What to say to a slow runner . . .

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. . . and what not to say

Let’s dive right in, shall we? First I’m going to cover some of the things I hear . . . a lot. Because the first one is one I hear all the time.

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Sometimes your questions make us slow runners feel like this

What not to say to a slow runner

Speed is relative
No sh*# sherlock! Well, that’s a bit of an over-reaction, perhaps. but I hear this all the time. Do you think that we don’t already know that?

 

You’re faster than everyone on the couch
It’s kind of patronizing, don’t you think? Seriously,  how would you feel if someone said that to you when you whined about a bad run or race?

Have you ever tried _________ (speedwork, hills, etc.)? That’s what worked for me.
Yes, yes, and yes. Granted, not all slow runners care about pace and may or may not work to get faster. But many of us do care, and we work damn hard. Are you a coach? If you aren’t, and we didn’t specifically ask for your advice, just bite your tongue until we do.

I was slow when I began, but then I did ________ (speedwork, hills, etc.) and I got a lot faster
See above. Maybe your new friend has done all that. I did for years. And for years I seemed stuck at about the same pace. And even though I’m faster now, I’m still not fast.

I’d love to run with you sometimes
This one can really be a bit dicey. Can you really slow down that much? Do you think that your new buddy will be able to hang with you at your current pace? Are you inviting her to a group, where you’ll be running with your friends — at your usual pace?

Some runners don’t mind bringing up the rear. I know when I’m running with friends and I’m the only person running by myself, sometimes that really sucks.

I’d love to do my easy runs with you
If you are willing to run at least near the pace of the slower runner, that’s wonderful. Just don’t rub in the fact that it’s so easy for you — chances are she’s running a little faster than normal and making it clear how easy it is for you can be a bit demoralizing to the slower runner.

Oh, I’m really slow too
Seriously, this one annoys the heck out of me, and it’s another one I get all the time. Usually after I’ve said I’m slow and said what pace I run. It just shows me that you are either not listening to me or you think you’re being empathetic because I just told you what pace I ran, so you know that I’m way slower than you.

I understand that this is just a knee jerk reaction for a lot of women, but I can also tell you as a slower runner, it’s totally annoying — to me, at least. Just be honest. Own your power (which may or may not be the subject of a future post).

Right about now you’re probably thinking geez, ain’t she just the most touchy person in the world? Maybe. But I’ll bet you other slower runners get it. I tried to see if I could find some other posts on this subjects, but a quick search didn’t reveal quite what I was looking for.

I did stumble across a blog post loving on slower runners, which the blogger actually defined as a runner running an 11 mm or more. I fall quite solidly into that cateogry.

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There are lots of things you can say to a slow runner to make them smile

So what can you say to a slow runner?

What are you training for?
This one just simply shows interest. Seriously, what runner doesn’t love to talk about their next race (often whether they’re prompted to or not).

How long have you been running?
This one is often a gateway to the runner’s life story — be warned!

Why did you decide to start running?
Most runners love to talk about why they started to run. It’s another question that can lead you to learn about the runner and their life. Just try to be careful of your tone — we can be sensitive (obviously!) — and some might hear this as “just why would someone like you be running anyway”?

Have you ever done _________ race?
This one is good if you know that the runner actually races. It’s another leading question that can help you bond over potentially shared experiences.

What’s your favorite race?
Again, could appear patronizing if you don’t know if the runner races, but if you know they do, then it will probably lead to other topics and you never know, again, you might learn about an awesome new race.

What’s your favorite race distance?
Follow up with why they like that particular race distance.

Where is your favorite place to run?
I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for new places to run! And your new buddy might just know some new-to-you place.

Do you prefer running on the road or on trails?
Maybe you’ll find out that you both love running on trails, and you’ll find some great new trails or trail races or groups. Maybe you are both very different, but no doubt this question will spark some interesting conversatons (and the obvious follow ups of why?).

You can see that slow or fast, there is an awful lot that all runners have in common and will discuss until the wee hours, if given the opportunity.

I hope that I’ve helped you see how some of the questions and statements meant to be kind and encouraging sometimes are not perceived that way. Again, not all runners care about pace (fast or slow), but it’s very easy to hurt someone while having the best intentions in the world.

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This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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What “encouragement” do you hate, whether you’re fast or slow?

What do you ask new runners you’re meeting for the first time?

Do you prefer running solo or in groups?

Fit & Fueld: My Thoughts Halfway Through

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Do you have burning questions about running and nutrition? If you’re eating the right foods to fuel your runs? If you’re getting the most out of your workouts? All these questions, and more, are addressed in Laura @ Mommyrunfast’s Fit and Fueled Nutrition Course for Runners (more information here).

This course is full, but Laura says she plans to offer it again the beginning of March.

Disclaimer: My fee for this course was waived in exchange for an honest review of the course. All my thoughts and opinions are totally my own.

So what is Fit and Fueled?
Fit and Fueled is a month long online course aimed at runners, and specifically how to balance training and fueling (and what is proper fueling) for runners. The course is comprised of six modules, with both videos and PDF handouts:

  1. Best carbs
  2. Timing nutrients
  3. Balance training to improve fitness
  4. Train low, race high
  5. Run stronger with appropriate strength training
  6. Dial in your nutrition
  7. Bonus tips

Note that while there are six modules, there’s actually seven, since there are bonus tips. As of this writing we are through module three.

Also included in the fee is a private Facebook group where we can discuss what we’re learning, ask Laura questions, and all the videos and handouts are posted to the group (they are also emailed to you).

My Thoughts so Far
I’m digging it! I consider myself to be fairly knowledgeable about nutrition; you’ll quickly realize if you read this blog that nutrition is a passion of mine. Overweight for much of my life, a lifetime Weight Watchers member (it works for me), a former Weight Watchers leader for a hot minute, I actually find nutrition fascinating.

I also believe that learning is a life-long process, and I am definitely learning new things and changing up some of my routines to put that knowledge into play.

The videos and the handouts are short, and even the busiest person, if interested, will be able to find the time to view/read them. The discussions in the private Facebook group have been very helpful, too.

I’ll be back in February to share my final thoughts on Fit and Fueled.

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This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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Have you tweaked your nutrition in 2018?

Do you feel confused about when to eat — and what?

Or do you just go by the motto: if the engine is hot enough it will burn off anything?

10 Goals for a Great 2018

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Expecting my 2018 Goals? Gotcha! I’m still working on my own. Are you still working on your goals for 2018? I know some people feel that goals are too stressful, but would you take a road trip without your phone? Of course, back in that day, it would be would you take a road trip without a map?

Most people wouldn’t. Some people, of course, do just like to wander, but most of us want some guidance. Goals are just that: guidance — they’re not written in stone, they’re something to help motivate you and challenge you.

Maybe you’re like me, taking a little off season or running sabbatical. Or maybe you’re already gearing up for that Spring marathon/half marathon.

1. Hire a running coach
You may have heard me mention Rachel @ Runningonhappy a time or two. I hired her during her free month offer last January and as you may know, I also had the best running year of my life.

Coincidence? I think not.

Guess what? She’s offering the same deal in 2018. You still have time to hire Rachel and have your best running year — which doesn’t necessarily mean lots of PRs; there are different ways to define a great running year (no injury, better endurance, having fun running, and tackling a new distance are just a few).

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Foam rolling does a body good

2. Foam roll
While I’m quite good about foam rolling — most of the time — I know that some runners really struggle with it. I also know that it’s a habit/goal that benefits every runner.

I get it thought: it’s just one more thing to do on your very long to-do list. And oh-so-tempting to skip.

“They” say that the best way to create a habit/goal — and stick to it — is to tie it to something you’re already doing. So try foam rolling before your run. You’re going to run, right? Telling yourself you’ll do it after your run makes it too easy to skip.

3. Get into those compression socks
This is one of my personal goals. Not for right now — my favorite compression socks are my Mud Gear socks. They’re knee high and they keep me warm in the winter so I run in them and then stay in them afterwards..

This is a goal that I’m penciling in for the summer, when I tend to skip compression altogether because it’s simply too hot. I know that compression benefits me and makes recovery quicker, thought, so it’s a goal for me to keep at it year-round.

4. Strength Train
If you’re in your off season like I am, now is the perfect time to start a strength training program. Don’t go nuts, because then you’re going to burn out, but if you start now, it’s more likely to become a habit and something you’ll continue to do as your training gets heavier.

5. Work on your mental training
We’re all mental: agreed? Or maybe that’s it’s all mental. Not all, but often we’re held back by our beliefs. An off season or the beginning of training is the perfect time to work on your mental toughness. Here are a few posts on that:

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2017 was the year I started hiking again

6. Take up a new sport
Swimming. Biking. Yoga. Barre. Kickboxing. Boxing. Cross country skiing. Snow shoeing. Pilates.

Triathletes tend to get injured less frequently than runners. One of the reasons is that they’re always cross training. Doing the same thing over and over again is the definition of insanity, right?

7. Epsom soaks
Epsom soaks can speed recovery and you can do it at home and it’s not expensive. I really enjoy them. So don’t ask me why I don’t do them nearly as often as I should. Oh wait, because filling and lugging around my foot spa is a royal pain! You don’t need a foot spa, of course, but they are very nice.

But would you believe I’ve actually done it twice in the last few weeks, after months and months of not doing it at all? So how did I get it done? I filled up that bad boy early in the day, so it was all ready to go whenever. It’s not like I’m going to let that go to waste once I took the trouble to fill it up already!

Will I keep up that behavior? Probably not. But maybe it will get me to do them more often than I did in 2017.

8. Join a running group
If you’re a slower runner I get it — it’s scary to try a running group. And if you run a 10 or 11 mm, I’m sorry, no, you’re not slow; you will almost certainly find someone to run with.

I’ve made some great friends from running groups, yet I still struggle to find people to run with. Most of my running friends are faster. Most don’t run/walk.

If you’re lacking motivation, though, check out your local running groups. Guess what? If you hate it, you don’t have to go back. But what if you love it?

9. Tweak your nutrition
If you’re not heavily into your training, it’s a great time to focus on healthier eating. And if you are training? Maybe it’s an even better time. I’m doing that right now with Laura @ Mommyrunfast’s Runner’s Fit & Fueled Course (sorry, it’s closed right now). I’m enjoying what I’m learning so far.

In addition, I signed up for Tiffany’s Feel Great in 8 Challenge. I’ve followed her a long time, and I decided now was the perfect time, while I’m not running a lot, to explore her program — the challenge is also closed now, but you know I’ll be giving you a review and she runs these challenges a few times a year.

My review of Danette May’s 30 Day New You Challenge (yeah, also closed, but also run a few times a year) is one of my most viewed posts from 2017. And yes, I’m still using many of the recipes, still listening to the meditations, and when I feel better — still using the workouts.

10. Organize your running gear
In my weekly wrap post I alluded to the fact that with less training I’ve been tackling some stuff in the house that has been sorely neglected. We have a three bedroom house. We share a bedroom, and then we each have a bedroom for our stuffcrap. Mine tends to be a second closet. A very messy second closet.

Or maybe that’s a third closet, since the bedroom has a closet (although to be fair, Mr. Judy and I share the master bedroom closet — which isn’t exactly large.

It’s the proverbial I know where everything is in the mess — which is sort of true. But I’ve been spending 10 minutes or so in there most days of the week, going through all the stuffcrap, bagging up stuff to donate, getting rid of stuff, and generally trying to see the floor in the room, too.

Eventually I’ll be putting the clothes wrack I took home from my parents, and hanging up a lot of my Skirtsports gear on it. And I’m going to try to organize it better, so I can actually find things like throwaway shirts, gloves, extra water bottles, etc. — without wasting an entire day.

Wish me luck. It’s a big job. And once I’ve whipped that into shape, there’s plenty of other areas of our home that need some going through/organizing.

 

Let’s make 2018 Great!
There are as many goals as there are people (probably more). These are just a few suggestions. I’d love to hear some of your goals, too. Leave me a comment and let me know what goals you’re working towards in 2018.

 

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This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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Is there a nutrition challenge you’ve tried and recommend?

Any organizing tips for running stuffcrap?

If I wasn’t running, I’d be __________?

Running by the numbers in 2017

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I am not a numbers person. I don’t really track monthly or yearly mileage, although I have done a few yearly mileage challenges in the past. It just doesn’t motivate me.

What do I care about? My weekly mileage. Making sure it’s where it should be for wherever I am in training. Making sure that I’m not slacking or jumping up too much too quickly.

Since most people do seem to be very motivated by the numbers (and because I don’t really have 2018 goals yet), I decided to take a look back at mine and tally it up. Which required looking at Garminconnect, Finalsurge, and my running journal — and there are holes in pretty much all of those so it’s all an estimate anyway!

Total miles run for 2017: 1016.58
I know that’s actually a bit low, as I didn’t add in quite a few treadmill miles from December. If I had been a numbers geek, darn, I shoulda run a few more to round it up to 2017 for the year, except, of course, I know that I’m missing miles so there ya go.

Total miles run on the treadmill in 2017: 95
Again, an estimate. See, I’m always marking myself harshly because I never track things as closely as I should. While it may seem I spend a lot of time on it, the truth is most of my runs are outside. Although this harsher winter could change that! And not a single long run was done on the mill — which has not always been the case. Oops, I did my long run on the mill on New Year’s Eve day.

Monthly Miles in 2017
January:     70.74
February:   94.51
March:        97.22
April:           99.10
May:          104.00
June             59.21
July:             79.05
August:        97.10
September: 91.98
October:      78.31
November:  86.37
December:   80.00

Good thing I don’t tally stuff up and get hung up on those numbers, eh? Thanks to Rachel @ Runningonhappy for pushing me to one of my highest running mileage years ever — and more importantly, definitely my most successful running year ever!

Time spent running: 189 hours
Again, this doesn’t include treadmill running. I am not gonna work that hard tallying it up, sorry! According to Alexa, that’s just 7.8 days. That can’t be right, can it?

Elevation gain for the year: 17,491 ft
I asked Alexa for a mountain that was that height but she couldn’t come up with an answer. Google didn’t seem to know, either. It is higher than Everest base camp, though.

Races in 2017:
4 half marathons (1 was my first trail half marathon)
1 15k
1 10k
1 4 miler
1 3.5 mile Turkey Trot
3 5ks  (1 was my first trail 5k)

Total races: 11
Total PRs: 8 (counting those first trail races as PRs!)

States added: 4
LA, WA, UT & NY
The most states I have added in one year
Which brings me up to 16 states (and 18 halfs)

Looking ahead
2018 looks to be a quieter year, but of course you never know. I am signed up for two halfs and the annual July 4th race. And that’s it. I’d love to have 2018 all mapped out, because I’m a planner and it makes me happy to have things to look forward to, but I also believe that things work out the way they are supposed to be.

As usual, I am still thinking about 2018 goals. When I searched for it on my blog, I couldn’t actually find any 2017 goals. No doubt Darlene will point them out to me, she always seems to be able to find everything. There were many monthly goals, and most of the time I did well with them.

I would like to add two states next year (one of the halfs I’m already signed up for is a repeat state — just the way things worked out). I’ll be honest: I’d love to add three states, but the main goal is to keep running, tackle new challenges, and have fun with it all.

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This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

Have you got your goals all set for 2018?

What about your races?

Do you always tally up your monthly & yearly mileage?

Looking back at 2017

And looking for those silver linings

When I picked my word for 2017, I wrote about having the patience to see my training bear fruit (read about that here, and my word for 2018 here). Little did I know, that patience would be rewarded; in spades!

January
Rachel @ Runningonhappy offered a free month of coaching. Yes, please! And so started a year of a beautiful relationship.

I also started the year with my normal New Year’s Day “race”. What I didn’t do? Record it! And apparently it’s not even in the records of the running group’s Website (unless I dig deeper). Garminconnect had it though — no, I did not start the year off with a PR!

Otherwise, there was just a lot of base building. It was also the start of my driving to my parents every weekend to work on emptying out their house (it’s a 90 minute drive each way).

February
Nothing much going on in February. Lots of lonely running. The good news was that it was a relatively mild winter and most, but not all, runs were done outside.

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Beating the heat in NOLA

March
More of the same in March. I began to slightly overdress for runs, both inside and out, in preparation for what I knew would be a hot race in NOLA. Little did I know just how hot! I had hoped spring in NOLA would be kind to me, but it turned out to be a hot and muggy day for The Best Damn Race NOLA (read about that here), and yet I still managed to snag another PR — flat courses, I love you.

I also for the first time in my running career wore a new-to-me-top (from Skirtsports, of course) in the race. I’d run in it once; never done a long run in it — it would go on to be my go-to for many long runs that summer.

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Lots of great eats in NOLA

I also got to meet up very briefly with Tricia @ Misssippipiddlin.com, MB, and Jodi @ My Kind of Fit. Not to mention we had a marvelous time eating our way through NOLA (read about that here) — I definitely think putting the vacation portion before the race allowed me to somewhat acclimate to the weather.

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Dorky throwaway gloves I never threw away

April
Back home and time to turn my attention to the trails, since my next half was my first trail half marathon. I figured if I was going to visit the MIL & SIL, I might as well find a race, right? Truthfully, when I read about the Mud & Chocolate Half in Runner’s World I just badgered Mr. Judy until he agreed.

I ran on trails twice a week, including my long run (more lonely running, no trail running buddies). It was actually quite hot for some of those long runs and I worried about the 4 hour time limit.

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Run all the miles, eat all the chocolate!

The race lived up to its name, including sucking the sole off of one of my trail shoes towards the end, but the chocolate at the finish line made up for it. My slowest half ever (read about it here). I also got to meet up with a couple of Skirtsports sisters.

May
No rest for the weary. It was time to train for the next half, Utah Valley Half Marathon. More lonely running up and down Blatnick Hill (for the locals) in preparation for a race that was net downhill. That was tough!

I also signed up again for USAFit Albany with my friends, so some group runs began at the end of the month.

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Bloggers do Utah

June
After all that up and down, it was time to see how it all worked. I didn’t have lofty aspirations for a race at elevation, but it was time to meet up with Holly @ Hohoruns, MB, Marcia @ Marciashealthyslice, Teresa @ Findingfabulousatfifty, Zenaida @ Zenaida Arroyo, and Kristy @ Runawaybridalplanner for the Utah Valley Half Marathon.

We enjoyed a vacation hiking through Zion And Bryce National Parks before the race (and very little running) and I was surprised by another PR (read about it here). My love of shorter day hikes (actually, I wouldn’t mind tackling longer ones) was rekindled and we continued to hike when we could throughout the relatively mild summer.

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Always a good time with friends at the Firecracker

July
I started off July with the Firecracker 4 race on the fourth. Nope, no PRs at this one, but the best time I had ever done at the race on a hot day.

My next big goal race wasn’t until October, so it was mostly a month of maintaining my base again.

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Hope to add more of these in 2018!

August
August was mostly maintaining my base with a little speedwork/tempo runs mixed in. At the end of the month, on a whim, because the weather was nice, I decided to run a trail 5k (read about it here) the day after my long run and also volunteered after my race, since they also offered a 10k, 15k, half, and more.

September
September was the buildup to the race Rachel & I had targeted as my goal half for the year: Wineglass. I also ran Maddie’s Mark 5k with my neighbor, as we have for the last few years. It was a hot day and I decided to treat it like a training run — and actually succeeded with that.

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We all made it!

October
At the end of 2016 I convinced some running friends to sign up for Wineglass with me — making Mr. Judy happy that I finally snagged NY, my home state. They invited a few friends, who invited a few friends . . . before I knew it, it was a 10 women girls’ weekend. And I ran my last half of 2017 at Wineglass, added a fourth state for the year, and snagged a PR all at once.

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Then walked around Watkins Glen the next day after Wineglass
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It was hilly but I conquered a lot of hills this year!

But I didn’t stop there; I snagged another PR at the Great Pumpkin Challenge, a 10k, even though I just barely made it to the start on time — this was a new-to-me race that I’m pretty sure I’ll do again if I’m in town on that weekend.

November
I continued to set PRs at Stockadeathon and the Cohoes Tureky Trot this year; these races have been very kind to me — both challenging, hilly races, but always enjoyable.

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Getting festive

December
Time to run for fun again, if running in snow, insane winds, and extreme cold can ever be fun. Well, sometimes, with friends. I laughed my way with my running buddies through Albany Last Run to a PW and opened my home to them afterwards for some hot soup.

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Turning into snow women

We had some awesome trips in 2017; I added 4 new states to bring me up to 16 states and 4 half PRs (if you count my slowest half, aka my first trail half, as a PR); we added in hiking when and where we could.

Yes, 2017 was kind to me when it came to running. I tackled a lot of challenges (read about that here). On the personal front it was often lonely, exhausting, the sale of my parents’ home fell through, and they are just not happy campers, Bandit drove me nuts going on hunger strikes over the summer, but is thankfully back to eating normal.

Life is never all good, never all bad, and you have to always look for those silver linings. And keep putting one foot in front of the other.

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This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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What were your silver linings in 2017?

Favorite race/s?

Favorite experience/s?

Running 2015, Part II

So we left off my 2015 running year in June (you can read part I of 2015 here and the 2015 Running Survey here), with running going well, a good half and a bad half, and some personal good and bad times (pun intended).

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Firecracker 4 with running buddy & neighbor

July
Darlene and I started to get together to run occasionally on Thursday evenings. I considered these my tempo runs.

Hill repeats continued (adding one more each week).

I thoroughly enjoyed Firecracker 4 again, a much cooler day than last year translated into a better time, and it was the first race I used the run/walk intervals in.

Always a plus to start out with friends from my running group, and I also met one of my neighbors there and got to know her a little better, too.

My piriformis bothered me slightly this month and then boom! A few days after 11 hill repeats, my knee started to bother me.

I decided, sort of on a whim, that I needed the Garmin Vivoactive and stayed up far too late the day it came trying to set it up. I also switched from KT Tape Pro to Rocktape — Rocktape really does adhere much better.

August
We had planned to do the Camp Chingachook 10k in Lake George at the beginning of August again this year, and bring the dogs with us.We even made a reservation at a pet friendly hotel.

Somehow I could never quite pull the trigger on signing up for the race.

Good thing, too — my chiropractor convinced me that running a hilly 10k was not in my best interest if I wanted to be in good shape for my October half. So I canceled the reservation. I was sad; I was really looking forward to a weekend in Lake George, but it was probably a good thing in hindsight — not only for my knee, but it was a hot weekend and Chester, whose heart failure was advancing, doesn’t do well in the heat.

I dropped the easy run from my schedule, and did speedwork, a tempo, and a long run each week. My IT seemed to improve. I also started to do the Iron Strength DVD (man, that’ll kick your booty!).

No races in August.

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Maddie’s Mark Finish

September
For most of September my IT felt fine. Most of the summer it was never actually my knee that bothered me — it was the IT band itself; the band that runs along the outside of the top of your leg.

I stopped swimming, sadly, because of the time involved as Chester began to worsen and it was harder and harder to leave him for long periods of time. I also stopped because I kept getting kinks in my shoulder blade area and it seemed to actually bother my IT.

I was pretty religious about cross training with Iron Strength and Core Essentials and purchased Yoga for Pain Relief during this month, too.

I ran Maddie’s Mark 5k at the end of the month; it wasn’t a PR, but was close. That darn trail through the woods! I even ran again that afternoon because we had 7 miles on the schedule.

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Green Mt Half Finish

October
I ran the Green Mountain Half on 10/11/15, and just like that, my half season (but not my racing season) was over.

Remember that PR in Redding Road Race? I shaved another 3 minutes off of it on a hilly course with an insane wind that threatened to blow me right into Lake Champlain.

We were supposed to take a trip out west to see my MIL & SIL the following week, but Chester began to worsen and the pet sitter we had used since we moved here backed out with 1 week’s notice and neither of our other pet sitters could do it.

So my husband went and I stayed home. Had I known that VT would be my last trip for the forseeable future, we would have stayed a few extra days.

It was just as well that I couldn’t go; we weren’t actually sure Chester would make it through the trip and my husband almost canceled it completely (but he did make it through; in fact, he’s still with us).

November
I had really wanted to do another half this year, since I knew my body could stand up to it, but it just wasn’t to be and in the end it was probably a good thing because the last two months of the year were very stressful.

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A brush with greatness

Instead, I finally got to run Stockadeathon, 11/8, an automatic PR for me since I’ve never run a 15k. And I got to meet Frank Shorter at the packet pickup, too.

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Girls on the Run 5k

Darlene has been involved with Girls on the Run, and it’s a cause I’ve supported, so I signed up for the Girls on the Run 5k, 11/21, last minute. I had a great time, even if the course was a little short.

 

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Cohoes Turkey Trot

Thanksgiving was at my house, and Chester was once again not doing great, but I decided to roll out of bed Thanksgiving morning and do the Cohoes Turkey Trot (3 1/2 miles) — and yup, the hills were challenging but it was another PR.

So that would be 3 races in November! Which is a first for me — 2 in the space of 1 week, too! And 2 more PRs.

 

December
I had read that the longer your run, the shorter your run/walk intervals should be. I began to experiment with 2 minutes running, 30 seconds walking — and often I did seem faster.

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On 12/5 I ran the Jingle Bell 5k, a new race to me, with a friend. I could see she needed to have someone sign up with her. We ran into her friend at the race, and I’ve since seen her at another race, and since we’re close in age and pace, we exchanged emails. I hope to see her at the New Year’s Day run.

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12/19 was Last Run; totally a fun run where I didn’t worry about my pace. It starts with fireworks and then runs through the Christmas lights at a local park. I’m still working on my recap!

I found that I really liked running in my neighborhood in the dark, looking at the holiday lights (the first time was a mistake) — the unseasonably warm weather didn’t hurt, either.

I was still in my off season, so I concentrated a bit more on strength training and only ran 3 times a week — no tempo runs, no hill repeats, and only very occasional speedwork this month

Darlene and I got together to run a few times. We went to the movies together one day, too (and she had gone the day before, and went the day afterwards, she’s just the energizer bunny.

Chester, unforunately, is just not doing well at all. A lot of back and forth, a lot of vet visits, a lot of heartache and sleep deprivation. Running, quite frankly, helps me stay somewhat sane.

I ended 2015 with 3 new states under my belt, 2 of them PRs, PRs in some other distances, a new distance, 3 races in one month, 2 halfs in one month, and most of all — uninjured for probably the first time since I started running seriously!

Running went very well for me this year. It didn’t all go smoothly, it never does, but I definitely can’t complain. In fact, when it comes to running, it will be hard to top 2015, but I’m willing to try!

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I’m linking up with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and My No Guilt Life for the Tuesdays on the Run linkup; because the more, the merrier, right?

Running 2015, Part I

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times — that pretty much sums up my 2015!

2014 was a very disappointing year in my running. I don’t think I PR’d anything, both my halfs were disappointing, and I ended up injured after my fall half and started back with C25k.

January
I start out every year with a 3 1/2 mile “race” (not chip timed) on New Year’s Day. I PR’d it.

My notes are kind of sketchy for January, but it was a snowy winter and there were a lot of treadmill runs.

Running seemed to go pretty good, including a  good time for the Winter Series 10k (another “race” that isn’t chip timed) — just seconds away from my 10k PR.

 

Birthday Bar Mitzvah
Birthday Bar Mitzvah
 
February
Even snowier than January, and there were even more treadmill runs, but it had our epic vacation to Seattle, Vegas, and Irvine (yes, I ran in all 3 states, including looping around an outlet center parking lot in Barstow, CA).

The trip was partially to visit my MIL & SIL, mini vacation in Vegas, and to celebrate my nephew’s Bar Mitzvah (which just happened to fall on my birthday).

My parents, who are in their late 80s, were going to come, too, but my dad fell a few days before they were supposed to leave. I didn’t find out until we had already left that he’d broken 5 ribs, and would end up spending 3 weeks in a rehabilitation center.

I spiked a fever just days after we got home and spent a week recuperating.

Then there were even more treadmill runs.

 

Running Vassar at my parents
 
March
A week after my Dad got out of the rehabilitation center, he got sick. It wasn’t pneumonia, but something similar, and he was back in the hospital. 

I drove down and spent the weekend with my mom, visiting my dad, lending moral support. In fact, they had a big blowup while my dad was still at the hospital and I ended up staying an extra day.

I ran the Delmar Dash (5 mile race) the weekend after I visited my folks — this was my third time running it and I PR’d, then Darlene and I (this was the race we met at for the first time in RL in 2014) ran another 6 miles afterwards (training for a May half).

I began to do some swimming for cross training.

April
Lots of rain, more treadmill runs, training going well for my May half.

Nothing terribly exciting happened in April. Maybe that was a good thing! No races.

 

Redding Rd Race
Redding Rd Race
 
May
I ran Redding Road Race on 5/3/15, an extremely well organized, very hilly race, on an unseasonably warm day. It was a new PR. I really enjoyed it and immediately pushed my husband to sign up for ZOOMA Annapolis, which he reluctantly acquiesced to.

In the middle of May, on a very unseasonably warm day, we spent a weekend at my parents cleaning out their attic and basement, which meant going up and down 2 flights of stairs all weekend long.

I wasn't pushing hard here!
At the very end. I quit but finished ZOOMA Annapolis.
Maybe it was a sign? ZOOMA Annapolis was hot. It was humid. It was hilly. And I just basically gave up halfway through the race and had one of my slowest halfs.

I got to meet up with one of my high school buddies afterwards, though; I hadn’t seen her in years. We got to get together with my husband’s uncle and one cousin on the way down.

Bad races happen!

June
It was nice to start running with USAFit Albany again after my disappointing half. Everything felt fine after ZOOMA, and I continued to swim about once a week to cross train.

I decided, who knows why, to try run/walk intervals at the end of the month. Mostly, I think, because I read in more than one place that most people slow down too much when they walk for 60 seconds, but 30 seconds gives you that break without slowing you down too much.

We also started hill repeats at the end of the month. No races in June!

Last, but not least, I started this blog in June, after thinking about it for literally years. I thought I would just dip my toe in, so to speak, but I just sort of hit the ground running (yes, I went there).

And because this is quickly turning into a novel, I’ll finished it up next week. You can also read about my year of running here.

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I’m linking up with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and My No Guilt Life for the Tuesdays on the Run linkup; because the more, the merrier, right?

Year of Running 2015

I’ll be recapping my 2015 running year in a later post, but for now I am joining up with Courtney at EatPrayRunDC to take the year of running survey. See, it’s Tuesday and I don’t have a race recap (but wait for next week!).

Eat Pray Run DC

Visit Courtney’s page, grab her, code, answer the questions, and link up with us! It’s that easy.

If I can run a half marathon, you can, too
Runner up: Green Mountain Half

Best race experience
Geez, that is a tough one. I ran a fair amount of races, for me, this year. I think I’m going to go with Redding Road Race (this one sells out in literally days, so sign up quickly if you’re interested in it). Yes, I PR’d it, only to shave a few more minutes off in my fall half and PR Green Mountain Half, too.

It wasn’t an easy race — hilly, an unseasonably warm day (that’s been a theme for my halfs for about a year now and I’m ready for that perfect weather half), but it was just so well “run”. And pretty.

 

Just what the dr ordered

Best Run
I’m going to wimp out here and just say my run this weekend. It was sunny, solitary, and soulful. It felt good (no injuries!). I just “wandered” around the park (can you wander while running?), stopping often to take photos.

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Sprinkle on holiday cheer

And then there was the “Christmas Tree” stuck in a path in the middle of nowhere, no signs, if you blinked you missed it, but somehow I noticed it.

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Garmin Vivoactive

Best New Piece of Running Gear
This is probably the easiest one: my Garmin Vivoactive, of course!

Read the review to find out more about it, but I am so happy I bought this watch.

Best Piece of Running Advice You’ve Received This Year
That would probably be to start out slower in my halfs from my USAFit Albany coach. I never started out quite as slow as she suggested, but I did set PRs in 2 out of 3 halfs this year (we just won’t talk about ZOOMA Annapolis).

Runner up: not necessarily advice, per se, but deciding to give Galloway a second chance. Remember, 2 half PRs?

Most Inspirational Runner
This one is so easy for me this year: my FB friend Connie. Although we’ve never met in RL — it’s really too bad I’ve already run my RI half — she has been the greatest cheerleader.

That’s not what makes her inspirational, although I’m definitely glad to have her on my cheerleading squad!

No, what makes Connie inspirational is her drive, her humility, and her willingness to face down her fears.

She’s like me, an adult onset runner, although she’s a much better runner. She would tell you that isn’t so, but she goes out for her easy runs and runs a 10:30ish pace — sometimes slower, sometimes faster. I wish I could do that! Did I mention she’s about a decade older than me?

She was going to run one virtual 5k and be done with it. Then a 10k. Then a 10 miler. But no, she was never going to run a half. Not until 2015, that is!

And get this: she does this all by her lonesome. Races make her anxious so she just races herself, by herself. I think that’s so much harder. In fact, I was so proud of her for finishing, that I sent her my medal from my AMR No Limits winter challenge.

She earned that medal and the “no limits” just fit her right down to a T.

Redding Road Race
Redding Road Race

Favorite Picture from a Run or Race This Year
I actually have a lot of great photos from my running this year, but I think I’ll go with this one, from Redding Road Race.

Even though it was unseasonably warm by the finish, it wasn’t insanely windy like Green Mountain or the sweatbath ZOOMA Annapolis was. It was a PR. It was pretty.

It was just a great day to run!

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Race Experience You Would Repeat in a Heartbeat
Another tough question! There are quite a few races I do try to run year after year. For 2015, though, I think I’ll pick Firecracker 4.

Yes, it requires getting up super early because parking is so impossible. Many of my running group peeps do it, too, so usually I’m at least able to start with friends.

This year one of my neighbors was there, too, and we got to know each other better (I didn’t even know she was a runner!) and went to another race together later on in the year.

The weather was cool this year; much better than the heat and humidity the previous year.

It’s a tough course, but there’s lots of bands along the way and great spectator support — including spectators with hoses — we didn’t need that this year, but I remember how good it felt last year!

I do love starting a holiday off with a run (New Years 3.5, Turkey TrotJingle Bell 5k, upcoming Last Run).

If You Could Sum Up Your Year in a Couple of Words What Would They Be?
Progress, not perfection.

And because my husband and I are still hashing out my half schedule for next year: who’s doing Yuengling VA Beach? Or Wineglass? Because running is more fun with more running friends.

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I’m also linking up with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and My No Guilt Life for the Tuesdays on the Run linkup; because the more, the merrier, right?