#RunnersRoundup: Four years of running

how on earth did that happen?

My first run, January 6, 2017

January 6, 2017 was a cold and rainy day and I dreaded the idea of walking forever on the gym treadmill for steps. On a whim (and without a sports bra), I decided to speed up the pace a little.

January 6, 2021 I set out for four miles, but that turned into 6.1, 1.525 for every year of running because you can always do a little more than you first thought.

In between the two days I have run: one marathon, eight Half Marathons (I think), two 15Ks, 2 ten milers and countless NYRR and NYCRuns weekly races between 5 and 10K.


Linking up with Coach Debbie Runs, Confessions of a Mother Runner, Mile by Mile, Runs with Pugs , and Laura Norris Running for the #RunnersRoundup to look at the last four years.

[bctt tweet=”Celebrating four years of running and setting 2021 goals in the #RunnersRoundup” username=”travellingcari”]

thank you for 2020 for making me a morning runner

I never marked my third running anniversary as I was injured and cranky/pissed off, but here are my posts for my first and second anniversaries as well as my third raceversary. Oh how much the world changed right after that post and my race totals are the same a year later. At least no one is looking to anyone for an explanation on why did you stop racing?

Running mileage the last few years

The IT Band injury started 2020 off poorly, mileage wise, and then I essentially took April off when I got tired of running through pain, yet I still ran almost 800 miles last year. I really love #GoTheDist for making those posts so easily findable, and for this fun twitter exchange with former New York Giant Osi Umenyiora last week. It’s crazy to think I’ve run 2,806.36 (like kids’ age, that decimal is important!) miles in the last four years.  I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished and what I know I can continue to.

Who I am:

I can see myself as both a marathoner, and someone who took 12 minutes to run .61 miles that first day. Sometimes I see that person in the same run.  I actually think that’s normal. I’m happy to have found running again as an adult, and grateful for the enjoyment/outlet it provides me. And of course love all of you who it brought into my life.

I am a morning runner. This is new in 2020, but it’s one part of the year I hope I keep because I really love it.

I am a consistent runner. Or maybe I became one, but from July-December my mileage was steady even through weather extremes, and I didn’t let those extremes derail me. OK, maybe two things to keep from 2020!

I am an obsessive tracker. 1,853 consecutive days in MyFitnessPal and a year plus before that until I missed midnight one crazy day. 8-10 years step tracking (more on that below). I’m not sure whether those are good or bad, but they are.

Who I will be:

When I was doing weight watchers and other weight loss initiatives, I focused on mini goals (apparently to such an extent that it’s still big in my tag cloud). It’s way easier to wrap my head around a small goal than a giant one. Also, who knows what 2021 is going to bring? A lot of my 2020 mileage was courtesy of working from home for the bulk of the year. That will change. But I found when looking back at the goal posts that I really enjoyed re-reading them, so here are some mini goals for 2021 and my fifth year of running:

  • keep up the prehab. I truly believe that’s how I stayed pain-free the second half of 2020 with the consistent, higher mileage (for me) months.  The knockoff Theragun was a great purchase, but foam rolling and stretching are wonderful tools too.
  • Increase my strength training. I inherited some dumbbells when a neighbor moved out and I want to do more. Or at least more consistently. I’m beginning to think about the Peloton app for that since I have wifi at home and our insurance reimbursement may even cover it.
  • Start the year on pace for 900 miles. That was originally my hard goal for 2021, but as I mentioned, I have no idea what running will look like once we return to the office. Even if I’m ready to return to the gym to shower at that point, there’s not really a branch close enough to facilitate run commute. So 75 miles/month until we return to the office and then re-evaluate.
  • Find a non-race goal to work toward. I have no idea if I’m running an in-person race in 2021 and don’t tend to treat virtual races as races. But I want to work toward something. What that something is? I don’t know. Maybe it ties in with strength training.
  • Re-evaluate my relationship with the step spreadsheet. This partially happened last year, but I didn’t realize it until late. I think the Fitbit is a great tool to motivate to go that extra bit, but it’s also crazy making. Beat last year, last month. Does it matter? It’s like when I threw the 30m goal out the window early in my running journey.  I’ll still track my steps, and want to be better about going for walks on non running days, but does the step goal matter as much? We’ll see.

GoTheDist 2020

mostly because I want to have it when I look back next year.

  • 4,658,407 steps
  • 2072.49 miles run/walked
  • 790.67 miles run.

How long have you been running?

Do you celebrate your running anniversary?



Tuesday Topics: 2019 in Review and 2020 Plans

Yeah. This has been marinating for a bit. Between the injury that spanned 2019-2020 (some things never change) and the uncertainty around it, I wanted to wait until a place when I was more settled. Yep, running/training is a head game.

Joining up with Kim and Zenaida to talk 2019/2020 in running. And in my delay, I’m accidentally on topic.

so I don’t have 2020 running goals-yet- but I am thinking about what I want from the year. I also haven’t done a proper 2019 in running because it could be summed up as HOLY SHIT, I RAN A MARATHON!!! Given that I successfully completed the NYC Marathon, I was happy with 2019 but wanted to take this chance to look back on my 2019 goals.

But first I had to actually go back and put my 2019 steps since injury in my log. Yep, major ostriching there because not hitting goals, even with a legit reason, really bothers me.

I kind of ran a lot last year!

Running: B

  • Mark two years running in some fun way: January 6
  • Run 800 miles.
  • Run the NYC Marathon
  • Don’t get injured
  • PR in the Half Marathon: 2:34:35 (Brooklyn)
  • PR in a 10K: 1:10:11 (Women’s Mini 2018)

I’ll be honest, once June and marathon training started, I didn’t care about anything but 3/4. Three of my four Halfs were while I was walking wounded and fourth was in the leadup to the marathon, so wasn’t risking anything. I didn’t PR in the Mini, but the 2019 race was so much better than 2018’s struggle bus. And the injury well, better now than during marathon training. More on the PRs below in 2020.

Walking: A

  • 5.75m steps on the year
  • Run/Walk 2,600 miles
  • Do the Great Saunter?

Had both of these well in land before the IT band issue rendered me somewhat less mobile. I opted not to do Saunter as it seemed risky coming off the Achilles, so calling that choice a smart one. It’s not something I missed out on as it was always TBD.

December Totals

  • 351,623 steps
  • 154.66 miles run/walked
  • 38.73 miles run

9 gym visits/37 September – February cycle

2019 Totals

  • 5,898,830 steps
  • 2640.71 miles run/walked
  • 862.97 miles run

December steps were were my lowest since I started running, but hard to be disappointed in the year. Although yeah. That .03 miles. LOL.

While I’m not officially doing #RunTheYear this year, I’m continuing on with GoTheDist. Re-thinking the challenge and my goals has been  a fun hard as it has always been a version of Beat Yesterday with yesterday being the prior month, or that month the prior year, but that’s not going to work so well without another year of marathon training. More on that below in 2020 goals.

Weight: A

  • I can’t count the number of times I’ve said that the coming year was the last I was going to start overweight. I’ve failed each time. But I’m happy with what I did this year even if it wasn’t perfect. I can do way more than I ever thought my body could and the scale is headed in the right direction. So keep it up, and buckle down a little.

I’m down year on year and lost weight during marathon training. Calling that a victory.

Other: B

  • New states. None new in 2019 but 50 before 50 still a possibility. Maybe my old southern road trip that hasn’t happened for three years running.
  • Read 100 books again. Probably not doable as I don’t have two beach vacations in the plans, but it’s something to shoot for. Mid 80s would be acceptable. I’ll finish 2018 with 105, probably.
  • Upgrade my wardrobe. I have some pieces I love, but also many I don’t and some that don’t love me. Bless Poshmark for this.

Marathon training killed my reading. Got 70 read. Got four new states though, and that trip was amazing. Wardrobe is a work in progress, but I’m getting there.

2020 Plans

Goal v. Wish

I need to get away from the numbers, since missing number goals just frustrates me. Usually unnecessarily, but why ramp up the anxiety? Similar to ceasing to live and die by the scale, I want to look at my 2020 goals differently this year.

  • Run Smart. I learned in 2019’s physical therapy that dem bones isn’t just a childhood song. Our bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and beyond are connected in so many ways. I’m using 2020’s physical therapy to fix my running forms (my hips are never aligned!)
  • Heal.  Part of the reason I sat on this until mid January was I didn’t want to rush it. I have no step/distance or other goals for January/February other than follow PT and (hopefully) be able to run without pain. I don’t want to rush anything and risk the balance of the year..
  • After the marathon, my goal was to PR in the Half in 2020. I’m putting a pin in that right now. Not for good, but for the first half of the year. While I have started running since being cleared by my PT, it’s just jogging and no workouts, and I don’t want to put pressure on the knee. I also don’t really want to do treadmill speedwork coming off this, which is the best winter solution. So I’m going to enjoy Bermuda (which, to be honest, was always the plan for that one) and maybe think about a fall half. Any suggestions (besides Mohawk Hudson, Darlene/Judy, that’s on the list) and Staten Island?
  • Summer or Fall racecation? this was on here before I decided to do Cherry Blossom in lieu of the deferred Fort Lauderdale. I might find the budget and PTO to do another. Any favorite US races? With Spain and Bermuda on the calendar, an international racecation will have to wait.

Review: The Plant Based Runner

On Reading

Yay, I can start a Weekly Run Down post with something other than PT, although I am still in and loving PT. This week I wanted to share my review of Jonathan Cairns’ The Plant Based Runner. Note: I received a copy of this book for review, but all opinions are my own.

[bctt tweet=”Running, reading and relaxing in the lead up to the #NYCHalf” username=”travellingcari”]

Two main takeaways I loved from this book:

  • Know your why
  • Change the plan, don’t change the goal

Cairns is an overweight, divorced father turned wannabe vegan ultra runner. This book explores his journey between those points.  Although I don’t subscribe to the full extent of his beliefs and dietary choices, I really appreciate the path he took to them. He read a lot and read the information presented with a critical lens to arrive at the place that worked best for him and his progress as an athlete. He’s 100% correct, there’s information out there to support whichever side you wish to follow, you need to know your body and your why. And realize that nothing will change until you do.

I’m still surprised at how I ended up virtually giving up soda almost accidentally. We got more seltzer in the office and I found so long as I had the fizz, I’d drink. You can still pry the diet root beer from my cold, dead hands. I’ve mentioned a couple of times here that what I eat definitely has an impact on how I feel/run, but I’m not yet compelled to give up sugar, dairy and meat. I did love his advantage of Irish (or at least not American-English) slang for this poetry when it comes to refined sugar: white is shite.

Changing the plan vs. goal has been a huge part of this half marathon training cycle for me. I wanted to run three in three months (well really eight weeks!) and while the achilles injury changed the training plan, the goal is on track. The larger goal of the marathon remains on track.

While I have no desire to or interest in running an ultra, I enjoyed following his journey and the interspersed quotes and race recaps. Read more from the author on his blog or enjoy his amazing Instagram photos.

Physical Therapy

When I spoke with my PT about the hip pain on Monday morning, he decided to work on that first and decided it’s not the hip flexor, but rather the TFL. Per google (and LIz who was quicker than I was, “Tensor fascia latae“. Per my PT, it’s common in compensating for stability issues. This whole Achilles issue is similar to when I had a knee injury back in high school. Back, hip. We really are all connected like that old childhood song: leg bone connected to the foot bone. Not to mention all the muscles, ligaments and tendons.

Monday night he gave me the homework of working on breathing, activating my core and pressing my back into the floor. We’re working toward the Dead Bug and since I know I have the coordination of a dead bug, that isn’t going to end well. But we’ll get some laughs in as I try. Monster Walks on my toes are my new favorite.

That said, I still feel like I’m making progress and the Achilles is in a good place for the NYC Half, which is somehow less than two weeks away. It will be a week away by the time this posts. Plan is & remains to have fun and enjoy every step.

NYC Half Goals:

  • Have fun
  • Don’t re injure the Achilles
  • Finish smiling

Yep, that’s literally it. No time goal other than finishing. I may be one and done without some lottery luck, so want to make the most of it.

Weekly Run Down with Deborah and Kim:

  • Monday: snow day PT and a museum press event. The snow was a complete non event, but I’ll take the work from home day to review some documents that are hard to get to in busy open plan office. Capped it off with a lovely sunset walk with Darlene. When we could see the Verrazano Bridge it was surreal to think that in almost eight months exactly we’d be standing on the far side ready to run the city. Fitbit calls this 9.46 miles, I call it: never miss a Monday complete.
  • Tuesday: Darlene and I decided to meet and test our injuries. While it was too cold for a selfie, we got another gorgeous sunset. The weekend’s snow had done a number on the non-paved parts of the park and neither of our legs were doing well with the cold and hills so we took it easy in a three mile run/walk. Slow and steady better than crash and burn ahead of the NYC Half.
  • Wednesday: PT and talk about graduating out after the Half. More work on core and trying to figure out whether I can do Dead Bug. No formal exercise, dinner with friends.
#nevermatch, and proud of it
  • Thursday: as I dressed for our Office Run Group, a friend/colleague mentioned her admiration for my aggressive non-matching. This wasn’t even intentionally bad-I wanted a shirt with thumbholes and the black one is too hard to find sometimes in the dark of my closet and these tights were on top. What’s not pictured as much is the bright orange buff from Liz and neon yellow base layer. Beheaded to get full effect of colors without skin autocorrect. I’m a fan of comfort over matching, but this was some next level nonsense. Alas my coral shoes aren’t running shoes. On the actual run, it was a nice rebound from Tuesday. What I love about running with this group is that it pushes the pace. I know I give up on pace too early when I’m running solo, so this is a nice way to push it. He doesn’t push me beyond what he knows I can do, especially with the injury. Even slowing up as we crossed the pot-holed reservoir track, we had a good time and although I was sore after, I think that was the bitter cold. Post-run was a quick zip to the last open Payless in Manhattan to acquire a backup pair of the Mary Janes I love so much.
  • Friday: plan was to workout before a meeting, but meeting got moved earlier so this was replaced with a quick row and abbreviated PT exercises after work and before seeing a show. Patricia Kalember as Gloria Steinem is amazing and a behind-the-scenes tour of NYPL was pure magic. It’s rare that I see a piece of theater twice in a short window, but this was magic and resonant.
heaven is a place on earth
“A dream is like a river ever changing as it flows and a dreamer’s just a vessel that must follow where it goes.”
  • Saturday: that thing I said about what I eat impacting how I run? Yeah. It was a planned off day but the weather was remarkably decent and I wanted to go out so decided on a riverside shake out. I could not figure out why I had absolutely nothing in the tank. I’ve fueled many a run on cheerios and coffee. Why not this one? Oh self? You had a brownie for dinner last night. Turned this into a walk and some outdoor PT.
Happy drowned rat in Sidewinder Lotta Breeze capris
NYRR goodie bag
present to myself
  • Sunday: NYRR/New Balance hosting a shakeout run ahead of the NYC Half. Also a shakeout for my new capris which I want to wear for the Half. PURPLE! The weather was horrid and we lost an hour of sleep due to the clock change? What do I do? Play hopscotch to avoid puddles and had a blast for ~4.5 miles. It was windy too and sometimes wasn’t clear whether we were being hit with rain or river spray! We set off in 5M increments and I quickly realized the one I set off with wasn’t happening so ran on my own for most of miles two and three before dropping back to run with a duo of coach and runner who had run DC yesterday! and were moving way more my “speed”. Proud of myself for approaching strangers in the group run and we had a fun chat. Could I have finished faster? Absolutely. Was it more fun not to be alone? Yes. The ponchos I bought ahead of FLL were perfect and other than the neck area where rain got in because I couldn’t keep the hood up in the rain, I was dry. Was so glad for dry socks and shoes back at the Run Center though. Also awaiting us there was a free goodie bag that included the mug, fuel above and a 20% off coupon with which I treated myself to a hat. It’s purple! I never thought about a running hat as I so rarely wear ballcaps but the Yankee one I wore for Lebow and FLL is too hot for summer and gets gross, so curious to give this moisture wicking, performance one a go. Especially if I follow my current whim and wack my hair off in a few weeks.

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: off, dinner with a friend
  • Tuesday: run?
  • Wednesday: PT
  • Thursday: run
  • Friday: volunteer at the Expo, maybe cross train. Finally saw the shirt & medal. I like the medal, and think I like the shirt color. Since I didn’t like the one for Poland Spring and won’t wear it on race day, I likely will not be wearing green for St. Pats.
  • Saturday: off
  • Sunday: NYC Half Marathon

2019 Goals


Chess, running. What’s the difference?

As has become custom, I’m writing up my 2019 goals before I’ve hit my 2018 totals.

Prior Goals:

As I mentioned somewhere, I’m simplifying them. Last year was way too crazy and ultimately frustrating. So building on what I started:


  • Mark two years running in some fun way: January 6
  • Run 800 miles.
  • Run the NYC Marathon
  • Don’t get injured
  • PR in the Half Marathon: 2:34:35 (Brooklyn)
  • PR in a 10K: 1:10:11 (Women’s Mini 2018)

Even though it’s six goals, definitely simplified. 2,3 and 4 are really related. 800 will be an increase of approximately 125-130 on 2018 depending on final numbers. That should represent the increased mileage in training for my first full marathon (eek!) hopefully without getting injured. I should finish 2018 ~ 200 miles more than 2017.

The plan element is why I’m not including 5K PR in this. I have only one in the hopper and it’s early Feb and I’ve done no speed work, so it’s not happening. The 10K will probably also be the Women’s Mini, as I rarely do a 10K workout and if I do, it’s avoiding hills so doesn’t count. Half may be Florida as I’m undertrained for Lebow and want to just enjoy my first NYC Half.

I’m doing Run the Year for the 3rd year, tracking only running mileage.


  • 5.75m steps on the year
  • Run/Walk 2,600 miles
  • Do the Great Saunter?

I’m doing #GoTheDist again in 2019. Here’s the link if you want to sign up as well. I realized that February 2019 will mark four years of Team Fitbit. What an amazing motivational tool as was the Jawbone before it. Prior to that I only tracked intentional mileage, I think. As of December 26, 2018 I’ve walked 21,319,116 steps according to my Fitbit. Whoa. Last one is a question mark only as I’m not sure whether schedule will have me in town on May 4.


  • I can’t count the number of times I’ve said that the coming year was the last I was going to start overweight. I’ve failed each time. But I’m happy with what I did this year even if it wasn’t perfect. I can do way more than I ever thought my body could and the scale is headed in the right direction. So keep it up, and buckle down a little.


  • New states. None new in 2019 but 50 before 50 still a possibility. Maybe my old southern road trip that hasn’t happened for three years running.
  • Read 100 books again. Probably not doable as I don’t have two beach vacations in the plans, but it’s something to shoot for. Mid 80s would be acceptable. I’ll finish 2018 with 105, probably.
  • Upgrade my wardrobe. I have some pieces I love, but also many I don’t and some that don’t love me. Bless Poshmark for this.

Do you set yearly goals? If so, do you have any goals for 2019?

Running Coaches’ Corner

I’m also linking up with Lora from Crazy Running Girl, Marc from Train With Marc and Debbie from Coach Debbie Runs for Coaches’ Corner!




FALLing into chaos, week of 10.14

You did it! You made Cheerios #1


how many 80s children get that caption reference? 🙂

Guaranteed entry to NYC Half. Check

Registration for Fred Lebow Half. Check

In 2018 I ran three half marathons: Lebow, Fort Lauderdale and Brooklyn. In 2019, I’ll run three in the first three months, repeating two of 2018s. I think that’s a good start to the year. 3 on the eve of 39 and I’d say three in my 39th year, but I’ll probably add another. I only ended 2018 at three since I never found another of interest that worked time wise.

[bctt tweet=”Looking forward to a half marathon trio in 2019″ username=”travellingcari”]

2019 Half Marathon Goals:

  • I’m excited about doing Lebow again. My goal there is improving on my time as it’s not a PR course with the hills. I think 2:40 is reasonable. Maybe better depending on how hill training goes
  • Fort Lauderdale could be a PR. It’s a flat course other than the bridge over the Intracoastal at mile one. Humidity did me in last time and I walked a lot. We’ll see on the weather.
  • NYC Half: have fun, enjoy running between two boroughs and through Times Square

I may or may not flesh those out as the races draw closer.

In the mean time,  incomplete weekly wrap with Wendy, Kim and Holly:

I was slated to be away Friday to Sunday and I took that as a challenge. While my weekend long runs might suffer for that, I was determined that running overall wouldn’t. It meant some adjustments to my typical running schedule, particularly challenging given I had a number of weekday evening events and wanted some off days coming off four days running. How did I do with this challenge?

  • Monday: this should have been a complete off day. I realized when I got to the gym that I had nothing even for a 2K row so I just stretched. Barely got my step goal. I didn’t do the kettlebell workout as I wanted to run Tuesday and the soreness from kettlebell squats has been real.
shouldn’t every meeting have this view?
this view > gym view
  • Tuesday: plan was to leave an afternoon museum tour and then hit the gym. I even carried my gym bag with me. However I lingered at the reception and subsequently decided to walk back to Manhattan. I’m not anti treadmill, but this view better than any gym one. Step goal happened.
  • Wednesday: knew I had book group and wouldn’t make it to the gym after it so this was one of my “running won’t suffer” adjustment days and I got in a quick two miles before work. Better than nothing and it was a beautiful fall morning.
  • Thursday: office run group on a blustery fall day. Ear warmer came out, although I didn’t need it for the entirety of the run. It’s our standard loop, slightly slower this time as we got into a heavy conversation. What I noticed is that a paused Garmin doesn’t reflect in the time, but I’m not too worried about that. It was a good run and I felt strong. Cat Hill wasn’t evil and practice is making better.
  • Friday: scheduling this before I leave for the airport but the plan is to hit the gym between the office and the airport to have the weekend not be a total wash. I’ll report on this next week.
  • Saturday/Sunday: off. I’ll have my run gear in Rochester but I don’t foresee time for one.

Training and Recovery, Week of 6.24 and #GoTheDist mid-year

You know those runs that are just absolute perfection in every way? That happened on Wednesday.

This was an interesting week, running wise. The original plan earlier in June was to take this week off as I had a feeling I’d be slightly burned out from all of the June races. In some ways, being sick last week and taking it easy cleared that and come Tuesday I was antsy to run. Antsy in the sense that I was sitting in a meeting and wanted to be outside. The mid 70s, zero humidity weather certainly helped with that, and I was glad to feel restored.

I realized in June that I really liked training for something, which I’d been doing in some form since October of last year. I want to take advantage of this window with no double digit races on the calendar, although I might do a ten mile in September. One challenge I really enjoyed last year was Run the Year’s 4x5K challenge when during June you were meant to run a baseline 5K and then three more to see if you improved. I did! Since one of my goals is to eventually get to sub 30 5K, I decided July would be perfect for it since heat would very likely mean a lot of indoor treadmill runs. I don’t have a final 5K planned as checkout, although this NYRR 5K is a possibility. More on the “check in” race below.

Weekly Wrap with Wendy and Holly.

  • Monday, planned off day from running and the gym. My legs were tired and slightly sore from the weekend’s races and while I’d have loved a date with the foam roller, I had a work event that culminated in this phenomenal sunset. Mother Nature truly is pure magic.
  • Tuesday, I had an end of day meeting near Blink NoHo, which I’ve come to quite like. I don’t go there often as it’s not convenient, but I thought I would. And then I realized I’d forgotten my watch and my headphones. As much as I don’t mind the treadmill, I mostly cannot do it without music or another distraction. Luckily, it was beautiful outside and I decided to hit my favorite part of Central Park. It was initially tough going as the bridle path had seen a lot of traffic that day and the dust & gravel was pretty stirred up. None of that helped the lingering cough so I walked the final hill and headed to the reservoir where I knew there was a water fountain. Wetting my lungs helped as I turned southeast and headed back to the start. Mileage is iffy as I was running Strava on my phone and it had some signal issues. But comfortable calling it just shy of 3.5 miles. A wonderful run. Sometimes it’s nice to be relatively electronics free.
really coming to love shorts. Forever terrible at selfies
  • Wednesday I wanted to run outside again but when I left the office it was threatening rain so I decided to head to the gym. I didn’t really have a plan in mind and hadn’t settled on the speed work I mentioned above yet, so just turned the treadmill on at 5.7 and went. It felt really, really good. I ended up a second off the 5K PR but what was awesome was that it felt almost easy aside from the residual coughing. While I said I’d realized I wasn’t regressing, it was nice to see that in results. I could have gone longer, but decided to give my lungs a break. I followed it up with some strength training. At 32:41 that is my July baseline 5K
when Keelie asks for a squat selfie and the plank is feeling solid. Plankie!
  • Thursday, planned off day due to medical appointment. That’s a good thing as the flooding was kind of crazy. Oddly I’d planned for the worst after this appointment (nothing super serious, but like many I’m paying for prior skin damage: love how Deb put it. And follow her advice too.) I love my dermatologist and ahead of taking off this mole she gave me a bunch of surgical consent forms and aftercare warnings. Guess it wasn’t getting frozen off. I planned to have Wednesday be my last run in case. It was relatively painless, with the only bothersome thing being the snipping sound so close to my ear and of course trying to keep a bandaid stuck in sweaty area with hair complicating matters. Better safe than sorry, and I’ll know whether it was something to worry about when I go back in two weeks. Curious about what the scar is going to look like, though I doubt it will be more prominent than the mole.
if you have to wear a bandaid on your face, might as well have fun on Summer Friday
  • By Friday I felt completely fine so after work I headed to the gym. The speed plan was firmly in my brain, coupled with reading the intervals chapter in Amby Burfoot’s Run Foreverand I decided to start there. After a .25 mile warmup (I have no patience), I alternated 6.2 and 5.5 with a less than .1 mile recovery break at 3.3mph after each 6.2. I made a game of it to use as little of that .1 mile as needed and got it as low as .07. The splits looked pretty funny as the walk recovery ate into the 5.5mph intervals. Totaled 3.25 miles of intervals and 3.51 overall. Math much? 6.2 was random, it’s my usual closeout speed of workouts but I wasn’t sure I could sustain repeat intervals at .25, so I decided I’d start there and drop to 6.0 if needed. Nope. I’m not sure yet whether my goal is to eliminate the walk intervals or raise base/fast speeds by month’s end. Thinking through that now. On the heels of a successful run, I hit the beach with a book or three. Summer Friday goals indeed
  • Saturday, completely off day. Too hot and I needed a mental health day. Still trying to kick the last of this cold, and although it was too hot to sleep in, I got some lovely rest.
  • Sunday, maybe run* (see below), probably row. Definitely play in a splashpad


I cannot believe we’re at the mid-year point of #GoTheDist/Run the Year. Where has 2018 gone?


  • 479,755 Steps
  • 59.82 Miles Run
  • 210.39 Miles Run/Walked

Runfession, I saw the running mileage Saturday morning when I entered Friday’s run into my spreadsheet. I actually thought I was closer to 58. Why did I let it go? I’m having a (minor and hope to keep it that way) PF flare and decided it was going to be a rest day. Could I have gotten .18 miles without hurting? Probably. Would I have stopped at .18? Probably not. I also could have picked that up had I run home from one of the two races where I opted to walk. The PF said hello when I walked barefoot on the beach. I know better, but sometimes you just have to. I went to JackRabbit and got a new roller ball and will be better at my stretches. I also think I need to lay off the planks a bit as those don’t feel so good in the foot. Determined not to let this be a major flare and will ease into July as needed.

210 is just above what I need to hit my stretch Run the Year goal, so that’s perfect.


  • 1,467,553 Steps
  • 174.99 Miles Run
  • 642.22 Miles Run/Walked

OK, that running one is way more annoying than 59.82. But as I predicted at the end of Q1 when I was slightly off pace, spring/summer would be better.

2018 to Date

  • 2,825,182 Steps
  • 344.32 Miles Run
  • 1236.75 Miles Run/Walked

overall, I’m thrilled. I’m slightly off pace on the running, and 2,500 miles run/walked but I knew both to be stretch goals and they’re still in play. I’m 100% confident I’ll get 700 miles run on the year even though I won’t have the half marathon training I had in the first part of the year. This is insane compared with the midway point last year, and I really love the progress I’m making. 2018 goals are well in sight, although I switched to running mileage only for RTY so the team ones don’t quite make sense. Oh and a year into Amerithon, I’m in Missouri! I didn’t enjoy that as much as RTY, and I really dislike that RTY went to their tracker as I forever need to re-sync.

Gym Visits:

38 for the March – August window I was trying to get ahead this month while also catch up from May’s time away as I know I’ll be away in August.  I need 50 overall so should be in good shape. There’s been a lot of outdoor running followed by gym to stretch


I’ve read 61 books on the year and will likely finish 62 today, which would mark Book 5 in #20BooksOfSummer. Overall, 17 ahead of schedule. WOW. Maybe 100 will happen?


Training, week of 3.26, 2018 Runs, and March #GoTheDist

March marked my fifth month in a row at running 50 or more miles, and my first ever crossing the 60 mile marker at 62.68. A lot of that had to do with one hell of a close to the month that started with last Saturday. The rest of the week:

  • 5 miles in Central Park on Monday. My legs were dead, but I was desperate to run outside. I tackled Cat Hill, but rather than the West Side Rollers I did a loop around the reservoir so mileage still came in where I wanted it to. This was my first real test of the plan to use Cherry Blossom as a training run for Brooklyn, would my legs rebound after the race or would I have to rest like after the Halfs? Verdict, iffy, but better.
  • A quick 20m gym run on Wednesday. Had a bunch of after work activities and needed to get something in. Nothing special but better than nothing
  • #RunTheDate is becoming a thing in this weird training cycle. Friday 3.30 on the treadmill before heading home for Easter. Rather than the days where 5.5 feels impossible, it’s starting to feel easy so I did some flying sprints at the end. Maybe time to try 5.6 or 5.7 as a base. inSANE given a look at last April’s logs where I was in the 13s. Makes it easier to feel better about my lack of speed progress, but I know I need to get back to Mile High know that the knee is in better shape.
  • Saturday, I really wanted to go back to Rockland Lake, but two people and one car meant that wasn’t possible so I hit the South Nyack trail. I like that trail. I’ve had some good runs on it. But it’s only one mile long and there was a whole lot of do not wanna going on when I realized I’d have to run eight x the .7 mile spur to get to 10K. Nope. Luckily on the 2nd out and back I realized that the Grandview spur/Hader Park/Old Erie Path had opened. Whee. While breathtakingly gorgeous along the Hudson, it’s not a finished trail the way the South Nyack part is. It was definitely my first true trail and although I only realized it only halfway through, my legs were pretty tired from Friday. It was the first back to back of real distance, and a test. I almost bailed at 5 miles, but pushed through to get 10K. It didn’t feel great, but was good to get it done. I needed an advil when home, but was otherwise OK and new to me scenery was wonderful.
  • Sunday. True rest day. No run, no walk other than home from train. It was needed. I’d run 23.5 miles the week of 3.18 (almost positive my highest volume due to off days after both Halfs) and the drop to 16.6 was needed as a non taper taper.
Snow my god! It’s April
  • I thought I’d run outside today like last Monday. And then I woke up. Nope! On the plus side, the shoes I ordered during New Balance’s VIP Night came in and I got to take them out for a 4 mile (yep, #RunTheDate again) spin on the treadmill. Miles 1-2 were deadly, mile 3 felt like 3 seconds and 4 was good. I good have gone further but decided not to push it since the plan is to run tomorrow. Finished with a flying spring at 6.0 and 6.2. Knees feeling good. I’m ready for Sunday. I’m also loving my new headphones. After killing  yet another pair and another bout of swimmers’ (err, runners) ear, I went with some open ears. I can see why everyone raves about Aftershokz. They’re pricy, but oh so good. Mine are red.

Meant to note earlier and I forgot, I filed for my gym reimbursement in February which marked the first time I’ve completed both halves of a year at 50 gym visits apiece. Would have been December, but I lost July/August to the gym closing. Still, wow.



  • 499,338 steps (so close, so mad. But it was one hell of a sprint to try to hit it. If I could have gotten into my spreadsheet at home, I’d have found 700 steps. I thought I was further away. Still March remains an insane month.
  • 219.08 miles run/walked. This is probably a personal high.
  • 62.68 miles run


  • 1,357,629 steps
  • 594.53 miles run/walked
  • 169.33 miles run

I’m really happy with that. I’m not exactly on pace for 2,500 miles run/walked on the year, but spring and summer will be better, so I’m OK with this. I’ve stopped obsessing about pace and time spent running. The runs themselves are naturally longer due to running longer distance and I haven’t really done any speedwork to speak of. That will be after the Brooklyn Half and probably when I try for a sub 30 5K.

2018 races and goals:

Rest of my calendar is looking kind of (wonderfully) insane. Linking up with DebRuns for this one and expanding it so my goals are in one place:


  • Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, April 8. First run at this distance though I’ve done a 15K
  • April 15 – Damon Runyon 5K at Yankee Stadium. This will be a run / walk as there are a ton of stairs. It’s also meant to be a fun run and I intend to enjoy it. Will be much better than July last year no matter what. I’m going to say 40m
  • April 22 – 9/11 Memorial 5K. I haven’t actually signed up for this, but I probably will. Great cause and community day
  • April 29 – March of Dimes’ Walk. I do this every year. Great cause. Last year I ran it, but it’s kind of annoying with the cross streets not closed, so I might just walk it.


  • May 18: Brooklyn Half. I have no idea on timing as I’ve never run any of this course. I feel like I’ll be well trained, despite business travel two weeks prior. This is likely to remain my sole race for the month due to a conference that follows too.


I had to go look at the NYRR calendar here as it’s nuts.

all the runs!

Basically, yes. All of those.

  • June 3 – Italy Run. Inaugural NYRR race and can’t pass on this one with my heritage. Some is going to depend on how I recover after Brooklyn, but I’m going to say under 57m and beat October.
  • June 9 – Mini10K. Have fun! I want to say 1h10, but it has the hills and I have done zero hill training to speak of, so maybe 1h15? Either way, it will be a PR over last year.
  • June 16 – Queens 10K. No idea, not at all familiar with the course. Going with 1h10 as above. This is purely because it was a free New Balance Reward and it will get me 4/6 if I want to run the NYC Half next year.
  • June 23 – Front Runners New York Pride Run. Another 5M. As of now I’m going with the same goal as for the Italy Run and I’ll reevaluate once I see how that goes.
  • June 24 – Achilles. Will be a test of back to back runs. Luckily this is only 4M. For the moment going with 43 per Gridiron, but my legs may well hate me by then.


It’s too soon to set goals for these so just a list:

  • July 14 – Retro 4M – have fun, be silly.
  • July 21 – 12M run. I’m not running this November, but I feel like I might need some oomph for a long run and might decide to do this. Will likely depend on weather.
  • July 28 – Team Championships.

Anyone else running these and want to meet up? Looking forward to my first RTY meetup at the Cherry Blossom Expo Friday.

One year running anniversary

Yep, today is a year to the day since this little whim started. And like was true in March, I truly ran away from I can’t.

My first run, January 6, 2017

I knew I wanted to mark it somehow today, but wasn’t sure exactly. There was a since cancelled NYRR 10K that I thought about, but couldn’t commit to due to schedule, and ultimately opted against due to the ridiculous cold. Even once I finally got off the couch I wasn’t sure since my training plan is off kilter so I played it by ear once I got to the gym.

  • 12 or 19 miles? Definitely not in the cards
  • 19 minutes, too short after bailing at 15 minutes yesterday
  • 6 miles, 40 minutes? Maybe, but I should do more.
  • something with 7s or 8s for the years?
7s are wild. As is my love of pink

Verdict? Lucky 7s.

I was thinking about 8.08 or 8.88 to celebrate 2018, but I was starting to feel twinges in my hip and my Achilles and with a taper on tap, decided not to push it too much further. After I reset the treadmill (max is 60m), I set it for another 28 and targeted 2.49 more miles. WOW!

In this last year (including January 6, 2017 and 2018) I’ve run 490.71 miles. That’s an average of 1.34 miles, which is amusing as that’s about what I did as a warmup yesterday. Considering how much of summer I spent healing, that’s amazing.

Run The Year: 780

Speaking of amazing, I found this chart posted to the Run The Year facebook and modified it to meet my goal of 780 running miles. So helpful to see where you are vs. should be to hit a goal. Yeah, me and my spreadsheets!

Other thoughts:

  • I read 33 books about running.
  • I’ve learned the difference between “I don’t want to get off the couch” and “I don’t want to run”
  • I do love running for the better part of an hour and learned a lot about myself as I touched on at the end of November.
  • I lost 23 lbs, even though this was never about weight loss.
  • I am super proud of myself.
Poke treat

A key tenet of #GoTheDist is non food rewards, and today is a hybrid of the two. The yoga mat in today’s 7s run was a gift to myself with a Modells closing last weekend so I could use the foam roller from Santa. And the poke, well that was a food reward but it was too cold to brain.

I’m going to miss people, but here are just some of the rockstars who have made this happen: Liz, Robby, Britt, the folks in the Run the Year/Hive Facebook group, and my long time buddies in my Fitbit challenges.

Here’s to another year of magic.

Workouts, week of Jan 1:

New Years Day: starting off 2018 right
  • Monday, 5.16 miles over two stints (2.03, 3.13), with a 2K row in between because I couldn’t make myself stay on the treadmill.
  • Tuesday, 5K row
  • Wednesday, 4.0 miles in a High45 with Ryan at Mile High. Like the Jingle Bell Jog, this had fewer inclines than normal. I really like how he did the last five intervals with 20 seconds at high level three and forty at level four. Oh and I did those level fours at 7 and 7.1 MPH. Whoa!
  • Thursday, teeny hotel fitness center with manual treadmill so 15M on the elliptical
  • Friday, 15M run (bad shoes, so took it as warmup), 30m stationary bike, 2K row. Yes, my former primary has turned my cross train

I’ve exceeded my January 2017 total in week 1. Here’s to a solid rest of the month.

2017, you fabulous beast

It’s a wrap. December was a struggle, but that’s what a challenge should be. It’s the first time I’ve ever had to fight for 400K and it wasn’t in the bag until this ridiculously awesome workout.


  • 408, 394 steps
    • 9 days below goal (:( but not unexpected and better than December 2016’s 12)
    • December 2016 was 306,676. That’s insane!
  • 179.18 miles run/walked
  • 52.89 miles run


  • 1,322,011 steps
    • 12 days below goal
  • 577.08 miles run/walked
  • 158.08 miles run


  • 5,097,869 steps
    • 54 days below goal (vs. 93! in 2016)
  • 2,205.56 miles run/walked
  • 472.41 miles run


  • Frozen Penguin, my first ever run – 5K
  • Central Park Spring Classic 10K
  • Run to Breathe – 4M
  • Run 4 the Warriors – 5K
  • Retro 5 Miler
  • Women’s Mini 10K
  • Squirrel Stampede 10K
  • Poland Spring Kickoff 5M
  • Ted Corbitt 15K

I am insanely proud of myself, and I’m just going to leave it there. Am I worrying about 2018? Of course. I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t.  I’ve revamped the spreadsheet (and added this one) to take into account the monthly increments needed to hit my goals. I think I’ll still call it #GoTheDist even if that appears not to be back for 2018. As I just said to my RTY 2018 teammates:

It’s on like Donkey Kong!

2018 in pages

I’m going to fall short of my reading goal for 2017. It’s 100% because I’m running at the gym and not bicycling so maybe I should add “learning to like audio books” to my 2018 goals? It’s going to be a must as treadmill runs get longer

I love that Goodreads tells me my reading totals over the years:

  • 2017:  84/91
  • 2016: 84/75
  • 2015: 87/56

My Year in Books is a pretty fun look at how weird my reading habits are.

In cleaning up my Goodreads tagging, I realized I’m not as far behind as I thought I would be. It seems like I was bad at adding finish dates, whoops. Glad to know I hit last year’s total. I won’t exceed it as I’m in the middle of a longer book and don’t have enough reading time today and tomorrow.

Recap on 2017 challenges:

  • #backlistreader: 43. Another one I can blame running for. Lots of new to me books this year and Mt. TBR has grown by a factor of one hundred. Oh well. We’ll try a version of this again
  • #librarylovechallenge: 30. Just shy of the 36 I wanted, but when you add in Kindle Unlimited (9) and NetGalley (19) I feel like that’s similar so while I fell short, I still accomplished the goal of reading more borrowed/free books. I think I’m going to do this one again, despite what I said about only doing backlist.
  • #ebookreadingchallenge: 78. This one is ridiculous for me. It’s not a challenge. I should marry a dead tree challenge with backlist, as that’s the true challenge. I read more dead tree this year though because some books NYPL had in hard copy vs. digital
  • 19,723 pages. This is a decline. Lots of shorter books this year. But books are books. Judgement free zone. I fell short, landed between bonsai and shrub.
Santa and Liz Claus haul

My TBR is out of control at 379 so a backlist reader challenge is a necessity.  This is in part, because Liz, a wonderful person who I’ve known through BookCrossing for a decade or more, introduced me to the amazing Runners’ Bookshelf and so many ideas come from there. Santa only gave me one book this year, Cy Adler is the man who founded the Great Saunter. Liz Claus is responsible for the two running books as well as Iris Murdoch to lure me into a wonderful challenge she’s hosting. Can’t wait. Because I’m “blaming” running for my lack of reading, I really should find a running, reading challenge. In the mean time I’ll settle for at least one on the 2018 Taking the Long Way Home book club list and one of the books of the month in the Runners’ Bookshelf.

The master list is once again a godsend, even though most of them don’t work for me personally (52 books/52 weeks is my bucket list though). The 2016 challenge didn’t come back for 2017 or 2018 and the 2017 backlist one had a few too many rules re: months the book was purchased so I think I’m going with the following:

  • #BeatTheBacklist, I love the fun, team element (love that I’m a Dragon!) and it’s not overcomplicated the way some of them are. I can’t commit to 12 books now because that will do nothing but ensure I don’t read those 12. What can I say, I know me. Goodreads shelf.
Beat the Backlist: Dewey Dragons
Angel's Guilty Pleasures


  • and for the library one, same host. I’m going to shoot for Overdrive Junkie and try for Library Addict in the event I get into audio books. I’m going to use #2018LibraryLoveChallenge so I can differentiate them from this year’s books

Here’s to a year full of words.