Five Five – You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

It’s Friday so I’m linking up with Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostess and visit some other bloggers.

I have run 37 Half Marathons. You would think that I would know what I am doing, right?


That why this post is called:  “You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks”

Here are some things that I personally have learned:

1. Less is More.

I used to think that I needed to do 10, 11 and 12 mile training runs. I would be worried that I would not have the endurance to complete 13.1 miles.

Mind you, some runners do or at least they think that they do need ALL these double digit runs.

You have to know you own body, the date of your previous half and most importantly, your goal for the race.

If your goal is to finish, you can skip those long runs and run the race accordingly.

In other words, you may be surprised how FRESH legs vs TIRED legs can affect how you run. You can OVER TRAIN!!

I ran faster and felt better during the half with 3 miles on the weekends than the one when I completed ALL my double digit runs.

heading to the finish line with a smile – I trailed that guy the whole race

Do you feel that you need long runs before a half marathon? Ever run one without?

2. Stability Shoes are Essential.

When I started running, I think I wore stability shoes. Maybe not the right ones because they became uncomfortable.

I discovered Nike ZOOM Vomeros which were LIGHT and had a wider toe box.  I was happy.  I  ran faster too!! Win. Win.

Not really.

If I ran longer than 8 miles, I got blisters, my lower back started aching and the bottom of my left foot HURT!

None of the above was unbearable and stopped bothering me as soon as the race ended.

So I kept buying these shoes in many colors and endured the discomfort.

The turning point was my calf injury in February.

I don’t know if the shoe was the cause but it prompted me to switch to a more supportive shoe.

I bought Mizuno Wave Inspire 15s with some pricey Fleet Feet insoles.  The shoes were heavier and felt clunky when I ran.  I felt much slower.

No aching back! No blisters! No pain on the bottom of my foot!!!!!!!

pain-free tootsies!

I also tried Brook Ravennas – pain on the right side of my foot (bunion area).

Maybe I’ll never be fast again but I think I’d rather feel good during my races.

So I am sold on the Mizunos!   I think than I better buy another pair before they change them.

Do you wear Stability or Neutral shoes? Does it matter to you?

3. Negatives Splits Should be our GOAL

We all know that. But often you always feel good at the beginning of a race so you run fast.

Maybe you know you always slow down so you may as well take advantage on your speed in the early miles.

You get caught up in the excitement and then it’s too late.

It happens to me practically all the time.

Then my friend Stan ran the Hot Chocolate 15k along side me. His goal was to get me to slow down in the beginning miles. We chatted until mile 8 (and then he left me in the dust.)

I used this approach during my last half marathon.  Two of my friends sprinted ahead of me and I lost them until mile 10.  I still had spring in my step and passed them and many others. My last few miles were as speedy as the beginning ones.

sprinting to the finish on fresh legs

Do you try for negatives splits? Do you usually succeed?

4. Fuel More Often

I’m normally not a big drinker or eater during a long race. I don’t carry water and usually stop at each water stop. So I guess how much I drink depends on how often the water stops are.

I carry GUs and my plan is to eat one at mile 4 and one at mile 8 but usually I ignore the 12 mile one. Sometimes I only even eat one at mile 5-6.

During one recent half, I finished the race and felt very light-headed like I was going to pass out.  I took a GU and immediately felt better. Under Fueled! Duh.

So during my last half, I changed the plan. I ate a GU at mile 2, mile 6 and mile 10.  So much better!!

I didn’t wait until I was sooo hungry or energy deprived. I ate before I needed it.

 Salted Caramel is my fave

How often do you fuel during your half marathons?

5. We need Friends at races.

At least one of my half marathons each year is during my winter vacation in Florida. I run it but I don’t know anyone. Of course, I enjoy the race but I so prefer having friends at the start and to chat with after my race. It makes a big difference.  Racing is not just about finish times.

I always wait for my friends to finish and cheer them on (if they are slower) and they do the same for me.  They will wait for me if I get an award and I would do the same for them.

post race eating and debriefing

So anyone running the new Zooma race in Aruba this February ? I want company.

Feb 15-16, 2020

Do you often race solo? 

Happy Running! What have you learned lately?  Please share.


Ultimate Coffee Date for June

It’s that time of the month…

honeymoon gifts from my stepson and his wife

to join up with Coco & Deborah for their ultimate coffee date.

1.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that on a whim, I signed up for a new 5k in Brooklyn.

I must have amnesia on how hard it is get up at 5:30 am, stand all day and after work take the subway, LIRR and another subway to get to the race on time and run a 5k.

June 11, 2019 7 pm

and since I was on a roll, I signed for this one in Brooklyn too:

Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series 5K

August 14, 2019 7:10 pm

Ever impulsively sign up for a race and then regret it?

2.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I ran my 4th half marathon in FOUR months in May.

I’m not tired from training because honestly I did not train but I am tired of thinking that I should train.

My next one is not until September 8. And it will be a training run since I will be in the midst of marathon training at that time.

How many halfs do you run in a year? How far apart? Do you train for all of them?

3.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that our new kitten, Chap (short for Champion) has finally warmed up to my hubby (though I think he still prefers me).  Our older cat is still not a fan and Champ is afraid to go outside. Our cats have always been outdoor cats and I will have to buy all new furniture and rugs if he does not get over his fears.

Do your pets get along? Any advice to make my older cat hate the kitten less? 

4.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I registered for a local half marathon because I am nervous about completing a 20 mile training run.

Mohawk Hudson River Marathon

Oct. 13, 2019

This way I will have company for the last 13 miles of it. I hope to run with some of my running friends.

My plan is to first run 7 miles near the finish, take the shuttle bus to start and end up back at my car.

Have you ever used a half marathon as a part of a training run for a longer race?

5.Over coffee…

I’d tell you I ran the Freihofer Run for Women for the 12th year in a row. It’s the only race that I have run EVERY year (no matter what.)

FRW - 2008

2008 – my first (and they still give you a box of cookies)

 Is there one race that you always run each year?

It’s also Friday so I’m also linking up with Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostess and visit some other bloggers.

Happy Running! Got anything to spill? Share it here!

Runfessions for May

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

1. I runfess…

Boating season has started and there’s running and racing…I want it ALL! It’s a challenge on the weekend.  Fingers crossed for hubby’s tennis and the weather to coordinate with MY plans.

Ahhh…Lake George

Do you have other activities on the weekend that conflict with your running?

2. I runfess…

I have a red wine problem.  I never was much of a drinker. For awhile it was Reisling. Then it was nothing. Now it’s Red Wine (I mean I’ve read many articles about its health values LOL).

I didn’t used to drink the night before a race, of course.

But that has gone by the wayside too …with no ill effects I might add.

Any wine drinkers out there? Or other food/drink addictions?

3.I runfess…

I’ve long been an anti-stretch, anti-foam roller, anti-massage, anti-chiro kind of runner. But I’ve now been making monthly chiropractor visits even though nothing hurts.

Just in case…

Still haven’t bought a foam roller or gone for a massage yet….

The chiropractor was a big step for me.  My hubby even went to her and she cured his injured calf muscle and tennis elbow.

Do you see a chiropractor regularly?

4. I runfess…

I have already created my Marathon Training Plan (which starts July 1). It’s a variation on Hal Higdon’s for first-time marathoners.

those mid-week long runs will NOT happen no doubt but a girl can dream

Do you create training plans this far in advance?

5.I runfess…

Speaking of being type A, I am getting to register for a winter 2020 race. Many of the ones I’d like to run don’t fit into my schedule but I may sign up for:

See the source image

January 26, 2020

Anyone else run or plan to run this half marathon? 

It’s Friday so I’m linking up with Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostess and visit some other bloggers.

Happy Running! Anything to runfess this month? Please share.


Friday Five – Loving

It’s Friday so I’m linking up with Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostess and visit some other bloggers.

It’s time for a What Am I Loving post so that’s my topic this week:

1. Running in Skirts 

Finally it is warm enough (most of the time) to run without tights and capris.

I wish the season was longer cuz I have TOO many skirts.  The good thing about skirts, though, is that you can wear capris and tights under them in the other seasons whereas tights and capris cannot be worn when it is too hot.

I may have bought one more… but that’s it! I am done!

2. New Running Friends

I love ALL my running friends but recently a local running club started a group called SOAR (Sisterhood Of Athletes and Runners). They meet at 6 pm every other Wed at a different location. The organizer always plans cute ice breaker activities. I plan to attend whenever I can.

Another runner has planned ice cream group runs – each time ending at a different ice cream establishment.  I’m all over that!!!!!!!!!

3. Shorter Races

With 4 halfs and a 15k in FOUR months, I am enjoying spending less than an hour at a race on the weekends, (That will be short lived as I start Marathon training July 1).

4. More Daylight Hours

As a working runner, I can now run at different locations besides UAlbany since I don’t have to worry about lights!

5. Tennis

Due to work and finances, I did NOT play tennis all year.  I thought that I didn’t miss it. But I played everyday (for 7 days) while on vacation in Florida.

Yup, I still enjoy it. I do miss it.

Running is #1.

But I hope to add in some tennis once a week this summer and maybe join the club again next fall so I can play twice a month.

Happy Running! What are you loving right now.  Please share.


Friday Five – Running on a Non-Running Vacation

It’s Friday so I’m also linking up with Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostess 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 day I arrived, the day before my 5k race and the day of our road trip.

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 before I was scheduled to play tennis.

3. Be flexible.

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

It was a tennis vacation first and foremost.  We only had 7 who could play. That meant I had to play twice every morning.

I ran fewer miles than I may have wanted. Some days, I just went for a walk.

one day I even had to run in my tennis outfit.

4. Find a scenic route.

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

Sometimes I ran around our community (World Tennis Center) and other days, I ran along the road outside the community (and even in other communities.)

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.

Tropicool 5k

Happy Running!  Do you run when you are on vacation (not a race-cation)?


Friday Five & Ultimate Coffee Date for May

It’s that time of the month…

my daily breakfast in Paris (thinking about Notre Dame 😦 )

to join up with Coco & Deborah for their ultimate coffee date.

1.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that May is about as busy as April.  2 5ks and a 3.5 miler

The same ones that I did last year and the year before:

Racing season continues in the NE.

Does your racing pick up this time of year?

2.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I have my 4th half marathon of the year scheduled for this month.

With a 8 day Florida vacation in the middle and the short races above, it will be another…just get me through the finish line kind of race.

It’s an inaugural race…so no reviews but I think it will be HILLY!!

And the cut-off is 500 racers.

Do you train seriously for your big races? Do you like to run inaugural races? How have they been? Hilly, flat or downhill? What is your preference? Small or big races?

3.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that we our new kitten, Chap (short for Champion) has made himself at home in our house.  He is very active and has even caught his first mouse (in our basement eek). Unfortunately, our older cat is not a fan.

Do your pets get along? Any advice to make my older cat hate the kitten less?

4.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I always say that I am ONE and done when I run a half marathon. But I enjoyed my recent local half marathon so much, I think I will run it again in 2020. And even train for it LOL.

Do you repeat big races?

5.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that as we speak, I am in Naples, Florida on my annual tennis vacation – (with 9 other women that I used to play tennis with). We have gone here this week every year since 2005.

Yes, a tennis vacation and I no longer really play.

These women are my closest friends and we will do a lot more things than play tennis.

 Do you like to go on girls vacations? Do they always involve running?

It’s also Friday so I’m also linking up with Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostess and visit some other bloggers.

Happy Running! Got anything to spill? Share it here!

Friday Five – Girls Weekends

It’s Friday so I’m linking up with Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostess and visit some other bloggers.

If you follow me, you probably know at least once a year, I go away to run a race with the “girls.”

It just wouldn’t be as much fun with the hubby.  I am sure you know what I mean.

Well, I am so excited because my next one is THIS WEEKEND!

See the source image

April 27, 2019

My topic for today is: The Benefits of a Girls Weekend for Racing

1. Training Support.

When you are training for the same race, you get support for your runs and race goals either in person or virtually.

2. Cost Savings

It is definitely cheaper to share a room with friends than staying in a hotel solo or with your hubby.

in Montreal

In Panama City, Holly had graciously offered her home to 7 running bloggers – most of whom she has never met in person.

Panama City Beach

3. Visiting New Places

I love to travel and explore new cities.  I had never been to Philly or Panama City Beach or Corning, NY or Montreal (without my French students). I had stayed in Las Vegas before (but not in many years and not to run a race.)


Cooperstown, NY


4. Sharing Your Race Experience

I have raced most of my half marathons alone.  I have enjoyed each one but not nearly as much as the ones in Philly, Panama City, Corning, Las Vegas or Montreal.  We went to the expo together, carb loaded the night before, lined up at the start and met after the race to debrief.


I am sure the same will be true this weekend and I expect it to be totally awesome!!

5. Forging New Friendships

The Philly group has kept in touch on Facebook.  I have bumped into Andrea at several races.  We had planned another race-cation with Lisa but ZOOMA Cape Cod got cancelled.  We still hope that another will happen in the future.


Andrea from Philly race

I only knew my housemates in Panama City Beach virtually but after that weekend, we definitely became friends. Many of us even repeated that experience in Vegas.

My current group of local running friends (Sole Sisters) will be embarking on our third girls weekend.  First there was Corning, NY, then Montreal and now Brooklyn…

we do local races together as well

I can’t wait to share everything that happens next weekend in NYC!!!

(Maybe not everything – What happens in NYC stays in NYC, right?)

Happy Running! Do you go on Girls Weekends? Do you race during them?