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?

runner-sig

 

 

Friday Five: Favorite Fall Food

DC_linkup

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)

IMG_4043

Recipe

2. Sweet Potatoes

DSC03064

Recipe

3. Pumpkin anything

IMG_4075

this is pumpkin chili

Recipe

4. Butternut Squash Soup

Recipe

5. Cider Donutsright from the oven

Happy Running! What are your favorite fall foods?

runner-sig

 

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.
20131128-101953.jpg

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.

20131223-192831.jpg

DSC03084

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

20131214-200207.jpg

waiting inside before the race

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

20131228-192451.jpg

20140105-144826.jpg

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.
DSC03065

outside our favorite restaurant in Lake George

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

fun in the city

20131205-102259.jpg

  • 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!)

20131202-181918.jpg

  • 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.
20131216-073543.jpg

Lights in the park for Richard’s

Amanda, me & Hannah enjoying our chocolate fondue desset

dinner & a movie for Amanda’s

20131219-075035.jpg

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.

holidayparty2013 003

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

tennis party

DSC03310

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

20131225-183802.jpg

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

20140104-174141.jpg

20140106-121001.jpg

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

20140101-172254.jpg

Happy Running! What are some of your holiday traditions?

runner-sig

Drills and Hills…Are they worth it?

20140414-162048.jpg  IMG_3788
My weekday runs used to consist of running before, during or after work.  The distance was whatever I had time for and the speed depended on how tired I was.

20131130-133334.jpg

It seemed to work for me.  When I wasn’t injured or recovering from an injury, I was fast enough and once I hit 60, I usually won an age group award in a race.

Then at the end of September, I joined a running group – the Troy Turkey Trot Challenge.

And once a week, our 10K coach had us run “Intervals.”  The intervals varied…sometimes one minute, sometimes 2 minutes and even 4 minutes.  Each interval was run at race pace with the last one being the fastest and each interval was followed by a recovery slow jog or fast walk.

To make matters worse, we had to run up hills.

ac403-runhills

At first, I really struggled and walked up part of every hill.  I did get a little better and then we switched locations where the hills were longer and steeper.

And yes, I still hate them but I accept them.

So the question is…have interval and hill drills helped me?

5k

Run for the Roc – 5K PR – 27:11 PR

10K - 58:28

Great Pumpkin Challenge - 10K PR – 58:28

10 miler -  1:38:45

10 Mile PR – 1:38:45

IMG_4278

Stockade-athon - 15K PR – 1:33:23

FOUR PRS!!

Since I have not been injured all year and have been running consistently, these PRs may have happened anyway.  But me (and my coach) like to think that the drills have made a difference.

Will I do drills on my own?  Probably not. But I have discovered the benefit of joining a training group or having a coach.

Happy Running! Do you do drills?

runner-sig

Tuesdays on the Run: Running in tough conditions

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: Running in Tough Conditions

  • RAIN
lr2

Love Run 2014 in a monsoon

I generally don’t run in the rain unless I have an important race (That’s 2 1/2 half marathons in the pouring rain!!!).  There is no way to avoid getting wet, but I recommend putting your phone in a plastic bag, wearing a cap with a brim and/or a hood and a waterproof/water resistant windbreaker.

lg2

Lake George Half 2011 in the sleeting rain

Don’t forget dry clothes for after the race.

  • SNOW

YakTrax 001

In the Northeast, if you run in the winter, you will have to run in the snow. I look for a place to run where the road or sidewalk is clear and if not, I wear YakTrax.

20140105-150947.jpg

20140214-143503.jpg

20131214-203250.jpg

Last Run 5K 2013 in a blizzard

  • ICE

20140222-161533.jpg

Stay home.  Use a treadmill. I don’t run on the ice.

dreadmill

boring but safe

  • COLD
Polar Cap - February

a cold Polar Cap 2014

Lots of layers but not too many or you’ll overheat.  Wool socks, thermal gloves & a hat are the most important.  I like something I can zip or unzip around my neck.

HMRRC 15K - January

a frigid HMRRC 15K 2014

It was sub zero , I think for the race above & I even used hand warmers.

  • WIND
20140315-131747.jpg

a windy Runnin of the Green 2014

Wear layers.  You feel colder when it is windy.  Start out running into the wind and end (when you are more tired) with the wind at your back. I also wear sunglasses to protect my eyes (contacts) from the wind.

Cherry Avenue Extension Bridge Over Rail Trail

IMG_4308

Run on a trail or path where the trees shield you from the wind.

  • HEAT & HUMIDITY
Run for the Roc - September

Run for Roc 2014 – 11 am start – hot!

Hydrate…hydrate…hydrate and wear moisture-wicking clothes.

sshm4b

a humid Saratoga Springs Half 2014 – almost passed out after this one

Run early before it gets too hot or in the evening.

Happy Running!  Any hints about running in tough conditions? What was your toughest race?

runner-sig

Monday Running Update

img_3641
Last Week: (Week 3 of HM training)

  • Monday - walk at work, 4 3.5 mile Turkey Trot training group run (@RPI)

IMG_4274

week 8 of hilly intervals – 4 X 2 min.

  • Tuesday – walk at work, rest, tennis

IMG_4022

  • Wednesday – walk at work, STEM group run + (4 miles)
20140414-132241.jpg

windy & nasty

IMG_4283

  • Thursday - walk at work, 4 mile run 
20140415-114711.jpg

cold….indoors today

IMG_4290

some of the lights are on in the park

  • Friday-walk at work, gym, mah jongg
20140328-111949.jpg

brrr

IMG_3982

  • Saturday – 6 mile Turkey Trot training group run (@Knickerbocker Arena) – my 1st Sat group run + 3 miles 8 solo runs

IMG_4320

  • Sunday - rest, gym, movie (St Vincent)

good one – bring kleenex

** I won a Tribesports giveaway – out of almost 3000 entries, I won a racer-back top and capris (value – $102)

This Week: (Week 4 of HM training)

  • Monday - walk at work, 3.5 mile Turkey Trot training group run (@RPI)
  • Tuesday – walk at work, rest, tennis
  • Wednesday – walk at work, STEM group run + (4 miles)
  • Thursday - walk at work, 3 mile run at lunch, dinner out with tennis ladies
  • Friday-walk at work, gym, mah jongg
  • Saturday – 6 mile Turkey Trot training group run (@Knickerbocker Arena) – my 2nd Sat group run + 3 miles
  • Sunday - rest, gym, movie?

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

runner-sig

A Cold Solo Run

Yesterday was week 9 of my Troy Turkey Trot Challenge Group.  It was the first Saturday that I haven’t been either racing, away or working.  So I could go….

But I bailed!

I went to bed late Friday night and work up to windy temps in the 20s.

I love the group and enjoy running with them but I wimped out and waited until it warmed up to the 30s and drove to the Nisky Bike Path.

It was cold and windy but the sun made it feel warmer than it was.  I shed a layer before I started and only wore a jacket and shirt with tights, a hat and gloves.  I was fine and even warm at times.

IMG_4306

This is one of my favorite places to run ever since I discovered  that it continues beyond Lock 7 and to Blatnik Hill.

IMG_4291

not many people out today

After 2 miles or so, you run on a trail to get to the rest of the bike path.

IMG_4293

With all the leaves gone, you have better views of the Mohawk River from the trails and the path.

IMG_4292

Once you are on the next section of the bike path, there are several trails that you can take that go along the river.

IMG_4308

I found that with the rain & snow we had recently, the trails were a little slippery.

IMG_4307

I was careful to not have a repeat of the ankle debacle of December 29, 2011.

IMG_4312

IMG_4313

I ran/walked along 2 of the trails and then continued on to Blatnik Hill.

IMG_4314

I ran up it most of the way and then down and continued until the path ended.

The worst part of this run was that I was starved.  My stomach was growling.  I had a gu before I started and then had to have one at mile 3.  Unfortunately, I had nothing left to eat.  The last of my 8 miles was my fastest because I couldn’t wait to get to my car.  A bagel, protein bar & chocolate milk awaited me.

Of course, I had to stop at Target where I can never get out of the store without spending $200,

All in all, it was an enjoyable run.

I know I should have gone to my training group run and I know it would have been fun running with the other runners.

Next Saturday is the last one…maybe I can motivate myself to go….

Happy Running!  Do you do your long runs solo and with a group?  Which do you prefer?

runner-sig