Ultimate Coffee Date – July and Friday Five

It’s that time of the month…

It’s COFFEE ice cream, of course!!

to join up with Coco & Deborah for their ultimate coffee date.

1. Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I am always training for some long race.  This summer is no different.  But I am thinking that I am a much better short distance runner.

I am more successful and there’s less stress in running 3 miles vs 13.

But then there’s the medal and the pride. Not sure I can give that up…

Ever think of sticking to the shorter races?

2. Over coffee…

I’d tell you that all of a sudden it is summer.  I’ve been waiting so long for these temps.  They are great for boating

but for running…not so much.

And I refuse to run on the treadmill!!

planned on 4 and this was all I could muster…

Do you struggle to run when the temps are over 80? Do you ever give in and run on the mill?

3. Over coffee…

I’d tell that I complained about never being home but I kinda miss my NYC traveling.  Mainly because of the places to run there. There’s nothing like NYC for running.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg.  I’d love to run on Governor’s Island, Roosevelt Island, over all the bridges, etc.

Ever run in NYC and understand what I mean?

4. Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I still haven’t made my decision for a winter Florida race.

I thought I would go to Florida, as usual, to visit my friends and family and of course, run a half marathon. Maybe this one???

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But some local runner friends are tempting me with this race.  It’s been on my bucket list and it would be more fun to run it with people that I know…

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unfortunately I think the expense (flights/hotel) is leading me to save this one for another year

Ever have a hard time choosing a race or is it just me?

5. Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I enjoyed my summer mid-week races a lot.  It allowed me to not have to choose between long runs/boating and racing on the weekend.

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They sponsor 7 races (5k) on Weds in Prospect Park, Brooklyn and Ice Cream Social 5k on Jun 12.

If only locally, we had some mid-week races.

I did find one and of course, I signed up!!

Would you like to run evening races in the summer during the week or would you prefer races on the weekend?


It’s Friday so I’m linking up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostesses and visit some other bloggers.

Happy Running! Got anything to spill? Share it here!
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Popular Brooklyn Half Marathon Race Recap

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MAY 19, 2018

It seems like I’ve been planning to run this race forever. But actually it is a lottery and this year, I was determined to get in.  I sat at the computer and exactly at noon, I clicked Register and my friend Sue and I both got in. (Sue is my partner in crime for the France 8k and the Shape Half – both in NYC)

I signed up to run Brooklyn as my 31th Half Marathon for several reasons:

  • I love NYC (and Brooklyn).
  • I had enough hotel points for a free room.
  • My friend Sue agreed to run the race and room with me.
  • NYRR races are so well-organized
  • Who wouldn’t want to finish at the beach in Coney Island.
  • It was on a Saturday so I would still have Sunday at home.

Half Marathon Training:

If you follow my posts, you also know that I am not strict about following a training plan.  I ran my last half marathon on March 17 in Florida and since then I have completed easy weekday runs and longish runs on most weekends.

Though I don’t usually care much about my short runs, I do like to get in a 10, 11 and 12 miler before each half marathon.

I skipped my 12 mile long run entirely the weekend that I was on vacation in Florida. I added extra miles to my weekend 5k races.  Only ONE of my long runs was completed without a break in between the miles and that was the last one of 9 miles

I am sure that this is NOT the my best way for prepare to run 13 miles. I am a coach’s nightmare. LOL.

However, I wasn’t really worried. I didn’t expect to run the half marathon at a PR pace anyway. I was running it purely for the experience.

Dealing with a crazy work schedule, travel and rain does not equal a fast finish time. The goal for this half marathon was survival and enjoyment!!

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

I learned some valuable lessons about pre-race prep on my last half marathon in NYC and Vegas– rest the legs the day before.

So we didn’t really walk that much.  We took the bus to Manhattan and then the subway to Brooklyn so we could check into the hotel.  Then we took a subway to Pier 2 to the Pre-Race Party to get our shirt and bib.

The Pre-Race party was a little disappointing. Not many booths or food and there was no entertainment. But if you just wanted to get in and out, it was fine. You could also get any information you needed about the race and logistics.  We asked a lot of people about what time to be at the race and got many conflicting answers so made our own decision.

While we were at the pier, we did a little sightseeing by touring an old schooner and watching a glass blowing demonstration on an Erie Canal boat. Our last stop was Coney Island where we had a delicious pasta dinner before heading back to the hotel to call it an early night.

Race Day:

Alarm set for 5 am. After much debate, we decided to leave for the race at 6:30 am.

I brought my usual race breakfast of oatmeal and coffee with me and ate in the hotel room. Good thing because the hotel breakfast didn’t open until 6:30 am.

My original race outfit was going to be a tank and skirt.  But with each weather forecast predicting colder and colder temps, I kept changing my mind.

So in additional to the above, I added compression leg sleeves, DIY arm sleeves, a throw way long sleeved shirt and a rain poncho.

I was very close to adding capris and a jacket but decided at the last moment that I didn’t want to be too warm.  Sue and I both also decided against a checked bag based on the logistics, long bag check lines and having to wait outside in the rain even longer.

Our hotel was fairly close to the start so we would have walked if it hadn’t been raining so hard. We had planned to call an uber but two sisters outside our hotel had already called one and offered us a ride.  We accepted and hung out with them for a while before the race (one was running her first half… poor thing.)

We arrived at 6:45 to cold pouring rain and wind and did our best to stay dry by standing under one canopy after another.

Unfortunately we had to eventually get to the start. We waited so long that wave 1 (we were in wave 2) had already started. That meant we had to run across the course.  Just imagine how hard it is to cross between runners running at a 5-6 min pace.  I almost had a heart attack but we all did it successfully.

Then we had to wait on a very long line in order to go through security before getting into our corrals.

We decided to stay under a canopy until the very last minute and it was the right decision.  Then the line moved pretty fast and we pushed our way into the corrals and just moved to about the 10 minute pacer.

I kept my rain poncho on until it was time to begin. Many runners kept theirs on all or most of the race.  I thought that it would be too uncomfortable. I normally take off my throw away shirt too (because it was heavy cotton) but I was just too cold.  I wished that I had gloves on, as well.

My plan for the race, as usual, was to stop and walk briefly at every water stop (so I wouldn’t get dehydrated) and to stop and walk longer to eat a GU at every 4 miles or so. And of course, not slip and fall or succumb to hypothermia.  Sue and I planned to meet inside the Coney Island subway station and go back to the hotel together.

Anyway, here’s how the race went (photos courtesy of the NYRR website):

Miles 1-3:

9:53, 9:58, 9:14

As you can see, it was quite congested in the beginning of the race.  For the first 3 miles, you run outside of Prospect Park and there were minor ups and downs in the elevation.  I tried not to step in any big puddles but in trying to cut the tangents, I stepped in one monster one.  In addition to my feet now being soaked and sloshing around, my throw away was getting water logged and I had to stop and toss it.  The good news is that it was covering my watch and I couldn’t worry about my pace.  I still had on my DIY arm sleeves for warmth.

My plan to stop at every water stop slowed me down because in this race, they were at every mile (not every 2 miles as I am used to.)  I stopped anyway even though I wasn’t thirsty.  They were a tempting opportunity to walk and so that’s what I regrettably did.

Miles 4-6:

9:41, 10:27, 10:01

At mile 4, you head into the park. It starts off flat and just before Mile 5 comes the biggest hill on the course which is not as steep as some of those Central Park hills, but seems like it will never end. I continued my water stop walking and used the one at hilly mile 5 to eat my first GU. Thankfully as you loop around the park, you discover what goes up must come down and you get to enjoy a nice downhill.  This was my favorite part of the race. At this point, I rolled down my arm sleeves.  They were so wet that they weren’t keeping me warm anyway.

Miles 7-9:

8:56, 9:41, 10:09

As you come through Mile 7 just outside the park, you head to Ocean Parkway with a quick dip down and a steady bump in elevation on the entrance ramp.

I tried to think of this as my final stretch to the finish line. But it felt like Ocean Parkway would never end. Until this point in the race, I was really feeling strong. My lack of long runs really reared its ugly head at mile 9. I started to get a big blister on my left foot (where I always get one).  It was painful and I think it made my gait awkward.  My lower back starting aching and then the arch on the bottom of my right foot started feeling funky.  As a result, walks at the water stops were getting longer. To make things worse, it was raining even harder. Believe it or not, there were lively crowds all along the course…even in this weather. That helped a lot.

Miles 10-12

10:35, 10:02, 10:25

Still running down that endless Ocean Parkway. At mile 10, I ate my second GU and walked what seemed like forever hoping to get some zip in my step. Finally as you run South, the Avenues go in order from A to Z then you make a right hand turn onto Surf Avenue where you can see the roller coasters up ahead. But by mile 12, I barely had any energy. I just willed myself to continue. I knew the end was near.

Mile 13- 13.25

9:56, 9:21

Soon I saw the sign that said “800 meters to go” and then I was finally on the boardwalk.  The finish line seemed so far away but all of a sudden, the race was over.  I crossed….

Garmin time= 2:11:18
Gun time = 3:09:46
Chip time = 2:11:23

I got my medal and then was handed a bag with water, gatorade and some snacks.

too cold and wet to take any fancy pix with the medal 😦

I followed the crowd to exit and my original plan was to hang around, go to the After Party in MCU Stadium (where you got beer, pizza, Nathan’s famous hot dogs, etc.) but I was FREEZING!!!!!

a friend’s pic from FB

So I made a bee line to the subway to wait for my friend Sue.

I checked my phone and saw a message from her. “DNF. Quit at mile 5. Took an early train back to Albany.”

WTF?

I had the feeling that she didn’t want to run in the rain.  At mile 5 we had looped the park and it was an easy walk back to the hotel.

Now I was stuck alone in the rain in NYC until my 6:30 pm bus home.

(In the end, it was fine. I had a nice lunch and went to the movies.)

Additional Race Reflections:

Though there were timing clocks at every mile during the race, they started when the elites of wave 1 started so I really wasn’t sure how I was doing.  I kept thinking that I was about an hour less than the displayed time. It was hard to see my watch because of my arm sleeves (I had only rolled them down not thrown them away.) So I was pleased at my time. I thought I would finish much slower. I knew I would not PR but secretly, I wanted to finish faster than 2:12.  That was the qualifying time for my new age group for the NYC Half Marathon next March. (I may not run it but it’s nice to qualify for something.)

Well, this was a bucket list race for me.  Since I didn’t train hard, I was expecting to completely enjoy my experience, take lots of photos, hang out at the beach, etc.

All of this impossible in such miserable weather conditions.

But no, I don’t regret running the race.  I actually liked the course more than I thought I would.  The hills weren’t as bad as Central Park.  More than 25,000 excited runners. So much energy. NYRR puts on a first class event.

even Deena Kastor was not smiling

The Good:

  • Easy organized packet pick-up.
  • Lots of information from sign up to race day
  • The excitement and energy
  • Prospect Park part of the course
  • Ending on the board walk of Coney Island
  • Hot Dogs and Beer at the Post-Race Party
  • Water & Gatorade Stops at every mile (many tables of cups and many volunteers)
  • Crowd Support (even in the rain)

The Bad:

  • Running down Ocean Ave for so long was a little boring
  • Pre-Race Party was disappointing – few vendors
  • Congested before the start due to security check

The Ugly:

  • The Weather!!

Would I recommend this race?

Yes definitely. Too bad, it sells out so fast.  I would do it again if I could wait to see the weather forecast first.

Final Stats:

It was not my fastest half marathon. But it was actually faster than my last two half marathons.

I am pretty sure than if I had seriously trained and the weather was better (Honestly the rain just put me in a foul mood), I would have had a better finish time.  But “it is what it is.”  I chose to run those 5ks instead of doing my long runs (and I don’t regret it one bit).  And you can’t control the weather.  It was the same for every runner.

Next Up:

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September 23, 2018 


It’s Tuesday so don’t forget to link up with these wonderful ladies:

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

I am also joining up with Running on HappySuzlyfeCrazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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Happy Running!  Have you ever a big run in the rain?  Do you prefer large races or small ones?

Weekly Wrap for 5.14.18-5.20.18: Race Week

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  • Monday – I was supposed to have jury duty but I didn’t have to appear today. So I was able to attend Week 9 of the Freihofer Training Challenge group run. Being a taper week for me and having run 12 miles in the previous two days, I hesitated going and definitely about doing the Advanced speed workout. So I went and ran with the beginner group. A slow easy 3.5 miles. Just perfect. And I got to run and chat with a friend Denise who has been injured and I haven’t seen in ages.

  • Tuesday -Again I didn’t have to report for jury duty. So I was able to play tennis after work.  Rest day for running (after running 3 days in a row and besides it was raining. My tennis lessons over vacation must have helped but we won both sets.
  • Wednesday – Finally reported for jury duty. I did take a long walk to the court instead of paying for parking or taking the bus. Not selected as a juror because I asked to be dismissed (chose to report again in Dec.) But no running again due to a hair appointment.

I missed Tulip Fest due to rain and these are past prime but still beautiful

  • Thursday – Back at work and because I was in town, I had signed up with my co-workers (as I did last year) to participate in the Workforce Challenge. Ten thousand runners in a 3.5 mile race downtown.  Crazy, right with a half marathon in two days!? So to make sure that I didn’t race, I didn’t wear my watch.  And I met someday who works upstairs from me who wanted a running partner to get her through the race. She’s much slower than me so it was perfect. We chatted and chatted and dodged the walkers. I may have finished 10 minutes slower than last year but who cares?
  • Friday – Took the bus to NYC with my running buddy Sue and subwayed to Brooklyn to check into our hotel, go to the expo and get ready for race day. That included a delicious pasta dinner in Coney Island.
  • Saturday – Race Day. Brooklyn Half Marathon. I had been looking forward to this race for years. Not as a goal race but for the experience. Running around Prospect Park and finishing at Coney Island. What was not in the plan was the RAIN!! Cold pouring rain and wind. It was so bad that Sue quit after mile 5 and took the train home. I persevered and finished. The last 4 miles were painful but I didn’t succumb to hyperthermia.

not my best nor my worst but at least fast enough to qualify for 2019 NYC Half.

Alone in the city on a rainy day so I opted to have a nice lunch and go to the movies.

Image result for book club movie

  • SundayRest Day. We were hoping for boating weather but the nope, rainy  Instead we did go out to a nice brunch to celebrate both of our May birthdays (and both qualifying for Medicare.)

This Coming Week

  • Monday –  train to NYC for work, 4 miles 
  • Tuesday  rest day
  • Wednesday – 3 miles or Al Goldstein 5k (in Brooklyn)
  • Thursday3 miles
  • Friday – rest day. train home
  • Saturday –  6 miles
  • Sunday – rest day, boating?

Please link up for the Weekly Wrap hosted by these wonderful bloggers Holly @ HoHoRuns and Wendy @ Taking the Long Way Home

Happy Running! How is your running going? What’s new with you? Anyone ever have jury duty?  What about running a big race in the rain?

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March Report Card

Image result for welcome april goodbye march

Spring did not arrive in March.  There was a lot of snow but I was lucky to escape for a few days to sunny Florida.

Anyhow, here’s how March worked out for me:

Weekday Runs:

I was able to run at least 3 times outdoors each week which is great because I HATE the tradmill. As I mentioned March was a snowy month.  Four nor’easters in 3 weeks!!!!

I ran at UAlbany (near work) or near home.  Unfortunately, my preferred routes don’t have lights but the good news is that it is staying light longer since we moved the clocks ahead one hour. I did run while working in NYC and in Liverpool.  The best thing about my job is running in different places. My weekday runs were usually around 3-4 miles (occasionally more and occasionally less).

Long Runs:

Work and the weather has made it tough to get in my weekend long runs. But since I ran a half marathon in the middle, I did get a few in before I left.  Then I took a break but continued with some extra miles after a race at the end of the month.

Total Mileage:

I ran 92 miles this month.  An increase in miles basically because March is a long month and I ran a half marathon this month. The important thing is that I am feeling healthy so all is good.

Races:

I had several races on my schedule this month. I ran the Brew 2 Brew Half Marathon during my vacation in Florida. When I returned, I ran two local races, Shamrock Shuffle, a 5 miler and the Ice Break Challenge, a 5k. Both were fun and I met up with several friends at each. I also had course PRs and won my age group in both races.  A nice perk!

Cross Training:

I only played tennis once indoors.  It’s doubles so not a great workout but better than nothing. I wish I could play more but …WORK WORK WORK!!!

I did NOT work out at the gym at all.

I did not attend a yoga class. The month just got away from me and I was hardly home during the week. Then on the weekend, I was playing catch up.

I did not walk at lunch. But working in NYC does get me a lot of steps. I did go for an after dinner walk in Liverpool.

Other News:

The highlight of my month was my trip to Florida. I especially enjoyed the warm temps and sunshine. I was able to visit with five different friends and as well as my sister-in-law.

Despite all my work travel, I was able to squeeze in some friend time and hubby time. These are usually spent with dinners in a restaurant. I ended the month with a Passover Seder with my Mah jongg friends.

The Freihofer Training Challenge began. I have yet to be able to go since I’ve been working out of town on Mondays and racing on Saturdays. I guess I shouldn’t have signed up this year. (Miss my coach and my running buds.)

FTC – March 2016

Feeling healthy so Life Is Good.

Looking Ahead:

Half Marathon #31 in May.

It’s a big one and it’s been on my bucket list for years.

Image result for brooklyn half marathon 2018

May 19, 2018

I have some shorter races planned as well. My racing schedule picks up in the spring.

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

  • 4-14-18 – Code Blue 8K and/or 4-15-18 – Delmar Dash (5m)
  • 4-21-18 – Bacon Hill Bonanza 5k and/or 4-22-18 – Sasha’s Super Hero Run 5k
  • 4-28-18 – Spring Run Off 5k /10k and/or 4-29-18 – Cherry Blossom 5k
  • 5-06-18 – Tropicool 5k (in FL)
  • 5-12-18 – Summer Smith Memorial 5k
  • 5-17-18- Workforce Challenge (3.5 m)
  • 5-19-18 – Brooklyn Half Marathon

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

Deb Runs
No monthly goals.

This motto worked for 2016 & 2017 so I’m sticking with it in 2018!


I’m linking up with these wonderful ladies:

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

My Topic is: Give your running month a letter grade.

I’d say overall an A-

Despite the work travel, vacation and crazy winter weather, I did my best to get in my runs. Strength training just never happens so I’ve decided not to beat myself up about it. I ran 2 shorter races and without any speed drills, I had course PRs and won my age group in both. 🙂

Spring can’t come soon enough for this fair weather runner.


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

Happy Running! How did your March turn out? Anything exciting planned for April? 

What grade would you give your running month?

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Brew 2 Brew Half Marathon Race Recap

March 17, 2018

It seems like I’ve been planning this race-cation forever (since November) and now it’s come and gone.

I signed up for my 30th Half Marathon in Florida for several reasons:

  • I love race-cations.
  • I had enough FF miles for a free flight.
  • I have many many friends who winter in Florida (as well as my sister-in-law who moved to Florida) who have offered me places to stay.
  • I am sick of this cold weather and need some sunshine in my life!!!!!!!!
  • I love the beach, ocean views, climbing to the top of lighthouses, visiting bird sanctuaries, morning sunsets, etc.
  • The races are usually flat and have awesome views.

So I signed for the Singer Island Half Marathon because of the reviews and the amazing views.  If you read my blog, you know that the race was cancelled.

I had to choose another Florida half marathon on the east coast and Brew 2 Brew, an inaugural (un-scenic) race was my only option.

I was not excited about this race for many reasons. The first being that all my experiences with inaugural half marathon races have not been good and I have run quite a few. Secondly, the website had very little information about the race.  I had to email the director several times to find out if there was a medal, when & where packet pickup was and what the course was like.

Eventually, I got this email (and everyone I showed it to laughed):

Should I carry this or will they mark the course? My brother-in-law said to call him when I get lost. LOL

Also because of the lack of advertising, there were not many runners signed up for the race.

But you know me, I’m game for a challenge and I love racing enough to pay $80 or more to do this “race.”

Spoiler Alert: This race turned out so differently that I thought it would. I did something I’ve never done before.  And I enjoyed it more than any other half I have done.

Half Marathon Training:

If you follow my posts, you also know that I am not strict about following a training plan.  I ran my last half marathon on November 13 in Las Vegas and since then I have completed easy weekday runs and long runs on most weekends.

Though I don’t usually care much about my short runs, I do like to get in a 10, 11 and 12 miler before each half marathon.

I skipped my long run entirely the weekend that I was snowed in in Buffalo. I added extra miles to my weekend group runs.  NONE of my long runs was completed without a break in between the miles. I am sure that this is NOT the my best way for prepare to run 13 miles. I am a coach’s nightmare. LOL.

However, I wasn’t really worried. I didn’t expect to run the half marathon at a PR pace anyway.

Training in the snowy, windy frigid NE and racing in the warm humid SE does not equal a fast finish time. The goal for this half marathon was survival and enjoyment!!

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

I learned some valuable lessons about pre-race prep on my last race-cation — rest the legs the day before and fuel adequately before the race.

The day I arrived in Florida, I relaxed at the pool (need that vitamin D), walked around a bird sanctuary and started my carb loading with pizza out with my Delray Beach host.  The next day, I went for an easy run, did more relaxing at the pool, walking on the beach (continuing my vitamin D intake) and had dinner out with an old friend.

On the day before the race, I took a leisurely walk, went out for brunch with my college roommate, and took my host to do some errands before I left Delray Beach. Then I drove about 1 3/4 hours north to Vero Beach while munching on leftover pizza. As soon as I arrived, I spotted Abbotts Custard, my favorite dessert place in Rochester, NY. I had to have some, right?

My second stop was to pick my race packet at a local running store (where I also snagged Birthday Cake GU)

yes, that is a COTTON shirt!!

and then on to locate the race start/finish. It was easy to find the Walking Tree Brewery and it had a large parking lot. Now I could relax about the race logistics.

The last stop was my sister in law and her husband’s who lived about 1/2 hour north in Sebastian. I was planning on spending the night there.

We all went out to an Italian restaurant so I could carb load and then we relaxed at home for the rest of the evening (and I got my racing stuff ready for the next day.)

didn’t need those arm sleeves

The weather forecasted looked perfect:

I hoped to be done before it got very warm and it wasn’t very humid

Race Day:

I brought my usual race breakfast of oatmeal and coffee with me (to the disappointment of my sister-in-law who got up to make me something to eat.)

Look how fresh my 70 year old sister-in-law looks at 5 am!!

It was chilly so I added a throw away shirt over my traditional half marathon outfit and took off for the race start.

I arrived about an hour early (too early!) and hung out with other runners inside the brewery. I was surprised at how many runners were wearing the cotton green race shirt.

this was taken after but you get the picture about the shirts

And compared to all of my 29 previous half marathons, this one was very small. Most likely, the smallest with only a little over 100 runners.

So it was dark and quiet – no music, no fanfare, little excitement.

Finally it was time to head to the start line. I reluctantly took over my long sleeved shirt (and that was the right decision.)

I stood close to the front figuring that there would be no chip timing. They did mention that there would be signs at all the (29) turns and arrows spray painted on the ground (Phew!)

No national anthem or gun start. Just a guy staying “Go.”

Yes, I finally located a course map

I’ll do my best to recap the race but I don’t remember much – there was nothing interesting to look at (scenery-wise) and no spectators to speak of.

I didn’t feel excited as I normally do before a half marathon.  I just wanted to get done and continue my Florida vacation.

This is very odd because usually the RACE is the highlight of my race-cation.

My plan, as usual, was to stop and walk briefly at every water stop (so I wouldn’t get dehydrated) and to stop and walk longer to eat a GU at every other water stop.

Anyway, here’s how the race went:

see any bridges or ocean views? Noooo! Waaah!

Miles 1-3:

9:31, 9:50, 10:01

We started running from the brewery into some neighborhoods.  You can see on the map that there were lots of turns and yes, they were visibility marked.  The roads weren’t closed to traffic but at this hour, it was pretty quiet. I, of course, made sure to run the tangents.  I ran the first mile with a few different women. During the second mile, a runner came up to me and asked me what pace I was running.  I replied that it was close 10.  We started chatting. She was from VA and visiting her parents. She was also running her FIRST HALF MARATHON (and was a newby runner).  She didn’t have a watch and her longest run ever was 9 miles. She told her husband and son that she thought she would be finishing with about a 12 min/mi pace. She asked if she could with me.  I had never run a half marathon or even a whole race with someone else but I replied “Sure. The company would be fun.” I also told her that I wasn’t sure what my finish time would be but it would be faster than 12 min/mile.  I warned her that I walk at every water stop and usually run the first half faster than the second half when I often walk more if I run out of gas.  She said that she would try to keep up as long as she could and was very grateful. So we chatted and chatted as I had planned, I stopped for water close to the mile two marker.  The sun had come up and it was already starting to get warm.  I unconsciously made the decision to forget about time and just enjoy the company of Ann, my new running friend.

most of the runners were dressed in green for this St Patrick’s Day race

Miles 4-6:

10:22, 10:17, 10:09

The course eventually looped back toward the start and around the airport parking lot. My next walk break was to eat a Gu. I was hungry since it had been hours since my breakfast. I walked longer since I have yet to figure out how to drink, open the Gu and eat it while running.  Ann also had been wondering if this course had any porta-potties.  I told her that I didn’t think so.  The only one (yes, only ONE!) was near the start.  So she decided to stop when we passed it.  I didn’t stop but just continued running slowly in hopes that she would catch up.  I kinda liked having someone to talk to during the race.

Miles 7-9:

10:35, 11:16, 11:18

And yes, Ann did catch up.  She said she didn’t think she could finish the race alone. I had developed a big blister on my left foot (where I always get one due to a bunion).  It was painful so I didn’t have a hard time slowing down to run with Ann. We continued to run easy and converse.  At this point in the race, we were running WITH traffic on a main road.  Since we were running next to each other, this was a little dangerous but luckily, the cars moved over adequately.  It did still make me uncomfortable.  This part of the race seemed to go on forever. Ann and I were both getting warm and dragging.  And it was very boring.  Absolutely nothing to look at. We stopped for water and I ate my second Gu around mile 8.  The highlight was seeing Ann’s son who was volunteering at the water stop.

Miles 10-12

11:23, 11:20, 11:11

Finally we got to the turn around.  I never really looked at my watch but as you can see we were crawling.  Once we were running in the opposite direction on this road, we knew that the end of the race was near.  And with the out and back, we were able to see the fast runners and now the slower runners. During these miles, I started to get stomach cramps.  I was hoping that I wouldn’t need a porta-potty because there were none. Fortunately, the feeling went away by mile 13 (whew!) but it did make it hard to run at a faster pace.

Mile 13- 13.14:

10:15, 7:35

Ann and I both decided that despite the heat and our weary legs, we would pick up the pace and run faster for the last mile. And we did, even sprinting through the finish line (where she narrowly beat me.)

Garmin time= 2:18:28
Gun time = 2:20:00
Chip time = 2:19:56

Ann hugged me with tears in her eyes and then was greeted by her husband.  I was so happy for her.  Happier than if I had PR’d.

coincidentally our numbers are 448 and 449 – we registered at different times and our last names are not that close…odd?

My sister-in-law and her friend were waiting for me after I crossed the finish line.  That was nice. I rarely have a family member cheering for me at the end of a race.

so hot and sweaty and yes, the medal is smaller than my Garmin

I got my medal, grabbed some food (though I wasn’t hungry) and went inside the brewery to get my free beer.

We waited around until they posted the results and yes, I did win an age group award – a distant 3rd.

a plastic beer mug filled with a few candies

I said good-bye to my new running friend (after we exchanged phone numbers) and headed back to my sister-in-law’s home to shower and then head out for a celebratory lunch.

there was food too and ice cream after 🙂

Additional Race Reflections:

So I didn’t plan to have such a slow finish time.  My legs were rested. I was properly fueled. The weather was perfect and the course was flat.  But for the first time, I selflessly forgot about MY race and ran the race (for 12 miles) with some else and helped this new runner finish her FIRST half marathon. Not only was it rewarding but I enjoyed the race.  I wasn’t winded and I wasn’t obsessed with my pace and trying to figure out my finish time.  I was able to run again the next three days in a row.

Two days later, I did get in my bridge run and ocean views

The Good:

  • Easy packet pick-up.
  • Real bathrooms and comfortable location to wait at the start/finish.
  • Flat course.
  • Free beer
  • Perfect weather conditions
  • Water and Gatorade stops at least every 2 miles
  • Gu available at a water stop midway
  • Well marked course
  • Participants in costumes
  • No major injuries.
  • Running 12 miles with a runner and chatting the whole race.
  • My sister in law and her friend cheering me on at the finish line.

The Bad:

  • 29 turns on the course (mostly at the beginning)
  • Boring course – zero scenic views
  • Poor advertising (not enough info on the website)
  • Running with traffic for most of the race
  • No porta potties on the course (except the start which was also mile 5)
  • Cotton race shirt
  • Small medal
  • No race photos
  • Flat course (I actually enjoy the variety of ups and downs)
  • Training (broken up long runs)
  • Stomach Cramps (miles 10-12), Blister from mile 5+

The Ugly:

  • Nothing really.

Would I recommend this race?

No. Not for the price. And all the “Bads” listed above.

Final Stats:

It was not my slowest half marathon.  But I have run hillier races and races in windy conditions where my finish time was faster. Still I am glad that I ran this race rather than not running one at all.  I made the right decision.

Next Up:

May 19, 2018 

Image result for brooklyn half marathon 2018
This was one will be the totally the opposite – big crowds, lots of excitement, hills, beach finish… Looking forward to it….

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

Happy Running!  Have you ever run an inaugural or low budget race?  Have you ever given up on your time goals to help someone finish a race?

TOTR: Spring Racing Plans

A great topic because I love SPRING and I love RACING.

I race often and hopefully my training miles will be filled with views like below:

in Washington Park

So here are some of the races I am planning to run:

  • 3-25-18 – Shamrock Shuffle (5m) – I’ve done this race several times and it’s a nice local race (with some hills).  I also like the 5 mile distance.

  • 3-31-18 – Ice Breaker Challenge 5K – This race is on the bike path that I often run on so it is familiar territory and that makes it easy to add on miles before or after.

  • 4-14-18 – Code Blue 8K and/or 4-15-18 – Delmar Dash (5m)

I ran Code Blue last year for the first time and enjoyed it but it is the same weekend as Delmar Dash, the race closest to my house.  What should I do??

  • 4-21-18 – Bacon Hill Bonanza 5k and/or 4-22-18 – Sasha’s Super Hero Run 5k

I usually run Bacon Hill because of the refreshments and that you win a pie as an AG award.

But I know the organizer of Sasha’s Super Hero Run so I may run this one instead and even run both.

Image result for sahas superhero run

this would be a fun one to dress up as Wonder Woman

  • 4-28-18 – Spring Run Off 5k /10k and/or 4-29-18 Cherry Blossom 5k

Decisions. Decisions. I hate that these races are on the same weekend.  We have very few 10ks so I like to run them but the Cherry Blossom raises money for ALS.  Not sure if I will run one or both.

  • 5-05-18 – Tropicool 5k (in FL)

I ran this race while on a tennis vacation in Florida last year.  I’d love to do it again.

  • 5-12-18 – Summer Smith Memorial 5k

This 5k is important because it is organized by the mother of a STEM runner who died. I knew her from my first volunteering with STEM.

  • 5-17-18- Workforce Challenge (3.5 m)

This is not really a competitive race but a way to connect with your co-workers.  There are about 10,000 who participate in my area. It was 98 degrees last year so I hope for a cooler day this May.

  • 5-19-18 – Brooklyn Half Marathon

This half marathon has always been on my bucket list and my friend Sue has agreed to run it with me.  With the huge crowd that it attracts, my goal for this half is to finish injury-free on the boardwalk of Coney Island.

Image result for brooklyn half finish

  • 6-02-18 – Freihofer’s Run for Women

As I have mentioned so many times, this race is the only race that I have run every year since I started running (even with injuries.) This will be my 11th FRW.

  • 6-09-18 – OK 5k  or Betar Byway 5k and/or 6-10-18 – Run for Help (volunteer with STEM)

Several years ago, I ran the OK 5k because it was flat and a popular local race.  Then I switched to the Betar Byway 5k because it was more scenic. Even if I run one of those, I may still volunteer in the Run for Help.

  • 6-16-18 – Whipple City 5K

I ran this 5k for the first time last year because of peer pressure.  I was not too impressed so this is only a maybe.

All these races may not happen or they may or I may even decide on different ones.

But I do know is that this spring, there will be a #holottaracing going on.


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


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

Happy Running! Which spring races are you looking forward to?  Please share.

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Weekly Wrap for 3.5.18-3.11.18: Back in the Big Apple

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New York, New York. It’s my kind of town…

Lots of lights and places to run…

Last week – 

  • Monday – Again I was scheduled to work in Queens. So after I set up and got back to Manhattan, I went for a short run.  I decided to run on the High Line because I actually had enough daylight before it closed.

A short run because I had tickets for a pro tennis tournament in Madison Square Garden.

8 players played 10 pt tie breakers and the winner took all in the end. Pretty fun.

  • Tuesday – Today after work, I wanted to get one more run in before the storm so I ran along the Hudson River until it got dark and then through the city.

I ran in the opposite direction (uptown)

  • Wednesday – My new Skirt Sports ambassador buddy, Elizabeth, recommended that I attend this event with her.

the author is a runner herself.

But the event got cancelled due the snowstorm. I was totally bummed. So I made the best of the evening and took on a Broadway show.

I bought last row tix but because of the weather, there were a lot of no-shows so I was able to move down to the 3rd row. I even got a beach ball souvenir.

  • Thursday – Finally Elizabeth and I were supposed to run together.  But the weather again messed up our plans. Her Tuesday running class got rescheduled for today. So we planned to meet up the next I am here. and I took the subway to Central Park and ran solo.

More daylight and more runners in the park (many guys in shorts!?) I was more adventuresome and ran some different paths.

Afterward, I stumbled upon the Underground Market – amazing eateries near the Columbus Circle subway station.

  • Friday – No time to run since I had to take the time home after work.  I needed a rest anyway.
  • Saturday – Last long run before the big one. Because the paths at the Crossings were plowed last week, I encouraged the Wineglass ladies to join me for a run there. Jeri & Heidi ran/walked together and Christian & Sherry ran together.  Barbara was a good sport and ran 8 miles with me. Then we all met up for brunch.

cold and WINDY! I am so ready to leave this climate.

  • Sunday –  Rest and time to pack for my upcoming vacation!!!

This Coming Week

  • Monday  4 miles
  • Tuesday – 2 miles before tennis
  • Wednesday – rest day, fly to West Palm Beach, FL, drive to Delray Beach
  • Thursday 3 miles in Delray and visiting 3 different friends
  • Friday – rest day, drive to Vero Beach, packet pick up  and meet up with some more friends
  • SaturdayBrew 2 Brew Half Marathon, drive to Sebastian (to visit my sister-in-law) and then Hobe Sound
  • Sunday – rest day in Hobe Sound visiting friends

Please link up for the Weekly Wrap hosted by these wonderful bloggers Holly @ HoHoRuns and NEW host Wendy @ Taking the Long Way Home 

Happy Running! How is your running going? What’s new with you? How are you dealing with winter? Did you run or are you training for any races? Please share.

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