Malta 5k Race Recap

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

September 10, 2022

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

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

according to my Garmin

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

For my first two years of running this race, I was recovering from injuries (a broken ankle and then a broken foot.) I finished in 29:53 and 29:49 and was thrilled with a sub-30 minute time.  In 2014 and 2015, I was healthy and so I improved my time to 28:47 and 28:56. Finally I got a course PR in 2016 and finished in 27:30. As I mentioned, I took a break and then last year when I ran it, I finished in 28:15.

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

Based on my recent 5k efforts, I had no PR dreams as old age has set in. LOL. But if the other old ladies didn’t show up, I could maybe win an AG award.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

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

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

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

Race Day:

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

my usual race day outfit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This was a welcome sight:

and this:

Starbucks!!!!

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

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

Finally I headed to the start line.

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

Mile 1:

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

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

Mile 2:

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

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

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

this pic was from last year

It was downhill for a bit until we turned.

Mile 3-3.1:

As usual, I was petering out. So I walked. Then I got back my energy for a while until I neared the finish line. Ugh! I walked again.

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

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

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

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

Post Race:

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

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

60-69 winners

When I ran this race (in 2016), everyone got a small bottle of champagne and a gift card to a restaurant.  For 2nd place, it was to the Recovery Room and for $50. Last year, there was no awards ceremony and if you won an award, you had to pick it up at the local Fleet Feet store. It was gift card but I never picked it up.

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

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

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

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

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

Additional Race Reflections:

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

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

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

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

Positives:

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

Negatives:

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

Would I recommend this race?

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

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

Final Stats:

Splits:

As expected, positive splits!!

at least I ran the first mile without walking

Next Up:

Another 5k on Sept 24

and then a half marathon.

Maine Marathon | Maine Half Marathon | Maine Marathon Relay

 


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

Happy Running! Did you run or race this past weekend? Any Fall races on your schedule yet? Do you enjoy 5ks? Please share.

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Weekly Run Down for 9.18.22-9:25.22: Back to the Weekly Race

My racing break is over.

This weekend I ran a 5k and next weekend, I’ll be running the Maine Half Marathon.

Last Week:

  • Sunday – Boating Sunday was cancelled.

The hubby had a tennis match and the weather looked iffy. So instead I decided to go for a hike.

Since I had time, I drove to the Vischer Ferry Preserve again.  I parked in the same spot as last Sunday but instead I walked in the opposite direction. A buggier, narrower path with alga covered water on both sides.  But it was flat with lots of mushroom and bird sightings.  I may even come back and run on another longer wider path next time (the Towpath instead of the trail.)

After 2 hours of walking, I drove to the Vischer Ferry General Store and this time, I had ice cream and perused the craft fair.

I stopped at Fleet Feet on the way home to buy more Gu and I tried on some new Topos (didn’t buy but was tempted.)

  • Monday – #nevermissamonday and my day off from work.  I had planned to hike with a friend but the forecast was for rain.

So instead we met another friend for an early morning run and then went out for brunch.

The restaurant was quite a long drive but it was worth it for the blueberry pancakes.

On our way home, we stopped at a park to walk off those pancakes.

there was a brief shower, otherwise we stayed dry until we got home.

The park was next to a covered bridge and a very old cemetery/museum.  It was called Lily Park and we plan to go back next July when the lilies are i bloom.

  • Tuesday – I thought I might take a rest day but my after work walk got cancelled so I went out for a run instead.

the weather was perfect, even a breeze. I ran the last 1.5 miles of the 5k that I’m racing next.

  • Wednesday – I decided to sleep in instead of running before work.

embracing fall for lunch (also had a pumpkin bagel earlier)

After work, I went to a wake for one of the running friend’s father (It was so nice that the whole group showed up to support her) and then I met my tennis friends to go out to dinner. Although I don’t play tennis anymore, we all try to keep in touch with a monthly meet-up. As always, it was a fun evening.

  • Thursday –  An early morning run was planned but the weather didn’t get the memo. It was raining. So I waited until lunch to get in my run. Due to a time crunch, I had to run in my neighborhood.

happy to report that the rain had stopped but boy was it humid…

Normally on Thursday, I meet my running friends for a hike.  Due to scheduling conflicts, we postponed it until next week.

It worked out perfectly because now I was able to meet my walking friends for our weekly walk (the one that got canceled on Tuesday.)

  • Friday – Another rest day!! A busy work day ending with my mah jongg ladies.

#flatme. it may be fall but I’m not giving up on the tank yet! (I’ll add my DIY arm sleeves)

  • SaturdayBarn to Bridge Fall Fest 5k. A new race on the rail trail where I do most of my runs.

The weather was perfect. It was a fun race and I did better than expected.

always great to see old friends

I had parked my car 1.5 miles from the race start and since it was point-to-point, I had planned to run 4 miles back to my car in order to in my long run.

But I hung out a long time at the festival and since it was getting late, I decided to take the shuttle back to the start and then walk to my car.

Then I had to rush home and change because we were having a birthday party for my MIL who is turning 97!!

l2r: SIL, nephew, stepson, hubby, BIL, uncle, stepson

  • Sunday – Boating Sunday.

Lake time is ending soon.  Hope the weather cooperates this week and we can get out on the boat.

If not, I plan to get in some miles running and/or hiking.

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday – run
  • Tuesday – rest day, walk
  • Wednesday – run 
  • Thursday – run, trails
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday – Drive to Maine, expo, carb load
  • Sunday –  Maine Half Marathon!!

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Malta 5k Race Recap
  • Friday – Runfessions

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? Any races run or planned? Has the weather been fall-like where you live? Please share.

Run 4 the River Half Marathon Recap

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • It was local and I could sleep in my own bed the night before.
  • It was local so I would know a lot of the runners.
  • I was familiar with most of the course as it was similar to the 10 miler that I ran in May and I had already run this half marathon last year.
  • I convinced some friends to run it too.
  • It was advertised as having a Net Downhill Course and FREE BEER, Food, and LIVE MUSIC
  • I could run it as a training run for my October half marathon.

Half Marathon Training:

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

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

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

Since it was a point-to-point race, the logistics were complicated. Either you parked at the start and got a ride back to your car after the race or you parked at the finish and got a ride to the start (or pay for the shuttle).

My preference was to park at the finish (even though that meant getting up earlier) and tried to coordinate my plan with friends.

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

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

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

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

Race Day:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finally, it was time to head to the start.

So we parted with our jackets and checked them at Bag Check (along with a dry shirt and my Oofos) I planned to eat a Honey Stinger Waffle (since it was already hours since my breakfast) but I forgot. Oops.

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

slightly different end from last year

20210707_111324.jpg

 elevation on the website

according to my Garmin…

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

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

Miles 1-3:

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

In other words, the canal was on our right and most of the race was run on the path with water views.

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

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

Miles 4-6

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

Around mile 4, I finally got hungry so I stopped to eat my Gu (trying to eat and run slowly) and walked again at the second water stop little past mile 5 at Iroquois St/Bike Path.

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

Miles 7-10

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

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

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

The third water stop was a little before mile 8 at Kiwanis Park. I walked again and then ate another Gu. This time longer.

Around mile 9, some annoying hills appeared. Maybe there weren’t big hills and I was just getting tired. I tried to run up them but it was more like a slog. Though the course was advertised as flat and downhill, there were hills (not big ones) throughout. (Aren’t there always?)

Miles 11-13.1

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

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

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

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

Barbara is right behand me…

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

the female winner in 1:10:xx?

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

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

Post Race Activities:

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

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

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

Frog Alley Brewing Co.

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

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

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

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

Additional Race Reflections:

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

Positives:

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

Negatives:

  • 10 year age group awards.
  • No photos.

Would I recommend this race?

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

Final Stats:

just a few seconds faster than last year

Splits:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next Up:

Two 5ks

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

and another Half Marathon.

Maine Marathon | Maine Half Marathon | Maine Marathon Relay


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


I’m also linking up here:

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

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

runner-sig

 

Weekly Run Down for 9.4.22-9.11.22: Running and Racing Continue…

No rest for the weary since a week after my half marathon, I had signed up for a 5k.

And I am training for another half on Oct. 2.

There were also a group hike and long walk. And TWO vaccines!!!!!

At least it was only a 4-day work week.

Last Week:

  • Sunday – Boating Sunday.

The forecast was iffy but we got home before the rain.

a lovely way to recover from a half marathon

And then I went and got my Flu shot.

  • Monday – DAY OFF – #nevermissamonday Unfortunately the forecast was for a washout and they were right!

I was lucky to get a dry run in early

I drove the Albany end of the rail trail and was treated to many interesting sights. Happy to report NO after effects from the race or the flu shot!

I had to cancel my planned hike and instead spent time at Traders Joe’s and the mall.

1st pumpkin latte of the season

  • Tuesday – The rain continued in the morning so I postponed my run until lunch. And it was STILL raining. Boo!

sometimes you have to make your own sunshine. Thanks Trader Joe’s.

My running friend texted me after work that she was going for a run on the rail trail so I decided to meet up with her for part of her run.  Rain won’t kill me, right?

rain drops and many deer and glad to have company..

  • Wednesday – A dreary morning so I decided to skip the run and wait until lunchtime.

I drove to run in town..

humidity but lots of pretty flowers

And then after work, I was free to meet friends for a walk.

new art display on the rail trail

  • Thursday –  Finally a rest day and a busy work day…

As I mentioned last week, ARE-sponsored trail runs ended so our group decided to continue them on our own. This week, we choose the location based on the cookie/ice cream truck being nearby.

a pretty trail and yes I bought cookies and ice cream to go (drank the creamsicle)

  • Friday – Another rest day!! An evening for mah jongg and viewing a full moon.

  • SaturdayRace Day! Malta 5K.

This was my 7th time running this 5k.  And I focused on enjoying rather than finish time.

I did have fun and got an age award too (even with a slower time).

Afterward, I headed to Zim Smith bike path to run a few more miles and meet friends for brunch.

Not the 11 miles on my plan but 6 will have to do…

I couldn’t stay long because I had a tennis party to attend (celebrating a friend dealing with serious cancer diagnosis)

And I got my 3rd COVID booster!! I’m so relieved to be protected (even if there are side effects).

  • Sunday – Boating Sunday.

The lake would be my preference but the hubby has a tennis match and the weather looks less than ideal… so it may be a running/hiking day.

 

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday – run
  • Tuesday –rest day
  • Wednesday – run, walk
  • Thursday – run, trails
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday Long Run – 12 miles
  • Sunday –  Boating Sunday

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Run 4 the River Half Marathon Race Recap 
  • Friday – What I’m Loving Lately

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? Any races run or planned? Has the weather been fall-like where you live? Have you gotten your flu shot yet? How about your 3rd booster?  Eaten pumpkin foods yet? Please share.

Weekly Run Down for 8.28.22-9.4.22: Race Week!

Another busy week and it ended with Half Marathon #60!!

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

Last Week:

  • Sunday – Boating Sunday.

Normally it’s just me and the hubby and I would be relaxing under a tree with a good book. Today we invited two friends on the boat so it was a day for swimming, chatting and cruising around the lake.

  • Monday – Back to #nevermissamonday and a before work run as the temps were heating up again.

a cloudy muggy morning brightened up with some flowers.

  • Tuesday – Another early morning run and I was fortunate to have company.

I got there early and ran 1.5 miles while watching the sun come up and then ran the 4.5 more miles with Deirdre (and again bumped into Barbara)

My hair appointment interfered with my post-work walk. It was raining hard anyway!!

  • Wednesday – It was not as warm as previous days so I ran during lunch….

a poor night’s sleep + tired legs =a slogfest

and then I was able to meet friends for a walk after work.

everyone needs sunflowers in their lives

And I also met my BFF for a second evening walk.

  • Thursday –  No running!! Resting up for the weekend…

The ARE-sponsored trail runs ended so our group decided to continue them on our own. I had been on this trail several times and never been able to follow the markers correctly.  I was hoping that with a group we could do the loop.  It was a challenge but we made it (thanks to the AllTrails app.)

very hilly and poorly marked but lots of laughs

  • Friday – Another rest day!!

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

no shirt which was fine with me and I have one from last year

So all I needed to do was carb-load and pick out an outfit…

channeling my strong…

  • SaturdayRace Day! Run 4 the River Half Marathon.

This was my 2nd time running this half and again I was lucky to have friends running it with me…so it was a fun time! And the weather was perfect.

I won’t lie…I struggled big time the 2nd half.

  • Sunday – Boating Sunday. 

The temps are cooling off but still looks warm enough for another lake visit…

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday – DAY OFF – hike
  • Tuesday – run
  • Wednesday – run
  • Thursday – run, trails
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday Race Day – Malta 5k (+ more miles)
  • Sunday –  Boating Sunday

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Fall Bucket List
  • Friday – Top Blog Posts

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? Any in-person races run or planned? Has the weather been warm where you live? Please share.

Weekly Run Down for 8.14.22-8.21.22: Well, that went by fast..

It seemed like half marathon training just started and now, it’s only TWO weeks until my first fall half marathon on Labor weekend.

How did that happen? Where did the summer go??

Am I ready?

Let's Run Girls - Groups | Facebook

Yes, that pretty much sums it up.  Maybe we will train seriously for the next one in Maine on October 2!

Last Week:

  • Sunday – Race Day and Boating Sunday.

I started the day with a 5k and the weather was perfect (I was not perfect but still won 1st in my age group.)

met up with friends that I don’t see often so I’ll call it a win

The rest of the day was again spent on the lake… relaxing.

in my orange chair with a book, a drink and a water view…

  • Monday – I had skipped my 11 Long mile run in favor of a 5k race with old friends. So before meeting running friends (on a day off) for a hike, I got there early and ran 8 miles.

I normally don’t enjoy running alone but it was nice to run in a different place – one where I used to run but hadn’t in awhile.

Our first 3 mile walk was at Peebles Island State Park.

lots of interesting sights (and conversation)

Then we had a lovely lunch followed by a 4 mile trail walk.

along the old Champlain canal

It turned out to be a very warm day so we had to end it with ice cream.

  • Tuesday – Rest Day!  But I did meet friend after work for a walk on the rail trail.

And then my BFF for walk #2 around an outdoor mall.

  • Wednesday – Back out there for a pre-work run in the neighborhood.

I woke up to rain and so I went back to bed. Then I woke up and it was NOT raining. I quickly got dressed and headed out the door.

the temps were nice but not the humidity! If you look closely you’d see that my shirt was on backwards. lol

I made the right decision since it was pouring by the time I finished work.

My plans to re-visit the sunflower fields got postponed. The colored ones were supposed have bloomed too.

hope to get there this weekend. 

  • Thursday – Another early morning run… in my foggy neighborhood.

a pink kind of morning and another humid one

After work, we met for an ARE-sponsored trail run at Thacher Park.

we got a little lost (which is par for us) but had fun. The views were great!!

  • Friday – Another Rest Day. Busy work day but mah jongg in the evening to unwind.
  • SaturdayLong Run Saturday. 12 miles!!  And I did it thanks for the help of my awesome friends!

I also took a long ride back to the sunflower field.

in love with these colored sunflowers!!

And then I went out to dinner with friends of a friend.  The guy is from France (the brother of the lady I stayed with in Sanguinet) and used to also be a marathon runner.

  • Sunday – Boating Sunday.

Another warm sunny day for relaxing and floating and reading…

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday – DAY OFF – hike
  • Tuesday – run, walk after work
  • Wednesday – run, walk after work
  • Thursday – OFF – rest day, day at the race track
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg chez moi
  • Saturday Long Run Saturday (Taper Time), running friends mimosa brunch
  • Sunday –  Boating Sunday

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – What Happened from Ages 60-64?
  • Friday – Runfessions

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? Any in-person races run or planned? Has the weather been warm where you live? Please share.

Run For the Roses 5K Race Recap

AUGUST 14, 2022 – 9:00 AM

In the summertime, I try to do my long runs on Saturday and then go boating on Sundays.

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

How could I refuse?

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

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

And so without a second thought, I signed up.

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

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

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

Despite the challenging course, I had so much fun hanging out with these ladies.

I even won an age group award.

So guess what?

I signed up again this year for this 5k race.  Both Heidi and Andrea said that they would be there too..

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

Outside of two July races (July 4 & July 6), I have done zero speed work.  In some ways 5ks are harder than half marathons. You feel like you should run fast and before you get warmed up, it’s over. To make things were even more challenging, I never train/run on hills.

The week going into the race had me running 3 times. This summer, the temps have been incredibly hot and humid.  Runs as a result have been SLOOOW!!

(Looks like a “pink” week…)

The day before the race, I just went for a walk with my running friends and did errands and gardening.

Normally I would have said the weather was too warm for a great race but compared to past weekends, it seemed cool.

No matter what the temps, summer race dressing is fairly simple – tank, skirt, cap, sunglasses.

decided on teal blue for a change

Race Day:

I had my oatmeal and coffee and left early. Although I went there last year, I was not very familiar with the area. Happily, I noticed that it was only in the 50s when I left at 7:30 am.

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

I had no problems finding the race location so I had arrived early. (There is an admission fee to this park but if you were racing, it was FREE!)

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

in addition to a tech shirt, you picked out a library book

 Heidi arrived first and then Andrea.. We chatted and chatted.

obligatory pre-race pic

I also recognized a few runners that I knew. Many were from the STEM group or the Freihofer Training Challenge.

Then I bumped in my good friend Sue.

turned out that she knew Andrea, too.

Soon it was time to head toward the start line.

no teletubbies this year but a guy dressed up as a baby

For some reason, they delayed the race for 10 minutes.  More time to chat with other runners that I knew.

twinning!

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

according to my Garmin

I postponed my long run for this 5k so I planned to at least enjoy the race.  You cannot expect miracles when you only run on flat routes and use very short run intervals for your runs. I had a funny feeling that I would be walking a lot of the course.

At least the weather was in my favor.

Mile 1

The race was not chip timed so if I really cared, I would have stood close to the starting line (but I didn’t.)

We started with a slight uphill on the main road leading into the park. Then there was a gradual downhill.

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

Looking back at this mile, I obviously ran it too fast. But at the time, I felt good (until I didn’t.)

Mile 2

There was a water stop at the beginning of this mile and a sprinkler (yay). I was not expecting water but it was welcome. I was getting warm (Shouldn’t have changed out of my tank.)

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

Mile 3- 3.1

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

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

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

I walked several times during the last 2 miles…not sure how many times.  But a lot.  (Remember I’m used to intervals now.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Post Race Activities:

I grabbed some water, iced tea, fruit and cookies while waiting my friends to finish.

here comes Andrea

Soon they posted the results.  Both Andrea and I won age group awards.

Note that I won by only ONE second!!

I couldn’t stick around for the awards. My hubby texted me that he was already on his way to the lake.  So my fiend, Sue, said she would get my award.

Additional Race Reflections:

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

And it was a lovely small town race with about 120 runners. Yes, it was challenging but maybe not so much if I actually trained for a 5k.

But I didn’t overdo and my legs was able to do my long run the next day.

8 miles on my Monday off

Maybe next year, I will actually bring my bathing suit and SUP and enjoy the lake after the race. And even convince some of my local running friends to join me.

This year, I joined my hubby on our boat on Lake George.

Positives:

  • Friends Reunion
  • Lots of familiar faces
  • Nice swag – tech shirt, book, a rose
  • location- pretty park with trails and a lake
  • Mile markers
  • Volunteer calling out times at each mile
  • Two water stops
  • Real bathrooms and showers
  • Free admission to the park

Negatives:

  • the HILLS
  • Gun timed

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. It was well organized. I’ll probably run it again next year.

Final Stats:

still Queen of the positive splits!

My finish time was about the same as the last 5k that I ran in July (29:11.) So I was not disappointed. And it was a little faster than on the same course last year (29:27.) Obviously if I do not train, I can’t expect those faster times.  But right now, I am content just to be out there running.

Next Up:

Run 4 the River Half Marathon logo on RaceRaves

Sept. 3, 2022

Happy Running! Did you run or race this past weekend?  Any races on your schedule this summer? Do you enjoy 5ks? Do you train for them? Please share.

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


I’m also linking up here:

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

 

Weekly Run Down for 8.7.22-8.14.22: A Brief Cool Down…

Yes.  Heat, humidity to start the week but then we got a break…

Running continued but with an added 5k thrown into the mix.

Last Week:

  • Sunday – Boating Sunday.

An oppressively hot day. Luckily I had lake breezes and shade (and no rain.)

  • Monday – It was #nevermissamonday but I stayed in bed instead of running. No regrets.

I had the day off (as I do every other Monday) and a running friend suggested a day at Emerald Lake in VT.  So I grabbed my SUP and we had a wonderful time. A long drive but so worth it. (And again missed the rain.)

  • Tuesday –  Back to work and I did drag myself out of bed early to get my run done. But Holy Humidity!!!

It warmed up but I think the humidity decreased.  Anyway, it felt that way during my post-work walk with a friend.

  • Wednesday – Day 2 of the early morning runs. Whoa! About 10 degrees cooler than the previous morning! I’ll take it.

always taking different neighborhood routes and always looking for flowers…

I met my friend again for a post-work walk (but we went in the opposite direction.)

  • Thursday – Rest day because I had a trail run scheduled for the evening.  As usual, I met my running friends and we walked, chatted and had a blast.

love those cloud formations

  • Friday – Normally Friday is my rest day but since I had a race on Sunday, I would be taking Saturday off (which is ordinarily my long run day.)

I had more time so I drove for my early morning run.

why yes, I do match everything

  • Saturday – Long Run Saturday for everyone else but for me, it was just a walk and brunch.

long runs, short runs, walkers and bikers – all on the rail trail supporting each other… so fortunate to be part of this group. No one ever has to be alone!!

  • Sunday –  Race Day! I ran the Run for the Roses 5k for the 2nd time.  I met up with old friends and somewhat conquered the hills in Grafton Lake State Park.. (Recap on Tuesday…)

Sunday in the summer is for boating so I plan to join my hubby up at the lake for the rest of the day.

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday – DAY OFF! Long Run, hike
  • Tuesday – rest day, walk
  • Wednesday – run
  • Thursday – run, ARE trail walk
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday Long Run Saturday (12 mi.)
  • Sunday –  Boating Sunday

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Run for the Roses 5k Race Recap 
  • Friday – Quotes by Joe Henderson

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? Any in-person races run or planned? Has the weather been warm where you live? Please share.

Al Goldstein 5k Race Recap

JULY 6, 2022 – 7:10 pm

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

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

Well several years ago, I found a race!!!!

Apparently during the summer months on alternating Wednesdays at 7:10 pm, there is a cheap ($7.50 – if you sign up for the whole series, each race costs only $5) 5k in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. These races are organized by the Prospect Park Track Club (PPTC).

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

 Age group award and meeting “Al Goldstein”

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

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

met someone from my hometown

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

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

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

Pre-Race Preparations and Activities:

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

and then hiked up a mountain the day before.

Yes, I am crazy!!

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

Race Day:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The photographer caught me on the way.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Al Goldstein 5Ks:

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

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

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

The Course:

AGSS Course Map

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

elevation according to my Garmin

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

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

So here’s how it went down:

Mile 1:

starting my Garmin lol

and off I go…

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

don’t I look happy?

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

Mile 2:

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

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

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

Mile 3-3.1:

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

Hooray! I see that finish line!

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

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

Post Race Activities:

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

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

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

Additional Race Reflections:

Yes, it was a course PW.

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

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

Positives:

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

Negatives:

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

Would I recommend this race?

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

Final Stats:

Splits:

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

Next Up:

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

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

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


I’m also linking up here:

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

 

Firecracker 4 Race Recap

              July 4, 2022 9:00 am

Many of my weekend running friends used to run this race every year.

if you read my weekly run downs, you may recognize a few of these runners

I had never joined them because it was always hot, the race is crowded and I’d prefer to head up to the lake early.

Then last year, I decided to do the race. And I loved it

So I signed up again.

I was hoping that some of my running friends would sign up too but if not, I knew there would be many others there whom I knew.

Then I had to break it to my hubby as it would interfere with our lake plans.

pic from 2018

But we went up on the lake on Sunday (the day before) so he was cool with me racing. (Plus our boat was on the DL.)

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

To save time on race day, my friend, Deirdre, picked up my race packet at Fleet Feet on Friday.

Since the race was on a Monday, I was still able to get my long run done on Saturday.

As I mentioned above, Sunday was a rest day with lots of sun and relaxing on the lake.

The weather for race day seemed great – not as cool as the year before but also not as warm as it could have been this time of year.

As I’ve said in most of race recaps, my goal in racing these days is to do my best but more importantly, have fun and not get injured.

.Race Day:

I ate my usual oatmeal and coffee breakfast and wore a tank and skirt (while trying to look as patriotic as possible)

I won the race cap in a raffle

Last year, I carpooled with Heidi and she knew exactly where to park.  I was thrilled when she again offered to meet me, Deirdre, Denise and drive us.  We all met at Leah’s Cakery at 8am (which was only a few miles from the race.)

We easily found parking on the street and walked toward the start…

We passed the finish line and made plans to meet there after the race.

Then of course, we took our obligatory pre-race photos.

And then we mozied on down to the start area. It was cool to see how creatively everyone was dressed for this July 4th holiday race.

I was happy to see so many people racing… many more than last year (although I think they still offered a virtual option.)

more friends!

No more staggered starts. Everyone just lined up together. There was so much excitement in the air. Live racing rocks!!

There was a flag from Ground Zero and a color guard in addition to the national anthem.

Heidi, Deirdre and Denise (who was walking) headed toward the back. I stayed toward the front and chatted with some runners whom  I knew.

Though I had run this race the year before, the only thing I remembered was that there was a BIG hill during mile 4.

course map

elevation according to my Garmin

Mile 1:

As I mentioned, this was a crowded race. The bottleneck at the beginning slowed me down which was probably a good thing as I always start out too fast.

We began running down Broadway which was a slight downhill but eventually we did hit a hill before we turned left and ran past Congress Park. I already felt the need to walk… I started thinking that this wasn’t going to be a good race…

And it seemed like everyone was passing me by but when I glanced at my watch, it showed that my pace was under 9 minutes!! WTH?

Mile 2:

I was surrounded by runners the whole race. Several times I bumped into runners or they bumped into me.  Maybe I forgot what it was like to run a big race.

As we ran through neighborhoods, spectators enthusiastically cheered us on. There were musicians or bands throughout out.  I think almost 20 (quite a few for a 4 mile race.)

The best part was that there were many folks spraying the runners with water as well as sprinklers set up.  I made sure that I ran through each one.  It was very sunny and felt much warmer than I thought it would be.

There was a water stop during this mile.  I did stop and I was happy that they had cups of water. (Last year due to Covid, they gave out bottles)

something happened to the photographer and there were no photos this year so I am posting last year’s.

I did feel a little stronger during this mile (but that was short-lived.)

Mile 3:

We ran into a few rolling hills during this mile but none too bad. As I mentioned above, there were many different groups playing music. That was a nice distraction.

Saratoga is such a pretty town. I enjoyed running through its streets.

But I started tiring and decided to just walk if I need to.

I was surprised that there was a second water stop since the race was only 4 miles. I did appreciate it and I stopped again.

In addition to the official water stops, there seemed to be many spectators giving out bottles of water.  I did not stop at any of those since I didn’t want to carry a bottle of water or waste it.

Mile 4:

I was expecting the steep hill in the last mile. And it did not disappoint. I was wishfully thinking that I could run up the whole thing.

Nope! I had to walk many times.

The best part was the ice pop that was handed out. I ate one as I continued to run/walk up the hill very slowly.

Finally I spotted that big American flag which meant we were approaching the finish line.

I sprinted as fast as I could at this point. I saw 36:xx on the clock as I crossed the finish line and was pleasantly surprised. I knew I was running slower and walked more than the previous year but my time was not as slow as I thought.

Post Race:

I immediately went to grab a bottle of water. The only refreshments were bananas and so I grabbed one. I also spotted a Ben n Jerry’s stand and got a cup of ice cream (Oops it was for parents and kids who had run the kids race…).

I really enjoyed watching so many of the runners finish, especially those that I knew. I also got to admire all the patriotic outfits.

Eventually all my friends finished and they did great.

I checked the website to see if I won an age group award. Last year, I came in 4th. I was surprised that I came in 2nd (even with  a slower time this year.)

So we all hung around longer so I could get my award.

We decided to stay in Saratoga to have brunch.  We had hoped that at this point, all the runners would have left and the restaurants wouldn’t be so crowded.

Nope, they were all full and we had to put our name on a waiting list in two places before we found a table in a third outdoor restaurant.

celebratory mimosas!!!

Additional Race Reflections:

I didn’t expect to enjoy this race as much as I did.  I also didn’t think I could run as well as I did.

I felt that I could have done better if I didn’t walk as much (but I always say that AFTER the race.)

But probably the most important factor was running the race with friends and the feeling of normalcy on this national holiday!

Positives:

  • Ample parking (parking garage and street parking)
  • Well marked course.
  • Lots of familiar faces.
  • Interesting course.
  • Friendly volunteers.
  • Music entertainment along the course.
  • Enthusiastic spectators (sprinklers and ice pops)
  • Easy and organized packet pick-up on Fri. and race day.
  • Real restrooms before and after and ample number of port-potties
  • Two water stops for a 4 mile race.
  • Additional unofficial water tables.
  • Awards (3 deep) for 5 year age group awards
  • Photo Booth

Negatives:

  • Post-race refreshments (just bananas)
  • Steep hill at mile 4
  • No race photos

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. I loved it.  I hope that I can make it work and run it again next year.

Final Stats:

Last year’s race was a big PR for me – 36:26.

As you can see below, I’m still the Queen of the Positive Splits.

a whole lotta walking going on…

Next Up:

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


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


I’m also linking up here:

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

Happy Running! Did you race on July 4th?  Any summer races on your schedule? Please share.

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