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.


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.





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.


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:


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? 


Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series 5k #7 Race Recap

August 14, 2109 – 7:10 pm

If you follow my blog, you know that I often get sent to NYC for work.
Usually, I just try to squeeze in a run on the East River, Hudson River or in Central Park.

Well two years ago, I found a race!!!!

Apparently during the summer months on alternating Wednesdays at 7:10 pm, there is a cheap ($7.50 – if you sign up for the whole series, each race costs only $5) 5k in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. These races are organized by the Prospect Park Track Club. I ran one that July and had a great time.

I was excited that they were scheduled again last summer and the first two races coincided with the dates that I would be working in NYC. I ran both of them.

Unfortunately, this summer a few of my trainings got cancelled and I was only in NYC to run the last one of this 5K racing series.

Here are some of the perks of these races:

  • Bag check
  • Bathrooms (real ones!)
  • Water before, during and after the race
  • Chip Timing
  • Marker at each mile
  • 5 year Age group awards ceremony after the race
  • Results immediately emailed to you
  • Free photos

So it seemed like a no brainer to run any of these races if I could.

Here is a cool video of the course:

Again I had to work all day in Queens (getting up at 5:30 am and being on my feet until 4 pm). I would have to rush to take the subway, then the LIRR, walk to my hotel and change my clothes and then take a LONG subway ride to Brooklyn.

At least this year, I was pretty familiar with the route and knew that I would make the race on time (unless there were snafus with the transportation.)

The problem was the weather. Very humid and it looked like rain. I brought an umbrella just in case.

I actually for the first time exited the train station at the right exit. Right near the entrance to the park nearest the race start

But it was pouring!!!

So I entered the park and followed the signs and wondered why I was crazy enough to do this race.


I was pretty early and it wasn’t crowded at all yet. They moved moved bib pick up and bag check indoors.

As I mentioned in my previous recaps for this race, it was strange to be at a race and not know a single person.

I sat outside at a picnic table under an umbrella.

I just had a banana and some water and waited til it was time to head to the start line hoping that the rain would stop.

the race was dedicated to a runner whop recently died

Eventually runners started arriving.  There were probably close to 500. And rain did stop. But it was warm still in the high 70s and incredibly humid. Felt like a sauna.

I was feeling exhausted. Sleeping in a hotel is not ideal and I had gone to bed too late the night before.

Still here I was running a 5k at 7:10 in the evening. Crazy lady, I know!

Night races are tough for me. My only goal was to run well and finish uninjured. There are not usually many older runners so I had a good chance as in previous years in winning my age group.

I noticed an older runner in a local race shirt. It was from a race that I had run several times. Yes, he was from my area and works in the city several days each week. We chatted for awhile and then headed toward the start line.

You pass the finish line on the way to the start.

We all lined up.  No corrals or pace signs.  Just everyone all together.  It didn’t matter because believe it or not, this small local race was chip-timed.

Since I had just run a similar course in June, I knew about the big LONG hill during mile 1.

As I mentioned previously, there are usually runners of all ages who all look like “runners” and the finish times are incredibly fast. A little intimidating.

I started running the first mile. My legs felt like lead. And then I got to the hill, I tried to run up it and it was tempting to walk but I managed to drag myself through it slowly.

Mile 2 was better but I was so hot. So I stopped at the water stop and walked a bit.

Every who passed me by looked they had gone swimming. Even I was dripping wet from the humidity.

By the end of mile 3, I was crashing. I tried to finish strong but I just had to walk. And walk again.

I did not have enough energy to sprint and barely finished under 29 minutes. My slowest 5k in a few years.

But under the those miserable conditions, I was not disappointed in the least.

I was a little dizzy and went directly to get water and sit down.

Then that local runner that I met before the race finished and we walked back to bag check.

They posted the results. I did win my age group (as I was the only one in my age group.)

I really didn’t want to hang around to get a medal but I did since I think it’s rude when runners don’t.

Race Splits
mile 1- 9:31
mile 2 – 9:08
mile 3 – 9:11
.14 – 7:52


I never look at my previous race times until after the current race.

2017 – 27:52
2018 – 28:24, 28:02
2019 – 28:48

As you can see, no course PR this year.

Though it was very late by the time I got back to my hotel, I did enjoy my Brooklyn 5k!! And I felt better after the race than before.

I plan to run these races again next year if my work dates match the race dates.

There is now 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! Ever fun a race while you are traveling for work? Do you try to improve your times on the same course?

Yes, You Will Get Slower…

Illustration: Christoph Hitz

It’s inevitable.

Those PRs will stop coming.


That depends.

  • How long have you been running?  They said you only improve during the first 10 years of running.
  • How old are you now?
  • How hard do you train?  Do you even train?
  • Are you a natural athlete? Does running come easy to you?
  • Do you race often or just run for fun?
  • What kind of races do you run? Short ones or endurance races?
  • Have you had many chronic injuries?
  • Have you had a serious injury?
  • Do you participate in other fitness activities besides running?
  • How many miles do you run each week?
  • How many rest days do you take each week?

In other words, there’s really no way to predict when or how fast or even how much you will SLOW down.

But unfortunately, it will happen.

So how do you know it is happening?

  • You struggle to keep an even pace.
  • Your race finish times are slower.
  • You positive split your races.
  • You walk more often in a race.
  • It’s just feels harder.
  • It takes longer to warm up.
  • It’s takes longer to recover.
  • You need more rest days.
  • You shorten your runs.
  • You choose flat races or running routes.

Of course, even if you are noticing some of the things above, you should still RUN!

But what are some things that you can try when you do start SLOWING down.


We all know that pace is relative. You may feel slow but you are not the slowest runner out there. In addition to making you think too much about your own pace, it may make others (who ARE slower) uncomfortable.


5ks naturally make you focus on speed. Pick an endurance event like a half marathon or marathon or even a 50k where you will be just glad to finish.

This hilly 15k had me just looking forward to the ice cream and the view after the finish line.


If you run half marathons and a decent pace is getting harder to maintain in the latter miles, try training for a 5k or 10k.  Maintaining a faster pace may be less intimidating in a shorter race.

after training for 4 half marathons in 4 months, this 5k was a welcome relief.




Many runners find that adding timed walk breaks help them get faster finish times.

My friend Elizabeth in NYC belongs to a Galloway group and loves her intervals.


Monitoring your heart rate as you run can also in the long run help you get faster.

My friend Deirdre is getting faster with heart rate training.


You will not run faster on trails. You will most likely focus on not falling and on your surroundings. (Trails tend to be more scenic than the road.)  As a result, your slower pace will bother you less.


What about adding biking or swimming or obstacles to your running? As with trails, your running pace will become less important.

not me but my friend AJH


Forget about trying to finish under a certain time. Maybe your goal can be a course PR or consistent pace or negative splits or running up the hills or walking less often. Just make sure that you choose a realistic goal.

finishing a half marathon STRONG!


Besides, being very rewarding, you will not be able to worry about your own pace. You will be trying to help another runner finish their first race.


If the runners that you normally run with are not slowing down and they make you feel slow when you run with them, then you need to seek out another group of runners.  Check out the local running clubs or training groups.  Try to find another runner or runners that you feel more comfortable running with.

always someone to share the miles with in this wonderful group of ladies – my Sole Sisters.


If racing is making you stress out about your slower pace, stop signing up for races.  Run for fun and maybe after a while, you’ll miss it and want to race again.  But remember, you are still runner even if you never race.

So you may be wondering where this topic fits into my running life….

I’m in that limbo stage.  I am probably past my PR days but haven’t come to terms with it yet. In other words, PRs are harder to come by but I haven’t completely given up hope yet.

I’ve stopped having finish time goals.  They are now to finish uninjured.  Though, I’d love to run ONE 5k and finish under 27 minutes. (An old runner can dream).

I am very content that my finish times at my age often earn me age group awards and that I qualified for both the NYC Half and NYC Marathon.

I do all my runs for fun, without a watch and on mostly flat surfaces.  I have started participating in trail runs and humbly enjoy running with the BOTPers.

I do plan to keep on running as long as I am able…even at a turtle’s pace.

Happy Running!  Anyone else approaching or have approached that inevitable slow down period in their running?  If so, any other recommendations? Please share.

Spicing Up Your Running

Image result for variety is the spice of life

We cannot do anything about the hot weather but what can you do to add excitement to your running despite of the heat?

So here’s what I do (recommend):

  • Run in a NEW PLACE.

It is so easy to get in a rut. We open the door and go for a run. Or we run near where we work. It’s fast and simple. We are busy people.

Recently I ran at Thatcher Park.  I had never been here. My running seemed effortless because I was just looking around at the scenery.

  • BUY something NEW to WEAR.

It doesn’t have to be Skirt Sports. Buy a new pair of shoes, a hat or even socks.

I know that we all probably have more running clothes than we can wear and this stuff ain’t cheap.

So I found this cheap pair of compression sleeves at Amazon for $9.95.  They made me smile – that and my goofy friends.


It doesn’t have to be challenging like a marathon.  What about a one mile race? Or a 4 or 5 mile race if you’ve never run one.

I am actually running a 8 mile race

and a one mile race in August.

Both are NEW distances for me.


That could mean do a Duathlon or a Triathlon or something you’ve never done before.

For me, it meant running with a group on a trail.

I didn’t fall. It was fun. I enjoyed it.  Who knew?

  • Download NEW MUSIC or a NEW PODCAST.

It’s always exciting to change up what you listen to.

I recently started listening to the soundtrack to Hamilton.  Soooo good.

Image result for hamilton soundtrack

I have a few new podcasts that I want to listen to as well.

Image result for runners who wine podcast

this one was recommended to me

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! Happy Running! What have you done NEW with your running this summer?



Running Playlist

I do have a music playlist but lately when I run alone, I listen to running podcasts.

Image result for podcasts ecard

So here’s my current favorites:

  • Run This World– this one is done by Nicole DeBoom who is the founder of Skirt Sports. Her podcasts last as long as the average 5k run (that’s what she says but many are much longer) and her guests are so varied and yet motivating. Each one ends with the guest’s “nugget of advice.”

Image result for run this world podcast

I recently listened to one with Kara Goucher on running a marathon as a normal (not elite) runner.

  • I’ll Have Another I love listening to Lindsay’s guests – she interviews mostly women – some are well known but many are not. And they all have a story to tell (about running.)

Image result for i'll have another podcast

I just listened to her interviewing Becky Wade who wrote a book called “Run the World” where she shares all about her experience; what she learned from 9 of the countries she spend the most time in and some delicious recipes from the trip. I loved her book.

  • Another Mother Runner – The Podcast – The host is Sarah Bowen-Shea but Dimity is often on it as well. I’ve met these two women in person and they are so entertaining. It’s no surprise that their podcasts are as well. In addition, to stories about their own running and families, they share their love of reading.


One of my more recent listens was the Father’s Day episode with Meb.  Such a humble guy considering his elite status as a runner.

  • Ali on the Run Show – I’ve always loved her blog and I’ve enjoyed all the guests that she has interviewed so far. The podcasts last over an hour so I’ve used them during my long runs. She also has added some shorter ones for weekday runs.

Image result for ali on the run show

I recently listened to an interview by Dave Willey, the former editor of Runner’s World magazine. After 14 years at this job, his life has changed drastically.

  • Diz Runs Radio – He has recorded almost 750 podcasts.  And I can’t believe how fast he talks lol.

In addition to interviews with runners, he also hosts Q & A sessions.

I’ve only listed to a few of his podcasts (just so much time) but the ones I’ve  heard were so inspiring and many of his guests were just ordinary runners like you and me.

So besides the ones that I listen to, here are some more that have been recommended for runners:

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! Do you listen to podcasts while you run? Do you have any others to recommend? Please share.


Silks and Satins 5K Race Recap

silks and satins logo

July 13, 2019 8:00 am

When I first started running, this race was one of my favorite 5ks. I ran it in 2008, 2009, 2010.

in 2008 – my first year of running

in 2010, this is where I met AJH for the first time (I was wearing shorts back then.)

It’s funny how things have changed. AJH was trying to convince me to run a longer race. Since then I have completed 37 half marathons.

My 5k time back in 2010 was 29:34.

After 5 years off (from this race), I ran it again in 2015. And my time was 28:41. So things hadn’t changed that much (but I started to wear running skirts instead of shorts).

I enjoyed this race so much that I re-added it to my summer racing list and ran it again in 2016, 2017 and 2018, lowering my finish time each year. (28:27, 27:37, 27:28)

Would I again this year???

Here is the map for the course that I ran the past 3 years:

15 turns in this course!!

The race started at 8 am. That meant that I had to get up at 5:30. (And I was out late with friends the previous evening.)

Unfortunately, I didn’t sleep well and woke up with a stiff neck, headache and nausea. I really didn’t feel like racing but I had told my friend Laurie that I would meet her there so I felt like I had to go.

I felt better after my coffee but still not great. But off I went around 6:15-30.

This being the opening weekend of the Saratoga Flat Track, believe it or not, there was already a lot of traffic at 7 am. I was glad to have left early and found parking in a nearby lot. (I was careful this year to park in the correct lot. A few years ago, I almost got towed.)

The pick-up area was behind the barn on the corner of Case & Mitchell.  I picked up my bib and shirt and then went back to my car and watched the horses work out for a bit.



There were close to 500 runners at this race (I think there had been more in previous years.). So I bumped into quite a few familiar faces.  This is one of things I enjoy most about racing…its social element.

The weather was warm … around 70 at the start but not quite as warm and humid as it has been earlier in the week. I just hung around and waited for Laurie. In the meantime, I bumped into another Skirt Sports ambassador and my neighbor.

Laurie eventually arrived and we headed to the start together.


We stood not too far back and waited.

And then we were off. Laurie took off fast. I did not.

pic from last year’s Saratogian

It seemed like everyone was passing me by…because they were. My legs felt dead. Well I had run 6 miles on Wednesday and a hilly trail run on Thursday.  Oops.  My plan was to have negative splits anyway. Besides, I really felt lousy.

But my biggest problem was the SUN. There was very little if any shade on the course.

By the second mile, I was starting to struggle with my breathing. It was warm but I have run in higher temps. It was the sun. And it was sucking the life out of me. Plus, I felt like throwing up.

nothing exciting about the course…just around the neighborhood – pic from last year’s Saratogian

I tried to run in the shade when there was shade and run the tangents (all 15 of them). I had planned to walk at the one water stop at the halfway point. And I did but for probably too long. At this point, I knew that I was not having a great race.  And it didn’t matter.

By mile 3, I was really fading. I walked one more time but only briefly.

I tried to get up enough energy to sprint through the finish line. My Freihofer and Turkey Trot coach was at the finish line (his company timed the race) and he would be expecting me to finish strong.

I crossed at 28: XX.

I felt very shaky and grabbed a bottle of water and sat down.

I was not even hungry (which is odd for me after a race).

pic from last year’s Saratogian – NO watermelon this year

They posted the results pretty quickly. I was shocked that I won in my age group (You know, it’s not speed but who shows up).

Laurie waited with me for the awards ceremony,  I got a nice medal. It always feels great when you win an award (even if you didn’t run well.)

All in all, this was a fun race. Besides all the turns, the race course is pretty flat. It is well-organized. You get a free ticket to the race track (I hope to use it later this summer). Plus it raises money for a great cause (Special Olympics). So I plan to run this race again next summer.


mile 1- 8:46
mile 2 – 9:09
mile 3 – 9:19
.14 – 8:02


Positive splits. And almost a minute slower than last year.

After the race, I would normally have driven to Saratoga State Park and add some more miles for a long run. But as I mentioned, I had run my 6 mile long run on Wednesday so I drove to join my running friends at brunch (after their long run).

There is now 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! Did you race this weekend? Do you have a big race coming up? Please share.