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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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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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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Weekly Wrap for 11.19.18-11.25.18 – Running Before and After the Turkey

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Back to guess where?  And my last Half Marathon for 2018!!

  • Monday – Though I was tired from the weekend, I do love my NYC runs. I started along the Hudson River

but for safety sake I ended up running on the city sidewalks. Crowded for sure but I got to see some the holiday decorations.

  • Tuesday – Today after work I took the subway to Central Park. I was hoping to run with Cari but she was stuck at work so I was solo. Not really. There were lots of runners in the park.

I walked back to my hotel. Again admiring the lights of the city at Christmastime.

  • Wednesday – Rest Day. Train home after work.
  • Thursday – Race Day – Troy Turkey Trot 5k. Well the night before there was a train derailment which led my train to be stuck an hour away. My hubby picked me up but I didn’t get home until after 11 pm. I also woke up to negative single digits with the windchill so I decided to skip the race.

It felt really strange not to race on Thanksgiving Day. I had done a turkey trot every year since 2009 (except 2012 when I was injured.) I waited for the temps to warm up to double digits and ran my own 5k. It was not fun but got it done.

Later in the day I ate back all the calories I burned and more at the family Thanksgiving dinner.

  • Friday – Rest Day and drive to Pelham with Alyssa. After checking into our hotel, we picked up our bibs and carb loaded at dinner.

Then we walked off our dinner at a nearby mall.

  • Saturday – Race Day. Pelham Half Marathon – the hilliest race ever. I mean I had problems even walking up the hills. But Alyssa and I survived and had fun. It is great local race. I even won my age group.

does it count if I was the only one in my AG?

  • Sunday – Rest Day and I deserved it!

This Coming Week –  

  • Monday 3 miles??
  • Tuesday  3 miles, mall walk with BFF
  • Wednesday – train to NYC, 4 miles
  • Thursday3 miles (in NYC)
  • Friday – rest day, train home
  • Saturday Long Run with Sole Sisters (6 miles) or Jingle Bell 5k
  • Sunday – rest day and anniversary Mah Jongg dinner

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

WWSki-Orange

Happy Running! How is your running going? What’s new with you?  Any big races on the horizon? Did you experience the arctic chill on Thanksgiving Day?  Did you run a Turkey Trot? Please share.

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Weekly Wrap for 11.12.18-11.18.18 – It’s beginning to look a lot like….

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New work travel location and a few cancelled running events due to an early winter.

  • Monday – Most of my running friends were off for the Veteran’s Day holiday and went for a morning run but I had to work so waited until after work. It was a slog but got it done.

at UAlbany where there are lights

  • Tuesday – Drive to LI for work. It was my first time going to this location (even though it’s where I grew up.) I had no idea where to run but it didn’t matter because it was raining. But then it stopped and it was still light so I headed to Eisenhower Park hoping to find a route to run on. And I did.

  • Wednesday – After work, I headed back to Eisenhower Park but just for a short walk. It was freezing and I had connected with two friends from high school with whom I would be having dinner. No time for a run but had a fun evening.

two of my best friends from junior high & high school – and yes, they’re twins

  • Thursday – Well almost another Rest Day. I planned to run on the treadmill before work but bailed. After work, I had to tackle the long slow drive home from LI. It was forecast to rain but it turned out to be a blizzard so I spent an extra night there. And guess what? I actually ran on the hotel treadmill. Hated every second but got it done.

  • Friday – Rest Day. Today I made the long drive home. No time to run as I had a hair appointment after work and a race the next day.
  • Saturday – Race Day. But the Girls on the Run 5k got cancelled due to the weather. I had run this race before but it was in a new location. I basically was going to do the race to support this charity and to meet up with the STEM coaches and runners. I was thinking about not running it even before it was cancelled (too tired!!!). So instead I ran a leisurely long run with my Sole Sisters followed by brunch. Love my running friends ❤

at the Crossings where they shoveled the paths 🙂

Then it was date night with the hubby. Movie (Bohemian Rhapsody) and dinner.

  • Sunday – Today I was supposed do a fun run with friends.  It was called the Raffle Run and you run for an hour completing a one mile trail loop as many times as you can. Each time around, you earn a raffle ticket which is entered into a drawing to win a prize. This was cancelled as well. So instead I did errands, cleaning, packing and picked up by race packet for Thursday’s race.

I decided to downgrade from the 10k to the 5k. And my coach agreed.

This Coming Week –  

  • Monday -train to NYC, 4 miles
  • Tuesday  3 miles (in NYC)
  • Wednesday – rest day, train home
  • ThursdayTurkey Trot 10K 5k, Thanksgiving dinner
  • Friday – rest day, drive to Pelham
  • Saturday Pelham Half Marathon
  • 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?  Did you race on Thanksgiving? Any big races on the horizon? Please share.

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Stockade-athon 15K Race Recap

November 11, 2018                              8:30 am

This is my sixth time running this popular local 15k race.

In 2011, my first time (and 1st 15K), I finished in 1:36:08. I was injured in 2012 and then I ran it again in 2013 and finished with a disappointing 142:22.

stockafeathon13a

“fake” happy

With over 2000 runners in this race, they were forced to make some changes to the course three years ago.

It no longer starts and ends in Central Park. It also starts earlier – 8:30 am

This is a description of the new course:

The course starts near Veterans Park in downtown Schenectady. The course travels west on State Street for 1K before entering the historic Stockade District and proceeding on a scenic bike path in Riverside Park along the Mohawk River. The course exits the Stockade District after crossing Erie Blvd. The course then proceeds east on Nott Street past Union College before entering the historic GE Plot residential neighborhood via Lenox Ave, Douglas Rd and Rugby Rd. The course exits Rugby Road and proceeds north on Waverly Place near the 5K mark. The course turns east off Waverly and follows Grand Blvd to the city boundary with Niskayuna, then proceeds south on Dean Street to Central Parkway past 8k. After a 1K residential loop on Central Parkway, the course enters beautiful Central Park and follows a bike path around Iroquois Lake and Duck Pond before reaching its highest elevation near 12K. The final 3k is mostly downhill or flat as the course exits Central Park and proceeds west through historic Vale Cemetery and Vale Park before a final downhill section on Franklin Street to the finish at City Hall.

Well, I loved the new course and finished the race in 2014 with a new PR of 1:33:23.

Since then, the race organizers have decided to stay with the same course.  In 2015, I was shocked that I finished at 1:31:35Yes, a PR by almost 2 minutes.

I was not as lucky in 2016 or should I say “not as fast” (due to stomach issues) and finished it in 132:49.

Last year, I was not able to run this race since I was in Las Vegas running the Rock n Roll 5k and half marathon.

Apparently, they modified the course slightly for this year. And it seems that they eliminated the bike path at the beginning of the race (which I did like because you ran along the Mohawk River and it was dirt so easy on the feet).).

This year whose knows?

Life and work have gotten in the way of my running.  I did not run Monday, Thursday and Friday and minimally on Tuesday and Wednesday. That meant that anything could happen!!

I didn’t expect to PR but just wanted a decent long run (and not get INJURED!!) since I was scheduled to run a half marathon in TWO WEEKS!!!

Usually to save time, I pick my race packet the day before the race. But I decided it was just as easy to pick it up on race morning.

Instead I spent a long overdue visit with the girl I mentor and her two sons.

Yes it snowed. Yes we all froze but they enjoyed the obstacles and I enjoyed watching them.

I kinda forgot about my race the next day and had a late lunch of chili. Oops not my usual pizza dinner.

As usual, I didn’t sleep much the night before the race. I had decided what to wear but still wasn’t sure about how cold it would be. It was in the 30s when I got up and windy but it was forecast to warm up a little and the sun to possibly come out. I hate this time of year. It’s so difficult to dress correctly. At least there was a bag check and I could bring extra clothes for after and in case I changed my mind.

just added some gloves and stuck with my original plan

Even though, I’ve been to this race before, I still left extra early.  Barbara and I carpooled. We got there around 7:10 am and found a spot on the street a few blocks from the start of the race.

nice long sleeved tech shirt – but too big 😦 (that’s why you go the day before.

We walked to the YMCA to use the restroom and check extra clothes. There I bumped into a lot of familiar faces and met up with my fellow Sole Sisters.

I used the restroom right away and was glad that I did since the line got longer later on. It was so nice to have some place to stay warm before the race.

We waited indoors as long as possible. But eventually it was time to head to the start.

img_3067

during the National Anthem (no pic this year but the same view)

We arrived as they were playing the National Anthem and then quickly ran across the street (to the women’s side) to get ready to start.

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waiting to start – men started on one side and women on the other.

I started with my Freihofer/Turkey Trot training group buddy, Nancy. But I knew that I would lose her immediately (She is quite fast.)

The course map:

As with any big race, it was very slow going at first.

from Daily Gazette (2015)

As the map above shows, we headed west into the Stockade section of town. Although it was chilly, when the sun peaked out, it was quite nice.  I even took off my gloves and unzipped my outer layer. There were mile markers at each mile and most of them had someone calling out times.

I ignored my watch. I just tried to run at a steady pace even up the hills but I had no idea if I was actually doing that until after the race when I check my split times.  But as I mentioned earlier, this was not a PR attempt…just a training run.

photo by David Giacalone (2015)

After the Stockade area, we ran past Union College and around various residential neighborhoods. I skipped the first water stop since I was not thirsty at all. The cold weather does that to me.

photo by David Giacalone (2015)

I knew a lot a runners in this race. They kept catching up to me, we’d chat and then they would go on ahead. That was ok with me. I was determined to run at my own pace and have a pain-free race.

The hills were relentless. But I was able to run up all of them. The wind was relentless as well. Why was it never at my back???

I figured that there would be no PR today so I just enjoyed the scenery and chatted with many runners as they went by.

Eventually I was getting hungry. My breakfast was at 5:30 am!! So I walked at the 2nd water stop and had a Gu.  I lost some time here since my tights & toasty checks skirt did not have a pocket so I had to squeeze my Gus into my race belt along with my phone. It was tough to get them out. Lesson learned.  Go back to my Skirt Sports tights, skirts and capris with TWO attached pockets.

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Around mile 6, we entered Central Park with its rolling hills, lake, and pretty foliage.

photo by David Giacalone

I think I skipped the third water stop. I actually don’t remember but I made sure to smile for all the photographers.

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leaving the park  (2015)

Between mile 7 and 8 is where the BIG hills were. I ran up the first one. Then I decided to run up the second. That was a first for me.  Usually in this race, I have to walk up the hills. The second hill was steep but not as steep as I remember. But that wind!!!!

Things were feeling good except for my foot (a lot of pain on the ball of my foot due to the bunion forcing my toes together) and a side stitch ever since I ate my GU.

At least the hills were over.. We proceeded to run through the cemetery and then through a park before heading DOWNHILL to the finish line at city hall.

Of course, the wind persisted and we were running INTO the wind!! But I was passing runners, even men. Pysched!

And when I saw the clock in the distance, I ran as fast as I could. I was shocked that I could possibly finish under 1:30.

But I did not!!!I finished at 1:30:XX.

I was happy anyway.

I bumped to another Skirt Sports ambassador and lots of running friends. I waited outside as long as I could but I was getting pretty chilled.

So we went back inside.  This year, the food was in the same area as bag check and we we waited before the race.

I got some chocolate milk, bread, potato chips, soup (carrot ginger) and pizza.  What a nice spread for a local race.

I also checked the results. All the speedy old ladies run this race. But this year, I was pretty close to an award for the first time.

We hung out waiting for everyone to finish the race and plan where we were going for brunch (and yes, I ate some more).

We ended up going to a nearby diner where we continued to chat about the race. We all had a good time running it.

2nd & 3rd 5ks exactly the same – wow!!

My Splits:

mile 1 – 9:05
mile 2 – 9:30
mile 3 – 9:27
mile 4 – 9:42
mile 5 – 9:41
mile 6 – 9:54
mile 7 – 9:52
mile 8 – 10:07
mile 9 – 9:34
.4 – 8:24

1:30:15

I am very happy with how the race turned out. My miles were pretty consistent (at least for me.) The slowest ones were when I ate my Gu (mile 6) and ran up the big hills (miles 7-8).

I really enjoyed this race. The course was so varied that it also took your mind off the hills. With the large number of runners (1500), I felt like I was always running with others and it kept me going.

Yes, it was hilly. The first half had a lot more hills but they were manageable. The second half had fewer hills but they were steeper.

The best part of the race was that I didn’t put it all out there and I just enjoyed myself treating it like a training run. When I was done, nothing hurt (not even that stupid foot.)

And guess what? It was a PR!!!!!! Over a minute faster than on this course in 2015.

This race is definitely on my must-do list. It was very well organized. Maybe all the stars will be aligned next year and I’ll gun for that sub 1:30 finish.


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 each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup.

coachescorner

Happy Running! Did you race this past weekend or do any other running? Do you ever run 15ks? Do you like them? Have you ever PRed when you weren’t trying to?

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