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


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

Image result for natures fig bars


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.

Image result for natures fig bars

always new flavors to try

3. Bananas

runners and bananas

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

Image result for starbucks chocolate banana smoothie

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

Image result for larabar bites

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?




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?


Friday Five 2.0: My Favorite Races

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: Five Favorite Races


You know that I love to race and I have run A LOT of RACES so it is hard for me to pick just FIVE.

Just to be interesting, I will pick 5 different distances.

Here they are:


1. Freihofer’s Run for Women (5k) – it is ALL women (more than 4000)– all ages, all sizes, veterans, newbies, elites, walkers. When I ran it the first year that I started running (2008), it made feel like a “real” runner. Finishing it after suffering a serious injury (2012) helped me believe that I could be a runner again. And then in 2013, completing it with a broken foot showed me how strong (or maybe stubborn) I was.

2012 – in newspaper

I love the downhill finish of this race and I also enjoy running through Washington Park in Albany, NY where I often run after work.

The location is convenient since I can park in town and walk to the race to avoid the traffic and confusion. There is an expo the day before where you get free Freihofers cookies and a loaf of bread.

Image result for Troy turkey trot

2. Troy Turkey Trot (10K) – This 10K takes place on Thanksgiving Day and it a good way to burn some calories before your big meal.  It’s the most popular race in the area and so there are lots of runners and even more in the 5k that follows the 10k (10,000 total). This is also the race that got me involved in a running group.  I have joined the training group each year and it convinced me that participating in a group is a great thing and have since joined a training group for the Freihofer’s race.

The course is fairly flat and is my current 10K PR. 🙂

3. Stockade-athon (15k) This race is the oldest 15k in the country. It takes place in the fall so the foliage is pretty and you run around Central Park and through the oldest parts of the city of Schenectady, NY.


It is a popular local race for me so you run into a lot of familiar faces. The end of the race features food such as pizza, hot soup and cozy indoor seating at Proctors Theatre.

4. Adirondack Distance Run (10 miler) There aren’t many 10 mile races around and this is a great one. It has a point-to-point course that starts in the village of Lake George, NY and ends in Bolton Landing. It takes place in early summer so it is not too hot or humid yet.



The course is rolling hills but you don’t mind since you are running along Lake George the whole way.

the end of the race

This is the route that I drive each weekend to go on our boat.

Since our marina is next door to the beach, I can have friends cheering for me at the finish line.

5. Naples News Half Marathon (13.1) This race is special because it was my first half marathon. It was also held in one my favorite vacation spots. I go there every year with my tennis friends. The race was held on my wedding anniversary and my hubby was there waiting at the finish line. Plus if you live in the NE, January in Florida is a great getaway.

The course is beautiful with many views of the Gulf.

At one point, a priest blessed runners with holy water.

I don’t plan to repeat any of my half marathon races but maybe someday I will run this one again.

Happy Running! What are your 5 favorite races? Have you run any of the above?


Five Five 2.0: July Runfessions

It’s that time again. Time to get things off my chest with Marcia’s Runfessions at Marcia’s Healthy Slice

and 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.

My topic for today is: Five July Runfessions

1.I runfess…

I usually run races EVER weekend in the summer time but this month, I only ran two. I skipped THREE weekend races!!

I know. Can you believe it?

I think it’s cuz my job is so tiring.  I just want to sleep in on Saturday or drive up to the lake and just sit!!

Does anyone else get lazier in the summer?

2. I runfess…

I did run a 5k this past weekend.  I didn’t go for a PR but I did want to beat my friend Holly (who beat me the last two races) and win an Age Group award.  I know running is supposed to be fun but it is more fun when you win.  Am I the only one who is so competitive?

Holly is a good sport when I beat her!

3. I runfess…

I am been purging big time from my closet.  I have too many things that I no longer wear.

So why am I tempted to buy more running skirts?

Image result for skirt sports love triangle printor



Image result for skirt sports fly away print

4. I runfess…

Speaking about temptation, I am still tempted to sign up for the SurfTown Half Marathon on Sept. 10.

Image result for surftown half marathon

hilly bit pretty scenery

I am waiting to see if my friend’s house will definitely be re-built and ready to live in by then.

5. I runfess…

I complain that with work, I don’t have enough time to run. (It will get worse because my co-worker just left so that means more traveling in the fall….)

But I took two days off from work last week. One day to hike with a friend and another to go the NY Botanical Gardens.  I have another day off planned for August. And it’s to go to the Race Track.

we do it every year – for over 30 years!!

So no sympathy for me about my weekday runs or lack of!

But “a girl’s just gotta have fun…”

Happy Running! Anything to runfess this month?



Friday Five 2.0 – The Working Runner

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: Five Ways to Be a Runner and also Work Full-Time

I know that if you are a stay at home mom, you are plenty busy and if you are retired, you also still have many responsibilities but this is for all you out there who have full-time job and are also runners:

1. Run Fewer Times During the Week

Let’s face. Your time is limited.  You have hours where you have to be at work.

You probably don’t have the time to run more than 3 times a week.  Maybe not more than twice.  There may be busy weeks that you only get out to run on the weekend.

It really annoys me when it is sunny during my work day and then it is raining when I finish.  I wish I could just run whenever the weather permits.

in between busy work weeks – squeezing in a run on Sunday

So make your runs quality runs and don’t be guilty about missed runs.  You can try to make them up the following week.

2. Be Flexible.

We really don’t want to skip our runs. So it often takes some creativity to figure it out.

I work near UAlbany and I have run over and then returned to change my clothes and go out or go back to work.

You can run before work, after work, during lunch.  You may have to run on the treadmill.

Whatever it takes to get it done.

3. Increase Your Hours of Sleep at Night

Working 8 hours a day is tiring….stressful.  Then there’s running which tires us out, as well.

It would be nice if when we were tired, we could sneak in a nap during the day.

Since that can’t happen (at least not at my job), you need to ideally get 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

Image result for getting a good night's sleep runner

4. Schedule/Plan Your Runs

This is especially important if you are training for a big race.

If you leave it to chance, you are less likely to get your runs done and/or get in enough mileage.

I put them on my calendar (and on my blog).

I pack my running clothes the night before to bring to work. If I plan to run before work, I lay out my clothes the night before.

3 miles after work and before a show when working in NYC

These scheduled runs are just a plan or a framework.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t switch days and mileage around.   But it definitely helps me organize my life.

5. Don’t Forget About You.

I have a hard time with this.

I often am tempted to refuse a dinner or social invitation because I need to get a run in. Rather than relax with a book or watch TV, I want to go for a run.

Sometimes, I have to bring work home 😦

Plan to treat yourself to some ‘you’ time. That means time that doesn’t involve work or running.

meeting my college roommate for a boat ride (instead of doing my run)

This not only lowers your stress level (at work), but it also improves your running performance.

(Next week, I am taking two days off from work and not to run – to hike and to go to the Botanical Gardens in NYC.)

Happy Running! If you working runner, any other hints to add?


Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series 5K #4 Race Recap

Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series #4 – July 5, 2017 –  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.

run from my last visit to NYC

For this trip, I found a race!!!!

Woo Hoo!

So 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.

Here’s all I could find out about the race 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 2017: we now 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

Plus some free photos off their site (from the last 5k):

Sounds like fun, right?

There were almost 600 runners at the last race!!! (but only 3 in my age group 🙂 )

So all I had to do is take a 2h45 hour train ride to Manhattan, check into my hotel, figure out what subway to take and get to Prospect Park by 6:30 pm or so.

suffering from a back ache during this inaugural poorly planned race (10/10/15)

I have run in Prospect Park once before for the RNR Brooklyn Half Marathon and I remember it being very hilly – like Central Park.

Below is the course map. However, I didn’t remember where the hills were…


But no worries. This was purely for another racing experience and hopefully a fun one.

So this time, there were no snafus in getting to the city from Albany. No problems with the hotel.  All I had to do was figure out how to get to the race.  No one at the hotel was helpful.  I wanted to run over the Brooklyn Bridge and then go to the race.

F train to the B train

Unfortunately there didn’t seem to be a way if I did that I could also get to the correct subway (at least I wasn’t sure how to) to get to Prospect Park.

So I played it safe and took 2 subways and arrived at the entrance of Prospect Park.  Very Early.

I walked over to the Botanical Gardens across the street but they were already were closed so I just walked into the park.

I had no idea how to get to the race start in this huge park but luckily I bumped into a race volunteer whom I followed.

I did a little exploring before I got my bib.

those are turtles (I hoped that I would not be running like one LOL)

yes, that algae is pretty disgusting

Finally I headed to the Lakeside Center (where there were local kids cooling off in the pool/fountain) to get my bib.

I was able to check a bag, use the (real) restroom, get some water and relax at a shady picnic table.

It was still an hour before the race was scheduled to start so that’s exactly what I did.  It was very warm (in the mid 80s) and I made sure to drink water to remain hydrated.

Little by little, the runners arrived.

Definitely an interesting experience running in a new place where I knew NO ONE!  The runners all seemed to look like the stereotyped “serious runner”.  You know what I mean.  (Later I would notice that 25 of them finished with less than average 6 min pace per mile!!)

Finally it was time to migrate toward the start in the park.  It was quite a walk (close to a mile, I bet)

heading to the start

This year for the first time, the race provided chip timing. I still lined up not too far away from the starting line.  Then chatted with some runners about the race. I found out that it started with a long uphill (but not steep like CP), then there were rolling hills and eventually it looped back to finish.

looking bored while waiting to begin

I should have warmed up but I didn’t And after sitting on the train for almost 3 hours, 45 min on the subway and then sitting at the café, my legs were stiff.

and I’m off…

I started running the first mile and I just couldn’t get going. Or maybe it was the heat or the uphill, but I was running so slow.

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 had a walk a few times but when I saw the clock at the finish line, the competitive me came out.

I got up enough energy to sprint and finish a few seconds over 28 minutes (which turned out to be 27:52 chip time.)

No water at the finish line.  You had to walk back to the café.  So I just sat in the shade for a while to catch my breath.

Once I felt better, I started walking following the runners.

Well, it turned out they were leaving the park.  I was walking in the WRONG direction.

I had to return to get my bag and I wanted to check the race results.

By this point, I got a second wind and ran back to the finish and to the café.

I checked the results and was surprised that I was FIRST in my age group.

27:52 – finished 250 out of 378

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

And the founder of the race, Al Goldstein was there and took a photo with each winner.

BTW: He is 96 years old!!

A nice lady took my photo and I hers.  She won her 65-69 age group.

We chatted for a while.  It was her first summer series race. She was babysitting her daughter’s apartment nearby. And she was nice enough to walk me to the subway.  (A much shorter walk if you entered at the right entrance.)

It was late by the time I got back to my hotel. (And I got to see the Brooklyn Bridge from the subway as we rode outside over the East River!)

But I did enjoy my first Brooklyn 5k!!

Race Splits
mile 1- 9:15
mile 2 – 8:45
mile 3 – 9:04
.14 – 7:09

Yes, my Garmin finally  recorded my lap times!!

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 new adventure.  (Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?)

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


Adirondack Distance Run Recap

Sunday, June 25, 2017 – 7:30 a.m.

A ten mile race consisting of rolling hills from Lake George Village to Bolton Landing.


this doesn’t seem accurate. I remember a steep hill bet miles 4 & 5 and several the 2nd half

I always look forward to this race. I’ve wanted to run this race ever since I started running.

Except for 2014 and 2016, something has always come up: work conference, strained achilles, broken ankle, broken foot, flight cancelled & stuck in Baltimore.

This year, I signed up but I was not really prepared for a 10 mile race. I had been racing 5ks (last two weekends) and working on my speed.  My last long run was over a month ago for my half marathon on May 21. My running had also been on mostly flat surfaces. In addition, I was in NYC for work during week and that among other things had me skip runs. I didn’t run at all on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday or Saturday. So I missed two training runs.  C’est la vie!

So yes, I decided to run this race but not as a race but just as a hilly long run….take it slow and enjoy the scenery. What else could I do?  (I don’t DNS unless I am injured or sick.)

The race started at 7:30 am in the village of Lake George and ended in Bolton landing (next door to the marina where we keep our boat.)


the beach on the right is the end of the race

I had a few options. There was a bus leaving Bolton Landing the morning of the race at 6-6:20 am so I could have spent Saturday on the lake with my hubby & friends and sleep on the boat. But I decided instead to stay home and drive up very early Sunday morning. I wanted to get a good night’s sleep and get things done around the house.

So I got up around 4:45 am on Sunday morning and was on the road by 5:45 for my one hour drive to the race start.

It was already warm – close to 70 and sunny. I better to get used to running in the summer temps.

I got there and found parking in the same small lot as last year and walked to the fire station to pick up my bib. Then I walked back to my car to get rid of the race tee shirt.

this year it was long sleeved

Back at the fire station, I used the rest room (there were real ones) and waited outside until start time. I was surprised at how many people were racing – over 200 (but fewer than previous years) and all the fast runners who were there (from the local running clubs.)

I bumped into some runners whom I haven’t seen in a while, Annette from STEM, Sue my NYC roommate and Karen, one of the SRMs, Jenny from ARE among others and we chatted until it was time to line up.

with fellow STEM mentor

The race was not chip timed so I tried to start not too far back but behind the speedsters.

The first mile goes through town and is the only flat portion of the race.

I’m in the pink hat and socks

As I mentioned, this course is hilly but it is also very scenic (not Utah scenic but nice for aroid these parts). I planned to focus on the scenery to take my mind off the hills.

I also made sure to watch the uneven pavement since you had to run along the side of the road and there were many ruts.  And the traffic.  The road was not closed so you had to pay attention to cars and trucks going by.

As I mentioned, I had NOT trained for this race and the last thing I wanted to happen would be to strain or hurt a body part.  I stopped at every water stop (there were 5 or 6.)

that’s me gulping water but seeing a camera LOL

and I walked part of every hill.  I played leap frog with a lady in orange.  On the uphill, she passed me and on the downhills, I passed her.  We laughed about it. She would yell as she went by me “See you soon. I know you’re going to pass me!”

see, I told you walked!!


not me! I wish… (photo by Donald Yeaton)

The course is beautiful.  A view of the lake was on your right side for most of the race.

Except for the beginning and end mile, the route was shaded by trees.  That helped a lot since there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the sun made it fell warmer than it was.


photo by Don Yeaton

I kept glancing at watch (finally had a working one) and even with all the walking, I was still running around a 9:30 minute pace for the first 5 miles.

Then I started to get tired and my lack of training became obvious.


The hills were steeper the first half but the second half seemed harder. The hills kept coming and coming. And of course, I got a blister (I forgot to put moleskin on – my bad!) on the usual spot on my right foot.

But for the most part, I felt great – no foot pain, no back pain, no aches at all. I guess I could have pushed harder.  But there didn’t seem to be a reason. I felt strong and was enjoying the race.

I knew by the last few miles that this race would be a PR. However, it did look like I would have a course PR.  I was psyched!

I finally made it to where you turn right into the park to get to the finish line. I was surprised to see my hubby there cheering me on. (No photo, though). Of course, at that point I ran as fast as I could.

The official results say that I crossed at 1:39:35. Slower than my 1:38:45 PR but almost 2 minutes faster than last year. A Course PR!  I’ll take it!

Everyone got medals which is always a plus.

I was so happy to have finished. I was pleased with my time.

I bumped into some friends again. We headed straight to the water to soak our feet in the cold lake water.


A great end to a great race.

view of our marina from the race end

my friend Jenny still cooling off

Then I grabbed several pieces of watermelon and some pastry. The watermelon really hit the spot.

They randomly marked bibs for runners to receive door prizes.  AND I WON!

not something I will ever use but hey…

Also for this race, they gave out awards to first place in EVERY age rather than an Age Group. They had a screen with the race results scrolling and I saw that there were two 64-year old women faster than me so I didn’t stick around.

64 year olds

I walked next door (how convenient) where my hubby was waiting to head out on the lake. I spent the rest of the day relaxing in the sun on the waterimg_0425

and on one of the islands (reading a book) where we docked for awhile.

see the SUPs?

I was starved (Running 10 miles does that to you!) so we docked our boat at a restaurant and had an early dinner.

So back to the race…

NO Splits. They showed while I was running but they did not record.  (I’ll get this watch thing figured out if it kills me…)

I really loved running this race. It is the road that I drive every weekend during the summer to go boating. I know every inch of the route.

Maybe next year, I’ll actually train for it and race it. (Wait, I said that last year. LOL)

As I already mentioned, this race was on my bucket list and now it is on my race to run every year list.

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:


  1. Lake Views
  2. Shady route
  3. Watermelon for post-race refreshments
  4. Soaking your feet in the lake post-race
  5. 10 miles is a great distance (Aren’t the last 3 miles of a half marathon the hardest?)


  1. Hills
  2. Uneven Pavement at times
  3. Traffic on the road while you’re running
  4. No age group awards
  5. Not chip timed

All of the above are minor in my book.  Can’t wait for next year!

Happy Running! How was your weekend?  Did you run or do something else fun? Do you like 10 mile races?