Friday Five 2.0 – 2017: The Year of Running with Friends

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.

So today, I am going to start looking back on this past year.

I had several years that I could name The Year of Injuries and Recovery (2011, 2012, 2013). And a few that I could name The Year of the PR (2014, 2015). And then 2016 was The Year of the Half Marathon (I ran 6).

But this year, there were NO injuries. Hooray for that. There were a few PRs and 6 halfs but what made this year special were those runs/races shared with friends – both new and old.

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1. I ran the Polar Cap Run, Freihiofer Run for Women and the Race the Train with my former blogger friend, AJH, now running friend from VT. She loves to travel and race as much as I do. I am so jealous that she has retired. Hopefully that means more opportunities to run with me.

2. Strange circumstances put Sue and I together for the Shape Half Marathon. We had so much fun that we returned to NYC to run the France Run together. Hopefully we will run the Brooklyn Half or another race together in 2018.

3. Thanks to Judy, I got to participate a girls race-cation for the Wine Glass Half Marathon. This group of runners and I have continued our bonding at other races and weekly runs.

4. Some of last year’s PCB ladies decided to go to Vegas to run the Rock n Roll races. Others returned to PCB. Hopefully we can get the wHOle gang together next year.

5. And lastly, all the friends that I have met through running groups (Freihofer and Turkey Trot challenge, STEM, GOTR), races, social networking, etc. that have supported, motivated and inspired me. You guys rock! And thanks!

Looking forward to more of the same for 2018.

Happy Running! How about you… How would you describe your running in 2017?

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Knuckle Lights Review and Giveaway

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I am NOT a morning runner.  So I have to run after work.  That was fine until we turned our clocks ahead.  It is now dark out and most of my running routes have NO lights.

I know that I could buy and use a head lamp but to me, it looks dorky.

You know how I feel about dread I mean treadmills.

So I ordered Knuckle Lights so see if they would work for me.

I had three hesitations about them before I used them:

  • I hate carrying anything in my hands.  I don’t carry a water bottle even on hot summer days. Would these annoy me?
  • If I don’t swing my arms correctly, would they still light my path?
  • Would they be bright enough to run where there are no lights?

First some details about Knuckle Lights:

  • Each one is just shy of 4″ tall and the light part is 1″ wide.
  • Each one weighs less than 3g.
  • There is an adjustable strap on the back of each one to fit your hand (with or without gloves).
  • Each of the lights has a wide angle so it fills the space well.
  • They each use one AA battery.
  • There is a high beam (140 lumens each), low beam and blinking mode. You just press the button on top to change modes.
  • They are waterproof.

So did I like them?

YES!

I ran with them twice already.  I used them on the high beam setting and they gave me plenty of light so I could run in the dark.  They are very light-weight and didn’t bother me at all to carry them. In fact, I think they made me swing my arms correctly so that they would light the path ahead of me. (If you swing your arms across your body like you are not supposed to, they wouldn’t help you.)

The second time I used them, a man who was walking his dog exclaimed “Boy, you are illuminated!”  And I thought, “That is the point!”

I’m not sure how long the batteries will last but you can also buy Knuckle Lights that are rechargeable.

You can read more about them at https://knucklelights.com/

Knuckle Lights Color Handheld LED Weatherproof Running Safety Light Set

If you would like to win a pair of (pink) knuckle lights like pictured above, enter below:

KNUCKLE LIGHTS GIVE-AWAY

The Deadline to enter is Midnight December 8.

Since it is 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.

Here are FIVE Reasons to Buy Knuckle Lights:

  1. Allows you to Run when it is Dark (lights up your path as you swing your arms)
  2. Easy to Use (one button and 3 light settings)
  3. Light-weight (you put them on your wrist and they are adjustable)
  4. Not too expensive ($40)
  5. Use batteries or you can buy Knuckle Lights that you can charge.

Happy Running! Do you run in the dark? If so, what do you use?

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Friday Five 2.0: Planning a Stress-free Race-cation

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: Five Tips for Taking a Stress-free Race-cation

If you follow my blog, you know that right now, I am on a Race-cation – in Las Vegas!!!

You may also know that I love to travel and when I do, I make sure that a race is included. I am fortunate to able to fit one into my schedule at least twice a year.

So here are some tips to avoid the stress:

1. Plan early.

Pick out a race and register. Decide how you are going to get there (drive or fly?) Arrange lodging (hotel or friends’ place?) Even decide how you get to the race start (walk, drive, subway, taxi, friend?)

It is less stressful to know all the details of your race-cation way in advance.

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trained for this race together and/or roomed together.

 I actually booked my flight for this trip way back in March so I could use my FF miles. My blogging buddy Marcia booked a hotel near the start and graciously allowed me to share her room.

2. Start packing early but prepared for last minute changes in weather.

I start a few weeks in advance. I use a bed in my spare bedroom. Sometimes, I use an extra laundry basket. And everything I think of something to bring, I put in the pile. You can’t do it all in advance because as we know, the weather forecasts will change. And the forecast is not always accurate. So bring a shirt for a warmer forecast and one for a cooler one. Bring a rain poncho & an umbrella. Of course, bring throw away clothes.

getting ready to head out into the rain

I thought that it didn’t rain in southern California.

 I doubt it will rain in Vegas but it can be cold and it can be hot.  This one was tough to pack for…due to the variety of things that I may do.  (I think I over-packed but still may not have the right clothes.)

3. Bring your race morning breakfast and any special food that you require.

I never count on that a friend or hotel will have what I usually eat. I bring packets of oatmeal/cream of wheat and coffee/tea. (Don’t forget a cup, bowl & spoon.) I also pack energy bars in case I need a snack the day before.

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 Both the 5k and the Half Marathon in Vegas are not in the morning – they’re at 6 pm and 4 pm.  This makes eating quite complicated but I’m sure we’ll figure it out.

Not knowing the breakfast situation in the hotel, I did bring cereal and coffee, just in case.

4. Plan to arrive at least 2 days before the race.

Of course, you’ll have time to relax. And if you car breaks down or your flight is cancelled, you won’t miss your race. (Yes, it happened to me twice.) And you will have time to get used to the weather or altitude by doing a test run.

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From winter in the NE to winter in Fla. What a difference!

I planned to arrive at noon on Friday (if everything goes as planned.)  The 5k is Sat. eve and the Half Marathon is Sun. eve. 

The time change may put a little damper on things but it is what it is.  (I am a horrible sleeper, anyway.)

5. Have fun! Plan things to do in addition to running a race.

Do some sightseeing. Visiting a new place is one of the perks of a destination race!!

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Ignore the hair but got to climb to the top of a lighthouse after a Florida race.

During my last race-cation in Florida, I went to a NY Mets spring training game, visited a bird sanctuary and met up of with different friends for various lunches and dinners.

For this trip, I scheduled a bus trip to Red Rock Canyon.  I plan to meet up with many bloggers and how can you not have fun in Vegas???

and why should you??

Happy Running! Any other tips for taking race-vacations?

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Friday Five 2.0 – Favorite Fall Foods

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: Favorite Fall Foods (It was the topic a few weeks ago so I’m just late to the party.)

1. Pumpkin anything

Here are some of my purchases from past years:

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And I’ve lost count of how many of these I’ve had:

I’ve even cooked with pumpkin:

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pumpkin chili

Recipe

2. Apple Pieespecially when it is homemade with local apples (warm with vanilla ice cream is the best)

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Recipe

2. Sweet Potatoes

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Recipe

4. Butternut Squash Soup

Recipe

5. Cider Donutswarmed

Happy Running! What are your favorite Fall foods?

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Friday Five 2.0 – Hmmm.

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.


The topic for today is: Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm

1. Pit Stops in an Open Field

Yes, there were port-a-potties at the start of my recent half marathon but many women just pulled their pants down, bared their butts in an open field for everyone to see!!

2. Bra and Short Shorts in 30 degree temps

Yes, I saw this at my recent race.   There was only ONE.  That tells you something and she didn’t win the race.

3. Walkers Standing Up Front at the Start Line

This happened at my last 5k. Granted it was high school kids but someone should tell them about race etiquette.

4. Chip Timing but Age Group Awards By Gun Time

My friend and I was discussing this at the 5k I just mentioned.  If they have the technology to record chip times why not list the finish times in this order and reward racers appropriately.  This would discourage runners from lining up in the front if they run at a slower pace.

5. Coke at the end of a Race

Maybe during the race for the caffeine?

Yes, this was offered at the end of my recent half.  I had water and chocolate milk.  But is there any nutritional value to Coke?

Wegman’s  sponsored the post race food.  They could offer better.

Happy Running! What has made  you recently go hmmmm?

Friday Five 2.0 – Fall Activities

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.


The topic for today is: Fall Activities

The NE is the prettiest place to live in the Fall (though I may be biased).  So here are 5 of my favorite things to do around where I live:

1. Running

Obviously this is my favorite thing to do in all seasons.  But it is even more enjoyable when it is not hot and humid and the leaves are changing colors.

2. Racing

Yes, this is running-related but I love to race in the fall because there are so many races to choose from each weekend.  Every organization is trying to squeeze in a race before winter.

3. Hiking

The cooler weather makes hiking even more enjoyable. And then there are the pretty foliage to look at…

4. Eating

Cider donuts, homemade apple pies and pumpkin-everything… Need I say more?

5. Boating

It may not be warm enough to swim in the lake but it’s still beautiful.  Love riding around, hanging out by a bonfire and grilling on one of the islands.

** 6. Apple Picking and Farm Activities

I must add these since they are the only ones specific for fall.

Happy Running! What are your favorite fall activities?

Friday Five 2.0 – Running Routes

It’s also 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.


The topic for today is: Unique Running Routes

I’m not so sure these routes are unique but they are ones that I have enjoyed.

1. On the Erie Canal Trail in Pittsford, NY

The Erie Canal goes from Albany to Buffalo, over 350 miles but since I am often in Rochester for work, I get to run on the trail here. I love the water, boats and bridges.

2.On the Albany Rail Trail in Delmar, NY

Mostly paved but still about 4 miles are unpaved. It is 9 miles from Albany, NY to Altamont. On the Albany end, you run under bridges and see a waterfall. The other end just wooded and ends at a railroad crossing.

3. On the Lakeside Trail in Rochester, NY.

The lake is Lake Ontario and the trail runs along the lake but also continues onto a wooded trail. I’ve enjoyed running in the sand, collecting sea glass and gazing at the expansive view of one of the Great Lakes.

4. On the Onondaga Lake Park Trail in Liverpool, NY

Water is a common theme for my running routes. This must be the most popular place to walk, run or bike in Liverpool because it is always crowded. And the sunset is incredible.

5. On Peebles Island and Lock 2 in Waterford, NY

There is a wooded trail, several bridges, a waterfall.  I don’t run here that often but I should.

Happy Running! Where is the most unique place that you’ve run?