Runner’s Review: Athlinks

It’s true: Not everyone has gone through the effort of setting up a website that lists personal race statistics. (I’m poking fun at myself here.) Athlinks does this work for you and gives it a better look than I ever could.

The front page is simple: Type in a racer’s name and search. (Simple is good.) What’s returned is just so cool. Any race result that includes a match for the entered name appears. It’s this next nugget that’s a bit curious. You’ll notice pretty quickly just how many racers share your name. But that’s ok! Athlinks lets you set up a profile. You can then claim those specific results belonging to you.

Storytime: I’ve always registered for races using my full name. However, I shortened it on 1 occasion. (I have no idea why.) Coincidently it was my best 13.1 time. The issue was that different results would appear depending on how I spelled my name in the Athlinks “Search”. Quick emails to both the race to update my registration and then to Athlinks to refresh their postings resolved the matter. Thank you, Athlinks!

Now my favorite part: Upon claiming races, Athlinks puts you through their statistical blender. “Total Races” and “Total Race Miles”. Not a big deal. But highlighting your best 13.1 and 26.2 and then calculating your percentage rank indicating where you fall among your peers? Very nice!

The ability to claim races is a feature that deserves even more discussion. Perhaps you had a race you prefer to just forget. Well, you don’t have to claim it. Also, on 1 occasion I injured myself shortly before race day. The race had a no-transfer policy. No one likes losing an entry fee, so @HalfMarathonGal just grabbed the bib and ran in my place. (I won’t be claiming that race but perhaps she will.)

There’s quite a bit more that I really haven’t delved into. Following and messaging others. A “Rivals” feature (guessing this provides the ability to enroll yourself in a little friendly competition). And there’s a race finder as well.

Any respectable review has some constructive criticism, right? The profile picture posting seems a bit buggy. I’ve only been able to add one race picture to my profile (and that took multiple attempts). That’s about it. Their mobile website is nice as well.

There’s no doubt I’ll be posting my Athlinks profile link to my website:

Smuttynose 13.1 (Year 3)

October 5, 2014: 13.1 Miles
Last year I ran Smuttynose (NH) 13.1 in 2:04. Two weeks later I ran Baystate 13.1 in 2:03:35. This year I’ve been chasing the dream of a sub-2. I set a goal for myself of running four 13.1s. Usually my times improve in the Fall. So when I ran Newburyport (MA) 13.1 on June 1, I ran it for fun -but ended up dealing with an issue I had not previously encountered. Only 4 days before the race I had the stomach bug. Still, I persevered and finished the race. Then Old Port 13.1 (Portland, ME) in the middle of July. Again, just for fun, with my only goal to beat my time from last year (I did).

On to Smuttynose 13.1. My weekday training was only 4 miles per because I’m now working at my kid’s school and I have to get everyone ready, run, showered, and out by 8:00 AM. The shorter days can also make life tougher. Finally, I’ve recently encountered some slight knee and achilles issues too.  But my running became stronger and despite some things going not as planned, I felt I was going to reach my goal. This was the third year in a row running this race. And the first time it was sunny! Either way, it was going to be a great day. The course was changed this year because some of the residents complained (I would love to tell them some choice words). All was going as planned. Pre-race I cycled through the potties 3 times in 1 hour and got lined up with the 8:30 wave. The first 8 miles were great. I was 3 minutes under my goal and then, I had to pee. There were no good places to peel off into the woods so I finally found a port-a-potty (3 actually). I followed a guy thinking he would be quicker than the 2 women. Wrong. I lost almost 4 minutes waiting for the guy! I was upset. There was nothing I could do, so I went to one of the other potties and never saw the guy come out. Mile 10, I was back to an 8:50 mile. Then my knee and achilles took turns the last 2-3 miles bothering me. SOB! I finished in 2:06. If I hadn’t encountered the pee issue, it would have been 2:02. And if I had just sucked up the pain, it would have been under 2. Oh well.

I had fun of course. But I’m also frustrated with myself. I get mad. I cry. I feel like I could have dug deeper and done better. One day I believe I will. I will not let this define me or make me stop running. I am better than that and I remind myself, it was still 13 point freakin’ 1 miles! I will beat you Smutty!

13.1 Gal’s Blog: Oct2014

October 1, 2014
Well, the countdown is almost over for Smuttynose 13.1 (10/5). I’m still running every other day, but it’s getting tough. Sunrise isn’t until after 6:40 AM! As much as I LOVE running, it will be very tough once I get done with Smutty. I will still do it on the weekend. But in the winter it will be too cold in the early morning to head out and it is completely dark at 4:30 PM :(  And no, we don’t have a dreadmill. So as I prepare for Sunday’s race, I’m sad I won’t be able to run as often to help keep off the winter weight.

Looking forward to taking a friend there who will be running his first half. In the last year, he has lost +40 lbs through diet, running and biking. He has also learned the joys of outside running -which he used to think was inferior to a treadmill. Also looking forward to hanging out after the race with a few friends that I learned are running it as well. Praying for a nice day on Sunday so I can enjoy the beer tent, lobster rolls, and clam chowder -this is my 3rd year in a row running Smutty, and it has rained the last 2 years!

13.1 Gal’s Blog: Sep2014

September 25, 2014
I know, I know. I have been so terrible about writing this year :( But I did run another half in July. I went back to Portland, ME to run the Old Port Half. I knew I wouldn’t PR (hills) but that’s ok. It’s always such a nice family day. I did beat my time from last year (which is always good). And I did enjoy my 2 free Shipyard beers by the water. And I had a wonderful mid-July afternoon tooling around Portland.

My life took another turn when I got a full time job working at my kid’s school. As, a result, my running schedule had to be adjusted. The other issue is – the days are SHORTER! So, I wake up @ 5:45, get into my running gear, and get all the lunches made …then I wait for the sun to start to come up. One positive from all this -almost every run I PR! I’ve decided to run the Smuttynose Half again (Hampton, NH). I am really hoping to break 2 hours. I guess we will find out in 10 days.BAA2015-2Now on to BIGGER and BETTER news…..Rich (Runner’s Resolve) found out yesterday at 2:48 PM – after waiting (sometimes patiently, sometimes impatiently) for a week and a half – he made it in to Boston for 2015! We are so excited. I’ve had the hotel room booked since June 13 and the kids think it’s the coolest thing ever. I couldn’t be more proud of him. He has worked so hard. The journey has taken us 2 years so far – due to injuries last fall and the fall before. But here we are. The countdown is already on. Persistence paid off. Boston, here we come!

13.1 Gal’s Blog: Jun2014

June 14, 2014: 3.9 Miles
I know it’s been too long since I last blogged. At the beginning of May I ran the Stoneyfield 5k with my 8 year old daughter. At times she got mad at me but as she blazed down the final stretch to the finish line and heard the announcer say her name, the look she had was priceless and her smile went on for miles! A truly proud moment for me.
I also ran my first half of the year on June 1. It was the Newburyport River Run (Newburyport, MA). I didn’t do it in the time I was aiming for -and that really pissed me off.

20140601_164406 (1)
I know my training wasn’t what it should have been, but I was on track with my work-outs to do it in 2 hours. On the Wednesday before the race I had a stomach bug (puking and all). By race day I thought my body was back from being sick but I guess not 100%. Never before have I felt like I was going to throw up while running and that day I did. After a disappointing race, part of me wanted to hang up my trainers. But then I realized: some of the things that went wrong, I had no control over. Moving on, I have run 3 times this week (after taking a week off) and last night I signed up for the Old Port Half in Portland, ME (July 13)! I ran this one last year and it was HOT. This year they are adding misting tents at 3 water stops on the back half of the course. I know this is NOT a race I am going to PR in (hills), but I sure am going to have a damn good time running it!!!

Top 10: Race Selection Criteria

The order seems to change for me with every finish. (I partly put this together because sometimes I overlook details when shopping races.) What did I leave out?

1. Finisher’s medal included? (Been burned before.)
2. Flat and fast?
3. Course certification: It’s not a given.
4. Proximity to home: packet pickup, gas, hotels, etc.
5. Age group awards.
6. Bag drop-off.
7. Time of year.
8. Size-of-field.
9. Historical participant finish times.
10. Established race: Gotta be careful with those inaugural signups.

Others Receiving Votes: Port-a-potty details, Post-race festivities, Photography (at least 1 race has offered free photos), Pace teams, Start time, Parking (shuttles -ugh), Race Shirt, Locale, Terrain (pavement, trail), Registration fees.
check list2

13.1 Gal’s Blog: Apr2014

April 25, 2014: 3.9 Miles
I don’t know the last time I was able to squeeze 3 runs in a week, but I did it! Marathon Monday required only a half day at work, so I came home and got wrapped up in watching Meb bring it home! Then I went out and tried to be like Meb! Not quite as fast but it’s fun to pretend :) Took today (4/25) off work. By the time I got some things done around the house and ran a few errands it was a race against the clock to beat the school bus home! I made it with 20 minutes to spare. On today’s run I took 23 seconds off my first mile and 12 seconds off mile 2! I usually get frustrated when I check my watch and my pace isn’t what I hoped. So now I start the timer but then change the display to the clock so I’m not constantly checking my pace. So happy that my time is improving!

stonyfield 5k 2014

My 8 year old daughter and I are signed up for a 5K next weekend. She’s been begging me to take her along. I told her we could as long as it isn’t about our finish time. I know she always hears Rich and I talk about our times. But for her first race I told her it’s only about having fun and finishing! Stay tuned for pics and an update following our race :)


April 11, 2014: 5.3 Miles
I know, I have been lacking on my updates. My running took a hard hit after the Smuttynose Half and Baystate Half only 2 weeks apart last fall. I only wanted to take a couple weeks off but then respiratory infections turned into bronchitis and the holidays were insane! And not to mention, living in NH this winter has been a little chilly! Then I started working again after 8+ years (substitute teaching at my kid’s school). Its nice! I’m on our kid’s schedule, I know a lot of the students, and love the staff. I’m now trying to figure out a good training plan. Some days I don’t know if I’m working until 6:30 AM that morning. I’m signed up for a half in Newburyport, MA June 1. Should be fun!

Now that the majority of the snow is gone, it’s mud season. Which always makes for a fun run since my favorite route is mainly a dirt road. You see signs like this along the way:


Or this. Its like my own personal mud run! And then I get a good laugh at all the horrible tracks in the road. Many are at least a foot deep and I wonder how anyone in a car can get down this road!


As some of you know, I have chickens. Unfortunately, we lost 4 or 5 over the winter. So we do like every other chicken farmer, we get more. Our flock was down to 8 layers (although not EVERYONE was laying). We bought 3 more girls that just started laying as well as 6 chicks. Yes, chicks. I didn’t think I’d ever want them. More effort and you have to wait 6 months to get your first egg. I don’t care how cute they are -that’s a lot of work! But at the feed store, my husband and son kept saying, “Are you sure you don’t want chicks?” And I gave in -but oh my, they had some great breeds! This is “Snickers”, a Black Austrlorp. Now I am even busier than ever before!


Again, I’ve signed up for a half, the Newburyport River Run 13.1 (June 1)! I love Newburyport, MA. It’s such a neat, quaint town. I’m soooo excited about this race and then hanging out there after with the family.


I hope all had a decent winter. There is hope for Spring. I know because I saw flowers blooming on my run :) For now, I will keep Boston in my heart as the anniversary approaches, my feet on the road, and my rally cry for my husband who is running the Maine Coast Marathon on Mother’s Day while fundraising for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Anyone who would consider helping out – Donation page: Here. Any help is greatly appreciated. Happy running and stay Boston Strong!


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