I have been saying that we’ve had a mild winter. It’s come back to haunt me. This past week, I’ve woken up to single digits. Thankfully, it warmed up (but still freezing) and I was able to survive the after work run.
Last week –
Monday – My legs felt good despite running 2 days in a row. It was cold again but the hard part was that I had to run alone. But got it done and then met my BFF for a walk around mall.
Tuesday – No running today since I was scheduled to sub in my former tennis group. It was fun catching up with my Tues. tennis pals and of course, at dinner after.
Wednesday – Fleet Feet again offered an after work run as part of their running club at Nine Pin Cider). Yes today was also our 20 year wedding anniversary. No gifts or celebrations (dinner on the weekend and a renovated master bath!) But instead, I decided to do my run right away in town and chill at home with a glass of wine.
Thursday – Another after work run. Usually I run at UAlbany with some of the Sole Sisters. But with illnesses, injuries and work, no one was able to run with me. Solo for the 3rd time this week. At least I got caught up with my podcasts.
Friday – Rest day and still home to play mah jongg. Life is good (except for the snow on the ground.)
Saturday – Long run Saturday with the Sole Sisters. This week, we planned to run on the Delmar Rail Trail but that darn snow covering made us change to The Crossings I started early since I had to run more miles than the others. Unfortunately Barbara got sick at the last moment, Judy was in Florida and Sherry was there as well to run the Key West Half so I had to run my first 5 miles alone. Then I ran a few with Judy & Chris and the final 5 miles with Deidre. Glad to have those miles done and go to brunch before the storm hit.
it actually got colder as the run went on
After I was done, I did some errands including get part B of my shingles vaccine. Believe or not, the the pharmacist was a runner and running the Gasparilla Challenge in a few weeks.
Sunday – Our first snowstorm of the year! Trapped in the house to get some cleaning and de-cluttering done. Looking for a restaurant open so we could go out to dinner. (No luck so far. May have to cook :()
This Coming Week –
Monday – DAY OFF – 4 miles (sub zero temps – no way jose)
Tuesday – 3 miles with SS
Wednesday –3 miles (volunteering with STEM)
Thursday – 3 miles with SS, dinner out with tennis friends
Friday – rest day, mah jongg
Saturday – 12 miles with my Sole Sisters (Feb. 10 half marathon training peaks)
As I have mentioned before, theHudson Mohawk Runners Club sponsors FREE races throughout the winter for its members. The course is pretty boring but free is free.
This weekend, they offered distances of 3M, 10K and 25K. I am in throes of half marathon training so instead of racing the 10k (as I usually do), I ran long the day before and chose the 3 mile race distance instead.
Last year, this race was not held (due to the re-scheduled Jan 1 race) but I ran this race in 2017, 2015 & 2013.
WS 3 – 2017
WS 3 – 2015 with Bridget & Elisa
WS 3 – 2013 with Melissa
Choosing the shorter distance this year gives me the opportunity to compare my time to other Winter Series races of this distance. The 3 Mile course is offered frequently. (3 out the 5 races.)
But as you know, even running the same distance on the same course is not the same – different weather conditions and feeling different physically.
So running 10 miles the day before this race would most likely impact how fast my legs were wiling to go. And having a half marathon in four weeks also would make me hesitate to go all out for fear of injury.
That being said, my goal was a decent recovery run with running friends and no aches and pains afterward.
Then unexpectedly (even though he was very old), my cat died the night before. I was very very upset and really didn’t feel like racing but I knew it could only make me feel better.
I got lucky with the weather for the second day in a row. It was COLD (teens but single digits with the wind chill) but sunny. As usual on this campus, it was windier than anywhere else..
I left early to get parking since these races are often crowded and there could be other events going on at UAlbany. But there didn’t seen to be as many runners as in previous weeks. Maybe the freezing temperature scared people away.
What I love about this local race is that you get to see a lot of people that you know.
I immediately bumped into many familiar faces and even some runners that I haven’t seen in awhile.
I wound up talking to Judy and Karen and we stayed indoors until the last minute and then made our way outside. However they were running the 10K and they lined up in a different location.
Sole Sister Heidi arrived and we started the 3 miler together.
As I’ve mentioned in my previous race post, the Winter Series races are very informal – no bibs, no starting mat, no timing chips, etc. So I try to start not too far from the front.
As usual, when you start up front, you immediately get passed by by it seems everyone. These races attract all the speedy local runners too.
I just told myself that this was simply a fun run and just take it at your own pace. Having not warmed up, my legs felt like lead and I couldn’t get moving.
It was so cold that it was also hard to breathe…at least for the first few miles (and then of course, it was over.)
I looked down at my Garmin and it said LOW BATTERY. In the stress of my cat’s death, I forgot to charge it.
I don’t care about pace but since the miles aren’t marked, I sometimes like to see where I am in the race.
Then I looked down and my shoe was untied. UGH! I thought of stopping but it was too cold and a pain to have to take my gloves off so I just ran gingerly making sure not to trip and fall.
The course is very boring (zero scenery besides office buildings and highway) but it also has inclines. Nothing steep, just enough to keep it interesting. I wanted to be better about hills and not walk up them. And I didn’t walk at all.
Runners kept speeding by me…but they were actually those running the 25k!!!
I saw Alyssa ahead of me the whole race. I was surprised since I had thought that she was running the 10k. She acted like my pacer.
Eventually I did see the finish line and saw a time for the first time in the race. It said 27:xx. I sped up and managed to crossed around 27:24. There’s no timing chip. You honestly write down your time on a piece of paper and hand it in.
I was 30 out of 80. This is a fast group, as usual.
I chatted with others at the finish line while waiting for Heidi to cross.
If it were warmer, I would have waited to cheer on Karen and Judy. But I was cold so Heidi and I went inside to warm up and have some chili (red pepper & quinoa), bread, cookies, fruit, hot chocolate. Not a bad spread for a free race.
They gave awards for the top 2 in each 10 year age group. I was 3rd this week.
mile 1 – 9:17 (crawling – 8:50 last time)
mile 1.8 – 9:18 (still a crawl)
mile 1.8-3 – ??? – (must have sped up) 27:24
WS Series #1 – 28:08
2017-18 WS Series – 26:49, 27:02
So it wasn’t a 3 mile PR or course PR (but not a PW either).
I was happy with the results and that I decided to run this race.
I get one more try at this distance in two weeks!!
As you know, the Tuesdays on the Run link up has been retired. There is now a new link-up organized by Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner). The new link up is called Tuesday Topics and start today!!
Since today is Tuesday, I’m also linking up with these ladies.
Yup, I’ll be running my first half marathon of 2019 in one month….gulp!
Last week –
Monday – My legs felt good despite doing my long run the day before so I took advantage and ran after work in my town …for a change.
Tuesday – No running today since I was scheduled to sub in my former tennis group. I was pretty rusty but it was fun catching up with my Tues. tennis pals and of course, at dinner after.
Wednesday – Fleet Feet again offered an after work run as part of their running club. I thought about it and I may go next Wed (It’s at Nine Pin Cider) but I decided to run locally again instead since I had errands to run. Luckily the rain had stopped but boy was it windy!!!
Thursday – An after work run at UAlbany with one of the Sole Sisters. Another windy night!! We froze. But always glad to have someone to run with.
Friday – Another rest day (even colder and still windy) and still home so I could go play mah jongg.
if case you’ve never played, this is what it looks like…just add lots of conversation and laughter…we are competitive and you can win from $.25 to $1.00 a game. High stakes.
Saturday – Long run Saturday with the Sole Sisters. This week, we met to run at the Corning Bike Path. It was VERY cold (teens) but at least the sun was out and the wind had died out. I ran my 10 miles with Judy (8 with Barbara) and I was glad for their company.
This week, our run was followed by a book club. We all read Let Your Mind Run by Deena Kastor and got together to eat and discuss the book. First knitting, now reading. What will our running group tackle next?
But on a sad note-
no words. just tears
Sunday – Today I ran in the Winters Series #3 Race. Usually I run the 10k distance but because I ran long the day before, I switched to the 3 miler. I’m glad that I did and it’s always a fun time (even though it was 2 with the windchill, my Garmin battery was dead and my shoe was untied for the whole race) since I get to meet up with so many familiar faces.
This Coming Week –
Monday – 3 miles, mall walk with BFF
Tuesday – rest day, tennis sub
Wednesday –3 miles (FF Cider run?)
Thursday – 3 miles with SS
Friday – rest day, mah jongg
Saturday – 11 miles with my Sole Sisters (Feb. 10 half marathon training continues), anniversary dinner (20 years on 1/16)
Every year, the Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club puts on the Winter Series, a series of free races for its members ($5 for non-members). On New Year’s Day, starting at noon, they offer the Hangover Half or 3.5 mile Bill Hogan Run as Winter Series #2.
In 2015, I ran the Hangover Half (as a training run.)
and it was a very cold one
Then in 2016, 2017 and 2018, I wasn’t that crazy and I only ran the 3.5 Miler.
It was definitely more enjoyable so I decided to run the 3.5 miler again. They call it a 3.5 miler but I realize each year after the race that it is actually 3.75 miles.
Starting at noon meant that I was able to enjoy my New Year’s Eve.
I arrived at UAlbany early figuring that there are a lot of local runners who do these races and I wanted to get a close parking space.
The weather was so much better than last year (even the re-scheduled race date was freezing). Today it was forecast to be in the high 40s but I worried about the wind on this course. It is always windy!
I took a big risk and wore a skirt. The good thing was that there is an indoor place to hang out before and after the race.
This race brings out everyone I know who runs – from running groups, races, friends, etc.
So it was great seeing everyone and catching up. I immediately bumped into runners that I know from races and lots of Sole Sisters. We hung out inside and chatted until the very last moment when we had to go outside.
I was hesitant about what to wear. I was afraid that my cap would blow off with the 40 mph wind gusts or that I would be cold without a jacket (which I brought). In the end, I went with my gut and I was perfectly dressed.
Eventually we did have to leave the nice warm building and climb down the stairs and head to the start.
I just squeezed in near the front in order to keep warm and be shielded from the wind.
I told myself to have a “relaxing” race and not try anything stupid and get hurt.
This course is not flat. There are annoying hills throughout. Nothing awful until you are tired (at mile 3).
pic from last year…no snow this year but no blue skies either
This was the first year that I can remember that there was NO ice or snow.
I won’t lie. I was a little cold especially with the wind but at times, I was warm and unzipped my vest. I even eventually took off my gloves. I was happy with my clothing choice.
There were about 230 runners running the 3.5 miler (and 225 in the half). I was never running alone. I ran with someone I knew several times when they caught up to me but soon they left me behind.
I wasn’t bothered at all by my apparent lack of speed. I was just trying to get a run in. I wanted to run the race without walking too since I rarely do that during my weekday training runs. And I did for the first two miles. In fact, I was feeling pretty good.
There were no mile markers on the course but I could hear my Garmin beep. I couldn’t pay attention to my pace or time because my Garmin was under my long sleeves. (Probably a good thing.)
another pic from a previous year
As I mentioned, I was feeling pretty good until mile 3. This was the most boring part of the course as well as uphill. To make matters worse, the wind was incredible here. There were times that I felt like I was not even moving forward. I struggled and the wind seem to suck the life out of my legs. Runners were passing me by, even a runner pushing a child in a stroller. I finally gave it and walked. But it was just as hard to walk into the wind and so I started running again. At this point, I just wanted to finish.
Finally, it was over and I was surprised to see that the clock read 33:XX minutes. I knew that it would not be a course PR but I actually thought that I was even slower than that.
So I sprinted and crossed at 34:14 (according to my Garmin) and 34:15 on their clock.
I was content!!
Soon after, Karen and Alyssa finished. We chatted and then Barbara and Judy came in.
We waited for Judy and then went inside. Somehow we missed Sherry.
These free races are not chip-timed. They handed you a piece of paper and then you recorded your time.
mile 1: 8:50
mile 2: 9:01
mile 3: 9:27
.75 – 9:23
Good old positive splits. Nothing has changed for 2019. LOL
Again this year, the course was long!! I was surprised that in these windy conditions I was faster than last year (35:45) and not far behind my course PR from the year before (34:04). Nevertheless, I was happy with how I ran the race. I never felt really tired or that I was pushing hard. I think if it weren’t for the wind, I could have run the whole thing and had an even better finish time.
Definitely not disappointed to not have chosen to run 13.1 miles in this weather.
For a free race, they have decent refreshments – vegetable soup, bread, fruit, cookies, hot cocoa.
And I had all of the above and many pieces of cranberry bread.
I waited around for awhile and chatted with other runners and for Barbara’s niece to finish the half marathon.
They give 10 year AG awards to the top 2 in each group. Two years ago, I won 2nd place and a free loaf of bread. Not so this year. I was 5th.
So a race and a perfect way to start off 2019!
As you know, the Tuesdays on the Run link up has been retired. There is now a new link-up organized by Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner). The new link up is called Tuesday Topics and starts today!!
Since today is Tuesday, I’m also linking up with these ladies.