Wednesday Word: Struggle

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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.

Today’s word is Struggle

According to the dictionary, to struggle means: “to try hard to do something that you find very difficult.”

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Yup.  I may be crazy but I have never DNFed in a race. And many have been a struggle.  It may have been because of physical pain, inadequate training, weather-related conditions and/or course elevation.  But I mustered through all of the above.

yes, this half was a struggle – first one after ankle surgery and foot stress fracture but I finished!!

I’m not saying that no one should DNF (especially if they are injured.) But a run or a race is often a struggle that many runners endure.

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I am not a natural athlete  I didn’t start running until I was 55.  And then only 5ks.  However, once I started running half marathons, I was addicted.  Why?  Because of the quote above. For me, every half marathon is HARD!!!

#27 was just as hard or harder than #1

And the reward is so sweet.  That feeling of success is hard to be duplicated.

happy faces post Shape Half Marathon

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How about all those speed drills where we could not hit our paces? How about all those training runs where we had to stop and walk …often? How about all those races with disappointing finish times?
Those bad ones existed so that we would see progress.  They prepared us for success. And didn’t the struggle seem worth it in the end?

This PR half was 14 minutes faster than a tough one a few weeks before.

And probably the hardest struggle and unfortunately we’ve all experienced it, is coping with a injury that halts or ends our running.
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We usually don’t realize this until we are healed and have returned to running.

We learned how to avoid a repeat of the injury. Or we learned to love another sport such as swimming or biking.  Or more importantly, we learned to appreciate our ability to run.

backing to racing after a broken foot and so happy

So at first, I thought of the word struggle as having a negative connotation. Now I realize that it’s not a bad thing and that it is an essential part of our life as runners.


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

Happy Running! Have you had any STRUGGLES with regard to running? Please share.

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TOTR: Fall Running

Today is Tuesday so don’t forget to Link-up with Patty, Erika, and Marcia and either meet some new bloggers or catch up with ones you already know.

The topic for today is: Favorite Thing(s) About Fall Running

Well, I could possibly just mention ONE thing.

First, the scenery.  I love the colors of the leaves in the fall. All the paths where I run are so pretty this time of year.

Second, the number of races.  For someone who loves to race every weekend in the fall, there is the largest selection during this running season.

Third, the cooler temps make those PRs possible. Not all my PRs have come in the fall but many have. I look forward to trying to recapture my 2014-15 speed.

Happy Running! What is your favorite thing about fall running? Do share.

Running Update: 9.25.17-10.1.17

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Last Week: Race Week

  • Monday – Still summer temps but since I am Not participating in the Turkey Trot training group,  I made plans with a former participant to meet for a run.

93 degrees!!

  • Tuesday – Tennis for the first time in a long time because I was working locally and not out of town. It was fun re-connecting with my Tuesday tennis buddies for tennis and dinner out.

This happened too. I was interviewed about flu shots during Monday’s run. Notice that I lost one of my earrings.

  • Wednesday – Today Alyssa and I met for the last time before our Sunday race and the last of our hot summer weather. We sweated and planned on an extra half mile for our ice cream post run treat.

Nope. Ice cream place closed for the season. No extra 1/2 mile!

  • Thursday – I couldn’t decide if I wanted 2 or 3 days rest. Since I had time before my dinner out with tennis friends, I thought of about running but went to the library instead.

Early carb loading

  • Friday – I rode to Corning, NY (our race-cation location) with Judy and Jan. It was a long drive so we stopped to take a walk in Glimmerglass Lake State Park and then in Cooperstown for lunch.

After we checked into our hotel in Painted Post, we had dinner and then I relaxed in the hotel for the rest of the evening.

  • Saturday – Rest day and a day to carb load. After the expo and lunch, Alyssa and I went to the Glass Museum and then walked around town. Then in the evening we went the race sponsored dinner where we stuffed ourselves with pasta and listened to the inspiring speaker – Dave McGillivray.

  • Sunday – Today I ran my 28th half marathon – the Wineglass Half Marathon.  I loved the course and enjoyed sharing the experience with new and old running friends.

Not a PR but pretty damn close and survived the frigid temps (93 degrees to 35 in one week That’s crazy!!).

After the race, I rode home with Christina, Kerri and Judy where we chatted about running and a possible repeat experience next fall.

20.1 miles done.

This Week: Recovery  & Work = #HoLottaRest

  • Monday – rest day, STEM group?
  • Tuesday rest day, work travel to Buffalo, run in Buffalo???
  • Wednesday work in Buffalo, drive home, rest day
  • Thursday rest day (or morning run?) and hair appt
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday – 5K race + 6 more miles
  • Sunday – rest day, boating

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’s @ 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.

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Friday Five 2.0: Runfessions September

It’s that time again. Time to get things off my chest with Marcia’s Runfessions at Marcia’s Healthy Slice

and it’s also 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.


My topic for today is: Five September Runfessions

  1. I runfess…

I ran a half marathon this month…two weeks before the half that I was training for. I planned to run it as a training run…but guess what? I raced it! It was hot and humid and it was painful.  When will I learn???

faking smiling…

2. I runfess…

No surprise but I pick my running routes by the food options nearby…especially ice cream. Even when I work out of town, I do my research before I set out for a run.  Any one else have this priority?

Abbotts is near the Bushnell’s Basin entry to the Erie Canal trail. Whereas Schoen Place has a great gelato spot.

3. I runfess…

I do not set goals.  My running partner asked me what my goal was for the Wineglass Half Marathon this weekend.  I replied that I had no idea!!

Should it be a PR? Or should it be faster than my last one?  How about just finish and have a fun girls weekend?

Do you always have a goal for your big races?

difficult race but fun weekend in NYC

4. I runfess…

Again this month, I did not go to the GYM…not even once.  I felt guilty last month but I didn’t give it a second thought this month.  Anyone else slack off on going to the gym?

At least it was a free membership.

5. I runfess…

or should I say tennisfess.

the competitive me in 2010

Tennis used to be such a big part of my life.  I used to play everyday and it decreased once I started running. Then it used to be a few times a week and finally reduced to just once a week – Tuesdays.

I paid for a membership to a tennis facility because you can’t play unless  you do and I signed up for my usual Tuesday contract. Even though I limited it to 2x a month, still my out-of-town work schedule has forced me to get subs and I am hardly available to play at all.

This may be my last year playing tennis.  I’m not sure if I miss the sport or I miss my friends and our dinners out after tennis.

I refuse, however, to skip my Naples tennis vacation (even if I don’t play tennis anymore.)

Naples vacation with my tennis ladies

Happy Running! Anything to runfess this month?

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Helper’s Fund 10K Race Recap

I love this race because I love the area. My friend has a house in Chestertown and I have stayed there many times for running, swimming, mah jongg, tennis and hiking.

I usually drive up on Friday and I get my race packet, have dinner in town and then sleep in on race morning.

But this year I decided to stay home, play mah jongg and then get up super early on race day.

The weather was predicted to be summer-like (but not as humid as last weekend).  In fact, the marathon held the following day was even cancelled due to the heat.

I wore my Skirt Sports running skirt (of course) and a tank. (I remember two years ago, I was so chilly pre-race that I wore a jacket!!)

I parked in the Tops parking lot and walked across the street to get my race packet, use the restrooms and then wait until the race started.

The race was of part of the Adirondack Distance Festival. The half marathon (which I ran in 2011) and the marathon took place the next day in Schroon Lake.

the start on Main St in Chestertown

Today in nearby Chestertown, there was a 5k, 10k and 5k walk. These were small community races with about 125 in the 5K and less than 75 in the 10K.

Municipal Center – bib pick up and restrooms inside and post-race refreshments and awards behind the building

This was my 3rd time running this 10k race. I also ran the 5k back in 2012.

My time in the 10K in 2015 was 1:00:10 and in 2013 1:06:10 (recovering from a broken foot.)

My 2014 10K PR is 57:03.  I would have loved to finish under 60 minutes in this race but with the hot weather, I wasn’t expecting as much.

just waiting…no timing mat at the start

While waiting to start the race, I wound up talking with another runner, Tracy, who recognized me from the Race the Train race.  In fact, she was the organizer of that race and she would be running a half marathon next weekend like me. We both decided that this would be taper run and we would take it easy.

This year, I was running a little tired having run a half marathon last Sunday but also with a half marathon in ONE week and needing to stay HEALTHY.  Tracy ran 15 miles last weekend so I guess we were in the same boat.

I was glad to have her beside me to keep me on track (meaning slow down the first 3 miles!!)

We started together and chatted the WHOLE 6.2 miles except for the hills the last 2 miles when I walked and she didn’t and the end when I sprinted and she didn’t LOL.

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As you can see, the course is hilly…real HILLY!!!

Both the 5k and 10K runners start together and then separate. Since there was no timing mat at the start, I tried to stand not too far back.

Once I started running, I was sweating.  I tried to learn from the previous week and not start out too fast. It helped that most of the course was shady and I just kept pace with Tracy. I NEVER looked at my watch the whole race.

The hills didn’t seem as bad as the last time I ran it. I didn’t even walk until the first water stop at around mile 2.5 (halfway for the 5kers). It was probably due the fact that Tracy and I were talking … about races, of course.

Besides the hills, this was a beautiful course. You ran through the back roads and it would have been awesome if the foliage was at peak. It was still very enjoyable.

Around mile 3, you ran into the 5k runners but actually it was the ones who were walking. Then you separated again.

There were many more water stops on the course than I remembered…maybe because it was so HOT!!

I stopped and walked at each one – mile 2.5, 3.5, 4.5, 5.5, etc. – maybe even more times. I forget! Although I had a GU in my pocket, I never took it.

Mile 4 was the only boring part of the course – a LONG uphill on a main road. This was the hill that I met Heidi 4 years ago. (We became friends and trained for and ran the Love Run Half together in 2014.)

Believe it or not, the hill didn’t feel bad this year. (I must be improving or I should thank Tracy again for the company.)

The hardest part of the race was mile 4.5-5.5. Hill after hill after hill. I think I walked at least 3 times. Tracy said she was tiring but she refused to walk.  So each time, I walked, she got ahead but I was able to catch up.

Finally we approached Main Street in town and I got a second wind and felt great until close to the end.

I walked briefly before the turn into the finish line but I gathered my strength and finished strong. In fact, I surged ahead and passed Tracy and another (young) runner.

you can see Tracy in the pink behind the lady in green

I finished at: 58:17 which was not a PR but over 2 minutes faster than the last time I ran this race and much better than I expected.

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My Splits:

  • mile 1 – 9:09
  • mile 2 – 9:27
  • mile 3 – 9:46
  • mile 4 – 9:45
  • mile 5 – 9:59
  • mile 6 – 9:21
  • .2 – 7:01

Even with the hills, my splits were ALL under 10 minutes and there were NO 8s. It worked not racing the first 5k!!

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pic from FB 4 years ago

I had some refreshments (home-made – cookies, fritters, breads, bagels, etc) which were delicious especially the watermelon (I had many many pieces.)

Tracy and I waited around for awards since there was a chance there would be NO ONE in my age group and I might win.

I won my age group!! And yes, I was the only one.

Hooray for AG awards. Another medal to my collection.

And small races make you feel fast.

9th Female – woo hoo!!

Again, I thoroughly enjoyed this race. I hope to be back next year.

I had planned to run a few more miles today after the race. The area is so scenic.

view of the Schroon River

Boy, did I NOT feel like it.  I was hot and sweaty. I called my friend who lived nearby and had invited me for lunch. But she hadn’t arrived yet. Darn!!

So I decided instead of running to go for a hike. I chose Stewart Mountain because it was only a mile up and not that difficult (I didn’t bring a stick since I wasn’t planning to hike.)

The trail was shady and there was a nice view from the top. Perfect choice!

Nearby was another mountain of similar difficulty but almost 2 miles up.  I felt energetic so drove there and climbed it.

I sat at the top for awhile and it was so peaceful.  I didn’t want to leave. Then a couple came by and asked to share my rock.  We chatted for along time.  It turns out that we live in the same town (1 1/2 hours away), play tennis and own the same car!!! So funny!!!

By this time, my friend had arrived so I went to her house and we had lunch and hung out.

I had planned two more hikes (Meade and Beckham Mountains) but my motivation had faded and I had ice cream instead.

I headed to the marina where I thought my friends were be there and I would hang and sleep on our boat.  But they had all decided to sleep at one of the islands so I drove home.

The next morning, the hubby and I drove back and spent the whole day on the lake (and IN the water).  Did I mention that it was over 90 degrees this past weekend!!!!!!!!

 So a relaxing day after a busy day.  TAPER time!!!
Wineglass Half Marathon, here I come.  I am ready!!
And these are the predicted temps:

Sunday is the race – perfect weather!!!!!


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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TOTR: September Report Card

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Fall has arrived. And we had some nice cool dry days but summer temps and humidity did rear their ugly head too.
Here’s how September worked out for me:

Weekday Runs:

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 prefer to run 4 times but sometimes it just doesn’t happen.

I ran at UAlbany (near work), near home, in a local park and at the Corning Bike Path. I even ran while in Rochester, Buffalo and Liverpool for work. My weekday runs were usually around 4 miles.

I ran alone most of the time. But Alyssa was able to accompany me a few times and new Judy once. I also hooked up with Laurie, a former turkey trot group member. It’s definitely more fun running with friends.

I thought the Turkey Trot running group started up again on Monday, September 18 and I would get to re-unit with my running friends as well as meet new ones. I even registered.  But it turns out that they changed the day for the first time this year – Tuesdays!!!  I cannot do Tuesdays… So no group runs or drills for me this fall.  Boo Hoo!!!

PP hills, I’ll miss you!!

Long Runs:

Long runs began in preparation for my next half marathon. I also snuck in a half marathon as a training run. The 11 miler was my only decent effort but at least I got the miles in.

Total Mileage:

I have run 87.5 miles this month so far. An increase over previous months and I am still feeling healthy so all is good.

Races:

I had several races on my schedule this month.  I skipped a local 5k but instead the next weekend, I ran the Saratoga Palio Half Marathon as a last minute training run.  It was a hot, humid day and I bonked the last 3 miles. I also ran the Helper’s Fun 10K, a hilly small scenic race. For this one, I ran a smart race, had a course PR and won my age group so I was a happy camper.

Cross Training:

I played tennis once (indoor season has started.) Again this month, I was out of town working every Tuesday 😦

I did NOT go to work out at the gym at all!!!! Not once! Nunca! Jamais! And my free membership ends in October!!!!

I thought I might fit in a yoga class. I did NOT!!

I did walk occasionally at lunch. Not everyday like I used to. I find it hard to tear myself away from my desk and I have been traveling a lot.

I finally got to go hiking after my 10k race. I loved it!!!

Other News:

The hubby and I continued our boating on the weekends. It was actually warmer in September than in July & August.

Despite working ALOT, I also managed to attend my weekly mah jongg games and monthly dinner with the tennis ladies. 

As you can tell, running is not my whole life. I think it is important to make time for other things that bring you pleasure….family, friends, food….

Feeling healthy so Life Is Good.

Looking Ahead:

Two half marathons (#28 & #29) planned- October 1 in Corning, NY. and November 12 in Las Vegas.

I also have quite a few shorter races planned. I have to squeeze them in before the winter.

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

  • 10-01-17 – Wineglass Half Marathon
  • 10-07-17 – Apple Run 5K
  • 10-14-17 – Great Pumpkin Challenge 10K / ZOOMA Cape Cod Virtual 10K
  • 10-22-17 – ZOOMA Amelia Island Virtual 12k
  • 10-29-17 – Goblin Gallop 5k?
  • 11-11-17 – RnR Vegas 5k
  • 11-12-17 – RnR Vegas Half Marathon
  • 11-18-17 – Girls on the Run 5k (volunteer with STEM) or maybe 11-19-17  – Race to Deliver 4m in NYC
  • 11-23-17 – Troy Turkey Trot 5k and Troy Turkey Trot 10k

I am linking to Deb at DebRuns for her Sepember 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 a B+.

You know, zero gym attendance, skipping lunch time walks, slacking on those long runs, easy lackluster weekday runs. I know I can do better.


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

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Running Update: 9.18.17-9.24.16

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Last Week: Taper Time

  • Monday – Recovering from yesterday’s half marathon.  Actually, everything felt great but better safe than sorry.
  • Tuesday – Another work travel day. This week, I was back in Rochester, NY.  It’s a long drive but there are two choices of places to run – along Lake Ontario or along the Erie Canal. I was ready to run at 2 pm but my co-worker asked me to help him set up and we couldn’t start until 4:30. Grrrrrr! So I chose Lake Ontario and found some cool trails across the street. But I had to cut it short to get back to check into my hotel.

  • Wednesday -I got in one more run along the canal before the drive home.

Along the Erie Canal starting at Bushnell’s Basin

  • Thursday – Today I reunited with Alyssa for a run. We decided to run on the Corning Bike Path.

Summer temps continue

  • Friday – Rest day and evening out with the mah jongg ladies.
  • Saturday – Today I ran the Helper’s Fund 10k in Chestertown, NY. It was warm but not as humid as last weekend. I ran the whole race with another runner who forced me to take it slow. It was a nice small race and I had a course PR and even won my age group.

58:17. A happy surprise.

After the race, I took two hikes on nearby mountains and visited a friend who lived nearby.

  • Sunday – Boating Sunday.  And a beautiful day it was and the hottest day of the summer so far and it’s fall LOL. I spent most of the day floating on the water.

18.2 miles done.

This Week: Race Week

  • Monday – 3-4 mile run with Laurie
  • Tuesday –  rest day, tennis
  • Wednesday 4 mile run with Alyssa
  • Thursday rest day or 3 mile run before dinner out with the tennis ladies
  • Friday – day off (early morning 3 mile run if not done the day before) and drive to Corning, NY
  • Saturday – rest dayCorning, NY for the expo & carb- loading with running friends
  • Sunday – Wineglass Half Marathon

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.

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