running and almost 60 when I ran my first half marathon.

So how did I become a runner?

In my 40’s, I was going through a really  bad time. I was separated from my husband and a co-worker suggested that we learn to play tennis.

Mind you, I am not athletic.  In fact, I am clumsy and uncoordinated.  In high school, I was a social nerd meaning I liked to read and study but I had lots of friends. The same was true in college.

So my co-worker, Eileen and I took an adult ed class and learned to play tennis.  We were horrible but it was a great distraction from my depressing life at the time.

As with running, I dove into tennis 150%.  I played everyday, joined lots of teams and bought adorable tennis outfits.

group photo at 2.5 Nationals in 2002

The best part of tennis was the friends that I made. And though, I didn’t win often and might have been the worst player on the team, the friendships made during this time turned out to be life long. Plus I met my second husband on the tennis court. (It wasn’t until after we were married that he told me what an awful player I was. Lol)

we even go to Broadway shows together

And then running came into my life.

Ten years later, two of my tennis buddies decided that we should become runners.  My reaction was “Whaaaat? Why?” But I agreed and we signed up for a running class at a local running store. Every Monday, we attended class and afterward, went out for quesadillas and margaritas. Fun. Fun.

with my tennis friends after a race in 2008

As soon as I was able to run a mile, I signed up for a race. And I haven’t stopped since.

Of course at first I wore shorts. I only ran 5ks and but quickly discovered the bond between runners, both virtually and face to face.

After helping a beginning group run their first 5k and seeing them progress to 10k, 15k, 13.1 and 26.2, I decided to (secretly) train for a half marathon.

SRM’ first 5k – 2010

I bought my first skirt and gps watch. The race and the watch were a success but the skirt my hubby remarked made my hips look huge.

check out those loaded pockets

Luckily, I learned about Skirt Sports and haven’t worn any other brand since.

As with tennis, looking good is one of my obsessions.

In addition to the awesome product line, Skirt Sports provides its ambassadors with an amazing supportive network of women runners. I feel so lucky to have been selected as an Ambassador Captain the 4 the year.

Now back to why I run?

  • It’s not to lose weight. I have never had a problem in this area.
  • It’s not to maintain my weight. Even though I am heavier than when I was younger and have gained weight since I started running.
  • It’s not so I can eat more. I still love to eat and I especially have a weakness for pizza and ice cream.
  • It’s not to fill in the void in my life. I work full-time, have a husband and 2 stepsons, and many hobbies.

Running makes me happy. That’s it plain and simple.

  • I am happy when I finish a run or race.

  • I am happy when I reach a goal.

a half marathon PR at age 64

  • I am happy when I find a new route or visit a new city.

over the Hutchinson Island Bridge in FL.

  • I am happy when I make a new running friend.

Why has running replaced tennis as my sport Numero Uno?

When you run, you don’t have to worry about the score and disappointing the team or your partner. Running is not about winning and losing. You don’t have to schedule court time and you don’t need 3 other players (at the same ability level) in order to play.

You just get out there and RUN.

Running fits better with my life and as an older adult onset athlete, I am so glad to have started running ten years ago and at age almost 65, I plan to continue for as many more years as my health lets me.

completing half marathon #30 and winning an age group award


I’m also linking this post with Susie and Rachel and Debbie and Lora for the Running Coaches’ Corner.

Happy Running! When and why did you start to run? Do wear Skirt Sports clothing?

TOTR: What I Love Most About Running

Since today is Tuesday, I’m 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 appropriately is What I Love Most About Running.

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I could go on and on but I will limit it… (they are not in order of importance… they are actually listed in reverse order.)

  • Bling

Yup, it’s cool to get medals.

  • Opportunities to Travel

I don’t travel as much as other runners but I have gotten to visit California, Florida, Vermont, Philly and NJ.

  • Races

I would race every weekend if I could.

  • Running Friends

They are the best….

  • Prizes awarded based on your Age

I love that that I am only competing with other women and the ones that are in my age group.

  • Blogging

If I didn’t run, I probably wouldn’t blog and I would have missed out on meeting some fabulous ladies.

  • Opportunities to Inspire Others

Never doubt that you can have an impact on someone else.  You can.

  • How it makes me feel

Healthy, strong, confident, empowered, young(er)…

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Happy Running! What do you LOVE the most about running.

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Friday Five 2.0: Getting Older Rocks

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.

My Topic for today is:  Ways Getting Older is a Good Thing

Just recently I realized that today I can sign up for Medicare…

Yikes. That means that I am OLD!

As they say: The Alternative is Worse.

So I’m going to embrace the Old Age thing (and try to ignore the gray hair, wrinkles, sagging skin, memory lapses, etc.)

And here’s why:

1. Discounts

My movie tickets are cheaper and so are my plane/train/bus tickets.

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Even some races have senior discounts.

For example, NYRR has a senior membership that give you discounts to many of their races.

2. Age Group Awards

As I may be mentioned many times before, the pool gets smaller for the older age groups so your chances of winning are greater. I have even been the only one in my age group.

still counts, right?

3. Qualifying For Big Races

Let’s face it, the qualifying times go down as we age because they assume that we get slower as we age.  How fast our speed declines depends on a lot of variables but probably most importantly – how long we’ve been running and if we have any chronic injuries.

for the NYC Half Marathon (what a difference!)

4. Role Models for Younger Runners

 One of the most satisfying things about running is inspiring others. I did not have any role models in this area growing up.  My parents did not participate in any physical fitness activities.  If they did, maybe I would have turned to running earlier than in my 50s.

We run together all the time. I met her mother at this race (who is older than me)..

5. Fewer Expectations, Accomplishments are More Meaningful and Better Self Care

I know that’s three not one.

In other words, we are easier on ourselves. At my age, I really mean: Finishing = Winning.  I don’t expect a PR.  I run for FUN!!

half marathon PR at age 64. Whoa!!!

And when I do do better than expected, I am more than thrilled.  I don’t take good runs or races for granted.

I try to eat healthier, pay more attention to any aches and pains. I get my needed tests and preventive vaccines.

just embracing life (as a senior citizen)

TOTR: “I’m getting better”

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This quote always makes me laugh.

Don’t forget to Link-up with PattyErika, and Marcia and either meet some new bloggers or catch up with ones you already know.

This month’s topics are free so I’ve chosen: “I’m Getting Better.”

I know they say that as runners age, they get slower.

That may be true if you started running young. Of course, you are slower than when you ran in college.

But at as an adult-onset runner, I think that you can still get faster or at least become a better runner as you age.

For most of us, we think better equals faster.  And yes it does since races are always timed.  But we can also become better in many ways.

Here’s how:

Get Faster

Maybe it’s mental but I refuse to believe that I am getting slower.  I don’t try to PR at every race.  I don’t even train or do drills to PR.

But I enter each race to do my best, have a fun and if possible, have a course PR.

That helps take off the pressure because every race is different even if it is the same distance.

So in 2017 even though I turned 64, it has been the year of course PRs:

  •  Polar Cap 4m

2015 – 37:40, 2017 – 37:20

  • Shamrock 5m

2016 – 46:28, 2017 – 46:09

  • Bacon Hill 5K

2016 – 27:54 , 2017 – 27:32

  • Lake George 5K

2013 –  29:17, 2017 – 27:53

  • Summer Smith 5k

2016 –  28:29, 2017 – 27:26

  • Freihofer 5k

2016 – 28:50, 2017 – 27:48

  • Adirondack 10m

2016 –  1:42:21, 2017 – 1:39:35

  • Silks & Satins 5k

2016 – 28:27, 2017 – 27:37

  • Race the Train (8.4 m)

2016 – 1:28:54, 2017 – 1:28:27

Every race that I repeated, I was faster in the same race this year.  I don’t expect this to happen in the coming years so I am enjoying my current success.

However, I refuse to believe that my speedy days are over.

Age Group Awards

Yes, I know it depends on how many are in your age group and who shows up.  In any given race, you can win one and even if you have a PR, not win one.

As you age and enter new age group groups, your chances increase.

Entering small and less popular races, increase your chances.

I have been lucky this year to win one in almost all my races.

Fewer Injuries

Yes, hopefully we get smarter as we age.  We take rest days when we need them.  We skip or shorten our runs when we feel pain.

I (knock on wood) have not had any injuries since my broken foot in 2013!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hope it stays this way.  That means running smart.  Deciding when to run easy and when to go all out.

Carpe Diem

Yes as we age, we seize more opportunities. Maybe it’s because our kids are grown.  Maybe it’s because we are more confident.  Maybe because we have more running friends (that talk us into crazy things.)

We take race-cations, go on girls only weekends and sign up for challenges, Ragnars, and other wild running events.

I have always tried to coordinate a vacation or visit to a friend with a race.  Last year, I participated in a girls weekend in Florida and one in NYC and it was so much fun, that I planned more this year:

  • NYC in April with Sue & Maureen (Shape Half)
  • NYC in August with Sue (France 8k)
  • Corning, NY in October with local friends (Wine Glass Half)
  • Las Vegas in November with blogger friends (RnR 5k & Half)
  • PCB in December with blogger friends ??????????

So what do you think?  Can we become better runners as we age?  Are you getting better?

TOTR: Happy B-day to Me

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

For Today’s Topic, I’m choosing: How to Celebrate Your Birthday as a Runner

It’s an appropriate topic because today is my birthday.

And I happen to be celebrating on vacation in sunny Florida!!

So when it’s your b-day, here’s what I recommend:

  • Run a race.

Of course that depends on the time of year.  You can always run a virtual race if none is scheduled.

Mastodon Challenge 5K

I ran the Mastodon Challenger two years on my birthday.  I love the race and the photo.  Yes, I fell (what else is new) but continued on to finish with blood dripping down my legs and arms and broken watch in my hand (I felt badass especially when I came in 2nd in my AG)

  • Run your age.

You can run it in miles or kilometers.

I’m pretty old so I think this year, it will in Ks. How many Ks do you think I’ll run??

  • Do something that makes you happy.

For me, it’s the tulips in the park and spending time with my mentee and her sons. Tulip Fest weekend is always held around my birthday. Lucky me!

  • Forget the healthy eating and indulge.

You can run it off the next day! LOL.

I love to go out to eat at one of my favorite restaurants.  It has to have a water view and great desserts!!

It’s usually a restaurant on Lake George but this year, I’ll have to settle for the Gulf.

birthday dinner at my favorite restaurant in Naples, Fl- The Turtle Club (2012)


Happy Running! How do you celebrate your birthday?

Shamrock Shuffle Race Recap

This was my third time running this race.

Previous finish times –  2016: 46:28, 2015: 46:29

So it looks like I have been pretty consistent. Not sure what this year would bring. Most likely not a PR (Delmar Dash: 45:26 in 2015).  But if I finish under 50 minutes, I’d consider it a good race.

Now that I’ve run the race twice, I would be at least prepared on how the course went uphill for the first mile, some rolling hills before it went downhill. See below:

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I am always a bit nervous about those hills and trying to run fast. Plus I wanted to have enough energy to run 4 more miles afterward as I am training for another half marathon in 5 weeks.

I was hoping that the weather would be a little more spring-like and I could wear a green skirt. But it was not. It was COLD but as cold as two weeks ago at the Runnin’ of the Green race. So I just wore tights under a skirt and several layers.

The race was about an hour drive from my house.  But it had a late start of 11 am so I was able to sleep in. When I arrived, the parking lot was already full, but I found a spot on a nearby street. Everyone hung out in the gym waiting for the race to start.

another cotton tee for my running buddy

I chatted with some runners that I recognized. I also met some new faces.

Then I bumped into Laurie from my Turkey Trot training group a few years ago. We talked for a while being entertained by bag pipes.

With such a late start (11 am), I was already hungry for lunch by the time the race began so I took a GU.

I was undecided about what to wear, as usual. It was cold and damp and looked like it would start to rain at any moment. In the end, I decided on a hat, 2 long sleeved shirts and gloves. (I left the jacket inside for later.)

Soon, we headed for the start. We waited until the last minute so we didn’t have to stand outside long in the cold.

It was not chip timed so I lined up close to the front.

As I mentioned, the beginning of the race went uphill. I took it slow.

I always look happy when I see the photographer.  The lady behind me is one year away from my age group and is super fast.

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over the highway bridge (2015’s pic)

Although it was around 30, it was humid and there was no wind, so I took off my gloves and unzipped my shirt. I could have gone with one less layer.

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2015’s pic

At first water stop around mile 1.75, I walked a bit. Then I continued running until we got the downhill portion.

Mile 3’s downhills gave me a boost but again at the second water stop around mile 4, I walked again for a little bit.

After that, I just plugged along and refused to walk until I was done.

Finally, I saw the finish line and gave everything I had.

Of course, I tried to beat that young runner (18 year old) to the finish line. And I did!! (barely)

I crossed at 46:10.

I waited around for Sue and Laurie to cross and then went inside to the cafeteria.

The refreshments were not much to speak. I had a brownie and a banana and chatted with Laurie.

We then waited in the gym for the results to be posted. The previous two years, I got 3rd. I doubted that I would win again but you never know when you’re in the old ladies group. But I did!!

In addition to a medal, you got a loaf of Irish soda bread.

I’m still 63 until May.

Splits:

2015 / 2016 / 2017

mile 1- 8:55 / 9:10 / 9:13
mile 2- 9:31 / 9:30 / 9:16
mile 3- 8:58 / 8:52 / 9:01
mile 4- 9:35 / 9:24 /9:17
mile 5- 9:19 / 9:27 / 9:18

chip time- 46:09, garmin time – 46:08

I enjoyed the race (I enjoy them all) and was happy about how I did considering I do NOT do any speed work. It was not a PR but it was actually a course PR,  20 seconds faster than last year. I was expecting to be a lot slower. I was glad that I didn’t push myself because I had planned more miles for the day…

Though I was tired and cold, I drove to the Zim Smith Trail. As soon as I got there, it started to rain.  I so wanted to leave but it wasn’t raining hard so I just slowly dragged myself along for 4 more miles.

One of the perks of the trail is that you can park next to a bakery.

So yes, I’ll be back to the run on the trail and back to sample more of Leah’s baked goods. Today, I was cold so just had soup.

So I got my 9 mile training run done. It just had a 1 1/2 hour break in the middle.


I am also sharing in the support love by linking up with a Sunday Fitness and Food Linkup hosted by

Ilka from Ilka’s Blog and Angela from Marathons & Motivation

Happy Running! How was your weekend? Any running or racing?

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