10 weeks over… time to race

Well, it’s come down to this.  Our 10 week training program is over.

I was a little worried about enrolling in this program.  I wasn’t used to running on hills.  The runs were in Troy and I would have to deal with the 5 pm traffic. Would everyone be faster than me? Would I enjoy it? What if I couldn’t do the Saturday runs?

  • Yes, there were hills.  I ran up some and walked up some.  But I got better.  They didn’t kill me.
  • I succeeded in getting to Prospect Park and RPI on time with minimal problems.
  • The runners were super nice.  Yes, some were faster, some were slower.  But you were never left behind.
  • I looked forward to my weekly group runs.  I even went to them on my normal rest day (after my 10 mile race and 15K race on the previous day.)
  • Monday’s runs were more important.  They included drills and speed work.  Saturday runs were for distance and I usually ran more on my own. So I didn’t miss much only going on Mondays.
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my first Saturday run & the last one

Even before I know how I will do on this 10K race, I can talk about the benefits of the program.

  • Meet new runners. New friends. Great conversations (about running, of course.)
  • New places to run –Prospect Park, around RPI, bike path near Knickerbocker Arena
  • Speed drills – I never do them on my own.
  • Hills – yes, they are necessary if you want to get faster and stronger.
  • Motivation – it’s more motivating to run with others.
  • Great coach (not to mention that he was young and cute.)

Coach Patrick is #2786

I am already planning to sign up for this training group challenge again as it is offered for the Freihofer Run for Women this spring.

Now the race…

It’s a big one…. it will be crowded.

The race starts at 8 am so it will be cold. Hopefully the streets will be cleared from the Wednesday snowstorm.

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some forecasts say 6-12 in  I hope they’re wrong.

Since Troy is hilly,  I assume that the race will be too and you run over the Green Island Bridge and back.  That’s all I know.

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Our coach says to divide the race into thirds – first 1/3 – start out strong, second 1/3 – ease back, last 1/3 – kick into high gear. We’ll see about that.  I do not have the stamina to run the whole 6 miles but I’ll do my best.

Race Goals:

A. PR (under 58:28)
B. Finish under 1 hour
C. Finish under 1:04:54
D. Finish happy and uninjured

Whatever the results, it should be a fun time and I am looking forward to running it with my training group (followed by a big dinner!!)

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Happy Running! Are you running a Turkey Trot this year?

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Tuesdays on the Run: Runner’s Gift List & Pro Compression Review

Erika @ MCM Mama Runs hosts Tuesdays on the Run with April @ Run the great wide somewhere and Patty @ My no-guilt life!

This week’s topic is: Runner’s Gift List

Here are my 5 recommendations:

  • a Watch

Forerunner 10

Forerunner 220

If you are a runner, you know how important it is to track your distance and pace especially during a race and training for an important race.  I couldn’t survive without one.  I have the Garmin 205 which is rather large and I am not sure how long it will last.  I would love to have a new one, Santa!

  • Running Shoes

Mizunos Wave Rider 18s

Hokas

“I have too many pairs of running shoes,” said no runner ever!  I love my Mizuno Wave Rider 18s that I have in black.  It would be nice to get another pair ..in pink?

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I have heard a lot about Hokas and how supportive they are. I would love to try them….

  • a Running Skirt

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runningskirts.com

I can’t believe that I ever ran in shorts.  Skirts are so much more comfortable and they look so much better (especially if you don’t have a perfect body.) Those from Runningskirt.com are my favorite.  I love their length and that they have 2 pockets.  I have a few but not enough….

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I don’t have any from SkirtSports but I think I would like them.  They come in cool designs and I have heard that they are comfortable.

  • Running Jewelry

Every girl likes bling! And how nice would a charm with a message or commemorating a race distance be…

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I am wearing one that <3 Running

  • Socks

Having the right socks are almost as important as the right shoes. The only time I don’t wear compression is when is very hot or with capris. I get blisters so I heard that Feetures are a great low sock to buy.

However, my favorite socks are compression ones from Pro Compression.

I wear their Marathon socks and I love them!!

Here are the key features of these socks:

1. True Graduated Compression
2. Arch support with just the right about of compression
3. Stabilization zone thru the sides to mid foot. Helps provide foot bed comfort.
4. Open toe box so it will not keep your toes too tight.
5. Wide cuff for added comfort.
6. Moisture wicking materials
7. No blisters!

If that’s not enough, here are some more reasons to buy them:

1. Their socks are MADE in the USA
2. They always have a super fun Sock of the Month!  A new sock designs every month with a discount!   Sign up on the home page under: Receive Monthly Specials.  
3. They are one of the few compression socks companies that makes a true graduated compression sock (They work!)
4. They sell direct.  That means bigger discounts and more focus on the customer.  Their goal is to make sure everyone is in the correct sock or sleeve that is best for them!

I have worn other compression socks but after I had serious ankle surgery, I was worried about be able to run again. I bought these socks because they boasted that they help reduce swelling and inflammation while providing critical support to muscles and tendons.

Well, I was able to run with no pain and minimal recovery time.

Sarasota Half Marathon

first Half Marathon after ankle surgery

However, why I buy really them is that I NEVER HAVE TIRED LEGS! I have not had any calf issues, shin splints, PF, IT band problems, etc.

Stockadeathon

during a 15K race

In fact after my last 10 mile race, I continued wearing them and walked around a sculpture garden for 5 hours!! Imagine that!

10 miler -  1:38:45

Most recently, I PRed in a pair at a 15K race.

Stickadeathon - November

So if you want to buy a pair, enter the code PINK2 at checkout for a 40% discount! (This code is valid thru Dec. 15.)

For more gift ideas, click here.

Happy Running!  What is on your list? Have you worn Pro Compression socks?

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Disclaimer: I received the Pro Compression socks free of charge as part of a Fitfluential/Sweat Pink campaign. All opinions are my own.

Monday Running Update

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Last Week: (Week 4 of HM training)

  • Monday – walk at work, 4 mile Turkey Trot training group run (@RPI) (cancelled – rain), 4 miles on the Treadmill
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stuck doing laps indoors

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caught up on Revenge

  • Tuesday – walk at work, rest, tennis, 4 mile Turkey Trot training group run (@RPI)
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too cold & windy outside

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warm up, 9 X 1 min race pace/1 min jog(on track), cool down

  • Wednesday – walk at work, STEM group run + (4 miles)
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view from the inside

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2 miles run/walk + 2 miles run

  • Thursday – walk at work, 3 mile run at lunch, dinner out with tennis ladies
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free hors ‘oeuvre for 10 thanks to a raffle that AJH won

  • Friday-walk at work, gym, mah jongg

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  • Saturday – 5 4 mile Turkey Trot training group run (@Knickerbocker Arena) – my 1st & last Sat group run + 3 4 miles

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  • Sunday - rest, pick up race packet, gym, cooking movie?

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This Week: (Week 5 of HM training)

  • Monday – walk at work, 4 mile Turkey Trot training group run (@RPI) – last one!!
  • Tuesday – walk at work, rest, tennis
  • Wednesday – DAY OFF, STEM group run, gym, yoga
  • Thursday – DAY OFF, 10K race, dinner out
  • Friday- DAY OFF, STEM group runmah jongg
  • Saturday – 5k race?
  • Sunday - 8 mile run, movie?
I’m linking this post up with Tara at Running n’ Reading for her Weekend Update!

Happy Running! How is your running going?  Any races ?

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My 1st & last Sat group run

Yesterday was Week 9 of our Troy Turkey Trot Training.  (The race is this Thursday!!)

I have attended all 9 Monday workouts & have enjoyed them.  But before yesterday, I had attended NONE of the Saturday runs.  I almost went last week but bailed due to the cold temps and early hour.

The same conditions existed yesterday and I so wanted to wait to run later but I dragged myself there for our LAST run together before the race.

The Saturday workouts are held at Knickerbocker Ice Arena.  The ice arena has bathrooms and you can stay warm indoors until the workout starts. The runs are done on a nearby bike path (Uncle Sam Bikeway).

obviously a summer photo

After getting last minute instructions for our race on Thursday, we headed out to run.

The plan for the day was a 40 minute run – 20 minutes out easy, then turn around, run 10 minutes at race pace and then the remaining 10 minutes easy.

It was very cold — in the teens with the wind chill and windy (and no sun!) but I was dressed appropriately in layers and with a hat, gloves & tights.

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The bike path is flat with just a few hilly portions – nothing compared to RPI.

I ran most of the time with my friend Gina and when she was ahead, with Helen.  It’s nice to run with others. Chatting makes the minutes go by faster.

And of course, I push myself a lot more than when I am by myself.

I’m not sure my easy pace was any slower than my race pace.  I run slower when I am tired and faster when I have the energy to do so.

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the run is done & everyone is heading home

When we were done, we had run about 4 miles.  I was tired and cold and considered leaving with everyone else but decided to continue running and get my long run done.

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I took a Gu and headed in the opposite direction for a mile. It was still cloudy and running into the wind made it seem even colder.

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I thought this direction was more scenic but shorter so I had to turn around and head back.

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Then I ran 1 mile in the original direction & returned (my hands were too cold to take any more pics.)

So four more miles which makes 8 miles for the day.

When I was done, the sun came out, of course.

I was glad to have gone to at least one Saturday group run. I discovered a new bike path but while I was running, I didn’t see another single person.  Maybe it was too cold but it was a little creepy being out there alone.

The rest of the day was spent with my usual weekend activities – cleaning, laundry, cooking, shopping, etc – pretty exciting?

Happy Running! Did you run this weekend?  If so, how did it go?

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Turkey Trotting

There’s nothing better than a race before stuffing yourself on Thanksgiving.

I just read in this article about how popular running on Thanksgiving is:

In 2009, I ran my first turkey trot & I did it in Central Park in Schenectady.  In 2010 & 2011, I did one in my hometown.

2011 in Delmar

In fact, the 2010 turkey trot was my 5K PR for 4 years until very recently. In 2011, that same race, changed its course. I was injured in 2012 and then last year, my favorite local turkey trot went NON-TIMED.

2013 in Delmar – No bib, no chip

Until this year, I ran 5Ks on Thanksgiving.

But this year, I am going for the big one…in Troy and a 10K.  About 10,000 runners total with about 1,500 in the 10K.

I know nothing about the course except for the map below:

I participated in the Turkey Trot Training Challenge and enjoyed it a lot.  Unfortunately I could only go to the Monday training runs. Nevertheless, running with a group at least once a week, definitely improved my pace.  It also was helpful to run on hills since I tend to avoid them on my own.

The best part was meeting new runners.

I doubt this race will be a PR 10k due to the crowds and the hills but I hope to have a good race.

AG award – would be nice but this race attracts the speedsters.

Here’s my 10K racing history -

2012:

  • Camp Chingachgook 10k – 1:09:07

2013:

  • Hmrrc Winter Series #3 (10k) – 1:08:18
  • Helper’s Fund 10K – 1:06:10
  • Monster Scramble <10K – 1:03:18 (short course!)

2014:

  • Spring Run Off 10K -1:00:51
  • Camp Chingachgook 10k – 1:04:54
  • Great Pumpkin Challenge 10K – 58:28 – PR

Proof that despite getting older, I am getting faster.

 Happy Running! Do you run on Thanksgiving?

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Friday Five: Favorite Fall Food

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Every Friday, three DC area bloggers Mary at Mar On the Run, Cynthia at You Signed Up For What?! and Courtney from Eat Pray Run, DC to host the Friday Five linkup.  Anyone can join with their own Friday Five post (yes, it must be a Friday Five!!)  They encourage you to visit other blogs on the linkup, comment, share and engage!

This week’s theme is Favorite Fall Food

1.  Apple Pieespecially when it is homemade with local apples (warm with vanilla ice cream is the best)

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Recipe

2. Sweet Potatoes

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Recipe

3. Pumpkin anything

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this is pumpkin chili

Recipe

4. Butternut Squash Soup

Recipe

5. Cider Donutsright from the oven

Happy Running! What are your favorite fall foods?

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Holiday Traditions

It’s that time of year!!  I personally love the holidays. And there are things that I do EVERY year…

On the running front:

  • Thanksgiving Turkey Trot – when I am healthy I like to run a 5K.  This year, I am running a 10K for the first time.
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MaryPat & I usually run it together

me & MaryPat at the Delmar Turkey Trot

  • Running through the lights in the park.  The lights go on at 5 pm from Nov 20-Jan 1.  Cars don’t enter until 6 pm. Perfect place to run for one hour in the evening.

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  • The Last Run in Albany – a crowded 5k that starts with fireworks and weaves around the park above.

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waiting inside before the race

  • Running anywhere & anytime during my TWO weeks off from work!!

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Non-running activities:

  • Thanksgiving – my hubby & I usually go out to a restaurant and then stop by his mother’s after to visit with her & his sons.
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outside our favorite restaurant in Lake George

  • a trip to NYC – to see the decorations, etc. with friends

fun in the city

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  • Decorating – since the kids are grown & we don’t entertain much, I have scaled it down – just a small tree and lots of snowmen (love them!)

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  • December Birthdays – my mentee Amanda’s is Dec 9 and her son is December 14. I have friends with birthdays Dec 10, Dec 12 & Dec 17. There will be a lot of dinners out to celebrate.
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Lights in the park for Richard’s

Amanda, me & Hannah enjoying our chocolate fondue desset

dinner & a movie for Amanda’s

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many birthday desserts

  • Cookie Swap at work – it’s the only time during the year that I bake cookies.
christmas cookie exchange at work

I try not to eat all of them & give some to my hubby

  • annual work party – we used to have a big fancy one with spouses. Now we have a luncheon at work.

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  • annual dinner with my tennis friends – Chinese auction and sing a-long

tennis party

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  • Christmas Day – first with my mentee & her sons and then to my hubby’s mother to see her & my stepsons.

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  • a trip to the NYC Boat Show - my hubby loves to look at boats & I love the city.

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  • New Year’s - we usually do something with our Lake George friends.

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Happy Running! What are some of your holiday traditions?

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