Albany - T-shirt

4 down only 48 to go.

Damn – I have got to be the only person who can gain 2 pounds in the same weekend as running a half marathon (HM). It might have something to do with my diet. Friday night I wasn’t overeating, I was carb loading. Saturday, for lunch, I had a cheeseburger, fries, and chocolate malt, after all I had just finished a HM. Saturday night I had half a pizza and almost a bottle of wine because, you know, I ran a HM that morning. Apparently this is not an effective way to lose weight. Who knew?

Fun fact: Running a HM burns about 1300 calories.
Not fun fact: A cheeseburger, fries and malt have about 2100 calories.

Tim carb loading Friday night

Tim carb loading Friday night

I have lost 5 pounds since our first HM. That’s not as much as I was I hoping to lose in the first month, but it is a pound a week. If I can lose a pound a week I will end this project having lost 52 pounds! Are you impressed with my math skills? I hate it when I read about people trying to lose weight and they don’t give any real numbers. You don’t know whether to root for them or tell them to shut up, already. So although I’m embarrassed to write this, I topped out at 181 pounds. As someone who has spent most of my adult life at about 135 pounds. I am finding it awkward and tiring to live in this body. Most weight loss stories I have read (a lot, I’m obsessed with the – how I lost weight – genre) feature people who have been heavy all their life or gained weight slowly. I gained 45 pounds in a little over a year, so I’m still getting used to my body. Chairs are smaller, I misjudge doorways, I overheat when I run, and when I do yoga a belly gets in my way during poses that used to be easy. I hope my weight gain phase will make me a better, more empathetic yoga instructor. I also hope it is short lived.

At this point you might be thinking – where is the race report. I hope this isn’t going to be another stupid diet blog. Well, too bad. This is going to be a diet and running blog. I’m not running a HM every weekend just to keep in touch with my knees.

After the Haulin’ Aspen run I felt destroyed. I had blisters and my body felt so sore I could hardly walk (not just because of blisters). I was also dizzy and disoriented with a bit of heat exhaustion thrown in. After Catherine Creek I was so sore that I walked funny for 3 days, so I was concerned that I would be in bed all week after Haulin’ Aspen but much to my surprise I woke up Sunday morning only slightly achy. Could my body really be adapting to this nonsense?

We loved the Albany HM! It’s our favorite road race so far. It was a fund raiser for the local schools and most of the volunteers were students. They did a great job. When I saw the route map I died a bit inside because of the many turns (I have a history of getting lost in races) but there were volunteers at every intersection. And they were full of enthusiasm while keeping everyone on the course.

The morning was cool and comfortable. Tim always starts out with me so he doesn’t go out too fast but at some point he pulls away and I don’t see him again until the finish line. It is best for both of us if we run our own races. I soon caught up to 2 women and ran behind them for a bit. The woman I was behind moved to let me pass but I declined as they were going my pace. Much to my amusement the older woman (I never did catch her name) speculated that I was drafting. Keep in mind that we were running about 13 minute miles at this point. I couldn’t let that pass without a joke and inserted myself into their conversation. I found out the older woman was 72. I found that impressive. She soon pulled away and me and my new running buddy settled into a good conversational pace. For a while I thought I was going to be beaten by a 72 year old woman but at some point, still ahead of us, she dropped out. She didn’t appear injured and I don’t know what happened but about the halfway point a car pulled up and she jumped in and they drove away.

I was grateful that I had Ruth to help me chat the miles away. It was her first HM and she ran it brilliantly. Unlike my first HM where I went out too fast and had to practically crawl the last 3 miles. Congratulations Ruth, I hope to see you on the road (or trail) again. You can talk about a lot in 8 miles. There is a rule in running that states – What is said on the run, stays on the run. Much of our talk was of that variety. This 8 miles was the longest solid block of running I have done since we started this project. I’m sure I would have walked sooner if I didn’t have interesting conversation distracting me from what was happening to my body. Ruth said she likes to speed up for hills to get them over with. I on the other hand was hoping for a hill so I would have an excuse to walk. So when we came to the only real hill on the course we parted ways and I turned my music on. I had pretty much covered my feet in NewSkin so even though I felt my blisters right away they never got any worse. Soon I forgot all about my blisters because I had arm chafing that got progressively more uncomfortable until I felt like I was being attacked by fire ants. I tried running with my arms out (like I was playing airplane) but that was awkward and I felt dumb. It was a grim last 4 miles. It was getting hotter, so I was sweating more, which made my chafing sting even more. Towards the end I was running with my right arm pressed against my side, lumbering like Quasimodo.

My right underarm

My right underarm

The last couple of miles were a walk/jog comedy as I explored different ways to hold my arm. Sorry, there are no pictures of this. I did manage to rally a small sprint at the end.

Much to my great happiness the after race food included cold chocolate milk! This race was so efficient with such attention to details that I’m sure it was put on by runners. The race director needs to write a book for other race directors called something like, The Care and Feeding of Runners.

Tim took a picture of me and Ruth, but it turned out awful so here are our finish line photos.

Notice both feet off the ground

Notice both feet off the ground

Yay! - First Half Marathon.

Yay! – First Half Marathon.













  • T-Shirt sizes ran big, way big


  • Super friendly, helpful volunteers
  • Good cause
  • Smooth packet pickup with a nice expo
  • Free massage
  • Plenty of aid stations
  • Good traffic control
  • Instant printout of your time, pace and placing
  • Good food
  • Chocolate milk!

What was really special about this race was how much everyone involved cared. Everything that could be done was done to ensure that the runners has a good experience and felt important. It was a charming race, in the best sense of the word. We both highly recommend this race. It would be a perfect first HM both because it is relatively flat and because the last person across the finish line is treated with as much enthusiasm as the first. I hope I can run this HM next year. And I hope to see you there.


  1. I can relate to the “why can’t I eat whatever I want since I run so much”. I was at my HM training peak of 20 miles a week and gaining weight. (Never mind that I fell off the training wagon 3 months before the race.) I think that I was just so hungry all of the time that I had a hard time making “good choices” about my food. That pizza and a beer sound WAY better than a salad with water after a run. Especially when you have a pizza parlor that will deliver the beer with the pizza.

    Keep it up! Looking forward to the next post.

  2. Dang I need to proof read before I submit. It should have said, “although your arm looks like it really smarts”. Sigh

  3. I’m proud of you! Great job. Although your looks like it really smarts! I to am loosing weight – by diet. I need to start exercising so I don’t loose muscle. Thanks Tim for the link! I will probably buy the first pair in a store so I can try them on.

    Sharon, thanks for sharing EVERYTHING! I truly think this will help you as a yoga teacher. I think you will have figured our different ways to get to a pose around the fat. And your right eating like that after running isn’t going to help your cause. Damn it! Don’t you think that if you run a HM you should be able to eat anything and not gain weight? Actually I thnk you can but first you have to lose the weight you have THEN you can eat as much as you want! I appreciate your humor and your honesty! Miss you guys!

  4. Hi Sharon! So good to read your blog and your witty comments about being overweight making you a better yoga teacher. Now you know what the rest of us go through!!! I am happy to hear you are losing weight, even though it’s not as fast as you’d like it. I weighed yesterday – and I’ve lost 10 pounds in the 7 weeks I’ve been on the new eating program. I’m very proud of myself, and I’m finding it easier to stay within the alloted grams of fat per day. Next week, they add the calorie counting, so that will be new challenge.

    Finally am back in yoga, started today. It was such bliss to be “home.” I still miss yoga with you, think of you every day. You were and are the best yoga teacher in the universe as far as I am concerned. Plus you are very funny and you know weird facts and on top of that you have a witty and wacky husband. You’re a pretty all-around gal, my friend.

    Love your humor about your HMs….just stay with the program. I feel like I’m running my own HM with you, starting yoga again, getting back into cardio and Zumba, etc. Have rejoined TRC so I can have more challenge in my yoga classes than just chair yoga.

    It’s the weekend, so I won’t call you until early next week. I’ll be thinking of you on your HM tomorrow, and hoping you don’t chafe -blister – sweat – curse too much! Love you bunches!

  5. Hi Nancy. Thanks for alerting us to the email issue.

  6. Your posts are so fun to read Sharon :O) I wanted to wish you and Tim good luck on this coming up race, it sounds like there will be some really pretty sights along the way. Looking forward to reading about how it went next week!

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