Long time since I have posted

So it has been a long time since I have posted anything at all. A lot has changed since. Such as:

  • Moving from Cordova, TN to Astoria, NY (Memphis to New York City)
  • Changing Careers (Operations to Sales)
  • Selling a house and living in an apartment
  • Losing a few pounds

However, what hasn’t changed is that I still run or started back running after an injury or several of them. The hairline fracture in my leg is what sidelined me – all the others, I could deal with and still run.

I am back trying to go for 1,000 miles this year. I for simplicity of tracking purposes, I will track how much I have actually run in 2015 and not track my other 1,000 mile challenges that I am part of, one of which started Nov. 1, 2014 and another Dec. 1, 2014. Those are challenges in which I am competing against friends in to reach 1,000 miles and while those are still ongoing I keep those tracked in Nike+. For 2015 I currently have logged 143.8 miles. I ran at least 1 mile a day every day in January and then took 5 days off in February.

I am still trying to log at least 100 miles in February, but currently only at 18.2 miles for the month.

I have completed 3 half marathons now and have my next half marathon in DC March 14th at the Rock-n-Roll DC event. Then March 22nd I follow that up with the Syracuse half marathon. As I mentioned I have only ever run 3 halves and now I am going to run them back-to-back weekends.

I set my PR at the Frozen Bonsai Half here in New York’s Central Park. 2:07:21 was the clock time.

My intent is to use DC as more of a training run for Syracuse, but I am not certain that I know how to do anything but run and go with how my body feels.

I am partnering with a charity —- more to come on that soon as I have more. I am running to bring awareness to Domestic Violence. You will see me in Purple at my races.

My goal is still to run a 5K or longer in all 50 states and DC, which I may have never posted here. But that is a goal I set a while back, so in April, I will run in the Unite 8K at Rutgers in Bruswick, NJ and then the Hall of Fame 5k & Half in Canton, OH.

I will hopefully in the near future have more to post about my charity news as well as more running news.





Remembering September 11th —- 12 years later and my run on Sunday…..

So as a runner —- I am linked to many ‘running’ pages on Facebook. Folks started posting about running 9.11 miles today. Sunday is my first ever half marathon up in Westerly, RI – The Surftown 1/2 Marathon. All that means from what I have read is that I am supposed to curtail my running (from all the things I have read) and should run about 3 miles a day. Well I decided to give up that and run 9.11 miles today anyway….I just split it into 3 runs at breakfast, lunch, & dinner.  I also ran some of my best times of the week —- running along the boardwalk in Marina del Rey. I felt so good after the last little bit I wanted to go hit the bike for 9.11 miles too, however, this hotel doesn’t have a bike in their gym —- nor a rowing machine. I couldn’t justify hopping on the elliptical or the treadmill, although a walk I probably could have done but I wasn’t ready to walk on the treadmill for 2 hours plus to get in another 9.11 miles.

(Sorry, I have missed Boardwalk Empire all week —- so I am actually going to pause to watch it and then probably fall asleep.)

Yes, I watched it and then immediately fell asleep —- I am not a night person.

I was trying to come up with something I could do as a reminder each day up until next year on Sept. 11th —- but so far I have been unsuccessful. I am open to any ideas.

I must admit that I have never been as excited for a race as I am for the one this weekend. I really hope that I enjoy this distance and that I am able to do many more. This will be my 5th different state to run in this year —- the only time any friend has met me at the finish line has been in CA. I always find folks to talk to pre-race, so that never bothers me, but I wish more of my friends ran. I will say though that many have become very supportive of me lately and maybe that is the best I could hope for.

My tendinitis came back this week, so glad I remember to pack the Rock-Tape. It was there for my 15K in Atlanta, so why wouldn’t it crop back up again. I am a runner, so of course I won’t rest it, so it will never completely heal. Yes, I am a bit stubborn – but it is the best get-a-way and relaxation thing I have found – I am a bit in my own world when I run —– so maybe I really don’t need a running partner.

Here is hoping for awesome weather and a great run to all 4000 racers (I think that is the number).  I must call it a night and I will write about my experience post-race.


Running Through Europe

For the past 12 days I have been traveling in Europe on vacation. Before I left Memphis, TN I decided that I would run while I was on vacation. That meant I had to pack at least 6 days of running clothes in my carry-on bag. My rule is that one must be able to handle their own luggage without assistance and with several trains on this trip the lighter/smaller the better. People think that I am crazy for not only trying to pack my stuff in a carry-on but also to even think that I would actually workout while on vacation is insane.

In my standard 21″ roller board I was able to pack:
2 pair of shorts
1 pair of jeans in addition to the pair I wore on the plane
1 pair of pants
2 pair of capris
2 skirts
1 sweater
12 tops of various types
2 camisoles
1 sweater
5 workout shorts
10 workout tops
Socks, underwear, bras, sport bras
1 pair of sandals
1 pair of Toms
Saucony running shoes

In my other carry-on would be all the other stuff including an air book that I really only brought to charge my UP band, iPad, book, yes I have several on my iPad as well (but never hurts to have a back up plan), camera, and a few other things yet.

Our first stop was Zurich, Switzerland. This was added to the trip because I needed to fly in or out of some other city besides Prague and I was unable to do that through Budapest on my Delta Miles. By the way, if you have never been to Zurich it is the most expensive city in the world and makes New York City look like a bargain. The hotel we stayed in was $700/night when I checked the price, however I used Hyatt points. For dinner one evening we had 2 club sandwiches and 2 bottles of water which was approximately $78.00 USD – when I see my credit card bill I will know for certain. Now, I must say it was probably the BEST chicken club sandwich I have had, however…

Word Press Zurich

We only had 2 days in Switzerland. The first day (arrived at 8:30am) we spent in Zurich and the second day we hopped a bus to Lucerne. I did not run the day of arrival after all I only slept about 3 hours on the plane and I did run 8+ miles the morning of my departure. Day 2 (Friday) was a whole other story, I decided to get up at 5:30am and head to the gym. I got in a 3.5 mile on the treadmill and a 20 minute bike ride. The gym is nice as it is part of a spa, but it was like a steam room itself – it was hotter than any gym I had ever been in. Day 3 again I got up around 5:30am or before this time to take a run through the city as I now had a pretty good lay of the land here. The Park Hyatt is ideally situated so I headed out of the hotel towards the park area around Lake Zurich. Early in the morning the streets are very quiet as is the park; It was pretty much me, the street sweepers, and a few skinny dippers. I have to admit I was a bit jealous of the skinny dippers. After running around the park area I still felt like running further so I just hit the city street. Even though Zurich is certainly a business center it still is quite quiet and thus it is an enjoyable run through the streets. Zurich reminds me a bit of San Francisco in the fact that they twist & turn all around and nothing seems to run North-South or East-West. I did a total of 6.18 miles total plus some strength exercises in the sauna. At this point I am regretting that I didn’t run through the city earlier, but it was an awesome birthday present to myself. The next 10 1/2 hours will be spent on the train to Budapest.

Sunday, we are in Budapest and since we arrived about 10pm, I didn’t have a clue about the city. We were in the Marriott which was on the Danube River in the center of the city and I have to admit, it was love at first sight. If you have never been to Budapest, I must tell you it is the most beautiful city I have ever seen, especially at night! It could possibly be the most romantic city I have ever visited if you were with the right person. I typically don’t desire to go back to a city as there are so many places I have yet to see, however, I am strongly thinking of trying to go back to Budapest next year. In the meantime, I have about 10 books to read regarding the city because I now want to know more about their history and the people. Sunday, I hit the gym again and split my time again between the treadmill & the bike. Since I am not really good at converting KPH to MPH I have to estimate my pace based on feel. I did about 3 1/2 miles on the treadmill a little over 6 miles on the bike.

(Before my next trip to Europe I will be able to convert something other than 5k, 10k, 15k to miles in my head.)

Monday it was back to the streets at 5:30am. I love to run scenic bridges, so I ran across a couple twice this morning in Budapest. It was to get up to 100 degrees in Budapest this day, so even very early in the morning it was quite humid and warm, but there always seemed to be a nice breeze thankfully. Again I am surprised at the quietness of the city in the morning. I am also taken back by the lack of fellow runners on the street as I only see a couple other runners and a few cyclists. I manage to get in 5.42miles in this morning. I tend to runner faster outside naturally than I do on the treadmill – I understand doing this during races, but not certain as to why it happens on an ordinary run. However, when I am out running in all these cities, I often pause to take some photos, so it does tend to skew my run times.

Word Press Budapest

By now, my mom thinks I am crazy so I actually take the next 2 days off. But mind you, on average we walked 8 miles a day. My 2nd off day we were on a train all day to Prague and I am regretting not running this morning. The train ride is 7-8 hours which made me admit to my mom that I much preferred planes to trains. I let her determine our mode of transportation once we arrived in Europe, it was my job to get us there and back and take care of the hotels. She had to agree with me.

We stay at the Hilton Old Town for the first two nights, which is super convenient to the main tourist area there. Back to the gym, running 6 miles on Thursday then 3.5 on Friday, while also hitting the rowing machine and bike. We then change hotels and move across the river to the Red & blue design hotel, which does not have a gym, so back to the streets I go on Saturday. In Prague there are tons of cobblestone streets, which make running outside a bit less than ideal. I run 4.69 miles running across the Charles Bridge into Old Town Center and back, also running a bit out of the way to locate the Lennon Wall. Today we are on our way home and I decided not to run today and again regretting it because I have been sitting on this plane for 6 hours so far, only about 6 more to go.

Word Press Prague

As I have mentioned in several of my previous posts, I do most of my running in the gym on a treadmill, this serves a couple purposes for me. For one it controls my pace and second it saves my ankle from some of the pounding. However, I loved my morning runs through each of these cities and it will be something I will try and continue to do on my travels. The cities are all so peaceful in the early morning and I saw things that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Maybe I should try to run through my neighborhood in Memphis again – just didn’t find it to be quite the same. It was great alone time and it was one of my favorite parts of my trip.

So while I didn’t run as much as I would have if I were home, I feel pretty good about running 8 out of 12 days while on vacation and now I must get back focused on my half marathon training. I signed up for the Surftown Half up in Westerly, RI on September 15th.

Today…..I was called a runner


I have read this before but sometimes, it takes hearing it from someone else for it to sink in. Today was that day for me! I was on the Amtrak Train from New York to Philadelphia. Struggling with my over stuffed luggage, some nice gentleman offered to assist me in getting it down – mind you the reason I can’t do a 2 week road trip in a carry-on any longer, is because I must pack workout/running gear in addition to my work clothes. We started carrying out a casual conversation and some how I brought up the ‘race’ in Brooklyn today. He asked me how far it was and I said, ‘Just a 5K’. He looked at the lady sitting next to us and said. ‘that is A RUNNER for you – just a 5K’.

Runners always seek to better their time in every race – always striving for the PR. Luckily for me, my sit on the couch, TV watching friends – immediately posted congratulations messages to me then also —- well now you must go for a sub 9 minute mile. I love my friends and they are right – my next 5K needs to be under a 9 minute mile, or I too will be disappointed.

My Latest Run – a 5K through Prospect Park Brooklyn


Pre-Race Photo
Pre-Race Photo

All Star 5K Prospect Park

So today was my latest run…..Having been on a work assignment in New York City and Philadelphia for the past week and needing to be back in Philadelphia on Monday, I starting hunting for a race nearby and came upon the All-Star 5K race in Prospect Park. I decided I had to go run it – the t-shirt was cool and it was all to benefit the Sandy Relief Fund. I did a day trip in Philly on Friday after relocating from a Midtown Manhattan Hotel over to a Brooklyn Hotel on Thursday, that way I would be closer and not have to worry about a long commute on Saturday morning. (I still get anxiety on the subway in New York – although I did end up taking it today. I was within a 2 mile walk of the park, had I needed to walk over.)

While I did run a 4 mile race back in Memphis at the end of May —- Zoom Through the Zoo for the second time; I haven’t really been doing much Race Training or pace running since February. Not that signing up for this race, made me training any differently, it was more just the fact that I wanted to run the race, collect the cool T-Shirt, and knock another state off my list, all while benefiting a good cause. (Feel a bit guilty that I didn’t know about the race earlier and try to raise some additional money.)

I am still doing most of my training a 11:30 – 12:00 minute miles, however, I think I need to start mixing in some speed work and pace runs. When I do run outside I tend to naturally run faster than I run on the treadmill but still something closer to an 11:00 minute mile. I have never intended to be a lightning fast runner, but I do like continually setting a personal best and today I did that again, with an official time 28:06 or a 9:04 minute mile pace. RunKeeper tracked basically the same time but the distance was slightly longer than 3.1 miles showing, 3.16 miles. My splits were as follows:

Mile 1: 9:01 min/mile

Mile 2: 9:18 min/mile

Mile 3: 8:38 min/mile

Mile 4: 7:01 min/mile (only 0.16 of a mile run)

Yes, of late I realize that I finish stronger than I start. I haven’t really ever tracked my splits before, but I always seem to speed up significantly at the finish and I don’t know if that is due to running so much on a treadmill that I am not a good pacer and leave too much in the tank at the end, or if it is just me being a competitor and wanting to put it all out there.

Zoom through the Zoo in Memphis will always be one of my favorite races because it was the first race I ever ran and this year I talked a few friends into running it with me —- although we didn’t really run together, we hung out before and after together. I really enjoyed this race because there were so many people there and that kept it challenging. (I ran a 10:01 minute mile according to the Races On Line, but RunKeeper recorded it at a 9:37 minute mile for the 4 mile race with each mile at a quicker time than the previous mile.) I thought the race was well done and I had fun talking to all the folks as usual.

This race also marks my completion of state number 4 in my quest to run all 50 states with a 5K or longer. Georgia (Hot Chocolate 15K – Atlanta), California (Live Ultimate 10K – Santa Monica), Tennessee (several in Memphis nothing longer than a 4 miler), and New York (All-Star 5K – Brooklyn). I also ran a race in the middle of the Ocean in February on a cruise ship, but that is just a bonus race. I am looking at a 10K in Chicago in August but I will just have gotten back from Europe and not certain that it will be in the cards, but I am kind of hoping I have the energy to do it. Otherwise my next race may just be the half marathon, that I officially began preparing for about a week ago. I have decided on the Surftown Half Marathon in Rhode Island at this point and fully intend on registering yet this weekend —- it will help keep me motivated and on-track.

Live Ultimate L.A. 2.10.13 – My first 10K (2 Months, 2 States Completed)

So now I have officially run  5Ks, 4 milers, a  10K, and a 15K. I plan to run a Half Marathon at some point later this year and maybe even a Mud Run – people keep telling me I should do the latter. I certainly would if I had someone to do that with me.

Today was the 10K Live Ultimate Run in Santa Monica. I was out in L.A. working for a couple of weeks and decided to take advantage of the opportunity. My goal was to run the 6.2 miles in 1 hour. My official time was 59:42.7 squeaked this one out and it was supposed to be a flat, fast course. That is a pace of 9:38, which I shouldn’t be disappointed with at all since I never train at anything near that for such a distance. My training pace this past week was all done at 12:00 minute miles as I was not feeling my best. My fast training pace currently sits at an 11:00 minute mile. (By the way…..Rock Tape  keeps me running. It hurt just walking around Santa Monica without it taped up yesterday!)

Since I have been basically able to stay on East Coast (or Central Coast Time), I woke up at 5:00am, now I didn’t get out of bed then, but I pretty much was awake. So a little after 6:00am I decided to get moving as I acually had a little bit of work to get done prior to the race. I also decided that I would try a little breakfast, typically, I run races on an empty stomach because I need a couple of hours for my food to digest or I get stomach cramps. The race didn’t start until 8:30am, so I was good and decided I would try a Rockin’ Wellness Shake (Rockin’ Wellness) with Almond Milk. It certainly didn’t seem to bother me or create any cramping, now did it affect my performance, I guess, I don’t really know.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I do most of my training on a treadmill. It certainly helps me with my Achilles Tendinitis issues at this point, but hurts me when it comes to pacing. RunKeeper and Nike+ both failed me today because of a poor GPS connection on my phone, so I had no idea what pace I was running during the race and there weren’t timers along the race. Once I got to mile 3 there was one person calling out times as there was at the 10K turn mark, but that was about it. Additionally, as much as I don’t drink water along the way, I thought they were lacking water stops today. Personally, I like Gatorade  along the way as it seems to help me and not cause the cramping that water does – I am guessing it is the sugar, but I don’t really know.

I thought they did a great job with the vendors at the Post Race gathering and the packet pick-up was well organized as well. They are the first race that has used the old style timing chip on the shoe, which is fine and appreciated that I didn’t have to bend down to take it off as that was not going to happen very easily!

I have officially run a 5K or longer in 3 States now. I have run a few races in TN, which is where I live so it is easy. But have completed GA last month and CA this month, trying to decide where I want to go in March and April right now. By the way, it was about 10 degrees warmer in Atlanta in January, than in Santa Monica today. Atlanta had unseasonable warm weather, while Santa Monica unseasonably cool weather – guess I win some, and lose some!

Any suggestions for my next runs? I am looking for a half marathon to run as well…..I need to complete all 50 states before I am 50!





Where Did All the Hills in Atlanta Come From?

So I completed my first 15K (9.3 miles) – The Hot Chocolate Run in Atlanta, GA, my previously long race was a 4 miler. As you may have recall reading in some of my earlier posts, I do most of my training on a treadmill, OK, not even MOST, but ALL of it to this point and I am not very good at doing inclines on that treadmill either. Additionally, for 3-4 weeks, I have been battling some tendinitis in my left Achilles tendon. Thursday before the race, I even decided to go to see a podiatrist – now I was honest with him and told him that I only came because I had a race on Sunday and that I was going to run regardless, so he just needed to help make it less painful.  He just laughed at me and told me that “RUNNERS” do that to him all the time. He is a runner himself, so he gets it. So he made an insert for my shoes and also gave me an air cast as well to wear during the day – the insert allowed me to use my favorite running shoes that I couldn’t even run in 2 days earlier.

Below is the elevation chart for our run and while I don’t know that it is hilly by comparison, but certainly more hilly than even if I had been running outside in Memphis, TN, but by far more than the ‘ZERO” elevation on the treadmill. But, it wasn’t just me because even another runner that I sat next to on the bus ride back to the CNN drop off point with said that she lives in Atlanta and thought that the hill at about the 8 1/2 mile mark was cruel punishment for the runners. She said her and her co-runner walked up that one. I am certain that I looked like I was running funny on those hills because those were tough on my ankle and I really shortened my stride even more than normal, at least on the left side —- but I never stopped running (no walking).


They say that this run attracts a large amount of first time runners, specifically for the 5K run and that 95% of the runners of the 19,000 which is where the total capped out at this year were from the Atlanta area. I of course I was an exception. I assume the name and post race chocolate attract folks and make it family friendly. Atlanta is about a 6 hour drive each way for me and due to a surprise going away party for a friend on Friday, I chose not to leave until Saturday morning. I woke up at 4:00am on Saturday, oddly, excited to put my body through this torture and see how my ankle would respond, not to mention the rest of me. I get both excited and nervous when I run these races. At this point, I do not have a pre-race ritual, meal, or do anything special other than to make certain I get to sleep at a reasonable time. So, while I can’t talk my friends into running with me or even hanging out to just watch me run and cheer me on, one of my friends that lives in Atlanta did come and hang out with me Saturday night. We had a pre-race dinner (after no lunch) of loaded Chicken Nachos and Yuengling Light Beer followed with some Red Velvet Cake – I’m cringing just thinking about it now, but thankfully that was the worst thing by far that I ate all week and certainly was plenty of carbs.

They were running shuttle service from the CNN building which was 2 blocks from my hotel which was perfect. So I was in bed about 9:00pm and up at 5:30am out of bed at 6:00. While standing in the shuttle bus line at 6:30, which was all of about 2 minutes at that point, I met a new friend and we started chatting it up. She was a nurse and running the 5K race and admitted that she really only ran the races for the T-Shirts or in this case the sweatshirt. With 19,000 folks there, while she knew a couple co-workers running also, it wasn’t exactly easy to find them so we kind of talked and hung out until they loaded up the corral for the 5K. It was nice to not just be standing around thinking about the race for next 1 1/2 as we talked about all sorts of topics that complete strangers talk about.

About 7:15 or so they loaded up the corral for the 5K. The had about 5-6 corrals for each race based on the time your entered at registration. I am certain for this race I over-estimated my time as that is what I tend to do, but I may not have, I don’t actually recall what I put down this time. I tend to like to start back in the pack a little so that I am passing some folks rather than being passed by everyone – it is a mental game I play with myself. I cheered on the 5K runners then it was time to get in my Corral. I was in Corral M – for Missy, in my book, which was actually next to last to go out. Thankfully, they have some pretty good music playing and kind of playing with the crowd to get everyone into the run.

Another issue with the fact that I don’t do my training runs outside, is that I have no clue what type of clothes I should wear. Initially, when I checked the forecast for race day, there was a chance of rain and starting temperature was to be about 40, nothing would be worse for me than rain, especially in the cold. By the time race day rolled around, it was actually overcast and in the high 50’s, not bad for mid-January. The change in weather confused me even more, but I ended up sticking with my running tights and a short sleeve shirt – same shirt I have worn in all my races. I was glad I took of the long sleeve shirt I had on over it because like they say you literally warm up quickly. I was not cold at all and could have had on capris or probably even shorts, but wasn’t uncomfortable in the tights. I have heard that you should plan your gear for 20 degrees warmer than it actually is outside – but I hate being cold. Thankfully, for this race they had a gear check, so I was able to check the extra layer before the run, but also able to stay warm up until close to race time.

Mile 3 has always been my toughest mile and it was no different in this race, no idea why. I used the RunKeeper App to keep track of my pace throughout the race because yet another problem with running on the treadmill is that I have no idea what pace I am running when I am outside. I started out a bit too fast but then pretty much kept my pace within 10 seconds from mile 2 through to the end. Running is 90% mental and only 10% physical – I have been saying that for months now and then actually read that same thing today in a Women’s Running Magazine. It is why I continue to struggle through mile 3 every time, it is why I start in the back of the pack to pass people, and also why once I saw Mile 6 that I knew I was going to make it through to the end with no problems and even beat my goal time.

My goal time for this race was 1:45:00, but that was before I was hurt. (By the way, I have run injured in all my races, except the first one.) I never changed my time because really it still was my goal and if I didn’t hit it then it would be my goal for the next time. I also have always run faster than my goal in each of the other distances that I had set and then set a PR in my second 4 miler beating out my previous race time.  Most of my training miles a run at a 12:00 minute mile when I run longer than 5 1/2 miles. I have run 6 miles once at a 10:00 minute mile pace —- once on the treadmill, no incline. I typically run a 10:00 minute mile pace when I am only running 3 miles but due to my ankle  issues I had not done that in several weeks – that was also my training pace once a week, when I was prepping for my 5K to run in under 30 minutes. I knew when I started out under 10 minutes in that first mile that I was not going to be able to keep that pace. I finished the race officially in 1:37:28 which I am very pleased with. There were 7348 timed runners in the 15K and I finished #3607 over all so better than half of the folks that entered. I will never be the fastest runner or even top in my age category, but my goal is just to have fun and get better and better for myself.

My next run will be either a 5K or 10K out in Santa Monica, CA. I happen to be out in Los Angeles for work so I decided to find a race to run that weekend. Then a 5K on the Buckeye Cancer Cruise will be at the of February. But the main goal now is a Half Marathon. I am looking at a couple of different races in the Northeast to run.