The Albany Last Run was actually my last run of 2017.
This is a very popular local race. In fact, it always sells out (at 1900). The race starts with fireworks and then you run uphill, around the lights in the park and it ends with a downhill.
One year, I ran this race in the rain. Another year, in a blizzard. Last year, it was cold and windy.
I was hoping for better weather this year. But we ended up with SNOW before the race and during!!! Not ideal conditions for RUNNING!
I normally pick up my bib & shirt beforehand to save time on race night but this year, I was working in NYC the day before so my hubby was nice enough to pick it up.
Of course, I debated about what to wear… I like to look festive. But it was COLD and SNOWING. I hate to overdress but how to stay warm, dry and also be comfortable???
I brought several layers but ended up only wearing two shirts.
I decided to leave my car at my old place of employment (I hate that crowded parking garage) and walk the mile or so to the race start. I wore an extra coat and boots (that I would ditch before the race) and I was still cold and wet. At least we got to wait inside.
As I mentioned, it is a popular race and I bumped into all sorts of people that I knew– runners from my turkey trot training group, runners from work, runners from tennis and FB friends, etc.
We chatted until it was time to head out. It was fun to see all costumes and how everyone creatively got into the holiday spirit.
I lost the Wineglass ladies but found Nancy (from the Freihofer and Troy Turkey trot training groups). We waited outside together. It was still snowing and the predicted dusting was more like several inches of snow.
Then all of a sudden the fireworks began.
The fireworks were great but we were COLD, getting covered with SNOW and anxious for the race to begin.
About 10 minutes later, it finally did. Nancy is very fast, faster than me. Normally she would have taken off and I would have struggled to keep up. But tonight, no one was moving fast. It was SO SLIPPERY. Runners were barely moving.
The race started with an uphill, went through the city before we entered the park. It was very very crowded at first and usually the crowd thinned out but it never did. Nancy and I stayed together and concentrated on the ground and staying upright.
Mile 1: 12:52
At one point, I asked Nancy what our pace was and she replied 14:xx. And we weren’t walking just not moving fast and weaving around those walking.
Once in the park, the road was still snow-covered and slippery. We hit our second hill and this was the first sign that the city had attempted to salt the road. I would have normally been tempted to walk up the steep hill but we didn’t need to and actually picked up the pace.
Mile 2: 11:03
Yes, that was our fastest pace so far.
So we just resigned ourselves to run slowly, wave to Santa and enjoy the lights.
And I did!! I love this race!!!
The whole time I was running, I kept looking at the ground trying to avoid cracks and uneven pavement and keeping an eye out for potholes and NOT FALL!! So far so good except hitting several puddles and soaking my shoes.
Finally around mile 3, my hands and feet had warmed up and we decided to run… not fast but just trying to reach the finish line. We joked about trying to sub 40.
Eventually we left the park and ran downhill to the finish.
Believe it or not, this was the SNOWIEST part of the course. It was so slippery but we ran anyway.
We crossed the finish line together and then….
DOWN I WENT!!
Yup, I fell crossing the finish line!
I landed on my hand and knee and luckily I hit where there were several layers (Thank you fur knee socks) and only bruised and cut up my knee (I’ve done much worse.)
I cleaned my wound with fresh snow (LOL) and limped indoors to dry off and get warm.
Officially I finished at 35:08 (gun time).
So one of my worst 5k times but such a fun race. Sometimes, you just have to “race fun” if you can’t “race fast.”
So my year of racing has come to an end. 35 races!! Fewer than the 42 that I ran last year but NO INJURIES always means a successful running year!!
Looking forward to an even better 2018.
Since today is Tuesday, I’m linking up with these wonderful ladies:
Happy Running? How was your weekend? Did you run in a holiday race? Ever fall during a race?