Friday Five – NYCM 2019

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.

My topic for today is: Five Reasons Why I Signed Up to Run the NYC Marathon

If you follow my blog, you know that I said that I was going to register for the NYC Marathon … Well, I did!

It’s my first marathon and if you wondering, here’s why:

1. I had a guaranteed entry.

So many runners have to enter the lottery and I didn’t.  The Brooklyn Half 2018 was a miserable experience – weather-wise but my finish time (2:11:23) was good enough.

glad that I was 65 not 59


I have three NYC running friends who are running it.  So I won’t be alone.

There are also several local running friends and fellow bloggers who have entered the lottery too. I hope they get in!!!!

3. I am a New Yorker.

I mean. I plan to only run ONE marathon ever (I mean it!). Why not run the biggest one in my home state?

4. Perfect time of year to train.

NYC Marathon is November 3.  That means to me, that I don’t have to train in the cold, ice or snow.  I hate running in the cold weather.

If I am lucky, my longest runs will be in the fall when hot temps of summer are over and the foliage is at peak colors.

running in Oct.

5. Getting out of my comfort zone.

It’s one of the things that I said that I needed to do.  After 38 half marathons, it’s probably time.

As Deena Kastor said: “…My fastest days are behind me and my best days are ahead”

my slowest yet best race

Happy Running! Any other crazy runners running NYC Marathon or have entered the lottery?




Polar Cap Race Recap

Feb. 2, 2019 – 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 Andrea (now runner friend) and I had run this race together SIX times already. She had run this race 12 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 in 2017.  I won my AG and surprisingly got a PR!!!

We ran it last year and almost froze to death. It was 4 degrees!! (But I came in 2nd in my AG).

Andrea came even though she was injured and had to walk the whole course

Andrea signed up, of course, again this year and I was looking forward to seeing her.

But then a few weeks before the race, I stumbled upon her daughter’s post on IG:

My faith in the universe has been totally rocked but my faith in my mother is more ironclad than ever. This strong and tenacious woman ran her first marathon the year she turned 50(!), beat me by 20 minutes during my first 26.2 mile jaunt(!), conquered her maiden triathlon at 60(!), regularly rides 40-50-60-70-80+ miles on her trusty blue bike(!), read 171 books last year(!), and now she’s one big surgery into beating cancer. She’s the very greatest bad ass I know and I have no doubt that she’s gonna absolutely pulverize this fucking cancer, with even less mercy than she showed me when she left me in her dust on the Marine Corps Marathon course.

And yes, it brought tears to my eyes. It rocked my world, for sure.

I started reading her blog when I started running. She inspired me from the beginning. We are the same age exactly!! But she has run longer, farther, faster…even has competed in triathlons.

We met face-to-face for the first time at a race in 2010 and since then have completed in many races together (in addition to this race 6 times). I have even stayed at her house in VT twice.

She has also come to my area each year to participate in a duathlon. I have always come to the race to cheer her on.

So I ran this race with a heavy heart. I ran it for Andrea.

here she is finishing last year’s race walking on a bum knee but with a smile

Back to the race recap…

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


during the snowy 2014 race


during the cold 2015 race

getting my PR in 2017

chillin’ after last year’s race

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 fun and stay healthy.

When I woke up, I checked Lake George’s weather and saw this:

yikes! And no I didn’t consider bailing!

So I bundled up in my usual running layers (2 shirts, DIY arm sleeves, vest, skirt/tights, gaiter, beanie, mittens). One of my running friends, Barbara, also wanted to run this race so we drove the hour ride up to Lake George together. It was nice to have company.

We arrived around 9ish and got a great parking spot in a nearby parking lot.

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.

another cotton t-shirt to give away

Eventually runners did arrive and I chatted with some whom I knew until Andrea arrived. She is hard core – drove over 2 hours from VT since her doctor said that she could walk the race. Yes, in addition to hard core, she is definitely Badass!!!

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 previous years. It was too cold to take any))


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 less than 100 runners which is much fewer than usual (probably because of the cold temps.)

A lot of the course was a blur, as usual, but here’s what I remember. Rather than taking pictures during this race again, I’m posting last year’s as they did not change the course.


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 hours ago. I concentrated on the scenery and surprisingly, the ground was not as slippery as I feared. Still, I needed to pay attention.

I wore again my new “old” Garmin and I thought I fixed it to show pace.  But nope but at least now, it does measure the pace which I looked at after the race.


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 ONE week 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 vest 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.

Understandably (due to the weather), there were fewer volunteers than normal.  There was a point along the lake where there was a roundabout and I had no idea where to run.  I stopped and called to the last volunteer and asked which way to go.  He told me and I ran a little more and then was confused. I turned back and he gestured to continue straight.  I think I went the right way and eventually there was another volunteer ahead at the next to last turn before the finish line,


Finally, I saw that the clock ahead and it read 38:xx.  I sprinted as fast as I could and crossed at 38:28.

Barbara finished just a few minutes after me.  I thought about waiting around for Andrea but it was TOO COLD so Barbara and I walked back to the church together.

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

Due to technical glitches and the runners still out on the course, we had to wait around for the age group awards. It was quite a while so I chatted with a law professor that I used to work with and snacked on the refreshments.

And both Barbara and I won our age groups. So there were not many runners in our age groups. Still a win’s a win.

While Andrea was out walking the race, I mentioned to the race director that she had run this race 13 times and it was the only race that she has run EVERY year.

I think she was surprised and hopefully happy with the “Badass”award.

With 8 miles on my “training” schedule for the day, I debated about running more (for about a second) but it was TOO COLD. We did put on warmer clothes and walked into town to the Winter Carnival.


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


they had a chili cook-off. but the line was too long and it was freezing

I said hello to my friend who was volunteering and then we walked back to my car and headed home.

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

Race Splits:

mile 1: 9:06
mile 2: 10:02
mile 3: 9:48
mile 4: 9:07
.05: 7:36

Garmin time: 38:26
Official time : 38:28

PR – 37:21

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

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? How do you feel about cold weather races?


Weekly Wrap for 1.28.19-2.2.19 – The Polar Vortex and Taper Time


Winter Series #4 (3m) Race Recap

Once again the Hudson Mohawk Runners Club sponsored a FREE race for its members and this weekend, they offered distances of 3M, 15K and 30K.

Since I have a half marathon in 2 weeks, I did my long run of 12 miles the day before and instead of the 15K, I chose the 3 miler as a recovery run.

This is the 4th time, I’ve run this race. As you can see from the pics below, it is more often cold and snowy than not. (Last year was the best weather year.)

during the 15k in 2015

and again in 2017

but the 3 miler in 2018

These Winter Series races start at 10 am so you don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn.  However, I had an upset stomach and didn’t sleep well.  I still felt nauseous when I got up and seriously considered not going. Most of my friends had run the day before so they wouldn’t be there as well.

But when I saw how cold and lousy the week’s forecast was, I decided that I might as well give it a shot. I mean, I wasn’t planning to race it anyway.

I left kinda late but there was still parking spots in the lot.

It was cold but not as cold as it had been recently. I wore something similar to what I wore the day before but with a lighter vest and lighter gloves.

2 shirts, DIY arm warmers, fleece vest, tights, skirt, compression leg sleeves, wool socks, etc.

What I love about this local race is that you get to see a lot of people whom you know.


2015 meet up with Judy & Barbara (I ran the 15k that year.)

2018 meet up with Barbara

And I immediately bumped into many different running friends. We chatted. Some were running the 3 miler and others the 15k.  Some were even running the 30k.

Alyssa was volunteering and Jenny the 30k

Anyway we hung indoors until the last minute and then made our way outside.


the start (pic from a previous Winter Series)

All three distances started at the same location this week. As usual, I started not too far away from the front (since it is not chip timed) and let the speedy runners pass me by.

Right away, the 3 milers split from the 15kers and 30kers but the speedy longer distance runners eventually will pass you by midway.

not that it matters ’cause I just follow the other runners but the 3 miler is basically a loop

For most of the race, I felt perfectly dressed. I was warm at times and unzipped my vest and took off my gloves but other times, when we were running into the wind, I was glad I wore all the layers I did.

I was familiar with the course since I ran it in December and just two weeks ago.  I remembered the hill at the beginning and then some rolling hills in the middle, ending with a slight hill.  Nothing too challenging.

The difference this race was the snowy conditions and the possibility of ice on the route. I knew that my time would be slower and that was fine by me.  I didn’t want to risk falling (with a Florida half in 2 weeks.)

I also felt sick to my stomach the WHOLE race. That and the wind made it difficult to run fast.

I am also usually pretty bored by this course because it is just a road and office buildings.  But I ran and chatted with different friends throughout the race.  Each one after a short period ran ahead and left me behind.

running with Nancy in 2018

It didn’t bother me at all. I tried to run at my own relaxed pace. Of course, I’m not sure what exactly that was (since I don’t look at my Garmin until I’m done).

I was very happy that my legs didn’t feel tired at all and I couldn’t even tell that I had run the day before. But obviously from my finish time, I was not running as fast as I normally would.

Many of the runners that I knew were volunteering. It was nice to have them shout out your name as you ran by a few times to offer support.

Before I knew it, I saw the finish line, I took off and tried to cross under 28 minutes.

Nope, I did not – 28:12.

It was my slowest time of all the 3 milers that I have run on this course. And I have run 5 of them. (My PR is 26:49).

Still very content with my time. I did run 12 miles the day before. I expected to be slow.

I waited for Judy to finish but got distracted by a friend and missed taking her photo as I was chatting.

Bethany & I were wearing the same Skirt Sports toasty cheeks tights

Eventually I went inside to get some food. They had delicious roasted red pepper soup, breads, fruits, cookies, hot chocolate, etc.  It’s great that there are such variety of post-race refreshments for a free race.

Believe it or not, I felt better after the race than before or during and ate all of the above.


I waited with some friends for the awards – you never know…The awards were for 10 year age groups and just top 2.

Although my finish time was slower than the previous races I’ve run here, obviously the speedy runners in my age group ran the 15k so I won an age group award – 2nd.


I was very happy with how I used this race as a recovery run. It was also cool to win a loaf of bread- my first in this year’s series.

Race splits:

mile 1 – ?
mile 2 – ?
mile 3 – ?

Finish Time – 28:12

So why no split times, you ask?

I love my original Garmin – 205.  I’ve had two of them and recently I saw one on Ebay for $19 (with no tax or shipping) so I bought it.  Obviously, I forgot to set it up for pace per mile.

I glanced at my watch about once a mile and I know for a fact, that each mile was slower than the previous one. high 8s for mile 1, low 9s for mile 2, high 9s for mile 3.

Again, I made the right decision to run this race.  No pain. The legs felt great. I.LOVE.RACING!!

The only negative was:

I lost my favorite hat!!!  I took it off and put it with my vest, gloves and my extra coat. When I left, I forgot it. I went back later and it was gone!!! Boo!!!!

One more Winter Series race this year (Jan 27) and  I will be volunteering instead of running. At least, Ill get a hat.

Next Saturday, I signed up for a 4 mile race in Lake George. Fingers crossed for no sub-zero temps or icy roads.


AJH (from VT) & I at this race. We try to do this one together every year.

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

I’m linking also up with Coaches Corner–Debbie, Susie, Lora, and Rachel!

and Wild Workout Wednesday with Nicole, Annmarie, Jen, and Michelle.

Happy Running! How you are enduring the winter? Did you run or race this past weekend?


Weekly Wrap for 1.21.19-1.27.19: Finding a place to run…


Friday Five – Publix Florida 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.

I have my first half marathon of 2019 in THREE weeks – the Publix Florida Half Marathon.  Though I have run 8 halfs in Florida, this is the first time for this particular race.

So my Topic this week is: Five Things I’d Love to Happen During This RACE

1.Good Weather

Not too hot and not too cold. No wind or rain.  It’s in Florida so I’m not sure what I can do about the humidity.

don’t let the pic fool you…I FROZE during this one.

2. No pain.

No foot pain or lower back pain. Or any new aches or injuries.

ouch on new lower back pain during RnR Brooklyn

3. Ocean Views

Sometimes, they say there will be water views but you can never see the ocean or it is for such a short period of time. This is the main reason why I love Florida races.

it does look like I’ll see the water

4.Age Group Award

At my age, this is always a possibility and welcome reward.

won last year at Brew2Brew Half

5. Finish under 2:15.

Not expecting a PR (under 2:06:52) since I did not train for one. I’d like a respectable finish time although with crossing big TWO bridges, this may be a dream.

Happy Running!  Do you have any goals for your first BIG race or any race in 2019? Please share.


Winter Series #3 (3M) Race Recap

As I have mentioned before, the Hudson Mohawk Runners Club sponsors FREE races throughout the winter for its members. The course is pretty boring but free is free.

This weekend, they offered distances of 3M, 10K and 25K.  I am in throes of half marathon training so instead of racing the 10k (as I usually do), I ran long the day before and chose the 3 mile race distance instead.

Last year, this race was not held (due to the re-scheduled Jan 1 race) but I ran this race in 2017, 2015 & 2013.

Choosing the shorter distance this year gives me the opportunity to compare my time to other Winter Series races of this distance. The 3 Mile course is offered frequently. (3 out the 5 races.)

But as you know, even running the same distance on the same course is not the same – different weather conditions and feeling different physically.

So running 10 miles the day before this race would most likely impact how fast my legs were wiling to go.  And having a half marathon in four weeks also would make me hesitate to go all out for fear of injury.

That being said, my goal was a decent recovery run with running friends and no aches and pains afterward.

Then unexpectedly (even though he was very old), my cat died the night before.  I was very very upset and really didn’t feel like racing but I knew it could only make me feel better.

I got lucky with the weather for the second day in a row. It was COLD (teens but single digits with the wind chill) but sunny. As usual on this campus, it was windier than anywhere else..

I left early to get parking since these races are often crowded and there could be other events going on at UAlbany. But there didn’t seen to be as many runners as in previous weeks. Maybe the freezing temperature scared people away.

What I love about this local race is that you get to see a lot of people that you know.

I immediately bumped into many familiar faces and even some runners that I haven’t seen in awhile.

I wound up talking to Judy and Karen and we stayed indoors until the last minute and then made our way outside. However they were running the 10K and they lined up in a different location.

Sole Sister Heidi arrived and we started the 3 miler together.

As I’ve mentioned in my previous race post, the Winter Series races are very informal – no bibs, no starting mat, no timing chips, etc. So I try to start not too far from the front.

As usual, when you start up front, you immediately get passed by by it seems everyone.  These races attract all the speedy local runners too.

I just told myself that this was simply a fun run and just take it at your own pace. Having not warmed up, my legs felt like lead and I couldn’t get moving.

It was so cold that it was also hard to breathe…at least for the first few miles (and then of course, it was over.)

I looked down at my Garmin and it said LOW BATTERY.  In the stress of my cat’s death, I forgot to charge it.

I don’t care about pace but since the miles aren’t marked, I sometimes like to see where I am in the race.

Then I looked down and my shoe was untied.  UGH! I thought of stopping but it was too cold and a pain to have to take my gloves off so I just ran gingerly making sure not to trip and fall.

The course is very boring (zero scenery besides office buildings and highway) but it also has inclines. Nothing steep, just enough to keep it interesting.  I wanted to be better about hills and not walk up them. And I didn’t walk at all.

Runners kept speeding by me…but they were actually those running the 25k!!!

I saw Alyssa ahead of me the whole race. I was surprised since I had thought that she was running the 10k.  She acted like my pacer.

pic from the previous 3 miler

Eventually I did see the finish line and saw a time for the first time in the race.  It said 27:xx.  I sped up and managed to crossed around 27:24.   There’s no timing chip.  You honestly write down your time on a piece of paper and hand it in.

I was 30 out of 80. This is a fast group, as usual.

I chatted with others at the finish line while waiting for Heidi to cross.

If it were warmer, I would have waited to cheer on Karen and Judy. But I was cold so Heidi and I  went inside to warm up and have some chili (red pepper & quinoa), bread, cookies, fruit, hot chocolate. Not a bad spread for a free race.

They gave awards for the top 2 in each 10 year age group.  I was 3rd this week.

Race Splits:

mile 1 – 9:17 (crawling – 8:50 last time)
mile 1.8 – 9:18 (still a crawl)
mile 1.8-3 – ??? – (must have sped up)

WS Series #1 – 28:08
2017-18 WS Series – 26:49, 27:02

So it wasn’t a 3 mile PR or course PR (but not a PW either).

I was happy with the results and that I decided to run this race.

I get one more try at this distance in two weeks!!

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

I’m linking also up with Coaches Corner–Debbie, Susie, Lora, and Rachel!

and Wild Workout Wednesday with Nicole, Annmarie, Jen, and Michelle.

Happy Running! How you are enduring the winter? Did you run this weekend?