Weekly Run Down for 7.19.21-7.25.21: Race Week

It feels good to say Race Week.

But actually it was just a 5k that I registered for on a whim.  Still it was a race.

With no days off this week, I had to work in the office for three days – Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

We’ve had record rain fall in July and the threat of rain most days continued this week as well.

Last Week:

  • Monday – Woke up to rain… AGAIN! (Wondering if I should build an ark.)

Back in the office so not much activity except for a drizzly lunch Starbucks walk around the mall

and then in the evening when my Freihofer Training Challenge (FTC) group run was scheduled.

The rain had stopped and it warmed up for us to run. I ran with two runners a not so easy 3 miles.

  • Tuesday – A busy work day at home but it was a rest day.  I started the day with a short walk.

the sky was hazy (from the forest fires out West) but the sun was amazing!!

And ended it with a long walk after with my friends. We again had to deal with the threat of thunderstorms.  But we got it done before the rain!!

  • Wednesday – Back in the office and the weather cooperated for a Starbucks/lunch walk. Finally a breeze and low humidity.

just love the colors of these petunias everywhere

After work, no ice cream run this week but instead the SOAR group run was offered at the new Electric Rail trail. I had run there before and it was not my favorite (uphill, no shade) but I hated to turn down the opportunity to run with other ladies so I went. Glad I did, of course. I made a few new friends and although it rained in many places, we stayed dry!!!

  • Thursday – Working from home today but too busy to run. So after work, I quickly ran a few miles

and then met Barbara to carpool to tonight’s ARE weekly Trail run. This week it was held at Indian Ladder Farms.. Grass, trails, hills and dinner after. A good time was had by all.

it was mostly fast walking but the miles count in my book lol

  • Friday – Our running group had a Moonlight Paddle scheduled that had to be canceled (flooding) so I decided to add in another short run before my mah jongg game.

Since I was in the office, I had planned to run at UAlbany.  Just like old times. But a friend asked me to run with her on the rail trail… so I met her there to run. There will plenty of UAlbany runs when I go back to the office full-time.

  • Saturday – LONG RUN Saturday was changed to a walk for me and then cancelled. Due to rain in the forecast for Sunday (and my race), I decided to go up to the lake with the hubby instead.

such beautiful flowers in this town

I did get in a walk around town but for the most part, it was sitting and reading and relaxing in the sun. Ahhhh!

the weather was perfect and even finished my book

  • Sunday – Race Day! FASNY 5k.
    I can’t that this was a good race or a successful one.

but the rain did stop and I liked the course.

(More details to come in a later post.)

I loved running n the beautiful park so that was the highlight of the morning.

this was also a big farmer’s market there with delicious treats.

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday –  FTC run
  • Tuesday – rest day, walk with friends
  • Wednesday – Ice Cream run
  • Thursday – ARE Trail Run
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday – LONG Run
  • Sunday – rest day, boating/hiking

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Running Solo
  • 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? Have you been experiencing summer temps where you live? Any vacations planned? Please share.

FFF: Returning to Racing

There was a LONG drought in racing due to COVID-19.

Some runners resorted to virtual racing. We know it was not the same but it helped with our mojo.

Virtual 5k with Cari, Kim and Deb

Others started back early when there were still restrictions.

Many waited until they got vaccinated.

Others still have have reservations about racing again.

I ran two in-person races in November and December of 2020.

and 8 more so far in 2021 (and a 5k this Sunday!)

I was never nervous about in-person racing and trusted that all the precautions in place would keep runners safe.  But it is definitely more enjoyable now that restrictions have mostly been lifted. (Still I can’t wait until things are totally back to normal!!)

Here are some of my tips for getting back into racing:

1. Start by running with others.

For so long you were probably running alone. The first step is to reach out to friends and plan some group runs.

2. Do some consistent mileage during the week and a long run on the weekend.

Without any races on your schedule, you may have skipped some of your runs.  Go out and run at least twice a week.

Add in a long run on Saturday or Sunday but it doesn’t even have to be very long.  It should just be longer than your weekday run.

3. Talk your friends into joining you. FOMO is real.

Not all my friends are excited about racing. But I am lucky to have a few that I talk into my insanity.

4. Buy something new.

A new outfit or new shoes will perk up your racing mojo.

new shoes = PR?

5. Do Your Research and Pick a Race that you are comfortable with. And SIGN UP!!

Some races still offer COVID-19 precautions. Some more than others.

Everyone that I know who has returned to racing has not regretted it!!!!

so many smiling faces at this race!!

Happy Running! Have you returned to racing? If so, what tips do you have?  Please share.

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

and add your link below:

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Firecracker 4 Race Recap

              July 4, 2021 9:00 am

Most of my weekend running friends usually run this race.

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

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

For some reason, when I went to Fleet Feet to pick up new shoes, they offered a $5 discount for the race and $5 coupon for the store.

I’m a sucker for discounts and I signed up!! I also have not run in Saratoga in a while and I’ve always enjoyed running there.

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

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

pic from 2018

It wasn’t exactly boating weather so he was cool with me racing.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

It was fun to plan a patriotic race outfit (and hope it stayed warm and dry.)

red white and blue tank, skirt and socks

To save time on race day, I picked up my race packet at Fleet Feet on Thursday before my evening trail run.

The weather during week preceding the race was crazy – oppressive heat and humidity and then rain rain rain rain. Who knew what race day would bring? The forecast was for cool and rainy….

It was weird to run on a Sunday instead of a Saturday and to not do a weekend long run.

I actually walked on Saturday while my friends ran

The only constant was pizza the night before the race lol.

Race Day:

My last race was also a 4 miler (I won my AG and had a PR).

But this race was going to be more crowded, more competitive, and hillier.  I was only planning to enjoy running with others and the excitement of a live in-person race. No finish time and award goals at all!!

I ate my usual oatmeal and coffee breakfast. Thankfully, the heat wave had ended (and hopefully all the rain).

I planned to leave early because I had no idea where to park. But my friend Heidi offered to meet me and drive us.  She wanted to leave from Leah’s Cakery (4 exits before the race) at 8:10 am. Of course, if you know me, I like to get to races early. I was planning on being at the race by 7:45!! But I agreed and hoped that we would not be sprinting to the start line.

It was raining lightly on my way to meet Heidi. But she was right.  We easily found parking on the street and arrived in plenty of time for the 9 am race.

We walked toward the start…

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

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

glad that I wore a tank since it was quite humid. Those DIY arm sleeves did not last on long.

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

Although the race director had hoped to get at least 3000 runners, there were only about 2000. Still it was my largest post pandemic race. And the first one without anyone wearing a mask or social distancing rules  enforced. There was not even a staggered start.

Everyone just lined up together. There was so much excitement in the air. Live racing rocks!!

Heidi headed toward the back since she was recovering form an injury and running slower. I stayed toward the front and chatted with some runners that I knew.

As I mentioned, I had NEVER run this race so I was planning on going with the flow.  The only thing I remembered hearing was that there was a BIG hill during mile 4.

course map

elevation according to my Garmin

Mile 1:

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

We began running down Broadway which was a slight downhill but eventually we did hit a hill before we turned left and ran past Congress Park.

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

Mile 2:

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

As we ran through neighborhoods, spectators enthusiastically cheered us on. One group sprayed us with a hose. I wasn’t super hot but it was humid and so it felt good.

There was a water stop and I did stop at it. They gave you a bottle of water. I and most runners, drank a little and then threw the bottle away. Volunteers had to spill out the water from each bottle. Such a waste but hey at least we didn’t have to carry our own water.

mile 2- never saw that photographer

but at least I WAS running lol

Mile 3:

We ran into a few rolling hills during this mile but none too bad. There were many different groups playing music. That was a nice distraction.

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

I was surprised that there was a second water stop since the race was only 4 miles. I did appreciate it and I took a bottle of water again. This time I walked longer. I felt a little dizzy and so I took a Gu (not for hunger but for the electrolytes.)

Mile 4:

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

Nope! I had to walk at least twice.

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

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

I sprinted as fast as I could at this point. I saw 36:xx on the clock as I crossed the finish line and was pleasantly surprised.

I do remember trying to beat the guy with the stroller. Did I stop my watch too soon??

Done!!!

Post Race:

I immediately went to grab a bottle of water. The only refreshments were bananas and so I grabbed one and ate it while I was waiting for Heidi to finish.

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

I chatted with a Holly, a runner that I used to race with all the time. (She ran the race but is suffering from a congenital blood disorder 😦 )

Eventually Heidi did arrive and she did much better than she hoped as well.

I checked the website to see if I won an age group award. Nope. 4th.  Not disappointed at all. In fact I beat Carolyn for the first time EVER in a race.

It was now starting to rain so we headed toward the car.

We decided to have brunch back at Leah’s where I left my car.  But it was closed for the 4th. Plan B was Lakeside Farms and a scrumptious lunch!!

On the way home I was feeling a little energetic or so I thought. I stopped at the Zim Smith bike path to see how many more miles my legs could still go.

The sun came out and my legs protested so I quit.

Additional Race Reflections:

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

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

But probably the most important factor was the weather.  Not much sun, a misty rain on and off and temps in the 60s.  Pretty perfect for running on a July 4th.

Positives:

  • Ample parking (parking garage and street parking)
  • Well marked course.
  • Lots of familiar faces.
  • Interesting course.
  • Friendly volunteers.
  • Music entertainment along the course.
  • Volunteers calling out times at each mile.
  • Enthusiastic spectators (sprinklers and ice pops)
  • Easy and organized packet pick-up on Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sun.
  • Real restrooms before and after and ample number of port-potties
  • Two water stops for a 4 mile race.
  • Free photos.
  • Awards (3 deep) for 5 year age group awards
  • Weather (not as hot as earlier in the week and fairly dry)
  • A real race.

Negatives:

  • Bottled water at the water stops (COVD safe but most was wasted)
  • Post-race refreshments (again COVID safe – but just bananas)
  • Steep hill at mile 4

Would I recommend this race?

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

Final Stats:

It was a 12 second PR!!!!!!!!! And the course was longer and hillier than the Rabbit Ramble.

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

At least my pace was more consistent than the last race.

2 waterstop walks and two hill walks.

Next Up:

A new 5k on July 25,

2021 FASNY Hudson 5K Run/Walk

then another new 5k on August 8,

and a 10k on August 14.

 I ran the 5k in 2017


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


I’m also linking up here:

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

Happy Running! Did you race on July 4th? Did you run or race this past weekend? Any in-person races on your schedule yet? Please share.

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Rabbit Ramble 4 Mile Race Recap

No photo description available.

                    June 12, 2021 – 9:00 am

Another in-person race. Very exciting.

Of course, FOMO has started and several of my running friends were going. Plus there was BRUNCH mentioned for after.

So I signed up!

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

I had done this race several years ago but in recent years, the dates conflicted with other things.

Due to COVID, they kept the 4 mile distance but changed the course. It was also re-scheduled from April to June.

This is not a popular distance but I have done quite a few races at this distance (Of course, not recently due to COVID).

my last one was in Feb. 2020.

My PR was 37:21 at the Polar Cap Run in 2017. Most of the 4 mile times were between 37 and 41 minutes.

I had no PR aspirations.  Racing for me is just about running with my friends and doing my best while staying uninjured.

The in-person version of the race was only open to a limited number of participants due to COVID restrictions. The in-person race had a staggered, socially-distanced start to the race.

This year since the race was later in the year, the weather was more summer-like but nothing like last weekend’s record high temps.  The wrench was that  rain was in the forecast.  I was hoping it would not be a washout.

I decided to wear my usual summer outfit:

skirt, tank with possible change of shirt and addition of diy arm sleeves

Of course, I had pizza for my race carb loading (yes I carb load for all races not matter the distance. lol)

The new course was supposedly similar to a previous 5k. My friend remarked that it was “mostly flat with a few not too bad hills.”

Race Day:

The race started at 9 am which was great since it would be a 30 minute drive from my house.

And finally the heat wave ended so I was not disappointed in the later start. Unfortunately I woke up to pouring rain!!! According to my weather app, it was supposed to end by rain start. Finger crossed that I did not have to run another race in the rain.

I changed from my tank to a tee and grabbed a rain jacket.

After my race breakfast of oatmeal and coffee, I left to carpool with Barbara whom I met around 7:45 am.

The race started and ended at Bozenkill Park on Gun Club Road in Altamont. We arrived around 8:05 to pick up our bibs. We parked in a big grassy (wet) parking lot and as soon as we arrived, the rain let up. Sherry arrived soon after.

We walked over to the pavilion to get our race packet

which was a cotton tee shirt, a bottle of water and a banana.  This was the first race that there was no sign of anyone wearing a mask!?  It didn’t bother me since I was vaccinated and we were outside. Still, it felt weird.

We returned to our car to stash our stuff and bumped in Judy. Now our group was complete . The others (Debbie, Jan, Deirdre, Heidi & Chris) had decided to skip the race and cheer us on and then meet after for brunch.

It was perfect running temps (60s) but with the humidity and the sun peaking out, I had wished I had worn my tank.

Soon it was time to head to the start. As you can see, there was no official start line.

It was so nice to be running a shorter race because I bumped into many runners that I knew whom I had not seen in ages. I used run 5ks every weekend and you would see the same people.

It was supposed to be a staggered start. But it was more like people separated and then they just started running. I wasn’t in the front but had moved ahead of my friends because I was chatting with some other runners.

Mile 1:

I should mention that my legs should have been very rested. There was a lot of walking this past week but barely any running since last Saturday. As you can see above, the first mile had an uphill. It wasn’t that steep and I was able to run the whole thing. I’m sure I started out too fast but that’s what I always do.

Mile 2:

After the first mile, it was rather flat and just a little rolling. I was getting tired but tried to keep going until the water stop.

I actually wore my Garmin which I only wear for important races. But somehow, the settings changed because it showed me the time elapsed instead of my pace.  Very confusing when I saw “13:xx”. I felt like I was definitely running fast and then I realized that it was NOT my pace showing.

During this mile, we entered a neighborhood. There was point where we ran in a cul-de-sac which gave me the opportunity to see and cheer my friends who were a little behind me.

Eventually I passed my running friends who were there to cheer us on. Definitely a morale booster.

Mile 3:

Finally there was a water stop. I was so glad to have a drink and to walk for awhile.

Of course I felt guilty for walking so long that I tried to speed up and make up some ground.

After the water stop, we left the neighborhood and headed back on the road toward the start.

I was surprised and elated that I passed my cheering running friends for the second time.  They reminded me that bagels were awaiting me.

Mile 4:

Just trying to keep up the pace and finish strong. It was all a blur at this point.  Short races are hard!!

I saw a runner who worked at our local Fleet Feet. She was ahead of me the whole race. But somehow I was able to pass her.

As we crossed the finish line, they pulled off the bottom of our bib so they could record the your finish time. I never looked at the clock but according to my Garmin, it was 36:38. It was very happy!

Not far behind me was Barbara.

Next came Sherry.

Then Judy raced this older guy and almost beat him.

We hung around for a while. They were giving 5-year age group awards. But since it was not chip timed, they had to figure things out manually, It was taking forever and our friends were waiting for us at the restaurant. So we left.

Actually got it in the mail a few days later.

The best part of the day was actually after the race. We met the others for brunch.  I had chocolate milk and bagel, cream cheese n lox.  We chatted and laughed for hours.

I found later that we all won age group awards.

Additional Race Reflections:

Positives:

  • Safety restrictions in place (outdoors, no food, no award ceremony).
  • Ample parking.
  • Well marked course.
  • Lots of familiar faces
  • Interesting course
  • Friendly volunteers
  • 2 mile walk option.
  • Medals (3 deep) for 5 year age group awards
  • Weather
  • A real race.

Negatives:

  • Not chip timed
  • Cotton shirt
  • No post-race food (due to COVID?)

Would I recommend this race?

Yes.

It was well-organized. It will be even more fun when there are no COVID restrictions and it is scheduled in April when the weather is cooler.

Final Stats:

Probably the most consistent splits I’ve ever had.

Although it doesn’t look that way above.

I felt pretty strong the whole race.  I didn’t push myself as hard as I could.  I also did not do any speedwork to prepare for the race.  So I was pretty satisfied with how things went.

Believe it or not. It was a PR!

Next Up:

???

No races on my schedule until September.


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


I’m also linking up here:

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

Happy Running! Did you run or race this past weekend? How’s your weather? Any in-person races on your schedule yet? Please share.

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Miles on the Mohawk 10 Miler Race Recap

May 30, 2021 – 9:00 am

With most of the local races either cancelled or virtual, Albany Running Exchange has been scheduling COVID Safety Plan approved races.  I completed a half marathon in November and in April.

In March I ran their five mile race. For this race, ARE used the same course as the five miler but added a full marathon and also a point-to-point 10 miler.

during the Electric 5 Miler in March

I was tempted to repeat the 5 miler to see if I could improve my time but I decided to challenge myself and run a 10 mile race.

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

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

The logistics were also complicated for the 10 mile race. Either you parked at the start and got a ride back to your car after the race or you parked at the finish and got a ride to the start (or pay for the shuttle).

My preference was to park at the finish (even though that meant getting up earlier.)

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

I have run several 10 mile races but none lately. The last one was in 2017. My slowest was in 2014: (1:49:55), my first one, and my PR was my third in the same year (1:38:45). All the others were somewhere in between. That would be my expectation for this race but on the slower end (like 1:45:00).

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

I picked up my race packet on Thursday evening.

very nice half-zip

and carb loaded on Saturday evening (pasta instead of pizza) and debated about what to wear the next day. I was hoping that for a race on May 30 I would be wearing a skirt and tank. But no, summer temps had decided to leave us and rain was in the forecast as well. I reluctantly picked a long sleeve shirt and hoped that I wouldn’t be too warm. I also packed a few throwaways for before and dry clothes for after.

added gloves, gaiter and skipped the sunglasses

Race Day:

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

The 10 mile race started near Mabee farm and ended at Mohawk Harbor.

I parked my car at Mohawk Harbor, the finish for all races (but the start for the 5m & 26.2 m races.)  I had signed up for the shuttle so I wouldn’t have to worry about getting back to my car after the race.  However, my friend Sherry offered to drive to the start if I would drive her back to her car after.  I accepted so that I wouldn’t have deal with masking and walking to the shuttle.

I met Sherry and Jenn at 7:45, left my car in the Golub parking lot (1/4 mi from the race) and we drove to the start which was about 15 minutes away.

There was plenty of parking in the grassy lot.

It had rained all night, our shoes got soaked walking through the high grass.

It wasn’t raining yet…but it was COLD (in the 40s and very damp). We were shivering.

smiling because we thought that the rain would hold off until we finished the race….

We headed to bag check where one of our friends was volunteering. I reluctantly handed over my bag with dry warm clothing and waited under cover.

It started to rain but then stopped so I saved this beautiful outfit for after the race.

The COVID Safety plan was identical to all 7 live events ARE had held before this one: masks required throughout your time on-site. Once you started, you could lower your mask but did need to raise it unless within 6′ of others. The significantly staggered start (ie. 8 people every 10 seconds) allowed the race to spread out quickly.

I couldn’t wait to start. I was freezing.  I was also hungry. It had been 3 hours since I had eaten breakfast. I decided to eat a Honey Stinger Wafflle (I know never eat something new on race day but it did work well.)

The 10 mile race started at 9 am. I was in wave 5 and before I knew it, it was time to move into the staging area.

Miles 1-3:

My wave started around 9:11 am.

As soon as I crossed the start line, I pulled down by gaiter.

The race began near Mabee Farm Historical site. The first mile headed west, mostly on Route 5S. We ran along the road and fairly soon connected with the Erie Canal Bike Path. In other words, the canal was on our right and most of the race was run on the path with water views.

During the first few miles, the rain was only a drizzle. In fact, I took off my gloves and actually got a little warm.

That didn’t last. Close to mile 3, it started to rain. And rain hard and harder. It never stopped.

My legs were feeling good. The scenery was pretty. The Mohawk river changed to being on the left.

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

Miles 4-6

Most of the race is a blur. It was raining hard. There were lots of puddles. I was feeling pretty strong.

someone (not me) smiling in the rain

In fact, a guy pulled up next to me and said “Your cadence is killing me.”  Not sure what he meant. I do try to lift my feet and have a decent cadence, but he passed me by and left me in the dust!?

Around mile 5, I finally got hungry so I stopped to eat my Gu (trying to eat and run slowly) and walked again at the second water stop little before mile 6 at Lock 8 Park.

Miles 7-10

The course was pretty flat until the last mile or so. The path was narrow and you had to be careful because the lead marathoners needed to pass on the left. (They had started an hour earlier than the 10 milers.)

this is what it would have looked like on a blue sky day

The third and last water stop was around mile 8 at the SCCC Bike Path Parking Area. I walked again and took one more GU.

at mile 8.1

Around mile 9, some annoying hills appeared and during the last mile as well. Maybe there weren’t big hills and I was just getting tired. I tried to run up them but it was more like a slog. And the puddles were getting bigger (more like lakes). It didn’t really matter. I couldn’t get any wetter.

not me…but this is the view heading to Mohawk Harbor

We finished at Mohawk Harbor (the start and finish of the 5 mile and Marathon races).

I was so happy to have finished. Of course, at that point I ran as fast as I could.

two inspiring guys on this Memorial Day weekend.

Unfortunately once you stopped running, you were freezing and by the time I finished, they had run out of foil blankets.

So I grabbed my medal and headed to bag check to retrieve some clothes.

I found Jenn and Sherry. Both did well (Jenn had a big PR).

We grabbed our lunches and headed in the pouring rain to my car.

There was a band, beer, food, etc. So much planning goes into a race especially one during the Pandemic. Such a shame to have such awful weather conditions.

Well, I turned on the heated seats in my car and drove Sherry back to her car at the race start.

Then I spent a lot of time in a hot shower and then eating my race lunch (sandwich, chips, brownie, apple) in front of my fire place.

Ugh! On May 30? Can you believe it?

Additional Race Reflections:

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

I wasn’t expecting to feel as good as I did.  Maybe it was the cold temps.

Positives:

  • Safety restrictions in place (staggered starts).
  • Ample parking at the start and finish.
  • Several distances: 10 mile, 5 mile, marathon
  • Real restrooms at Mabee Farm
  • Bag check for 10 milers
  • Well marked course.
  • Varied scenery including river views
  • Lots of course marshals (even in the rain).
  • Shuttle to the start (if needed).
  • A real race.
  • Well organized.
  • A lot of pre-race information.
  • Familiar faces (under the masks)
  • Decent Post-race food.
  • Nice half-zip shirt as swag.
  • Cool medal.
  • Free Beer (in Druthers)
  • Free photos (start, mile 8.1 and finish)
  • A real race.

the middle turns and shows your distance

Negatives:

  • Cupless water stops
  • Cold temps
  • Rain!

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. Yes.

It was super well-organized. Special attention was paid to EVERY detail. It will be even more fun when there are no COVID restrictions and the weather conditions are nicer.

Final Stats:

633 in the 10 mile race

No age group award. (even if I had a PR)

Splits:

Garmin= 1:39:20

Walking definitely slowed down my pace:

water stop, Gu, water stop, water stop/Gu, hills – lol

All in all, I was very happy with how I ran the race. I probably ran the first 3 miles too fast but that’s how I usually race. lol

Not expecting a PR and faster than I thought I would do. Happy Camper!

Next Up:

No photo description available.

Rabbit Ramble – June 12. 2021

A 4 miler in two weeks and then ???

There are not many races scheduled before the fall.


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


I’m also linking up here:

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

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

 

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Weekly Run Down for 5.24.21-5.30.21: Back to Normal?

By back to normal, I mean that for the second weekend in a row, I had a RACE on my schedule.

I also got my hair cut and my nails done 🙂

And I played mah jongg with my friends for the first time since March 2020.

In addition, NYS removed the mask mandate for indoors and outdoors (as long as you are vaccinated.)

Last Week:

  • Monday – After a steamy few days, a front came through and cooled things down. I waited until lunch time to run so it was sunny and warm but at least there was a breeze.

lilacs are gone but now it’s iris time!

  • Tuesday – It was a busy work day with a hair appt scheduled for after work. Just a rest day! I have taken up weeding my garden as cross training.
  • Wednesday – After work, we had our second SOAR run scheduled at UAlbany. A fun run with new and old running friends.

But with the threat of thunderstorms, in case it was canceled, I decided to run at lunch (in the heat of the day!!)

And I was right, it did rain. The run was not cancelled but I decided to skip it.

  • Thursday – Today I squeezed in a quick run during lunch. I ran to a fairly new trail and then back to my car.

After work, I picked up my race packet for Sunday’s race

nice 1/2 zip

and then went for a walk with two friends on the rail trail.

haven’t found one in a long time so this was nice

  • Friday – Rest Day. It was supposed to rain all day so I didn’t plan much outside activity. I played mah jongg for the first time since last March!! Happy to be re-united with these wonderful women. And I remembered how to play!!

National Mah Jongg League 2021 Standard Size Scorecard - Mah Jongg Card: Toys & Games - Amazon.com

  • Saturday – Rest Day #2. I know I should rest but the trails were calling. Unfortunately the rain postponed my walk until later in the day. I tried to decide what to wear for my race which I thought since it was on Memorial Day weekend, I could wear a skirt and a tank… Forecast was for 40 degrees and rain!!!

went back n forth but eventually settled on the skirt with compression calf sleeves and a LONG sleeve shirt.

  • Sunday – Race Day! Miles on the Mohawk 10 miler. As I mentioned, summer had seemed to have come and gone. And it was freezing (in the 40s) and it poured for 8 of the 10 miles.  Still had fun and glad to have done another in-person race.

I think I spent the rest of the day warming up in front of the fireplace (Is it really May 30??)

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday –  HOLIDAY – DAY OFF – hiking
  • Tuesday – run, walk with friends
  • Wednesday – run
  • Thursday – run, walk with friends, Scrabble night for charity
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday – Long Run or 5K
  • Sunday – rest day, boating/hiking

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Miles on the Mohawk 10 Mile 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? Have you been experiencing summer temps where you live? Any vacations planned? Please share.

Bacon Hill Bonanza 5k Race Recap

                 May 22, 2021 – 10:00 am

Every year, I plan to sign up for the 10k and then I chicken out.

10K

I know that the hills would be good training but… the 5k is an out and back and mostly flat.

5k – but not as flat as it looks (some rolling hills)

This year, due to COVID, the 10K race was only virtual. So I had no choice and registered for the 5k. I planned to run 7 hilly miles after (to prepare for a 10 mile race the week after).

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

This small race in the country has always been one of my favorite races. I have run it for the five years straight (2013-18) and enjoyed it each time. (I was out of town in 2019 and it was cancelled in 2020). It was always well-organized and had great food – the usual food but also chili and homemade muffins & cookies (including gluten free ones).

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And there was chocolate milk, fresh from the dairy. (You know how I LOVE chocolate milk post-race.)

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Plus, I also have won a homemade pie as first in my age group for the past five years. 28:56, 28:01, 27:54, 27:32, 27:01. Yes, it seems that I was getting faster but I haven’t run this race since 2018.

Lately I don’t feel very fast. In fact, I was highly doubtful that I could finish under 30 minutes.

my most recent 5k – 30:36 (Dec. 2020)

The in-person version of the race was only open to a limited number of participants due to COVID restrictions. To keep the number of people on site down for safety reasons, no spectators were able to join this year. The in-person 5k had a staggered, socially-distanced start to the race.

Packet pick-up was a drive by the night before. But since I lived so far away, I planned to pick mine up the morning of the race.

Again the weather was tricky. What to wear? I was brave the first two years and wore a skirt, a baseball cap and no gloves. It was April, right? Then the next three years, it was cold and I resorted to capris.

This year since the race was later in the year, the weather was more summer-like. In fact maybe too warm.  I decided to wear:

one of my oldest tanks and skirts.

Of course, I had pizza for my race carb loading (yes I carb load even for 5ks. lol)

Race Day:

The race started at 10 am which was great since it would be an hour drive from my house.

After my race breakfast of oatmeal and coffee, I left my house around 8 am. It was already 75 degrees and humid. Uh oh!

I got to the race early (around 9 am) and found a parking spot in a grassy field next to the church. The race started at the church in the town of Bacon Hill, a small farming town with awesome scenery. (It reminded me of Vermont.)

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these pics are from other years…everything still looked the same)

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So as soon as I arrived, I picked up my shirt and bib and then went back to my car to drop off my shirt.

I wasn’t sure that I would know anyone at this race since most of the runners that I usually run this race with were not coming.

I stopped by the timing truck to say hello to my former FTC coach who usually asks me if I was going to PR.  But he wasn’t there. No pressure 🙂

I walked around a bit scouting out the logistics (and fighting off the bugs).

But I did bump into a few runners that I knew and we hung out chatting. Luckily there was bug spray available since the bugs were pretty annoying.

There was music playing and a little over 100 runners. Much fewer than usual because there was a virtual option for both the 5k and 10k.

Eventually at 9:45, they directed us to our corrals. There were labelled by finish time. I think I headed to corral 4 (25-27 minutes). That was very optimistic but in that corral, I noticed some very fast runners and some slower ones. Obviously it didn’t matter since there were no awards and the race was chip timed.

Did I mention that it was HOT and humid? Usually this race is held in April hence the late start time.

I was sweating already and couldn’t wait to get rid of my mask.

Miles 1-1.5

The pastor read a prayer, the church bells rang and we were off.

I threw my mask in a trash can (since they would giving us another mask as we finished).

The 5k was an out and back.

I decided to go out fast. I always have positive splits so why try not to. Unfortunately my fast now is not what it used to be (to some I was never fast and to  others, I still am fast. Remember pace is so individual.)

I laughed. They meant the turtles in the pond on the left, I was thinking “slower runners.”

The course wasn’t as flat as the map showed. The hills were rolling throughout but not that bad. Even I could run up them.

I loved all the signs along the route. Many of them were riddles.  I wish I could remember them but they were a nice distraction.

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the pics are from a previous year but the signs were similar

This one was my favorite:

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My legs really protested my attempt for speed. I felt my 5k racing lay-off.

There were no volunteers on the course calling out times.  There were mile markers and a few scattered volunteers cheering on the runners.

A little past the one mile marker, there was a water stop. A real one with volunteers handing out water. I walked for a while (too long) here since I was very hot and thirsty.

Mile 1.5-3.1:

Eventually we turned around and headed back…. I realized quickly that I had gone out too fast.  I could not keep up that pace (I was wearing my Garmin but I never looked at it until the race was over.)

I did get a breather since my left shoe got untied (yes, I double knotted it.)

I continued running at what seemed a much slower pace.  Now I felt a blister forming on my right foot (or maybe both feet!?)

And then the other shoe got untied. Grrr.

Finally there was one mile to go and I couldn’t wait to finish and get that chocolate milk.

the finish line is right next to the cemetery – obviously not from this year (look at the clothes!

As I approached the finish line, I sprinted as fast as I could (and stopped my watch.)

The clock said: 30:xx but my watch said 28:20! I was happily surprised at my time.

I immediately grabbed a mask and made a bee line for the chocolate milk.

nope. this year, they gave you a bottle.

A volunteer handed everyone a bag of home baked cookies. Not the same selection of refreshment as in pre-Pandemic years.

Hey, a in-person race!! Not complaining!!

both the milk and the cookies were yummy!

I never checked the results since there were no age group awards.

I changed my shoes and shirt and waited for some friends to finish.

Then I decided to try to run 7 additional miles to be prepared the next week’s 20 mile race.

I headed out on the 10K course (which was marked for the virtual race.) Pretty scenery but tough.  It was hot and still humid plus those blisters! I threw in the towel after 3 miles.

Instead of torturing myself, I opted to explore some local trails to get in the miles.

Dionondahowa Falls

Hudson Crossings Park Trails

Ten miles on the legs for the day….even though most were not done by running.

As they say “The hay is in the barn.”

Additional Race Reflections:

Positives:

  • Safety restrictions in place (staggered starts).
  • Ample parking.
  • Well marked course.
  • Beautiful countryside scenerym
  • Chocolate milk and homemade cookies as post-race refreshments.
  • Super friendly volunteers
  • Virtual option.
  • A real race.

Negatives:

  • No Spectators (due to COVID).
  • No 10K option (due to COVID).
  • Few food options (due to COVID).
  • No age group awards.
  • Cotton race shirt.
  • Late start time.
  • Warm and humid temps.
  • Untied shoes (2x)
  • Lack of speed work (my fault).
  • Bib chip didn’t register.

Would I recommend this race?

Yes.

It was super well-organized. Special attention was paid to EVERY detail. It will be even more fun when there are no COVID restrictions and it is scheduled in April when the weather is cooler.

Final Stats:

this was probably a PW for this race but I was happy to show a little speed especially with the humidity

you can see that water stop and shoe tying stops

But I was thrilled with my time.  I wasn’t expecting much.  I did exactly what I had planned.  Just run. I wasn’t ever tired so I definitely think I could have run faster.  But there didn’t seem to be a reason to.  No age group award. I was just running for me and because it makes me feel good to race.

All in all, I loved this race. I will definitely do it again…maybe even the 10K someday.

On a side note:

My chip never recorded my time. This has happened before with this type of chip (due to hanging the bib from my belt.) I contacted the timing company. No biggie since there were no awards. They added my Garmin time to the results the next day (I’m pretty sure my finish time was after this …)

and a virtual pie to the AG winner lol

Next Up:

A local 10 mile race.

May 30, 2021


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


I’m also linking up here:

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

Happy Running! Did you run or race this past weekend? Did you experience a heat wave? Any in-person races on your schedule yet? Please share.

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Weekly Run Down for 5.17.21-5.23.21: More Birthday Celebrations and a 5k

Due to the amount of dessert consumption this week, I should have walked, run or hiked much more!!

I ran a race on Saturday. Normally a 5k would be nothing to sweat about. I have already done in-person races this year – two half marathons, a 5 miler and a 5.67 miler up a mountain. But this 5k seemed daunting. I don’t remember how to run fast lol.

Last Week:

  • Monday – I had to squeeze in my run during lunch since my BFF was taking me out to diner as a belated birthday gift.

Note to self: running on a very warm sunny day at NOON is not a great idea

I picked a restaurant where we could walk afterwards.

that is Cannoli cake – and yes we walked for 2 hours after eating half of that!!

  • Tuesday – A busy work day gave only enough time to take a walk after work with friends. We decided to switch it up and walk near my friend’s apartment rather than on the rail trail.  Then we stopped in for munchies and wine after.  What I didn’t know was that it was a surprise birthday party.

food and flowers….I am so lucky! (on the right is one of the trees in my friend’s neighborhood.)

  • Wednesday – Another busy work day so I ran after work. I headed to the rail trail since I was nearby picking up my car (air conditioning fixed $$).

At the last minute I decided on the other end of the rail trail for varied scenery. Boy this was a struggle (hot and humid).

I am glad that I decided to run there rather than in my neighborhood.

a black bear was spotted at the same time…yikes!

  • Thursday – Today I squeezed in a quick run during lunch.

hot and humid again and it was garbage day… had to veer off and run some on the water line (no bear sighting)

After work again, I met a friend for a walk on the rail trail.

we found a cool resting spot under the bridge and along the creek

  • Friday – A rest day. And my hubby’s birthday!! No big celebration. Just some pizza and ice cream cake for dessert.

But before dinner, I met a friend for a walk at the Pine Hollow Arboretum for a change of pace since she had never been there.

she loved so we’ll be going back

  • Saturday – Race Day – Bacon Hill Bonanza 5k. It used to be one of my favorite (and most successful) 5ks.  But it’s been a while since I raced a 5k or even ran fast. I gave it my best shot and had lots of fun. That is what really matters not finish times or awards.

chocolate milk and home baked cookies = great race… despite a long water stop and 2 stops for untied shoelaces, my finish time was way better than expected.

Afterward, I reluctantly added on some more torturous miles.  Hot and Humid!!  I had hoped for 7 more miles but I barely made it to 3!

Then I stopped by some local trails. The first one was had waterfalls and it was lovely.

The second one was along the Hudson River.

And so I had to hurry home to get ready to go out to dinner to celebrate my hubby’s birthday.

  • Sunday – My running friends were doing a local 5k.  FOMO.

But I had to go up and help my hubby get our boat ready for the summer.

last year’s first weekend boating pic

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday –  run
  • Tuesday – rest day, hair appt
  • Wednesday – SOAR run
  • Thursday – rest day, bib pick-up, walk with friends
  • Fridayrun
  • Saturday – rest day, boating?
  • Sunday – Miles Along the Mohawk 10 mile race

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Bacon Hill Bonanza 5k Race Recap
  • Friday – Runfessions

I am linking up with Kim and Deborah for

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

Happy Running! How is your running going? Any in-person races planned? Have you been experiencing summer temps where you live? Any vacations planned? Please share.

Prospect Mountain Road Race Recap

This was my first non-ARE local Pandemic race, It was run by Adirondack Runners with whom before the Pandemic I’ve run a lot of races.

I signed up for this race (at the last minute) because basically I am a sucker for a race, any race.  Most of friends ran a 5k the weekend before when I was in Florida so I had FOMO.  I also knew that I would know many of the runners at the race from past Adirondack races. It would be fun to re-connect.

I had always been intrigued by this race.  I have driven up the mountain but never walked or hiked to the top.

One of my running friends exclaimed: “You hate hills. That race race is straight up hill. Are you crazy?”

I replied that it was my birthday the next day and I wanted to do something crazy!!

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

I had just gotten back from Florida where I ran just a few run/walk miles each day.  All routes were totally flat.

So I definitely was NOT prepared to run up a mountain. But I knew the temps would be much COOLER and I could walk most of it if I had to.

This time of year is tricky to decide what to wear. It could be real spring or what they call in “fake spring.”  I tried to remember what I used to wear to race at this time of year.  (I seem to have dressing amnesia.)

The forecast looked wintery. Early morning temps in the 30’s with a chance of showers.

So I decided on this:

I also brought a jacket, extra shirt, gloves, arm warmers just in case

Race Day:

So I got up early, had my habitual race breakfast (oatmeal & coffee) and hit the road around 7 am.

Of course, the temps now were in the 40s and it seemed that it would not rain and be humid.  (I should have dressed differently).

Race Info:

But due to Covid 19 restrictions, we want you to be aware of how the race may be a little bit different this May, while still fun and challenging. Be assured that our volunteers are fully vaccinated. Though we are not using the indoor Forum venue this year, you may still park your car there and are encouraged to do so. And, as always, you may leave cars at the top before the race as well.

Race number pick-up will be under a tent at the start. If you met the deadline, you may also pick up your shirt at that location. Those who registered prior to April 17 will find all they need in a packet bearing their name. If you registered later, you may pick up your race number and Rob and Deb ice cream $5.00 gift certificate under the tent as well. (I registered at the last minute!)

Two port-a-potties will also be located just inside the gate. . Though we feel that many runners will have been vaccinated, we ask that you wear a mask in the starting area and at pick-up. They may be removed while running, but should be put on again at the top. We encourage you to social distance. We will have two water stops along the way, but feel free to carry your own. At the top will be bottled water, and bagged treats.

Social distancing is encouraged along with mask wearing at the top, while you are enjoying the beautiful vistas.

The finish line will run a little differently as well. Your time will be matched with your order of finish number being recorded by finish line volunteers. I do not believe number tags will be collected. The finish shoot will be extra long to insure that all bib numbers are recorded. Please, as always, stay in finish order while in the shoot.

AWARDS
This will be quite different this year and hopefully efficient as we have no indoor venue and are encouraged to socially distance. Awards and medals will be handed out at the finish. Both male and female overall and age group will be displayed at the end of the shoot. There will be overall awards for the first three male and female runners including sweatshirts and chocolates donated by Saratoga Chocolates. We will give these out as these first runners arrive.

Age group awards will be handed out to the first three runners in each age group at the shoot as well. If one of your three, five- year age group awards remains when you cross the top, a volunteer will give it to you on the spot. It therefore will be important to give us your age audibly as you pass the volunteer. I know this idea is a little zany, but since runners in this race are usually spread out well, we hope our system will work efficiently.

Since I had my vaccines, I wasn’t worried about my safety but I am glad that everything was thought out carefully for others.

I arrived around 8 am and the packet pick up was in the Forum parking Lot (not at the start) so that was very convenient.

Although I registered late, there were extra shirts so I did get one.

I was over-dressed and shed my jacket, gloves and arm sleeves.

I didn’t even need to wait in the my car to stay warm. I just stood around chatting with the (masked) runners that I knew and hadn’t seen in a while.

Soon it was time to walk across the street to the race start.

There was no actual start line.  Everyone just seemed to gather. Everyone was wearing a mask but there was no real social distancing evident (as seen in the photo below).

I had decided to leave my Garmin home since I didn’t plan to race it. But I was wearing my Apple Watch. I did start it (not sure why) but never looked at it during the race and even forgot to stop it right away when I finished.

However, I was hoping to at least get the course and elevation from my watch (I should have started Strava) but as you can see, I didn’t.

Basically the course was run on Veterans’ Memorial Highway from the village of Lake George to the summit of Prospect Mountain and was just under 5.7 miles, climbing a little over 1600 feet in elevation.

Mile 1:

Being that the start was not chip-timed, if I cared I would have started closer to the front of the pack.  But I didn’t and as soon as we started, I pulled my gaiter down so I could breathe,

The first mile is mostly flat.  This was the only mile that I didn’t have to walk. Still I ran slowly not to tire myself out for the climb to come.

There was a volunteer at each mile marker calling out times. I heard her yell “10:xx.”

Mile 2:

The climbing started immediately after the mile 1 mark.  Someone said that it was a 600 foot gain.  And so the walk breaks began.

The scenery was really pretty. Waterfalls lined the rocks on the left side most of the race.

I usually don’t stop to take pictures during a race but I couldn’t resist

After a steady mile and a half of climbing, the road leveled off near the 2.5-mile mark  I picked up the pace here. It was a short welcome breather.

I think there was the first of the two water stops during this mile, as well.  It was a normal water stop with volunteers handing out cups of water. I was happy not to have to carry a cup or water bottle.

Mile 3:

During this mile, the climbing started again. I knew that I could not run the whole way up but I decided to decrease my walk breaks and run more.

The amazing thing was that there were runners who did not walk at all but they were not far ahead of me.

There was also a guy walking the whole thing and he breezed by me and out of sight!!

It seemed that most of the runners in this race were older and were men.  Many seemed to be around my (slow) pace.  They were walk/running like me and we kept trading leads throughout the race.

These 3 men have run the race ALL 31 times. Many others have run it more than 20 times.

Mile 4:

Much of the same. Running as much as I could and walking when I couldn’t.

The altitude was making me a little dizzy so I ate a GU and I think that helped.

But basically, there was no respite from the climb.

Some place during this mile was the second water stop. I did stop again. I was getting very warm too (over dressed!!)

Mile 5:

There were the multiple parking areas clustered around the peak. Just before the first lot there is a sign that proclaims “Parking 1000 meters ahead.” Unfortunately, this was not “The End” but only the beginning of the end, with the steepest part yet to come.

At this point, I was running with an older women and we saw a orange cone to the right. She said that we needed to go that way to get to the top. As soon as we headed in that direction, other runners yelled to us that we were going the wrong way.  So we had to backtrack and go to the left. That cost me a few precious seconds LOL.

Some pics: from a previous year:

Prospect Mountain Road Race | Lake George, NY Official Tourism Site

Prospect Mountain Road Race, the ultimate uphill climb, celebrating 30th running | Sports | poststar.com

April 2019 - RUNNING & WALKING — Adirondack Sports

Mile 5.67:

The last climb was the steepest.  Of course, runners that had already finished were heading down the mountain all saying “You’re almost there!”

But the hills were not over yet.

uphill to the finish

I was at that point running with an older man and we were encouraged by the spectators to race each other to the finish line.

ha ha. Thinking I could maybe beat him

I started my kick way too soon and petered out. He beat me!!

Nope! Not even close!

After we crossed the finish line, we didn’t have to call out our age as indicated above. It was written large on our bibs. So as you crossed, if you won, you were immediately handed a medal.

Surprisingly I came in 3rd (but there were only 4 in my AG).

with the guy that beat me by several seconds at the end

I spent some time at the top admiring the views. I mean that’s why I ran the race, right?

Then I grabbed some refreshments – there was boxes of water, fruit and homemade cookies, breads, muffins, etc.

I checked out the results – at least I didn’t come in last.

83rd out of 113

Age Group Awards:

Several runners actually walked the race (including my friend Sue on the left).

Many runners ran down the mountain to get back to their cars.  I considered it for about a second.

My experience has been that downhill running is harder on the legs.  My legs were feeling good so why chance it.

Someone offered me a ride and I jumped at it.

Then I drove up to Bolton Landing (where we keep our boat.)

I wanted to get in some more miles but instead I just walked and walked. The lake was pretty even on a cloudy day.

I stopped at the outlets, did some grocery shopping and didn’t get home until 5 pm.

Just in time to go out to dinner to celebrate my birthday/Mother’s Day with my hubby, stepson and his wife.

In hindsight, I think all that walking after the race was the reason why my legs felt so fresh the next day.

6.8 birthday kms. hiked:

Additional Race Reflections:

The Prospect Mountain Road Race was a first for me. I had no idea what to expect. I had no idea what I was capable of.

I was happy with the results. I did not do any hill training. It was not worth the risk of an injury just to have a faster time. And and I felt perfectly fine the next day.

It was my slowest pace ever in a race but I’m proud that I took on the challenge.

And It was so fun to be out there and soak up the racing atmosphere again.

I may even try this one again next year!!

Positives:

  • Safety restrictions in place (masks).
  • Ample parking at the start.
  • Easy packet pick-up.
  • Two Water Stops
  • Well marked course.
  • Little traffic since the road was closed to the public.
  • Beautiful scenery (waterfalls) and views
  • Lots of course marshals
  • Mile markers and volunteers calling out times at each mile
  • Well organized.
  • Familiar faces (under the masks).
  • Post-race food (boxes of water, fruit and homemade baked goods).
  • Nice medals for age group awards.
  • Perfect weather.
  • Rides offered back down to the Forum (if you didn’t want to run down.)
  • A real race.

Negatives:

  • ONE Big Hill

Would I recommend this race?

Yes.

It was super well-organized. Special attention was paid to EVERY detail. It will be even more fun when there are no COVID restrictions.

Final Stats:

ignore mile 6 – I didn’t stop my watch

again I didn’t stop my watch – so 1:15:48 and 5.67 mi

Next Up:

There is a local 5k on May 22 that I signed up for.

I think this was my 5k PR three years ago.

No such speed happening this year. But it was always one of my favorite courses, so why not swallow my pride and give it a shot?


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


I’m also linking up here:
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with co-hosts Coach Debbie RunsConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Laura Norris Running.

Happy Running! Have you run a real race yet? If so, how did go? Are you planning to run one soon? Ever run UP a mountain? Please share.

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Druthers Helderberg to Hudson Half Marathon Race Recap

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April 17, 2021

This was NOT a half marathon that I planned on.  I wanted to run this race but on its original (downhill) course. April 2020’s race got cancelled and the race was re-scheduled to August but on a new course. I chose at the time run the half marathon virtually and defer my registration to April 2021 (when I had hoped things would be normal again.)

Instead of racing returning to normal, half marathon after half marathon either cancelled or went virtual. So the RD organized a half marathon (Upstate Classic) in November on this new course.  I decided to run that one. Though not downhill but hilly, I did enjoy the race. So instead of deferring to April 2022, I signed up (Sure, why not? to quote Wendy.)

The restrictions this race were the same as for last November’s Upstate Classic Half Marathon and it had to held on the same course (due to the Pandemic) since its COVID Safety Plan had already been approved.

So I signed up for the Druthers Helderberg to Hudson Half Marathon as my 50th Half Marathon (44th if you don’t count the 2020 virtuals) for several reasons:

  • It was a ‘real” race.
  • It was local and I could sleep in my own bed the night before.
  • It was local so I would know a lot of the runners.
  • Several of my running friends were doing it.
  • With all the restrictions, I knew that it would be safe.
  • I was familiar with the course as it was the same one as the one that I ran last November.

Half Marathon Training:

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

And on the weekends, I do my Long Run. Usually most of my miles are with one or more of my running friends.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

The last day I ran was Wednesday so I took two days off from running. Of course, there was walking (I can’t just sit around).

Packet pick up was easy peasy.  Just went to the race headquarters. There was along line of cars waiting to do a drive-by pick up but I just parked across the street. I gave them my bib # and someone masked gave me a bag with my bib and shirt. (NO WAITING!! LOL)

short sleeved women’s tee shirt

I did my usual carb loading of pizza the night before and tried to figure out what to wear.  It was colder than I would have liked but there was no rain or snow so I was a happy camper. I hate being overdressed (and was tempted to even wear a skirt and short sleeved shirt)  But I reluctantly added another shirt and capris plus my DIY arm sleeves and gloves. Last week, my new Brooks running shoes gave me blisters (could have been the socks?) but I decided not to take a chance and wore my older Topos ones (from my October half) and taped my blisters.

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 decided on a small water bottle. At the last minute, I also grabbed a paper cup, flattened it and put that in my pocket. (I used it last time and it worked great.)

I also knew that I would be cold waiting to start and cold after. Usually there is bag check but now with COVID, there is none so I decided to leave a bag somewhere with old stuff and if it got taken so what? It would have been throwaways, anyway.

Race Day:

I woke up early and ate my race breakfast of oatmeal and coffee. My start time was 8:18 and I had to be in my corral by 8:14 am. I left my house around 6:30 am and tried decide what my race plan would be on the 30 minute drive over.

So the plan???

HM PR – 2:06:52
Upstate Classic HM – 2:23:21
Last HM – 2:35:58

Druthers H2H HM – Just finish.  No time goal!! (prediction – 2:30:00)

The course:

A loop starting and ending in the same location.

and not flat… at all:

My last real half marathon was in Florida in February. The course was flat but it was extremely humid and hot.  So with the hills, the conditions would probably equal out.

Although this was a “real” race, there were many changes from a half (organized by this company) that was held in April of 2019:

I understood all the restrictions and I am grateful for the opportunity to race. I was not worried about catching COVID. Besides I had both of my vaccines.

My last concern was my damn foot.  Bunion, neuroma, hammer toe…. I’ve had pain on and off for more than a year.  It’s much better than it had been back late 2019, early 2020 but it still hurts from time to time.  Sometimes a lot, sometimes just a little.   You never know and I know there are much worse things to worry about so I run. I walk, I hike.

Anyway, here’s how the race went:

I used my GPS to get to the race location, Altamont Fairgrounds. Last time, I went in the opposite entrance. This time I went the correct way but still entered in a different entrance than the directions. As a result, I did not have to wait in any line.

The parking lot was huge and MUDDY. I parked and texted my running friends Sherry and Judy. They were running late so I just waited in my car to stay warm.

Sherry arrived first and we waited together and took pix.

There were 11 waves. I was in wave 7 and Sherry and Judy in waves 10 & 11.  The first wave started at 8:00 and before I knew it was time for me to enter my corral. I left my bag near the food area and put on gloves and DIY arm warmers (Mistake since they were NOT necessary.)

Masks were required while waiting to start, in the start corral and after crossing the finish line. Since it was chilly, as you can see above and below, I opted for a gaiter (much easier to pull up and down when someone got close during the race.) Groups of 8 started every few seconds. Things happened like clockwork.

just waiting to enter my corral

The only problem was the mud. I mean puddles of mud. My shoes and socks were soaked even before I started the race.

(many of the pics are courtesy of Peter Deal’s FB page – THANKS)

Miles 1-3:

I did wear my Garmin watch this time but I was debating whether or not to use it. I hate the pressure of seeing my time and splits. But I like having stats when the race is over so I decided to use it (and just not look at it during the race.)

muddy start 

The mud continued for a while so at least that slowed me down.

ugh mud mud

Normally in a half marathon, I would run and then only walk at the water stops Usually they are every 2 miles and every mile toward the end.  But at this race, the first water stop was not until around mile 3.2. I would have to try not to walk until then.

I started out slowly but probably not slow enough.  Around mile 2, it already started to get hard…hills.  Not as bad as they would get later. Now they were just rolling ones. I felt pretty good and actually ran up the hills (at least at the beginning.)

cute sight along the early miles of the course

I was familiar with this course 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. 😦

Miles 3- 6.2:

I stopped at the first water stop and a volunteer filled up my paper cup.  Best idea ever.  I used that same cup the whole race. I wasn’t hungry yet so I waited to eat my GU. I did drop off my arm sleeves and gloves.  The sun had come out. I could have stayed with my original outfit (one shirt and skirt.) But later, it did get windy so I never felt that over-heated.

best place to buy cider donuts – lots of spectators here.

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

The rolling hills continued. Believe it or not, my expected foot pain had not started yet but my lower backache was consistent from beginning to end. It’s always something. I tried to pay attention to my form but it may have been that I was wearing OLD worn shoes.

The hills ceased to roll and started to become steep hills.  Those type of hills where it was even hard to walk up them.  So walk I did but trying to pick up the pace on the downhill.

Just as I was approaching one hill, a spectator handed me some clementine slices. A life-saver since at that point I had not eaten my GU and was way overdue for some fuel.

Miles 6.2-8.75

The second water stop was at mile 6.2.  I re-filled my water cup and ate my GU.  I forgot to mention that I was wearing a newly purchased skirt.  It was a smaller size than I normally wear but it had no drawstring so it was loose the whole race.  But the biggest problem was that the pocket on this older skirt was narrow and it took me forever to squeeze my cup in it each time I removed it.

The big hills seems to be more frequent the second half of the race. As a result, my pace increased.  No surprise and I was totally ok with walking when needed.

Miles 8.75 – 11.1

There was another water stop around mile 8.75. I again stopped and refilled my cup. I also ate my 2nd Gu even though I really wasn’t hungry.

My lower back still ached and now my foot was starting to get painful.  There wasn’t much I could do about it. So I just focused on the scenery which was very pretty (farms, mountain views, etc.), put one foot in front of the other and grimaced up each hill (along with everyone else lol).

The course marshals were very enthusiastic. There were some families camped out in their driveways.  But for the most part, we were running on the roads in the country… not a lot of places for spectators. However, there were many more than the last time I ran this course. I recognized quite a few and they cheered me on by name.

Two of my running friends were volunteering around mile 9. That was a great mental boost, as well.

I am always glad when I get the mile 10 sign.  Only a 5k from the end…. but as you know, this can be grueling and the hardest part of the race (I’m happy to say that this race followed suit.)

Miles 11.1-13.3

More hills. They never seemed to end.  And one last water stop at mile 11.1.  I just wanted to finish so I skipped it. So I never ate my last GU either.

Finally when the hills seemed to flatten, we ran on a road with a lot of traffic. It was annoying since you had make sure you ran on the uneven slanted shoulder (as opposed to the middle which I preferred.)

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 at least sprint across the finish line and not embarrass myself.

Finally we approached the entrance to the fair grounds. An announcer announced “If you can hear me, you’re almost there! But the mud is even worse than when you started!”

And he was right. It made it impossible to run fast since the mud was very slippery. I did my best and was glad to not land on my butt and to cross with a smile (I think.)

I did check my watch and was pleased to see that I had finished under 2 1/2 hours (but then I forgot to turn it off. Strava had me running a 19 mile race at a 7 min pace lol)

A volunteer handed me a medal (in plastic) and I headed off to find my bag in order to put on my jacket (now sweaty and getting chilled!)

I got my food (a boxed lunch) and sat with some friends waiting for Sherry and Judy to finish.

drank some chocolate milk that I had brought with me and saved my lunch for later

Sherry finished first and though she started after me, we both had almost the exact race time.  That makes sense since we did all our long training runs together.

smiling because we were done

Then both Judy and another friend, Barbara, finished. Judy was running to raise money for Leukemia (in memory of her daughter) and raised $20,000!! Barbara had just completed her FIRST half marathon.  Both were super happy.

Additional Race Reflections:

It may seem that my recap above had a lot of complaints.  But on the whole, the race was a really good experience. I have zero regrets in running it. The race was so well organized. It was great to see running friends again!  Sure, it was a challenge. Aren’t all hard things?

My race pace was nothing to write home about but it was a better than I expected. I didn’t train hard. I did zero speed drills or hill work. That’s not what my running is about right now.  I run to exercise, socialize with friends and get outdoors.

Besides, my finish time for this race was 13 minutes faster than my last FLAT half marathon and a few seconds faster than the one on this SAME course.

Though I am no longer expecting results even close to a PR but I would love to struggle less in future half marathons and have more even or negative split times. (Does that mean I have to train? lol)

I slowed down big time the 2nd half of the race!!

Back to the race itself:

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, chips, apple, brownie)
  • Well organized.
  • Lots of pre-race information.
  • Easy packet pick up.
  • Ample parking.
  • Enthusiastic volunteers.
  • Running it with friends
  • Live tracking for others to follow runners and runners to get immediate results.
  • Free photos.
  • Decent weather.
  • Lots of compliments on my outfit (someone even said that I was the best dressed runner in the race 🙂 )
  • A live race!!!

The Bad:

  • Hilly Course.
  • MUD at the start and finish.
  • No water provided (unless you carried your own bottle).
  • Many restrictions (though necessary due to Covid-19).
  • Not trained for hills or speed (my fault).
  • My sore foot (expected)
  • My achy lower back 😦

The Ugly:

  • Nothing really

The tale of two races – miles 1-6.5 and miles 6.5-13.1:

Would I recommend this race?

Sure.  But I prefer the real (downhill) course without COVID restrictions – 2022??

April 2019 

Next Up:

I signed up for the 10 miler on May 30, 2021

Final Thoughts:

2020 was a crazy year.  Two real half marathons, six virtual half marathons and then one “pandemic” half marathon.  Not how I planned it.

Of course, now 2021 has continued the way 2020 ended.

With all the pandemic restrictions, it was not the race that I would have planned to run but I did it.

Now I am really anxious to run a one without any annoying restrictions!! And fewer hills!


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


I’m also linking up here:

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

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

 

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