Running Update – 6.12.17-6.18.17


Last Week:

  • Monday – I had the day off and I planned to run. But I changed my mind and decided to spend Sunday night on our boat and do some hiking the next morning.

First I planned to hike Thomas and Cat Mountains. But it was too hot humid and buggy so I skipped Cat.

The hike to the top of Pinnacle was shadier and shorter so I did that one. It was so worth it.

The rest of the day, I hung out at the beach with a book.

  • Tuesday after a long day at work, it was brutally warm and humid so I decided to skip my run and just play tennis outdoors. It was fun and we got two sets in before the rain. Then we went out for pizza.

  • Wednesday – another long stressful work day but finally a run after two days off.

at UAlbany

  • Thursday – Another warm humid day and I got to run with Alysa which is always a good thing. We decided on the Corning Bike trail for a change of pace. Things were great until it started to pour. Just made us run faster.

4 wet but speedy miles in my favorite SkirtSports tank

Afterward I met my bff for a walk in the mall.

  • Friday – A scheduled rest day (and a rainy one) with a trip to the gym before my weekly mah Jong game.
  • Saturday – Today I ran the Whipple City 5k race which was a new race for me.  There were quite a few to choose from but I had heard about this one and two of my running group friends were doing it. It was fun although the humidity almost killed me.

27:30 – 2nd in my age group

Afterward 2 cups of chocolate milk and 2 donuts, I headed to Saratoga Spa State Park with the intention of running 6 miles. My legs said no way so I ran and walked about 5.

  • Sunday – I spent Fathers Day with the hubby up on the lake. We went out on our friend’s new bigger boat rather than ours. And I got a surprise when I found out that my college roommate and her husband were in the area for a wedding. Great day.

15 miles done with 3 runs and 4 rest days

This Week:

  • Monday – run in NYC?
  • Tuesday – run in NYC?
  • Wednesdayrun in NYC?
  • Thursday – rest, hair appt
  • Friday – 3 miles, mah jongg
  • Saturday – rest, gym, errands, nails
  • Sunday – 10 mile race, boating

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

This week’s guest host is the lovely Tara @ Run and Live Happy.


 Happy Running! How is your running going?


Whipple City 5K Race Recap

June 17, 2017 8:30 am

There were several different race options for today. Some I had run before and some I had not.

I decided on Whipple City in Greenwich because I had heard good things about the race and it was north so I could possibly continue up to the lake afterward. Also two of my running group friends usually run the 5k.

There was also a hillier 10k option but I decided to run the 5k and then add more miles after (if my legs and the weather cooperated.)

As I may have mentioned many times, I recently PR’d for the half marathon but my 5ks have stagnated for years… Most of 5ks times have been 27:XX and in cool weather on flatish courses.  If I didn’t have those conditions (like today), my times would be slower but hopefully faster than 30 minutes.

So today, I planned to run at a consistent pace and enjoy the course. I hadn’t done any speed drills in about month so no PR goals for this race. Depending on who showed up, I may have even been able to snag an age group award.

I probably wasn’t thinking clearly because going to this race, which started at 8:30 am, meant that I had to leave my house at no later than 6:45 am.  According to Google, it was going to take 1h 9min.  There were local races that started later and only 15 minutes away. (Crazy lady I am!)

So I got up earlier on a Saturday than I do on a normal work day (Oh, the things we runners do…) and found the location with no problem.

race started in front of the middle school

The weather was cloudy, warm and very humid with showers/thunderstorms forecast for later in the day. I wore my normal summer running outfit of a skirt and a tank. We got a gender-specific tech shirt which I went back to store in my car.

In no time at all, I spotted my two running group friends, Holly and Jackie. They wanted to do a warm up run but I declined.  (Gotta save my legs for the race and after, right?.)

So I hung around the school and chatted with a few other women that I knew.  It was a fairly small crowd. About 100 running the 5k and only about 15, I think, in the 10k.

race start and finish

The race was described as “a scenic course past village homes and beautiful countryside in Greenwich, NY” and the course (see map below) as out & back, mixed flat & hills, roads.


Both Holly and Jackie, who have run it, before confirmed that the 5k started out uphill and then there were rolling hills but a pretty course.

We started near the front since it was not chip timed and soon after the rifles (above) were fired, we were off.

Whenever I run with Holly, I know not to try to keep up.  She always starts out fast and she beat me by 3 seconds in the Freihofer;s 5k but I have beaten her in the past.

And true to form, out ahead she went.  My legs felt like I was running in cement.  Maybe I should warm-up??  Uphill I dragged myself and tried to keep Holly in view.

Then I realized I never started my watch.  Oh, well. Another naked race!

It seems to bother me more not knowing my pace in a short race for some reason.  There’s not a lot of time and I don’t know if I should slow down or speed up.

The worst part of the race was the humidity…UGH!!

There was water around mile 1.25 and I took a quick drink.  But when I passed it the water again on the way back, I stopped and walked for a while.

I wasn’t far behind Holly until that walk. But I knew that she usually loses some steam toward the end (which she did).

I caught up to her but didn’t have enough left to pass her.

She beat me by 3 seconds!  Again!!

My time was 27:30. (No split times to share 😦 )

I was pleased.  It was faster than I thought I would run this race. And I thank Holly for pacing me.

We hung around waiting for the 10kers to finish and then watched the kids run the 1K.

Of course, I treated myself to two cups of chocolate milk and two donuts.

Battenkill brand, my favorite!!

Holly and I are in the same age group. She got first and I got second.

All in all, it was an enjoyable race.  I’m not sure I will run it again because of the driving distance (and the awards are only a ribbon) but maybe.

My hubby decided to not go boating until the next day so I had all the time in the world to do more running. Besides,  I did have a 10 mile race in a week (and lots of rain forecast for the coming week.)

So I drove to Saratoga Spa State Park and planned on running at least 6 miles.

Unfortunately, my legs did not agree with the plan.   They were soooo tired. That is very unlike me.  I don’t even feel that way after a half marathon.

I’m not sure why…humidity? lack of sleep? stress at work?  fast 5k???

Anyway, I tried to run.  But I had to walk…a lot and quit after 5 miles.  I guess it was better than driving home and taking a nap.

Isn’t the park beautiful?  Mineral springs, waterfalls, trails, etc.

Happy Running! Anyone race this weekend?  

Run for Help 5K Race Recap

June 11, 2017 – 10 am

I wasn’t as active in this spring’s STEM program as I would have liked (due to work commitments) but as I did last year, I decided to help the STEM runners and registered for this race.

There were a few races scheduled for this weekend (plus boating) that I would have liked to do but as soon as I arrived at the race, I knew that I had made the right decision.

Running is not all about PRs and finish times.  Sometimes you have to give back especially since running has given me so much.

Last year, we didn’t actually participate in the race. We ran along side our runner but never crossed the finish line.

This year, however, we did register and pay for the race. We would be running it in order to help a STEM participant achieve their goal.

Because I wasn’t planning to “race” the race, I ran 8 miles the day before.

I was glad too because race day was even hotter and more humid (and the race didn’t start until 10 am!!)

I arrived early to pick up my packet and meet up with all the other volunteers and runners. What is awesome is that in addition to the new STEM runners, many of the old ones continue to return for races. It’s a STEM reunion too.

I also ran this race in 2009. I am a sucker for “causes.” And this is just  as important or maybe more important than a medical one.

It started out 10 years ago as a race for “Liza” who had been killed by her abusive husband but it is now also dedicated to Nikki who suffered the same fate.

The race is very well organized and offers lots of raffle prizes and even…

Eventually  we went outside to take some group photos and then to pair up with a STEM runner. In my particular group, most of the STEM participants had dropped out and we had more volunteers than runners.

I got paired with our one ‘male” participant, Mike, who usually does his own thing in trainings (instead of Couch to 5k).  He said that he wanted to finish under 30 minutes.  I told him that I was there for  him if he needed help.

Soon we moved to the start line and got ready to begin.

As I mentioned, I was not planning to run fast.  And Mike just took off.  Well, it was hot so I just ran my own pace, stopped to tie my shoes and walked at all the water stops.  Luckily on this hot day, there were many (maybe 5 or 6).

The course starts out flat on a country road but when we turn left, there are rolling hills (2 steepish ones).  I didn’t wear my Garmin (because I wasn’t going to be racing) but I did my best to run slowly up the hills.  Everyone was sweating…even me.

What I love about this out and back course is that you get to see all the slower runners.  And in this case, all the purple shirts.  I high-fived them and screamed encouragement as I ran by.

Eventually, I caught up to Mike, he was walking.  He said he had a side cramp.  I walked with him and encouraged him to get some water and start running again.

And he did.  I ran ahead so I could cheer him through the finish line.

Yes, he did cross under 30 minutes!! We were both happy.

I remained at the finish line to watch all the other happy faces cross and get their medals.

hot hot hot

Then I took my sweaty body to my car so I could sneak out.  I didn’t even stay around for the awards.

this race was NOT about me anyway

My hubby was waiting for me at the lake but I felt happier (for these runners) than if I had run a PR.  (There will be more times to run a fast 5k.)


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

thinking out loud

Happy Running! Ever run a race for someone else besides yourself?

Running Update – 5.29.17-6.4.17


Last Week:

  • Monday – A chilly rainy day so I caught up with things around the house, went to the gym and did some errands. A needed rest day on Memorial Day.
  • Tuesday  A scheduled rest day and I played my last indoor tennis.

I had thought I could squeeze in a run (hence my running skirt/capri) but it started to rain AGAIN.

  • Wednesday – Off to NYC for work.  I took the train and after I checked into my hotel, the rain had stopped so I hopped on the subway and went for a run. I intended to go to Central Park but wound up on Riverside Dr. so ran along the Hudson River instead..

running along Riverside Drive

Then that evening I went to see a show on Broadway.

The story of Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein

  • Thursday –  Indoors all day for work but I did squeeze in a walk during lunch and another run in the evening. This time along the East River.  Central Park will have to wait until my next trip to NYC. (June 19).

running along the East River Greenway

In the evening, I just walked around the area.

Bryant Park, Empire State Building and bumping into a former student on the street = ❤ nyc

  • Friday –  Another day in NYC for work.  Took a walk at lunch and then took the train home in the evening. Rest day #3.
  • Saturday – Today I ran the Freihofer’s Run for Women, my favorite local race. The energy of this race is addictive and I always meet so many new and old faces.

I met AJH who I had no idea was coming to run (from VT) – no PR but a decent time – 27:48 (13th in my AG)

I added another 5K afterward to complete my ZOOMA Virtual 10k race.

just a leisurely additional 3.8 miles retracing the course plus some photo stops

Then the hubby (who had been playing tennis) and I headed up North to meet some lake friends for dinner.

  • Sunday –  I would have liked to go boating again today but the weather did not cooperate. So I went to the gym and did some errands.

15.5 miles done with 3 runs and 4 rest days

This Week:

  • Monday – 4 miles 
  • Tuesday – rest, travel to Liverpool for work, tm??
  • Wednesday – rest, work in Liverpool, travel home
  • Thursday 6 miles with Alyssa
  • Friday – 3 miles, mah jongg
  • Saturday – rest, boating
  • Sunday – 5k race (volunteering for STEM) + 5 miles
I’m linking up with Mary Beth (on behalf of Holly and Tricia) for the Weekly Wrap. Please join us! 
 Happy Running! How is your running going? Is your weather cooperating?


Freihofer’s Run for Women Race Recap

June 3, 2017 9:o0 am

This is the only race that I’ve run every year! This was my 10th time!!!!!

My first FRW was in 2008 (my first year of running). At the time, it was the farthest I’d ever run:

FRW - 2008

Due to construction, they changed the course two years ago.

They say that this course is faster…less congested and has a less steep hill at the start and finish.


course map

I did run the new course the past two years and I liked it.


heading to the finish line

As with this race every year, I never know what will happen… I could break my foot again (as I did in 2013) or could have a course PR.

And this was also my third Freihofer Training Challenge…

2017 group (oops I missed the pic).

Training is a loose term. I kinda just showed up. Monday runs were always after a Sunday long run or race and I never attended any of the Saturday runs.

But I was excited to be part of it and support all the runners who would be finishing their FIRST 5k. And see my “advanced” buddies who would hopefully PR.

Every other year, the day before I walked to Empire State Plaza concourse at lunch to go to the expo and pick up my race packet. They used to have a really nice expo with vendors and health-related. But this year, I was in NYC for work so I had to depend on my hubby to pick things up for me at a new expo location.

yes we got free bread and a box of cookies

For convenience, I parked at a yoga place on race morning and walked to the start. I do this every year. However, with the new course, it was an even longer hike. Like 2 miles!

It was strange to walk down Madison Avenue and not see the race banners and not see the giant poster on the bridge.

pics from 3 years ago…


And the weather…it was not forecast to be as warm as previous years but at least it wasn’t raining. (The race started 30 minutes earlier than last year just in case we actually had warm weather. I wasn’t thrilled since I got home from NYC late the night before.)

I wore a jacket and my DIY sleeves to stay warm before the race. As I was walking down Madison, I spotted a van with a Vermont license plate. It was my friend AJH with a bunch of friends.  The race was a retirement gift.  How cool!!

surprise…and we even matched.

So on the way to start, we cut through the Empire State Plaza to use real restrooms. The we made our way to the Empire State Plaza so they could get their bibs, shirts, cookies, etc. (My tennis buddy was sick so I had to get hers as well.)


By this point, I had missed my training group photo, but I didn’t care.  It was great to see AJH and chat.

We finally got to the race location and I located the Challenge Group Tent and met up with friends.  I also shed my jacket and sleeves (although it did start to sprinkle.)

Sue & Hollys among the many training challenge runners

I also ran into a few local runners, bloggers (Judith and Vicki.) and even some Skirt Sports ambassadors.

Catching up with everyone made the time go by quickly and soon it was time to line up.



Although it was very crowded, there were fewer runners than when it was Madison Avenue but it did seem to be more than last year (new organizers and more advertising.).


Times Union photo 2016

Anyway, with the new start (on a wider street), it didn’t take as long to get moving and the first hill was longer but not as steep.

I started with Hollys but let her get ahead.  She always starts out fast. Right from the beginning, I had the feeling that my legs were moving but so slowly. I was also sneezing and sniffling (hopefully it’s allergies not a cold.)

When I got into the park and looked at my time, I was shocked at how slow it was. Usually mile 1 is my fastest.

I took this pic after the race

I continued to trudge along and couldn’t wait to walk at the first water stop around mile 1.25. (I wasn’t really thirsty so just took a sip and continued running.)

This course had you run around more of the park and it also seemed to avoid the bigger hills of the park.

I tried to pick up the pace for the second mile since the crowd had thinned out.  I told myself that I would not walk until the next water stop. That was around mile 2.5. At this point, I was starting to get some energy.

I had lost Hollys since she had gotten way ahead but all of a sudden, I could see her in the distance.

Finally we left the park and headed downhill to the finish. Not the steep downhill that we used to have with the old course, but at least it was downhill.

Runners cross the finish line for the Freihofer's Run for Women Saturday June 3, 2017 in Albany, NY. (John Carl D'Annibale / Times Union) Photo: John Carl D'Annibale / 40040636A

Hollys is in white. I am in the distance. (photo from TU)

I ran as fast as I could and even passed Hollys.  But I started my sprint too soon.  By the time, the finish line came into view, I was pooped.  Hollys passed me and I crossed at 28:04 (gun time.)

Not a PR (and I was not expecting one) but a decent time and faster than last year.

I grabbed a bagel and some chocolate milk. It was definitely less congested than when it was by the fountains on the Plaza. No long lines for food.


I ran into even more runners again that I knew.

the Mayor who had a 2 min, PR

The first time runners were so excited. That put a smile on my face.  I remembered why I love this race and it was never because of my awesome finish times.

I walked back to the Training Challenge Tent to get some more food and chatted with friends for awhile.


Many runners were excited about their PRs. I may not have run my fastest time but I still enjoyed myself.

You get what you put in. I did not do all the speed workouts so I can’t be disappointed. I also just ran a half marathon and I am no spring chicken. Plus my time was faster than the past two years (29:22, 28:50). So I was happy with that.


mile 1- 9:13
mile 2- 9:03
mile 3 – 8:25
.18 – ??

Chip time – 27:48

There was computer set up so you could check your time and see you won an age group award.

Guess who won my age group?

We hung out for awhile for the awards ceremony – the top 10 finishers and top 5 Masters.

Afterwards, I walked back to my car (uphill for 2 miles) to put away my stuff.

I had planned to run another 5k to complete the ZOOMA Annapolis Virtual 10k.

a lot of cool swag

I really didn’t feel like it but I did it. I retraced part of the course, made quite a few photo stops and took it nice and easy.

So FRW #10 is in the books! The tradition is still alive! It was again a great local race with over 3,000 women running it.

I am also sharing in the support love by linking up with a Sunday Fitness and Food Linkup hosted by

Ilka from Ilka’s Blog and Angela from Marathons & Motivation

Happy Running! How was your weekend? Did you race? If so, how did it go?


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!


TOLT: My Favorite 5K

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

thinking out loud

Here’s what I’m thinking about today:

My Favorite Local 5K

Image result for freihofer run 2017

This is an easy one for me. It’s the only race that I’ve run every year since I started running. This year will my 10th time!!!!

Here are some of the reasons why I love this race and why I run it every year:

  • It is ALL women – all ages – all sizes – veterans – newbies – elites – walkers
  • It is a real USATF race with elite runners in it. (Joan Benoit Samuelson runs it most years.)

  • It feels so good to be a part of all the excitement.

  • The results are printed in the local newspaper and even though I finish around 2000, I am happy if I finish in the top half.
  • I always meet someone I know and someone new. Last year, I even met the mayor.

  • Running it in 2008 made realize that I actually was a runner.
  • Being part of other runners’ first 5k in 2010 made me so proud.
  • 2011 was my FRW PR year. Maybe I’ll PR again?
  • Finishing it in 2012 (after serious ankle surgery) helped me believe that I could be a runner again.
  • I broke my foot at the beginning of the race in 2013 and still gutted out a finish under 30 minutes!
  • In 2014, I ran as part of a team to raise money for a former student who was diagnosed with breast cancer. It made the race even more meaningful.
  • In 2015 & 2016, I participated in the Freihofer Training Challenge Group. (And I did again this year.) It is fun being part of a running group.

  • You run around Washington Park. Love this park.


  • There is a lot of crowd support along the whole course.
  • It ends with a downhill 🙂
  • Everyone finishes with a smile.

  • They give you a free box of Freihofer chocolate chip cookies and a loaf of bread

  • Maybe I’ll make the newspapers again.. (I have several times!)

This 5k race is held on the first Saturday in June. So if you live near Albany, NY, come run it with me and 4,000 other awesome women runners! (Too late for this year?  Think about signing up for next year.)

Image result for freihofer run for women

Happy Running! Do you have a favorite local race?