TOTR: April Report Card

Image result for bye april
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?

runner-sig

Running Update: 4.17.17-4.23.17

ru

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?

runner-sig

TOTR: Foolish Running Mistakes

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: Foolish Running Mistakes

I could write the book on these. So here’s just of few of my big goofs:

  • Running without my phone.

I’ve only done it on rare occasions but I couldn’t have died on that frigid day when I fell and broke my ankle. I’ll never do it again!! You never know what may happen when you are out on a run.

before the fall

  • A Long Run Without Fuel

I’m one of those runners who needs to eat before, during and after my runs if they are longer than 4 miles. I’ve had a few miserable ones where I left my Gu in my car and one that I can remember where it must of fallen out of my pockets.

  • Over-Dressed for a Run or Race

I would rather be cold than hot when I run.  If I am cold, I just run faster.  Being overdressed makes me grumpy and nauseous.

having my jacket tied around my waist makes me annoyed too…

  • Running Fast on a Trail

It’s pretty obvious that you have to run slower when there is loose dirt and rocks.  I discovered that the hard way this past weekend.

not happy but all bandaged up

  • Not Charging Your Watch Before a Race

Yup, I’ve run several races where I had no idea what mile I was on nor my pace.  The first inconvenience bothered me the most.  It influenced fueling as well as my finish time.

a naked half marathon. I felt like the runner next to me.

  • Poor Pre-Race Meal Choice

At home, I’m ok.  But when I am traveling especially if I am staying with someone who is cooking for me, it’s often difficult to eat the right thing. Of course, then you pay during the race.

That face may be been from my upset stomach, the first 3 miles (spicy rice & beans the night before)

  • Blisters or Chafing from Clothing or Shoes in a Race

We all know not to wear new items of clothing or new shoes in a race.  I am pretty good about it or maybe it’s that I have been lucky in that area.  But I have run without the proper moleskin protecting my feet.  The results were not pretty.


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

coachescorner

Happy Running! What running mistakes have you made?  Any of the same ones as I have?  Do you learn from your mistakes or do you repeat some them?

runner-sig

Code Blue 8K Race Recap


I could have taken the weekend off and have done my 12 mile long run.  I also could have run an easy 4 mile race that I have done before.

But no. I like a challenge so I signed up for this race.  All I knew was what it said on the website:

This challenging course is intended for competitive participants. The course is front and back loaded with rolling hills as it winds through Saratoga’s east side, it evens out with just over 5K left as you approach the City’s beautiful Spring Run Trail and finishes back at High Rock Pavilion.

Here’s the Course map:

and the Elevation:

Yeah, right.  Perfect for a runner who hates hills.

I told myself that it wouldn’t kill me (and hopefully not injure me) and I would be better prepared for hilly Central Park in two weeks.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger… And with quite a few women over 60 entered in this race, this one also wouldn’t tempt me to run for an award (and it was a medal of which I had enough…now if it were food, a different story.)

The plan was to take it slow. I’ve never run an 8k so an automatic PR, right?

How far is an 8K, anyway?

Well at least it was less windy than last weekend and this race was a little closer to my house (about 45 min.)

Again I tried to wear spring running clothes.  I was determined to pretend that it is warm enough. (It was near 80 this past week.)

Well, when I arrived, it was in the 30’s so very chilly. I wore a shirt under my long-sleeved shirt, had gloves and a jacket. But there was no wind and it was sunny. That would make a huge difference over last weekend.

I got there pretty early, found parking in the hotel parking lot and went inside the hotel to pick up my race packet. (Real bathrooms, yay!)

short-sleeved tech shirt but it is uni-sex so too big 😦

I went back to my car to stay warm. At the last minute, I decided to shed my jacket and walked to the starting line down the street in front of the Farmer’s Market location.

In honor of the race’s charity (Code Blue Saratoga offers emergency shelter to individuals who are street homeless or might otherwise remain unsheltered during nights of extreme cold and heavy snow), I did wear blue.

I also bumped into some familiar faces from previous races but not as many as usual because this race was far from where I live (and many of my friends were running the local Rabbit Ramble race.)

My friend Tom (4th from left) was running with this group

I did eventually find Judith and we started together as we did last weekend.

I was warned about the hills in this race plus I didn’t want a repeat of last weekend’s performance (no energy for my extra post-race miles.)

I made a conscious effort to run the first mile slow.  After that I didn’t have to try since there would be numerous water stops and several steep hills to slow me down.

photo from the Daily Gazette

As soon as we started, I lost Judith in the dust.  That was expected.  She is super speedy. We started with a slight uphill but nothing steep.  I’ve become lackadaisical about my running, I think.  I never double-knotted my shoes and even before we finished the first mile, one came untied and so I stopped and re-tied both of them.

Mile 2 arrived with our first big hill.  I managed to shuffle my way up it without walking.  The rest of the race continued with uphills and down hills.  There were many twists and turns which made it interesting.

Toward the end of mile 3, we ran on a paved bike trail and then one more hill before we ended up right where we started.

photo from the Daily Gazette

There were many water stops and I quickly stopped at a few but the amazing part was that I ran up all the hills (a first, I think for me).  And I had a lot of energy during the last mile.

So it turns out that an 8k is almost 5 miles.

I didn’t look at my Garmin at all during the race so I was surprised that it was almost 45:XX when I saw the finish line.

Official stats say, I crossed at 46:26 (but my Garmin says 46:01).   I was happy.  It was much faster than I expected especially since I was trying to run slow.

I quickly made a beeline for the food. There was the usual energy bars, bagels and fruit but also rice and beans and chocolate milk (I had 2 of each).

Judith and I hung out waiting for the awards. She won 2nd but I was 4th. I guess  you can’t always win (besides it was just a medal.)

I was too sweaty to wear my long-sleeved shirt

 

some speedy old ladies that I don’t recognize

This race is definitely on my to-do list.  I enjoyed the challenge of the hills (and they’re weren’t as bad as I feared).  I liked the variety of the course, as well.

Splits:

mile 1 – 9:08 (much slower than last week’s 8:30)
mile 2 – 9:22
mile 3 – 9:29
mile 4 – 9:38 (positive splits 😦 )
mile 5 – 9:14  (better!)

46:01 (Garmin time)  My most recent 5 mile race time was 46:10 and my PR is 45:26 (on a flat course)

Of course, after a race, no one wants to go back out there and run 7 more miles.  But I was determined to get the miles in.  My run was so horrible last weekend that I did not have high hopes for this week’s.

After a long chat with Judith, she recommended that I run at Saratoga Spa State Park. So I headed there.

I parked by the Gideon Putnam hotel so it would be easy to find my car again.  It’s a big park and I don’t know it well.

My plan was to run 7 miles.  I stumbled upon a 5 mile trail and decided to run that first.  It was really nice and I tried to follow the red signs so I wouldn’t get lost.

Around two miles in, I took a detour because I saw an interesting spring and another trail.

Well, I got too cocky with the trail running and down I went…HARD.  Lots of folks around the spring offered their help.  I was bleeding badly and it covered my nice white socks.  But I fell right near the fountain from the spring.  I rinsed my knee and my socks.  A nice passer-by gave my tissues and another band-aids.  So I was good to continue my run.  Even if I couldn’t, I still had to get back to my car.

I went back the original trail and tried to continue but somehow, I never got to 5 miles.  Only 3.  But I decided to stop in the park office since I was still bleeding and the band-aids were not doing their job.  They gave me alcohol to sterilize my wounds and more band-aids.

and I’m ready to run

I wasn’t lethargic like last week but it was getting rather warm and my leg was still bleeding so I continued running on the park roads, the bike path and made a loop back for only another 3 miles.

So not the 7 miles that I planned but considering the circumstances, I was happy to have 11 (interrupted) miles on my legs. (I WILL NEVER DO A TRAIL RACE!!)

After a nice long shower, I got my nails done, went grocery shopping, had dinner and then went out for drink and dessert with a friend.

I think this is appropriate for the day 🙂


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? Any running or racing? Ever run an 8K?  Anyone combine their long runs with a short race? Have you ever fallen while running on a trail?

 

Friday Five 2.0: Spring Running

Since it’s 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.

Today’s topic is Spring Running.

This is what spring running means to me:

1. Dry Places to Run

Yes to No Ice, No Snow, No Mud….

2. Pretty Scenery

Yes to Green Leaves and Colorful Flowers

3. No More Tights, Capris, Gloves and Jackets

Yes to Skirts, Tanks, and Baseball Caps…

4. Long Races Out of Town and Short Races in Town

Image result for shape women's half marathon

Image result for steel rail half marathon mass
Freihofer's Run for Women 5K

Image result for summer smith 5k
5. Running Groups

I am part of the Freihofer Training Challenge Group.  I run with them every Monday.

last year’s group photo at the race – there are several group that run in different locations and times.

I also volunteer with the STEM program on Wednesdays.

we follow the Couch to 5k program and train victims of Domestic Violence to complete a 5k.

Happy Running! What does spring running mean to  you? Please share.

TOTR: Remembering 2013

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: Boston

No, I have never run the Boston marathon but every year at this time, I think back to that terrifying year – 2013.

This is what I posted on my blog then:

April 16, 2013

pray for bostonI already posted today but Boston is the only thing I have been thinking about since yesterday afternoon.

As a runner, it is always so exciting to follow the race and listen to the enthusiasm of those before the race and stories when they return.

This year was no different.

Yes, I knew runners that were running it (from blogs and from races).

Race for the Cure 09

me & Colleen at the Race for the Cure 2009

I work with Colleen and we started running at the same time. We ran several 5ks together and chatted about running whenever we saw each other. She is a natural runner. After I started running half marathons in 2011, she joined a running group and ran a 15k and then a marathon.

Colleen running her 1st marathon

Colleen running her 1st marathon

Last October, she ran her 2nd marathon and BQed. She was in Boston yesterday running the marathon.

I'm in the blue windbreaker.

SRM running Group with Melissa (2nd from right) – March 2010

I met Melissa when I was part of a beginning runners’ group in 2010. She had just had a baby and was returning to running. I have since seen her at many races. She has quickly gotten back her running form and has run everything from 5ks to marathons. Her goal is to BQ and I am sure she will. She was at the Boston Marathon with her family cheering on local runners.

11821_10151545133096100_573742273_n

Melissa & her daughter at the marathon

Here is a FB comment from one of our group who ran the race: “…I did not finish. I saw the 1st explosion and then was directly across from the 2nd one. So I ran away from the craziness….”

218712_10150173373331705_7016724_o

Sisters Laura & Michelle at the 2011 Boston Marathon

When I was teaching French, I taught Laura & Michelle. They were two of my best students. Michelle was and is a runner. I see her at local races. She ran Boston last year and was running it again this year.

Thankfully everyone I knew and runners that my friends knew are fine!!!

There are no words to explain the horror of this event! 27,000 runners were there. Probably 100,000 spectators. As a runner, I know how hard it is to qualify, what it means to compete in a race, what is means to finish a race. This was taken away from about 9,000 runners. Even the ones who did finish, this senseless tragedy has taken all the joy away and has left them with memories of fatalities and injury and fear!

Here are 2 stories that I recommend reading:

I am a runner. I am not a fast runner. I will probably never run a marathon. Hence, I will never qualify for Boston. But I am a runner.

I am wearing an "I Run" necklace

Today I am wearing blue and gold. I played tennis last night & will play tonight so I had not planned to run. But I will run 2.62 miles on the treadmill at lunch in honor of the victims in Boston.

2.62 on the TM

2.62 on the TM

I will wear my half marathon race shirt when I play tennis tonight.

I will also dedicate my 5k race on Sunday to Boston and wear the cap above.

644289_10200399500724063_779977697_n


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

coachescorner

Happy Running! Did you ever run the Boston Marathon? Did you know anyone who was there in 2013? Do you hope to BQ?

runner-sig

Running Update: 4.3.17-4.9.17

ru

Last Week:

  • Monday – Tonight was the third Freihofer Challenge Group run. We ran 4 miles with 5 one minute strides in the mix. Holy Moley! My legs did not like that. But my back pain is gone. Go figure.

snow has washed away. and yes they make us stretch after.

  • Tuesday – A rainy day but a rest day. After work, I went to hear Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor speak.  What an amazing lady!!

She walked through the audience as she spoke and she shook my hand. Everyone got a free copy of her book too.

  • Wednesday – A nice running day so Alyssa and I met again at the Crossings for a run.

  • Thursday – Another rainy day. I bailed on my run but went to the gym instead.

Machines and the bike. No treadmill!

  • Friday – A scheduled rest day and a stressful day at work followed by an evening with the mah jongg ladies.
  • Saturday – Today I ran the Bacon Hill Bonanza 5k. It was so so windy and cold or at least it felt that way. But I ran a decent race and won my age group.

27.32 and I walked during the last mile.

I was too cold to run more so I left and then changed my mind and stopped at the Zim Smith Trail. My legs were tired and it was one of my worst long runs. I walked. A lot.  And finally gave up after 7 pathetic miles.

The sun came out when I was almost done but it was still cold and windy

  • Sunday – Rest day #4 but a busy day. I even managed to get to the gym for the 2nd time this week.

 3 more weeks to go!!

20 miles done with 3 runs and 4 rest days

This Week:

  • Monday – FRW Training Group Run (4 miles), Mah jongg Seder
  • Tuesday – 4 miles
  • Wednesday – rest day, gym, STEM group run (week 1, day 2 of Couch to 5k)
  • Thursday – 6 miles with Alyssa
  • Friday – rest day, hair appt, mah jongg
  • SaturdayCode Blue 8K race7 more
  • Sunday – rest day, gym?, TAXES!!

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?

runner-sig