Still a Runner

A Blog by Mary Lou Harris

Archive for May, 2014

Blog Break – Words of Wisdom from the North

Our words of wisdom this week come from Olympian and 1980 Boston Marathon winner, Jacqueline Gareau. A fellow member of the age group 65-69, Gareau continues to race, to conduct training and running workshops, speaking engagements and is a massage therapist in Sainte-Adèle, Quebec.Unknown

The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy…It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed.

Blog Break – Words of Wisdom from the West

I’m taking a deep breath with a blog break, but leaving you with some words of wisdom from the woman who once again placed first in my age group (AG65-69) at the Boston Marathon in April, Blondie Vucich of Vail, Colorado.  Her words of wisdom:


Photo Credit: KUSA

Not to give in to the thought that just because you’re getting older you know you can’t compete, you can’t compete on a high level or you can’t compete on any level. It really is amazing when you set goals for yourself and you go after them, and it’s kind of fun to keep chalking up the years.

Although Blondie’s advice is directed to older runners, it can apply to so many aspects of life. I’m pondering that on my break.


Kicking off my Blog Break

It’s amazing what you find at the bottom of the in-box. I’m catching up on some of the areas of life I have put to the side as major projects and training took precedence.

One of the items set aside was a package from the folks over at Hungry & Fit. It contained a smashing pair of tomato-red Moosejaw sunglasses, just in time for my blog break. Nothing says summer break like a pair of red sunglasses. IMG_0057

Hungry & Fit is a great blog, knowledgable in food and fitness. My favorite to date is a post this couple did in April of 2013 titled 6 Exercises You Should be Doing Over 60. I keep a link handy as a reminder when I’m traveling or on those days when there is nothing of intensity scheduled. All you need is your body, a few square feet of floor space and, for exercise #2, a resistance band . 


In place of my usual posts, expect to see some of some of my favorite quotations from women athletes, primarily senior women athletes, and I’ll catch up with the conversation on my return.sun-wearing-sunglasses

With or without tomato-red Moosejaws, enjoy the sunshine. 

A Breath of Fresh Air at Local Races

The perfect wind down after the beautiful big-race, big-city Boston Marathon is a local, scenic race. Or two. I rarely schedule two races in a weekend, or a week, but two local runs last weekend were not to be missed. A Saturday race with an 8 a.m. start took me on rural roads over Peter’s Mountain. Signs reading “stay in low gear” are a wake-up call on this winding early morning drive.

Millersburg Ferry

Millersburg Ferry crossing the Susquehanna

Arriving in the town of Millersburg, a turn toward the river takes you there, passing a swinging pedestrian bridge and the ferries, recently added to the National Registry of Historic Sites. The 5K benefits The Millersburg Ferry Boat Association. The Dick Fralick River Run 5K is a  winding loop primarily through a park located along the Susquehanna River. The team of Jeremy and Caryn Hand make this 5K a success with Jeremy organizing and directing and Caryn baking up a storm to provide delicious dessert door prizes photoand selling perfect-for-running hair band creations that stylishly hold back rebellious locks. My 25:54 finish gave me a first in AG 60+ and a $15 gift certificate to the Armstrong Valley Winery.

Post-race with AG friend Joy

With  AG friend Joy post-race

This calls for another trip over Peter’s Mountain to check out the winery and redeem my certificate.



Sunday brought the second not to be missed race, the Harrisburg Area Road Runners Club (HARRC) 40th Anniversary Celebration 5K/10K. 10341664_10203637338075484_3556217530479668456_nHARRC was created at the beginning of the running boom and has been there through the waxing and waning of interest in running. HARRC originated the Harrisburg Marathon and has held a club run, open to members and nonmembers, every Sunday for 40 years. Along with organizing it’s own races, HARRC continues to help other organizations raise funds by providing volunteers and has timed other races beyond count.

Under the direction of Kelly Spreha, it was a cool windy morning run on a loop of hilly tree-lined lanes on the former State Hospital Grounds  and through portions of the Capital Area Greenbelt. I chose the 10K and finished with a 53:33. The race  which raised funds for Owen’s Foundation had a strong turnout, good media coverage, great food plus a wonderful opportunity to see friends.

Happy Anniversary, HARRC

Happy Anniversary, HARRC

Some participants were charter members of HARRC and others weren’t yet born when the organization was founded but play an integral role in continuing its success and service to the running community. Here’s to another 40!

Eating our Way to the 5-Boro Bike Tour


Bike New York’s TD 5-Boro Bike Tour is once again upon us, Sunday, May 4. I won’t be there this year, but am wishing good weather, a good ride and good eats to my friends who will be. Maybe I’ll consider 2015. And, maybe I can convince fellow travelers to do a repeat of some of the wonderful food stops we enjoyed last year.

A 40-mile bike ride and a 4 a.m. volunteer stint required adequate nutrition, and what better place to find some good eats than New York City.

Our culinary tour included:

Mile End Deli:   This Brooklyn eatery, walking distance from The Flea, has a walk-up carry-out window and a sit-down dining area that accommodates 20- 25 people max. Most of our group ordered smoked meat sandwiches, making comparisons with the smoked meat at Montreal’s delis.  I ordered a hot dog along with a a side order of slaw and frites, which were flavorful and plentiful.


La Silhouette An evening meal took us to a Manhattan restaurant familiar to friends Phyllis and Mike from her days of living in New York. I have since heard this restaurant closed in late 2013 and no word on it reopening. Pity, because it had a wonderful ambience, a varied menu with beautifully prepared entrees, particularly seafood dishes, and service that was flawless.

Joe G’s Following a long and chilly day for our five cyclists,P1010218three of our crew opted for comfort food and a cozy restaurant.  We chose this below-street level restaurant near our hotel.  At Joe G’s you will find dark wood, white tablecloths, pleasant staff and a selection of Italian dishes perfect for four tired senior athlete travelers.

If you give any of of our dining choices a try, please let me know if you agree.  For me, I can’t wait to return to New York for the sights, the food and the athletic events.  P1010227

And maybe next time, I will step out of the volunteer t-shirt and onto two wheels.

Before I return to NYC for the 5-Boro Bike Tour, I will be making my way through the five boros at the 2014 New York City Marathon. I’m looking for some additional dining choices and will be building my list early.  I’ve already received recommendations for Brooklyn’s Grimaldi’s pizza.  Any other suggestions out there?