Adirondack Race to the Lakes 15K Race Recap

7:30AM

The race begins at SUNY Adirondack, works its way to the Warren County Bike path and ends at Battle Field Park in Lake George. Rolling course with a long down hill finish.

This is the third year for this 15k race. It replaced one of my favorite races – Adirondack Distance Run (10 miler). That was the one that started in Lake George Village and ended in a park on the lake next to the marina where we keep our boat.

I was very disappointed that they cancelled this race. (After 40 years, they decided that it was dangerous to run on the road.)

My friend Sue and I have had many running adventures together:

Since Sue was the organizer of this new race, I felt that I should at least run it the first year. It was hard especially the first 5k but I actually enjoyed it so I signed up again in 2018 and 2019.

Then the Pandemic came and the race was cancelled in 2020 and 2021.

It was revived this year and of course, I couldn’t resist signing up.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

My weekend long run preparation for this race wasn’t great (5k, 7 miles, 5k +5ish more) but I felt somewhat prepared to give it my best shot.  I like the 15k distance. It’s always when I am running a half marathon where I wish it were over.

Due to the weather and work, I front loaded my short weekday (3 mile) runs which gave me two rest days in a row before the race.

The biggest challenge would be those hills. I knew that it was hilly. And we all know that I do not train on hills.  I expected that there would be walking on those hills. And I am totally ok with walking during races.

from my Garmin

The weather was quite comfortable all week but then it started heating up toward the end of the week.  Just in time for this race!! 90 degree temps predicted…

I haven’t run very many 15ks.  My surprise PR was from the Stockade-athon in 2018 (1:30:15). I ran today’s race in 2018 and 2019 and finished at 1:33:54 and 1:32:38 respectively. But I recently finished at FLAT 10 miler at 1:43:56 so I was not expecting much from this HILLY course. And I had no goals besides having fun and finishing unhurt.

There were supposed to be 4 water stops along the route: one at mile 2 (which served runners on the way in and out) and then along the bike path at approximately miles 4.2, 6.2 and 8. I would be stopping at each one and hoped that this would be enough (since I never carry my own water.)

So what to wear? The usual. Tank and skirt.

I hesitated on the compression socks due to the heat but because of the hills, I kept them on.

Race Day:

The race started at 7:30 am. (Hooray for finally an early start!) I got up at 5 am and had oatmeal/coffee and then left my house around 5:45 am since I had over an hour drive.

The race began at a community college so there were real bathrooms and comfortable places to hang out before the race.

None of my close running friends were running the race but I was surprised at how many runners I did know. I hung out with them until the race began.

not a fan of white shirts but at least it was gender-specific and tech fabric.

I asked my friend, the RD, about bag check.  She replied that there was none. I was planning like last time to bring a towel, dry shirt and flip flops to change into after the race.  Boo!

Everyone was looking around to find someone who was driving to start to give a bag to. I wound up giving mine to the guy in charge of the finish line timing.

We eventually all headed to the start.  Again, it was just a line in the parking lot. No chip timing for this race.

I lined up with some friends but not as close to the start as I should have.

So here’s how the race went: (The course photos are mostly courtesy D. Yeaton 2019)

Miles 1-3: 

I knew what the course was like. As I mentioned, I expected hills. I mean, it’s the Adirondacks so it is hilly everywhere.  We left the college and ran on a main road for a while.  And it was warm out already.  I knew that it wasn’t going to be a good day when I had to walk during the FIRST mile!

Soon we turned into a neighborhood. One of the volunteers we passed said “Enjoy the roller coaster!” Yup, huge hills…up and down. Just past the water stop at mile 2.5, you turned around and repeated those crazy hills.

I started slowly and tried to run up them. After the first hill, I realized that that was a mistake, I just ran/walked up them. No sense killing my legs. I ran most of the race around the same runners. Playing leap frog with them. They ran slowly and passed me on the hills and I got closer to them on the downhill and sometimes even passed them.

Miles 4-6: 

After the first 5K, we headed toward the bike path. The steep hills disappeared but it was a steady incline. I kept hoping for a downhill but it never happened (until mile 7). At least, most of the path was shady. And with the temps rising, that was a good thing!!

I stopped and walked at each of the 4 water stops.  I took a GU at the 2nd and 4th one.

The hills on miles 1-3, definitely tired me out. My plan changed from just walking at the water stops to walking up the hills to finally just walking whenever my legs were too tired to run. That seemed to be very often. Still I was keeping up with the same runners. Perhaps I was running fast when I was actually running. The steepest hill was between miles 5 and 6 (see pace below). Ugh!

Miles 7-9.3 –

The rest of the race was on the bike path and the part of the path that went downhill right into Lake George Village (opposite the lake). Finally running downhill!! Though, it seemed too little, too late to make up for the slow mile 6.

After my 2nd GU, I got a second wind and tried pick up the pace and eventually sprint to the finish.

The path to the finish was on grass – soft but so difficult to run fast on.

I crossed at 1:36:xx and I was happy to be done!!

As you crossed, they asked your age and then handed you an age group award if you won.

2nd for me… recycling the medals from the canceled 2020 race.

Post Race Activities:

great view of the lake from the finish line

Refreshments included watermelon, bananas, home made cookies and pastries. All the baked goods were individually wrapped.

I headed right for the watermelon. No ice cream this year 😦

I got my bag (which had a towel and flip flops) and headed with the other runners to soak my feet in the lake.

There wasn’t much time to relax in the water as I spotted two buses waiting to take runners back to the start. I ran to the bus as I remembered that the last time, there was quite a wait until the next bus (and by now it was very warm out!!)

In past years, I stayed and visited friends in Lake George or went on our boat. This year, I immediately drove home.

Back to the race:

They say “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” And I was not sore at all the next day and back to running again on Monday. So all is good.

Additional Race Reflections:

I have to say that I’ve gotten spoiled with all the extras, my local race organization provides for its racers.  So I felt a little let down but with only 118 runners, it was a small race and not an expensive one to enter.

And those hills… with the heat, I was in no shape to give 100% to this race.  I was perfectly happy to just walk when it felt good to… And besides mile 6, I was running at a decent pace because by walking a lot, when I was running, I was running fast!

I think the last sentence of the first paragraph explains why I race so much!!

The Good:

  • Easy organized packet pick-up.
  • Lots of parking
  • Real Bathrooms at the start.
  • Early start time
  • Scenic course – especially the bike path (with running water views and shade)
  • Gender specific tech shirt
  • 4 water stops
  • Decent selection of post race food – bananas, watermelon, home-made baked goods
  • Ended at the Lake
  • Photographer at the finish line
  • Shuttle back to the start

The Bad:

  • Not chip-timed
  • No port-a-potties along the course or at the finish
  • The hilly looped miles 2-4
  • Little crowd support
  • No Nuun or Gatorade at water stops
  • No bag check
  • No music and national anthem at the start
  • Recycled medals for age group awards (mug or car magnet in previous years)
  • No ice cream (as in previous years)
  • Long drive (for me)

Would I recommend this race?

Yes, if you live nearby.  It was a nice small race with challenging hills.

I may run it again if I plan some nearby post-race activities.  Otherwise, I may chose a closer race.

Final Stats:

Splits:

Next Up:

Firecracker 4

7/4/22

and a few more 5ks this summer before the half marathons start in the Fall.

Happy Running! Any exciting plans for the summer? Have you run a lot of 15ks?  How do you feel about hilly races? How far do you usually drive for a race? Please share.

 

 

 

 

 


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

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


I’m linking also up with

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

 

Weekly Run Down for 6.19.22-6.26.22: Weather Whiplash and a 15k

This week was less hectic than last.

We started out with fall-like weather and then as the week progressed, the temps started rising.

Just in time for my 15k race..

Last Week:

  • Sunday – Boating Sunday! Chilly and windy but always better than staying home.

picture perfect day in the bay. lots of reading and relaxing accomplished!!

  • Monday – Juneteenth celebrated so a day off from work.

I could get used to this… Doing things on my own schedule!! FOMO on you non-working runners!!

Got my weeding, trimming bushes, laundry, grocery shopping done.. all in this cool fall-like morning.

I met a friend for a walk in the afternoon (and the temps had warmed up significantly)

Then in the evening, a group was running in the Crossings so I joined them followed by a Trader Joe’s stop.

  • Tuesday – Back to reality. With rain in the forecast, I squeezed in a run before work.

the cool temp was overshadowed by the humidity but glad that I got it done early.

It rained on and off in the afternoon but my friend was still game for 5 mile walk after work… and we didn’t get too wet.

  • Wednesday – Again rain in the forecast.  So I decided to play it by ear on whether to run or not.  There was a SOAR (Sisterhood Of Athletes & Runners) run scheduled after work at UAlbany.  It’s always nice to have options.

It was a small group but it was fun to chat and not to run alone…

Afterwards, I met my BFF for a walk around the mall.

  • Thursday – Rest day finally!  And rain on and off all day.

After work, I met my friends for the ARE weekly trail run walk. As usual, we had a good time.

There was yoga before (but I didn’t join)

  • Friday – Rest Day #2. Getting ready for the race the next day.

And the evening with the mah jongg ladies.

  • SaturdayRace Day – Adirondack Race to the Lakes 15k.

A very early morning wake-up since I had to leave by 5:45am to get to the race. I’d like to report that I was prepared for those hills… but I wasn’t.  Still I enjoyed the last two miles and the post-race dip in the lake especially since the summer HEAT and HUMIDITY had returned.

medal recycled from 2020 for my age group award

  • Sunday – Race Day and/or Boating Sunday!

Before Saturday’s race was announced, I had signed up for a fun trail 5k. After having run a HILLY 15k the day before and temps in the 90s today… I decided I’d rather be floating in the lake!!

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday – DAY OFF – hiking with friends, run
  • Tuesday – run
  • Wednesday – rest day, Van Gogh exhibit, dinner out with tennis friends
  • Thursday – run, ARE trail run walk
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday Long Run
  • Sunday –  rest day, boating

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Adirondack Race to the Lakes 15k Race Recap
  • Friday – Ultimate Coffee Date

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? Any fun plans for the summer? Please share.

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

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

June 18, 2022 – 9AM

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

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

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

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

they gave out free ice cream that year,

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

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

Kelly and Mary (on the right)

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

here with my friend Tom

and my age group competition, Carolyn

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

2022? Anything could happen… no expectations.

Pre-Race Preparations and Activities:

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

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

Race Day:

Below is the course map and elevation:

vchr5kmap

elevation according my Garmin is below…

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

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

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

Eventually I did get out to hang out with friends.

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

There were even real restrooms

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

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

img_0194

The finishers are captured on the large stadium screen
img_0195

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

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

and took this pic of me

Mile 1:

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

Valley_Cats_5K-055

this was in 2016 (this year’s pics were not posted yet)

Valley_Cats_5K-056

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

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

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

Mile 2:

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

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

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

Mile 3-3.1:

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

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

Valley_Cats_5K-229

sorry – 2016

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

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

Post Race Activities:

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

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

the happy runners with the Valley Cats mascot

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

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

Carolyn in (orange) won a 1st)

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

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

Nope!!

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

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

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

Additional Race Reflections:

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

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

Positives:

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

Negatives:

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

Would I recommend this race?

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

Final Stats:

Splits:

5 walks!!

according to my Garmin

Next Up:

Adirondack Race to the Lakes 15k

June 25, 2022

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

runner-sig

 

 

 

 

 


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

Weekly Run Down for 6.12.22-6.19.22: NYC Bound

This week was rather hectic and it included a quick trip NYC for work.

I am always excited when I get to visit NYC but I wish it were for pleasure.

Last Week:

  • Sunday – Boating Sunday! And grateful that the rain in the forecast never materialized.

my favorite place to read and relax!!

  • Monday – I had the day off from work.  The original plan was to meet a college friend in NYC. She had to cancel.

Plan B – meet a tennis friend to go hiking in the Adirondacks.  She had to cancel.

Plan C – meet a running friend to go hiking in Lenox, MA.  She did not cancel and we had a lovely time.

First we hiked in Pleasant Valley Nature Sanctuary.

Then after lunch, we went to Kennedy Park.

When I got home, I met two friends for a walk on the rail trail (with wine and snacks after).

Got my steps in today!!!

  • Tuesday – After two days off from running, I knew I needed to get out there (in order to get my 4 days in) so I squeezed in a short one before work.

another Broadway run 🙂

After work, again I walked on the rail trail (but a different section) with friends.

  • Wednesday – A busy work day and a dentist appt.

But Wednesday evenings there are several scheduled group runs.  Tonight there was an ice cream run.  You know I couldn’t resist that.

Not wanting to run late and drive far, I met up with a friend to run closer to home … and have ice cream.

and we twinned in SS skirts

  • Thursday – First day traveling to NYC for work since January 2020.  I was subbing for another trainer. After taking Amtrak to Manhattan, I checked into my hotel, had lunch and then took the subway to Queens.  Eventually I returned to Manhattan.

I couldn’t let a day in NYC go by without a run in Central Park.

loved every minute there!!

Unfortunately it is hard to coordinate a meet-up with my NYC buds. I didn’t see Elizabeth but Cari and I did have a late dinner together.

  • Friday – Another trip from Manhattan to Queens to work and back and then Amtrak home that night.  LONG DAY!! And a hot one… 90 degrees!!! (Glad I was minimally outside.)

time to kill before my evening train… so why not?

  • SaturdayRace Day – Valley Cats Father’s Day Home Run 5k – I was NOT planning to run a race today but a running friend asked me to… that’s what friends are for…

It was fun!! And talk about weather whiplash… it was windy and in the 50s!!

I felt like I was sleep walking and was surprised to come in 2nd in my age group

and afterward, I talked her into accompanying me on 5 more miles (followed my brunch) and then errands.

Brrrr…. but we warmed up as we re-traced the race route

  • Sunday –  Supposed to be sunny and warmer so the plans are to spend Father’s Day on the boat.

pic from last FD

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday – DAY OFF (Juneteenth) – run
  • Tuesday – run
  • Wednesday – rest day
  • Thursday – ARE trail run
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday Adirondack Race to the Lakes 15k
  • Sunday –  rest day, boating

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Valley Cats Father’s Day Home Run 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 in-person races run or planned? What is your favorite post run treat? How are you celebrating Father’s Day? Please share.

Freihofer Run for Women Race Recap

June 4, 2022 – 9:00 am

This is the only race that I’ve run every year! This was my 15th time!!!!! (In 2020, it went virtual so actually my 14th in-person FRW race.)

It is always held the Saturday after Memorial Day but due to COVID, the race was moved to September last year. This year, it has retuned to its regular date.

on their webpage…can you spot me in the pink cap?

My first FRW was in 2008 (my first year of running). At the time, it was the farthest I’d ever run:

FRW - 2008

I mentored a beginning running group in 2010 which was very rewarding:

Unfortunately, I’m the only one from this group who still runs.

In 2012, it was my first run after serious ankle surgery:

and this photo made the cover of our local paper.

I even ran it in 2013 after breaking my foot at mile 1:

And in 2019, it was the last race for my friend Andrea (who died of cancer).

As you can tell, there is a lot of history attached to this race for me.

In 2020, I was named an Ambassador.  That honor has continued into this year, as well.

Cari, recognize where that photo was taken?

Believe it not, I chose to skip my high school reunion (also scheduled for today) in order to run this race!!

Pre-Race Preparations and Activities:

As with this race every year, I never know what will happen… I could break my foot again (as I did in 2013) or could have a course PR as I did in 2018. Most likely, it will just be a fun race with lots of women.

And this was also my seventh Freihofer Training Challenge.

did my green hat stand out much in 2018?!

Training is a loose term. I kinda just showed up on most Monday runs. But each Monday seemed to follow either a half marathon or a long run. As a result, although I registered for the Advanced group, I never participated in any of their speed drills. Instead I usually ran with the Intermediate group.

But I was excited to be part of it and support all the runners who would be finishing their FIRST 5k. And see my “current and past FTC” buddies who would hopefully PR.

In past years, the day before I walked to Empire State Plaza concourse at lunch to go to the expo and pick up my race packet. They used to have a really big expo with vendors and health-related exhibits. But the past few years, they have held it at a local college.

race swag = cookies, break and a shirt

As I did last year, I signed up to volunteer on Friday evening at packet pick-up and then skipped playing mah jongg in favor of a pizza dinner and time to organize my #flatme.

Race Day:

I hate parking garages and traffic so I parked on the street and walked to the start. I used to do this every year. However, with the new(er) course, it was an even longer hike. Like almost 2 miles!

It was still strange to run down Madison Avenue and not see the race banners and not see the giant poster on the bridge.

pics from 6 years ago…

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Due to construction, they changed the course seven years ago.

They say that this course is faster…less congested and has a less steep hill at the start and finish.

5kCoursePDF

course map

elevation according to my Garmin

I did run the new course the past seven years and I liked it better than the original..

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heading downhill to the finish line

The start was near a park across from the Capitol Building. I wore a jacket because I thought it would be cool out. Nope.  Bright sunshine and warming up quickly.

Soon the start line as in sight.

I ran past it and entered the City Hall park in search of the Training Challenge tent. I left my jacket there. In past years, there was water and lots of snacks.  Not this year.

oops. ripped my bib

I was quite early so I continued to walk around until more runners arrived. I chatted with many of my running friends and took quite a few pics.

my tennis friend, Mary Pat (responsible for starting me on my running journey. Do you recognize her from the 2008 pic?

my “sole sister” Heidi

training challenge friends

Catching up with everyone made the time go by quickly and soon it was time to line up for our Training Challenge photo.

Though, I didn’t get much out of the training itself, I was happy to be part of this amazing group of women.

I was scheduled to start in corral 3 so I headed that way and bumped into a few friends there too. While I was waiting, I ate a Honey Stinger waffle (with no water … blech)

in my corral

Mile 1:

It is usually very crowded during the first mile but this year were fewer runners than in previous years (about 2500 vs 3500). I never really had to weave and had plenty of space to run comfortably.

The race began with a long steep uphill.  It’s a good thing since it kept you at a slower pace.

But I did run the whole uphill… it was slow but I did not have to walk.

Mile 1 continued as we turned left and entered the park (and the hill ended).

There were rolling hills throughout the park.  They were not bad and even I could run them without walking.

The worst part were all the potholes and cracks in the roads…There were cones over the potholes but you had to weaving back n forth to avoid them and you had to keep your eyes pealed to ground to make sure you didn’t trip.

I took this pic after the race a few years ago

Mile 2:

There was a water stop around mile 1.25.  It was very sunny and I was getting warm so I did stop and walk.

More rolling hills during this mile as you ran around the park circling the lake.  Only one of the hills was steep but it was very short.

I tried to pick up the pace for the second mile. I told myself that I would not walk until the next water stop.

Mile 3-3.1:

That was around mile 2.5. At this point, I was starting to get very warm so I stopped again for a drink and walked longer than before.

Finally we left the park and headed toward the street we started on.

It was a long downhill and I had to remember not to start sprinting too soon.  I’ve made that mistake in past years.

Eventually I see the 3 mile sign and I started to run as fast as I could while posing for the photographers and running though the finish line.

I did see that the timing clock read 28:XX…. No course PR for this girl today!

Post Race Activities:

I knew with two walks and zero speed work, I couldn’t come close to a PR (and I was not expecting one). It was a decent time (even if it was slower than all my Freihofer 5ks since 2016) and I was happy!!

I grabbed some snacks (apple sauce, bar, banana). I was hoping as in past years to snag some chocolate milk and maybe a bagel. Nope!!

Then I went back to the finish line to cheer in some friends.

with racing friends Linda and Carolyn

I ran into even more runners again that I knew. Every where I turned, there was someone familiar – from a job, tennis, races, etc. That’s what’s great about running a popular local race.

with Heidi again and “sole sister” Deb

The first time runners were so excited. That put a smile on my face. I remembered why I love this race and it was never because of my awesome finish times.

Before we left, we checked out our finish times.  No award for any of us but a good effort by all.

We were hungry and so we didn’t stay around for the awards. There were, however, some well-known runners in the field.  (In past years, Sara Hall and Joan Samuelson ran this race).

Allie Ostrander (on right) won the race and Allie Kieffer came in 2nd. Allie O was recently interviewed on the Ali on the Run podcast.

And last but not least, this lady at age 92!!!

with her daughter and granddaughter –  so sweet!!

I walked back (uphill) to my car and then met Heidi and Deb at the diner for brunch.

Additional Race Reflections:

Many runners were excited about their PRs. I may not have run my fastest time but I still enjoyed myself.

You get what you put in. I did not do all the speed workouts so I can’t be disappointed. I also recently ran a half marathon and a 10 mile race and I am no spring chicken. My time may not have been as fast as 2018 (a course PR of 27:37) but it was faster than the previous two 5ks that I’ve run in 2022.

So I was very pleased with that.

And I always enjoy running through Washington Park too.

from IG

Positives:

  • Ample parking.
  • Well marked course.
  • Lots of familiar faces.
  • Interesting course (through a beautiful park).
  • Downhill finish.
  • Friendly and abundant number of volunteers.
  • Two water stops (for a 5k)
  • The electric atmosphere.
  • Virtual option.
  • Free finish and start photos
  • Immediate results
  • Nice Swag for a 5k (tech shirt, medal, cookies, bread)
  • All women – all ages, all paces…
  • Many free photo stations

Negatives:

  • Uphill first mile.
  • Uneven pavement in the park
  • Sunny and warm
  • No chocolate milk or bagels post-race

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. Yes. It’s a great local race. And having it be ALL WOMEN makes it even more special.

Final Stats:

Splits:

Negative splits!!!! Woo Hoo!

I have a 15k is a few weeks and I thought I might run a few more miles so today could also count as a long run.

And I would have if I hadn’t had the brunch option.  No will power!

So FRW #15 is in the books!

The tradition is still alive! It was again a great local race with many women running it. Can’t wait to run it again next year.

Next Up:

Adirondack Race to the Lakes 15k

June 25, 2022

Happy Running! How was your weekend? Did you race? If so, how did it go? Do you have a favorite race that you run every year? Please share.

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

CDPHP Workforce Team Challenge Race Recap

May 19, 2022 at 6:25 pm

The CDPHP® Workforce Team Challenge is a 3.5-mile road race open to teams of employees from corporations, businesses, government agencies, educational institutions, not-for-profit corporations, and financial institutions. Participating companies, organizations, and agencies use the event as a platform to provide health and fitness opportunities in the workplace while promoting goodwill and camaraderie among their employees.

It takes place at the Empire State Plaza in Albany on a similar course to the old Freihofer course. It usually sells out early with a cap of 10,000 runners.

At my former job, I ran this race once (in 2011), the only year I convinced them to have a team.  It was fun so I signed up to be part of a team at my new job in 2017. We didn’t actually have enough runners for our own team so we partnered with UAlbany. I ran it with this team in 2018 and 2019, as well.

I enjoyed it and it was a good way to get to know others where I work.  (Obviously purple is UAlbany’s color…)

Then there was the Pandemic.  The race was cancelled in 2020. In 2021, it was postponed to August and moved to a new location.

a super hot and humid evening for a race… on a hilly course

Happy to report that this year, the race returned to its original date and location.

1.Race Day:

Anyway I remembered the course from many years ago. It starts with a steep uphill and then flattens out.  You run through the park which has rolling hills and then it ends with a steep downhill.

elevation according to my Garmin

It is actually more of a run than a race.  With thousands of participants and many walkers, you feel (at least I do) no pressure to do anything but finish.

The Monday before the race, I had returned from 8 days in Florida.  And I had run a 5k on the previous Sunday.

During the days before the race I was soooo tired. I considered skipping this race many times.  But I hadn’t made a definite decision.  Factoring into the decision was the fact that I would be running a half marathon the weekend after, as well.

So I did run (slowly) on Tuesday and Wednesday.

When I woke up to a rainy Thursday (race day) with a headache, I felt that I should DNS this race.  I worked until 4 pm and then it started to rain again… hard!

Confirmed! “I’m not racing,” I said to my hubby.  “If the rain stops later, I’ll just run on my own” (maybe).

And that point, the rain stopped and the sun came out.

Well, you know what happened next. I felt guilty and decided to go to the race.  I knew that many of the participants would be walking and I could too.

Now what do you eat for a race that starts at 6:25 pm?

I quickly ate some waffles and hoped that would be enough.

To avoid the crowds, I parked my car in town and walked about 1.5 miles to the start. Actually I had to run some of it because I left later than planned.

The weather was cool (60s) and the rain had stopped. I even brought a jacket. I checked my app and the humidity was 90%  Yikes. (I was overdressed with a long sleeve shirt. At least I chose to wear a skirt.)

My team was pretty organized. Again this year, they had set up a table and canopy.  I walked around for a while searching for their table but finally located it (in a place not far from where it was in a previous year.)

I had not already picked up my team tee and bib so I got that and was just in time for the team photo. (I didn’t know anyone on my team since I don’t actually work for them and as I mentioned before, my place of employment does not have its own team.)

I wore the team shirt over my existing shirt even though it was too big again this year (Unisex!!)

Soon it was time to  headed to the start. There were fewer runners lined up this year (almost 4,000 + many running it virtually), but they again had corrals.  I was in the second corral (LIME green). I pushed my way in (as predicted many ignored their correct corral) and moved up as far they could.

And then I just waited in the crowd. What was cool about this race is that I knew so many runners and they were all running/walking with their work teams.

Several years ago, Sawyer Fredericks (winner of The Voice and a local) sang the National Anthem. This year, it was an unknown local however, she was great.

Eventually, the race started.

Of course, it took awhile before we even moved.

The biggest problem with this race was that unless you were in the front and very fast, it was impossible to gain any speed.  Even with the corrals, I was playing bumper cars the whole race. It seemed even more crowded this year even without the walkers in front of me. So middle of the packers, like me, just weaved in and out, bumped into people saying “excuse me” throughout the entire race.

But then again except for a chosen group of runners, it was not a “race.”  It was just a way to get out of the office (or for me “home”) and get some exercise with their co-workers.  Some businesses had 200-500 employees participating.

I think it’s a great thing. So I tried not to get annoyed or take it seriously.

In fact, this was great for me. I had the goal of NOT racing it… walking up the hills and keeping my pace between 10 and 11 minutes!!!

Back to the race…

We started up a long uphill climb which flattened until we entered the park. I ran slow and chatted with many runners that I knew.

The course continued through the park with rolling hills – one or two being rather steep.  Yes, I did walk.

There was a water stop in the park around mile 1.5. I stopped and walked. It was much warmer than I had thought..  We continued in the park but eventually left onto the streets of Albany.

There was a second water stop around mile 2.5 and I stopped and walked even longer.

Because I started out so slow and never ran fast, I never felt tired or out of breath.  A new concept for me.

Eventually, you headed toward that downhill finish.

Runners make their way down Madison Ave. during the 2019 CDPHP Workforce Team Challenge at the Empire State Plaza on Thursday, May 16, 2019 in Albany, N.Y. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)

I was tempted to go into an all out sprint but it was a steep downhill so I had to hold back.

But when I saw the clock in the distance, I picked up the pace so that I could at least finish strong.

I crossed at 35:xx.

done!

I was pretty happy… I had done just what I had planned and I felt so much better than I did before the race (It’s so amazing about that “runner’s high.”)

2. Post Race Activities:

I slowly made my way back through the crowd to the team table to get a jacket that I had left there.  There was no one there.  In past years, there was quite a spread of refreshments and runners there planning an after race get-together.  Not this year!

I was very impressed by the race organization again this year.  After you picked up water, you proceeded to a tent to get your time (if you wanted). I just logged onto my phone and skipped that line.

Then you continued on to get your race shirt, followed by another stop to a get bag with food. The lines moved very quickly.  There were lots of volunteers to make sure everything went smoothly.

swag was also a cooling towel and water bottle.

I bumped into many running friends and we chatted as we walked around the Empire State Plaza.

Eventually, I had to make the long walk back to my car…

It was over an hour after I finished but there were people still on the course… Everyone looked happy and to be having a great time.

It made me smile but I quickened my step to get to my car since it was getting late with a quick detour through the park…

sadly many of the tulips had died

3. Additional Race Reflections:

My finish time may have have been the slowest on this course.

  • 2022 – 35:14
  • 2019 – 32:56
  • 2017 – 33:40
  • 2011 – 33:41

Nevertheless, I had lots of fun chatting with friends and meeting new runners.  Getting in my last run before my half marathon was just gravy.

To quote the winner of the race: “Just the fact that you’re there representing your company as opposed to being in a race on your own is definitely something else that makes it extraordinary,”

Positives:

    • Ample parking in lots and on the street.
    • Well marked course.
    • Music throughout the course
    • Lots of familiar faces.
    • Interesting course (park, city).
    • Friendly volunteers.
    • Team tee shirt contest – https://www.cdphpwtc.com/shirts/ 
    • Team atmosphere
    • Walker friendly
    • Swag – cooling towel and water bottle
    • Instant results
    • Free photos
    • Back to the original date and course

Negatives:

    • Hilly course
    • Humidity
    • My co-workers did not participate
    • Cotton shirt

4 Final Stats:

Splits:

each mile in the 10s = mission accomplished

No age group awards given but I would have placed 3rd.

I did not list my age

I am glad to have participated in this race. It is run by a local running club and they seemed to try to improve the race each year.

I will probably run it again next year. Hopefully, I can encourage more of my co-workers to join me.

5. Next Up:

It was the Steel Rail Half Marathon 3 days later.

followed by the Miles on the Mohawk 10 Miler the following weekend

then the Freihofer Run for Women 5k the weekend after.

The next important race is a 15K at the end of the month – Adirondack Race to the Lakes (which I ran in 2019 and 2018)

Happy Running! Ever participate in a team race? 

 

 

 

 

 


Welcome to Fit Friday Five! Please join the hosts Me (My First 5K and More), Running With AttitudeRun Laugh Eat PieRuns with Pugs, and Zenaida

and add your link below:

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Miles on the Mohawk Race Recap

May 29, 2022 – 9:00 am

With most of the local races either cancelled or virtual, Albany Running Exchange (ARE) began scheduling COVID Safety Plan approved races in 2021.  This was one of them and unfortunately, it POURED the whole race.

In March, I ran their five mile race (Electric City). For today’s event, ARE used the same course as the Electric City five miler but added a full marathon and also a point-to-point 10 miler again.

This year, it SNOWED the entire Electric City Five Miler.

I was a little nervous in signing up for the 10 mile option.  Maybe this course was weather jinxed.

It was advertised as “a very fast, point-to-point course.”

As you can from the elevation chart below, it is not exactly what I would call fast (I see hills!!)

The logistics were also complicated for the 10 mile race. 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.)

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

I have run several 10 mile races. My slowest was in 2014: (1:49:55), my first one, and my PR was my third in the same year (1:38:45). All the others were somewhere in between as well as last year (in the rain), where my time was 1:40:30. My expectation for this race would be around 1:40 again (but who can tell these days?)

Usually on the weekends, I do run 8-10 miles. But this month I skipped them in favor of a few short races.  It’s amazing how quickly the endurance that you built up leaves.

But I picked things back up with a half marathon the weekend before.

almost a PW so I didn’t think I’d be too worn out for this race.

But being very lax about training, my only goal these days is to finish uninjured and have fun.  And when you run a race this time of year, it could be 85 degrees or 55 degrees. We all know that the weather greatly impacts the racing experience.   (2:12 vs 2:32 finish times. lol)

I picked up my race packet on Friday evening.

and carb loaded on Saturday evening (pasta instead of pizza) and debated about what to wear the next day. I was hoping that it would be warmer than last year but NOT as warm as last weekend.

Forecast was for WARM but I thought not that humid (WRONG) and so I added my compression calf sleeves and a baseball cap.

Race Day:

I got up around 6:00 am on Sunday morning, had my coffee and oatmeal, and was on the road by 7:00 for my 30 minute hour drive to race parking.

I parked my car in the Golub Parking lot near Mohawk Harbor, the finish for all races (but the start for the 5m & 26.2 mile races.)  I did not sign up for the shuttle because I knew that I could carpool with another runner.  My friend Sherry offered to drive again to the start if I would drive her back to her car after. I happily agreed

I met Sherry at 7:45 and we drove to the start which was about 15 minutes away.

There was plenty of parking in the grassy lot.  We were plenty early so we had time to walk around, visit with the animals and use the (real) restrooms.

baby goats

It had been a while since my breakfast so I ate a Honey Stinger waffle.  There was water ad cups which was nice.

restrooms

As you can see from the photos, there was not a cloud in the sky!! A beautiful day.  And the conditions seemed perfect early that morning..

ready or not…

The 10 mile race started at 9 am. Soon it was time to head to the start area.

There were no corrals so I just entered into the crowd somewhere in middle or perhaps closer to the front. I chatted with friends until it was time to move.

Sorry to be a broken record but it was summer and my goal for races these days is FINISH happy (that is not injured and ready to do another.) Throw those time goals out the window!!

Miles 1-3:

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. I ran the first mile wondering my knee (which had bothered me the day before) would hurt.  It never did.

mile 1

Everyone appeared to be passing me by. I didn’t look at my watch, just kept going with the flow.

The scenery was pretty. Unfortunately there was little if any shade! Of course, my pace was decent at first. I was feeling good… until I wasn’t.

The Mohawk river changed to being on the left. And the temps started warming up quickly.  Those poor marathoners (and I had a few friends running the 26.2) I kept thinking.

The first water stop was at mile 3.3 (Kiwanis Park)  Dying at this point. I actually drank Nuun (which I don’t even like) and poured a cup of water down the back of my shirt.

Miles 4-6

Most of the race is a blur. I walked and ran.  Those runners around me were doing the same.  I tried to run more than walk.  Not sure at times if I did or not. Some runners did continue to just run.  But we played leap frog as I passed them when I ran and they passed me when I walked.

Around mile 4, I finally got hungry so I stopped to eat my Gu (trying to eat and run slowly). There was finally second water stop at mile 5.6 (Lock 8 Park). More Nuun and also water poured down my back.

Miles 7-10

The temps were rising. I wished I hadn’t worn my calf sleeves. The third water stop was around mile 8.1 (SCCC Bike Path Parking Area). They gave out GU gel so I grabbed a packet and ate it with some Nuun.  And gave myself one last shower of water.

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.

At this point, my lower back started to ache. Why? My form? My shoes?  (Who knows?) My feet did not hurt so there’s that!!

The crowd was also thinning.  I was often running alone.

And I was walking more and running slower.

Soon we were running on a dirt path (construction on the bike path?). That was followed by a trail of rocks…

But eventually we headed toward Mohawk Harbor where you could hear the roar of the crowds.

As I headed toward the finish line, I got one last burst of energy.

My friend Jenny took this pic as she screamed my name

I crossed at 1:43:xx. Slower than I had hoped but happy to done and upright.

I got my medal and some water. I was feeling queasy so I ate another Gu. I immediately felt better.

Lots of tired happy folks.  The 5 milers were done and many of the 10 milers.  Only the leaders of the marathon had finished. There was a band, beer, food, etc.

Pictures first, right?

Next, I grabbed my lunch and ate the chips while waiting for Sherry to finish.

turkey sandwich and a brownie

I stopped by the results table and not surprisingly I did not win an age group award.

I’m not a beer drinker but we needed something cold to drink so we got our free one nd sat at a table in Druthers to relax and eat.

I had wanted to wait around for a friend to finish the marathon but she was not going to be done for hours so we decided to call it a day.

Well, I turned on the air conditioning in my car (we laughed as last year, I had to turn on the heated seats) and I drove Sherry back to her car at the race start. We passed many poor marathoners still out on the course with many miles to go 😦

Additional Race Reflections:

So yeah, I finished slower than I wanted. But hey, it was much hotter than I had hoped. It was fun to see many running friends. I never regret a race that I’ve run.

Positives:

  • Ample parking at the start and finish.
  • Several distances: 10 mile, 5 mile, marathon
  • Real restrooms at Mabee Farm
  • Bag check for 10 milers
  • Well marked course.
  • Varied scenery including river views
  • Lots of course marshals (even in the heat).
  • Shuttle to the start (if needed).
  • Well organized.
  • A lot of pre-race information.
  • Familiar faces
  • Decent Post-race food.
  • Race shirt optional for more money
  • Cool medal.
  • Free Beer (in Druthers)
  • Free photos
  • Immediate results (and live tracking)

Negatives:

  • HEAT
  • More water stops needed (for this weather)

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. Yes.

It was super well-organized. Special attention was paid to EVERY detail. It will be even more fun when the weather is cooler.

Final Stats:

Splits:

retaining my title as “queen of the positive splits”

Walking definitely slowed down my pace:

walked more as the race continued but finished upright!!

Next Up:

A 5k the Saturday after

and then a 15k a few weeks later.

Happy Running! Have you run a race yet in the summer heat? ? If so, how did go? Are you planning to run a long race this summer? 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 5.29.22-6.5.22: That time of year..

Still racing every weekend.

And my favorite race of the year was held yesterday!!

from 2019 but I liked the pic

Last Week:

  • Sunday –  Race Day!  Miles on the Mohawk!! A local 10 miler that I ran for the second time.  This year, it didn’t rain. Instead it was HOT and humid.  As a result, it was a hard race but I enjoyed the course and all the familiar faces.

  • Monday – Holiday – DAY OFF!!

So I planned to start the holiday at the gym.  I got there and it was closed. BOO!

That just meant the hubby and I could leave earlier for the lake.  It was a beautiful day and all I did was read, relax and enjoy the scenery.

a perfect first day of boating

We picnicked on an island and then stopped for ice cream on the way home!

  • Tuesday – I planned to run before work but my knee has been feeling wonky (since gardening on Friday). Luckily it didn’t bother me at all during the race.  I decided instead to go to the gym.

  • Wednesday –  Global Running Day!  That means a run no matter what!  With rain and thunderstorms predicted for later, I drove to the rail trail to run before work.

I made the right decision since it rained on and off the rest of the day

It seems that all my blogging friends joined me on a run virtually.

Thanks to Cari for the collage

After work, I skipped my STEM run in favor of a dinner given for the FRW volunteers. (STEM run was cancelled due to the weather anyway.)

met many new people all excited about volunteering… there were many raffles (although I didn’t win anything.)

  • Thursday – Back to the gym before work.

I squeezed in a run at lunch. (on my way home from the office)

a short one due to the humidity and the time factor

I thought that I would stop off to pick up my race bib/shirt/cookies but the expo didn’t open until 4 pm.  No worries… my friend said she would pick it up for me on her way to the trail run tonight.

swag = shirt, bread, cookies

Once my knee felt off, I immediately made an appt for today with my chiro.  I haven’t seen her in ages and she is leaving soon on maternity leave. Of course, nothing hurt anymore but I thought it a good idea to get all aligned so I didn’t cancel the appt.  She painfully worked on a tight leg muscle and my lower back… feeling great now!!

Then afterward, our first weekly trail run was held.  It was so fun to run with a group.  Although in my case, it’s more of a walk.

such a fun evening!!! and such beautiful scenery. Food/beer after wasn’t bad either.

  • Friday – Rest Day. LAST DAY for the gym.

and last gym selfie!!

In the evening, I volunteered at the expo for FRW race which would be held the next day before I headed to play mah jongg.

  • SaturdayRace Day – Freihofer Run for Women (FRW) – It was my 15th time running the race and it was just as much fun as the first time.

all women of all speeds and ages… so inspiring.

  • Sunday –  I started the day with a run since I went to brunch yesterday instead of running more miles.

great running weather and yes, that’s my shirt from the race the day before and a cardinal in the bird bath (upper right)

Then back up to the lake with my hubby and a friend.

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday – run, belated B-day dinner
  • Tuesday – run, walk with friends
  • Wednesday – rest day, STEM run, hair appt.
  • Thursday – ARE trail run
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg chez moi
  • Saturday Race Day (for STEM). Long Run
  • Sunday –  rest day, boating

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Miles on the Mohawk 10  Mile Race Recap
  • Friday – CDPHP Workforce Team Challenge Race Recap

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? Are you enjoying summer temps yet? Do you see your chiropractor regularly?  Is there a race that you run EVERY year? Please share.

Steel Rail Half Marathon Race Recap

Steel Rail Races Race Reviews | Lanesborough, Massachusetts

May 22, 2022

I signed up for this Half Marathon (my 59th) for several reasons:

  • It was local and I could sleep in my own bed the night before.
  • It was a flat course.
  • It is scenic (lakes, rivers and mountain views)
  • I had run a similar course twice (in 2016 & 2017).
  • It was my half marathon PR both times I ran it.
  • It was cancelled in 2020 and I had to run it virtually.

Half Marathon Training:

If you read my blog, you know that I always get my weekday short runs done.

However, this training cycle included ZERO real long runs due to lots of races and a vacation in Florida.

The “Plan” called for weekend runs of 10, 11, 12, and then 8 miles..

Yes, I got some of those weekend miles on the legs.

After the downhill half marathon on April 16, I ran a 5 mile race, a 5k, 5.8 miles up a mountain and another 5k.

I had lots of fun.  But was I trained for this half marathon???

Nevertheless, I was excited to run the race. I knew that I didn’t deserve to get a PR and I was hoping that I wouldn’t be too disappointed with a way slower performance than in 2017.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

My Taper week was an exhausting one…

I returned from my trip on Monday.  Vacations are tiring!! I felt like skipping all my runs but of course, I did not. Tuesday and Wednesday’s included slow running and walking…

On Thursday, I ran a 3.5 evening race.

Then the temperatures started rising and rising.

90s and it was getting to look as scary as Florida.  But I had to run 13.1 miles not 3.1.

And the race was to start at 9:30 AM not 7:30 AM!!! Oy!

The only change to the race was that at the water stops every two miles, there would now be ICE (at least that was what they said.)

I had found this summary and posted it on my blog the last time I ran this race. I assumed that nothing had changed since.

The course is wonderful. It runs point-to-point from Lanesborough to Adams. It starts with two loops around the Berkshire Mall … then goes onto the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail for ten miles. The scenery is lovely. .. you can enjoy views of Mt. Greylock, lakes, and woods. And by the time you’re really hurting at mile ten, the trail starts gently sloping downhill, for real. If you want a half marathon PR, this is the course

And the course map:

And the map of the elevation:

downhill at the end…sweet!

Guess what?

The course changed this year. Some good changes and some not.

  • Packet pick-up and parking: the Visitor’s Center in Adams, MA instead of Berkshire Mall in Lanesborough, MA
  • Race start: On the Ashuwillticook Bike Path in Adams, MA (instead of the Mall)
  • No loops of the mall to start the race. but a .6 or .5 mile walk to the start instead
  • No change to bag check at the start (pick-up at the finish) and shuttle back from the finish to the start.
  • Finish line: Ashuwillticook Rail Trail in Pittsfield, MA
  • After Party and awards ceremony – John’s Ace Hardware in Pittsfield, MA
  • Marathon and 8k start: Ashuwillticook Rail Trail in Pittsfield, MA – they are both a loop.

In other words, this year’s half marathon course started where the previous one ended.  Not running loops of the mall parking lot was good but no downhill finish and the .6 or .5 mile walk to the start did not make me happy.

But, it is what it is.

New course map:

according to my Garmin… the path going toward Pittsfield was slightly uphill the whole way (and it felt it!!)

I decided against driving to MA. to get my bib the day before the race and instead I went to the gym, met my running friends for brunch and spent the rest of the day doing errands and gardening.  Not very restful but it was a great feeling to be almost catch up after a vacation.

It was also my hubby’s birthday and Friday night, we went out to dinner to celebrate both our birthdays.  So I carb loaded a day early (and could drink.)

Race Day:

So 6:00 am came early on Sunday morning. Wouldn’t it be nice to sleep in on a weekend??

As I mentioned above, the Half marathon was scheduled to start at 9:30 am. I would normally have been happy with the late start but NOT with the predicted HOT temps.

According to Google, it would take me about 1h15 to drive there.  So I left my house at 7:00 am.

My GPS took me me on mostly back roads. It was a pretty drive and I got there plenty early.  Bib pick-up was at the Adams Visitor Center and there was plenty of parking there.

The other two races (Marathon and 8K) started in Pittsfield (where the half finished). The Marathon started at 8:30 and the 8k at 10:00).

Things didn’t start out too well. They had no record that I  had registered. So no bib # was assigned to me.

I showed them my confirmation e-mail and so they gave me someone else’s bib who was not going to run the race.  They said that they would change it in the computer (which I doubted and I was right.)

nice swag = Brooks women’s tech shirt, water bottle, bag and cap.

Since the race ended in Pittsfield, MA, you could check a bag which would be available at the finish line.  Very convenient. I packed flip flops, a dry shirt and a towel in it.

What to wear?? It was going to be so warm that I decided to skip the compression calf sleeves and even left my cap behind (probably not a great idea.)

smiling BEFORE the race

For the new race start, you could either walk .6 miles on the rail trail or wait until 9am, take a bus and then walk .5 miles. Either way, you had to walk.

It was early so I decided to walk to the start.

As you can see, the trail was scenic but NO SHADE!!

I didn’t see anyone that I knew but instantly made some new friends.  The runners were so friendly.

We chatted.  There were two topics: the lack of porta-potties here and the HEAT!! The porta-potties were back at the Visitor’s Center (.6 miles away).

sweating before even beginning – 92% humidity!!

Since I had eaten breakfast over two hours ago, I was hungry so I ate a Honey Stinger waffle.  Eventually they did bring us bottles of water.  But there were no trash cans?!

Soon it was time to head to the start line.

The race is a heat-induced blur but here’s how I remember it:

Miles 1-3:

I didn’t start near the front. I wasn’t sure (and still am not) if it was gun timed or chip timed but I didn’t care.  I didn’t want to finish the race in an ambulance (One runner died and 16 were hospitalized after the Brooklyn Half Marathon the day before.)

I planned to walk at least once each mile. That changed to every .5 miles to every.25 miles to whenever it felt too hot.  In other words, I walked A LOT!!

Pics from The Berkshire Eagle:

I bumped into a few runners that were friends of a friend.  They were going to walk most of it.  They brought a friend who drove to the finish and stopped to cheer at various points of the course.  It was nice to hear her yell to me: “Go Albany!”

Here’s some pics she posted:

the only shade??

The trail was beautiful.  River at first on one side, then also a lake on the other side.  Then eventually, the river changed sides. I wish I could have gotten out my phone from my race belt more easily so I could have taken some photos.

pic from the website (and the previous course)

The first few miles had zero shade. I don’t think I made it one mile before I had to walk. But everyone else around me was taking walk breaks too.

The first water stop was around 1.3 miles (instead of mile 2).  I was thinking that due to the heat, they added extra water stops.  Nope.  They were still every two miles and no ICE at the first few.

Miles 4-6:

At the 2nd water stop, I ate my Gu and had more water. I think at this one, they started to add Gu Endurance in addition to water.  I think I tried it and it tasted awful.

And so I continued my slog. I walked when it got too unbearable.  There were spots where the path was shady but for short spurts.  However it was a very pretty trail.  There were even waterfalls.

pic from FB

We continued on the same trail and I just focused on the scenery.

Another water stop around mile 5.3.  This time I had water AND Gu.  They changed to a lemon-lime flavor and it wasn’t too bad.

Around mile 6, the leader of the marathon passed me.  He was flying.  The marathoners had to turn around at mile 13 and repeat the course (ugh!)

Miles 7-9:

Around mile 7, I saw a friend who was running the marathon. We high-fived each other.  I couldn’t imagine running 26.2 miles in this heat!

pic from FB

I hate to be only be a Debbie Downer so I will add that NOTHING hurt! Not my lower back, not even my feet.

I wasn’t even tired, just HOT! And I wanted to finish safely.

Mile 7.5 was memorable. Porta-potties (though I didn’t need one) and ICE!!  I ate my 2nd GU, drank some Gu Endurance and put ice down the front and back of my shirt.

The next two water stops had ICE too!!!

I also continued drinking Gu Endurance (It may have saved me…)

Miles 10-12

And I kept wondering: “Should walk the rest of the race?”

Nope.

Too hot to stay in this race any longer than I had too.  I ate my last Gu around mile 11.5 and just ran and walked until the end.

pic from  FB

Mile 13- 13.16:

not sure when this was taken?? At least I was running. lol.

And I finished.  I crossed at 1:32:XX and so glad to feel fine… just a little nauseous and dizzy but STANDING!!

8k finishers

Post Race Activities:

I got my medal, some water, and a bag of snacks.  I asked where bag check was.  The bags were on the bus at a shopping center. Not far but too far after running 13.1 miles. Eventually they did bring the bags to the nearby awards table.

yes, that’s why I always wear a cap… out of control hair

I’m not a beer drinker but I headed anyway to get my free beer. It was so refreshing.

With our food ticket, we could get anything that cost $3 for free.  I chose a hot dog. And it was yummy!

I wandered around. There was music, food, games, raffles… but I didn’t bring any money.

Awards were supposed to be given out at 2:30 pm but they moved them up to 1pm so I decided to hang around.

When they announced the winner in my age group, I realized that they didn’t add my name to the computer. I told them and they gave me the award ($10 gift card to their running store). I live too far away but it was the principle, right?

Eventually I headed toward the bus and rode (13 miles) back to my car.

My last stop before heading home was to treat myself to a chocolate milkshake (soooo good!)

Additional Race Reflections:

The Good:

  • Close enough to be able to sleep in my own bed the night before.
  • Organized packet pick-up.
  • Lots of parking and easy to locate.
  • Bag check shuttle to the finish,
  • Enthusiastic volunteers and crowd support.
  • Accurate mile markers.
  • Scenic course especially with the mountain and water views.
  • Flatish course!!
  • Shuttle back to the start after the race.
  • Gender-specific shirts
  • Nice swag
  • Several distance options – half marathon, full marathon and 8k
  • Decent selection of refreshments (free beer & $3 food coupon)
  • Gift card as an age group award
  • No major injuries.
  • GU Endurance in addition to water every 2 miles
  • Ice at some of the water stops

The Bad:

  • Late start
  • Computer not recording my registration
  • Not enough water stops  (with the increased temps and humidity)
  • Walk to the start
  • No port-potties at the start and along the course
  • 10 year age groups and only first place announced

The Ugly:

  • HEAT!!

Would I recommend this race?

Yes.

I don’t usually repeat half marathons but I did this time and I may run this one again.

Final Stats:

I’m 461

Splits:

there was NO consistent running obviously.

Next Up:

a ten mile race a week later

and then some local shorter races.

No Half Marathons until September and then one again in October and in November.

Happy Running!  Have you run the same half marathon more than once? Do you factor the weather into your goals?  Have you run a race with these temps? Please share.

 

 

 

 

 


Since it is Tuesday, I am joining the link-up organized by Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner).


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

with co-hosts Coach Debbie RunsRunning on HappyConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Laura Norris

Tropicool 5K Race Recap

MAY 15, 2022 – 7:30AM

As you may remember, this race took place during my annual non-running tennis vacation in Naples, Florida. I play tennis every morning and then spend the afternoon on the beach.  Each evening I go out for drinks, dinner and dessert with my tennis friends. Eight days of pure relaxation and enjoyment… (every May since 2005)

I love it.  It’s usually my only vacation that doesn’t include a race.  You have to admit that racing during a vacation does add an element of stress.

Well, in 2017. we changed our dates and I happened upon a 5k race that took place on the Sunday during our stay. One of my friends offered to get up at the crack of dawn and drop me off and another offered to pick me up.

Despite the loops and warm temps, I had a blast and did fairly well.

I also unexpectedly bumped into a tennis friend, Rebecca, who had moved to Naples.

As a result, I signed up for the same 5k in 2018 and 2019. I won an age group award each time and met up with Rebecca.

Our vacation was cancelled due to COVID in 2020 and the race in 2021 did not occur during our time in Naples.

So I was pretty excited to run this race again this year.  The downside was that Rebecca died suddenly in 2021 and I knew that the race would remind me of her sadly.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

The day before the race, we went out to an awesome dinner which included a few glasses of wine.  (Oops I don’t usually drink the night before a race but I was on vacay…) Then we stopped at an ice cream shop.  Obviously, it turned out to be a later night than normal.

Here again is the description of the race and the course map:

Enjoy a wonderful 5K race that showcases the beautiful streets of Olde Naples. This course is two loops starting on Broad Street.

elevation according to Strava – FLAT!!

Race Day:

Sunday morning, I groggily ate my usual race breakfast at 5:30 am.  As she did in previous years, my friend Catalina agreed to drop me off at the race start.  I was familiar with the race location so I didn’t need to arrive as early as I did the first year.

Unlike previous years, I did not pick up my race packet the day before.  So I did it before the race. The swag was a towel (instead of a shirt).  It turned out to be very practical. I had to hide it under a tree since I did have a bag or a car.

Then I walked a block to the beach to hang out until around 7:15 am.

This was not a big race.  There were about 300 runners – all ages and very friendly.

The sun was now out and it was starting to get warm.  But it was not as warm as it could have been.  I checked the weather app on my phone. Holy cow!!! 77 degrees. 90% humidity!

I wore my usual race attire minus the compression socks –

no pink top this year

As you can see from the map, the course winds around town and through the neighborhoods twice. And it was flat!!

I had no plan for the race – just finish and get back to my tennis friends so we could get on with the day’s activities.

I race a lot.  But I haven’t raced in weather this warm since last August.

This made me a little nervous. Can I run well in the heat? Will I die? LOL

getting ready to start

Mile 1: 

From the get go, my legs felt like lead but my biggest problem was that I had a hard time breathing and I felt dizzy. Was it the heat?  Most likely it was not being acclimated to the humidity. I couldn’t wait to get to the water stop…

Mile 2: 

It seemed like forever but I think it was during mile 2.  I stopped for water and walked for a while (longer than normal).

I continued my running which was painful and seemed to be like a slog…

The course ran through neighborhoods with a few twists and turns and  then repeated itself.

I walked whenever I felt I had to… I really didn’t care about my time as long as I finished.

Mile 3 – 3.1: 

I actually felt worse after walking so I ran and tried to just get to the finish line without puking.

If you look below, there was more walking in this mile even close to turning into the finish line.

Eventually the arch appeared and I gave it my all.

I was shocked when I crossed at 29:xx. I felt so much slower.

I have never been so sweaty after a race… glad I had that towel

As soon as I crossed, I saw my friend Pat who was picking me up.  I quickly checked the results to see if I won an award.

Senior Grand Masters winners (65+)

Post Race Activities:

I grabbed some water and some refreshments which was only bars and navel oranges. Oranges with no napkins = not a pretty sight!  I was super happy with my towel to wipe away the sweat.  Everyone looked as if they had jumped into a swimming pool.

Then I waited for my ride home and the awards.

doesn’t everyone dream of being on a podium one day?

First they announced the college scholarship winners:

the proceeds from this 5k went to these kids

with the winner of my age group

The age group award was a pint glass…

I have a zillion glasses but each one is memorable

Additional Race Reflections:

Definitely a tough one and one of my slowest 5ks in years but hey, I did it.

And I will do it again!

Racing for me is always enjoyable (at least afterward.)

Positives:

  • flat course
  • well organized
  • nice swag
  • practical age group awards
  • important charity (scholarships to HS students
  • Podium for winners

Negatives:

  • Rebecca was no longer there. 😦
  • Warm temps and humidity
  • Two Loops

Would I recommend this race?

Yes! There was a lot of enthusiasm and runners of all ages.

Final Stats:

Splits:

Next Up:

Happy Running! Ever run a 5K race while on vacation? Please share.

 

 

 

 

 


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

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


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

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