18 in 2018


2018 was just not a normal year. Normally I start the year with a short race on New Year’s Day — I’ve been doing this race for seven years! Depending what time you’re reading this, I’m either hanging out before the race, racing, or have just finished racing. The race was canceled in 2018 due to extreme cold. It had definitely been cold before, so just imagine how cold it must have been!

I usually wrap up the year in November with lots of racing too — guess what? Most of the races I wanted to do were canceled due to weather — again!

My title graphic is totally appropriate: the weather was just not normal. Very cold in January, then lots of snow — but it would warm up and all melt, then dump more, and warm up . . . and so on. Pretty much no Spring and right into an early, unusually hot, unusually humid summer. We mostly skipped Fall, too, and heading right into winter with unseasonably cold weather. And it rained . . . so much.

All smiles early on (and after)

18 in 2018
Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? I thought so. So I signed up for the 1812 Challenge (read about it here) and trained for and ran my longest race ever. Despite the chilly start and end of 2018, the summer turned out to be one of the hottest and most humid on record. Of course.

A big shout out to Coach Rachel @ Runningonhappy for coaching me through 18 miles!

Looking for a pitstop!

But first let’s run down a mountain
I had a goal race to tackle before running 18 miles, though — literally running down a mountain in ID (read about it here). That was my only half PR of the year, but it was hard fought, and let’s just say the race itself was a total cluster — not the least of which was no medals, my first pitstop most likely due to some mild food poisoning, and a race company that folded up not long after the race.

ID gave us some lovely hiking

Despite the food poisoning and not really being able to eat much at all after the race, except, ahem, a baked potato – in ID, naturally — we had a great vacation and I really enjoyed running all over ID and a bit of hiking, too.

Loved my time by the ocean in Ocean City, NJ

And then the ocean
The Ocean City NJ Half had been on my radar a long time. I wanted to get through 1812 before pulling the gun on it, though. That’s 3 long distance races in 3 months’ time, after all. I felt good, though, so away we went.¬†

. . . but the race was a huge struggle

Let’s just say I don’t seem to have good luck with ocean races (the exception being Panama City Beach 2 years ago). It was a warm day with lots of sun and not my worst or best performance, for sure (read about it here). I enjoyed my time by the ocean, though.

The ocean was definitely not calm like this on race day

Finally, let’s run through a Nor’easter!
Another Ocean Half. A beautiful day before and after. And a literal Nor’easter the day of. Still one of the most fun races I’ve run due to the brilliance of having a different color bib for AMR retreat participants — the non runners and the runners alike cheered everyone on. It was awesome (read about it here)! And of course I got to share the experience with Running Buddy J.

There were a few PRs & more local races
My half PR streak may have been broken, but I pulled in a few PRs and was even 2nd in my AG in one race (but they only awarded first). Sometimes I was way in the BOTP, sometimes I moved up into the MOTP. In 2018 I ran:

  • 1 18 mile race (automatic PR as a new distance for me)
  • 3 Halfs (1 was a PR)
  • 1 15k
  • 2 10ks (both were PRs and hilly)
  • 1 5 mile race (this one actually was my first race of 2018 and was a PR, which is always a nice way to start the year — especially when you’re not even trying for it)
  • 1 4 mile race
  • 4 5ks (never even came close to the 5k PR, but had friends at all the races so had fun)
Fun with friends

More friendly racing
I headed out to many races with friends. The cast of runners changed all the time, but most of the time I was with a group of friends, which always makes it more fun. I even managed to run into someone who’d commented on my blog during the 1812 Race, and we ran together several miles — thank you Dina! I hope the rest of your running year went well (we didn’t keep in touch, although we had so much in common!).

So much trouble . . . mostly worth it ūüôā

On the personal front
It was a tough year in many ways, with much ongoing drama that won’t be going away anytime soon: unhappy elderly parents; Gizmo’s kidney failure diagnosis; Lola’s Lyme Disease and Bronchitis and heart scare (she’s fine!, thank goodness, one sick furkid at a time, please).

I’m not racing anymore in 2018, but I am training for a half in 2019! Say yes to carbs!

Ending on a high note
2018 may have been challenging, but it also included 2 trips near the ocean, more hiking through the beautiful mountains of ID — giving me my Sound of Music moment, many cuddles with the furkids and LOL moments at their antics, runs and races and get togethers with friends. And food, of course. Lots and lots of good food.

Always look for the silver linings — they’re always there!

Was 2018 naughty or nice to you?

What are you looking forward to in 2019?

And last, but most definitely not least, a fond farewell to Tuesdays on the Run. Thank you Marcia, Erika, and Patty for giving us such a wonderful space to hook up and link up with other bloggers every week.  Thank you for all your hard work. 


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


Goals: Met & Looking into 2019


When it comes to running goals, I had four main goals for 2018:

  1. Stay injury free
  2. Run the 1812 Challenge
  3. PR a 5k
  4. Add 2 new states

So how’d that work for me? Let’s see!

Stay injury free
Despite ending the year with some piriformis/hamstring pain, I’d say I rocked this. The only time I taped was for my races — until after those races were over, and those niggles intensified — then I had to do some remedial taping, but it seemed to help tremendously and knock on wood the niggles are just niggles.

Thank goodness for a cloudy day! 18 miles done with a smile on my face.

Run the 1812 Challenge
I’d pretty much decided to do this before 2018 began. I didn’t tell anyone — other than my coach Rachel @ Runningonhappy, my running friends, and Mr. Judy.¬†

I can have laser like focus when it comes to something I want to do, and so it was with training for the 1812 Challenge — which was supposed to be 18.12 miles, but came up a little short at 18 miles. No worries, it was still the longest race I’ve ever run.

No race is ever easy, and I’d be lying if I said I was sure I could do it . . . until I did a 17.12 mile training run. I still knew that a lot of things can go wrong in 18 miles, but thankfully the Running Gods smiled on me that day (read about it here).

Mission accept and conquered.

PR a 5k
This one was an epic failure. I never got to train specifically for a 5k like I’d planned to, and I only ran a few 5ks. And none of them were anywhere near a PR. The closest was Last Run Albany (read about that here), which I always consider a fun run (and even that wasn’t close to my 5k PR!

Conquering a mountain in ID with Skirt Sisters

Add 2 new states
I truly didn’t think this would happen. 1812 isn’t a half, obviously, and anyway I’ve already run my half in NY. MA was also a repeat state.

Definitely a challenge of a different kind, but adding another state was wort it (and time in Ocean City, NJ)

I was able to persuade Mr. Judy to take a little trip on down to Ocean City, NJ (read about it here), however, and that along with my half in ID (read about it here) gave me 2 new states for 2018 to bring me up to 18 states in 2018 — and that 18 mile race in 2018 (and yes, I liked the sound of that when I signed up for it).

My 2019 Crystal Ball . . .
. . . is a bit cloudy. Although I’m training for BDR Savannah (read more about that here if you want to join me!), it’s still a question mark. There’s Gizmo, there’s my parents, there’s a lot of things that could get in the way. I’ve started training for it though, and hope it will be my birthday present.

I enjoy working towards goals, so here goes:

  • Add 2 new states. Hopefully GA, and then who knows? One is better than none. I still have Revel Mt. Hood on the brain, but maybe I’m better off if I just pick a fall half. Or maybe this is the year for Rehoboth Beach (within driving distance) or Kiawah Island . . .Action steps:
    • Research hotels for Rehoboth and Kiawah.
    • Research other fall halfs.
  • Stay injury free.Action Steps:
    • Iron Strength.
    • Prehab.
    • Foam Rolling.
    • Yoga more than once in a blue moon.
  • PR a 5k (still a tall order but it’s still one that motivates me!). Action Steps:
    • Train for a spring 5k.
    • Research & choose several potential spring 5ks.
  • Remember my word for 2019 (read about it here) and keep it in mind. Action Steps:
    • Write it in my Planner.
    • Pick a different quote about Love for each month and write it in my planner.
    • Look for a plaque at Homegoods with some sort of quote about Love that I can put somewhere I’ll see it frequently (like by the computer!).

Have you thought about goals for 2019?

How did you do in your 2018 goals?

If you’re not goal-oriented, what motivates you to keep active?


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


Last Run Albany Race Recap 12/8/18

No snowy selfies this year, and that’s a good thing! OTOH, while I was with a group, I raced alone . . . so no friendly chatting during the race. Ah, but was it a good race?

The egg (a theater). We park below it.

Packet Pickup
This year Darlene @ Myfirst5k offered to pick up bibs. In the end, she picked up 10 — which required going to multiple lines, since it’s done alphabetically. She was definitely a trooper!

No extra swag at all this year, but at least the race shirt was a long sleeve tech tee, unlike last year’s cotton blend — it ran large this year, though — good thing I just use mine to sleep in anyway.

Our merry band is growing.

Plan — what plan?
My plan was simple again this year: have fun. Run by feel. End of story. I hadn’t felt great most of the week and hadn’t run since Monday. With no snow this year, I was definitely planning on running! Or run/walking.

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 12:03. It’s dark. The roads are uneven with a little bit of cobblestone. And it’s crowded. This mile felt super slow, and yet it was about my easy run pace.
  2. Mile 2:¬† 10:59. Mile 2 goes through the holiday lights in the park, with some uphills. I’d basically had to run that first mile with no walk breaks due to the crowded conditions, and somehow mentally I decided to just keep running. I definitely felt tired a few times, but 2 miles down with no walking.
  3. Miles 3:¬†10:12. It’s downhill to the finish. Still running. Love the downhills and have absolutely no idea what pace I was running. I was definitely tired but it also didn’t feel super hard.
  4. Last .17: 9:02. I forgot about the photographer at the finish . . . I swear, truest finish line photo ever and sorry 984, what were you thinking running in too big sweatpants? It looks like I’m walking but I definitely wasn’t.


I thought maybe it was a course PR, but darn, apparently I really tried to race it in 2014. Would you believe that this is probably the first 5k I’ve ever run with no walk breaks, ever?

Even though most of my slow years were running with other friends, sometimes it’s also nice to be able to run your own pace.

I had zero idea of my pace at any point during the race. Now of course I’m thinking, darn, if that start wasn’t so crowded, but OTOH I may have fizzled at the end if I’d started out faster. Or not. We’ll never know. Definitely not my fastest 5k, but overall, a lot of fun and the pace was a really big surprise — I was not at all trying to be “fast”.

2018: 35:39

2017: 54:17 (snowing again!)

2016: 39:35

2015: 37:09

2014 – 34:27

2013: 38:10 (snowing!)

The weather & dressing
Exactly the same as 2017 as it turns out: North Face Thermoball, Skirtsports Wonder Wool Tee and Skirtsports Heartbreaker Skirt (I’m a Skirtsports Ambassador),¬†and Mudgear Compression socks with Hannukah socks over them.

I did try Kim @ Runningonthefly’s suggestion to put a headband over my hat to keep my ears warm — I didn’t get it on right (too busy chatting apparently) and no one pointed out how dorky I looked. Good thing it wasn’t that cold.

The fireworks are nice but it’s so COLD!

Was the race well run?
Yes — the swag is now nonexistent, but thing are looking up with a tech tee and there was actually some food still around when I finished — although I couldn’t locate the water outside, there was plenty inside. Of course last year we finished almost 20 minutes later . . .

I got a ride with a friend this year — and good thing, too, as my husband had just replaced the dead battery in the car and I didn’t want to test it out¬† — we parked in my usual place — the Egg’s Visitor Center’s lot — it costs just $5 and that’s where the packet pickup is; you don’t even have to go outside until the race starts. We got there around 4ish (the race starts at 5); there was already a line of cars, but still plenty of parking spaces.

Santa’s helpers

Last year I hosted a potluck afterwards, this year the other Judy hosted. Our group has grown . . . there was lots of yummy food and some attempted knitting.

I’m linking up with with¬†MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and¬†My No Guilt Life¬†for the¬†Tuesdays on the Run linkup.


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


Have I let myself go? + a Giveaway


Have you?

I have a dirty secret. In fact, I have several sheet pans that I’ve had forever and not bothered to clean, so I just slap some foil over them and then throw out said foil when I’m done.

Am I just lazy? Have I stopped taking care of my things?

I know today’s subject is Runner’s Gifts, and hopefully I’ll have a few for you on Friday (ones I suggest, not actual gifts, although if you keep reading I do have something for three lucky people). You can bet I’ll be reading your blogs for ideas, but for today, I have something else on my mind.

Getting rid of what I don’t want one little bit at a time

One day I just started cleaning
It was shortly after Thanksgiving, when I think I used one of the sheet pans that hadn’t been cleaned in years. I looked at it, and I knew I could clean it up. Not all in one go, and it was definitely going to take a lot of elbow grease (and baking soda), but there really was no excuse for leaving these pans in such a condition.

I am working on them, a little bit at a time. It makes me happy to have functional and beautiful things around me, and my sheet pans were functional — but definitely not something you feel good serving people from.

Feeling good is the name of the game
I’m sure by now you’re wondering how any of this ties in with my title. It’s no secret I’ve been struggling with my weight for a while now. It’s not a lot of weight, and I know there are definitely friends that don’t get it — why would such a small amount bother you? — and there are definitely friends that do get it.¬†

I realized one day, though, that I used to walk a lot more. That I’d become rather complacent about the non-running days, you know, the days I don’t get a lot of steps in? Especially in Winter (even though it’s only Fall!), when there are often days at a time we can’t get the dogs out for a walk.

I’m a runner, though. I run a lot. I’ve packed in a lot of races back to back to back. My average daily steps are good enough. Or are they?

I realized, at the same time I realized that I used to walk more, that no, I can’t rest on my laurels. I need to move more, plain and simple. It gets harder and harder to lose weight as we age, and dropping those steps down probably aren’t helping me much.

There’s only so much pacing around the house I can do, though (and I do do that). So I’ve gotten back on the treadmill, walking and watching the news or tv shows Mr. Judy doesn’t like. Or watching and walking along with Pahla B’s walking/running workouts, which are brilliantly disguised podcasts (find her Youtube channel here).

It’s not about punishing myself
It’s not a punishment. I have no daily step goal I’m really aiming for, and on days I run, I certainly don’t feel the need to get in an extra walk, although I do try to avoid sitting too much, because we all know sitting all the time is the new kiss of death, right?

So no, I’m not trying to walk off what I’m eating. It’s not about punishment.

It’s about taking better care of myself, when you get right down to it. Which leads me to . . .

A little (or a lot) lost here

My title
Many mothers, and many middle aged women, have a tendency to take care of everyone else . . . and not themselves. The last time I had a major weight gain? Yup, that was part of it. A different cat with kidney failure. Then a new puppy. Still working at the time, too. A husband who traveled a lot for work. 

I ate relatively healthy, I was active (although not a runner yet), and yet the pounds kept creeping up until I no longer recognized myself and I was at my heaviest weight ever.

We have a tendency to take care of everything and everybody and we just let ourselves go until we no longer know who we are any more. The good news?

It all starts with loving ourselves
It’s never easy, of course, but it always starts with loving yourself. Even that can be done in baby steps — you may love your smile, your eyes, your hair, a body part . . . and there are probably things you don’t love about yourself. Don’t worry about what you don’t love, focus on what you do love.

Find what brings you joy. Try new things. Take some me time. Slowly you will find yourself again. It’s not being selfish — the people who love you will benefit the most if you’re happy.

Have you ever felt like you lost yourself?

Were you able to find yourself again?

How did you find yourself again?

Giveaway: Calling all Honeystinger Fans!
Honeystinger loves to give back, and today, I’ve got three codes good for 37% off of¬†one orderbefore Dec. 15, at honeystinger.com only and good only for non-Hive athletes. I’m gonna make it simple: the first three people to email me herewill get a code, and when they’re gone, they’re gone.


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


November 2018: Did I pass?


When it comes to racing, 2018 was just an odd year. Some highs, some lows, and a lot of races that just didn’t happen (but luckily weren’t registered for so I lost nothing).

Seriously amazing I ever got outside considering how dreary November has been!

Getting in scheduled runs
Essentially there were no scheduled runs. No big goal races. Not as much racing as I usually do in November, as it turns out. Since it’s my one month off season and I’ve been having some aches, I’ve dropped down to running three times per week.

Grade Earned:  A

Recording my runs
I continued to not record my runs. Why? Because I had to figure out where in my journal to put them after stopping for so long. I mean, how silly is that? Halfway through the month I did sit down, pull up my big girl panties, and start recording stuff again.

Grade Earned: C+

Dynamic Warmup
For the most part I’ve continued¬†to do well here. I was too busy running to the start of Stockadeathon (read about it here) to warm up.¬†

Grade Earned: A-

Foam Rolling
After the triggerpoint session at the AMR Retreat, I made it a goal to start shooting for daily foam rolling. Of course I skip a day here and there, but I am foam rolling almost every day.

Grade Earned: A+

Enjoyed Thanksgiving but not enjoying the extra weight that’s clinging!

#thestruggleisreal. I’ve definitely cleaned up my act nutrition-wise, but the unseasonably cold temps and dreary weather this month have not made it easy. Thanksgiving was one day where I chose to eat what I wanted, but didn’t go crazy, and with hosting, by the time I sat down to my full plate I wasn’t even all that hungry. Or maybe it was the appetizers . . . whatever. The bottom line is I didn’t go crazy and I didn’t let it bleed into the whole weekend.

I’d like to say the last few pounds I’m struggling with have melted off, but no. Not yet.

Grade Earned: B+


  • Massage? No.
  • Chiropractor Appointment? No, but when I’m not racing I only do every other month as maintenance, so no reason for it this month.
  • Do I need a hair appointment? Done. Hallelujah that was long overdue!
  • I even did a few more foot epsom soaks.

Grade Earned: A

Cross Training
I haven’t been lifting weights, but I’ve put yoga in more of a starring role and Pilates, too. The stationary bike is seeing some action.

Grade Earned: B

November 2018  gets  . . . 
. . .¬†an¬†B+. I think in a way it was a better month than October, getting back to more basics, but As are for perfection and it certainly wasn’t perfect.

November Goals:

    • Continue to Prehab. Y.¬†I’ve been really good about trying to rehab those aches (so rehab, really, not so much prehab; oh well).
    • Strength train 2-3 x week. N. But more Pilates and Yoga.
    • Some extra Core TLC. N.¬†Well, sort of, I bought a Triggerpoint DVD that is actually a core routine and have used it a bunch of times — working your core AND foam rolling? Yes, please.
    • Foam roll almost¬†daily. Y.¬†I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to roll the kinks out, but then again, the Triggerpoint demonstrator talked about a person who rolled for a year to really see progress.
    • Swim! N.¬†Cold arrived early this month and seems to be here to stay.
    • Play around with savory snacks (and report back on them!). N.Not really. I mean, I have started to play with them a bit, but kind of fell off the wagon this month.
    • Meal plan on the weekends! Y.¬†Mostly, anyway. Sometimes it was just noting what leftovers I had on hand — even that makes a difference! I worked hard to make sure we had plenty of leftovers before Thanksgiving so I didn’t have to worry about dinner in that crazy week.

Which leads me to December Goals:

    • Continue to Prehab. As always, something is always better than nothing.
    • Add on some short strength training 2-3 x week. Pilates is a great workout, but I truly believe that actually lifting weights will help me age better. So while I’ll continue to concentrate more on Pilates and Yoga, I need to start lifting, even if it’s just a little.
    • Bring more yoga back into my life. While I never stopped doing yoga, I realized one day, when I was so stiff during a yoga DVD, that I’ve let it slide more than I should. Way more. I do wish there was time to keep all the activity balls in the air!
    • Some extra Core TLC. I need to make this more front & center again.
    • Foam roll almost¬†daily. I’d really like to say daily, but I just know that won’t happen.¬†
    • Play around with savory snacks (and report back on them!). I have just a few I enjoy. This month, it’s time to add at least one more savory snack to my repertoire!
    • Meal plan on the weekends! Much easier to shop and eat well when I have a plan.¬†

I’m linking up with with¬†MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and¬†My No Guilt Life¬†for the¬†Tuesdays on the Run linkup.


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


Why I’m grateful for running


There are so many benefits to running, but this Thanksgiving I’m grateful that running gets me out there in nature. I won’t run through everything, but I have run in some pretty hot conditions, in a Nor’easter, into the single digits, into wind that almost blew me into Lake Champlain, occasionally in snow storms — which is very peaceful unless it’s slippery.

I thought about this yesterday on my run. We had another dusting of snow overnight. The skies were absolutely a hazy shade of winter. The sun was nowhere to be found.

Beauty was everywhere to be found, if you just got out there and looked for it. That dusting of fresh snow clinging to the evergeens and the bright red holly berries. The creeping ice on the lake. The fall leaves still peaking out of the snow. The interesting foot/paw prints in the snow.

I would hole up in my house, barely getting out to walk the dogs, if it weren’t for running, and my days are better for those runs when I do get outside and brave the elements.

I won’t keep you long, as I still have a Thanksgiving dinner to get together, but I will leave you with a few scenes from my run yesterday. I’d love to see what you’re seeing on the run!

Running may push us outside of our comfort zones, but it also narrows down our focus to things we would never notice if we didn’t run. This Thanksgiving I am grateful for the things I see on the run.
— Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy

I’m linking up with with¬†MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and¬†My No Guilt Life¬†for the¬†Tuesdays on the Run linkup.


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


Tell me in the comments:

What are you grateful for from your runs?

What are you grateful for in your life right now?

Stockcadeathon Race Recap 11/11/18


Stockadeathon is the only 15k I’ve ever done. I really like the distance — long enough to be a challenge, but ends at about the time I start to get really tired. This year’s race dawned with a dusting of snow, and snow continued to pelt the windshield on the drive to the race, but that’s when it ended and the sun came up, setting us up for a sunny, if chilly race.

Packet Pickup
Packet pickup is always easy., and this year was no different. Unlike last year, even thoughI signed up very late (Tuesday, I believe) I still got a race shirt, which was a nice long sleeve tech tee.

One of the sole sisters was volunteering at packet pickup and I stopped to chat with her a bit before leaving.

At least zippers allow me to regulate my temperature

The weather & dressing
I said this about my last half (read about it here), about this race last year — and again, this year! I thought I was overdressed in the beginning. I was definitely warm. When I took off my coat at the end, it was drenched in sweat. But I also got cold towards the end of the race. I probably could have worn a lighter outer layer, but this outfit was okay. At least I didn’t have to drag out the Thermoball to run in like I did last year! It was 36 at the start this year, compared to last year’s 28.

Maybe I overreacted to the snow . . . but it was also supposed to be a little windy; it wasn’t that bad — especially in comparison to running a half in a Nor’easter, of course!

I wore my Skirt Sports Double Take Reversible jacket, my Wonder Wool Tee and Wonder Wool Skirt. Newton Distance on the feet. I also wore a buff around my neck, but I did find that annoying later in the race. I had fleece glittens (convertible mittens) on the first couple of miles, took them off and put them in the back pocket of my coat, but then at the end my hands were so cold! Since I’d lost so much time stuffing everything in there at mile 3, I didn’t want to futz with it again, so I just sucked it up.

My Race Plan
No race plan. No looking at last year’s results, either. When you register they ask you your predicted finish time and I actually guessed fairly close to what I ended up running. I don’t know why they ask as there isn’t a corral start.

I parked at a hotel, as I’ve been doing the last few years. It’s about a 10 minute walk over to the Y, which hosts the runners before and after the race. Even though the Y has real bathrooms, the line for them is usually extremely long. So I use the bathrooms in the hotel, and if there is a line, it’s usually quite short.

I went in at about 8 am to use the bathrooms the first time. Then I chatted up a couple who turned out were actually staying in the hotel, and went to use the bathroom one more time. And then I realized that it was about 8:15 and the race starts at 8:30 and I still needed to drop off stuff at bag check and it was about a 10 minute walk to the Y . . . Oy!

Always a good time with these ladies. Darlene is taking the photo.

So I got my warmup mile (but no dynamic stretching) done as I ran to the Y, passing the Sole Sisters on the way there. I’m really glad I decided to still drop my sweatshirt and jacket off, because I was very chilled after the race and still had that walk back to the car. I made it to the start with a couple of minutes to spare, but I also ended up lining up closer to the start than I should (pace wise) and apologized to everyone around me.

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 10:53. You start on a downhill. I do love a downhill, and I didn’t take my first walk break until halfway through this mile because it was too crowded and narrow to stop before then. I briefly saw one of my Sole Sisters running friends (and that was the last time I saw her during the race!).
  2. Mile 2: 11:14. Most of mile 2 is a long, gradual hill. I was running fast to catch up briefly with a fellow Skirt Sports sister. Miles 1 & 2 were faster than last year . . . but no other mile was.
  3. Mile 3: 11:49. You’re still going up. I suspect that when I changed out one water bottle for another in mile 3 I did lose a significant amount of time, causing this mile to be slower than it should have been. I was having trouble getting the full water bottle — which, as it turns out, was leaking, so I’m glad I switched them — out of the pocket.
  4. Mile 4: 11:32. They changed the course this year, and took out the part along the river on the bike path. Which was nice and flat and very scenic. I thought this course was actually hillier, although looking at my stats it wasn’t (it seems to get less hilly each year, and this is the first time since I started running it that the course has changed!); Darlene thought it seemed easier. It seemed to me that every time we made a turn — and there are plenty — we were going uphill.
  5. Mile 5: 11:00. Relatively flat. I saw a couple of my friends, who were course marshals, midway through this mile — they always give me a boost!
  6. Mile 6: 11:30. Running around the lake in Central Park. Still relatively flat.
  7. Mile 7: 11:46. A decent hill at mile 7.5. This was about the only hill that felt not as bad as last year. Yet I still went up it slower.
  8. Mile 8: 11:45. Through the cemetery and mostly downhill. And yet the same pace as the uphill . . .
  9. Mile 9: 11:13. The last mile is really downhill; last year I was way faster this mile. This year I wasn’t watching my Garmin.
  10. Last .41: 9:57. I was hoping the new course wouldn’t run long . . . but it did.

2015: 1:51:32¬†(an automatic¬†PR — new distance)
2016: 1:49:31 (a most surprising 2 minute PR)
2017: 1:45:09 (crushed it for another PR!)
2018:  1:46:49, 11:28 average pace, 1170 our of 1308, 43 out of ?? F55-59

In 2017 they added the splits for each 5k (probably because you can now run this as part of a relay team), and I had beautiful negative splits:

1st 5K: 35:43
2nd 5k: 35:16
3rd 5k: 34:11 (gotta love a downhill finish)

This year I was just consistent, apparently:

1st 5k:  35:25
2nd 5k: 35:42
3rd 5k:  35:43

Why do I turn out that right foot? How do I correct that????

I chose to run by feel for the race. On the one hand, I’m glad I did. My piriformis and hamstrings have been complaining for a while. And they were sure sore after the race, too (despite foam rolling before and after and legs up the wall later on).

On the other hand, when I saw I was 1:49 off of my PR . . . I know I could have pushed harder. I know that often when I run by feel, I’m slower (but not always). Could I have pushed hard enough for a PR? Probably. Would it have just aggravated my niggles more than was worth it? Well, we’ll never know, will we. I’m feeling okay the day after.

Was the race well run?
Not enough water stops! I say this every year. I bring my own water.¬†Otherwise this race is a well oiled machine with plenty of direction, course marshals, and lots of food and water for everyone post race. Even foam rollers! I really think having the post race stuff going on in the same building we use before the race — last year was the first year they did that — is very helpful.

What I learned
I can leave later for the race, but pay attention to time and leave from the hotel I park at early enough so that I don’t have to run to the start (yes, it’s chip timed, but who really wants to start at the BOTP if they don’t have to?).

I’m still kind of kicking myself for not paying more attention to my Garmin. It doesn’t make a race “less fun” for me when I do. Last year, however, this race wasn’t just two weeks after a hard half. I had 6 weeks in between my half and this race. I’m sure that played into what went down.

On the other hand, for not paying attention to my Garmin, it was actually a pretty decent pace for me. So maybe there still is something to be said for running by feel.


  1. Extremely well organized race.
  2. Hot food inside post race, and enough for all.
  3. Real bathrooms — I didn’t use the bathrooms at the Y. Darlene said the lines weren’t bad, but my guess is later on they were. I’ve never seen them not be bad.
  4. Although a hilly course, most (but not all) of the hills are frontloaded into the first half of the race.
  5. A nice downhill finish.
  6. Running with friends. Running into friends you haven’t seen in a while.

Of course no race is perfect. The downsides:

  1. The course runs a little long.
  2. Challenging course (some might view that as a positive).
  3. Not enough water stops.
  4. Although parts of the course are very pretty, much of it just isn’t that interesting to me. And they took out one of my favorite parts this year!


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