Celebrating two years of running with a book giveaway

I’m weird.

This is not news to those of you who know me.

I can be one of those people who needs to start a book series at book 1, or I can be a total free spirit-often in the same sentence. My inner wild child came out on Tuesday when I decided to celebrate my two-year running anniversary five days early. That isn’t the non-sequitur it appears,I’m celebrating my running anniversary with a book giveaway. See details below.

Book giveaway: Early birds get the worm, and many run early, ergo runners make excellent bookworms! Click To Tweet

We had a campaign in 2009 called 9 in ’09 tied in with a new book that was out. For some reason I remembered that and was planning a variation on that to mark 2019. January 1 dawned sunny and beautiful with temperatures in the mid 50s so I headed to Central Park. I actually missed the Park as I hadn’t run there since early December’s 15K as I was avoiding hills when I was actually running locally. It was so wonderfully crowded for January given the weather.

About two-three miles into the run, I was thinking about how I wanted to mark Sunday’s anniversary. I knew the weather wasn’t supposed to be as good and the odds of my going long on a treadmill aren’t always good. (Last year’s 7.77 on the treadmill is probably still a length record.) I wanted to go long to mark the growth in the last two years, so I began to think about just moving the anniversary run, while still running Sunday.

At about 45 minutes into the run I wondered if I had the focus to go two hours. It’s long but not that long compared to my 15K/10M times. Turtle Power! It was beautiful, and I thought I did. I also realized that while I’ve done 15Kish a few times solo, I’ve never done a double digit run outside a race. I had my goals.

When I finished one lap of Central Park just north of the Met where I always enter, I turned around and ran the direction I only run during the Women’s Mini. This had the benefit of not doing Cat Hill twice, which I thought was smart with niggling aches. And yes, the run down to the bottom of the park feels much longer than the distance I’d just run north.

checking in with Fred


At the bottom of the park, I turned onto the Bridle Path to give my feet a break. I realized the run would come in between ten and eleven miles depending on whether I ran all the way home or ended it in the Park. When I turned south at the top of the reservoir, I realized I knew my ending point: Lebow. And I knew what distance I’d finish on. Thanks to some cold, fat fingers I hit 2:00:20 instead of ’19 but it was a great run. The 12s don’t bother me, I was getting tired and didn’t fuel beyond coffee and cheerios before going out. But this run told me I’ll be able to finish Lebow, despite being undertrained, which I knew.

This was most definitely a celebration of all I’ve achieved since that day two years ago when I hadn’t run a step since high school and it took me 12m to run/walk .61 mile. As a colleague in our office run group frequently says, movement is a privilege.

I just stumbled on a collection of running routes on NYRR’s page and can’t wait to explore more of these.

In honor of my two-year running anniversary, I’m giving away a signed copy of one of the books about running I’ve enjoyed the most, Mark Atkinson’s Run Like Duck. To enter, leave a comment and I’ll pick a winner next Sunday. It was perfect timing how many of you had “read more” as a 2019 goal.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Weekly Wrap with Wendy and Holly: at 19.25 miles, a solid start to the year

  • Monday: oh hi weird Monday in the middle of the holidays, some attendant time off. I’ve really come to appreciate the value of a Monday workout setting the tone so amid some procrastinating, don’t wanna and other issues I finally dragged myself out for a mile and a half to close out 2018. I did not do the NYRR Midnight Run as it was pouring and nope. Never registered so this wasn’t a DNS.
  • Tuesday: the anniversary run detailed above, 10.32 miles
  • Wednesday: stretch and roll. My lower legs were a little sore from Tuesday’s run and the gym foam roller is bigger than mine. I also did a short kettlebell circuit and some planking. Alas, no plankie this time.
  • Thursday: office run group took December off due to schedules, vacation, and a soaking wet day. We returned in earnest the first Thursday in January and this run was harder than I expected. Definitely our slowest. I don’t think my legs were fully rested after Tuesday’s miles and while it was warm for December, it was dry and the lack of humidity made breathing harder. I so rarely run with others, that it’s not always easy to tell what a conversational pace is. I guess I could call this a tempo run? One of the many reasons I love this group is the pacing. I no doubt would have backed off left to my own devices, but after Cat Hill killed me as it always does, we rebounded with a mile that was a minute faster.
  • Friday: off. Stretch and roll at the gym
Nyack’s Resolution Run
  • Saturday: was supposed to be an off day with a day trip up to Albany but earlier this week Mom & Bob mentioned a fundraiser in Nyack. They were more interested in the hot cocoa bar, but oh twist my arm to go for a run before spending two hours in a car and then two and a half on a train coming back. I could get used to suburban runs. Get dropped off, sign waiver & wait inside church hall where it’s warm & dry (although capris and a windbreaker in January is nothing to complain about!). When I looked online Friday night there were 88 registered participants and I’d say about half of that turned up to run. The rain kept some away and others I think just wrote a check to support vs. planning to run. Net result, more cops watching the intersections than runners. We headed out of the church hall to the banner across a street and were off. Untimed and the road open but there really isn’t much traffic in this area especially not on a rainy January morning.
  • There was a lot of puddle hopping and moving between sidewalk and side of road but it was a fun run that was an out and back to the Hook. At the turnaround at about mile 2 (this race was billed at 3M, 4M, and 4K – Garmin eventually said 3.81) there was a water tent-I was so happy for the volunteers to have a tent as it was pouring down at this point. I got to talking to two people who had been just ahead of me who of course knew mom. Small town, for the win. We ran the last half together, which made it go a lot faster. Approaching two people is way easier than a group. I ducked into the church hall to get some paper towel to drip dry a little before heading out to meet mom and head to Albany. Whether I needed a shower before heading out was a valid question. This old Kohl’s windbreaker is what got me through Brooklyn and other than the top where I wasn’t fully zipped, my shirts were dry. My legs and feet on the other hand. Splish Splash! So fun though.
why do we do this? Oh yeah, that medal
  • Sunday: happy runniversary to me! Although the weather dawned much better than I expected, I decided to go with my plan of celebrating running by literally running errands. This was also assisted by a late start-I was tired after a busy couple of weeks. Most of the runs were untimed as there were lights and stops, but two important ones were timed:
January 6, 2019
  • Why that distance? It’s so random!
My first run, January 6, 2017
  • That .61 miles went just a little more quickly this time. I followed that up with a run commute home from the gym for twelve minutes. No Runkeeper photo since the GPS rounding had it off, but here’s one from Strava which is off but less so
Glow bug!
  • Yep, twelve minutes took me almost twice as far even without the enforced consistency of the treadmill. It’s impossible to tell, but the  base layer shirt is from 2017 Frozen Penguin, dig your roots!

Thank you, running, for introducing me to a stronger me. Here’s to the next two or twenty years and beyond.

2019 Spring Half Marathon Training Mileage:80.62

2019 Race Calendar:

as much for my own planning as anything else

GoTheDist 2018 closeout

all the data

I knew December was going to be tight. It was last year too. When I got home mid-day on New Years’ Eve after a weekend away, I entered my steps to realize I was a hair more than 12K away from 400K for December. What’s my daily step goal? 12K. So it’s a two year streak of 400K and a solid year.

Gym Visits: 8 in December, 38 for September-February Cycle

2019 planning, and a new Garmin

My new Garmin came on Wednesday! I didn’t get to take it home and play with it until Thursday night. All the notifications! I turned them off nearly immediately, so pardon my continued lack of response to texts while running. 🙂 I haven’t figured out friends yet or anything, but happy to add anyone.

what, you don’t pose in the bathroom mirror for a leggings & Garmin selfie? 😉


NYRR 2019 calendar through April is up as is early bird member pricing. Decisions!

I was slightly disappointed to hear on Friday that the Lebow Half is not going to be part of 4/6 next year. Instead, it will be replaced by the Manhattan 7 Miler. This fits with the general drop in the 4/6 series’ distances. Queens is a 10K and the Bronx is 10 Miles with Brooklyn and Staten Island still half marathons. It’s not a huge issue for me, personally, as I wasn’t planning to go the guaranteed entry route for the 2020 NYC Half, but I wonder what it’s going to do for the non Brooklyn races’ appeal. (That one always sells out in a heartbeat). I think it’s probably going to be fewer guaranteed entries for the Half, which might make it easier for Road Runners to accommodate their other runners.

speaking of guaranteed entry, this is nice to see officially

NYRR Races I’m thinking of for the moment:

  • Joe Kleinerman 10K – January 5
  • Lebow Half – January 20. I’m honestly torn. It was my first, and it’s Fred Lebow! and I’d like to do it again but I’m not sure I’ll be ready for a Half with those hills in just over three months given what my schedule is like due to work. I don’t want to be undertrained like last year, but I know I’m coming in with a better base. Is that the sound of someone waffling toward yes? Probably.
  • Gridiron 4M – February 3. Dad’s birthday. I’ll almost definitely do this as it was a favorite.
  • NYC Half – March 17. I’m doing this for sure.
  • SHAPE Women’s Half – April 14 – I was excited for this and have been talking on and off about doing it instead of Lebow for a Spring Half, but it’s just so much more expensive. I don’t think I’m going to do this, or at least I won’t decide until much closer to as there’s no early registration deadline.

I did sign up for Run the Year for my third year. Looking forward to the motivation there.

Planning for #RunTheYear 2019 and exploring @NYRR race options Click To Tweet

Are you running any of these?


Back to 2018, I was still trying to wrap (no pun intended) my head around whether Grete’s Great Gallop was a PR. I didn’t realize how few Central Park races I do that are more than 5 miles. I knew I couldn’t compare it to the Manhattan 7M as that was a literal hot mess run/walk. It wasn’t fair to compare it to my first 10K as that was almost a year and a half ago (but hey, PR!) and the two Minis run the opposite direction. So I decided to look at the splits for the Lebow Half.

NYRR Manhattan Half Details

My 10K split was 1:12:22 and I think that’s representative as I didn’t walk until after the Harlem Hills. Grete’s time? 1:11:28. So a nearly one minute PR after avoiding hills? Yep, I’m happy with that.

No formal race recap, as I don’t have that much to say. It’s nice to be able to roll out of bed and run to the start. I didn’t struggle as much on the Harlem Hills as I feared I might, and overall I felt strong. I know what I need to do to get stronger on the hills ahead of either of the Central Park Half Marathons, and I need to do it. Sometimes not overthinking is just perfect.


Weekly Wrap, Week of 10.9. Linking up with Holly and Wendy:

  • Monday: semi-holiday Monday. Wasn’t in the office but did have to work. After breakfast with friends at The Coffee Shop one last time, I headed to the Run Center because I wanted to run Central Park. The weather wasn’t ideal – it was 65 and 92% humidity, but I didn’t have it in me to hit the treadmill. I was glad I stopped at the Run Center because while I had a well packed gym bag, I forgot socks. New Balance aren’t cheap, but they’re cheaper than Blink and I like the socks better.  The original plan was to go long because I could, but the humidity wasn’t going to let that happen. After my watch finally (sort of) got a signal, I ran until a potty break. Did someone say five cups of coffee? That pace was so laughably off I almost just turned off the watch and ran, but when it seemed to finally keep a signal, I went hard for a mile and a half until I just hit a humidity wall. After recovery I decided to close out the loop with a burst of as fast/far as I could. Nice to do some pseudo speed work outdoors, but I really want to get to the track. One day. Followed this up with a good stretch and strengthen session at the gym.
  • Tuesday: off. Tickets to see Gloria Steinem play. This was well-timed as my quads are quite sore from Monday’s kettlebell circuit. Phenomenal production and for anyone who might be in New York through January, I definitely recommend it. Christine Lahti is a fabulous Gloria.
  • Wednesday: Ended up being a cross train day after guest speaking in a class. Why did I go bike over row or walk home? I won’t lie: I wanted to finish Chamber of Secrets. Consequence of seeing Harry Potter: A History of Magic at New-York Historical Society last week and a desire to escape current events and my usual non-fiction habits is a Harry Potter rereading binge.
  • Thursday: exciting announcement about the Manhattan Greenway. I love walking and running along the rivers and I’m really hopeful it will one day be a complete path around Manhattan’s perimeter. Riverside walk > city streets any day. Run group got rained out. The gym was super crowded as I was there early and it took too long to get a treadmill. When I finally got one, I had nothing. Gutting out a mile was all I could do. Having a sore foot from bad shoes didn’t help (one foot only, I think I lost weight in it causing rubbing?) nor did some bad food choices.  Chalked it up to better than nothing and went home to watch my beloved Giants lose spectacularly. Can we get a do over on Thursday?
I love this app display!
and a watch display I can read at dusk!
  • Friday: Can you tell I enjoyed my Garmin’s first adventure? I wanted to get out and play all day as it was a beautiful, crisp fall day. A lunch walk while usually restorative did nothing for my desire to go back to the office and plow through my to do list. Short weeks seem the longest and luckily shortly after 5 there was a mass exodus and I booked it to the Run Center to stash my bags and hit the Park. Could not believe how quickly the Garmin found a signal! I opted for the office run group loop of the last two weeks and was partially curious whether I could maintain that pace solo. YEP! I actually found it easier because I wasn’t trying to talk and because it was a perfect low humidity 57 degrees. I was curious whether the Garmin would hit the mental mile markers that I’m used to with the TomTom and was pleased to see they were roughly the same spots. Makes me confident that the below is a legit comparison. 13 seconds off my July 30 outdoor and August 1 treadmill PRs and this included Cat Hill where those did not. WOW. Can’t wait to run some more this weekend. No music was non issue. As I’ve just learned you can listen to podcasts offline, I have some options if I go that route.
Garmin, but also almost reality
  • Saturday: after early rains the day was a beautiful, crisp fall day. How did I mark it? Being a lazy slug until about 3. I needed it, and don’t regret it one bit. I made a deal with myself though, if I wasn’t going to leave enough time for a long run, I was going hard. After a slightly chilly walk to Central Park, I did a ~ one mile warmup and then completed two loops! of Harlem Hills before repeating the warmup as a cool down. I rarely do that loop of my own volition, and never twice. I think it came from a place of thinking about Lebow. If I’m doing it, I want to be strong going into it. I’m less worried about the distance, but the hills were an issue. I think I can do this. Two laps without walking was huge and gives me confidence I have a solid base to build off. I won’t PR on this course, but I can beat 2018.
OK, I can see why these shots appeal
Closet switch, and purge. #SparkJoy
  • Sunday: another beautiful day. After a late start due to sleeping in as fall also good for sleeping! I needed to drop off the results of my switching season closet purge. Goodwill is a couple of blocks north and as I knew I didn’t want to do any hills so I explored the East River Esplanade with a goal of running to the Wards Island Bridge and back for ~2-3 miles. When I turned south at 96th St. to do that short loop I realized the esplanade was open to the Ferry! Whee. I’m so tired of running up York. So I just continued south to Starbucks for a 1.75 mile shakeout. The stairs by the Ferry aren’t fun, and I won’t touch them when wet as they’re metal, but manageable.  This is the first time I’ve run four days in a row ever/in a very long time and I feel good. Had a good foam roll and will do the same tomorrow at the gym. Rolling my feet while watching football. Lazy Sunday needed.

Week Plan?

  • Monday: Cross train
  • Tuesday: Run?
  • Wednesday: Off. Book group
  • Thursday: Office run group
  • Friday: run before work?
  • Weekend: Rochester

Galloping into October

I feel like it should be a different title since the race from which it takes its name won’t even make it into this Wrap due to weekend travel, but it’s perfect.

I’m in a couple of places about this 10K, which I signed up for even when I was feeling meh about the ten miler. It’s not the same course as the Mini 10K which game me agita earlier this summer, but rather the course on which I ran my first ever 10K. Ish. The start is in a different spot, but the course is within Central Park. I kept both of those, my lack of recent hill work and Sunday’s frustration in mind as I tried to think of a goal. I was also hoping that hating the 10K coming off a five miler would be different to hating it coming off a ten miler and some short runs during the week, but I wasn’t sure. Goal verdict? Shoot for 1:10:00 and finish smiling with a priority on the latter.

Currently reading: Chas Newkey-Burden’s Running: Cheaper Than Therapy and loving it. Less narrative, more compilation of stories.

Before I get into the Wrap, a laugh from last week:

“Yes I am a pirate, two hundred years too late”

Yeah, can’t not think of Jimmy Buffet there. Luckily I’m not (yet) an over forty victim of fate 🙂 Proudly rocking a buff Liz gave me from her run club. and yes, I absolutely spotted the photographer for that thumbs up.

On to the wrap with Wendy and Holly:

  • I missed a Monday: I pretty much knew this. Wouldn’t trade a Will & Grace panel for any workout, and to be honest I was pretty damn sore and needed a physical and mental day off.
  • Tuesday: I knew I couldn’t run. My right achilles was still sore but I really wanted the foam roll so I headed to the gym and after a slow and steady row, I had a really solid stretching session and light kettlebell workout. Also did the row without music as prep for possibly having to do that with new watch. Baby steps.
  • Wednesday: absolutely beautiful fall day. I just wanted a shakeout run so I hit the lower loop in Central Park and gee, did I go out a little fast? Amazing to see how much I’ve progressed over that loop. It’s a fairly accurate measure too unlike the East River path whose terrain has changed a lot due to construction. The run felt good, my achilles didn’t hurt anymore and aside from going out too fast I felt strong.
Yes? YES!
  • Thursday: Office run group is still two strong so our de-facto coach asked me what I wanted to do. We opted for the same as last week (minus a wrong-turn detour) just a smidgen faster. These runs are super helpful for me in I’m trying to keep pace with a faster runner. He knows what I can do and will go just a little faster to push me and I love this.  It’s also helpful in teaching me how to run and talk and understand what a conversational pace is. I don’t know if this is comfortably hard or tempo, or neither. But it felt good to push through my comfort zone, recover my pace after Cat Hill and figure this all out. He’s run 19 marathons and said he won’t offer unsolicited advice but is happy to answer any questions I have if I decide to run New York. He’s already eluding to my training and while I haven’t committed, I am leaning yes.
  • Friday: off. Didn’t even get step goal. Worked late
  • Saturday: 10K. Woke up feeling slightly under the weather. Not enough not to run, but enough to say probably not my best day and I took it a little easier. Verdict? A damn good time despite two walk breaks. Lesson learned. ETA: first time I can recall, NYRR and my watch matched exactly. Of course watch gives better pace as I didn’t run tangents.
  • Sunday: Albany, apple picking. Might find a morning run. If I do I’ll pick it up next week.

Weekly Plan:

  • Monday: holiday Monday, run
  • Tuesday: off, theater tickets
  • Wednesday: run or cross train
  • Thursday: office run group
  • Friday: off or cross train

Crazy week! Week of 9.16

This is one of those weeks that turned into the reason why I was historically very good at gym reimbursement for the first half of the year but until I started running I never did a year of visits. It just gets too busy. This week ended up less than ideal, but I’m proud of myself for pushing through and getting in what I could. I finished strong, and that’s what kept me optimistic about progress. This is also the reason I missed many posts this week. I’ll try to catch up, but I am not optimistic.

Not at all running related, but a bunch of us here in the Wrap are height challenged, and I know you’ll appreciate this chapter of #ShortPeopleProblems featuring a winter coat. That’s right up there with running tights that continue on for a foot past the end of my ankle. On the plus side, I found another one that might work, and an insane Kohls fall sale. I definitely shape shifted this summer as my fall clothes definitely needed some replacement. Mainly pants. I’m feeling more comfortable in tossing the too big clothes as this running journey has showed me an ability to maintain even if I’m not actively losing.

I’d worry about purging clothes leaving me without enough but that notion was thoroughly disabused when I dropped off my laundry yesterday in an alternate bag as I hadn’t put away the load I had done two weeks ago. Oops. Looking forward to less laundry and hopefully lowering my laundry costs in fall. $128.55 Jan – May 31; 89.15 June 1-today. Eek!

Speaking of shopping, thanks all for your watch answers. It’s looking Garmin, and luckily Charity Miles has a 20% off promo running through month’s end, although I’m not sure I’m buying that soon.

How do you push through a busy week and get workouts in? #RunTheYear Click To Tweet

Weekly Wrap linking up with Wendy and Holly:

doing the colorful thing on crosstrain day
Shoes-and best leggings ever. Spur of the moment Walmart purchase when in Palm Springs as the ones I’d brought with me had fallen apart. Shoes are the running ones that didn’t work for me.
  • Monday: knew I didn’t want to run after two days in a row. I also knew I likely was going to be exhausted after two after work events so I decided on a 2K row. Surprisingly I had more in me so I went for another 2K with a goal of beating my first time. Done! Followed this up with a good stretching & foam roll session because I was quite tight despite rolling at home.
  • Tuesday: didn’t have time to run long, so did what I could. My usual intervals, which I now know I can increase.
  • Wednesday: mental health off day. I had my gym bag, and my dinner plans cancelled due to both of us being slammed so I could have gone, but I decided I needed a day off and hopefully an early night. Don’t regret this choice as it was also the day my period arrived which always makes me feel slightly physically off for about 24 hours.
  • Thursday: TribecaTV screening for SVU 20th. Plan was gym after, reality was a light dinner with old and new friends. Was wishing I could have run, but was so glad to see them
Quick catchup with Judy. Photo: Mr. Judy
  • Friday: speaking of new friends! Judy was in town for a few days and although our schedules didn’t align for a run, we got to meet up and I can confirm she’s just as lovely “live” as she is to read. 🙂
  • After another long day at work I got to the gym. I knew I was too tired for a long run and had two runs planned for the weekend so didn’t want to overdo it. Since I’ve been wondering whether my sub 10 mile splits were accurate, I decided to see whether I could run a mile when I knew what the pace was. BAM! Goal was to try for one mile, hope was .5 or even .75. Total? 1.28 (yep, Strava math) If I had water, I probably could have gone further. This is insane to me. I think my immediate next step is to change my speed work from .25 mile intervals to .5 mile. Curious to see whether I can sustain 6.2 over a second or third interval. I’m excited about this development.
stretching after 5K. Peekaboo #sweatpinklaces
  • Saturday: one of my first world problems in loving my New Balance Vongo2s is the black ones are my favorite and I have two, both with mileage left on them. They’re two different sizes and I knew the tongue size tag wouldn’t differentiate them for too long. Luckily I spotted Sweat Pink’s laces on a freebie and knew I had my answer. Plus, who doesn’t love a splash of color?! Coupled with busy week, I had a late start today. I slept in and then enjoyed coffee and email catchup while watching Notre Dame football. At least one of my teams is making me smile this season! I didn’t have an exact plan, other than not going to Central Park. I decided to head along the route I did last week, but to see how far I could go on the Promenade now that I knew where to cross the FDR. I was pleased to see it’s open almost to Target. When I saw my splits for miles two and three I decided to pause the run at 5K to see how I was time wise. I knew it wouldn’t be a PR due to traffic lights in the first mile, but I was curious. Not too shabby! After the stretch above, I decided to see how strong I could close out the final mile-ish. It wouldn’t be as good as Friday night due to the lights, but I was happy with the pace as it came after three fairly hard miles. Training for the 10M hasn’t been what I wanted it to be, but I think I’m ready.
final stretch, in both meanings
action shot at the Boat Basin
  • Sunday: NYRR/New Balance hosted a shakeout run ahead of next week’s race and I was excited about a new route, but slightly nervous about the available pace groups. Spoiler: I not only didn’t get left behind, but I stuck with the front pacer of the 11mm-ish group for about six miles. Backing up, after running to the train because I was running late, I got to Yankee Stadium around 9:30 and we milled around a bit enjoying the crisp fall morning  before heading off on this fun route. I wish I had my phone out because it was gorgeous as we crossed Macombs Dam, ran across 155th and then had a wonderful downhill alongside Trinity Cemetery before going under a tunnel and down stairs to cross the West Side Highway ramp before hitting the greenway. Otherwise dark, overcast but perfect running weather. I was flagging by the Boat Basin as my hip was sore and I had a bizarre side stitch which first flared yesterday. I said I had to run until the end of the Greenway and then I could walk the hills to the Run Center. My first and last mile reflect the walk/run periods but overall pleased with this run ahead of next week’s race even though it was probably too fast for me after yesterday’s run. Definitely going to rest the hip this week and rolled today as I watched some football.
Run center ham. I am a total buff convert
Starbucks’ smoothie

Was eager to try the new Starbucks’ smoothie as I’m not generally a fan of cold brew. It was OK — I think I prefer Just Salad’s one, but it’s nice to have another non-dairy on the go option especially one that encompasses coffee.

Bronx 10M training mileage (July 31 to date): 111.87. Pretty sure I’m just going to roll that into 15K training. We’ll see longer term whether I do a Half before February. Even better, just 1.8 miles off pace for 700 miles run on the year.

This Week:

Hopefully work a little less busy as I’d like to get in a couple of solid runs ahead of the Bronx 10 Miler. Do I have a goal? It’s going to be weather contingent. Currently looks like good running weather, but who knows. 1:57:11 is my record at the distance on a cool day but with a very photogenic course. The Grand Concourse? Not so much. So 1:57:00?

Race LinkUp: Building off the Tuesdays on the Run post earlier this month because I’ve since added a few. My updated fall running plans are:

Running without music and Run to Lose, week of 9.9

My TomTom has been having sporadic GPS issues of late that seem to be getting worse. The battery isn’t lasting as long as it used to either. It owes me nothing, it’s a hand me down that I’ve had for a year and a half, and its previous owner had it about a year. It’s time to start looking for a replacement: happy for any suggestions you have. In the mean time, I’m going to try running without music. One of the features I loved the most about the TomTom was the onboard playlist since I don’t have any music on my phone, nor do I have the data for a streaming service. Alas, TomTom is leaving the GPS watch space so I’m hesitant to invest in a new one. The Garmin with music is just way too expensive for my budget and reviews of the others don’t seem great. Since I don’t relish carrying old iPod for music along with my phone, one step might be to learn to run without music at least outdoors which I can apply to races. Indoor treadmill runs are less of an issue as I can always figure out something there. These are my current thoughts:

  • Garmin: I’m looking heavily at these. They seem to be the gold standard in the running industry for a reason
  • Fitbit with GPS: meh. They’re too big. I don’t wear my running watch daily for this very reason and I like my Alta for steps so don’t particularly feel the need to upgrade
  • Apple Watch: meh. I’m wholly an Apple person, but the first thing I do with fitbit and running watch is to turn off the messaging notifications because they drive me nuts, so I feel the benefits of this are mostly not of interest to me. Even before I was running, the Apple Watch held no interest to me.

The benefit is the TomTom isn’t totally dead and its battery seems to be holding long enough for my fall races, so I should hopefully be able to take advantage of holiday sales.

I finally got Runner’s World’s Run to Lose and taking a lot from it when it comes to fueling for runs and in general. Some of it is nutritional common sense, some isn’t. It’s well written and accessible. I especially like the Kindle edition since I can click through to some of the studies cited. I think I’m finally ready to break this ~ 7 month plateau, especially ahead of the holidays. I also need to figure out my fueling strategy ahead of a humid half marathon in February since gels and necessary water made me queasy last year. I can do 9 miles without fuel and probably won’t use anything for the Bronx 10 Miler, but those extra three need something.

Run to lose, without music? #RunTheYear Click To Tweet

Weekly wrap with Holly and Wendy:

  • Sunday: I was less sore than I expected after Saturday’s long run. It was a cool, damp day and because of that, I didn’t tailgate. My steps suffered as a result, but I was OK with that because not tailgating meant better food choices. Sometimes it’s just impossible to avoid guacamole and the salt of tostitos. Weight Watchers had a tailgate and I was curious, but not enough to get more wet.
  • Monday: my right calf was sore. DOMS or just weirdness? Who knows. With the cool weather I’m back to sleeping in my bed so it’s not the futon related curling up. Oh bodies, you are so weird. I fully expected this to be an issue on the treadmill but it wasn’t because I could not get one! I was at the Times Square location of my gym earlier than normal because I wanted to get home for Monday Night Football, but apparently everyone else had the same idea. Odd too because the city otherwise seemed quite for Rosh Hashanah. So after a short row to warmup, I hit the LateralX for two miles/30M. I love it in a way I don’t care for the typical elliptical and feel it’s the closest to running in terms of getting my heart rate up.
Tribute in Light, 9/11 Memorial South Pool in foreground
  • Tuesday: September 11. I knew that a run today needed to be meaningful. Luckily, the weather held out as meaningful and treadmill don’t go hand in hand to me. For the past few years I’ve gone downtown to see the Tribute in Light and wondered whether it might work to run there from the office. After a short hop to the start of a construction detour that served as a warmup, I ran the rest of the way down to the Winter Garden from where I could cross over to the Memorial. The lights were beautiful in the fog. I contemplated running back to the office but had accidentally run without money and couldn’t refill my water, so hopped on the subway back. Sometimes there’s no right way to mark a day like this, but this felt right. Speaking of water refills, I wish the Lululemon vending machine had been open, although it’s unclear whether they have water to go with Nuun tabs.
  • Wednesday: super busy day, ton of steps between meetings. I was wavering on going to the gym, but decided to try. It was one of those rare exceptions to get going and you’ll be fine-I had nothing in the tank. Partially tired, partially food log related. So I turned it into a stretch and strengthen after bailing on the rower.
quack! Not on the run, later in the day between meetings
  • Thursday: note to self: if you’re going to run in the morning, watch what you eat at night. Pizza does not sit well even ~ 12 hours later. I knew though I couldn’t run after work due to an event so I went with short and sweet vs. not at all. Cool, humid morning. Nice start to the day. While I can’t get it together to be a solid morning runner, I love how it makes me feel the rest of the day, especially if I fuel well after and am not a hangry mess.
yeah that’s how i felt about running Friday night. Manhattan 7M shirt, can you tell I planned to run outdoors originally?
  • Friday: attempt at running without music? FAIL. That was more about bad food choices during the two days and feeling sluggish than the lack of music that stemmed from forgetting watch, headphones and headband. Even with the Yankee game I couldn’t stay on the treadmill or the elliptical bike so I had a very good stretch and plank session and called it a night.
I am grumpy, hear me roar. Actually more sneezy than grumpy. Failed workout, repeat shirt, less laundry. Winning.
well that’s a different kind of trail!


  • Saturday: wanted to run long and really didn’t want to run Central Park as I wanted the riverside breeze. Contemplated going to the west side but didn’t think I had enough time due to my cleaner coming at 5:30 (best. treat. ever). so I decided to check out Randalls Island, which I last explored back when I was doing the #GreatManhattanLoop. It was a run in two and a bit parts: potty break, and needed to find out where the FDR on ramp crossing was with all the construction and a run/walk around the lower part of Randall/Wards Island. It was about 80 and slightly humid but the real culprit was the freshly cut grass. My allergies were in full tilt and the grass didn’t help. Nor did no shade so I ran when I could, walked when I couldn’t and ended up cutting the loop short. There are some great paths to explore on RI maybe  in a couple of weeks. After walking up the bridge I tried to run again but I was feeling shaky so I opted to walk. Calling this a learning lesson, sneeze powered is a fun joke but not actually for runs. Besides food logs, I probably need to look more closely at allergy meds & runs’ timing.
Peanut Butter Warrior
  • Sunday: equal parts recovery / make up & get ahead mileage as this week’s schedule is brutal. Original plan was my typical NFL Sunday recovery, run down the river to the gym and stretch before heading home to be a couch slug. However I found out one of my/my nephew’s favorite vendors (Meece for Mayor!) would be at the Columbus Ave. street fair so I decided to head that way. I took the long way to the Fair and an odd for me route through Central Park to try to avoid both the chess tournament and the 18M race. I felt bad for those runners, this was not long run friendly weather. But I love knowing NYRR does this as if I decide to run NYC next year, organized long runs will be a godsend. The roads were just way too congested and as a side benefit, the paths had way more shade. After sorting out presents, I briefly wandered the rest of the street fair before heading home via the grocery store. And a smoothie stop. While that was 25% wanting to fuel early, it was mostly about having a sparkling clean kitchen and not wanting to mess it up via a smoothie. JustSalad’s Peanut Butter Warrior is one of my favorite commercial smoothies especially as it’s non dairy and I rarely carry Lactaid on the run.

And then I was a slug. That’s what football Sundays are for. I apologize for any heat waves in the NYC area, I took my AC out yesterday.

Bronx 10Mile Training Mileage (since July 31): 97.24 miles

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: Cross Train or Stretch & Strengthen
  • Tuesday: Run
  • Wednesday: Off, plans before and after work
  • Thursday: return of the office run group, hopefully
  • Friday: run
  • Saturday: TBD
  • Sunday: Bronx Tune Up: I’m feeling ambivalent about the Bronx 10 after the past two Saturdays. Success is likely going to be very weather dependent


Weekly Wrap, Week of 9.2

A short week, but why did summer have to join the long weekend party? I am 100% over the heat & humidity and will not regret that come February. It’s just been miserable. I had a realization on Friday though that the struggles the last two weeks have been 10% food choices and 90% heat, which was a relief. It’s not that I don’t want to run.  In fact, it was wanting to run that pushed me through “I don’t want to go outside in this awful weather”. This was reinforced by an absolutely perfect long run (finally!) on Saturday.

Munk Pack goodies!

On a positive note, I won Marcia’s Munk Pack giveaway and my box arrived this week.  All opinions are my own I haven’t had the chance to fully delve into the cookies, but I love the pouches for a pre-run snack. I’ve long said it isn’t fair that the best runner food gets marketed to toddlers. I’m not sure I’d want to carry it on a run due to size & worry that it would explode on my phone, but the peach chia vanilla was absolutely perfect about an hour before as I was deciding when and where for my Friday evening run. I was concerned it would be too sweet, but it wasn’t at all. I cannot wait to try the apple quinoa cinnamon because fall! ETA: I tried it, even better. More below.

adventures in long runs, Munk Packs and riding the Ferry #RunTheYear Click To Tweet

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


Love this city. Magic Hour
  • Sunday: the perfect beach day on the last day of somewhat reasonable weather. Still got nearly 12K steps in walking to & from the boardwalk and then to and from the ferry. I love the new Upper East Side stop and while it’s not practical to use regularly, it was the perfect summer send off. It was hard to tell because it was dark, but I think they’ve linked the ferry stop to the northern promenade and I’m excited to explore that next weekend. I’m bored with only being able to go south.
100% pure sweat. I was walking up the ramp here. No heroes
  • Monday: speaking of south. I was finally ready to quit being lazy and get off the couch when I realized my watch was completely dead. As in no battery at all. Oh yay, another hour to drink coffee and not move.  I really, really need to get to a place where I get up and go the way I do on race days. Otherwise I’m a slug. But sometimes slug is good. When I finally got going, it was 90F with 57% humidity for a real feel of 99. Yuck. But I still ran to the gym. I lie. I ran to the base of the hill at the 59th St. bridge and then started again at the top. No heroes in this weather. My watch apparently wasn’t having the weather as it turned out this happy horseshit, as my grandmother used to say. Not even close. The time was right, but the mileage was off by ~25%. Even adjusting the GPS on Runkeeper was off, but closer to reality. I knew it was going to be wrong with the distance it was tracking (I’ve split the run to the gym a number of times, I knew it wasn’t a mile), I just didn’t realize how laughably so.
  • The gym plan was two miles, but it was too hot for intervals even in climate control, and I had a feeling I might run home so I cut it short at 1.34 and headed to row and do some planks/kettle bells. Why yes, I was using their AC and dreading going back out, why ever do you ask? 😀 But if I’d seen the time I would have gone to 15m, just because this is silly. I said I’d make the decision about running home when I walked out the door, and my glasses immediately fogged. I knew I had something left and wanted to try, plus there was shade and a breeze, so I went. It’s hilly until you drop down to the river and then I changed to walk when I hit the base of the ramp at E. 79th. Running smart. I was so overheated when I got home I made & downed my smoothie before even getting in the shower, which never happens. Propel was good and even water was OK for run home. But I am over summer. Still proud of this workout. Pushing past my comfort zone in more ways than one.
  • Tuesday: step goal due to after work meetings
Poke MealPal lunch
  • Wednesday: 1,000 days in a row logged into MFP. Would have been another ~400 as I still remember the day I missed logging in. MealPal a go again after taking August off due to travel. Supposed to be a run day, but my right calf seized unbelievably about .1 mile in and I bailed. I know it’s from sleeping semi curled on futon for the AC, but yuck. So I foam rolled and then rowed my fastest 5K in a while.
  • Thursday: late start due to local meeting so I went out for a quick, short run. I decided to investigate the northern side of the ferry landing I mentioned Sunday, but it’s still all construction. And all the steps. So many steps! It’s just as well time didn’t allow for longer as it was already brutally hot & humid. If office group didn’t run (it didn’t), plan was to hit the gym after but I was full on zapped by the heat and after working until nearly 7, I just walked part way home in the refreshing rain.
office snacks
  • Friday: pretty much a 20 degree temperature drop and it was lovely. Our Office Services team have been keeping us in fresh fruit & veg and with fall comes all the apples. Yes, fall is for apples, not pumpkin. Luckily a colleague has an apple corer because I’m still afraid of knives. I had the best laid plans of leaving at 5 and tackling Central Park, but it was more like 7 and on top of it getting dark early, the Run Center closes at 8 so I decided to drop off my bag at home and make this an all East River weekday week. The route was slightly off my normal because I decided to head up East End when I hit the light since there was way too much traffic to jay walk err. run, but it’s still basically my 3ish mile East River loop. It felt good, even if it wasn’t super fast. It was nice not to be a disgusting, dripping mess when I came home.
  • What I like about this route even at/just past dusk is it’s pretty busy and well lit. There’s a section under scaffolding down near the hospitals/Rockefeller University that I really don’t love at any hour. It smells of weed and urine and it’s just generally unpleasant, but I can run on the river side of the scaffolding. Tonight I found myself thinking of Mollie Tibbets, probably because I read Happy Fit Mama’s post this afternoon. While there has been some ugliness around her death that isn’t worth going into here, I find most of the reactions to be people disheartened that this is still happening in 2018. It shouldn’t be unsafe for women to go out in daylight. After dark? Well it depends on the area, some parts of the world wouldn’t be safe for men or women alone. I’ll probably never walk or run in Central Park after dark, although it’s many times better than it was at the time of the Central Park jogger, I still have the ghosts of those days in my head. Curiously, I think the city’s growing homeless problem is less visible in Central Park than it is on the streets of midtown.
Great Pumpkin Run

Nice surprise in my email when I got home. I’d totally forgotten about this Strava challenge. Followed that up with a delicious smoothie, which might have had a little too much berry?

  • Saturday: plan was to get up and go, but then I decided to make coffee. Oops. I headed out mid afternoon after fuelling on something slightly more intelligent than coffee and Cheerios: coffee and the apple cinnamon quinoa Munk Pack pouch. Delicious!  The weather was absolutely perfect, if a bit chilly as I walked to Central Park. The plan called for 6.5 but considering my last long run was August 18 and even that was a run/walk due to the photos, I wanted to go longer. I headed out on my 15K loop, which I wish NYRR would adopt: go all the way down to the bottom of the park on the first loop and then cut over on the 72nd St. Transverse the second loop. The first two miles were mentally slow as molasses, but then I got into a groove and it was a really good run. I have the same question about Mile 1 as I did previously when I ran the loop. I think it might be legit, maybe? Overall I felt strong, even on the hills. Didn’t walk at all. Fun reading back on the last time I did this loop, also my last long run in Central Park and first outdoor long run since the Brooklyn Half. Eek.
  • Overall goal of this run was to see how I was feeling ahead of Bronx. Not starting was never a possibility because I need it to qualify for the NYC Half, but I really wasn’t sure if I’d be running or run walking. Although I didn’t quite get in ten miles, I’m confident that I can on race day if the weather is reasonable. It’s flatter than Central Park and I’ll have the adrenaline. Nice to see that although long runs have suffered in the heat, my running fitness hasn’t terribly. Original goal after Brooklyn was to focus on speed but stay in half marathon shape. While I’m not quite there, I’m not far off. My lungs were fine, it was my knee and hip slightly that weren’t. I’m optimistic for a good run at the end of the month. The pouch was perfect fuel amount for the long run. I think part of the reason my time was better too was fewer water stops. And, no photos. Also, love the new belt — and the way the water pouch is, I think it won’t suffer the same death as the prior with bottle bouncing.
rocking my Sarah Marie Design Studio replacement shirt to dinner
I almost ordered in, but siren song of sushi worth quads on the stairs


  • Sunday: rest day. New York Giants game so there will be steps. Could I have cross trained? Yes. But need day off after three days running in a row.

London Calling, weeks of 8.12, 8.19

So London was meant to be part of an organized runcation, but that didn’t get the minimum number of people to go forward. By the time it was cancelled I already had the time off work and the itch to go to London for the first time in 17 years-not counting a layover 11 years ago- and I decided why not.  I’m an obsessive trip planner and immediately hit up a Google map. Grown ups think of literature based London prompts. Me? All nursery rhymes. I had Pussycat, pussycat in my head throughout. I also picked up a London version of the Moleskine City books and while I didn’t use the features for which I bought it: the maps, I really loved it for making trips before and during the trip.

While I was unsure about pre-booking a run tour I hit up Strava for a couple of routes including a River Thames sightseeing loop, a 6-7 mile run of the Royal Parks, and Regent’s Park/Primrose Hill for the views.

More to come on the London front in another (series of) posts. In the mean time, weekly wrap catch up. I’ll do what I can to catch up on reading as well.

Weekly Wrap with Holly and Wendy:

Week of 8.12:

  • Monday:  for the first time in a while #NeverMissAMonday was running based. I had an epic case of do not wanna and had to literally bribe myself to get an additional quarter mile from miles 1-3. Some things never change. I did the same workout as this Monday and came in about thirteen seconds faster. I alternated quarter miles at 5.5 with 6.3 with .05 miles of walking at 3.3 after each 6.3 segment. The walk segments were consistently shorter and the running quarter mile segments didn’t fluctuate in speed.
  • Tuesday: was supposed to be a cross training day, but I was at the office late getting some deadline items done and really needed to pack for London, so it turned into a rest day. I also think four days in a row was not a smart plan with the distances I wanted to do to run/sightsee in London.
  • Wednesday: finally got the chance to meet Darlene who seems to run here as much as I do, despite not living in the city. It was a beautiful evening with relatively little humidity and we had a comfortable run/walk through Central Park. Other than office run group I don’t typically run with others, so this was good practice in running at a conversational pace. Not linking Strava because holy hell did my watch have a hissy fit or six.
  • Thursday: office run group and my watch worked! Alas it was 85+ and 60% humidity so we weren’t setting any land speed records. Still nice to catch up with some folks between vacations.
  • Friday: London bound!
  • Saturday: I wanted to shake off the plane stiffness and explore a little so I’d be tired enough to go to sleep on London time. The training plan called for 8 and I got in 9.10 photo taking, sightseeing miles. It was super crowded by the Eye and across Tower Bridge as I took the very long way from my hotel to Buckingham Palace via a version of the Thames Path above. Couldn’t get Strava to work properly offline, but it was easy enough to follow the riverside paths. London is a great running city.
  • Sunday: no running, but sightseeing took in 12.38 miles, so I’m not calling that a rest day!

Week of 8.19

Some of this fell under Saturday and Sunday, above, but it’s still insane to look at. When I left for London I’d walked about 238K steps on the month, run 30 miles and run walked 112. I ran/walked 89.31 miles, ran 20.56 miles in the UK. Most insanely? 204, 202 fitbit steps! There’s a chance for my third 500K step month. I was 13 miles off my 700 miles on the year pace when I left and less than five off when I got back. What did that look like? Note: some of these links are more London sightseeing than running photos. Assume I’m forgiven 😀

  • Monday: my only true rest day. I’d booked a day trip to Stonehenge, Glastonbury and Winchester (which turned into Avebury) and there was a lot of driving. It also left really early and wrapped with dinner with two wonderful friends. Fell asleep before I could hit my step goal, hysterical compared to the other days
  • Tuesday: back in London and a short-ish morning run on the Thames before ten more miles of walking exploring Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament and the British Museum.
  • Wednesday: traveled to Birmingham to meet Liz! We met through Bookcrossing shortly after I joined in 2005 and just missed one another in Iceland last February, but the stars aligned and we planned a visit while I was in the UK. I got a little of my typical first meeting jitters, but those were gone as soon as we met at the train station and as long as we were awake, we didn’t shut up for the entirety of my visit. So amazing when someone is just as fun live as online. No running today, but we explored architecturally fascinating Birmingham and I got to see Dippy! Dinosaurs turn me from 38 to 3. We also walked some of the canals Liz ran along during her race a couple weeks back. The day finished in both book swapping and running form when we had a lovely curry with running bookworms. So much fun.
as we took off down the block
Post-run selfie!
  • Thursday: we got to run together! Cool, drizzly, refreshing run. Liz took me on a tour of her area, which I’d seen through her blog and a photography project which she’s participated in for five years. Great to see it in 3D. I had a good laugh though, Liz was way better about pausing her watch to cross streets, etc. and I’ve mostly just written that off as slow downs. Yet Strava gave me a better pace than it did her. Strava, you’re drunk. Here’s Liz’s wrap, which also includes our run. When I first started blogging about running it was just a diary for myself, then I either linked Liz or she found it and started reading. She introduced me to the Runners’ Bookshelf where I met Wendy, who introduced me to this linkup.  Life is good! I also now have a buff from Liz’s running club, so cool. Over the years we’ve had various discussions on American v. British English terms for things. When she first mentioned a buff, I had no idea what it was. Turned out it was less American v. British and more running English. Oh the jargon, although that really isn’t one.

After running, we headed to explore Stratford-Upon-Avon (where else could two book lovers go?!) Rejuvenated after the train ride back to London, I decided to take advantage of St. Paul’s summer late hours and was treated to an amazing sunset. 6 AM run, gorgeous sunset. Why yes I am trying to pack in all the sightseeing!

  • Friday: last full day in London and the only part of it that I’m willing to call a rest day is the boat ride to Greenwich after doing the Tower of London. Or possibly the 15m squiz back to my hotel to charge my phone before heading to Tate Modern and dinner with a friend who I worked with in Japan 17 years ago. Another 11 miles walking day. See what I mean? Not a rest day.
  • Saturday: knew I had to leave for the airport around 10:30 so I headed out for a farewell run of London. It was a beautiful 60 and crisp. Had to abandon my usual shade running for warmth until I warmed up. It was in three parts (1,2,3) as I also did a few pre-flight errands. Wasn’t long run mileage, but better than nothing and helped me be tired enough to doze on the long flight home. Thanks to AA rebooking I was able to get a direct flight home and was tucked in bed before original connection was to take off. Life is good sometimes.
stocked smoothie fridge
oh hello beautiful East River. I missed you!
  • Sunday: I was actually not up too early time zone wise, but arranged for grocery delivery between 6 and 8AM. Why the urgency? I had no creamer for my coffee. Wasn’t supposed to be an issue as with planned connection I’d have overnighted at mom’s.  Since I was up and it was beautiful, I decided to go for a run to shake out the legs. It also looked to be the last good outdoor running day as it’s to be in the 90s all week. Yuck. The run was OK (I was tired) until my water bottle fell. I thought I hadn’t fastened the top loop. Nope, bottom came undone. I guess it’s to be expected with the weight of a 20 oz bottle bouncing up and down. When I looked up my orders, I realized I bought it on August 24, so it’s older than I thought. Time to find a new one and maybe make peace with icky, dirty reusable bottles. Any favorite hydration belts? Can’t use a backpack as they’re not allowed in NYRR races, which are most of what I do. Also, think the straw would gross me out too much. I ran a little more but had nothing left in me, so met mom for brunch got some girly girl things done and came home to crash.
farewell fair belt!

All in all an amazing trip, and great exercise week. I came home weighing less than when I left, and so many memories. More TK. Although I didn’t end up booking a running tour due to my schedule, I’d recommend London as an active vacation spot. England marked the 4th country outside the US that I’ve run in, 2nd outdoors.

Total 10M Training Mileage, July 31 to date: 55.77 miles.

Super Sunday: 5K PR edition

so as I left the Weekly Wrap, I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to run or not. I actually did want to run, but was questioning whether two days completely off would be smarter for my knee’s healing. Despite changing into my running clothes as soon as I got home, I was using that as an excuse to sit on the couch and catch up on email after a few days away. I’ve had my new phone since March and haven’t put email on it-and don’t miss it. So much clutter.

I was less than one thousand steps short of my Fitbit goal and after a few off days due to rain, being in suburbia I really wanted to hit it. So I decided to head to the East River Promenade and just do the top level/Finley Walk loop which is about a mile and see how I felt mentally and physically.  I knew once I got going, I’d go. Oh the mental games we play.

it was such a beautiful evening

I turned south to get the full distance of the upper loop and as soon as I got there, I decided I did want to head south toward 59th street. My knee felt good on the downhill ramp and despite being absolutely gorgeous out, it wasn’t too crowded so I wasn’t forced to play a game of dodg’em. I was pleased to see the first mile come in sub 11:00 after Friday morning’s molasses crawl. The (relative) lack of humidity made a huge difference.  I decided I’d see how mile two came in before deciding whether I’d go for the 5K PR or just a three-four mile run.

Have a 6m mile, and then a 116m one!

Dear TomTom, please find your brain.

Mile 2 coming in at 9:33 might be a little generous, but it didn’t feel ridiculously off. I’ve had that happen before and since mile two was completely flat along the lower promenade between 60th and 81st streets, I think it’s possible that it was right.  I had mentioned in a comment to Charlie that my watch had been having issues, but this is the first time it was bouncing all over with no scaffolding or other issue that I’d expect to cause it.  I guess it’s time to start planning for a watch upgrade. I’ve gotten so used to the music on my TomTom and I don’t imagine that’s going to be an easy to find, affordable option. Any particular watch favorites? I have a Fitbit I use for daily steps, just looking for something to track runs with so size less of an issue.

I knew mile three would drop off because it has the 450 feet-long ramp back up to Finley Walk, but it felt good and I felt strong as I headed around Gracie Mansion toward Asphalt Green. I couldn’t believe it when the watch beeped three miles at 10:26 and I knew I was close. I pushed hard for the last .13 (Strava math) and couldn’t believe it when I saw my watch.



The original plan was to re-start the watch and run home, but the magic hour sky was perfect and I wanted to spy on the Ferry construction so I opted for a longer walking cool down during which I contemplated the run.

is that a ferry dock I spy?
guess it’s not opening this summer

I still had 32:16 on the brain and thought this was a four second PR, but I realized when I got home & could sync watch that it (actually 32:15) was for 3.08. WOW. It turned out that 32:41 was the actual “check in” 5K for July. Strava actually was a little too generous with 32:04 running time, crediting me for the water fountain pit stop.  I’m going with RunKeeper’s 32:11/10:18 pace. I didn’t even get in the full month of speed training that I wanted due to the PF flare and subsequent fall, but this is a-ma-zing. Sub 30 is still a long-term dream, but I’m thinking I may even get below 32 by summer’s end depending on whether I can do speed training in August. Even if I don’t, I’m super happy with how this speed training whim turned out.

Like the Riverside Park run, I loved that this speed/pace happened outside because while I don’t think there’s an unfair advantage in treadmill running, it’s definitely easier to maintain your pace indoors. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with the East River path that stems back to it being the first place I ever ran outdoors, so that the PR happened here was extra special. As I mentioned in Charlie’s post on PRs, I count runs as well as races. This is especially true for 5Ks since they’re so relatively rare as races.

Since the check-in 5K was on the treadmill, the plan for tomorrow is to run 5K there and see what speed comes of it. I’m excited for what the balance of 2018 will bring.




Officially a runner! (Week of 7.15)

What makes someone officially a runner? Ask ten people, get ten answers: Running a certain distance/pace; (not) running on the treadmill in bad weather, etc. My answer? Falling. So yes, after 18+ months running, I am a runner. I might even say I’m a blogger with three posts this week!

Just minding my business, when the trail jumped up and bit me!

I’m fine. More on that later

Weekly wrap, linking up with Wendy and Holly, who were up to some wonderful mischief in Chicago this weekend:

  • Sunday: was supposed to be a rest day, but after a quick cameo at Bastille Day where it was too humid/crowded (I can barely cope with my own sweat; I don’t want anyone else’s touching me!) to stay long, I was antsy. I also knew that Tuesday’s schedule meant I wouldn’t even get to the gym so I should really move my rest day there. I knew I shouldn’t run, but walking to nowhere on the treadmill drives me bonkers so I decided to row. Although the time wasn’t wow, it was a good workout. When I’m at the good (read: cool) gym the stretch area and TVs are right in front of the rowers. The TV isn’t a major distraction but people doing all sorts of strength training is. Some of their workouts are intimidating, but some make me curious. I think I still have a free training session from joining that I really should explore. I had enough steps from Bastille Day and erranding that a Target run (to the only one that doesn’t sell k-cups!) got me over goal and then I stopped at LaMia and actually ate in. I really wanted to finish my book and there are just too many distractions at home, so win win.
  • Monday: I may or may not have tried to drink my weight in water. I generally don’t worry too much about water because I drink pretty regularly throughout the day. It’s especially easy at work because we have an amazing Blupura machine from which I can get an infinite supply of sparkling water. That machine, and the office providing free seltzer is what finally got me to kick the soda habit almost completely (you can pry my diet root beer from my cold, dead hands). Even before and subsequently accounting for the weekend’s sushi and pizza, I was feeling particularly puffy and thirsty so I made a concentrated effort to drink. By 4P it was definitely alternating water refills with bathroom breaks. I’m not sure whether this mild dehydration was to blame or whether it was the heat, already being hungry on the way to the gym or something else, but it was one of those runs that just went nowhere. I pushed as far as I could doing 5.5/6.3 intervals, but at 1.8ish I side cramped and felt all the water sloshing. Enough was enough, so I walked a bit longer and then had a good stretch. I’m not worried about this being a sign of bad, just one of those days, and a reminder to watch the water.
the great Gabriel Allon..err.. Daniel Silva
  • Tuesday: planned off day. My favorite author’s new book came out and I went to the signing. More on that here. It was raining so hard and there was a funnel cloud (!) over the harbor, that step goal didn’t even happen. As it was Prime Day, I did treat myself to a Kindle Fire 8. A local run buddy speaks highlight of catching up on the DVR while on the treadmill, and since I can’t seem to go more than 10K on treadmill without a distraction and am half a season or more behind on the shows I “watch”, it might hit the spot. Any things I should be sure not to miss with it? Already have a Kindle and used to have an iPad, so this isn’t wholly new to me.
  • Wednesday: knew it was going to be an active day as my office had its staff outing at Coney Island (screw the Mouse, Coney is forever my happiest place on earth!) It was a beautiful day to be at the beach for a visit to the aquarium and lunch on the roof at Kitchen 21. I got a little sunburnt/generally overheated and decided crosstraining better than running, so I got in a 5K row and good stretch.
and this is (part of) why I’ll never leave this neighborhood
  • Thursday: office run group a casualty of summer schedules. It was a beautiful day and I wanted to run outside, but when I got to NYRR Run Center, there wasn’t a locker to be found. Instead I quickly headed home to change and was treated to this sun-kissed route for 3.5 miles. Foot & energy felt good, was glad to go end to sort of end, although there’s construction around Asphalt Green. Rumor has it the ferry dock at E. 90th will be open at summer’s end which I hope means the walkway will be open up until at least the pedestrian bridge. Could I have gone longer? Probably, but playing it conservative with foot and no run longer than seven miles until the end of September. I’m going to come in below July’s mileage, but I’m OK with that.
  • Friday: off day as I was out of town most of it, and with a long train ride finished It’s Just Four Times Round the Village, which was a fascinating look at the running career of a novice runner.
Horizontal Runner: unlocked

Saturday/Sunday: up at mom’s this weekend and headed out to do 4-6 miles on this trail including the southern spur I found Easter weekend. The Esposito trail is wide and graded, the Hader Park segment is…not. In some places due to spring rains it’s barely even single track. I was just over two miles in, including a stint to go buy a bottle of water, when my toe met a rock. At first I thought I was going to catch myself, but my center of balance was off and I kissed the trail. Someone else quickly came over to see whether I was OK, and after taking in my arm and leg, I realized I was. And then I paused my watch. Nothing was broken, I was just mighty scraped up. I started to walk after pouring out my water bottle on the worst of the dirt but then realized I could run and so I did. I was texting mom to find out if she had bandaids and bacitraicin and she offered to come get me, but I was close to home and running was honestly fine.

I had a shower and mom helped me clean up the worst of the road rash and I messaged Liz who I knew would appreciate the fall after her own a few weeks ago. She introduced me to a friend of hers named Greg who awarded me the wonderful badge above. My brother, sister-in-law and their two kids were down so we headed to the park. The day’s cross training consisted of walking there and scooting back as my brother carried my nephew’s scooter. I really think both activities contributed to my leg not being stiff and not particularly sore save for a few lightly bruised spots. My arm definitely bore the brunt of my fall making me doubly glad I didn’t break a bone.

I’m glad I’m pretty sure I can run as rowing is definitely out this week as are kettlebells/planks. My right shoulder/upper arm is sore from the landing (just sore, not anything to worry about) and, as you can see above, my elbow is swollen due to the bruising/scrapes and a little tender. If I end up needing to go elliptical, I won’t use the arms.

This Week’s Plan:

  • Monday, see how I feel at the gym
  • Thursday, NYRR R-U-N 5K. Was supposed to be the test of my speed work but between the foot and the fall, I may not push it. We’ll see. Will be a nice evening in the Park at the least.


#NYRRRetro and week of 7.8

Not a full running week, but the foot felt good and I really think my body is not meant to do regular back to back days.  Lungs, sure. Legs, no, not yet. I’m OK with that. I really do need to find another long run before August’s Manhattan 7 Miler although I think speed work is the right thing for me right now not to over tax my foot. In the mean time, I set a rough goal for the Retro 4 Miler and was pleased to almost exactly nail it. Plus, it felt good to have a race again.

Weekly wrap with Wendy and Holly:

  • Monday: oh what a Monday staring down a five day work week. I wanted to do some speed work, but also listen to my foot. I ended up doing a variation of this Friday‘s workout. Shorter, but nearly 20 seconds / minute faster as I went 5.5, 6.2, 5.5, 6.3 with .05 miles of 3.3 after each 6+ interval. The first 6.3 was for .3 miles and the second .28 as I closed out. Could I have gone to 3.5? Probably, but smarter not to push my foot, and the gym was disgustingly hot. This was a nice rebound after Saturday’s struggle, and it was good to see that a number of us struggled despite beautiful weather.  What I realized as I was doing these quarter mile intervals, it’s essentially repeating a coupe weeks of C25K, but with the “walk” being a 5.5 mile jog. Whoa. Plus side of speed intervals being what they are, I show myself I can do a sub 10m mile even if I can’t (yet) sustain it.
Books books books
  • Tuesday: have I mentioned lately that I’m a bookworm? 🙂 NYRR Run Center is hosting a book giveaway from the Runners’ World archives and I went to the preview when I went to pick up my bib/shirt for the Retro. I think I showed remarkable restraint, but I also know I’ll probably go back a couple three times. It was fun to see titles over time.  I subsequently headed across town to the better air-conditioned gym for a 5K row followed by some planks. Intrigued by Running on Happy’s 5M plank challenge, maybe this fall.
  • Wednesday: knew I couldn’t get to the gym after work and wanted to get something in so I planned on a run before work. Unfortunately my snooze button was all too close. I didn’t get out as early as I’d have liked, but it was better than nothing. To be honest, it was already so warm and humid, I’m not sure I’d have gone longer even if I had more time. Luckily I did have time to roll both of my feet before work since I found my original PF ball after I replaced it. The afternoon brought a follow-up appointment with the dermatologist. The mole biopsy was all clear and she doesn’t think it will scar. I care way more about the former than the latter.
I bought myself a present
  • Thursday: week two for our office running group. Up to five this week and the experienced runner decided he was going to pace us. That was awesome, since I generally fail at consistency when outdoors. We did the entire lower loop, even if my watch didn’t. Since my foot felt good and I wanted more mileage I did some intervals at the gym before a really good, long stretch. 5.5, 6.2, 5.5, 6.4, 5.5, 6.3 with 7.0 at the final tenth to close out. The walk breaks after each speed interval were down to .05 miles. I was really shocked at being able to sustain 6.4 over a quarter of a mile. Knock wood, speed training is going well and I think maybe just maybe I’ll break 32m at the end of July. I was home catching up on some reading and I saw Ali on the Run’s post about the Sarah Marie Design Studio shirt, which I’ve loved since I saw Mary Wittenberg wear it for a panel. I still have no idea if I want to run a marathon ever (more on that later!), but I love the dominance of women in the sport, and a soft, purple t-shirt? Winning. I’ve purged a lot of tee shirts, and I still have too many, but I love this for post-run relaxation.


what a beautiful summer evening
  • Friday: knee a little sore, so what was going to be a cross training day turned into a day off ahead of Saturday’s race. It’s not an injury, or rather not a new injury but an old injury that occasionally says hi and reminds me not to push it. So I listen. Rather than going to the gym I went back up to NYRR to have them do the fancy lacing that I can never quite get right and of course hit up the book giveaway one more time. Not much left by then. After a quick and fruitless shopping trip to try and buy some new shorts, I walked over the Brooklyn Bridge (rest day wasn’t going to be a step fail) and settled in with a good book or three. We’re not going to talk about that milkshake. Delicious, tracked and moved on. Just before sunset I hopped on the ferry for some gorgeous views. Walking the bridge was partially steps, but there’s also just no easy way between boroughs sometimes. Not taking a train on a gorgeous summer day? Winning.
Retro silliness. Never met a photo booth I didn’t love

Saturday: race day! I truly mean the exclamation point for the first time in a while. Part of the issue I was struggling with in June was straight up tiredness. I was dreading the early wake ups (love how Cuckoolemon put it re: purchasing wake up calls!) and that was part of what made me not excited about weekend after weekend of race. Being sick didn’t help. But with two weekends off racing, I was ready for and excited by the Retro, in part because I did and loved it last year. Really interesting to go back and read some of that. Especially the post-race gimpy walk home which turned out to be the start of my PF battle. Oh how I hope this year’s marked the end.

The first race in Central Park since it closed to cars featured an awesome pace car which I got a great view of as I ran to the start. While I do not like the staggered start at the foot of Cat Hill, I love the easy run to the start as a warm up. I was running late so I only had about 10M before the start, which was fine. I’m also kind of over the “turn and high five your neighbor” forced nonsense, especially pre coffee. Not as many super crazy costumes as last year, although I saw more toward the end. I really wanted to wear my School House Rock t-shirt like I did the tootsie roll pop last year (whoa, the weight I’ve lost in my face!) but it was just too gross to contemplate cotton.

Cat Hill was a surprising non event. I don’t even remember any feelings running up it, and I was glad to hit the first sprinkler and water stop at the top. Although it was only mid 70s, the humidity was about the same. Oddly it felt like 102nd St. Transverse took forever to come and as a result of mile two not having any hills or water stops, it was my best.  Come the water break on the transverse, I not only walked I stopped to get two cups. The first of the West Side up hills was bad, but then I settled into a weather-appropriate pace and just went. Overall it was a fairly steady race. Strava doesn’t show it because of its rounding, but it was .1 over for me (and many per IG photos) due to the angles in the park, but it seemed like a large number of people were complaining about this. It’s a 4M, not a Boston Qualifier, I think a little chillax is in order.

My goal was to come in between the Gridiron (43:08) and Achilles (47:23) and ideally around 45m. By my watch/RunKeeper, 4.10/44:49 for 10:56. By NYRR, 44:47 for 11:12. BAM! Still using Runkeeper since that’s where everything is, but I’m happy. Gridiron was in perfect conditions, and I was sick for Achilles. Mile two showed the effects of the recent speed work and this fall I will do hill work, I swear.

At the post-race festivities I enjoyed some flavor ice and general silliness. And then this happened

9+1! Eek!!

I have absolutely no idea if I want to train for a marathon, but I have until January to decide if I want to claim my guaranteed entry. I’m leaning yes: it’s New York, it will be the eve of my 40th birthday, but I’m just not sure if I have marathon training in me. I’m glad to have 9+1 settled so relatively early in the year so I have time to think on it. It’s crazy to realize that I’ve run nine NYRR races; one NYCRuns, one charity, and two out of town races. 13 races in slightly more than half a year, wow. And yes, running in shorts. I actually haven’t worn capris since Achilles. I know, what took me so long.

splendid saturday evenings

Rest of day was good, if lazy. Took myself out for sushi and then sat by the East RIver to finish one book and start another. And my cotton tee shirt tradition of wearing it post-race. None of these is #20BooksOfSummer or the NYRR finds, but my annual permission between Memorial and Labor Day to read fluff. This seems to be the year, or at least the week, of catching up on James Patterson. And new Gabriel Allon comes out Tuesday, can’t wait!

All in all, a good week and one that I’m happy with. Taking today off although I may go to the gym to stretch when done with a work event. Plan for the week: run Monday, Thursday, Friday or possibly Monday, Wednesday, Thursday depending on Wednesday work event. No races next weekend.