Smuttynose ROCKFEST Half Marathon Race Recap

The plan was to run this race last October. My friends and I rented a house but the race was canceled. We decided to adapt the course and run it on own own.

So when the race was re-scheduled, we knew that we had to try again.

Though many races had been cancelled this year due to COVID, I managed to race three half marathons already: A1A Fort Lauderdale (Feb), Helderberg to Hudson (April) and Race 4 the River (Sept.)

So I signed up for the Smuttynose Half Marathon as my 52th Half Marathon (46th if you don’t count the 2020 virtuals) for several reasons:

  • It was a ‘real” race.
  • A race-cation.
  • Eight of my friends would be running/supporting the race.
  • Running along the ocean.
  • Flat course.
  • Smuttynose craft beer, lobstah rolls, clam chowdah, and live music at the finish line. Duh?

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. All my weekday runs are mostly group ones.

And on the weekends, I try to do my Long Run. Usually most of my miles are with one or more of my running friends. However, some shorter races did interrupt my mileage (as shown below).

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

My taper consisted of a 5k race + a few more and then an short easy run on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.  That meant two rest days before the race. Perfect, right?

We carpooled and left for NH on Friday morning with a stop for lunch, then some jumping (and laughing) on the beach (why not?) and dinner out with a view of the ocean.

Jan and I woke up early on Saturday morning to catch the sunrise.  Then we all drove to Kennebunkport, ME to have lunch, and browse the shops before we returned to Hampton Beach, NH for packet pick-up.

We scored some matching shirts for $5 so back to beach we headed to see if our jumping could be improved. lol

We decided to pick up pizza for our carb loading and eat it by our fire pit.

Finally #flatmes were organized and we headed to bed early (though I never can sleep the night before a race.)

Race Day:

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.) But I did hope (as I mentioned in a previous post) to finish one second faster than my last half marathon.

course map

elevation

The race was advertised as follows:

With an elevation gain of only 60 feet, The Smuttynose Rockfest Half is the flattest, fastest and most scenic half marathon course in New England! The course begins with two thrilling loops around downtown Hampton Beach. It then heads north on Ocean Boulevard right along the beach and then turns inland for a loop on tree-lined roads before coming back out to the ocean at Mile 10. It finishes with a three-mile stretch along the beach, ending at the famous Sea Shell Stage for a well-deserved party! This course is very spectator friendly with great views of the runners at the Start, Mile 2, Mile 5, and at the Finish. All miles are marked with mile markers and all corners have at least one arrow. Race marshals and police will be stationed at any confusing corners.

We were asked to arrive at the start area between 6 and 6:30 am to avoid the traffic.  And they were right!!  We piled into one car and quickly found a spot in a nearby lot (the start was only about 5 min or 2.5 miles from our home.)

We hung out, chatted, used real restrooms and watched the sunrise. We got so lucky with the weather. It was PERFECT!! 50’s clouds/sun and a slight breeze.

The half marathon was scheduled to start at 8 am and the 5k at 8:40.

Soon it was time to head to start and line up by pace/finish times. We didn’t need to check a bag since two of our friends who were not racing held onto our throw-aways.

I lined up with Alyssa at the 2:10-2:20 finish time sign.  The others in our group moved farther back…

Miles 1-3:

We headed south to start our two “thrilling” loops.  I ran with Alyssa for a while but I knew that I needed to let her go ahead eventually since she was trying for a PR.

Although we started in a staggered fashion, it was very slow going and crowded for the first mile. I had to do a lot of weaving…but at least that kept my pace down.  Mile 1 was along the ocean and then mile 2 looped back to the start.  It was great to see our two cheerleaders there and I was able to throw them my DIY arm sleeves. I was perfectly dressed in my tank and skirt.  It was warm when the sun came out but heading south, we were treated to a nice breeze.

There was also a water stop toward the end of mile 2. I wasn’t really thirsty but stopped for a quick drink and a walk break.  Then we continued south again toward the bridge.

don’t I look happy? It was early in the race lol

Miles 4-6

I forgot about the bridge… so I guess this was our first hill.  As bridges go, it wasn’t bad and the view was gorgeous. We were able as we crossed to see the speedy runners. I even spotted Jenn. At the end of the bridge was our second water stop. I ate my first GU here and walked a bit longer. Eventually mid-way during mile 5, we turned around and headed back.  This gave you the opportunity to see the slower runners and cheer them on.  I think we passed that same water stop.  I don’t remember if I stopped or not but probably I did.  We now followed the ocean route back toward the start.  I got to see for the 2nd time, our two race cheerleaders. Loved that!

Miles 7-9

For the next few miles, we were running along the ocean. It was visible at times but often not because of the high walls. There was another water stop around 7.5.  I think this was where that in addition to Gatorade and water, they handed out a gel.

mile 8

Eventually around 8.5, we turned into the neighborhoods.  There was also another water stop before the turn and I ate my 2nd GU at this time.

The neighborhoods were a nice diversion but here came the HILLS!! It was very winding… six or seven turns.  Each one had a hill… the hills weren’t steep but at this point in the race, my legs protested and I walked a few times on the uphill.  Many homeowners were out in their driveways cheering us on. That was really nice!

this road actually led right to our house…but in the race, we turned before we got there

I took these pics on my way down to the beach the next day

Miles 10-13.1

Finally we left the neighborhoods and the hills and ran 3 miles along the ocean route toward the finish line.

This always where my pace dies….  The only thing that kept me going was the finish line and that the pain in my feet would end at that time (yes, my left neuroma ached the WHOLE race!!!)

The view along the ocean was exactly the same as before.  I loved being able to see the slower runners and even high five my friends as they went by.

There was one more water stop around mile 12.5.  I walked trying to gather up enough energy to reach the finish line.

It seemed like FOREVER but I finally heard cheers and caught sight of the clock. I sprinted, of course, and heard my friends yelling my name. For the first time EVER, my legs started cramping…OUCH!!

After I crossed, I was handed my medal and a bottle of water.  I immediately grabbed a banana and ate it.  That seemed to help with the cramps.

Post Race Activities:

We all waited at the finish line to cheer each of our friends in… and they all did great.

It was also cool that all you did was take a pic of the QR code on your bib to get your results and AG placement.

After everyone was done, we headed to the food tent and got our clam chowder and lobster roll. I was starved by this point.

Although we could have gotten two free beers, the line was too long and so we just headed home. I wanted to soak my achy feet in the cold water but it was just too far a walk in the sand.

Additional Race Reflections:

It was so fun to be out there and soak up the racing atmosphere again. It was even more fun to run a race with friends.

Sole Sisters is what we’ve named out group

After the first half of the race, PR thoughts always run through my head.. but I knew that I had NOT trained well enough for that and just focused on finishing the race healthy.  I may never be that fast again…but the good news is that it was my fastest half since May 2019 (Sacandaga) and it was a 2020-21 PR (and almost 5 minutes faster than the last one).

Positives:

  • A Real Race.
  • Part of a 4 day race-cation with friends.
  • Ocean views.
  • Easy Packet pick-up
  • Discounted shirts from previous years ($5)
  • Post race refreshments – clam chowder, lobster roll, bananas, water, two beers
  • Crowd support.
  • Varied route – bridge, ocean route, neighborhood loop
  • Free Photos
  • Instant race results (scan QR code on bib)
  • Great swag for AG awards
  • Nice fleece and medal provided to all runners.
  • Staggered start by pace.
  • Adequate number of water stops
  • Perfect weather
  • Real bathrooms near start and finish
  • Plenty of parking.
  • Roads closed to traffic.

Negatives:

  • Hills during Mile 8-10
  • 10 year Age Groups
  • Painful foot

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. yes. For all the reasons mentioned above.

Final Stats:

Splits:

Walking definitely slowed down my pace the last few miles. I already mentioned that things usually go downhill for me after mile 10…

My legs were more tired after the race than usual. I attribute that to running those two 5ks and skipping those long runs (but sometimes fun trumps finish times).

I’m still in that age group where many runners are still very FAST (especially if it is 10 not 5 year age groups.)

I was 15th out of 41 … a lot higher if it were 5 year groups and 1st if I were 70+

All in all, I was happy with the results (things considered.)

Next Up:

a 5k …

6th Annual Summer Smith 5k Addiction Awareness Memorial Run – Oct. 23. 2021

followed by a 15k and another half marathon in November.

Stockadeathon – 15K Road Race

Nov. 14, 2021

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Nov. 21, 2021


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! Have run a real race yet? If so, how did go? Are you planning to run one? Please share.

runner-sig

 

Weekly Run Down (x2) for 9.27.21-10.10.21: Race-cation!!

It’s catch up time.  I skipped last week’s Run Down since I was away for four days in NH.

  • So Half Marathon #52 is in the books. A great time away with my running friends was had by each one of us.
  • The kitchen is DONE!!! The washing machine and the car are fixed.
  • And I got my COVID booster shot!!! (I hope you all can soon, as well. Let’s all protect ourselves and others!!!!)

Two Weeks Ago:

  • Monday – Fall temps were in the air.  But I had no time to run except after work. Besides it rained much of the day.

After my run, I met friends to walk on the rail trail and then got my nails down.

BTW: The countertops were installed (still no water though…)

  • Tuesday – After work today was the first scheduled Troy Turkey Trot Training Challenge (TTTC) group run. However, it got changed to “Virtual” this week.

So I reverted back to my usual rest day and met my two friends for a walk instead.

And the sink, faucet and dishwasher were connected. Hooray for normalcy (Of course, now I have to put everything back in the cabinets…)

  • Wednesday –  I ran a few miles at lunch…

shocker…I used the Peleton App

because I had to drop my car off at the repair shop after work and then go to my MIL’s to celebrate her 96th birthday.

pizza and ice cream cake…glad we love the same foods

  • Thursday – Last run before the “big day.”  Again I squeezed in a run at lunch so I could pick up my car after work and then met my BFF to walk… and finally pack!

starting to look like fall

Plenty of time to run because the car needed more work than anticipated.

  • Friday – And we were off early to our NH race-cation. We carpooled in two cars and stopped off on the way for a delicious lunch.

After getting situated in our 7 bedroom AirBnB house, we walked to the beach and then had dinner nearby with an ocean view.

the house was built in 1826 (pictured below) and before dinner, we practiced our beach jumping…many laughs were had by all.

  • Saturday – As an early riser, I was able walk down to the beach and catch the sunrise on the ocean.  A longer walk than from our house last year but it was nice to get in some steps.

We then set out to spend the day in Kennebunkport, ME where we had lunch and toured the shops. Afterward we returned to Hampton Beach, NH to pick up our race packets and spend the evening carb loading on pizza by an outdoor fire.

we scored some $5 matching shirts for more jumping pix on the beach.

did we get any better?

  • Sunday – Rockfast Snuttynose Half Marathon!! Perfect running weather for those running 13.1 miles, 3.1 miles or just spectating.

we even watched the sunrise on the ocean before our races began. And everyone had a good race!!

Post race refreshments consisted of clam chowder and a lobster roll so no need to lunch. We relaxed the rest of the day and went out for celebratory dinner.

Last Week:

  • Monday – I planned to get up early to watch the sunrise again but it was raining.  So I waited and when it stopped, I took a long walk to the beach and along the ocean before we left for home.

so sad to say good bye to the ocean….

Since it started to rain again, we decided to leave early. Glad this was a rest day as it poured the rest of the day.

  • Tuesday  – Back to work…sigh! Rained ALL day.

Week #2 of the TTTC had its first in-person meeting. The rain stopped just in time and I met some new people.

I joined the advanced group but we just ran…no drills.

  • Wednesday – I met my friend Deirdre for a run after work on the rail trail.

It was fun catching up since she was unable to go to NH with us.

  • Thursday – I was able to squeeze in a short run in my neighborhood during lunch so I could meet two friends to walk after work.

beginning to look like Halloween in the ‘hood

I also learned today that a local tennis friend who moved to Naples, FL died suddenly…. (Yes, she was a runner also.) She was only 46!!!

  • Friday – Rest day after running three days in a row. Got my COVID booster shot.  Fingers crossed for no adverse reaction that would spoil my 3-day weekend.
  • Saturday – Back to our Saturday Long Runs. 8 miles was on my schedule. The good news was that I felt perfectly fine!! Phew. I ran intervals with Heid, Sherry & Deb and then met Chris, Judy and Jan after for brunch.

this was part of the route for the marathon that was being held the next day…

  • Sunday – I signed up today to volunteer at the Mohawk-Hudson Half Marathon/Marathon. I was there early to set up for the refreshments and then stayed to cheer on some runners. What a great day.  I enjoyed it almost as much as racing.

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday –   DAY OFF – run, boating
  • Tuesday – TTTC group run
  • Wednesday – rest day, walk with friends
  • Thursday – run
  • Friday -rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday Long Run
  • Sunday – rest day, hiking

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Smuttynose Half Marathon Race Recap
  • Friday – Big Hairy Goals (pt 2)

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 planned? Please share.

Freihofer Run for Women 5k Race Recap

September 25, 2021 – 9:00 am

This is the only race that I’ve run every year! This was my 14th time!!!!! (In 2020, it went virtual so actually my 13th in-person FRW race.)

It is always held the Saturday after Memorial Day but due to COVID, the race was moved to the Fall.

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

Due to construction, they changed the course six 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 six years and I liked it better than the original..

11390014_10204734206056106_2523342973555152804_n

heading downhill to the finish line

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.

And this was also my sixth 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 ran with the Intermediate group (since there was no Advanced group at the location I signed up for.)

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. I was able to stop by after work and some things I needed or didn’t (like another pair of Goodrs!)

Due to COVID, the expo was cancelled and there was only packet pick-up at the same location.

I ran nearby on Thursday after work so I got my stuff at that time.

cookies and bread are always a nice perk.

On Friday evening I volunteered at packet pick-up and then skipped playing mah jongg in favor of a pizza dinner and time to organize my #flatme.

last year’s race tank and the usual Skirt Skirt skirt, Zensah calf sleeves, Goodrs and Topos shoes.

Race Day:

I hate parking garages and traffic so I parked at a yoga place and walked to the start. I used to do this every year. However, with the new 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…

20140530-145628-53788286.jpg

The start was near a park across from the Capitol Building. I ran most of the way on the foggy paths. Though the temps were pretty cool, it still seemed humid.

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 was quite early so I continued to run around until more runners arrived.

I chatted with many of my running friends and took quite a few pics.

Carolyn and I are exactly the same age – she’s faster!!

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

The fog had burned off along with the humidity… but the sun did come out.  I’m not complaining. This was the best weather we’ve ever had for this race.

I was scheduled to start in corral 2 so I headed that way and bumped into a few friends there.

me & Nancy, both in RED

They were all faster than me but said that this would be a slow race for them.  Ha Ha.

Mile 1:

It is usually very crowded during the first mile but this year were fewer runners than in previous year (about 1000 vs 3500).

start

Times Union photo 2016

I actually made sure this time to start my Garmin.

runners were definitely more spread out this year

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

how did I get ahead of Nancy…well, that’s didn’t last long!

Remember those runner friends who said this would be as slow one for them today. Nope. They easily surged ahead and I never caught up to them.

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…the worst that it’s ever been. 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.  Yes with cups, too. But I didn’t feel the need to stop.

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 thirsty so I did stop and get a drink. It was nice for a change not to have to carry your own water.

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.

getting serious as the end is near…

must be slowing down because that runner in yellow has passed me by

trying to catch her…

nope…just finish strong…

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

Post Race Activities:

I knew with a walk 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 my last 5k and my last two Freihofer 5ks) and I was happy!!

I grabbed some food and some chocolate milk. There was much less congestion than in past years.

there were also bananas, oranges, apples, yogurt, bagels, orange juice, bars…

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

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.

You may recognize Mary Pat (on the right) from the 2008 pic.

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.

I hung around for awhile and then we all went to cheer on the last runners to finish… It was two older ladies who flew in from Ireland!!

I knew that I needed to get going because I wanted to run more miles.  On my way out, I caught some of the awards ceremony.  Such amazing finish times. There was a runner, aged 58, who finished in 18 minutes!

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 am training for one next weekend) and I am no spring chicken. My time may not have been as fast as 2018 (a course PR of 27:37) but faster than many of my 5ks this year.

So I was very pleased with that.

Positives:

  • Safety restrictions in place (outdoors, staggered starts).
  • Ample parking.
  • Well marked course.
  • Lots of familiar faces.
  • Interesting course (through a  beautiful park).
  • Downhill finish.
  • Friendly and abundant number of volunteers.
  • Chocolate Milk.
  • Decent post-race refreshments.
  • Two real water stops (with cups).
  • The electric atmosphere.
  • Virtual option.
  • Free finish and start photos
  • Nice Swag for a 5k (mask, t-shirt, medal, cookies, bread)
  • All women – all ages, all paces…
  • A real race.

Negatives:

  • Uphill first mile.
  • Fewer runners.
  • Uneven pavement in the park.
  • No expo.

Would I recommend this race?

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

May be an image of child, standing and outdoors

this pic says it all!! (from FB)

Final Stats:

Splits:

Negative splits!!!! Woo Hoo!

There was computer set up so you could check your time and to see if you won an age group award.

And 5th again…

Eventually I ran/walked back to my car. (It was uphill for about 2 miles).

I have a Half Marathon in a ONE week so I wanted to run another few miles.  So I went back and ran around the park.  This time I had more time to admire the fall flower arrangements.

2 +1+2 = 5 🙂

So FRW #13 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 on the REAL date (and without any restrictions.)

Next Up:

Half marathon #52.

It is a race-cation in NH and will also be half marathon #4 for 2021:

The Smuttynose Rockfest Half Marathon & 5k

The course is not supposed to be hilly and mostly along the ocean. My group of running friends will be either running the race or cheering.  Can’t wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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

Weekly Run Down for 9.20-9.26.21: WFH and Race Week

Good News! I applied to work from home until at least Dec. 31. And it got accepted!! And I have my COVID booster shot scheduled (very happy about this!!!)

Bad News! We were still eating on paper plates! And our washing machine broke! And my car headlight quit! (That’s three, right?)

On the running front: This week included a half marathon taper and my favorite 5k race!

Last Week:

  • Monday – The kitchen was status quo but we decided instead of replacing the carpet in adjoining family room, to just have it cleaned (as ell as the other rooms upstairs). How does this impact my running? Having to stay home and wait for workers to arrive.

But it was still #nevermissamonday with our last Freihofer Training Group run.

Just an easy 3 miles which never feels easy lol Blurry? That what happens when you snap a pic while running.

  • Tuesday – A scheduled rest day so just a walk after work with friends,
  • Wednesday – I decided to drive to the end of the rail trail since I hadn’t run that way in a while. And a running friend was able to meet me to run and for dinner after. Win. Win.

  • Thursday – Working from home makes it easier to squeeze in a run before work…but it was raining.

When our after work trail walk got cancelled, I was able to do my run then

glad that the sunflowers ae still around… but got a little wet toward the end but at least got it done before the storms

and head to the expo to pick up my race packet (and volunteer swag.)

  • Friday – I volunteered after work at packet pick-up for tomorrow’s race. It was fun and I met some new people, chatted with runners that I already knew and even met a few elite runners.

Then I got my #flatme ready for the next day.

  • SaturdayFreihofer Run for Women 5k Race -. This race is always special since it’s the only race I’ve run every year (except 2020.)  #13 completed with perfect weather and lots of friend meet-ups.

still remains my favorite race

Some extra miles added before and after = half marathon taper completed as well.

ran to the race in the fog, ran back after and then around the beautiful park

  • Sunday – I was hoping to go on our boat but the hubby had a tennis match so Hiking Sunday started early this Fall.

a beautiful day at Huyck preserve

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday –  run
  • Tuesday – Turkey Trot Challenge (TTC) group run
  • Wednesday – rest day, walk with friends
  • Thursday – run, trail group walk
  • Friday – rest day, drive to NH
  • Saturday – rest day, NH activities including packet pick-up and course preview
  • Sunday  – Smuttynose Half Marathon

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Freihofer Run for Women Race Recap
  • Friday – Ultimate Coffee Date

Next Week on the Run– 

  • Monday – rest day in NH
  • Tuesday – Turkey Trot Challenge (TTC) group run
  • Wednesday – run, walk with friends
  • Thursday – run, trail group walk
  • Friday – rest day, COVID booster, mah jongg
  • Saturday – Long Run?
  • Sunday  – rest day, boating or hiking

Next Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Blogger Interview
  • Friday – Big Hairy Goal (Pt 1)

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 planned? Is the weather interfering with your runs? Please share.

Malta 5k Race Recap

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

September 11, 2021

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 Foundaries, 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 6th time running this 5k. So you can say that I was familiar with this course. However, I haven’t run the race since 2016. And now they also added a 10k.

The course itself is not very exciting…you are running around chip plants but the loops let you see the fast runners and all those runners that are behind you twice during the race. 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.

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!!!)

After 5 years off, 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:

Due to work and other stuff, I did not have time to run at all on Thursday or Friday.  But at least I did a run on Monday and Wednesday.

My legs felt pretty good in spite of being only a week after running 13.1 miles. (Maybe those FOUR rest days helped.)

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.

I got there early to get parking and did get a spot in the parking lot right near the exit.

As I mentioned, it is very well-organized – signs for the race, indoor and outdoor bathrooms  (Masks were required if you entered the indoor facility.)

Race day packet pick-up was between 7-8 am. You received a State Farm bag with shirt (if you paid an extra $10), running cap, & Hannaford water bottle.  I opted not to buy a shirt.

PPU was normally set up inside but today it was outside due to COVID restrictions.

The 5k race started at 8:30 am (15 minutes after the 10k.)

I walked around to shake out the legs. There was food, drinks and freebies set up.

This was a welcome sight:

There were many more runners than I had expected. I bumped into many that I knew.

three frequent 5k racers (Holly, Nancy & Alice)

Finally we headed to the start line.

I left my friends and moved up.  Not to the front with the speedsters but not far back either.

Mile 1:

There were no corrals but social distancing (and masks) were encouraged.

As usual, I tried to start out slow but probably didn’t.

The course goes straight for about 1.5 miles and then loops back.

Mile 2:

After we passed the mile 1 marker, I looked down at my Garmin and realized that it never started,  I debated whether or not to run without it but in the end I started it (about 1.1 miles)

Halfway through this mile we turned right and ran uphill. Not a steep hill but they always feel hard to me.

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.

the other pix were after the race… you can see me on the right in this one during the race

It was downhill for a bit until we turned.

Mile 3-3.1:

As usual, I was petering out. Since I had no idea what my time was, I wasn’t motivated to run hard. 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.

I was surprised to see 28:XX.

The 10k runners got a medal. The 5k runners only got one if they were under 12.

Post Race:

The refreshments were outside this year. I grabbed some milk and fruit and chatted while waiting for the results.

Heidi whom I ran with at the Run for the Roses 5k

The last time 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.

This year there was no awards ceremony and if you won an award, you had to pick it up at the local Fleet Feet store.

I came in 3rd in 10 year age groups.

one second behind 2nd (but this is why I love 5 year age groups)

It was getting warm but I decided to change shoes and shirt and check out the 10K course.  Boy am I glad I didn’t run it. The last few miles of the 10k were uphill the whole way.

After about 4 miles, I had had enough.

I drove one exit south to the Zim Smith Bike Path and parked at Leah’s Cakery.

But instead of running on the bike path, I ran in the town. So cute. The best idea!!

only 2 of those miles were here but it was 9 miles for the day.

Though there was a a lot of walking during those last 6 miles, I still rewarded myself with quiche and a brownie.

Additional Race Reflections:

I was pleasantly surprised with the turn out and also with my time.

I’m pretty sure I would have done better if I had started my watch. I most likely would not have walked twice during the last mile if I knew how well was doing. I’m also pretty sure that my faster finish time was weather-related.

Oh well, there will be more races.  Just happy to be to out there.

Positives:

  • Ample parking.
  • Well marked course.
  • Varied park scenery.
  • Virtual option available.
  • Both 5k and 10 options.
  • A no shirt option (at a lower cost) but you still got a cap.
  • Discount provided if you ran the virtual 2020 race.
  • Participant manual provided several days before the race.
  • Indoor restrooms
  • A real race.
  • Flatish course.
  • Immediate results.
  • Medals (and cold brew coffee) to 10K finishers.
  • Medals to 5k finishers 12 and under.
  • Chocolate milk.
  • Many familiar faces.

Negatives:

  • No water stops (COVID restrictions)
  • No awards ceremony (COVID restrictions)
  • 10 year age groups
  • No medals to 5k finishers over 12.
  • Lack of speed work (my fault).
  • No pace recorded for miles 1.1 (my fault)

Would I recommend this race?

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

Final Stats:

Splits:

for the last 2:04 miles of the 5k

Next Up:

Another 5k on Sept 25

and then a half marathon.


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 in-person races on your schedule yet? Please share.

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Race 4 The River Half Marathon Race Recap

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With most of the local races either cancelled or virtual, Albany Running Exchange had been scheduling COVID Safety Plan approved races.  I completed a half marathon in November 2020 and in April 2021. Both of these races were held in hilly Altamont, NY.

In March I ran their five mile race and then in May a point-to-point 10 miler.  Although the weather did not cooperate, the course was along the river and the bike path, mostly flat or downhill and in Schenectady, NY.

So I signed up for the Race 4 The River Half Marathon as my 51th Half Marathon (45th if you don’t count the 2020 virtuals) for several reasons:

  • It was a ‘real” race.
  • 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 than I ran in May.
  • I convinced some friends to run it too.
  • It was advertised as having a Net Downhill Course and FREE BEER, Food, and LIVE MUSIC

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. All my weekday runs are mostly group ones.

And on the weekends, I try to do my Long Run. Usually most of my miles are with one or more of my running friends. However, some shorter races did interrupt my mileage (as I mention below).

The logistics were also complicated for this 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:

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

I picked up my race packet Friday evening

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

It was supposed to be cooler and less humid than any of my previous races. I hated to jinx it but the weather seemed perfect!

Yup, the usual Skirt Sports tank and skirt with Zensah compression calf sleeves

Race Day:

I got up around 4:15 am on Saturday morning (ouch) and was on the road by 5:15 for my 40 minute drive to race parking.

The race started near Mabee Farms at 7:30 am and ended at Schenectady Community College (SCCC).

I parked my car at SCCC, the finish for the race.  I had almost signed up for the shuttle so I wouldn’t have to worry about getting back to my car after the race.  However, my friend Karen offered to drive me and the others (Alyssa, Sherry, Stan) to the start if someone would drive her back to her car after.  I accepted so that I wouldn’t have deal with masking and walking to the shuttle.

I met everyone at 6:00, left my car in the designated parking lot and we drove to the start which was about 15 minutes away.

There was plenty of parking in the grassy lot.

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

It was a little chilly so we hung out in the barn.

We also noticed 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. I ate a Honey Stinger Waffle (since it was already hours since my breakfast.)

The race started at 7:30 am. There were no waves, just instructions to social distance.

This was a FIRST annual race so there were no reviews to read. I had hoped that when they said it was a flat/downhill course, they were not lying.

Screenshot_20210713-115243_Docs To Go.jpg

course map

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and elevation

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.)

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 with Alyssa and Karen. We chatted and chatted. It was great catching up since I don’t run with them often.

My legs were feeling good so I ran ahead caught up to an old friend, Elisa. More chatting which made the miles pretty painless. She is faster but slowed down because she was planning to run about 7 more miles after the race.

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

The first water stop was a little after mile 3 at Pattersonville Bike Path parking on 5S.  This was my first walk break.  I used my paper cup (as I did in my previous in-person cupless races).  That waffle kept me going and so I decided to wait on my Gu,

Miles 4-6

Most of the race is a blur. I was feeling pretty strong. Soon Stan caught up to us and the three of us ran together until mile 9. I’m not sure I ever ran a whole race with someone but it was a lot more fun than running alone.

Around mile 5, 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 before mile 6 at Iroquois St/Bike Path.

Miles 7-10

The course was pretty flat and shady for the most part.  The temps were rising. I was glad to have worn a tank and skirt. The third water stop was around mile 8 at Kiwanis Park. I walked again. 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.

At this point, my lower back started to ache and I waved Elisa and Stan ahead.

For the first time in the race, I was running alone.  And I was walking more and running slower.

Miles 11-13.1

The final water stop was around Mile 11 at MH Bike Path lot. I ate another GU – Chocolate Smores.  Ugh! This flavor made me very nauseous!!

Elisa had slowed down and Stan ran ahead. So I continued to run with her.

I hadn’t considered winning an age group award but at mile 12, my competition (Joan) passed me by (She wound up 4th in 10 year AG awards anyway.)  For a millisecond, I thought that I should try to pass her but nah, no reason.

Elisa and I continued together on the bike path until Schenectady Community College.  We raced each other through the finish line…and she beat me!

I was so happy to have finished that I didn’t care.

Stan had already finished. Soon Alyssa and Karen finished. Then Sherry.

And finally El.

So group picture time…

Post Race Activities:

We grabbed our lunches and I headed to my car to change clothes and shoes.

not bad… but unfortunately none of us felt like eating right away.

There was a band, beer, food, etc. at a restaurant nearby. There was a shuttle but since it was only .2 miles, we decided to walk.

By the time we got there, we were hungry.

there was also pizza, warm pretzels, fried artichokes ordered as well

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

Additional Race Reflections:

This was a first annual race.  Many of the other local races are still cancelled so this racing company has been trying to hold a few races. I am so glad they are. It was so fun to be out there and soak up the racing atmosphere again.

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).
  • Flat course.
  • A real race.
  • Well organized.
  • A lot of pre-race information.
  • Decent Post-race food.
  • Cool medal.
  • Free Beer
  • A real race.

Negatives:

  • Cupless water stops.
  • 10 year age group awards.
  • No photos.

Would I recommend this race?

Yes.

I liked the course. It was well-organized. I bet more runners sign up next (if COVID ever ends.)

Final Stats:

Splits:

Walking definitely slowed down my pace the last few miles.

All in all, I was very happy with how I ran the race.  My splits were more consistent than usual.  But also the early miles were much slower than usual. Given the flatness of the course, I could have probably run faster but you can’t talk if you run fast. lol

Not expecting a PR and faster than my last five in-person half marathons.  I need to be realistic…maybe those faster half marathon paces will not happen again. (But hey, I’m not giving up…)

Next Up:

Two 5ks and another Half Marathon.


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! Have run a real race yet? If so, how did go? Are you planning to run one? Please share.

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2021 Workforce Team Challenge Race Recap

CDPHP Workforce Team Challenge to Return in 2021 - CDPHP

August 26, 2021 – 5:30 pm-Altamont Fairgrounds

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.

This race normally takes place in May at the Empire State Plaza in Albany on a similar course to the old Freihofer course. It 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 five years ago. We didn’t actually have enough runners for our own team so we partnered with UAlbany. I ran it with this team the last two years, as well.

I enjoyed it and it was a good way to get to know others where I work

So COVID happened and last year’s race was cancelled.

This year, they scheduled it but postponed it from May until late August.

They also changed the venue.  No longer in the city of Albany but the course would be on the hills of Altamont. There would also be a staggered start and start an hour earlier:

5:30PM – Wave A (Males 24:30 and under)
5:40PM – Wave B (Females 28:00 and under)
5:50PM – Wave C
6:00PM – Wave D
6:10PM – Wave E
6:20PM – Wave F

Many post-COVID races have taken place here due to the openness of the start/finish area and the wide country roads.

I got an email at work that the team we had previously run with was not organizing a team. So instead we joined a new team (SUNY System Admin.) There would be about 25 of us (a few others opted to run the race virtually.)

Pre-Race Preparations and Activities:

If you read my blog, you know that I have a half marathon soon (on Sept. 4) and that I have been running a few shorter races on the weekend.

3.5 miles is an odd distance but with running mostly 3 miles on weekdays, it should not have been a stretch.

The last 3.5 race that I ran was this one back in May of 2019. My time was a PR but on a completely different course.

32:56

Last June I did run a 4 mile race on a similar course in Altamont.

 36:38

I really had no goal but I assumed that my finish time would be somewhere between those two times.  Of course, weather could be a factor as well.

The predicted temp was 90 degrees with 90% humidity!!!!!!!!! Holy moley!

Race Day:

I was scheduled for wave C (5:50 pm).  But we were asked to arrive at 5 pm for a 5:10 group photo.

I was working from home that day so at least I would not have to decide what to wear in the morning and carry my clothes to work.  I did not know if we would have team shirts but I wore purple as I did the other years since UAlbany colors are purple and gold.

I also had to remember to bring a cup to fill up at the water stops (a COVID restriction).

Another issue was fueling. When and what do you eat for a race that starts at 5:50 pm?

So when I finished work at 4pm, I ate a protein bar and a banana and hoped that would be enough.

I doubted that there would be 10,000 racers but still, I left early in order to get parking.

We were emailed a map as to where to meet the team captain and get our bib and shirt.

Even with the map, I wandered around and had difficulty finding my group. I eventually did find them at the farthest point from the parking lot. They picked that spot because it was close to the start. I was now already sweaty.  Not a good sign.

Too far a walk to return to my car so I just hung out with the group (many of whom I was meeting for the first time).

We gathered for a picture and then waited to be called to the start line.

One of my co-workers is very fast so he started with the first group. We walked slowly to the start as to catch him going by.

Below is the published course map:

And the elevation chart:

yikes – HILLS!

Mile 1:

As you see from the elevation chart above, the first mile has some downhills. I needed to remember to start out slow so I would have energy to climb the hills later.

Plus I was sweaty before I even started to run.

Luis, my co-worker, wanted us to run together. He said that I would keep him slower at the beginning. I’m faster than him so I’m not sure how I should have taken that comment. But I said that we could try it and see how it goes.

I think we were neck and neck the first mile.  It was very hot so I tried to run slower and it wasn’t hilly yet…

But the sun was getting lower in the sky and so you were running most of the race with the sun in your face (and zero shade).  I wore my favorite Goodr sunglasses but there was a black spot in the middle of one lens (so annoying that I kept taking them on and off.)

Mile 2:

During this mile, the climb started.  And so did my walking.  Luis continued to run. He got ahead when I walked but I quickly caught up when I ran.

We were asked to carry our own water or bring a cup to re-fill at the water stop. I was assuming there would be one at least at the half way point.

Nope… no sign.  I was dying of thirst but continued to drag myself along.

At least with running along country roads, the scenery was pretty.

Mile 3-3.5:

We continued with rolling hills. I ran a little, walked a lot.  When I ran, I tried to run at a decent pace.

Everyone was so sweaty. It looked like the runners had gone swimming.

Finally around mile 2.75, there was a water stop and they provided cups of water (WTH?)  I drank two and walked for awhile.

I would see Luis ahead and finally he had slowed to a shuffle.

I managed to pass him (and asked him if he was ok. He responded HOT!).

The end was kinda a blur.  I remember someone spraying us with a hose. That was so needed.

There was somewhat of a downhill toward the end. I just wanted to finish at this point. We entered the fair grounds and I passed my friends volunteering at the results booth. They cheered me on.

I walked several a few more times after I passed them so I could sprint across the finish line as they called my name.

Post Race Activities:

I got a bottle of water and grabbed some food.

starved .. this did not suffice

Two of my running friends were volunteering at the results table so I headed there to check out my time and to make plans for dinner after.

happy to have survived this sweatfest

Then I walked all the way back to my car to change my shirt and shoes.  On the way, I saw that they were giving out popsicles to the finishers.  I grabbed one!!

sooo good!!!!!!!!

After changing into flip flops, I hiked back to hang out with my friends and to cheer the other runners to the finish line. Despite the heat, everyone was enthusiastic and encouraging.  That’s what I love about racing!!

Additional Race Reflections:

I’m sure this course and date were temporary and will go back to May. Hopefully more runners will participate next year as well. (less than 1K this compared to 10K in previous years).

You can’t do anything about the weather, so I’m happy to have taken it slow and I was feeling ok (and just sweaty) after the race.

Positives:

  • Safety restrictions in place (outdoors, staggered starts, post-race refreshments in a bag).
  • Ample parking.
  • Well marked course.
  • Lots of familiar faces.
  • Interesting course.
  • Friendly volunteers.
  • Popsicles.
  • Team tee shirt contest.
  • Team atmosphere.
  • A real race.

Negatives:

  • Hilly course
  • No shade
  • Water stop (at mile 2.75?)
  • HOT, HUMID weather conditions
  • Post-race refreshments (COVID?)

Would I recommend this race?

Yes.

It was well-organized. It will be even more fun when there are no COVID restrictions and it is scheduled in May on the original course. It’s a good way interact with fellow workers and meet workers that run whom you didn’t know before.

Final Stats:

This chart shows how often I walked after mile 1:

there were no awards besides Team awards. I did win my AG.

My team SUNY came in 2nd.

Next Up:

Half marathon #3 for 2021:

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I was hoping that I’d be better trained for this one…but it’s hard in the summer. The course, for once, is not supposed to be hilly and a cool down was predicted for the weather 🙂

However, I’m just happy that races are happening again and I am healthy enough to run them.


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

TT: What’s New This Year?

The topic for today is: Share your favorite running item(s) you’ve tried this year 

I am a creature of habit so I have not tried anything new that I can think of except for new shoes and new races.

Shoes:

I pretty much only wear Topos ever since I was diagnosed with a neuroma because of their wide toe box. (I already have Magnifly, Ultrafly and Flylyte.) But I did try two new styles:

  • Topos Phantom – These have a 5mm drop and more support and cushioning than the other Topos.  I like to wear them for long runs and long races.
  • Topos Cyclone – These also have a 5mm drop. But they are much lighter and less supportive.  I like to wear them for short races.

As with many of the Topos, I struggle with the lacing. It is often hard to get them tight enough and to get them to stay tied. 

Magnifly Topos are my favorites but still Thumbs Up for both of these.

Races

I love to race and love to try new races and routes.  Many of my go-to races were not happening due to COVID.
These are the races that I have never run before:

  • A1A Fort Lauderdale Half Marathon – 13.1 miles (in Fort Lauderdale) along the eastern coast of Florida (recap)
  • Electric City 5 Miler – a new race along the Mohawk River in Schenectady, NY (recap)
  • Prospect Mountain Road Race – a challenging 5.6 miles to the top of a mountain ending with beautiful views of Lake George (recap)
  • Miles on the Mohawk 10 Miler – a point-to-point race along the Mohawk (recap)
  • Rabbit Ramble 4 Miler – a new location on the rolling hills of Altamont, NY (recap)
  • Firecracker 4 – a very popular race on July 4th in Saratoga, NY (recap)
  • FASNY 5k – a new race in Saratoga State Park (recap)
  • Run for the Roses 5K – a hilly race in Grafton Lake State Park (recap)
  • Whipple City 10k – even hillier race in the countryside of Greenwich, NY (recap)
  •  

I would give them all up THUMBS UP!!

Happy Running! What’s new with you? What items (or races) have you tried this year? 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.

Whipple City 10K Race Recap


After running three 5k races in 2021,

Bacon Hill Bonanza- 28:30 & AG winner

FASNY 5k – 29:29 (smiling because the torrential rain had stopped before the race)

Run for the Roses 5k – 29:21 – 2nd in AG – fun running with old friends (in spite of the HILLS)

I decided to tackle my first 10k of the year. This race was just an opportunity to run a longer race distance since I needed to be training for my Sept. 4 half marathon.

I had run this race as 5k with two friends 4 years ago.

27:30 – I was speedier back then

My goal that day was to keep up with my friend Holly and as you can see from the pic, she beat me!!

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

There was a long hilly 10 miler, then a hilly 5k race followed by some short runs.

Race Day:

I’ve given up checking the weather before the race but I’m sure it probably said chance of rain.

I ignored it and wore the usual summer outfit of a tank and skirt:

new outfit always gives me a boost – added of course, other shoes and rain gear just in case

I probably wasn’t thinking clearly because going to this race, which started at 8:00 am, meant that I had to leave my house at no later than 6:30 am.  According to Google, it was going to take 1h 9min.  There was another local race that started later and was only 20 minutes away. (Crazy lady I am!)

So I got up earlier on a Saturday than I do on a normal work day (Oh, the things we runners do…) and found the location with no problem.

It had rained all night and lightly on my drive but it stopped. The temps were already in the 70s and the sun was peaking out.  But the humidity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

yikes!

Bib pick up was inside the school and there were real restrooms there, as well.

gender-specific tech shirt

I was hoping that my friends would be here and I happily found them immediately. They chose to run the 5k (Smart ladies!)

I also bumped into someone from where I work who was running the 10K.  She lives in this area and I wished her luck since I thought that she would win it (and she was 1st female.)

I didn’t remember much about the race course but according the website: “The 5k race is a gentle upslope out and a quick downslope back, starting and ending in front of the Greenwich Central Middle School.  The 10k, which starts a short distance from the 5k start, follows the 5k course and then continues through the beautiful countryside over rolling hills.” 

According the chart below, mile 2 does not look fun!!

I had hoped to have a decent race. No goals since I hadn’t run a 10k in ages. I had also wanted to run 5 more miles after the race (per my training plan for my next half marathon.)

Most of runners were doing the 5k. I was hoping that the 10k was clearly marked since there were not many of us.

The 5k started near the school but for the 10k, we had to walk about 1/2 mile.

to the end of the street and then turn

I was sweaty by the time I got to the start. lol

Obviously it was a remote start…however that works.  They announced that it was hilly and that runners should pace themselves. They also apologized that the course was long. How encouraging….

Mile 1:

So off we went at 8 am (15 minutes before the 5k start back at the school.)

I tried to remember than this was NOT a 5k so I needed to start slower and conserve energy.

Running uphill certainly did the trick. I ran much slower than last week. It was a gradual hill so I was even able to run the whole mile.

Mile 2:

Well that running ended.  Mile 2 was very very long and steep. To make matters worse, the lead 5kers that started 15 minutes later sped by us and the water stop during this mile was empty.

The good news was that when we turned slight left and kept heading up, the view was amazing. And I didn’t care how often I walked because it was important in this humidity to just finish uptight.

Mile 3:

Phew. Finally some downhill. Of course that mean that eventually we will go uphill again. I enjoyed nevertheless. I tried to pick up the pace and make up time.

And there was a water stop and it was manned. I took advantage to have some water and even take a GU (It had been hours since my breakfast.)

I realized that I was wearing my newish Topos.  I had raced in them twice before but not a race this long. And I am prone to blisters when my feet sweat.  Blisters started forming around this time. Ouch!  (I normally wrap my feet for half marathons but I did not think to today…lesson learned.)

Mile 4:

The views of the countryside were still very pretty. One of the volunteers encouraged us by saying that now, there was only ONE more big hill.

I counted about 6 more and lost count. Apparently in this area, they are not considered hills.

Most of the race, I was following, an older women in black (that I knew from some previous races) and her daughter and a younger women also in black.  The older woman in black walked often as I did when there was a hill. The younger women never walked at all.

Mile 5:

In this mile, we arrived at the biggest hill yet.  Yup, more walking. And my blisters seemed to be getting bigger and more painful.

Guess what? The older woman got further and further ahead of the younger woman even though she walked the hills.

Mile 6-6.2:

We finally joined the loop that we started on. That meant that it was slightly downhill.  The same water stop that was empty before was still empty.

At this point, I wound up running with the older woman’s daughter (her mom finished ahead). We dragged each other toward the finish line.  We even passed past the younger woman who did not walk at all during the race.

I walked one more time so that I could actually sprint across the finish line.

My running friends were waiting there screaming my name.

I quickly glanced up at the clock… 1:02:XX … 5 minutes slower than my PR and maybe a PW but I was not disappointed. at. all.

Post Race Activities:

The first thing I did was go to my car and take off my shoes and put on my flip flops. Then I grabbed some refreshments. Chocolate milk= my favorite.

Finally I went over to check out the results.

Kim, her daughter and I all won our age groups.  Mine AG was 60-99!! I laughed.

I hung out for a little longer and chatted with my co-worker and ate some more.  Obviously I was dragging my feet on running for miles.

I changed shoes and socks and headed back out.

But it was even warmer, sunnier and my blisters HURT!

I decided to call it a day, head toward home and reward myself with delicious ice cream.

9 hilly miles rather than 11 flat miles will have to do for a long run. Hopefully next weekend will be cooler and I can get 12 done.

Additional Race Reflections:

Since I never train on hills, I expected to have difficulty on them.  The humidity didn’t help and then there were the blisters.  All in all, I was happy that I did the race.  I’ve  never regretted a race I’ve run. My only regret would be if I got injured or ran while injured. I didn’t even have DOMs the next day. So it’s all good.

As they say: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Positives:

  • Small local race.
  • Well organized
  • Real Bathrooms
  • Plenty of parking
  • Easy packet pick up.
  • Gender specific shirts.
  • Decent post-race refreshments (bagels & cream cheese, donuts, bananas, chocolate milk and more)
  • Scenic course.
  • A real race.

a ribbon?? and no mention of the age group (which in this case was a good thing lol)

Negatives:

  • Only one water stop rather than 3
  • Hot humid weather
  • HILLS
  • Age Group award – a ribbon!?
  • Oldest age group – 60-99!
  • Blisters

this apology was emailed to me

Would I recommend this race?

Possibly. It was a nice small race but not sure I would repeat it just because it was a long drive. But maybe for the 5k if I was not training for a half marathon.

Final Stats:

The split times don’t really tell the story due to the rolling hills.

This chart does show the hills and when I walked.

Next Up:

Half marathon #3 for 2021:

Screenshot_20210610-070949_Gmail (1).jpg

I was hoping that I’d be better trained for this one…but it’s hard in the summer. I’m just happy that races are happening again and I am healthy enough to run them.


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 run or race this past weekend?  Any in-person races on your schedule yet? Please share.

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Weekly Run Down for 8.9.21-8.15.21: Another Week, Another Race, Another Heat Wave

The 5k last week was not planned but this past weekend, I chose to run a 10k race.  And it was hilly again!!

Some thunderstorms always accompany extreme heat.  That was what happened most of the week.

Last Week:

  • Monday –#nevermissamonday. I was surprised that my legs were not tired after racing the day before. The FTC training run was a hot one but one of my better runs. Go figure.

8:1 intervals and so I rewarded myself.

  • Tuesday – Another scorcher of a day but it was rest day and my weekly walk on the rail trail with friends.
  • Wednesday – Back in the office for the first time this week.

After a rare rest day, I woke up to back pain. WTF?? So I contacted my chiro and made an appt for after work. Of course, the pain decreased as the day went on but i was overdue for an adjustment anyway so I went.

yes my Starbucks walk are back

I decided that I didn’t want to run on trails for the Ice Cream Run so after some errands, I headed to Six Mile Waterworks for my run. No company except Matty from Peleton. It was so hot and humid. (100 degree heat index). Good news. My back felt fine and the skies opened up to cool me down.

yes, that was hawk sighting

  • Thursday – Today I took the day off from work for an annual breakfast and day at the Saratoga Race Track. Molly and I have done this every summer (except last) for 35 of the last 37 years.

Breakfast was good and I had winning tickets in every race but the first (caveat: I only bet $1-3 a race).

I couldn’t stay for the last race because I had to rush home to participate in the ARE trail group run. Apparently I poured everywhere excerpt at the race track.  Lucky us. And it stopped in time for the trail event.

This week it was held a new location. Sage Estates. A little muddy but always fun to be outdoors with friends.

  • Friday – Just working at home and putting my kitchen back in order before phase II of the renovation (wallpaper removed and painting done.)

Our mah jongg group decided to have a bi-monthly book club. Tonight before our games we discussed our book.

Book Review: Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro – Karissa Reads Books

I did not love it….

Then there was a big storm and we lost power. So we played mah jongg with our iphones as a flashlight. A night to remember.

  • SaturdayWhipple City 10K Race. It was warm and very very humid. And hills, many more than I expected. But I met up with some friends and won my 60-99 AG and all was good (except some miserable blisters.)

My plan was to run more miles so I could get in 11 miles as my long run. I tried but it was too hot and humid and my feet were not happy. So I quit and got ice cream instead.

9 hilly miles for the day will have to do… there’s always next weekend

  • Sunday – Most likely a day on the lake to relax and catch up on my reading…

can’t beat the views and the peacefulness

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday –  FTC run
  • Tuesday – rest day, walk with friends
  • Wednesday – Ice Cream or (last) SOAR run
  • Thursday – (Last) ARE Trail Run
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday – Long Run
  • Sunday –rest day, walk/hike, boating?

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Whipple City 10K Race Recap
  • Friday – Sign up for the FRW 5k

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 planned? Please share.

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