Hudson 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 and 15K.
The 15K distance fit right in with my long run schedule in training for my half marathon on January 17.
So I signed up and hoped the conditions would be good enough for running.
This was my 5th 15K:
HMRRC #3 – 1:42:40 -same course
Stockeadeathon – 1:33:23 (PR)
Stockeadeathon – 1:42:22
Stockeadeathon – 1:36:08
My expectations for this one was to be around 1:40:00 and have a course PR.
My long runs had been on track until recently. I had been running 8 miles on the weekend. But then the past two weekends, I only ran 3.1 miles (in 5k races). Either it was too cold or I was too busy to add the extra miles.
Then there was the weather… it snowed/rained Tuesday & Wednesday and there was the aftermath Thursday-Saturday. Not a good week for running outdoors.
So today would be a stretch to run 9.3 miles… I was wondering if I should switch to 3 miles but then again, that would screw up my training even more.
I was nervous about going from 3 miles to 9 miles. I didn’t want to get injured.
Well, I decided to just do it and take it slow. If it felt like a strain, just walk a lot….just get it done!!
It had been freezing, snowing, raining all week but all winter races are cold & icy so I bundled up in my usual layers. Then I realized that today was a lot warmer so I revised my outfit.
It was in the 30s so I wore capris with compression socks and 2 shirts. I brought a jacket just in case.
I left early to get parking since these races are crowded and there are other events going on at UAlbany.
What I love about this local race is that you get to see a lot of people that you know.
I immediately bumped into Judy, Melissa & Karen, some SRMs. I also got to chat with Judy from FB and Heidi whom I ran the Love Run in Philly last year. I even saw some runners from the STEM group, the Turkey Trot group, my coach from that group as well as other familiar faces from races.
We stayed indoors until the last minute and then made out way outside.
I lined up with Judy who was running the 3 miler and Judy who was coming back from an injury.
The race is very informal – no bibs, no starting mat, no timing chips, etc.
I just told myself that this was simply a training run and just do it.
My Garmin actually found the satellite right away for a change but as soon as I started I noticed that it said “DATA FULL.”
Great. I didn’t want to mess with it and delete stuff while I was running so I ran the race “naked.”
Yup. There were no clocks or mile markers so I had absolutely no idea where I was in the race and what time it was.
The only way I realized we were looping the State Office campus was that I passed a volunteer that I knew 4 times!!
The course is very boring but it also has hills. Not steep hills, just a few rolling hills throughout. This year, I have tried to be better about hills and not walk up all of them. I think I did walk up 2 of them.
There were 2 water stops (mile 3 & 6??) and I stopped at both to take a GU and walk.
The problem with a small race of about 300 and being a middle of the packer, I ran almost all of the race by myself – no spectators, no scenery, no music, no Garmin. Every now and then, someone caught up to me, we chatted and then they passed me by.
I dressed perfectly. I didn’t need my jacket. I was warm & took off my gloves. Toward the end of the race, it got windy & started to drizzle so I did feel a little chilled.
The amazing thing was that I felt great the whole race. No aches and pains. No blisters. I actually felt stronger as the race went on.
Finally it was over and I sprinted across the finish line at 1:34:55.
I think I was 214th. This is a fast group. They gave awards for the top 2 in each 10 year age group. I was 4th in my age group.
I was happy with the results. With a Garmin, I might have been faster but I doubt I would have PRed. This was over 7 minutes faster than last year on this course and my 2nd fastest 15K ever.
I went inside to warm up and have some soup, bread, cookies, fruit, hot chocolate. Not a bad spread for a free race.
And this I think is my 33rd race and my last for 2014.
Happy Running! How you are enduring the winter? Did you run this weekend?