Lawson Lake Trail 5k Race Recap 10/14/19

I know, I know — I just ran a 10k a couple of days before this “race”. I use the term race loosely. Trail runs/races just tend to be fun runs for me. That’s the attitude I went into this with. A gorgeous weekend, a lake, trails, friends. What could go wrong?

This fire felt great while we waited to start!

Packet Pickup
We all picked up our bibs the day of the race with no issues. It’s basically a club run, although there are bibs and timing chips — but no tee (no problem!) and no swag. Unless you’re one of the overall winners, then you get a free entry to the trail race of your choice in 2020.

I picked up Darlene @ Myfirst5kon my way there, and we got there early, which was a good thing because the one parking lot open was tiny.

We ran around this area twice at the start and once towards the end

There are two races (which start together): a 5k and a 5 miler. This was only the second year the event has been offered.

Ok, so light capris are not so flattering (but they were comfortable)

The weather & dressing
Another beautiful day to run with low wind and temps in the 50s. I wore my Skirt Sports Blue Deco Watch Me Go Top (Skirt Sports Ambassador) and a Skirt Sports Pocketopia Capris with the Toasty Girl Vest. The Blue Deco top is very lightweight, and I knew a lot of the run would be in the woods, and hence shady and cool. I did get warm, but I’m also glad I kept the vest on.

Am I on the right path? Have I missed a turn?

My Race Plan
Again no race plan — run where I can, walk where it was steep or rocky or lots of roots. I didn’t think about the carpeting of leaves, and that certainly came into play.

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 12:12. Slight downs & ups while we looped around the parking lot with views of the lake — twice. The road here was unpaved with a smattering of gravel, but it wasn’t a true trail for most of the first mile so I was able to keep a decent pace.
  2. Mile 2: 18:23. The fun began in mile two. About halfway through the race I found myself basically alone. Darlene and Running Buddy J were walking, and were behind me for a while here, but I’d lost almost all the rest of the runners. The leaves were deep, there were many roots and rocks, and I wasn’t sure if I was going the right way . . . often. There was a lot of walking. A lot of walking. I’ve never “run” a trail so slowly, LOL!
  3. Mile 3: 15:50. They had told us that we would go up a “small uphill” right before the downhill finish. Small my a$$. Okay, maybe to some runners it would be small — it was pretty darn steep in my opinion and just cruel at the end!
  4. Last .06: 12:40. It was, at least, downhill to the finish, and I’ve never met a downhill I didn’t love.

46:53 — Official Time
15:06 Average Pace
4 out of 5 in F55-59
40 out of 47 Runners

They were gonna walk (well, they mostly did). The final downhill to the finish.

I get a giggle that the runners who finished before and after me are from the same town as me — and both are 20 years younger than me. My first trail 5k, which was in the summer, was about 4 minutes faster, and one I ran earlier this year was a whopping 10 minutes faster. Both of them were in the summer, so no carpet of leaves to contend with.

Why do race directors always put a hill right before the end?

Was the race well run?
The race was well marked, although there were long stretches without flags that seriously had me wondering if I’d taken a wrong turn. I told everyone I really counted it as a victory that I didn’t get lost. There were a few course marshals here and there, too, but I appreciate that that is very difficult on trail races.

We thought there were pies in here . . .

I personally didn’t need the medal at the end, although it’s a nice touch, as was the cider donuts. We’d all seen the boxes, but thought they were pies for AG awards (there were no AG awards, not that that mattered for me) — indeed they were cider donuts and plenty of them, although they were really cold so not terribly enticing to me. That half in the box is from me.

What I really wanted? Water! Again, I understand that everything had to be hauled up there. There was an empty gallon jug of water by the food. Had there been water somewhere else? I’d left the water bottle I brought with me in the car.

There were burgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers (two, which Running Buddy J and I snagged), and chips for post race food. Not terribly exciting. This was not a potluck — too bad, I think a potluck would have been much more fun!


  1. Another pretty park.
  2. Chip timing.
  3. Free lunch post race.
  4. Running with friends.
  5. A medal — I don’t need it for a simple 5k, but I’m sure others enjoyed it.
  6. Perfect running weather.

Of course no race is perfect. The downsides:

  1. A challenging course, especially with the deep carpet of leaves.
  2. More flags on the course, please!
  3. More water post race, too, please!
  4. Small parking lot.

What I learned
I’m really not sure I’d do this race again. Maybe I was just in a mood? My friends enjoyed it. It wasn’t expensive. Perhaps if I hadn’t been as anxious about getting lost I would have enjoyed it more. Or if I’d been running with a friend. I spent almost the entire second half of the race pretty much alone — worried that I’d missed a turn somewhere, and would never be found as there was no cell phone service out there. Although maybe Darlene wold have wondered where her ride was.

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

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


Happy 34 to Us: 10/14-20 WRD

I don’t post a lot to my personal FB page — although I’m always saying I should do it more because I do love looking at those memories — but this weekend the weather Gods aligned to give us the perfect day on our anniversary (our actual wedding day, not so much). We made the most of it. It also had me running long solo the day before on a windy, cooler day — and how did that work out for me?


Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner and sharing how I’m ramping up the running for a 15k I may or may not run in November.


And linking up with Jenn @ Runswithpugs, Brandi @ Funnerrunner, Anna Louise @ Graciouswarriorprincess, Briana @ Matsmilesmedals, Meghan @ Meghanonthemove, and Elizabeth @ Trainwithbainfor RIOTS(running is our therapy)

Workouts update

  • Monday: Yin Yoga Pre Workout (60 min), Lawson Lake Trail 5k
  • Tuesday: Yoga  (30 min), 3 miles easy
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, Barre (30 min), Yoga (15 min)
  • Thursday: Arms (5 min), Booty (20 min), Dogwalk
  • Friday: Yin Yoga (60 min), 10 hilly miles
  • Saturday: Dogwalk, lots of walking around Prospect Mt. in Lake George
  • Sunday: Studio Yoga (60 min), Dogwalk

Mileage: 16 (+1)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Updates

All the leaves

Went with some running friends to the Lawson Lake Trail Festival. This one was for fun, not for time (let’s just say that was a good thing, see my recap on Tuesday). A pretty park but some major hills so there was a lot of walking. Thankful for even more perfect running weather!

All the Halloween decorations

Late afternoon recovery run. Yes, we’re still having great weather. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a “run” of weather this nice. The legs felt heavy but the pace was decent at a decent heart rate.

The weather sounded like this run would be tough, but it wasn’t that bad

I don’t know why, but the pace was much slower due to my HR today from the get-go. I can understand the heart rate going up as the run goes on, as you fatigue. Tuesday’s run was so strong.

I tackled a hilly route again, as the 15k, if I do it, is hilly. My first double digit run in 8 months. It’s not the first time I’ve gone that long between halfs, but there’s no half in the near future, so after the 15k I’ll drop my long runs back down.

It was quite windy, and I thought it would feel really cold, but I was probably overdressed. With the sun going in & out ultimately I was happy with what I wore. Didn’t need the neck gaiter, though, and glad I didn’t put on light gloves because I didn’t need them, either.

I was pleased that I got up most of the first, long big hill on this route without my heart rate spiking until the top. I also noted how quickly my heart rate would come down on any decline, no matter how small — my body really does love a downhill!

Anniversary Shenanigans

Favorites of the week
Glad the weatherpeople finally got a forecast right, because our anniversary Saturday was picture perfect. Literally! A little chilly, though; I am wearing three layers of tops and needed every single one!

I’d decided this summer if the weather was nice on our anniversary, we’d go to Prospect Mountain — we’d tried in the summer, but although many reviews said it was dog friendly, there’s a sign for the scenic drive saying no pets allowed.

Turns out they’re not allowed on the shuttle to the summit or near the picnic areas at the summit, but otherwise it’s okay. Good to know, although we left the pups at home. You can also hike up to the Summit from the village, but that’s a bit beyond what Mr. Judy wanted to do.

We also enjoyed a lot of eating out this weekend. We even found a pizza place we both like — the last one we tried that we both liked closed shortly after we tried it. We like very different things in pizza places, so finding one we both like is a big deal.

Lastly I could use some good vibes for Tuesday. The studio yoga class I went to today had a substitute teacher — the owner of the studio. I chatted with her afterward and now I’m doing a demo for her on Tuesday! I can use all the “do a great (or at least good) job” vibes I can get!

Do you & your SO have trouble choosing restaurants, or do you enjoy the same things? 

What would your ideal anniversary/birthday look like?

Would you walk or run through those leave covered trails? 

Great Pumpkin 10k Race Recap 10/12/19


Our group was slightly smaller than in past years, with Darlene @ Myfirst5kresting up for her 20 miler the next day (7 + a Half), and another running friend not able to make it. About evenly split between 5kers and 10kers.

Packet Pickup
We all picked up our packets the day of the race this year, with no issues. They changed the tee design (which we all like) just slightly, and we all still liked it. Warned that they are a men’s style, I got a small — it was still rather large on me but better large than small I say.

We got there early enough to park by the pavilion that the race is held at, so we were able to go back and forth to the car frequently. The real bathrooms are always a plus and oddly never super crowded.

Cool It Long Sleeve under the fleece (which I took off for the race); as you can see it was a bit cool before we started but warmed up quickly!

The weather & dressing
It was pretty much perfection this year, in the low to mid 50s, with almost no wind at all.

I wore my Skirt Sports Cool It Top (Skirt Sports Ambassador) and a Skirt Sports Pocketopia Capris. It was cold when we left, but I knew it would be warming up. I have to say I wish I’d worn a skirt instead of the capris, but I actually like not having to reach underneath my skirt to get at my water bottles, too.

The Cool It Long Sleeve actually works great in the Fall transitional weather — keeping you mostly covered can keep you warm before you start, but also still help you stay somewhat cool as you warm up during the race. Go figure.

Even the course marshals get into the holiday spirit. They warned us not to lose our heads.

My Race Plan
Nope, no race plan. No expectations, either. Running has been squeezed in when I can lately, and speed work has been pretty much non existent. I have run a few times at my mom’s, though, which is super hilly — as is the second portion of this 10k.

I was hoping to keep it under an 11 mm every mile, but I knew that between the stress the past six weeks and a few really restless nights recently that was a tall order and I also knew I’d be okay with whatever the race handed me — well, within reason, of course. I wouldn’t be happy with an injury!

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 10:19. A fast start (quite a bit faster than last year) but nothing that would come back to haunt me.
  2. Mile 2: 10:48. Relatively flat. So just switch mile one and two and I’m right on track. <== that’s what I wrote last year. Still true. Faster than last year.
  3. Mile 3: 10:19. A slow decline and again faster than last year.
  4. Mile 4: 10:50. A long decline and a long incline. Slower than last year but not by a lot. I learned from Firecracker 4 this summer that with steep hills like these I’m better off doing run/walk, so I did. Just by feel.
  5. Mile 5: 11:09. Mostly a long hill. A bit faster than last year. Darn, that 11 at the front! Like last year, I got to see Running Buddy J here & shouted some encouragement. Definitely a tough mile. I also passed another running friend here who is generally faster than me so I was pleased.
  6. Mile 6: 10:56. Mostly downhill. A bit slower than last year.
  7. Last .16: 10:51. And a sprint to the slightly uphill finish with my friends cheering me in. Again just a bit slower than last year. Usually I can sprint in the last little bit but that darn small uphill before the finish gets me every time.

1:06:06 — Official Time
10:39 Average Pace
9 out of 19 in F55-59
233 out of 299 Runners

Previous Years:
2018: 1:07:14 — Official Time, 10:50 Average Pace
2017: 1:08:39 — Official Time, 11:03 Average Pace

Yes, like last year, it was both a 10k PR and a course PR. I mostly met my goal; that one mile was just barely over an 11 mm so I say that’s splitting hairs. Extremely pleased with such a strong race on so little training (and sleep). I’ve lowered my 10k time since my first, eight years ago, but about 5ish minutes.

Seriously, though, where were those 10:19s in my recent 5k? Oh yeah, that one wasn’t mostly downhill, as the first half of this 10k is.

I really do think those few hilly runs at my mom’s were good training. Or maybe the HR training has also been helping? My easy runs are a lot slower than they have been, but for this race, I completely ignored my HR and turned off HR alerts, too.

Running Buddy J was pleased with her stemless wineglass for her AG 3rd place

Was the race well run?
The race is extremely well marked and there are plenty of course marshals. There are a lot of refreshments after, but there’s a long line (even though the 5k was long finished!). Although mostly the baked goods are just okay. Some year I’ll remember to photograph the spread. Running buddy J placed in her AG. I was very pleased with my PR.

People get into the holiday spirit with costumes (there’s also a kid’s race), and there’s a fire at the pavilion — in addition to those real bathrooms


  1. Such a pretty park to run through, especially in the Fall.
  2. Real bathrooms.
  3. A well marked and well directed course.
  4. Nice long sleeved tech shirt.
  5. The entry includes a free raffle ticket — unfortunately I didn’t win anything (again!).
  6. Running with friends.
  7. A PR is always sweet.
  8. Perfect running weather.

Of course no race is perfect. The downsides:

  1. Challenging hills.
  2. The paths, for the most part, are quite narrow, although this time I never really got too frustrated and felt I found my own space for much of the race.

What I learned
Using intervals on steep hills will probably always be the way to go for me. I didn’t use intervals on those hills at my moms for my last run there, but I also ran significantly slower. More than 2 minutes per mile slower.

Those little walk breaks are to help prevent fatigue from setting in, and they work. I won’t say you won’t get tired, you still do. But the break will help you have enough energy to power up the hill when you are back to running.

If none of my friends end up doing the November 15k, it will be a hard decision. Do I really want to do it by myself? Assuming that I am here, that is always up in the air the last 6 weeks. Maybe. Just to see what I can do. Fall really is my favorite time of year to race!

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

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


1 runner, 1 deer, 1 turkey: 10/7-13 WRD

Saw a deer on the way to my moms, which is not at all unusual in around here. I saw a huge turkey running across the road on the way to my Dad. Then I actually saw a runner running while I was at my moms — which was a first.


Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner and just sharing juggling activity with apparently animal sightings.


And linking up with Jenn @ Runswithpugs, Brandi @ Funnerrunner, Anna Louise @ Graciouswarriorprincess, Briana @ Matsmilesmedals, Meghan @ Meghanonthemove, and Elizabeth @ Trainwithbainfor RIOTS(running is our therapy)

Workouts update

  • Monday: Rainy Rest Day — barely any movement!
  • Tuesday: Yin Yoga  (60 min), 4 miles easy
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, Barre (30 min), Yoga (15 min)
  • Thursday: 4 miles with 8 x 30ish strides, Yin Hips (60 min)
  • Friday: Yoga (30 min), Dogwalk x 2
  • Saturday: Yin Yoga Pre Workout Stretch (30 min), Great Pumpkin Challenge 10k + .9 mile warmuup
  • Sunday: Yoga (45 min), Barre (30 min)

Mileage: 15 (+1)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Updates

This week the weather was just spectacular for the most part

Last week’s runs weren’t bad at all, but they were slooooow. I had planned to do a barre workout on Monday, but I barely got in 5000 steps — no dogwalk due to rain all day, and I was feeling really meh. Like coming-down-with-something meh.

Apparently the rest helped and I felt better today. I certainly wouldn’t call this run speedy, but it was faster while keeping the HR in line. Bonus points for actually getting the running clothes right.

Killer hills at my mom prepared me for my 10k

Graced with almost perfect running weather at my moms (a fierce wind at times), I tackled the hills and added in some downhill strides at the end. Although I ran by feel and ignored my HR, I was pleased that it actually stayed great for the majority of the slow, again, run — until the strides, of course.

Tackling more hills with friends

A group of running friends and perfect running weather, after 2 years of less than optimal weather for this hilly 10k; what more could a runner ask for? I even did my warm up mile. I’ll recap it on Tuesday. This race is always a “good time”.

Yup, that’s the lovely Cari on bottom left (and first male on the bottom right)

Favorites of the week
Went with a bunch of friends to spectate our big local race this morning. Caught Cari @ TravelingwithCari coming in for the finish (sadly this was all that I saw of her this weekend), and many other local friends.

Yes, also caught Darlene @ Myfirst5k coming in to the finish. With 7 miles before the start of the half she’d covered 20.1 miles. In brand new shoes.

What was the last race you spectated? 

What’s your favorite thing to say to encourage racers? 

Would you wear brand new shoes on race day?

The Crossings 5k Race Recap 9/29/19


This was a new-to-me 5k, but this is the park I run at a lot, and train at with the Freihofers Challenge in the Spring. I used to walk the dogs there, too, but as my life has gotten busier, sadly, I rarely take them there.

I had told my friend who did my practicum with me that I might do it, depending on how I felt (and the weather). The weather was forecast to be great, and I felt ok enough to get in that longish run on Friday, so it was on.

Getting There & Hanging Out
My friend drove, which was great, as I was heading out to my mom’s later in the day. We were there early, as I needed to register. We walked the business and collected lots of swag — quite a bit of it even useful.

We were able to use the real bathrooms in the nearby gym, and there was barely a line. The bonus was we also got someone to take our photo — it was really cold outside with the wind, but nice inside the gym.

I left my friend to go out and do a warmup, but we met again a we waited for the start at the start line, where I was oddly quite near the front.

The weather & dressing
It was a really beautiful day with almost ideal weather, although it was quite windy.

I chose Skirt Sports Supergirl Tank and Lioness Skirt. This was the first time I’d worn Lioness in a road race (I’ve worn it for a trail race), and it performed beautifully.

My Race Plan
I’ve got to say I was kind of secretly hoping for a PR, as that time trial earlier in the week went well. On the other hand, I was also kind of tired and beat up from several weeks of going back and forth between my mom, my dad’s rehab, and home.

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 10:31. The mile started out fast, according to my Garmin, so I kept trying to (successfully) slow down. I had wanted to run this mile just a smidge faster. I also basically watched every runner pass me. Slight exaggeration.
  2. Mile 2: 10:36. Sure, there was some slight inclines and declines this mile, but really no reason for slowing down. Despite the race being run on a very narrow path, for the most part I always felt that I had my own running space.
  3. Mile 3: 10:29. My original plan was to try to run 1.5 miles before a took a walk break. Yeah, no, that didn’t happen, I took a walk break to drink water each mile. I did however put some strides into this mile. Overall, though, obviously my pace was just consistent the whole race. Which wasn’t quite what I was going for.
  4. Mile 4: 8:45. At least I managed a sprint to the end. The woman in front of me was encouraging me to pick up the pace, but seriouly, I had given my all for this day.

32:18 — Official Time
10:24 Average Pace
159 out of 293
3 out of 6 F55-59

Not only did I place third in my AG, there were more than three runners in my AG. And yes, I got an actual medal! Sweet. That isn’t the first time I’ve placed in my age group, but it’s very, very rare and I have never, ever received anything for it until today.

Was the race well run?
Registration was easy, and even though I registered the day of the race, I still got a long sleeve tech shirt which was quite nice — and came in handy before the race to keep warm.

The race itself offered no swag other than the race tee, but there were a lot of businesses actually offering useful swag:

  • Bag clips (I always need these!)
  • Sunglasses
  • One of those race-type backpacks
  • A cooling tool
  • And more

My friend was very far BOTP, and there were still plenty of refreshments left for her. I was afraid parking might be difficult, but we got there early and it was easy. The course was extremely well marked and there was always plenty of course marshals to direct you (and cheer you on).

My only complaint is that they took off all the race information from the Website after online registration closed — so I had no idea when the race day registration would start.

Final Thoughts
This was a very nice, smaller, low key 5k at the park that is close to my house. Apparently the speedy older people don’t come out for it (or didn’t this day, there were also a lot of races to choose from this weekend). It’s a mostly flat course.

I would definitely recommend it and if the circumstances are right, I would run it again.


Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

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


Watch out for the acorns!: 9/23 -29 WRD

If you’re coming up to run Mohawk Hudson/Hannoford Marathon/Half next month, just watch out for those acorns! In 10+ years of running I’ve never been hit by one, until this week. Damn, those things hurt! Did it just naturally fall or did some angry squirrel throw it at me?


Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner and just sharing juggling activity — still — in a stressful, busy week.


And linking up with Jenn @ Runswithpugs, Brandi @ Funnerrunner, Anna Louise @ Graciouswarriorprincess, Briana @ Matsmilesmedals, Meghan @ Meghanonthemove, and Elizabeth @ Trainwithbainfor RIOTS(running is our therapy)

Workouts update

  • Monday: Dogwalk, 3 miles easy, Bodyweight exercises (10 min)
  • Tuesday: 4ish mile time trial, Yin + Vin Yoga Practice for teaching (60 min)
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, Taught yoga 60ish minutes, Soul Stroll
  • Thursday: Dogwalk, Warrior III Flow (30 min)
  • Friday: Yin Yoga (40 min), 6 mile LSD
  • Saturday: Yoga for Balance (20 min), Hips & Booty (15 min), Long walk
  • Sunday: Crossings 5k Challenge + .9 mile warmup

Mileage: 17ish (+3)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Updates

Been watching this vine grow & flower all summer. It’s like in the middle of this person’s lawn. And then boom! A pumpkin? Or some weird squash?

I was going to run in the morning then do grocery shopping. Nope, too humid I’ll run on the treadmilll later. Then I walked the dogs and with the cloud cover it was not bad.

Got home, ate a small snack (since I’m not a fan of the fasted run), and chose a rolling hills route because I’m thinking about a 5k this weekend (all depends on how I feel). It won’t be nearly as hilly, in fact overall somewhat flat, but there’s a little bit of hills.

Because my route was hilly, I did let my HR climb more than I normally do for an easy run, but I just wasn’t feeling the walk breaks (except to drink water each mile) today. The sun started to come out just as I finished. That was my miracle this morning (which refers to last week’s WRD,which you can read hereif you missed it).

You will probably see some wildflowers along the Mohawk Hudson Route

I did a sort-of time trial today to try to figure out my HR zones. WU .5 mile, run comfortably hard for 30 min (one walk break roughly halfway through to drink water), and .75 mile cool down. It was nice to know I could still actually run fast, for me.

Now I just have to figure out how to configure those HR zones from the data!

And you will probably encounter some leaves & acorns (hopefully not the falling ones)

Another beautiful Fall morning to run, another day getting out pretty late, but a decent (if slow) longish run. Cause I don’t really consider 6 miles long, even if the longest I’ve run in basically 8 months is 8 miles. 

The good news is the 5k on Sunday starts earlier, but the bad news is that park has basically no shade. On the other hand, the weather looks to be good (which is part of why I decided to do it).

Um, yeah, the wind was crazy today and this was before the race! my braid completely fell apart. And yes, the twinning was completely unintentional, too.

My friend and I had a good time at the Crossing 5k Challenge this morning, with a recap to come on Tuesday.

Not the Mohawk Hudson path, but pretty 

Favorites of the week
Unfortunately a few of my running friends are on the injured list. The good news for me, since I wasn’t running but walking, was that I had someone to walk with for a nice long walk on Saturday.

Spicy Crab Japanese Crepe

We had our second visit to the local Japanese crepe restaurant. I chose the spicy crab crepe this time and the blueberry cheesecake dessert crepe; I know, no chocolate, shocking!

The interesting surprise here was that while we were eating, the owner of our favorite sushi restaurant walked in. She owns this restaurant, too. And a few others. She’s a busy lady!

Last but of course not least, I taught my first private yoga lesson this week. She seemed to like it and wants to do more, although she’s busy so synching up our schedules isn’t easy. She’s also running Chicago, btw. We hadn’t discussed price, and I didn’t charge her, although she made the offer to pay me when we were done.

She should be a good resource, as she’s a chiropractor and also helps volunteer coach other runners. I’m trying to decide whether or not to offer her the friends & family price. Probably.

Oh, and really not least, but last: Happy New Year! Yes, it’s the Jewish New Year tonight. I think I’m overdue for a better year. Although there were certainly ups and downs this year. I am headed back down to my mom’s again tonight so she won’t be alone, and I will take her to my Dad again tomorrow.

Do you sign up early for races to save money, or wait til the last minute to make sure you want to actually do it? 

Have you ever had your own business? I was a graphic designer for a long time.

How did you handle pricing for people you knew? Would you give the chiropractor a discounted rate?

Thatcher Park Trail Festival 10k Race Recap 8/25/19

My first trail race was a half marathon. Yes, chocolate was involved. Of course. My next trail race? A 5k. Kind of on a whim, the day after a long run, mostly because it was a beautiful day.

The next year I was getting close to my 18 mile road race, and I didn’t want to do a trail race so close to that race; there also was no longer a 5k option.

This year there are no big goal races on the horizon. Yet. The weather was beautiful again. Another friend would also be there. I signed up. I’ve been running trails here and there all summer with friends, but not really a lot — rarely more than once a week, and not every week.

Skirt Meetup

Getting There & Hanging Out
It’s a bit over 30 minutes to get to Thatcher Park so I arrived at 7:30, an hour before the race. I parked, grabbed my bag, thanked the weather Gods for the beautiful weather, and started walking over to packet pick up, just a short distance away. I chatted with a couple of runners doing the 50k (30 mile) option.

I quickly ran into someone I knew by the bathrooms, but she had just finished with them and I needed to use them. We chatted a bit before parting ways. I picked up my packet, which included my parking ticket (it’s $6 to park), and then had to walk back to the car to put the parking ticket in the car.

I left my bag in the pavilion, which is one of the things I love about this race, that you don’t have to continually go back and forth to your car if you have stuff you need with you before the race, although there is no official bag drop because it’s a pretty low key race, as trail races tend to be.

I ran into another friend, a fellow Skirt Sports Ambassador, but I was waiting on a third friend (another Skirt Sports Ambassador). We were just about to take our selfie when she finally appeared so we were able to get the three of us together.

I’d downloaded a mediation and something to listen to as I walked around before the race, knowing I’d be there early as usual, but I actually never had time.

I was glad to have company during the long stretches we didn’t see anyone . . . or a flag

The weather & dressing
There was a lot of hot, humid weather lately, but the morning started out a cool mid 50F temp, so I really waffled on what to wear. The park is also a higher elevation, so it’s always cool there.

I chose Skirt Sports Supergirl Tank and Lioness Skirt. I really debated about wearing the long sleeve Cool It Top, since that’s what I’ve been running trails in all summer. I needed the extra pockets in my Supergirl Tank for my water bottles, though.

I had never worn the Lioness Skirt for a race, or anything much over 4 miles. I’d never worn that particular Lioness Skirt, either. Turned out it was the perfect outfit for me, for this day, for this race.

Plenty of roots

My Race Plan
2 simple goals:

  • Finish
  • Don’t fall

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 12:15. Significantly faster than the first mile of the 5k two years ago, and basically the same route.
  2. Mile 2: 18:44. Significantly slower than the second mile of the 5k two years ago. My bad for not looking at the elevation chart. I thought it would be somewhat flat like the 5k. It was not. The largest hill in the 5k was 66 ft. This mile had a hill that was 154 ft — which I know doesn’t sound like much, but throw in lots of rocks, roots, and mud, and it was tough! I ran with one of my Skirt Sports Ambassdor friends here for a while, but eventually she took off. I decided right here to make it a fun run and I stopped to take a lot of photos.
  3. Mile 3: 16:07. I believe this is where my friend caught up with me; she’d started slightly behind me, but she was racing. Although she agreed to stop and take a photo at Hang Glide Cliff here. This was an out and back to Hang Glide Cliff, and it seemed to go on forever.
  4. Mile 4: 14:05. This was a relatively flat mile (only a 66 ft hill, LOL!), with some wider paths, but still plenty of mud, rocks, and roots. It wasn’t really a super muddy race, but there were plenty of mud pits to go around — or through, I’m guessing, if you’re really into trails. We mostly went around.
  5. Mile 5: 14:42. This mile had a fairly good net drop, and yet we slowed down. Not sure why. Probably because we were getting tired! We traded on and off being in front. There was also some very narrow single track here.
  6. Mile 6: 12:03. Headed back to the finish, mostly just grass, so I was able to pick up some speed. It might have been faster if I hadn’t kept going in the wrong direction towards the very end (luckily my friend kept correcting me).
  7. Last .33: 10:53. Sort of sprinting to the end.
Mostly dry trails, except for the multiple mud pits

1:31:37 — Official Time
14:45 Average Pace
76 out of 82

Yes, it tasted as good as it looked!

Was the race well run?
If you’re into trail running, this is an awesome little festival. There are four distances:

  • 10k
  • Half Marathon
  • Marathon
  • 50k
The lovely Hang Glide Cliff. Yes, Hang Gliders take off from here though I haven’t seen it!

The first time I ran the 5k I also volunteered after — there’s a really nice spread at the aid stations. They ask you when you register what your projected finish time is. This was my first trail 10k (although not my first trail race), so I took a guess and was almost right — considering I wasn’t expecting so many hills, I guess I guessed well.

I don’t know why they want to know your estimated finish time. Since there are people running anywhere from 10k to 50k, the 10k runners can take their time if they want to. One woman did, indeed, walk it — slowly, but she is older than me and coming back from battling Lyme disease. My hat’s off to her! She always volunteers at races, too.

All the races start together. The first half marathoner finished just shortly after my friend and I finished the 10k . . . The trails are extremely well marked — there are some long distances where you won’t see any flags, but seriously, I didn’t go wrong until the very end (apparently I did something similar at the 5k, too).

You used to get socks; this year we got a picnic blanket that folds up into its own little case. Personally I prefer the socks, because they’re useful (although not really as running socks, but I often wear them in the fall when walking the dogs).

There’s a really nice spread afterwards, too. I stayed this year, since I had some friends to hang out with. All sorts of different sandwiches (including vegetarian and vegan options). Chips, fruit, bread, peanut butter (some of that also available for pre-race fueling). This year there was a cake from Bountiful Bread, one of the sponsors, and it was worth every calorific bite — even if I only ran 10k!

I debated about those sunglasses. I didn’t need them much, but was glad I had them in the end.

Final Thoughts
I wouldn’t run this race in bad weather, but I’ve been blessed with great weather the two times I have run it. I wasn’t that inspired by the 5k course, but I have to say that even though the 10k was much tougher, it was also much more scenic. It’s a pretty park and there were runners who came from my home town, over an hour away — it’s worth it, I promise you!

There are more trail races here around Halloween — I’ve always wanted to do one of them, but the weather is almost always bad. I’m a fair weather trail runner (except for my trail half, which was in WA state and drizzling and cool for most of the race). Maybe 2019 will be the year for the Squirrely Six!


Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

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


Reasons to train . . .


. . . even if you don’t race

You don’t have to race to run, and I have plenty of friends who just love to run. Period.

What if you do enjoy a race, now and again, or more frequently? What happens when you have some racing downtime, for whatever reason — should you simply run for fun, or maybe train — just a little? All the cross training? Strength train?

I do think that getting back to strength training and cross training when you have more time does a body good. What about running?

Fairytales and Fitness

Training does a body good
Our bodies quickly adapt to any exercise we throw at it. That’s why it’s a good idea to switch up what sort of exercise you do and why it’s a good idea to change the weights you lift, too.

If you run the same 3 mile loop at the same pace every day, yup, your body is going to adapt to that. There’s nothing wrong with that, if that’s your jam, but you won’t be increasing your cardiovascular fitness and worse — at some point you’ll probably find yourself really bored and you might stop running altogether.

Hills keep your body strong

Variety is the spice of life
Some people love eating the same thing day after day after day. Not only would that bore me, but that boredom could lead me to actually overeat the wrong things.

Running the same distance, at the same pace, in the same place . . . to me, that’s boring. I don’t have to push myself hard if there’s no race in the future, but mixing things up with a little speed work here, a few hills there just keeps things interesting . . . and keeps my body guessing and adapting.

Keep your body injury free
Running can be an addiction and like any other addiction, if you’re clean for a while and relapse, you forget that you no longer have a tolerance to your drug of choice (in this case running).

That’s when you go out, run at a pace or distance you used to train at, and wham! You’re on the bench due to injury. Keeping a little training in your life will help keep you in shape and remind you of where you are now.

Keep running so you’re ready to go

Ready to go
You can be ready to start training earlier by simply keeping in a little light training in your off season/downtime. There’s no reason to run every day, or do speedwork twice a week, but a little something — strides, 400m repeats, “easy”/short hill repeats, a fartlek — once a week will keep your body guessing and adapting, which will make it easier to slide back into heavier training when the time is right.

Don’t get hung up on it, though
Having a busy week? Feeling “run” down? Run less days than normal. Make them all easy runs. Maybe even just do cross training instead. Not running for a week or two won’t kill you, and might even do your body a world of good.

An off season/down time is a great time to remind yourself why you feel in love with running in the first place. There’s no reason to push too hard, no reason to run all the miles, and every reason to listen to your body and change up what you have planned based on how you’re feeling.

Always remember: running is something we get to do, not something we have to do. It’s easy to lose sight of that when there’s a race involved — most of us need some amount of training in order to race without injuring ourselves.

Running is patient. Much more patient than runners are. It will wait for us. Occasionally you’ll need to break up with running just a little, or ease up on your mileage and effort to allow your body time to recover. When you’re recovered, if you don’t have any real goals for your running, it’s still a good idea to take it up a notch every once in a while to keep your body guessing, keep you mentally engaged, and make sure you’re prepared and ready for the demands of running harder when you resume your training. — Chocolaterunsjudy

Do you enjoy having some downtime from racing?

Do you still mix things up when you’re not racing?

Or do you just love to run but not so much to race?

Firecracker 4 Race Recap 7/4/19


Firecracker 4 is a part shady, part really sunny, somewhat hilly four miles on the fourth of July. It’s almost always really hot, with a late start of 9 am, and this year was no exception.

Our group was small but mighty

Getting There & Hanging Out
Our group was much smaller this year. I think I a few of us are so over this hot race, but some of us diehards decided to brave it (or were talked into it by their friends). I talked my Running Buddy D, who I don’t see as much these days, into an early start (she was driving). We were rewarded with a good parking space, making it easy to go back & forth several times.

Team & AG Awards

Thankfully the city center, where packet pickup is, is air conditioned. And real bathrooms. We got our bibs & tshirts (although somehow I didn’t get a goodie bag; there was nothing exciting in it anyway so no big deal).

New sculpture on the streets of Saratoga (new to me, anyway)

Running Buddy D was very disappointed that they wouldn’t allow you to exchange tshirts until 8:40, as hers was just too tight. She managed to sweet talk a volunteer into doing it for her earlier. She wanted to wear it in the race, but I reminded her nothing new on race day.

Raising the flag and a nice band entertained us as we waited

We met up with the other two from our group, hung out a bit, then we headed back to the car to pick up our water and my cooling towel, all of which I had on ice (literally). We met back up with our friends in the corrals. We had used the real bathroom a couple of times already.

Worked as well as anything would on a hot day!

The weather & dressing
Skirt Sports for the win. I went with the Racecation Tank  and Cool It Skirt; Newton Distance on the feet.

Runners always deck themselves out patriotically

My Race Plan
I had actually ended up reading the race recap from last year (which I usually try to avoid), so I formed a plan — I wanted to hang at about a 10:45 pace, but I knew the heat was gonna be a big factor. Overall I wanted to get an average pace under 11 mm.

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 10:33. Despite being a little frustrated by being bottled in the first part of this mile, this was significantly faster than last year. Would I regret it later?
  2. Mile 2: 10:37. This mile was really slow last year. No idea why. Again, much faster this year (and for the most part much more space to run)..
  3. Mile 3: 10:43. slowing down a bit, no doubt because of the speedy first 2 miles. There’s a few rolling hills in this mile, but there’s also a fair amount of shade. Still faster than last year and very consistent.
  4. Mile 4: 11:55. This last mile is always tough. There’s no shade. It’s mostly uphill. Last year I slowed down this mile, but was still very strong. I was also just a few weeks out from a downhill half, so lots of training on these legs. This year? I was almost a full minute slower than last year. Let’s just say while the thermometer wasn’t quite as hot as last year, it was close, and I think a lot more humid. I walked a lot. And I’m okay with that.

43:55 — Official Time
10:59 Average Pace
50 out of 101 in 55-59 division
1824 our of 2628

Previous years:
2018: 44:02
2017: 44:17
2016: 47:10
2015: 44:11
2014: 47:48

I just squeaked through with a 7 second course PR and met my goal of a average pace below 11 mm (again, just!). I know that I could have done much better if I hadn’t walked so much the last mile, but I met my goals and I didn’t faint, so I’m good with that.

Waiting for the kid race to start

Was the race well run?
This race is so much fun — if you’re ever in Saratoga, NY on the fourth you should check it out. There’s a ton of spectator support and the locals are out in force with hoses — much appreciated — even on a hot fourth like this one!

The AG awards are cool (not that I’m ever going to see one), the space with AC to hang out in and real bathrooms is a blessing. There’s water available both before and after the race, and some fruit and granola bars afterward. A couple of local food vendors had samples afterwards, too. New this year was food available for purchase post race, as well as a free beer, but Running Buddy D & I skipped that.

The late start is a pain, as is parking. Unless you know Saratoga well, the parking situation can be nerve wracking.

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

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


It’s all about that base: Runfessions May 2019


I’m joining Marcia @ Marcia’s Healthy Slice and sort of bearing my soul at the Runfessional. Don’t know what I’m talking about? We get together and share all those little things that only runners understand (or care about).

Could Mother Nature get the memo it’s Spring already?

I runfess . . .
The weather in May, for the most part, was a real buzzkill. Rain, rain, go away! Then of course, as usual, it decides to bring in Spring/Summer right before the Freihofers Run for Women (but just here & there). This year doesn’t look too bad; typically it’s a hot race. A couple of days ago they put back in the chance of rain. I’d prefer it to be dry, but I already had yet more practice running in the rain this week.

I runfess . . .
This was my second month of simply rebuilding my base after illness. I’m generally healthy, though, and I bounced back fairly quickly from a nasty stomach bug. Life is good.

I runfess . . .
I thought I would be racing at some point in May. Between mentoring for Freihofers, illness, and the almost incessant rain, it just didn’t happen. This 5k will only be my second race of 2019 — or what I consider a “real” race (our supported runs/races in the Winter don’t count in my mind).

No big deal, as I tell people all the time, running will always be there when you’re ready for it.

I runfess . . .
Speaking of running always being there, sometimes I wonder why I am still so committed to running even though I have no grand plans at present. Oh yeah, because I want it to be there when I’m ready and I’d rather not rebuild from the beginning. And because I still have roughly 30 states to run half marathons in!

Still getting out there and seeing what’s growing on the run

I runfess . . .
For now I am content with my shorter runs. Especially during summer (whenever that arrives), it’s nice to take a little break.

What season is your favorite to train hard?

Racing a lot or barely racing?

Why do you run if you don’t race?

What do you have to runfess from May? Come join us


I am also linking up with: