Polar Cap Race Recap

This post was hard to write and you’ll see why as you read on…

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 have run this race together SEVEN times. She has done this race 13 times (in a row)!!!

Polar Cap - 2nd place in AG

Here we are winning AG awards in 2011

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

AG awards again in 2013

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

2nd

In 2015, another hat for Andrea but my first and I beat her for the first time

I surprisingly got a PR in 2017

Together again and freezing in 2018 

a bitter sweet AG award because Andrea who was battling cancer came but had to walk the course

And yes, Andrea’s cancer diagnosis rocked my world, for sure. But she is strong and I was pretty confident that she would beat it.

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 we have completed many races together (in addition to this race 7 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.

But this year, for the FIRST time, Andrea did not come to the Polar Cap race.  She valiantly lost her fight with cancer and died a few weeks earlier. So I ran this race alone with a heavy heart. I ran it for Andrea…

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.)  Three 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

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. And I have been suffering with a sore foot for it seems like forever. So as usual, I went into this race with no expectations other than to have fun and finish standing.

I bundled up in my usual running layers (2 shirts, DIY arm sleeves, vest, skirt/tights, gaiter, beanie, gloves).

I 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.

Instead of a shirt this year, they gave you a hat.

Eventually runners did arrive and I chatted with some whom I knew. It was strange not to be waiting for Andrea to drive in from VT. Definitely made me feel said…

Hi Don Yeaton (credit)

For the first time since startled running this race, it was not frigid…so I decided leave the vest behind.

We all 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 in addition to this year’s pics.)

There was no real starting line and the race was not chip timed. Even though I’ve run this course in previous years, I never 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)

Before the they started the race, they had a moment of silence for Andrea and then announced that this year’s race would be dedicated to her.  I got pretty emotional but luckily, the race started quickly after and I concentrated on running.

My foot, in my mind, had gotten less painful but I realized that during this race, it really HAD NOT.  It hurt with EVERY step.  It made me very mad and frustrated but then I thought about Andrea and all the pain she had gone through this past year.  And I just ran through the pain. It was just a race…and I would finish it no matter how long it took.

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 a previous 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 concentrated on the scenery and surprisingly, the ground was not as slippery as I feared. Still, I needed to pay attention.

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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 another half marathon in TWO weeks and I never train 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 actually felt warm and took off my gloves. I was happy that I did not wear that vest.

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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 especially with the black ice.  One particular runner (in my age group) had been behind me (and always finishes after me) breezed by me.  As she did, she yelled “This downhill runner got you this time.”  The competitive part of me wanted to speed up and overtake her.  But my foot was killing me and I decided to just let her beat me.

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 (besides the one who passed me by on the downhill).

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Finally, I saw that the clock ahead and it read 37:xx. I sprinted as fast as I could (as not to finish over 38:XX) and crossed around 37:55.

The runner who beat me was there gloating… “I’m so happy to have finally beat you,” she said.

It was too cold to wait around for others so I walked back to the church.

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!

I chatted with some running friends while waiting for the age group awards.

next year Jill & Sue will no longer be in my AG.

And I did indeed win one…2nd and my friend Sue won 3rd.

we’re old but going strong

With a 12 mile long run on my schedule for the day, I had been debating about skipping this race. Once I found out that Andrea had died, I knew that I could not skip this race.  It was one of her favorites. I had to do it.

I debated about running more. My foot hurt…a lot but I had a half marathon to run in TWO weeks.  So changed my shoes, put my vest back on and I ran around the church area and then 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.

I ran around town some more… for about 5 more miles.  I didn’t get my 12 miles in but 9 was sufficient in my book.

cooling off… ha ha

As usual, I loved doing the race (even with the hills and sore foot). Small local races are the best.

Race Splits:

mile 1: 9:09
mile 2: 9:37
mile 3: 9:54
mile 4: 8:58
.05: 7:11

Garmin time: 37:51
Official time : 37:55

The whole time I was running, I felt like I was going sooo slow. I couldn’t really push off my sore foot and I felt like my form was suffering as well. I also thought that my 4 mile PR was like 35:XX. I was shocked when I sat down to write this… and discovered that my PR was 37:21 and that my finish time was faster than the last two years 38:28, 38:47 (when I was healthy).

Fred LeBow Half Marathon Race Recap

NYRR Fred Lebow Half-Marathon 2020 logo

January 19, 2020 – 8:00 am

This race honors the late NYRR president and New York City Marathon co-founder, Fred Lebow (1932–1994). The course is two-plus loops of Central Park, which can be a challenge in January! Join the mid-winter fun and camaraderie—and perhaps kick off your training for a spring marathon. You’ll have lots of good-spirited company, and you can enjoy classical music (Fred’s favorite) at the start as well as inspiring Fred quotes along the course!

So I signed up for the Fred LeBow Half Marathon as my 40th Half Marathon for several reasons:

  • I love NYC.
  • I love running in Central Park.
  • I had enough pts for a free hotel room.
  • I had thought my NYC BRFs Cari and Elizabeth may be running it too.
  • It was held on President’s Day weekend so I had the next day off from work.
  • Fred Lebow?!

Half Marathon Training:

If you follow my posts, you also know that I am not strict about following a training plan.  After the NYC Marathon and Stockade-athon 15k, I experienced foot pain.

So I stopped running completely for 3 weeks. I was planning to DNS this race.

But then I started back with some short runs and a few longer ones on the weekend.

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.

For this race, I obviously did not. And all my runs came with some foot discomfort.

Yes, I was nervous that I was not prepared for run 13.1 miles and I was nervous about making my foot worse. And those hills!!!!

So the goal for this half marathon was just finishing!!  It’s a BIG race, There would be many runners finishing behind me.

Update course map – start at east 102nd and end at west 102nd – 2 full loops

Check out this elevation:

starts and ends with Harlem Hill and you hit it in the middle too! along with Cat Hill twice and 3 Sisters.

Yikes.  But no surprise…I have run in this park and I ran the Shape Half Marathon which was also several loops of the park (but different start and end.)

survived but not smiling

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

Several days before the race, we were notified of this change:

Due to construction on the 72nd Street Transverse in Central Park, we have modified the NYRR Fred Lebow Half Marathon course. The race will now feature two larger loops in Central Park starting on East Drive just south of the 102nd Street Cross Drive and finishing on 102nd Street Cross Drive near West Drive.

Hence, three Harlem hills rather than the normal two…lucky me!

I learned some valuable lessons about pre-race prep during a previous race-cation — rest the legs and fuel adequately the day before the race. I was going to make sure that I did both things this time around.

So I took the bus to NYC on Saturday. The weather was horrendous. Snow made my bus arrive an hour late so I immediately headed to the subway (with my luggage) to meet fellow bloggers Deborah (from Confessions of a Mother Runner) and Cari. The three of us had a great time chatting over popcorn and wine at Deborah’s hotel.

Cari was nice enough to have already picked up my bib to save me enough time to get back to check into my hotel and then take the subway to Brooklyn. I had plans to carb load with my friend Stan who was running the race the next day, as well.

Brooklyn pizza is the best. I had 3 slices…no guilt.

The snow had stopped but now it was pouring. I had my fingers crossed that they were right about the sunshine the next day.

I got back to my hotel rather early in order to plan my race day. I have only run one winter half marathon. So it was a challenge to decide on what to wear to keep warm but not too warm for 13.1 miles.

2 shirts, capris and compression socks, beanie, gloves

Luckily I still had some throw always and foil wrap to add to my outfit.

Race Day:

I brought my usual race breakfast of oatmeal and coffee with me and got up around 5:30 am.  It was chillier than I hoped so I put on my throwaway jacket, DIY arm sleeves, grabbed a foil blanket and called an Uber. (My hotel was on West 39th and it would be a long walk from the nearby subway stop at East 102nd to the start.)

snow on the grass and paths but the roads were salted and clear

I had plans to meet Stan (who was taking the subway from Brooklyn) before the race. I got there way too early.  It was easy to find the start and bag check.  But an hour waiting in the freezing cold was too much.

The sun came up and so did the wind. A bunch of us huddled near a generator for warmth. Eventually they shooed us away saying it was dangerous.

Soon Stan arrived and we met at bag check.  I hesitated giving up my jacket but I knew that I would need it after the race. (I should have worn more throwaways.. and brought a heavier jacket for after… duh!)

Eventually, it was time to separate and head to our respective corrals. I was in I and Stan in G. (I was supposed to meet another friend who was in L but never located her.)

I kept on the foil blanket until I started running

I FROZE!!!! Even my teeth were chattering…along with 5000 other runners (a small race for NYC standards.)

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

The Race Plan: Do not get injured!! Do make your foot pain worse!!

There would have to be a lot of walking…There would be umpteen hills!! (and 3 Harlems rather than the usual 2!! plus several Cats and many other annoying smaller ones.)

And stop and walk briefly at every water stop (so I wouldn’t get dehydrated even in the cold) and to stop and walk longer to eat a gel at every other water stop.

Anyway, here’s how the race went:

Miles 1-5:

10:36, 10:34, 10:19, 10:22, 10:48

from nyrr fb page

It took a LONG five minutes or so to get to the start line. As I crossed I waved and yelled to Ali from Ali on the Run blog/podcast who was the race announcer.

It was slow going at first due to the crowd but soon after we ascended Harlem Hill for the first time…

My corral had a 2:10 pacer whom I lost immediately. I never did see the 2:20 one.

My foot hurt immediately but as always the pain faded to a dull ache and then increased and decreased throughout the race. It never felt normal nor did it ever prevent me from running.

Once I started running, I realized that I was indeed perfectly dressed. I even took off my gloves.

The roads were wet but they had so much salt on them, they were not slippery.

I ran up most of the hills. My sore foot always feels better running than walking.  Unfortunately, it felt worse on the downhills where I normally can pick up the pace and make up for my slow uphill running.

I was conscious of this and never pushed the pace (even though tempted on those downhills) during the race.

There were water/Gatorade stops almost every mile of the course. I stopped at each one except the first one.

At mile 2, I took my first gel since it had been hours since my breakfast. (I always struggle to get one out of my pocket, open it and drink water and eat it…)

I knew that Cari was going to be cheering for me on the west side at 79th St.  I was counting the blocks until I saw her (around mile 2.5).

I high fived her as I ran by.

Cari’s pic of me as I ran by

So we continued circling the park… many small annoying hills and then the 2nd largest hill, Cat Hill. I did the same as with Harlem, ran up most and ran slowly down.

Soon we were back on the east side and passed Fred Lebow.  Every runner waved to him as they ran by.

I didn’t stop to get my camera out,,,this was taken on a different run

Miles 6-10:

10:09, 11:44, 10:48, 10:51, 11:13

We passed the start and that meant we were heading for round 2 of Harlem Hill.  I also took my 2nd gel at one of the water stops. They had Honey Stingers and I searched until I found a chocolate one.

credit – cheereverywhere – can always muster up a smile for the camera

As we headed for the west side again, I was looking forward to seeing my friends Cari and Elizabeth. I so appreciated them being there to cheer me on.

And since this was the second loop of the park, there was Cat Hill again, and the statue of Fred and hill after hill after hill.

credits: cheereverywhere – my favorite sign

Miles 11-13.4:

12:21, 11:31, 12:08, 9:05

I ate one more gel since another Harlem Hill was coming for the THIRD time.

At this point, I wanted to be done.  I got a side stitch and it persisted until mile 13. Maybe because I had not done more than 10 miles for a long run.  Who knows? It took my mind off my achy foot.

I ran next a lady struggling with knee pain.  We decided to help each other get to the finish (and swore together about adding that 3rd Harlem Hill).

Finally we turned toward the finish line and then turned again.

I ran as fast as I could…. (Adrenaline took over here!)

I immediately got my medal, my foil sheet and posed for a quick pic.

I grabbed a bagel and pretzels and headed to bag check where Stan was waiting for me.

I was freezing… The wind had picked up… So glad that I didn’t throw that jacket away (wished I had brought my warmer one.)

We headed out of the park, walked many many blocks (oh my foot!!) to the subway and then I walked to my hotel to pack and take a long hot shower.

I met Stan again for lunch and to recap our race experiences. In spite of the pain, the cold, the loops, the monster hills, we did not regret running the race.

refueling

Since it had gotten much colder and windier, we both decided to leave the city earlier than planned.

Additional Race Reflections:

Garmin time=2:25:42
Chip time = 2:26:31

My finish time was way slower than my previous two half marathons. (Surf Town 9/8/19 – 2:16:08 and Sacandaga 5/19/19 -2:13:03) which was to be expected. (May have been a PW and definitely the slowest since 2011, my first year.)

As you can see from the stats above, my splits were slower than normal..no 9 minute miles and too many over 11 or 12.

Enough whining…I am so grateful to be able to visit NYC and run a race. I am unbelievably happy that after the race, my foot did not hurt worse than before.  My legs felt great. Zero DOMS!!

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

As usual, I wore some new items:

  • race hat – it was warm and comfortable
  • NYC Marathon race shirt  – also worked out well (love wearing race shirts – great conversation starter)
  • Injini toe socks and toe spacer (for my bunion) – got a blister in a new spot but no blister on the other foot where I often get one ??

The tried and true items:

  • Mizuno Wave Inspires (been experimenting with Altras and Brooks) that I had worn for the marathon
  • Skirt Sports Lotta Breeze capri skirt – had a drawstring to keep it tight and 2 pockets for ID, cards and gels
  • Legendware compression calf sleeves – kept my legs warm and supported my calfs
  • Dollar store gloves – secondary use was to wipe my runny nose lol
  • Spi belt for my phone and to attach my bib

The Good:

  • Easy packet pick-up (several days before at Run Center and also race morning near the start).
  • Many porta potties at the start. Long lines but they moved quickly (I was told – did not use).
  • Bag Check. Well organized before and easy pick up at the end.
  • Water and Gatorade stops at almost every mile or so.
  • Gels available at several water stops
  • Many porta-potties along the course in addition to real CP bathrooms
  • Roads were dry even after the previous day’s snowfall.
  • Friends cheering for support.
  • Well marked course.
  • Great crowd support at the big hills!
  • Clocks at 5k, 10k, 15k, 20k (or even more points).
  • Pacers (useful if you started in the correct corral).
  • Very cool medal.
  • Great winter beanie.
  • No lines for post race refreshments
  • Foil blankets put on and taped close for each runner.
  • Blogger met-up with Cari and Deborah and a friend to share the race experience with before and after.

The Bad:

  • Loops!!!
  • Hills in Central Park.
  • Foot Pain.
  • Side Stitch.
  • The course was LONG.

The Ugly:

  • Harlem Hill – 3 times!!

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Do it if you can.  You won’t regret it (unless you hate hills lol).

No, it’s not an easy course. Only a little over 5,000 runners usually participate so small race by NYC standards.

Final Stats:

Next Up:

A Race-cation. In Bermuda!  Should be a blast…

Image result for zooma bermuda

may still be a hilly race but should be WARMER


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

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


I’m linking up also with this new link-up:

Formerly the Running Coaches’ Corner, it’s back with new co-hosts Coach Debbie RunsRunning on HappyConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Fauxrunner.

Happy Running! Ever run this race? Have you raced in NYC? What is your favorite half marathon? Ever run one totally under-trained? Please share.

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Weekly Run Down for 1.13.20-1.19.20: Race Week??

Back working at home until March except for some race-cations thrown in.

Last Week –

  • Monday – Back to my podiatrist because the foot pain continues. I convinced him that I think it’s a neuroma. He agreed that if it were small, it wouldn’t show up on a MRI and he gave me a cortisone shot.  He added that we wouldn’t know if it worked for 2-3 weeks.

Had my first of 4 Chair Yoga sessions at work. So fun. Need it every day!!

great stretching without having to change from your work clothes.

After work, I ran my usual 3 mile UAlbany.

verdict is still out on the shot..foot still numb…time will tell…

  • Tuesday – Rest Day scheduled due to a much needed hair appointment.
  • Wednesday – Long work day but needed to run it off. Instead of UAlbany, I drove to rail trail and also ran in the local neighborhoods when it got dark.

after standing all the day, the foot really ached

  • Thursday – Debating all day about whether or not to run a half in NYC on Sunday. Tonight was the deadline to cancel my hotel reservations.  The weather forecast for Saturday was snow/rain but on race day, it had improved..and then there was the foot situation and lack of training. Decisions….Decisions.

oops..almost forgot…we’ll celebrate at a later date.

After another day on my feet, I went for a run at UAlbany with Chris.

much colder and windier but the foot felt better than the day before

  • Friday – PT consult today.  Looking for answers for my foot. She says she can help..appointments made for next Monday and Wednesday.

Also a Rest Day to get ready for the weekend in NYC and an evening with the mah jongg ladies. Yup, I decided to go for it.  I love a challenge and I hoped that I wouldn’t regret it.

  • Saturday – Another rest day cuz I was headed to NYC by bus. Thanks to the snow, my bus arrived late so I immediately headed to meet fellow bloggers Cari and Deborah. We had a great time over wine and popcorn. I briefly stopped off to check into my hotel before heading to Brooklyn to carb load with friend Stan who was also running the half the next day.

  • Sunday – Race Day – Fred Lebow Half Marathon. Holy hills!!! Two full loops of Central Park on a beautiful day. Perfect weather for running but the cold temps and wind had me freezing my butt off before and after the race. The foot hurt but seems no worse than before. The hills were what had me bitching. After a long hot shower, I met Stan for brunch. And we both decided to head home several hours early. (Too cold windy and sore to hike around the city.). I felt better after running 26.2 miles. Go figure.

This Coming Week – 

  • Monday – PT, rest day
  • Tuesday –  rest day, gym, mall walk with BFF
  • Wednesday – PT, run (Delmar)
  • Thursday –run (UAlbany)
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday – long run with Sole Sisters (11 miles)
  • Sunday – rest day

I am linking up with Kim and Deborah for

I encourage you to do the same. Grab the graphic, drop your link on the host blogs and play along! Please be sure to always comment on the HOST’s blogs, as well as visit and comment on as many other blogs as you can.

Happy Running! How is your running going? Anyone suffering from undiagnosable injuries? Ever have a cortisone shot? What’s new with you? Please share.

Bill Hogan Winter Series #2 (3.75 m) Race Recap

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January 1, 2020 Noon

Every year, the Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club puts on the Winter Series, a series of free races for its members ($5 for non-members). On New Year’s Day, starting at noon, they offer the Hangover Half or 3.5 mile Bill Hogan Run as Winter Series #2.

In 2015, I ran the Hangover Half (as a training run.)

hangover-059

and it was a very cold one

Then in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, I wasn’t that crazy and I only ran the 3.5 Miler.

It was definitely more enjoyable so I decided to run the 3.5 miler again. They call it a 3.5 miler but I realize each year after the race that it is actually 3.75 miles.

Starting at noon meant that I was able to enjoy my New Year’s Eve.

I arrived at UAlbany early figuring that there are a lot of local runners who do these races and I wanted to get a close parking space.

Today it was forecast to be in the high 30s but I was worried about the wind on this course. It is always windy!

I wore the usual winter layers. The good thing was that there is an indoor place to hang out before and after the race.

This race brings out everyone I know who runs – from running groups, races, friends, etc.

hanging with SS (Sole Sister) Jeri

So it was great seeing everyone and catching up. I immediately bumped into runners that I know from races but only one of the Sole Sisters. We hung out inside and chatted until the very last moment when we had to go outside.

SS Judy chose to volunteer rather than run this year

Eventually we did have to leave the nice warm building and climb down the stairs and head to the start.

I just squeezed in near the front in order to keep warm and be shielded from the wind.

My biggest worry, of course, has been my foot. It hasn’t been pain-free since November 10.  There were 3 weeks off from running completely and then a few slow run/walks.

I told myself to have a “relaxing” race and not try anything stupid to make my foot pain worse.

Hangover_Half-002-L

This course is not flat. There are annoying hills throughout. Nothing awful until you are tired (at mile 3).

pic from a previous year…no snow this year but no blue skies either

This was the first year that I can remember that there was NO ice or snow.

I won’t lie. I was a little cold especially with the wind but at times, I was warm and unzipped my vest. I even eventually took off my gloves. I was happy with my clothing choice.

There were 208 runners running the 3.5 miler (and 197 in the half). I was never running alone. I ran with someone I knew several times when they caught up to me but soon they left me behind.

I wasn’t bothered at all by my apparent lack of speed. I was just trying to get a run in. I wanted to run the race without walking too much since I rarely do that during my weekday runs. And I did for the first three miles despite the fact that my foot hurt with every step.  Unfortunately with my 6 miler the previous Saturday, my foot pain eventually went away.  It did not today. I tried to ignore and just finish so the pain would end.

There were no mile markers on the course but I could hear my Garmin beep. I couldn’t pay attention to my pace or time because my Garmin was under my long sleeves. (Probably a good thing.)

another pic from a previous year

As I mentioned, I was running until mile 3.  This was the most boring part of the course as well as uphill.  To make matters worse, the wind cam out of nowhere here. I struggled and the wind seem to suck the life out of my legs.  Runners were passing me by, even a runner pushing a child in a stroller.  I finally gave it and walked.  But it was just as hard to walk into the wind and so I started running again. At this point, I just wanted to finish. and be pain-free.

Finally, it was over and I was surprised to see that the clock read 35 minutes. I knew that it would not be close to a course PR but I actually thought that I was even slower than that.

So I sprinted and crossed at 35:06.

I was content!!

Soon after, a few friends finished. We chatted. One in particular shared her identical foot issues and gave me the name her PT that enabled her to run pain-free. Score!

Eventually Jeri finished too. But I was too busy chatting and didn’t get her pic.

These free races are not chip-timed. They handed you a piece of paper and then you recorded your time.

Mile splits:

mile 1: 9:13
mile 2: 9:12
mile 3: 9:28
.75 – 9:40

Good old positive splits. Nothing has changed for 2020. LOL

Again this year, the course was long!! I was not surprised that I was slower than last year (34:15) and far behind my course PR from 2018 (34:04). Nevertheless, I was happy with how I ran the race. I never felt really tired or that I was pushing hard. I think if it weren’t for my sore foot, I could have run the whole thing and had an even better finish time.

Definitely not disappointed to not have chosen to run 13.1 miles.

For a free race, they have decent refreshments – soup, bread, fruit, cookies, hot cocoa.

And I had all of the above and many pieces of cranberry bread.

I waited around for awhile and chatted with other runners. Another runner also told me about her similar foot pain (bone bruises & tendinitis = 6 weeks of biking instead of running).  It seems that everyone has a story and a remedy…so we’ll what happens with my foot.

At these winter races, they give 10 year AG awards to the top 2 in each group. Two years ago, I won 2nd place and a free loaf of bread. Not so this year. I was 4th I think. Jeri and I did not hang around and went out for coffee instead.

So a race and a perfect way to start off 2020! (Now only if my foot pain would go away soooon!)


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.

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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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Weekly Run Down for 12.2.19-12.8.19: It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas…

Yes, it’s that time of year…tree lighting and decorations in NYC (and I was there ALL week for work) and a local holiday 5k race.

Last Week –

  • Monday – Our first snowstorm of the year and it was a big one (over 2 ft). Even my office was closed. Unfortunately I was scheduled to take the train to NYC. I got there but only after a long 2.5 hour delay. After a quick trip to Queens, I would normally rush back to Manhattan to run. But with a sore foot and the snow/sleet, I just hopped the subway to Lincoln Center to meet my friends Cari and Elizabeth. We had tix to a VIP reception at PJ Clarke’s. Free drinks, free food and great company. Afterward I took the subway back to the hotel. No unlike me. I love to walk in the city 😦

  • Tuesday –  A long work day with a lot of walking and standing. Ventured out to Hudson Yards for some entertainment but foot pain sent me back to the hotel to self medicate with pizza and wine.

I tried out the hotel Peleton – pretty cool

  • Wednesday – Another long work day with a lot of walking and standing but instead of going right back to the hotel, I stopped off to check out some of favorite holiday decorations, have dinner and then limp back to my hotel.

Lotte Palace hotel & 6th ave & 49th

The city was crazy crowded so I enjoyed my wine and dessert in the hotel while watching the Rockefeller tree lighting on TV.

  • Thursday – Same old same old. Work…foot pain. NO RUNNING. My last night in Manhattan so of course, I had to check out Saks and Rockefeller Center.

  • Friday – Just a normal city work day followed by the train home in the evening.
  • Saturday – For the first time ever I did not run the Last Run 5k. I did not even walk it. I went dressed up and cheered for my friends. Bummed but felt it was the smart move.

all dressed up and nowhere to run..

Afterward we all gathered for a post race party.

  • Sunday – Another DNS. I did not even go to our first local race of the season. At least this one was free.

FOMO

In the afternoon I went with a friend to see the Les Miserables concert movie.

″Les Miserables: The Staged Concert″ - Press Night - Curtain Call & Backstage

It was awesome especially the finale

And in the evening out to a Chinese dinner to celebrate our mah jongg group’s 11th anniversary.

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer. But NYC is my favorite place to run it and I did not.

Christmas in NYC is magical and I only limped my way to a few key sights. I normally would have done a lot more.

The good news is that while I was away my new kitty ran away. But he came back!!!

Foot doctor appointment on Monday morning. Fingers crossed for an end to this pain.


I am linking up with Kim and Deborah for

I encourage you to do the same. Grab the graphic, drop your link on the host blogs and play along! Please be sure to always comment on the HOST’s blogs, as well as visit and comment on as many other blogs as you can.

Happy Running! How is your running going? What’s new with you? Please share.

Troy Turkey Trot 10K and 5K Recap

Image result for troy turkey trot 2019

November 28, 2019 8 am and 10 am

This was my 5th time running this 10K race and my 2nd time NOT being part of the Turkey Trot Challenge training group (work work work.)

I really enjoyed this race my first time I ran it in 2014 (in spite of the snowstorm) and now I look forward to this race every year.

happy because it was and still is my 10K PR (check out all the snow!)

In 2015, I decided to run both races – the 10K and then the 5k.  Why not? I was already dressed and ready to run.

The weather was a lot better and I had a blast even though my finish times were not the greatest.

So in 2016 and 2017 again I ran BOTH Races.

Last year, it was FREEZING and I DNSed both races 😦 partly because of the weather but mostly because I was going to running a hilly Half Marathon 2 days later (which seemed more important.).

The course this year was the same as previous years.

My hubby picked up my bibs on Wednesday so I didn’t have to rush on race morning.

got 2 of these…I got them in different sizes so I could give one away

But I did want to arrive early to get parking. I parked in the bowling alley parking as I did in previous years and walked a few blocks to the Atrium where I could wait indoors for the race to begin.

I checked my jacket, change of shirt and 5K bib since I wouldn’t need them until after the race.

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pic from a previous

This year it was not as cold as past years- in the low 40s and cloudy when I arrived. I was hoping that the sun would come out but still was undecided on how many layers to wear. I get hot when I run and I HATE to be overdressed. But the downside was the WIND (predicted to be up to 40 mph). Yikes!!

So at the last minute, I decided to shed my vest and just wear a long sleeved shirt with a half zip over it, a warmer hat and light gloves.

This a very popular local race as I mentioned so I always bump into so many runners that I know. I chatted until it was time to brave the temps/wind.

Participants gather in the Atrium for the 2016 Troy Turkey Trot in Troy, NY, on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. (Michael P. Farrell/Times Union)

inside the Atrium – photo from the TU

The 10K started at 8 am followed by the kid’s one mile race and a one mile walk and then at 10 am the most popular event, the 5K.

I squeezed into the crowd at the 10 minute pace group.

My plan for the race was to not to start out too fast and to run at an even pace and to save some for the last mile.

For some reason, this race seemed a lot more crowded than past years. For my pace, it never thinned out. I was running in a crowd the whole race.  At the beginning, I would barely move.

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a pic from a previous year

The course is pretty flat. You run over the Green Island bridge twice near the beginning and then run through Troy before you turn around and run back.

I had not done any speed work since …well, I can’t remember when and I “trained” for a FULL  marathon this fall, I wasn’t sure what to expect from my legs. (And then there was that mysterious foot pain last week while working in NYC.)

during mile 1

yes…my sunglasses (that I didn’t need) kept falling down

So the sun never come out and I felt perfectly dressed. I even took off my gloves and unzipped my shirt during the middle miles when I felt warm.

The wind was tough. It seemed to blowing at you the whole race. Plus my darn foot was hurting. Dr Google says Metatarsalgia. The ball of my left foot seems to be swoll enand my toes feel numb. It’s bothered me since standing and walking in uncomfortable shoes last week in NYC. Anyway I can run but my gait feels awkward and sloow.

metatarsalgia

There was a some crowd support during the 10k race (Much more for the 5k.) There were guys handing out bottles of beer and a bakery was handing out donuts.

There were quite a few water stops. I skipped the first and third one but I was dying for a drink by the second one and walked for a bit.

Timing clocks were placed at every mile. I didn’t have to look at my watch to know that I was too slow to PR. I wasn’t sure if I would even finish under one hour.

during the last mile

and I saw the photographer!

Finally I could see the finish in the distance. I wanted to at least sprint through the finish line. My friend Holly was on the side line cheering me on but I had a hard mustering up any real speed.

I tried to cross under 59 minutes but did not. There was no zip left in this girl’s step.

Not a course PW but close. Over 2 minutes slower than my course PR.

I got my medal, drank some chocolate protein milk, had a banana and then checked the results.

10K Splits:

mile 1 –  9:17
mile 2 –  9:20
mile 3 –  9:24
mile 4 –  9:38
mile 5 – 9:32
mile 6 – 9:33
.25 – 9:12

59:06

As expected I did not win an award but I was surprised than my time gave me 4th. As I’ve said before, it depends on who shows up.

This year, like the previous three years, I signed up to run a second race, the 5k about an hour later.

So I walked back to the Atrium. Boy, was it crowded… More than five thousand runners squeezed into a small building.

I had already picked up my bib but I needed to get it from my checked bag and maybe change into a dry shirt.

If you look at the pictures above, you may notice that I always run the 5k with my tennis friend. I thought that she would run it when I signed up. Unfortunately, she did not (health/family stuff) and so I hung out with some other running friends until it was time to line up.

To be honest, I really did not feel motivated to run this race. I considered a DNS but in the end, I decided just to “do it.”

This was the 4th time that I had run the 5k race (and always for just “fun.”) It was just an out and back course and you didn’t run over the bridge at all.

Finally it was time to get into the starting area. You were supposed to line up by color but I just squeezed in. And I happened on my friend Holly. She had not run the 10k so had fresh legs. She quickly left me in the dust

pic from a previous year

Of course, my legs were tired from having already run 6.2 miles (at race pace) so all I wanted to do was finish.  My  stomach was also queasy from the milk and the banana. I was hoping to come in under 30 minutes but with the pain in my foot, I was sure that was impossible.

The 5k is the fun race.  Many runners are dressed in costume.  Many families were running together.  There were walkers, etc. Everyone was there to have a good time.

Costumed runners make their way in the 2016 Troy Turkey Trot on Nov. 24, 2016. (Michael P. Farrell/Times Union)

photo from the TU

It was so crowded that I had no problem slowing down in the beginning. Like the previous race, it was crowded the whole race.

And my legs were not cooperating. They wanted to run slow. And so I did. And it seemed to be colder.  The wind had picked up. My foot was even more sore. (Yes, I was wondering why I ran this 2nd race!!!)

he ran the whole 5k dressed like that

It was NOT warm out but they were obviously having fun

Before I knew it, the race was over. (After a 10k, 5k seems so short.)

I’m really enjoying this 5k…LOL

I crossed around just under 34 minutes which was 32:57 chip time.

(This time it was a big course PW!!

2 out of 28???

I got my medal (the same as for the 10K), some more chocolate milk and then went back to the Atrium to get my bag.

I figured that there was no chance of an award in this race either so I left without checking the results.

5K Splits:

mile 1 – 10:43
mile 2 – 10:47
mile 3 – 10:12
.14 –  9:21

32:57

Gee…look at that..my last mile was the fastest. Go figure!

But they were way slower than my 10k splits!!!

Anyway, back to these races:

The Good:

  • The weather – much warmer than previous years.
  • Race organization – considering the number of runners, it was very well organized.
  • Race location – place to stay warm indoors with indoor bathroom and bag check
  • Mostly flat course
  • Chocolate Milk at the finish
  • Medals for both the 10k and the 5k
  • Gender specific shirts (for the first time)
  • 15K faster than the recent Stockadeathon. Each of my race times was disappointing but if you add them together, it was 1:32:03
  • I got my long run for the week done and I don’t have to do it on the weekend.
  • Running 9.3 miles lets me eat more Thanksgiving food
  • Knowing lots of runners.  Racing is fun with friends.

The Bad:

  • my 10K time – Besides the crowd, it’s a flat enough course to PR on.  It is my 10k PR (from 2014).
  • post race refreshments – I would have liked pizza or soup or cookies or even bagels like last year
  • same medal for both the 5k and the 10k (if you run both, you have 2 of the same medals)
  • Course PW in the %k and almost PW in the 10K
  • The wind
  • My painful foot

Overall, I enjoyed the races. I am glad that I ran them. Racing is not only about fast finish times. I think I will run one or both Turkey Trots next year too.

After the race(s), I always go out for coffee with my tennis friend to debrief about our races. Instead I headed home to finish the soup that I was bringing to dinner.

a successful pear, apple, butternut squash soup

Then later that afternoon, I ate back all the calories that I had burned off.


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! Did you run off that turkey?

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