Albany Last Run 5K DNS Race Recap

The Albany Last Run is a very popular local race. In fact, it always sells out (at 1500). The race starts with fireworks and then you run uphill, around the lights in the park and it ends with a downhill. I have run it every year since 2010 and it is one of my favorite races.

This is the course map:

Here are some pics from a previous year:

One year, I ran this race in the rain. Another year, in a blizzard.  This was how I finished the race that year.

snowy, icy and very slippery!!

I was hoping for better weather this year.  Could it be any worse??

Before the race

They used to give out windbreakers for this race and I have them in many colors

I wanted to pick up my bib & shirt beforehand to save time but I was working in NYC.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you may remember that I had foot pain during my last work stint in NYC.  I rested a little.  The pain seemed to fade so I ran two races on Thanksgiving Day and NOT AGAIN SINCE!!!

I would have gone to the doctor but I had to work all last week in NYC.  I did do zero running but I admit there was a lot of walking involved.

The foot pain continued.

So I made the difficult decision to DNS one of my favorite races of the season.

In addition to this race being fun, my running friends gather afterwards for a pot luck dinner.

Yes, it was depressing to get dressed up and not run but the logistics to meet up after would have been too hard if I did not go to the race.

So I decided to go to the race.

Of course, I debated about what to wear… I like to look festive. But it was COLD. I wanted to watch the race but if I were not running, I would be freezing.

I wore much of the same layers as I did last year.

I carpooled with Barbara. Normally we leave my car where I use to take yoga classes.  (I hate that crowded parking garage) and walk the mile or so to the race start. But with a sore foot, that would have been a dumb idea.  It turned out that using the parking garage was super easy to get in and out.

As I mentioned, it is a popular race and I bumped into all sorts of people that I knew– runners from my turkey trot training group, runners from work, runners from tennis and FB friends, etc. (I wanted to have worn a sign that said I HAVE A SORE FOOT!!)

I purposely did not wear running shoes so I would not be tempted to run the race. I also gave my bib (217) to my friend’s granddaughter.

I kept the long sleeved tech shirt (though it was uni-sex and too big)

I chatted with other runners until it was time to head out. It was fun to see all costumes and how everyone creatively got into the holiday spirit. There were over 1500 runners and most everyone was dressed up.

Finally we all left our warm home to go watch the pre-race fireworks. Everyone headed to the start so I watched the fireworks alone.

The fireworks were awesome and I enjoyed them more than usual since I was not anxious to start the race.

About 20 minutes later, the race finally did start.  I wore a long down coat but forgot my gloves so I went inside.

By the time, I got back out there, the speedy runners were finishing. I stood around waiting for all my friends to finish.

the first two to cross

This may have been the best weather we’ve ever had for this race but if you were not running, it was COLD!!! my feet and hands were frozen.

Eventually everyone was done…some ran, some ran slowly and some walked. One of the gang even won her age group.

Every year there are raffle prizes. They randomly pick bib numbers.  Guess what??? I won.  And my friend’s granddaughter was nice enough to give me one of the the prizes – $25 gift certificate to a local restaurant (OK — no $$ loss on this race then LOL)

After the race, we all took off and headed to the post-race pot luck dinner. It was a fun time.

I didn’t run the race. SH##t happens but I am grateful to my running friends for times like this.

The Last Run is a standard on my racing list each year. Hopefully, I will be able to run it in future years!!!


Injury Update:

Good News. Nothing wrong with my foot.
Bad News. Nothing wrong with my foot.

Image result for sore ball of foot"

Diagnosis: Sore foot. It may be sore caused by pressure from the bunion or high arches or tight shoes, etc.

Treatment: Anti-Inflammatory med 2x per day for 2 weeks. No walking or Running for 3 weeks or so. He said even if he found a neuroma or stress fracture, the treatment would be the same – no walking or running for several weeks.

I have to go back Jan 3 and if it still hurts, he’ll schedule an MRI.

Just love doctors!!


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

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


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

and Wild Workout Wednesday with NicoleAnnmarieJen, and Michelle.

Happy Running?  How was your weekend? Did you run in a holiday race this year? Have you ever DNSed race but went to cheer your friends on?

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Jailhouse Rock 5K Race Recap

August 17, 2019 – 8:15 am

I’ve done this race 5 times before. And I’ve always enjoyed it.

My previous times were: 2009 – 31:04, 2010 – 29:49, 2012 – 30:58, 2014 – 28:25, 2016 – 28:33.

In 2010, I was recovering from an achilles injury and in 2012 from a broken ankle. And obviously healthy in 2014 and 2016.

If I ran it again this year, I would be trying for at least a course PR but with racing, you just never know how things will turn out.

I remembered that in this race, you walk up a hill to start the race and you finished running down this hill. Couldn’t be any better than that. Right?

For some reason, I haven’t run this race the past two years. This year, I signed up because it fit into my schedule

Well, sorta. I should have been running a 12 mile LSD run per my marathon training plan. And I had been in NYC working all week (ran a 5k on Wednesday night) and got back late the night before.  Not ideal.  But welcome to my life!

The race started at 8:15 at the Brookside Museum in Ballston Spa which is about 45 minutes away from my house. I dragged myself out of bed at 5:30 am and left around 6:45 am.

across the street from the museum

This nice local race usually has about 200-300 runners. There’s no parking lot but it is easy to find parking on the street.  There are bathrooms in the museum which is always a plus.

I got there early enough to find a close spot and use the rest room (in the museum). The temps were warm and insanely humid.  (Almost as humid as Wednesday night but with sun).

instead of a shirt, you got a buff – very happy since I have enough shirts

I bumped into a few runners that I knew and chatted until it was time to walk all the way up the hill to the start.

There I found my friend Laurie, whom I knew was running this race.

We started together but I lost her quickly.

The first mile was a gradual uphill but nothing too steep.  I was going to try to hold back but my legs felt like lead so I didn’t need to worry about that. Boy, was it humid!!!!

I was hoping to run the whole thing but around halfway at the water stop, I was out of breath so I stopped and walked for a while. The humidity was killing me.

Mile 2 seemed to be flat but every time I tried to speed up, I felt out of breath so I walked again and again. I knew I had to give up on hopes of a PR and just finish the race.

I walked several times during the last mile.

I knew there was that downhill to the finish… but it seemed forever in coming.

Finally I got to the steep downhill, I wish I was confident enough to go all out but I was afraid of falling flat on my face so I held back.

Then I saw the clock.  It was 28:xx and I ran as fast as I could.

I crossed at 28:30. (There was no timing mat at the beginning).

Although I was dripping wet, I did not feel as bad as I did Wednesday night.  Most likely because I walked several times the last mile.

I grabbed some water and a banana and chatted with some friends while waiting for Laurie.

sweaty but glad to be done

I checked the screen to see if I won an award. My name was not listed so I talked to the person doing the timing and he manually entered my time.

that is a one speedy 60 year old…glad I’m usually in the next age group

They gave awards for 10 year age groups and I won 2nd.

a big cookie – yum!

Splits:

mile 1 –  9:08
mile 2 – 9:14
mile 3 – 9:05
.14 -7:21
______________
28:30

No PR (over a minute faster in June on a harder course.) No course PR. (just a little slower.)

Coincidentally, I recently posted about slowing down.  Well, maybe I am. My last two 5ks have not been stellar performances but I’m not giving up on speed. I’ll attribute it for now to the weather and weariness.

I decided after the race to go to the Zim Smith Bike Path to run 9 more miles.

UGH!! I did not want to…

It was 10 am by the time I started, sunny, still humid and I was BEAT!!!!

The run SUCKED!!! I ran, walked, dragged my feet but got it done.

The only thing that got me through it was some podcasts during and Leah’s Cakery’s chocolate milk at the end!


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

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


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

Happy Running! Did you race this weekend? Do you have a big race coming up? Please share.

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Hudson River Ramble Race Recap

In 2016, I discovered an 8.4 mile race called Race the Train that sounded interesting. You took a train ride along the Hudson River and then raced the train back.  I signed up.  It was lots of fun even with the challenging hills.  I even ran it again in 2017.

Here is the course map.  You can see what I mean about the long early hill.

rtt

Well, the train has been discontinued. No Race the Train without a train so now the race is called the Hudson River Ramble. This year was its inaugural year.

Instead of a train, buses transported runners from Johnsburg School to Riverside Station.  Otherwise it was basically the same course. 8 miles (instead of 8.4) beginning on Riparius Bridge and going along the wooded rolling hills of river road a seasonal use dirt road paralleling the Hudson River, turning left to the flats and finishing across from Johnsburg Central School parking lot (instead of the train depot).

img_1325

Riparius bridge

I thought about staying the night before the race at a friend’s who lived nearby but I got out of work very late. Instead I took the hour and 35 minute drive north on race morning.

The forecast for where I lived was showers and thunderstorms and it rained my whole drive up.  But where the race took place, it was supposed to be sunny and warm.

The rain stopped as I neared the school.  It was in the high 50s (I hadn’t felt those temps in a while and I was almost chilly) but I knew once the sun got higher in the sky, it would warm up (and it really did!)

school parking lot

I arrived around 7:30 am and picked my race packet (a cotton shirt, a bib and a raffle ticket). There were REAL restrooms inside the school too. Always a plus.

cotton unisex shirt Boo!

I was early so I walked around and wound up chatting with a runner, Judy, from NC. We talked running, racing, injuries and she told all about her struggles with recovering from cancer.

matchy matchy I guess because I got many compliments about my outfit

Soon it was time to board the bus. Judy and I sat together.  Obviously not as fun as riding the train and no scenic views of the Hudson River either.

It was still only 8:30 am when we arrived at the train station so I just walked around. I felt really sleepy. I was wondering how I was gong to run 8 hilly miles. I took a SIS energy gel hoping for some energy.

What were my plans for this race?

No goals. I would automatically get a PR (my first race at this distance) and it would be nice if I got an age group award. But my real goal was really just to finish pain-free and enjoy the run.

And that’s what I did.

We started on the bridge as the previous race did. Judy sprinted ahead and disappeared. I just stayed with the crowd (which was much smaller than the previous races.)

The first mile and 1/2 was a STEEP uphill. First on asphalt and then on dirt. I attempted to run but decided that I would be better off walking. Everyone that was running was struggling.  So I ran a little but mostly walked. There was a runner ahead with a neon green shirt. I tried to keep her in my sight and did until the last few miles. Then there was a guy who passed me in a blue shirt. I stayed behind him the whole race.  (Many others did pass me by.)

A young runner and I were running together for a bit and she asked me to run with her. I said “Sure” and we stayed together running a little but mostly walking. But I guess I am lousy running buddy because I lost her and I’m not sure how or when.

There was someone who called out times at every mile. I was hoping to get my pace to between 10 and 11 and keep it there even if I walked the hills. That didn’t really happen (as I found out after the race when I looked at my splits. I never look during a race.)

There were a water/Gatorade stop at every 1.5 mile or so.  I stopped and walked at each one as it was sunny and getting warmer and warmer.  It was probably very humid as well because the temps were only in the high 70s.

Anyway, that first long uphill eventually turned into a downhill but after that it was just rolling hills. They never ended. (How could I have forgotten them??) They weren’t steep or as long except for maybe 2 more steepish ones (The one between mile 5 and 6 was so steep. I could barely walk up it.) That meant there were only 2 more steep downhills.

But because you were running on dirt with rocks, you couldn’t take advantage of the downhills as much as you would have liked. (I always fear a face plant.) And it was very sandy in parts and hard to run fast (even if I wanted to).

My legs felt tired from the get go. Was it from my 3.5 mile trail run on Thursday night? Or 4.5 miles on Wed? (I rarely run more than 3 miles on a weekday run.) Or most likely that I didn’t get a lot of sleep this past week.

It was hilly but I have fared better on hills in the past. I walked way too much and let the hills get the best of me. (I know, do hill repeats. That’s ain’t gonna happen.)

However, the scenery was nice as you ran through the woods (I missed hearing the train whistle as it passed you by) and toward the end, you could see the river. Eventually, you had to run through town in order to return to the high school. The end of the previous race was flat as it ended at the train station. This race added a few more (unappreciated) hills as we finished across from the high school.

Though I had no time goals, I estimated that I would finish between 1:28 and 1:24.  I finished at 1:26:52. (Of course, I hoped for faster.)

Instead of a medal, you got a key chain (with a light)

It was a course PR of course and an 8 mile race PR. 

But I was disappointed as my pace was slower than on the Race the Train course and much slower than on other hilly courses.

I waited at the finish for my friend Sue to cross and the runner that I was supposed to run with.  Both had a tough race.

I went back to the school to get some food.

There were bagels, fruit and lots of homemade baked goods but the highlight was chocolate milk and watermelon.

I ate, chatted and waited around for the awards.

Remember my new friend Judy (the cancer survivor with all those medical problems)? She finished second female (at age 60)!!!

There were 3 in my age group and we all won hats.

After the awards, they gave away raffle prizes but as in the past, I did not win any.

All in all, a very challenging yet fun race. I think I’ll do it again (since I’ll probably block out any memory of those hills LOL)

My HILLY Splits:

mile 1 – 11:28
mile 2 – 11:23
mile 3 – 9:39
mile 4 – 10:59
mile 5 – 10:51
mile 6 – 11:35
mile 7 – 10:59
mile 8 – 11:00

A BOTP finish (50 out 68) and many miles over 11.  A rare occurrence.  But it is what it is and on to the next race (and marathon training).

As I drove back to the marina where we keep our boat, I passed a sign for a hiking trail that I usually do each summer – Cat and Thomas Mountains.  I have yet to hike this summer so on a whim (yes after 8 hilly miles), I stopped, grabbed my water, changed into my hiking shoes (they are always in my car, phew) and started walking up the mountain.

It was around noon and quite warm but at least it was pretty shady but way longer to the top of Thomas Mountain than I remember (like 2 miles or so STRAIGHT UP!!).

I did finally get to the top…

I admired the view, chatted with some folks and then decided not to continue on to Cat Mountain and walked down to my car.

It was actually a perfect recovery for my legs, I think.

The next day, we went back up to go boating, my legs felt great (even with all the hills).

near the marina – just spreading my wings while waiting for friends to show up to go boating on the lake.


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

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


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

Happy Running! Did you race this weekend? Do you have a big race coming up? Do you struggle on hilly races or do you prepare for them?  How do you recover from a hilly race? Please share.

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An A.R.T.ful Approach to a Running Injury

So I love museums and all art-related things but that is not the topic here.  This ART relates to injury prevention and injury recovery.

Image result for active release technique

ART stands for Active Release Techniques. It is usually done by a licensed chiropractor or PT.

I am not an expert but since I am currently undergoing it, I thought I’d learn about it and share what I’ve learned here.

So what are Active Release Techniques?

They are defined as “a soft tissue method that focuses on relieving tissue tension via the removal of fibrosis/adhesions which can develop in tissues as a result of overload due to repetitive use.”

How is it done?

Instead of treating a general area, the chiro uses his/her hands to feel for abnormal or damaged tissue in muscle, fascia, tendons, ligaments or nerves.

In my case, it was my leg but she also worked on my lower back.

He/she then applies intense and repetitive movement-based massage techniques to release buildup of dense scar tissue, restore normal function and decrease bad pain.  My chiro also used a metal instrument (for “scraping”) in addition to her hands.

Is it painful?

Yes and no. Everyone’s pain threshold is different. But on the whole, it hurts!!

I had painful bruises on my leg after the first session.

How many sessions do you need?

That depends as well.  Some respond after one treatment and others need more.  Also it depends on the severity of the injury or if it is just prevention (as in before a big race) or maintenance throughout the year.

Sometimes, you can be in more pain than before the treatment.

I have 6 sessions scheduled (2 sessions per week) which is what is recommended for injuries.

Is it always successful?

I am sure not always but I have read many reports that ART has helped.

The verdict is still out for me.

When should you use it?

Any runner in training is a candidate for ART because it can fix things before the runner even knows there’s an issue. So it can prevent injury.

Of course, if a runner is injured, ART promotes faster recovery and restoration of normal tissue function.

Why am I trying it?

If you know me, you should be surprised.

I have never gone to a chiropractor. I have never even had a massage.  I don’t stretch or foam roll.

So with my first injury, I freaked especially since for the first time ever, I have FOUR half marathons and a 15k in FOUR months and I signed up for my FIRST MARATHON!!!!!!!

Normally, I would just either run through it or just rest for awhile.

With a half in a few weeks, I was worried about not running, losing my training and going into the race, untrained or continuing to train and making my injury worse.

So I’ve rested my leg for the most part, asked my fellow runners for advice and I took the one that made the most sense (to me).

A coach recommended a chiro who specializes in ART. She said what I wanted to hear.  “It will fix everything and you will be fine!!”

Photo Cred: Performance Place Sports Care – Active Release

Read more about it here:

I even received my FIRST taping (after my 3rd visit)- supposed to reduce swelling and speed up the healing…fingers crossed


As you know, the Tuesdays on the Run link up has been retired. There is now a new link-up organized by Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner). The new link up is called Tuesday Topics and starts today!!

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


I’m linking also up with Coaches Corner–Debbie, Susie, Lora, and Rachel!

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

Happy Running! Anyone hear of ART or have used it successfully?

Publix Florida Half Marathon Recap

It seems like I’ve been planning this race-cation forever (since October) and now it’s come and gone.

I signed up for the Publix Florida Half Marathon as my 34th Half Marathon for several reasons:

  • I love race-cations.
  • I had enough FF miles for a free flight.
  • I have many many friends who winter in Florida (as well as my sister-in-law who moved to Florida) who have offered me places to stay.
  • I am sick of this cold weather and need some sunshine in my life!!!!!!!!
  • I love the beach, ocean views, climbing to the top of lighthouses, visiting bird sanctuaries, morning sunsets, etc.
  • The races are usually flat and have awesome views.
  • According to Runner’s World Magazine, it’s “One of America’s Top 10 Bucket List Waterfront Races.”

Half Marathon Training:

If you follow my posts, you also know that I am not strict about following a training plan.  I ran my last half marathon on November 24 and since then I have completed easy weekday runs and long runs on the weekends.

Though I don’t usually care much about my short runs, I do like to get in a 10, 11 and 12 miler before each half marathon.

Thanks to my running friends, I actually completed all my long runs… for the first time in a long time!!

All my runs were at an easy pace. No speed drills, progression runs, tempo runs, hill repeats, etc.  I didn’t expect to PR at this half marathon….bridges…humidity… hello?

The goal for this half marathon was pure enjoyment!!

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

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

The day I arrived in Florida, I relaxed at the pool (need that vitamin D), walked around a bird sanctuary and started my carb loading with shrimp tacos and key lime pie.

The next day, I went for an easy run, had brunch with some old friends, walked on the beach (continuing my vitamin D intake), and then headed North to visit a tennis friend who lives in Hobe Sound.

On the day before the race, I took a leisurely walk around the neighborhood and then went to a park where we climbed a mountain tower and strolled a nature trail with my hosts before I left Hobe Sound.  A lot less walking than I normally do the day before a race. Then I drove about 1 1/2 hours north to Melbourne to pick up my race packet.

As you can see, I had picture perfect weather…until now.  As soon as I arrived in Melbourne, it started to rain.

Luckily, packet pick-up/expo was indoors.  The expo was small and had the usual samples and race garb. There was nothing that I needed to buy. I had wanted to walk around the town but it was still raining so I left.

long sleeved tech shirt and cap – strawberry was the theme of this year’s race

The last stop was my sister in law who lived about 1/2 hour south in Sebastian. I was planning on spending the night there. Unfortunately that morning, her husband was taken by ambulance to the hospital.  That definitely put a damper on the weekend but my sister-in-law was happy that I was there with her for moral support and company.

Inside of going out to dinner so I could carb load, we ordered in pizza and then we relaxed at home for the rest of the evening (and I got my racing stuff ready for the next day.)

the usual racing outfit – tank, shirt, cap – at the last minute, I decided not to wear the compression sleeves since it was so warm out (mistake??)

The weather forecast looked ominous: heat, humidity, heavy rain and wind. Oh my!!

it turned out to be even hotter than predicted. 70 already when I woke up.

Race Day:

I brought my usual race breakfast of oatmeal and coffee with me and got up around 4:15 am.  I thought it might be chilly so I grabbed a throw away shirt, jacket and DIY arm sleeves and took off for the race start.

 Jammer, of the Florida Strawberry Growers Association.

pic from Florida Today

I arrived around 5:45 am and it was pouring.  I got a great parking spot, very close to the start.  I waited in my car until the rain lightened. I donned my poncho and set out to join the other runners.

at least my poncho was clear so you could see my Skirt Sports outfit

I brought dry clothes and flip flops and planned to check a bag but I realized that my car was just as close to the finish as the bag check so I went back to my car and left my bag.

Now it was pouring again, I sought shelter by the rest rooms.  There were several real options in addition to porta-potties.

braving the weather for a photo!

The good news was that it was warm out.  The bad news was that the humidity was 99%.

 The National Anthem was played before the start of

pic from Florida Today

Soon we heard the national anthem. The marathon started first. Ugh… 26.2 miles in rain.  Grateful it was not me!!

Then we were forced to leave our shelter and approach the start line. The rain had stopped (but not for long.)

 The National Anthem was played before the 6:00am start

pic from Florida Today

I lined up near the 2:05 pacer though I was doubtful that I could finish at that time.

I’ll do my best to recap the race below.

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

I knew that the course was not flat and a big bridge to cross at mile 6 and mile 12:

But it does look to be scenic and have water views and there would be supposedly up to 20 musical acts along the course.

2018 course – shows the water

Anyway, here’s how the race went:

2019 course – pretty similar except the bridges are later

Miles 1-3:

9:43, 9:54, 9:58

We started through the green arch and headed North along the old U.S. Highway 1. The break in the rain lasted about one mile and then it started to rain. It varied from a drizzle to a down pour. And since it had been raining since yesterday, there were puddles galore…and in some places more like lakes.  It made it impossible to run the tangents since that was where the biggest puddles were located.

I ran at what seemed to be an easy pace but I quickly lost the 2:05 pace and was following the 2:10 at least for awhile.

There was water and Gatorade at every mile and I stopped at each one for a drink. many of the stops also had gels (Cliff Shots) too. (Some even had pickle juice.)

Miles 4-6:

10:02, 10:09, 11:00

As my feet got wetter and wetter, they got more and more uncomfortable. Around mile 5, I developed a big blister on my right foot and soon after, the bottom of my left foot began to ache. (oh the woes of my feet…)

But the most annoying part of the race for me was my RUNNING BELT.  It kept loosening up.  I’m not sure if it was that it was wet but I must have stopped to tighten it what seemed like a hundred times.  If I didn’t, it practically fell to my feet. (I will stick to my SpiBelt.)

There wasn’t much crowd support. Who would want to stand in the rain to watch a race??  But there was music throughout – either musicians or bands and someone on a motor bike playing music loud.

Around mile 5, I took my first Gu and then at mile 6 we hit the first causeway (Eau Gallie Causeway) and DAMN. In addition to being long and steep, the wind picked up and we were running into the wind (of course).  I ran and walked. I wanted to save my legs for the rest of the race. I was looking forward to passing the guy playing the white baby grand as in all the photos but I guess that wouldn’t work in this awful weather.

Image result for publix florida half marathon

pic from Florida Today

The 2019 Publix Florida Marathon, Half Marathon, and

Can you see me on the left??

Miles 7-9:

11:06, 10:54, 11:25

As you can see, each mile I am running slower and slower.  I’m sure that I was probably passed by the 2:15 pacer by this point. Since my feet hurt and I was feeling like a drown rat, I decided to just run and not worry about my finish time.  You could call it giving up. I call it just “Not Feeling It.”

We ran by some crazy, gorgeous homes that are right along the river. I wished I could have enjoyed the ocean views because almost the entire race had them but it was just sea of grey skies and fog.

Miles 10-12

11:22, 11:22, 11:03

Around Mile 10, I took my second Gu hoping for an energy burst. Then at mile 12 (how cruel), we hit the 2nd causeway – the Melbourne Causeway.  I ran/walked it not because I was saving my legs but because it didn’t really matter at this point. The 2:20 pacer had passed me awhile ago and I made a lame effort to catch (and almost did).

Mile 13- 13.23:

10:27, 8:33

Yes, I know I look like a retard!!

Finally we made a few turns and ran through the green arch and then turned to run through the strawberry arch. I did my best to sprint but it was hard to do with all the puddles and my belt falling down!!

Garmin time= 2:20:21
Gun time = 2:20:50
Chip time = 2:20:29

dripping wet and happy to be done!

I got my medal and since it was raining hard, I headed back to my car to change and get an umbrella.

There was entertainment and lots of food booths outdoors but I went inside to stay dry.  First I had to try the pancakes with fresh strawberries and whipped cream.

The rain let up and I went back outside. I chatted with other runners, had some Starbucks coffee and contemplated waiting in line for some strawberry cider but then it started to pour again so I went inside for round two of post-race fueling. This time, I had 2 pieces of pizza.

Before I left I checked the results. I doubted that with my finish time that I would win an award.

over 6 minutes slower on the 2nd half – that cost me the award

Nope. I came in 4th.  Too bad because you got fresh strawberries, strawberry sunglasses and a pint glass.

But as they say “Finishing=Winning”

Half #34 is in the books

Additional Race Reflections:

I have yet to figure out how to get past my foot pain and finish the second half of the race strong.  I also feel defeated when I realize that I cannot accomplish what I am capable of.

My finish time was slower than my previous race which was all hills and a much more difficult course. I do not even expect a PR (under 2:06:52) and especially not one with those weather conditions.  However, I do think that my finish times should be under 2:15.

Enough whining…I am so grateful to be able to travel and run races.

My only regret in this race was that I didn’t wear my compression leg sleeves. I have never raced without them or run any training runs longer than 3 miles without them.  Though, my leg never hurt during the race and I walked around a botanical garden for several hours after without pain, I wonder if my injury on the beach was related to my not wearing compression.

We’ll never know for sure.  Hopefully, I am NOT seriously injured and I can start training for my next race.

All in all, I thought this was a great race.

The Good:

  • Easy packet pick-up.
  • Real bathrooms and comfortable location to wait at the start/finish.
  • Free beer, cider, Starbucks coffee post race.
  • Strawberry pancakes & pizza post race.
  • Bag Check.
  • Water and Gatorade stops every mile.
  • Cliff Shot gels and banana halves available at many water stops (as well as pickle juice).
  • Many porta-potties along the course.
  • Music along the course.
  • Water views along 90% of the course.
  • Well marked course.
  • No major injuries.
  • Walker friendly – 5 hour course limit.
  • Pacers at 5 mile intervals up to 2:20.
  • Cool medal.
  • Logo caps and tech shirts.
  • Post race concert.
  • Free race photos.

The Bad:

  • My loose race belt.
  • Blisters
  • Bridge at mile 12.
  • The weather

The Ugly:

  • The Weather

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Feb 2, 2020

Final Stats:

Next Up:

United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

This was one will be the totally different – no beaches or water views or warm temps and humidity but big crowds, lots of excitement, hills of Prospect Park in Brooklyn, finish in Central park… Looking forward to it…. Hoping for a dry day!!!!!!


As you know, the Tuesdays on the Run link up has been retired. There is now a new link-up organized by Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner). The new link up is called Tuesday Topics and starts today!!

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


I’m linking also up with Coaches Corner–Debbie, Susie, Lora, and Rachel!

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

Happy Running! 

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What Do You Love About Running?

As you know, the Tuesdays on the Run link up has been retired. There is now a new link-up organized by Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner). The new link up is called Tuesday Topics.

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

Today’s Topic (appropriately as we approach Valentine’s Day) is What Do You Love About Running.

I could go on and on but I will limit it… (they are not in order of importance… they are actually listed in reverse order.)

  • Bling

Yup, it’s cool to get medals and awards. It is a concrete symbol of your accomplishment. Some are pretty too.

  • Opportunities to Travel

I don’t travel as much as other runners but I have gotten to visit California, Florida, Vermont, Philly, NJ, Las Vegas, Montreal and Paris!! I may not have gone to these locations if I had not registered for a race.

  • Races

I would race every weekend if I could afford it. I love all distances though my favorites are the 5k and the half marathon. The excitement at the start line with the other runners and the feeling of accomplishment when you cross that finish line can’t be beat.

  • Local Running Friends

They are the best…. I don’t know where I’d be without them. Whether it is sharing some of my miserable long runs in the cold or seeing their smiling faces before a race or just chatting about running at a post-run brunch.  Running Life is better with friends to support you.

  • Prizes awarded based on your Age

I love that that I am only competing against other women and the ones that are in my age group. I have played competitive tennis and unfortunately, it’s just WIN or Lose.

  • Blogging

If I didn’t run, I probably wouldn’t blog and I would have missed out on meeting some fabulous ladies. My blog started as motivation to keep on running and now it is so much more… a way to stay connected to the running community.

  • How it makes me feel

Healthy, strong, confident, empowered, young(er)…


I’m also linking this post with Susie and Rachel and Debbie and Lora for the Running Coaches’ Corner.

Happy Running! What do you love most about running? Do share!

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Polar Cap Race Recap

Feb. 2, 2019 – 10 am – Lake George, NY

You all know how much I love Lake George (at least in the summertime).  Well, this race gets me up to the lake in the winter.  Ex-blogger Andrea (now runner friend) and I had run this race together SIX times already. She had run this race 12 times!!!

Polar Cap - 2nd place in AG

Here we are winning AG awards in 2011

I was injured in 2012 and couldn’t run but AJH did snag another award.

AJH got 2nd place...we won a lunch bag which matches the race shirt

AG awards again in 2013

I ran with her in 2014 but only she got an award.

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AJH’s award in 2014

Then in 2015, we both got awards and for the first time, I beat her.

2nd

another hat for AJH but my first.

I was away in 2016 but we ran it together in 2017.  I won my AG and surprisingly got a PR!!!

We ran it last year and almost froze to death. It was 4 degrees!! (But I came in 2nd in my AG).

Andrea came even though she was injured and had to walk the whole course

Andrea signed up, of course, again this year and I was looking forward to seeing her.

But then a few weeks before the race, I stumbled upon her daughter’s post on IG:

My faith in the universe has been totally rocked but my faith in my mother is more ironclad than ever. This strong and tenacious woman ran her first marathon the year she turned 50(!), beat me by 20 minutes during my first 26.2 mile jaunt(!), conquered her maiden triathlon at 60(!), regularly rides 40-50-60-70-80+ miles on her trusty blue bike(!), read 171 books last year(!), and now she’s one big surgery into beating cancer. She’s the very greatest bad ass I know and I have no doubt that she’s gonna absolutely pulverize this fucking cancer, with even less mercy than she showed me when she left me in her dust on the Marine Corps Marathon course.

And yes, it brought tears to my eyes. It rocked my world, for sure.

I started reading her blog when I started running. She inspired me from the beginning. We are the same age exactly!! But she has run longer, farther, faster…even has competed in triathlons.

We met face-to-face for the first time at a race in 2010 and since then have completed in many races together (in addition to this race 6 times). I have even stayed at her house in VT twice.

She has also come to my area each year to participate in a duathlon. I have always come to the race to cheer her on.

So I ran this race with a heavy heart. I ran it for Andrea.

here she is finishing last year’s race walking on a bum knee but with a smile

Back to the race recap…

The thing with this race, you never know where it’s going to start and what the course will be (besides hilly.)  Two years ago, they changed the course for the third time.

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during the snowy 2014 race

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during the cold 2015 race

getting my PR in 2017

chillin’ after last year’s race

I have not been doing any speed work at all or running on any hills. (Um …do I ever? lol) My runs on the weekend have been longish. So as usual, I went into this race with no expectations other than to have fun and stay healthy.

When I woke up, I checked Lake George’s weather and saw this:

yikes! And no I didn’t consider bailing!

So I bundled up in my usual running layers (2 shirts, DIY arm sleeves, vest, skirt/tights, gaiter, beanie, mittens). One of my running friends, Barbara, also wanted to run this race so we drove the hour ride up to Lake George together. It was nice to have company.

We arrived around 9ish and got a great parking spot in a nearby parking lot.

Packet pick-up was again at the parish hall of the church in Lake George.  This newer location was warm and had restrooms which is always a plus.

another cotton t-shirt to give away

Eventually runners did arrive and I chatted with some whom I knew until Andrea arrived. She is hard core – drove over 2 hours from VT since her doctor said that she could walk the race. Yes, in addition to hard core, she is definitely Badass!!!

We waited until the last minute to go out into the cold. We had to walk quite a ways as the race started in town by the lake. (Since the race repeated its course, I will re-post some of my pics from previous years. It was too cold to take any))

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There was no real starting line and the race was not chip timed. Even though I ran the race last year, I didn’t really remember what the course was like so here is a map that I found online.

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I am directionally challenged anyway so it wouldn’t have meant much to me even if I looked at the map before the race.

waiting to begin (pic from D. Olden)

Luckily we didn’t have to wait long in the cold before the race started. There seemed to be less than 100 runners which is much fewer than usual (probably because of the cold temps.)

A lot of the course was a blur, as usual, but here’s what I remember. Rather than taking pictures during this race again, I’m posting last year’s as they did not change the course.

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pic from FB – cute markers at each mile

The first mile started with a slight uphill and then it flattened out. I was cold (at least my face and lips were from the wind) and my legs felt very stiff since I hadn’t warmed up. I was ok with that because I wanted to start out slow.  I also found my stomach growling since the race started at 10 am and I had eaten 3 hours ago. I concentrated on the scenery and surprisingly, the ground was not as slippery as I feared. Still, I needed to pay attention.

I wore again my new “old” Garmin and I thought I fixed it to show pace.  But nope but at least now, it does measure the pace which I looked at after the race.

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Mile two started where the race used to start and than meant a steepish hill.  I told myself to be smart since I had a half marathon in ONE week and I never run on hills.  However this time, I pushed myself to run slowly and not walk.  It was practically a crawl and I did it. At this point, I was actually thawing out.  In fact, I felt warm.

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The longest and biggest was at mile 3 and although it was only 1/2 mile, it seemed to go on forever.  This time I walked/ran it. Afterward we were rewarded with a nice downhill. I am always hesitant to go all out on the downhills so many runners passed me by but that was better than getting DOMS. Believe it or not, I was so warm that I unzipped my vest and took off my mittens.

Finally for mile 4, we ran along the lake and back into town.  At this point, I wanted to be done and picked up the pace. Luckily the hills were finally over. I didn’t care about a PR but I secretly want to win an AG award.  But I had no idea where the other runners in my AG were in at this time in the course.

Understandably (due to the weather), there were fewer volunteers than normal.  There was a point along the lake where there was a roundabout and I had no idea where to run.  I stopped and called to the last volunteer and asked which way to go.  He told me and I ran a little more and then was confused. I turned back and he gestured to continue straight.  I think I went the right way and eventually there was another volunteer ahead at the next to last turn before the finish line,

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Finally, I saw that the clock ahead and it read 38:xx.  I sprinted as fast as I could and crossed at 38:28.

Barbara finished just a few minutes after me.  I thought about waiting around for Andrea but it was TOO COLD so Barbara and I walked back to the church together.

There was chicken noodle soup, bread, bagels, chocolate milk, fruit and baked goods – I am a sucker for home-made stuff and ate quite a few cookies and brownies (and chocolate-covered pretzels). I also had the soup and of course, the chocolate milk!

Due to technical glitches and the runners still out on the course, we had to wait around for the age group awards. It was quite a while so I chatted with a law professor that I used to work with and snacked on the refreshments.

And both Barbara and I won our age groups. So there were not many runners in our age groups. Still a win’s a win.

While Andrea was out walking the race, I mentioned to the race director that she had run this race 13 times and it was the only race that she has run EVERY year.

I think she was surprised and hopefully happy with the “Badass”award.

With 8 miles on my “training” schedule for the day, I debated about running more (for about a second) but it was TOO COLD. We did put on warmer clothes and walked into town to the Winter Carnival.

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This was the first day of the event which is held every weekend in February.

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they had a chili cook-off. but the line was too long and it was freezing

I said hello to my friend who was volunteering and then we walked back to my car and headed home.

As usual, I loved doing the race (even if it was cold). Small local races are the best and running one with a friend is just icing on the cake.

Race Splits:

mile 1: 9:06
mile 2: 10:02
mile 3: 9:48
mile 4: 9:07
.05: 7:36

Garmin time: 38:26
Official time : 38:28

PR – 37:21


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


I’m also linking this post with Susie and Rachel and Debbie and Lora for the Running Coaches’ Corner.

Happy Running! Have you raced yet this year? How do you feel about cold weather races?

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