Albany Last Run 5K Race Recap

The Albany Last Run was actually my last run of 2017.

This is a very popular local race. In fact, it always sells out (at 1900). The race starts with fireworks and then you run uphill, around the lights in the park and it ends with a downhill.

lastrunHere are some pics from a previous year:

One year, I ran this race in the rain. Another year, in a blizzard.  Last year, it was cold and windy.

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two years ago

I was hoping for better weather this year. But we ended up with SNOW before the race and during!!! Not ideal conditions for RUNNING!

Before the race

They used to give out windbreakers for this race and I have them in many colors

I normally pick up my bib & shirt beforehand to save time on race night but this year, I was working in NYC the day before so my hubby was nice enough to pick it up.

Of course, I debated about what to wear… I like to look festive. But it was COLD and SNOWING.  I hate to overdress but how to stay warm, dry and also be comfortable???

I brought several layers but ended up only wearing two shirts.

photo with the Wineglass ladies

I decided to leave my car at my old place of employment  (I hate that crowded parking garage) and walk the mile or so to the race start. I wore an extra coat and boots (that I would ditch before the race) and I was still cold and wet. At least we got to wait inside.

As I mentioned, it is a popular race and I bumped into all sorts of people that I knew– runners from my turkey trot training group, runners from work, runners from tennis and FB friends, etc.

We chatted until it was time to head out. It was fun to see all costumes and how everyone creatively got into the holiday spirit.

Still over 1400 runners braved these conditions.

I lost the Wineglass ladies but found Nancy (from the Freihofer and Troy Turkey trot training groups). We waited outside together. It was still snowing and the predicted dusting was more like several inches of snow.

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from the TU last year

Then all of a sudden the fireworks began.

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The fireworks were great but we were COLD, getting covered with SNOW and anxious for the race to begin.

About 10 minutes later, it finally did.  Nancy is very fast, faster than me.  Normally she would have taken off and I would have struggled to keep up. But tonight, no one was moving fast. It was SO SLIPPERY.  Runners were barely moving.

The race started with an uphill, went through the city before we entered the park. It was very very crowded at first and usually the crowd thinned out but it never did. Nancy and I stayed together and concentrated on the ground and staying upright.

Mile 1: 12:52

At one point, I asked Nancy what our pace was and she replied 14:xx. And we weren’t walking just not moving fast and weaving around those walking.

courtesy of the Times Union (last year)

Once in the park, the road was still snow-covered and slippery.  We hit our second hill and this was the first sign that the city had attempted to salt the road.  I would have normally been tempted to walk up the steep hill but we didn’t need to and actually picked up the pace.

Mile 2: 11:03

Yes, that was our fastest pace so far.

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from the TU (last year)

So we just resigned ourselves to run slowly, wave to Santa and enjoy the lights.

And I did!! I love this race!!!

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I took these pics the other day when I ran through the park

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The whole time I was running, I kept looking at the ground trying to avoid cracks and uneven pavement and keeping an eye out for potholes and NOT FALL!! So far so good except hitting several puddles and soaking my shoes.

Finally around mile 3, my hands and feet had warmed up and we decided to run… not fast but just trying to reach the finish line.  We joked about trying to sub 40.

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obviously this was last year

Eventually we left the park and ran downhill to the finish.

Nancy is in pink to my right

Believe it or not, this was the SNOWIEST part of the course.  It was so slippery but we ran anyway.

We crossed the finish line together and then….

DOWN I WENT!!

Yup, I fell crossing the finish line!

I landed on my hand and knee and luckily I hit where there were several layers (Thank you fur knee socks) and only bruised and cut up my knee (I’ve done much worse.)

I cleaned my wound with fresh snow (LOL) and limped indoors to dry off and get warm.

Officially I finished at 35:08 (gun time).

So one of my worst 5k times but such a fun race.  Sometimes, you just have to “race fun” if you can’t “race fast.”

So my year of racing has come to an end. 35 races!! Fewer than the 42 that I ran last year but NO INJURIES always means a successful running year!!

Looking forward to an even better 2018.


Since today is Tuesday, I’m linking up with these wonderful ladies:

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

Happy Running?  How was your weekend? Did you run in a holiday race? Ever fall during a race?

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HMRRC Winter Series #1 (3M) Race Recap

Hudson Mohawk Runners Club sponsors FREE races throughout the winter for its members. There are FIVE races and I try to run in most of them.

The course is pretty boring but free is free.

Winter Series #1 in 2011

And it’s like a reunion of all those runners who love to race.  I bump into runners that I know from races, training groups, previous jobs, etc.

The food is catered by Bountiful Bread so there is always delicious breads, soups, etc.

FRIENDS + FOOD + FREE = Perfect RACING Conditions

This weekend, they offered distances of 3M and 15K.

Here I am in 2014 – look at all the snow!!

Normally I would have run the 15k and used it as a long run but I ran 6 miles with my friends the day before so I opted for the 3 miler instead. (Plus the speedy ladies usually run the longer distances so I thought I might snag an age group award of a loaf of bread.)

I waited until the morning of to register just in case the weather was bad. But it was great so off I went.

The temps were in the high 20s so I wore tights, two shirts with a vest.

I wore the same outfit as the day before minus the jacket.

I left early to get parking since these races are often crowded and sometimes there are other events going on at UAlbany.

It turned out to be not as crowded as usual.

I immediately bumped into some SRMs,  some runners from the STEM group, from the Turkey Trot group, as well as other familiar faces from races. It was great to catch up with everyone.

We stayed indoors until the last second and then made our way outside. I also decided at the last minute to remove my vest and leave it behind.

Both the 3 milers and those running the 15k started together.  I lined with some friends, some of whom were doing the 3 and some were running the 15k.

The race is very informal – no bibs, no starting mat, no timing chips, etc. There are also no clocks (until the end) or mile markers and no water stops (maybe for the 15k??)

I just told myself that this was simply a training run and just do it. And if my legs were nt tired from the 6 miles the day before, I could use the race a speed drill.

As I mentioned, 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 the hills and not walk up all of them. In fact, I didn’t walk at all!!

I ran the whole thing.  Not so impressive – it was ONLY 3 miles!!

And I did dress perfectly.  I didn’t need my vest.  I was warm & even took off my gloves toward the end.

The amazing thing was that I felt better as the race went.  No aches and pains. Even NEGATIVE splits! Woo Hoo!

Mile 1 – 9:08 – a steep hill near the start…at least it was short.

Mile 2 – 8:51 – just some slightly rolling hills

Mile 3 – 8:38 – a longish hill right before the end

.03 – 7:49

Finally it was over and I sprinted across the finish line at 26:49.

The only time I ran this race or a 3 miler was in December 2011. My time was 29:21 or I guess this was at least a course PR.

Secretly, my goal was to finish sub 27 minutes. I did so I was happy!

I went inside to warm up and have some soup, bread, cookies, fruit, hot chocolate.  Not a bad spread for a free race.

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They gave awards for the top 2 in each 10 year age group.  I was 4th in my age group. Two of the speedy old ladies did run the shorter distance…Darn!  (The winner finished under 23 min. At age 60!) But at least my 2 friends won for 50-59.

Even though I hesitated, I am glad that I ran this race.  I plan to run the other Winter Series races too. Maybe again as a speed drill, following a Saturday long run(ish).

After the race, I had to rush home to go shopping and then out to celebrate my mentee’s 28th birthday.

Canvas, Corks and Forks – our annual thing!


Since today is Tuesday, I’m also linking up with these wonderful ladies:

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


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

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Happy Running! How you are enduring the weather?  Cold yet? Did you run this weekend?

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TOTR: November Report Card

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Fall continued with some warm days, some cool days and even some very cold days. A sign that winter is on the way.
Here’s how November worked out for me:

Weekday Runs:

I was able to run at least 3 times outdoors each week which is great because I do not have a treadmill at home. I prefer to run 4 times but sometimes it just doesn’t happen.

I ran at UAlbany (near work) or near home.  Unfortunately, my preferred routes don’t have lights and it is now too dark when I get out of work. I did run while in Liverpool for work but not while in Buffalo. (I hope to run while in NYC this week.) My weekday runs were usually around 3-4 miles.

I ran alone most of the time. But Alyssa was able to accompany me only a few times. It’s definitely more fun running with friends.

Since the Turkey Trot running group ran on Tuesdays this year, I could not run with them 😦  Even my work schedule interfered with volunteering to help the STEM runners train for their first 5k. 

Long Runs:

Long runs ended with my half marathon being on Nov. 12. Without a long race until March 2018, I still plan to run at least 6 miles on the weekend. I don’t predict double digits until February!

Total Mileage:

I have run 70 miles this month so far. A big decrease over last month (102) but I am feeling healthy so all is good.

Races:

I had several races on my schedule this month. In Las Vegas, I ran the RNR 5k and Half Marathon. The half was my slowest this year but these races were never about time but about the experience and racing in Las Vegas was an amazing experience. I also ran local on Thanksgiving, both the Troy Turkey Trot 10k and 5k. My legs felt strong for the 10k and although it was not a PR, my finish time was faster than last year.

Cross Training:

I actually played tennis 4 times indoors.  Woo Hoo!!!!

I did NOT go to work out at the gym at all!!!! Not once! Nunca! Jamais! No excuses because I live near a free gym and my tennis club membership this year includes free access to the gym.

I thought I might fit in a yoga class. I did NOT!!

I did walk-occasionally at lunch. Not everyday like I used to. I find it hard to tear myself away from my desk and I have been traveling a lot. 

Other News:

I got in additional sightseeing when I was in Las Vegas for the two races. 

thoroughly enjoyed my 6 hour tour of Red Rock Canyon

There were also quite a few friend-bonding activities.  Can’t have too many of those.

As you can tell, running is not my whole life. I think it is important to make time for other things that bring you pleasure….family, friends, food….

Feeling healthy so Life Is Good.

Looking Ahead:

No other half marathons planned until March.

I have just a few shorter races planned. My racing schedule does slow down during the winter.

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

  • 12-03-17 – HMRRC Winter Series #1 (3 m or 15k)?
  • 12-09-17 – Albany Last Run 5K
  • 1-01-18 – HMRRC Winter Series #2 (3.5m)
  • 1-14-18 – HMRRC Winter Series #3 (3m or 10K)
  • 1-28-18 – HMRRC Winter Series #4 (3m or 15K)

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

Deb RunsNo monthly goals.

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


Since today is Tuesday, I’m also linking up with these wonderful ladies:

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

Today’s Topic is: Give your running month a letter grade.

I’d say overall a B+.

You know, zero gym attendance, skipping lunch time walks and weekly runs.  Though I had a lackluster performance in Vegas, I redeemed myself at the Turkey Trot 10K.


This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week 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?

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Running Update: 11.13.17-11.19.17 & TOTR

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Last week – 

  • Monday My last day in Vegas.  I took an early morning walk around the hotel area before my shuttle picked me up to go to the airport
  • Tuesday – Brrrr.. my body was in shock due to the change in temperature.  Plus there was the 3 hour jet lag. Somehow I managed to get up enough energy to play tennis after work.
  • Wednesday – Off to Buffalo for work.  I had planned to run when I got there but set up took too long and it was too late, cold, etc. So I just went out to a late dinner with a co-worker.
  • Thursday – Again I wanted to squeeze in a run before my long drive home but it was RAINING!!! Ugh…so rest day #4.
  • Friday – It was cold and windy but I wanted to try out my knuckle lights so I went for a short run on the rail trail before mah jongg.

  • Saturday – I was itching to get back to running and the Wineglass girls were able to accompany me.  I ran with Alyssa and then afterward most of the group went out for breakfast.

Alyssa, Jeri, Jan, Judy and Chris – if they look cold it’s because it was in the 20s

  • Sunday – I took an early morning train to NYC today.  First on the schedule was a reunion lunch with the people whom I went to France with during my junior year of college.

we ate at a French restaurant, of course, but I was too busy chatting to notice the food LOL

After lunch, I met up with my tennis buddies to see the Broadway show Come Far Away.

what an amazing show and a true story. Go see it if you can

Another full but very fun day!!

Weekly Total = 10 miles (2 runs and 5 rest days)

Next Week

  • Monday3-6 miles
  • Tuesday rest, tennis
  • Wednesday – rest, bib pick up
  • Thursday – Troy Turkey Trot 10k followed by Troy Turkey Trot 5k
  • Friday – rest, mah jongg chez moi
  • Saturday – 6-8 mile run
  • Sunday – rest

Since today is Tuesday, I’m also linking up with these wonderful ladies:

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

Happy Running! How is your running going? What’s new with you? Please share.

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TOTR: Runner’s Gift List

Since today is Tuesday, I’m also linking up with these wonderful ladies:

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

Today’s Topic is: Runner’s Gift List

It’s that time of year. Time to think about what you want on your Chanukah or Christmas List.

  • Gift Card to a Running Store (so you can buy whatever you want)

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  • A Race Entry (preferably a destination one with water views)

  • New Socks (Does a runner ever have enough?)

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  • Knuckle Lights (I just discovered these and they rock for nighttime runs)

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  • Yak Traks (a necessity if you run on snow or ice.)

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  • Gloves (I know I always lose mine)

  • Happy Running! What is on your gift list?

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TOTR: Winter Motivation

Since today is Tuesday, I’m also linking up with these wonderful ladies:

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

Today’s Topic is: Winter Motivation.

All I usually do on this blog every winter is complain about how cold it is and how I hate it! I mean I live in the NE, I should expect it to be cold and snowy.

So to motivate myself to enjoy this winter more, I decided to point out what is great about winter running:

1. It doesn’t usually rain.

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not a fan of rain!!

I will run in the snow and cold but I will not run in the rain. Hence, no rain is a good thing for my running.

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2. You don’t sweat (as much).

So I have less laundry because I can wear my running clothes more than once.

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However, it is a challenge to pack everything you may need to wear.

And I can run after work, change my clothes and then go out with friends (Don’t judge LOL).

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3. It’s pretty outside.

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Well, at least most of the time.

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4. There are free races (in my area.)

Race fees add up. I am lucky that our local running group (HMRRC) sponsors 6 free races during the winter. There are 3 distances to choose from at each race.

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It’s informal so it’s just a run with friends and with good food after.

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5. There’s not a lot to do in the winter and it’s get me outside.

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In the summer, there’s boating, biking, hiking, tennis, gardening…many things to do outdoors.

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But in the winter, I don’t ski, ice skate, snowshoe or snowmobile. Running is my only outdoor activity.

so they say…


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

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TOTR: October Report Card

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 Fall has arrived. And we had some nice cool fall days but summer temps came and went as well. Such crazy weather!!!
Here’s how October worked out for me:

Weekday Runs:

I was able to run at least 3 times outdoors each week which is great because I do not have a treadmill at home. I prefer to run 4 times but sometimes it just doesn’t happen.

I ran at UAlbany (near work), near home, in a local park and at the Corning Bike Path. I even ran while in NYC, Buffalo and Liverpool for work. My weekday runs were usually around 4 miles.

I ran alone most of the time. But Alyssa was able to accompany me a few times and Judy once. It’s definitely more fun running with friends.

Since the Turkey Trot running group runs on Tuesdays this year, I cannot run with them 😦  When my work schedule allowed, I did volunteer to help the STEM runners train for their first 5k. 

Long Runs:

Long runs began in preparation for my next half marathon. I added extra miles to my 5k and 10k races. I skipped one long run and shortened my 12 miler to 10!!

Total Mileage:

I have run 99.3 miles this month so far. An increase over previous months and I am still feeling healthy so all is good.

Races:

I had several races on my schedule this month. I skipped a local 5k because of my crazy work schedule but I did complete three races. I ran the Wineglass Half Marathon which it was a great weekend away and almost PR.  I also ran the Apple Run 5K, another almost PR but an age group award and the Great Pumpkin Challenge 10k which was a fun one. 

Cross Training:

I played tennis once (indoor season has started.) Again this month, I was out of town working every Tuesday 😦

I did NOT go to work out at the gym at all!!!! Not once! Nunca! Jamais! And my free membership ended this month!!!! No excuses because I live near a free gym and my tennis club membership this year includes free access to the gym.

I thought I might fit in a yoga class. I did NOT!!

I did walk occasionally at lunch. Not everyday like I used to. I find it hard to tear myself away from my desk and I have been traveling a lot. But I did walk a lot in NYC to and from the train, subway and training facility (for 5 days!!)

Other News:

The hubby and I ended our weekend boating. We were fortunate to have two nice weekends at the beginning of the month.

Despite working A LOT, I also managed to attend some of my weekly mah jongg games. 

I also spent a weekend away with some of the tennis ladies. We went hiking in Watkins Glen. We hiked ALL 3 trails at the gorge one day and did a flat trail to a waterfall another day. 

This was my second girls weekend away of the month having spent the wineglass race weekend with running friends. 

As you can tell, running is not my whole life. I think it is important to make time for other things that bring you pleasure….family, friends, food….

Feeling healthy so Life Is Good.

Looking Ahead:

One half marathon (#29) is planned – November 12 in Las Vegas. Woo Hoo! (plan to connect with lots of bloggers!!!!!!)

I also have a few shorter races planned. I have to squeeze them in before the winter.

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

  • 11-11-17 – RnR Vegas 5k
  • 11-12-17 – RnR Vegas Half Marathon
  • 11-18-17 – Girls on the Run 5k???
  • 11-23-17 – Troy Turkey Trot 5k
  • 11-23-17 – Troy Turkey Trot 10k
  • 12-02-17 – Jingle Bell 5k (volunteer with STEM) or 12-03-17 – HMRRC Winter Series #1 (15k)??
  • 12-09-17 – Albany Last Run 5K

I am linking to Deb at DebRuns for her NovemberRace Linkup:

Deb Runs

No monthly goals.

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


Since today is Tuesday, I’m also linking up with these wonderful ladies:

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

Today’s Topic is: Give your running month a letter grade.

I’d say overall a A-.

You know, zero gym attendance, skipping lunch time walks, slacking on those long runs, but I happy to have squeezed in those runs while working out of town which wasn’t easy.


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

coachescorner

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