Malta 5k Race Recap

VIRTUAL Malta 5K & 10K presented by GlobalFoundries Registration Page

September 11, 2021

This race used to be one of my favorites. Not because the director, Paul Loomis, reads my blog or that my stepson works at Global Foundaries, one of the sponsors of the race. But because of the easy parking, indoor restrooms, post race chocolate milk, generous age group awards, lots of familiar faces to run with and its flawless organization.  For these reasons and more, I kept coming back.

This was my 6th time running this 5k. So you can say that I was familiar with this course. However, I haven’t run the race since 2016. And now they also added a 10k.

The course itself is not very exciting…you are running around chip plants but the loops let you see the fast runners and all those runners that are behind you twice during the race. And though there are a few uphills and downhills, it’s basically flat so no complaints.

For my first two years of running this race, I was recovering from injuries (a broken ankle and then a broken foot.) I finished in 29:53 and 29:49 and was thrilled with a sub-30 minute time.  In 2014 and 2015, I was healthy and so I improved my time to 28:47 and 28:56. Finally I got a course PR in 2016 and finished in 27:30.

However, my hope for the race this year was to finish uninjured and have enough in the tank to run more miles after the race. (My next half marathon is 3 weeks away!!!)

After 5 years off, I had no PR dreams as old age has set in. lol. But if the other old ladies didn’t show up, I could maybe win an AG award.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

Due to work and other stuff, I did not have time to run at all on Thursday or Friday.  But at least I did a run on Monday and Wednesday.

My legs felt pretty good in spite of being only a week after running 13.1 miles. (Maybe those FOUR rest days helped.)

Packet pick-up was on Thursday and Friday at the local Fleet feet store but it wasn’t worth the long drive so I decided to arrive early and pick it up on race day.

Race Day:

The forecast was for cooler weather and sunshine.  Perfect running weather for the second weekend in a row. Hope this is a trend.

I got there early to get parking and did get a spot in the parking lot right near the exit.

As I mentioned, it is very well-organized – signs for the race, indoor and outdoor bathrooms  (Masks were required if you entered the indoor facility.)

Race day packet pick-up was between 7-8 am. You received a State Farm bag with shirt (if you paid an extra $10), running cap, & Hannaford water bottle.  I opted not to buy a shirt.

PPU was normally set up inside but today it was outside due to COVID restrictions.

The 5k race started at 8:30 am (15 minutes after the 10k.)

I walked around to shake out the legs. There was food, drinks and freebies set up.

This was a welcome sight:

There were many more runners than I had expected. I bumped into many that I knew.

three frequent 5k racers (Holly, Nancy & Alice)

Finally we headed to the start line.

I left my friends and moved up.  Not to the front with the speedsters but not far back either.

Mile 1:

There were no corrals but social distancing (and masks) were encouraged.

As usual, I tried to start out slow out probably didn’t.

The course goes straight for about 1.5 miles and then loops back.

Mile 2:

After we passed the mile 1 marker, I looked down at my Garmin and realized that it never started,  I debated whether or not to run without it but in the end I started it (about 1.1 miles)

Halfway through this mile we turned right and ran uphill. Not a steep hill but they always feel hard to me.

This part of the course is nice because you get to see the faster runners and then you loop back and see the slower runners.

the other pix were after the race… you can see me on the right in this one during the race

It was downhill for a bit until we turned.

Mile 3-3.1:

As usual, I was petering out. Since I had no idea what my time was, I wasn’t motivated to run hard. So I walked.  Then I got back my energy for a while until I neared the finish line. Ugh! I walked again.

That gave me the ability to at least to sprint through the finish line.

I was surprised to see 28:XX.

The 10k runners got a medal. The 5k runners only got one if they were under 12.

Post Race:

The refreshments were outside this year. I grabbed some milk and fruit and chatted while waiting for the results.

Heidi whom I ran with at the Run for the Roses 5k

The last time I ran this race (in 2016), everyone got a small bottle of champagne and a gift card to a restaurant.  For 2nd place, it was to the Recovery Room and for $50.

This year there was no awards ceremony and if you won an award, you had to pick it up at the local Fleet Feet store.

I came in 3rd in 10 year age groups.

one second behind 2nd (but this is why I love 5 year age groups)

It was getting warm but I decided to change shoes and shirt and check out the 10K course.  Boy am I glad I didn’t run it. The last few miles of the 10k were uphill the whole way.

After about 4 miles, I had had enough.

I drove one exit south to the Zim Smith Bike Path and parked at Leah’s Cakery.

But instead of running on the bike path, I ran in the town. So cute. The best idea!!

only 2 of those miles were here but it was 9 miles for the day.

Though there was a a lot of walking during those last 6 miles, I still rewarded myself with quiche and a brownie.

Additional Race Reflections:

I was pleasantly surprised with the turn out and also with my time.

I’m pretty sure I would have done better if I had started my watch. I most likely would not have walked twice during the last mile if I knew how well was doing. I’m also pretty sure that my faster finish time was weather-related.

Oh well, there will be more races.  Just happy to be to out there.

Positives:

  • Ample parking.
  • Well marked course.
  • Varied park scenery.
  • Virtual option available.
  • Both 5k and 10 options.
  • A no shirt option (at a lower cost) but you still got a cap.
  • Discount provided if you ran the virtual 2020 race.
  • Participant manual provided several days before the race.
  • Indoor restrooms
  • A real race.
  • Flatish course.
  • Immediate results.
  • Medals (and cold brew coffee) to 10K finishers.
  • Medals to 5k finishers 12 and under.
  • Chocolate milk.
  • Many familiar faces.

Negatives:

  • No water stops (COVID restrictions)
  • No awards ceremony (COVID restrictions)
  • 10 year age groups
  • No medals to 5k finishers over 12.
  • Lack of speed work (my fault).
  • No pace recorded for miles 1.1 (my fault)

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. Great organization. You may be able to PR for the 5k but the 10k would be a challenge.

Final Stats:

Splits:

for the last 2:04 miles of the 5k

Next Up:

Another 5k on Sept 25

and then a half marathon.


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

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

runner-sig

Race 4 The River Half Marathon Race Recap

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With most of the local races either cancelled or virtual, Albany Running Exchange had been scheduling COVID Safety Plan approved races.  I completed a half marathon in November 2020 and in April 2021. Both of these races were held in hilly Altamont, NY.

In March I ran their five mile race and then in May a point-to-point 10 miler.  Although the weather did not cooperate, the course was along the river and the bike path, mostly flat or downhill and in Schenectady, NY.

So I signed up for the Race 4 The River Half Marathon as my 51th Half Marathon (45th if you don’t count the 2020 virtuals) for several reasons:

  • It was a ‘real” race.
  • It was local and I could sleep in my own bed the night before.
  • It was local so I would know a lot of the runners.
  • I was familiar with most of the course as it was similar to the 10 miler than I ran in May.
  • I convinced some friends to run it too.
  • It was advertised as having a Net Downhill Course and FREE BEER, Food, and LIVE MUSIC

Half Marathon Training:

If you follow my posts, you also know that I am not strict about following a training plan. But I do run 3 miles several times during the work week. All my weekday runs are mostly group ones.

And on the weekends, I try to do my Long Run. Usually most of my miles are with one or more of my running friends. However, some shorter races did interrupt my mileage (as I mention below).

The logistics were also complicated for this race. Either you parked at the start and got a ride back to your car after the race or you parked at the finish and got a ride to the start (or pay for the shuttle).

My preference was to park at the finish (even though that meant getting up earlier.)

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

Usually on the weekends, I do run 10 miles. But this month I skipped a few in favor of a vacation and racing.  It’s amazing how quickly the endurance that you built up leaves.

I picked up my race packet Friday evening

and carb loaded on the usual pizza and debated about what to wear the next day.

It was supposed to be cooler and less humid than any of my previous races. I hated to jinx it but the weather seemed perfect!

Yup, the usual Skirt Sports tank and skirt with Zensah compression calf sleeves

Race Day:

I got up around 4:15 am on Saturday morning (ouch) and was on the road by 5:15 for my 40 minute drive to race parking.

The race started near Mabee Farms at 7:30 am and ended at Schenectady Community College (SCCC).

I parked my car at SCCC, the finish for the race.  I had almost signed up for the shuttle so I wouldn’t have to worry about getting back to my car after the race.  However, my friend Karen offered to drive me and the others (Alyssa, Sherry, Stan) to the start if someone would drive her back to her car after.  I accepted so that I wouldn’t have deal with masking and walking to the shuttle.

I met everyone at 6:00, left my car in the designated parking lot and we drove to the start which was about 15 minutes away.

There was plenty of parking in the grassy lot.

We were very early so we had time to walk around and sightsee.

It was a little chilly so we hung out in the barn.

We also noticed that in addition to porta-potties, there were REAL restrooms (always a great perk.)

Finally, it was time to head to the start. So we parted with our jackets and checked them at Bag Check. I ate a Honey Stinger Waffle (since it was already hours since my breakfast.)

The race started at 7:30 am. There were no waves, just instructions to social distance.

This was a FIRST annual race so there were no reviews to read. I had hoped that when they said it was a flat/downhill course, they were not lying.

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course map

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and elevation

Sorry to be a broken record about not training well. But it was summer and my goal for races these days is FINISH happy (that is not injured and ready to do another.)

Miles 1-3:

The race began near Mabee Farm Historical site. The first mile headed west, mostly on Route 5S. We ran along the road and fairly soon connected with the Erie Canal Bike Path.

In other words, the canal was on our right and most of the race was run on the path with water views. I ran the first mile with Alyssa and Karen. We chatted and chatted. It was great catching up since I don’t run with them often.

My legs were feeling good so I ran ahead caught up to an old friend, Elisa. More chatting which made the miles pretty painless. She is faster but slowed down because she was planning to run about 7 more miles after the race.

The scenery was pretty. The Mohawk river changed to being on the left.

The first water stop was a little after mile 3 at Pattersonville Bike Path parking on 5S.  This was my first walk break.  I used my paper cup (as I did in my previous in-person cupless races).  That waffle kept me going and so I decided to wait on my Gu,

Miles 4-6

Most of the race is a blur. I was feeling pretty strong. Soon Stan caught up to us and the three of us ran together until mile 9. I’m not sure I ever ran a whole race with someone but it was a lot more fun than running alone.

Around mile 5, I finally got hungry so I stopped to eat my Gu (trying to eat and run slowly) and walked again at the second water stop little before mile 6 at Iroquois St/Bike Path.

Miles 7-10

The course was pretty flat and shady for the most part.  The temps were rising. I was glad to have worn a tank and skirt. The third water stop was around mile 8 at Kiwanis Park. I walked again. This time longer.

Around mile 9, some annoying hills appeared. Maybe there weren’t big hills and I was just getting tired. I tried to run up them but it was more like a slog.

At this point, my lower back started to ache and I waved Elisa and Stan ahead.

For the first time in the race, I was running alone.  And I was walking more and running slower.

Miles 11-13.1

The final water stop was around Mile 11 at MH Bike Path lot. I ate another GU – Chocolate Smores.  Ugh! This flavor made me very nauseous!!

Elisa had slowed down and Stan ran ahead. So I continued to run with her.

I hadn’t considered winning an age group award but at mile 12, my competition (Joan) passed me by (She wound up 4th in 10 year AG awards anyway.)  For a millisecond, I thought that I should try to pass her but nah, no reason.

Elisa and I continued together on the bike path until Schenectady Community College.  We raced each other through the finish line…and she beat me!

I was so happy to have finished that I didn’t care.

Stan had already finished. Soon Alyssa and Karen finished. Then Sherry.

And finally El.

So group picture time…

Post Race Activities:

We grabbed our lunches and I headed to my car to change clothes and shoes.

not bad… but unfortunately none of us felt like eating right away.

There was a band, beer, food, etc. at a restaurant nearby. There was a shuttle but since it was only .2 miles, we decided to walk.

By the time we got there, we were hungry.

there was also pizza, warm pretzels, fried artichokes ordered as well

We stayed for several hours listening to the band and chatting…about running, of course.

Additional Race Reflections:

This was a first annual race.  Many of the other local races are still cancelled so this racing company has been trying to hold a few races. I am so glad they are. It was so fun to be out there and soak up the racing atmosphere again.

Positives:

  • Ample parking at the start and finish.
  • Real restrooms at Mabee Farm
  • Bag check
  • Well marked course.
  • Varied scenery including river views
  • Shuttle to the start (if needed).
  • Flat course.
  • A real race.
  • Well organized.
  • A lot of pre-race information.
  • Decent Post-race food.
  • Cool medal.
  • Free Beer
  • A real race.

Negatives:

  • Cupless water stops.
  • 10 year age group awards.
  • No photos.

Would I recommend this race?

Yes.

I liked the course. It was well-organized. I bet more runners sign up next (if COVID ever ends.)

Final Stats:

Splits:

Walking definitely slowed down my pace the last few miles.

All in all, I was very happy with how I ran the race.  My splits were more consistent than usual.  But also the early miles were much slower than usual. Given the flatness of the course, I could have probably run faster but you can’t talk if you run fast. lol

Not expecting a PR and faster than my last five in-person half marathons.  I need to be realistic…maybe those faster half marathon paces will not happen again. (But hey, I’m not giving up…)

Next Up:

Two 5ks and another Half Marathon.


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! Have run a real race yet? If so, how did go? Are you planning to run one? Please share.

runner-sig

 

2021 Workforce Team Challenge Race Recap

CDPHP Workforce Team Challenge to Return in 2021 - CDPHP

August 26, 2021 – 5:30 pm-Altamont Fairgrounds

The CDPHP® Workforce Team Challenge is a 3.5-mile road race open to teams of employees from corporations, businesses, government agencies, educational institutions, not-for-profit corporations, and financial institutions. Participating companies, organizations, and agencies use the event as a platform to provide health and fitness opportunities in the workplace while promoting goodwill and camaraderie among their employees.

This race normally takes place in May at the Empire State Plaza in Albany on a similar course to the old Freihofer course. It sells out early with a cap of 10,000 runners.

At my former job, I ran this race once (in 2011), the only year I convinced them to have a team.  It was fun so I signed up to be part of a team at my new job five years ago. We didn’t actually have enough runners for our own team so we partnered with UAlbany. I ran it with this team the last two years, as well.

I enjoyed it and it was a good way to get to know others where I work

So COVID happened and last year’s race was cancelled.

This year, they scheduled it but postponed it from May until late August.

They also changed the venue.  No longer in the city of Albany but the course would be on the hills of Altamont. There would also be a staggered start and start an hour earlier:

5:30PM – Wave A (Males 24:30 and under)
5:40PM – Wave B (Females 28:00 and under)
5:50PM – Wave C
6:00PM – Wave D
6:10PM – Wave E
6:20PM – Wave F

Many post-COVID races have taken place here due to the openness of the start/finish area and the wide country roads.

I got an email at work that the team we had previously run with was not organizing a team. So instead we joined a new team (SUNY System Admin.) There would be about 25 of us (a few others opted to run the race virtually.)

Pre-Race Preparations and Activities:

If you read my blog, you know that I have a half marathon soon (on Sept. 4) and that I have been running a few shorter races on the weekend.

3.5 miles is an odd distance but with running mostly 3 miles on weekdays, it should not have been a stretch.

The last 3.5 race that I ran was this one back in May of 2019. My time was a PR but on a completely different course.

32:56

Last June I did run a 4 mile race on a similar course in Altamont.

 36:38

I really had no goal but I assumed that my finish time would be somewhere between those two times.  Of course, weather could be a factor as well.

The predicted temp was 90 degrees with 90% humidity!!!!!!!!! Holy moley!

Race Day:

I was scheduled for wave C (5:50 pm).  But we were asked to arrive at 5 pm for a 5:10 group photo.

I was working from home that day so at least I would not have to decide what to wear in the morning and carry my clothes to work.  I did not know if we would have team shirts but I wore purple as I did the other years since UAlbany colors are purple and gold.

I also had to remember to bring a cup to fill up at the water stops (a COVID restriction).

Another issue was fueling. When and what do you eat for a race that starts at 5:50 pm?

So when I finished work at 4pm, I ate a protein bar and a banana and hoped that would be enough.

I doubted that there would be 10,000 racers but still, I left early in order to get parking.

We were emailed a map as to where to meet the team captain and get our bib and shirt.

Even with the map, I wandered around and had difficulty finding my group. I eventually did find them at the farthest point from the parking lot. They picked that spot because it was close to the start. I was now already sweaty.  Not a good sign.

Too far a walk to return to my car so I just hung out with the group (many of whom I was meeting for the first time).

We gathered for a picture and then waited to be called to the start line.

One of my co-workers is very fast so he started with the first group. We walked slowly to the start as to catch him going by.

Below is the published course map:

And the elevation chart:

yikes – HILLS!

Mile 1:

As you see from the elevation chart above, the first mile has some downhills. I needed to remember to start out slow so I would have energy to climb the hills later.

Plus I was sweaty before I even started to run.

Luis, my co-worker, wanted us to run together. He said that I would keep him slower at the beginning. I’m faster than him so I’m not sure how I should have taken that comment. But I said that we could try it and see how it goes.

I think we were neck and neck the first mile.  It was very hot so I tried to run slower and it wasn’t hilly yet…

But the sun was getting lower in the sky and so you were running most of the race with the sun in your face (and zero shade).  I wore my favorite Goodr sunglasses but there was a black spot in the middle of one lens (so annoying that I kept taking them on and off.)

Mile 2:

During this mile, the climb started.  And so did my walking.  Luis continued to run. He got ahead when I walked but I quickly caught up when I ran.

We were asked to carry our own water or bring a cup to re-fill at the water stop. I was assuming there would be one at least at the half way point.

Nope… no sign.  I was dying of thirst but continued to drag myself along.

At least with running along country roads, the scenery was pretty.

Mile 3-3.5:

We continued with rolling hills. I ran a little, walked a lot.  When I ran, I tried to run at a decent pace.

Everyone was so sweaty. It looked like the runners had gone swimming.

Finally around mile 2.75, there was a water stop and they provided cups of water (WTH?)  I drank two and walked for awhile.

I would see Luis ahead and finally he had slowed to a shuffle.

I managed to pass him (and asked him if he was ok. He responded HOT!).

The end was kinda a blur.  I remember someone spraying us with a hose. That was so needed.

There was somewhat of a downhill toward the end. I just wanted to finish at this point. We entered the fair grounds and I passed my friends volunteering at the results booth. They cheered me on.

I walked several a few more times after I passed them so I could sprint across the finish line as they called my name.

Post Race Activities:

I got a bottle of water and grabbed some food.

starved .. this did not suffice

Two of my running friends were volunteering at the results table so I headed there to check out my time and to make plans for dinner after.

happy to have survived this sweatfest

Then I walked all the way back to my car to change my shirt and shoes.  On the way, I saw that they were giving out popsicles to the finishers.  I grabbed one!!

sooo good!!!!!!!!

After changing into flip flops, I hiked back to hang out with my friends and to cheer the other runners to the finish line. Despite the heat, everyone was enthusiastic and encouraging.  That’s what I love about racing!!

Additional Race Reflections:

I’m sure this course and date were temporary and will go back to May. Hopefully more runners will participate next year as well. (less than 1K this compared to 10K in previous years).

You can’t do anything about the weather, so I’m happy to have taken it slow and I was feeling ok (and just sweaty) after the race.

Positives:

  • Safety restrictions in place (outdoors, staggered starts, post-race refreshments in a bag).
  • Ample parking.
  • Well marked course.
  • Lots of familiar faces.
  • Interesting course.
  • Friendly volunteers.
  • Popsicles.
  • Team tee shirt contest.
  • Team atmosphere.
  • A real race.

Negatives:

  • Hilly course
  • No shade
  • Water stop (at mile 2.75?)
  • HOT, HUMID weather conditions
  • Post-race refreshments (COVID?)

Would I recommend this race?

Yes.

It was well-organized. It will be even more fun when there are no COVID restrictions and it is scheduled in May on the original course. It’s a good way interact with fellow workers and meet workers that run whom you didn’t know before.

Final Stats:

This chart shows how often I walked after mile 1:

there were no awards besides Team awards. I did win my AG.

My team SUNY came in 2nd.

Next Up:

Half marathon #3 for 2021:

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I was hoping that I’d be better trained for this one…but it’s hard in the summer. The course, for once, is not supposed to be hilly and a cool down was predicted for the weather 🙂

However, I’m just happy that races are happening again and I am healthy enough to run them.


It’s Tuesday so don’t forget to link up with these wonderful ladies:  Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner).

TT: Tips for Beginner Runners

I’m skipping ahead to next Tuesday’s topic: Tips for Beginner Runners It’s been awhile since I started running (like 2008). I’ve learned a lot since then. And although I am not a certified coach, I have mentored and run with many beginner running groups.

So here are my favorite tips:

  • Join a group or a class.

It’s much easier than going at it alone.  You will make friends and a coach/mentor will help avoid form and training mistakes.

a fun 10 week program

  • If there is no class or group available to you, use the Couch25k app.

This app will guide through walk/run intervals and prepare you to complete a 5k.

The STEM group also used this app even though in a group

  • Sign up for a 5k race.

This will motivate you to do your runs and give you a goal.

if possible, one with a medal!

  • Buy good running shoes.

Go to a running store, if possible, try on a few shoes. Return the shoes if they are not comfortable (most stores will allow you to return your shoes.)

How to Buy the Best Running Shoes | GQ

so many choices…

  •  Even a bad run is better then no run at all.

Runs that suck will happen. Forget and move on.

oh well

  • Buy running clothes you look good in and that are comfortable.

I recommend breathable shirts and shorts/skirts with pockets.

  • Running is not an excuse to triple your intake of doughnuts.

Yes, runners gain weight too.  Try to eat a healthy snack (such as a banana) before you run and something with protein after (bagel, chocolate milk).

  • Add other forms of exercise to your routine on days that you do not run.

This could be walking, biking, hiking, yoga, strength training,

or going to the gym!

  • Don’t neglect and irritate your family and friends by spending all your time talking about running.

It’s only a small part of your life…though it may be one of the BEST parts.

Happy Running! What tips can you add to this list?  Please share.  runner-sig


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


I’m also linking up here:

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

Whipple City 10K Race Recap


After running three 5k races in 2021,

Bacon Hill Bonanza- 28:30 & AG winner

FASNY 5k – 29:29 (smiling because the torrential rain had stopped before the race)

Run for the Roses 5k – 29:21 – 2nd in AG – fun running with old friends (in spite of the HILLS)

I decided to tackle my first 10k of the year. This race was just an opportunity to run a longer race distance since I needed to be training for my Sept. 4 half marathon.

I had run this race as 5k with two friends 4 years ago.

27:30 – I was speedier back then

My goal that day was to keep up with my friend Holly and as you can see from the pic, she beat me!!

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

There was a long hilly 10 miler, then a hilly 5k race followed by some short runs.

Race Day:

I’ve given up checking the weather before the race but I’m sure it probably said chance of rain.

I ignored it and wore the usual summer outfit of a tank and skirt:

new outfit always gives me a boost – added of course, other shoes and rain gear just in case

I probably wasn’t thinking clearly because going to this race, which started at 8:00 am, meant that I had to leave my house at no later than 6:30 am.  According to Google, it was going to take 1h 9min.  There was another local race that started later and was only 20 minutes away. (Crazy lady I am!)

So I got up earlier on a Saturday than I do on a normal work day (Oh, the things we runners do…) and found the location with no problem.

It had rained all night and lightly on my drive but it stopped. The temps were already in the 70s and the sun was peaking out.  But the humidity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

yikes!

Bib pick up was inside the school and there were real restrooms there, as well.

gender-specific tech shirt

I was hoping that my friends would be here and I happily found them immediately. They chose to run the 5k (Smart ladies!)

I also bumped into someone from where I work who was running the 10K.  She lives in this area and I wished her luck since I thought that she would win it (and she was 1st female.)

I didn’t remember much about the race course but according the website: “The 5k race is a gentle upslope out and a quick downslope back, starting and ending in front of the Greenwich Central Middle School.  The 10k, which starts a short distance from the 5k start, follows the 5k course and then continues through the beautiful countryside over rolling hills.” 

According the chart below, mile 2 does not look fun!!

I had hoped to have a decent race. No goals since I hadn’t run a 10k in ages. I had also wanted to run 5 more miles after the race (per my training plan for my next half marathon.)

Most of runners were doing the 5k. I was hoping that the 10k was clearly marked since there were not many of us.

The 5k started near the school but for the 10k, we had to walk about 1/2 mile.

to the end of the street and then turn

I was sweaty by the time I got to the start. lol

Obviously it was a remote start…however that works.  They announced that it was hilly and that runners should pace themselves. They also apologized that the course was long. How encouraging….

Mile 1:

So off we went at 8 am (15 minutes before the 5k start back at the school.)

I tried to remember than this was NOT a 5k so I needed to start slower and conserve energy.

Running uphill certainly did the trick. I ran much slower than last week. It was a gradual hill so I was even able to run the whole mile.

Mile 2:

Well that running ended.  Mile 2 was very very long and steep. To make matters worse, the lead 5kers that started 15 minutes later sped by us and the water stop during this mile was empty.

The good news was that when we turned slight left and kept heading up, the view was amazing. And I didn’t care how often I walked because it was important in this humidity to just finish uptight.

Mile 3:

Phew. Finally some downhill. Of course that mean that eventually we will go uphill again. I enjoyed nevertheless. I tried to pick up the pace and make up time.

And there was a water stop and it was manned. I took advantage to have some water and even take a GU (It had been hours since my breakfast.)

I realized that I was wearing my newish Topos.  I had raced in them twice before but not a race this long. And I am prone to blisters when my feet sweat.  Blisters started forming around this time. Ouch!  (I normally wrap my feet for half marathons but I did not think to today…lesson learned.)

Mile 4:

The views of the countryside were still very pretty. One of the volunteers encouraged us by saying that now, there was only ONE more big hill.

I counted about 6 more and lost count. Apparently in this area, they are not considered hills.

Most of the race, I was following, an older women in black (that I knew from some previous races) and her daughter and a younger women also in black.  The older woman in black walked often as I did when there was a hill. The younger women never walked at all.

Mile 5:

In this mile, we arrived at the biggest hill yet.  Yup, more walking. And my blisters seemed to be getting bigger and more painful.

Guess what? The older woman got further and further ahead of the younger woman even though she walked the hills.

Mile 6-6.2:

We finally joined the loop that we started on. That meant that it was slightly downhill.  The same water stop that was empty before was still empty.

At this point, I wound up running with the older woman’s daughter (her mom finished ahead). We dragged each other toward the finish line.  We even passed past the younger woman who did not walk at all during the race.

I walked one more time so that I could actually sprint across the finish line.

My running friends were waiting there screaming my name.

I quickly glanced up at the clock… 1:02:XX … 5 minutes slower than my PR and maybe a PW but I was not disappointed. at. all.

Post Race Activities:

The first thing I did was go to my car and take off my shoes and put on my flip flops. Then I grabbed some refreshments. Chocolate milk= my favorite.

Finally I went over to check out the results.

Kim, her daughter and I all won our age groups.  Mine AG was 60-99!! I laughed.

I hung out for a little longer and chatted with my co-worker and ate some more.  Obviously I was dragging my feet on running for miles.

I changed shoes and socks and headed back out.

But it was even warmer, sunnier and my blisters HURT!

I decided to call it a day, head toward home and reward myself with delicious ice cream.

9 hilly miles rather than 11 flat miles will have to do for a long run. Hopefully next weekend will be cooler and I can get 12 done.

Additional Race Reflections:

Since I never train on hills, I expected to have difficulty on them.  The humidity didn’t help and then there were the blisters.  All in all, I was happy that I did the race.  I’ve  never regretted a race I’ve run. My only regret would be if I got injured or ran while injured. I didn’t even have DOMs the next day. So it’s all good.

As they say: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Positives:

  • Small local race.
  • Well organized
  • Real Bathrooms
  • Plenty of parking
  • Easy packet pick up.
  • Gender specific shirts.
  • Decent post-race refreshments (bagels & cream cheese, donuts, bananas, chocolate milk and more)
  • Scenic course.
  • A real race.

a ribbon?? and no mention of the age group (which in this case was a good thing lol)

Negatives:

  • Only one water stop rather than 3
  • Hot humid weather
  • HILLS
  • Age Group award – a ribbon!?
  • Oldest age group – 60-99!
  • Blisters

this apology was emailed to me

Would I recommend this race?

Possibly. It was a nice small race but not sure I would repeat it just because it was a long drive. But maybe for the 5k if I was not training for a half marathon.

Final Stats:

The split times don’t really tell the story due to the rolling hills.

This chart does show the hills and when I walked.

Next Up:

Half marathon #3 for 2021:

Screenshot_20210610-070949_Gmail (1).jpg

I was hoping that I’d be better trained for this one…but it’s hard in the summer. I’m just happy that races are happening again and I am healthy enough to run them.


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?  Any in-person races on your schedule yet? Please share.

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Run for the Roses 5k Race Recap

My first 5k of 2021 was back in May and I did fairly well. My only goal was to run a in-person race.

Bacon Hill Bonanza- 28:30

I ran my 2nd 5k two weeks ago. That race was a spur of the moment decision. I hate to do speed drills and I wanted to get back some pep in my step. So I signed up for a race. It was quite muggy and I enjoyed the race even though I definitely was NOT as peppy as I had hoped.

FASNY 5k – 29:29

This race, my 3rd 5k race has a different backstory.

I kinda thought I’d do a trail 5k because I enjoyed hiking at Landis Arborteum and there was a 5k scheduled there this weekend.

But I got a FB message about this race from a runner (Lisa) who lives in Indiana and was part of a race-cation in 2014 that I participated in (with her high school classmates.) She was going to be in town this weekend and wanted all of us to race together again.

How could I refuse?

The event consists of a USATF sanctioned 5K foot race, a 2.5 mile guided nature walk, and children’s 1 Mile Fun Run, at Grafton Lakes State Park.

The 5K race was advertised as “challenging but offering runners of all skill levels a beautiful race course through scenic Grafton Lakes State Park, and the surrounding area.” All participants also received a tee-shirt,  book, and a rose. The proceeds form the race go to support the Grafton Community Library.

And so without a second thought, I signed up.

I had never heard of this race but I knew that the area was scenic and I had hiked there in the winter.

As I always do, I scoured the Internet for a review of this race and I found one from someone I actually knew.  This what she started her race recap with: The race director came over to get things going, and opened with “Welcome to the 31st Annual Run for the Roses! As you know, this is one of the toughest 5K courses in the area, so we’re really glad to have you all here today.”

Ok, then. So at least I was prepared beforehand for hills and lots of them. By prepared I mean that I knew about them a few days before.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

Outside of those two races, I mentioned, I have done zero speed work.  In some ways 5ks are harder than half marathons. You feel like you should run fast and before you get warmed up, it’s over. To make things were even more challenging, I never train/run on hills.

The week going into the race had me running 3 times and once long and hilly.

The day before the race, I rested on our boat.

The weather was dry and coolish during the week and of course, started warming up by the weekend.

However, summer race dressing is fairly simple – tank, skirt.

Race Day:

I had my oatmeal and coffee and left early, as usual, for a first time for me race. I was already 70 degrees when I left at 7 am and even drizzled on my way. The rain was  short lived and the sun started peaking out.

This park has lots of trail and places to swim and kayak.

I had no problems finding the race location so I had arrived over an hour before the race start.

I picked up my shirt and bib and waited around for my friends.

Since it was sponsored by the library, you got a free book too. I chose a photography book on France (of course,)

Lisa arrived first and Heidi. We chatted and chatted and soon after Andrea arrived with her husband and father.

obligatory pre-race pic

I recognized a few runners that I knew. There were two guys dressed up as Teletubbies and some serious runners.

I think she was first female.

Soon it was time to head toward the start line.

We didn’t plan to run together. Lisa is very fast and Andrea was planning to run/walk with Heidi. So we took one last pic and separated.

As I mentioned, I only knew that it was a looped course and after the first mile, it was mostly uphill.

May be an image of map and text

 

from my Garmin…it doesn’t look as bad as it felt.

Mile 1

The race started with a slight uphill on the main road leading into the park. Then there was a gradual downhill. The first thing I realized that when I didn’t wear my race bely and had my phone in the pocket, my skirt kept falling down. I decided to just carry my phone in my hand the whole race.

I also tried to pick up the pace since I figured this was the only mile that I would not be walking (and I was right.)  It was breezy by the lake and out on the  road, there was no shade and pretty steamy

Mile 2

There was a water stop at the beginning of this mile and a sprinkler (yay). I was not expecting water but it was welcome. I was getting warm.

The course shifted to flat and then about a quarter mile later, started heading uphill. And yes, I had to walk.

Mile 3- 3.1

There was a second water stop here so I grabbed some and walked even longer.

After turning left around mile 2.1 (yup, 1.5 to 2.1 was pure uphill), we had a short little downhill.

Then it was a pure uphill for the next 0.6, with no breaks at all.

I walked several times during the last 2 miles…not sure how many times.  But due to my walking, I was able to pass those who struggled to run up those hills…including the Teletubbies (lol).

Around mile 2.7, we turned right to get back on the main road that the race had started on.

The uphill continued until 2.9, and then we got a short little downhill (30 feet of drop) before the course flattened out to the finish.

Unfortunately, while the final loop around to the finish was flat, it felt long – we crossed under the start banner and then made a huge circle around the parking lot.

We made the two right hand turns to reverse direction and finally I saw the finish line ahead of me.

I did my best to sprint through the finish line but the hills had sapped much of my energy.

But I saw on the clock that I was finishing under 30 minutes so I was thrilled.

As soon as you crossed the finish line, they handed you a rose. Very sweet.

Elisa was part of another group that I used to run with…she finished just a head of me

Lisa had already finished and we waited and cheered on Andrea and Heidi.

first came the Teletubbies

Heidi had not been running so planned to walk but she didn’t and did great.

Post Race Activities:

We grabbed some water, fruit and cookies while waiting for the awards. Both Lisa and I came in second in our 10 year age groups.

Then we reminisced about our rainy Philly half and discussed possible race-cations we could take together … maybe Arizona next year??

farewell pic with Andrea’s Dad

Everyone  had to rush off so no post-race brunch. If I was more organized I would have brought my bathing suit and stayed and gone swimming.

Instead, on my way home, I stopped at a nearby trail to check out the waterfalls.

Additional Race Reflections:

I would never have picked this race on my own. But I really enjoyed the experience. I feel fortunate to be part of these women’s “tribe.” As Andrea put it: “There are no accidents nor coincidences in life. Everything happens for a reason – so glad our universes collided!” So true.

And it was a lovely small town race with about175 runners. Yes it was challenging but maybe not so much if I trained on hills.

Positives:

  • Friends Reunion
  • A real race.
  • Nice swag – tech shirt, book, a rose
  • location- pretty park with trails and a lake
  • Real bathrooms and showers

Negatives:

  • the HILLS

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. It was well organized.

Final Stats:

Garmin = 29:21 (no timing mat at the start)

another positive split race

yikes… I walked 7 times

Although my finish time was about the same as my last 5k two weeks ago, this course was harder. So I was not disappointed. Obviously if I do not train, I can’t expect those faster times.  But right now, I am content just to be out there running.

Next Up:

Whipple City 5K/10K - Greenwich, New York - Running

August 14, 2021 – I signed for the 10k


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?  Any in-person races on your schedule yet? Please share.

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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.

13592347_10207200017179843_5463760716667114421_n

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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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

IMG_3601

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

IMG_3548

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

IMG_3640

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

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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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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