My Favorite Race Changes its Course

This Thursday is for thinking… so I am linking up with Running With Spoons

I am thinking today, of course, about my upcoming 5K race…

This is the only race that I’ve run every year!

Due to construction, they are changing the course.

So it is even more exciting?

They say that this course will be faster…less congestion and less steep hill at the start.

As with this race every year, I never know what will happen…

Will I be on the first page of the sports section again?

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Schenectady Gazette 2010

that’s me 2nd from left (2010) – Timesunon

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me again in the purple (2012) – Timesunon

I should be recovering not running a 5K.  I just race a half marathon last Sunday.

But how could I miss my 8th Freihofer’s Run for Women?

Yes,  for the 8th time, I am running this race. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

The Freihofer Run for Women is my favorite race:

  • It is ALL women – all ages – all sizes – veterans  – newbies – elites – walkers
  • It is a real USATF race with Olympic runners in it.
  • It feels so good to be a part of its excitement.
  • The results are printed in the local newspaper and even though I finish around 2000, I am happy if I finish in the top half.
  • You always meet someone you know.
  • Running it in 2008 made realize that I actually was a runner.
  • Being part of other runners’ first 5k in 2010 made me proud.
  • 2011 was my FRW PR year.
  • Finishing it in 2012 (after serious ankle surgery) helped me believe that I could be a runner again.
  • I broke my foot at the beginning of the race in 2013 and still gutted out a finish under 30 minutes!
  • In 2014, I ran as part of a team to raise money for a former student who was diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • It ends with a downhill :)
  • Maybe I’ll make the newspapers again…

This is the first time I trained with a running group.

5 pm group. There are 3 other groups

Training is a loose term. I kinda just showed up.  Monday runs were always after a Sunday long run and I never attended the Saturday runs.  But it will be fun to share the excitement of all the runners who will be finishing their FIRST 5k.  And see my “advanced” buddies who will hopefully PR.

In such a crowded race, it is impossible to have time goal. But finishing under 30 minutes (AND NOT GETTING INJURED) would make me happy. A race PR (under 28:14) would make me super happy!

I would love at least to reverse the “run a 5k and get slower with each one” trend.

  • Cherry Blossom 5k – 27:56
  • Albany Law Day 5K – 29:16
  • Mother’s Day 5K – 30:16

Happy Running!  Do you have a favorite race?

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Tuesdays on the Run (a day late) – Compression Gear- Love it or Leave it?

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: Compression Gear – Love it or leave it?

When I first started running, I didn’t know what compression gear was.

Before the big race

I bought my first pair of compression socks for my first half marathon because I heard that they would help.

Half in Naples, Florida

I don’t know if they helped but I finished and feel good after.  So who knows?

After that, I wore that same pair on long runs and for half marathons.

I am thankful for being able to cross the finish line!!!

In 2012 after coming back from ankle surgery, I bought more pairs of compression socks and started to wear them for most of my races.

Now, I am addicted and wear them almost all of the time.

So as you can see I wear them A LOT and I have quite a few pairs – I buy whatever is on sale.

Recently, I have worn compression sleeves to see if I can prevent those nasty blisters. (Didn’t make a difference.)

VCM Relay

So why should you wear them?

  1. Protection:  They protect your legs from small scratches, abrasions and nasty things like poison ivy on a trail.
  2. Swelling:  Compression technology has been proven to limit swelling.
  3. Dirt:  Collects on your socks and not on your legs.
  4. Warmth:  Allows you to wear skirts on those iffy days when you’d reluctantly wear tights.
  5. Coolness:  No, they don’t keep you cool, but they look good when you color coordinate them with your outfit.

Happy Running?  How do you feel about compression gear? What and when do you wear it

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Vermont City Marathon Relay Race Report

May 24, 2015

As I have mentioned before, lucky AJH got us accepted in the VCM relay.  I was surprised and excited. I have heard so many good things about this race.

We named our team: Age Groups Rock (Bib #6084) after AJH’s blog.

Since this half marathon was unplanned and I have another one in 3 weeks, I planned to run this race for fun – Just enjoy the experience and the scenery without the pressure of a getting a certain finish time.

I also developed a sore foot during my last half so my training had been not been spectacular. In fact I haven’t run more than 3 miles at a time in weeks.

Plus spending 8 days with 9 of your closest friends and playing tennis, shopping, going to the beach, restaurants, etc. is exhausting.

AJH was nice enough to let me stay with her the night before so I didn’t have to do the long drive in the morning and could go to the expo.

It was about a 3 hours drive from my house. So I arrived in Vermont on Saturday around 11 am.  What a beautiful drive.  AJH really lives in the country and the scenery was gorgeous. After I arrived, we immediately headed to the expo.

I had never done a race this big and the energy was contagious.

I took advantage of ALL the free samples and only bought a VCM tee shirt and hat.

The highlight however was a chance meeting of Deena Kastor and getting her autograph.

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After the expo, I got a brief tour of Burlington which included Church street.

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Then we went out to lunch at a restaurant called “The Skinny Pancake.”.  We needed to start carb loading for the next day.

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Then we walked around the waterfront where the Marathon would finish the next day.

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Soon it was time to  head home and get our stuff ready for race morning and have our pasta dinner at home.

We got up early the next morning (around 5 am).  I was still pooped from my Florida vacation and I never sleep well before a race or in a strange bed so I was nervous.

Would I have enough energy to run?  And my feet?  Would they hurt less than my last half!! Would I not keep AJH waiting too many hours?

I had my usual breakfast of oatmeal and tea and we were on the road by 5:45.

I had asked AJH if I could do the first half since I would be too nervous to wait around… She’s done the first leg before and  was nice enough to agree.

We got there early and got a great parking spot and walked to the start. It was quite cool – in the 50’s with a breeze but the weather was predicted to be sunny and 80 degrees.

before

I did keep my jacket on until the last minute and then handed it to AJH with a bag to bring to my finish/her start.

Believe it or not, in a crowd of thousands, I bumped into Andrea, my roommate from the Love Run Half last year.

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She was running the full. I also got to see her finish.

Soon it was time to line up. I started with the 10 min pace group and chatted with a lovely lady who was running the relay with her daughter.

It was very crowded and it took me almost 3 minutes to pass the start line and even longer to start actually running.

from Burlington Free Press

I was feeling great at the start.  Unfortunately that didn’t last. But I thoroughly tried to enjoy my experience at this race in spite of anything negative I was feeling physically.

I saw AJH and her friend Heather twice at the beginning and Heather once later.  The crowd support was amazing.  The best I have ever seen at a race!

at the start

I didn’t see any the photographers but there were some near the start for the first leg and near the finish for the 2nd. I never really looked at them but it seems that I was happy the time I passed them. That will change as you will see.

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I loved running through the streets and neighborhoods of Burlington. The enthusiastic crowded really helped to make this a great race.

running up Pearl St – from Burlington Free Press

running down Main street – from Burlington Free Press

running down Church St – from Burlington Free Press

Eventually we would leave the crowds and run on the Beltline – 2 miles out and 2 miles back.  This was my least favorite part.  It seemed like a endless uphill.  It wasn’t steep but it was long and there weren’t many supporters.

– from Burlington Free Press

The good part was that the predicted warm sun left us.  It was cloudy, breezy and a little chilly.

The bad part was that my left foot (the one I thought would hurt) felt fine but right one which is always uncomfortable was painful the whole race. And at this point I was feeling my lack of training.  The missed long runs was causing me to slow down and walk.  But I was ok with walking the hills and the water stops.  I had no time goal for this race and I wanted to enjoy it. On this part of the course, you got to see the fast runners and then after the turn you got to see the runners behind you.

Finally we left the Beltline and returned near the start.  The crowded were back but I was tired!!!

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not happy

No more smiles!! I wanted to done. And now it was raining on and off.  Sunny and 0% of rain???

So I walked more and more.  There were lots of water stops and in addition to ones organized by the race, there were many in between by supporters.

Pine St – mile 10-11 – from Burlington Free Press

The worst part of the race for me came at little after mile 10.  I got really bad stomach cramps. (Never had that happen during a race.)   I did make to the finish without a disaster but it was not fun.  I could barely run for the last 3 miles.

Finally you can see the finish line but  you have to run around the neighborhood with an annoying uphill before you get there.

I was happy to cross and my time wasn’t as bad as I had feared.  I handed my wristband to AJH and she gave me our bag of clothes.

happy to be heading to the exchange area

Then I got my medal.

medal

At this point, the sunshine and warmth that they had predicted arrived.  I was worried about AJH having to run in these temps.  But she was fine.

Oakledge Park -runners leaving the exchange area – from Burlington Free Press

After using the porta-pottie, I grabbed some food but really was not feeling hungry – there was fruit, chocolate milk and bagels.

My feet were toast but I had to walk a long way (a half mile that seemed longer) to catch the shuttle to the finish. After the shuttle dropped you off, you had to still walk more. Oy!

I passed the drummers which was cool.

drummers

When I approached Waterfront Park, I was overwhelmed.

Wow, was it crowded!  I instantly felt better.  The enthusiasm from the finishers and their supporters was contagious.

I wandered around searching for the food tent.  Everything was so organized.  In addition the usual, they had a bag of Moe’s and pizza.  There was also a beer tent.

I walked and walked in order to find a spot at the rail to watch the runners approach the finish line.

I think I was here for about an hour and really enjoyed it.

Of course, you got to see the 5 person relay racers who looked still energetic and some of the marathon finishers who looked like death.

I got to cheer on AJH

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and Andrea who was finishing the marathon.

andrea m finish

I then met AJH at the food tent.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t much left.

26.2 miles complete and medals to show for it.

So we stopped on the way back to the car.

ice cream

perfect post race treat

AJH told me about her leg of the race.  I almost regretted my choice to start first.  I would love to run along the bikepath and I think finishing along the water would be nice.

ajh

So if I do this race again (and I want to), I would like to try the second leg of the relay:

At the half-way point of the course, enter Oakledge Park and run alongside Lake Champlain for 2 miles. Mile 15 brings the Assault on Battery; 6 blocks climbing Battery Street. You’ll see musicians and throngs of spectators to inspire you up the hill. The next 6.5 miles take you out North Avenue on gently rolling terrain through many shaded neighborhoods. A steep downhill at mile 21.5 brings you to the Burlington Bikepath, which provides beautiful lake views and flat to slightly downhill terrain over the last 4.5 miles. Your finish and all post-race festivities occur in Waterfront Park where you’ll be greeted by thousands of cheering spectators.

All in all, I am satisfied with my time.  I didn’t train well. I had foot and stomach issues and I didn’t let them ruin the race.

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Splits:

mile 1 – 10:02
mile 2 – 9:46
mile 3 – 9:59
mile 4 – 9:49
mile 5 – 10:17
mile 6 – 10:50
mile 7 – 11:09
mile 8 – 11:48
mile 9 – 12:35
mile 10 – 11:11
mile 11 – 12:44
mile 12 – 13:21
mile 13 – 13:03
.14 – 9:42

Chip time – 2:25:24

results

Hey, we came in 2nd in our AG.

As you can see, my race went downhill after mile 6 and got ugly after mile 10.

Well, there will be more races…like in 3 weeks. Gulp! I also have one scheduled for Oct. 10.

This was my 13th half marathon – 6 have been faster and 6 have been slower.

If my feet continue to fail me, I may just have to settle for running shorter races.  And that’s not so bad.  It’s still running!!!

I’m linking this post up with Tara at Running n’ Reading for her Weekend Update!

I am also linking up with Wendy for Taking the Long Way Home,  Jessica from The Silvah Lining and Meredith from FitNiceRunner for the Race Recap Link Up.

The Silvah Lining

Happy Running! Anyone run the VCM or another race this past weekend?

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Monday Running Update

IMG_4595 Last Week: 

  • Monday – 4 mile run, tennis doubles, tennis lesson, beach time, dinner party, book club

  • Tuesday – tennis lesson, tennis doubles, lunch in Sarasota, walking around Selby gardens, dinner out

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  • Wednesday – 3 mile run, tennis doubles, tennis lesson, pool time, dinner, fly back to NY

  • Thursday – 4 mile run walk at work
  • Friday -REST, mah jongg 3 mile run (pooped from my vacay)
  • Saturday – drive to VT, expo

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    met Deena Kastor

  • Sunday – 13.1 miles (VCM Relay)!!
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didn’t run well the 2nd half but had a blast

This Week:  

  • Monday- rest, boating on Lake George
  • Tuesday – 3 mile run
  • Wednesday – walk at work, rest, bday dinner & movie with bff
  • Thursday – 4 mile run
  • Friday – walk at work, rest, mah jongg
  • Saturday – 5k race + more miles
  • Sunday – rest, boating?

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

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Vacation Recap

Naples Fla

Naples Fla

Sunshine and warm weather with 9 of your closest friends.  How can it not be great?

Here are some of the highlights…

Beach time:

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Tennis Time:

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Eating & drinking:

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Entertainment activities:

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after seeing a play in town

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party with our former tennis instructor

Sightseeing:

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Capitva & Sanibel islands

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Selby Gardens in Sarasota

Even running:

and I wasn’t the only one as you can see

The only negative was that is clouded up and rained every evening so we did not see any sunsets over the Gulf.

Next year!

Happy Running! What has been your favorite vacation?

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Running While on Vacation

im_backWell, I got back late Wednesday night from my annual TENNIS vacation in Naples Florida.

The schedule was that every morning we played doubles for 1.5 hours and then had a tennis lesson for 1 hour or vice versa. Play started at 8 am and lessons started at 8:30 am.

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with our new instructor

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Did I run?

Yes! I made it a priority to do so.

In order to run, I had to get up at 6 am and have breakfast and run at 7 am.  Not hard at home but when you are living with 4 other women who are up late chatting and watching TV, it is hard to go to sleep early enough. Then it is hard to get up the next morning.

If I was having a lesson first, I ran and came home to change my clothes.  But if I was playing doubles first, then I either ran in my tennis clothes or played tennis in my running clothes to save time.

Did I run often?

Yes! 4 times.

  • Thursday – 3 miles
  • Saturday – 3.5 miles
  • Monday –  4 miles
  • Wednesday – 3 miles

Were they good runs?

Nope.  None were.

It was very very humid and of course, much warmer than I was used to. It was tough to breathe and run.  My running got to be walking/running and slower and slower.

Did I enjoy them?

Yes. Immensely.

I loved the scenery – the trees, flowers,etc.  I loved the sunshine and even the heat.

During each run I took a different route. I ran around the neighborhoods of World Tennis Center (WTC).  I ran around the pool area and tennis courts.  I ran outside the WTC along the main road in one direction and then another day in the other direction.

What will I do differently next year?

I could get up earlier.  But it’s hard when you go out to dinner late and you are hanging out with friends after that.

I could play tennis less. But I know I would miss being out there with my friends – these are my “tennis” friends.

I could just play tennis and not run but I would be upset with myself for NOT running.

I could run after tennis but I know I would be too tired and would be making others wait for me to go to the beach.

So next year, I will probably do the same thing.

Views from my Naples runs:

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one of the bridges along the main road

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path at WTC to the tennis courts

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another bridge on the main road

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in WTC

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our villa in WTC

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one more bridge along the main road

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the main road in the other direction

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more views of WTC

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thought the SLOW sign was meaningful

Suggestions for running while on vacation:

  • Be prepared.  Bring clothes for all weather conditions.
  • Schedule your runs. If you leave it to chance, it won’t happen.
  • Be flexible.  Sometimes other persons’ needs or desires will come before your running.
  • Find a scenic route.  Pretty views make all the difference.
  • Lower your expectations. Distance & speed goals will probably not happen.
  • Register for a race in the area, if possible. Then you will definitely run.
  • Have fun.

Join the Friday linkup with the DC girls, Courtney, Mar and Cynthia! Their topic is Favorite Summer Fruits and Vegetables.

asparagus, corn, tomatoes, watermelon, cherries

Happy Running! Do you run while on vacation? What are your favorite summer fruits & veggies?

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Marathon Relay (Half Marathon #13)

thinking out loud

So I’m linking up today with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

May 24, 2015

As I have mentioned, lucky AJH got us accepted in the VCM relay.  I was surprised and excited but not exactly training for this one.

I asked AJH if I could do the first half.  (I would be too nervous to wait around…)

She’s done the first half before:

hope she doesn’t mind borrowing her photo from 2011

So this will be my route:

Since this race was unplanned and I have another half marathon in 3 weeks, I plan to run it for fun – Try to enjoy the experience and scenery without the pressure of a PR.

And I developed a sore foot during my last half  so my training has been not been spectacular.

I have been doing my short week day runs but the weekends…

  • April 18 – 13.1 painful miles
  • April 26 – 5k plus 6 more painful miles = 11
  • May 2 – 10k plus 4 more painful miles = 10.2
  • May 9-10 –  two 5ks in 2 days = 6.2 (should have been 12)
  • May 16-17 –  3 miles in Florida (should have been 8)

Since I skipped my long run last weekend when I was on vacation in Florida, this will be my last long run, as well.

Speaking of last week, spending 8 days with 9 of your closest friends is exhausting – tennis, shopping, beach, restaurants, etc. but it also was fun.

AJH has been nice enough to let me stay with her the night before so I don’t have to do the long drive in the morning and can go to the expo.

Will I have enough energy to run?  And my feet?  Will they hurt LESS than my last half!! I hope so and not keep AJH waiting too many hours.

My post ankle injury half marathons have been between 2:35 and 2:09 but none has been really hilly.  And then’s there the foot…  and the lack of long runs.  We’ll see.

So I guess my goal is to finish around 2:30… but if I have to walk a lot, it may be closer to 2:45.

I am hoping that this half will be less painful and more enjoyable than my last one. (Foot, be good, please!!)

Happy Running! Anyone running or have run the VCM?

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