Weekly Run Down for 1.9.22-1.16.22: Getting it done…

With my first half marathon in one week, I needed to get out there and run… no matter what.

And there were several very cold days and the bike paths were still covered with ice/snow.

I sometimes wonder WHY I signed up for so many half marathons that require me to train during the winters of upstate NY?

Last Week:

  • Sunday – After a successful frigid 12 miler the day before, I was hoping to continue to get some fresh air on the trails.

Nope, freezing rain and sleet… I did some stuff around the house (including laundry and repotting my plants) and then hit the mall for some exercise.

a work in progress…they grow so fast, I can’t keep up

  • Monday – #nevermissamonday. Of course, I had to run.  Another chilly day but after last Saturday, it seemed balmy lol.

although it was only in the 20s, it felt warm.. unfortunately I’m stuck in my neighborhood since the rail trail and bike paths are still icy

  • Tuesday  – Normally I would have run today but it was supposed to be warmer on Wednesday so I just switched today to a rest day.

even too cold for me!!

I did venture out after work since we now have some extra hours of daylight..

ok I admit it… I FROZE at Holly Hock Preserve!!!

So back to the mall for a walk. Ours still close early (7 pm) so if you go after dinner, it’s pretty empty.

  • Wednesday – Still cold but what can you do?  Winter in the NE!! (and you know how I feel about treadmills.) So I scheduled a late lunch and took to roads hoping that the wind had died down.

not bad at all.. glad I waited until today

  • Thursday – Temps were gradually getting higher but again not what you would call “unseasonably warm.”  I keep trying to vary my running routes (which is not easy when the normal paths are still dicey).

the sun didn’t come out until I was done so it felt colder than the 30 degree temps

Oops. I double-booked myself so I walked at 5 pm with a friend at the outside mall and then at 6:45 back to the indoor mall for a walk (a different mall than Tues) with my BFF.

  • Friday – Rest Day Friday due to possible long run Saturday and freezing temps.

Mah jongg night to exercise the brain (instead of the legs).

  • Saturday – Sub zero wind chill temps forced us to postpone the run until Sunday (when it would be a little warmer and sunnier.)

nope, not happening!!

But my running friend, who was recovering from an injury, asked me to do a slow 3 mile loop at UAlbany in the afternoon.

Unfortunately, she chickened out and crazy me decided to instead bundle up and take to the trails. First I headed to one with an amazing waterfall but the trail was way too icy (even with nano spikes & poles).

walked on the ridge trail instead (@Barbersville Falls)

Then I drove to one closer to my house.

Five Rivers on a sunny but cold winter day

It was great to get some fresh air after being cooped up on Friday.

And in the evening the hubby & I went out to dinner to celebrate our anniversary (which was the next day.)

  • Sunday –  Last long run before the big day.  Only 8 miles on my “plan.” Plan in parentheses because after 53 half marathons, I don’t have a plan lol. My running group has shrunk for various reasons (snowbirds, illness, injury) but Karen and Stan agreed to tackle the freezing temps with me.

the thermometer read -3 but no wind and sunshine made all the difference… nice run!!

Today (January 16th) was also an important day in my life:

and in my running life:

2011 vs 2021

I also celebrated the calm before the storm with a hike:

a different trail at Five Rivers… the frozen creek was so fascinating (more pix on IG)

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday – DAY OFF – rest day – rain/snow? – hike?
  • Tuesday – run
  • Wednesday – run
  • Thursday – run
  • Friday -rest day, walk, mah jongg
  • Saturday – rest day, NYC bound (Train, Broadway show…)
  • Sunday – Fred LeBow Half Marathon

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – 2021 Goals Update and 2022 Goals
  • Friday –  Super Hero Muffins

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 in-person races planned?  Have the cold temps forced you indoors or do you run outside anyway? Please share.

FFF: Say “No” to the Treadmill

I know that there many benefits to using a treadmill for your runs.  You all know them so it’s not necessary to list them here.

I don’t even own one and I’ve run on one very very rarely (and since the Pandemic, not at all.)

And I have been able to train effectively through the winter and COVID.

But if you are wondering if due to winter weather conditions or COVID surges, you should either spend the money and buy a treadmill or join a gym and run masked on one, here are my FIVE + reasons NOT to run on a treadmill.

1.Lack of air resistance

When running on the treadmill, it is obvious that you are not running through the air. When running outdoors, the wind raises resistance. The quicker you run, the more you feel the air resistance over you. To me, running seems so much harder when there is wind. And we need to prepare for such conditions.

I struggled running into the wind during this race

2. Less front slope

Some studies have shown that runners run with less forward inclination of the body when they train on the treadmill. Leaning forward is essential as it maximizes the runner’s ability (and energy) to move forward.  Of course, we want this when we race.

3. Unrealistic running surface

The treadmill surface is obviously uniformly level and soft. This offers a significant disadvantage. When running outdoors, the surface is mixed: stones, soft and hard surfaces, wet or dry points, and combinations of all these. Running on these varied surfaces is a challenge but it is an important aspect of training as these different surfaces have impact on the muscles, joints and affect balance. And it is rare that we race on a flat, straight (no curves), soft surface.

4.Lack of visual perception

When running outdoors, you move between trees, buildings, cars and other people. When you’re on the treadmill, you are not actually moving so you do not have all this visual experience that gives you the feeling of running. If you are lucky, you can look through a window or at a computer/TV screen. Not the same!!

5. Shorter length of stride

The limited physical size of the treadmill can give you the impression that either you will step off the treadmill or that you will fall.  This usually leads to smaller and/or more perpendicular strides.  I know that I run at a slower pace on the treadmill because when I up the speed, I feel like I will fall off.  I can only comfortably sprint in a race or at the end of a training run outdoors.

6. Running on a limited space

You may feel claustrophobic when running on a treadmill because you are usually in a close and restrained space.  There’s nothing like the feeling of the great outdoors (even when it is 90 degrees or 0 degrees).

7. Lack of confidence

Many runners who do their training runs on the treadmill do not feel properly trained for races (for many of the reasons I mentioned above.)

8. Boring and monotonous

Running “in the same spot” aka the “dreadmill” can be very boring and very monotonous. No matter what I try…podcasts, music, TV, Peloton. 3 miles feels like 13 miles!!

Related image

So there you have it. If you avoid the treadmill like I do, you now have reasons to justify your decision to run outdoors…no matter what (though I am NOT saying to be reckless. Skip those dicey ice days and wear yaktrax/spikes for running through the snow.)

-4 wind chill when we started and ice/snow-covered paths but we ran on the roads and chatted the whole time… It was a confidence booster for sure.

Happy Running!! Anyone else agree with me? Any other reasons to NOT run on a treadmill? 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 bloggers.

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Winter Series #1, #2 and #3 Race Recaps

As I have mentioned in previous years, the Hudson Mohawk Runners Club sponsors FREE races throughout the winter for its members. The course is pretty boring but free is free.

Usually, I try to run 4 of the races and volunteer at one. That gives you Winter Warrior status and a prize.

Last year, of course, the series was cancelled. So I was very excited that this year they decided (with some restrictions) to offer the five races again.

Unfortunately, I had out of town races scheduled for the last two dates and I would be only able to run the first three (and could not volunteer at all.)

Winter Series #1 – 12/12/21

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

There was a choice of a 3 mile race or a 15K.  Though I had 8 miles on my training plan, I signed up for the 3 miler.  I had run a 5k race the night before

and so I planned to just run and add some more miles after.

Race Day:

I was happy after a late night

that the race did not start until 10 am.  I arrived around 9:30 and signed in (you had to prove a negative COVID test or vaccination).  I was greeted by so many familiar faces. Most of whom were as crazy as I was and had raced the night before.

I also noticed when I looked at the course map that they changed the start from previous years and now it was a 5.5k or 3.4 miles rather than the advertised 3 miler..

Elevation according to my Garmin:

The temperature had dropped from the night before but at least it was sunny and not raining.  I was content and dressed appropriately.

As usual, these are very casual races so we all walked to the new start (the 15k racers started in a different location) and off we went.

can you find me at the right?

I realized after a 1/2 mile that I never started my Garmin.  Oops. I guess it didn’t matter but I decided to start it anyway.

The course is just a loop starting and ending at the college campus. In the middle you are running around a NYS Office campus. There are rolling hills here and there and lots of wind.

I ran much of the race with my neighbor Kathy (who has cancer) or actually trying to keep up with her.  In the end, I could not catch her.

can you see how far ahead she got?

And until the last mile, I tried to run at an even easy pace. I even skipped the water stop.  I did walk up that last hill lol.

the last stretch before you turn into the finish line (apparently I see a photographer!)

When you cross the finish line, there is a clock and they hand a piece of paper to record your time.

sprinting to the finish!

My finish time was 32:18.

Post Race:

I chatted with Kathy for a bit.

and then two more of my friends crossed the finish line and we walked inside together.

The best part of these races are the refreshments.  I had some delicious soup, some cookies, chips and then some hot chocolate.

img_8155

a pre-pandemic picture – that’s why they are not masked

There are awards but for 10 year age groups and with only 1st and 2nd place given, I rarely win. I was 3rd.

Oops – they got my age wrong.

Although I felt like going home, I decided to add some more miles so I could call it a “long” run.

slow but done!

Final Stats:

Splits:

minus .5 miles at the beginning of the race

only one walk!!

Winter Series #2 – 1/1/22

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

There was a choice of a 3.5 mile race or a half marathon.  I had run the half marathon one year and it was deadly (4 loops!!)  And besides I had gone out with friends the night before to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

Race Day:

I was happy after a late night

and too much food and drink but a fun time…

that the race did not start until noon!!.  I arrived around 11:30 and signed in.  I was greeted by so many familiar faces. Most of whom were as crazy as I was and had celebrated until after midnight the night before. Due to the surge in COVID cases, I was more cautious than usual and did not spend much time chatting indoors.

It seems that at least for this race that they did not change the distance or course but I did remember thinking that it was usually 3.75 miles NOT 3.5!!

Hangover_Half-002-L

Elevation according to my Garmin:

Most of runners waited outside for the race to begin. We got lucky with the weather. Although very overcast, it was 50 degrees! On January 1st? I’ll take it.

No beanie, no vest or arm sleeves, and no gloves!!

There was both a 3.5 miler and half marathon.  Both races started at the same time and location.

The course was similar to the last race but started in a different location so it was longer.

I made sure this week that I started my Garmin.  I don’t care about my pace at all but there are no mile markers so it helps to see which mile I’m in.

As I said, all runners started together. Some of my friends were running the half. Shortly after we started running, we had to either turn left or right.  I started to run left and then I realized that I was going the wrong way. I quickly turned around and ran the other direction (glad I realized it right away).

no it wasn’t that warm!

Not much to say about the race.  Although it was afternoon, my stomach felt unsettled from the food/drink of the night before.

I did my best to run at a nice even pace but it felt harder and harder to speed up… so I didn’t. It seemed like runners were passing me by and those half marathoners sped by at incredible speeds.

in the zone and not aware of the photographer

Since I wasn’t running that fast, I didn’t need to stop for water and didn’t have to walk.

Finally, the finish was in sight, I gave it all I had.

As I mentioned above, there was a clock and they called out times but you recorded your own time on a piece of paper. Mine was 35:45.

And yes, it was 3.75 miles!!

first race of 22 in the books!

I put on my mask and waited for some friends to finish.

The race is named after this guy… isn’t he cute?

Post Race:

We all went in to get something to eat.  There was the usual delicious soup, lots of bagged snacks and coffee and hot cocoa.

Being so warm, we were able to eat outside.

I finally went back inside for the awards… Not a chance with 10 year groups and only 1st and 2nd places.

I was 3rd again

Though my legs were ready to call it quits, I knew that rain was forecast for the next day.  So I had to continue running and decided to stay here again and do two loops around campus.

ugh… what a slogfest

Final Stats:

Splits:

hey.. no walks!

Winter Series #3 – 1/9/22 

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

The usual short runs squeezed in around my work schedule.

I had decided to do things differently for this race.  NOT RACE IT!

I scheduled my 12 mile long run the day before rather than adding on miles after the race (Post race miles never go well anyway.)

9 degrees feels like -4

For this race, I would just go run it to hang out with friends and eat some food.

Unfortunately due to the spike in COVID cases, they decided to cancel the race.

As I mentioned above, even if the last two races happen, I would not be around to run them.

Hopefully the Winter Series will be held again next winter.

Additional Race Reflections:

Positives:

  • Ample parking.
  • Well marked course.
  • FREE if you are a member of HMRRC. $5 if not
  • Indoor restrooms
  • Warm place to congregate before and after
  • Several distances to choose from.
  • Many familiar faces.
  • Awards – gift certificate for Bountiful Bread
  • Post race refreshments – delicious soup, snacks, cookies, hot chocolate, coffee and more
  • Free Photos

Negatives:

  • Self reported finish times (sometimes I forget to look at the clock or start my watch)
  • 10 year age group awards and only 2 deep.
  • Usually windy.
  • Boring course.
  • Several loops if running more than 3 miles.

Would I recommend these races?

Absolutely. Great way to stay active during the cold winter months.

Next Up:

a hilly half marathon in NYC on January 23, 2022.

Happy Running! Have you run any races in 2022 yet? Any in-person races on your schedule? How do you stay motivated dung the cold weather? Please share.

runner-sig

 

 

 

 

 


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

 

Weekly Run Down for 1.2.22-1.9.22: And so it begins…

A new year but not much is different than 2021.

COVID is still around.  We are masking when indoors. I’m working remotely.

I am running and racing (when there are races scheduled).

Thanks to Jenn, I’m tracking my movement everyday too:

Last Week:

  • Sunday – I had hoped to get out onto the trails for a hike but it was too rainy.

Instead I cleaned, took down ALL the holiday decorations, did some errands and baked (who me?)

 I got the recipe off Shalane’s blog (I don’t have the book) …  substituted whole wheat flour for almond meal and added an additional 2 tbsps of butter

  • Monday – #nevermissamonday And a cold one. I decided if possible not to run in the dark so I squeezed one in during lunch.

glad I didn’t check the weather app before the run but that explains why my hands and face froze

And the verdict on the Super Hero muffins (from the recipe above): Tasty. Worth the cost and effort? I’ll save that for a blog post.

  • Tuesday  – I had more time today so I was able to drive to my lunch time run. It was sunny and warmer than the day before but still chilly.

  • Wednesday – A scheduled rest day and an after work hair appt. In order to keep up with the Ragnar team challenge, I did do some indoor biking at lunch. And met friends after work for an outdoor walk.
  • Thursday – It snowed a little overnight which made it tricky to find a dry path to run. Fortunately I had to stop by the office so I did my run at UAlbany.

yes I work near Starbucks so I had to, right? Paths were salted but the problem was that I was overdressed and forgot my sunglasses!

  • Friday – Another rest day and mah jongg this evening at my house.

Besides snow is pretty but not fun to run in.  Does shoveling count as exercise? I think so.

this am

  • Saturday – My race+ extra miles runs have gone so horribly that I decided to do my 12 mile long run today.  I am fortunate to have friends to accompany me on some of the miles. Started out with -4 wind chill. I ran 4 miles with Judy and with the sun shining, it wasn’t as bad as it as the temps indicated (9 degrees). I even took off my jacket and changed to a vest. Then Stan & Sherry joined us for 8 more miles.  I even sweat.

the paths at The Crossings were snowy so we ran on the neighborhoods roads

  • Sunday –  Winter Series # 3 race got cancelled. But I was just planning to run this one for fun since I had done my long run the day before.  No race gave me the free time to go hiking (weather dependent).

Weather update: Sleet, freezing race. Hiking is now in the mall later. lol

At home activities included laundry and re-potting plants.

a work in progress… succulents grow so fast…I can’t keep up

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday – run
  • Tuesday –rest day, walk
  • Wednesday – run
  • Thursday – run
  • Friday -rest day, walk, mah jongg
  • Saturday Long Run (8-10 m)
  • Sunday – rest day, hiking

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Winter Series #1-3 Race Recaps
  • Friday – Say No to the Treadmill

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 in-person races planned?  How did you celebrate New Year’ Eve? Did you run or race on New Year’s Day? Please share.

FFF: Ultimate Coffee Date for Jan. ’22

It’s that time of the month…

time to join up with Coco & Deborah
for their ultimate coffee date.

1. Over coffee… 

I’d tell you that I have 22 goals for 2022 (and I’m not usually a Goals person.) Who am I?

(You can read about them on Tuesday Topics January 18 post)

2.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I accidentally ran 21 races in 2021.  The race sign ups were not accidental but the number was. So of course, I plan to run at least 22 races in 2022.

3.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that my feet are blister prone. I have tried all kinds of shoes, socks and even taped my feet.

Several years ago, I stumbled up Karrimor socks on sale in EMS.  The were advertised to prevent blisters and they were very cheap (2 for $9).

KARRIMOR DUO RUNNING ANKLE SOCKS UK 4-8 BREATHABLE WHITE PINK

I bought 3 pairs. And I always wear them for races.

I race a lot and so they are thread bare.  I’ve searched and search for replacements.

I found them on Amazon for $35 (from China).   And I love them so much that I was tempted to order them.

Recently I searched again and this time I found them on Ebay (and in the UK.)

I ordered 3 pairs!! Score! My feet are happy again!

4.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that my high school reunion was cancelled last year. And it is re-scheduled for this year – June 5, 2022 at 1 pm. It’s biggie and I guess I should go.  My class had 962 people of which I was friends with about 10.  I still keep in touch through FB and occasional meet-ups.

two years ago

 our last reunion – 11 years ago with my 5 closest friends

So what’s the problem? MY FAVORITE RACE IS THE SAME DAY!! (the one that I have run every year!!!!)

5.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that it’s only January but I have already registered for 13 races.

I’m cheap and I like to take advantage of the cheapest price.  I am also choosing the no shirt option (if there is one) in all my races.

Signing up early keeps me on track as far as mileage. I rarely if at all have to DNS any races.  Hopefully I will stay healthy next year as well.

    • 01-01-22 – Winter Series #2 (3.75m)
    • 01-09-22 – Winter Series #3 (3m)
    • 01-23-22 – Fred LeBow Half Marathon (NYC)
    • 02-13-22 – Florida Publix Half Marathon
    • 02-27-22 – Central Park Half Marathon (NYC)
    • 03-12-22 – Electric 5 Miler
    • 04-16-22 – Druthers Helderberg to Hudson Half Marathon
    • 05-22-22 – Steel Rail Half Marathon
    • 05-29-22 – Miles Along the Mohawk 10 miler
    • 06-26-22 – Dodge the Deer 5k (trail race)
    • 07-04-22 – Firecracker 4
    • 09-10-22 – Malta 5k
    • 10-02-22 – Maine Half Marathon

There were even a few more that I almost registered for…

Happy Running! What’s new with you?  Would you pick a race or a high school reunion if they were on the same day? How much would you pay for your favorite brand of socks? Have you registered for any 2022 races? 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 bloggers.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=a8b40ada7693d64e5923

TT: My Word for 2022

one little word // Crafty Ass Female.jpg

Well, it’s that time of year.

Time to pick ONE WORD to focus on for the entire year.

(If you’ve never heard about the My One Word approach, here is a summary:

Lose the long the list of changes you want to make this year and instead pick one word. This process forces clarity by taking all of your big plans for life change and narrowing them down into a single thing. Your one word focuses on your character and creates a vision for your future.)

Below is a list of the words, I’ve chosen so far:

So how resilient was I in 2021?

On the whole, 2021 was not as difficult as 2020.  Since I was still working from home, there was no work travel to some of my favorite running locales (i.e. NYC, Rochester, Liverpool, Buffalo). We were wearing masks indoors but with having gotten both vaccines, I was able to connect with friends. Even though there were COVID restrictions (and many inconvenient ones), in person races were scheduled. And I felt safe participating in them. I even traveled for two race-cations.

IOW, I felt that I was resilient in 2021 and hope to continue to be so in the coming years.

What helped me the most was realizing that friendships, both virtual and face to face, were more important than running pace and race finish times. And having a mileage goal of 1000 miles was more motivating than a PR.  It meant that I was running consistently and healthy. Many of my runs were solo but I also made the effort to be flexible and run with others.  And even if there were sucky things going on in my personal (non-running) life, I tried to focus on the positives (at least I hope I did). And running was definitely one of the positives of 2021.

What will my word be in 2022?

When you are intentional, you choose to make decisions and take action on what’s really important to you. You do things that brings you joy.

I think that I am often too impulsive. That can be good. I do not procrastinate. I make a decision and take action (almost immediately) ….

But sometimes it is important to think things through and focus on your “why.”

IOW, what you do decide to do should have meaning and be important (not a whim.)

When I was thinking about ways to become more intentional, I found these suggestions:

1. Keep your goals in mind.

2. Be present in the moment.

3. Look after your health.

4. Declutter your life.

5. Assess your priorities.

6. Practice gratitude.

7. Mind your money.

8. Make time for the simple things.

9. Stop comparing yourself to others.

10. Practice forgiveness.

11. Disconnect from social media.

12. Meditate at night.

And yes, most of these can apply to Running!! And to Blogging. And to Life, in general …

I think they are doable for me in 2022 (except for maybe #11 & #12 lol).

So far:

  • To celebrate the start of 2022 and stay safe yet connected and active, I ran a local race on a balmy January day.

  • I didn’t win an award but didn’t care because I had fun.
  • In order to keep with my training plan for my January 23 half marathon, I completed 7.25 more solo miles.

  • Then re-arranged my plans for the next day: Cancelled long run plans, cleaned the house, went shopping, baked “healthy” muffins, read my book club book (The Maidens)

Happy Running! Do you choose a Word each year? If so, have you chosen one for 2022?  Do you need to be more intentional? 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.

 

Weekly Run Down for 12.26.21 – 1.2.22: Welcome 2022!

Did you have fun ringing in the new year? I did and even stayed up until midnight!!!!

I’m re-posting Kim G‘s meme:

unfortunately, this is so true

Thanks to Jenn, I’ll be moving everyday in January:

Last Week:

  • Sunday – Icy but sunny and I was fortunate to have company on most of the miles and for brunch after.

I skipped my planned Sunday hike in favor of a nail appt and errands.

In the evening, I had the last of my holiday dinners out at a new Japanese restaurant with a friend.  Very yummy!

  • Monday – #nevermissamonday so I had to do a short one at lunch

a little chilly at first but no wind helped… so far I have not had to wear a jacket this winter (2 shirts, vest, arm sleeves = perfect running attire)

and then a walk after work.

  • Tuesday  – A slow week at work so I was able to run at lunch again

thumbs up for warmer temps and sunshine… and a couple of spins around the track

followed by a walk with my BFF after work.

  • Wednesday – A rest day from running cause I know I should. And a snowy one.  Love looking at the snow and walking  in it so that’s all I did at lunch:

unfortunately, the snow had turned to freezing rain and the trail was mostly mud…

The good and sometimes bad thing about FB are the memories. Today FB reminded that it was the TEN year anniversary of breaking my ankle in 2 places and having surgery.

Grateful to my surgeon, my PT and that they were wrong when they said “I may not be able to run again and definitely not long races.”

  • Thursday – I decided to end the year on a high note. A sunrise run… without the sunrise

cloudy, foggy but holiday lights were still glowing and it felt GREAT to start the day this way.

and a late lunch run.

I drove to the rail trail for this one

There was a method to my madness: rain was predicted for both Saturday and Sunday (who knows when and if I will run) and I wanted to finish the year with 1,018 miles (because in 2020, I ran 1,017 miles.)

There was also Mah jongg on Thursday night so everyone could celebrate on Friday night.

  • Friday – Another rest day and a work day. Besides it rained on and off.

I was very excited to go hear the comedian Sebastian Maniscalco with some friends.  Due to COVID, the show got canceled. Plan B was a small dinner party with some (vaccinated, boosted) friends.

so nice not to be stuck at home and be able to be with some friends (that I used to work with)

  • Saturday – Race Day- first race of 2022. Luckily it did not start until  noon. Cloudy but 50 degrees on Jan 1! I’ll take it.

free+ food + friends = fun race!

Since I needed a long run of 11 miles, I planned to run around campus for more painful boring miles.

to be honest… this run was HARD!! what slogfest…

  • Sunday –  Today’s activity is weather dependent.  Hope to get out and explore some trails (I may have to get out those micro spikes). If it rains, I got plenty to do around the house.

Update: Too rainy.  Cleaned, took down ALL the holiday decorations, did some errands and

I hold off on a review until I taste one. I got the recipe off Shalane’s blog (I don’t have the book)

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday – run
  • Tuesday – run, walk with friends
  • Wednesday – rest day, walk. hair appt.
  • Thursday – run
  • Friday -rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday Long Run (12m)
  • Sunday – WS Series #3 (3m)

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – My Word
  • Friday – Ultimate Coffee Date

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 in-person races planned?  How did you celebrate New Year’ Eve? Did you run or race on New Year’s Day? Please share.

FFF: Last Runfessions of 2021 – The Half Marathon Saga

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

And the last one for this year!!

1. Obviously the half marathon is my favorite distance.  Hey, I’ve run 53. I toyed again with the goal of one half marathon each month.  But it’s too difficult to find races in the summer months.  I runfess… I could run virtual ones but I’m so over them!!

Nope it’s virtual…

2. I had previously mentioned that I had a choice between two NYC half marathons in January –  Frozen Penguin (Jan 9) or Fred LeBow (Jan 23).  Both races have the basically the same Central Park course.  Although it was more expensive, the date worked better and so I chose Frozen Penguin. I runfess… I chose the wrong one!!

changed it to a 5k with no deferral or refund option

3. There was no deferral or refund for the Frozen Penguin but you were given the choice of running the 5k or another one of their half marathons – Queens Half in April or Central Park Half in February. I runfess… I half heartedly chose Central Park because I didn’t want to waste the $80 that I paid. But it’s only 2 weeks after the half marathon that I am running in Florida.  Sigh!

Feb. 27, 2022

4. So with no half marathons scheduled for December and January, I’m losing my weekend long run mojo. I runfess… I even considered signing up for the Fred LeBow Half Marathon.  I didn’t sign up (but I did book an hotel just in case).

Jan 23, 2022

** Update – I signed up for Fred LeBow!!!!!

5. When the NYC Half Marathon was cancelled in 2020, I had the choice of deferring or getting a refund.  If you deferred, you would still have to pay to run it in 2021. I chose a refund and ran it virtually. $290 to run a half marathon!? Again it was cancelled but now the race will happen in March of 2022.  It seemed that everyone chose the deferral option.  I runfess… I got FOMO and did enter the lottery.

** Update – I was not selected in the 2022 Lottery!!!!

I runfess… that instead I signed up for half marathons in April (Helderberg to Hudson) and May (Steel Rail). And together ($45+$75), I spent less than for NYC ($130) with no hotel or travel expenses since both races are local.

Helderberg to Hudson Half Marathon

…………………….April 16, 2022………………………..

Steel Rail Races

Steel Rail Half Marathon – May 22, 2022 (in MA)

Happy Running! Anything to runfess this month?  Any similar or crazy half marathon runfessions? 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 blogs!!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Albany Last Run 5k Race Recap

December 11, 2021 5 pm

The Albany Last Run is a very popular local race. In fact, it always sells out (at 2000). The race starts with fireworks and then you run uphill, around the light displays in the park and it ends with a downhill. I have run it every year since 2010 (except in 2019 when I was injured and in 2020 when it was canceled) and it is one of my favorite races.

So this was my TENTH time running this race!!

Unfortunately, this is the LAST YEAR for the Holiday Lights in the Park.  That probably means it is the last year for this race. Sigh.

Here is a pic from a previous year:

One year, I ran this race in the rain. Another year, in a blizzard.  This was how I finished the race in 2017.

icy and very slippery!! and yes, that’s me on the ground!

I was hoping for better weather this year.  Could it be any worse??

Before the race

They used to give out windbreakers for this race and I have them in many colors.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

The previous weekend, I finally took a break from racing and did a 8 mile long run.

Otherwise, the two weeks before, I had run a 15k, half marathon and 10k.

I guess to complete the series, I needed to run a 5k.

I didn’t say “race” because it’s very hard to “race” this race due to the weather conditions, the crowds, the ruts in the roads, slippery cobblestone, etc.  My finish times are all over the place though my course PR may have been back in 2010 (29:15) and PW 7 years later in 2017 (35:08).

Of course, I debated about what to wear… I always like to look festive. But rain was predicted…

And then the temps were supposed to go up to 60 degrees.  I almost switched to a skirt.

Due to the fact that this was the last year for this race, it did sell out!

To save time, I went to the race headquarters on Wednesday night and picked up my race packet.  In fact, I picked up 9 of them (for the others in my running group).

As in previous years, the shirt was uni-sex and TOO big!

and ugly gray…

Race Day:

I decided to keep my original race outfit but with a lighter shirt under my long cotton tee shirt.

Most of the group carpooled together because we were having a pot luck party after and wanted to leave our food off there before the race.

We parked in the underground parking garage. Super easy (though it did cost $5).

Immediately I ran into so many runners that I knew. Everyone comes for this race.

As usual, we wanted to take pre-race photos.  And a radio station was taking them and said they were send them to a phone.  We took many goofy group ones. (It too a while but eventually we did get those pics/videos.)

It was so fun (even wearing masks) to see everyone and their costumes were so creative.

Were You Seen at The 25th Annual St. Peter's Cardiac & Vascular Center Albany Last Run 5K on Dec. 11, 2021, in downtown Albany?

photo from TU

Finally we all left our warm home to go outside

yes, there was a Santa Claus (or two or three)

and he took our pic.

and watch the pre-race fireworks:

they were awesome

Almost all of my friends were planning to walk the whole race. I had run through the park a few times already and had seen seen the lights.

So I decided that I would run the race and left my friends and headed toward the start.

This is the course map:

This is the elevation according to my Garmin:

Mile 1: 

I always forget that this race is not chip timed and I should start close to the front.  It was very crowded and so I just pushed my way in near a few runners that I knew were at my pace.

It was dark as I crossed the start line, I am not sure that I started my Garmin right away (but whatever.)

The race started with an uphill, went through the city before we entered the park. It was crowded at first and usually the crowd thinned out but it really never did. I unsuccessfully tried to run but just was weaving in and out. And the lights around my neck broke so I had to throw them aside (and I’m sure the bulbs got crushed).

Once in the park, we were running under the festive holiday lights.  Though the road was filled with ruts and cracks, it was much lighter than on the streets.  We hit our second hill and I would have normally been tempted to walk up the steep hill but I didn’t need to and actually picked up the pace.

There was a clock at every mile.  It seemed that my pace was not great but too bad and around 10 mm.

Mile 2: 

It was still crowded and I was passing some runners but since I felt like I was running slow due to the crowds. I was able to enjoy the lights and the crazy costumes worn by the runners.  I got positive remarks from spectators about my outfit, as well.

Image result for albany last run

from a previous year.

During this mile, I was really having fun!! I was running up the hills (slowly) but not stressing about pace. My biggest issue was that I was roasting!!! It was like 60 degrees. I took off my gloves, rolled down my arm sleeves but I definitely should have dressed differently.

I took these pics the other day when I ran through the park.

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.  It was so nice that the roads were dry.

According to the clock, I was running about the same pace as mile 1.

Mile 3 – 3.1: 

Finally around mile 3, there was enough space to actually RUN. We continued our loop out of the park (the last hill) and then out onto the dark streets and down the hill to the finish line.

img_3510

Who doesn’t love a downhill finish?

However I made to sure to carefully sprint and I crossed at 31:XX (GT).

I was happy. I ran almost the whole thing!! And I did not fall!!

Post Race Activities:

I waited around at the finish line as others finished.

yes, of course Santa ran the race

Then all of a sudden, I saw two of my group – Heidi and Chris.  They had decided to run the race instead of walking it with the others.

We were sweaty so we went inside to stay warm,

glad we decided to take this pic since it took several days to retrieve the others.

I grabbed some water but there were only bananas and apples and we had a pot luck dinner planned for after so I didn’t eat anything.

Soon the walkers returned and we all headed out to our cars.  I was pretty sure none of us won any awards.

I finished 9th (in10 year age group) out of 85)

An after party has been an annual event with my running group.  But this year, it was also a going away party for Jenn who was moving away.

It was a fun time with lots of food and a cake.

Additional Race Reflections:

Yes, it was my slowest 5k this year but one of the most enjoyable 5ks that I ran. It was a great way to get into the holiday spirit and connect with other runners.

Positives:

  • well organized (including packet pick-up)
  • creative costumes
  • fireworks
  • scenic course (holiday lights)
  • live race
  • ample parking
  • warm place to hang out before and after the race
  • Real restrooms
  • lots of familiar faces
  • my running friends were there
  • NO RAIN or SNOW!

Negatives:

  • Gun Time not Chip time
  • Unisex shirts
  • 10 year age group awards
  • Slippery/ruddy roads
  • Refreshments (just apples & bananas)

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. Yes.  Definitely a must do if you live near Albany, NY.  Even fun to walk it and enjoy the light displays.

Obviously this race will not be happening again. Maybe something similar will be planned during the holidays for next year?

Final Stats:

GT

Splits:

no walk breaks?

Next Up:

Another local running organization has scheduled a few free races of varying distances called the Winter Series.

Dec 12 – 5.5k or 15k

Jan 1 – 3.75 m or HM
Jan 9 – 3m or 10k or 10m

Then a half marathon:

Jan 23, 2022

Happy Running?  Did you run in a holiday race this year?  If you did, what did you wear? Please share.

runner-sig

 

 

 

 

 


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 12.19.21 – 12.26.21: Merry Christmas Y’all

If you celebrate, hope you had a nice holiday.

I did a lot of celebrating the previous week so Christmas for us was sorta lowkey. No gift exchange just time with the family.

Did you enjoy this fitness challenge? I admit I had to google most of them and then adapt them for me.

And lastly, I am blessed to have support and inspiration from my blogging friends:

Last Week:

  • Sunday – A early impromptu afternoon hike with a friend to work off some calories.

muddy in spots but we stayed upright – 3.5 miles in the books

because in the evening I attended my mah jongg book club followed by our re-scheduled anniversary dinner – 13 years and counting!!

ate all those calories back and then some but a fun evening nevertheless

  • Monday – #nevermissamonday so I had to squeeze my run in during lunch since I volunteer after work. I loved my before work run last week but it was 15 degrees!! Nope not today.

feels like 23 but at least it was sunny…lots of decorations with a menorah in the window & a Hanukkah flag?

  • Tuesday  – I was going to squeeze in another lunch run but a friend agreed to run with me after work.  Our last run through the lights in the park… so much fun!

A nice surprise came in the mail – my age group award from the Troy Turkey Trot

portable charger

  • Wednesday – Today was a rest day. But I did meet friends after work for a walk.
  • Thursday – I got up early and planned my sunrise run but feels like 10 degrees sent me back indoors for a cup of coffee.

I did get it done at lunch when it was a little warmer.

brrr!! froze my face off with that cold wind!

After work, we met to play mah jongg since Christmas Eve was on Friday night.

  • Friday -Iffy weekend weather prompted me to get out there for at least a short run. Not in the morning…surprise snowfall!!

Eventually it did stop snowing and I ran on the roads in town during lunch.

It was the same temps as the day before but without the wind, it almost felt balmy lol

  • Saturday – Christmas Day!! And a rainy one!! Long run postponed until Sunday!

My hubby and I agreed not to get each other gifts.

My hubby did not keep his end of the bargain… I have wanted one for years!!!!!

  • Sunday – Re-scheduled Long Run. Location TBA depending the state of the bike paths.  I also begged for company. I HATE to run alone for 11 miles. And my friend Sherry accepted to share 8 of them.

slow going as first due to the icy roads but the sun came out and things improved

4 MILES to go to meet my 1000 MILE goal for the year.  And so I did it!!!!!!!!!!!

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday – run, walk with BFF
  • Tuesday – run
  • Wednesday – rest day
  • Thursday – run
  • Friday -rest day, New Year’s Eve out with friends (but Sebastian Maniscalco show cancelled 😦 )
  • Saturday Winter Series #2 race (+more miles)
  • Sunday – rest day, hiking

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Albany Last Run 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 in-person races planned?  How did you celebrate on Christmas Eve and Day? What are your plans for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day? Please share.

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