This is 40

That 2019/2009 meme. Still and always smiling

can I just whine for a second? I’m a big country fan and I had the perfect “anthem” when I turned 30. Tim McGraw’s My Next Thirty Years. 

I think I’ll take a moment, celebrate my age
The ending of an era and the turning of a page
Now it’s time to focus in on where I go from here
Lord have mercy on my next thirty years

It was great. It was on the heels of two songs I loved in my 20s:  Martina McBride This One’s for the Girls and Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway. They spoke to me.  They were the optimism of our age. I still love them fifteen years later.

So many on 40-quotes and lyrics are depressing. I’m not sad about hitting 40. I love it. My 30s were better than my 20s and I have no doubt my 40s will be even better.  I can’t find anything else that resonates the same way, although I love Garth’s Much Too Young To Feel This Damn Old. So I’m going to keep a hold on Tim McGraw for another decade.  There’s something to be hopeful for in his last verse

My next thirty years I’m gonna settle all the scores
Cry a little less, laugh a little more
Find a world of happiness without the hate and fear
Figure out just what I’m doing here
In my next thirty years


Usually due to the holidays I end up with a birthweek. Sometimes it turns into a birthmonth. This year with Thanksgiving late, it was more contained – although part of me feels like I kicked off BIRTHDAY on November 3. Had an amazing week celebrating with colleagues, family and friends.

Two amazing friends
Theater with Mom & Bob

Weekly Run Down with Kim and Deborah:

  • never miss a Monday: has become a wonderful habit. It was rainy, raw & gross and not outdoor weather. I hit the gym and went back to one of my favorite Rogue workouts: 300m repeats. A little “ish” on the treadmill as it was just mentally easy to do .19/.06 than .186. It was during this run, although I didn’t realize it until later, that I hit 800 miles run on the year. That was my yearly goal and it was great to hit it ~ 5 weeks early. The workout felt great.
it’s Christmas time in the city
  • Tuesday: colleague’s birthday drinks. Quick gym visit for some rowing, PT and strength training after and a Target run with this great view.
  • Wednesday: speaking of Wendy’s excellent post on meeting other runners, spent a fabulous evening with my dear friends and Skirt Sisters, Darlene and Elizabeth. Running really has brought the best people into my life. Not just running friends. FRIENDS
  • Thursday: return of the office run group. I realized when I looked at Strava I realized we’ve done this loop 15x. And it wasn’t  even our original loop. Nice tradition we had going.
  • Friday: post-work birthday drinks with friends and colleagues.
hanging with Fred
what a beautiful day
Bday eats
  • Saturday: Where have I spent every Saturday morning since June? It was an absolutely gorgeous day, and why would my birthday be any different? I knew I didn’t have time to do the eight miles on the schedule so I brought them donut holes and we set off. I paused the watch at 4 for a celebratory 4.0 birthday miles that included a photo stop with Fred, because how could I not? I then ran to Starbucks for my bday drink for a respectable 10K on the day. Amazing how that feels short/acceptable after marathon training. After a stop home to shower and change, I met Mom & Bob for A Christmas Carol and then drinks at Bookmarks Lounge and dinner at Hudson Malone for a wonderful birthday.
  • Sunday: Race to Deliver. I DNSed. Raw, cold and miserable. I woke up to the heavy rain and went back to sleep after a brief moment of I still have time to get there if I leave now. No shame. I made a donation. Best part of off season is no have to run. There was no way I’d have enjoyed this. It was worse than Lebow. I also had runs on tap for Monday and Tuesday and there’s no way I could run four days in a row.

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: run with Elizabeth
  • Tuesday: office run group
  • Wednesday: off
  • Thursday: off, drive to Albany so will miss trots here & there
  • Friday: run?
  • Saturday: run with friends? So weird not to type Rogue
  • Sunday: off.

A Quieter Week

I love it when friends are in town. I adore them and we got up to good mischief. But I am so glad for a return to my routine. I am such a creature of habit.

Speaking of habits, I finally broke down and ordered an iPod with blue tooth. The running without music experiment went mostly OK, but I realized during the NYC Half how much it helped.  I don’t think I’m going to make it through long runs without music and a refurb was a fine investment in this. Oh, and it’s hot pink. Can’t wait to get it on Monday.

Nothing whatsoever to do with running, just my favorite doctors’ office view

Weekly Run Down with Deborah and Kim: there was not a ton of running as I was feeling slightly under the weather (nothing major, just allergies and late nights) and opted to listen to my body

  • Monday: the best laid plans to walk to and from work went kaput when I hit snooze and then had a long day clearing out emails from last week.
  • Tuesday: run or cross train was the question. The answer was 7+ miles on the bike and I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t influenced by a desire to finish a book I was reading. Linda Fairstein’s Blood Oath was great and my legs appreciated the extra semi-rest day.
walking between meetings <3
fleeting life
  • Wednesday: short morning run and PT exercises before a meeting. Walked home to enjoy all the cherry blossoms. A whole lot of steps today
  • Thursday: office run group at my best pace since the Achilles flare. I really love being paced because it keeps me from unnecessarily slowing on the hills. First outdoor run with the new shoes and they’re pretty good. Had some numbness in left foot but know that’s lacing related.
not a beautiful night for baseball
springtime for toesies
  • Friday: I was awake unnecessarily early for no good reason, so thought I’d walk to work. And then I walked outside and it was raining. Nope. Can’t be a frizzy drowned rat ahead of meetings. Knew there wouldn’t be steps after due to Yankee tickets, so I walked the stadium as much as I could. And then a pedi to get rid of winter feet. I actually have one monthly year-round, but first of spring is always refreshing. I think she took off a pound of dry skin.
39 going on 5!
  • Saturday: oh how I love trading in hats and gloves for sunscreen. Mid 70s by the time I went out for a short run/blossom exploration. 2.5 miles felt good. Re-laced shoes and they were fine. Also, ridiculous jumpies speak to Gym Girl Ulra’s shorties’ power.
so maybe I’m not going over to Randall’s Island!
  • Sunday: there were vague long run plans. They did not happen. Allergies were brutal and when I finally went out there was an inSANE headwind likely tied to the storm coming in from the north. No thanks. Did a couple miles and some PT stretches. Better than nothing. Now off to have the #SparkJoy conversation with my winter closet.

Week Plan:

  • Monday: off
  • Tuesday: run or cross train
  • Wednesday: run or cross train
  • Thursday: office run group
  • Friday: off?
  • Saturday: long run
  • Sunday: short run/off

#UnitedNYCHalf Recovery Week

I knew this was going to be a light week even without recovery from the half. We have our Global Summit/Annual Meeting and there’s just a lot going on. While I do chase steps in general, as Judy and I discussed on her post, I’ve learned through this injury cycle to take some true rest days. While I got in good steps doing errands and commuting, I had three days this workweek without meeting my step goal. Very unusual for me.

If you missed it, my race recap is here.

not running related, but I almost never wear dresses and really love this one

Physical Therapy:

PT exercises for a healthy achilles

After winding down to one visit per week, I officially graduated PT after about six weeks. Beyond fixing the current Achilles issues, I learned a lot about dem bones or to be more precise, dem tendons, ligaments and muscles. I also finished with a much better understanding of what to do at the gym vs. mindless stretching and rolling which I think will help me build a stronger base. Maybe one day I’ll actually do the free trainer session that comes with my gym membership. Maybe.

I look forward to maintaining that routine as I hopefully stay healthy through spring in the head up to the next training cycle. There’s also a lot I can do in the course of normal day to day activity such as the arch lifts.


PT for a healthy achilles


With my PT’s permission I’m sharing the ones he has me doing. This does not include some of the gym specific ones like the heel raises on a leg press or Stork, which I detailed below

Half Recovery:

I actually felt really good after the Half and probably could have run Tuesday if the schedule stars aligned. I can’t believe how long it took me to realize that PT really was strength training in disguise. That was definitely a part of my three minute time improvement as the course was way hillier than Fort Lauderdale.

While I don’t have anything double digits on the calendar until summer, look forward to working on my long runs.

Weekly Run Down with Kim and Deborah:

aggressive non-matching is especially prevalent on a cross training day. In that new Shamrock tee
  • Monday: PT graduation. After a nice, long calf and hip/TFL/glute massage, he just asked me what I wanted to do and there were two exercises I wanted him to show me again. No, neither of those were Dead Bug. I will finish PT without being an insect. Hip Hike, and The Stork (albeit with a ball). Graduation gift is a tee-shirt so I guess PT has become a literal example of been there, done that, got the tee shirt.
aforementioned tee shirt
  • Tuesday: off. Was at the office until nearly 8PM.
oh what a beautiful morning!
  • Wednesday: our Annual Meeting whose program runs until 6 with a reception to follow. Knowing I wouldn’t get to the gym after, I used the first day of having the PT window free for a sunrise run. Chilly, but absolutely gorgeous. Legs felt good and I was so happy to have the run in since I didn’t leave the reception until almost eight and I was on sore feet. I love how I feel after a morning run. Also, this was the last good weather so glad I got to play outside.
  • Thursday: closing reception for the global summit. Awesome venue in Lucky Strike but it’s out near the Intrepid & the Hudson River, which at least meant steps walking from the subway in an icy rain. I didn’t bowl or play pool, but it was a great way to unwind. We’re not going to talk about the food choices. Tracked and moved on.
Spri Xerdisc for President!
  • Friday: an evening that was my own. I wanted to run outside and it had finally stopped raining, but wasn’t sure that was going to hold, so I went to the gym. Two miles on the treadmill as follows: 5.5 for .25, 5.6 for .5, 6.0 for .5, 5.6 for .5 and 5.5 for .25. I didn’t really have a plan, but didn’t want to do too much too quickly even though I’m feeling good. Followed the run with a good roll and some PT exercises as I try to work though how to best combine the two on a non cross train day. I really, really love the Xerdiscs for balance work, much easier than Bosu. I really need to remember to pack my resistance bands in my gym bag though.
  • Saturday: was supposed to be a long run, but turned into mental & physical day off which was sorely needed. I put on my run clothes and ran to get dinner. Don’t regret a single non step.
Hi friend! Are you a red-tailed hawk?
  • Sunday: long run short shakeout and hopefully a sorely needed haircut.

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: cross train. Conscious choice not to use my PT time for a run as I don’t want to run three of four days. May walk to work
  • Tuesday: off, book talk & signing. Anyone else read Linda Fairstein?
  • Wednesday: run
  • Thursday: office run group
  • Friday: off, show tickets
  • Saturday/Sunday: long run TBD based on schedule. Friends in town

#GoTheDist, August 2018

Weird week. The heat was a lot of it. As much as I enjoy being active and found myself missing running, it was easy to not because it was just so hot. Think that was why eating was off – but tracked. Also, two really late nights (i.e. get home, go to sleep) wore me out. Insane too to think I walked more than half a million steps in August. More on that below.

It's possible to walk half a million steps in one month? #GoTheDist Click To Tweet

In the mean time, linking up with Wendy and Holly for the Weekly Wrap:

  • Monday: Surprisingly jet lag didn’t have me up at ass o’clock and I made it through the work day to dig out. Headed to the gym on the early side for some cross training as I’d run two days in a row. Luckily the rower was free and I enjoyed a nice 5K where I challenged myself to do the second half faster. Barely. I think I was tired which contributed to the overall slower pace. After that I found an inch of space in the stretching area and did some stretch and strengthening. My running schedule in England wasn’t conducive to time for stretching and my legs were feeling it. I also hadn’t been able to do kettle bells after I fell because my elbow was really really sore and I was glad to be able to get back to those.
what did we do before WTForecast?
  • Tuesday: oh hello jet lag at 5:30 AM. I’d already moved to sleep on the futon Monday night since it was gross at 11 PM so I knew there was no way I was running outside. When I got to the gym I realized wow, my thighs and knee were sore from the kettle bell workout squats. Also, this branch of the gym is way too hot on really warm days and I thought it might be OK in the morning. Nope. So after two minutes on the treadmill I headed instead for the LateralX which has the fan built in. This was all a bonus since original plan was pure rest day due to after work plans. Elbow is finally not sore enough for me to be able to forearm plank so a September goal is re-visiting the 5M plank challenge.
  • Wednesday: wow, my thighs are still sore. Complete off day anyway due to after work plans and so hot that I didn’t feel at all guilty taking the train two stops. Yes, I’m back to an unlimited Metrocard. Thanks to the trains having a complete moment, I still got my step goal.
I plank, therefore I am
  • Thursday: office run group went the way of summer vacations with the office itself being a skeleton crew due to the upcoming long weekend. I was spoiled rotten with my outdoor runs last week, but there was no chance of that with 87 and 52% humidity at 5:45PM so treadmill it was. It was another run that wasn’t though. The plan was to do intervals and between the heat and some poor food choices, I was struggling in the first. I decided a good workout was better than a bad run and so after one mile, I rowed and then went to do some serious strength training. So glad to finally cross one minute for a forearm plank for the first time since my fall.
why so serious!?
  • Friday: how Stella got her groove back. The weather was a magnificent 70 degrees and overcast. I could not wait to get outside. When I left the office it was drizzling and I No photos as, since I’m belt less, I didn’t carry my phone, but it was a beautiful three mile mud run. I don’t know if this week’s issues were burnout, jet lag, heat, or what, but it was lovely to just be playing outside. No watch (well, I had it. But didn’t have my glasses on so I couldn’t read it), no training plan. Just sneakers. Cannot wait for more of these in fall. First run of length with my new haircut and it wasn’t an issue. I was so over summer hair – it’s freeing in some ways. I’d say we’re oh 358 days from the next repeat of this cycle.
  • Retail therapy aside: Luckily this was one of only two outdoor runs, because life without my belt was annoying. I’m so used to stashing phone, ID, keys and water. Luckily after visiting a couple options and realizing I can’t deal with re-usable bottles I ordered this one from Amazon, which will be here Wednesday. This was also an interesting read from Runners World as I explored ideas. I went up to the New Balance store after getting my stuff from the RunCenter locker and saw this shirt for the Bronx 10 miler. I love it, and I bought it. The material is amazing, I really need some new casual tees that fit me. Do I worry about jinxes? Maybe I am by saying I don’t — but I don’t see this as worse than prepaying for the shirt upgrade for Cherry Blossom (which I haven’t worn!). It doesn’t say finisher, so I don’t have an issue. Certainly won’t wear it before the race though.
Running in London was wonderful, but something about being home
  • Saturday: planned mileage was all over the place today. I got a very late start because I needed some down time and although it was relatively cool, the humidity was back up. The first half of the run was a hot mess. I decided to do the reservoir loop because I wasn’t feeling hills, but I soon regretted that. I had the same issue I had yesterday on the bridle path. They’ve put down some gravel to fill in the erosion, but it hasn’t been graded so the terrain is fairly uneven. When I stopped to get some water, I turned off the watch and decided to walk some. When I came around the bottom of the loop I told myself I needed to run home, both for the mileage and because I was running late on time. I ended up going the long way around to get to one mile, and that mile with street crossings was way faster. Go figure. Missing my long run these last two weeks isn’t good, but I’m still pretty confident I can do ten miles at the end of September. This shake out run the week before should be a good barometer as well. It looks like a mostly fun route and much as I love running Central Park, I’d love to see/do something different. Got home and planked, foam rolled during Notre Dame/Michigan: Go Irish!
rocking my new buff from Liz!
  • Sunday: complete rest day. Beach and books calling my name.

Training Mileage for 10M (July 31+): 62.9 miles


At the end of July I thought August would come in between 450-475K due to travel. I wasn’t particularly worried about London steps, but rather the heat and a lack of steps in Vermont. Verdict? Way off.

August Totals:

  • 533,069 Steps
  • 232.36 Miles Run/Walked
  • 56.85 Miles Run

WOW. The prior 500K months were just over the mark at 503,417 in August 2017 and 501,524 in April 2018. This was my best by nearly 30K. WOW. As I said in a Fitbit challenge, London was good for the soul… and the steps. Running wise glad to not have knee, foot issues continue.

Q3 To Date:

  • 1,012,970 Steps
  • 439.74 Miles Run/Walked
  • 102.45 Miles Run

I think that’s the first time I crossed one million steps in a quarter only two months in. I remember when that used to be my quarterly step goal.

2018 YTD:

  • 3,838,152 Steps
  • 1676.49 Miles Run/Walked
  • 446.77 Miles Run


I am just shy of 30 miles off my running total for all of 2017, topped my miles for 2016 and just shy of that year’s step total. It isn’t fair to compare running v. non-running years, but it’s amazing to see the growth. I think I have an excellent chance at topping my steps goal for 2018 and getting to 2,018 miles sooner than last year. 2,500 miles in total and 700 miles running still slightly off but within range, I think.

In keeping with non-food rewards, my present to myself, a new pair of my favorite running shoes and the aforementioned tee shirt. Yes, I just got my last pair at the beginning of July and they have plenty of miles in them, but the members’ only sale on top of a discount had them at $79 vs. $125 so that was a no brainer.


I failed #20BooksOfSummer, which I kind of expected.My reading fell off in August. As of the end of June, I was at 61 books, 17 ahead of pace. Currently 79/19, but I’d hoped August would be better because fall is always busy. I had a ton of books come available at the library, but neither trip allowed for much reading time. I’m still working on the book I got on the way to meet Liz, and not because it isn’t good. I’m just the worst at carrying a dead tree book around and too much train time was spent looking out the window. 100 books is probably now not going to happen, but let’s see if I can finish the two in progress today.

Walking through MLB history and listening to my body, week of 7.23

Definitely light on the running this week as I recovered from my trip and slide. On other notes:

  • The Sarah Marie Design Studio shirt came and I was initially excited to see it’s a Bella Canvas shirt as I love that material. However the shirt is cut really small and I’m kind of disappointed. I suppose it’s an aspirational shirt like the idea of maybe running a marathon. ETA: whee, I heard from the store & they’re willing to do an exchange.
  • I read Andrew Kastor’s Running Your First Marathon and found it a really interesting read. The mileage in his plan is way too high for me as is the running frequency, but I liked how he set up the training with general advice, suggestions and tips from the elite athletes he knows.  The first half of the book is good for any runner and it puts the training schedule in context. If I opt to run New York I will almost certainly do a modified Hal Higdon novice as I did for my Half
  • Major League Baseball ghosts live on in the South Bronx and Upper Manhattan. More on that below.

Weekly recap, with Holly and Wendy:

  • Monday: Wanted to test the knee and it was mostly OK. I went a smidgen more than a mile. Could I have gone further? Probably, but thought it wise not to push it. Non stop rain this week and this being the knee I had surgery on years ago is a bad combination even before Saturday’s fall, so I’m not worried.
  • Tuesday: tried to run, but knee wasn’t having it. Was regretting not wearing my brace earlier. I decided to try my old friend the Lateral X as it did me well in January’s injury window. I was pleasantly surprised that the knee was fine-the side to side wasn’t the issue so much as the jarring impact on the treadmill. Also, my right arm was OK on the arms although I’d initially planned to hold the stationary handles.  I remember it feeling super hard in January, but 1.55 miles in 25 minutes was very manageable and felt like a good workout. I tried to row, but my arm (somewhat) and busted middle and pinkie fingers (mostly) made it impossible. Surprisingly, the arm cycle/upper body erg had a different grip and I tried that. Wow, that’s an insane workout.
  • Wednesday: still raining. Needed a day off from the gym to give the knee a break so I walked home via my favorite mural. An unexpected upside of making the gym a major routine is it has forced me to leave the office at more reasonable times than had otherwise been my habit. Without that impetus? I was there until 7:30.
  • Thursday: I’d signed up for this 5K a few weeks ago when I finally registered for the Retro. I was bummed to miss it last year, but even before the fall I wasn’t as excited about this race as I expected to be. There was a thought toward racing this, which went 90% out the window when I fell and 100% nope when the weather ended up as mid 80s with 65% humidity. Yuck. I initially thought I’d miss the office run group, but the time worked out such that I could do half of their lap (stupid watch not behaving!) before heading up to the start. The 5K course was weird, W. 91st to E. 102nd via 72nd. Odd to have a course that isn’t a loop in some form, but there really is no 5K course in Central Park. I didn’t even make it from 72nd up to the start before deciding to walk because I just was not feeling the West Side Rollers.

Uncharacteristically for me, I sat on the curb in the corral and didn’t stretch but instead tried to talk myself up. I was tired, hot, and did not want to run. A text from a friend hatched a plan for us both to walk it, but we couldn’t find one another in the corrals so I figured I’d just see how I felt before turning left on 72nd Street because I ultimately needed to head back south to get my bag.

What happened after my oh so wonderful staggered start? I went out way too quickly with a 10:00/10:08 first mile. Even downhill/rolling that was ridiculous for the humidity and I paid for it in mile two, which had Cat Hill and a water stop. I sort of picked it back up in mile three, but not really. Strava says 36.06 and 3.28 for 10:58, NYRR says 36.06 for 3.1 (LOL!) for 11:37, RunKeeper says 36.06 and 3.29 for 10:59. It’s an NYRR 5K PR and a course PR. Do I care that it’s 3m off the Frozen Penguin? Not really. I went from not racing this to not running a smart race and it was what it was. Amusing that I was wearing my Run 4 the Warriors shirt as I felt somewhat the same as that race. Not great, but could have been worse if not for some self inflicted wounds. I had a popsicle at the end, enjoyed Central Park in twilight/dusk and headed to the office to freshen up before heading home to mom’s for a long weekend.

  • Friday: company coming so wanted to get in a quick run before they did. I was insanely sore from the bus’ over air conditioning and not having properly stretched after the 5K and it was already 90% humidity at 8:15. I wanted no part of the trail so I headed out along the riverside road for a stretch and meander. It felt good to get it done, even if it was pokey pokey. The rest of Friday and Saturday was spent with my godson and his little sister as well as their parents. Kid wrangling should definitely be a sport. The Norwalk Aquarium was a ton of fun!
MLB History
  • Sunday: I took the long way home. For years since the Brush Staircase re-opened and again when the High Bridge followed, I’ve talked about walking the Bronx/Upper Manhattan portion of New York baseball history. Today, it finally happened. My friends were going to the Yankees game and although I wasn’t joining them, I rode with them to the stadium where the plan was to catch the 4 train home. When the day dawned beautiful and lacking the expected humidity, I decided to walk across Macombs Dam Bridge and then decide how I wanted to get home.

About halfway across, I remembered the baseball history idea and decided to hit Brush Staircase at the minimum. As I was navigating my way around construction on W. 155th and the Polo Grounds Towers to get up to the base of the stairs (“up” to the base, yes. Sea level to Coogan’s Bluff is 175 feet!) I remembered there was supposedly a marker for the approximate location of the Polo Grounds’ home plate. Luckily my phone wasn’t totally dead so I made use of the PoloGrounds’ entry on Ballpark Chasers and the Historical Markers database and still proceeded to walk past it twice before figuring out what I thought was the route. The stairs gave me a brief respite between the second and final tries to decide whether I really wanted to pursue this. In the end, I decided to because I still needed to get home in some form.

When I walked out of the complex, I laughed because I realized it was almost exactly a straight line back from the 155th St. Station on the B/D line. Oh well, I got a lot of steps and baseball memories in the process. It was absolutely worth the time to find it. The Towers’ complex is relatively busy, but the top of the stairs is on a quiet, residential street and you can just sit there and listen to the ghosts. Such a magical piece of New York’s sports history! If you want some great photos of the old stadium, DeadBaseball has you covered.

This stretch from High Bridge Park to home is brutal and boring and my bag was getting heavy so I got the M2 bus home. Still debating whether I’m going for a run today, three hours after I sat down “just to charge my watch!”. Story of my life. At least my running clothes are on. Overall, a good if not great week. Feel recovered from the fall & think PF flare is gone.


Plan for this week:

I don’t have one, oops!  I thought my 7M run was Saturday, but it’s Sunday. I hope it’s cooler. I’m probably not ready as I’ve not done more than 5 miles since the end of June, but it is what it is.  Plan at the moment is to run either Sunday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday/Sunday or Monday/Wednesday/Thursday/Sunday. Since it looks like this is going to be a gym week due to rain, I’m hoping to do the check out run to see how my July speed training went. August has a lot of travel and I think I need to focus on planning those runs vs. my haphazard summer schedule. Also, where did July go? We’ll see if today’s run happens and go from there. ETA: I ran. I PRed. More later this week

Upcoming races:

Linking up with Deb:

pretty much the same as last month, but I did add the New Balance 10 Miler so I get automatic registration for the NYC Half next year via the Four of Six program. I don’t love the Half course, but I had major FOMO this year when I cheered it, so decided to get the guaranteed entry and decide when registration opens if I want to do it. I think so. I have the Fort Lauderdale Half booked again for Feb 2019 but I’m torn on whether I’ll repeat Lebow or do Shape (same course) in April. Decisions, decisions.

Training, week of 4.16

This was a weird week.

Monday I went to the gym figuring I might have something in my legs despite going two days in a row since Saturday’s run was way below where it should have been. Nope. Couldn’t even get .05 miles so I took a cross train day and did a mile on the elliptical and 2K row. Not ideal, but it worked. I was subsequently off from the gym on Tuesday and Wednesday due to evening commitments. Tuesday was completely off at sub 8K steps as it was too cold to walk home. I am so over winter.

Thursday I was antsy and curious how my legs would respond after Monday. They felt fresh and good. I briefly went PR chasing, but ended up having fun with numbers, despite Strava recording issues.  I went at 5.6 until 2.63 where I went to 5.7 before my habitual 6.2 flying sprint to close out. I don’t think I’m quite at 5.7 for length, but I’m getting there. I really need to get back to Mile High Run Club and speed sessions. The knee is fine, I’m just afraid of it not being fine ahead of Brooklyn.

Sakura on Pilgrim Hill. One of my favorite crosscultural spots


Strava must have been mad at me for yelling at it, because Saturday was a complete tech fail despite the beautiful weather. The plan called for ~9-10 and the run started well, but I was struggling on the West Side Rollers between miles one and two. I just felt gassed. I already knew as I came around the bottom of the Park that 9 wasn’t happening and I think Cat Hill was worse because I had already decided it was going to be. My left achilles was twinging and I felt itchy, although I didn’t know why at first.  (Anyone want a handful of mint chocolate Gu? It clearly doesn’t like me. The first time I thought I was having a heat reaction, but twice? Nope, something in it & I don’t get along. So I dipped out of the park at ~5 and got to six miles by headed home. It wasn’t the run I wanted, but it felt decent. I got home and no matter what, the run wouldn’t sync. Some googling tells me this is an occasional thing with the TomTom wherein it clears off the watch because the watch thinks it’s transferred, but never makes it to the app. Oh well. No splits, but at least I had the overall.

Cherry Blossoms on the Hudson

The plan for today was to make up yesterday’s missing miles. I didn’t have an exact plan, but knew I ultimately needed to get to Pier 97 so I decided to take the M79 across and run north for a mile to make it a ~three mile run. I got this wonderful sight at about the turnaround. So many shades of pink and white like the first time I did the Great Saunter. It’s just nature’s canvas. Other than Frozen Penguin, I never really run Riverside, so this was a nice treat.

lickity split!

Although it was busy, it wasn’t crowded so I wasn’t playing too big a game of dodg’em and my legs had some speed in them. After mile two, I thought I might be chasing a PR.  I missed it by 30 seconds, but was still wowed by this run especially coming off six yesterday. And those splits! Almost my first fully negative splits. I don’t think breaking 30 is going to happen in June like I hoped,  but I’m going to break 32m if it kills me. 32:15 is my PR and I think I’m getting there. What surprised me the most about this run was it was about the 5.6 I ran Thursday but without a treadmill forcing it. It just felt right.

one eyed, one horned, flying purple people-eater!

How to keep people from running too close? Look like this. The reason I needed to get to Pier 97 was for Holi, put on by a group we’re working with. I’d never been before, but really enjoyed it. From there I caught the bus to the southwest corner of Central Park and decided to run home as it was getting slightly chilly. Although I didn’t have much phone battery left, I wanted to get some cherry blossoms so I headed off in the general direction of Cherry Hill.

Central Park was packed and this was very much a game of dodg’em, so I knew this woudn’t be for time. At Conservatory Water, I took a break and went up Pilgrim Hill for some of my favorite blossoms. So magically sun-kissed.As my phone died there, I nipped home to try and lose some of the purple. Ended up with six miles, when I only meant three catch up. Although yesterday wasn’t the long run it was meant to be, I got more miles in, since if I’d done 9 I wouldn’t have run today, so win? It’s a good thing I didn’t much like that shirt anyway, it’s never coming clean.

Overall, mixed bag but I’m happy with these two long-ish run days to close out the week. Definitely happy with two back to back at distance even if Sunday’s miles were in three parts. I’m not 100% sure I’m ready for Brooklyn especially with travel ahead of it, but I feel good. Plan for next Saturday is Mile High’s outdoor long run, so we’ll see.  Tomorrow is definitely an off day and as soon as I hit post, I’m having some QT with my foam roller as my quads are cranky. ETA Monday morning: not too sore, other than knees going downstairs. Foam magic

Linking up with Wendy at her invitation and HoHo, whose blog looks amazing. And for the readers, Wendy posted her review of Deena Kastor’s book. That was supposed to happen this week for me, but Running the Smoke cut the queue in honor of today’s London marathon, so I’m behind.

9.33 solo miles

What a gorgeous Saturday!

Although I’m not officially tapering as I’m just using Cherry Blossom as a long run for Brooklyn, I wanted to get “one last long run” in and I knew it had to be this weekend since I’m home next. Brooklyn training has been weird, to be honest. I’m frustrated with the Runkeeper app and can’t fudge Higdon enough to make it work for this schedule, so I’m kind of winging it. Not ideal, but I think it’s going to work. Funny, this time last year I was stressing about training for a 10K.

So without an app/calendar alert to tell me what to run, I knew I could DIY. I was pretty well set on ~9 miles, but wasn’t sure on pushing through on that solo. My prior longest solo run was 7.77 miles (and I still have no idea how I stayed on the treadmill that long). Outdoors? I’m not sure. Probably about 10K. Maybe Rockland Lake since nothing else in my history jumps out at me.

I was ready to try it, so off I went on a variation of the 15K course. It was a beautiful spring day. Slight chill but running in capris, a tee, long sleeve tee and light hat (oddly, same hat as I wore for the 15K) was perfect.

Tomkeeper miles 1-5

That old age about mile one being a liar?
When I saw my watch at the end of mile one I was wondering what the hell happened to my GPS because the only time I’ve seen a sub 10 mile is sprints at Mile High Run Club. When it settled down to “normal” on mile two I figured it was just a blip, and then mile three happened. So I don’t know. I didn’t feel like I was going that quickly even on a downhill mile. Will be interesting to watch the first mile next time. Luckily I start at this spot for most Central Park runs so that’s easy to track. There are way too many overlapping Strava segments to look at it that way.

TomTom 6-9.33

That looked way more normal, especially tiring legs. This is the longest I’ve run since the Fort Lauderdale Half. Over the first eight miles the only things I changed from the 15K course were: starting at E. 84th vs. 102nd, because why walk all the way up there when I could run it, and doing what I wish NYRR did, run the long loop down to the bottom of the park in the first lap, and then have the second lap cut back up at the 72nd Street Transverse.

Mile 6.5-7.5 featured the West Side Rollers and they killed me. Partially a sore achilles but partially just tired. I knew then that there was no way in hell I was doing Cat Hill again so 8-9.33 was a wiggle fest to get in mileage by Conservatory Water. It’s crazy to see all the cherry blossoms in my Facebook memories this week, aside from a few patches of crocuses, Central Park is still hibernating due to a snowy March.

this cracks me up

What exactly is a “very long run”, TomTom?

The difference between TomTom and RunKeeper is how RunKeeper (doesn’t) take into account the auto pause I switched on when someone stopped me for directions. Oh well, 1:40:42 or 1:40:54 isn’t the end of the world. What I realized when the man stopped me at a water fountain, I didn’t stop otherwise. There were no stretch breaks and I didn’t need to stop. That is definitely a first and part of what rendered this a nearly eight minute PR over December. Wow.

speaking of PRs

Not. Even. Close.

I know why Strava sees this as a 10K PR, the one RunKeeper “knows” was a combination of two treadmill stints. But the autopause discrepancy doesn’t account for why RunKeeper doesn’t see this too.

silly Runkeeper

Bizarrely when looking looking further at 10Ks it doesn’t see any of the longer distances. I wonder why it can’t when Strava can. The 5K I’ll write off as the autopause difference.

All in all it felt very good. When I walked home after I was sore, but not horribly so. I had a good foam roll and will take Advil tonight. No running tomorrow.  Music, and mentally writing this post got me through the last coupe miles. A gel, had I remembered to try it, might have done the job too.

I think I’m ready for the Cherry Blossom 10. I’m definitely ready for spring.

Other Notes:

  • a reread of my Rockland Lake run is fun. Today’s run felt some of the same with feeling good, no need to stop. I’m hoping to do that run again next Saturday. V curious if the Poland Spring shirt now fits. I wonder what I can do at the 10K distance which I haven’t done on its own in a while. When left to my own devices, I tend to run 5 miles. I still think I can crack an hour – maybe by year end?
  • Speaking of five miles, I put Wednesday’s snow day to good use and did 5.51 on the treadmill since I had way more time than I typically do on a weekday. Other than batshit boredom, it felt good. It was the first time I tried Gu Chews (3 at start, three at ~5K mark) and I liked them. Orange is a winning flavor. Coupled with Monday’s 3.19, this was a very good week. Friday was a 5K row as there was no money in the world that could get me on the treadmill. Massive case of “do not wanna”. It happens.
  • I finally adjusted my running mileage goal for the year. 780 was based on faulty math, mostly, and I pretty much knew it to be something that would need adjusting once the year started. Because I’d never run a Half, I didn’t know how much time I’d need to recover from those, and I didn’t plan to be injured. Again. Pushing for the numbers required to get 780 is not smart given the hip/knee/feet flares. I’ve dropped it to 700 as one third ish of 2,018 and we’re a three person team for #RunTheYear. The spreadsheet also takes into account the rest days I take, and I need to average 2.68 miles per run day to hit the goal. I should be 539 miles from goal, and I’m 546. I can live with that. Much better than 602, 626. I’m very curious to see where I net out.
    • I’ve doubled my running year to date mileage and have 100+ run/walk mile head start, meaning I think those goals are real.

#GoTheDist February 2018 and Training week of 2.25

I wasn’t kidding when I said I didn’t think I’d hit 400K this month. It was looking like an impossibility and I only pulled it off on the last day of the month thanks to two insane days on Monday and Tuesday.


  • 405,707 steps
  • 177.6 miles run/walked
  • 50.54 miles run

Year to Date

  • 858,290 steps
  • 375.45 miles run/walked
  • 107.04 miles run

I was so happy to hit 100 solo miles last weekend. My knee is finally feeling better. Even though I’m almost twenty miles off the 780 pace, I’m not going to adjust it down yet. Spring will mean more time to run and not being injured will allow longer runs. I gave back some of January’s gains, but that’s also to be expected with a shorter month, so I’m not particularly worried. March has always been good to me.

the realization that my first 400K month was in reach

A year of 400K months is pretty awesome and insane. I’m really happy it worked out.

A big part of that? Running this week. My knee felt good and I even managed to shed the brace. Workouts:

  • Sunday: off day
  • Monday: 2.28 miles at random incline. Tired legs, but no knee pain at all. I might have resorted to all caps there. This was the first time that happened since my first half
  • Tuesday: knowing I was off Wednesday and Thursday due to plans, I went longer. 4.07 miles at 5.5. Kept it at .5 incline since I know changing speeds and inclines hasn’t helped
  • Friday: decided to try without the knee brace and again kept it at 5.5 and .5 incline. NO PAIN. Distance was a factor of time (not wanting to push it), but I spotted this when I went to log it in my spreadsheet. WOW. What a difference a year makes
year on year
  • Saturday dawned dry and warm enough to run outside. I’ve only managed that a handful of times this year and while I don’t mind the treadmill, who doesn’t want to play outside? 5+ miles wiggling around Central Park. Could have gone longer, but decided to play it safe. If I’d realized how close I was to an hour, I’d have gone the extra ninety seconds. Knee a little sore so probably right call. I’m going to take tomorrow off.

In the US Road Running Facebook group someone asked how much we’d lost since beginning running. Running hasn’t been about weight loss for me, but it has definitely helped.

Jan 7, 2017 v. March 2, 2018, scale edition


Baby steps all around this month. On to the next

Runners High meets #NYRRGridiron

Can you have a 48 hour runners’ high? That seems to be where this is going. This is also super long so TL;DR: I “raced” my first race today, and it was AH-MA-ZING!


This was a(nother) weird week.

After Saturdays runs, I walked and went to the gym to use the bike on Sunday but then I took Monday and Tuesday off. I’d planned to go to the gym on Tuesday but I was at work way too late and wasn’t feeling it. I knew it wouldn’t be a good workout, so I went home.

I got to visit my graffiti!

Wednesday brought my tradition, of sorts. Ryan’s High45 at Mile High Run Club. We celebrated my finishing the Half and he asked my plan for the class. My knee was still a little tender so I wore my brace and said I’d take it on the easy side. He said he wouldn’t call it a “come back” if I wouldn’t.  I walked some of the active recovery windows and definitely slow jogged the others, but I took some of the flying sprints at 7.0 and that felt good. I iced it when I got home, but otherwise my knee felt good. I was so glad I got to see my piece of art, as by time class had ended she’s cleaned the wall of the 2018 Resolutions. I look forward to what Team MHRC runs and membership will bring as I really like the folks at NoMAD on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings.

I had after work plans on Thursday, so missed the gym but knew I’d go Friday. I was feeling good about the workout. Even though I’d needed to walk some of the active recovery windows on Wednesday I felt that my level 2, aka my usual pace, could move up so when I got to Blink, I hopped on the treadmill at 5.6 and off I went. At some point I looked at Runkeeper and saw what a 5K PR would be. So at minute 31 I cranked it up to 7.0, and subsequently realized that the problem wasn’t with running so much as math. Although I didn’t PR, it felt really good.

Running time machine. Feb 2, 2018 v. Feb 4, 2017

As I stretched after running, I had a scroll back through my Runkeeper to find out what the hell that PR was (this craziness with NYRR, so this is definitely a treadmill PR and longer distance) and because I thought early February was when I’d first run a full three miles. Indeed.

Other than chasing treadmill PRs, I really hadn’t had the chance to see running growth due to the frigid weather and running longer/new distances. I didn’t really have an exact plan for the Gridiron 4M because I was waiting to see how I was feeling after the Half, but now one was formulating. When I ran the 5M in late October I nearly got a mile “free” and I decided that was my goal for today. I wanted to either beat the run from the previous Feb 4, or my time  for the Boomer Esiason four miler, my only prior 4M with NYRR.

I took Saturday “off” and just did some errands. I was worn after a lot of late nights this week and needed some me time. I commented in one of the Run the Year sub Facebook groups that I was I was “surprisingly” more nervous about the four miler than I had been about the Half. I finally put it together when laying out flat me. It’s the first race where I  set a time goal (well 2).

I do a lot of reading about running, books and blogs and the use of the word “racing” always gave me pause. I didn’t really understand the difference between running a race and racing a race for non-elite athletes. I think I got it. And a stomach full of butterflies. I guess I was “racing” the Gridiron. I was nervous though, I’d only kept up that pace on a treadmill and I wasn’t sure I could do it in “the wild”

Flat Cari!

Speaking of Flat Cari, the “level up” to K before the Half was not a mistake, and shockingly I didn’t lose it after my pace during the Half. When I went to pick up my shirt and number for today I asked about that and the NYRR staff said it’s based on best pace in last window, converted to a 10K, not average pace. So I may hang onto it for the year. Some of yesterday’s errands include the NYG tee, pictured. Yes, I was violating “nothing new on race day”, but since it was atop two well worn layers I didn’t anticipate an issue (and it was fine).

And yes, I finally figured out how to attach the bib to the belt so I didn’t have to do shorts on leggings thing. Rest of flat Cari: black TekGear with thumbholes, good because I forgot my gloves, Ted Corbitt race shirt, which I love (don’t like today’s at all, it’s white). August shoes which are about out of mileage 😮 and spiderweb tights. Neck is the turtle fur muff I love. Was meant to try GU Chews, but they didn’t happen so I went without fuel.

morning dawned cold
but I was well layered

Starting at E. 102nd made it easier to get there, but I much prefer to hit Cat Hill on fresh legs. I didn’t exactly have a strategy for “racing” this so when we crossed the start, I just ran my race.

but did I run TomTom’s or Runkeeper’s?

Those splits are nuts for the first mile. While I’d love to claim TomTom’s, I’m pretty sure Runkeeper’s is more accurate based on the early crowds and what I saw of the clock at mile one. I could not figure out why this four miler felt so hard until I saw these splits. I’d maintained “that pace” (10:54) without the control of the treadmill.

Mile 3 includes Cat HIll and I’m impressed I kept it under 11 as that also included walking through a water station due to crowds. Beyond this, I don’t have any particular thoughts on today’s run. I felt as if I was zig zagging a lot more, maybe because I was in thick of pack through finish? I loved the run left or right on Bethesda to “vote” for which team would win tonight.

Done! DIdn’t know my splits, but I knew what watch said and thought I had a PR

The reason I chose the Lebow hat vs. one of my handmade ones was that I expected to ditch it when I got warm. While I took it off at mile 2-3, I held it and I was glad because I got cold going home. I was also so cold/tired I forgot to flamingo.

So how did it go?

vs. Feb 4, 2017: buy three miles, get one free!


vs Boomer Esiason, April 1, 2017
NYRR data. Officially on Team MHRC


I was on a runners’ high from how good Friday night felt, and then I was definitely on a runners’ high once I got home and saw this. While I can’t say that I trained for the four miler specifically, it’s clear that running and training has paid off. That’s even forty seconds per mile faster than the 5M at the end of October.

I’m really excited about what I’ve learned my body can do. I think I’m going to spend the weeks of 2/26 and 3/4 working on speed because I’m definitely going to “race” the Frozen Penguin. A PR isn’t a goal there, as it was my very first run and a brutal day, but I may set a time goal TBD. Why those weeks vs now?

Well based on the runners’ high from the Half, I signed up for another. It’s actually one I’ve been thinking of for some time as I knew I’d be away, but didn’t want to commit in case I hated Lebow. Luckily it didn’t sell out before I could. So here’s my calendar for the next few months:

  • February 19 – Fort Lauderdale Half Marathon. “Pancake flat” and on the beach. I’m also kind of nerdliy excited to go to my first Expo. Hoping fewer hills, less painful recovery. Hotel has a pool so I think that will help with post run stretching. Am I any more trained for this than Lebow? Not particularly, but I can do the distance. So maybe it will be another Half benchmark for one without insane hills
  • March 11 – Frozen Penguin 5K. More on this TK as I think it through
  • April 8 – Cherry Blossom 10M in DC.  I treated this week’s runs as week one of training so I’m only a week behind. Determined to be properly trained for this one and, knock wood, I think I will be.
  • May 19 – Brooklyn Half. That just happened this week. Ends at the Coney Island Boardwalk! That’s literally all I know about this one, so need to do some homework. Never run in Brooklyn before.

ETA: Just became aware of Deb Runs’ race link up. Love this idea. Always fun to have folks to say hi to before or after races

On to the next

Recovering, week of 1.22

because this was very much a rest week. Other than for a date with their super duper foam roller on Monday, I didn’t even touch the gym until Thursday and that was really just a shakeout to see how I felt. Still sore, but improving, definitely not worth pushing.

Outside! In January!

Saturday was just so beautiful out – 50 degrees in January in NYC! and I was just excited to be outside. Although mostly feeling good, I didn’t want anything to do with hills so I headed to the reservoir: scene of so many runs these past nine months. Nine months when I’ve been running a year? Yep. Never ran outside until just before my first 5K and hated it that first time (more on that later). Now, I’ve been sprung.

Geese were my cheerleaders Saturday

It didn’t feel like a particularly great run, and mile two involved slowing to drink and take off a layer because I was warm enough to go with just a tee shirt. IN JANUARY! But because I’ve run this track so often, I have a lot of data in the form of Strava segments.

Numbers. Give me all the numbers

WOW. I’m not sure if I can tie this into Mile High Run Club at all, but the November 11 runs (I forgot my watch, we were going with a timer on laps) was just before my first class. I’m still and will always be slow, but I’m less slow. My legs, especially my calves, were hurting some so I cut the run at the end of the second lap which made it a 5K. Not bad for a week out from the Half.

As I headed back east I remembered that the East River connector was supposed to have opened in December, so I decided to check it out. Approaching the river it was definitely closer to 40 than 50 with the wind off the river and the sun dipping, so I was glad I hadn’t chosen to come over here for my main run.  At 86th, I headed  north to the path’s end and then came back south


I can now run to the gym, or otherwise down to 59th St. without the walk down York to 78th which is a total time killer. I didn’t do it yesterday though because I was really trying to stay on flat terrain.

The end of this run was entertaining. Not sure why, but I was determined to make it come to a mile, even if 4.17 on the day was not a meaningful number. This is the course where I first ran outside, and while it’s growing on me, I still don’t love it to be honest. Maybe when it reopens again north of 88th St. but give me Central Park any day. For me this spot is for reading and unwinding. Not running. The surface doesn’t help.

Today I went to the gym after some errands to “stretch and strengthen” (always obey Master Hal!) and I had a weird realization coming down the stairs. Nothing hurt, or whinged. Not my knee, hip, foot. NOthing. Hope I don’t jinx it, but looks like foam rolling has been good this week.

Also today:

Gels, blocks and chews, oh my!

Yep, taking figuring out this fueling thing seriously. JackRabbit sale helped. Some old standbys (vanilla everything) and some new flavors and textures. Curious to see how I go with blocks or chews vs. gels, which I really don’t care for. I think I’m going to regret the S’mores one, but can’t not try it.

I’m supposed to start the Cherry Blossom 10M training tomorrow, but I’m not. I feel good, but I don’t think I’m ready this week. Or at least not tomorrow. I really don’t think losing a week will be the end of the world, so long as I’m still running.

Oh, and going to do the one race/month thing as long as I can find one for May. NYRR has only one while I’m out of town (unless I get into Brooklyn Half, which probably won’t happen) and NYCRuns doesn’t appear to have anything. I’m sure something will pop up.

On to the next…