Weekly Wrap for 12.3.18-12.9.18 – Races and Parties

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  • Monday – The reason I was not traveling was because I might be called for jury duty. And I today I was called to report. However, the case was dismissed and so was I. Back to work for the rest of the week.  I decided for my run to preview the Last Run course. That meant running around the park which is decorated for the holidays with lights. It was raining on and off but still worth the trip.

  • Tuesday – Rest Day because I was scheduled to sub for tennis and also wanted to get some shopping done.
  • Wednesday – My running dilemma has been where to run that is light enough. I get tired of UAlbany so I ran in my town under the lights when possible. (After first picking up my bib (and 9 of my running friends’ bibs) for Saturday’s race.)

  • Thursday – I was happy to be working locally so I could run at UAlbany after work with some of the Sole Sisters. This is a biweekly thing because the paths are lit there and shoveled if it snows.

we all decided to use some some type of lights – I even used my knuckle lights

  • Friday – Rest day and hosting Mah Jongg.
  • Saturday – Race Day. But actually Race Night. The annual Last Run, a 5k through the lights in the park. Always a fun time and even more fun when it’s not icy or snowing and you’re running surrounded by all your friends.  It was my slowest 5k of the year but maybe the one I enjoyed the most.

Afterwards the Sole Sisters gathered for a potluck dinner. We ate, chatted, laughed and even knit!

  • Sunday – This morning was the first of five (free) Winter Series races. Having raced the night before, I can’t say I actually raced it but did complete the 3 miles and ate as if I raced 10.

In the evening, my holiday parties continued. This time it was my annual tennis party complete with gifts, food, entertainment and laughs.

This Coming Week –  

  • Monday -train to NYC, rest day, Warhol exhibit at Whitney
  • Tuesday  NYC, 3 miles
  • Wednesday – NYC, 3 miles (Asics Run & Holiday Party)
  • Thursday -NYC, 3 miles 
  • Friday – rest day, train home
  • Saturday Long run with my Sole Sisters, Birthday celebration with my mentee (Canvas Corks & Forks)
  • Sunday -rest day

Please link up for the Weekly Wrap hosted by these wonderful bloggers Holly @ HoHoRuns and Wendy @ Taking the Long Way Home

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Happy Running! How is your running going? What’s new with you?  Any big races on the horizon? Do you run any Christmas-themed races? Please share.

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Friday Five – Holiday Gifts

It’s Friday so I’m also linking up with  Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostess and visit some other bloggers.

My Topic this week is: Holiday Gifts

These are what I’d like for Christmas/Hanukah.  Perhaps these are are on your list as well.

1.Gift card for Running Shoes

2.Sunglasses

If you’re like me, I always either lose them or break them.

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Love Goodr glasses

3.Socks

Yes, I often lose one and only my good ones.

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4.Entry fee to a big race

Yes, these are expensive.

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5.A new GPS Watch

I still use a Garmin 205 LOL

Introducing the Garmin Forerunner 645 and 645 Music. (Photo: Business Wire)Happy Running!  Are any of these on your list? What else would you like?

Pelham Half Marathon Race Recap

November 24, 2018                                       8:00 am

It seems like I’ve been planning to run this race forever. I signed up for this race almost a year ago and because:

  • My running buddy Alyssa (whom I haven’t raced with in quite a while) talked me into it.
  • It was cheap. ($30 early-bird registration).
  • It was driveable. (2 1/2 hours)
  • I had enough points for a free hotel room.
  • Still not too cold (hopefully) to make the miles unbearable.
  • Alyssa was trying to run a sub 2:00 half and I wanted to be there to support and/or congratulate her (That was before either of us looked at the elevation chart and realized that this might be the hilliest course we’ve ever run.)

Here’s the race description:

A community-driven race. It is capped at 800 runners. The race starts and finishes in downtown Pelham and takes runners through the two villages of Pelham and Pelham Manor.

It was started by 9 local runners 7 years ago and has grown each year. The entire race covers an area of 2.2 square miles.  Yes, lots of twists and turns.

Each water station (6 of them), each hill (7 of them) and each mile has a local sponsor.

I apologize in advance that this post will be long. You may want to skip ahead to see what I liked and disliked about the race itself.

Half Marathon Training:

If you follow my posts, you also know that I am not strict about following a training plan but I ran a 20 km race in Paris on October 14. I was not fully trained but had enough time to get there.

Since then I have completed easy weekday runs and longish runs on most weekends.

Though I don’t usually care much about my short runs but I do like to get in a 11 and 12 miler before each half marathon. After completing my last big race, I had busy weekends (and stupidly signed up for 2 races). So I just never got those scheduled long runs done.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

The day before the race, Alyssa and I drove to our hotel in White Plains. We checked in and then drove to Pelham (about 20 minutes away) to get our bibs. It was in a tiny pop-up store. We were also handed a paper bag with our shirt.

We checked out the race start and made sure we knew where to park the next day.

nice long sleeved tech shirt

Then we had a nice carb-loaded dinner. I usually eat pizza but this restaurant did not have any so I settled on chicken parm and pasta (and I ate way too much!!) It turned out that our waiter and 2 of the other waiters were running the race as well. It was fun to chat with them and get some more info on the course.

We headed back to our hotel which happened to be across the street from a huge mall so we spent a few hours there walking off our dinner.  Then we stopped at Whole Foods to get dessert. (Definitely well-fueled for this race)

Back at the hotel, we planned our race day outfits and tried to get to bed early.  (But who can sleep the night before a big race?)

Race Day:

We got up at 5:30 am and I ate my usual race breakfast of oatmeal and coffee that I had brought from home. Then I again debated about how many layers to wear.  It was in the 20s but no wind and the sun would be out. I added another shirt and a vest and brought a jacket to check and wear before and after the race.

We left around 6:30 am and had no problems getting there and finding a place to park.  We walked to the Town Hall which was next the race start. There we checked a bag and used the “real” restrooms.  A policeman tried to tell us to use the porta-potties outside and that the restroom was for the volunteers. But I pointed out that it said on the race website that there were indoor restrooms available so he let us stay and use them.

Then we just waited inside where it was warm until it was time for the race to start.

They announced a yoga warm-up outside but it was too cold. The first few miles would be my warm up.

Finally we couldn’t delay it anymore and we headed to the start and waited with the other runners.

So here’s how the race went.

The course map:

 2017 PHM Half Marathon Course Map

7 hills?!

and elevation chart:

yikes!

After looking at the elevation map and talking to others who had run the race, I decided that survival was my only goal.  This was the plan:

  • Run the tangents.
  • Walk up the hills.
  • Don’t push the pace.
  • Finish uninjured.
  • Enjoy the race.

Miles 1-4:

9:57, 9:32,10:30, 9:46

Alyssa and I started out together.  Before the race, I told her not to worry about losing me and that I would most likely be running slower than her.

So as predicted, I quickly got behind her. But for the first few miles, I could see her bright pink jacket in the distance.

We headed north from the start. It was constant twists and turns. I tried as much as possible to run the tangents. The big hills were labeled but if you look at the chart above, you’ll see that in between the big hills were small hills.  It was just up then down and then up again, etc.

from Long Distance Lawyer’s Blog

I think I was trying to keep Alyssa in my sight because I was definitely running too fast the first 2 miles. I even tried to slowly run up Hill #1.  I planned to walk at each water stop but I think I missed the first one. I was enjoying the neighborhood views and the foliage.

from Long Distance Lawyer’s Blog

More twists and turns and then Hill #2. This was billed as the worst one. There was even a sign that said “Sorry.” I walked it and it was killing my quads to walk up a hill that steep.

Of course, the downhills were a welcome sight but if I ran down them fast, I would feel it days later so I kept my speed in check.

Soon there was Hill #3 which I walked up as well and finally I stopped for water around mile 4.  I expected the water to be frozen due to the temps but it was not.

The sun also came out so I unzipped my vest and took off my gloves. I stayed that way until the last few miles when the clouds came back.

Miles 5-8:

10:30, 10:29,11:09,10:47

The hills and twists and turns continued. As some point, I caught up to Alyssa and we ran together for a while and then I lost her.

I walked at each water stop.  There were signs announcing each one. I think they were around every 2 miles. For the first long race ever, I just was not hungry. I had 3 Gus in my pocket but just drank water until mile 12.

The course through this small town was very varied. We ran through neighborhoods with amazing mansions and then on roads where there was traffic. There were volunteers at every turn (which were also marked with red arrows) and plenty of policemen making sure traffic was stopped for the runners.

from Long Distance Lawyer’s Blog

My favorite part of the course running on a path around the lake. You can see Alyssa yelling at me to sped up because there was a photographer ahead. LOL

I ran as fast as I could but the photographer didn’t get our picture together 😦

that arrow means UPHILL

Though there was not tremendous crowd support, the ones who were there were very enthusiastic.

This recap may sound repetitive but it was just turning left, turning right, running up a small hill, running down and walking up a big hill and running down…repeat.

Miles 9-12:

10:56, 11:29, 11:16, 11:01

At some point, I got ahead and lost Alyssa.  All of a sudden, she slowed down. But I got to see her at each of the turn arounds. There were two that I remember during the latter miles,

As usual, the bottom of my left foot (the one with the bunion) was throbbing. I was still walking up the big hills and running down them.

However my pace was getting slower and slower.  I was even just shuffling up the smaller hills.

from Long Distance Lawyer’s Blog

I loved when we ran on a dirt path because it felt better on my foot but sometimes I just ran on the sidewalk because it was a tangent.

Finally at the last water stop, I decided that I should eat a Gu. 13 miles with no fuel was probably not a good idea. (Maybe that’s why I had no energy…)

Miles 13-13.1:

12:02, 6:59

I thought that I was all done with the hills but Hill #7 appeared during the last mile.  That was so nasty!

Eventually I could hear music in the distance.  The hills were over and the cheerleaders cheered us through the finish line.

I couldn’t believe that I had enough energy to sprint. I crossed at 2:20:xx.

I was super happy with my time.  I walked up the hills and so did all the runners around me. Those who live in this area have probably trained on these hills.  I usually run on flat routes.  My legs were not prepared for this.

After I got my medal, I waited for Alyssa to cross so I could get her picture.

She too was thrilled with her time.  She agreed that those hills were tough on the legs. While she headed for the porta-potties, I went in search of food.

In addition to the usual bagels and bananas, there was baked ziti, chicken parm, meatballs, lasagna, burritos, black beans, rice. Yes, quite a spread.

I grabbed some food and headed for the town hall since I was freezing.

They were offering massages but it was too cold to stay outside any longer. I got my jacket and then checked the results.  It seemed that I won my age group. So I asked if they had announced the awards and they told me that it was over and they didn’t have any left.  They told me to just pick a shirt or a cap.  I asked what would I have won.  And they said a mug.

Darn!  The plight of a BOTPer. (I later looked at the race schedule and the awards ceremony was at 10 am – Um – that’s only 2 hours after the start…. I was still running the race.)

posing with my medal and my “cap”

We walked around town and stopped for a cup of coffee. We then decided to go back to our hotel for a HOT shower and have lunch after we checked out.

Additional Race Reflections:

The Good:

  • Many emails with pre-race information
  • Well organized
  • Warm place to hang out before and after the race
  • Well marked course
  • Adequate number of water stops
  • Interesting and varied course
  • Excellent post race food
  • 100% of race fees went to charity
  • Post race massages
  • Free race photos

The Bad:

  • the HILLS!!!
  • ran out of age group awards (time of awards ceremony)

Would I recommend this race?

Yes, it was a great small town race.  Just be prepared for hills!

Final Thoughts and Stats:

So yes, I was BOTP but my time was actually faster than the hot flat Paris 20k race (which was only 12.4 miles.)

only one in my age group LOL

Alyssa and I had a fun time together and I am glad that we did run the race.  A local running friend told me that her boyfriend also ran it and it was the hardest race that he’s ever run.

And my legs felt fine the next day and if it were not raining, I would have run 2 days after. No DOMS for the win!

Next Up:

Publix Florida Half Marathon on February 10, 2019!!

The Florida Marathon


It’s Tuesday so don’t forget to link up with these wonderful ladies:

Erika @ MCM Mama Runs, Marcia @ Marcia’s Healthy Slice and Patty @ My no-guilt life

I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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Happy Running! What is the hardest course that you’ve ever run on?  

Weekly Wrap for 11.26.18-12.2.18: Taking a Break

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Not from working in NYC but from training for a big race. The next one is not until February 10 so I can have a few weeks of short weekend runs.

  • Monday – Only two days after my hilly half. My legs felt ok so I planned to take them on an easy run through the lights in the park. But it was raining hard. Obviously someone was telling me to rest one more day. Instead I met a friend for a drink.
  • Tuesday –Today it snowed. Not a lot but just enough to wreck havoc on the drive to work. Luckily it stopped by the time I got out of work. I never turn down a chance to run with my “Sole Sisters” so I met two of them to a run around the UAlbany campus.  Of course as soon as we started to run, it started to rain. (At least just a steady drizzle.) Afterward I met my BFF for a walk around the mall.

actually only 3.5 miles

  • Wednesday – Off to NYC (again) by train.  I got there earlier than usual and of course I had to go for a run.  I took the crosstown bus and took a chance that the East River route would be lit up. (It was the night that they lit the tree at Rockefeller Center so I wanted to steer clear of that area.) It was and there were other runners too. Afterward I ran/walked back to my hotel and watched the tree lighting on the TV at the bar.

  • Thursday – Back after work to my trusted Central Park running route. I surprisingly ran into Cari and we ran for a while and then walked and chatted.

I continued my walk back to my hotel so I could see the lighted tree at Rockefeller Center.

  • Friday – Rest day and an uneventful train ride home.
  • Saturday – I was up in the air on whether or not to run a local 5k or an easy run with friends. I decided on the run followed by brunch and errands.

at the Corning Bike path

  • Sunday – A rainy rest day and anniversary dinner out with my Mah Jongg friends. We’ve been together for 10 years!!

3 missing from photo

This Coming Week –  

  • Monday -jury duty, 3 miles
  • Tuesday  rest day, tennis sub
  • Wednesday – 3 miles
  • Thursday3 miles 
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg chez moi
  • Saturday Race Night – Last Run (5k), Sole Sisters party after
  • Sunday Race Day – Winter Series #1 (3m), Tennis Holiday Party

Please link up for the Weekly Wrap hosted by these wonderful bloggers Holly @ HoHoRuns and Wendy @ Taking the Long Way Home

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Happy Running! How is your running going? What’s new with you?  Any big races on the horizon? Do you have an off season? Please share.

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Ultimate Coffee Date – December

It’s that time of the month…

to join up with Coco & Deborah for their ultimate coffee date.

I cannot believe this is the last one of 2018!!!

Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I am sick of winter weather is it’s only December 1!!!  The traffic jams, the slippery paths, the layers of clothing…. Everything!!

-6 with the windchill….. and ice on my favorite running route

Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I am working in NYC for 8 days in December.  That’s a lot of holiday trees and window views and a lot of avoiding crowds on the sidewalks.

Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I love running in NYC.  It’s my favorite thing to do in the winter since there are lighted places to run but I am excited to do some other things besides run.

tix for Dec 10

and

tix for Dec. 19 – Woo Hoo!!!

Over coffee…

I’d tell you that that the Sole Sisters are planning our next Girls Weekend.  It’s April 26-28, 2019. We registered for the race, picked out the hotel… The countdown is on.

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Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I surprised myself with my recent half marathon. I thought that I was undertrained so I would have DOMS but I did not. I thought all that walking and thus a slow finish time would bother me but it did not. I thought that I would not enjoy this small insanely hilly race but I really DID!

Thumbs up for the Pelham Half Marathon

Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I found this out Wednesday…

I did have a guaranteed entry qualifying time from the Brooklyn Half but still, I was worried.

Anyone else running the NYC Half? or the Brooklyn Hot Chocolate 15k? And if you live in NYC, I’d love to meet up and run in December. Has your November weather been as lousy as mine?

Happy Running! Got anything to spill? Share it here!
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Friday Five – November Runfessions

It’s that time again. Time to get things off my chest about my most recent race-cation in France with Marcia’s Runfessions at Marcia’s Healthy Slice

1. I runfess…

I know that I made the right decision to DNS my Thanksgiving Turkey Trot but there were so many friends who did run, I had major FOMO.

Darn…I like their medals this year too…

and I would have won an age group award for the first time.

2. I runfess…

I did not DNS the Thanksgiving race because it was too cold.  I had all my layers ready but I was worried about running a race so close to my half marathon (which was two days later.) The coach told me to run it easy and not to race it but knowing me, I would have….

3. I runfess…

Although I have complained about all my travel for work, I will miss some of my favorite running routes.  I will still be traveling but to NYC.

4. I runfess…

I feel grateful to still be setting PRs this year. As I age, I hope I will be able to accept getting slower.

5. I runfess…

This year I will have the lowest total mileage since 2014.  I guess if I am healthy it shouldn’t matter.  But since I do not do any cross-training and I rarely play tennis anymore, I feel like I should step it up.

2018 – 886 miles so far
2017 – 1041.5 miles
2016 – 1046 miles
2015 – 969 miles


It’s Friday so I’m linking up with Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostess and visit some other bloggers.

Happy Running! Anything to runfess this month? Please share.

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November Report Card

Image result for welcome december

This was supposed to be a big racing month -5K, 10k, 15K, Half Marathon!!

Unfortunately the weather interfered with two of those races :(.

Here’s how the month went:

Weekday Runs:

I was able to run at least 3 times outdoors most weeks which is great because I HATE the treadmill (though a snowstorm forced me on it once.)

I ran a few times while working in NYC and on Long Island. Otherwise I ran locally. My weekday runs were usually around 3 miles (occasionally more and occasionally less). 

Unfortunately I missed ALL of my Turkey Trot Training Monday group runs. I missed ALL of the Saturday ones too but I had no intent of attending those. Although I love this group, if my work schedule does not change, I will not sign up again next year.

Long Runs:

I did my best to get in a few long runs in to prepare for my 33rd half marathon this month. It helped that I have great running friends.  

Total Mileage:

I’ve run 78 miles so far this month. It may be a slight increase over last month and I am still behind on my 1000 mile yearly goal. But the important thing is that I am feeling healthy so all is good.

Races:

November is usually a popular month for racing and this November followed suit. I ran the Stockade-athon 15k and got a PR. Unfortunately the Girls on the Run 5k a week later was cancelled. Then on Thanksgiving Day, I DNSed the Troy Turkey Trot 5k.  Two days later I did run the HILLY Pelham Half Marathon and won my age group.

Cross Training:

Due to my work schedule, I only played tennis once and I did NOT work out at the gym at all.

I did not walk at lunch at all. Of course, I got a lot of steps in during my work time in NYC.

Other News:

Despite all my work travel, I was able to squeeze in some friend, family and hubby time. I even saw TWO movies (Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star is Born.)

Feeling healthy so Life Is Good.

Looking Ahead:

Half Marathon #34 is February 10, 2019. 

This is my list so far for the next 2 months:

  • 12-01-18 – Jingle Bell Run 5k ???
  • 12-08-18 – Albany Last Run 5K
  • 12-09-18 – Winter Series #1 (3m)
  • 01-01-19 – Winter Series #2 (3.5m)
  • 01-13-19 – Winter Series #3 (10K)
  • 01-24-19 – Winter Series #4 (15k)

(Winter Series races are local and FREE)

I am linking to Deb at DebRuns for her December Race Linkup:

No monthly goals.

This motto worked for 2016 & 2017 so I’m sticking with it in 2018!


I’m linking up with these wonderful ladies:

Erika @ MCM Mama Runs, Marcia @ Marcia’s Healthy Slice and Patty @ My no-guilt life for

My Topic is: Give your running month a letter grade.

I’d say overall a B+

Despite my busy schedule, I did my best to get in my weekday runs. My long runs actually got done but were not as long as they should have been. I did play tennis once but did not go to the gym at all. I ran a 15k race PR and a half marathon.

Not a bad month but feel a lacking in the mojo department. (I even DNSed a race which is so unlike me.) It is maybe the cold weather and early winter snows.  I better get used to it.  It’s only just begun.


I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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Happy Running! How did your November turn out? Anything exciting planned for December? What grade would you give your running month? Does the cold weather zap your mojo?

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