Friday Five 2.0: Summer Bucket List

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 today is: Summer Bucket List

I love the warm weather and I always have a list of things that I want to do. Not sure if they will happen but I hope many of them do.

1. Go Hiking

There a lots of nearby places to hike. I hope I can find the time.

2. Play Tennis

Again I travel so much for work that I rarely get a chance to play regularly. I hope to play on an occasional Tuesday with my friends.

3. Eat in an Outdoor Restaurant

I eat out often but it is rare that the weather is warm enough to eat outdoors.

4. Go to the Race Track

This has been a tradition with a former co-worker.  We have breakfast at the Saratoga Flat Track and watch the horses warming up and then we stay for the races.  If we win, we treat ourselves to dinner out as well.

5. Run a New Race

I race often. There re so many races in the summer that I enjoy but I always try to run a new one. Last year, it was the Whipple City 5k.

Happy Running! What’s on your summer bucket list?



Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series 5K #1 Recap

Image result for al goldstein summer speed series

Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series #1 – May 23, 2018 –  7:10 pm

If you follow my blog, you know that I often get sent to NYC for work.

Usually, I just try to squeeze in a run on the East River, Hudson River or in Central Park.

Well last year, I found a race!!!!

Apparently during the summer months on alternating Wednesdays at 7:10 pm, there is a cheap ($7.50 – in past years it was $5) 5k in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. These races are organized by the Prospect Park Track Club. I ran one last July and had a great time.

I was excited that they were scheduled again this summer and the first two races coincided with my the dates that I would be working in NYC.

Here’s the info from the NYCRuns website:

We’re gearing up for another great summer of evening 5K races! You don’t have to be fast to enter, but these races will help you find out how fast you can be!
Big news for 2018: we have chip timing! All runners will receive their actual race time.
Races will start and end at the Bluestone Cafe at Lakeside Center.

There, we will offer:

  • Bib pickup starting at 6pm
  • Bag check
  • Lockers available for a fee
  • Bathrooms (real ones!)
  • Water after the race
  • 5 year Age group awards ceremony after the race

There are also water stops during the race, mile markers, lots of volunteers, results immediately emailed to you and free photos,

So it seemed like a no brainer to run some of these races if I could.

Except for the fact that I had to work all day in Queens (getting up at 5:30 am and being on my feet until 4 pm). I would have to rush to take the subway, then the LIRR, walk to my hotel and change my clothes and then take a LONG subway ride to Brooklyn.

However, a bigger problem was that my foot (specifically the arch) had been sore since my vacation in Florida (Maybe playing tennis 7 days in a row wearing old sneakers??) I could run on it but it was painful afterward.  It hurt after my half marathon and after my run on Monday (two days before this race).  I wondered if I had PF?  I contemplated taking time off from running.  A normal person probably would have.  But running keeps me sane and I NEED to run.

So I decided to go for it hoping that this decision wouldn’t backfire and I would damage my foot and put myself out of commission.

As I mentioned above, I rushed back to the hotel from work and hopped the subway to Brooklyn.  Thanks to Google, I figured out which one to take and which stop to get off at.

However, when I exited the subway station, as I did last year, I did not exit at the exit for park entrance closest to the race start. Luckily there were signs and I followed them to LeFrak Center at Lakeside (where the bib pick up was). II had a scenic walk through the park. I passed the race start and end.

As I got closer, there were many signs pointing you in the right direction.

I was pretty early and it wasn’t crowded at all.

It was strange to be at a race where I didn’t know a soul.  But there were real restrooms, water and tables in the shade so I just hung out.

Eventually runners started arriving.  There were probably close to 500 hundred.

Soon it was time for everyone to walk down to the start.

Before the race began, there was a memorial service for one of the track club members who had died..

Then we all lined up.  No corrals or pace signs.  Just everyone all together.  It didn’t matter because believe it or not, this small local race was chip-timed.

Below is the course map. I didn’t really remember the course from lat year but I did just run the Brooklyn Half Marathon several days before.  So I knew about the big LONG hill.


As I mentioned, there are usually 400-600 runners signed up of all ages.  The runners all seemed to look like the stereotyped “serious runner”.  You know what I mean.  (Last year, I noticed that 25 of them finished with less than average 6 min pace per mile!!)

It was also very warm – in the 80s and humid. That and my maybe injured foot, led to me to want to run a very cautious race.

I started running the first mile and I just couldn’t get going. I had to walk a 1/2 mile in and then again at the water stop.  It didn’t help that the big hill was in mile 1.

Mile 2 was better but there were no water stops.  You had to stop at a water fountain in the park.  I did not and by mile 3, I was crashing.

I forgot about my foot and the competitive me was determined to pick up the pace.

I barely had enough energy to sprint and finished at 28:XX.

the last ones to cross the finish line

I was a little dizzy so I had some water and just sat in the shade for a while to catch my breath.

Once I felt better, I started walking back to LeFrak Center.

I checked the results and was surprised that I was FIRST in my age group. This is my first award in my NEW age group. (I would not have won in my previous age group.)

I didn’t have to wait long before they started the awards ceremony.  The finish times were amazing!!

As I was leaving, I asked a runner for the way to the closest subway.  He said that he’s walk me since he was headed to Manhattan as well.   (A much shorter walk if you entered at the right entrance.)

We chatted about racing, of course.  Turns out that he went to UAlbany and works for the same company that I train for in Queens.  Small world.

It was late by the time I got back to my hotel.

dinner (shake at Shake Shack) – don’t judge

I did enjoy my second Brooklyn 5k!! I plan to do it again on June 6 (weather permitting.)

Race Splits
mile 1- 9:34
mile 2 – 8:54
mile 3 – 8:58
.14 – 7:58

as soon as you finished the race, you got an email with your results.

So I haven’t seriously raced a 5k and finished over 28 minutes in a long time…maybe 2016. But I was elated that my foot didn’t hurt…at all. This sounds crazy but the race seemed to heal whatever was wrong. Phew!!!

yes, faster last year. we’ll see how I do next time.

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 this Friday is: Why Run an Impromptu Race is a New City

  1. It gets you moving (running.)
  2. You don’t have to figure out a safe running route.
  3. You run in a new place.
  4. You meet new people.
  5. It gets you out of your comfort zone.

Of course, I was tempted to relax in my hotel room, enjoy a nice meal in a restaurant, visit a museum or even take in a show.

But I am glad that I took on this adventure.  (Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?)

Happy Running! Ever run a race solo in an unfamiliar place?


Friday Five 2.0 – Running the Brooklyn Half Marathon

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 31st and most recent half marathon was the Brooklyn Half Marathon so…

Here’s my topic today:


Image result for brooklyn half prospect park


I don’t have to explain how awesome it is to visit NYC.  Brooklyn is just a subway ride away from Manhattan.  If you run this race and you’ve never been to NYC, schedule in a few extra days before or after the race to sightsee.

I love walking over the Brooklyn Bridge


I’ve run several NYRR races and the organization is incredible.  Not a detail missed.  Lots of info before the race, organized packet pick up, bag check at the race, etc.

Related image


It’s not a big as Central Park but it is big and beautiful. And if you enjoy hills, you’get them here too (but they’re not as bad.)

Image result for brooklyn half prospect park

4.  SWAG

A nice gender-specific tech shirt, great medal…


This race ends at Coney Island.  There’s the boardwalk, food vendors, amusement park and the BEACH! What could be better? (except when it rains 😦 )

Image result for brooklyn half coney island

**I also need to mention that entry to this race is a lottery and it sells out in minutes.

My complete recap is here.

Happy Running!  Ever run Brooklyn? Any other big race that you recommend everyone running?



Friday Five 2.0 – Racing in the Rain

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.

Unfortunately I have too much experience for this topic.  My recent two 5ks were in the rain In fact, the forecast for tomorrow’s half marathon is RAIN!!!



I don’t usually run in this but many people do.  It’s for before the race and standing around in the starting corral. You can buy them in the Dollar store.


Even if you’re not a hat person, this will keep the water out of your eyes and off your face.


You may have to arrive earlier or go out of your way, but a change of clothes is always welcome when you are soaked.



Don’t leave it behind just because it is raining. Use a plastic bag or put it in your racing belt.


You paid for the race. You can’t do anything about the weather.  So have fun.


friends & chocolate milk


Water makes it worse if you are susceptible.

Wish me luck:

Happy Running!  Any other tips for racing in the rain? Would you DNS? Who else is running Brooklyn tomorrow?



Friday Five 2.0 – Running On a Non-Running Vacation

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.

I just returned from a vacation where the purpose was to play tennis and bond with my female tennis friends.  Not one of them runs but I did FIVE out of 8 days!!

Here’s my topic today:


1. Be prepared.  

Pack clothes for all weather conditions. Cool, hot, rainy, etc. Pack enough clothes to run every day.

This trip was easy for me. It was sunny, warm and humid EVERY DAY. I was also able to re-wear my skirts but the tops got pretty sweaty (but I brought many and we also had a washing machine if necessary)

2. Schedule your runs.

If you leave it to chance, it won’t happen.

I chose not to run the days I arrived and left and the day before my 5k race.  All the other days, I took out my clothes the night before, set my alarm and got my run in between 7 and 8 am.

3. Be flexible.

Sometimes other persons’ needs or desires will come before your running.

Some of the tennis ladies left early so I needed to play tennis on the last day instead of going for a run.  I also had a tennis lesson scheduled each day.  I needed to make sure that I was warmed up before the lesson and that my friends were agreeable to me rotating into their doubles play for the last half hour.

4. Find a scenic route.

Pretty views make all the difference. If you plan to run often, you need to vary your route.

5. Lower your expectations.

Distance & speed goals will probably not happen.

With the heat and humidity, my runs got shorter and slower.  I walked more often.  But it was better than staying in bed.

**Register for a race in the area, if possible.

This is not required but a short race does not take any training or much time out of the day. It is a fun way to get in a run.

Happy Running!  Do you run when you are on vacation?



Friday Five 2.0: Run. Not Race.

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 use the new FIVE MINUTE format, link back to your hostesses and visit some other bloggers.

Last Friday I wrote about why I race a lot. This week, I’ll look at the other side of the coin:


  1. MONEY

Yes, racing is not cheap.  Running is FREE!

Running & Eating – lots of fun without a race


If you are competitive, like I am, it’s hard to slow down when you are in a race. You may not stop when you should.

Racing with a metatarsal stress fracture


Unfortunately, you can’t change the time or date of a race but you can run whenever you are able. And where ever you choose.

just squeezed it in after work and before a dinner engagement


I am the first to admit that a long run completed by adding miles in after a long break because you were running a race is not ideal when training for a big race.  Plus, there is the race pace followed by the tired leg pace.

5k + 3.9 = 7 miles


You have to get them done during the week.  Those hill repeats, tempo and progression runs will not happen in a race. And as you know, you shouldn’t wear or try anything new during a race.

new top, new skirt (too loose!!), new shoes – oh no!

Happy Running! Do you run a lot of races? If not, why not?  Please share.


Five Five 2.0: Racing. A Lot.

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 use the new FIVE MINUTE format, link back to your hostesses and visit some other bloggers.

I will be racing a lot. Like every weekend. I could go on and on about why I love to race but with this new Friday Five (5 Minute) format I’ll get right to it:



Sometimes, it’s just a shirt but lots of times, it is a bag, water bottle, food samples, key chain, and other running-related goodies.



Many of my running friends, I have met at races.  It is so fun to see a familiar face at a race and chat…about running, of course.


I love to eat especially to replenish the calories burned during running.

Sean's Run with Mary


I am the first to admit it.  I know that I should, but I don’t do speed drills, tempos, intervals, hill repeats, strides, etc.  So for me, I guess my workout happens during a race.  I’ll do those hills, run sprints and then, if I am scheduled for a long run, I’l continue my miles after the race at a slower pace.


When it is cold, windy and just plain nasty and I don’t feel like running, if I have a race scheduled for the weekend, I will make myself get out there and run. I know if I don’t run during the week, then my finish time will suffer, I may get injured and/or the race will be unpleasant.  It takes a long time to get in shape and such a short time to feel out of shape.

Happy Running! Do you run a lot of races? If not, why not?  Any other reasons to share if you do? 


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