Weekly Run Down for 1.16.22-1.23.22 – Race Week!!

And just like that… It’s over. First big race of the year.

And appropriately it was held in my favorite city – New York!

Fred Lebow Manhattan Half-Marathon - NY, USA - Jan 23 2022 -

Last Week:

  • Sunday – I celebrated two anniversaries today:

with a frigid long taper run:

-3 but the lack of, the sunshine and the company of friends made it a good one

and a hike along a creek:

Vromankill trail @ Five Rivers

  • Monday – I t was Martin Luther King Day so I had the day off from work but the weather didn’t get the message. I woke up to this:

pretty, right?

But when I looked at the temps and the salt truck had gone by twice, I strapped on my yaktrax and off I ran.

It was 32 degrees and lovely. I only needed my yak trax to get down my snowy driveway.

I spent the rest the day baking, cooking, cleaning… much more tiring than the run…

pumpkin spice super hero muffins this time

  • Tuesday  – Just a few snowflakes today but very windy.  I had some time so I drove to get my lunch time run done.

it was in the 20s but with the wind it felt a lot colder… glad the sun was in and out.

  • Wednesday –  Holy Wind!! But too busy with work to run at lunch anyway.

But it was almost 40 degrees so I rushed over to UAlbany after work to run a loop before meeting friends for an outdoor mall mall.

It’s been a while since I’ve run after work… so glad I switched things up… Look at that sky!

  • Thursday – Colder temps were headed our way so I decided to get one last run in before the race. And a before work one at that…

no sunrise – totally overcast but it felt great to be out there before the temps dropped…

  • Friday – Brrr… the single digits were back.  (0 zero when I got up!!) Rest day. The first one this week. It was well deserved.

I packed, stalked the NYC weather one last time and then played mah jongg.

hoping that the forecast for Sunday doesn’t change too much

this will have to do… hidden is a skirt w/tights attached

  • Saturday – I got up bright and early and took the train to NYC. Of course, I like to stay busy while I’m there so after I checked into my hotel, I went out to lunch and then a Broadway show.  I had tickets for To Kill a Mockingbird (which I really wanted to see) but the show closed and I had to switch my tickets.

After the show, I went for a walk,  had dinner and called it an early night.

  • Sunday –  Race Day!  Fred LeBow Half Marathon!

I ran it and finished smiling… in between, there was a lot of grimacing on all those big HILLS!!

Even better than a race in NYC was a meet-up with friends Cari and Elizabeth.

They came to the race and then we had brunch afterwards.

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday – rest day, walk
  • Tuesday – run
  • Wednesday – run
  • Thursday – run
  • Friday -rest day, walk, mah jongg
  • Saturday Long Run  (training for another half marathon on 2/13)
  • Sunday – rest day, hiking

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Hiking 2021 Update
  • Friday – Runfessions

I am linking up with Kim and Deborah for

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

Happy Running! How is your running going? Any in-person races planned for 2022?  Have you ever raced in NYC?  What is your favorite city to run in? Please share.

Albany Last Run 5k Race Recap

December 11, 2021 5 pm

The Albany Last Run is a very popular local race. In fact, it always sells out (at 2000). The race starts with fireworks and then you run uphill, around the light displays in the park and it ends with a downhill. I have run it every year since 2010 (except in 2019 when I was injured and in 2020 when it was canceled) and it is one of my favorite races.

So this was my TENTH time running this race!!

Unfortunately, this is the LAST YEAR for the Holiday Lights in the Park.  That probably means it is the last year for this race. Sigh.

Here is a pic from a previous year:

One year, I ran this race in the rain. Another year, in a blizzard.  This was how I finished the race in 2017.

icy and very slippery!! and yes, that’s me on the ground!

I was hoping for better weather this year.  Could it be any worse??

Before the race

They used to give out windbreakers for this race and I have them in many colors.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

The previous weekend, I finally took a break from racing and did a 8 mile long run.

Otherwise, the two weeks before, I had run a 15k, half marathon and 10k.

I guess to complete the series, I needed to run a 5k.

I didn’t say “race” because it’s very hard to “race” this race due to the weather conditions, the crowds, the ruts in the roads, slippery cobblestone, etc.  My finish times are all over the place though my course PR may have been back in 2010 (29:15) and PW 7 years later in 2017 (35:08).

Of course, I debated about what to wear… I always like to look festive. But rain was predicted…

And then the temps were supposed to go up to 60 degrees.  I almost switched to a skirt.

Due to the fact that this was the last year for this race, it did sell out!

To save time, I went to the race headquarters on Wednesday night and picked up my race packet.  In fact, I picked up 9 of them (for the others in my running group).

As in previous years, the shirt was uni-sex and TOO big!

and ugly gray…

Race Day:

I decided to keep my original race outfit but with a lighter shirt under my long cotton tee shirt.

Most of the group carpooled together because we were having a pot luck party after and wanted to leave our food off there before the race.

We parked in the underground parking garage. Super easy (though it did cost $5).

Immediately I ran into so many runners that I knew. Everyone comes for this race.

As usual, we wanted to take pre-race photos.  And a radio station was taking them and said they were send them to a phone.  We took many goofy group ones. (It too a while but eventually we did get those pics/videos.)

It was so fun (even wearing masks) to see everyone and their costumes were so creative.

Were You Seen at The 25th Annual St. Peter's Cardiac & Vascular Center Albany Last Run 5K on Dec. 11, 2021, in downtown Albany?

photo from TU

Finally we all left our warm home to go outside

yes, there was a Santa Claus (or two or three)

and he took our pic.

and watch the pre-race fireworks:

they were awesome

Almost all of my friends were planning to walk the whole race. I had run through the park a few times already and had seen seen the lights.

So I decided that I would run the race and left my friends and headed toward the start.

This is the course map:

This is the elevation according to my Garmin:

Mile 1: 

I always forget that this race is not chip timed and I should start close to the front.  It was very crowded and so I just pushed my way in near a few runners that I knew were at my pace.

It was dark as I crossed the start line, I am not sure that I started my Garmin right away (but whatever.)

The race started with an uphill, went through the city before we entered the park. It was crowded at first and usually the crowd thinned out but it really never did. I unsuccessfully tried to run but just was weaving in and out. And the lights around my neck broke so I had to throw them aside (and I’m sure the bulbs got crushed).

Once in the park, we were running under the festive holiday lights.  Though the road was filled with ruts and cracks, it was much lighter than on the streets.  We hit our second hill and I would have normally been tempted to walk up the steep hill but I didn’t need to and actually picked up the pace.

There was a clock at every mile.  It seemed that my pace was not great but too bad and around 10 mm.

Mile 2: 

It was still crowded and I was passing some runners but since I felt like I was running slow due to the crowds. I was able to enjoy the lights and the crazy costumes worn by the runners.  I got positive remarks from spectators about my outfit, as well.

Image result for albany last run

from a previous year.

During this mile, I was really having fun!! I was running up the hills (slowly) but not stressing about pace. My biggest issue was that I was roasting!!! It was like 60 degrees. I took off my gloves, rolled down my arm sleeves but I definitely should have dressed differently.

I took these pics the other day when I ran through the park.

The whole time I was running, I kept looking at the ground trying to avoid cracks and uneven pavement and keeping an eye out for potholes and NOT FALL!! So far so good.  It was so nice that the roads were dry.

According to the clock, I was running about the same pace as mile 1.

Mile 3 – 3.1: 

Finally around mile 3, there was enough space to actually RUN. We continued our loop out of the park (the last hill) and then out onto the dark streets and down the hill to the finish line.


Who doesn’t love a downhill finish?

However I made to sure to carefully sprint and I crossed at 31:XX (GT).

I was happy. I ran almost the whole thing!! And I did not fall!!

Post Race Activities:

I waited around at the finish line as others finished.

yes, of course Santa ran the race

Then all of a sudden, I saw two of my group – Heidi and Chris.  They had decided to run the race instead of walking it with the others.

We were sweaty so we went inside to stay warm,

glad we decided to take this pic since it took several days to retrieve the others.

I grabbed some water but there were only bananas and apples and we had a pot luck dinner planned for after so I didn’t eat anything.

Soon the walkers returned and we all headed out to our cars.  I was pretty sure none of us won any awards.

I finished 9th (in10 year age group) out of 85)

An after party has been an annual event with my running group.  But this year, it was also a going away party for Jenn who was moving away.

It was a fun time with lots of food and a cake.

Additional Race Reflections:

Yes, it was my slowest 5k this year but one of the most enjoyable 5ks that I ran. It was a great way to get into the holiday spirit and connect with other runners.


  • well organized (including packet pick-up)
  • creative costumes
  • fireworks
  • scenic course (holiday lights)
  • live race
  • ample parking
  • warm place to hang out before and after the race
  • Real restrooms
  • lots of familiar faces
  • my running friends were there
  • NO RAIN or SNOW!


  • Gun Time not Chip time
  • Unisex shirts
  • 10 year age group awards
  • Slippery/ruddy roads
  • Refreshments (just apples & bananas)

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. Yes.  Definitely a must do if you live near Albany, NY.  Even fun to walk it and enjoy the light displays.

Obviously this race will not be happening again. Maybe something similar will be planned during the holidays for next year?

Final Stats:



no walk breaks?

Next Up:

Another local running organization has scheduled a few free races of varying distances called the Winter Series.

Dec 12 – 5.5k or 15k

Jan 1 – 3.75 m or HM
Jan 9 – 3m or 10k or 10m

Then a half marathon:

Jan 23, 2022

Happy Running?  Did you run in a holiday race this year?  If you did, what did you wear? 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 12.5.21-12.12.21: The Last Last Run

One of my favorite races has always been the Albany Last Run where we run 3.1 miles through the holiday lights in Washington Park.  This race happened for the last time on Saturday night.

There will no longer be lights during the holidays in this park.  (Complaints about traffic…) I am assuming that this 5k race will no longer be held as a result.

Last Week:

  • Sunday – A beautiful fall day. Perfect for a hike at Thunder Mountain in Greenwich, NY.

  • Monday – A rainy morning and afternoon. Luckily it was not raining during lunchtime so I could get in my run. It wasn’t cold but the wind sure made it feel that way.

the wind even blew off the skeleton’s hat (bottom left)

  • Tuesday  – Another run through the lights in the park. This week, I had company and it was so much more fun than doing it alone.

2 miles solo and 3 with Alyssa

  • Wednesday – A rest day and an ugly weather day. Even snow was predicted.

I woke up to snow on the ground but luckily the sun came out mid-day and it all melted.

Anyway it was a busy work day.

After work, I went to pick up my race packet for Saturday’s race.  I also picked up packets for my friends (like 9).

Then I went for a walk nearby with friends and it started to snow again.

It was also the NYC Half Marathon Lottery day.  They had recently announced that if you were not double vaccinated, you could not run the race. I was hoping selfishly that it made my chances better (judging from the angry FB posts.)

boo! maybe next year…

  • Thursday – Again I woke up to snow but this time several inches.  Fingers crossed that I would be able to run later.

I had a dentist appointment today and when I was done, I had enough time to get my run done on the rail rail before darkness.  Always a treat not to have a mid-week run done at Ualbany (or in my boring neighborhood.)

mostly clear but slippery in parts – combined this route with some new neighborhoods

  • Friday – Another rest day (due the next day’s race).  The evening was spent with the mah jongg ladies.

Hmmm…60 degrees and rain predicted…do I change to a skirt?

  • Saturday – A rainy day!! And Race Night. Albany Last Run.  This is always a good time (not referring to finish time lol) because all my friends run it. And it never rained until later that night!!!

Afterward, we all gathered for a pot luck dinner and a farewell to one of our friends who is moving away.

  • Sunday – The first local (free) Winter Series Race was held today.  Always a hard decision. Do I run it? Or do I do my 8 mile long run? Or skip both options and just go for a hike.

Well, the sun was shining and I looked at the list of those signed up and they had all run the night before too…so why not?

I did not run the 15k which was another option in this race but I did come in 3rd in the 10 year AG (though they only gave out prizes for 1 & 2)

It was so much fun since it was smaller (150 vs 1500) and I was able to chat with so many runners.

After some soup, cookies and hot chocolate, I set out to compete more miles so I could count it as a long run.

my legs were more tired than I thought and the wind picked up so I called it at 7 for the day.

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday –   run at lunch, volunteering
  • Tuesday – run at lunch, after work BBF birthday dinner
  • Wednesday – rest day,  after work dinner out with walking friends
  • Thursday – run before work, tennis holiday party
  • Friday -rest day, mah jongg or full moon hike
  • Saturday Long Run, Holiday dinner with family
  • Sunday – rest day, hiking, anniversary mah jongg sinner

and a few of us bloggers are offering a fitness challenge starting next week.  Please join us!

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – 2021 in Bling
  • Friday – Big Hairy Goal for 2022

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?  Did you run a Turkey Trot? Please share.

Troy Turkey Trot 10K Race Recap

Image result for troy turkey trot 2019

November 25, 2021 8 am

This was my 6th 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 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. This year, I was not as crazy. Just the10K as in my first year.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

I had signed up for the Turkey Trot Challenge but after two group meetings, I quit.

too late, too dark, no real coaches… yada yada

So there was no training for this race.  I considered it just a fun event to get outdoors’ meet up with other runners 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

However, I ran a hilly half marathon just four days before the race and did a short run two days prior. During that short run, 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 a smile would make me happy!

2015, my PW

I picked up my bib the previous Saturday so I didn’t have to rush on race morning. The pick-up location was different for the first time (Italian Community Center) and a drive through… Traffic back-up so not a good idea (but it is what it is.)

and a unisex shirt that’s too big

I carb loaded with pasta (instead of pizza) Wednesday evening and planned my Thanksgiving running outfit. I tried to be festive but also comfortable for the running weather that day:

2 shirts or one? capris or skirt or tights?

Race Day:

Things didn’t start out great.  I didn’t sleep well the night before and the my alarm did not go off. Luckily my cat woke me up at 6:15 am.  But I had planned to leave at 6:30 in order to arrive early to get parking. So I got quickly dressed, choked down my coffee and cream of wheat (instead of oatmeal). I checked the weather. Yikes! 25 degrees.  I grabbed a vest and sprinted out the door.

One advantage of leaving a little later than planned was the beautiful sunrise during my drive

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 that I knew.

obligatory pre-race photo

and together we walked a few blocks to the Atrium where we could wait indoors for the race to begin.


pic from a previous year but it’s the same start

There was no bag check and you had to wear a mask as you waited indoors (due to COVID, of course). Still there were indoor rest rooms and lots of runners hanging out. I was nice to be able to bump into  runners that I had not seen in awhile.

Tom and I used to see each other at many races (and he is known for this “power’ pose)

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

Participants gather in the Atrium for the 2016 Troy Turkey Trot in Troy, NY, on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. (Michael P. Farrell/Times Union)

inside the Atrium (a previous year) – so many more runners that year and you were allowed to hang out on both floors

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

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


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. You had to wear a mask until you crossed the start. And everyone was!!

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 past years (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 a\that the legs were still sore from those hilly 13.1 miles on Sunday. I tried to pick up speed but the legs were begging me not to try.

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

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. My face and hands were cold.  In fact, it took half the race before my hands warmed up.  Even though my hands and face were cold, I was getting warm with the extra layer. I guess  could have left the vest off.

I didn’t have to look at my watch to know that I was running too slow to PR. I wasn’t sure if I would even finish under one hour. Besides, timing clocks were placed at every mile showing the gun time so I couldn’t even ignore my pace if I wanted to.

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 since I wasn’t that thirsty so I skipped it.

There was decent crowd support even on this cold day. 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 Elisa 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 Nancy (who is also much faster than I am) came up behind me.  She also seemed to have a lot of speed left in her legs.

I lost them both but finally I was warm enough to take the gloves off and unzip my vest.  With the Hudson river in view, I knew that I was getting toward the end.  I decided not to eat my GU and skip the next two water stops.  I also normally walk a few times during a race so that I can finish stronger. But today, I just wanted to finish even if it meant a PW.

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

My friend Holly was on the side line cheering me on but I had a hard mustering up any real speed.

I tried to cross under 1 hour but sadly, I did not. There was no zip left in this girl’s step.

Yup, a course PW for sure (but chip timed so my finish time would still be under 1 hour.)


must have seen the photographer lol

Post Race Activities:

I grabbed a bottle of water and they gave you a medal wrapped in plastic.  The only refreshments were a Kind bar (again due to COVID).  No age group awards handed out either. They would be mailed if you won.

 I hung out for awhile chatting with more friends.

Carolyn on the right is my age and my competition.

I bumped into Elisa again and we decided to stop for coffee on our walk back to our cars.

I was used to hanging around to run the 5k so it was strange to be done running. And it was even too cold (without a coat) to stay and cheer on the 5k runners.

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.

that is the back of my hat… I had many compliments on that as runners ran by me.

This may have been the first race that I did not walk at all.  Here’s what I learned:

  • Successful racing is not about running without walking. Hey, Jeff Galloway BQed by running intervals.
  • I am faster when I take walk breaks.
  • You can build endurance with longer runs not by skipping the walks during your run.


  • The weather = chilly but no wind so still nice for racing
  • Race organization – considering COVID restrictions, it was very well organized.
  • Race location – place to stay warm indoors with indoor bathrooms
  • 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.
  • Custom masks given to all participants
  • Lots of media coverage.
  • A real race.


  • Bottles instead of cups at water stops.
  • Unisex shirts
  • No bag check
  • Minimal post-race refreshments
  • No immediate results
  • You have to BUY the photos

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.)

Usually 10,000 participate in these races. The attendance was still over 5,000 this year. A very fun way to start the holiday.

Final Stats:


surprise, surprise…positive splits!! (and I started my watch a few seconds late)

NO WALKs but a lot of slowdowns

When I got home, I checked the results and guess what? I actually won an age group award for the first time in this race.

They are mailing them this year. I’ll let you know what I get. Hopefully not a medal.

even more interesting to look at the age graded results. wish more races published this.

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

Next Up:

A fun local 5k.

Albany Last Run 5K Race Reviews | Albany, New York


Then in February, I will be running a half marathon in Florida.

12th Florida Marathon and Half Marathon (Publix Florida Marathon & 1/2) 2021. Melbourne, Florida, USA. February 2021 | LetSportPeople.com


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

I’m also linking up here:

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

Weekly Run Down for 11.21.21-11.28.21: Turkey Trotting

Recovering from the half marathon with a Thanksgiving 10k, followed by a huge dinner with the family.

No Black Friday shopping as I had to work.

Winter arrived here on the weekend. 😦

Last Week:

  • Sunday – Upstate Classic Half Marathon. The 2nd time for this race and the 3rd time running this hilly course in Altamont, NY. As usual, 13.1 miles of hills were a challenge but a fun event.

age group award Woo Hoo!!

  • Monday – #nevremissamonday again was a recovery day.  Happy to report that the legs felt fine. I took a walk at lunch and then volunteered after work.

I have had a string of good luck lately: found $20 during a run, won 4x at Mah jongg, and….

I WON!!!! And I chose Amazon… Thanks so much Zenaida ❤

  • Tuesday  – I was able to squeeze in a chilly lunch run so I could meet friends for an after work walk.

although it was sunny, the wind made it seem colder than the temps and my legs reminded me that I had just run 13 miles of hills

  • Wednesday – Another rest day in preparation for the 10k the next day.

try to be as festive as possible…

  • Thursday – Race Day! Troy Turkey Trot 10k (and only one race today this year!). Always feels great to run on Thanksgiving Day and then eat back all the calories you burned off and more.

tired legs = a course PW (yet I won an age group award

Obviously I was not the only blogger to be trotting:

great minds…

  • Friday – Back to work.  No shopping for me! A nasty cold rainy weather day so just mah jongg in the evening.
  • SaturdayLong Run Day! Glad to return to Saturday runs with the gang. But the weather decided not to cooperate.

woke up to snow on the ground, 15 degree wind chill temps and an IG post alerting us that the trail where we planned to run was a sheet of ice.

Most of my friends decided either to wait until tomorrow or run on the treadmill.  I decided to go out on my own and run on the rail trail.

Nope! Way too icy. Plan C: run a few loops of the UAlbany campus.

I was able to run around most of the icy spots but the wind was unbearable.  Luckily my friend Heidi came to the rescue and got me through he 2nd loop (and the pond loop) before we headed to Starbucks so I could thaw out my face and hands!!

I hate winter already!! Not the LONG run I had planned. 6.5 miles will have to suffice.

  • Sunday – Hiking Sunday lately has become Racing Sunday. I was excited to not have a race or run to do and to head out for a hike.

I got a late start as it was snowing and I was tracking my friend who was running her first marathon (in Florida.)

I had been here before but not in a while… a little muddy and the leaves were slippery but still happy to be out in nature.

to all those who celebrate!!

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday –  run at lunch, volunteering after work, walk with BFF
  • Tuesday – run after work with a friend
  • Wednesday – rest day, hair appt.
  • Thursday – run at lunch, walk after work with  friends
  • Friday -rest day, dinner with a friend
  • Saturday Long Run
  • Sunday – rest day, hiking

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Troy Turkey Trot 10k Race Recap
  • Friday – Ultimate Coffee Date

I am linking up with Kim and Deborah for

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

Happy Running! How is your running going? Any in-person races planned?  Did you run a Turkey Trot?  Any Black Friday purchases? Please share.

Upstate Classic Half Marathon Race Recap

yes, that’s me!

My fifth and final half marathon for 2021.

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

  • I had run the course twice before so I was familiar with 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:

If you follow my posts, you also know that I am not strict about following a training plan. 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.  As a result, I was lucky to have already run FOUR this year.

The difference in the training cycle for the race this year was that I didn’t have to run all my long runs solo.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

I did some short runs during the week prior to the race: Tues, Wed, Friday:

Packet pick up was easy peasy.  I just went to the race headquarters on Friday, drove in, gave them my bib # and they handed me a hoodie and a bib.  All was done outdoors.

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

My usual carb loading dinner was pizza, of course and then I tried to figure out what to wear.  It was forecast to be cold and cloudy. Similar to the weather in my last race but 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, capris/skirt, compression calf sleeves and gloves.

last year’s shirt and beanie

My biggest dilemma was what to do about water.  I hate to carry my water bottle but there would be no cups of water provided on the course, only table to fill up your own bottle. In the end, I grabbed a paper cup, flattened it and put that in my pocket, as I have done in other post-COVID races.

Race Day:

I woke up early and looked outside and it was SNOWING!!  It did not stick but I re-thought the race outfit and switched from a skirt and compression socks to tights (under a skirt).

I had my usual pre-race breakfast of oatmeal and coffee. The race didn’t start until 8:30 am but I was ready so I left at 7am. I thought about my race plan on the ride …

So what was the plan???

  • HM PR – 2:06:52 – no way!
  • Last HM – 2:16:05 – doubtful!
  • H2H April 2021 – 2:22:51 (same course)
  • Upstate Classic Nov. 2020 – 2:23:37 (same course but no watch)

Just finish.  No time goal!! But I would love to have improved my time on this course (so under 2:22:51).

The course:

A loop starting and ending in the same location.

and not flat… at all:

I got there an hour early and parked in a muddy parking lot and then sat in my car.  It was in the low 30’s and I wanted to stay warm until the last moment especially since there was no bag check.

Around 8am, I dragged myself out of my warm car toward the race start.

Brrrrr! I shivered but I got to connect with many runners that I knew. I was especially glad to see Alyssa whom I used run and race with all the time.

There was no staggered starts this time.  They called runners to the start line by pace.  We waited until they said “Everyone else” since it was chip timed anyway.

we seem to run all the same races

Anyway, here’s how the race went:

(Some pictures are from a previous race since the course was identical.)

Miles 1-3:

I started running with Alyssa so we could chat and catch up on things. I was familiar with this course since this was my 3rd time but 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. 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. 😦

the familiar dinosaur

I lost Alyssa (whose asthma was bothering her) but continued to run with some other friends.  So far the hills weren’t too bad. I could even run up them.

Miles 3- 6.2:

I skipped the first water stop. I had a paper cup in my pocket but it was a pain to get it out and I wasn’t hungry or thirsty yet.

Around mile 4, we passed by Indian Ladder Farms and the smell of fresh cider donuts filled the air.

I started to get hungry about that time and ate a GU but boy was I wishing I had some water.

The rolling hills continued.

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 and trying to pick up the pace on the downhill.

As soon as the big hills started, I lost my friends. And they continued to get farther and farther ahead.

I kept repeating to myself “Run your own race.” and “One foot in front of the other.”

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.

The second water stop was around the 10k point and this time, I did stop and had my paper cup filled.

The big hills seems to more frequent the second half of the race.

mile 6.3

Miles 8.75 – 11.1

It think there was another water stop around mile 8.75. I’m sure that I stopped and refilled my cup. I also 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.  (I had decided for the first time not to tape them and to risk getting blisters.)  My quads were getting achy from all the hills.  It’s always something. So I focused on the scenery which was very pretty…farms, mountain views, etc.

The course marshals were very enthusiastic. I knew many of them.  There were some families camped out 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. He asked me if I was coming back around.  I yelled “Hell no!”  (This race had a marathon too…two loops of this insanely hilly course.)

Miles 11.1-13.3

mile 11.1

More hills. They never seemed to end.  And one last water stop.  I just wanted to finish but I decided to fill my cup one last time.

Mile 13 seemed like a full marathon.   My legs just died. To make matters worse, there was one hill after another.  I walked most of this mile so that I could sprint across the finish line and not embarrass myself.

We were also running in a more trafficked area. It was annoying to keep moving over.

But eventually we turned into the fair grounds  And like that I was done.

I sprinted through the finish line and RD who was the announcer said a lot of cool things about me as I crossed the finish line.

Post Race Activities:

I immediately got my food – a boxed lunch but there was also a table of refreshments that looked more appealing – pastries, quiche, bread, etc.

That I went to see my results and found out that I came in 2nd in my age group.


Alyssa had also finished so we hung out at a picnic table and ate.  The sun had come out and it was a perfect Fall weather day.

Additional Race Reflections:

It seems that my recap above was a bunch of complaints.  But on the whole, the race was a really good experience. I have zero regrets in running it. And if you never run on hills, they are HARD. I walked them so I wouldn’t get injured. And I felt fine after the race.

In fact, my time was a lot better than I expected. In fact it was course PR – more than 3 minutes faster than in April on the same course.

It gives me hope that I could improve upon it on a flatter course. (It was more than 3 minutes slower than my last half marathon. lol)

The Good:

  • A Live Race!!!
  • Connecting with local runners.
  • Felt safe with the provided restrictions.
  • 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
  • A live race!!!

The Bad:

  • Hilly Course.
  • No water provided (unless you carried your own bottle).
  • Most of my running group did not participate.
  • Not trained for hills or racing (my fault).
  • Traffic during the last mile or so.

The Ugly:

  • Nothing really

Final Stats:

well, I had a decent first half of the race!!


did I walk 15 times?? They were ALL the uphills. lol

Would I recommend this race?

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

Next Up:

A Thanksgiving 10K

A fun local 5k.

Albany Last Run 5K Race Reviews | Albany, New York

Dec 11, 2022

Then in February, I will be running a half marathon in Florida.

12th Florida Marathon and Half Marathon (Publix Florida Marathon & 1/2) 2021. Melbourne, Florida, USA. February 2021 | LetSportPeople.com

Feb. 13, 2022

Happy Running! Run any big races in 2021? How did it go?  Did you set and meet your goals? Any planned for 2022? Please share.







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 14, 2021 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.


“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):

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

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 was really hard… That did not make me feel super confident for this race.

During the week before the race, I just ran my easy short runs…

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 with Sherry (who was also running the race) and then met the others for brunch.

beautiful morning but that ended and the rest of the rest of the day was miserable and rainy.

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.) As I mentioned above, it rained the rest of the day so I was forced to rest my legs.

long sleeved women’s tech shirt

I ate my usual pre-race pizza that night and got together my #flatme.

with the cold temps predicted, it was risky to wear a skirt and no jacket…but I hate to be too warm when running

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. There used to be (before COVID) a bag check and I could bring extra clothes for after and in case I changed my mind.

Even though I’ve been to this race several times before, I still left extra early.  Barbara and I had planned to carpool.  But she got sick and was not able to run. I got there and again found a spot on the street a few blocks from the start of the race. It would have been nice to wait indoors at the YWCA and chat with the other runners.  I was cold but I knew that if I dressed warmer, I would be too warm.

I texted Sherry when I got there and we met in the YWCA where race day bib pick-up was being held.  You had to wear a mask but even though you were not supposed to stay inside, no one seemed to care.  So we stayed there to keep warm until the race start.

Eventually we made our way to start area. It was organized and marked by bib number (which corresponded to your finish time.)

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. It was fairly flat but very crowded (with over 1,000 runners).

pic from The Gazette

I quickly lost my friends and just weaved my way through the crowd.

pic from The Gazette

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.

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.

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.

Images: Sunday's Stockade-athon 15k in Schenectady (44 photos) - The Daily Gazette

Eventually there was a second water stop.  No more cups!!!! They ran out!?  I almost brought a cup but we were told that we didn’t need to… grrrr!

Around mile 5, I finally decided to choke down my Gu (without any water).

pic from 2019

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.

Images: Sunday's Stockade-athon 15k in Schenectady (44 photos) - The Daily Gazette

pic from The Gazette

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.

I believe there was a third water stop but I don’t remember exactly where.  And there were cups. Hooray!

We proceeded to run through the cemetery and then through a park before heading DOWNHILL to the finish line at city hall. At this point, Renee (who I ran this race with two years ago) caught up to me.  We chatted and then she zoomed ahead.  My legs were shot by now.

One of reasons I love this race is that finish.

Images: Sunday's Stockade-athon 15k in Schenectady (44 photos) - The Daily Gazette

pic from The Gazette

I ran as fast as I could but I had lost quite a bit of time at the water stops and the hills.

That’s Renee…I’m the green speck in the distance

photo by Bill Meehan

I crossed the finish line at 1:35:XX.

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

But hey, I didn’t train and 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…)

Post Race Activities:

This year, instead of the food being inside at the YWCA, the same area as bag check and where we waited before the race, it was outside (another COVID restriction) and I was COLD!!  The sun had gone in and the wind had picked up. Brrrr.

One of my running friends was volunteering and she handed me a bag of goodies.

I also grabbed some chocolate milk and a cider donut. I checked the results (you just scanned a QR code with your phone). Awards would be mailed, I guess but I was not expecting one.

I was 7th in my AG

So I walked back toward the finish line to wait for Sherry. I watched many of my friends finish. Everyone was happy and especially grateful for the weather and to be racing again.

with El, fellow Skirt Sports ambassador

Sherry and I headed back to our cars. The others in our group did not run the race so we decided to skip brunch this year.

this would have to do as my post-race meal

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.


  • Safety restrictions in place
  • Ample parking.
  • Well marked course.
  • Great running weather.
  • Lots of familiar faces.
  • Interesting course (through the historic part of the city, neighborhoods, park, cemetery).
  • Downhill finish.
  • Friendly and abundant number of volunteers.
  • Chocolate Milk.
  • Crowd support
  • Three real water stops
  • The electric atmosphere.
  • Virtual option.
  • Instant results
  • Free photos
  • Gender-specific shirt
  • A real race.


  • Hills during miles 7-8
  • Ran out of cups at 2nd water stop
  • Outdoor refreshments
  • No bag check

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. It’s a great way to see this city…a little bit of everything.  And if COVID ever goes away, it will be even more enjoyable. I would recommend that you train on hills. lol

Final Stats:

positive splits!!!

My Splits:

water stop, Gu stop 2 hills, another water stop = my walks

I really enjoyed this race. The course was so varied that it also took your mind off the hills. With the large number of runners (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 and I just enjoyed myself treating it like a taper run. And nothing really hurt during and 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 … or maybe not.

Next Up:

A Half Marathon on Nov. 21!!!


Happy Running! Did you race this past weekend or do any other running? Do you ever run 15ks? Do you like them? 






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 11.7.21-11.14.21: A Taper 15k Race

One week until my half marathon!  That meant that I was in taper mode.

What not run 9.3 miles in a race??

Yes, that’s what I did.

Happy to report that the temps last week were not as cold as the previous week. But turning back the clocks was a real downer!! I am one of those runners that usually runs and walks after work. 😦

Last Week:

  • Sunday – While nervously tracking my friends running the NYC Marathon, I went on two hikes (Falling Waters Preserve and Opus40).  The weather was absolutely perfect for us all.
  • Monday – #nevermissamonday.  I was able to get my run done on the rail tail during my lunch break.

yes, the weather was as beautiful as it looked… I could have worn a skirt and short sleeves

After work, I had an appt to see if I could volunteer my time helping immigrant kids with their homework (I know I complain that I have no time to work out but it’s important for me to help others besides myself)

  • Tuesday  – Another opportunity to run in my ‘hood during lunch. I wanted to be able to walk after work with two friends. Unfortunately with the lack of light, we have to walk around the outdoor mall.

warmer but not as sunny as the day before…still a nice day for a run

  • Wednesday – Rest day. It rained early but it was a busy work day and I was only able to get outside for a walk after work with a friend.
  • Thursday – Day off from work for Veteran’s Day.  It was so nice to be able to linger over breakfast and then drive somewhere for my weekday run. I decided on the Colonie Town Park Bike Path since I hadn’t been there in awhile.

some cute kids were giving away their books for free and if you took one, you got candy…so cute. I couldn’t carry the book but got a kit kat anyway lol

I hung around after and did some exploring on the trails…

it clouded up up but the fall colors were still so pretty

  • Friday – Another rest day.  And a miserable rainy day it was. I walked at lunch and then played mah jongg (at my house) in the evening.
  • Saturday – Normally this is my long run day but instead I walked with my friends and then went out for brunch.

it was a beautiful morning but as soon as we were done with brunch, it started to rain and it rained ALL day.

I also picked up my bib for the next day’s race at our local Fleet Feet store and did some errands (in the rain).

Then I relaxed and carb loaded with pizza and tried to figure out what to wear for the race the next day.

30s – would I be too cold in a skirt an no jacket???

  • Sunday – Race Day! Stockade-athon 15K. It was my 8th time running this race, I always enjoy the varied course scenery, downhill finish and all the familiar faces.  It was harder than I remembered but the weather was great. Now that’s it’s over, I’m glad that I ran it. lol

positive splits per usual… not my worst 15k time but close

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday –  rest day, volunteering
  • Tuesday –  run at lunch, walk with friends
  • Wednesday – run after work, walk with BFF
  • Thursday – run at lunch, museum and dinner out with tennis friends
  • Friday -rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday – rest day, walk with friends
  • Sunday – Upstate Classic Half Marathon, pick up Turkey Trot bib, anniversary mah jongg dinner

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Stockade-athon 15k Race Recap
  • Friday – Why I am Thankful for Running

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? How is the time change affecting your running? Please share.

TT: What I Learned From My Worst Race

Next week’s topic is What did you learn from your worst race?

Ok, I am a week early again.  But I already posted last week about What I learned from my Best race.

Obviously, runners may disagree on the definition of a “bad” race.  It could have been a DNF, one that resulted in a injury, one with PW or just one that didn’t go as planned (re: finish time, weather, etc.)

I am going to talk about my Worst Half Marathon:

I cite this one as my worst not because it was a PW but it was a race that I was the most disappointed afterwards.

Santa Clarita HM (in CA) – Nov 2011

Here is what I learned from that race:

  • Over training is worse than under training.

2011 was the first year that I ran the half marathon distance and for this race, I really wanted to PR.

As part of my training runs, I ran a 13 mile run and also a half marathon.

Instead of being better prepared, my legs felt tired.

  • For Race-cations, bring clothes for all temps and weather conditions.

I checked the forecast before I left for CA, and it didn’t show rain for race day.

And of course, it poured for most of the race.

Now I always bring a poncho to at least stay dry while waiting for the race to start.

  • The goal for the race should NOT only be to get a PR.

Because that was my only goal, when I realized that it wasn’t possible, I gave up on doing my best.

The good news is that that was the first and last time that I’ve had a goal of PR for a half marathon.

My goal is now to enjoy the experience, do my best and finish uninjured.  As a result, I don’t get as disappointed.

  • Mental Preparation is just as important as physical.

When the weather turned out to be miserable, I mentally prepared myself for a bad race… and so I had one.

I thought it never rained in southern California

I have had rainy half marathons after that but I’ve changed my outlook – “It is what it is” and “maybe I’ll get to the finish line faster.”

before the Brooklyn HM… it was one of my better half marathons

  • After a disappointing race, move on and sign up for another.

or have a drink. LOL

the best Bloody Mary in LA – it helped us forget that race

I didn’t give up on half marathons after that race… I’ve run almost 50 more.

I’ve learned to always race with a smile (no mater what.)

  • Even in your “worst” race, there are positives.  Look for them. Savor them.

I ran the race with the sister of my good high school friend.

I visited many sites in LA and Santa Monica and also met up with two former students who had moved here.

Happy Running! What have you learned from your “worst” race? Please share. 


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.

TT: What I Learned from my Best Race

Next week’s topic is What did you learn from your best race?

Ok, I am a week early (but my tips for using a treadmill are “go outside.” lol)

First of all, how do you define your “BEST” race?

Is it a PR?  Is it one that you ran as planned?  Is it one that you had the most fun at?

I am going to talk about my Half Marathon PR:

Steel Rail HM – May 2017

Here is what I learned from that race:

  • Rest Days during the week before the race are important.

In fact, I need two before race day and no shakeout run on race morning.

  • Running All the Miles on the plan is not always necessary.

For me, that is over training. I’ve done better when I skip some of my long runs or shorten them (and run a 5k race).

  • Elevation matters.

I prefer flat but not totally flat. Hills but not too many or too steep. I have run one downhill race and it didn’t turn out great.

  • Walking is Okay.

I usually just walk at the water stops but that depends on how often they are. If I try not to walk, my pace slows down…a lot. Of course, that means you can’t walk slow or for a long time.

  • What you Wear matters.

For me, everything must match. lol.

I cannot be over dressed. I’d rather be cold. (I run warm.)

a tank to run in but always have warm clothes for after the race

My feet have issues. So I need new(ish) shoes!!

  • I need to Fuel my Body.

During a half marathon, I eat a GU every 3-5 miles.  Usually 3 during the race.  Sometimes even one before (if my breakfast was more than 2 hours earlier.) When I don’t eat enough, I don’t have the energy to run well.

  • A Watch does NOT make you faster.

This PR was at a race where my Garmin kept re-setting after mile 6 and mile 12 so I had no idea of my time until I crossed the finish line.

When I ran by feel, I didn’t slow down worrying that my pace was too fast and I need to save my legs for later miles. I just ran … for fun! No pressure, I think that made all the difference.

  • A Positive Attitude is essential.

Mind over Mater, right?  If you go into the race thinking negative thoughts, it will probably not be a good one.

I knew that this race did not have a challenging course as half marathons go. I had run the same course 7 months earlier and did well. So I entered the race relaxed and feeling good.

  • Anything can happen on Race Day!!

All of the above could be in place and you can have the worst race ever.

Feb 2021 – 30 minutes slower

The good news is that hopefully it will not be your last race and your best race could be right around the corner.

Happy Running! What have you learned from your “best” race? Please share. 


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.