Race the Train Recap

I love to race and this one sounded interesting last year so I signed up.  It was lots of fun but the first 1 1/2 miles were very challenging (I apparently blocked out the hills during the rest of the race.)

Here is the course map.  You can see what I mean about the long early hill..

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I wasn’t sure if I was up to running it again but my friend Sue said she had signed up and also my VT friend AJH expressed an interest in running it. So you know me, it didn’t take much persuading for me to sign up as well.

The race is not nearby – about an hour 50 minutes and you have to be on time since you take the train to the race start.

I asked my friend whose house is not too far away (in Chestertown) if I could stay there and she agreed. It would be about an hour closer so I didn’t have to get up as early. But the forecast was for heavy rain and thunderstorms so I decided instead to stay home and get up early the next day.

I woke up at 4:30 to pouring rain. I seriously contemplated a DNS. But I didn’t. And I am glad that I ignored the weather forecast

It was easy to get to North Creek Railroad Station and didn’t take as long as anticipated. And the rain stopped!!! So I got there very early and parked in a parking lot next to the finish line.

It was already in the 70s and very humid when I arrived.  But I was thrilled that it was not raining…

I picked my race packet (a cotton shirt, a bib, your train ticket and a raffle ticket) and walked around waiting for Sue and AJH.

I found both of them.  Sue was working at registration so I hung around with AJH.

There were REAL restrooms in the gift shop and a lot of interesting things to read and look at.

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some of these pics are form last year (hence the bright blue sky)

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Finally everyone arrived and we lined up to get on the train.

I spotted Maureen whom I met at the Shape Half in NYC.  It was cool to see her again and catch up. (She said that she had not run since but I knew that she would be speedy anyway… and she was.)

And then we sat and waited and waited. The train was supposed to leave at 8 am but it didn’t until about 8:20 and they even had a bus for the late arrival runners.

The ride was really scenic.  It was an interesting experience taking the train to the start line of a race.

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The train ride was along the Hudson River the whole way.

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Finally we arrived at the next station – Riparius.
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getting ready to beat that train LOL

We walked around and finally headed to the bridge where the race would begin.

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Finally everyone got to the start. I started with AJH and Sue. The train whistle blew and off we went.

The train gave us a head start and then it took off with the friends and families of the runners.

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photo from: The Sun

The goal was to beat the train. I knew that I would not and I also knew that since I don’t train on hills, it would be not be an easy race for me. Plus I was a little nervous about my ankle (which had been painful on the previous Monday and Tuesday)

The best case scenario would a course PR (faster than 1:28:54) and maybe win an age group award again.  But my real goal was really just to finish pain-free and enjoy the run.

And that’s what I did.

The first mile and 1/2 was a STEEP uphill. First on asphalt and then on dirt. I attempted to run but decided that I would be better off walking. Everyone that was running was struggling.  So I ran a little but mostly walked.

There was someone called out times at every mile. I was hoping to get my pace to between 10 and 11 and keep it there even if I walked the hills.

That uphill eventually turned into a downhill but after that it was just rolling hills. They never ended. (How could I have forgotten them??) They weren’t steep or as long except for maybe 2 more steepish ones (The one between mile 5 and 6 was so steep. I could barely walk up it.) That meant there were only 2 more steep downhills.

But because you were running on dirt with rocks, you couldn’t take advantage of the downhills as much as you would have liked. (I always fear a face plant.)

But my walk/run strategy on the hills seemed to work.  Those running passed me on the uphill but then I passed them on the downhill. In the end, I was not as drained as they were. (Sweaty yes! It was SOOOO humid!)

The scenery was nice as you ran through the woods (and listening to the train whistle until it passed you) and toward the end, you could see the river. Eventually, you had to run through town in order to finish at the train station.

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photo from: The Sun

The good news is that my ankle never hurt. I didn’t get blisters and I never felt tired. I didn’t push myself and as a result could enjoy the race. (Of course, part of me wished I had enough endurance to run up those hills but I know my legs would have been dead by the end if I did and I didn’t want to risk straining my ankle tendon.) In hindsight, I think I could have run more and walked less.. But who knew???

I had no time goals but I estimated that I would finish around 1:30:xx and I finished at 1:28:27. I was thrilled!!

everyone got a medal!

It was a course PR!!!!

I had some food (bagels, fruit, pastries) but the highlight was chocolate milk and then I waited around for the awards while trying to be creative with my medal.

Last year I won my age group but this year I was 3rd.  (Sue was too!)  I was happy!!! It always depends on who shows up whether or not I win…

The water bottle was the award

After the awards, they gave away raffle prizes but none of us won any.

All in all, a very challenging yet fun race. I think I’ll do it again (since I’ll probably block out any memory of those hills LOL)

My HILLY Splits:

mile 1 – 10:51
mile 2 – 10:55
mile 3 – 9:06
mile 4 – 10:15
mile 5 – 10:33
mile 6 – 11:52
mile 7 – 11:13
mile 8 – 11:00
.4 – 8:03

Afterwards, I stopped to visit the friend whose house I was supposed to sleep at the previous night.  She was there with a friend and they wanted to go hiking. I decided I might as well before the DOMS set in. So we drove back to North Creek and found a hike at Gore Mountain.  We chose the shortest and easiest one –  2.1 miles to a reservoir.

We never found the reservoir but saw a lot of pretty mushrooms and waterfalls.  It was so much fun!! And we stopped on the way home for ice cream!!

A pretty perfect day – racing, hiking, ice cream – all done with friends!!

Happy Running! Ever race a train?

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Friday Five 2.0: Racing with Family and Friends

Since it’s Friday, I’m linking up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostesses and visit some other bloggers.


My topic for today is: Family and Friends

I race a lot as you know.  Unfortunately, I have never raced with any family members.  The closest I ever gotten was my hubby signing up for a race (and he DNFed.)

So I am going to write about my top FIVE Friend Racing Moments:

Here they are:

1.Any race with MP, my tennis buddy.  These are special because MP was the one who talked me into signing up for the No Boundaries program and becoming a runner.  She is not a serious runner meaning that she rarely runs and signs up for only a few races a year.

2. My First Race with the Strong Running Mamas (SRMs) – This started in 2010 with a small group of women who had never run a 5k.  They trained and ran the Freihofer’s Race for Women.  It was so emotional to be part of that day.  These women continued to run and race.  Several have even run marathons.  The group now includes over 100 members on FB.

3.  VCM Relay (with AHJ) – I met AJH (from VT) by reading her blog and then planning some local race meet-ups in my area.  Then she invited me to stay with her and run the Vermont City Marathon Relay.  I ran it two years in a row.  Running the first 13.1 miles and then the next year, the last 13.1 miles.  The experiences were totally different but so much fun.

4. Ramblefest Half Marathon (with my BRF) – This was special because although I had run with Alyssa once a week, this was our first race together. Plus we both had PRs.  We hope to have a similar experience when we race again together at the Wine Glass Half on Oct 1.

5. Panama City Beach Half Marathon (with the #holottafun ladies) – This experience may never be duplicated (but we will try in Las Vegas in Nov).  Spending the weekend with women whom you only knew through their blogs. Well, it was phenomenal.

Happy Running! Do you race with family or friends?  What is your favorite friend/family racing moment?

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Running Update: 7.31.17-8.6.17

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Last Week:

  • Monday – A sunny day so I had to run. The warm weather returned.

On the rail trail

  • Tuesday – Finally got to play tennis. It was great catching up after at dinner as well.

at UAlbany courts

  • Wednesday – Since I was working near the Crossings, I decided to squeeze in a run there. Another warm one but I’m not complaining.

  • Thursday – No rain this week so far.  Amazing.  I ran with Alyssa for our weekly after work run.

it was warm but we celebrated our fast run with ice cream after

  • Friday – Another scheduled rest day. After work, I planned to drive up to Chestertown to stay at my friend’s house on Schroon River (to make my race day drive shorter) but I was pooped so stayed home and played mah jongg instead.
  • Saturday – Today I ran the Race the Train 8.4 mile race. I expected rain but just got humidity. And it was much hilliest than I remember.

Course PR and 3rd in my age group

Afterward I stopped at my friend’s and we decided to go hiking.

So much fun. We didn’t get as far as the reservoir but saw pretty mushrooms and waterfalls and hiked 4.2 miles

  • Sunday – A weekend would not be complete without a trip to the lake.

Hung out with friends, grilled a great meal and finished a book 😊

20.4 miles done with 4 runs and 3 rest days

This Week:

  • Monday – day off at Saratoga race track
  • Tuesday – 3 mile run in Rochester??
  • Wednesday – rest, drive home from Rochester
  • Thursday 4 mile run with Alyssa
  • Friday – rest
  • Saturday –  proctor MPREs, 9 mile run
  • Sunday – rest, boating

Please link up for the Weekly Wrap hosted by these wonderful bloggers Holly @ HoHoRuns and Tricia @ MissSippiPiddlin. See rules here.

This week’s Guest Host is Heather @ 3 Black Cat Co.

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

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Ultimate Coffee Date – August

Confessions of a Mother Runner

Since today is the first Saturday in August, I am joining up with Coco & Deborah for their ultimate coffee date.

iced coffee with chocolate milk ❤

Over coffee…

I’d tell you that if you wondered why I was the Guest Blogger last week on The Weekly Wrap and why I have been commenting on blogs and posting on mine more often, it was because instead of working at my usual job, I was working at the Bar Exam for 3 days. That meant that I sat for 10 hours and waited until a student had a technical problem.  Lots of downtime …. to blog.

my view for 3 long days

Of course, that won’t happen again until next February.

Now it’s back to normal… squeezing blogging into my busy life. (I don’t know how those of you who work get it done.)

Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I worked at my old job site for the Bar Exam.  It made me very nostalgic (I worked there for 10 years.)

Yes, I missed my friends and the work itself but what I really missed was running-related.

There was a (free) treadmill (not that I loved it but it was handy), a nearby track, close to the park and it was easy to squeeze in runs before, during and after work.

Over coffee…

I’d tell tell you that after my success at my last two 5ks, I contemplated not signing up for so many long races. I almost Pr’d with zero speed work. Maybe I should work on my speed before I get too old.

27:35 at age 64!! Can I go faster? My PR of 27:11 is 3 years old.

Over coffee…

I’d tell you that today I have a HILLY 8.4 race. I am a little nervous since I do not train on hills and I remember it being a very challenging course.  I didn’t know anyone at the race last year so I am looking forward this year to running with my friends Sue and AJH.

Stay tuned for the hopefully “happy” recap.

Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I am the WORST running buddy ever. I signed up for the RUN4 program almost 4 years ago.  I was paired with John Anthony and in the beginning, I posted all runs and dedicated them to him. I also sent him medals and running shirts.

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Then I got lazier and only posted and dedicated my races to him.  I still mailed him race shirts (the cotton and unisex ones.)

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Now, I am sad to say that I do think about him all the time when I run but I can’t remember the last time I posted to the FB site.  And I have a pile of shirts waiting to be mailed.

Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I love running in NYC.  (You probably know that.)  This month I am running my 4th race there in 10 mos.

I am super psyched because I am running it with Sue, it’s in Central Park and it’s called the France 8k Run.  (I’m trying to forget that I’ll have to run up Cat and Harlem hills.)

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Um, what should I wear?

Yup. FRANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Remember I was French teacher for over 20 years and I love anything French (esp. food and art).

what do you think?

Glad I signed up early.

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Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I kinda had an injury.  If you don’t write about it, it doesn’t exist, right?

Peroneal Tendon Subluxation or Dislocation

Last Saturday afternoon, I think I tweaked my peroneal tendon …in my GOOD ankle. I’m not sure when…either carrying laundry down the stairs or while gardening.  I just remember hearing something snap/pull.  I ignored because it didn’t hurt.  It didn’t bother me on Sunday (but I didn’t do anything.) and then on Monday when I went to run, it hurt.  Did I stop running? Of course not.  I tried to not bend my ankle and run in a way that it didn’t hurt and walk often. 

Yes, I was bummed.

So on Tuesday, I didn’t run but I wore my hubby’s ankle support and played tennis. And it hurt so did I stop?  No way but I only played one set and then sat out.

So now I was really bummed.

Not enough to take a running break.  I wore the ankle support and ran on Wednesday. And guess what?  It didn’t hurt AT ALL!!!!!

3.5 pain-free miles

I ran again with Alyssa on Thursday. 

More miles with zero pain


I’m not convinced that it is perfectly fine.

my new work attire (with a dress)

We’ll see how the ankle reacts to 8.4 hilly miles.

Happy Running! Got anything to spill? Share it here! Anyone ever race the France 8k? Ever ignore an injury and it gets better?

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Friday Five 2.0: My Favorite Races

Since it’s Friday, I’m linking up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostesses and visit some other bloggers.


My topic for today is: Five Favorite Races

 

You know that I love to race and I have run A LOT of RACES so it is hard for me to pick just FIVE.

Just to be interesting, I will pick 5 different distances.

Here they are:

 

1. Freihofer’s Run for Women (5k) – it is ALL women (more than 4000)– all ages, all sizes, veterans, newbies, elites, walkers. When I ran it the first year that I started running (2008), it made feel like a “real” runner. Finishing it after suffering a serious injury (2012) helped me believe that I could be a runner again. And then in 2013, completing it with a broken foot showed me how strong (or maybe stubborn) I was.

2012 – in newspaper

I love the downhill finish of this race and I also enjoy running through Washington Park in Albany, NY where I often run after work.

The location is convenient since I can park in town and walk to the race to avoid the traffic and confusion. There is an expo the day before where you get free Freihofers cookies and a loaf of bread.

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2. Troy Turkey Trot (10K) – This 10K takes place on Thanksgiving Day and it a good way to burn some calories before your big meal.  It’s the most popular race in the area and so there are lots of runners and even more in the 5k that follows the 10k (10,000 total). This is also the race that got me involved in a running group.  I have joined the training group each year and it convinced me that participating in a group is a great thing and have since joined a training group for the Freihofer’s race.

The course is fairly flat and is my current 10K PR. 🙂

3. Stockade-athon (15k) This race is the oldest 15k in the country. It takes place in the fall so the foliage is pretty and you run around Central Park and through the oldest parts of the city of Schenectady, NY.

 

It is a popular local race for me so you run into a lot of familiar faces. The end of the race features food such as pizza, hot soup and cozy indoor seating at Proctors Theatre.

4. Adirondack Distance Run (10 miler) There aren’t many 10 mile races around and this is a great one. It has a point-to-point course that starts in the village of Lake George, NY and ends in Bolton Landing. It takes place in early summer so it is not too hot or humid yet.

 

 

The course is rolling hills but you don’t mind since you are running along Lake George the whole way.

the end of the race

This is the route that I drive each weekend to go on our boat.

Since our marina is next door to the beach, I can have friends cheering for me at the finish line.

5. Naples News Half Marathon (13.1) This race is special because it was my first half marathon. It was also held in one my favorite vacation spots. I go there every year with my tennis friends. The race was held on my wedding anniversary and my hubby was there waiting at the finish line. Plus if you live in the NE, January in Florida is a great getaway.

The course is beautiful with many views of the Gulf.

At one point, a priest blessed runners with holy water.

I don’t plan to repeat any of my half marathon races but maybe someday I will run this one again.

Happy Running! What are your 5 favorite races? Have you run any of the above?

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Wednesday Word- Breakthrough

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The first Wednesday of each month, the Deb from Deb Runs will be providing a word about which to blog. Kind of like a nice little blog prompt. Posts can be fitness or health related, but don’t have to be, so really anyone can play along. Just be sure to link up with InLinkz on Deb’s main post, and share the love by reading and commenting on other’s participant’s posts.

Today’s word is Breakthrough

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For me, a breakthrough happened several years after running ONLY 5ks.

This is nothing wrong with only racing the 5k distance.

But I had convinced myself that since I was an older runner, I was NOT capable of running any longer race distance.

happy, getting faster, winning AG awards… (need help in improving my wardrobe choices.)

After a health-related scare, I decided in 2011, to give the 13.1 distance a shot.

I didn’t tell anyone (except my hubby) because I had serious doubts about my ability to complete the distance.

thumbs up for the first one!

But I did it!  I loved it and I went on to run 5 half marathons that first year.

I have continued to run several half marathons each year (unless I was injured).

Half Marathon #26 – 2:06:52 – PR!!!

I didn’t stop running 5ks. I still love that distance but I am so glad that I made the decision to run a half marathon.  I discovered that what I thought was holding me back (age) did not and that I had to potential to run 131.1 miles (and even run them pretty well.)

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I’m also linking with Susie and Rachel and Debbie and Lora for the Running Coaches’ Corner.

Happy Running! Have you had any BREAKTHROUGHS with regard to running? Please share.

Silks & Satins 5K Race Recap

July 22, 2017

When I first started running, this race was one of my favorite 5ks. I ran it in 2008, 2009, 2010.

in 2008 – my first year of running

in 2010, this is where I met AJH for the first time (I was wearing shorts back then.)

It’s funny how things have changed. AJH was trying to convince me to run a longer race. Since then I have completed 26 half marathons.

My 5k time back in 2010 was 29:34.

After 5 years, I ran this 5k again in 2015. And my time was 28:41. So things haven’t changed that much (but now I wear running skirts instead of shorts).

I’ve enjoyed this race so much that I have re-added to my summer racing list.

28:27 finish, a course PR and a 3rd place AG award in 2016

The course had changed for 2015 and I assumed that it would be the same again this year.

Here is the current course map:

15 turns in this course!!

The race started at 8 am. That meant that I had to get up at 5:30.

This being the opening weekend of the Saratoga Flat Track, believe it or not there was already a lot of traffic at 7 am. I was glad to have left early and found parking in a nearby lot. (I was careful this year to park in the correct lot. Two years ago, I almost got towed.)

unisex tech shirt – too big, of course

I picked up my bib and shirt and then went back to my car and watched the horses work out for a bit.

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There were about 1000 runners at this race. So I bumped into quite a few familiar faces: Sue, my Shape half roommate, Laurie from the Turkey Trot group several years ago, Holly and Nancy from the Freihofer’s group, Patrick, the director for this race  and coach for my running groups, to name a few.

The weather was quite warm … over 70 at the start and HUMID. So not ideal running conditions but I wasn’t planning to PR anyway.

Soon we headed to the start. It wasn’t chip-timed so Holly, Nancy & I tried to get as close to the front as we could but not get in the way of the speedy runners.

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And so we were off.

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Nancy is super fast and Holly is fast as well.  I tried to keep Holly in my sight during the first mile but she kept getting further and further ahead.

It seemed like everyone was passing me by…because they were. But as usual, my first mile was too fast. My plan was to have negative splits and but that never happened.

By the second mile, I had completely lost Holly and I was starting to struggle with my breathing.

It was warm but I have run in higher temps.  It was the HUMIDITY.  And it was sucking the life out of me.  I don’t sweat much but I was dripping…

I tried to run in the shade when there was shade and run the tangents (all 15 of them). I only walked at the one water stop at the halfway point. And as it turned out, my legs were tired and I probably should have walked at each mile.

It was during mile 3 that I saw Holly again.  She had slowed down so much that I caught up to her.

She beat me during our last two races together and I tried to encourage her to run  faster but she replied “Go ahead, I’m done!!”  Her super speedy pace for the first two miles had killed her.

So I ran ahead and tried to get up enough energy to sprint through the finish line.

I crossed at 27:37 (Gun time).

It was actually over a minute faster than last year so I was thrilled. But boy, did I feel crappy – nauseous, dizzy.  I got some water and sat down until I felt human.

Then I searched for my friends and found them on the food line.  It was a long line but moved quickly.

Two years ago, the refreshments consisted of bagels & chocolate milk. This year like last year, there was only watermelon & bananas. I had at least four pieces of watermelon, a banana and a granola bar.  And I felt much better.

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watermelon on a hot day – yum!

They posted the results pretty quickly. I was shocked that I again came in third in my age group. (Unfortunately, Holly was 5th.)


While waiting for the awards ceremony, I bumped into more runners that I knew and they all got awards, as well.

I taught Michelle French 25 years ago!! She is super speedy – finished in 20 minutes at age 42.

I got a nice medal. It always feels great when you win an award.

All in all, this was a fun race. Besides all the turns, the race course is pretty flat.  It is well-organized. I plan to run this race again next summer.

Splits:

mile 1- 8:34
mile 2 – 8:56 (walk at the water stop)
mile 3 – 9:06
.1 – 7:26

27:35 (Garmin time)

I was not planning on going up to my friend’s at the Schroon River house until Sunday morning. So I took advantage of this opportunity to get some more miles in. I drove back to the Zim Smith Trail and ran in the opposite direction from last weekend.  It was warm, I was tired but I got it done.

 I survived the heat and drove home to get ready to go to a dinner party with some of the runners who will be racing the Wineglass Half Marathon on Oct. 1.

and if you are wondering, that is a Skirt Sports dress.

Racing, Running and talking about Running – what a great day!!

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

thinking out loud

I decided not to run a race this weekend (I was tempted by one in Chestertown).  My next race will be a hilly one – Race the Train on Aug 4.  I will be meeting up with Sue (NYC roommate) and VT running pal, AJH so I plan to, as usual, have a great time.

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Happy Running! How is your running going? Any races? What are you thinking about today?

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