Friday Five 2.0 – 2017: The Year of Running with Friends

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.

So today, I am going to start looking back on this past year.

I had several years that I could name The Year of Injuries and Recovery (2011, 2012, 2013). And a few that I could name The Year of the PR (2014, 2015). And then 2016 was The Year of the Half Marathon (I ran 6).

But this year, there were NO injuries. Hooray for that. There were a few PRs and 6 halfs but what made this year special were those runs/races shared with friends – both new and old.

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1. I ran the Polar Cap Run, Freihiofer Run for Women and the Race the Train with my former blogger friend, AJH, now running friend from VT. She loves to travel and race as much as I do. I am so jealous that she has retired. Hopefully that means more opportunities to run with me.

2. Strange circumstances put Sue and I together for the Shape Half Marathon. We had so much fun that we returned to NYC to run the France Run together. Hopefully we will run the Brooklyn Half or another race together in 2018.

3. Thanks to Judy, I got to participate a girls race-cation for the Wine Glass Half Marathon. This group of runners and I have continued our bonding at other races and weekly runs.

4. Some of last year’s PCB ladies decided to go to Vegas to run the Rock n Roll races. Others returned to PCB. Hopefully we can get the wHOle gang together next year.

5. And lastly, all the friends that I have met through running groups (Freihofer and Turkey Trot challenge, STEM, GOTR), races, social networking, etc. that have supported, motivated and inspired me. You guys rock! And thanks!

Looking forward to more of the same for 2018.

Happy Running! How about you… How would you describe your running in 2017?

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Wednesday Word: Beauty

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The first Wednesday of each month, the Deb from Deb Runs will be providing a word about which to blog. Kind of like a nice little blog prompt. Posts can be fitness or health related, but don’t have to be, so really anyone can play along. Just be sure to link up with InLinkz on Deb’s main post, and share the love by reading and commenting on other’s participant’s posts.

So I’m a week late…

This month’s word is BEAUTY

Is there BEAUTY in Running?

Of course…

  • There’s BEAUTY in the scenery we get to see while we run….water, sunsets, sunrises, mountains, fall foliage, holiday lights, etc.

  • There’s BEAUTY in the successes we achieve when we run…new distances, PRs, faster paces, age group awards, difficult courses, etc.

  • There’s BEAUTY in the peace of mind and de-stressingthat we experience while running.

  • There’s BEAUTY in the friendships that we forge as we become runners.

  • There’s BEAUTY when we inspire/mentor other runners.

  • There’s BEAUTY when we support a charity/cause by running.

  • There’s of course BEAUTY in the bling, we receive when racing.

I could go on and one…

Yes, there’s endless beauty in running.


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

Happy Running! Is there BEAUTY in your running? Please share.

Albany Last Run 5K Race Recap

The Albany Last Run was actually my last run of 2017.

This is a very popular local race. In fact, it always sells out (at 1900). The race starts with fireworks and then you run uphill, around the lights in the park and it ends with a downhill.

lastrunHere are some pics from a previous year:

One year, I ran this race in the rain. Another year, in a blizzard.  Last year, it was cold and windy.

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two years ago

I was hoping for better weather this year. But we ended up with SNOW before the race and during!!! Not ideal conditions for RUNNING!

Before the race

They used to give out windbreakers for this race and I have them in many colors

I normally pick up my bib & shirt beforehand to save time on race night but this year, I was working in NYC the day before so my hubby was nice enough to pick it up.

Of course, I debated about what to wear… I like to look festive. But it was COLD and SNOWING.  I hate to overdress but how to stay warm, dry and also be comfortable???

I brought several layers but ended up only wearing two shirts.

photo with the Wineglass ladies

I decided to leave my car at my old place of employment  (I hate that crowded parking garage) and walk the mile or so to the race start. I wore an extra coat and boots (that I would ditch before the race) and I was still cold and wet. At least we got to wait inside.

As I mentioned, it is a popular race and I bumped into all sorts of people that I knew– runners from my turkey trot training group, runners from work, runners from tennis and FB friends, etc.

We chatted until it was time to head out. It was fun to see all costumes and how everyone creatively got into the holiday spirit.

Still over 1400 runners braved these conditions.

I lost the Wineglass ladies but found Nancy (from the Freihofer and Troy Turkey trot training groups). We waited outside together. It was still snowing and the predicted dusting was more like several inches of snow.

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from the TU last year

Then all of a sudden the fireworks began.

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The fireworks were great but we were COLD, getting covered with SNOW and anxious for the race to begin.

About 10 minutes later, it finally did.  Nancy is very fast, faster than me.  Normally she would have taken off and I would have struggled to keep up. But tonight, no one was moving fast. It was SO SLIPPERY.  Runners were barely moving.

The race started with an uphill, went through the city before we entered the park. It was very very crowded at first and usually the crowd thinned out but it never did. Nancy and I stayed together and concentrated on the ground and staying upright.

Mile 1: 12:52

At one point, I asked Nancy what our pace was and she replied 14:xx. And we weren’t walking just not moving fast and weaving around those walking.

courtesy of the Times Union (last year)

Once in the park, the road was still snow-covered and slippery.  We hit our second hill and this was the first sign that the city had attempted to salt the road.  I would have normally been tempted to walk up the steep hill but we didn’t need to and actually picked up the pace.

Mile 2: 11:03

Yes, that was our fastest pace so far.

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from the TU (last year)

So we just resigned ourselves to run slowly, wave to Santa and enjoy the lights.

And I did!! I love this race!!!

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I took these pics the other day when I ran through the park

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The whole time I was running, I kept looking at the ground trying to avoid cracks and uneven pavement and keeping an eye out for potholes and NOT FALL!! So far so good except hitting several puddles and soaking my shoes.

Finally around mile 3, my hands and feet had warmed up and we decided to run… not fast but just trying to reach the finish line.  We joked about trying to sub 40.

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obviously this was last year

Eventually we left the park and ran downhill to the finish.

Nancy is in pink to my right

Believe it or not, this was the SNOWIEST part of the course.  It was so slippery but we ran anyway.

We crossed the finish line together and then….

DOWN I WENT!!

Yup, I fell crossing the finish line!

I landed on my hand and knee and luckily I hit where there were several layers (Thank you fur knee socks) and only bruised and cut up my knee (I’ve done much worse.)

I cleaned my wound with fresh snow (LOL) and limped indoors to dry off and get warm.

Officially I finished at 35:08 (gun time).

So one of my worst 5k times but such a fun race.  Sometimes, you just have to “race fun” if you can’t “race fast.”

So my year of racing has come to an end. 35 races!! Fewer than the 42 that I ran last year but NO INJURIES always means a successful running year!!

Looking forward to an even better 2018.


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

Happy Running?  How was your weekend? Did you run in a holiday race? Ever fall during a race?

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Running Update: 12.4.17-12.10.17 & Giveaway Winner

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Last week – 

  • Monday – I was nearby for work so decided to run at The Crossings. I felt great but had to cut it short because it got too dark (and I didn’t have my knuckle lights with me.)

  • Tuesday – A long work day and a rest day after running 3 days in a row. Besides it was raining!!!
  • Wednesday – I took the train to Manhattan for work. After I went to and from Queens, I took the subway to Central Park to run in the evening. It was great to run with lights and others runners around.

about 2 miles through the park and 3 other stop & run miles around the city

I continued my run through the streets of NY looking at all the holiday lights. (Pictured below are Rockefeller Center, Saks & Fox News)

you can’t beat the sights and sounds of NYC at Christmastime

  • Thursday – I worked all day in Queens but still squeezed in a run along the Hudson in the evening.

again I combined a run (2 miles) and a stop & run tour of the city (1 mile)

Then I ran back to the hotel via Bryant Park.

  • Friday – Again I worked all day in Queens and then took the train home…no time to run today.
  • Saturday – No morning run with the Wineglass ladies.  Instead I had a hair appointment and in the evening we all ran the Albany Last Run, a 5k race through the lights in the park. As usual, it was a fun time even though it snowed before and during the race and we could barely run without slipping. (In fact I did fall crossing the finish line LOL)

Afterwards, we went back to Judy’s for food, drink and a lively book discussion. The book was A Beautiful Work in Progress by Mirna Valerio.

  • Sunday – Just a day to catch up on everything I’ve ignored.

Next Week

  • Monday 6 mile run
  • Tuesday rest, tennis
  • Wednesday – train to NYC, 3 mile run?
  • Thursday – work in Queens, 3 mile run?
  • Friday – rest, work in Queens, train home
  • Saturday6-8 mile run, BFF’s birthday dinner
  • Sunday – rest day, tennis Holiday Party

https://hohoruns.blogspot.com/p/weekly-wrap.html

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


Knuckle Lights Color Handheld LED Weatherproof Running Safety Light Set

And the winner is…………………

WENDY from Taking the Long Way home.

Congrats Wendy!

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

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HMRRC Winter Series #1 (3M) Race Recap

Hudson Mohawk Runners Club sponsors FREE races throughout the winter for its members. There are FIVE races and I try to run in most of them.

The course is pretty boring but free is free.

Winter Series #1 in 2011

And it’s like a reunion of all those runners who love to race.  I bump into runners that I know from races, training groups, previous jobs, etc.

The food is catered by Bountiful Bread so there is always delicious breads, soups, etc.

FRIENDS + FOOD + FREE = Perfect RACING Conditions

This weekend, they offered distances of 3M and 15K.

Here I am in 2014 – look at all the snow!!

Normally I would have run the 15k and used it as a long run but I ran 6 miles with my friends the day before so I opted for the 3 miler instead. (Plus the speedy ladies usually run the longer distances so I thought I might snag an age group award of a loaf of bread.)

I waited until the morning of to register just in case the weather was bad. But it was great so off I went.

The temps were in the high 20s so I wore tights, two shirts with a vest.

I wore the same outfit as the day before minus the jacket.

I left early to get parking since these races are often crowded and sometimes there are other events going on at UAlbany.

It turned out to be not as crowded as usual.

I immediately bumped into some SRMs,  some runners from the STEM group, from the Turkey Trot group, as well as other familiar faces from races. It was great to catch up with everyone.

We stayed indoors until the last second and then made our way outside. I also decided at the last minute to remove my vest and leave it behind.

Both the 3 milers and those running the 15k started together.  I lined with some friends, some of whom were doing the 3 and some were running the 15k.

The race is very informal – no bibs, no starting mat, no timing chips, etc. There are also no clocks (until the end) or mile markers and no water stops (maybe for the 15k??)

I just told myself that this was simply a training run and just do it. And if my legs were nt tired from the 6 miles the day before, I could use the race a speed drill.

As I mentioned, the course is very boring but it also has hills.  Not steep hills, just a few rolling hills throughout.  This year, I have tried to be better about the hills and not walk up all of them. In fact, I didn’t walk at all!!

I ran the whole thing.  Not so impressive – it was ONLY 3 miles!!

And I did dress perfectly.  I didn’t need my vest.  I was warm & even took off my gloves toward the end.

The amazing thing was that I felt better as the race went.  No aches and pains. Even NEGATIVE splits! Woo Hoo!

Mile 1 – 9:08 – a steep hill near the start…at least it was short.

Mile 2 – 8:51 – just some slightly rolling hills

Mile 3 – 8:38 – a longish hill right before the end

.03 – 7:49

Finally it was over and I sprinted across the finish line at 26:49.

The only time I ran this race or a 3 miler was in December 2011. My time was 29:21 or I guess this was at least a course PR.

Secretly, my goal was to finish sub 27 minutes. I did so I was happy!

I went inside to warm up and have some soup, bread, cookies, fruit, hot chocolate.  Not a bad spread for a free race.

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They gave awards for the top 2 in each 10 year age group.  I was 4th in my age group. Two of the speedy old ladies did run the shorter distance…Darn!  (The winner finished under 23 min. At age 60!) But at least my 2 friends won for 50-59.

Even though I hesitated, I am glad that I ran this race.  I plan to run the other Winter Series races too. Maybe again as a speed drill, following a Saturday long run(ish).

After the race, I had to rush home to go shopping and then out to celebrate my mentee’s 28th birthday.

Canvas, Corks and Forks – our annual thing!


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 lifefor


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

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Happy Running! How you are enduring the weather?  Cold yet? Did you run this weekend?

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Running Update: 11.27.17-12.3.17

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Last week – 

  • Monday – Missing my BRF (whose hubby is sick and she cannot run during the week) so I decided to run in the park around the Holiday Lights. A preview to my next 5k.

  • Tuesday – It was a cold yet sunny day to run but I played tennis instead.
  • Wednesday – I took the train to NYC for work. My plan was to run nearby (Wall St area) before dinner. It was super windy but warm. And you can’t beat the views at sunset.

  • Thursday – I worked all day in NYC and had planned to meet a former co-worker in the evening.  Still I wanted to squeeze in a run.

  • Friday – Again I worked all day in NYC and then took the train home…no time to run today.
  • Saturday – This morning, I met the Wineglass ladies for a run. I ran with Judy and Jan for about 5 miles and finished up with some speed for the last 1.4.

Of course we went out for breakfast after.

  • Sunday – Today was the first of five (FREE) Winter Series races. You could run 3m or a 15k.  I usually run the 15k but since I ran the day before and I am not training for anything yet, I chose the 3 miler. Friends +Foods + Free = perfect race. Finish time was 26:49. Happy with that!

Then in the afternoon, I gave my usual birthday gift to my mentee – painting, eating and drinking (at Canvas, Corks and Forks)

If you can’t tell, it’s supposed to Northern Lights

Next Week

  • Monday 4 mile run
  • Tuesday rest, tennis
  • Wednesday – train to NYC, 3 mile run?
  • Thursday – work in Queens, 3 mile run?
  • Friday – rest, work in Queens, train home
  • Saturday – hair appt, Last Run 5K race, book club
  • Sunday – rest day

https://hohoruns.blogspot.com/p/weekly-wrap.html

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

And with Jess @ the Right Fits and @Jess Runs Atlanta

Linking up with the Jess’s

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

Don’t forget to enter my GIVEAWAY!!!!

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Knuckle Lights Review and Giveaway

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I am NOT a morning runner.  So I have to run after work.  That was fine until we turned our clocks ahead.  It is now dark out and most of my running routes have NO lights.

I know that I could buy and use a head lamp but to me, it looks dorky.

You know how I feel about dread I mean treadmills.

So I ordered Knuckle Lights so see if they would work for me.

I had three hesitations about them before I used them:

  • I hate carrying anything in my hands.  I don’t carry a water bottle even on hot summer days. Would these annoy me?
  • If I don’t swing my arms correctly, would they still light my path?
  • Would they be bright enough to run where there are no lights?

First some details about Knuckle Lights:

  • Each one is just shy of 4″ tall and the light part is 1″ wide.
  • Each one weighs less than 3g.
  • There is an adjustable strap on the back of each one to fit your hand (with or without gloves).
  • Each of the lights has a wide angle so it fills the space well.
  • They each use one AA battery.
  • There is a high beam (140 lumens each), low beam and blinking mode. You just press the button on top to change modes.
  • They are waterproof.

So did I like them?

YES!

I ran with them twice already.  I used them on the high beam setting and they gave me plenty of light so I could run in the dark.  They are very light-weight and didn’t bother me at all to carry them. In fact, I think they made me swing my arms correctly so that they would light the path ahead of me. (If you swing your arms across your body like you are not supposed to, they wouldn’t help you.)

The second time I used them, a man who was walking his dog exclaimed “Boy, you are illuminated!”  And I thought, “That is the point!”

I’m not sure how long the batteries will last but you can also buy Knuckle Lights that are rechargeable.

You can read more about them at https://knucklelights.com/

Knuckle Lights Color Handheld LED Weatherproof Running Safety Light Set

If you would like to win a pair of (pink) knuckle lights like pictured above, enter below:

KNUCKLE LIGHTS GIVE-AWAY

The Deadline to enter is Midnight December 8.

Since it is Friday, 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.

Here are FIVE Reasons to Buy Knuckle Lights:

  1. Allows you to Run when it is Dark (lights up your path as you swing your arms)
  2. Easy to Use (one button and 3 light settings)
  3. Light-weight (you put them on your wrist and they are adjustable)
  4. Not too expensive ($40)
  5. Use batteries or you can buy Knuckle Lights that you can charge.

Happy Running! Do you run in the dark? If so, what do you use?

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