Run for Help 5K Race Recap

June 11, 2017 – 10 am

I wasn’t as active in this spring’s STEM program as I would have liked (due to work commitments) but as I did last year, I decided to help the STEM runners and registered for this race.

There were a few races scheduled for this weekend (plus boating) that I would have liked to do but as soon as I arrived at the race, I knew that I had made the right decision.

Running is not all about PRs and finish times.  Sometimes you have to give back especially since running has given me so much.

Last year, we didn’t actually participate in the race. We ran along side our runner but never crossed the finish line.

This year, however, we did register and pay for the race. We would be running it in order to help a STEM participant achieve their goal.

Because I wasn’t planning to “race” the race, I ran 8 miles the day before.

I was glad too because race day was even hotter and more humid (and the race didn’t start until 10 am!!)

I arrived early to pick up my packet and meet up with all the other volunteers and runners. What is awesome is that in addition to the new STEM runners, many of the old ones continue to return for races. It’s a STEM reunion too.

I also ran this race in 2009. I am a sucker for “causes.” And this is just  as important or maybe more important than a medical one.

It started out 10 years ago as a race for “Liza” who had been killed by her abusive husband but it is now also dedicated to Nikki who suffered the same fate.

The race is very well organized and offers lots of raffle prizes and even…

Eventually  we went outside to take some group photos and then to pair up with a STEM runner. In my particular group, most of the STEM participants had dropped out and we had more volunteers than runners.

I got paired with our one ‘male” participant, Mike, who usually does his own thing in trainings (instead of Couch to 5k).  He said that he wanted to finish under 30 minutes.  I told him that I was there for  him if he needed help.

Soon we moved to the start line and got ready to begin.

As I mentioned, I was not planning to run fast.  And Mike just took off.  Well, it was hot so I just ran my own pace, stopped to tie my shoes and walked at all the water stops.  Luckily on this hot day, there were many (maybe 5 or 6).

The course starts out flat on a country road but when we turn left, there are rolling hills (2 steepish ones).  I didn’t wear my Garmin (because I wasn’t going to be racing) but I did my best to run slowly up the hills.  Everyone was sweating…even me.

What I love about this out and back course is that you get to see all the slower runners.  And in this case, all the purple shirts.  I high-fived them and screamed encouragement as I ran by.

Eventually, I caught up to Mike, he was walking.  He said he had a side cramp.  I walked with him and encouraged him to get some water and start running again.

And he did.  I ran ahead so I could cheer him through the finish line.

Yes, he did cross under 30 minutes!! We were both happy.

I remained at the finish line to watch all the other happy faces cross and get their medals.

hot hot hot

Then I took my sweaty body to my car so I could sneak out.  I didn’t even stay around for the awards.

this race was NOT about me anyway

My hubby was waiting for me at the lake but I felt happier (for these runners) than if I had run a PR.  (There will be more times to run a fast 5k.)

ahhhh!


Since it is Thursday, I’m linking up today with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

thinking out loud

Happy Running! Ever run a race for someone else besides yourself?

TOLT: My Favorite 5K

Since it is Thursday, I’m linking up today with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

thinking out loud

Here’s what I’m thinking about today:

My Favorite Local 5K

Image result for freihofer run 2017

This is an easy one for me. It’s the only race that I’ve run every year since I started running. This year will my 10th time!!!!

Here are some of the reasons why I love this race and why I run it every year:

  • It is ALL women – all ages – all sizes – veterans – newbies – elites – walkers
  • It is a real USATF race with elite runners in it. (Joan Benoit Samuelson runs it most years.)

  • It feels so good to be a part of all the 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.
  • I always meet someone I know and someone new. Last year, I even met the mayor.

  • Running it in 2008 made realize that I actually was a runner.
  • Being part of other runners’ first 5k in 2010 made me so proud.
  • 2011 was my FRW PR year. Maybe I’ll PR again?
  • 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 made the race even more meaningful.
  • In 2015 & 2016, I participated in the Freihofer Training Challenge Group. (And I did again this year.) It is fun being part of a running group.

  • You run around Washington Park. Love this park.

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  • There is a lot of crowd support along the whole course.
  • It ends with a downhill 🙂
  • Everyone finishes with a smile.

  • They give you a free box of Freihofer chocolate chip cookies and a loaf of bread

  • Maybe I’ll make the newspapers again.. (I have several times!)

This 5k race is held on the first Saturday in June. So if you live near Albany, NY, come run it with me and 4,000 other awesome women runners! (Too late for this year?  Think about signing up for next year.)

Image result for freihofer run for women

Happy Running! Do you have a favorite local race?

runner-sig

TOLT: My Last Half

Since it is Thursday, I’m linking up today with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

thinking out loud

Here’s what I’m thinking about today:

  • My Last Half Marathon

What else?

Did you know that I PR‘d?? LOL

image

There was one at my March half but not at this one unfortunately 😦

And I didn’t expect to…

Why?

  • My last half marathon time was 2:20:49.
  • I struggled to finish that race.
  • I ran a 5k race the past two weekends (instead of my 12 & 10 mile scheduled long runs.)
  • I didn’t do any LONG training runs (besides that half 3 weeks ago or any during the previous training cycle.)
  • I lazily did not run four days during the week preceding the race.
  • But I ran a 3.5 race just three days before the race.
  • I did not feel mentally prepared to run a fast race.
  • My Garmin keeps re-setting to zero after 6 miles so I would have no watch to gauge my pace.
  • I always walk at all the water stops.
Image result for half marathon race PR ecard

in this case, it was free beer

So insanely, I set out to run my 26th half marathon (on my hubby’s birthday no less)

It turned out to be my easiest half marathon and my fastest.

Why?

  • Cool weather conditions
  • No expectations
  • Ran by feel rather than staring at my watch
  • Paced myself behind a lady in a pink shirt
  • Flat course
  • Lot’s of rest so fresh legs
  • Just a fluke?

It was so effortless that….

Image result for half marathon race PR ecard

Maybe this is my fastest time (2:06:52) or maybe not.

Time will tell.

Image result for half marathon race PR ecard

I have a few shorter races planned for the summer.

I would love to PR in a 5K (before I’m too old to.)  Unfortunately my current PR race doesn’t exist anymore so I have to find another one.

I have registered for two more half marathons before the end of the year (Girls Weekends away for both):

  • October 1 – Wineglass
  • November 12 – Las Vegas

I may squeeze in one or two more.  Who knows?

For now, I’m treasuring this memory:

Happy Running! Ever wonder how you got your PR?

 

TOLT: Half Marathons. What else?

Since it is Thursday, I’m linking up today with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

thinking out loud

Here’s what I’m thinking about today:

My Last Half Marathon.

If you read my race post, you know that it was a difficult race for me.  Some things were out of my control but as I prepare for my next one, I am also thinking about things I can control.

Things you cannot control:

  • Weather – temperature, wind, humidity, etc.
  • Course – hills, loops, etc.
  • Injuries – unforeseen
  • Porta Potty stops

Things you can control:

  • Clothing – do not wear new items
  • Training – doing the work (drills, long runs, etc.)
  • Food – before and during
  • Pacing (don’t go out too fast)

Things you could control but can’t:

  • Clothing – when you have to wear a new item (for many reasons)
  • Training – when work, family, illness, vacation interrupts your training
  • Food – when you cannot eat what you want to eat (for whatever reason)
  • Pacing – when you run with a slower friend or with an injury or lack of training

The important point to remember and I have to remind myself of this often is that even if things go wrong and you don’t have the race that you want for a variety of reasons (things that you can or cannot control), you still can enjoy the experience and be proud of what you’ve accomplished.

My Next Half Marathon.

I’d love to say that I learned from all my recent pre-race snafus. But not quite.  I think I have the outfit and pre-race meal under control.  We’ll see about the weather.  And the course is pretty flat.

Image result for steel rail half

mostly on the bike path

But my training is even worse.  I missed my 12 mile run while on vacation in Florida. I ran a rushed 5k and spent the rest of the day like this: driving to Cape Haze, lunch on the river, driving to Fort Myers, visiting the Ford & Edison Winter Estates, dinner & drinks during sunset at the Ritz back in Naples.

And I don’t regret it.

The next weekend, I ran a special 5K and skipped the extra miles due to the rain. Then spent the afternoon with my mentee and her sons.

So what could have maybe been a half marathon PR most likely will not be. (Remember this same course was my half PR back in October.)

2:08:59 – PR!!!!!

Again.  Finishing=Winning.  That is my goal.

I am not that runner who puts in the work.  I am that runner who has a non-running life that often takes precedence. C’est la vie!

love my friends

 

and the hubs too

Happy Running! What’s going in your life?  Please share.  Are you serious about your half marathon times?

TOLT: It’s Half Time, Vacation Time, etc.

Since it is Thursday, I’m linking up today with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

thinking out loud

Here’s what I’m thinking about today:

  • Half Time:

And I’m not talking about football. This weekend I am heading to NYC to run the Shape Women’s Half Marathon.

Image result for shape women's half marathon

I am, of course, weather stalking:

Glad the race isn’t Sat…

My preference would be weather like this past weekend – sunny and cool but as long as it doesn’t rain, I’ll be happy.

What to wear is pretty easy since I always wear a SkirtSports skirt and tank. I’m going purple for this race.

The logistics and weekend events are still up in the air and it’s Thursday.  I may be going and staying in a hotel room with two other women or maybe only one.  One is injured and can’t decide if she wants to walk or stay home.  We may be driving 1 1/2hrs and taking the train to the city or taking the train from Albany and taking the bus back.  I’m thinking the first option since it is cheaper.

We are staying in a hotel in Harlem on 124th St.  Tentative plans are drop off bags, bib pick up (57th), hotel check in, new Whitney museum (13th St) and dinner.  We are having dinner with another local runner.  There’s another STEM graduate who running the race.  I need to try to plan a meet-up with her as well as another blogger.

Race-cations are always exciting even if they are short.

  • Freihofer Run for Women Training Challenge:

Image result for freihofer's run training challenge

This is the 7th year of this program and my third year participating. I signed up for the Advanced group again and we already had 6 weeks of training.  We have a great group of new and returning runners. I only go on Mondays but I actually like the speed drills this year.  They seem to be less painful than previous years (or maybe I’m just more relaxed and not trying to be the fastest.)

Patrick, who is young and cute, is still one of our coaches. He is constantly scolding me for not running as fast as he thinks I am able and mostly for racing every weekend.  However, I am able to ask him questions and he gives me useful advice (that I may or may not follow LOL).

  • Upcoming Florida Vacation:

With work and this weekend in NYC, I’m not ready.  We leave on a 6am flight next Wednesday.  I’m away this weekend, have my running group Monday evening and tennis Tuesday evening.  Yikes! When do I pack for 8 days away??

But looking forward to sunsets and fun times on the tennis courts and soaking up the sun on the beach.

If you know me, you know that although there are very few races this time of year in Florida, since we are there 2 weeks earlier than usual, I thought I’d take a look.

May 7 – 7:30 am

I found one – two loops around Old Naples.  We have tickets for a show the night before so I don’t know if I can talk someone with a car into getting up early to drive me.  We’ll see.

Happy Running! What’s new with you today? Tell me in the comments.

TOLT: News, Training, Racing, Weather, etc.

Since it is Thursday, I’m linking up today with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

thinking out loud

Here’s what I’m thinking about today:

Good/Bad News:

  • I am 0 for 2 in lotteries. I did not get into Beach to Beacon:
Image result for beach to beacon 2017

Aug 5 in Maine (Joan Samuelson’s race)

I was not as disappointed as with the NYC Half.  I just entered this one as a whim not even considering the date, the location, etc. I am sometimes pretty impulsive but I do want to run this 10K at some point.

  • I also did not selected as a RNR Run/Blogger. I was not surprised as my blog does not have big following. But I did get picked as a ZOOMA Race Ambassador.

Image result for zooma ambassador 2017

I will run Annapolis as a virtual race but not sure which ones if any of the other races I can fit in or afford.

Image result for zooma ambassador 2017

Who’s going to any of these?  Cape Cod (Oct 7), Amelia Is, FL (Oct 21) or Austin (Mar 10).  If I go, I will need a roommate.

This is an exciting opportunity. It’s always fun to run new races and meet new runners.

  • Freihofer Run for Women Training Challenge:

Image result for freihofer's run training challenge

This is the 7th year of this program and my third year participating.  It has expanded and grown and offers many times and locations for women to train with others or become a first time runner.

I signed up for the Advanced group again.  Our first meeting was this past Monday. It was so much fun to catch up with all of last year’s returning runners (though many did the Troy Turkey Training too so I saw them in November).

Patrick, who is young and cute, is still one of our coaches.  He is constantly scolding me for not running as fast as he thinks I am able and mostly for racing every weekend.  In fact, he mentioned that in a interview about the program.  He didn’t mention me by name but everyone knew whom he was talking about.

Again he told me that I won’t get faster if I race every weekend but he knows that I will anyway.  He says that I should pick a few goal races and the other ones just use as training runs.  In fact, he said to run my extra miles before the race so I run on tired legs and don’t run fast during the race.

It makes sense but I don’t know if I can run a race and not do my best.  What do you think?

  • Weather:

Spring has officially arrived.  But you wouldn’t know it.  We still have lots of snow and Wednesday the wind chill was around 0 degrees.

the only sign of spring is that the soft ice cream places are open

  • Treadmill.

I am pretty proud of myself.  I ran my first (and hopefully last) time on the treadmill this year.  I was traveling for work and used the one at the hotel.  It was awful but I did it.

Because I signed up early for the Freihofer Run for Women, I have a free 6 month membership to a gym.

Image result for vent fitness guilderland

It’s just a few minutes from where I work (though not on my way home) and I’ll have more info on it when I actually go there.

Happy Running! What’s new with you today?  Tell me in the comments.

TOLT: Weather, Training, Racing, etc.

Since it is Thursday, I’m linking up today with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

thinking out loud

Here’s what I’m thinking about today:

WEATHER:

Ok, the weather lately has been crazy!!

Not because I was just in Florida.  In the NE, it has been warm enough to run in a tank top several times.


So look at the forecast for the next few days:

with the wind chill, it’s supposed to be below zero 😦

Last year at this time, it hit 80 degrees!!

RUNNING:

It’s just hard to fit in.  Work will be getting in the way…more and more.  I’m trying not to be a whiner but I’m going to run whenever I can.  I am not that dedicated to get up at crazy hours or run late at night when I am exhausted.  My health and my happiness are more important than running.

So this week, it may only be just once.  And that’s ok.

And if that’s the way it’s going to be, I will re-adjust my expectations for my races.  I love racing and I plan to continue racing even if I don’t have time to train. I know that if I don’t train, my finish times will suffer.  As long as I stay healthy and can run, I’m happy.

Well, of course, I’d be happier if I could do all my runs during the week and improve my times.  But we can’t always do what we want.

This is so much better than being injured, right?

happy to run with my buddy once a week

MY LAST HALF MARATHON:

I didn’t expect to run well.  I didn’t train well.

I expected to love the race and the course and I did!!

I didn’t have an awful finish time but it was slower than the last 5 out 7 of my half marathons.

It was insanely windy but unfortunately it wasn’t only the wind.

My stomach cramped, then my back and feet ached.  No injuries and I am grateful for that.  I didn’t give up and pushed through the pain.  I am proud of how tough I am!

enjoyed meeting other Skirt Sports ambassadors

UP NEXT?

I have a frigid four mile race this Saturday and races almost every weekend.

this same race two years ago.

I am also starting my training for my next half marathon which is in hilly Central Park, NYC on April 30.

Image result for shape women's half marathon
That means that I will need to add extra miles onto my races.  This weekend, I have 7 miles on the schedule.

This is not an optimal way to do your long runs but it makes me happy to race.  Plus, I don’t have PR goals for any of my half marathons.

Happy Running! What’s on your mind today?  How are you dealing with the crazy temps?  How do you cope when life prevents you from running?  Do you do your long runs in-interrupted?