TOTR: April Report Card

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So spring finally did arrive. Although it did waver back and forth throughout most of the month.

Here’s how April turned out:

Weekday Runs:

Although we had quite a bit of rain. 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 ran at UAlbany (near work), at the Crossings, near home, in a local park and even at the Corning Bike Path.

The good news is that it stays light out longer so I don’t have to run in the dark and can run longer after work. Since the snow has melted, I also have more choices of places to run.

I ran alone some of the time. But Alyssa was able to accompany me once a week.  It’s definitely more fun running with friends.

I continued to attend the Monday sessions of the Freihofer Run for Women Training Challenge. Coach Patrick put us through those speed drills that I normally would never attempt on my own.

I also started my volunteering stint with the STEM runners this month. The clients run three time each week.  I attended two Wednesday sessions.  May will be our big month since the race is in early June.

Long Runs:

I will end the month with a half marathon and so I tried to squeeze in some miles on the weekends to prepare for it. There were no uninterrupted long runs so my training definitely was lacking.

Total Mileage:

I will have run about 100 miles this month. I am pleased since I increased my mileage from last month (thanks to running a half this month.)

Races:

I had five races on my schedule this month – two 5ks, a 8k and a half marathon but I DNSed on one (a 5 miler)

I was sad that a backache forced me to DNS at the Delmar Dash (one of my favorite local races). However, I was generally happy with how the other races went. The Bacon Hill 5k was cold and windy which helped me run fast. The Code Blue race was quite hilly and my first 8k. I really enjoyed this race and did better than I expected. The Lake George 5k was also hilly but one of the most scenic places to run and I won my age group. (Shape Half is this Sunday so it hasn’t happened yet.)

Did not expect any PRs and I didn’t get them.

Cross Training:

I still play tennis (indoors, of course.) I am scheduled to play two Tuesdays a month but with work and other stuff, I only played once this month.

I did go to work out at the gym several times. My goal was twice a week, though. I didn’t quite achieve that.

I did walk several times a week at lunch for 30 minutes – around the outdoor shopping mall. Not everyday like I used. But more often since the weather has cooperated.

Other News:

I’ve gone out to dinner quite a few times with different friends (maybe too many times LOL). It seems to be how we make time to catch up when our lives are so busy. You have to eat, right?

I also got to hear the amazing Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor speak.

Running is not my whole life. I think it is important to make time for other things that bring you pleasure.

Feeling healthy so Life Is Good.

Looking Ahead:

My next half marathon is May 21 in Adams, Mass. It is flat and on the same course as my PR (Ramblefest in October).

My annual tennis vacation in Naples, Fla is coming up. Lots of girl-time scheduled.

And it’s my BIRTHDAY month!! (May 9)

I have quite a few races planned. My race season just kicked into high gear.

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

(tennis trip to Florida 5/3-5/10)

  • 5-6-17 – Tropicool 5k (in FL)?
  • 5-13-17 – Summer Smith Memorial 5k
  • 5-14-17 – Mother’s Day 5K?
  • 5-18-17 – Workforce Challenge (3.5m)
  • 5-21-17 – Steel Rail Half Marathon
  • 6-03-17 – Freihofer’s Run for Women 5k
  • 6-11-17 – Run for Hope (volunteer with STEM) or Betar Byway 5k & Moreau Mile??
  • 6-17-17 – Run for the Ages 5k* or Good Karma 5k*??
  • 6-25-17 – Adirondack Distance Run

I am linking to Deb at DebRuns for her April 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 an A-. I think that I improved from last month – more miles, some drills, some gym time. Still room to grow.

What do you think?

Happy Running! How did your April turn out? Anything exciting planned for May? What grade would you give your running month?

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Running Update: 4.17.17-4.23.17

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Last Week:

  • Monday – Today was a hellish day. A good friend’s 23 year son took his own life and I went to a memorial service.  Then my MIL had a mini stroke and ended up in the hospital. Thank God, it was week 5 of the Freihofer Challenge Group run and I could clear my head with a run and friends. The plan tonight was warm-up, 6-8 400m sprints at 5k pace, 200m recovery, cool down.  The weather was perfect though a little too windy.  Patrick said I got the consistently award for running all 6 sprints at 1:53 (We quit after 6 repeats.)

notice that our coach is wearing Skirt Sports.

Afterwards I met my BFF at the mall for a walk and a chat.

  • Tuesday – After setting up for Wednesday’s training, I ran  some miles at UAlbany. Another perfect weather day.

  • Wednesday – A scheduled rest day after a long tough day at work, followed by a stop at the gym after work.

It was also my day for volunteering with the STEM runners –  Couch to 5k and being week 2 and day 2, we only ran for 1 1/2 minutes and walked for 2 minutes. It was fun and so rewarding to work with these new runners even in the damp cold drizzling weather.

  • Thursday – Today Alyssa and I decided to run on the Nisky Bike Path since Alyssa had the day off and lives nearby.  I joined her for the first 6 of her 13 mile run. Another run trying to beat the rain. And we did.

  • Friday – I had planned a quick run before mah jongg but it was raining so I went to the gym to use the machines instead. Of course, the rain had stopped by the time I was done but I lost my mojo.
  • Saturday – A scheduled rest day. I got a lot done around the house. Then I went to the movies with friends…

it was excellent!!

followed by dinner out.

  • Sunday – Today I ran the Lake George 5k.  I’ve run it before so the uphill was no surprise. The weather couldn’t have been nicer. The race felt effortless and I even won my age group.

Not a PR but a decent 27:53 finish

Afterward, I ran 4 more miles on a nearby bike path …

Uphill on the way out but a delightful downhill back

and then drove up to our marina and ran 2 more miles. I felt strong enough to run more but I had plans for lunch with a friend.

Mimosa and feta shrimp tomato omelet with corn bread & fresh fruit salad

 1 more week to go!! Taper time!

23 miles done with 4 runs and 3 rest days

This Week:

  • Monday – FRW Training Group Run (3-4 miles),
  • Tuesday – 3 miles, tennis
  • Wednesday – gym, STEM group run (week 3 day 2 of Couch to 5k)
  • Thursday – 6 miles with Alyssa
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday – drive/train to NYC, packet pick up, etc.
  • Sunday Shape Women’s Half Marathon

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? How is your running weather?

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Running Update: 4.10.17-4.16.17

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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.

http://hohoruns.blogspot.com

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

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Bacon Hill Bonanza Recap

April 8, 2017- Start: 10 am

Every year, I plan to sign up for the 10k and then I chicken out.

10 K

I know that the hills would be good training for runing a half marathon in Central Park but… the 5k is an out and back and mostly flat.

5k – not as flat as it looks

So I changed my mind and registered for the 5k and then planned to run 8 hilly miles after.

I ran this race for the past three years and loved it. They had great food – the usual food but also chili and homemade muffins & cookies (including gluten free ones).

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And there was chocolate milk, fresh from the dairy.

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Plus, I won a homemade apple pie as first in my age group for the past three years. 28:56, 28:01, 27:54. Yes, it seems that I am getting faster but not sure about this year??? Lately I don’t feel very fast.

The race started at 10 am which was good since it would be an hour drive from my house.

Again the weather was tricky. What to wear? I was brave the first two years and wore a skirt, a baseball cap and no gloves. It is April, right? Then last year, it was cold and I resorted to capris and a warmer hat.

This year I decided to go back to the skirt. Although it was chilly (30s) in the morning, I hoped that it would warm up by the time I raced (and after). But I did bring along gloves, capris and a jacket.  (Spoiler alert: it did NOT warm up.)

I got to the race early and found a parking spot in a (muddy) field next to the church. The race started at the church in the town of Bacon Hill, a small farming town with awesome scenery. (It reminded me of Vermont.)

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these pics are from other years…everything still looked the same)

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It was chillier than I thought. It was in the 30s and high 20s with the windchill. Brrrr!! And it was cloudy!!! I quickly put on my capris under my skirt, my jacket, gloves and I wished that I had a hat that covered my ears and a turtle neck. I was COLD!!!!!!!!!

long sleeve women shirt

I wasn’t sure that I would know anyone at this race since Holly who was in the Turkey Trot training group and now the FRW training group said that she had to work this year and couldn’t race. And many of the locals were running Dodge the Deer today.

So I stayed in car to keep warm until almost the last minute.

On my way to the start, I bumped into Elsa, an SRM and we chatted but she was running the 10k so I proceeded to the start line alone.  Then I saw blogger, Judith (a recent BQer) so I lined up with her.

At the last minute, I decided to shred my jacket. I kept on my gloves and shivered.

Soon it was time for the race to start. The pastor read a prayer, the church bells rang and we were off.

The 5k was an out and back. The 10k veered to the right and supposed had hills and breath taking views.

I decided to go out fast. I always have positive splits so why try not to. It isn’t as flat as the map shows. The hills are rolling throughout but not that bad. Even I could run up them.

I loved all the signs along the route.

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This one as my favorite:14002247934_c17e330207_z

The wind was a killer. I was freezing. There were volunteers on the course calling out times. I occasionally glanced down at my Garmin to make sure I was running in the low 9’s. My biggest mistake was running the first mile in the 8’s!!!

Eventually we turned around and headed back… The wind had calmed down and I was actually very comfortable.

I stopped for water and walked for a little bit. Not because I was thirsty but because I was was out of breath. I never seemed to get into my groove. I guess I need to do some speed drills, Patrick.

I thought I had gotten a second wind but then again, I was winded. I even walked close to the end so that I could at least sprint through the finish line.

I knew at this point, there would be no PR. That was fine because I wasn’t expecting one.

the finish line is right next to the cemetery

As I approached the finish line, I realized that I could still finish under 28 minutes and I did! I crossed at 27:30 (according to my Garmin)!! And I was pleased.

I grabbed my jacket, put up my hood and immediately made a bee line for the chocolate milk. Boy, was it good. I had at least 2 cups.

They had the same great food (chili, muffins, cookies, fruit) as last year but no vegetarian dish and no pizza. I had some cookies, chili and a corn muffin.

I hung around waiting for the 10kers to finish though I was sooooo cold .

Elsa smiling but not happy about all those hills

Finally they posted the results…Mine was listed as 27:32 and I was first my age group.

Last year, it was so cold that they let you just get your award and leave but this year, we had to wait and they announced them one by one.  Brrrr…

I waited with Sue (my roommate for the Shape Half in NYC) since she was winning one for the 10K.

And I won a pie again!!!

it’s homemade and delish!

 

Race Splits:

mile 1- 8:34
mile 2 – 9:01
mile 3 – 9:01
.14 – 8:09
_________________

27:30 (Garmin time)

All in all, I loved this race. I will definitely do it again…maybe even the 10K someday. I was happy with my time. I didn’t go all out but I did beat my time for this course from the last three years. Hooray for a course PR.

I put the pie in my car and contemplated my planned 8 additional miles.  The scenery is beautiful.

2016 pic

But I was just too cold. It was still in the 30s, windy and cloudy. So I left.  I had several offers for running partners on Sunday and the weather was predicted to be sunny and in the 60s.

As I drove south, the temps seemed to rise. It was now in the 40’s and it looked like the sun may come out so I stopped at the Zim Smith Trail to get my long run for the day over with.

Well, to make a long story short, it was one of my worst long runs ever.  After 2 miles, my legs wanted to be done. It was not warm. It was windy and the sun didn’t come out until I was almost done.  But I am stubborn and just ran a little, walked a little and didn’t quit until I had finished 7 miles.  The plan was for 8 but it wasn’t going to happen today. The good news: Nothing hurt – not my back, not my feet, nada.

Scenes from my post-race run:

When I was done, I was so annoyed that I only grabbed a chocolate milk at Leah’s Cakery.

Why did my long run suck?

I run better with company.  It keeps me going.  Also I was probably tired from the 3 miles at race pace beforehand. Do I regret running the 5k first?  Not at all.  I have the same plan for every weekend.  A race and miles after.  My next half marathon is not a goal race.  It’s is just for fun.

After a long soak in the hot tub, I was revived enough to go out to dinner and drinks with my hubby.


I am 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! Did you run or race this weekend? Do you have spring weather yet?

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TOTR: My Favorite Local Race

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

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

Today’s Topic is: Favorite Local Race

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 Olympic 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 will again this year.) It was fun being part of a group.
  • You run around Washington 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 3,000 other awesome women runners!

Image result for freihofer run for women

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


Happy Running!  Do you have a favorite local race?

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TOTR: Spring Race Plans

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

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

Today I am going to share with you my Spring Race Plans.

I mean spring will be here soon.  Although we have actually had spring temps this winter LOL

enjoying the run

I’ve already run in a skirt several times!!

I hope that you don’t expect me to discuss ALL my spring racing plans…

  • 3-05-17 – Treasure Coast Half Marathon (in FL) – this past weekend
  • 3-11-17 – Runnin’ of the Green (4m)
  • 3-26-17 – Shamrock Shuffle (5m)
  • 4-02-17 – Delmar Dash (5m)
  • 4-08-17 – Bacon Hill Bonanza 5k
  • 4-15-17 – Code Blue 8k
  • 4-23-17 – Lake George 5k
  • 4-30-17 – Shape Women’s Half Marathon (in NYC)

Tennis vacation in Naples, FL 5-03-17 to 5-10-17

  • 5-13-17 – Summer Smith Memorial 5k
  • 5-14-17 – Mother’s Day 5K
  • 5-18-17 – Workforce Challenge (3.5)
  • 5-21-17 – Steel Rail Half Marathon (in Adams, MA)
  • 6-03-17 – Freihofer’s Run 5k
  • 6-11-17 – Betar Byway 5k/Moreau Mile
  • 6-17-17 – Run for the Ages 5k

Here are the highlights:

Treasure Coast Half Marathon – a Race-cation in Stuart, FL – 13.1 miles, visiting with 4 non-running friends who live nearby, my first Mets spring training game (recap coming soon!)

Image result for treasure coast half

Delmar Dash – a local 5 miler (closest race to my house) and a popular one with the local runners

Image result for delmar dash

Bacon Hill Bonanza – a very scenic and well-run 5k or 10k in the country (great post-race food).

Image result for Bacon Hill bonanza

Shape Women’s Half Marathon – a girls weekend (so far there are 3 of us plus some STEM runners) in NYC and my first race in Central Park.

Image result for shape women's half marathon

Steel Rail Half Marathon – in Mass and on the same course as the Ramblefest Half that I ran last October. It’s flat and scenic.

Image result for steel rail half marathon mass

Freihofer Run for Women – I’ll join the training group again.  This is my only racing streak.  It’ll by the 10th year running this 5k race with 4,000 of my closest friends (ha ha).

Freihofer's Run for Women 5K

Betar By-way 5k/Moreau Mile – another scenic 5k and 1 mile race.

Image result for betar by-way 5k moreau mile

So the scheduled topic is how do you create your race schedule.

I do race a lot and I am fortunate to have many to choose from between March and November. My only problem is that work and finances get in my way of running many destination races 😦

Here are some of the factors that I take into consideration when I make up my schedule:

  • Choose races that I’ve run before and have enjoyed
  • Choose new races that have been recommended to me
  • Choose races that are within an hour’s drive
  • Choose races that other friends are running
  • Choose destination races where I can stay with a friend (or share a hotel room)
  • Run at least 3 half marathons a year
  • In the summer, choose races that are on the way to our marina (so north)

Happy Running! What races are you looking forward to this spring? How do you create your racing schedule?

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December Recap

10 Things We Love The Most About December

Where has the time gone?.  I can’t believe that it is almost 2017. Wasn’t it just December 1?.

Anyway, here’s how December went down:

Weekday Runs:

We’ve been lucky and it’s hasn’t been cold or snowy of a December. So 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 ran mostly at UAlbany (near work). It’s easier than driving to run. Plus, it’s now dark when I get out of work.

I ran mostly alone.  Barbara was injured.  Alyssa was busy and I was in Florida for 5 days.

It’s definitely more fun running with friends. I hope I get to do that more next month.

Long Runs:

There were none! Just a half marathon!! Taking a break until mid-January.

Total Mileage:

I ran 69 miles this month –  My lowest monthly total of the year.  But I did run over 1000 miles for the year!! Woo Hoo! For the first time ever.

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Started out the year with my highest monthly total and ended with the lowest. LOL

2016

Races:

I only ran two races this month – a half marathon and a 5k.

I was generally happy with how they buth went. I won my age group in the half marathon and the 5k was just pure fun.

Cross Training:

I still play tennis (indoors now.) I am scheduled to play two Tuesdays a month but do get called to sub on some of the other weeks.

I actually went to workout at the gym ONCE!! Just I know – shocker!

I did walk almost every day at lunch for 30 minutes – Either around the outdoor shopping mall or to get a Starbucks coffee

Other News:

I went on the most awesome Girls Weekend Race-cation.  #HoLottaFun

I also spend a day in NYC taking in all the holiday sights.

I spent time with Amanda (my mentee).

There was a lot of holiday partying and eating but I won’t get into that.

Feeling healthy so Life Is Good.

Looking Ahead:

My next half marathon is not until March 5 in Florida where I will be visiting a few friends.

I only have a few races coming up. Things slow down around here when it gets cold.

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

  • 01-01-17 – HMRRC Winter Series #2 – 3.5M
  • 01-15-17 – HMRRC Winter Series #3  – 10K
  • 01-29-17 –  HMRRC Winter Series #4  – 15K
  • 02-05-17 – HMRRC Winter Series #5  – 10M

All these races are FREE!!

No monthly goals.

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

Happy Running! How did your December turn out? Anything exciting planned for January? 

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