Upstate Classic Half Marathon Race Recap

NOVEMBER 20, 2022

yes, that’s me!

My final half marathon for 2022!!

I signed up for the Upstate Classic Half Marathon for several reasons:

  • I had run the race three times before so I was familiar with the course and the hills.
  • 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.
  • I had run a half in September and October so I was sorta already trained.

Half Marathon Training:

For 2020, I had the ambitious goal of running 12 Half Marathons – one each month. The pandemic wrecked those plans.  For 2021, it was just race whatever half marathons were available.  Racing has returned so a result, I was lucky to have already run SEVEN live (and one virtual) half marathons this year.

If you follow my posts, you also know that I am not strict about following a training plan.  I try to get in my long runs but this fall, I got caught up in a 5k racing frenzy and missed several key long runs.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

I did some easy short runs during the week prior to the race: Mon, Tues, Thurs:

Packet pick up was easy peasy.  I just went to the race headquarters on Friday after work.

just a bib since I chose not to buy the race shirt

I skipped my long run on Saturday and walked with friends and then after, I met them and the others who ran for brunch.

My usual carb loading dinner was pizza and then I tried to figure out what to wear.  It was forecast to be VERY cold, windy  and cloudy. Colder then my last race and we would be at a higher altitude. I hate being overdressed (and was tempted to even wear a skirt) but I reluctantly chose a beanie, 2 long sleeved shirts, DIY arm sleeves, tights/skirt, and gloves.

I added an extra pair of gloves, compression calf sleeves, buff and throw away jacket (all were necessary!)

Race Day:

I woke up early and looked outside and there was a light coating of snow on the ground (the slippery kind.)

I had my usual pre-race breakfast of oatmeal and coffee. My running friend, Deb, was also running the race so we decided to carpool. I met her at 7 am and she offered to drive.  I knew that I may finish the race first but not much before her so it didn’t seem to matter who drove (Um, wrong!!)

On the drive, we discussed our plans for the race.

So what was the plan???

  • Upstate Classic Nov. 2020 – 2:23:37 (but no watch)
  • H2H April 2021 – 2:22:51 (same course)
  • Upstate Classic Nov 2021 – 2:19:21

I would love to have improved my time on this course but hey, I’m a year older…

So Just finish.  No time goal!! Stay healthy for future races.

We both agreed on this goal…

The course:

A loop starting and ending in the same location.

and not flat… at all:

according to my Garmin

The race would be starting at 8:30am. We got there an hour early and parked in the huge grass parking lot. Then we sat in the car.  It was in the 20’s (teens with the wind chill) and we wanted to stay warm until the last moment especially since there was no bag check. (Well, Deb had to get her bib and use the porta-potty but I remained warm.)

Around 8:15 am, We dragged ourselves out of the warm car and headed toward the race start.

Brrrrr! I shivered but at least, I had time to chat with many runners that I knew.

Deb headed to the porta-potty line (which was a mile long.)

They announced that no matter what, they would start the race on time.

First the half marathoners started. (The marathoners would start 10 minutes later.) After that, there was also a 5k.

It was chip-timed so I just pushed myself into the crowd toward the front and near my friends. I still couldn’t bear to take my throw away jacket off.

.

Anyway, here’s how the race went:

Spoiler Alert:  This was posted by the RD in FB:

Miles 1-3:

We started running around the fairgrounds.  The path was snowy, icy and very slippery.  I took it slow but tried to stay with my friends.

I soon realized that my jacket was too awkward to run with so I threw it to the side. We continued on the entrance road to the fairgrounds until we turned onto the main road.

I was familiar with this course since this was my 3rd time running it.  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. And until mile 4 or so, it was also very snowy/icy.

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:

One of the course marshals that I knew cheered us on and took photos.

My friend Linda (above) gradually got ahead of me but she was always in my view.

The first water stop was around mile 3.  I wasn’t thirsty but stopped anyway to take a drink (and tossed it since I got a mouthful of ice.)

Soon a plow went by salting the road and so it was clearer and less slippery..  So far the hills weren’t too bad. I could even run up them.

This may get monotonous but it was VERY windy and cold.  At first, it didn’t seem so bad.  The sun even made me feel that I was appropriately dressed. Early on, I even rolled down my arm sleeves and took off my gloves.

I ate a GU since I tried to keep to my fueling plan of eating every 4 miles.

Around mile 5, we passed by Indian Ladder Farms and the smell of fresh cider donuts filled the air. Normally this is where there are tons of cheering spectators.  But not today in these cold windy conditions.

The rolling hills continued. The wind seemed to pick up.  Why did it never seem to be at my back?

When we turned off this road,  the hills ceased to roll and started to become steep hills.  Those type of hills where it was even hard to walk up them.  But walk I did. But trying to pick up the pace on the downhill with the wind blowing in your face was impossible!

Miles 6.2-8.75

Every now and then I would glance at my watch.  My pace was by no means fast but considering all the walking, it was not as bad as I feared. In fact, my legs felt great.  My feet didn’t hurt.  It could have been a good race…. if it weren’t for the crazy WIND!!!

The second water stop was around the 10k point. Again I stopped and had some frozen water.

Normally around the halfway point, there is a clock but it was not working when I went by.  Looking at the race results, it stopped around 44:xx and re-started at 1:04:xx.

So obviously even in this weather, I was doing pretty well.

Now the big hills seems to more frequent, the temps dropped and the wind picked up big time.

I pulled up my arm sleeves, put back on one pair of gloves and pulled up my buff.  My lips were numb and I was soooooo cold.

The wind was so painful that I thought about quitting!!!

Miles 8.75 – 11.1

But I continued… walking when I couldn’t run and running when I could.  At times I felt like the wind was pulling me backward.  But it was no different for anyone else… and there marathoners out there.  And those poor volunteers.

Around mile 8, I ate another GU.  I never really felt hungry during the race but knew I should fuel.

The race continued the same way.  The amazing thing was that my feet did not hurt.  My lower back was achy from looking down to protect my eyes from the wind.

I think there was another water stop (I’m pretty sure that I stopped.)

The course marshals were very enthusiastic. I knew many of them.  I couldn’t believe they were able to stay out there for hours in that cold. There were some families camped out (and bundled up or in heated cars) in their driveways.  But for the most part, we were running on the roads in the country… no place for spectators.

But surprisingly around mile 10.5, there was table of guys giving out bottles of water and alcohol.  It was one of our boating friends again. I was too cold to even greet him.

Miles 11.1-13.3

More hills. They never seemed to end.  And one last water stop.  I just wanted to finish so I skipped it.  I didn’t eat my last GU either.

Mile 13 seemed like a full marathon.  The wind had drained me. I wanted to run to finish but I just could not move forward in that wind. I was pretty miserable.

And for this entire mile, I had a terrible side stitch. I can’t remember the last time that happened to me (WTH?)

To make matters worse, there was one hill after another.  And so I walked most of this mile.

We were also running in a more heavily trafficked area and so you had to keep keep moving over when a car drove by.

But eventually we turned into the fairgrounds  There were even hills there!  The wind was swirling… the snow was blowing….

I barely sprinted through the finish line. I just couldn’t move fast in that WIND!!

Post Race Activities:

They gave us a foil blanket that I attempted to put on in the wind.

I immediately headed to the food tent. Refreshments were a boxed lunch but there was also a table of food that looked more appealing – pastries, quiche, bread, etc. But I was too frozen to eat anything.

Then I went to see my results. I found out that I came in first in my age group and at that table, they also gave you your finishers medal.

For your award, you could pick a hat or shirt from a previous year.

this was last year’s hat (and I was the ONLY crazy runner in my AG)

If I weren’t freezing enough, I no longer had a jacket and the wind was brutal and temps dropping. I hung around the food area until I was too cold and moved into the sun and waited… and waited and waited.

I didn’t have keys to my friend’s car and I was wondering if I had missed her finishing.

So I walked to her car and waited there.  I was sooo cold that I wanted to cry.. A lady nearby who was waiting for her husband to finish (took a look at me) and offered me a seat in her warm car.

Finally, my friend arrived (she had stomach issues and had a very bad race.) I obviously couldn’t complain about waiting 50 minutes in the cold without a coat..

The best part of the day was that we drove to Indian Ladder Farms and ordered the most delicious hot mulled cider (in fact two cups.)

Additional Race Reflections:

It seems that my recap above was a bunch of complaints.  But honestly, it was the first race that I wanted to quit during and the first race that I regretted running.

I guess, I’m proud that I didn’t. Others in the race (including some friends) did and felt much worse.

In fact, my time was a lot better than I expected. It was faster than my September half that was flat. If the weather were better, there was potential for a great race.

But you can’t control the weather. And any injury would have been much worse (My legs/feet felt fine after.)

It gives me hope that I could improve (if I dare to run it again next year.)

The Good:

  • Connecting with local runners.
  • Decent post race food. (box lunch of pre-ordered sandwich, apple, brownie) and a table of other refreshments (quiche, bead, pastries)
  • Well organized.
  • Lots of pre-race information
  • Easy packet pick up
  • Ample parking
  • Enthusiastic volunteers (even with the cold weather)
  • Live tracking for others to follow runners and runners to get immediate results
  • Free photos

The Bad:

  • Hilly Course.
  • Most of my running group did not participate.
  • Not trained for hills (my fault).
  • Traffic during the last mile or so.
  • Ice/Snow on the course

The Ugly:

  • COLD TEMPS!
  • INSANE WIND! (up 50 mph gusts)
  • Waiting after the race

Final Stats:

6.4M ~ 1:03

Splits:

things got ugly after mile 8

I felt like I walked the second half of he race

Would I recommend this race?

Sure.  Pretty scenery and the perks mentioned above. But TRAIN ON HILLS before you run it!!

I’m pretty sure the weather couldn’t be as bad as this year. (I mean, it was 75 degrees two weeks prior.)

Next Up:

A Thanksgiving 10K

Happy Running! Run any big races in 2022? How did they go?  Ever run a race in conditions so bad that you wanted to quit? Please share.

runner-sig

 

 

 

 

 


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.

 

Weekly Run Down for 11.20.22-11.27.22: Turkey and Trotting

Two races in One Week!

Well, not odd for me…

Last Week:

  • Sunday – Upstate Classic Half Marathon. Snow.Ice.Hills.FrigidTemps.InsaneWinds.

What else can I say?

It was the first race where I really wanted to DNF…

But I propelled myself forward into the wind and crossed the finish line (and then waited for 50 minutes in the cold without a coat for my friend!!

my friend & I each won our age group (sine we were the only crazy ones to do this race)

14 years ago today, we formed a group to play mah jongg every Friday night.  We still play weekly but we’ve become more than mah jongg players but great friends. Tonight we celebrated.

  • Monday – Still cold and windy but warmer (30s). I took it slow but ventured out for a short easy recovery run at lunch.

drove to the rail trail hoping that it would be less windy… nope!

Met my BFF for a walk after work (but we did it inside at the mall.)

  • Tuesday – I had planned to run but work took up my whole day and I had a hair appt after work. All I could manage was another short easy run.  This time in the neighborhood/waterline.

so nice to run without wind… warmer temps too (40s)

  • Wednesday –  .Another rest day only because I don’t like to run the day before a race.

#flatme

  • Thursday – Troy Turkey Trot. I only ran the 10k.  

I said “only” because for many years, I ran both the 10k and 5k.  I choose the 10k because it’s earlier and much less crowded (and my friends were not running the 5k.)

It was not one of my better turkey trots but the weather was perfect and I came in 3rd in my age group.

upset stomach and tired legs probably held me back but still was glad I did it.

For Thanksgiving dinner, we went to my SIL’s and ate back all the calories (and more) that I burned during the race.

And I need to thank my fellow bloggers who inspire me everyday…

  • Friday – One more rest day because I don’t run the day before a long run. No FOMO since it was a rainy/cloudy day.

But glad to get out of the house for an evening mah jongg game.

  • SaturdayLong run!! I met up with my friends because I had another 15k on the schedule so I needed to run 8 miles. Again, I was lucky to have company during the run and after at brunch.

  • Sunday – Weather dependent…

if it doesn’t rain, a hike and if it does some knitting and Netflix.

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday –  DAY OFF – run, hike
  • Tuesday – rest day
  • Wednesday – run, book talk (Melissa Gilbert)
  • Thursday – run
  • Friday – rest day, train to NYC, bib pick-up, holiday sights
  • Saturday Ted Corbitt 15K Race (in NYC)
  • Sunday –  rest day, hiking?

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Upstate Classic Half Marathon Recap
  • Friday – Ultimate Coffee Date

Happy Running! How is your running going? Any races run or planned? Did you turkey trot?  How was your Thanksgiving? Please share.

 

 

 

 

 


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.

Runfessions for November ’22

First Runfessions of Fall

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

1.  I RUNfess… 

I am addicted to buying running tops.  Most of the race shirts don’t fit so…

I had to buy this one for my Thanksgiving race.

There may have been some other half price shirts in my cart, too.

2.  I RUNfess…

All the excitement about the NYC Marathon did give me FOMO.

TCS New York City Marathon

So much so that I am thinking of signing up for 2023.

I have until until February to come to my senses.

3.  I RUNfess…

One reason to run it in 2023 is that I age up and my time from a 2022 NYRR half marathon would give me a guaranteed entry.

4.  I RUNfess…

If I do run it in 2023 (and that’s a big IF) and if I finish faster than 5:30 (a bigger IF but my 2019 time was 5:29), I could run it again in 2024.

memories from 2019

I have two friends interested in running it in 2024 too.

More FOMO.

5.  I RUNfess…

Nevertheless, I will be getting my NYC running fix with these two races:

Ted Corbitt 15k Classic - New York City, NY - 12/3/2022 - My BEST Runs - Worlds Best Road Races

another bucket list race checked off

United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

Hopefully it will be a healthy re-do of 2019

Hooray for points and FREE hotel rooms.

Racing is not a cheap sport!!

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 blog

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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Stockade-athon 15K Race Recap

Stockade-athon logo on RaceRaves

November 13, 2022 –  8:30 am

This is my 8th time running this popular local 15k race.

I ran it for the first time in 2011 and it was my FIRST 15k race ever. I was glad to just finish and I did in 1:36:08. I was injured in 2012 and then I ran it again in 2013.

stockafeathon13a

“fake” happy in 2013

With 1500-2000 runners in this race, they were forced to make some changes to the course.

It no longer starts and ends in Central Park. It also starts earlier – 8:30 am

Well, I loved the new course and my finish times improved for the most part (except for 2019 since the race was held a week after my first FULL marathon and then last year):

2014 – 1:33:23
2015 – 1:31:23
2016 – 1:32:49
2018 – 1:30:15 PR
2019 – 1:36:37 PW
2020 – cancelled
2021 – 1:35:11

In 2019, they modified the course slightly. They eliminated the bike path at the beginning of the race (which I did like because you ran along the Mohawk River and it was dirt so easy on the feet).)

Pre-Race Preparations and Activities:

My last long run felt hard… That did not make me feel super confident for this race.

maybe it was because I ran 12 miles and it was 70 degrees

During the week before the race, I just ran my easy short runs… on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday:

This race was supposed to be a taper for a half marathon that was scheduled for the next weekend. I even skipped my long run with my running friends and just walked and then met the others for brunch.

So I didn’t expect to race this 15k. I just wanted some exercise and to hang out with 1000 of my running friends.

I picked up my bib and race shirt at Fleet Feet the day before (although it really wasn’t necessary.)

Instead of my pre-race pizza that night, I had pumpkin and squash ravioli (mistake?) and got together my #flatme.

still in a skirt!!

Race Day:

The temps were in the 30s when I got up on race morning and it was forecast to only warm up to high 40s and be cloudy. I hate this time of year. It’s so difficult to dress correctly.  I was glad bag check had returned, so I could bring extra clothes for after and in case I changed my mind.

Even though I’ve been to this race several times before, I decided to carpool with Stan and Sherry. We left extra early and found a spot in a parking lot a few blocks from the start of the race. We walked over to the YWCA where on two floors you could wait inside, check a bag and use the “real” restrooms.

There were over 1000 runners on those two floors in addition to outside so I didn’t connect with as many friends as I normally do.

So we stayed downstairs to keep warm until the race start.

I recognized a few runners so I lined up with them.  Sherry moved further back.  We agreed to meet after at the refreshments area.

The 2019 course map:

I believe that it didn’t change for this year.

The course starts near Veterans Park in downtown Schenectady. The course travels west on State Street for 1K before entering the historic Stockade District and proceeding on a scenic bike path in Riverside Park along the Mohawk River. The course exits the Stockade District after crossing Erie Blvd. The course then proceeds east on Nott Street past Union College before entering the historic GE Plot residential neighborhood via Lenox Ave, Douglas Rd and Rugby Rd. The course exits Rugby Road and proceeds north on Waverly Place near the 5K mark. The course turns east off Waverly and follows Grand Blvd to the city boundary with Niskayuna, then proceeds south on Dean Street to Central Parkway past 8k. After a 1K residential loop on Central Parkway, the course enters beautiful Central Park and follows a bike path around Iroquois Lake and Duck Pond before reaching its highest elevation near 12K. The final 3k is mostly downhill or flat as the course exits Central Park and proceeds west through historic Vale Cemetery and Vale Park before a final downhill section on Franklin Street to the finish at City Hall.

the elevation according to my Garmin.

Mile 1-3.1:

The race started running down commercial State Street.

from THE DAILY GAZETTE

It was fairly flat but very crowded. I quickly lost my friends and just weaved my way through the crowd.

Soon, we turned and entered the Stockade (oldest) section of town.

Although it was chilly, I instantly warmed up and even felt overdressed.  I eventually took off my gloves and rolled up my DIY arm warmers.

photo by David Giacalone (2015)

After the Stockade area, we ran past Union College and around various residential neighborhoods. I also stopped at the first water stop even though I was not thirsty at all. (Yay for a walk break).

photo by David Giacalone (2015)

The hills were relentless. Why do I not remember them from previous years? Not rolling hills, just running up, it seemed.

I knew a lot of runners in this race. They kept catching up to me, we’d chat and then they would go on ahead. That was ok with me. I was determined to run at my own pace and have a stress-free race.

I remember there being a water stop early on. I wasn’t thirsty yet but I did stop and walk.

There was clock at the 5k point and I was surprised that I was under a 10 minute pace. However, I doubted that it would last.

There was a group of runners (including my friend Karen) dedicating their race to the US Olympic hockey team.

Mile 3.1-6.2:

By mile 4, I was getting hungry. We were still circling the neighborhoods. There were lots of course marshals directing throughout the course and many enthusiastic spectators.

I recognized one of my running friends who was course marshal… she yelled my name and took the  picture above.

But the second water stop was not for a while but I finally decided to choke down my Gu (without any water).

Around mile 6, we entered Central Park with its rolling hills, lake, and pretty foliage. More hills, of course, but not too bad.  The worst was yet to come. And finally a second water stop!!

There was another clock at the 10K point.  I had slowed down but I was still happy with my conservative pace.

Mile 6.2-9.4:

Between mile 7 and 8 is where the BIG hills were. I walked up them for the most part. They were steep but at least short. Many of the runners at this point were struggled up these hills or walking.  We laughed/groaned together.

There was a third water stop but much too late in the race.  I never ate my 2nd Gu and just took a quick drink.

from THE DAILY GAZETTE

We proceeded to run through the cemetery.  For the first time for this race, there were drummers encouraging us on… a very welcome sight. I was tired at this point… the usual foot pain, etc.  I just wanted to be done. But I didn’t have the energy or desire to push it.

from THE DAILY GAZETTE

Eventually we left the cemetery and ran through Vale Park before heading DOWNHILL on Franklin St to the finish line at city hall.

from THE DAILY GAZETTE

from THE DAILY GAZETTE

One of reasons I love this race is that finish.

I ran as fast as I could but I had lost quite a bit of time with the walks and the hills.

I barely crossed the finish line under 1:35.

I admit that initially I was disappointed…almost 5 minutes off a PR and one of my slowest times for this race

But hey,  I wasn’t trying for a PR.  It was supposed to just be taper run for next Sunday’s half marathon.  (I know you all get it…)

And I discovered later that it was a little faster than 2021 and 2019… Win. Win.

Post Race Activities:

I was now sweaty and chilled so I immediately walked back the YMCA.

This year, the food was again inside at the YWCA, the same area as bag check. I didn’t mention above that my stomach felt off the WHOLE race and I really did not feel well right after.

Although, there were many food options such as fruit, pastries, hot chocolate, pizza, soup, I did not eat a thing.

I checked the results and as expected, I did not win anything.

even a PR would not have helped… these are speedy old ladies

I grabbed my bag and found Stan and Sherry.  We decided to head out to a nearby diner.  By that point, I did feel a lot better and we had a delicious brunch (and lots of race talk.)

Additional Race Reflections:

Sure, I’d love to have those speedier legs return. I’m not sure they ever will but I do not plan to stop racing because my finish times are slower. I loved seeing all those runners that I only chat with at races.  I love the racing atmosphere and the challenge it always brings.

Positives:

  • Ample parking.
  • Well marked course.
  • Great running weather.
  • Lots of familiar faces.
  • Bag Check.
  • Interesting course (through the historic part of the city, neighborhoods, park, cemetery).
  • Downhill finish.
  • Friendly and abundant number of volunteers.
  • Chocolate Milk, soup, pizza among other staples post-race
  • Crowd support
  • The electric atmosphere.
  • Instant results
  • Free photos
  • Indoor place to gather before and after.
  • Gender-specific shirt

Negatives:

  • Hills during miles 7-8
  • Big gap between water stop 1 & 2.  Water stop 3 too late.

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. It’s a great way to see this city…a little bit of everything.  I would recommend that you train on hills. lol

Final Stats:

My Splits:

I did enjoy this race. The course was so varied that it also took your mind off the hills. With the large number of runners (1000+), I felt like I was always running with others and it kept me going.

Yes, it was hilly. The first half had a lot more hills but they were manageable. The second half had fewer hills but they were steeper.

The best part of the race was that I didn’t put it all out there. I walked when I was feeling tired and tried to remember to treat it like a taper run. And nothing hurt after!!

This race is definitely on my must-do list. It was very well organized. Maybe all the stars will be aligned next year and I’ll get a faster finish time … (but probably not. LOL)

Next Up:

A Half Marathon on Nov. 20!!!

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Happy Running! Did you race recently? If so, how did it go? Do you ever run 15ks? Do you like them? Please share.

 

 

 

 

 


There is a link-up organized by Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner).

Since today is Tuesday, I’m also linking up with these ladies and you should too.

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

Weekly Run Down for 11.13.22-11.20.22: Race Week!

Bookend Races.

15k last Sunday and half marathon today!!

Last Week:

  • Sunday – Stockade-athon 15K Race.

I really enjoy running local races (even if they are hard!!)  This was no exception.

It was not as cold as I expected and though it was far from my best finish time, it was faster than last year.  And seeing so many runners that I knew was icing on the cake.

I carpooled with Sherry & Stan and we skipped the post-race refreshment in favor of brunch at a diner

  • Monday – My scheduled day off.

I was happy that my friend was available to accompany me on a hike or two. We decided not to drive far (since I had to be home early for a vet appt.)

First stop was a wet walk around Ooms Conservation Area.

Our second was at Wilson M. Powell Wildlife Sanctuary to Dorsons Rock.

We ended the day with a delicious lunch.

Looking ahead to my work schedule and potential snow, I decided I’d better get a run done. It was dark so I headed to UAlbany.

  • Tuesday – Another frosty morning so I postponed my run until lunch.

it warmed up to the high 30s and I was fine… most of the leaves are in piles at the curb except for those red maples.

  • Wednesday –  Woke up to snow on the ground which changed to rain…

Back to in-person teaching so no time to run except after work (and bring clothes to change into).  I was pooped so decided to skip the run (and I had already run 3 days in a row.)

  • Thursday – Stopped at Starbucks on my way to work… who knew it was Red Cup Day!!

 Back to UAlbany for my after work run since it is the only route with lights near me.

  • Friday – Rest Day! No need to pack the running clothes!! Woo Hoo!

first Peppermint mocha of the season (in my Red Cup)

Stopped off on my way home to pick up my bib for Sunday’s race.

And played mah jongg in the evening.

  • Saturday – Another Rest Day and a walk with my running friends followed by brunch.

chose the Corning bike path but oops, the Girls on the Ru 5k was there too

And then picked up my bib for my Thanksgiving Turkey Trot.

  • Sunday – Upstate Classic Half Marathon!!

a cold windy day so my first race in tights…

This will be the 3rd time that I’ve run this hilly half marathon (and the 4th time on this course). It will be my last half of 2022 and most likely my hardest.

Being local, I know it will be fun and worth the struggle.

heading toward the finish line in 2021

14 years ago today, we formed a group to play mah jongg every Friday night. Tonight we are going out to dinner to celebrate.

13 year anniversary dinner

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday –  rest day
  • Tuesday – run, hair appt
  • Wednesday – rest day
  • Thursday – Troy Turkey Trot 10k Race
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday Long Run (9 miles)
  • Sunday –  rest day, hiking?

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Stockade-athon 15K Race Recap
  • Friday – Runfessions

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 races run or planned? Has the weather been winter-like where you live

FFF: Why Turkey Trot?

There’s nothing better than a race before stuffing yourself on Thanksgiving Day!!

According to this article, the turkey trot is the most popular race in America.

In 2009, I ran my first turkey trot & I did it in Central Park in Schenectady.  In 2010 & 2011, I did one in my hometown.

I was injured in 2012 and then in 2013, my favorite local turkey trot went NON-TIMED.

So in 2014, I joined the Troy Turkey Trot Challenge group and ran a 10k on Thanksgiving Day.

And I have run a turkey trot in Troy almost every year since. (Some years I ran BOTH the 10k and 5k there).

And I plan to continue with this tradition as long as I can.

Why should you run a turkey trot?

1. FOMO.  Everyone else is doing it.

There are so many scheduled around the country. I’m sure that you will be able to find one near where you live.

2. You can wear a costume or enjoy viewing others’ costumes.

This is about as festive as I could be and still compete:

3. It’s a stress-free race.

Many people will walk it.  Or just run it for fun.

4. Make it a family affair.

As I said above, you don’t have to be a runner to do a turkey trot. Get your family to join you!!

Troy Turkey Trot (@TroyTurkeyTrot) / Twitter

Ok, not successful.  One year, I got my hubby to sign up for the 5k… (but he DNFed).

Still trying to convince my stepson to join me (as he was a runner in high school.)

5.  You can justify that extra helping of stuffing or extra piece of pumpkin pie.

 Happy Running! Do you usually run on Thanksgiving Day? Will you this year? Please share.

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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: Why I am Thankful for Running

It’s that time of year. …

Here’s why:

  • I am HEALTHIER.

I hardly even get sick. It’s very rare that I even get a cold. (knock on wood) If I ever feel rundown or tired, I just go for a run and that feeling disappears.

Running is my Energy/Vitamin source.

  • I feel YOUNGER.

This may sound corny but I sometimes forget that I am 69 years old when I am running.  I often run faster than runners half my age.  But often slower than runners older than me.

So I guess Running is my fountain of youth.

  • I have MET so many awesome PEOPLE since I started running.

I have met them by joining running groups, at races, through social networking and through other runners.

In other words, Running has become part of my Social Life.

  • Running has made me feel more CONFIDENT.

I am not athletic. I never played a sport growing up. In fact, I am very clumsy. Imagine my surprise when I won my first age group award.  I tell people that I am not fast but it depends who shows up at a race.  And my speed is not bad “for my age.”

Running has filled my empty Trophy Case.

  • Running has given me STRENGTH.

I have done things that I never thought possible.  Run 13.1 miles? Who me? And over 60 of them!!!

Run a marathon? No way, Jose! And ONE of the World Majors?!

I have been able to push through pain and not give up on things that seemed too hard.

Yes, to running through injuries, hills, running in the rain, heat and sub zero temps.

Running is my Kryptonite.

  • Running has taken me to new PLACES.

Yes, all my vacations involve races.  As a result, I have traveled to Philly, Palm Springs, Las Vegas, Montreal, Bermuda, Paris, NH, ME, FL, NJ, RI, VT, and more!!

Running is actually my Travel Agent.

  • Running gets me OUTDOORS

I am sure that if I weren’t a runner, I would read more, watch TV more maybe even cook or clean more often.

But it’s running that drives me out of my house early on the weekend mornings and out of my office at the end of a long work day.

Running is my Vitamin D.

Happy Running! Why are you thankful for running? Please share.

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

Weekly Run Down for 11.6.22-11.13.22: It’s Dark Out!!

Yes, with the clocks turned back, where can I run?

I don’t like to run in the dark.

Now the mornings are lighter but once it gets cold….

At least today I have a 15k race to look forward to.

Last Week:

  • Sunday – Now that boating season is over, I try to hike every Sunday.

Macch & I were enjoying our extra hour this am.

I decided to head south because I thought the foliage would be prettier. The weather seemed perfect but then it started to rain as I drove and it rained harder and harder.

As soon as I arrived at Falling Waters Preserve, the rain seemed to let up. Yay!

But not for long. I did one trail and then retuned back to my car and found a rain poncho in my trunk (of course, all runners have one, right?)

at least it was warm out

It helped sort of until the wind picked up. It felt like walking in a Nor’easter. I bailed on the 3rd trail and headed to my next destination.

It was still raining but I didn’t drive an hour not to hike and this one (Saugerties Light House Preserve) was a shorter trail.

too wet to take more pics and the views of the Hudson R. were a blur.

Of course as soon as I was finished hiking, the rain stopped.  So I drove into town and walked around.

stopped in a knitting shop and bought wool to make this cowl (in different colors) and a dessert shop for coffee and a pastry.

  • Monday – #nvermisssamonday and since it was lighter in the morning, I decided to give a before work run a whirl. I woke up to rain but happily, it stopped but it was still very warm for this time of year.

I was melting… should have worn a tank and skirt… Is it summer or fall? Even the flowers are confused.

After work, I went for a walk at on a trail at a nearby park hoping to beat darkness.

sunset and then moonrise…

  • Tuesday – I thought about a before work run but the cold temps (40s) deterred me so it was a lunch run instead

much chillier and windier than the day before.. luckily the sun was out

and then I met my BFF for a walk after work. (I voted last week.)

did your Christmas cactus bloom for Halloween?

  • Wednesday –  Rest day and it was the day of my monthly dinner with my tennis friends.

even though we don’t play tennis together anymore, it is always fun to get together and chat

  • Thursday – Frost when I woke up… not ready for this!  Postponed my run until lunchtime. And it warmed up  (50s) and the sun came out.

sorry, the trees are bare.. no more pretty foliage pics

  • Friday – Rest Day!!

Facebook reminded that on this day two years I hiked at Olana. I figured it was a sign to go back. Although the trees were bare and the clouds threatened rain, it was an enjoyable way to spend the Holiday and a day off from work.

And played mah jongg in the evening (much more relaxing not having to do a long run the next morning.)

  • Saturday – Rest Day and just a walk with my running friends followed by brunch

and then packet pickup for Sunday’s race.

Some errands and household chores and of course, carb loading…

flatme… wearing a skirt hoping I won’t freeze my butt off

  • Sunday – Stockade-athon 15k Race!!

Heading to the finish line in 2021

I’ve done this race many times and it’s always fun because I will know many runners out there.  But actually I signed up because I have a half marathon next Sunday and the distance is perfect for a taper run.

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday –  DAY OFF, hike, vet appt.
  • Tuesday – AM run, dinner out
  • Wednesday – PM run
  • Thursday – PM run
  • Friday – rest day, packet pick-up, mah jongg
  • Saturday – rest day, walk
  • Sunday –  Upstate Classic Half Marathon

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – The Thankful for Running Post
  • Friday – Why Turkey Trot?

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 races run or planned? Has the weather been fall-like where you live

FFF: Dealing With the Aging Slow Down

Some of you are not as old as I am.

So you may still be aiming for PRs.

Or maybe you have been running a long time and for that reason, you may be slowing down.

she ran even when she was over 100 yeas old!!!

But for whatever the reason, here are a few tips:

1.  Use Intervals

Jeff Galloway is the most popular advocate for taking walk breaks.

You may not get faster by adding walks into your runs but your running/racing will feel easier and more enjoyable.

We Are Galloway! | Tulsa Galloway Training Program

I admit that I have been doing most of my long runs with friends who use 60:30 or 45:30 or even 30:30.

But I have not used consistent run/walk myself (as Galloway recommends) during any races.

2.  Toss the Watch

I know this will be hard.  If it’s not posted on Strava or Garmin Connect, you still have completed a run.

You can keep track of distance and the number of runs each week/month/year but without a watch, you will not be bothered by your pace or stressing that you ran slow or worried that you had positive splits.

I can use my Apple watch for distances and I keep track of my miles on this blog.

I am a little hypocritical since I do wear my watch for races.

3.  Race More.

 I find that there are lot more older runners at races and a lot more people who are racing for fun.

Being part of the racing atmosphere before and after the race usually makes me forget that my time was slower than it used to be.

4. Check out Age % stats in a race rather than your finish place.

For example, for this recent 5k, I finished #50:

But if I look at age percentage, I finished #9!!!

Even if you don’t win an award or if you have a slower finish time, age does matter.

5. Maintain a Consistent Routine

That means consistent runs and workouts each week, consistent eating, consistent sleep, consistent rest days…

But “consistent” to each person means different things.

For me, it’s 4 run days, 2 rest days (but they may include walks/hikes), 7 hours of sleep (often is it is not great sleep) and I eat whatever I want (but rarely snack)

 and drink red wine (lol).

As we age (or slow down), consistency is even more important.

If this topic interests you, there more opinions/research than mine:

Happy Running! Are you dealing with slowing down? If so, any other tips? Please share.

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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

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=c0efdbe6b4add43dd7ef

TT: Using Virgin Pulse

Virgin Pulse - Apps on Google Play

My TT topic for today is: Using Virgin Pulse

This tool has been provided to me free where I’ve worked for the past 6+ years.

Believe it not, most people do not use it.

Many of you probably have never even heard of this program.

According to the website: 6,000+ organizations (over one million people), including 25% of the Global Fortune 500, in 190 countries and territories use Virgin Pulse.

What is it?

An online platform offered to employees to foster good health. In their words: “to engage and activate populations to change lives for good.”

Here are some more details on how Virgin Pulse works:

  • You Read Two Health Tips each day.
  • You Track at least Three Healthy Activities each day. You can track more than three and you can customize the activities that appear.
  • You can participate in Challenges or Create your own.

  • You can Track your Steps.

It syncs with a device you wear that tracks your steps.

  • You have Access to Resources.
  • You can Make Friends/Join Groups

  • You will Earn Money.

Everything you do (as listed above) earns you points.

At the end of each quarter, you earn $100!!

Yup, that $400 each year!!

And you can set it up so it deposits into your bank account.

Happy Running! Do you use Virgin Pulse or some other type of tracking system?  Would you if it were offered where you work? Please share.

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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.