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

hhm15

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.

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?

runner-sig

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.

img_3225

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.

11986342_1192296570787072_4790322504906372402_n

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?

runner-sig

Weekly Run Down for 11.25.19-12.1.19: Turkey (Trotting) Week

Yup, time to race so you can eat all the turkey and fixings.

Last Week –

  • Monday – After a miserable weather day on Sunday, I was happy to see the rain stop. Chris and I as usual headed to UAlbany after work.

  • Tuesday – Normally my rest day but I needed to cook and rest on Wednesday so I decided to squeeze in a run before meeting my BFF for a walk around the mall. Of course, not having any friends to meet, I procrastinated for about an hour before leaving my office. But with 50 degrees in November, I was glad I got out there.

UAlbany loop…again!

  • Wednesday – Rest day after work so I could make some of Marcia‘s soup to bring to Thanksgiving dinner. Glad the hubby agreed to pick up my bibs for the next day’s races.
  • Thursday – A Turkey Trot has been a tradition since I started running. This year again I ran the Troy Turkey Trot 10k and followed it with the 5k. It was cold and with the wind and a sore foot, I had 2 course PWs but still had a fun time.

carrying on the tradition

Afterwards there was the BIG dinner with the fam and I ate back all the calories that were burned off during those 9.3 miles.

Thanks Marcia, the soup was a big hit

  • Friday – Another rest day. Black Friday but I had to work and didn’t buy a thing!!

except for a Peppermint Mocha –  thanks Cari 

  • Saturday – Normally a run with my Sole Sisters but I had to go to a funeral. Besides I had already done my long run on Thursday and should be resting my foot. I did join my friends for brunch.
  • Sunday – Rest day. Third one in a row. Another tradition has been to celebrate my mentee’s birthday by painting. Well the impending snowstorm put a wrench on that. We’ll have to reschedule. Instead I went to the gym (resting my foot)

an hour on this machine while facing the route I normally on i.e. watching runners go by 😦

and then to the movies during the snowstorm.

Image result for ferrari vs ford"


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? Did you run a Turkey Trot? Did you buy stuff on Black Friday? Have you seen any movies lately. Please share.

Stockade-athon 15K Recap

Stockade-athon logo on RaceRaves

November 10, 2019 8:30 am

This is my sixth time running this popular local 15k race.

I ran it for the first time in 2011 and it was my FIRST 15k race. I was glad to just finish and I did in 1:36:08. I was injured in 2012 and then I ran it again in 2013.

stockafeathon13a

“fake” happy in 2013

With 1500-2000 runners in this race, they were forced to make some changes to the course.

It no longer starts and ends in Central Park. It also starts earlier – 8:30 am

This is a description of the new course:

The course starts near Veterans Park in downtown Schenectady. The course travels west on State Street for 1K before entering the historic Stockade District and proceeding on a scenic bike path in Riverside Park along the Mohawk River. The course exits the Stockade District after crossing Erie Blvd. The course then proceeds east on Nott Street past Union College before entering the historic GE Plot residential neighborhood via Lenox Ave, Douglas Rd and Rugby Rd. The course exits Rugby Road and proceeds north on Waverly Place near the 5K mark. The course turns east off Waverly and follows Grand Blvd to the city boundary with Niskayuna, then proceeds south on Dean Street to Central Parkway past 8k. After a 1K residential loop on Central Parkway, the course enters beautiful Central Park and follows a bike path around Iroquois Lake and Duck Pond before reaching its highest elevation near 12K. The final 3k is mostly downhill or flat as the course exits Central Park and proceeds west through historic Vale Cemetery and Vale Park before a final downhill section on Franklin Street to the finish at City Hall.

Well, I loved the new course and my finish times improved for the most part:

2014 – 1:33:23
2015 – 1:31:23
2016 – 1:32:49
2018 – 1:30:15 PR

Last year, they modified the course slightly. They eliminated the bike path at the beginning of the race (which I did like because you ran along the Mohawk River and it was dirt so easy on the feet).). This year I believe that they kept the course the same.

As you probably know, I ran my first full marathon the week before. I registered for this race before I ran the marathon so I didn’t know how I would feel and if I would be able to run 9.3 miles just a week later. (Many runners said I was crazy and that I would probably need to rest a week or two.)

Well, I recovered very well. In fact, I was barely sore at all after the race.  I did rest for 4 days and only ran 3 miles on Thursday so I decided to run this race.

I didn’t expect to race it but I just wanted a some exercise and to hang out with my running friends.

I picked up my bib and race shirt at Fleet Feet the day before (although it really wasn’t necessary.)

nice gender-specific long sleeved tech shirt

The temp was in the 30s when I got up on race morning but it was forecast to only warm up to 40 and be cloudy. I hate this time of year. It’s so difficult to dress correctly. At least there was a bag check and I could bring extra clothes for after and in case I changed my mind.

Even though I’ve been to this race several times before, I still left extra early.  Barbara and I carpooled. We got there and found a spot on the street a few blocks from the start of the race. We were so early that the YMCA was not even open yet.

We only had to wait a few minutes and had plenty of time to chat, use the restrooms and check a bag with clothes for after.

It was so nice to have some place to stay warm before the race.

We waited indoors as long as possible. But eventually it was time to head to the start.

img_3067

during the National Anthem (no pic this year but the same view)

Usually women start on one side and men on the other but it didn’t seem to be that way this year. I was walking to start further back (since I did not plan to race it) but I saw a running friend and just squeezed in where where she was.

The course map:

As with any big race, it was very slow going at first.

from Daily Gazette (2015)

pic from Daily Gazette (2019)

As the map above shows, we headed west into the Stockade section of town.

most pics were taken by Brian Teague

Although it was chilly, I instantly warmed up and even felt overdressed..  I eventually took off my gloves and unzipped my vest.

I ignored my watch until about mile 8. There were mile markers at each mile and most of them had someone calling out times so I had a little idea of my slowish pace. But I really didn’t care. My legs felt less recovered than I had hoped so I just ran and walked up the hills (of which there were many especially in the first half of the race.)

photo by David Giacalone (2015)

After the Stockade area, we ran past Union College and around various residential neighborhoods. I also stopped at the first water stop even though I was not thirsty at all. (Yay for a walk break).

photo by David Giacalone (2015)

The hills were relentless. Why do I not remember them from last year?

I knew a lot of runners in this race. They kept catching up to me, we’d chat and then they would go on ahead. That was ok with me. I was determined to run at my own pace and have a stress-free race.

always happy to see a photographer

I stopped again at the 2nd water stop. Around this time, Alyssa caught up to me and we ran together for a while and chatted. She is preparing for her 2nd marathon in 2 weeks. So excited for her and to hear how well her training was going.

10479095_10204157647595890_3881613154386506276_o

Around mile 5, I finally decided to fuel since I had eaten breakfast many hours before.

Another running acquaintance, Renee, caught up to me around this time. We wound up running the rest of the race together.  I only know her from FB but it was great hearing about her 50 state and 6 world majors goal. We chatted about travel and races and it certainly made the miles more bearable.  She even walked when I wanted to 🙂

Around mile 6, we entered Central Park with its rolling hills, lake, and pretty foliage.

running along side Renee

We both stopped at the third water stop. I actually don’t remember it but I made sure to smile for all the photographers.

looking goofy for the photographer, of course

Between mile 7 and 8 is where the BIG hills were. We walked up them both. They were steep but at least short.

so cheesy!

We proceeded to run through the cemetery and then through a park before heading DOWNHILL to the finish line at city hall.

giving it all I got which wasn’t much

I finished at 1:36:37. (over 6 minutes slower than last year and even slower than my FIRST 15k 8 years ago …. but who cares!)

Renee finished right in front of me and Alyssa was also waiting at the finish line.

A minute or two later, Barbara finished and we walked back to the YMCA together.

This year again, the food was in the YMCA, the same area as bag check and where we waited before the race.

I got some chocolate milk, bread, a donut, soup, and pizza.  What a nice spread for a local race.

We hung out for a little while waiting for others to finish. We had planned to go out for brunch (and yes, I ate some more).

We ended up going to a nearby diner where we continued to chat about the race. We all had a good time running/volunteering it.

My Splits:

mile 1 – 9:15
mile 2 – 9:55
mile 3 – 10:46
mile 4 – 9:58
mile 5 – 10:57
mile 6 – 9:57
mile 7 – 11:05
mile 8 – 11:32
mile 9 – 9:57
.4 – 8:19

1:36:37

my usual positive splits

I really enjoyed this race. The course was so varied that it also took your mind off the hills. With the large number of runners (1500), I felt like I was always running with others and it kept me going.

Yes, it was hilly. The first half had a lot more hills but they were manageable. The second half had fewer hills but they were steeper.

The best part of the race was that I didn’t put it all out there and I just enjoyed myself treating it like a recovery run. And my lower BACK did not hurt!!

This race is definitely on my must-do list. It was very well organized. Maybe all the stars will be aligned next year and I’ll gun for that sub 1:30 finish.


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 race this past weekend or do any other running? Do you ever run 15ks? Do you like them? Have you ever run another race right after your marathon or your half marathon?

Friday Five: The Marathon Ad

It’s Friday so I’m linking up with Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostess and visit some other bloggers.

Ok, I said that I would stop talking about the Marathon but …

Not yet…

If you have never done one, this post is for you.  Remember, I was one of you. I never wanted to run one either.

Why should YOU run a marathon?

1. You’ll stay motivated to run.

For other distances, you may be able to skip runs and still succeed.

But you can’t get away with not training when it comes to a marathon. So having one on your calendar will keep you motivated to stick to a training schedule, at least for those long runs.

On days when your motivation is lacking, you’ll think about how you’ll feel during those 26.2 miles if you’re undertrained or can’t finish the race.

2. You’ll be a great role model. 

It’s hard not to revere someone who is dedicated and determined to complete a substantial goal such as running a marathon. You’ll be setting a great example for many people in your life – family, friends, co-workers, etc.

Even though, it may not be true, people will be telling you how “awesome” you are.

If you are lucky, you will inspire someone to start running or run a longer distance race.

3. You’ll find out that pain is indeed temporary.

Pain, chafing, sweat, tears, and blood will all just be memories.

Yes, you will most likely hurt.  The pain may be so bad to make you want to quit.

But you won’t.

When you see that finish line in the distance, you will forget. You will cry but they will be tears of joy.

4. You’ll gain the confidence you never knew you had.

Although you’ll no doubt experience rough patches during your training. After you’ve logged that 20-miler, you’ll feel like you can conquer the world. Your running confidence will overflow into other areas of your life, such as work and relationships.

You’ll enter that marathon start line with your eyes on the prize (the finish line.)

5. You’ll have a lifetime of bragging rights.

Once you cross that finish line, you’re a marathon finisher and will always be one. No one can ever take that title away from you.

Remember only 1% of population has run a marathon.

Happy Running! Have I convinced you? A little bit? If you ran a marathon already, what was your reason?

runner-sig