Winter Series #5 4.5 Mile Race Recap


2015:  I’m the one with the pink hat & gloves

Yes, I ran another FREE race sponsored by Hudson Mohawk Runners Club .


As you can see above, this weekend, they offered distances of 4.5M and 10M. They also offered (starting an hour earlier) a 20M and Marathon option. (No thank you!!)

This race was originally scheduled two weeks ago.  I was recovering from the flu and wouldn’t have been able to run it.  As luck would have it, we had a snowstorm and they cancelled the races.

I had originally planned on the 10 miler as it would have been a training run and I could have run it today as my last long run.

But I just didn’t have it in me. It’s not like me to wimp out on a race but I did.

Yesterday, instead I ran 8.5 miles on the Nisky bike path with Alyssa. She had already run 6 miles with another runner so I was hoping that she’d be tired and I wouldn’t be too slow for her.

It worked out fine and it was great catching up. I enjoyed not running solo.  The best part was that there was no pressure to race the miles and run more than I should. And the weather was way nicer than today’s weather.

Most runners would have then skipped today’s race.  But I decided to just run the shorter distance – 4.5 miles.

Run NOT race for free with other runners and also get free food.  Perfect, right?

The weather was as I said colder than yesterday (more than 30 degrees colder) plus it was very very windy.

I left later than usual and the lot that I park in was full and closed. There was a high school event going on. So I had to drive to the next lot and I barely found a space there. (Why does someone who can run 13 miles, balk at walking any distance to the start of a race?)

After a lengthy walk where luckily I wore my winter coat, I arrived in time to change my registration from the 10 miler to 4.5 . I got to see Patrick, my running coach from the Turkey Trot. He was the race coordinator this week. I also chatted with a few other runners that I knew. However, the marathoners and 20 milers had already started and the crowd seemed to be a lot smaller than in previous races.


last year’s group pre-race

I stayed indoors until the very last minute and then made my way outside.  I decided to wear my fleece vest under my windbreaker along with a hat, gloves, etc.  Back to winter dressing. Ugh!


I had actually run this same race in 2013 and 2014 but they called it a 4 mile race. It turned out each year that it was more like 4.32 miles. This year, it was a 4.5 mile race (my first so automatically a PR) but I wasn’t sure if they changed the course at all.

In 2014, my time was 44:24 and in 2013, 45:15 and however, it didn’t matter because I wasn’t racing, right?

The 4 milers and the 10 milers started together (though the 10 mile racers obviously ran the course twice and more).  As soon as I started running, my watch (which was fully charged) said low battery. After .25 miles, it looked like this:


Well, another race where I had no idea of my pace or where I was on the course.  There are no mile markers for these races.

I didn’t have to telling myself to run a slower pace. My legs were tired and I just ran slow naturally. Besides, it would suck to have something hurt so close to my half marathon. How slow was I running?? I have no idea but it seemed like everyone was passing me by.

It was interesting when all of a sudden while I was slowly running my race, the 10 milers sped by me.  Then, there were times that the 20 milers or marathoners were speeding by me.

But I trudged along. 

As I was running, I was reminded about how much I hate this course.  Besides being all concrete and parking lots, it seems that you are constantly going uphill but never enjoy as many downhills.  (But I’m not complaining. It’s a FREE race!)

Believe it or not, I didn’t walk until the last 1 1/2 miles or so (at least I think it was the last 1 1/2 miles.) The wind was insane throughout most of the race but during that last mile, the gusts were so strong that I felt like I was moving backwards.  I starting walking more and more.  The wind was tiring me out.  But actually, it was easier to push through the wind running slowly than walking.

Finally we approached the campus, and they said 4 milers go left and 10 milers go straight.  I was so happy that I had chose the shorter race. I couldn’t imagine fighting that wind for 5.5 more miles.

Runners were still passing me by. It must be nice to have all that speed at the end. Sometimes I do. But today, I did not.

I still had no idea at what pace I was running…no clue at all.

When I saw the finish line clock, I was shocked that it read 42:xx!!  So I forced myself to sprint so I could cross under 43 minutes. (My finish time was 42:58)

A much slower time that I am capable of. But I was very happy that I felt fine and nothing hurt. I was able to keep my slower pace the whole time and I didn’t try to race.

I wonder what my results would have been if my Garmin had been working?? Slower? Faster?

It was cold and windy and since Judy had decided not to race, I didn’t wait to cheer on any of the other finishers.

I went inside to get warm and to grab some refreshments – some hot soup, bread, fruit and then, hot chocolate and cookies.


They gave awards for the top 2 in each 10 year age group. I was 3rd.

So I did what I set out to do – run some extra training miles before the big one.

Race splits:

mile 1 – ?
mile 2 – ?
mile 3 – ?
mile 4 – ?
.5- ?

I was glad that I ran the race. My pace was slower than if I was really racing it but definitely a lot faster (and more enjoyable) than running alone.

I am sharing in the support love by linking up with a Sunday Fitness and Food Linkup hosted by

Ilka from Ilka’s Blog and Angela from Marathons & Motivation

Happy Running! How you are enduring the winter? Did you run this weekend? Do you ever race the week before a big race? Have you ever raced without your watch?


6 thoughts on “Winter Series #5 4.5 Mile Race Recap

  1. So interesting – are you going to try running without your Garmin more often, just to see if you end up doing better than you think? Or maybe turning it so you can’t see it during the run – I like to know my splits when it’s all said and done.


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