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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Running Update: 7.17.17-7.23.17

So excited to be this week’s host of the Weekly Wrap!!

As usual, last week was busy. Take a read below:

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Last Week:

  • Monday –  If you read my previous week’s update, you know that I spent the weekend with my tennis friends at a house on the Schroon River.  Well, I convinced one of my friends to stay over Sunday night so we could go hiking the next day. The forecast was for thunderstorms but we got lucky and it didn’t rain until we were done.

While my friend was sleeping, I snuck out for coffee and an early morning run.

It was wonderful. Love the sights and sounds of the Adirondacks.

Then we decided to hike Pinnacle Point and Cat and Thomas Mountains in Bolton Landing. I had hiked them before but it was much more fun with company. It started to rain on our way down Thomas so we did not climb Cat Mountain as planned.

top = view from lunch bottom left = top of Pinnacle Pt, bottom right = top of Thomas Mt.

Afterwards, we drove into town (the rain had stopped) and had lunch overlooking Lake George before heading home.  What a fun way to spend a day off from work.

  • Tuesday –  I also took today off from work. Some of my friends and I decided to go to the NY Botanical Gardens in the Bronx to see the Chihuly sculptures. It was fantastic.

the sculptures were amazing and mixed throughout the gardens

a busy day that ended with an Italian dinner and pastries in Little Italy of the Bronx

  • Wednesday – Back to work on a very hot, humid day.  Alyssa and I sweated out 3.5 miles. To do something different, we decided to run through downtown Albany looking for the Nipper miniature dog statues.

we found 5 out of 20 and ended our run back on the bike path

  • Thursday – Another work day.  It was warm and humid with a threat of rain but I stayed dry during my post-work run. From the rain not the sweat!!

Not easy in this heat. Lots of walking during this one.

  • Friday – A busy work day and a scheduled rest day.  I did stop off at the gym on my way home to use the machines before I had to rush off to s farewell party for a coworker.

view from the bar

  • Saturday – Today I ran the Silks and Satins 5k (for the 6th time). It was warm and humid but still a fun time.  I met up with a lot of runners that I knew and even came in 3rd in my age group.

27:37 (gun time) = course PR

Afterwards, I stopped off at the Zim Smith Trail and ran in the opposite direction from last weekend to get in some more miles before heading home.

It was cloudier than during the race but warmer. I struggled to get these miles in but rewarded myself nicely afterwards.

In the evening, one of the ladies who is running the Wineglass Half on Oct 1 organized a get-together for the runners participating. It was a fun evening.

  • Sunday – Mah jongg weekend at the Schroon River house got postponed.  (I wasn’t disappointed because I went there last weekend.) My hubby talked me into coming up to the lake.  (It didn’t take much arm twisting.)

19 miles done with 4 runs and 3 rest days

This Week:

  • Monday – 4 mile run with Alyssa
  • Tuesday – 3 mile run
  • Wednesday rest, hair appt
  • Thursday 4 mile run
  • Friday – rest, gym, mah jongg
  • Saturday – 9 mile run, boating
  • Sunday – rest, boating

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

Click the link below to Wrap Up With Us:

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

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Monday Running Update

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Last Week:

  • Monday – Day off from work. Whoo Hoo!! But my hubby had to work so I drove up to Bolton Landing and went for a solo hike.  The weather was perfect.  Cool and Sunny. I couldn’t believe that my legs weren’t even tired as I climbed 1 mile up to the top of a mountain.

After my climb, I visited our marina and then walked around town for a while. I resisted stopping at the outlets and instead came home and made chili.  I almost went to my Turkey Trot training group run.  But the route is hilly and speed drills were scheduled.  I decided to play it safe and not overdo.  (The new me!!)

  • Tuesday – Just work with a short walk at lunch and a short run before tennis in the evening with dinner out after.

I drove to the Colonie Bike Path because it is near where I play tennis. Wardrobe fail. Tennis skirt has no pocket for phone or car key.

  • Wednesday -I met up with Barbara for a run before my STEM volunteering. (Alyssa was sick.)

It wasn’t our best effort. We were both sluggish but we got it done

STEM group is doing the Couch to 5k walk/run and they’re up to 8 minutes running/walking.

it may be week 5 – I’ve lost track but those 2 new younger runners are back and they are great

Afterward, I met my BFF for our bi-monthly mall walk.

  • Thursday – My lunch walk got rained out but the rain stopped so I was able to run after work. My legs were tired. I don’t usually run 3 days in a row, especially after a half. 

drove home to run on the rail trail – haven’t run there in a while

I was supposed to go out with a friend but decided to stay home for a change. I never watch TV but since the hubby was out playing tennis, I watched one episode of This is Us (anyone watch this new show?) and Grey’s Anatomy.

  • Friday – A well needed rest day but at least I walked my usual path at lunch. The weather has turned cooler but it was sunny. (It was in the 30s in the am!!)

  • Saturday – I ran one of my favorite 10k races.  I had a course PR on a very chilly morning.
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walked up the hills the 2nd half so had to settle for 57:22 (my 2nd best 10K)

After the race, I drove up to our marina and we spent a perfect last day on the lake.

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we had a picnic on one of the islands with some friends

  • Sunday – I spectated at a Duathlon.  I do it every year to watch AJH.
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While AJH does the bike leg, I always do the run course which is 2 miles.

18.2 miles done with 4 runs and 3 rest days.

This Week:

  • Monday –  Turkey Trot Training group run (4 miles)
  • Tuesday – rest, tennis
  • Wednesday5 mile run with friends+ volunteering with STEM group
  • Thursday – 3 mile run
  • Friday – rest
  • Saturday – Day at Ellms Family Farm with mentee & 2 kids, 5K race (at 5 pm)
  • Sunday – College reunion lunch in NYC and Broadway show with tennis friends
Once again, I am linking up for the Weekly Wrap hosted by these wonderful bloggers Holly @ HoHoRuns and Tricia @ MissSippiPiddlin. See rules here.
http://hohoruns.blogspot.com

Happy Running! How is your running going? Any races?

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Friday Five: Summer Highlights

It’s Friday so I am linking up with three DC area bloggers Mar at Mar On the Run, Cynthia at You Signed Up For What?! and Courtney from Eat Pray Run, DC .  Anyone can join with their own Friday Five post (yes, it must be a Friday Five!!)  They encourage you to visit other blogs on the linkup, comment, share and engage!

I had my first Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte and I go back to working next Wednesday so it feels like summer is over.

My Friday Topic is Five Best Things About This Summer.

I won’t say “Not Working” because it is very stressful being unemployed with no idea when your next paycheck will arrive not to mention health care…

 1. Rediscovering Tennis

Once I started running, I pretty much lost interest in tennis. I played only once a week and on tennis vacations.  Well, this summer, I played outdoors a lot.  My tennis improved.  But the best thing was that I played in four different groups and met some awesome ladies.

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near my house with Ellie and Stella

2. Discovering Hiking

I never really hiked before. I didn’t have the time nor the confidence to do so.  But this summer I fought my fears and did a few solo hikes.  The more hikes I did, the more confident I got and the more I enjoyed it.

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Thomas Mountain


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Stewart Mountain


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Pinnacle Point

3. Finding a New Running Friend

I used to run mostly alone.  Sometimes Judy & I could fit in a run together (but mostly in the winter) and occasionally I would run with Barbara. Well, I met Alyssa on FB and since she is new the area, she was glad to have a running partner.  Since we met in June, we have run once a week together.

with Alyssa

with Alyssa

4. Visiting NYC

Love love love NYC.  I have been fortunate to find different people to help me feed my addiction.

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Central Park with Judy


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Food Tour with Eileen & Mary Pat


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Metropolitan Museum of Art with Catalina and Fran

My last summer trip will be on Tuesday to see Anna (from Russia.)

brunch at Gordon Ransey's The Maze restaurant

brunch at Gordon Ransey’s The Maze restaurant – May 2012

5. Running and Boating along and on Lake George

Said to be the “Queen” of all lakes.  I love Lake George.  I’ve run one race on either side of the lake and one in the village.

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Adirondack 10 Miler


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Firemen 5K


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Camp Chingachgook 10K

I am also lucky enough to have a boat so I can hang out on the lake with my hubby and our boating friends.

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in Shelving Rock Bay

Honorable Mention: Watching the Olympics

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Happy Running! What did you like best about this summer?

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TOLT: August Recap

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Wow, the summer is flying by… Pumpkin lattes will be here before you know it…

So here’s how August went…

Weekday Runs:

Like July, August was HOT and humid most days and we had very little rain.  I was able to run at least 3-4 times each week. But I do not have a treadmill at home so they were mostly slow sweaty ones.

Because I was not working, I was able to run wherever. I was not forced to run near home or near work. So I tried to do my runs in many different places – Chestertown, Crossings, Corning Trail, Colonie Town Park, Nisky Trail, Zim Smith Trail, Rail Trail, UAlbany, etc.

I also ran with Alyssa 4 times. I met her on FB. These were, no doubt, besides my 5k races my faster runs. I struggle when I run with her but she gets me to run faster. She says that I make her faster .  Win-Win.

I re-connected with Barbara and Judy and ran with them each once. It’s more fun running with friends.

Long Runs:

There were TWO!!!.  I ran races or went boating on the weekends. So I managed to move these runs to Monday.

Total Mileage:

I ran 89 miles this month – finally some improvement.

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Races:

I ran three races this month – a 8.4 miler, a 10K and a 5K.

I was generally happy with how they went. I did not have PR goals and of course, they could have been faster.  I won age group awards in all three. That’s an achievement. The 8.4 and 10k races were very HILLY! The only one I felt could be better was the 5k.  We are, though, our own toughest critics.

Cross Training:

 I was STILL unemployed and I played tennis. But not as often as in the beginning of the summer. 

I DID NOT go to a single yoga class!! Someday I will do, I promise.

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I did workout at the gym at least three times.  I know that I could go more often but it’s better than nothing.

I walked to the tennis courts when I played nearby and occasionally did go for a walk. But not as often as when I worked.  I think that the tennis and the hiking (see below) made up for it, though.

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my favorite place to walk – rail trail

Other News:

I went hiking again…by myself and with some friends. Love it. Once to Pinnacle Point in Bolton Landing and then on four trails in Chestertown.

I took a trip to NYC with my two of my friends. We listened to Broadway tunes in Bryant Park and then walked to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the Costume Institute. What a full but exciting day!!

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I also took a day trip to the Saratoga Race Track with a friend.  We had breakfast, watched and bet on the races and then stopped by the Casino (where I won $77).

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I spent two wonderful weekends with my knitting and mah jongg friends on the Schroon River. I did some running but mostly played tennis, knit or played mah jongg and ate.

Boating season continued and the weather was great.  I love it at the lake. It’s my “happy place.”

Feeling healthy so Life Is Good.

And I HAVE A NEW JOB!!!!!!!!! I will be working starting Sept.7.

Looking Ahead:

My next half marathon is September 18 and I am excited.

I do have a bunch of races coming up.  This is my list so far for the next 2 months:

  • 9-5-16 – Sefcu 5K
  • 9-10-16 – Malta 5k
  • 9-18-16 – Saratoga Palio Half Marathon
  • 9-25-16 – Arsenal City 5k ???
  • 10-01-16  – Apple Run 5K
  • 10-09-16 – Ramblefest Half Marathon
  • 10-15-16 – Great Pumpkin Challenge 10K

No monthly goals.

my motto for 2016

Since it is Thursday,  I’m linking up today with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

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Happy Running! How did your August turn out?  Anything exciting planned for September?  

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Wednesday Word: Radical

Deb Runs

Every Wednesday, the Deb from Deb Runs will be providing a word about which to blog. Kind of like a nice little blog prompt. Posts can be fitness or health related, but don’t have to be, so really anyone can play along. Just be sure to link up with InLinkz on Deb’s main post, and share the love by reading and commenting on other’s participant’s posts.

This week’s word is:Image result for radical quotes

Macmillan defines “Radical” as “doing something new and very different from the usual way.”

Am I radical??

Hmmmmm…

  • Is it radical to start running for the first time at age 55?
  • Is it radical to run a 5k race several weeks into a training program when you’ve only run 1 mile so far?

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  • Is it radical to run a half marathon when you’ve only run 5k races?

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  • Is it radical to run a 5k as your first run after ankle surgery?

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  • Is it radical to run two 5ks with a foot stress fracture?

Runners World 5K

  • Is it radical to finish a 5k after breaking your foot?

good thing I kept those critches

  • Is it radical to go on a race-cation by yourself?

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  • Is it radical to hike solo?

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I don’t consider myself “radical” but I do enjoy a challenge.

Happy Running! Are you “radical”?

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Monday Running Update

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Last Week: 

  • Monday –  Decided to spend the night at my friend’s house on the Schroon River. and woke up to perfect running weather (finally).  Too bad, my legs were sooo tired.

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They weren’t too tired to go for a hike.  I climbed to the top of Meade and Beckman Mountains.

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hardest of the 7 hikes that I have completed in the Chester Challenge but totally worth it. I even met the owner of the property.

I spent the rest of the day sitting by the river and knitting before heading home.

  • Tuesday – played tennis in the am and then we celebrated the summer with a pizza party. I played tennis again in the evening. Got lucky. It rained in between.
  • Wednesday – ran with Barbara in the am. It was great catching in up since we hadn’t seen each other in a while.

new Nikes – so far so good.

I walked the mall with my bff in the afternoon. In the evening, played mini golf with my tennis buds followed by dinner out.

we are better at tennis than golf LOL but it was fun

  • Thursday – subbed in a new tennis group in the am. Spent the afternoon in the pool with some tennis friends.


Met Alyssa for a run in the evening.

rained before we started and then more humid than ever

Then met an old friend at a local wine bar. These days are busy. Good thing I’m not employed. LOL

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  • Friday – played in a tennis robin for 3 hours. It was nice playing on clay for a change.


No running today. Just some errands including a car appt. Spent the evening playing major jongg.

  • Saturday – Ran a 5k race today. Felt lousy and didn’t run well.

the only good thing was wining my age group

So after the race, instead of my planned 7 miles, I drove up to the lake. My hubby brought a friend.  We (or they) jumped off cliffs, rode around in the boat, hung out in the bay and hiked (me and his friend) to a waterfalls.

Still feeling under the weather, I drove home instead of going out to dinner and spending the night on the boat.

  • Sunday – a real REST day.  The first one in many weeks – no running, no hiking, no tennis….

15 miles done with 4 runs and 3 rest days.

This Week:  

  • Monday 10 mile run,
  • Tuesday – AM tennis, rest
  • Wednesday4 mile run with a friend
  • Thursday –  AM tennis, 4 mile run, hair appt
  • Friday –  AM tennis, rest
  • Saturday – 11 mile run, boating and/or mah jongg
  • Sunday – tennis, mah jongg on the Schroon River
Once again, I am linking up for the Weekly Wrap hosted by these wonderful bloggers Holly @ HoHoRuns and Tricia @ MissSippiPiddlin.   See rules here.
http://hohoruns.blogspot.com

Happy Running! How is your running going?  Any races?

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