Freihofer’s Run For Women 5k Race Recap

June 4, 2016 9:30 am

This is the only race that I’ve run every year! This is my 9th time!!!!!

My first FRW was in 2008 (my first year of running):

FRW - 2008

Due to construction, they changed the course last year.

They said that this course would be faster…less congested and have a less steep hill at the start and finish.


I did run the new course last year and I liked it.


As with this race every year, I never know what will happen… I could break my foot again (as I did in 2013) or have a PR.

Anyway, I should be recovering not running a 5K.  I just raced a half marathon last Sunday.  As you know, my feet are not what I would like them to be (but it is what is…)

But how could I miss my 9th Freihofer’s Run for Women?

And my second Freihofer Training Challenge…

Training is a loose term. I kinda just showed up.  Monday runs were always after a Sunday long run or race and I never attended the Saturday runs.

But I was excited to be part of it and support all the runners who would be finishing their FIRST 5k.  And see my “advanced” buddies who would hopefully PR.

As I have done every year, the day before I walked to Empire State Plaza concourse at lunch to go to the expo and pick up my race packet. They used to have a really nice expo with vendors and health-related booths but no more.  You didn’t even get your cookies and bread at packet pickup as in previous years.

the race shirt was not tech 😦

For convenience, I parked at work on race morning and walked to the start.  I do this every year.  However, with the new course, it was an even longer hike. Like 2 miles!

It was strange to walk down Madison Avenue and not see the race banners and not see the giant poster on the bridge.

pics from 2 years ago…


And the weather…it was not forecasted to be as warm as previous years but I was starting to feel the uncomfortable humidty already.

I cut through the Empire State Plaza to use real restrooms.


I got to the race location and immediately located the Challenge Group Tent and a lot of first time 5k runners. It was pretty early but I bumped into so many runners that I knew.  Several runners from work and from the Turkey Trot Training group.


another Skirt Sports ambassador and Freihofer Training mentor

I also ran into a few local runners and bloggers – Judith and Judy.


Catching up with everyone made the time go by quicker.  Soon it was time to line up and squeeze in my blue corral.



Although it was very crowded, there were fewer runners than when it was Madison Avenue. I’m not sure why. (new route, weather??)


Times Union photo – can you spot me?

Anyway, with the new start, it didn’t take as long to get moving and the first hill was longer but not as steep.

As soon as I started, I got the feeling that my legs were not as recovered as I had hoped.  They were moving but so slowly.

When I got into the park and looked at my time, I was shocked at how slow it was.  Usually mile 1 is my fastest.

I continued to trudge along and couldn’t wait to walk at the first water stop around mile 1.25.

And boy was it hot!!! And humid!! I know after Florida and last weekend, I should be used to this weather.  But I always find it hard to breathe and run fast in the warm weather.  And my legs were steamy!! (Damn, compression socks!)

This course had you run around more of the park and it also seemed to avoid the bigger hills of the park. I tried to run in the shade of the trees whenever I could.

You would think that I would have a faster time for the 2nd mile.

Nope.  I was dying.  I told myself that I would not walk until the next water stop.  That was around mile 2.5. At this point, I was starting to get some energy and I picked up the pace.

Finally we left the park and headed downhill to the finish.  Not the steep downhill that we used to have but at least it was downhill.

I ran as fast as I could.  I knew that I would not have a great finish time but I was determined not to finish over 30 minutes.

And I did not.


I’m on the extreme right (Times Union photo)

I grabbed a bagel and some chocolate milk.  It was definitely less congested than when it was by the fountains on the Plaza.  No long lines for food.

I ran into lots of runners again that I knew.



the Mayor!

The first time runners were so excited.  That put a smile on my face. I quickly put my disappointment in the back of mind and congratulated them on their achievement.

I walked back to the Training Challenge Tent to get some more food and chatted with Judy and her friend for awhile.


I may not have run the race that I wanted but I still enjoyed myself.

You get what you put in.  I did not do all the speed workouts so I can’t be disappointed.  I also just ran a half marathon and I am no spring chicken. Plus my time was faster than last year. So I was happy with that.


13 out 168  / 688 out of 3078


mile 1- 9:23
mile 2- 9:31
mile 3 – 9:00
18 –  7:17

Chip time – 28:50

Afterwards, I walked back to my car (uphill for 2 miles).

I had planned to run 4 more miles. I really didn’t feel like it.

But I drove to the rail trail and slowly shuffled my way to 4 more miles.


new sign



resting halfway on a new bench (without my compression socks!!)



sweaty & salty maple – a well deserved treat!

So FRW #9 is in the books!  The tradition is still alive!  It was again a great local race with over 3,000 women running it.


There is a bunch of women who have run ALL 38 FRW races.


Even Joan Benoit Samuelson was there. She did great. Sara Hall came in 2nd. (Times Union photo)

Happy Running!  How was your weekend? Did you race? If so, how did it go? 


23 thoughts on “Freihofer’s Run For Women 5k Race Recap

  1. You are so hard on yourself! You were FASTER than last year — that’s cause for celebration! You pretty much ran negative splits, and that’s another thing to celebrate.

    It’s really pretty impossible to expect a PR with the crowded conditions. And for me, heat is always a factor. I do not do well in the heat, and while it definitely wasn’t a PR for me either, it was definitely a PB for this particular race.

    Unfortunately I had cookies for lunch . . . at least we ended up not going out for dinner so I wasn’t tempted by Guptils (although yesterday would have been perfect — if I hadn’t sucked down all those cookies I might’ve gone).


  2. You did great, all things considered. And better than last year is a good thing. But I get it. You had expectations…anyways, congrats! I hope I’m running as fast as you in 10 years! 😀


    • 10 years…you make me feel old. Since I haven’t been running that long, I still feel that I can get faster. But I may be wrong about that.


  3. Great run with the heat and all. That humidity can be a killer. Way to go ! And I couldn’t find you in the photo with all the runners. Are you there ?


  4. Darlene you did great! Especially considering the conditions and the fact that you’re coming off of a half. It’s so weird I get emails for this race and I had no idea where it was. Maybe they got my name from the NYRR mailing list. Ha!


  5. Darlene you did really well after running a half marathon the weekend prior. And you ran faster than last year in tough conditions. Be proud of the achievement. I would love to run a race with a box of cookies as a finish line treat. Yum, but honestly your ice cream cone looked better. Great job getting in additional mileage.


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