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.


December 2017: Struggling

(I was originally writing this over the course of a week to post on 1/1, but I decided there was enough meat that would drown out a year-end recap).

When I came back from the Christmas long weekend, I knew I was in trouble goal wise. As has become custom, when I start the month’s spreadsheet I plug in some 2K step days where I know I won’t hit goal. For December these were:

  • December 10, the day after my 15K
  • December 17-18, day before and day of major work event
  • December 23-26, at mom’s for Christmas

What I forgot about was that the entire week before the major work event can be a disaster because it wasn’t last year. As early as December 11, I knew there was an issue and I subsequently hit goal only two days that week. Uh oh.

Part of me thought I’d be OK since my 2K days don’t tend to stay 2K days since I started running but Saturday 12/23 was rainy, cold and miserable, and Christmas Day was too busy.

Still holding a 2K day in reserve for some family stuff, I was facing needing four 16K days to get ten months in a row of 400K. That was a tall order. Would the world end if I didn’t get it? No. Especially since I hit both 5m on the year and 1.25m for the quarter, but I really wanted it. Alas, I didn’t want it enough to get off the couch and go to the gym when I got home on 12/26. So we’ll see

TomTom, Runkeeper and Strava mostly in sync for a PR

There were some good things over the Christmas long weekend. My Christmas Eve run was a present from the Ghost of Running Present, a PR on the South Nyack Trail. The PR itself was 1m9 seconds over the same trail three months prior (and yes, I finally just ran the first lap twice!) and an eight second PR over November 18. I love that RunKeeper makes it so easy to ID and find the similar runs.

Comparing 5K PRs

That progress makes me think it is possible that I’ll break 30m for a 5K by December 31, 2018. Even ignoring the really early ones, I’ve taken nearly 5m off my 5K time since June. Baby steps.

It was also a Festivus miracle in that it was relatively accurate across TomTom, Strava and RunKeeper! Speaking of Strava nonsense, I love that #7 on the NYRR/Strava virtual race tips is to run extra because Strava is a muppet when it comes to rounding. (I might do their virtual ones, still thinking about it).

My first day back to reality and my routine was a good treadmill run. I didn’t have a planned distance since my training is off and I don’t want to overdo it and risk injury, but I was thinking about an hour.

Runkeeper meets What the Forecast

Yep. Lungs wise I could have gone longer but my legs were starting to hurt and I was understretched having been away and hadn’t run longer in a while, so I smartly cut it there. Legs felt good after a good stretch and foam roll.

Thursday’s cross train (29m row, 31m walk) was also “about an hour”. Who am I and what happened to the person who didn’t want to spend the better part of an hour running? 😀

Can I pull out 400K? It’s still a definite maybe, but I’ll give it my best.

Other Notes:

  • I recently read Mile by Mile’s post on the magic of the long run and it’s so true. Although I love Mile High Run Club and don’t really mind running 5-6 miles on the treadmill at the gym, there’s no magic the way there is in an outdoor long run. I think part of why I’m struggling in December is I haven’t got outdoors nearly enough. Combo of being sick early in the month, getting dark early and the weather. It’s not going to happen this weekend either, but hopefully before my January run. In the mean time, some treadmill tips. I really wish I could read. I have been getting in my Iron Chef fix though when there isn’t football on.
  • I love the idea of Mind, Body and Spirit goals. I need to think about spirit, but I think I have mind and body covered. Not having the scale as part of my body goals, is partly a mind one as it’s just frustrating and nowhere near as measurable as running progress goals.
  • Fuel-school. I have stuck with gels when I’ve used them, but I found this guide to the various fuels super helpful. One day I’ll even remember to use them consistently. I think part of the struggles in my learning week was running on empty. I can do it, but probably not smart when I’m also mentally exhausted.

2018 Goals

Like 2017, I’m setting goals for 2018 before 2017 is done. I’m a little nervous about December, but I’ve made my peace with falling slightly below goal as I will far exceed December 2016 and that’s what this is all about. More on December later.

Thanks to this little adventure of running, 2017’s goals have been blown out of the water. The only real changes I’m making for 2018 is doing away with the spreadsheet vs. non-spreadsheet goals and cutting back on the reading challenges. A goal isn’t better or worse if it’s a spreadsheet goal, and the reading challenges just weren’t doing it for me, hence why I basically stopped posting about them. So here we go:

  • 5,500,000 steps.
    • I’m going to finish 2017 somewhere around 5,100,000 and I think this is doable as a stretch goal. I’m probably not doing the Saunter, but I’ll run more so a wash? At minimum I want to repeat this year’s total.
  • 2,018 miles run/walked sooner than November 30 and with more running than walking.
    • Aim for 2,500 miles run/walked. I’ll finish somewhere between 2,200 and 2,300 this year and so that seems doable?
    • If I’m on a team again, aim for 2,017 prior to July 1 and 5,000 miles. We’re at ~3,700 this year but that’s mostly lack of syncing than anything else.
  • Run 780 miles
    • This will likely need some revision as I’m still in a place where I don’t know what I’m capable of. This number is based on a slight increase in my monthly mileage goal over twelve months. So we’ll see. I think I can do more but, more on that later.
    • Revised: changed this to 700 miles on March 24. It makes way more sense.
  • Repeat most of the races I did in 2017 to see progress, but also find some new ones.
    • Finish my January race. I’m worried because I’m undertrained, but I think it’s mostly mental. It will be a PR as it will be my first at that distance, and it will be a baseline. That said, if it feels like I’m going to injure myself, I’ll take the DNF.
  • Run a half marathon and a ten miler.
    • Maybe both of those will be destination races.
  • Train smarter. I spent too much of the summer with nagging injuries. I think I understand why they happened, and know I need to be better with core and stretching. To that end I asked Santa for and received a foam roller. It will help. I also need to do more strength training.
    • Stop obsessing about pace. I alluded to this when I wrote about learning but couldn’t really flesh it out. Like when I “quit” on C25K and let the 30m duration go, I think this will be better for my running. I cannot simultaneously run longer and worry about my speed. That said, I do want to regularly stay below 11m because I know I can at the distances I’m comfortable with (8-10K).
    • But I want to run a sub 30m 5K. If RunTheYear does the 4x5K challenge again in June, that might be the month.
    • ETA December 29: I didn’t think a sub 60m 10K was doable but this run and the progress I’ve made since March makes me realize it might be, so sub 60m 10K by December 31, 2018.
  • 36 months of 300K steps
    • no brainer since 400K has been my new target, but want to keep the streak going.
  • 12 months of 400K steps
    • This has the potential to be 22 months, but I’m not sure about December yet. May pull a rabbit out of a hat though
  • 2 months at 500K. I had one this year, think I can find another.
    • ETA 12/31: total was 54 in 2017. I’m going with 50, and the goal is 12K. Accepting December will be bad, January should be better.Fewer days below goal than 2017 (actual number TBC). Thinking of raising goal to 12K after a year at 11K since average is 13.5K+ even without the Saunter. ETA 2: dropped this in early January 2018. Details.
  • 90 books read. Likely won’t get there this year but I want to try for it again. No other pages, etc. although I like the backlist one, so may find a 2018 challenge for that.

It’s a lot, but goals are good and motivating.

More on this when I wrap 2017.

Here’s to 2018

Mile High Run Club: Mental edition

I knew I wanted to work out tonight and didn’t have the attention span to stay on the treadmill at the gym. So I checked Mile High Run Club’s schedule and saw there was something called a Jingle Bell Jog on the calendar for 7PM. It was The Distance, which I did not like the first time I tried. But I figured if it was marketed as a jog I might be able to hang on, and I booked it.

When I got there I realized this was no ordinary “jog”. It was a class taught by the Mile High Run Club founder. Eek! Should I bail. Nope, you’re there. The credit is spent. Do this. I’d actually heard Debora Warner speak and I was curious, if intimidated, to have a class with her.

The class was awesome. Because it was a racing version where there would be male and female winners for who covered the most distance (100% not me!), it was way more on “flat ground” (1.0 incline, flat ground in Mile High speak) . I think that’s what made it doable. That and I decided early that I was going to walk the recoveries vs. trying to run them. That’s where I am right now, and that’s OK. My only goal was to finish, and I did!

Mile High Run Club: Run/Walk The Distance

I was pretty proud of that. I set and (mostly kept) my levels as follows:

  • Level 1: 5.0 – this mostly didn’t happen as I dropped to walking, but it was my base and warmup
  • Level 2: 5.5 – this made sense as it feels like it has become my flat ground “race pace”
  • Low Level 3: 5.8
  • Mid Level 3: 6.0
  • High Level 3: 6.1
  • Level 4: 6.5-6.7 (!)

The breakdown of the workout was a follows:

  • five minute warmup
  • four five minute efforts, the first two included the only two hills at 4.0 and 6.0 incline
  • two four minute efforts that were exact same
  • a three minute effort
  • a two minute effort

I think I set my levels right as I didn’t have to lower any of them once into the interval and I was able to sustain three minutes at 5.8 and 6.0 which is definite progress for me. The final interval / effort is the one I was most proud of. The first minute was a runners’ choice (I went with 6.0) and the second was level four sprint, which I started at 6.5 and found enough oomph to take it to 6.7 WOW. In theory that means I could have gone harder earlier, but I don’t think so. That extra smidgen in the tank was barely that.

Maintaining 5.5 on short hills, doable. Maybe one day it will even lead to maintaining it across Central Park hills. A girl can dream

I really, really enjoyed this class. The music was great (Guns ‘n’ Roses is perfect especially Sweet Child of Mine to close it), the atmosphere was fun and not competitive and it just all clicked. More learning? I guess. I had the chance to speak with Debora and that was fun. I didn’t find her to be an intimidating coach at all even if the class was geared toward a much higher level than where I currently am.

The thing I really like about all but one of the Mile High classes I’ve taken is the genuine interest from the classes in each of us. They all seem genuinely interested in why people are taking the classes and what they’re getting from them.  I still don’t get the big deal about these treadmills, but I love the classes.

I still have no idea what “my” pace is, or how any of this is going to turn out in 2018, but in the mean time I’m following the advice of my bracelet

Enjoy the Journey



  • Strava, you’re going to be the death of me. Round up in minutes and down in mileage. Top is watch, bottom is Strava. *glare*
dumb Strava
  • One thing that I forgot in yesterday’s post-that popped into my mind today when I was trying to follow post-class stretches. I cannot follow aerobic instructions. Run at x speed for y time? Done. Stretch with this foot forward? Nope. Not a chance. It was comical in the NYRR warmup on Tuesday since I’d bonk the person next to me when invariably leaning in the wrong direction. At least tonight it was just on me. And I can absolutely laugh about it.


  • Another nice moment tonight: as I headed out of the office, I already had a possible excuse. When packing my gym bag last night I somehow forgot a sports bra. Oops. That’s one thing I don’t keep at the office-soon to remedy-and I thought about bailing. Since I’d already reserved the class I knew the credit was committed so I decided to check Duane Reade. Of course they sell them-they sell everything. Was it the best? No. But it was Hanes and did the job. Post-laundry, where it will hopefully lose its ability to make a black sweat stain on my back, it will live at work.

A learning week

Lots of learning

No matter what kind of exercise I’m doing, December is a challenge. Not so much because of the holidays, but because work is peak crazy then due to our annual fundraiser. So my only priority last week was to get a run in.

It was a challenge, but not the one I expected it to be. As I briefly mentioned in my 15K recap, I tried to run last Monday but legs just said nope. The next time I got to the gym was Thursday and because I didn’t leave the office until nearly 10PM and the gym closed at 11, it was a quick mile.

Snowy Central Park

Saturday presented the first opportunity to actually run and Central Park was gorgeous and snowy. When I first left the building I almost noped out of an outdoor run and headed to the gym but knew I’d need the distraction of a view. I also knew I needed to tackle the Harlem Hills.

I don’t know what was up with this run. It’s the first longer run that I’ve done with the hills in some time, i.e. since June’s 10K, but I just felt like I had no additional gear to switch into. My get up and go got up and went. Still, it felt good to shake some cobwebs from my brain after some late nights even if the pace was meh.

High 45

Speaking of meh, I struggled in Sunday’s High45 class and I’m really not sure why. Maybe general lack of sleep. I’d been aware of what I was eating and generally not living on sugar, but I found that I needed to walk rather than jog to recover. I was definitely pushing the high level 3s and trying to keep up the incline, but I don’t think that was the issue. At least it shouldn’t have been. It was a morning class like my first, but maybe I was more tired from work? Who knows. I’m not giving up on the classes as I really enjoy them.

Night runs are awesome


Tuesday, I gave NYRR a try with their #Run5Give5 party and I’m not ready for prime time there even when they say all paces are welcome. I couldn’t figure out why I was struggling so hard in mile two (and as a consequence turned a 5miler into a 5K) until I looked at my splits when I got back.


Thanks, Strava, but you’re off by a bit since you & my treadmills don’t get along
TomTom (left) vs. Runkeeper (right). How on earth are the splits so far off

It wasn’t a PR, although I don’t know why Runkeeper is so far off from both Strava and my watch. But that 10:10/10:31 over the first mile which included Cat HIll? Not sustainable at all. I’m kind of glad the next session of group training sessions are sold out because that first mile came from trying to keep up with the back of the back. Had a lovely conversation with the Team for Kids and Group training coaches who were bringing up the rear, but I definitely couldn’t maintain the pace.

Not all bad, because looping at 79th vs. going up to 102nd gave me Belvedere Castle, which is always gorgeous. I was exhausted after Monday’s event and an overall long week, but I was glad to get a run in. I don’t think not being ready for group training is a bad thing less than one year after I started running. It’s a goal to work toward.

This week’s #Run5Give5 challenge is to share your most significant run and with so many good ones, I don’t think I have one to share. The Frozen Penguin comes to mind, of course, but I’m equally proud of all my firsts at every distance.

Overall? Still not sure. Thinking maybe my legs needed longer to recover from 15K than I expected? We’ll see what this week looks like next year. Look forward to getting back into my routine after Christmas. A little worried about my January race as I’m definitely undertrained, but not going to stress. It’s a closed course, and at worst I give up and go home. I don’t think I will, but it’s not the end of the world if I do.

Winter Running: #TedCorbitt15K Chapter

Pre and post race faces


The middle facial expression cracks me off because I look like I was miserable, but I had so much fun. And yes, I take responsibility for the snow.

I got a text Friday night that they’d make the decision about the race at 6 AM and like Poland Spring, I was half hoping they’d cancel. It’s not that I’m anti snow, but I was nervous about it being slick and the cold. The text confirmed the run was a go, and so was I.

not so Flat Cari as I was draped on ladder

After finding the Cuddl Dudds too warm at the Turkey Trot, I decided to go without this time. So clothing was:

  • one of many ridiculous pink leggings I own. Like all my tights, these are way too long so were cuffed up. I think they’re Danskin. There wasn’t much wind in the forecast, so I went without over layer. This was a good decision.
  • Turtle fur neck warmer and beanie, perfect choices.
  • Shirts: a long sleeved shirt with thumb holes, a t-shirt from a summer race and a long sleeved RBX shirt I’ve worn often
  • Random grab before leaving the house: windbreaker I bought for Giants game as I thought it might be helpful against wind. I carried it most of the Poland Spring run, but wore it the whole time Saturday. Its pockets came in super handy as I had too much crap for my pouch. (None of which I used, more on that later).
  • Socks: random NewBalance ones.
  • Nothing new on race day violation: new headphones because my neon green ones finally died.

Honoring Ted Corbitt’s legacy was awesome. It was nice to hear his son speak about his work continuing his father’s legacy. I’ve come to the realization though that while I don’t mind and even quite enjoy winter running, I hate waiting around in the cold for the runs to start. Although it was flurrying more than snowing, this was exceptionally true on Saturday.

Some other learnings:

  • Running isn’t half mental. It’s 80% mental. Or at least it was for me this past week. Between fighting the cold and not having run more than five miles in a few weeks, I was convinced I wouldn’t finish. During the first lap I was convinced I was bailing at the end of it and just going home. Did I hurt? No. Was I struggling physically? Nope. Something kicked into gear when I passed start and kept going.
Mapping the world
  • The “West Side Rollers” aka Three Sisters aka the hills on the western side of the reservoir were worse for me than Cat Hill. Maybe because they were longer? Definitely not a factor of more tired legs as they were in mile 1/4 whereas Cat HIll was mile 3/7.

  • I’m so glad mile 8 came in under 12 at 11:59 because psychologically that was so big. I know where the 10:29 came from – I just wanted to be done. Not sure about the 10:54 but I’ll take it. Overall I’m really impressed with the overall pace even though the splits are all over the map. I’m not sure I ever really found a rhythm, but I think that’s to be expected with my longest run ever and first at this distance. Once I came around the bottom of the park on the second lap I did just zone out and lose myself in my music.
    • This was also about where I started walking through the water stations. A combination of cold (illness)/cold (weather)/minor asthma flair meant running and drinking = choking but I knew I needed to drink more so this was my solve. Combined with two stretch breaks to work out a hip kink, I think this got me through the second lap. Very OK with this.
    • Losing yourself… Right. I forgot about my gels. Actually, that’s not true. I remembered around mile 5 but my hands were too cold to even try to open them. So I did this run on zero food. Oops.
  • Ascent is b0rked. I noticed this on Roosevelt Island too. Time to ignore it.
  • Feeling strong? Well not exactly strong, but neither did I feel depleted. My legs felt it — and they’re still sore today – but cardio wise I felt solid. 9.5 ish miles wasn’t too much which floors me considering how short my running tenure has been. I think this is the Mile High Run Club classes paying off. This probably also means I can push the pace.
Overall Ted Corbitt place details
NYRR races in 2017
  • As usual, Runkeeper is slightly off from NYRR, but I will continue to use Runkeeper as that has all my data. It’s amazing that I finished ahead of almost 600 people. Didn’t feel that way at all.
  • 5K longer and only took me 15m longer to finish this race vs. my first with NYRR. To see that progress laid out is just. WOW.
    • This is probably my last race on the year unless I do New Years’ Eve. Hell of a 2017 either way

I’ll likely return to this once I’ve thought on it but this post has taken me two plus days already and I didn’t want to lose any thoughts..

Other workouts last week:

  • Entirely uninspiring hills workout on gym on Tuesday. 3.2 miles in 34:58. Was probably meant to be 35m.   I wasn’t feeling 100% and think it was a better than nothing.
  • Really good High45 on Wednesday where I felt good despite a walk break or two. I cracked 4 miles in that span for the first time in a class. Progress. I really like Ryan’s class. He & Rich V definitely my favorite coaches.

Plan for this week:

  • I don’t know. I tried to run Monday and my legs said nope, so I rowed 5K. Beat my PR by four seconds which I only realized when looking at the log book now.
  • Gala is Monday 12/18 so work going to be crazy. I will get 2-3 runs in though.
  • Steps are proving to be a challenge. I’ll get there


Workouts, Week of 11.27

Between the 2,017 and November recaps, I almost missed this one.

I can’t really say this week went as planned as I didn’t have an exact plan, but it went well.

Hills with another pair of new shoes
  • Tuesday, I hit the gym with a plan to focus on hills, and that’s what I did while simultaneously trying out a new pair of shoes. Same model as my favorites, but a new to me color. Workout went well and they’re a keeper. Everything was coming up 5s. 5+ miles, 55 minutes, 5.5 speed. I was happy with it.
Mile High Distance
  • How exactly did I lose nearly a minute in pace in two days? A very good question. The answer: I finished a meeting near Mile High NoMAD and popped my head in to see if they had a class/slot. They did, but it was distance and I said why not. Distance is only fifteen minutes longer than High45 but I really felt that especially with the added time on hills: and 8% incline. I walked way more of the Level 1 intervals than I do in High45, but I didn’t quit. I call that a win. It was certainly a challenging workout. In hindsight, I was also on the verge of a cold, which didn’t help. I think I’m going back to High45 for a while, but it was certainly fun to try The Distance.
Sunday Runday
  • About that cold and that pace…. I took Saturday off to the extent that I only left the couch to get soup and it paid off because the run felt OK Sunday morning. I probably could have gone for another lap or pushed the pace, but opted to be better safe than sorry with a race this weekend. Glad for no asthma flare even with a cold and I think I’ll be healed ahead of Saturday. A lower mileage week, but one I was OK with.
Medal Hanger

I got home and then set to finally putting up my birthday/Black Friday/2,017 miles present to myself. I’ve been eyeing these on Gone for a Run for some time and sure enough, there was a sale. I really like how it came out. The front bib isn’t the prettiest, but it gets pride of place since it was my first. Besides having a place to display them, I’m glad to have the space back on my coat rack and cork board where they used to live. Also, non food rewards are the best

Plan for the week:

  • Monday; rested cold. Cold weather running panel at NYRR
  • Tuesday; gym. About 4-5 miles
  • Wednesday; gym or maybe Mile High Run Club class.
  • Saturday; 15K EEK! I think I’m ready, but nervous if this cold isn’t totally gone. I picked up the shirt today when a the cold weather panel and cannot wait to earn it because it’s gorgeous. Even if it snows.
Ted Corbitt 15K

November 2017: Go Big or Go Home

November, you were brilliant. Last November my step total was 320,610. 2017?

  • 468,583 steps
  • 206.13 miles run/walked

Most mileage since August and one of only three (April) to cross 200. April was 465,416 steps and August was the inSANE 503K. Month didn’t even feel that heavy.

What am I most impressed with besides completing #RunTheYear? My running totals

  • 68.65 miles run
  • 48:45 average run duration
  • 11:23 pace

I am blown away with those, and it certainly explains the step totals.

There’s a reason, of course. But it’s still awesome to see that I’m doing it. My prior month’s best was March’s 45.63 as I stepped down a lot of summer due to injury.

I’m at 419.52 miles run on the year, and while 500 miles isn’t likely I’m so insanely proud of what I’ve accomplished.

This is the first time I’ve hit the 30m goal since June and the best thing is, they haven’t been garbage miles for the sake of 30m. There was only one day with mileage below three and that was just because I ran out of time.

December should be good again because I’m continuing my training and oh I have this next weekend 😮 Currently battling a cold though so might have a lighter start to the month.

It’s weird to have no remaining cumulative goals because I’ve never completed #GoTheDist in November. But here are month goals

  • 400,000 steps, I expect this to be a challenge due to the holidays (was at 306, 676 last year), but a doable one.  This will mark 24 months of 300K+ and nine of 400K+
  • 65 miles run/40m duration/11:15 speed. I didn’t hit speed goal for November and not sure I will for December but it’s a goal I’m working toward especially with the longer long runs

Baby steps

2,017 Miles, Done!

2017 Run the Year medal

When Caryn first told me about the Run the Year challenge late December/early January, I was curious but knew I’d need to pair up because there was “no way” I could do it on my own. I was just coming off my best ever year for #GoTheDist and I was worried about duplicating that. With a little goading, I signed up for the basic version since I really wasn’t sure about this happening.

But if I’ve learned one thing through all these years of #GoTheDist it’s that I love spreadsheets and tracking so I can see my progress and at some point I decided to order the medal. It’s an awesome two sided medal with ‘Make Fit Happen” at the top of the rim, and the months of the year at the bottom. And somewhere in this challenge, “make fit happen” began to happen.


  • began to run
  • transferred my love of spreadsheets to running
  • graduated C25K despite “quitting” C25K
  • ran my first 5K
  • ran away from “I can’t”
  • ran a 10K and 4M race with Road Runners
  • decided to pair Run the Year with Joyful Revolution Athletic Club to raise money for Joyful Heart
  • ran four 5Ks within the month of June
  • (we) hit 2,017 as a team and I decided to try to do it solo while trying to hit 500 miles run on the year
  • ran 10K just because I wanted to, not because it was a race distance
  • joined the Amerithon challenge
  • spent the summer falling in love with and chasing PRs (and learning math!) while fighting injury and not quitting
  • found a new gym so I could keep running when outdoor, weekday running wasn’t an option
  • ran the Harlem Hills because I wanted to, not because it was part of a race
  • made running Facebook official
  • started following a training plan
  • tried and loved a class even though I’m not a class person and thought I couldn’t do it
  • ran five miles on the treadmill in 55m at 5.5 speed




I thought I could hit it by year-end. A couple of weeks ago I realized it was a definite. It was only this past week that I realized I could pull off November thanks to a(nother) insane steps month. Details on that TK this weekend when month end numbers in) so I pushed hard. How was I rewarded? With 60 degree weather in November and to quote a friend:

What a beautiful day for your 2017th mile!!

One unexpected bonus to this challenge is how much I learned about myself.

I learned:

  • what you eat matters as far as how you run
  • sometimes fun runs mean more than the watch
  • that I actually do like running for the better part of an hour but still have no idea what pace I’m capable of
  • my body reacts differently to running in different seasons. My exercised induced asthma isn’t gone, but seems to be only the occasional flare
  • running makes me want to write again and rereading these posts is a great look at this amazing journey
  • that I’m capable of so much more than I thought

The last is really what this (ongoing, it’s definitely not ending with the end of this challenge) journey is all about. I am going to finish 2017:

  • lighter than when I started
  • having run more than 450 miles! (I’m at 417.4 now)
  • with about 10 NYCRuns, NYRR and other races run where I didn’t finish last in nine. (Yeah, about that not going to race thing….)
  • raising more money for Joyful Heart

Has been an amazing year and I can’t wait for 2018

I can finally turn the medal over. Crushed It!

Workouts, Week of 11.20

This week shook out almost but not exactly as I planned. Story of our lives, no?

Mile High workout while reading
  • Tuesday – High 45 at Mile High Run Club. As I was walking in I saw this wonderful sign. I’m really trying not to overbuy this holiday season, choosing experiences and things of a true value/need. Another three pack definitely hit the spot.The class was good. It was with Rich V. who I took my first class with, and I really like his teaching style. I feel comfortable. Also liked that the class was rather sparse so it felt like there was more one on one attention. Part of me is toying with trying The Distance next, but I think I need to get a little more comfortable first with High 45. Maybe one more. Tonight’s Gu, Lemon Sublime. OK but nothing spectacular. There are photos of the studio online, but they have a no phone sign, and I respect that, hence the weird background photo for Runkeeper. That was while I was reading Race Everything on the train home for the long holiday weekend.
Flat Cari, ready to brave the elements
  • Thursday – a Turkey Trot with a 26 year history! I knew it was going to be cold, I hadn’t realized it was going to be penguin territory cold so I was glad for the race shirt, even though I didn’t love it, as another layer. I wrote up the race itself on BibRave, but this was also a fun test of what I could do elevation wise as miles one and two were pretty hilly before we hit the lake shore.  Best part? Coldest run yet by far and no asthma flare! Hands were too cold to open gel, so didn’t have it until after. Peanut Butter was good. Definitely better than peanut butter / chocolate which almost sounds like heresy.


Spot the splits with crowds. Also, nearly negative splits!
Chip time, didn’t get my pause to adjust layers in mile 2

Yeah, layers adjustment needed. The long underwear were a little too warm once I got going. I didn’t have them as the top layer because I wasn’t sure how pins would go so I had to shed top layer and fight static. Definitely a learning process for further winter runs. So I finished with four shirts, but just the tights on the bottom. Not perfect, but it worked. It was helped by staying in car with heat running before heading to the start.


Trotting across the finish line! Thanks Athlinks

A first for me, there’s a video of me crossing the finish. Thank goodness for ridiculously loud leggings. All in all it was a beautiful if frigid morning and I made good time even with the crowds and needed wardrobe adjustments.

  • Saturday – unplanned quick three mile jog with a friend of a friend who was in town for the holiday weekend wanted someone to run with. Sometimes I seriously don’t recognize myself. I had the watch on for distance, but we weren’t really worried about time so much as moving. No photos? Who am I!
  • Sunday – yep, screwing up week of again. But happy with this workout. I didn’t have an exact plan, just that I didn’t want to do the Harlem Hills after Tuesday and Thursday, so I did my usual and headed north at 83rd Street. The down side of a relatively nice November day was super crowded roads so around mile 3.5 at W. 72nd (run ended up in two due to trying to pause and accidentally ending run) I decided to double back and go north along the Lake and come back south through the lakeside ramble.
Beautiful fall colors!
  • What a perfect decision that was. Not just because of Mother Nature’s magic, but also because it required more technical running then I’m used to so this was more challenging than a weekend longer run. The leaves on the stairs were an interesting additional challenge but it was a beautiful segment of the run where I wasn’t playing human dodg’em. 5 miles felt good and appropriately hard with the hills on the west side of the reservoir and the stairs/hills in the Ramble. I’m happy with the workout even if it wasn’t the six I was planning.
Leg 1
Leg 2
which can be best summed up as “Wiggle It. Just a little bit”

Plan for this week:

  • Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday again. Exact specs TBD. Oops. Well not total oops, I know the length & intensity, just not whether Tuesday/Thursday are gym or Mile High.
  • Hit an awesome milestone. Details TK!