Race Recap: Zooma Bermuda

more to come on Bermuda overall in, hopefully, a #TravelTuesday post. In the mean time, my thoughts on an amazing racecation. First of all, major love and shout out to the entire Zooma and OnPace race teams. They and their partners put on a fabulous inaugural Bermuda race and I can’t wait to return to the island or do another one of their races. So many cities, so little time.

Runners’ Roundup

Linking up with Debbie, Deborah, Rachel, Lisa, Jen and Smitha for the new Wednesday “Runners’ Roundup” to discuss the Zooma Bermuda challenge. Apologies in advance for an insanely long recap. I enjoyed this weekend almost as much as I did my first Half Marathon.

The weekend in a nutshell

Three happy runners

In no particular order this weekend involved:

  • meeting amazing people including Marcia and Erika. Spoiler, when you’ve read one another’s blogs for two+ years, it really doesn’t feel like “meeting” and you can chat easily for hours.
  • exploring the island of Bermuda with Darlene
  • running an amazingly scenic and hilly Half Marathon
  • not getting swept in said Half marathon
  • learning how to embed an instagram photo in a blog post. Or maybe that was just me. LOL. There are approximately forty bazillion photos on my Facebook as well. 

The results of our hard work:


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But… rewinding….

As US-based runners, we received our swag bags before we flew, which was great. This included a map of Bermuda,  the gorgeous tanks in the second photo here and a super soft quarter zip. Both fit surprisingly well, and I actually wore the tank!

The Expo

After a day + exploring the island on our own and with some other early arrivals, Zooma Bermuda officially kicked off with a welcome reception at the Fairmont Southampton, our wonderful host hotel. This also served as the Expo during which we could pick up our bibs, wrist bands for transportation and activities and other purchased items. As someone who wishes races were generally more sustainable and generated less waste, I loved that the bib was the same for Saturday and Sunday’s races.

Since it was a relatively small race and the Expo was in a hotel ballroom at a fixed time, we had the opportunity to meet other runners and the On Pace team. I have run with pacers before, but with a great ratio of pacers to runners we had the opportunity to truly engage with the pacers. I really appreciated the opportunity to talk with them about their plans and felt they really listened to my goals for the race. As someone who doesn’t always do well with new people, it was also helpful to meet “my” pacer before the morning of the race.

The Field Trips


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Besides races, Zooma organized some optional field trips for those of us visiting the island. I was excited by Saturday’s to the Crystal Caves as they appeared to be absolutely stunning. They did not disappoint.  I had a particular chuckle as the shuttle we used to go to and from operated under the name “Bermuda Triangle Tours”. Life’s too short not to have a sense of humor.  If/when I go back to Bermuda, I’d probably stay a little more central – there was a lot of travel time between Hamilton, the caves and the airport that I’d prefer to eliminate in a shorter stay.

We also hit up the iconic Swizzle Inn, and while I stayed away from a Dark and Stormy or Rum Swizzle ahead of a race, I definitely soaked up the atmosphere. The real up side of being in Bermuda in the off season was the sites & restaurants had no issue accommodating the large groups.  In addition, we were able to get 20% off entrees for our closing dinner at Henry VIII. If I sprout fins and swim away from my blog it’s because of all the delicious fish I ate at the weekend. Wahoo, fish and chips and conch fritters, oh my!

Lighthouse Run

nice signage to mark the route!
can report we did not blow away despite my hair’s best efforts

The length of this race changed a couple of times due to road conditions. As the day dawned and remained dark and stormy – a tribute, no doubt, to one of the sponsors and welcome drinks (!!) it solidified our plans to walk the run rather than risk Sunday’s run.

Dressing for high 50s/low 60s with wind and rain is a challenge coming out of Northeast winter. I made a gametime decision to put on a long sleeve tech shirt under the Strong Fricken’ Women tee, which I thought particularly appropriate for this women-focused series. I was very glad I did so as wet tee shirt is never a good feeling. This was semi-planned twinning as Darlene wore this one day and I loved the pattern and told her I was going to be a copycat. This was the first chance since that we both planned to wear capris, so it had to happen.

An unexpected find during the Zooma weekend was all the Skirt. One icebreaker on Friday’s field trip to Hamilton was someone wearing the same pattern as Darlene, and another woman told us how we could find at the Expo based on which Skirt she’d be wearing.

I had a poncho, but didn’t bother as the rain wasn’t particularly heavy but mostly annoying. The route was nice as the road wound down from Gibbs Lighthouse to Horseshoe Bay, and I’m sure would have been even more scenic on a clear day. For some reason I wore and turned on the Garmin, I’m sure it will soon be touting a new 1.5 mile race record. LOL.

Three happy, wet runners


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The Half Marathon

Flat Cari

Long sleeves was the wrong choice for 60s, but a few weeks ago when I accepted reality that this Half was going to be a challenge I’d stubbornly decided (Yes, I’m stubborn, this is a theme) I was going to wear my NYC Marathon shirt to remind me of what I had done just a few months ago. I survived, I did not melt.

On the go! We ran a chunk of the race together and she ultimately PRed

aka the reason we were all in Bermuda. There were some 200 runners in all, with us split relatively evenly between the Half Marathon and the 10K. As I mentioned last week, I contemplated dropping to the 10K as a result of my complete lack of training due to injury. Once I found out there was a 3.5 hour cut off, I had a feeling I could do it and decided to go for it. This was further confirmed when I met Esther from On Pace at the pool early in the week and she confirmed it wasn’t a hard limit and that no one would be left behind.

We boarded the race shuttles a a little before six, bringing us to the start area in Barr Park in plenty of time to enjoy a beautiful sunrise and prepare. While I think we could have arrived a little later, I totally understand the cushion for an inaugural race especially given the construction and narrow roads in Hamilton. Just after 7:30 we were off.


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Did I mention narrow roads and hills? Someone told us that while Bermuda is only 20 square miles it has more than 300 miles of roads. I’d believe that, and what the airport shuttle driver told us that he’d point out a straight road if we ever saw one. This was one hell of a course. My plan, such as I had one, was to power walk the hills and when my endurance gave out. This started in earnest at mile four when we hit the longest & steepest uphill simultaneously. Bermuda is the anti-flat. This was the hardest, but also the most scenic half marathon I’d ever run. If I had to give up a scenic view for one less hill – wow. That would be an impossible choice.

I chatted to both the 2:45 and 3:00 pacers for their plans and both were doing 3:1 intervals walking the hills. I started with 2:45 and kept them in sight for a few miles, but I knew that wasn’t realistic. I didn’t do intervals so much as run when I could, walk when I needed to. Somewhere around mile eight or nine my goal shifted from not finishing with the sweeper to coming in below three hours. I’d stayed with/ahead of them for so long I thought that was a reasonable goal even as I expected to tire in the final quarter.

All the OnPace pacers were awesome, but Mandi and Marissa get a special shout out for pushing us through the finish.  At mile nine-ten ish I felt strong enough to drop the intervals and gained on them a bit, which was good as it provided a cushion when I power walked much of mile eleven. By this point I was flat out determined to break three.  When our watches neared thirteen, Mandi and Marissa told us that the finish was just around the corner and to go as it was too early for them to finish as pacers. We took off and I can’t wait to see my finish photos as I was probably a smiling fool. I had about three glasses of seltzer from the finish line festival before heading back up to the finish to watch the last runner come through. She was surrounded by Pacers who had finished their assignments and went back out to bring her in. No one finishes alone was an awesome motto and I can’t wait to do another race where On Pace are the pacers.

My time? It was the slowest of my eight Halfs. Do I care? Not one iota. The goal for this one was finishing, ideally smiling. DONE.

I am an adult.. I did not stay up all night until a 6a shuttle figuring What the hell, I’ll sleep on the plane.  I was too tired from waking early and the half and went to bed around nine after a wonderful closing dinner at Henry VIII. This is 40.

General Thoughts:

  • Running a half marathon untrained is absolutely ridiculous. I knew this, and this is why I deferred Fort Lauderdale. but I was stubborn and didn’t want to miss out on the fun in Bermuda. I don’t regret this choice as I’m not sore at all and my knee is no worse than it had been after the Manhattan 7, but I’m not doing this again. I don’t have a Half on my calendar and am going to keep it that way for now. It’s time to train properly for the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler and go from there.
  • Because I did not train, I did not practice my fueling. An email about Gu on the course reminded me to throw some chews in my suitcase, and I ate a handful of Citrus Chews throughout. This worked fine and I was glad to have them as I got hungry despite my usual pre-race breakfast bar.
  • Back to my theme of sustainability, I was glad at a couple of water stops when the volunteers offered to fill my water bottle rather than me take a cup and pour the water into my cup.
  • Since we were mostly out of town and the island has such a small population, this isn’t a race with crowd support. It didn’t matter. It was lovely to see some locals who were out and about cheer us on.
  • Running on the left side of the road with traffic and mostly without shoulder or sidewalk was a little unnerving, especially with the curves. I felt though that traffic gave us as wide a berth as it could and we were never in danger.
  • Running without music (for safety) was no issue as the scenery was enough of a distraction.

While I can’t go back to Bermuda next year as I have an entry for Fort Lauderdale due to deferring this year, I’d do another Zooma race in a heartbeat if the destination was somewhere I wanted to run. It was well supported, the communication was great, the SWAG was good (the medals were GORGEOUS) and the location couldn’t have been better. Amelia Island might be too warm for my liking in October, but Cape Cod is tempting me.

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.

On training and racing in 2019 and 2020

Once I knew I had 9+1 taken care of in the event I want to do this crazy thing again, I decided to dial back on racing in 2019. I actually have nothing on the books besides a 18 mile training run in September and the marathon itself.

2020 is another story: I’ve opted for Fort Lauderdale over Lebow (a necessary choice since Fort Lauderdale had to move weeks to accommodate the Miami Marathon’s move due to the Super Bowl) in January registered for Bermuda in February. Fort Lauderdale was a weird choice: Lebow is my favorite and was my first, but Fort Lauderdale > NYC in January. Also, I think/hope that the earlier date for Fort Lauderdale will mean it’s a little cooler.

I will probably do Grete’s Great Gallop, the Albany Half and Ted Corbitt, I just haven’t gotten around to registering due to plans.

On training:

Another thing I realized I hadn’t really discussed was how me, Queen of Social Anxiety, was getting on with the run group. To be honest, the only way this was tenable was doing it with on the buddy system. A colleague and I decided to do it together and we both went to our first session (the group’s second) together so we were on even footing. It’s a fairly small group, with summer travel making it even smaller for about 10-15 runners on Wednesdays and less on Saturdays for the group* long run.

It’s a group* long run in name only for me. I knew I couldn’t maintain pace and run the distance so I made peace with it being solo on the Saturdays when the other slower runners aren’t there. Although I’ve enjoyed running with people recently, I still love my solo running for thinking and don’t mind going alone at all. I like the accountability to get up and go on a Saturday and the coach accessibility with any questions. I loved that one of the coaches emailed Sunday after the long run last week to see how I was doing and then we had a bit of an email chat.

The Wednesday runs are the most challenging. I have never done proper speed work other than random treadmill stints so this is where I’m seeing growth. I have the potential for speed even if I can’t maintain it. That’s kind of fun to see.

I can’t do the volume that this training prescribes (nor could I have done Hanson, like you all said), but I’m committed to trying to run four days a week and am OK if the reality is three days. I’m really going to like the Wednesday night workouts for some group work when days get shorter and the park gets darker.  I was also curious for this Wednesday’s time trials as the coaches said we’d then know our paces. And paces is a thing I only sort of know.

So far, I’m really glad I joined. I think I need the group for a first (only?) marathon training. I like someone telling me what to do and I like pushing myself within my limits. Is Rogue for more advanced athletes? I’m not sure. I know elites train with them in Texas, but the current group in NYC is mostly first time marathoners so maybe not.

I’m not doing a countdown to the marathon. I think it will give me too much anxiety. While I didn’t get it together to post for Tuesday Topics, I really enjoyed all of the advice on a strong cycle. So many little things that all add up to a big impact.

This week in nutrition

ginger lemonade Nuun
well that was an interesting color!
  • Monday: a (relatively) cool day and was theoretically a shorter run so I decided no gels, but I’d try Nuun. On first sip, I didn’t like it, but it grew on me, especially when I refilled the bottle which diluted what remained. In hind sight, this was probably better chilled and maybe I’d use half a tablet rather than the full one.  I’d like to say it was responsible for a run that felt really good, but that was probably because it was only 53% humidity.
  • Wednesday: Skratch lemon lime. Knew I couldn’t chew in a time trial so went with a drink mix. It was OK. I found myself craving salt after the workout though so maybe with as gross as it was, that would have been a better choice.
Strawberry lemonade Nuun
  • Saturday: one of the Rogue coaches is a Nuun ambassador and she had samples. I wasn’t sure about the strawberry lemonade as I’m not a big fake berry person, but it was good! Paired well with cherry blossom Honey Stinger chews.
  • Sunday: tried the ginger limeade Nuun cold. Still don’t love it, but it’s acceptable.

Weekly run down with Deborah and Kim:

feelin groovy
  • Monday: doctor’s appointment for some blood work. I had set an alarm for 5:30 to get in a run before the blood work, but as Sunday night insomnia hit and I didn’t fall asleep until 2, I punted on the run. Luckily the blood work was super quick and I was able to walk through the park to work. Since I started running I haven’t had the time to walk home that I used to and I’ve missed it so this was a nice surprise. I finished a meeting early and on the east side so I headed home to change and set out along the East River. I had no plan, just that I wanted flat-ish so I turned north and did that loop. I felt that I had more in me, so after walking up the stairs, I did the south loop too. I also walked up the ramp at 80th St. so as not to push the Achilles which is having a mostly fine but slightly tender moment. The run felt really good and relatively easy. It was a beautiful night to enjoy Mother Nature and appreciate what my body can do and is learning how to do. The above wasn’t meant to be a jumpie, just a ridiculous pose/achilles stretch on a water break.
wardrobe malfunction!
  • Tuesday: what happens when a work shirt is cut lower than a sports bra that chafed you? Oops! Gym stretch and row day.
  • Wednesday: A challenging day, which I expected. 13 years since Dad is gone. I was grateful for the distraction of the USWNT’s parade, which I watched from a vendor’s window. And then we had training when it was 85 degrees. The workout:
The workout: 2 Mile Time Trial
What? Runners will attempt to run 2 miles as fast as they can with the goal to keep their splits relatively even.  Start at about a pace you can hold for 5K and hopefully pick it up over the final mile.
Why? Doing a 2 mile time trial is one way to determine an athlete’s VO2Max. Basically, this is a fitness test to help determine where everyone is, and the results can help extrapolate the paces that an athlete should be using in training when we assign 5K, 10K, HMGP, and MGP paces as training zones.
  • the reality? One mile in 10:27 and two miles in 21:37. Given that it was 84 and 56% humidity, I was more than OK with that. They plugged it into McMillan and I got the following.
  • The Half Marathon is about what I ran in the Fort Lauderdale heat. My 5K time is better, but the one in this kind of heat was worse. My 5M PR (I think) is slightly faster as is my 10K. and the 10M I was mad about in September. So interesting to see this all laid out. Will be curious to see the effect that training has on the time trial later in this cycle.
  • Thursday: row, row, row your erg. It’s a good stretch and a break on the legs vs. the elliptical. Also, full set of PT.
  • Friday: off in the training schedule, but I wanted to get in a set of PT and strength training. Alas, renewing my passport took approximately forever and I ran out of time before a Governors Island event.
thank you, Intrepid, for the shade
no thank you, splash pad, for being closed
we weren’t running together, but we still found one another on the go
  • Saturday: long run day beginning at 7:30. So glad for the earlier start. With a race happening in the park,we opted for the river and because we’d run north on Wednesday, we decided to head south for a four mile out and back. It was hot, but there was a little breeze. Although it was busy, it wasn’t overcrowded and the run went quickly. Since it was an out and back I got to see some of the group when they’d turned around – we’re starting to recognize one another in the wild which is nice. Like Wednesday, I walked up the hill at the end, but overall felt good. I had a nap before meeting up with Elizabeth for lunch and a shirt swap. Luckily I was back on the east side before the power went out in midtown and on the Upper West Side.
why am I training in summer again?
I know it’s an ad. It still resonates with me
  • Sunday: up side of a flat long run is my knees, Achilles didn’t hurt and after much procrastinating I made it out for a run to the gym. It wasn’t as hot as I feared, although I took it easy.  I was literally dripping with sweat when I got to the gym though. Eww. Wrapped the workout with a long stretch, roll and strength workout at the gym. Overall, a solid week. If I can make the Sunday recovery run every other week or so, I’ll be happy with that.

Week’s mileage: 17.66
Overall mileage: 67.75

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: off or gym stretch
  • Tuesday: run or cross
  • Wednesday: “2 X (3-2-1)/3′ = JOG REC” yeah, I have no idea what that means.
  • Thursday: cross or recovery
  • Friday: off
  • Saturday: 10 miles (!!)
  • Sunday: off/recovery

Holy crap this got long. I babble in writing as well, apparently!

Training begins and racecation news

First international racecation is booked! I’ve been vaguely aware of Zooma from MCM Mama Runs and Wendy (? I think) when she posted about Great Lakes, but when MCM & Marcia posted about Bermuda, it went from vaguely aware to ooh! Bermuda is one of those places I’ve always thought about going but never acted on, so I’m glad running gave me a reason. Can’t wait to meet some of you.

As I think I mentioned, a colleague and I ended up signing up for Jack Rabbit’s Rogue Training. It’s reasonably priced at $85/month, or about $10/run. The best part is the schedule (6:45p Wednesday, 8a Saturday) works for me in that I can make almost all of them.  The 15% discount on non-electronics is great too as JackRabbit’s stock is more extensive than the New Balance store at NYRR.  Workouts began last Saturday but I was out of town so picked up with the group on Wednesday. More on that below.

I’m calling June 19 the official start of marathon training as that’s when I started with the group. To keep myself accountable, I’m also donating $1/mile to the Joyful Heart Foundation. Although I have my own bib, I still wanted to run for a cause. It’s always one of those I donate to regularly, and wanted to tie my marathon fundraising to it. Since I don’t know if my legs are going to reliably hold up to Sunday’s recovery run, I’m calling Saturday the end of the week for mileage tracking.

Not post related at all, but I read a really interesting post about “bad” race recovery. Some really good and out of the box advice.

Weekly Run Down with Deborah and Kim:

  • never miss a Monday: strength training edition. This was TBD cross or strength but when I walked into the gym, the decision was made. If there was AC, it was at 1% and it was way too humid for that nonsense. So full PT and weights cycle and some yoga.
  • Tuesday: treadmill was the plan. Drinks with colleagues was the reality so I walked home after.
look at that pace!
  • Wednesday: Rogue training day 1. I was super nervous about this. Mostly about keeping up with the group. The delayed start for latecomers and then dynamic stretches in the Time Warner Center did not help the anxiety. The prescribed run

Runners will do 2 miles of warm-up then 8-10 strides on a ~100m section of road or track. Then, runners will cool down for 2 or 3 miles to finish the workout. Runners will build their speed for 1/3, hold it for 1/3, and then coast to a stop letting off the gas in the final 1/3. In that middle 1/3, runners will reach ~90% of peak speed in a controlled sprint. Runners will walk back to the start after each stride and repeat. Walk, not jog the recoveries back to the start b/c we want full neuromuscular recovery.

  • the actual run was more like a .5 mile warmup to the Mall because they were worried about the weather and moved the Strides from the bridle path at Engineers’ Gate to the Mall which is paved v. gravel. The strides were a challenge, but not an impossible one. If my Garmin is right, I actually hit something resembling fast. Holy crap though I cannot imagine running at that speed for a 5K let alone a marathon. We then ran the “long way” out via Bethesda Terrace and down the east side before finishing at Columbus Circle. We finished with some fun foot exercises before dispersing. I followed this with a stint at the gym to stretch and do more of my PT. There are two others who are about my speed which gives me some comfort as I definitely could not do the 9:40 warmup that the main group did. I guess this could be called my first proper speedwork?
so thankful for a tub!
  • Thursday: holy soreness Batman! Did not expect that from the strides. Mother Nature finally sorted herself out for a moment and I squeezed in a 3.5 mile recovery run before the skies opened again. Oddly I had no plans of running near home. In fact when I forgot my sneakers this morning I came home between meetings to get them because I thought I’d need to run in the gym and if I went home first it wouldn’t happen. But when the skies cleared it was too late to stash at NYRR and I knew lockers would be full so I hopped on the train and changed quickly before dashing back out. The coaches last night emphasized recovery runs being slow, I think I took that to heart. Also, 90% humidity. When I picked this apartment I was indifferent to a tub. Now? I can’t imagine running without it. I’ve hopped between brands but this is my favorite, I love the eucalyptus.
you are not an XL
  • Friday: off. Lots of steps, some shopping and a sunset ferry ride. I went to see if I could exchange the Pride tee shirt for smaller, but they were out. I did find this shirt hiding among the Queens 10K clearance! The sizing was stupid, but I bought it anyway because I really love it.
  • Saturday: first long run with the group. We met at JackRabbit just before 8 and after an icebreaker and dynamic warmups we hit the park. The coach said at the beginning that as it got warmer we’ll go out earlier. I fell behind the pack in the first mile, which I expected and was fine with. Trying to keep up in mile one would mean I cratered at halfway. Besides, it’s the Park and that’s (part of) why I chose this group. Uncertainty of marathon training but in the comfort of my favorite terrain. Plus, if I can survive the CP hills, I’ll survive the bridges. I ended up catching up with one of the women I finished with Wednesday, who I learned is planning to run not only NYC, but the 60K a few weeks later! I was happy with the run, it was about on par with the women’s mini although the heat meant I felt a little less strong. It was also my first without music in a while as I didn’t think to grab headphones before I left. I got back to the stretching area outside JackRabbit just a few minutes after the main group.  Finished the day with some well-deserved laziness and a very good book, Richard Grant’s Dispatches from Pluto.
  • Sunday: short, hot shakeout. I woke up on time to go out early, but an attack of the lazy Sundays hit. I was also underhydrated due to sushi for dinner Saturday night.


2019 NYC Marathon Training Miles (eek! In writing. Legit): 12.82

$ Raised for Joyful Heart: $12.82

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: off, dinner plans with friends. And I think Mondays are going to become an off day if I regularly manage the Sunday recovery runs.
  • Tuesday: run
  • Wednesday: off, planned work event and can’t make the group workout
  • Thursday: group workout, 30/90 fartleks
  • Friday: off (as actually scheduled in the plan)
  • Saturday: Pride5M with run to and from for extra miles. They changed the course this year, so I see I’m going to be all Harlem Hills all the time. Self: this is a good thing.
  • Sunday: Pride March. Not calling that an off day

TOTR: Running on Vacation

It’s funny, even though I’ve “met” so many fun folks via the Weekly Wrap, new linkups still give me blogger newbie nerves. I was just going to comment on Darlene’s post, but then that comment was turning into an essay and I decided to make it a post. Plus, the theme is travel: how could I not with the roots of this blog!

Running on vacation, yes or no. For me it’s a definite yes as running has become a big part of who I am in the last eighteen months. This is the biggest difference between other forms of exercise which I was happy to use vacation as an escape from. Thanks, Strava, for this walk down memory lane

Linking up with: Erika at MCM Mama, Marcia at Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and Patty at No Guilt Life.


It was a decision I had to face early on in my running “career” when I took a vacation to Iceland and Amsterdam in mid-February 2017. While there wasn’t enough daylight to run outdoors in Iceland, I made it to the gym on two occasions after days spent sightseeing. Amsterdam was a very walk/runnable city and I probably could have run outdoors, if I didn’t use every inch of daylight for sightseeing. While some of this could be attributable to newbie excitement, I couldn’t imagine not running in this week. It was also a good way to help deal with the jetlag.

The next time I had to face it was on a trip to Southern California in May. I got both a beachside and clifftop run in and then explored my host’s neighborhood in my first real experience running at altitude. This was a great way to get some activity in on a trip that featured a lot of car time.

July brought my first international outdoor runs, which was also my first time needing to work runs around a business trip. I could get in a morning warmup and then explore old Montreal, where my hotel was. This was a great way to get in some me time during a fully packed conference and balance out some indulging meals. Plus riverside in Montreal made the summer weather easier to cope with.

August featured humid runs at the beach (some cut short by running in a “forbidden” area) and running at altitude. Also, a quickie to experience a new state (to which I subsequently returned). I can honestly say I never factored in hotel fitness centers prior to this trip. I’d hope they had one, but didn’t worry about kind or quantity of treadmill(s).

Even when not on vacation but just outside my normal comfort zone, I found new places to explore and get in some exercise. And I didn’t let holidays keep me from running.


2018 brought a new to me kind of vacation: the run-cation. Not only was I running on vacation, but I traveled for the express purpose of running!

sunrise over the Atlantic, along A1A

When I went to Florida for the A1A Half Marathon, I also had my first experience with running out of water on a hot run. Twice. Who said vacations aren’t educational? I also joined a hotel fun run to further acclimate to humidity. It was a good balance to the rest of the long weekend spent lazing by the pool with a book or six.

Cheese ball! So glad for the heat wrap

Next up? Washington DC for the iconic Cherry Blossom 10 miler. While in Florida I didn’t sight see but had to take care this trip not to walk my feet off before the race. Race day ended up being a 50k step day because I walked the tidal basin after to keep from stiffening up.

May brought 108 degree business travel, so I was grateful for a well-furbished hotel fitness center. I continued to squeeze in runs, chase a PR and stretch before the redeye home. Other activity that trip included a walk at the south rim of the Grant Canyon. Is a business trip really vacation? I count it because it’s out of my routine. Later in May was a long road trip where I explored before we headed east to Palm Springs (warm, but scenic) and subsequently back west to Santa Monica. One day I’ll have a decent pace on the beach, but so many photos. Don’t regret a single one. Running is a great way to see a new area.

So far I’ve run outdoors in: New York, New Jersey, California, Florida, Washington D.C., and Montreal and indoors in: Wyoming, South Dakota, Arizona, Iceland, and Amsterdam. In the near future I hope to enjoy outdoor runs in Vermont, London. I like using running as an avenue to visit new places. Sometimes the cities are the draw, other times the races are.

What’s your favorite place that you’ve run?