Ted Corbitt 15k Race Recap

Ted Corbitt 15k Classic - New York City, NY - 12/3/2022 - My BEST Runs - Worlds Best Road Races

I signed up for the Ted Corbitt 15K for several reasons:

  • I love NYC.
  • I love running in Central Park.
  • I hadn’t run a race there since April 2022.
  • I had enough pts for a free hotel room.
  • I had thought my NYC BRFs Cari and Elizabeth may be running it too or at least we could meet up during the weekend.
  • It kept me doing weekend long runs during the cold temps of upstate NY.
  • A chance to see NYC decorated for the holidays.
  • I had run a half marathon several weeks before (so I was sorta trained.)
  • 15k is one of my favorite distances (I usually die at this point in a half.)
  • No Harlem Hill for this race (just Cat 2x and 3 sisters).

Training:

As I mentioned above, I had run a half marathon two weeks earlier. I love to sign up for winter races because it motivates me to keep doing those long runs in the cold weather. (And this year, the temps were COLD!!)

If you follow my posts, you also know that I am not strict about following a training plan. But I do try to do those weekday short runs (Tues, Wed, Thurs this week).

and get in some longer runs on the weekend..

I knew about the HILLS that would taunt me during the race. I have run in this park and I ran the Shape Half Marathon, Fred LeBow Half twice, Central Park Half and many other shorter races.

In case you have never heard of Ted Corbitt.  He was the first president of New York Road Runners, the first African American to compete in the Olympic marathon, and an ultramarathon pioneer who ran more than 200,000 miles in his lifetime.

I’ve always wanted to run this race.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

I took the train to NYC on Saturday morning. I arrived at 11am and my hotel check-in time was 3 pm  but luckily my room was ready.  So I checked into my hotel on 39th St. and grabbed some lunch.

bagels and lox is a must in NYC!!

Then I headed to Run Center to pick up my bib and race shirt.

not an exciting design but it is comfy

Though it was chilly, it was sunny and a perfect day to stroll Manhattan. Though rain was predicted for Saturday, I hoped they were wrong.  Just in case, I tried to see as many of the decorations as I could in one day!!

I started in Central Park… I couldn’t believe how pretty it was with the leaves STILL on the trees…

Then I walked down 6th Avenue, onto Rockefeller Center, then to Bryant Park and finally to 34th Street for a visit to the Refinery.

On my bucket list was to see the holiday lights at Dyker Heights in Brooklyn.  So from 34th St, I took a subway to Brooklyn where I met up with a group for a walking tour.

The guide was great (and I was the only American on the tour.)

.The houses were HUGE and the lights way over the top!!

Afterward, I grabbed some pizza for dinner and took the subway back to Manhattan.

Still too early to go to bed so I continued my holiday in NYC experience. I walked back to Rockefeller Center and then watched the light show at Saks.

Eventually I returned to my hotel in order to plan my race day. So much for resting the legs the day before a race. 12 miles walked!!

I have not run many winter races so it was a challenge to decide on what to wear to keep warm but not too warm for 9.3 miles. And what to wear if it rains???

Luckily I still had gloves, DIY arm warmers to add to my outfit and there would be bag check so I could have a jacket and umbrella for after the race if it were raining.

Race Day:

I brought my usual race breakfast of oatmeal and coffee with me and got up around 6:00 am.  It was warmer than expected (high 40s) but RAINING so I changed to a lighter shirt and cap (instead of a beanie), added a throwaway shirt, DIY arm sleeves, grabbed a rain poncho and called an Uber. My hotel was on West 39th and the start was near E. 66th. However, bag check was on East 72nd. I could have run there but not in this weather. I also wasn’t sure of how often the subway ran. The Uber was just so easy (though $$$).

As I did in my previous Central Park races, I got there too early…  I had hoped to meet up with Cari at bag check or worse case in my start corral.  Cari had decided to skip bag check.  But to stay warm and dry,, I hid out in the park restroom…. I waited there until the last moment (I even met the runner who was singing the national anthem.)

I kept on my rain poncho but had to surrender my umbrella. Well, by now, the bag check line was MILES long and getting longer by the moment (due to a security check).  It moved quickly and I wasn’t worried since although there were almost 5000 runners, the race was chip-timed.

It was quite a LONG walk to the start and I had to walk to corral I.  By the time I got near, the national anthem was finishing up and Meb was giving a speech about Ted Corbitt and this race.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to meet up with Cari but I eventually got to my corral in plenty of time for my corral’s start.

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

The Race Plan:

Do not get injured!! (You need to be healthy to train for the Florida half in February!) And most importantly, have fun!!

I would likely do a lot of walking… because there would be umpteen hills!! (Several Cats and many other annoying smaller ones.)

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

My estimated finish time would be around 1:45 (far from my 1:30 PR at this distance).

Anyway, here’s how the race went:

2022 Course Map:

Course Description:

The race will begin on East Drive near East 66th Street and will cover almost two full laps on the lower loop in Central Park.

From the start, runners will proceed north on East Drive up to the 102nd Street Cross Drive, and will then take a left turn to follow the Cross Drive toward West Drive. Turning left onto West Drive, runners will head south, continuing past Tavern on the Green toward mile 5 and what was the start line on East Drive.

Proceeding along the southern end of the park, runners will repeat the first loop up East Drive, onto the 102nd Street Cross Drive, and turning onto West Drive. As runners approach the 72nd Street Transverse from West Drive, they will turn left toward the finish line.

Check out this elevation:

and according to my Garmin:

Miles 1-3:

It took a LONG 10 or so minutes to get to the start line.

It was slow going at first due to the crowd but soon we heading for a downhill stretch. Of course, I tried to stay slow and it felt slow .

The first hill was Cat Hill and it was the steepest.  I ran up most of it thinking that it wasn’t so bad (my opinion changed by the second time around)

(In case you’ve never run in Central Park, it’s called Cat Hill because there is a statue of a cat staring down at you.)

Once I started running, I realized that I was indeed perfectly dressed. In fact during the 2nd mile, I decided to take off my throw-away shirt.  But I didn’t throw it away, I tied it around my waist and kept it that way the entire race.

There were many more water stops than necessary (or what I am used to).  Almost one every mile.  I tried to only stop at every other one.

I always tried to pick up speed on the downhills but they were short-lived as there were always smaller hills – the Sisters, etc.  According to Strava, each hill has a name.

And the rain continued… in fact it rained harder and harder, and the puddles got bigger and more numerous. (I was amazed at NO blisters and NO chafing.)

Around 90th St. & the Reservoir, we passed the statue of Fred Lebow.

We started looping around 102nd and heading to the West side.  The best thing about this race (compared to Fred LeBow HM was that the course did NOT include Harlem Hill (the steepest and longest in the park.)

Since I had eaten breakfast many hours ago, I was getting hungry, I ate a GU slowly around mile 3.5 (and this was the only one I ate during the race.)

There were timing clocks at every mile.  I wasn’t sure how much time had elapsed before I crossed the start line so they didn’t help much.  My watch was buried under my shirt.  But I really didn’t care what my finish time was anyway. (I had zero age group award expectations. NYC runners are fast!)

I just continued to run and as fast as I could and walk as often as I felt tired or there were hills (As usual, it was pretty often).

Miles 4-6:

We were still on the West side and soon we passed the finish line. Of course, I think the speedy runners were already turning in.

But there were still 5 more miles to go.

what the park looked like the day before

Around mile 4.5 we starting turning and heading toward the East side. And a little past mile 5 we were passing the start and now the course would repeat itself.

It never stopped raining.  My feet started to ache (no surprise there).  Of course Cat hill seemed harder the second time around as did the other smaller hills. I waved again to Fred and continued to stop at every other water stop.

The volunteers were so numerous and those cheering were awesome.  Imagine spending hours in the pouring rain. I wouldn’t be happy to be out there.

Miles 7-9.4:

Finally just past mile 7, we began turning and heading back to the East side.  To me, that signaled that the end was near… although it didn’t feel like it.

It was a long time getting to that Mile 9 sign!!

But I finally turned toward the finish line and I ran as fast as I could…. through those huge puddles!!

Photo by Da Ping Luo for NYRR – I’m sure Meb was not still there when I crossed the finish line

Post Race Activities:

I immediately got my medal (this was the FIRST year that medals were given out for this race), grabbed a bag of pretzels and posed for a quick pic. or two!

It was still raining HARD so I headed to bag check to get my rain jacket and umbrella.  I had also put some dry clothes in that bag but unfortunately, the bag was NOT really very waterproof and everything was soaked.

I still hadn’t met up with Cari but I texted her that I would be waiting in that same rest room.

so don’t all runners do restroom selfies?

We walked out of the park together in the RAIN. (I gave her my rain poncho since I had an umbrella.)

The rain definitely interfered with my plans to hang out with Cari and another friend, Elizabeth.

Cari headed home by bus and I started walking back to my hotel. Around 59th St, I changed my mind and hopped the subway.

After a LONG HOT shower, I checked out of my hotel, had lunch and then headed home on an earlier train.

I was so glad that I had got in All.The.Miles the day before.

Additional Race Reflections:

Running in the rain may not be exactly fun. I minded more about not enjoying the pre and post-race experience.

But it was a lot better than racing into a cold WIND.

I was happy with my finish time.  Yes it was like 5 minutes slower than my last 15K but it was not a PW and faster than I expected on that course and in those weather conditions.

Enough whining…I am so grateful to be able to visit NYC and run a race. And a race that honored such an important figure in NYC racing.

I am unbelievably happy that after the race, my legs/feet felt fine.. no pain anywhere (always a good thing at my age.)

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

The Good:

  • Easy packet pick-up at Run Center and also race morning near the start).
  • Bag Check.  Easy pick up at the end.
  • Water at almost EVERY mile. Gatorade at the last few.
  • Many porta-potties along the course in addition to real CP bathrooms
  • Well marked course.
  • Timing Clock at every mile.
  • No Harlem Hill.
  • Great crowd support even in the rain.
  • Los of volunteers as course marshals and at water stops (and it was miserable out!!)
  • Very cool medal.
  • Immediate results.
  • Blogger meet-up with Cari
  • No Blisters.

The Bad:

  • Long line at bag check.
  • Loops!  2.
  • Hills in Central Park.
  • I did not do any training on hills (my bad)
  • Post-race food – just pretzels and apples
  • Boring shirt design.
  • No photos
  • RAIN!!!

Would I recommend this race?

Yes.

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

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

Final Stats:

Splits:

Next Up:

This one should have warmer weather but you never know with Florida.  I ran this race two years ago in oppressive heat/humidity.

Happy Running! Ever run this race? Have you raced in NYC? Do you like 15Ks? Please share.

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


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

Troy Turkey Trot 10K Race Recap

Image result for troy turkey trot 2019

November 24, 2022 8 am

This was my 7th time running the Troy Turkey Trot 10K.

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

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

In 2018, it was FREEZING and I DNSed the race partly because of the weather but mostly because I was going to be running a hilly Half Marathon 2 days later (which seemed more important.)

In 2020, the race went virtual and I did not run it.

In 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, I even ran both races – the 10K followed by the 5k.  Why not? I was already dressed and ready to run. Last year and this year, I was not as crazy. Just the10K as in my first year.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

I did not sign up for the Turkey Trot Challenge this year. So there was no real training for this race.  I considered it just a fun event to get outdoors and justify all the food that I would consume later in the day.

Previous Troy Turkey Trot 10K times:

  • 2014 – 57:03 (PR)
  • 2015 – 59:33
  • 2016 – 57:51
  • 2017 – 57:42
  • 20:18 – DNS
  • 2019 – 59:06
  • 2:20 – cancelled
  • 2021 – 59:49 (PW)

However, I ran a hilly half marathon just four days before the race and did a very short run on Monday and Tuesday. During those short runs, my legs reminded me that they were in recovery mode.

So I guess my goal for this year’s 10k could be sub 1 hour but really just being out there and running with friends would make me happy!

2021 peeps

I picked up my bib/race shirt the previous Saturday so I didn’t have to rush on race morning. It was just a drive thru at a local high school… and it went so smoothly!!

On Wednesday evening, I planned my Thanksgiving running outfit. I tried to be festive but also comfortable for the running weather that day. I was very excited that it would not be as cold as the weekend prior and not windy!!

very similar to the previous year but I bought a new shirt (Run the race/Stuff your face)

Then I completely forgot about the race.  So much so that I had chili for dinner followed by a glass of wine.  Oops and ice cream for dessert.

Race Day:

I woke up with a headache and upset stomach but not feeling bad enough to DNS. I choked down my coffee and oatmeal and checked the weather. Clear, calm but in the 20s degrees. I added another layer under my shirt, my DIY arm warmers, grabbed a down jacket and sprinted out the door at 6:30am.

I was treated to a beautiful sunrise.

There was no traffic and I found parking in a lot across from a bowling alley where I parked in previous years. I was still early so I waited in my car until I saw some runners heading out.

I walked a few blocks to the Atrium where we used to wait indoors for the race to begin.

Unfortunately, the Atrium was closed this year but we were allowed wait indoors in the office space next door.  However, no coffee shop, no two floors of space and NO rest rooms.

At least bag check was back. I left my jacket there for after the race. Lots of runners were hanging out. It was nice to talk with runners whom I had not seen in awhile.

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

I seem to run every race with Linda

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

The 10K course this year was the same as previous years.

Elevation:

according to my Garmin – I think it lost a signal going over the bridge

As someone was singing the national anthem, I squeezed into the crowd with the 10 minute pace group.

My plan for the race was to not to start out too fast and to run at an even pace and to save some for the last mile. (I know. I say that for every race. LOL)

Obviously this race was a lot less crowded than before the Pandemic (since there was also a virtual option). But for my pace, I was running with others the whole race. Though, it seemed that they all were passing me by.

Miles 1-3.1:

The course is fairly flat. You start running down Broadway and then over the Green Island bridge, turn around and run back into the city. I knew from my first few steps that the legs were still tired from those hilly 13.1 miles on Sunday. I tried to pick up speed but the legs were begging me not to try. And I felt nauseous (from the previous night’s dinner.)

I enjoyed seeing the fastest runners sprint by, as well as, those behind me.  I tried cheer both groups on.

can you spot me in the crowd?

I glanced at my watch (because I wanted to keep a slower pace the first few miles) and I noticed that I must have changed the display. It only showed the current time.  No miles, no pace, nada.  I tried to play around with it but it was hard to do while running.

my neighbor Kathy coming off the bridge

So I guess you could say I ran without a watch. Although there was a clock at each mile, I wasn’t sure how long it took me to cross the start line.  I kinda enjoyed not having the stress of knowing my pace.

After the bridge, we took a left and ran along the city streets for few miles. The roads were closed to traffic which was nice. The sun was shining and I was getting warm. I regretted that extra layer, took off my gloves and rolled down my DIY arm warmers.

I didn’t have to look at a watch to know that I was running too slow to PR. I wasn’t sure if I would even finish under one hour.

I started having to walk at mile 2 and then that need to walk frequently continued until the end of the race.

Miles 3.1-6.2:

Around this point, we again turned around and headed back toward the start. There a water stop but they were giving out bottles (due to COVID), It seemed like such a waste and since I wasn’t that thirsty, I skipped it.

There was great crowd support.  Better than normal since the weather was perfect. There were even tables passing out beer. LOL

 

And again since it was an out and back, you got to see both faster and slower runners.

I was running with other runners but as I mentioned above, most kept passing me by. Eventually my friend Carolyn caught up to me.  I was surprised because I am always behind her trying to keep her in my sight.

We ran together for a short time but I was struggling to keep a decent pace and she was not. I guess it pays to start out slow. Then my friend Linda  came up behind me.  She also seemed to have a lot of speed left in her legs.

I lost them both. I decided not to eat my GU and but finally did grab a bottle of water at the 2nd water stop.

With the Hudson river in view, I knew that I was getting toward the end. Then I spotted my friend Elisa cheering on the sideline (and she snapped of pic of me as I ran by.)

Finally I could hear the finish in the distance. I wanted to at least sprint through the finish line.

Another friend Holly was on the side line yelling my name but I had a hard time mustering up any real speed.

I crossed at 59:XX.

Almost a course PW but under 1 hour.

GOAL ACHIEVED!

Post Race Activities:

I grabbed a bottle of water and they gave you a medal.  The only refreshments were packaged nuts, bars, cookies and other snacks.  No chocolate milk. Boo!

I hung out for awhile chatting with my friends.

Then I checked out the results and found out that I came in 3rd in my age group.

For 1st you got a blanket, 2nd, a fuel belt and 3rd, gloves.

I can add them to my outfit next year.

I was used to hanging around to run the 5k so it was strange to be done running. But I was getting chilled (from sweating) and headed back to my car (but almost forgot to pick up my jacket from bag check.).

Additional Race Reflections:

No matter what my finish time was, I was glad that I decided to run this race.  I love the atmosphere of this race. I enjoy the challenge of a 10k as opposed to a 5k. It’s a great way to start off Thanksgiving Day.

Positives:

  • The weather
  • Race organization
  • Easy packet pickup
  • Race location – place to stay warm indoors
  • Bag Check
  • Mostly flat course
  • Two distance options – 5k and 10k
  • Virtual option.
  • Knowing lots of runners.  Racing is fun with friends.
  • Ample parking
  • Well marked course.
  • Varied scenery including river views
  • A lot of pre-race information.
  • Timing clocks at every mile.
  • Three water stops.
  • Enthusiastic spectators.
  • Cool medal.
  • Lots of media coverage.
  • Instant results
  • Cool age group prizes

Negatives:

  • Bottles instead of cups at water stops.
  • Unisex shirts
  • No indoor restrooms
  • No post race chocolate milk or bagels
  • You have to BUY the photos
  • Wrong pre-race meal (my fault)
  • No speed work (my fault)

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. Definitely.  It is well-organized and there’s a distance for everyone. Many runners are in costumes.

(However, if I run the half marathon the weekend before again, I may sign up for the 5k instead of the 10k. And there is also now a 5k right near my house.  We’ll see. I have a whole year to think about it.)

In pre-COVID years, 10,000 participated in these races. The attendance was still over 6,000 this year. A very fun way to start the holiday.

Final Stats:

Splits:

pretty even considering I couldn’t look on my watch ( but as always positive splits)

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

Next Up:

A fun 15K in NYC

NYRR Ted Corbitt 15K

Dec. 3, 2022

Happy Running! Did you run off that turkey? If so, how did it go? Please share.

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

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


I’m also linking up here:

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

Upstate Classic Half Marathon Race Recap

NOVEMBER 20, 2022

yes, that’s me!

My final half marathon for 2022!!

I signed up for the Upstate Classic Half Marathon for several reasons:

  • I had run the race three times before so I was familiar with the course and the hills.
  • 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 had run a half in September and October so I was sorta already trained.

Half Marathon Training:

For 2020, I had the ambitious goal of running 12 Half Marathons – one each month. The pandemic wrecked those plans.  For 2021, it was just race whatever half marathons were available.  Racing has returned so a result, I was lucky to have already run SEVEN live (and one virtual) half marathons this year.

If you follow my posts, you also know that I am not strict about following a training plan.  I try to get in my long runs but this fall, I got caught up in a 5k racing frenzy and missed several key long runs.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

I did some easy short runs during the week prior to the race: Mon, Tues, Thurs:

Packet pick up was easy peasy.  I just went to the race headquarters on Friday after work.

just a bib since I chose not to buy the race shirt

I skipped my long run on Saturday and walked with friends and then after, I met them and the others who ran for brunch.

My usual carb loading dinner was pizza and then I tried to figure out what to wear.  It was forecast to be VERY cold, windy  and cloudy. Colder then my last race and we would be at a higher altitude. I hate being overdressed (and was tempted to even wear a skirt) but I reluctantly chose a beanie, 2 long sleeved shirts, DIY arm sleeves, tights/skirt, and gloves.

I added an extra pair of gloves, compression calf sleeves, buff and throw away jacket (all were necessary!)

Race Day:

I woke up early and looked outside and there was a light coating of snow on the ground (the slippery kind.)

I had my usual pre-race breakfast of oatmeal and coffee. My running friend, Deb, was also running the race so we decided to carpool. I met her at 7 am and she offered to drive.  I knew that I may finish the race first but not much before her so it didn’t seem to matter who drove (Um, wrong!!)

On the drive, we discussed our plans for the race.

So what was the plan???

  • Upstate Classic Nov. 2020 – 2:23:37 (but no watch)
  • H2H April 2021 – 2:22:51 (same course)
  • Upstate Classic Nov 2021 – 2:19:21

I would love to have improved my time on this course but hey, I’m a year older…

So Just finish.  No time goal!! Stay healthy for future races.

We both agreed on this goal…

The course:

A loop starting and ending in the same location.

and not flat… at all:

according to my Garmin

The race would be starting at 8:30am. We got there an hour early and parked in the huge grass parking lot. Then we sat in the car.  It was in the 20’s (teens with the wind chill) and we wanted to stay warm until the last moment especially since there was no bag check. (Well, Deb had to get her bib and use the porta-potty but I remained warm.)

Around 8:15 am, We dragged ourselves out of the warm car and headed toward the race start.

Brrrrr! I shivered but at least, I had time to chat with many runners that I knew.

Deb headed to the porta-potty line (which was a mile long.)

They announced that no matter what, they would start the race on time.

First the half marathoners started. (The marathoners would start 10 minutes later.) After that, there was also a 5k.

It was chip-timed so I just pushed myself into the crowd toward the front and near my friends. I still couldn’t bear to take my throw away jacket off.

.

Anyway, here’s how the race went:

Spoiler Alert:  This was posted by the RD in FB:

Miles 1-3:

We started running around the fairgrounds.  The path was snowy, icy and very slippery.  I took it slow but tried to stay with my friends.

I soon realized that my jacket was too awkward to run with so I threw it to the side. We continued on the entrance road to the fairgrounds until we turned onto the main road.

I was familiar with this course since this was my 3rd time running it.  Obviously since we were running on roads, there were cars. You were supposed to run on the shoulder but it was slanted and I found it awkward. And until mile 4 or so, it was also very snowy/icy.

So I ran toward the middle of the road until a car came by.  I was more comfortable that way. But the negative was not running the tangents. 😦

Miles 3- 6.2:

One of the course marshals that I knew cheered us on and took photos.

My friend Linda (above) gradually got ahead of me but she was always in my view.

The first water stop was around mile 3.  I wasn’t thirsty but stopped anyway to take a drink (and tossed it since I got a mouthful of ice.)

Soon a plow went by salting the road and so it was clearer and less slippery..  So far the hills weren’t too bad. I could even run up them.

This may get monotonous but it was VERY windy and cold.  At first, it didn’t seem so bad.  The sun even made me feel that I was appropriately dressed. Early on, I even rolled down my arm sleeves and took off my gloves.

I ate a GU since I tried to keep to my fueling plan of eating every 4 miles.

Around mile 5, we passed by Indian Ladder Farms and the smell of fresh cider donuts filled the air. Normally this is where there are tons of cheering spectators.  But not today in these cold windy conditions.

The rolling hills continued. The wind seemed to pick up.  Why did it never seem to be at my back?

When we turned off this road,  the hills ceased to roll and started to become steep hills.  Those type of hills where it was even hard to walk up them.  But walk I did. But trying to pick up the pace on the downhill with the wind blowing in your face was impossible!

Miles 6.2-8.75

Every now and then I would glance at my watch.  My pace was by no means fast but considering all the walking, it was not as bad as I feared. In fact, my legs felt great.  My feet didn’t hurt.  It could have been a good race…. if it weren’t for the crazy WIND!!!

The second water stop was around the 10k point. Again I stopped and had some frozen water.

Normally around the halfway point, there is a clock but it was not working when I went by.  Looking at the race results, it stopped around 44:xx and re-started at 1:04:xx.

So obviously even in this weather, I was doing pretty well.

Now the big hills seems to more frequent, the temps dropped and the wind picked up big time.

I pulled up my arm sleeves, put back on one pair of gloves and pulled up my buff.  My lips were numb and I was soooooo cold.

The wind was so painful that I thought about quitting!!!

Miles 8.75 – 11.1

But I continued… walking when I couldn’t run and running when I could.  At times I felt like the wind was pulling me backward.  But it was no different for anyone else… and there marathoners out there.  And those poor volunteers.

Around mile 8, I ate another GU.  I never really felt hungry during the race but knew I should fuel.

The race continued the same way.  The amazing thing was that my feet did not hurt.  My lower back was achy from looking down to protect my eyes from the wind.

I think there was another water stop (I’m pretty sure that I stopped.)

The course marshals were very enthusiastic. I knew many of them.  I couldn’t believe they were able to stay out there for hours in that cold. There were some families camped out (and bundled up or in heated cars) in their driveways.  But for the most part, we were running on the roads in the country… no place for spectators.

But surprisingly around mile 10.5, there was table of guys giving out bottles of water and alcohol.  It was one of our boating friends again. I was too cold to even greet him.

Miles 11.1-13.3

More hills. They never seemed to end.  And one last water stop.  I just wanted to finish so I skipped it.  I didn’t eat my last GU either.

Mile 13 seemed like a full marathon.  The wind had drained me. I wanted to run to finish but I just could not move forward in that wind. I was pretty miserable.

And for this entire mile, I had a terrible side stitch. I can’t remember the last time that happened to me (WTH?)

To make matters worse, there was one hill after another.  And so I walked most of this mile.

We were also running in a more heavily trafficked area and so you had to keep keep moving over when a car drove by.

But eventually we turned into the fairgrounds  There were even hills there!  The wind was swirling… the snow was blowing….

I barely sprinted through the finish line. I just couldn’t move fast in that WIND!!

Post Race Activities:

They gave us a foil blanket that I attempted to put on in the wind.

I immediately headed to the food tent. Refreshments were a boxed lunch but there was also a table of food that looked more appealing – pastries, quiche, bread, etc. But I was too frozen to eat anything.

Then I went to see my results. I found out that I came in first in my age group and at that table, they also gave you your finishers medal.

For your award, you could pick a hat or shirt from a previous year.

this was last year’s hat (and I was the ONLY crazy runner in my AG)

If I weren’t freezing enough, I no longer had a jacket and the wind was brutal and temps dropping. I hung around the food area until I was too cold and moved into the sun and waited… and waited and waited.

I didn’t have keys to my friend’s car and I was wondering if I had missed her finishing.

So I walked to her car and waited there.  I was sooo cold that I wanted to cry.. A lady nearby who was waiting for her husband to finish (took a look at me) and offered me a seat in her warm car.

Finally, my friend arrived (she had stomach issues and had a very bad race.) I obviously couldn’t complain about waiting 50 minutes in the cold without a coat..

The best part of the day was that we drove to Indian Ladder Farms and ordered the most delicious hot mulled cider (in fact two cups.)

Additional Race Reflections:

It seems that my recap above was a bunch of complaints.  But honestly, it was the first race that I wanted to quit during and the first race that I regretted running.

I guess, I’m proud that I didn’t. Others in the race (including some friends) did and felt much worse.

In fact, my time was a lot better than I expected. It was faster than my September half that was flat. If the weather were better, there was potential for a great race.

But you can’t control the weather. And any injury would have been much worse (My legs/feet felt fine after.)

It gives me hope that I could improve (if I dare to run it again next year.)

The Good:

  • Connecting with local runners.
  • Decent post race food. (box lunch of pre-ordered sandwich, apple, brownie) and a table of other refreshments (quiche, bead, pastries)
  • Well organized.
  • Lots of pre-race information
  • Easy packet pick up
  • Ample parking
  • Enthusiastic volunteers (even with the cold weather)
  • Live tracking for others to follow runners and runners to get immediate results
  • Free photos

The Bad:

  • Hilly Course.
  • Most of my running group did not participate.
  • Not trained for hills (my fault).
  • Traffic during the last mile or so.
  • Ice/Snow on the course

The Ugly:

  • COLD TEMPS!
  • INSANE WIND! (up 50 mph gusts)
  • Waiting after the race

Final Stats:

6.4M ~ 1:03

Splits:

things got ugly after mile 8

I felt like I walked the second half of he race

Would I recommend this race?

Sure.  Pretty scenery and the perks mentioned above. But TRAIN ON HILLS before you run it!!

I’m pretty sure the weather couldn’t be as bad as this year. (I mean, it was 75 degrees two weeks prior.)

Next Up:

A Thanksgiving 10K

Happy Running! Run any big races in 2022? How did they go?  Ever run a race in conditions so bad that you wanted to quit? 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.

 

Stockade-athon 15K Race Recap

Stockade-athon logo on RaceRaves

November 13, 2022 –  8:30 am

This is my 8th time running this popular local 15k race.

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

stockafeathon13a

“fake” happy in 2013

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

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

Well, I loved the new course and my finish times improved for the most part (except for 2019 since the race was held a week after my first FULL marathon and then last year):

2014 – 1:33:23
2015 – 1:31:23
2016 – 1:32:49
2018 – 1:30:15 PR
2019 – 1:36:37 PW
2020 – cancelled
2021 – 1:35:11

In 2019, they modified the course slightly. They eliminated the bike path at the beginning of the race (which I did like because you ran along the Mohawk River and it was dirt so easy on the feet).)

Pre-Race Preparations and Activities:

My last long run felt hard… That did not make me feel super confident for this race.

maybe it was because I ran 12 miles and it was 70 degrees

During the week before the race, I just ran my easy short runs… on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday:

This race was supposed to be a taper for a half marathon that was scheduled for the next weekend. I even skipped my long run with my running friends and just walked and then met the others for brunch.

So I didn’t expect to race this 15k. I just wanted some exercise and to hang out with 1000 of my running friends.

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

Instead of my pre-race pizza that night, I had pumpkin and squash ravioli (mistake?) and got together my #flatme.

still in a skirt!!

Race Day:

The temps were in the 30s when I got up on race morning and it was forecast to only warm up to high 40s and be cloudy. I hate this time of year. It’s so difficult to dress correctly.  I was glad bag check had returned, so I could bring extra clothes for after and in case I changed my mind.

Even though I’ve been to this race several times before, I decided to carpool with Stan and Sherry. We left extra early and found a spot in a parking lot a few blocks from the start of the race. We walked over to the YWCA where on two floors you could wait inside, check a bag and use the “real” restrooms.

There were over 1000 runners on those two floors in addition to outside so I didn’t connect with as many friends as I normally do.

So we stayed downstairs to keep warm until the race start.

I recognized a few runners so I lined up with them.  Sherry moved further back.  We agreed to meet after at the refreshments area.

The 2019 course map:

I believe that it didn’t change for this year.

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

the elevation according to my Garmin.

Mile 1-3.1:

The race started running down commercial State Street.

from THE DAILY GAZETTE

It was fairly flat but very crowded. I quickly lost my friends and just weaved my way through the crowd.

Soon, we turned and entered the Stockade (oldest) section of town.

Although it was chilly, I instantly warmed up and even felt overdressed.  I eventually took off my gloves and rolled up my DIY arm warmers.

photo by David Giacalone (2015)

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

photo by David Giacalone (2015)

The hills were relentless. Why do I not remember them from previous years? Not rolling hills, just running up, it seemed.

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

I remember there being a water stop early on. I wasn’t thirsty yet but I did stop and walk.

There was clock at the 5k point and I was surprised that I was under a 10 minute pace. However, I doubted that it would last.

There was a group of runners (including my friend Karen) dedicating their race to the US Olympic hockey team.

Mile 3.1-6.2:

By mile 4, I was getting hungry. We were still circling the neighborhoods. There were lots of course marshals directing throughout the course and many enthusiastic spectators.

I recognized one of my running friends who was course marshal… she yelled my name and took the  picture above.

But the second water stop was not for a while but I finally decided to choke down my Gu (without any water).

Around mile 6, we entered Central Park with its rolling hills, lake, and pretty foliage. More hills, of course, but not too bad.  The worst was yet to come. And finally a second water stop!!

There was another clock at the 10K point.  I had slowed down but I was still happy with my conservative pace.

Mile 6.2-9.4:

Between mile 7 and 8 is where the BIG hills were. I walked up them for the most part. They were steep but at least short. Many of the runners at this point were struggled up these hills or walking.  We laughed/groaned together.

There was a third water stop but much too late in the race.  I never ate my 2nd Gu and just took a quick drink.

from THE DAILY GAZETTE

We proceeded to run through the cemetery.  For the first time for this race, there were drummers encouraging us on… a very welcome sight. I was tired at this point… the usual foot pain, etc.  I just wanted to be done. But I didn’t have the energy or desire to push it.

from THE DAILY GAZETTE

Eventually we left the cemetery and ran through Vale Park before heading DOWNHILL on Franklin St to the finish line at city hall.

from THE DAILY GAZETTE

from THE DAILY GAZETTE

One of reasons I love this race is that finish.

I ran as fast as I could but I had lost quite a bit of time with the walks and the hills.

I barely crossed the finish line under 1:35.

I admit that initially I was disappointed…almost 5 minutes off a PR and one of my slowest times for this race

But hey,  I wasn’t trying for a PR.  It was supposed to just be taper run for next Sunday’s half marathon.  (I know you all get it…)

And I discovered later that it was a little faster than 2021 and 2019… Win. Win.

Post Race Activities:

I was now sweaty and chilled so I immediately walked back the YMCA.

This year, the food was again inside at the YWCA, the same area as bag check. I didn’t mention above that my stomach felt off the WHOLE race and I really did not feel well right after.

Although, there were many food options such as fruit, pastries, hot chocolate, pizza, soup, I did not eat a thing.

I checked the results and as expected, I did not win anything.

even a PR would not have helped… these are speedy old ladies

I grabbed my bag and found Stan and Sherry.  We decided to head out to a nearby diner.  By that point, I did feel a lot better and we had a delicious brunch (and lots of race talk.)

Additional Race Reflections:

Sure, I’d love to have those speedier legs return. I’m not sure they ever will but I do not plan to stop racing because my finish times are slower. I loved seeing all those runners that I only chat with at races.  I love the racing atmosphere and the challenge it always brings.

Positives:

  • Ample parking.
  • Well marked course.
  • Great running weather.
  • Lots of familiar faces.
  • Bag Check.
  • Interesting course (through the historic part of the city, neighborhoods, park, cemetery).
  • Downhill finish.
  • Friendly and abundant number of volunteers.
  • Chocolate Milk, soup, pizza among other staples post-race
  • Crowd support
  • The electric atmosphere.
  • Instant results
  • Free photos
  • Indoor place to gather before and after.
  • Gender-specific shirt

Negatives:

  • Hills during miles 7-8
  • Big gap between water stop 1 & 2.  Water stop 3 too late.

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. It’s a great way to see this city…a little bit of everything.  I would recommend that you train on hills. lol

Final Stats:

My Splits:

I did enjoy this race. The course was so varied that it also took your mind off the hills. With the large number of runners (1000+), I felt like I was always running with others and it kept me going.

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

The best part of the race was that I didn’t put it all out there. I walked when I was feeling tired and tried to remember to treat it like a taper run. And nothing hurt after!!

This race is definitely on my must-do list. It was very well organized. Maybe all the stars will be aligned next year and I’ll get a faster finish time … (but probably not. LOL)

Next Up:

A Half Marathon on Nov. 20!!!

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Happy Running! Did you race recently? If so, how did it go? Do you ever run 15ks? Do you like them? 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.

Weekly Run Down for 11.13.22-11.20.22: Race Week!

Bookend Races.

15k last Sunday and half marathon today!!

Last Week:

  • Sunday – Stockade-athon 15K Race.

I really enjoy running local races (even if they are hard!!)  This was no exception.

It was not as cold as I expected and though it was far from my best finish time, it was faster than last year.  And seeing so many runners that I knew was icing on the cake.

I carpooled with Sherry & Stan and we skipped the post-race refreshment in favor of brunch at a diner

  • Monday – My scheduled day off.

I was happy that my friend was available to accompany me on a hike or two. We decided not to drive far (since I had to be home early for a vet appt.)

First stop was a wet walk around Ooms Conservation Area.

Our second was at Wilson M. Powell Wildlife Sanctuary to Dorsons Rock.

We ended the day with a delicious lunch.

Looking ahead to my work schedule and potential snow, I decided I’d better get a run done. It was dark so I headed to UAlbany.

  • Tuesday – Another frosty morning so I postponed my run until lunch.

it warmed up to the high 30s and I was fine… most of the leaves are in piles at the curb except for those red maples.

  • Wednesday –  Woke up to snow on the ground which changed to rain…

Back to in-person teaching so no time to run except after work (and bring clothes to change into).  I was pooped so decided to skip the run (and I had already run 3 days in a row.)

  • Thursday – Stopped at Starbucks on my way to work… who knew it was Red Cup Day!!

 Back to UAlbany for my after work run since it is the only route with lights near me.

  • Friday – Rest Day! No need to pack the running clothes!! Woo Hoo!

first Peppermint mocha of the season (in my Red Cup)

Stopped off on my way home to pick up my bib for Sunday’s race.

And played mah jongg in the evening.

  • Saturday – Another Rest Day and a walk with my running friends followed by brunch.

chose the Corning bike path but oops, the Girls on the Ru 5k was there too

And then picked up my bib for my Thanksgiving Turkey Trot.

  • Sunday – Upstate Classic Half Marathon!!

a cold windy day so my first race in tights…

This will be the 3rd time that I’ve run this hilly half marathon (and the 4th time on this course). It will be my last half of 2022 and most likely my hardest.

Being local, I know it will be fun and worth the struggle.

heading toward the finish line in 2021

14 years ago today, we formed a group to play mah jongg every Friday night. Tonight we are going out to dinner to celebrate.

13 year anniversary dinner

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday –  rest day
  • Tuesday – run, hair appt
  • Wednesday – rest day
  • Thursday – Troy Turkey Trot 10k Race
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday Long Run (9 miles)
  • Sunday –  rest day, hiking?

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Stockade-athon 15K Race Recap
  • Friday – Runfessions

I am linking up with Kim and Deborah for

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

Happy Running! How is your running going? Any races run or planned? Has the weather been winter-like where you live

Weekly Run Down for 11.6.22-11.13.22: It’s Dark Out!!

Yes, with the clocks turned back, where can I run?

I don’t like to run in the dark.

Now the mornings are lighter but once it gets cold….

At least today I have a 15k race to look forward to.

Last Week:

  • Sunday – Now that boating season is over, I try to hike every Sunday.

Macch & I were enjoying our extra hour this am.

I decided to head south because I thought the foliage would be prettier. The weather seemed perfect but then it started to rain as I drove and it rained harder and harder.

As soon as I arrived at Falling Waters Preserve, the rain seemed to let up. Yay!

But not for long. I did one trail and then retuned back to my car and found a rain poncho in my trunk (of course, all runners have one, right?)

at least it was warm out

It helped sort of until the wind picked up. It felt like walking in a Nor’easter. I bailed on the 3rd trail and headed to my next destination.

It was still raining but I didn’t drive an hour not to hike and this one (Saugerties Light House Preserve) was a shorter trail.

too wet to take more pics and the views of the Hudson R. were a blur.

Of course as soon as I was finished hiking, the rain stopped.  So I drove into town and walked around.

stopped in a knitting shop and bought wool to make this cowl (in different colors) and a dessert shop for coffee and a pastry.

  • Monday – #nvermisssamonday and since it was lighter in the morning, I decided to give a before work run a whirl. I woke up to rain but happily, it stopped but it was still very warm for this time of year.

I was melting… should have worn a tank and skirt… Is it summer or fall? Even the flowers are confused.

After work, I went for a walk at on a trail at a nearby park hoping to beat darkness.

sunset and then moonrise…

  • Tuesday – I thought about a before work run but the cold temps (40s) deterred me so it was a lunch run instead

much chillier and windier than the day before.. luckily the sun was out

and then I met my BFF for a walk after work. (I voted last week.)

did your Christmas cactus bloom for Halloween?

  • Wednesday –  Rest day and it was the day of my monthly dinner with my tennis friends.

even though we don’t play tennis together anymore, it is always fun to get together and chat

  • Thursday – Frost when I woke up… not ready for this!  Postponed my run until lunchtime. And it warmed up  (50s) and the sun came out.

sorry, the trees are bare.. no more pretty foliage pics

  • Friday – Rest Day!!

Facebook reminded that on this day two years I hiked at Olana. I figured it was a sign to go back. Although the trees were bare and the clouds threatened rain, it was an enjoyable way to spend the Holiday and a day off from work.

And played mah jongg in the evening (much more relaxing not having to do a long run the next morning.)

  • Saturday – Rest Day and just a walk with my running friends followed by brunch

and then packet pickup for Sunday’s race.

Some errands and household chores and of course, carb loading…

flatme… wearing a skirt hoping I won’t freeze my butt off

  • Sunday – Stockade-athon 15k Race!!

Heading to the finish line in 2021

I’ve done this race many times and it’s always fun because I will know many runners out there.  But actually I signed up because I have a half marathon next Sunday and the distance is perfect for a taper run.

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday –  DAY OFF, hike, vet appt.
  • Tuesday – AM run, dinner out
  • Wednesday – PM run
  • Thursday – PM run
  • Friday – rest day, packet pick-up, mah jongg
  • Saturday – rest day, walk
  • Sunday –  Upstate Classic Half Marathon

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – The Thankful for Running Post
  • Friday – Why Turkey Trot?

I am linking up with Kim and Deborah for

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

Happy Running! How is your running going? Any races run or planned? Has the weather been fall-like where you live

Summer Smith Memorial 5k Race Recap

ssm5k

October 22, 2022 – 10:00 am – The Crossings

This was the 7th year for this 5K race which is organized by the mother of one of the STEM runners who died of an overdose after completing her first 5k. This is her story – https://www.summersmith5k.com/summer-s-story

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I was in the middle of training for a November 15k race and a half marathon…

However, I just had to do this race. I knew that there would be many other runners and volunteers from the STEM program. I wanted to support this cause and I am fortunate to have known and run with Summer.

The first 4 years that I ran this race, it was held at the end of May and started at a local High School.

Due to COVID, the 2020 race was cancelled (but run virtually) and in 2021, the date was changed and the location was switched to The Crossings.  The Crossings is not my favorite place to race. I have run there so often but it is what it is.

2021

I guess they decided that this was a better date and location since this year’s race was held again in October and at The Crossings.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

It was a few weeks after a half marathon (Oct. 2) and a few weeks before another half marathon (Nov 20).

So I’ve done the short runs on weekdays. It was a little challenging this week since I was in NYC and then Rochester.  But I got it done.

And long runs on the weekend? 13.1, 8, 3.1 miles…

I carb load with pizza whether it is 13.1 miles or 3.1.  I also wear a similar outfit:

always a skirt and compression calf sleeves!!

Race Day:

The race, as previously mentioned, started at The Crossings where there are real bathrooms, easy parking, and ample room to hang out before and after the race.

I arrived early just to make sure I got parking. I had already picked up my race packet on Thursday after I returned from Rochester.

Honestly, I didn’t really want to run a race.  I know, that sounds strange coming from me.  But I was pooped having spent two days in NYC and two days in Rochester this past week.  (I don’t sleep well and even worse in hotels.)

I knew once I got there, my mood would change.

Several who were in Summer’s STEM group (that I had mentored) were there. It was pretty emotional. I still get teary-eyed when I think about her.

Unfortunately, for the first time, there were no STEM participants running this race as their first 5k.  That was disappointing. I hope the program resumes in the spring.

This race is always one of the most organized races I’ve run. After you got your bib, you got a bag labelled with your name with a shirt and other swag. (There was also packet pick up two days before at Fleet Feet which I had taken advantage of.)

There were tables with representatives from relevant organizations (alcohol & drug abuse) also giving out freebies.

There were also many many raffle items and this year, I remembered to bring $$.

Before the race (at 9 am), there was a prayer, dedication ceremony and many speeches.

followed by a balloon release.

31 balloons were released for Summer (that was her age when she died).

Then purple balloons released for the others who also lost their lives due to drugs or alcohol.  Probably not a dry eye in the crowd.


The ceremony was followed by music and a kids race.

I waited around and chatted with many of the runners that I knew and two whom I haven’t seen since the last STEM race.

Kim (center) was a participant and Annette a mentor.

The race’s start was delayed until 10:15 so I had some coffee and something to eat (my breakfast was at 6 am)

I also talked to my former Freihofer & Troy Turkey Trot Training Challenge coach (who was timing the race.)

As you can see, it was very cool (low 40s) before we started the race. I had on a jacket, two shirts, arm warmers and gloves.

Then the sun came out and I wisely took off my jacket, arm warmers, gloves and even my long sleeved shirt.  There was no bag check so I just hid them under a tree.

The course:

Image

a 3.2 loop around the park

Elevation according to my Garmin:

looks hillier than it was… mostly flat with some rolling hills

I have run this 5k route for several races … and it’s never been one of my better 5ks. But you never know.

Mile 1:

I lined up pretty close to the front since there were many slower runners and walkers in this race. It was not chip-timed (from the start) either.

I just did the best I could.  Not PR fast but I wanted to finish with a respectable time.  With the chilly temps and no warm up, my legs felt like lead at the beginning.  There was a lot of support along the course.  Friends of the families who lost loved ones to drugs were holding signs in their memory.  I was glad that I was running to support this charity.

It felt really hard to breathe. I thought it was the cold air.  But probably when I look at my pace, as usual I started out too fast. The course was a loop and the trees were at peak color.  Running into the wind was a bit annoying.

Mile 2:

The rolling hills started during this mile.  I slowed down and I felt a lot better  The crowd also spread out and I was following a women in red most of this mile. She kinda acted as my beacon.

As per usual, I stopped to walk at the beginning of this mile.

This was a water stop so I stopped again and grabbed a cup.

The crowd support was great.  Every volunteer that I passed who carried a sign (for a loved one lost to drugs/alcohol), thanked me for running the race.

Mile 3-3.1:

Ok now I was getting tired.  I probably could have dragged myself through the last mile and not walk. But I always felt energized after a quick walk and I did.

But as I got closer to the finish line, I walked one more time.

Finally the finish line was in sight, I gave it all I had (which wasn’t much at this point).

I looked at the clock and it said 28:XX. Phew!

I was pleased. I knew all the walks would definitely prevent me from having a sub 28 finish. I never considered a PR.

Post Race:

I hung around for awhile, chatted and then looked at the results.

I was starved since I had eaten breakfast 5 hours ago so I had some chocolate milk, a brownie and pizza.

I did win my age group. I was surprised because it was 60-69 (and I am 69.)  And the lady in red who was ahead of me?  Apparently I passed her at the finish line and she was in my age group!  (And yes, she pointed that out to me!)

By the time, I got back to my car, changed my shoes, it was almost noon.  I really did not feel like running anymore… but I did drag myself around the park and a trail to add some more miles to my legs.

Additional Race Reflections:

I was happy to support this charity. Plus the race was so well-organized. There were over 200 participants. Many who have overcome drug or alcohol addiction.

I am so humbled by the STEM women and others who have overcome adversity. And I am glad to have been a part of their lives.

Tyler has WON this race 6 years in a row honoring his brother. 

Positives:

    • Ample parking.
    • Well marked course.
    • Varied park scenery.
    • Indoor restrooms
    • Flatish course.
    • Immediate results.
    • Chocolate milk.
    • Many familiar faces.
    • Crowd Support
    • Great Post-race Refreshments (pizza!)
    • Important cause.

Negatives:

    • Too familiar a course
    • Annoying uphills and WIND
    • No photos
    • Same medal as previous years (and no date on it)
    • No speedwork to prepare (my fault)

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. Great organization. Great cause!!!

It will in the spring again (I believe) and back on its original course.

Final Stats:

Splits:

4 walks in a 5k?? Geez…

Next Up:

a 15k  on November 13 and another half marathon on November 20.

Stockadeathon – 15K Road Race

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Happy Running! What is your favorite charity to support for a race? Do race because of the cause?

runner-sig

 

 

 

 

 


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

Weekly Run Down for 10.16.22-10.23.22: Travelling Week

Yup, on the road again.

The highlight of my week was going to NYC!

My least favorite part of the week was a work trip to Rochester, NY.

Oh, I also managed to squeeze in a 5k race on Saturday.

Last Week:

  • Sunday – I took the train down to NYC where I spent a lovely day.

I had lunch with some college friends and then we visited the Morgan Library.

We were all French majors so it was appropriate to see Le Petit Prince exhibit and most of us had also read The Personal Librarian.

Afterward I went to the top of Summit One for views of the city at sunset.

just breath taking

I ended the day in Bryant Park with Cari.

notice our healthy dinner

  • Monday – Rain was in the forecast but Cari and I crossed our fingers that we could get a dry run done in Central Park before she had to go to work.

and we did!!

It started to sprinkle but not enough to deter me from some more leave peeping miles in the park.

The sun peaked out by the time to head to my museum visits.

First a quick one to Cooper Hewitt (since it was on the way and free.)

Then on to the Jewish Museum (which surprisingly was free too). There was a special exhibit on the 60’s (and I’m old enough to remember them) among other things.

I took the subway back to my  hotel to check out.

My final stop was to another friend’s apartment before heading home.

  • Tuesday – Back to work. No time to run until after work.

I didn’t pay attention to the temps and I was quite chilly

  • Wednesday –  This afternoon I had to drive to Rochester for work (3 1/2 hours.) After checking into my hotel, I wanted to run on the Erie Canal trail before dark. I was staying a different hotel than I usually do so I asked the desk clerk where to go. She pointed out the trail and told me to park in the hospital parking lot.

Oh, it was COLD and raining so I think she thought I was nuts.

just drizzling most of the time but then it started to pour and I took cover in a nearby REI store (where I should have parked. lol)

I had to return to my hotel to change out of my wet clothes before heading out to dinner .

  • Thursday – On my way home from Rochester, I decided to squeeze on one more run. This time I headed to where I used to park (Schoen Place) to run on the Erie Canal..

It was dry but overcast and windy.

cold… but still so pretty

One last stop before leaving Rochester:

never too cold for Abbotts!!

Once home, I had to pick up my race packet and stop at Trader Joes (for flowers and everything pumpkin lol)

  • Friday – Rest Day!! No mah jongg due to COVID exposures but time to unpack, carb load and get together a #flatme.

  • SaturdaySummer Smith Memorial 5k. I was pooped from all the travel this week and wasn’t feeling the run. But as soon as I got there my spirits lifted.

There were some speeches, many raffle items, memorial balloon launch and tears by many (who knew Summer or anyone who died due to drug/alcohol addiction.)

perfect weather (except for the wind) and I managed to win my age group but didn’t win any of the raffle items

I never regret a race…but my legs were not happy adding more miles after.

it warmed up nicely and the wind died down

Finally got to celebrate my stepson’s birthday with a dinner out.

  • Sunday – I need to do some leaf peeping before it was past peak. But I need to get out early before the crowds hit.

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday –  run
  • Tuesday – rest day, walk
  • Wednesday – run
  • Thursday – run
  • Friday – rest day, vet visit, mah jongg chez moi
  • Saturday Long Run
  • Sunday –   hiking?

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Summer Smith Memorial 5k Race Recap
  • Friday – Runfessions

I am linking up with Kim and Deborah for

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

Happy Running! How is your running going? Any races run or planned? Has the weather been fall-like where you live

Great Pumpkin Challenge 5K Race Report

There’s an interesting story behind this race.

Early in my running life, in 2010, I mentored a group of women who wanted to run a 5k. I had already run several 5ks at that point.

After their 5k, they signed up for a 10k. I had never run that far nor did I intend to but they begged me to run it with them. It was the Great Pumpkin Challenge 10k.

Right before the race, I had a terrible migraine (and never had one since) and wound up in the ER with scary high blood pressure.

I was so disappointed (and pissed) that the next day, I signed up for my first half marathon.  (My motto was “Life is too short. Just do it!”)

And I ran it in January of 2011 (I told no one but my hubby that I was doing it since I was afraid that I would fail. Says the runner who has since run over 60 of them. LOL)

So I guess this race was a turning point for me.  I realized that you are capable of more than you think.

I went back to eventually run the Pumpkin Challenge 10k.  In fact, I ran it 4 times from 2014-2017.

I remembered that each time that I ran the 10k, I had wished that I could stop after the 5k.  The 5k was rather flat and the 10k was all hills.

So this year, I decided to run the 5k (and then run in the park for fun after to add extra miles.)

Though I have run 7 half marathons already this year, I have also run eight 5ks (see my stats below:)

PR = 27:04 – Back in 2018.

Based on my recent 5k efforts, I had no PR dreams as old age has set in.

And I don’t train for my 5k races. I never do any speed drills. But if the other old ladies didn’t show up, I could maybe win an AG award.

My hope for the race was enjoy it, to finish uninjured and have enough in the tank to run more miles after the race. (My next half marathon is 4 weeks away.)

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

Surprisingly I had time to run 3 times during week.

My legs felt pretty good even though it was only two weeks after running 13.1 miles.

Race Day:

I hate figuring out what to wear in the Fall. It’s chilly in the morning and then it warms up and I’m always overdressed.

I wore long sleeves because I liked the shirt (from 2014’s race) and hoped I wouldn’t be too warm..

I ate my usual race breakfast (coffee & oatmeal) and then headed up to Saratoga (about 45 min. drive)

This used to be a very popular race with about 1500 runners. But with a three year absence, I wasn’t sure how many runners would be there.

So I left for the race early in case I had to park where I needed walk a long distance to the start.  It was quite easy to find the race parking.

The race was to start at 9:30 and I got there at 8:15 am. I parked in the parking lot near the finish line. It was still in the 30s so kept on my jacket.

the fog still hadn’t burned off

I immediately ran into runners that knew.

I picked up my bib and race shirt. One of my friends didn’t get a shirt so I gave her mine. I have a zillion.

twinning

Luckily there was a fire place and hot coffee. There were also real rest rooms.

But eventually I had to head to the start line. I put my jacket in bag check and voted for my favorite pumpkin.

I lined up with some other runners that I knew. They were all running the 10k.

I also bumped into another Skirt Sports ambassador.

No need to be up front since the race was chip timed.

Both the 5k and 10k started together at 9:30 am.

Course map:

blue is the 5k course and green, the 10K (apparently the 10k course was a little different this year)

post-race according to my Garmin

5ks are so short that I barely remember what happened.

Mile 1:

Usually I struggle not to start out too fast. Not today. I felt like I was running in cement boots. I just couldn’t get up enough speed.

I was chilly at first and wished that I had kept on my gloves.  But eventually (as I knew I would) I warmed up.

from the last one in 2017

I didn’t realize until after the race that I wore the running shoes that I wore for my half. I usually do shorter races in lighter shoes. Oops.

The course was a mixture of dirt paths and roads… all very scenic (except for the part running around the SPAC parking lot).

Mile 2:

I tried not to walk but around 1.5 mile, I gave up on that idea.

Mile 3-3.1:

There was a water stop during this mile since we were almost done, I skipped it.  Most likely this was for the 10K runners.

I think there was slight hill or I was just losing steam and I walked again.

It was such a relief when the 10k runners kept running and we could turn right and finish the 5k race.

As soon as I saw the finish line line, I sprinted but could only manage 28:xx.

Post Race:

The refreshments were in the pavilion near the fire. I grabbed some pasties and fruit (there were tons and mostly homemade).

I watched some of my friends finish the 10k…

and then we all chatted while waiting for the results to be posted.  If I didn’t win, I wanted to take off so I could get in some more miles

I came in 2nd.

It turned out that my friends also won an award.

the awards were cool wine glasses

more happy winners!!

I was pooped but the weather was too nice to head home.  Besides my training plan called for 9 miles today.

I moved my car several times.  There was a high school track meet going on plus I wanted to see the foliage, geysers, springs in several parts of the park. I ran some and walked some and finished with this:

random food truck with warm homemade pumpkin bread pudding – YUM!!!

Additional Race Reflections:

The weather was chilly but turned out to be great for running. I always enjoy the race atmosphere.  This one did not disappoint.

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

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

What was disappointing was that there were no miles in 8:XX (not even the first mile).  Was it the shoes?  Or was it just not my day?

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

Positives:

  • Ample parking.
  • Well marked course.
  • Varied park scenery.
  • Both 5k and 10 options.
  • Virtual option offered.
  • Indoor restrooms nearby
  • Flatish course.
  • Immediate results.
  • Great age groups award swag
  • Lots of homemade baked goods
  • Hot coffee pre race
  • Fireplace to stay warm
  • Lots of familiar races.
  • Peak foliage

Negatives:

  • Crowded park since a high school cross country meet was happening at the same time
  • Wrong shoes

Would I recommend this race?

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

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

Final Stats:

Splits:

only 2 walks!!

Next Up:

A local 5k on Oct. 22

7th Annual Summer Smith 5k Addiction Awareness Memorial Run 

a local 15k on Nov 13

Stockadeathon – 15K Road Race

and then a local half marathon on Nov. 20.

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

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

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Weekly Run Down for 10.9.22-10.16.22: Back to Shorter Distances

I have break from running half marathons.  My next one is not until Nov 20 with a 15k the week before.

So why not run a 5k race two weekends in a row?

The first one was this past Saturday.

Last Week:

  • Sunday – Our boat is away for the season so I took advantage of the free day to volunteer at our local half/marathon.

I had so much fun!!!

hanging with some other volunteers

My assignment was to give out water at the finish line.

I got to see all the half marathoners finish.

I got to see the speedy marathoner including the winners (with course records.)

The best part was seeing a friend PR and BQ, I got to give him his medal and a big teary hug.

and the weather was PR perfect

  • Monday – A Holiday so a Day Off!

I started the day with a run at Vischer Ferry Preserve.

followed it with a walk on many of the trails. 9 miles for the day and the country store was closed so no post-run/hike snack 😦

Ended it with a wake (for my running friend’s FIL.)

  • Tuesday – Rest Day since I was busy at work and I had a hair appt after work.
  • Wednesday – Squeezed in a run at lunch

Looks like Fall, feels like Summer!!

and then after work, I met my tennis friends for a dinner out.

even though I no longer play tennis, it’s nice to keep connected with these ladies at our monthly dinners.

  • Thursday –  I had planned to go to the office and then after work drive to Six Mile Waterworks and run the loop.

With thunderstorms predicted, I decided to squeeze in my run at lunch and then go to the office.

windy and humid but NO RAIN!!

I did make the right decision as it started to rain when I got out of work.

  • Friday – Rest Day #2.  Evening mah jongg and getting my #flatme organized.

this is the race shirt from this race 8 years ago!

  • SaturdayGreat Pumpkin Challenge 5k

I’ve run the 10k several times but this was the first time for the 5k which was held in Saratoga State Park. We had perfect weather and it was so much fun hanging out with friends.

my legs felt like lead but still managed 2nd in my age group.

It was too nice a day to go home so I wandered around the park… some running… some walking… some driving

geysers, springs, waterfalls, pumpkins and more…

  • Sunday – Early morning train to NYC to meet my college buddies for lunch.

Park Ave Tavern - Review of Park Avenue Tavern, New York City, NY - Tripadvisor

We plan to spend the afternoon in the Morgan Library looking at the Belle and Little Prince exhibits.

I had booked a hotel room for an overnight stay so I will be free to explore the city.

SUMMIT One Vanderbilt Experience Ticket | New York City

Summit ONE.!!!

And of course, I plan to meet up with Cari. Stay tuned (and check IG for pix.)

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday –  DAY OFF – run in NYC, train home
  • Tuesday – run
  • Wednesday – drive to Rochester (for work), run?
  • Thursday – run?, drive home
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday Summer Smith Memorial 5k (+ more miles)
  • Sunday –   hiking?

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Great Pumpkin Challenge 5k Race Recap
  • Friday –  Girls Weekend Race-cations

I am linking up with Kim and Deborah for

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

Happy Running! How is your running going? Any races run or planned? Has the weather been fall-like where you live? Please share.