TT: My Worst Racing Outfits

I’m pretty obsessive about wearing nice (matching) racing outfits but occasionally I do have outfit fails.

Here are a few:

  • My stomach showed in ALL the race photos. (Those shorts are pretty ugly too.)

  • This was a Halloween race and my Parrot Head costume seemed like a good idea but it was not that comfortable.
  • My skirt was caught up into my belt for all these photos:


  • My belt kept falling the down this whole rainy race.

  • My winter racing look (before I discovered skirts)
  • So very attractive. Layers??
  • Back when I wore cotton tee shirts to race.

  • We had to wear this shirt but it was too big and it was so hot and humid that July day.

Since it’s Tuesday, I’m joining the link-up organized by Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner)


I’m also linking up here:

with co-hosts Coach Debbie RunsConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Laura Norris Running.

Happy Running! Any outfit fails that have happened to you? Please share.

Weekly Run Down for 4.26.21-5.9.21: Vacation Time, a Race and My Birthday!!! Triple Whammy!

I was away with my girlfriends in Naples, Fla most of this TWO week period. We had perfect weather and loads of fun.

Then I came home to lots of laundry and to celebrate my birthday (on Mother’s Day.)

On an insane impulse, I also registered for a race on Saturday.

4-26.21-5.2.21:

  • Monday – I was planning on squeezing in a run at lunch in the neighborhood but an emergency vet appt in the morning took away my lunch time (Champ had an infected bite wound but he is now fine).

he was very upset that he couldn’t go out and play for a week

Instead after work, I drove back to Washington Park to run around the tulips and do some hill work. Change of plans, I ran around town first and ended up at the tulips.

no pep in my step today but still got it done….

I just took pics, skipped the hills and walked back to my car.

90,000 bulbs here once they are all in bloom

  • Tuesday – Today I had time for a run during lunch. I was expecting much but trying to front load my runs in case they do not get done in Florida.

stayed in the neighborhood and sported my Florida race shirt

After work, I skipped my long walk with friends in order to finish packing and to get to bed early.

  • Wednesday – I took a very early flight (6 am) to Florida. Once we arrived, we picked up the rented van and drove to Naples.  We got settled in our villas, ate lunch, went grocery shopping and then hung out at the pool. I was glad that I ran Monday and Tuesday since there was a lot of sitting happening today.

sunny – heat index over 100 EVERYDAY!!

  • Thursday – I got up early and excitedly got to play tennis with my friends. I guess it’s like riding a bike. It felt great to be out there. Afterward, while they were taking a tennis lesson, I went for a run. Whoa. Heat and humidity! Quite an adjustment.

ran around the neighborhood admiring all the gardens

Next on today’s agenda was the beach followed by a delicious dinner in French restaurant. A perfect day to be followed by many perfect days.

Best dinner of the week (I am a biased former French teacher)

  • Friday – Today I went for a pre-tennis run. Still hot and humid. I decided that I would just happily endure the heat and humidity each morning.

more sweat and more flowers

Again we went to the beach. And after, we all went out to a scrumptious dinner. (Do you see a pattern?)

Some of the girls did go to the pool some days but I prefer the beach. Cool breezes, warm waves= Heaven!

  • Saturday – Things were becoming routine.

I found it cooler if I ran outside the community and along the canal…

I ran (if you could call it “running”) while my friends took their tennis lesson, then I played tennis with them and afterward I went to the beach. It was hot, sunny and humid but I loved it. Tonight’s dinner was Italian and we went to the theater after.

We saw Calendar Girls at the local theater

  • Sunday – I started the day with an early morning walk. No tennis or running since we decided on a road trip. We drove 1 1/2 hours north to Sarasota. First we took a boat ride on the Myakka River

Not as many alligators as we hoped but it was fun and we enjoyed a picnic lunch in the park too.

and then went on a nature and canopy walk in the park.

quite shady which was very very nice on this hot day

Next we visited Selby Gardens where in addition to the beautiful flowers, there was an exhibit of Lichtenstein’s version of Monet.

Monet is one of my favorite painters so I really enjoyed this!!

We ended our visit with the St Armand Circle shops and a seafood dinner.

Last Week:

  • Monday – For the next few days, we played tennis first thing in the morning and then I ran during their lesson. The runs became more difficult since the temps were higher and the sun stronger. I coped by adding in more walk breaks.

I think I was walking more than running so these were just miles on the legs….

Again we went to the beach and out to dinner. But tonight we skipped dessert and had it back home during our book club.

We discussed Anxious People and yes, the dessert was as good as it looks

  • Tuesday – Today was pretty similar to Monday. Tennis, slow sweaty run, beach.

Of course, I realized that I should be running BEFORE tennis when it was cooler!! Not easy when you stayed up late on vacation….

Since it was our last Florida dinner, we had it at the Ritz while watching the sunset.

Top left: this is the first restaurant we ate at in Naples in 2005 so we go there every year just to take a pic. I am sunrise and sunset obsessed so I insist on ONE during my tennis vacations. My friends indulge me. (on my own, I’d be there every night lol)

  • Wednesday – Last day in sunny Florida. Tennis, a slow run…

I was frowning because I looked at the weather forecast for home!!!

followed by relaxing by the pool and dinner at the airport. Our flights were uneventful (for a change.)

Top: group pic with Mark our tennis instructor (I did not take lessons but everyone else liked him). Bottom: the bigger of the two pool in the community

  • Thursday – Home sweet home but missing my friends and the warm sunshine. I don’t often run several days in a row but my Florida running was more walking and I also wanted to check out the tulips in Washington Park before the weekend. The weather was cool and breezy so perfect for running.

it’s lilac time too!!

This past weekend was have been peak for the tulips but they were still gorgeous.

more tulip pics on IG @dsc59

After work, I resumed my walk on the rail trail with friends.

  • Friday – Finally a real rest day. The only thing I did was take a walk with a friend after work.
  • Saturday – On a whim, I signed up for a race – Prospect Mountain Road Race – 5.67 miles up a mountain (over 1600 ft elevation gain). Crazy, right? Yes it was hard, very hard but I finished unscathed, won 3rd in my age group and even enjoyed it.

Afterward, I drove up to Bolton Landing and walked around for a while (I had planned to run but was too beat).

Lake George still pretty on a cloudy day

As as soon I got home, I had to rush out as my stepson and his wife had invited us out to dinner to celebrate my birthday and Mother’s Day.

  • Sunday – MY BIRTHDAY!  No big celebration planned.  I thought I might run 6.8k but decided that I would go for a hike or two instead.

I am lucky to have so many choices within an hour radius.  I decided that I needed water views and waterfalls.  And I hit the jackpot.

Falling Waters Preserve – 3 trails with Hudson River views and several waterfalls!

On the way home, I stopped to hike a shorter trail.

More views of the Hudson but people live in the lighthouse so I could not climb it.

Believe it not mot, I accidently walked 4.2 miles or 6.8K!!!

Later we will stop by my MIL’s to wish her a happy Mother’s Day.

This Coming Week on the Run – 

  • Monday –  run, walk
  • Tuesday – rest day, walk with friends
  • Wednesday –run, walk
  • Thursday – run, walk
  • Friday – rest day, bike, walk
  • Saturday – Long Run
  • Sunday – rest day walk, hike

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday–  My Worst Racing Outfits
  • Friday – Tips for Running During Vacations

I am linking up with Kim and Deborah for

I encourage you to do the same. Grab the graphic, drop your link on the host blogs and play along! Please be sure to always comment on the HOST’s blogs, as well as visit and comment on as many other blogs as you can.

Happy Running! How is your running going? Any in-person races?  Is it warming up where you live? How did you spend Mother’s Day? Please share.

FFF: Ultimate Coffee Date for May ’21

It’s that time of the month…

Starbucks Coffee City Mug Collection- Florida, 16 Oz Cup

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

I am very excited to have just returned Florida.

Don’t worry. I still drank coffee every morning.

But there was a lot of more this going on:

1. Over coffee… 

I’d tell you that since it’s been awhile since I’ve gotten my second COVID vaccine, I was a lot less nervous about flying. Of course, there was still a mask requirement (so that we protect others who may not have gotten the vaccines.)

Have you flown yet? If so, how did you feel?

2.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I was a little disappointed that they changed the date of the 5k race that I always run during this vacation. So I was not able to add any mugs to my collection.

Do you still go on vacations without a race planned? If so, are you disappointed to not be racing?

3.Over coffee/wine…

I’d tell you that when on a group vacation, it’s a little hard to get the runs in. I did my best but my weekend 10 mile run did not take place.

lots of tennis replaced my running

Do you skip long runs when on vacation?

4.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that most of the local races are not happening but there are a few that have been scheduled:

    • May 8 – Schoharie 5k
    • May 8 – Prospect Mountain 5.7m Race
    • May 22 – Bacon Hill 5k
    • May 23 – Super Hero 5k
    • May 30 – Miles Along the Mohawk 5m or 10m or Marathon

I usually, in the spring, race EVERY weekend but so far, I’ve only signed up for the 5k on May 22 and the 10 miler on May 30.

Are races happening where you live? Have you signed up for any?

5.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that again this year, I’ve been named an ambassador for the Freihofer Run for Women.

It’s a popular 5k and one of my favorites. It was cancelled last year and this year, it has been postponed until Sept 25. (If you want to run it or do it virtually, sign up with this code: AMBDC10 for get $10 off. (I will also be giving way TWO free entries.)

Exciting, right?

I am also a ZOOMA Ambassador. Guess when the Cape Cod Zooma Race weekend is?

Zooma Cape Cod Logo Png - Zooma Cape Cod, Transparent Png - cod png

September 25-26, 2021

Yup, same time!!!

Any advice? Which would you choose? Anyone else running ZOOMA Cape Cod?

Happy Running! What’s new with you?  Any trips or races planned? Please share.


 

 

 

 

 


It’s Friday so I’m also linking up with bloggers, Me (My First 5K and More), Running With AttitudeRun Laugh Eat PieRuns with Pugs, and Zenaida!

So Join in!

And don’t forget to link back to your hostesses and visit some other bloggers.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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TT: My Favorite Vacation

Since I happen to be on my “favorite” vacation right now (and it’s even more special since it got cancelled last year), I thought I’d share why it’s my favorite:

  • It’s affordable.

Every year, I go to Naples, Fla. in May. It’s off-season so the flights are not expensive.  We rent two villas that sleep 5 each.  We leave our chairs, umbrellas and beach stuff in the garage from year to year.  We rent 2 vans and split the cost. We eat breakfast in the villa, bring our lunch to beach so we only eat dinner out.

  • The weather is warm and dry.

It rarely rains and if it does, it is only for a short time.  It is warm (and at that time of year, usually still cool in the NE.) The sunsets on the Gulf are amazing, too.

  • I run.

This is one of the best things, of course. I can run around the private communities or on the sidewalk along the main road.  The only downside is that it is not close enough to the beach to run with water views. And you have to get up early since it is warm and humid.

  • I play tennis and take lessons.

The 10 of us (and the make-up of the group can vary) met playing tennis although we no longer play together at home. So every morning we play doubles and take lessons with a tennis pro.

  • I go to the beach every day.

Love the sand…the sun…the water…ahhhh!

  • I eat and drink whatever pleases me!!

Calories do not count on vacation, right?

  • We take a day trip each year to explore a different nearby location or site.

Often, it’s in the Sarasota area to visit a garden park, museum, etc.   Of course, I always try and push for a hike.

  • One evening we stay in for a fun gathering of sorts.

We’ve played games, recorded songs and skits, cook, and now we also have Book Club night.

  • We also try to fit in some cultural event such as a play or concert.


Since today is Tuesday, I’m linking up with Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner).


I’m also linking up here:

with co-hosts Coach Debbie RunsConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Laura Norris Running.

Happy Running! Do you have a favorite vacation? Why is it so special? Please share.

Five Runfessions for April ’21

It’s that time again. Time to get things off my chest with Marcia’s Runfessions at Marcia’s Healthy Slice

1. I runfess…

Last month I did a big de-clutter of my Skirt Sports skirts.  (I got the idea from Deborah.) I sold 12 skirts on FB in 5 minutes!!  They were all old ones that did not fit right. (And I priced them cheaply.)   But still I had a hard time letting go….

I love the older patterns and I remember races that I ran in them

Do you get rid of running clothes frequently?  Do you donate them or sell them?

2. I runfess…

So of course, I was now tempted to take advantage of other runners’ Skirt Sports sales.  However, I quit looking after buying two items.

Nope, I bought two more…

Do you buy used running clothes online or do you always buy new?

3.I runfess…

Since I cancelled my Peleton membership, I’ve lost my indoor cycling mojo. Maybe there’s no connection. It could be just that the weather is improving or my bike is no longer a novelty.

lonely George

Anyone ride their stationary bike consistently?

4. I runfess…

Speaking of biking, I did take my bike out of the basement. It is now in my garage.  I have ridden it once. I find it boring and it’s a pain to put the bike rack on and off my car to I can ride on the bike paths.  Maybe I need to name my bike so I do not neglect it.

last year’s pic…I now even own a helmet

How often do you bike?

5.I runfess…

I am currently in Naples, Florida. I forgot how hot and humid it is even early in the morning. Usually I have a race on Sunday which motivates me to get out and run. Not this year and it is very tempting to sleep in and then just play tennis (that’s X-training, right?)

wearing my running shoes!?

Do you run everyday while on vacation?

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

 

 

 

 

 

 


It’s Friday so I’m also linking up with bloggers, Me (My First 5K and More), Running With AttitudeRun Laugh Eat PieRuns with Pugs, and Zenaida!

So Join in!

And don’t forget to link back to your hostesses and visit some other bloggers.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

TT: FT Job and Running

My topic for today is: Tips About Being a Runner and also Working Full-Time

I know that if you are a stay at home mom, you are plenty busy and if you are retired, you also still have many responsibilities but this is for all you out there who have a full-time job and are also runners:

  • Run Fewer Times During the Week

Let’s face. Your time is limited.  You have hours where you have to be at work.

You probably don’t have the time to run more than 3 times a week.  Maybe not more than twice.  There may be busy weeks that you only get out to run on the weekend.

It really annoys me when it is sunny during my work day and then it is raining when I finish.  I wish I could just run whenever the weather permits.

squeezing in a run at lunch and getting rained on…

So make your runs quality runs and don’t be guilty about missed runs.  You can try to make them up the following week.

  • Be Flexible.

We really don’t want to skip our runs. So it often takes some creativity to figure it out.

I work near UAlbany and I have run over and then return to change my clothes and go back to work.

You can run before work, after work, during lunch.  You may have to run on the treadmill.

after work run in the dark…

Whatever it takes to get it done.

  • Increase Your Hours of Sleep at Night

Working 8 hours a day is tiring….stressful.  Then there’s running which tires us out, as well.

It would be nice if when we were tired, we could sneak in a nap during the day.

Since that can’t happen (at least not at my job), you need to ideally get 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

Image result for getting a good night's sleep runner

  • Schedule/Plan Your Runs

This is especially important if you are training for a big race.

If you leave it to chance, you are less likely to get your runs done and/or get in enough mileage.

I put them on my calendar (and on my blog).

I pack my running clothes the night before to bring to work (if you are not working from home). If I plan to run before work, I lay out my clothes the night before.

3 miles after work and before a show when working in NYC

These scheduled runs are just a plan or a framework.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t switch days and mileage around.   But it definitely helps me organize my life.

  • Don’t Forget About You.

I have a hard time with this.

I often am tempted to refuse a dinner or social invitation because I need to get a run in. Rather than relax with a book or watch TV, I want to go for a run.

Sometimes, I have to bring work home 😦

Plan to treat yourself to some ‘you’ time. That means time that doesn’t involve work or running.

family time on the lake instead of my long run….

This not only lowers your stress level (at work), but it also improves your running performance.

Tomorrow, I’m leaving to spend 8 days in Florida. Not to run but to play tennis and hang out with friends. I may run but not sure how much (even though I am training for a 10 mile race in a few weeks.)


Today I’m linking up with Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner) and you should too.

I am also linking up here:

with co-hosts Coach Debbie RunsConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Laura Norris Running.

Happy Running! If you are a working runner, any other hints to add? Please share.

 

Weekly Run Down for 4.19.21-4.25.21: Recovery Week and Signs of Spring

Living in the NE, we seem to be behind everyone else with signs of Spring and it also such a short season. Before we know it, it will be hot and humid.

My running actually was related to weather not recovery.  All the hiking I did the next day seemed to alleviate any stiffness in my legs.

Hit #40 for my 2021 Hike Challenge:

Last Week:

  • Monday – Today’s forecast was for occasional rain showers. With work, it is always a challenge to time my run just right. I drove to near the rail trail and it started to rain as soon as I got there. I grabbed my jacket and continued on my run. Of course, it did stop and I was sweating.

The house on the top left had necklaces hanging from her tree. When I asked why, she said they do it New Orleans. After I took the picture on the bottom left, an old man came out of his house down the street and asked what I was doing. I explained that I like pink flowers. He then grumbled something.

When I looked the weather for Wed & Thurs, it looked like I may have to skip my runs.  So I opted for run #2 today. After another quick rain shower, I drove to UAlbany.

all the cherry blossoms from last year were gone but I found some other interesting sights

Then I met my BFF for a long walk at the nearby outdoor mall.

  • Tuesday – Too busy a work day to get in a run (and I ran twice the day before). So just a short walk at lunch and a hair appointment after work. It was light enough afterward that I was able to get in a quick hike at a nearby trail (oops forgot my phone for pix.)  Then I met my walking friends for snacks (and wine).
  • Wednesday – A predicted rainy day. It did rain on and off and I was hoping like Monday to time it right and get in my run between showers. It was cloudy and the 40s at lunch. Of course, it started to rain, stopped, got sunny and then started to rain again. Crazy weather.

definitely overdressed…. still waiting for tulips. Maybe next week.

  • Thursday – A very windy cold day with a chance of snow flurries (seriously?) I took a chance and drove to do my run on the rail trail.

It was crazy windy and snowing when I started my run and then the sun came out and it got even windier. At least I remembered to wear green for Earth Day. Did you?

I met my friends after work for a long walk (too windy for the rail trail so back to the outdoor mall.)

  • Friday – As usual Friday was my rest day (due a long run the next day.) Of course, it may have been the first sunny day of the week. I decided to take my bike out for the FIRST time this year.

needs a major tune-up I think

But since I had had not hit a single trail all week, I headed out for a hike after dinner.  Waterfalls, of course.

very pretty and many more trails that I had time to cover

Loving the extra daylight and I took advantage and stopped off at a nearby trail.

the extra rain has made the waterfalls even more impressive but some of the trails were too muddy to hike on.

  • Saturday – Long Run Saturday.  Even though my half marathon was done, I still intended (if possible) to meet up with my friends for brunch and run 10 miles each weekend. We met at various times for a variety miles at the rail trail. I started early and ran 3 miles alone and then ran 7 more miles with Sherry and Stan.

Stan & I were both wearing a shirt from the Brooklyn half marathon.

With rain predicted for Sunday and my impending vacation, I was anxious to get in at least one more hike on the trails. Especially since the weather was gorgeous. I decided to drive about an hour and instead of exploring waterfalls, I hiked and climbed a fire tower.

beautiful views and I met a lovely couple to hike with

The couple whom I met recommended another nearby hike and it was pretty as well (but longer).

view of the Hudson, the train and a variety of terrain.

  • Sunday – A rainy day which worked out perfectly since I needed to get ready to leave on my vacation. First order of business was to get my nails done. Since the salon opened later than I thought, I made a spur of the moment decision to head to the park to see how the tulips were faring.  It was raining but not hard.  I was shocked…so many were already in bloom. Not all. I bet they will be in full bloom next weekend (when I am in Florida.)

my favorite time of year…

The rain stopped so I decided to go for a walk.

yup…more signs of spring

Finally, thanks to Cari for organizing this event.

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday –  run, walk
  • Tuesday – run, walk with friends
  • Wednesday – rest day – 6 am Flight to Florida – pool, walk in Naples, Fl.
  • Thursday – run, tennis, beach, walk in Naples
  • Fridayrun, tennis, beach, walk in Naples
  • Saturday – run, tennis, beach, walk, theatre in Naples
  • Sunday – run, walk, road trip to Sarasota

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Working FT and Running
  • Friday – April Runfessions

The Next Week on the Run– 

  • Monday – run, tennis, beach, walk in Naples
  • Tuesday – run, tennis, beach, walk in Naples
  • Wednesday – run, tennis, pool, walk in Naples, 6:30 pm Flight Home
  • Thursday – rest day, walk with friends
  • Friday – rest day, walk
  • Saturday – Long Run (or RACE?)
  • Sunday – walk/hike, Mother’s Day/MY BIRTHDAY

The Next Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – My Favorite Vacation
  • Friday – Ultimate Coffee Date for May

I am linking up with Kim and Deborah for

I encourage you to do the same. Grab the graphic, drop your link on the host blogs and play along! Please be sure to always comment on the HOST’s blogs, as well as visit and comment on as many other blogs as you can.

Happy Running! How is your running going? Doing any virtual races? Any in-person races planned? Any vacations planned? Please share.

FFF: New Normal for Races

It’s been over a year and some races are being scheduled again.

If you have participated in any, you know that they are not the same as before the pandemic.

Here are FIVE ways racing has changed:

1.Course Changes – No Point to Point Routes.

So most courses are now loops or maybe several loops due to eliminating shuttles to the start from the finish or vice versa.

As result, the course may not not be as scenic as before or even monotonous.

2. Little Crowd Support

People congregating is discouraged so as result you won’t see many people cheering along a race route.

3. Mask Mandates

All the races that I have run have required that masks be worn at the start, finish and at any time where runners are less than 6 feet from each other.

4. Lack of Post-Race Food and Water Stops

Some races ask that you carry your own water.  Some races have even eliminated post-race food totally.

I have gotten bag or box lunches at some local races

5. Limited Capacity, Staggered Starts and Minimal Post-race Gathering

Races have limited the numbers of runners that can register for the race.  The race starts are organized so that groups of runners start separately and standing 6 feet from the runner in front, behind and next to one another.  And after the race, there are usually no indoor facilities or tables to sit together.

Obviously having races with the above limitations is better than having NO races.

Hopefully at some point, races will gradually become more “normal.”

the good old days

Happy Running! Have you run races during the Pandemic? Did you find any of the above or other limitations?  Which ones bothered you the most? Please share.

runner-sig


Welcome to Fit Friday Five! Please join the hosts Me (My First 5K and More), Running With AttitudeRun Laugh Eat PieRuns with Pugs, and Zenaida

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Druthers Helderberg to Hudson Half Marathon Race Recap

Logo

April 17, 2021

This was NOT a half marathon that I planned on.  I wanted to run this race but on its original (downhill) course. April 2020’s race got cancelled and the race was re-scheduled to August but on a new course. I chose at the time run the half marathon virtually and defer my registration to April 2021 (when I had hoped things would be normal again.)

Instead of racing returning to normal, half marathon after half marathon either cancelled or went virtual. So the RD organized a half marathon (Upstate Classic) in November on this new course.  I decided to run that one. Though not downhill but hilly, I did enjoy the race. So instead of deferring to April 2022, I signed up (Sure, why not? to quote Wendy.)

The restrictions this race were the same as for last November’s Upstate Classic Half Marathon and it had to held on the same course (due to the Pandemic) since its COVID Safety Plan had already been approved.

So I signed up for the Druthers Helderberg to Hudson Half Marathon as my 50th Half Marathon (44th if you don’t count the 2020 virtuals) for several reasons:

  • It was a ‘real” race.
  • It was local and I could sleep in my own bed the night before.
  • It was local so I would know a lot of the runners.
  • Several of my running friends were doing it.
  • With all the restrictions, I knew that it would be safe.
  • I was familiar with the course as it was the same one as the one that I ran last November.

Half Marathon Training:

If you follow my posts, you also know that I am not strict about following a training plan. But I do run 3 miles several times during the work week. All my weekday runs are solo ones.

And on the weekends, I do my Long Run. Usually most of my miles are with one or more of my running friends.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

The last day I ran was Wednesday so I took two days off from running. Of course, there was walking (I can’t just sit around).

Packet pick up was easy peasy.  Just went to the race headquarters. There was along line of cars waiting to do a drive-by pick up but I just parked across the street. I gave them my bib # and someone masked gave me a bag with my bib and shirt. (NO WAITING!! LOL)

short sleeved women’s tee shirt

I did my usual carb loading of pizza the night before and tried to figure out what to wear.  It was colder than I would have liked but there was no rain or snow so I was a happy camper. I hate being overdressed (and was tempted to even wear a skirt and short sleeved shirt)  But I reluctantly added another shirt and capris plus my DIY arm sleeves and gloves. Last week, my new Brooks running shoes gave me blisters (could have been the socks?) but I decided not to take a chance and wore my older Topos ones (from my October half) and taped my blisters.

My biggest dilemma was what to do about water.  I hate to carry my water bottle but there would be no cups of water provided on the course, only table to fill up your own bottle.

In the end, I decided on a small water bottle. At the last minute, I also grabbed a paper cup, flattened it and put that in my pocket. (I used it last time and it worked great.)

I also knew that I would be cold waiting to start and cold after. Usually there is bag check but now with COVID, there is none so I decided to leave a bag somewhere with old stuff and if it got taken so what? It would have been throwaways, anyway.

Race Day:

I woke up early and ate my race breakfast of oatmeal and coffee. My start time was 8:18 and I had to be in my corral by 8:14 am. I left my house around 6:30 am and tried decide what my race plan would be on the 30 minute drive over.

So the plan???

HM PR – 2:06:52
Upstate Classic HM – 2:23:21
Last HM – 2:35:58

Druthers H2H HM – Just finish.  No time goal!! (prediction – 2:30:00)

The course:

A loop starting and ending in the same location.

and not flat… at all:

My last real half marathon was in Florida in February. The course was flat but it was extremely humid and hot.  So with the hills, the conditions would probably equal out.

Although this was a “real” race, there were many changes from a half (organized by this company) that was held in April of 2019:

I understood all the restrictions and I am grateful for the opportunity to race. I was not worried about catching COVID. Besides I had both of my vaccines.

My last concern was my damn foot.  Bunion, neuroma, hammer toe…. I’ve had pain on and off for more than a year.  It’s much better than it had been back late 2019, early 2020 but it still hurts from time to time.  Sometimes a lot, sometimes just a little.   You never know and I know there are much worse things to worry about so I run. I walk, I hike.

Anyway, here’s how the race went:

I used my GPS to get to the race location, Altamont Fairgrounds. Last time, I went in the opposite entrance. This time I went the correct way but still entered in a different entrance than the directions. As a result, I did not have to wait in any line.

The parking lot was huge and MUDDY. I parked and texted my running friends Sherry and Judy. They were running late so I just waited in my car to stay warm.

Sherry arrived first and we waited together and took pix.

There were 11 waves. I was in wave 7 and Sherry and Judy in waves 10 & 11.  The first wave started at 8:00 and before I knew it was time for me to enter my corral. I left my bag near the food area and put on gloves and DIY arm warmers (Mistake since they were NOT necessary.)

Masks were required while waiting to start, in the start corral and after crossing the finish line. Since it was chilly, as you can see above and below, I opted for a gaiter (much easier to pull up and down when someone got close during the race.) Groups of 8 started every few seconds. Things happened like clockwork.

just waiting to enter my corral

The only problem was the mud. I mean puddles of mud. My shoes and socks were soaked even before I started the race.

(many of the pics are courtesy of Peter Deal’s FB page – THANKS)

Miles 1-3:

I did wear my Garmin watch this time but I was debating whether or not to use it. I hate the pressure of seeing my time and splits. But I like having stats when the race is over so I decided to use it (and just not look at it during the race.)

muddy start 

The mud continued for a while so at least that slowed me down.

ugh mud mud

Normally in a half marathon, I would run and then only walk at the water stops Usually they are every 2 miles and every mile toward the end.  But at this race, the first water stop was not until around mile 3.2. I would have to try not to walk until then.

I started out slowly but probably not slow enough.  Around mile 2, it already started to get hard…hills.  Not as bad as they would get later. Now they were just rolling ones. I felt pretty good and actually ran up the hills (at least at the beginning.)

cute sight along the early miles of the course

I was familiar with this course but obviously since we were running on roads, there were cars. You were supposed to run on the shoulder but it was slanted and I found it awkward. So I ran toward the middle of the road until a car came by.  I was more comfortable that way. But the negative was not running the tangents. 😦

Miles 3- 6.2:

I stopped at the first water stop and a volunteer filled up my paper cup.  Best idea ever.  I used that same cup the whole race. I wasn’t hungry yet so I waited to eat my GU. I did drop off my arm sleeves and gloves.  The sun had come out. I could have stayed with my original outfit (one shirt and skirt.) But later, it did get windy so I never felt that over-heated.

best place to buy cider donuts – lots of spectators here.

Around mile 4, we passed by Indian Ladder Farms and the smell of fresh cider donuts filled the air.

The rolling hills continued. Believe it or not, my expected foot pain had not started yet but my lower backache was consistent from beginning to end. It’s always something. I tried to pay attention to my form but it may have been that I was wearing OLD worn shoes.

The hills ceased to roll and started to become steep hills.  Those type of hills where it was even hard to walk up them.  So walk I did but trying to pick up the pace on the downhill.

Just as I was approaching one hill, a spectator handed me some clementine slices. A life-saver since at that point I had not eaten my GU and was way overdue for some fuel.

Miles 6.2-8.75

The second water stop was at mile 6.2.  I re-filled my water cup and ate my GU.  I forgot to mention that I was wearing a newly purchased skirt.  It was a smaller size than I normally wear but it had no drawstring so it was loose the whole race.  But the biggest problem was that the pocket on this older skirt was narrow and it took me forever to squeeze my cup in it each time I removed it.

The big hills seems to be more frequent the second half of the race. As a result, my pace increased.  No surprise and I was totally ok with walking when needed.

Miles 8.75 – 11.1

There was another water stop around mile 8.75. I again stopped and refilled my cup. I also ate my 2nd Gu even though I really wasn’t hungry.

My lower back still ached and now my foot was starting to get painful.  There wasn’t much I could do about it. So I just focused on the scenery which was very pretty (farms, mountain views, etc.), put one foot in front of the other and grimaced up each hill (along with everyone else lol).

The course marshals were very enthusiastic. There were some families camped out in their driveways.  But for the most part, we were running on the roads in the country… not a lot of places for spectators. However, there were many more than the last time I ran this course. I recognized quite a few and they cheered me on by name.

Two of my running friends were volunteering around mile 9. That was a great mental boost, as well.

I am always glad when I get the mile 10 sign.  Only a 5k from the end…. but as you know, this can be grueling and the hardest part of the race (I’m happy to say that this race followed suit.)

Miles 11.1-13.3

More hills. They never seemed to end.  And one last water stop at mile 11.1.  I just wanted to finish so I skipped it. So I never ate my last GU either.

Finally when the hills seemed to flatten, we ran on a road with a lot of traffic. It was annoying since you had make sure you ran on the uneven slanted shoulder (as opposed to the middle which I preferred.)

Mile 13 seemed like a full marathon.  My legs just died. To make matters worse, there was one hill after another.  I walked most of this mile so that I could at least sprint across the finish line and not embarrass myself.

Finally we approached the entrance to the fair grounds. An announcer announced “If you can hear me, you’re almost there! But the mud is even worse than when you started!”

And he was right. It made it impossible to run fast since the mud was very slippery. I did my best and was glad to not land on my butt and to cross with a smile (I think.)

I did check my watch and was pleased to see that I had finished under 2 1/2 hours (but then I forgot to turn it off. Strava had me running a 19 mile race at a 7 min pace lol)

A volunteer handed me a medal (in plastic) and I headed off to find my bag in order to put on my jacket (now sweaty and getting chilled!)

I got my food (a boxed lunch) and sat with some friends waiting for Sherry and Judy to finish.

drank some chocolate milk that I had brought with me and saved my lunch for later

Sherry finished first and though she started after me, we both had almost the exact race time.  That makes sense since we did all our long training runs together.

smiling because we were done

Then both Judy and another friend, Barbara, finished. Judy was running to raise money for Leukemia (in memory of her daughter) and raised $20,000!! Barbara had just completed her FIRST half marathon.  Both were super happy.

Additional Race Reflections:

It may seem that my recap above had a lot of complaints.  But on the whole, the race was a really good experience. I have zero regrets in running it. The race was so well organized. It was great to see running friends again!  Sure, it was a challenge. Aren’t all hard things?

My race pace was nothing to write home about but it was a better than I expected. I didn’t train hard. I did zero speed drills or hill work. That’s not what my running is about right now.  I run to exercise, socialize with friends and get outdoors.

Besides, my finish time for this race was 13 minutes faster than my last FLAT half marathon and a few seconds faster than the one on this SAME course.

Though I am no longer expecting results even close to a PR but I would love to struggle less in future half marathons and have more even or negative split times. (Does that mean I have to train? lol)

I slowed down big time the 2nd half of the race!!

Back to the race itself:

The Good:

  • A Live Race!!!
  • Connecting with local runners.
  • Felt safe with the provided restrictions.
  • Decent post race food. (box lunch of pre-ordered sandwich, chips, apple, brownie)
  • Well organized.
  • Lots of pre-race information.
  • Easy packet pick up.
  • Ample parking.
  • Enthusiastic volunteers.
  • Running it with friends
  • Live tracking for others to follow runners and runners to get immediate results.
  • Free photos.
  • Decent weather.
  • Lots of compliments on my outfit (someone even said that I was the best dressed runner in the race 🙂 )
  • A live race!!!

The Bad:

  • Hilly Course.
  • MUD at the start and finish.
  • No water provided (unless you carried your own bottle).
  • Many restrictions (though necessary due to Covid-19).
  • Not trained for hills or speed (my fault).
  • My sore foot (expected)
  • My achy lower back 😦

The Ugly:

  • Nothing really

The tale of two races – miles 1-6.5 and miles 6.5-13.1:

Would I recommend this race?

Sure.  But I prefer the real (downhill) course without COVID restrictions – 2022??

April 2019 

Next Up:

I signed up for the 10 miler on May 30, 2021

Final Thoughts:

2020 was a crazy year.  Two real half marathons, six virtual half marathons and then one “pandemic” half marathon.  Not how I planned it.

Of course, now 2021 has continued the way 2020 ended.

With all the pandemic restrictions, it was not the race that I would have planned to run but I did it.

Now I am really anxious to run a one without any annoying restrictions!! And fewer hills!


Since today is Tuesday, I’m linking up with Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner).


I’m also linking up here:

with co-hosts Coach Debbie RunsConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Laura Norris Running.

Happy Running! Have run a real race yet? If so, how did go? Are you planning to run one? Please share.

 

runner-sig

Weekly Run Down for 4.12.21-4.18.21: Cherry Blossoms and Race Week!!

After a beautiful warm sunny week last week, it was not surprising that this week did not follow suit.

But my plan was to relax and take it slow… and enjoy the beginning signs of spring.

After a long two months, I finally ran another half marathon and in person!  This one was local and on the same course as the one I ran last November. It was fun to see all my friends again (even with the COVID restrictions.)

Last Week:

  • Monday – A rainy morning but by lunch it had stopped. A chilly cloudy day but glad to get outside. Unfortunately due to unexpected meet-up with a friend, I got delayed and wound up getting caught in the rain halfway though this run.

Got to see some early tulips but my hands and ears were so cold!!

Of course, the rain stopped by the time I finished.  I had to get back to work so I drove back to take pictures.

surprised to catch these at peak during my run UAlbany run. ❤ cherry blossoms!!

  • Tuesday – A busy work day so only had time for a quick neighborhood walk at lunch.

they are so short-lived, these beautiful blossoms

After work, I went for my usual LONG rail trail walk with friends.

always interesting sights – the highlight was a young girl roller blading holding a chicken!! The top left is the RD from Saturday’s race (and his wife).

  • Wednesday – Anxious to catch some more peak cherry blossom trees, I headed to Washington Park after work to run.

2 cherry blossom trees (but lots of pink magnolias) and only ONE tulip – lol

I only had time for a short run/walk since my running friend texted me and asked me to run with her at UAlbany.

two days later and the trees were mostly past peak with pretty pink “snow” on the ground. I was overdressed too (it was 70 degrees) – skirt/tank weather

Rush rush again- dinner plans with a friend. So nice to be able to socialize again (and she didn’t notice my sweaty running shirt under my jacket. lol)

  • Thursday – Rest Day. And a rainy one. I guess the timing worked out perfectly. It had stopped raining by lunch so I went for a walk.  It was downright chilly (down coat and beanie cold).

discovered another new trail nearby…seems to go on forever!!

After work, I was able to get my race packet and then since it was pouring go for a work in the mall.

  • Friday – A Second Rest Day with snow in the forecast!! There was a dusting in the morning but again it was chilly.

view of our tree from my window

After work, again due to rain, I went for a walk around an outside mall (with a friend).

  • SaturdayRace Day!!! With 1000 of my closest friends (lol), I ran 13.1 miles! Unfortunately, it was colder than I had hoped (so I changed my outfit at the last minute). And due to all the recent rain, the start and finish was crazy muddy.  But I finished. It was hard due to my too fast miles 1-5 and then the unending hills. But I ran a real race.  Life is good!

In the town where I live, people pain rocks and when you find them you post to FB and then move them. This afternoon, a massage studio sponsored a rock painting session. It was lots of fun and a good way to rest my weary legs for a few hours.

obviously I do not have much artistic talent lol

  • Sunday – It’s Hiking Sunday. I was hoping that my legs would allow me. But actually ikt was a beautiful day and hiking was what the doctor ordered.  I felt so better better afterwards. I, of course, needed my waterfalls fix and then I also hike two new trails in the same area.

Barbersville Falls (top left) and then the ridge trail (with lots of creek crossings) and then the nearby Creek trail (bottom pics).

This Coming Week on the Run – 

  • Monday –  run, walk with BFF
  • Tuesday – rest day, walk, bike, hair appt.
  • Wednesday – run, walk
  • Thursday – run, walk with friends
  • Friday – rest day, bike, walk
  • Saturday – Long Run
  • Sunday – walk/hike

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Druthers H2H Half Marathon Race Recap
  • Friday – The New Normal for Racing

I am linking up with Kim and Deborah for

I encourage you to do the same. Grab the graphic, drop your link on the host blogs and play along! Please be sure to always comment on the HOST’s blogs, as well as visit and comment on as many other blogs as you can.

Happy Running! How is your running going? Doing any virtual races? Any in-person races planned? Any goals for April? Is it warming up where you live? What about those April showers? Are they happening? Please share.