FASNY 5K Race Recap

2021 FASNY Hudson 5K Run/Walk

July 25, 2021

This was a spur of the moment decision. I hate to do drills and I would like to get back some pep in my step. So I signed up for a 5k.

During the year of COVID, there wasn’t much racing going on.  I kept running and mostly ran slow long runs or half marathons.

Things have been slowly opening up but still not too many racing opportunities.

I used to just race every weekend. Now that I have friends to run with on the weekend, I’m being more selective in my races.  I passed up a few 5ks in favor of this one because I wanted to run in a different location.

I wasn’t exactly sure about the course but I have several times in the past raced in Saratoga State Park … and enjoyed it.

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Voila. This 5k!

Of course, I wasn’t thinking that it was mid-July. Hello heat and humidity.

So although my last 5k was in May and I did fairly well, now I was doubtful that I would be any faster in this race.

Bacon Hill Bonanza- 28:30 & AG winner

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

Saturday is my normal long run day and I have a half marathon on September. Instead I went up to the lake with the hubby.

My plan to was to add more miles after the race the next day and so it could count as a “long” run.

There was a lot of relaxing going on. Since I had pizza per usual on Friday night, I ate a healthy pre-race dinner of … ice cream.

As per summer of 2021, the forecast had rain in it.  I’ve given up trying to prepare for it so just planned to wear my usual race outfit – tank & skirt.

Race Day:

I knew zilch about this race and knew no one running it. I was hoping there were be a decent crowd. (I once ran a 5k with 18 people lol)

It was an inaugural race and this company normally organizes races in NYC and LI.  So there were no reviews that I could read.

I looked up the last FASNY 5K race in June and there were only 20 runners. Yikes.

It rained on and off all night but when I woke up, it was only drizzling. I thought that I might get lucky and have a dry race. Just to be safe, I added another shirt, shoes, and rain poncho to my race gear.

I knew the start was at the Warming Hut in Saratoga State Park.  I left early because I didn’t remember exactly where that was in the huge park.

It turned out that it was really easy to find so I arrived early. Remember that drizzle? It was now a downpour.

I just sat in my car until it let up a little so I could get my bib.  Good thing I had an umbrella.

No shirt but a cooling neck thing (that I would never use). #13! Isn’t that an unlucky number?

The rain continued to come down but I just waited. I drove too far to not race.

Eventually, the rain did lighten and I got out of my car to head to the start.

Thumbs up because it was no longer raining hard. Notice that I decided NOT to wear WHITE running shoes…

It was a small crowd as predicted (35 runners). I did know three runners (whom I befriended when I used to run 5ks every weekend.)

I thought that the race would probably start on grass, continue to the roads with some hills thrown in.

I was totally wrong. It was an out and back on different paths in the park

and pretty flat.

If it weren’t for the unhealthy air conditions and the oppressive humidity, it would have been a nice race.

But unfortunately, it was one of those days. And one of those races that you want to forget and move on.

Mile 1:

The race started on a muddy dirt path and then we turned left and ran on a path along a road in the park. It was quite narrow and crowded but the real problem was the puddles of mud that you had to weave around.

My feet were immediately soaked and then I had to stop to tie my shoe. It was actually a relief since my legs felt like lead from the get go. Probably due to getting out of the car and starting to run right away.

Eventually we turned left onto a wider and drier path.

The first mile felt like a marathon. I had a hard time breathing and walked again.  It was so steamy that a little rain would have been welcomed.  But as you may have guessed, it stayed dry the whole race.

Mile 2:

We continued on this path until the turn around. I tried to slow down my pace so that I was not so out of breath and to focus on the scenery more as it is such a pretty place to run.

Mile 3- 3.1:

We continued on the same path as we started. So puddles and more puddles. I’m pretty sure that I walked again at the beginning of this mile and again toward the end.

At this point, the runner had spread out. I was never running alone but there was no one that I as trying to keep up with or pass. I was just trying to get to the finish line.

The return course changed slightly as we didn’t turn onto the path we started on. We continued straight and then turned in on an even muddier path.

Finally I caught a glimpse of the end and picked up the speed.

After I crossed the finish line, I grabbed a small bottle of water and waited for my friends to finish. There was no food or age group awards.

My first thoughts were pretty negative: Why did I pay money for this?  Why did this race feel so hard? How could I possibly run a half marathon?

Luckily these thoughts quickly switched to being happy to race again and to being outside in a beautiful park while I was chatting with other runners about upcoming races that we were all planning to run.

Post Race:

it was a good thing that I brought along some Gu since there were no post-race refreshments.

After a short rest, I was feeling more energetic and decided to enjoy the scenery in this park. So I started out to re-trace the 5k route.

Somehow, I missed the turn around and then turned left to run on a path along the main road.

and then I successfully circled back to my car. My friends were still there so we chatted. Then I continued running in the opposite direction. The gardens in this park are fabulous.

I then ran past the golf course and eventually back to my car.

So I got my long run done (3 + 3 + 3) and rewarded myself with some goodies at the farmer’s market there.

Additional Race Reflections:

Positives:

  • Ample parking.
  • Well marked course.
  • Varied park scenery.
  • Virtual option available.
  • A real race.
  • Flat course.
  • Immediate results.
  • Free photos.

Negatives:

  • No age group awards.
  • No race shirt.
  • No spectators.
  • Only 35 runners.
  • Poor air quality.
  • Very humid temps.
  • No water stop.
  • No post-race refreshments (just water)
  • Lack of speed work (my fault).

Would I recommend this race?

Nah.

I only chose this race because of its location and that there were no other races on the schedule. In hindsight, I should have skipped it and done my long run with my friends the day before.

Final Stats:

I wasn’t expecting a PR or a fabulous finish time. Could I have fun faster or walked less?  Maybe. But there didn’t seem to be a reason to.  No age group awards. I was just running for me and because it makes me feel good to race.

I was a little disappointed in that my pace was faster in both of my previous 4 mile races on more difficult courses.

I could blame the weather. But it doesn’t really matter. There will be other races. I may run better or I may run worse.

A friend recently wrote on FB about long runs and races: “They are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’ll get.”

So true.

Next Up:

Another 5k on August 8.


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.

Happy Running! Did you run or race this past weekend? Did you experience a heat wave? Any in-person races on your schedule yet? Please share.

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Weekly Run Down for 7.26.21-8.1.21: A New Month Begins

Summer is just speeding by.

However, I am actually looking forward to this new month.

I have three races planned – 5k & 10k and an informal team 3.5 race.

More importantly, I also have some fun friend events on my schedule this month – a day at a retreat on Lake George, a day at the Saratoga Race Track (breakfast & betting), a visit to NY Botanical Gardens, a college reunion to NYC Van Gogh exhibit, and a weekend in the Hamptons with my college roommate followed by a run/walk day in NYC.

Yes, I am also still working in the office only three days a week ..savoring my last month of freedom until I go back full-time in September.

Last Week:

  • Monday – Warm temps had returned along with that smoky hard to breathe air.

more pretty plants during my Starbucks lunch walk

Although I did run on Sunday and rarely run the next day, I decided to still attend the FTC group run.

8:2 intervals but it actually felt good.

  • Tuesday – Rest Day on my schedule. My plan was just a walk at lunch and a longer one with friends after work (if the thunderstorms did not happen.)

flowers to go with my Starbucks

I got to our walk early but by the time my friends were due to arrive, the storms arrived.  No walk for them.

The rain did eventually stop and I took advantage and walked after dinner around my neighborhood.

flowers on the walk part deux.. the rain is good for one thing

  • Wednesday – Ice Cream Wednesday – Another lunch Starbucks walk and believe it not, no rain. So I got in a short walk with friends after work and then a group run on the rail trail followed by ice cream.

my friend wanted 4 miles rather than 3 so I got sprinkles on my ice cream cone

  • Thursday – Trail Run Thursday – Working from home today but too busy to do much but crossed my fingers that the predicted rain wouldn’t mess up my post work trails event.

I tried to walk at lunch but it was raining and then after work I started my run but it started raining again (after 2 miles).

So off I went to the trail run expecting rain. But nope. No rain and a really nice trail.  But not long after I got home, the skies opened up.  What a storm!

  • Friday – Please make the rain stop. Although it was a rest day, I was working from home and thought I could walk before walk.  RAIN again!!!

I only worked a half day so I could attend a lunch with my tennis friends, several of who I haven’t seen in a long time.  It was so great to be together again.

guest of honor missing from the pic… oops The restaurant was overlooking the Hudson R.

Then in the evening, I squeezed in a short walk with friends and then played my usual mah jongg game.

  • Saturday – Back to Long Run Saturday with my running peeps. We met at the Crossings and the weather was actually cool but sunny.  I ran with Sherry and Stan for most of my 10 miles and then we went to our favorite brunch place with all the others.

even though I ran 10 miles, I still think we spent more time chatting at brunch ❤ my running friends.

Believe or not, after I got home, a friend called to ask me to teach her how to play tennis.  Cross training??

  • Sunday – Either hiking or boating or neither – weather dependent as always.

Due to all the rain, there is also a lot of weeding to be done.

In the end, we decided to stay home and get some work done around the house.  I have to say, Weeding is tiring!!!

I did get in a neighborhood walk (using my newly downloaded Peleton app) before the rain came.  Yes, It rained AGAIN!

loved her playlist so much that I did it twice

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday –  FTC run
  • Tuesday – rest day, hair appt.
  • Wednesday – Ice Cream or SOAR run
  • Thursday – ARE Trail Run
  • FridayDay OFFrun, mah jongg
  • Saturday – LONG Run, rest day, walk, boating?
  • Sunday – Run for the Roses 5K

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – FASNY 5k Race Recap
  • 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? Have you been experiencing summer temps where you live? Any vacations planned? Please share.

FFF: Runfessions/Shoefessions for July ’21

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

This month’s should actually be called Shoefessions.

that's totally true;) | Running humor, Running, Running workouts

1. I runfess…

I went to our local running store to buy more Gu.  The cashier asked me if I needed any running shoes.  It was hard to refuse but I said “No, because you don’t carry Topos.”

And he replied, “We just started to but they are not displayed yet.”

Well, you know the rest of the story…

Do you have a hard time resisting buying new running shoes in a store?

2. I runfess…

I have several types of Topos – actually 3 (FlyLyte, Ultrafly and Magnifly).  They are all wearing out at the same time because I alternate them.

I was tempted to buy another pair but I also wanted to try the two types that I don’t own – Phantom and Cyclone.

Do you buy the same shoe or do you like to try different ones?

3.I runfess…

So the salesperson brought me the Phantoms in grey and the Cyclones in sky blue.

I didn’t like either of the colors. In fact, the color choice for Topos are really lacking.

In the end, I asked them to order both in white (ok, at least it’s neutral and I do not have any white shoes.)

Does color matter to you when choosing a running shoe?

4. I runfess…

I usually only buy shoes online if I have run in them before.  I like to try them on in the store to see if they are comfortable and run in them.

However when I went to the shoe to pick up my shoes, I was pressed for time. So I just grabbed them and left.

Do you buy you shoes online or do you try them on in the store?

5.I runfess…

My plan was to run in both pairs and then decide which pair I liked, if any and return one or both.

Well, I liked both. The Phantoms are heavier and have more support so good for longer time on my feet. The Cyclones are light and airy so better for short runs and short races. So I kept them both.

My justification: Saved $$ on gas not going back to the store, had $25 & $5 coupons for the store and at work, if we participate in Virgin Pulse and get $100 each quarter (Mar, June, Sept, Dec).  IOW, that second pair was free!!

Do ever buy TWO pairs of running shoes at the same time?

Happy Running! Anything to runfess or shoefess 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 blogs.


You are invited to the
Inlinkz link party!

TT: Running Solo

The topic for today is: Benefits of Running Solo

Although my preference is running with a group, it is not always possible. 

There are some benefits to running alone too:

  • You choose your pace.

You can run slow or push the pace.  You can walk when you feel like it or just stop and take photographs. No pressure.

leisurely run in Washington Park

  • You can be flexible with regard to time and distance.

You can wait for the rain to stop or change your mind and run in the evening rather than the morning, You can cut short your run or if you feel like it, you can extend it.

too hot for 3 miles

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3 mile planned run but too pretty to stop

  • You choose the location.

You can leave for a run right from your house or from your workplace.  No driving to a scheduled location is necessary.

just running in the ‘hood

at Ualbany which is near where I work

  • You can be spontaneous.

You can decide to go for a run on a new route

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or do speed drills at a track.

  • You can listen to music or a podcast or do a Peleton workout.

Just put on your headphones and zone out to your favorite tunes or podcaster or Peleton instructor.

I use AfterShokz wireless headphones now!

  • You can just be alone with your thoughts.

or just plan your day or figure out a solution to a problem or maybe just appreciate nature

running on the rail trail

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during a scenic run in Schroon Lake

Happy Running! Do you often run solo? If so, what benefit(s) does it offer you as a runner?  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 7.19.21-7.25.21: Race Week

It feels good to say Race Week.

But actually it was just a 5k that I registered for on a whim.  Still it was a race.

With no days off this week, I had to work in the office for three days – Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

We’ve had record rain fall in July and the threat of rain most days continued this week as well.

Last Week:

  • Monday – Woke up to rain… AGAIN! (Wondering if I should build an ark.)

Back in the office so not much activity except for a drizzly lunch Starbucks walk around the mall

and then in the evening when my Freihofer Training Challenge (FTC) group run was scheduled.

The rain had stopped and it warmed up for us to run. I ran with two runners a not so easy 3 miles.

  • Tuesday – A busy work day at home but it was a rest day.  I started the day with a short walk.

the sky was hazy (from the forest fires out West) but the sun was amazing!!

And ended it with a long walk after with my friends. We again had to deal with the threat of thunderstorms.  But we got it done before the rain!!

  • Wednesday – Back in the office and the weather cooperated for a Starbucks/lunch walk. Finally a breeze and low humidity.

just love the colors of these petunias everywhere

After work, no ice cream run this week but instead the SOAR group run was offered at the new Electric Rail trail. I had run there before and it was not my favorite (uphill, no shade) but I hated to turn down the opportunity to run with other ladies so I went. Glad I did, of course. I made a few new friends and although it rained in many places, we stayed dry!!!

  • Thursday – Working from home today but too busy to run. So after work, I quickly ran a few miles

and then met Barbara to carpool to tonight’s ARE weekly Trail run. This week it was held at Indian Ladder Farms.. Grass, trails, hills and dinner after. A good time was had by all.

it was mostly fast walking but the miles count in my book lol

  • Friday – Our running group had a Moonlight Paddle scheduled that had to be canceled (flooding) so I decided to add in another short run before my mah jongg game.

Since I was in the office, I had planned to run at UAlbany.  Just like old times. But a friend asked me to run with her on the rail trail… so I met her there to run. There will plenty of UAlbany runs when I go back to the office full-time.

  • Saturday – LONG RUN Saturday was changed to a walk for me and then cancelled. Due to rain in the forecast for Sunday (and my race), I decided to go up to the lake with the hubby instead.

such beautiful flowers in this town

I did get in a walk around town but for the most part, it was sitting and reading and relaxing in the sun. Ahhhh!

the weather was perfect and even finished my book

  • Sunday – Race Day! FASNY 5k.
    I can’t that this was a good race or a successful one.

but the rain did stop and I liked the course.

(More details to come in a later post.)

I loved running n the beautiful park so that was the highlight of the morning.

this was also a big farmer’s market there with delicious treats.

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday –  FTC run
  • Tuesday – rest day, walk with friends
  • Wednesday – Ice Cream run
  • Thursday – ARE Trail Run
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday – LONG Run
  • Sunday – rest day, boating/hiking

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Running Solo
  • 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? Have you been experiencing summer temps where you live? Any vacations planned? Please share.

FFF: Returning to Racing

There was a LONG drought in racing due to COVID-19.

Some runners resorted to virtual racing. We know it was not the same but it helped with our mojo.

Virtual 5k with Cari, Kim and Deb

Others started back early when there were still restrictions.

Many waited until they got vaccinated.

Others still have have reservations about racing again.

I ran two in-person races in November and December of 2020.

and 8 more so far in 2021 (and a 5k this Sunday!)

I was never nervous about in-person racing and trusted that all the precautions in place would keep runners safe.  But it is definitely more enjoyable now that restrictions have mostly been lifted. (Still I can’t wait until things are totally back to normal!!)

Here are some of my tips for getting back into racing:

1. Start by running with others.

For so long you were probably running alone. The first step is to reach out to friends and plan some group runs.

2. Do some consistent mileage during the week and a long run on the weekend.

Without any races on your schedule, you may have skipped some of your runs.  Go out and run at least twice a week.

Add in a long run on Saturday or Sunday but it doesn’t even have to be very long.  It should just be longer than your weekday run.

3. Talk your friends into joining you. FOMO is real.

Not all my friends are excited about racing. But I am lucky to have a few that I talk into my insanity.

4. Buy something new.

A new outfit or new shoes will perk up your racing mojo.

new shoes = PR?

5. Do Your Research and Pick a Race that you are comfortable with. And SIGN UP!!

Some races still offer COVID-19 precautions. Some more than others.

Everyone that I know who has returned to racing has not regretted it!!!!

so many smiling faces at this race!!

Happy Running! Have you returned to racing? If so, what tips do you have?  Please share.

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Welcome to Fit Friday Five! Please join the hosts Me (My First 5K and More), Running With AttitudeRun Laugh Eat PieRuns with Pugs, and Zenaida

and add your link below:

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

TT: Running With Groups

The TT topic for today is: Benefits of Running With Groups 

This one was easy for me because that is my preference and I am lucky to live in an area where I have access to many different running groups.

So here’s why I like to run with groups:

  • It’s fun and inclusive.

You’re never alone.  There’s always someone faster and slower than you. No one is ever left behind in group running.

  • You will be motivated to run faster.

My long runs with other runners are always faster than when I run alone.

  • You will be less likely to cancel.

Especially if you’ve paid for the training.  Or people are waiting for you. And even if the weather is not ideal, you will most likely show up.

  • You will make new friends.

You will then bump into them at races or make plans to race together.

we met at the Turkey Trot Group runs

fellow Freihofer Challenge groupies

  • You may run at a location that you normally wouldn’t choose.

I’ve run at parks and in neighborhoods that I had never been to before.

path near Knickerbocker Area

Indian Ladder Farms

  • It will prepare for better for race conditions.

Yes, no one ever runs races solo.

  • Chatting with others will make the miles go faster.

The funny thing is while we run, we rarely talk about running.  But after…a different story.

  • You may learn something new.

You’ll learn about new races or new gear and even get running tips.


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.

Happy Running! Do you often run with a group? If so, what benefit(s) does it offer you as a runner?  Please share.

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Weekly Run Down for 7.12.21-7.18.21: Will it ever stop raining?

After having rained almost part of every day last week, I was wondering if the same would happen this week.

Also as I have complained numerous times, we are now expected to work in the office at least three days a week.

But due to a day off, I only worked in the office on Wednesday and Thursday. A great way to ease back in. Next week will be the full three days.  Sigh.

Both my job and the weather make fitting in runs quite a challenge… but so far, so good.  (Remember I do not own a treadmill or belong to a gym.)

Last Week:

  • Monday – I had the day off from work. My original plan was to go boating yesterday, sleep on the boat and then do some hiking up there today.

We didn’t go boating yesterday as it rained last night and today.

Plan B?

Hiking in the rain… And re-visit some of my favorite waterfalls.

I lucked out on the first hike. It rained on my whole hour drive out but stopped once I arrived in Canajoharie.

at Winter Green Park

Since the rain had stopped, I decided to drive a half hour further to Owen D Young Nature Trail (my all time favorite place with at least 15 waterfalls).

As soon as I arrived, it started to pour.  I left my poles behind and grabbed an umbrella. And I had a wonderful time.

trails, waterfalls, caves and lots of mud

I had to rush home since this evening was my first Freihofer Training Challenge group run. I am an ambassador for this race so I need to participate to support them.  I chose Monday night because it was the only night that I was free. And I joined the intermediate group since the Advanced group this year only met on Thursday (my Trail group night.)

I’m the one in the green cap lol

Obviously I was tired from hiking but excited to meet up with new and old running friends. It was raining and I was very tempted to bail. But I went and happily the rain stopped.

And guess what? Two of the women wanted to be in the advanced group as well so we will run together from now on.

the purple shirt is dedicated to a mentor that died this year. Purple was her favorite color and she was also a STEM mentor (the team color is purple as well.)

  • Tuesday – I woke up to rain, Again! But it stopped early and I got in a lunch time run on the rail trail.

It was like running through a rain forest

After work, it stayed dry for a walk with my BFF at the outdoor mall (Oddly enough, it is where I walk when I go to the office.)

  • Wednesday –  Back in the office… trying to keep my lunch Starbucks walk streak

it was supposed to cloudy and rainy. instead it was sunny, hit the nearby woods for some shade (and bugs)

and then after work attend our Wednesday Ice Cream Run.

Of course, there was a threat of rain/thunderstorms. As soon as I got done with work, the skies opened up. It poured and poured. And so I waited and waited. Finally I drove to Six Mile Waterworks where the run was being held and sat in my car contemplating if I wanted to run in the pouring rain. Other runners were there and going to run so I decided that I would too. And then it stopped raining. It was muddy but I ran the whole thing (and didn’t fall this week.)

salted caramel cappuccino twist = yum!!

  • Thursday – Back in the office again. Since the trails would be very muddy after last night’s torrential rains, I decided to get up early and get in a few miles.

temps were cooler but it was sooo foggy and wet.

The lunch/Starbucks walk streak is still alive.

lots of pretty flowers around the office buildings

and this on the nature path:

After work, our weekly group trail run was held. Finally one with NO rain predicted. Yay!

I had tome to kill so I picked up my ambassador swag for the Freihofer 5k.  If you are interested in running it (even virtually), sign up here and use my code (ambdc10) for $10 off.

some is from last year…

This week’s run was scheduled at Tawasentha Park. Another very muddy run/walk. But so fun be with so many friends and other runners.

it was so hot and humid and very HILLY that we decided to walk the 3 miles.

It was Judy’s birthday eve so we had to celebrate with ice cream.

  • Friday – Working at home and a rest day.  My work schedule and my running schedule are definitely not in sync. But there was No ice cream and No Starbucks coffee and pastry. I call this a diet win.

REVIEW: Starbucks Iced Chocolate Almondmilk Shaken Espresso - The Impulsive Buy

Iced Chocolate Almondmilk Shaken Espresso = my new favorite

There were several walks and evening mah jong with the girls.

  • SaturdayLong Run Saturday with my peeps. My plan was 9 miles and run some of these with others and then brunch after. Of course, rain was predicted for morning and thunderstorms for the afternoon. Oh joy!

It did not rain but was warm and HUMID.  And thanks to friends, I got it done.

1 mile w/Barbara, 1 mile w/Jenny, 2 miles w/Debbie and the rest solo (and cheer on Jenn on her 15 miler.)

  • Sunday – In between raindrops, I was able to squeeze in a nice hike.

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday –  FTC run
  • Tuesday – rest day, walk with friends
  • Wednesday – SOAR run
  • Thursday – ARE Trail Run/walk 
  • Friday – AM run, walk, mah jongg, moonlight paddle party (with running friends)
  • Saturday – LONG Run rest day, walk, boating or hiking
  • Sunday – FASNY 5K race + more miles

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Running with Groups
  • Friday – Getting Back Into Racing

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 you been experiencing summer temps where you live? Any vacations planned? Please share.

FFF: Highlights of the Olympic Trials

Schedule and Results: 2021 US Olympic Track and Field Trials - LetsRun.com

Believe it or not, when the Olympics are on TV, I prefer to watch gymnastics and swimming.

But this year, as a runner, I decided to watch the track events on the Olympic Trials. (Even you go to bed early, you could have watched them all on YouTube.)

And they sure did not disappoint.

Now I am even more excited for the Olympics.

Revised) Tokyo 2020 Olympic Timetable for Track & Field, and the 400-200 Double

Here are some of the things that stood out for me:

1. The Heat.

Yikes. 100 degrees temps. Many events postponed to earlier when the temps were cooler.

Competitor Faints At Olympic Trials Due To Extreme Heat | The Daily Caller

However, the women’s 5000m final did go off in 94 degree heat.

Um, 50 degrees is my ideal temp for running.

Kudos to those runners for running in these temps and doing so well.

2. Longevity

Allyson Felix made her fifth Olympics team. What an amazing career she has had (and two kids along the way.)

She is an inspiring woman runner.  Will she retire or go for #6?

What We Learned From Day 3 of the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials - The New York Times

3. New Roles

Former 2008 and 2021 Olympian, Kara Goucher did not compete but instead she was a commentator for NBC.

Kara Goucher won't race U.S. Olympic Trials, report says - OlympicTalk | NBC Sports

And she was great. I really enjoyed her intelligent and knowledgeable remarks.

Olympics: NBC hires Goucher as distance analyst | Duluth News Tribune

4. Good/Bad

Rio 2016: 'Olympic spirit' illustrated by Nikki Hamblin, Abbey D'Agostino after fall on track - ABC News

The Good: Abby Cooper ran the Olympic Standard in 5000m in her comeback (Remember her 2016 collision and subsequent knee surgery.)
The Bad: The next day Abby only came in 4th and does not get an Olympic berth in the 5000m.

2021 Olympic Trials - Abbey Cooper Hits the 5,000-Meter Olympic Standard

5. Sad News.

Sha’Carri Richardson won the 100m.

2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials - Day 2

Then she failed a drug test (for marijuana) and will not be able to compete in the Olympics.

The Undefeated on Twitter: "Nike is sticking with its athlete, Sha'Carri Richardson, after she tests positive for cannabis and is disqualified from competing in the Tokyo Olympics' 100m race. (Via @aardodson)… https://t.co/7AfguC0OYJ"

One extra – Fashion:

Emily Sisson had to drop out of the Marathon trials but redeemed herself winning the 10,000m wearing a pair of her husband’s Goodrs. (My favorite sunglasses).

us olympic track and field team trials

Christina Clemons made her first Olympic team in the 100m Hurdles and wore a pair of Doritos earrings. (I like Doritos too)

us olympic track and field team trials

Happy Running! Did you watch the Olympic Trials? If so, what did you enjoy most??  Please share.

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Welcome to Fit Friday Five! Please join the hosts Me (My First 5K and More), Running With AttitudeRun Laugh Eat PieRuns with Pugs, and Zenaida

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Firecracker 4 Race Recap

              July 4, 2021 9:00 am

Most of my weekend running friends usually run this race.

if you read my weekly run downs, you may recognize a few of these runners

I never have joined them because it’s always hot, the race is crowded and I’d prefer to head up to the lake early.

For some reason, when I went to Fleet Feet to pick up new shoes, they offered a $5 discount for the race and $5 coupon for the store.

I’m a sucker for discounts and I signed up!! I also have not run in Saratoga in a while and I’ve always enjoyed running there.

I was hoping that some of my running friends would sign up too but if not, I knew there would be many others there who I knew.

Then I had to break it to my hubby as it would interfere with our lake plans.

pic from 2018

It wasn’t exactly boating weather so he was cool with me racing.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

It was fun to plan a patriotic race outfit (and hope it stayed warm and dry.)

red white and blue tank, skirt and socks

To save time on race day, I picked up my race packet at Fleet Feet on Thursday before my evening trail run.

The weather during week preceding the race was crazy – oppressive heat and humidity and then rain rain rain rain. Who knew what race day would bring? The forecast was for cool and rainy….

It was weird to run on a Sunday instead of a Saturday and to not do a weekend long run.

I actually walked on Saturday while my friends ran

The only constant was pizza the night before the race lol.

Race Day:

My last race was also a 4 miler (I won my AG and had a PR).

But this race was going to be more crowded, more competitive, and hillier.  I was only planning to enjoy running with others and the excitement of a live in-person race. No finish time and award goals at all!!

I ate my usual oatmeal and coffee breakfast. Thankfully, the heat wave had ended (and hopefully all the rain).

I planned to leave early because I had no idea where to park. But my friend Heidi offered to meet me and drive us.  She wanted to leave from Leah’s Cakery (4 exits before the race) at 8:10 am. Of course, if you know me, I like to get to races early. I was planning on being at the race by 7:45!! But I agreed and hoped that we would not be sprinting to the start line.

It was raining lightly on my way to meet Heidi. But she was right.  We easily found parking on the street and arrived in plenty of time for the 9 am race.

We walked toward the start…

We passed the finish line and made plans to meet there after the race.

Then of course, we took our obligatory pre-race photo.

glad that I wore a tank since it was quite humid. Those DIY arm sleeves did not last on long.

And then we mozied on down to the start area. It was cool to see how creatively everyone was dressed for this July 4th holiday race.

Although the race director had hoped to get at least 3000 runners, there were only about 2000. Still it was my largest post pandemic race. And the first one without anyone wearing a mask or social distancing rules  enforced. There was not even a staggered start.

Everyone just lined up together. There was so much excitement in the air. Live racing rocks!!

Heidi headed toward the back since she was recovering form an injury and running slower. I stayed toward the front and chatted with some runners that I knew.

As I mentioned, I had NEVER run this race so I was planning on going with the flow.  The only thing I remembered hearing was that there was a BIG hill during mile 4.

course map

elevation according to my Garmin

Mile 1:

As I mentioned, this was a crowded race. The bottleneck at the beginning slowed me down which was probably a good thing as I always start out too fast.

We began running down Broadway which was a slight downhill but eventually we did hit a hill before we turned left and ran past Congress Park.

It seemed like everyone was passing me by but when I glanced at my watch, it showed that my pace was under 9 minutes!!

Mile 2:

I was surrounded by runners the whole race. Several times I bumped into runners or they bumped into me.  Maybe I forgot what it was like to run a big race.

As we ran through neighborhoods, spectators enthusiastically cheered us on. One group sprayed us with a hose. I wasn’t super hot but it was humid and so it felt good.

There was a water stop and I did stop at it. They gave you a bottle of water. I and most runners, drank a little and then threw the bottle away. Volunteers had to spill out the water from each bottle. Such a waste but hey at least we didn’t have to carry our own water.

mile 2- never saw that photographer

but at least I WAS running lol

Mile 3:

We ran into a few rolling hills during this mile but none too bad. There were many different groups playing music. That was a nice distraction.

Saratoga is such a pretty town. I enjoyed running through its streets.

I was surprised that there was a second water stop since the race was only 4 miles. I did appreciate it and I took a bottle of water again. This time I walked longer. I felt a little dizzy and so I took a Gu (not for hunger but for the electrolytes.)

Mile 4:

I was warned about the steep hill in the last mile. And it did not disappoint. I was wishfully thinking that I could run up the whole thing.

Nope! I had to walk at least twice.

The best part was the ice pops that were handed out. I ate one as I continued to run up the hill very slowly.

Finally I spotted that big American flag which meant we were approaching the finish line.

I sprinted as fast as I could at this point. I saw 36:xx on the clock as I crossed the finish line and was pleasantly surprised.

I do remember trying to beat the guy with the stroller. Did I stop my watch too soon??

Done!!!

Post Race:

I immediately went to grab a bottle of water. The only refreshments were bananas and so I grabbed one and ate it while I was waiting for Heidi to finish.

I really enjoyed watching so many of the runners finish, especially those that I knew. I also got to admire all the patriotic outfits.

I chatted with a Holly, a runner that I used to race with all the time. (She ran the race but is suffering from a congenital blood disorder 😦 )

Eventually Heidi did arrive and she did much better than she hoped as well.

I checked the website to see if I won an age group award. Nope. 4th.  Not disappointed at all. In fact I beat Carolyn for the first time EVER in a race.

It was now starting to rain so we headed toward the car.

We decided to have brunch back at Leah’s where I left my car.  But it was closed for the 4th. Plan B was Lakeside Farms and a scrumptious lunch!!

On the way home I was feeling a little energetic or so I thought. I stopped at the Zim Smith bike path to see how many more miles my legs could still go.

The sun came out and my legs protested so I quit.

Additional Race Reflections:

I didn’t expect to enjoy this race as much as I did.  I also didn’t think I could run as well as I did.

I felt that I could have done better if I didn’t walk as much(but I always say that AFTER the race.)

But probably the most important factor was the weather.  Not much sun, a misty rain on and off and temps in the 60s.  Pretty perfect for running on a July 4th.

Positives:

  • Ample parking (parking garage and street parking)
  • Well marked course.
  • Lots of familiar faces.
  • Interesting course.
  • Friendly volunteers.
  • Music entertainment along the course.
  • Volunteers calling out times at each mile.
  • Enthusiastic spectators (sprinklers and ice pops)
  • Easy and organized packet pick-up on Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sun.
  • Real restrooms before and after and ample number of port-potties
  • Two water stops for a 4 mile race.
  • Free photos.
  • Awards (3 deep) for 5 year age group awards
  • Weather (not as hot as earlier in the week and fairly dry)
  • A real race.

Negatives:

  • Bottled water at the water stops (COVD safe but most was wasted)
  • Post-race refreshments (again COVID safe – but just bananas)
  • Steep hill at mile 4

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. Yes. Yes. I loved it.  I hope that I can make it work and run it again another year.

Final Stats:

It was a 12 second PR!!!!!!!!! And the course was longer and hillier than the Rabbit Ramble.

As you can see below, I’m still the Queen of the Positive Splits.

At least my pace was more consistent than the last race.

2 waterstop walks and two hill walks.

Next Up:

A new 5k on July 25,

2021 FASNY Hudson 5K Run/Walk

then another new 5k on August 8,

and a 10k on August 14.

 I ran the 5k in 2017


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.

Happy Running! Did you race on July 4th? Did you run or race this past weekend? Any in-person races on your schedule yet? Please share.

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