Surf Town Half Marathon Race Recap

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SEPTEMBER 8, 2019 7:30 AM

It seems like I’ve been planning this race forever. My college roommate (travel partner, maid of honor) retired and she and her hubby re-built their house on the water in RI.

Last year, she invited me to visit and mentioned that there was a half marathon not far away. But I had already signed up for the Montreal Rock n Roll Half Marathon.

So this year, I did run the Surf Town Half Marathon as my 38th Half Marathon for these reasons:

  • An opportunity to visit an old friend.
  • I never have run in RI.
  • I needed a long run as part of my NYC Marathon training.
  • I found out that bloggers Kim and Michelle were running it.
  • It was advertised as a “relatively flat course.”
  • It was a scenic course with ocean views.

Half Marathon Training:

If you follow my posts, you also know that I am not strict about following a training plan.  I ran my last half marathon in May.  Then in July, I started a 18 week training plan to be ready for the NYC Marathon on Nov. 3.

As with my half marathon training, I did not really care about my week day runs. They were usually 3-4 miles. However, I did try to do longer runs on the weekend.

So I actually was not training for this half but preparing for Nov 3. Technically I was scheduled for a 15 mile run but just adapted the long runs to make this work.

The goal for this half marathon was finishing!! Not to race it and not to get injured!!!

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

I learned some valuable lessons about pre-race prep during a previous race-cation — rest the legs and fuel adequately the day before the race.

So I drove to my friend’s house in RI (3 1/2 hours). We had lunch on the deck and then went for a walk to the beach (and not a long one).

and then we drove to the race start so I could pick up my bib.

We spent a relaxing evening watching tennis, eating pizza and watching the sunset.

I got together my usual race outfit and went to bed around 11 pm.

skirt sports tank and skirt, legendwear leg sleeves, goodr glasses, mizuno shoes, reebok hat – endorsing all the brands lol

Race Day:

I brought my usual race breakfast of oatmeal and coffee with me and got up around 5:15 am.  My friend also got up and she decided to drive me to the start.

The race started in and finished near Misquamicut State Beach, a half-mile-long beachfront area that’s one of the state’s more popular summertime beach resorts, just a few miles south of the town of Westerly.

Since there was only one road to the parking and one entrance to the parking lot, with over 1000 runners, my friend was afraid that I would get caught in traffic.

I was very appreciative (but it turned out not to be necessary.)

We left at 6 am and encountered no traffic.

When I got there, there were already runners there but not yet Michelle and Kim.

It was a little chilly so I put on my DIY arm sleeves and hung out at the beach watching the sun come up.

While waiting, I used the port-a-potties and checked a bag (a jacket and Oofos flip flops for after the race.)

Soon Kim arrived. Then Michelle (who ran a mile before the race.)  It was very exciting to meet them in the flesh.

We chatted a bit. All three of us were using this race as a training run for as part of our full marathon plan. They were both training for Chicago.

We got separated at the start (but had planned to meet after the race anyway.) I wound up chatting with a few runners who were also training for Chicago.  And while I was running, I met a couple training for NYC as well.

Once the sun came up, the temps warmed up. (Those arm sleeves came off quickly.)

I’ll do my best to recap the race below. (Warning: it’ll be long…)

My plan, as usual, was to stop and walk briefly at every water stop (so I wouldn’t get dehydrated) and to stop and walk longer to eat a GU at every other water stop.  I planned to walk whenever necessary (hills) and NOT RACE it.

note the distance is not 13.1

Anyway, here’s how the race went:

I did not find this until after the race. I went into it thinking it would be fairly flat.

Miles 1-4:

9:41, 9:37, 9:51, 9:44

We started the race on Atlantic Avenue, right outside the entrance to Misquamicut State Beach, and headed first northeast along Atlantic in the direction of Weekapaug.

This was the flattest part of the course. But the sun was in our faces and pretty strong. I was getting worried about the temps getting too warm.

Just after passing the mile 2 marker, we turned right off Atlantic and onto Wawaloam Drive, which will bring them along a stretch that looks out onto the rocky beaches of Weekapaug.

I loved all the water views during this race.

There was a water stop and I made sure to stop for a drink and walked a bit.

This stretch along the beachfront lasted for about a mile as Wawaloam becomes Spray Rock Road, and then we followed the turn left onto Taylor Lane and then again onto Chapman Road to complete the loop through Weekapaug.

This supposedly flat course now seemed to have rolling hills. A few other runners joked about this, as well.

I was trying not to look at my watch at all but unfortunately, there were clocks at almost every mile.

And as you can tell, I was running TOO FAST!!

Miles 5-8:

10:30, 10:14, 10:26, 10:58

The course re-joined Atlantic Avenue right after we passed the mile 4 marker, and then headed back in the direction of Misquamicut Beach.

At the 2nd water stop, I had my first GU and walked longer than the last.

Fortunately, it was getting cloudy and it stayed this way for most of the race.

We next headed southwest along the route that we started the race on but going in the opposite direction, heading down past the cottages and beach homes that line either side of Atlantic Avenue on their way through Misquamicut and past the Atlantic Beach Amusement Park, toward Maschaug and Little Maschaug ponds.

Several times during the race, I passed or got passed by some of the runners whom I chatted with at the start. They yelled “Go NYC” and I yelled back “Go Chicago.”

Before reaching the ponds, however, the course turned right on Lawton Avenue and headed north, taking us  up to Shore Road, where we turned left and headed west again for about a mile along Shore Road before turning onto Watch Hill Road.

More rolling hills but it ain’t called Watch Hill for nothing (BTW: Taylor Swift has a house here.)

I kept up my plan to walk at the water stops and ate a 2nd Gu at mile 8.

The houses or should I say mansions were amazing to look at out.  I tried to focus on them as I was struggled with my feet (as usual).

Miles 9-13.25:

10:08, 10:23, 11:03, 10:52, 10:24, (.25 – 9:32)

The next stretch of the race unfolded for nearly two miles along Watch Hill Road in the direction of the village by the same name, which lies at the end of the island, just off Little Narragansett Bay.

More water views which made me happy. More hills. Not happy.

Mile 10 had the biggest hill of the course. So steep that it was hard to even walk up it.

I continued my slow down during the 2nd half of the race. I stopped at each water, had my last Gu and walked several more times. Partially because I had run the first half too fast and also because I kept reminding myself that this was a training run and it would be stupid to get injured at this point.

We looped through the neighborhoods and waterfront areas here, passing by Watch Hill Cove at the easternmost point of the course, on the way to turns on Westerly Road, Ninigret Avenue and Ocean View Highway.

COURTESY STEVE LAUGHLIN PHOTOGRAPHY

Once we were on Ocean View, we followed it for about the next mile and a half to the last couple of turns in the race, which were Bayberry Road and Maplewood Avenue, eventually leading in to the finish line on Atlantic Avenue. (where we started the race but coming into it from the opposite direction.

I did my best to pick up some speed at the end and sprint through the finish line (and smile).

I crossed at 2:16:XX.

(My Garmin said 13:25 miles!!)

I was not surprised at my time. I had been ahead of the 2:15 pacers most of the race and then lost them during the last few miles.

After getting my medal and some water. I headed to the beach for the obligatory post-race medal pic.

Then to bag check to put on my Oofos and to get some food.

My stomach was not feeling great post race and the food options were a banana, chocolate milk and clam chowder.

I ate the banana with some chocolate milk. But clam chowder?? Everyone I talked to agreed – UGH!!!!  No way!!! I took a spoonful and I thought I would puke.

So instead, I went to check my time and found out that I came in 2nd in my age group. I know I’ve won many awards but they are always special. I was happy!!!

a cool award – preferable to another medal

Then Kim texted me to say that they had finished and were heading my way.

We hung out and chatted until my friend arrived to take me back to her house.

Additional Race Reflections:

The Good:

  • Easy packet pick-up.
  • Lots of parking.
  • Sufficient number of port-a-potties (never saw a line).
  • Sufficient number of water/Gatorade stops) – 1 had Gu but I missed it.
  • Bag Check. Easy pick up at the end.
  • Well marked course.
  • Free Massages
  • Free stretching by PTs.
  • Clocks at each mile.
  • Pacers.
  • Very cool medal.
  • Very cool age group awards.
  • Chocolate milk at the finish.
  • Great weather.
  • Beautiful course.
  • Nice swag if you wanted to buy (shirts, jackets, magnets, Goodrs).

The Bad:

  • Expensive Photos.
  • Color of the race shirt (pukey green).
  • Post race refreshments – no chowder please! how about a bagel?
  • The course was a little long.
  • Hill at mile 10.

The Ugly:

  • Nothing 🙂

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. It was well-organized and the course was scenic.

Final Stats:

I have yet to figure out how to negative split a long race.

My finish time was slower than than my previous three half marathons. (2:13:03, 2:11:15 and 2:16:01). But not a bad time and it was a training run, right?  Definitely not complaining. No injuries. No post race discomfort.

Next Up:

A local race. Another training run (and post 7 miles to make it my 20 miler!!!)

Image result for hannaford half marathon

 October 13, 2019


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.


I’m linking also up with Coaches Corner–Debbie and Marc.

and Wild Workout Wednesday with Nicole, Annmarie, Jen, and Michelle.

Happy Running! Ever run this race? Which do you prefer – flat or scenic? Do you run half marathons as training runs for a full? Please share.

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Friday Five – Running & Dieting

It’s Friday so I’m linking up with Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostess and visit some other bloggers.

As I listen to podcasts and read blogs about fitness and running, two topics often pop up.  Weight and Pace.

I am just as guilty as the next one in talking about both.

It dawned on me that there are a lot of similarities in wanting to LOSE WEIGHT and wanting to RUN FASTER (these are only in MY OPINION not based on anything else):

1. Quantity Matters

  • In other words, if you have 50 pounds to lose,10 lbs come off a lot quicker than if you only have to lose 10 lbs.  (This I know from a contest among my tennis friends).
  • If you start off running a 40 minute 5k, you can shave 3-4 minutes off your finish time easier than a runner who starts out running a 30 minute 5k.  (This I also know from experience too.)

2. The Plateau

Yes, it happens.

  • You take off some weight and then it stops.  No matter you do, it’s hard to drop more. In fact, you may even gain some back.
  • You get faster and faster and then all of sudden, you do not.  Your finish times stay about the same and for some races, your time is slower.

Frustrating, right?

3. Comparisons

Yes, everyone makes them. It’s normal.

  • You compare yourself to others. “I wish I was as thin as…”

You compare yourself to you at a different time.  “I wish I was thin like when I was …. years old”

  • The same goes with running.

You wish you were as fast as someone else or as fast as you used to be.

4. Harder as You Age

  • Our metabolism slows down. You naturally gain weight as you age.

I am at a heavier weight than ever and I am more active than ever.

So it goes.

  • As you get older, your pace will slow down. There’s no formula for when this will happen (it depends on how long you’ve been running) but it will happen.

That is life.

5. Over Sharing and Social Media

Blogs, Facebook, Instagram.

  • Sharing of weight loss journeys.  Buff bodies, etc.
  • Running photos, finish times, paces for runs.

Again I am not being critical because I am guilty of this too.

6. Not Satisfied rather than Grateful.

Wanting to improve is a good thing.

  • So wanting to be at a healthy weight is great.

The negative is focusing too much on body image and how you look.   (Thank you media.)

  • Wanting to be a better runner and to challenge yourself is also admirable.

Running faster is not what running should be about.

This rings home to me right now as I have two running friends to undergoing treatment for cancer.

You need to be grateful that you are healthy and that you are able to run.

no pics in this post so I have added one of my current favorites.

Happy Running! Does any of this ring home to you?  Do you think there is too much emphasis in blog posts on running pace and weight/dieting?

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Weekly Run Down for 9.2.19-9.8.19 – Race Week

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A short work week but I was in NYC AGAIN!!! And then off to RI to visit an old friend (college roommate, travel buddy, maid of honor) and to run a Half Marathon.

And NYCM Training continues, of course.

Last Week

  • Monday – I had planned to either race a 5k or volunteer but for once I didn’t register early.  It rained on and off all day. Instead I took a rest day to do fun things like laundry, errands, cleaning.  More tiring than running…
  • Tuesday – Off to NYC by train. I had planned a rest day and a movie but I didn’t run on Monday and the weather was awesome so I decided to run and postpone the movie. Started around 50th and ran uptown along the Hudson until 96th and then headed into Central Park. Eventually walked back to the hotel.

  • Wednesday – Long work day with rain predicted. As usual, no rain so ran a bit on the High Line

and then went to the movies.

Brittany-runs-a-marathon-Movie-HD-Poster-and-stills-2.jpg

A fun flic especially for someone like me who is training for her first marathon and like Brittany, it happens to be NYC. But it was not as much about running as about how it changes your life.

  • Thursday – Day 3 of work and running. Pooped but managed to run to meet Cari and Elizabeth for dinner. And saw the most amazing sunset. How lucky am I?

3 miles run to Pier i

Then I walked all the way back to my hotel.

  • Friday – No run due to the train home after work and then to unpack and re-pack. Engine broke down on the way, had to return to Penn Sta and then no power…3 1/2 hours late returning home 😦
  • Saturday – Long drive to RI to visit my college roommate, Valerie. She recently retired and built a big house on the water and has been wanting me to come see it.  She alerted me that it was 20 minutes from a half marathon in September. Last year I was running in Montreal, but this year..no excuses (except the timing with work stuff sucked).

sunset views from their deck and a few blocks from the beach

  • Sunday – Race Day – Surftown Half Marathon. I had planned to run this race before I signed up for NYC Marathon so it then changed to a training run. Good thing because it was hilly but still it was a beautiful course. And I got to meet two fellow bloggers – Kim & Michelle.

I ran the first half too fast and the 2nd half too slow but still ended up with 2nd in my AG

Afterward we went to Newport and walked around.

didn’t buy the shirt…just posted as a joke

Friday Five and Ultimate Coffee Date for September

It’s that time of the month…

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

1.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that the logistics for my first marathon – NYCM are set.

  • Hotel for Nov 2 & 3 – booked (free with pts)
  • Train to NYC on Nov 2 – booked(free with pts)
  • Bus home on Nov 4 – booked ($1 megabus)

On August 1, I battled the website and signed up for my baggage and transportation.

Who knew it was this complicated?

I chose the Poncho as recommended instead of post-race bag check.

Image result for nycm poncho option

And I picked the 7 am bus to the start instead of the ferry.

Related image

I’d love to take the ferry to watch the sunrise on the Hudson River but after you arrive in Staten Island, you still have to board a bus.

Just seems easier to walk to the NY Public Library from my hotel and take ONE bus to the start.

If you have already run NYCM, which options did you choose and did you make the right decision in the end?

2.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that traveling with my job is picking up.  That will be making my mid-week mileage quite challenging.

3 miles instead of 6

But it is what it is.

Hopefully, the weather will cooperate in the next two months so at least I get complete all my long runs.

Anyone else keep their weekday runs short (or even skip them) and concentrate only on long runs when training for a big race?

3.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that last two weeks while I was working in NYC, all my friends at home were seeing Hamilton locally.

FOMO.

I could see it on Broadway since I’m there so often but I’m always running!!

I finally broke down and bought a ticket.

Can’t wait!! (And Marathon training will be over!!)

Have you seen this show?

4.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that tomorrow I am running a half marathon in RI.  I had planned to run this race at some point because my college roommate built a home (on the water) nearby.  But I couldn’t go until this year….and then I signed up for my first full marathon.

So it will just be a training run. It should be hilly but have beautiful water views.  Perfect conditions for relaxed 13.1 miles, right?

Anyone else run a half marathon and use it as only a training run?

5.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that for work I went to NYC three times in August (5 days, 3 days and 3 days) and this week, as well (3 days).

I ran a race in Brooklyn, ran along the Hudson and East Rivers and in Central Park.

Then there’s nothing there for me until the NYCM on Nov. 3.

So of course, I signed up for a 10K race on Oct 5.

Do you have a favorite city to run or race in?

One more for good measure –

6 .Over coffee…

I’d tell you that a few weeks ago, I ran along the Hudson River in NYC so I could see the GW Bridge and the Little Red Lighthouse.

thanks @travellingcari

I learned that a book was written about it.

Children’s books are the best!

Ever buy a children’s book?


It’s also Friday so I’m also linking up with Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostess and visit some other bloggers.

Happy Running! Got anything to spill? Share it here!
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August Report Card

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I haven’t assessed my month of running since November. But since I am halfway through training for my FIRST marathon, I thought I take a look back.

Here’s how the month went:

Weekday Runs:

Despite the hot temps, humidity, intermittent thunderstorms and many trips to work in NYC, I was able to run 3 times each week. For the most part, they were only 3 miles but occasionally they were longer.

Our local running club organizes trail runs on Thursdays and I did participate when I was in town. Though there was more walking sometimes than running, it was a lot of fun.

I was lucky to meet up with fellow blogger Cari during my trips to NYC. As in trail running, there may be been a lot of chatting and picture taking instead of speed. But totally enjoy our time together.

Long Runs:

I am roughly using the Hal Higdon Novice Marathon training plan and did my long runs on Saturdays. I am fortunate to have a great bunch of running friends to accompany me on most the miles. I also am able so far to vary my routes – Corning  Bike Path, Zim Smith Path, Delmar Rail Trail and Nisky Bike Path to name a few.

Total Mileage:

100 miles this month.  Woot! Woot!  I haven’t had this many miles since…. I can’t remember!

I am still behind on my 1000 mile yearly goal. But the important thing is that I am feeling healthy so all is good.

Races:

I love to race and had planned to race more than I did.  I DNSed on a One Mile Race and was away for a 5k.

I still did run 3 races – a 8 miler and two 5ks.

All three were on hot and humid days so no PRs or even course PRs. Grateful to be running and winning age group awards nevertheless.

Cross Training:

What is that?

No tennis at all this summer. Sad about that.

I may have hit the gym once or twice. (or maybe not)

I did walk a lot!! During those NYC trips.

I did go hiking once too.

Other News:

Despite all my work travel, I was able to squeeze in some friend, family and hubby time. 

Boating on Lake George almost every Sunday! The weather Gods were nice to me this summer.

A weekend away with my tennis friends, a few dinners out with friends and a day at the race track with a former co-worker. I feel blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life,

I also read quite a few books (train travel and Sundays on the boat afforded me the extra time). My favorite was:

Educated

Feeling healthy so Life Is Good.

(Fingers crossed that it stays that way until Nov. 4.)

Looking Ahead:

  • Half Marathon #38 (Surftown)  – September 8. 
  • Grete Gallop 10k  –  October 5.
  • Half Marathon #39 (Hannaford) –  October 13.
  • NYC Marathon – November 3.

Trying NOT to click Register on a few other races that I normally run. Choosing to do a Long Run rather than a race is tough for me.  

All in all, it was a good month.  

Adding in some strength training, tennis, yoga and more hiking would make it even better. (But I think I need to retire to do it all. Darn work!!)


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

Since today is Tuesday, I’m also linking up with these ladies.


I’m linking also up with Coaches Corner–Debbie and Marc.

Happy Running! How did your November turn out? Anything exciting planned for December? 

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Weekly Run Down for 8.26.19-9.1.19: Where is my home?

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In NYC last week and Schroon River over the weekend. Now back in NYC this week and next… followed by a weekend in RI…

Where is my home?? I’m exhausted …

But I’m halfway in my NYCM Training. 9 more weeks to go!!!!

Last Week

  • Monday  – Back in NYC for work. Got done early so I ran along the East River (in the direction that I don’t normally run) and then back to my hotel.

Cari stopped by my hotel and she suggested that we run along the Hudson to Wagner Park to see the sunset and the Statute of Liberty. Never a bad run with a friend and these views. Great running weather too!

  • Tuesday – After work, I went back to the East River and ran farther than the day before since I had never run along this section of the river before. Always nice to take different routes. Again perfect weather.

  • Wednesday – A rest day after a long work day and then a train ride home after work.
  • Thursday – Back home in time for the last ARE trail run of the season. A new trail for me and a run with friends. Dinner with friends after as well. Can’t beat it.

at Indian Ladder Farms (known for apple picking and cider donuts)

  • Friday – Day off from work to spend the day at the Saratoga Race Track – an annual tradition with my former teaching buddy. We’ve gone 34 out of 35 years (she had a baby one July). We start off with breakfast and watch the horses warm up and then stay for the races. Didn’t win much but had a great time.

  • Saturday – Long Run Saturday. 12 on my schedule. The group picked the Nisky Bike Path. I ran 2 solo miles. Then 4.5 with Sherry and new running friend Deb and the final 5.5 miles with Deb. Afterward, we joined the others for brunch at a new place.

yes that tasted as good as it looks.

  • Sunday – Boating Sunday, of course.  The weather was much better than predicted (no rain, just a little cool) and rain was predicted for Monday so I got in a few miles before we left to go boating.

wish I had more time and energy – have not run here at all this summer

Every year, Lake George has a celebration called Christmas on Log Bay – lots of boaters & music to raise money for charity.

Then in the evening, there’s a boat parade (boats decorated for Xmas) and fireworks.

viewed from our boat at the marina

Friday Five Runfessions for August

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 was raced obsessed again this month. Three races but TWO races in ONE week!

  • August 14, a 5k in Brooklyn
  • August 17, a local 5k

(I came to my senses and DNSed a one mile race on Aug 19. Good thing, I was in NYC working on Aug 21 so I couldn’t run another 5k.)

Anyone else ever run more than one race in a week?

2. I runfess…

I am still confused on the shoe/foot issue.

One day the pain is gone. One day for no reason, it is back.

I’ve gone back to wearing my neutral Nikes for short distances. Sometimes they are fine. Sometimes not.

wore them for my 5k here

Then I added my insoles to my new Mizunos for long runs and they felt better…sorta.

10 mile run

Anyone wear different shoes for different distances?

3.I runfess…

Last month I bought a new Garmin, a 230 but I have yet to try it. Still doing my weekly runs naked and my races with my Garmin 205.

Anyone else hesitate to make technology changes or when you buy a new watch, do you use it right away?

4.I runfess…

Every year, my tennis friends and I go to NYC to see a Broadway show.

I do the organizing so I picked this show:

Image result for hadestown

won a Tony for best musical

and got group tix for October 5.

Yup, this 10k race is why I chose Oct. 5.

Do plan races when you visit another city? Anyone else running Grete’s Great Gallop?

5.I runfess…

I used to play tennis almost everyday and on numerous teams. Then running came into the picture and tennis no longer seemed to fit.

2010 was the last year that I seriously competed o a tennis team

I thought I didn’t miss it but I watched tennis at the Aurora Games and last weekend, I hung out with my tennis friends. And now the US Open is on TV.

Yup, I do miss it.

Has running replaced any other activity in your life?  Do you think that you will ever stop running?


It’s Friday so I’m linking up with Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostess and visit some other bloggers.

Happy Running! Anything to runfess this month? Please share.

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