Friday Five 2.0: Running Fuel

It’s Friday and 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.

This week, the topic is: Running Fuel.

So what would someone who doesn’t cook much and whose post-run fuel is usually ice cream write about??

I am going to share what I use for energy before or during my runs:

1. GU

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It works for me so why switch? They don’t upset my stomach and they are easy to carry on a run.

My favorite flavors are:

  • with caffeine – Salted Caramel, Caramel Macchiato, Chocolate Outrage
  • without caffeine – Root Bear, Peanut Butter

Here are some new flavors that I haven’t tried:

2. Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars

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They come in loads of flavors but I usually eat the plain fig or the blueberry.

They are made with 0g of trans fat, all natural, whole wheat, and are Non GMO, Kosher, and cholesterol-free. Some flavors are even gluten-free.

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always new flavors to try

3. Bananas

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I love to eat them and they are a good source of potassium which is said to help prevent muscle cramping. Plus they come in their own wrapper. LOL.

4. Starbucks Chocolate Banana Smoothie

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I am sure it must be heathier than a Latte or a Frappuccino, right? (This is obviously a pre or post run treat.)

It contains: A nourishing blend of mocha flavored sauce, a whole banana, milk, whey protein and fiber powder, and ice.

5. Larabar Bites

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Are they healthy? Not sure but they do taste good.  Here’s what their website says:

All 4 indulgent flavors are made from just 5-6 simple ingredients and are gluten free, non-GMO, vegan, and dairy free.

Happy Running! What do you eat for running fuel?

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TOTR: YOLO

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: YOLO for Runners

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What does it mean?

According to the dictionary:

YOLO is an acronym for “you only live once“. Similar to Latin “carpe diem” (“seize the day”), it implies that one should enjoy life, even if that entails taking risks, as if there would not be another chance for it.

For a runner, YOLO means:

  • Running on a new path. We (or at least I do) tend to run on routes where we are comfortable. So to get out of this rut, you have to be adventurous.
  • Run a race even if no one else you know is running it. Yes, it is more fun with friends but we shouldn’t not run a race just because “no friends are going.”
  • Run a new distance. If it’s a longer distance, that’s pretty scary. (I mean I won’t run a full marathon.)  But instead of 5ks and 10ks, try a different one.  Besides, if it’s the first one, it’s automatically a PR.
  • Be spontaneous. Be open to new experiences rather than over thinking and obsessing. Usually, I just sign up and plan later. But lately, I’ve been mulling races over more.  Can I afford the race?  Can I take the time off from work? Do I want to go that far?  Mind you, they are all valid reasons not to run a race.

I have two more halfs this fall that I am having a tough time making decisions about.  I may just postpone one until next year. And the other – TBD

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.

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Happy Running! Are you a planner? Or a YOLO kind of runner?

Running Update: 8.7.17-8.13.17

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Last Week:

  • Monday – Sometimes you have to miss a run for some fun.  Today was a tradition.  The 32nd time having breakfast at the Saratoga Race Track with a former coworker.  In recent years, we have added on staying for the races. RaIn was forecast but lucky for us, not a drop fell until we were on our way home.

Won some races and lost some. Came out a little ahead for the day and had a lot of fun.

  • Tuesday. Had to drive to Rochester for work. Took advantage of the nice weather to get a run in on the Canal.

Even got to meet a fellow Skirt Sports ambassador who worked at Schoen Place. and then ran 4.5 miles (and had gelato post run)

  • Wednesday –  Nothing exciting happened today except for work and a long drive back afterwards.  Before I left for home, I was told that there was a nearby trail.  So I set out for a short 2 mile run.

not much of a trail or a view but some flat grass.

  • Thursday – I ran with Alyssa for our weekly run date. The Thursday night concerts had ended so we were able to run at the Corning bike path on the Hudson River.

It was hot and I was TIRED but she dragged me through it.

  • Friday – A scheduled rest day.  Unfortunately I couldn’t enjoy it since I had to go to a wake.

I’ve known Carol since college. She died after a 5 yr battle with ovarian cancer.

  • Saturday – Today I proctored the MPREs as a favor for a friend and then went for a run before the predicted rain (which didn’t arrive until evening.) I’d liked to say that the run was uneventful but it was far from that. I’ll just list a few things go that went wrong: forgot my socks, started at noon, sunshine, humidity, hunger, new route, unsavory neighborhood, missed the entrance to the trail, tired, no watch, phone died.

The good news was that there were bridges, dogs and a downhill mile.

still haven’t found all 20.

Oops. I meant 9 miles

  • Sunday – A weekend would not be complete without a trip to the lake. Perfect weather. Perfect place for a rest day.


20 miles done with 4 runs and 3 rest days

This Week:

  • Monday – 4 mile run
  • Tuesday – 4 mile run along the lake in Liverpool
  • Wednesday restdrive home from Liverpool
  • Thursday – 4 mile run with Alyssa
  • Friday – rest, mah Jong
  • Saturday –  rest, train to NYC
  • Sunday – France 8k run in NYC

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

This week’s Guest Host is Michelle @Running With Attitude

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

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Race the Train Recap

I love to race and this one sounded interesting last year so I signed up.  It was lots of fun but the first 1 1/2 miles were very challenging (I apparently blocked out the hills during the rest of the race.)

Here is the course map.  You can see what I mean about the long early hill..

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I wasn’t sure if I was up to running it again but my friend Sue said she had signed up and also my VT friend AJH expressed an interest in running it. So you know me, it didn’t take much persuading for me to sign up as well.

The race is not nearby – about an hour 50 minutes and you have to be on time since you take the train to the race start.

I asked my friend whose house is not too far away (in Chestertown) if I could stay there and she agreed. It would be about an hour closer so I didn’t have to get up as early. But the forecast was for heavy rain and thunderstorms so I decided instead to stay home and get up early the next day.

I woke up at 4:30 to pouring rain. I seriously contemplated a DNS. But I didn’t. And I am glad that I ignored the weather forecast

It was easy to get to North Creek Railroad Station and didn’t take as long as anticipated. And the rain stopped!!! So I got there very early and parked in a parking lot next to the finish line.

It was already in the 70s and very humid when I arrived.  But I was thrilled that it was not raining…

I picked my race packet (a cotton shirt, a bib, your train ticket and a raffle ticket) and walked around waiting for Sue and AJH.

I found both of them.  Sue was working at registration so I hung around with AJH.

There were REAL restrooms in the gift shop and a lot of interesting things to read and look at.

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some of these pics are form last year (hence the bright blue sky)

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Finally everyone arrived and we lined up to get on the train.

I spotted Maureen whom I met at the Shape Half in NYC.  It was cool to see her again and catch up. (She said that she had not run since but I knew that she would be speedy anyway… and she was.)

And then we sat and waited and waited. The train was supposed to leave at 8 am but it didn’t until about 8:20 and they even had a bus for the late arrival runners.

The ride was really scenic.  It was an interesting experience taking the train to the start line of a race.

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The train ride was along the Hudson River the whole way.

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Finally we arrived at the next station – Riparius.
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getting ready to beat that train LOL

We walked around and finally headed to the bridge where the race would begin.

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Finally everyone got to the start. I started with AJH and Sue. The train whistle blew and off we went.

The train gave us a head start and then it took off with the friends and families of the runners.

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photo from: The Sun

The goal was to beat the train. I knew that I would not and I also knew that since I don’t train on hills, it would be not be an easy race for me. Plus I was a little nervous about my ankle (which had been painful on the previous Monday and Tuesday)

The best case scenario would a course PR (faster than 1:28:54) and maybe win an age group award again.  But my real goal was really just to finish pain-free and enjoy the run.

And that’s what I did.

The first mile and 1/2 was a STEEP uphill. First on asphalt and then on dirt. I attempted to run but decided that I would be better off walking. Everyone that was running was struggling.  So I ran a little but mostly walked.

There was someone called out times at every mile. I was hoping to get my pace to between 10 and 11 and keep it there even if I walked the hills.

That uphill eventually turned into a downhill but after that it was just rolling hills. They never ended. (How could I have forgotten them??) They weren’t steep or as long except for maybe 2 more steepish ones (The one between mile 5 and 6 was so steep. I could barely walk up it.) That meant there were only 2 more steep downhills.

But because you were running on dirt with rocks, you couldn’t take advantage of the downhills as much as you would have liked. (I always fear a face plant.)

But my walk/run strategy on the hills seemed to work.  Those running passed me on the uphill but then I passed them on the downhill. In the end, I was not as drained as they were. (Sweaty yes! It was SOOOO humid!)

The scenery was nice as you ran through the woods (and listening to the train whistle until it passed you) and toward the end, you could see the river. Eventually, you had to run through town in order to finish at the train station.

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photo from: The Sun

The good news is that my ankle never hurt. I didn’t get blisters and I never felt tired. I didn’t push myself and as a result could enjoy the race. (Of course, part of me wished I had enough endurance to run up those hills but I know my legs would have been dead by the end if I did and I didn’t want to risk straining my ankle tendon.) In hindsight, I think I could have run more and walked less.. But who knew???

I had no time goals but I estimated that I would finish around 1:30:xx and I finished at 1:28:27. I was thrilled!!

everyone got a medal!

It was a course PR!!!!

I had some food (bagels, fruit, pastries) but the highlight was chocolate milk and then I waited around for the awards while trying to be creative with my medal.

Last year I won my age group but this year I was 3rd.  (Sue was too!)  I was happy!!! It always depends on who shows up whether or not I win…

The water bottle was the award

After the awards, they gave away raffle prizes but none of us won any.

All in all, a very challenging yet fun race. I think I’ll do it again (since I’ll probably block out any memory of those hills LOL)

My HILLY Splits:

mile 1 – 10:51
mile 2 – 10:55
mile 3 – 9:06
mile 4 – 10:15
mile 5 – 10:33
mile 6 – 11:52
mile 7 – 11:13
mile 8 – 11:00
.4 – 8:03

Afterwards, I stopped to visit the friend whose house I was supposed to sleep at the previous night.  She was there with a friend and they wanted to go hiking. I decided I might as well before the DOMS set in. So we drove back to North Creek and found a hike at Gore Mountain.  We chose the shortest and easiest one –  2.1 miles to a reservoir.

We never found the reservoir but saw a lot of pretty mushrooms and waterfalls.  It was so much fun!! And we stopped on the way home for ice cream!!

A pretty perfect day – racing, hiking, ice cream – all done with friends!!

Happy Running! Ever race a train?

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Friday Five 2.0: Racing with Family and Friends

Since it’s Friday, 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: Family and Friends

I race a lot as you know.  Unfortunately, I have never raced with any family members.  The closest I ever gotten was my hubby signing up for a race (and he DNFed.)

So I am going to write about my top FIVE Friend Racing Moments:

Here they are:

1.Any race with MP, my tennis buddy.  These are special because MP was the one who talked me into signing up for the No Boundaries program and becoming a runner.  She is not a serious runner meaning that she rarely runs and signs up for only a few races a year.

2. My First Race with the Strong Running Mamas (SRMs) – This started in 2010 with a small group of women who had never run a 5k.  They trained and ran the Freihofer’s Race for Women.  It was so emotional to be part of that day.  These women continued to run and race.  Several have even run marathons.  The group now includes over 100 members on FB.

3.  VCM Relay (with AHJ) – I met AJH (from VT) by reading her blog and then planning some local race meet-ups in my area.  Then she invited me to stay with her and run the Vermont City Marathon Relay.  I ran it two years in a row.  Running the first 13.1 miles and then the next year, the last 13.1 miles.  The experiences were totally different but so much fun.

4. Ramblefest Half Marathon (with my BRF) – This was special because although I had run with Alyssa once a week, this was our first race together. Plus we both had PRs.  We hope to have a similar experience when we race again together at the Wine Glass Half on Oct 1.

5. Panama City Beach Half Marathon (with the #holottafun ladies) – This experience may never be duplicated (but we will try in Las Vegas in Nov).  Spending the weekend with women whom you only knew through their blogs. Well, it was phenomenal.

Happy Running! Do you race with family or friends?  What is your favorite friend/family racing moment?

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Running Update: 7.31.17-8.6.17

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Last Week:

  • Monday – A sunny day so I had to run. The warm weather returned.

On the rail trail

  • Tuesday – Finally got to play tennis. It was great catching up after at dinner as well.

at UAlbany courts

  • Wednesday – Since I was working near the Crossings, I decided to squeeze in a run there. Another warm one but I’m not complaining.

  • Thursday – No rain this week so far.  Amazing.  I ran with Alyssa for our weekly after work run.

it was warm but we celebrated our fast run with ice cream after

  • Friday – Another scheduled rest day. After work, I planned to drive up to Chestertown to stay at my friend’s house on Schroon River (to make my race day drive shorter) but I was pooped so stayed home and played mah jongg instead.
  • Saturday – Today I ran the Race the Train 8.4 mile race. I expected rain but just got humidity. And it was much hilliest than I remember.

Course PR and 3rd in my age group

Afterward I stopped at my friend’s and we decided to go hiking.

So much fun. We didn’t get as far as the reservoir but saw pretty mushrooms and waterfalls and hiked 4.2 miles

  • Sunday – A weekend would not be complete without a trip to the lake.

Hung out with friends, grilled a great meal and finished a book 😊

20.4 miles done with 4 runs and 3 rest days

This Week:

  • Monday – day off at Saratoga race track
  • Tuesday – 3 mile run in Rochester??
  • Wednesday – rest, drive home from Rochester
  • Thursday 4 mile run with Alyssa
  • Friday – rest
  • Saturday –  proctor MPREs, 9 mile run
  • Sunday – rest, boating

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

This week’s Guest Host is Heather @ 3 Black Cat Co.

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

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Ultimate Coffee Date – August

Confessions of a Mother Runner

Since today is the first Saturday in August, I am joining up with Coco & Deborah for their ultimate coffee date.

iced coffee with chocolate milk ❤

Over coffee…

I’d tell you that if you wondered why I was the Guest Blogger last week on The Weekly Wrap and why I have been commenting on blogs and posting on mine more often, it was because instead of working at my usual job, I was working at the Bar Exam for 3 days. That meant that I sat for 10 hours and waited until a student had a technical problem.  Lots of downtime …. to blog.

my view for 3 long days

Of course, that won’t happen again until next February.

Now it’s back to normal… squeezing blogging into my busy life. (I don’t know how those of you who work get it done.)

Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I worked at my old job site for the Bar Exam.  It made me very nostalgic (I worked there for 10 years.)

Yes, I missed my friends and the work itself but what I really missed was running-related.

There was a (free) treadmill (not that I loved it but it was handy), a nearby track, close to the park and it was easy to squeeze in runs before, during and after work.

Over coffee…

I’d tell tell you that after my success at my last two 5ks, I contemplated not signing up for so many long races. I almost Pr’d with zero speed work. Maybe I should work on my speed before I get too old.

27:35 at age 64!! Can I go faster? My PR of 27:11 is 3 years old.

Over coffee…

I’d tell you that today I have a HILLY 8.4 race. I am a little nervous since I do not train on hills and I remember it being a very challenging course.  I didn’t know anyone at the race last year so I am looking forward this year to running with my friends Sue and AJH.

Stay tuned for the hopefully “happy” recap.

Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I am the WORST running buddy ever. I signed up for the RUN4 program almost 4 years ago.  I was paired with John Anthony and in the beginning, I posted all runs and dedicated them to him. I also sent him medals and running shirts.

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Then I got lazier and only posted and dedicated my races to him.  I still mailed him race shirts (the cotton and unisex ones.)

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Now, I am sad to say that I do think about him all the time when I run but I can’t remember the last time I posted to the FB site.  And I have a pile of shirts waiting to be mailed.

Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I love running in NYC.  (You probably know that.)  This month I am running my 4th race there in 10 mos.

I am super psyched because I am running it with Sue, it’s in Central Park and it’s called the France 8k Run.  (I’m trying to forget that I’ll have to run up Cat and Harlem hills.)

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Um, what should I wear?

Yup. FRANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Remember I was French teacher for over 20 years and I love anything French (esp. food and art).

what do you think?

Glad I signed up early.

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Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I kinda had an injury.  If you don’t write about it, it doesn’t exist, right?

Peroneal Tendon Subluxation or Dislocation

Last Saturday afternoon, I think I tweaked my peroneal tendon …in my GOOD ankle. I’m not sure when…either carrying laundry down the stairs or while gardening.  I just remember hearing something snap/pull.  I ignored because it didn’t hurt.  It didn’t bother me on Sunday (but I didn’t do anything.) and then on Monday when I went to run, it hurt.  Did I stop running? Of course not.  I tried to not bend my ankle and run in a way that it didn’t hurt and walk often. 

Yes, I was bummed.

So on Tuesday, I didn’t run but I wore my hubby’s ankle support and played tennis. And it hurt so did I stop?  No way but I only played one set and then sat out.

So now I was really bummed.

Not enough to take a running break.  I wore the ankle support and ran on Wednesday. And guess what?  It didn’t hurt AT ALL!!!!!

3.5 pain-free miles

I ran again with Alyssa on Thursday. 

More miles with zero pain


I’m not convinced that it is perfectly fine.

my new work attire (with a dress)

We’ll see how the ankle reacts to 8.4 hilly miles.

Happy Running! Got anything to spill? Share it here! Anyone ever race the France 8k? Ever ignore an injury and it gets better?

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