I was trying to complete this post all morning but was glued to the real-time televised unfolding of the capture of the bomb suspect here in NYC/NJ. I’ve been struggling to focus and feeling awkward about sharing my “silly running” stories. So let me start by saying that I’m impressed by the swift work of law enforcement and that the bomb suspect was caught but I’m not relieved. I’ll never be relieved. The world is a different place now….especially since 9/11. I will continue to live my life but will always be alert and aware that anything can happen right here in my neighborhood. I AM “potentially” in harm’s way every day.

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OK, now onto my “silly running” post…

It had been WAY too long since I traveled into Brooklyn (or Manhattan) to run with my running friends. But yesterday I finally had both a free schedule and the same mileage (12 miles) on my training “plan” so it worked out.

I traveled over the Verrazano Bridge and into Brooklyn around 9am.

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We started at 10am. Starting late morning already made things easier for me. I hate running before I’ve had the chance to really wake up. So this was great. I brought a handheld water bottle and drank it all and also refilled it about 6 miles in but clearly I wasn’t hydrated enough because somewhere around mile 9 or 10 I stopped sweating and got cold. It was 80 degrees and the humidity was super high. The dew point was at 70 which can be interpreted as “super uncomfortable”. Anyway, the last couple of miles we sort of walked a block, ran a block, crawled, shuffled etc. And as soon as my Runkeeper app said 12 we stopped. I forgot to wear my Garmin GPS watch. But really, with Runkeeper and an iPhone with a decent battery who needs the watch.

Halfway through view of Manhattan from Long Island City (Queens)

Halfway through view of Manhattan from Long Island City (Queens)

halfway through view of Long Island City (Queens)

halfway through view of Long Island City (Queens)

exactly 12 and not a tenth of a mile more. We stopped a lot waiting for street lights...the only drawback to running in a busy city neighborhood vs a path with no cars.

Exactly 12 miles and not a tenth of a mile more. We stopped a lot waiting for street lights…the only drawback to running in a busy city neighborhood vs a path with no cars.

After the run I got a drink and a cherry freeze pop which was heaven….

So refreshing!

So refreshing!

until I tried to pour the melted cherry liquid down by tipping my head all the way back. The liquid came too fast and choked me and I ended up laughing and choking simultaneously for a good minute—losing some of the deliciousness to the sidewalk. And Lisa, once she knew I wasn’t in danger anymore, snapped this pic.

I'm holding two water bottles and a phone leaving me with just 2 fingers to keep hold of the attack freeze pop.

I’m holding two water bottles and a phone leaving me with just 2 fingers to keep hold of the attack freeze pop.

The good news is that the first 6 miles were very comfortable so at least I’m “10K-ready”…and in 3 weeks I’m hoping I’ll be half marathon ready :). I enjoyed chatting away with Lisa and Mike. Our friend Liz joined us in Long Island City and then we ran back toward Brooklyn together. Major blog photo fail because I didn’t take a group running selfie of us.

What is your favorite post run refresher? I love a good 7-eleven slurpee but the freeze pop was a good runner up.

Do you prefer Coke or Pepsi? I always go for Coke Zero. I’m slightly addicted.

Have you ever choked?

How do you handle seeing grave current events on TV or online? Are you calm or do you freak out?

Well hello September!

I can’t believe it’s already September 6th! (and will probably will be 7th by time this post goes up!)

Thanks everyone who commented on the poll in my last post.

I ended up super busy with work last Thursday and Friday but of course I couldn’t ignore Duncan’s sad face stare and took him both days for walks at the park. Yep, he’s spoiled. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I'm busy working and he's busy er, dreaming

I’m busy working and he’s busy er, dreaming

too much squirrel chasing on a hot day means napping on the drive home

too much squirrel chasing on a hot day means napping the entire drive home. I took this pic right after I pulled into my driveway.

walkin....as we do

walkin….as we do

I love when I snap a mid-lip-licking pic. (that was hard to type!)

I love when I snap a mid-lip-licking pic. (that was hard to type!)

Another trip to the park

Another trip to the park

I also got a run in on Thursday evening. I waited for dusk hoping I wouldn’t struggle as much in the heat. I love the way my car looks at dusk. It’s really a charcoal gray color but it looks purplish when the sun sets.

Always reminded of how to live my life by my doormat

Always reminded of how to live my life by my doormat

Friday night I packed up and drove over to Mr. SOTSS’ house for the 3-day holiday (Labor Day) weekend. We had a list of things to accomplish and managed to get them all done! One of the things on the list was a long run along the course of the Staten Island Half Marathon that we’ll both be running next month. On October 9th I’ll be running it for the 10th consecutive year! It was my very first half marathon back in 2007 and I am excited to continue the streak. But I know from last year that the course now includes a fairly large hill at mile 9 and I thought it’d be a good idea for us to run it in training. Mr. SOTSS ran 8 miles with the hill being the last 1/2 mile of it and I ran 7. Close to where we’ll actually be running it on race day.

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That’s Mr. SOTSS making his way up the hill! He’s faster than me but I ran a mile less so we finished our runs pretty much at the same time :)

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Sunday morning I made us some pancakes. Mr. SOTSS had to work much of the day and I had some work to do as well so our day was spent mostly at our computers. pancakes

Sunday night we drove to Pier Village in Long Branch, NJ along the “Jersey Shore” to get a fix of the sounds of the ocean and watch the sun set. With Tropical Storm Hermine in the vicinity the waves were larger than usual. While we were there we strolled up and down the promenade a bit and then grabbed a bite for dinner. It’s the little things. I just love the sounds of the ocean.

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I always feel the compulsion to write in the sand.

I always feel the compulsion to write in the sand.

I love this! One of the restaurants along the promenade has a "dog bar". Tee hee!

I love this! One of the restaurants along the promenade has a “dog bar”. Tee hee!

And then yesterday we each went for a run in the morning and then took the dogs on a little hike.

more miles

more miles

monday-hike monday-hike-doodle hike-selfie

And I made sangria to go along with dinner to bring the weekend to a close.

Cheers to September!

Cheers to September!

How was your weekend?

Do you like running hills?

Do you like the ocean? Live near one?

Hey there

I’m taking a little coffee break and watching some Olympic volleyball and thought I’d fill you in on what’s been going on with me over the last few days.

Well, Duncan has been as lazy as lazy can be. I guess he’s just giving that expression “dog days of summer” true meaning. I can’t help but smile at him though. He’s got it so easy.

This dog!

This dog!

Lazy pose #1,267,468

Lazy pose #1,267,468

He's blocking the return key AND the delete key. This is a problem.

He’s blocking the return key AND the delete key. This is a problem.

Waiting for me to get out of bed.

Waiting for me to get out of bed.

Seriously!

Seriously!

Stairs for the mid-day nap

Stairs for the mid-day nap

I went for a run on Saturday. It was a very “blue” run.

Blue Vivofit, blue shirt, blue socks, blue sneakers and even a blue poop bag that was the "in case it rains and phone needs to be protected" bag.

Blue Vivofit, blue shirt, blue socks, blue sneakers and even a blue poop bag that was the “in case it rains and phone needs to be protected” bag.

In the evening I put on my photographer hat and shot a 50th wedding anniversary.

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Sunday I spent with my boyfriend’s family for a small get together to celebrate his youngest’s 11th birthday. The cake must have “shifted in flight” and ended up looking like an Alice In Wonderland cake being all lopsided but it sure did taste good and nobody cared about the presentation.

IMG_4935We all laughed and tried to rescue it from the box with multiple spatulas. I spent my obligatory time with the adults having adult conversation and then I snuck away to chew gum and practice blowing bubbles with Mr. SOTSS’ oldest daughter. She just learned this fine craft thanks to her dad’s fine instruction. We’re going to petition to have it become an olympic sport for the 2020 Olympics so we have 4 years to practice :)

I posted a slow-motion video of this bubble popping if you wanted to be blown away. OK being totally dramatic. It's not that exciting

I posted a slow-motion video of this bubble popping on Instagram if you wanted to be blown away. OK being totally dramatic. It’s not that exciting

She's getting better!

She’s getting better!

Hanging with the pooches

Hanging with the pooches

Yesterday I had to run an errand in the afternoon and found myself near the boardwalk so I took a quick 45 min walk and enjoyed the sunshine. Of course there I was walking toward the Verrazano Bridge and found myself feeling the pangs of the NYC Marathon.

IMG_4973I am not running it this year or next year. But there’s a part of me that wants to do the 9+1 next year so that I can qualify to run in 2018. We’ll see. I’m barely getting through my 4 mile runs these days.

Later on in the evening i took Duncan for a walk. We went to a park we haven’t been to in months. It was a nice change of pace for both of us :)

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This afternoon I struggled through 4 hot mid-afternoon miles.

Duncan has become addicted to licking the sweat off my legs this summer

Duncan has become addicted to licking the sweat off my legs this summer

Well, I better get back to work. I’d like to be wrapped up before primetime so I can watch the Olympics….women’s gymnastics!

Have you ever run the NYC Marathon? If not, do you want to?

Who’s ready for the fall weather? ME!!!!

Happy Friday,

I finally went to the doctor. Sinus infection. Starting on antibiotics. I should be feeling better in a couple of days. I am so stubborn but someday I’ll learn to go to the doctor sooner.

And now on to recap #2 of my double half marathon weekend. Sunday I ran the Staten Island Half Marathon for the 9th year running. (2007-2015). You can read last year’s recap here.

I love this race for so many reasons. It’s almost always a beautiful day weather-wise.
It’s so convenient for me to get to.
It’s my hometown and I am extremely familiar with the route.
It’s always got a large group of runners who are preparing for the NYC Marathon so there’s lots of runners running before and after the race creating this energy and excitement that the big marathon is coming.

This year there were a few changes. Because of a large construction project along the waterfront, the staging area and the parking situation have changed. There is no more parking at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal which is where I’ve been parking for the last 8 years. And the staging area has moved mostly to inside the ballpark of the Staten Island Yankees. I’m not a fan of change but this had to be and actually aside from parking becoming more challenging I think the ballpark staging area is kinda fun.

Mr SOTSS was actually supposed to run with me this year but after losing 6 weeks of running to plantar fascia issues he decided it was smarter not to attempt to run. He’s only up to 4 miles in his training. I asked if he would still come with me in the morning and drive so we could be armed to look for street parking. It worked out! We arrived near the stadium at about 7:15 and spent a good 15 minutes driving up and down all these windy one-way streets to find a spot. Then walked to the stadium to grab bibs/shirts and meet up with my running peeps.

He might not have been able to run the race but I’m sure he’ll get use out of his shirt.

12122912_10153115777157409_8752153912200066482_nI’m always a bit anxious on race mornings so it was nice to have my uber calm boyfriend there to ensure I was there with time to spare. Thanks boyfriend! XO

The start line and corrals were moved this year as well but I actually liked it better.

The gang....all of who ran the day before too

The gang in the corrals….all of who ran the day before too

In addition to all the changes at the start, there were a lot of changes along the course this year too, some good and some not so good which I’ll tell you about in a minute.

Once we walked to the corrals I kissed Mr SOTSS goodbye and apparently he then went on to a local dog park to let his dog Chester have some play time. I guess if you’re gonna miss out on running the next best thing is watch your dog play and be happy.

Text from Mr. SOTSS

Text from Mr. SOTSS. Actually it looks more like Chester made friends over drinks. LOL!

si-half-2015-running

Up until this year, during much of the course, there were lots of out and back portions of the route which I always enjoyed. I used to see the leaders of the pack as I was approaching mile 4 and they were probably close to mile 10 by then. but this year’s course changes removed those out and backs. I was kinda bummed about that. Not to mention since most of my friends are faster than me it would always be a good distraction to look for them as they passed in the opposite direction.

si-half-2015-smile

They moved the halfway point a bit so that now you run about 2 miles on the boardwalk. This makes the route more scenic for sure. It’s my stomping ground. It’s where I do so many of my long runs. (Including my 18 mile muscle-cramp run). I bumped into my friend Cindy on the boardwalk (around mile 7) and we stayed together for the remainder of the race.

And so i am back running exactly where I was during my crappy 18 miler

And so i am back running exactly where I was during my crappy 18 miler

The downside to the boardwalk is that it’s not so easy to run on. I usually do my training runs on the bike path that runs parallel to the boardwalk to avoid the wood slats.

There used to be a big hill at mile 9ish. Well, that hill is out but they replaced it with a BIGGER HILL! I knew it was coming since I’ve been along this part of Staten Island many times before. I biked here last year when I was injured.It’s really scenic and takes you directly underneath the Verrazano Bridge and then you can see a view of the NYC skyline but boy is it a killer hill.

Easy to take a pic when you're walking up a hill

Easy to take a pic when you’re walking up a hill

This pic is from the time I tried riding my bike up the hill. But gives you a good idea as to how steep and long it was.

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Dirty Old Sneakers has a great video on his recap that shows the hill a bit better. Mind you he’s fast and reached the hill while most runners were still running up the hill. By the time I got there almost EVERYONE was walking =)

And the views!

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Verrazano

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NYC

Cindy and I had both run the Rock n Roll Brooklyn Half the day before. We walked up the big hill and then mostly ran the remainder of the race with a little more walking at the last incline at mile 12. It was really great to have the company. I hardly ever get to share race miles with a friend.

Me and Cindy crossing the finish together!

Me and Cindy crossing the finish together! The guy behind us did Brooklyn the day before too!

We finished in 2:34 just 2 minutes faster than my first ever half marathon back in 2007. Because I’m a numbers person I added up and averaged all my times from the SI half and guess what? I average 2:30. So there ya go.

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i need to get more creative with my watch shots.

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You cross the finish line at home plate of the ballpark. It’s definitely a highlight of the course.

There was plenty of fluid stations this year and Gu was being given out at the halfway point. All in all a great race.

I’m probably going to lay low this weekend and try and get healthy again.

What are you doing this weekend?
Ever been to Staten Island?