Once again the Hudson Mohawk Runners Club sponsored a FREE race for its members and this weekend, they offered distances of 3M, 15K and 30K.
Since I have a half marathon in 7 weeks, I probably should have chosen to run the 15K but I ran 7 miles the day before so I decided to run the 3 Miler as a recovery run instead.
These Winter Series races start at 10 am so you don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn. Barbara decided at the last minute to run the race with me so we drove together. I always leave early to get parking since these races are often crowded and there may be other events going on at UAlbany at the same time. Well, I guess I didn’t leave early enough since the lot was already full when we arrived. So I dropped Barbara off to register and I parked in another lot and walked over.
The weather was perfect for racing. It was in the 40s and less windy than the day before. I wore something similiar to what I wore the day before but wound up taking off my jacket, vest and gloves.
What I love about this local race is that you get to see a lot of people that you know. And since the weather was so nice (and warmer than the last race), the numbers were significantly higher.
And I immediately bumped into many different running friends. We chatted. Some were running the 3 miler and others the 15k. I even spotted Patrick, my coach from the Turkey Trot & Freihofer running groups.
Anyway we hung indoors until the last minute and then made our way outside.
All three distances started at the same location this week. As usual, I started not too far away from the front (since it is not chip timed) and let the speedy runners pass me by.
Right away, the 3 milers split from the 15kers and 30kers but the speedy longer distance runners eventually will pass you by midway.
For most of the race, I felt perfectly dressed (for a change). I unzipped my shirt and pushed up my sleeves (many runners were even in shorts!) when the wind was at my back but then it got chilly when you were running into the wind.
This time, I was familiar with the course since I just ran it in December. I remembered the hill at the beginning and then some rolling hills in the middle, ending with a slight hill. Nothing too challenging.
I am usually pretty bored by this course because it is just a road and office buildings. But I ran and chatted with different friends throughout the race. First Nancy, then Anne, then Mona, etc. Each one after a short period ran ahead and left me behind.
It didn’t bother me at all. I tried to run at my own relaxed pace. Of course, I’m not sure what exactly that is (since I don’t look at my Garmin until I’m done).
I was very happy that my legs didn’t feel tired at all and I couldn’t even tell that I had run the day before.
Eventually as we neared the finish line, I took off and tried to cross under 27 minutes.
Nope, I did not – 27:02 (slower than the last time which was at 26:49).
After Barbara finished, we went inside had some refreshments. There was pumpkin apple chili, bread, fruit, cookies and hot cocoa. Free race..free good food. Win-win.
The awards were for 10 year age groups and just top 2.
Although my finish time was slower than the last time, obviously the speedy runners in my age group ran the 15k so I won my age group (as did Nancy.)
I was very happy with how I ran this race as a recovery run – I pushed myself just enough but not too much. It wasn’t a PR and not even a course PR. But I am pretty thrilled to have a pace of under 9 mm for each mile. Maybe a 5k PR is in my future….
mile 1 – 8:50
mile 2 – 8:57
mile 3 – 8:54
Finish Time – 27:02
Next Saturday, I signed up for a 4 mile race in Lake George. Fingers crossed for no ice or snow.
Happy Running! How you are enduring the winter? Did you run or race this past weekend?