Polar Cap Race Report

Feb. 3, 2018 – 10 am – Lake George, NY

You all know how much I love Lake George (at least in the summertime).  Well, this race gets me up to the lake in the winter.  Ex-blogger AJH (now runner friend) and I have run this race together many times.

Polar Cap - 2nd place in AG

Here we are winning AG awards in 2011

I was injured in 2012 and couldn’t run but AJH did snag another award.

AJH got 2nd place...we won a lunch bag which matches the race shirt

AG awards again in 2013

I ran with her in 2014 but only she got an award.


AJH’s award in 2014

Then in 2015, we both got awards and for the first time, I beat her.


another hat for AJH but my first.

I was away in 2016 but we ran it together last year.  AJH did not get an award (but she is such a great sport) and I won my AG and surprisingly got a PR!!!

AJH was running it, of course, again this year and I was looking forward to seeing her.  We hadn’t seen each other since August at the Race the Train race.

The thing with this race, you never know where it’s going to start and what the course will be (besides hilly.)  Last year, they changed the course for the third time.


during the snowy 2014 race


during the cold 2015 race

getting my PR last year

I have not been doing any speed work at all or running on any hills. (Um …do I ever? lol) My runs on the weekend have been longish. So as usual I went into this race with no expectations other than to have a good time.

But it was so COLD!!! In the single digits. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

So I bundled up in my usual running layers (2 shirts, jacket, skirt, tights, gaiter, beanie, mittens with hand warmers) and drove the hour ride up to Lake George.

not today but the same outfit

Well, obviously my age is rearing its ugly head. In other words, I’m having more senior moments. Because I went to bed very late (mah jongg hostessing), I was tired the next morning and rushed out the door without my Apple Watch and my Garmin. Ugh! I could have gone back to get it but I didn’t want to be late for the race.

As I drove north, I watched the car thermometer drop from 8 to 2 degrees.

I arrived around 8ish and got a great parking spot but was surprised that no one had yet arrived.


Because the race started at 10 am. Duh! I was 2 hours early!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (And yes, I could have returned home to get my watch!!!)

Packet pick-up was again at the parish hall of the church in Lake George.  This newer location was warm and had restrooms which is always a plus.

my friend Sue and speedy Kim, now in my AG

Eventually runners did arrive and I chatted with some whom I knew until AJH arrived. (She is hard core – drove over 2 hours from VT. and is injured so had to walk the whole race.)

We waited until the last minute to go out into the cold. We had to walk quite a ways as the race started in town by the lake. (Since the race repeated its course, I will re-post some of my pics from last year.)


There was no real starting line and the race was not chip timed. Even though I ran the race last year, I didn’t really remember what the course was like so here is a map that I found online.


I am directionally challenged anyway so it wouldn’t have meant much to me even if I looked at the map before the race.

waiting to begin (pic from D. Olden)

Luckily we didn’t have to wait long in the cold before the race started. There seemed to be only a little over 100 runners which is much fewer than usual (probably because of the cold temps.) I knew that this race would be interesting without a watch.  Not because I was going for a PR but because I sometimes glance down at my watch to see if I am running too fast at the beginning or have slowed down too much at the end.  Nothing I could do about it now so I just decided to try not to freeze to death and enjoy the pretty scenery.

A lot of the course was a blur, as usual, but here’s what I remember.


pic from FB – cute markers at each mile

The first mile started with a slight uphill and then it flattened out. I was cold (at least my face and lips were from the wind) and my legs felt very stiff since I hadn’t warmed up. I was ok with that because I wanted to start out slow.  I also found my stomach growling since the race started at 10 am and I had eaten 3 1/2 hours ago.


Mile two started where the race used to start and than meant a steepish hill.  I told myself to be smart since I had a half marathon in 6 weeks and I never run on hills.  However this time, I pushed myself to run slowly and not walk.  It was practically a crawl and I did it. At this point, I was actually thawing out.  In fact, I felt warm.



The longest and biggest was at mile 3 and although it was only 1/2 mile, it seemed to go on forever.  This time I walked/ran it. Afterward we were rewarded with a nice downhill. I am always hesitant to go all out on the downhills so many runners passed me by but that was better than getting DOMS. Believe it or not, I was so warm that I unzipped my jacket and took off my mittens.


Finally for mile 4, we ran along the lake and back into town.  At this point, I wanted to be done and picked up the pace. Luckily the hills were finally over. I didn’t care about a PR but I secretly want to win an AG award.  But I had no idea where the other runners in my AG were in at this time in the course.


I saw that the clock ahead read 38:xx.  I sprinted as fast as I could and crossed at 38:48.

Initially I was disappointed.  My time was slower than last year and even slower than 3 years ago. It’s tough when you run without a watch because you have no idea what your pace is.  Could I have finished faster if I had known?  Definitely!!  I’m pretty competitive. I would have pushed myself more. But it’s not the end of the world.  There will be other races.

AJH was walking so I decided to wait for her.  But it was too cold to stand still so I headed back onto the course and ran it in reverse until I met up with her.

A soon  as she finished, we walked back to the church together.

There was chicken noodle soup, bread, chocolate milk, fruit and baked goods – I am a sucker for home-made stuff and ate quite a few cookies and brownies. I also had the soup.

We waited around for the age group awards. surprisingly, I did win one – second.

won a headband/gaiter/cap thingie

After AJH left, I was debating on changing my clothes and leaving or running more.

With 8 miles on my “training” schedule for the day, I decided to stick around and try to find somewhere to run. I had already run about 2 miles while waiting for AJH so I ran around the lake a bit and then to the Winter Carnival in town to get 2 more miles in.


This was the first day of the event which is held every weekend in February.


they had a chili cook-off. I just donated my money because the line was too long and I was freezing!

I visited with friends who were volunteering and took some pics.

Eventually it seemed to be getting colder so I headed back to my car (that I had left at the church).

freezing my butt off (literally)

As usual, I loved doing the race (even if it was cold). Small local races are the best and running one with friends is just icing on the cake.

I’m also linking this post with Susie and Rachel and Debbie and Lora for the Running Coaches’ Corner.

Happy Running! Have you raced yet this year?



TOTR: September Report Card

Image result for welcome september
Fall has arrived. And we had some nice cool dry days but summer temps and humidity did rear their ugly head too.
Here’s how September worked out for me:

Weekday Runs:

I was able to run at least 3 times outdoors each week which is great because I do not have a treadmill at home. I prefer to run 4 times but sometimes it just doesn’t happen.

I ran at UAlbany (near work), near home, in a local park and at the Corning Bike Path. I even ran while in Rochester, Buffalo and Liverpool for work. My weekday runs were usually around 4 miles.

I ran alone most of the time. But Alyssa was able to accompany me a few times and new Judy once. I also hooked up with Laurie, a former turkey trot group member. It’s definitely more fun running with friends.

I thought the Turkey Trot running group started up again on Monday, September 18 and I would get to re-unit with my running friends as well as meet new ones. I even registered.  But it turns out that they changed the day for the first time this year – Tuesdays!!!  I cannot do Tuesdays… So no group runs or drills for me this fall.  Boo Hoo!!!

PP hills, I’ll miss you!!

Long Runs:

Long runs began in preparation for my next half marathon. I also snuck in a half marathon as a training run. The 11 miler was my only decent effort but at least I got the miles in.

Total Mileage:

I have run 87.5 miles this month so far. An increase over previous months and I am still feeling healthy so all is good.


I had several races on my schedule this month.  I skipped a local 5k but instead the next weekend, I ran the Saratoga Palio Half Marathon as a last minute training run.  It was a hot, humid day and I bonked the last 3 miles. I also ran the Helper’s Fun 10K, a hilly small scenic race. For this one, I ran a smart race, had a course PR and won my age group so I was a happy camper.

Cross Training:

I played tennis once (indoor season has started.) Again this month, I was out of town working every Tuesday 😦

I did NOT go to work out at the gym at all!!!! Not once! Nunca! Jamais! And my free membership ends in October!!!!

I thought I might fit in a yoga class. I did NOT!!

I did walk occasionally at lunch. Not everyday like I used to. I find it hard to tear myself away from my desk and I have been traveling a lot.

I finally got to go hiking after my 10k race. I loved it!!!

Other News:

The hubby and I continued our boating on the weekends. It was actually warmer in September than in July & August.

Despite working ALOT, I also managed to attend my weekly mah jongg games and monthly dinner with the tennis ladies. 

As you can tell, running is not my whole life. I think it is important to make time for other things that bring you pleasure….family, friends, food….

Feeling healthy so Life Is Good.

Looking Ahead:

Two half marathons (#28 & #29) planned- October 1 in Corning, NY. and November 12 in Las Vegas.

I also have quite a few shorter races planned. I have to squeeze them in before the winter.

This is my list so far for the next 2 months:

  • 10-01-17 – Wineglass Half Marathon
  • 10-07-17 – Apple Run 5K
  • 10-14-17 – Great Pumpkin Challenge 10K / ZOOMA Cape Cod Virtual 10K
  • 10-22-17 – ZOOMA Amelia Island Virtual 12k
  • 10-29-17 – Goblin Gallop 5k?
  • 11-11-17 – RnR Vegas 5k
  • 11-12-17 – RnR Vegas Half Marathon
  • 11-18-17 – Girls on the Run 5k (volunteer with STEM) or maybe 11-19-17  – Race to Deliver 4m in NYC
  • 11-23-17 – Troy Turkey Trot 5k and Troy Turkey Trot 10k

I am linking to Deb at DebRuns for her Sepember Race Linkup:

Deb Runs

No monthly goals.

This motto worked for 2016 so I’m sticking with it in 2017!

Since today is Tuesday, I’m also linking up with these wonderful ladies:

Erika @ MCM Mama Runs, Marcia @ Marcia’s Healthy Slice and Patty @ My no-guilt life for

Today’s Topic is: Give your running month a letter grade.

I’d say overall a B+.

You know, zero gym attendance, skipping lunch time walks, slacking on those long runs, easy lackluster weekday runs. I know I can do better.

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup



Running Update: 9.11.17-9.17.16


Last Week:

  • Monday – Alyssa & I had to switch our weekly run from Thursday to today.  We were both dragging but it was fun to catch up.

A beautiful day to run in the park. Wearing my Florida shirt for those who in the path of Irma.

  • Tuesday – Another work travel day. The weather was quite summer-like and I was able to get a run in along Onondaga Lake.

After dinner, I went back to the lake to catch the sunset (and an ice cream cone).

  • Wednesday -I got in one more run along the lake before the drive home. Boy was it a hot one!! Has summer returned?

some days 3 miles feel like 13…

  • Thursday – It was a rest day and I needed it!!! I also needed to do some errands after work.
  • Friday – Just a short run at Ualbany before mah jongg. Yes, the summer humidity is here!!

I planted the rock in memory of my friend who died from ovarian cancer.

  • Saturday – We decided to switch it up and go boating today rather than Sunday. The weather was gorgeous.

Afterwards, we went out to an Italian restaurant for dinner.

  • Sunday – So many choices. A 5k, 10k, 15k, 2.9, 5.8, half marathon or long run. Which one did I choose?

It was not planned and it didn’t go as planned. The humidity killed me the last 3 miles but at least Alyssa got her PR.

Unfortunately I got rear-ended on the way home.  I stopped at a red light, the young girl behind did not.  I am fine.  The car can be repaired.

27 miles done.

This Week:

  • Monday –  rest day
  • Tuesday – 4 mile run in Rochester
  • Wednesday rest day
  • Thursday – 4 miles with Alyssa
  • Friday – rest day, mah Jong 
  • Saturday – 10k race – TAPER time
  • Sunday – rest day and boating

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

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



TOTR: Good/Bad of Summer 2017

Today is Tuesday so don’t forget to Link-up with PattyErika, and Marcia and either meet some new bloggers or catch up with ones you already know.

The topic for today is: Good/Bad of Summer 2017

I’ll start with the Bad:

  • Work Work Work

Besides working full-time, my job has me traveling EVERY week.

Staying in hotels and eating in restaurants gets old quick.

It’s also a challenge to find places to run in unfamiliar locales.

But the worst part is that driving for 3-5 hours is tiring!!! This has put a damper on my energy level and my desire to drive to races.

  • Weather

It hasn’t been really bad except for all that rain.

I’m a big fan of sunshine!!

And for someone who loves boating, it was a downer to never be warm enough to go swimming on the weekend.  Boo Hoo!!!

yes, it was relaxing in a chair on an island but I am usually floating in a tube in the lake

  • No Vacation Time

I was only able to take two days off from work all summer.  And I used both of them to go hiking.

Now the Good:

  • Running Weather

So it was not great for boating, but it was for running.  The temps never reached the 90s and during many days, it almost felt like fall.

  • Racing Ops

I didn’t run as many races as I usually do in the summer but the ones that I did run were successful and fun!

I repeated some of my faves – Adirondack Distance Run, Silks and Satins and Race the Train.  In all three, I improved my finish time from last year.  The Al Goldstein in Brooklyn and the France Run in Central Park were inaugurals for me.  I won age group awards for Silks & Satins, Race the Train and Al Goldstein.

  • Running/Racing with Friends

It’s no secret that I run better and more seriously when I don’t run alone.  I was lucky to run with Alyssa almost weekly, Judy once and another Judy twice.

I also shared almost all my racing experiences with friends this summer.

  • New Running Routes

Thanks to my job, I experienced running in some new places… Liverpool, NY, Rochester, NY and Buffalo, NY

  • New York New York

Yes, I visited NYC several times for work and once for a race.  No better place to visit and/or run….

  • Fun with my Tennis Friends

We play tennis but mostly we go out to eat, play mah jongg and we always find a way to have a good time.

  • Boating on Lake George with the Hubby

So it wasn’t the warmest of summers but there is no more beautiful lake than Lake George (I may be biased).  We spent one day there every weekend…usually on one of the islands, relaxing, chilling and grilling with friends.

So overall, it was a pretty good summer. What about you?

Happy Running! What was the best and worst part of your summer? Do share.


Ultimate Coffee Date – June

Confessions of a Mother Runner

Since today is the first Saturday in June, I am joining up with Coco & Deborah for their ultimate coffee date.

Over coffee or tea…

I’d tell you that my free 3 month gym membership ends today and if I complete my race (Freihofer’s Run for Women), I get another 3 months.

So far, it’s working out. I’ve used the machines at least once a week…sometimes even twice. That’s impressive for me! I’ve not taken any classes. None that interest me fit into my schedule.

Over coffee and tea…

I’d tell you that I am enjoying not having to train for anything.  I can skip runs and run on the weekend whatever distance I choose.  (Oh wait, I always do that LOL).

Seriously, I don’t feel guilty if I only run 4 miles on a Saturday.  But I do have a HILLY 10 miler at the end of this month so I guess I better get out there.

Over coffee and tea…

I’d tell tell you that I am going to miss my group runs.  Both the Freihofer’s and STEM weekly runs are over.  There won’t be anything until September. I am used to not running alone.  I got spoiled.

A group at work says they want to run weekly but they are not very serious (Only one person showed up last week.).  Hopefully Alyssa will keep me company.  Maybe even Barbara?

Over coffee and tea…

I’d tell you that I was just in NYC for work.  I arrived Wednesday and the first I did after checking into my hotel was RUN! I also ran after work on Thursday.  I LOVE RUNNING IN NYC!! I was tempted to run again yesterday but decided to save my legs for today’s 5k.

Over coffee and tea…

I’d tell you that I am also going to NYC for work June 19-21 and July 5-7.  Of course, I tried to find a race during that time.  And there is an informal 5k in Brooklyn on July 5 at 7:10 pm.

Yes, I did sign up…. (only cost $7.50)

Over coffee and tea…

I’d tell you that I am a ZOOMA ambassador. Of course, that means that I promote and run their races.

Image result for zooma ambassador

use DARLENE2017 to get 10% off your race registration

The first one is tomorrow in Annapolis – a half marathon and a 10k.

I have a local 5k today so I guess I will have to add a 5k to my 5k to do the ZOOMA Annapolis Virtual 10K.

Over coffee and tea…

I’d tell you that boating on Lake George has started.  I have been on our boat the past two weekends.  Now I have to coordinate running/racing with boating and the weather.

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



Running Update: 4.10.17-4.16.17


Last Week:

  • Monday – Tonight was week 4 of the Freihofer Challenge Group run. The plan tonight was 10 minute warm-up, then run 4-6 400m @ 5k pace w/200 m rest, then cool-down. It was tough especially since the temps hit 80 degrees today. Though I was one of the slowest of the group, I did 5 repeats each in 1:53  (That’s fast for me).

3 sweaty miles with some needed speed work

Afterwards, I rushed off (without stretching and sweaty) to our mah jongg seder to celebrate the first night of Passover.

  • Tuesday – After setting up for Wednesday’s training, I planned to stop at the Crossings (since I was nearby) to run. But had to go back to work so I ran at Ualbany instead. Another very warm day but I’m not complaining.

  • Wednesday – A scheduled rest day after a long tough day at work. It was also my first day volunteering with the STEM runners.  They are doing the Couch to 5k and being week 1 and day 2, we only ran for 1 minute and walked for 1.5 minutes. It was fun and great to meet the new group.  I hope they stick with it.

week 1, day 2

  • Thursday – Today Alyssa and I decided to run in Washington Park since neither of us had been there in ages. Even though Alyssa didn’t feel great, it was still a decent effort. Better than running alone.

cloudy and chilly…spring is fickle here

  • Friday – Another scheduled rest day due to an after work hair appointment. (I’ve got my priorities.)
  • Saturday – Today I ran the Code Blue 8k. It was a new race for me and I knew that it would be hilly (and it was.) But it was sunny and that made all the difference and I loved the course.

4th in my AG but happy with 46:26 (GT) 46:01 (garmin)

After chatting with my friend Judith for awhile, I decided to continue my run at Saratoga Spa State Park. It had warmed to the 60s and it made for a perfect running day except for a fall about 2 miles in on a trail. With the help of some strangers (tissues & band-aids) and the spring water, I was able to continue my run but settled for 6 more miles rather than the planned 7.

I even washed my blood soaked socks in the spring LOL


This helped forget about my wounds.

  • Sunday – Rest day again but a busy day around the house.

Then we went to my mother-in-law’s for Easter dinner with the family.

Gym was closed so went for a walk instead. Can’t beat the views.

 2 more weeks to go!!

24 miles done with 4 runs and 3 rest days

This Week:

  • Monday – FRW Training Group Run (3-4 miles)
  • Tuesday – 3 miles
  • Wednesday –  STEM group run (week 2 day 2 of Couch to 5k)
  • Thursday – 6 miles with Alyssa
  • Friday3 miles, mah jongg
  • Saturday – rest day, gym
  • Sunday Lake George 5K + 5-7 more miles

Once again, I am linking up for the Weekly Wrap hosted by these wonderful bloggers Holly @ HoHoRuns and Tricia @ MissSippiPiddlin. See rules here.


Happy Running! How is your running going? How is your running weather?



The Running Update – 1.30.17-2.5.17


Last Week:

  • Monday – It was a cold one. But got my run done before grocery shopping and meeting my bff for a walk around the mall.

Feels like 15 degrees brrr

  • Tuesday – A rest day with snow predicted for the evening. Played tennis as usual on Tuesday.
  • Wednesday – A busy week prompted me to do two loops of the campus. Thanks to Alyssa keeping me sane.

Same shirt for the 2nd week in a row

  • Thursday– I was planning a rest day due to a needed hair appointment after work. But I was able to squeeze in a quick one during lunch.

Clouds, sun, and snow all during this short run

  • Friday – Rest day today except for a walk at lunch (after the pizza they fed us.). Did some cooking for tomorrow’s party and then played mah jongg in the evening.
  • Saturday – I ran the Polar Cap Race in Lake George. It was very cold 4 miles and the course was hilly but I had a great race and love racing with a friend.

surprise. surprise. won my age group and had a PR!!!!

After the post-race refreshments and awards, I decided to add some more miles so I could loosely call it a “long” run.  I ran around Lake George and then Bolton Landing.  It was even colder than during the race but loved the scenery.


I then had to rush home to go to a very fun Chinese New Years party.

  • Sunday –  A much needed rest day. Did my Saturday weekend home stuff and spent the afternoon knitting with friends (and eating). 

still working on that sock. also started a hat.

LOVED LADY GAGA!!!!! She’s the best!

Image result for lady gaga super bowl 2017

22 miles done with 4 runs and 3 rest days

This Week:

  • Monday 4 miles
  • Tuesday – 3 miles (if no snow)
  • Wednesday -rest day unless the rain stops
  • Thursday –  6 miles ? with Alyssa
  • Friday3 miles?, mah jongg
  • Saturday –  rest day
  • Sunday Winter Series #5 10 Mile Race
Once again, I am linking up for the Weekly Wrap hosted by these wonderful bloggers Holly @ HoHoRuns and Tricia @ MissSippiPiddlin. See rules here.

Happy Running! How is your running going? How is your running weather? Did you watch the Super Bowl?