Barn to Bridge Fall Fest 5K Race Recap

SEPT. 24, 2022

A brand NEW race.  A downhill course.  A familiar route!! Only several miles from my home.

How could I not sign up??

The only negative was that I should have been running a long taper run (since my half marathon was in ONE week.)

It would only be a fun run since I haven’t trained for speed.

At least, I did run two 5ks in June, one 5k in July, one in August and one 2 weeks ago.

But anything could happen… I mean it’s my FIRST downhill 5k!!

No pressure…

Here’s some stats on my recent 5ks (pretty consistent but far from a PR.):

PR = 27:04 – Back in 2018.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

Not much preparation for a 5k… my usual 3 mile weekly runs plus a longer run on the weekend in preparation for my next half marathon.

Here is the description of the race from the website:

The race extends from the Hilton Barn area of New Scotland to the finish line across the bridge in Slingerlands. The race kicks off the Fall Fest at the Slingerlands trailhead that will feature live musical performances, food trucks and vendors, as well as fun games and activities as participants come down the home stretch. Shuttle service will be available. T-shirts and one free meal ticket for all participants. Awards for top 3 overall Male/Female. Medals for Kid’s Run participants

the “Barn”

the rail trail

the “bridge” (not really but I love this one) .25 mi. past the finish line

Slingerlands parking lot and the race finish!

The weather forecast seemed to be perfect – a little chilly, a little windy wind but sunny.

the usual… it may be fall but I’m not giving up on the tank yet! (I’ll add my DIY arm sleeves if I have to)

I ate pizza for dinner as I do for any race (even though it was only 3 miles. lol)

Race Day:

I also had my standard breakfast of oatmeal and coffee. I guess I’m a creature of habit.

But the race didn’t start until 11 am.  Quite an adjustment for my usual 6 am meal.

I was hungry again by the time I left for the race.

It was a point-to-point race. So I could have taken the easy way out and park at the start and then take a shuttle back to my car after the race.

But I decided to park in a lot 1.5 miles from the start and then after the race run 4 miles back to the start.  That way I could get my 8 miles in as my last long run before the half marathon.

wore a throw away shirt on my run to the start

Bib/shirt pick up was at the Barn (near the start.)  Since my car was more than a mile away, I had no place to store my shirt or throwaways and no place to wait and stay warm.

I got there pretty early.  But I immediately bumped into an old friend.

We used to play tennis together before I became a runner

Being an inaugural race, bib pick up was pretty unorganized.  I got my shirt and bib but those who didn’t get there as early had to wait in a very very long line.  They also allowed day of race registration even though it as supposed be capped and sold out.

Luckily my neighbor showed up and she put my shirt and throw away in her car.

Even though it was breezy and in the 50s, the sun made it feel warmer.  I was perfectly dressed with a tank and skirt.

Soon it was time to head to the start.

Since this race has never been held before, I had no idea what the course was except by the map (below).

Race Course (according the web site):

There was no elevation chart but now I have one from my Garmin:

actually a very gradual downhill  -100 ft total descent from beginning to end.

There’s not much to tell with only 3.1 miles but here’s what I remember:

Mile 1: 

This race was chip timed so it didn’t matter where I started.  And there were not going to be any age group awards.

So I stood just behind my faster friend Carolyn (though I knew she would quickly leave me in the dust.)

I’m back there somewhere

Although it was advertised as starting at the barn and going downhill from there on the rail trail, you actually had to run around the nearby neighborhood (in order to get to 3.1 miles by the parking lot).

That was not downhill and that was not fun.

It was quite breezy too. As soon as I started running, one side of my bib ripped off (see the pics below.) I was afraid that the other side would rip too and I would lose the bib.  So I spent most of the race running and holding the bib with one hand. lol.

The only positive part about circling the neighborhood was that I could run the tangents and I did!!

Oh and that this mile would not be my fastest.

Eventually you did get onto the rail trail and yes, it was oh so slightly downhill but at least there were no uphills.

And the trees on the trail blocked the wind.  You really didn’t feel it at all.

Mile 2: 

As always I was tempted to walk as soon as I saw the mile 2 sign… but I held off.  There were no water stops so I had to decide when to walk.

Maybe someday I can run 3 miles without walking but today was not that day.

I walked around mile 1.5 and I think it helped me pick up the pace during this mile.

Mile 3 – 3.1: 

Since I ran the last 1.5 miles of this course before, I do have the photos below.

By mile 3 I was losing steam big time.

I wanted to finish strong and so again I had to decide when to walk.

And so I did walk at mile 2.5 or so and longer than my previous walk.

Eventually you could hear the crowd cheering (there was also crowd support at all the crossroads pictured above).  I could see the finish line ahead and so I sprinted across it.

not me!! (the winner) 15:xx

I forgot to look at my time but I did stop my Garmin.  In fact, I didn’t check my time until I got home that evening.

At the finish line, there were bottles of water, bars, oranges, apples, bananas, etc.

Post Race Activities:

Some my friends finished before me and some after.  But everyone was happy with how they did.

I ran into a former student…

Susan and Carolyn (my competition)

There were no age group awards and it was so nice not to talk about finish times! Everyone just ran for FUN!

the top 3 male and female finishers were recognized.

This race was part of a Fall Festival put on by the county.

In a nearby park, there were information tables (they even gave out free COVID tests and many other freebies.)

There was music, games, and food trucks.

When you crossed the finish line, you got a ticket for food from one of the food trucks. There were also FREE drinks (including chocolate milk!!)

I decided on pizza… it was quite a wait (since they made it there)

and I didn’t realize that you got a whole 6 slice pie.

Well, remember I planned to run 4 miles back to my car so today would count as a long run?

Plan B:

I decided to take the shuttle back to the start and walk (carrying the pizza) to my car.

Then I had to rush home to go to my MIL’s 97th birthday dinner party!

my SIL and the men in her life…

Luckily the weather held out and I was able to get some miles done the next day.

Additional Race Reflections:

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this race. If I am around, I will probably run it again next year.

The past few years, I’ve mostly focused on half marathons.

Truthfully, I was a little nervous about how I would do in a 5k. Especially without doing any speedwork.

I definitely credit the weather and the course for my speedy time (faster than my previous 5ks this year.)

I have a ways to go if I want to PR. I need to either train to get faster or pace myself better so I don’t die during the last mile.

However, I am happy to be healthy, to be running regularly and interacting with others.

If my race times slow down, so be it.

Positives:

  • Well organized for an inaugural race
  • Participant guide provided beforehand
  • Inexpensive ($10)
  • Well marked course with many course marshals
  • Shuttle to the start from the finish and vice versa.
  • Cute gender specific race shirts
  • Lots of familiar faces.
  • Downhill course
  • Perfect weather
  • Immediate results
  • One free meal ticket for all participants.
  • Free drinks (including chocolate milk)
  • Entertainment after.

Negatives:

  • I could run here for FREE!
  • No parking at the finish (but some nearby)
  • Late start (11 am)
  • No age group awards
  • No bib pick-up before race day (leaving a bottle neck on race day)
  • Long wait for food (needed more food trucks)
  • No photos

Would I recommend this race?

Yes!!  A good race to try for a 5K PR.

Final Stats:

I was pleasantly surprised

Splits:

Next Up:

I’m running a Half Marathon one week after this race!

Maine Marathon | Maine Half Marathon | Maine Marathon Relay

OCT. 2, 2022

Happy Running! Run a new race lately?  Do you enjoy 5ks? Please share.

 

 

 

 

 


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

Since today is Tuesday, I’m also linking up with these ladies and you should too.


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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Malta 5k Race Recap

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

September 10, 2022

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 Foundries, 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 7th time running the 5k. So you can say that I was familiar with this course. I skipped 2017-2020 but I did run it last year. And now they also added a 10k.

according to my Garmin

The course itself is not very exciting…you are running around chip plants but twice during the race, the loops let you see the fast runners and all those runners that are behind you. 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. As I mentioned, I took a break and then last year when I ran it, I finished in 28:15.

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!!!)

Based on my recent 5k efforts, 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:

Surprisingly I had time to run 3 times during week in spite of the rain and a flu shot.

My legs felt pretty good even though it was only a week after running 13.1 miles.

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.

my usual race day outfit

I got there early to get parking and did get a spot in the parking lot right near the exit.  I’m glad I got there when I did because the lots really filled up quickly. There seemed to be more runners this year.

As I’ve mentioned, it is very well-organized – signs for the race, indoor and outdoor bathrooms

Race day packet pick-up was between 7-8 am. You received a bag with shirt (if you paid an extra $10),and a bag of Death Wish coffee. I opted not to buy a shirt.

PPU was normally set up inside but it was outside again this year (still seeing some COVID adjustments)..

always fun to bump into a friend and fellow Skirt Sports ambassador

The 5k race started at 8:30 am (15 minutes after the 10k.) So I walked around to shake out the legs.

There was food, drinks and freebies set up. I grabbed a bag and filled it with some useful stuff.

This was a welcome sight:

and this:

Starbucks!!!!

I had so much extra time before the 5k started that I ran around to squeeze in a mile before the race.

There was also a table with representatives from Saucony. You could try a pair of their newest running shoes.  I sure was tempted and many runners did.  But I don’t think they have a wide enough toe box so I guess I’m stuck with Topos, for now.

Finally I headed to the start line.

I remembered that although it was chip-timed, awards were given according to gun time.  So I moved up but of course, not too close to the starting line. I chatted with a woman who complained that she was getting so slow (She is not and she won my age group. LOL). We also talked about last weekend’s half marathon (which she DNS’d).

Mile 1:

As usual, I tried to start out slow but didn’t.  It again was my fastest mile and the only one where I didn’t have to walk during.

I was able to run until the mile 1 sign and then I walked.

Mile 2:

The course goes straight for about 1.5 miles and then loops back.  There was a water stop during this mile that you passed twice.

Halfway through this mile we turned right and ran uphill. Not a steep hill but they always feel hard to me. I tried not to walk until the mile 2 sign but I’m pretty sure that I had to stop and walk a few times.

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.

this pic was from last year

It was downhill for a bit until we turned.

Mile 3-3.1:

As usual, I was petering out. 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.

No pic of me 😦 but here’s my competition (see below.)

I was surprised to see 28:XX when I crossed the finish line.. I had expected much worse.

The 10k runners got a medal. The 5k runners only got one if they were under 12. (Totally ok by me!!)

Post Race:

The refreshments were outside again this year. I grabbed some chocolate milk and fruit and chatted while waiting for the results to be posted.  If I didn’t win, I wanted to take off so I could get in some more miles before meeting friends for brunch..

A lady came up to me and told me that I was her beacon and that she was happy to finally pass at the last water stop. She came in 2nd in her age group and it turned out that we were in the same age group.  Phew! I came in third.

60-69 winners

When 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. Last year, there was no awards ceremony and if you won an award, you had to pick it up at the local Fleet Feet store. It was gift card but I never picked it up.

For 3rd place this year, you got a Starbucks metal water bottle, a bottle of champagne and a medal.. (I think I got my $15 worth!)

After I got my award, I left and drove to the Zim Smith bike path. (It was close to the race so my friends picked it as their running meet-up.)

When I arrived, no one had not finished running yet so I was able to get in 2 more miles. I had wanted to run 11 (total) but realistically thought I may run 8. In the end, it was 6 miles.  Good enough!!

I had to rush home to go to a party and then get my COVID booster.

No worries because I felt good enough to finish my long run the next day.

Additional Race Reflections:

The weather was lovely.  I always enjoy the race atmosphere.  This one id not disappoint.

My finish time was slower than last year but it was not unexpected.  I’d love to be back finishing 5ks in 27:XX or even faster..

Not thinking that will happen but it may if I could run negative splits.

Oh well, there will be more 5k races. Just happy to be to out there. and healthy enough to run.

Positives:

  • Ample parking.
  • Well marked course.
  • Varied park scenery.
  • Both 5k and 10 options.
  • A no shirt option (at a lower cost)
  • Participant manual provided several days before the race.
  • Indoor restrooms
  • Flatish course.
  • Immediate results.
  • Medals to 10K finishers.
  • Medals to 5k finishers 12 and under.
  • Chocolate milk.
  • Starbucks coffee.
  • Great age groups award swag

Negatives:

  • 10 year age groups
  • No medals to 5k finishers over 12.
  • Lack of speed work (my fault).
  • Gun time rather than chip time for awards

Would I recommend this race?

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

I may even sign up for the 10k next year.

Final Stats:

Splits:

As expected, positive splits!!

at least I ran the first mile without walking

Next Up:

Another 5k on Sept 24

and then a half marathon.

Maine Marathon | Maine Half Marathon | Maine Marathon Relay

 


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 Fall races on your schedule yet? Do you enjoy 5ks? Please share.

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TT: Fall Race Schedule

Well, these are the races that I have already signed up for… but you know me, there could be even more:

September:

Sept. 24, 2022

A brand new 5k on the rail trail where I run most of the time. It’s downhill and I just couldn’t resist signing up.


October:

Maine Marathon | Maine Half Marathon | Maine Marathon Relay

Oct 2, 2022

A rented house along the ocean with 9 running friends! I can’t wait!


22nd Annual Great Pumpkin Challenge 5K/10K

Oct. 15, 2022

Back after a two year absence… This was always a fun race.


Oct. 22, 2022

This one is a sentimental 5k (that used to be held in the spring).  It remembers the death of daughter due to an overdose. That daughter was part of a group (called STEM) that I volunteered with.


November:

Stockadeathon – 15K Road Race

Nov. 13, 2022

A popular 15k.  There aren’t many races at this distance, so why not? And it has a downhill finish….


Upstate Classic

Nov 20, 2022

This will be the 3rd year that I’ve run this local (hilly) half.  I’m a glutton for punishment.


Troy Turkey Trot 10K/5K - New York - Running

Nov 24, 2022

This 10K (and/or5k) is a holiday tradition.  Just have to run it to justify that extra piece of pumpkin pie.


December:

NYRR Ted Corbitt 15K

Dec 3, 2022

A NEW race for me. As much as I don’t relish running hills, I am looking forward to this Central Park race.  An added bonus will be the holiday light displays in NYC and seeing Cari.

Happy Running! What races are on your Fall schedule? Is one in particular your favorite?  Are there any new ones? Please share.

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Since it’s Tuesday, I’m joining the link-up organized by Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner)


I’m also linking up here:

Run 4 the River Half Marathon Recap

Schenectady Half Marathon, Nark Running & Strength, Albany Running Coach, Frog Alley Brewing, Albany Running Exchange — Nark Running & Strength

In 2021 when most of the local races either cancelled or went virtual, Albany Running Exchange (ARE) began scheduling COVID Safety Plan approved races.

In March, I ran their 5 mile race and then in May a point-to-point 10 miler.  The courses were along the Mohawk River and the bike path, mostly flat or downhill and in Schenectady, NY.

In September, another organization (NARK) offered a half marathon on a similar course.  Of course, I signed up (and convinced some friends to join me.)

Again this year, I ran the same March and May ARE races on that Mohawk River course.

And I signed up for the 2nd annual Run 4 The River Half Marathon as my 60th Half Marathon (53rd if you don’t count the virtuals) for several reasons:

  • 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 that I ran in May and I had already run this half marathon last year.
  • I convinced some friends to run it too.
  • It was advertised as having a Net Downhill Course and FREE BEER, Food, and LIVE MUSIC
  • I could run it as a training run for my October half marathon.

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.

And on the weekends, I try to do my Long Run. I’m lucky to have company of several running friends.  Due to the extreme heat this summer, I have adopted my friends’ run/walk intervals.  It really helped me get the long runs done.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

Since it was a point-to-point race, the logistics were complicated. 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) and tried to coordinate my plan with friends.

My running friend picked up my bib so that saved me time (and gas.)

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

my standard Skirt Sports skirt, Zensah calf sleeves, a tank, cap, Spibelt, Goodr glasses and Topos shoes

It was supposed to be little cooler and less humid than any of my previous races. But still warm and in the 80s by afternoon. (Wish they had kept the earlier start time!!!!)

Race Day:

As it did last year, the race started near Mabee Farms. This year, start time was 8:00, a half hour later than last year and ended at Frog Alley Brewing near Schenectady Community College (SCCC).  Last year it ended right at the college (where we parked our cars.).

So I got up around 4:45 am on Saturday morning (ouch) and was on the road by 5:45 to meet Barbara and then drive to race parking.

We met everyone at 6:30 at SCCC. My friend Deb offered to drive me and the others (Barbara, Sherry, Deirdre, Kevin) to the start if someone would drive her back to her car after. (Quite a squeeze for 4 in the back seat.)

When we arrived at Mabee Farms, there was plenty of parking in a grassy lot.

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

the fog did burn off by the time we started the race

It was a little chilly but the barn was locked this year so we waited outside.

We also knew 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 (along with a dry shirt and my Oofos) I planned to eat a Honey Stinger Waffle (since it was already hours since my breakfast) but I forgot. Oops.

The race started at 8:00 am. There were no waves or corrals… They did ask the faster runners to line up first.

slightly different end from last year

20210707_111324.jpg

 elevation on the website

according to my Garmin…

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.)

All my long runs were done slowly and with short intervals. I found out during my last race that it didn’t exactly make me slower (or maybe it did?) but I found it hard to run for more than a minute without walking… (I used to be able to run 1-2 miles straight (not that it matters…)

Miles 1-3:

As I already mentioned, 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.

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

The first water stop was a little after mile 3 at Pattersonville Bike Path parking on 5S.  This was my first walk break.  I decided to wait on my Gu. I ran most of the beginning miles with Karen and Alyssa and behind my faster neighbor. We chatted back n forth.

Miles 4-6

Most of the race is a blur. But I was feeling pretty strong. Until I wasn’t.  Karen and Alyssa eventually ran ahead. As did my neighbor.

Around mile 4, 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 past mile 5 at Iroquois St/Bike Path.

Around this point, the crowd thinned out and I was running mostly alone and my lower back started to ache…

Miles 7-10

The course was pretty flat and shady for the most part.  The temps were rising but not too bad. I was glad to have worn a tank and skirt.

I realized too late that I was NOT strong enough to run without walk intervals and so the second half the race, I ran/walked… not timed but just whenever I felt like it… and I felt like it a lot!!

Plus, now both my feet started to hurt. Bunion? Neuroma? Stress fracture? As these thoughts ran through my head, I ran slower and walked more.

The third water stop was a little before mile 8 at Kiwanis Park. I walked again and then ate another Gu. 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. Though the course was advertised as flat and downhill, there were hills (not big ones) throughout. (Aren’t there always?)

Miles 11-13.1

The final water stop was a little before Mile 11 at MH Bike Path lot. I stopped again but skipped my last Gu.

My friend Barbara who ran/walked most of the race actually caught up to me. And she looked way less spent than I did (Intervals are the way to go!)

The race finish was different than last year, instead of heading from the bike path into the college parking lot, we headed into the city of Schenectady.

I tried to pick up the pace and sprint through the finish line… My friends who didn’t run the race were there cheering.  It was sooo nice to see familiar faces.

Barbara is right behand me…

Well, I thought the finish line was straight ahead but instead you had to turn right…

the female winner in 1:10:xx?

I was out of gas but at least it was downhill!!

Boy was I glad to be done!! I grabbed my medal and headed to bag check to put on my Oofos.

Post Race Activities:

I felt a little light headed so I ate my last Gu and I felt better.

I joined my friends near the finish line to cheer in the others who had not finished yet.  Everyone was happy with their race results.

May be an image of 11 people, people standing, outdoors and text that says 'Purdy ARMY MiltonA Spencer AIRFORCE Loving Wife mily oving Jim Son, FERRY ST'

Frog Alley Brewing Co.

There was a band, beer, food, etc. at a restaurant nearby (pictured above), the sponsor for the race.

It was crowded but fortunately we got a table. Rather than a boxed lunch (as last year), you got a free beer and a choice of the food below.

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

The band was excellent – the lead singer even ran the race…

Additional Race Reflections:

Of course, I am glad I ran the race.  I was disappointed with  the pain and how I ran the race.  I guess I need to accept that my endurance is not what it used to be. Maybe walk intervals are the answer.

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).
  • Flatish course.
  • Well organized.
  • A lot of pre-race information.
  • Free Post-race food.
  • Cool medal.
  • Free Beer

Negatives:

  • 10 year age group awards.
  • No photos.

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. I liked the course. It was well-organized.

Final Stats:

just a few seconds faster than last year

Splits:

Walking definitely slowed down my pace the second half of the race. I finished the first half in 1:04!!

Though my time was similar to last year, I ran a much better race then. I ran slower the first half so as a result it was much less painful.

I was NOT expecting a PR and my time was what I expected. I jokingly said that I wanted to finish at 2:22:22!

I need to be realistic…maybe those faster half marathon paces will not happen again. (But hey, I’m not giving up…)

I didn’t realize until I got home that I had won an age group award.  Huge surprise!!

Luckily my neighbor trains with the race director and she picked up my award several days later.

Next Up:

Two 5ks

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

and another Half Marathon.

Maine Marathon | Maine Half Marathon | Maine Marathon Relay


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! Run any big races lately?  Are you planning any this Fall? Do you run the same race more than once? Please share.

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TT: Fall Bucket List

Whoa! Where did summer go?

I LOVE summer but here are a few things that I will enjoy this Fall:

Cooler and Less Humid Weather Conditions.

As I said, I normally love the sunshine and warm temps of summer.  But this summer, the humidity and oppressive heat really tried my patience.

Hopefully, this Fall, my runs will be more comfortable and hence speedier.

Fall Foliage Viewing and More Hiking Activities.

Living in upstate New York, we are usually treated to gorgeous fall colors.  Hopefully the awful DRY summer weather will not impact this.

The Fall is also for the same reason, my favorite season to hike in. Boating Sundays will end soon and be replaced by Hiking Sundays.

More Racing Ops.

Many more of the Fall races are now being held in-person, I have already signed up for quite a few.

A Race-cation with Friends.

Last year, I went to NH with my running friends and we had so much fun that this year, we rented a house again and plan to spend 4 days in Maine which will include running a race and other assorted shenanigans.

Pumpkin everything and Cider Donuts!

Yes, I do love Fall food!! Especially those with added sugar LOL

Happy Running! Are you looking forward to Fall? If so, what activities are on your bucket list?

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Since it’s Tuesday, I’m joining the link-up organized by Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner)


I’m also linking up here:

TT: Places I have Run (S-Z)

Alphabet Challenge

S-Z

Originally Donna from Running to Travel the World posted this challenge.  I completed it twice:

But I changed it up the past two Tuesdays and chose those PLACES where I’ve raced or run (A-I and J-R). This is a continuation of those posts:

  • S – Sarasota, FL, Sanguinet, France and Saratoga Spring, NY

I love to visit Sarasota when I go to Naples, FL each May. However, I have also run two half marathons there in the winter.

Herald-Tribune staff photo by Dan Wagner - Yup, I am in the photo!!!

one of the highlights is running over the Ringling Bros. bridge

When I visited Paris several years, I also went to Sanguinet (small town on the west coast north of Burgundy). My travel companion had friends who lived there. Of course, I ran there every morning.

there was a lake nearby

I love to run in the Saratoga State Park and I’ve raced in this city many times too. It is famous for horse racing.

  • T – Troy, NY

Not too far from where I live and one of the largest Thanksgiving races is held here each year.

11986342_1192296570787072_4790322504906372402_n

running over the Collar City bridge

  • U –  Utica, NY

This city is famous for its summer 15k (The Boilermaker) and beer.  I was there my first summer of running for its 5k.

  • V – Vestal, NY and Vero Beach, FL.

I would have said Vermont but I already mentioned a race there.  Vestal is a small town is just north of Binghamton, NY and has a nice rail trail there.  I ran on it several times when I was there travelling for work.

Vero Beach is another place on the east coast of Florida where I ran a half marathon.

  • W – Waverly, RI and West Palm Beach, FL

One of my close college friends built a house nearby in RI so she talked me into visiting to kayak and to race.

who doesn’t love a race with ocean views?

I have quite a few friends who winter in the West Palm part of Florida (east cost). As a result, I try to visit them each winter and usually run a race while I’m there.

races along the ocean are my favorites

  • X – Nope.
  • Y Z??? NadaI guess I need to travel more (as a runner).

I’ve been to Yellowstone and Zion National Parks but again it was BEFORE I became a runner.

Happy Running! Ever run in any of these places? Please share.

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Since it’s Tuesday, I’m joining the link-up organized by 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: Places I’ve Run A-I

Alphabet Challenge

A-I

Originally Donna from Running to Travel the World posted this challenge.  I completed it twice:

But for this post, I changed it up and chose those PLACES where I’ve raced or run.

Unfortunately, I was never a big traveler. Plus most of my traveling was done BEFORE I became a runner.

But here are those places that I have run or raced in (since 2008):

  • AAsbury Park, NJ. and Albany, NY

I had a friend who lived Asbury Park and I like Bruce Springsteen’s music (that’s where he is from) so I ran a Half Marathon here.

I live near the capital of NYS so obviously have run there often.  My favorite race is held at Christmastime.

  • BBrooklyn, NY and Burlington, VT.

I have raced in Brooklyn many times, all in Prospect Park – 2 half marathons, many 5ks and even a 15k.

But my favorite place to run is over the Brooklyn Bridge!

I’ve visited Burlington twice and stayed with the late blogger/runner AJH.  Each time, I ran a a different leg of the Vermont City Marathon.

miss AJH so much!!!

  • C –  California and Corning, NY

The first trip to California was to race and visit a friend in Santa Clarita (outside LA) and the two other times were trips to Palm Springs.

My first race-cation with my current running group was to run the Wineglass half marathon in Corning, NY.

pre-race activity

  • DDenver, CO

I went to a conference there and signed up for a running tour of the city.

  • EEast, Meadow, NY

This is where I grew up (on Long Island).  And I never ran when I lived there. I hope to do a half marathon there at some point but I have run there a few times (when I was there for work.).

in Eisenhower Park

  • FFort Lauderdale, FL

I have visited Florida many times. I ran this half marathon here in February of 2021.

  • GGovernor’s Island (NYC)

You can get there by ferry from Manhattan (or Brooklyn) and I’ve done a fun 5k there (Cari has run a few 10ks there.)

  • HHampton Beach, NH

Two race-cations.. The first time, we ran a virtual half marathon and then the next year, we ran the real race.

  • IIle de La Cite, Paris

Ok, I’ve taken liberties in using the French for this letter but I did run there during a 20k race.

Happy Running! Ever run in any of these places? Please share.

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Since it’s Tuesday, I’m joining the link-up organized by 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.

Al Goldstein 5k Race Recap

JULY 6, 2022 – 7:10 pm

If you follow my blog, you know that I often got sent to NYC for work.

Usually, I just tried to squeeze in a run along the East River, along the Hudson River or in Central Park.

Well several 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 (PPTC).

I ran one 5k in July 2017 and had a great time.

 Age group award and meeting “Al Goldstein”

I was excited that when they were scheduled again in 2018, two of the 5k races coincided with the dates that I would be working in NYC. I ran both of them.

In 2019, I was only in NYC to run one of this 5K racing series.

met someone from my hometown

And in 2020 and 2021….  there were no NYC work trips (due to COVID).

My trips to NYC this year are limited so I was very fortunate to be in NYC on a Wednesday when one these 5ks was happening.

You know I can’t resist signing up for a race.  Besides, I needed to run 3 miles anyway.

Pre-Race Preparations and Activities:

This race was a spur of the moment decision. I mean I’d run a 4 mile race two days before

and then hiked up a mountain the day before.

Yes, I am crazy!!

Obviously, this was just for fun and an opportunity to run in Prospect Park with other runners..

Race Day:

I arrived in NYC around 11 am, checked into my hotel, and headed by subway to Queens to set up for my job the next day.  I had some lunch and then headed back to Manhattan to change into running clothes.

The race didn’t start until 7:10 pm so I still had time to kill.  I decided to visit the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens since it was across the street from the park where the race would be held.

I spent several hours wandering around the gardens and loved every minute. The gardens closed at 6pm so I headed over to the Prospect Park.

Luckily there were signs and I followed them to LeFrak Center at Lakeside (where the bib pick up was). I had a scenic walk through the park. I passed the race start and end.

As I got closer, there were many signs pointing you in the right direction.

I was pretty early and it wasn’t crowded at all.

It was strange to be at a race where I didn’t know a soul.  But there were real restrooms, water and tables in the shade so I just hung out.

Eventually runners started arriving.  There were probably close to 500.

Soon it was time for everyone to walk down to the start.

The photographer caught me on the way.

There were no corrals so I just pushed into the crowd.

The important thing to note about this race was that it was HOT!!!!!!!!!!! Like 90 degrees!!

I was familiar with the course. I had a bottle of water before the race and there was usually one water stop at mile 2 and then water at the  finish.

Right before the start of the race, they announced that “one of their water stations has gone missing and if anyone’d seen or happened upon their water, please let them know or give it back!”

What!? That of course made me nervous even though I wasn’t planning to “race” it.  It was extremely warm out… No breeze and humid, as well.

As I mentioned above, I had run this course several times in the past. On the whole, although it was not an easy course, I always did fairly well and since it attracts a younger crowd, I usually won my age group.

Al Goldstein 5Ks:

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

Same course:
Building Brooklyn 5k: 2019 – 28:05
Brooklyn Ice Cream Social 5k: 2018  – 27:30

However, in 2022 on a very hot evening, anything could happen but I was NOT expecting any blazing speed.

The Course:

AGSS Course Map

Here’s a cool video of the course: https://www.plotaroute.com/route/840765?units=km

elevation according to my Garmin

I knew about the big LONG hill during mile 1 as well as some rolling hills the last mile.

I also remembered that there were usually runners of all ages who all looked like “runners” and the finish times were incredibly fast. A little intimidating. but it is what it is.  What else was there to do on a nice warm evening in NYC??

So here’s how it went down:

Mile 1:

starting my Garmin lol

and off I go…

I started running the first mile slowly. My legs felt like lead and I was already sweating.

don’t I look happy?

And then I got to the hill, I tried to run up it but it definitely wasn’t happening.  I did my best…

Mile 2:

Mile 2 was better but I was so hot AND thirsty.

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

And so I ran then I walked and ran and then walked.  I hoped that I was running more than walking but I wasn’t sure.  And when I was running, I suppose I was running fast…

Mile 3-3.1:

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

Hooray! I see that finish line!

I did not have enough energy to sprint and finished over 29 minutes. My slowest 5k this year.

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

Post Race Activities:

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

We did hear ambulances.  Apparently someone went down during the race.  (Unfortunately, I found out later on FB that the runner DIED!!! More info here.)

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

Additional Race Reflections:

Yes, it was a course PW.

But you can’t control the weather. And I’m happy that I ventured out to Brooklyn.

Unfortunately when I think back to this race, I will be thinking of the runner who died.  He was only a few years older than I was, a NYRR coach who had completed 19 marathons and won his age group at the previous Al Goldstein 5k. But as some runners mentioned… he died doing something he loved. Still, very sad 😦

Positives:

  • Price – $7.50
  • Vaccination required for all runners.
  • Bag check
  • Bathrooms (real ones!)
  • Water before and after the race
  • Decent turnout (450 runners)
  • Chip Timing
  • Marker at each mile
  • 5 year Age group awards ceremony after the race
  • Results immediately emailed to you
  • MANY free photos

Negatives:

  • Travel time to Brooklyn
  • Evening Race
  • Hills
  • NO WATER stops
  • Death of a runner

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. Yes. It’s a nice local race. It was definitely worth $7.50. And if I am ever in NYC at the same time as one of PPTC’s races, I plan to sign up again.

Final Stats:

Splits:

I was not kidding when I said I walked most of this race!! No regrets!

Next Up:

Possibly another July 5k and definitely a 5k in August before the THREE fall half marathons arrive.

Happy Running! Ever run a race while you are traveling for work? Do you try to improve your times on the same course? How does the heat affect your finish times? Please share.

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Since it’s Tuesday, I’m joining the link-up organized by 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.

 

Goals 2022 – Half Year Update

2022 New Year Goals Checklist. Future Goal And Plans. 3435777 Vector Art at Vecteezy

At the end of 2020, I set 15 goals for 2021. In 2022, I decided that it would be cool to keep those 15 and add 7 more. So 22 for ’22.

It’s 6 months into 2022. Let’s see how I am doing so far:

1.Run at least 3 miles twice during the week.

For the most part, THREE times during the week ALL year. And always outside.

2. Go for a walk or hike on non-running days.

Just occasionally.  During the Pandemic, there was not much to do.  I hiked 100 trails in 2020.  Now when I don’t run, I don’t feel the need to get out there.  And rarely unless I’m with a friend.

my walking buds

3. Run long on the weekend (10 miles if able).

Pretty much every weekend.  But not necessarily 10 miles.  It may only be 6-8 miles. Or just a 5k race.

Valley Cats Father’s Day Home Run 5k Race Recap

ValleyCats Father's Day Home Run 5K :: Hudson-Mohawk Road Runners Club

June 18, 2022 – 9AM

This race was not on my radar.  I was planning a long run and taking a break from racing.

Then my friend begged me to do it with her.  How could I say No?

I said that I would sign up if she ran 5 more miles after the race with me… (I wanted to be prepared for my 15k race the following weekend.)

This was not the first time I had run this race.  I ran it in 2010!!

they gave out free ice cream that year,

Yes, 12 years ago! I ran with Amanda, a running friend at that time:

This is the race where I met new running BFF Mary. We ran many races together after that. When she eventually moved to Palm Springs, I visited her twice.

Kelly and Mary (on the right)

Then I ran it again in 2016. I knew a lot of runners by then. And it was even more fun.

here with my friend Tom

and my age group competition, Carolyn

My time back in 2010 was 29:40 but improved to 28:47 in 2016.  Both years, I was 2nd in my age group (won a cap, then gloves).

2022? Anything could happen… no expectations.

Pre-Race Preparations and Activities:

I had a tiring two days working in NYC before the race. And I returned home very late the night before.

At least I did get in a few short runs during the week.

Race Day:

Below is the course map and elevation:

vchr5kmap

elevation according my Garmin is below…

I was really relaxed about this race.  I was soooo tired and so I had no real goals besides enjoying myself. And I also needed to save energy to run 5 more miles after the race!!

I got to the race early.. I never looked at the weather so I was surprised how windy and chilly it was.  I got my bib and shirt and sat in my car to stay warm (very odd since it was 91 degrees the day before when I was in NYC).

cotton shirt but also 4 free tickets to a minor league baseball game

Eventually I did get out to hang out with friends.

Heidi (who talked me into this race) finally arrived.

There were even real restrooms

She persuaded me to do one mile before the race so we would only have to run 4 more after.  It was more of a walk but still we got it done.

This race began and ended at the home of the Valley Cats, a local baseball team that plays at Joe Bruno Stadium in Troy, NY, on the campus of Hudson Valley Community College.

img_0194

The finishers are captured on the large stadium screen
img_0195

Reluctantly I left my jacket in Heidi’s car since I had DIY arm warmers on.  Still I was COLD!!

There was no chip timing at the start line so I started pretty close to the front. Heidi moved farther back.

and took this pic of me

Mile 1:

The race began in the parking lot and then we ran around the outside of the stadium before heading into the neighborhoods.

Valley_Cats_5K-055

this was in 2016 

Valley_Cats_5K-056

As soon as I started running I was no longer cold. I even immediately rolled down my arm warmers. And the wind was not as bad as it was at the stadium.

But I was dragging… I so wanted to be back in my bed catching up with my sleep. I was running but I couldn’t catch my breath and felt to need to walk.

I had started with my friend Carolyn (my age group rival) but she quickly got ahead and kept gaining on me as the race went on.

Mile 2:

Finally there was a water stop around mile 1.5 so I walked a bit. The neighborhoods were rolling hills but nothing too bad until one steep one during the second mile.  I tried to run up it but the legs just weren’t having it. So I ran/walked it.

We repeated most of the course afterwards so here are some pics from the neighborhoods

Carolyn was still way ahead but I also knew that she was fast and if I could see her in the distance, my pace wasn’t that bad. (I don’t look at my Garmin usually until the race is over.)

Mile 3-3.1:

A few more walks, I think. And then there was a welcome downhill during mile 3.

We finished the race inside the stadium and I gave it everything (which wasn’t much at this point).

I didn’t expect a PR however I really wanted to finish under 29 minutes.

And I did  – 28:43 (gun time)!! Course PR!!!

Post Race Activities:

Everyone whom I talked to before the race seemed to have a good race. Some finished ahead of me and some after.

I waited for Heidi to finish (and she did well, too.)

the happy runners with the Valley Cats mascot

We headed for the food while waiting for the age group awards to be announced.  There was  a decent spread: popcorn, bagels, cookies, bananas, coffee, water. I had a hot dog, coffee and cookie.

And I did win one – 2nd in my age group.

Carolyn in (orange) won a 1st)

yup, a bat.. hey, it was the “home run 5k”

We planned to run more miles after the race.  Did we want to???

Nope!!

I insisted and Heidi couldn’t say No so we went back to her car to get my jacket (I was shivering…)

We sorta did intervals but mostly ran until we didn’t feel like it.  We started in the stadium/college parking lots and then decided that it would be more scenic to run in the same neighborhoods as during the race.

We got it done!!! And immediately headed to Panera’s for our reward.

Additional Race Reflections:

When I dragged myself out of bed that morning, I was not feeling good about running this race.

As usually happens, I connected with some awesome people, ran a decent race and don’t regret it one bit.

Positives:

  • Ample parking.
  • Well marked course.
  • Lots of familiar faces.
  • 4 free tickets to a game as swag
  • Interesting course (through the neighborhoods and finish in a baseball stadium)
  • Friendly and abundant number of volunteers.
  • Free photos
  • Interesting 5 year age group awards (a bat)
  • Decent post-race food

Negatives:

  • Cotton shirt
  • Gun time (not chip timed)
  • Hills (but don’t most races)
  • Windy

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. Yes. It’s a nice local race. And very well organized. Maybe someone will twist my arm to run it again next year.

Final Stats:

Splits:

5 walks!!

according to my Garmin

Next Up:

Adirondack Race to the Lakes 15k

June 25, 2022

Happy Running! How was your weekend? Did you race? If so, how did it go? How did you celebrate Father’s Day? Please share.

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

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