Friday Five: My five favorite races

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, the theme is My Five Favorite _____________________

Of course,  I filled in the blank with races….

You know that I love to race and I have run A LOT of RACES so it is hard for me to pick just FIVE.

Just to be interesting, I will pick 5 different distances.

Here they are:

1.  Freihofer’s Run for Women  (5k) – it is ALL women (more than 4000)– all ages, all sizes, veterans, newbies, elites, walkers.  When I ran it the first year that I started running (2008), it made feel like a “real” runner. Finishing it after suffering a serious injury (2012) helped me believe that I could be a runner again. And then in 2013, completing it with a broken foot showed me how strong (or maybe stubborn) I was.

2012 – in newspaper

2010 – in the newspaper

2014 – Troy Record

I love the downhill finish of this race and I also enjoy running through Washington Park in Albany, NY where I run often after work.

It is convenient since I can park at work and walk to the race to avoid the traffic and confusion.  There is an expo the day before where you get free Freihofers cookies and a loaf of bread.

2.  Spring Runoff (10K) – This 10K takes place in the spring and it a good way to kick start your racing season.  It is run along the Hudson River and on the bike path that I go to often for my long runs.

The evening before, there is a free pasta dinner where I met two awesome ladies.

The course is fairly flat and is my currrent 10K PR.

3.  Stockade-athon (15k) - This race is the oldest 15k in the country.  It takes place in the fall so the foliage is pretty and you run around Central Park and through the oldest parts of the city of Schenectady, NY.

It is a popular local race for me so you run into a lot of familiar faces.  The end of the race features food such as pizza, hot soup and cozy fireplaces.

4.  Adirondack Distance Run (10 miler) - There aren’t many 10 mile races around and this is a great one. It has a point-to-point course that starts in the village of Lake George, NY and ends in Bolton Landing. It takes place in early summer so it is not too hot or humid yet.

The course is rolling hills but you don’t mind since you are running along Lake George the whole way.

the end of the race

This is the route that I drive each weekend to go on our boat.

Since our marina is next door to the beach, I can have friends cheering for me at the finish line.

5.  Naples News Half Marathon (13.1) - This race is special because it was my first half marathon.  It was also held in one my favorite vacation spots.  I go there every year with my tennis friends.  The race was held on my wedding anniversary and my hubby was there waiting at the finish line. Plus if you live in the NE, January in Florida is a great getaway.

The course is beautiful with many views of the Gulf.

At one point, a priest blessed runners with holy water.

I don’t plan to repeat any of my half marathon races but maybe someday I will run this one again.

Happy Running! What are your 5 favorite races? Have you run any of the above?

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TTT: Exercising, Running Groups & the Weekend

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1. Exercising

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Community Care Physicians is a leader in the field of healthcare. With a strong focus on wellness and prevention, we are the first multispecialty medical group in the Capital Region of NY to open fitness centers that are available for little to no cost. Whether you are improving your lifestyle, restoring your quality of life due to a medical condition, or continuing a personal rehabilitation program, our gyms allow you access to the latest fitness equipment and personal training options conveniently offered by Community Care Physicians, PC.

Community Care Physicians has gym locations in Delmar and Latham. These gyms are unstaffed facilities that require you to enroll and get a key tag prior to entering. With your key tag, you will be able to access both gym locations during gym hours, Monday through Friday 5 am to 11 pm and Saturday and Sunday 7 am to 7 pm.

YAY!! FREE with my health insurance. I live in Delmar and it is 5 mins from my house on the way to and from work.  Double YAY!

You see, I don’t belong to a gym. It’s matter of money and convenience and time and motivation to go.  I had a treadmill in my basement but it is broken. Where I work, there is a treadmill back stage where it is dark, dreary and cluttered with junk. Yes, I use it when it is virtually impossible to run outside – thunderstorms, snowstorms, icy conditions, etc.

I know that strength training is beneficial to runners.  I plan to go ONCE a week and ONCE on the weekend.  I even signed my hubby up. I’ll keep you posted.

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Speaking of exercising, they are offering an exercise class at work on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Sounds perfect, right?  I wouldn’t have to leave the building.

I play tennis on Tuesdays so I went on Thursday.  There were about 10 people there (out of the 25 who signed up), a few young students but mostly older women.

Well, it was total torture!!!

The young buff trainer proceeded to lead us on training intervals that involved running, hopping, jumping jacks, burpees, push ups, etc. Definitely not explaining the moves, not helping you do them at your own level…he just kept you moving like a drill sergeant.

Yea, I did sweat but I was at a loss to follow along on many of the moves and unable to do some at the level he was asking.  I honestly didn’t get much out of it and vowed to never return.

Then I thought that I was too hasty and was going to reconsider until the gym opportunity arose.

2.  Running Groups

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Last Sunday when I bumped into an old friend, she mentioned this program.  She trained for the Freihofer 5k this way and is enrolled in it for the Troy Turkey 10k. (Incidentally, she has run 5 races, is training for a half and considering a full…I must be  a slow learner!!)

The training runs are on Monday evenings and Saturday mornings.

I can do the Mondays with no problem but I have races on most weekends and can only do 3 Saturdays.

I still think it’s worth it so that I can have some people to run with once a week and also for the drills that will come along with the training.

There’s an info session  tonight so we’ll see but I am leaning toward doing it.

3.  The weekend

I am not going to race this weekend!  You know I want to…and there are quite a few races out there that I could run…

especially this one:

I was very close to signing up for this one as my fall half marathon.  I know this is shallow but the deciding factor was no medal but then they changed and are giving one for the first time.

Instead of racing, I plan to do a long run on one of the bike trails on Saturday.

And spend Sunday on Lake George probably BBQing on one of the islands and maybe hiking.

Happy Running!  Do you belong to a gym?  Are you part of a running group?  What are your plans for the weekend?

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Tuesdays on the Run: Breaking through a mental wall in training

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: Breaking Through a Mental Wall in Training

If you train for a long race, you will hit no doubt hit a wall at some point in your training.

Here’s my advice:

  • Have a plan and stick to it.

my typical half marathon training plan

I always use a plan. I am not strict about my mileage during the week but I am for the long runs.  It gets me through the training.  Sometimes, I have to split up my run such as running a 5K and then add extra miles.  Sometimes I am so busy that I even split up my runs over two days.  But I make sure I get them done.  Training doesn’t seem so daunting that way and I know that by doing ALL my long runs I will be able to finish the race.

  • Do not let bad runs get you down.

Bad runs happen.  I think I have more bad ones than good ones.  You don’t accomplish anything by dwelling on them.  So many things influence your run – time of day, weather, health, what you ate, injuries, etc. So you just move on and remember:

  • Accept that running is not easy.

I always think that it should get easier and I should be faster by now.  But guess what?  Running is hard!

  • Vary your route.
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running near the Schroon River

I usually run on the bike trails for my long runs.  Even though they are nice, they get boring. This past weekend I ran on a new route and it was energizing. The new scenery took my mind off the miles.

  • Find a running partner(s).

Heidi & Adrienne, my partners in crime

I usually run alone. I find it easier to fit running into my schedule that way. I could find runners to do long runs on the weekends but most are much faster than I am.  When I was training for the Love Run in March, I did several of my long runs with the ladies in the photo above.  They were training for their first half.  Because they are faster and don’t walk during their runs, it helped me a lot and running with someone else made the miles less painful.

  • Sign up for a short race.

winning my age group at the Strawberry Fest 5K

When my long runs or training isn’t going well, I run a short race.  I am one of those runners who runs better and  faster in a race.  Races for me are a big motivator.  It restores my confidence.

  • Focus on the prize

yes, I earned a medal!

Think about the medal that you will receive when you cross the finish line and how proud you will feel no matter what your time is.

Happy Running!  How do you break through a mental wall in training?

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Monday running update

20140625-122436-44676505Last Week:

  • Monday – rest
  • Tuesday – 3 4 mile run, 2 walks at work, rest, tennis

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AM walk

PM walk

PM walk

  • Wednesday – 2 walks at work, 4 3.7 mile run
AM walk

AM walk

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PM walk

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after work run

  • Thursday – walk at work, rest, exercise class at work (YUCK!!)
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AM walk with my co-worker

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finished knitting a hat for my mentee’s 3-year old son for Christmas

  • Friday- 2 walks at work, 4 3 mile run, mah jongg
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AM walk

PM walk

PM walk

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legs too tired to do 4

  • Saturday – rest
  • Sunday – 5K race+ 5.5 miles, dinner out
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officially 28:16 – 2nd in AG

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+ .5 to & .5 from race

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great dinner out with friends & an old tennis teacher who was visiting

This Week:

  • Monday – walk at work, rest
  • Tuesday – 3 mile run, walk at work, rest, exercise class at work??
  • Wednesday – walk at work, 4 mile run
  • Thursday – 3 mile run, walk at work, rest, exercise class at work??
  • Friday- walk at work, rest, mah jongg
  • Saturday – 9 miles
  • Sunday – rest, boating?

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

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Teal Ribbon 5K race recap

I decided to run this race instead yesterday’s Race for the Cure.

This race was closer, smaller and just different. (I have run the Susan Komen race for the past 6 years.)

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lake house

The course was two loops in Washington Park (where I run often).

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I did run this race back in 2008, my first year running, but didn’t enjoy running a loop TWICE. I finished in 30:46 which at the time was my fastest 5K time. (So you see, I haven’t really improved much since I started running.)

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Moses Statue

Since I hadn’t registered ahead of time (This is a first.), I left early.  I parked at work and jogged/walked to the start. It is nice to run a race 20 minutes from where you live.

When I got there, I ran into quite a few runners that I knew.

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these crazy SRMs had run 10 miles to get to the race

Then I ran into someone I went to college with.

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Carol (on the right) has had 2 bouts with ovarian cancer

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I also bumped into someone I used to work with when I taught French.  I didn’t recognize her and I was shocked that she was a runner.

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Gina is to my right. I also met 2 former students.

Two ladies from where I currently work were there volunteering and I saw them too.

Soon it was time to line up.  There were more walkers than runners and we started in different locations and had a different course.

The weather was cool & breezy which was perfect for running. I actually wore a jacket until the race started.

I wound up chatting with a runner in my age group for awhile (about races).  The race started 20 minutes LATE since the registration line was holding things up

My quads were getting very cold and stiff waiting…

Eventually we were off to a congested start.  I tried to keep up with the lady that I had been chatting with but NO WAY! She was fast.  The first mile was tough.  My quads were stiff.  It was the first time that I had felt like that.  By mile 2, they has loosened up.

The course is basically flat with some rolling hills but none too terrible to handle (and I hate hills.)

The weather was cool enough that I decided to skip the water stop which was at the halfway point.

As I mentioned you had to run the course twice.  That meant that I saw my volunteer friends twice.  It was nice to have people cheering me on.  I tried to run fast when I passed them, of course.

Believe it or not, I willed myself not to stop at all during the race.  I wanted to during the last mile but I didn’t. I can’t remember the last time I ran a race without stopping…years ago!

The race end with a downhill which was very nice.

I was pooped but sprinted to try to finish under 28 minutes…

Nope, I couldn’t muster up the strength.

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There was no chip so you handled in the bottom of your bib to record your time.

Officially, it was listed as 28:16.  Strange.  I know I crossed much sooner than that.

While I waiting for them to post the race results, I checked to see if I won any raffle prizes…No luck!  Then I had banana and 2 delicious home-baked muffins.

It turned out that the runner that I had been chatting with before the race start won 1st in my age group and by over 2 minutes.  I came in second place.  They gave out handmade mugs but only for first place. Darn!

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Even so, I was happy to have run this race.  They raised over $100, 000 to support ovarian cancer ! My friend Carol raised the 2nd largest amount!

Splits:

mile 1 – 9:07
mile 2 – 9:20
mile 3 – 9:17
.1 –   6:32

My race goals were almost the same as my last 5K:

  • run each mile under 10 min. YES!
  • run the whole thing.  YES!
  • set a course PR.  YES!
  • have fun & stay healthy. YES!

Since they were only awarding first place in each age group, I omitted an age group award from my goals. (Good thing since I didn’t get one.)

After the race, I jogged back to my car. The wind has picked up and the sun went in and I was really cold.  I stopped for a cup of hot coffee at Starbucks, put on my DIY arm sleeves and then headed out for more miles.  I really didn’t feel like it but I knew that I have been slacking off and that 10 mile race will be here before you know it.

I decided to run around where I work and in some new neighborhoods.  It was slow but fairly enjoyable.

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apples -a sign that fall is coming!

I covered 4.5 miles and if you count the .5 to the race, the .5 from the race, and the race itself, that’s 8.5 miles for the day! YAY!

Now I can go out out to dinner with friends and not feel guilty!

Happy Running! How was your weekend?  Did you run or race?

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Friday Five: Blogs to love

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, the theme is Blogs to Love.

This is a tough one.  My morning routine is to open BlogLovin’ on my iPad and to read running blogs.  It is so hard to just pick FIVE but know that even if your blog is not listed here, I still enjoy catching up on your running life.

1. Shut Up and Run.

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Beth’s blog always makes me laugh.  She is open and honest and discusses EVERYTHING related to her running. She is also an incredible athlete who completes in  Ironman competitions and runs faster than women half her age.  You should definitely subscribe to her blog if you don’t already.

2. My Journey to Fit.

I enjoy Shelly’s candid approach to running and staying fit.  She is also a knitter so I love seeing her latest projects. I can identify as an older runner with her training and desire to have more speed.

3. Age Groups Rock.

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We are the same age, so I can relate to Andrea and the things that she discusses on her blog.  I have also met her and have really enjoyed running several races with her. Believe it or not, at age 60, she started competing in triathlons.  She is inspiring!

4. We Run Disney

 

Pam, who is also my age, and her daughter write this blog.  Obviously they love Disney races but they also run other races.  In fact, they just ran in Ireland.  So I follow their racing with envy. Even though, Pam is over 60, she is still running marathons and has BQed!!

5. Ali on the Run.

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Although Ali is young, she has endured incredible setbacks due to having Crohn’s disease.  However, her attitude is amazing and she keeps rebounding. If I am not feeling well, I think about the pain that she has suffered through and I go out and run.  I also LOVE her pictures of New York City!

Happy Running! Which blogs do you love to read?

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Pink or blue?

No, I am NOT having a baby or at my age, a grandchild.

It’s about racing for a charity.

This Saturday, there is a 5k that I have done for the past 6 years.  I even ran it with a stress fracture. The race used to take place the first weekend in October. Many years I ran it as part of a team.

at the Race for the Cure in 2013

1 in 8 women will be stricken with breast cancer in her lifetime. In fact, I have 9 friends who have all battled this horrible disease (if you read my blog, you may recognize them):

  • Top Row: Judy, Mary Ann, Mary M. Ava
  • Middle Row: Sally, Phyllis, Maria, Sue
  • Bottom Row: Mary W.

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The Komen Northeastern New York Race for the Cure® raises money to fund education, screening & treatment programs for these women & supports the national search for a cure.

On Sunday, there is the Teal Ribbon 5k Run/Walk, coordinated by Caring Together, Inc. which seeks to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and raise funds in support of research toward developing an early detection test as well as more effective treatment options for women with recurrent ovarian cancer.

I ran this race my first year of running but not since.

I have a college friend who has had 2 bouts with ovarian cancer and has a team walking in this race. Two people from work are volunteering and I know some others who are running it.

yes, I do have teal-colored running clothes

Both races support causes that I feel strongly about. (There are at least 6 other races that also support important charities this weekend.)

The races both take place in Albany.  The Race for the Cure has the same course as the Freihofer’s and will probably have 4000 runners.  The Teal race will have much fewer (about 300) and the course is 2 loops in Washington Park.

So I haven’t decided yet.  I’m leaning toward the Teal Ribbon….

I forgot to mention that the reason that I am free this weekend is that a race that I signed up for in Lake George was cancelled.

Biggest Loser race did not have enough interest -Darn!

Happy Running!  Do you ever choose your races based on the charity?

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