Stockade-athon 15K Recap

Stockade-athon logo on RaceRaves

November 10, 2019 8:30 am

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

I ran it for the first time in 2011 and it was my FIRST 15k race. 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.

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“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

This is a description of the new course:

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.

Well, I loved the new course and my finish times improved for the most part:

2014 – 1:33:23
2015 – 1:31:23
2016 – 1:32:49
2018 – 1:30:15 PR

Last year, 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).). This year I believe that they kept the course the same.

As you probably know, I ran my first full marathon the week before. I registered for this race before I ran the marathon so I didn’t know how I would feel and if I would be able to run 9.3 miles just a week later. (Many runners said I was crazy and that I would probably need to rest a week or two.)

Well, I recovered very well. In fact, I was barely sore at all after the race.  I did rest for 4 days and only ran 3 miles on Thursday so I decided to run this race.

I didn’t expect to race it but I just wanted a some exercise and to hang out with my running friends.

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

nice gender-specific long sleeved tech shirt

The temp was in the 30s when I got up on race morning but it was forecast to only warm up to 40 and be cloudy. I hate this time of year. It’s so difficult to dress correctly. At least there was 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 carpooled. We got there and found a spot on the street a few blocks from the start of the race. We were so early that the YMCA was not even open yet.

We only had to wait a few minutes and had plenty of time to chat, use the restrooms and check a bag with clothes for after.

It was so nice to have some place to stay warm before the race.

We waited indoors as long as possible. But eventually it was time to head to the start.

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during the National Anthem (no pic this year but the same view)

Usually women start on one side and men on the other but it didn’t seem to be that way this year. I was walking to start further back (since I did not plan to race it) but I saw a running friend and just squeezed in where where she was.

The course map:

As with any big race, it was very slow going at first.

from Daily Gazette (2015)

pic from Daily Gazette (2019)

As the map above shows, we headed west into the Stockade section of town.

most pics were taken by Brian Teague

Although it was chilly, I instantly warmed up and even felt overdressed..  I eventually took off my gloves and unzipped my vest.

I ignored my watch until about mile 8. There were mile markers at each mile and most of them had someone calling out times so I had a little idea of my slowish pace. But I really didn’t care. My legs felt less recovered than I had hoped so I just ran and walked up the hills (of which there were many especially in the first half of the race.)

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 last year?

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.

always happy to see a photographer

I stopped again at the 2nd water stop. Around this time, Alyssa caught up to me and we ran together for a while and chatted. She is preparing for her 2nd marathon in 2 weeks. So excited for her and to hear how well her training was going.

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Around mile 5, I finally decided to fuel since I had eaten breakfast many hours before.

Another running acquaintance, Renee, caught up to me around this time. We wound up running the rest of the race together.  I only know her from FB but it was great hearing about her 50 state and 6 world majors goal. We chatted about travel and races and it certainly made the miles more bearable.  She even walked when I wanted to 🙂

Around mile 6, we entered Central Park with its rolling hills, lake, and pretty foliage.

running along side Renee

We both stopped at the third water stop. I actually don’t remember it but I made sure to smile for all the photographers.

looking goofy for the photographer, of course

Between mile 7 and 8 is where the BIG hills were. We walked up them both. They were steep but at least short.

so cheesy!

We proceeded to run through the cemetery and then through a park before heading DOWNHILL to the finish line at city hall.

giving it all I got which wasn’t much

I finished at 1:36:37. (over 6 minutes slower than last year and even slower than my FIRST 15k 8 years ago …. but who cares!)

Renee finished right in front of me and Alyssa was also waiting at the finish line.

A minute or two later, Barbara finished and we walked back to the YMCA together.

This year again, the food was in the YMCA, the same area as bag check and where we waited before the race.

I got some chocolate milk, bread, a donut, soup, and pizza.  What a nice spread for a local race.

We hung out for a little while waiting for others to finish. We had planned to go out for brunch (and yes, I ate some more).

We ended up going to a nearby diner where we continued to chat about the race. We all had a good time running/volunteering it.

My Splits:

mile 1 – 9:15
mile 2 – 9:55
mile 3 – 10:46
mile 4 – 9:58
mile 5 – 10:57
mile 6 – 9:57
mile 7 – 11:05
mile 8 – 11:32
mile 9 – 9:57
.4 – 8:19

1:36:37

my usual positive splits

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 (1500), 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 recovery run. And my lower BACK did not hurt!!

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 gun for that sub 1:30 finish.


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 linking also up with Coaches Corner–Debbie and Marc.

and Wild Workout Wednesday with NicoleAnnmarieJen, and Michelle.

Happy Running! Did you race this past weekend or do any other running? Do you ever run 15ks? Do you like them? Have you ever run another race right after your marathon or your half marathon?

Adirondack Race to the Lakes 15k Race Recap

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

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

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

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

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

However, in preparation for this race, I only got in ONE long run (and it was flat).

The rest of my weekend runs were ALL 5ks. (At least these had some hills).

The biggest challenge would be those hills. I knew that it was hilly. And we all know that I do not train on hills or do hill repeats. (Hopefully, there would be some muscle memory from those Prospect Park hills from the mid-week 5k the week before.)

I found this elevation chart on IG:

glad I saw this AFTER the race

We have had some perfect racing weather and today was no different. In the 60s at the start, sunny and 70s at the end.

Anyway, I had no goals besides finishing unhurt. I haven’t run many 15ks.  My surprise PR is from the Stockade-athon last November (1:30:15) and I ran this race last year at 1:33:54. But without those long runs and hill repeats, I planned to be cautious.

There were four water stops along the route: one at mile 2 (which served runners on the way in and out) and then along the bike path at approximately miles 4.2, 6.2 and 8. I would be stopping at each one and hoped that this would be enough.

Due to work, rain and other factors, I had not run much all week.  Fresh legs is always good, right?

rained shortened run on Thursday

So what to wear? The usual.

tank and skirt with compression socks

The race started at 8 am which seemed fine (but since it is summer, I would even prefer earlier). I left my house around 6:15 am since I had over an hour drive. The race began at a college so there were real bathrooms and comfortable places to hang out before the race.

Last year, in lieu of a medal, each runner received a car magnet and a tech shirt.  This year, just the gender-specific tech shirt.

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

Yes, that was the start line. No chip timing for this race.

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

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

Miles 1-3: 9:33, 9:46, 9:48

I knew what the course was like (though I did not find an elevation chart until after the race.) As I mentioned, I expected hills. I mean, it’s the Adirondacks so it is hilly everywhere.

One of the volunteers we passed said “Enjoy the roller coaster!” Yup, huge hills…up and down. Just past the water stop at mile 2.5, you turned around and repeated those crazy hills. I stopped at the first water stop to take a GU (since my breakfast was hours ago.)

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

Miles 4-6: 9:31, 9:45, 11:23

After the first 5K, we headed to the bike path. The steep hills disappeared but it was a steady incline. I kept hoping for a downhill but it never happened (until mile 7). At least, most of the path was shady.

I stopped and walked at each of the 4 water stops.  I took a GU at the 3rd one.

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

Miles 7-9.410:25, 10:01, 9:23 (.4 – 8:29)

The rest of the race was on the bike path and the part of the path that went downhill right into Lake George Village (opposite the lake). Finally running downhill!! Though, it seemed too little, too late to make up for the slow mile 5-6.

I commiserated with a few ladies during the bike path stretch. Then I lost them as I got a second wind and tried to sprint to the finish.

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

not me but one of the ladies (in red) that I ran with for a while

I crossed officially at 1:32:38 (1:32:36 Garmin Time) and I was happy. I expected worse from this course and it was actually FASTER than last year!!

Refreshments included watermelon, bananas, home made cake, ice cream provided by Ben & Jerry’s, water and Gatorade.

I headed right for the watermelon and then the ice cream.

There was no formal Awards Ceremony. Instead there was an Awards table next to the Finish Line where 5 year age graded award winners could pick up their mugs.

And I came in 2nd!! (The runner that beat me just turned 65 😦 )

Last year, we all headed to lake to soak our feet in the cold water. (I even brought a towel and flip flops this time.)

This year, the water was too high (from all the rain) and so not much of a beach.  Just took a pic, instead.

 

I was cursing at those hills as I was running the race. Now that’s it’s over, I am thinking about a repeat next year.

Since this was a point-to-point course, you had to board the school bus to get back to your car. It seemed to be a really long ride but a fun one as I got to know even more runners. (My biggest mistake was not getting on one of the 2 buses that left at 10 am. I had to wait 45 minutes for the next bus.)

After I got back to my car, I headed back to the lake to spend the day with my friend who lives there. We went to a craft fair, had lunch and drinks, chatted and went to the outlets. I didn’t get home until 6:30 pm!!!

Back to the race:

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

The Good:

  • Easy organized packet pick-up.
  • Lots of parking
  • Real Bathrooms at the start and near the finish
  • Scenic course – especially the bike path (with running water views and shade)
  • Gender specific tech shirt
  • Adequate water stops (4)
  • Capped at 300 runners so not crowded on the bike path
  • Mug as an age group award
  • Excellent post race food – bananas, watermelon, home-made cake, ice cream
  • Bag check and bags transported to the finish
  • Ended at the Lake
  • Photographer at the finish line

The Bad:

  • Not chip-timed
  • No port-a-potties along the course
  • The hilly looped portion of the course
  • Last year we got a car magnet. This year, nada. A finishers medal would have been nice.
  • A long wait for the second bus back to the start. 45 minutes!!!
  • Would love a bus from the finish to the start as well. (That way I could leave right after the race.)

There are always glitches with a newish race but there really weren’t any big ones.

Next Up:

I thought I might run a 5k on the next two weekends but instead, I think I am going to just run for fun with my friends. So my next scheduled race is a 5k on July 13.


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

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


I’m linking also up with Coaches Corner–Debbie and Marc.

 

Happy Running! Any exciting plans for the summer? Do you enjoy running new races or do you prefer ones that you have already run before? Flat or hilly races? Does it matter?

Weekly Run Down for 6.17.19-6.23.19: Lake Time

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A very busy week but luckily we had the best weather of the week on the weekend and I was lucky enough to spend both days at the lake – one racing and one boating.

Last Week

  • Monday – After a rainy Sunday, I was happy to see some sunshine.  I was supposed to run with a friend at the Crossings but I had a re-scheduled chiro appt. Instead I ran earlier at UAlbany and I talked my friend into joining me. After my run, I talked to my chiro about my wonky hip (but of course, it has stopped bothering me?) She said it was my SI joint and she worked some painful magic on it.

a lot of walking and talking but we got it done

  • Tuesday Rest day because I had a long overdue and re-scheduled dinner date with an old friend.  Sometimes running cannot take precedent over life.
  • Wednesday – Rest Day #2 due my annual monthly tennis gathering.

seen on my pre-work walk

It was my turn to choose the locale and I picked a farm (I had to go, right?)

what an interesting place…the food was great and the company even better. They also sponsor goat yoga and trail runs.

  • Thursday – I needed to run after work today because of all that eating out and I did have a 15k in two days. I headed after work to the Corning Bike Path. There was a concert scheduled so I headed in the opposite direction.

it started to rain so I wimped out. Good thing because then it really poured.

  • Friday – Long work day and a rest day to carb load for my race the next day.
  • Saturday – Today I ran the 2nd annual Race to the Lakes 15K.  You ran from Glen Lake to Lake George and then took the bus back. I ran it last year. I knew about all the crazy hills (though not prepared for them… AGAIN). And gee they were a lot harder than I remember (18 of them my friend said).) Still it was fun. I had a course PR and came in 2nd in my age group.

oh and there was ice cream (and watermelon) at the end

I took advantage of being at the lake to visit with a friend who lives there. We went to a craft fair, out to lunch and then hit the outlets.

lunch (and drinks) with a view

  • Sunday – A rest day and perfect weather for boating on the lake.

finished reading Marathon Woman…loved it!

Got antsy and went for a short hike as well.

there are lots of trails along the lake

Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k Brooklyn Race Recap

Image result for hot chocolate 15k brooklyn

***********April 27, 2019 in Brooklyn, NY

It seems like I’ve been planning this race forever.  After our girls weekend in Montreal, we were anxious to plan another.

Plus, there some others who couldn’t go to Montreal and wanted to join us – Barbara, Deidre and Jan.

I stumbled upon this NEW race and everyone agreed that it would be fun.  This racing series is popular around the country and this would be the first time it was offered near us.

Image result for hot chocolate 15k brooklyn

Well at least a train and hotel away.

So I signed up for the Hot Chocolate 15k because:

  • Duh…Chocolate!!
  • NYC!!!
  • A weekend away with my running tribe.
  • Enough pts for free hotel room for 2 nights.
  • It would be close after my previous half 2 weeks ago so I would be sorta already trained for it.

Image result for hot chocolate 15k brooklyn

Training:

If you follow my posts, you also know that I am not strict about following a training plan. But I did run 13.1 miles two weeks prior to this race.

After my February Half in Florida, due to possibly walking on the beach, I experienced leg discomfort.

So, I skipped many runs and sought the help of a chiro who did ART on my leg. I completed about 8 ART sessions (with minimal relief.)

However, on race day, the pain disappeared and I was able to run 13.1 miles!!

even 5 minutes faster than before the injury

Whether or not, my calf injury was cured or it was just adrenaline, we’ll never know.

I still felt discomfort from time to time after that race and cautiously trained for my April 13 half marathon. None of the usual 10, 11, 12 mile runs 😦 but again I completed this race PAIN-FREE!!

took another 5 minutes off my finish time

That was a downhill course and this course would be HILLY!!!!!!!!!

So, again my goal for this race was just finishing, not re-injuring my leg and having FUN!!!!!

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

Since I travel to NYC for work often and I have done numerous races in Brooklyn, I took the lead and picked the hotel, train times, made reservations for all our fun activities and meals.

In other words, we were all set with the logistics.

Unfortunately, the info for the race start and finish was not provided until only a few weeks before the race. Our hotel was near where the RnR Brooklyn, Brooklyn Half and NYC Half began (Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park) not near where this race began.

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However, it did begin near where all the 5ks that I have run in Brooklyn began the Lefrak Center.

Since I wasn’t sure about my work schedule, I paid the extra bucks and had my bib and swag mailed to me.

cool sweatshirt (hoped to not need to wear it at the end of April) – spoiler alert: I did wear it

One runner, Barbara, got injured and dropped out of our group and then 2 days before the race, another runner Jeri (who had paid for all our activities) got injured and cancelled.  We were now down to five of us. (You’ll see in the photos than there is one guy. I mentioned the race to Stan on Monday and he signed up. Since I had paid tickets and restaurant reservations, he agreed to participate in all our shenanigans.)

look out – upstate girls invade the city!

So we took the train to Manhattan, hopped the subway (not exactly a hop – 14 stops) to Brooklyn and checked into our hotel.

we are loving being here at peak cherry blossom time

Then we walked from our hotel through Prospect Park (and got kinda lost) to find the expo.

oops – wrong path

just a little wet but we found it!

We picked up race packets, sampled all the goodies (Chris & I won a $25 gift card for race apparel) and headed off (by subway) to carb load on Brooklyn’s best pizza.

yup – the best pizza ever – I had 3 huge slices myself – if you are ever in Brooklyn, go to Baroncinos

I set out my race outfit and went to bed early (not that I slept well but the intent was there.)

pretty optimistic about the weather – also packed a rain poncho, sweats, jacket and more…

Race Day:

As I always do, I brought my race day breakfast from home – Starbucks k-cup and oatmeal w/raisins.  Up at 4:30 am and ready to leave the hotel at 5:30 am.

Though, it was not a long walk and we also could have taken the subway, we cautiously decided to take an Uber.

So we called one at 6 am and he appeared minutes later.  After a slight detour, we managed to show him where to drop us off outside the park so we could walk to the start.

Thanks to signs and other runners, we found our way.  A chilly morning but no rain and less wind than predicted.

I was glad to be wearing my throw away shirt and also kept on my hoodie until I checked it (as did the others).

As we headed toward the corrals, we bumped into my friend Stan. Sherry, Stan and I  were in Corral A. The others were farther back.

There were 2000-2500 runners registered (small by NYC standards). Everything was so well organized with plenty of pre-race communication and signs.

Anyway, here’s how the race went:

yes the animated version above – 2 1/2 times around

Miles 1-3:

9:45, 9:25, 9:02

After the national anthem, our corral started. It was very crowded and hard to run fast (which was good).  I lost Sherry and Stan right away but luckily Stan caught up to me. He was my savior and the reason that the race went as well as it did.

As I mentioned above, we ran 2 1/2 loops.  We started with an uphill which I actually ran…slowly. But I ran it. I remember running in this park and the hill did not feel as bad as I remember for some reason (at least the first time up it).

There were some rolling hills and downhills. It all blended together after awhile. There were mile markers though hard to figure out since we were repeating the loop. It kept you focused on just running, looking at the scenery (lakes, etc).

Each loop had two water stops, I believe. I stopped at each one and walked. There was always Nuun, water and a cup of chocolate (tempting, but no).

Stan is the guy in the back in orange. I am to his right.

Stan and I ran together surprisingly since he is so much faster than me.  I often lost him at a water stop but he always waited for me to catch up.  We chatted and that made the miles go by so painlessly.  But the best part was that talking while running made me slow down!!!

The weather was perfect for running. A little windy but not too bad – the trees blocked things probably. I was cool at times but warm enough to roll down my arm sleeves during the race.

Miles 4-6:

9:52, 9:56, 9:44

So Stan and I continued chatting. I never looked at my watch and was surprised to be able to run at Stan’s pace. Around 5 miles, I ate my first and only Gu.

Since this was our 2nd loop, we had to conquer that same big hill and some minor hills. Again since I was not running as fast as I may have been if I was running alone, I was able to run up the hill (at a slightly slower pace.)

I usually hate races that loop but it didn’t bother me at all during this race. The scenery didn’t seem repetitious and you couldn’t see the finish line from the course.

Miles 7-9.41

9:30, 10:30, 9:48, 8:22

Finally the last time up the big hill.  At around mile 7 or so, I told Stan to run ahead and I am sure he was relieved to be able to run at his own faster pace.

My legs finally gave out up the last hill. I ran/walked it so that I would be able to finish the last few miles strong.

The happiest moment of the race was not having to run another loop and turn left toward the finish line. Lots of crowd support at this point made up for the fact that the end seemed a long way away from the course (and a little rutty/muddy).

Finally I crossed just over 1:31:00 and happy!!

Stan was waiting. He had finished 3-4 minutes ahead of me.

We quickly retrieved our refreshments and hoodies and waited for the others to finish.

banana, rice crispy treats, marshmallow, pretzels to dip om melted chocolate

and soon they were all done… Everyone was happy and met their goals for the race.

Stan won first in his age group (Thank God I didn’t wreck it for him) and I even won 2nd!! (Awards will be mailed.)

After gathering all our chocolate rewards, Stan led us out of the park to the subway so we could get back to the hotel for hot showers.

We had big plans ahead for the day: bagels for lunch, subway back to Manhattan to see a Broadway show and then dinner near Times Square.

Stan replaced Jeri and joined us for all our post race shenanigans

But all we talked about was how much fun the race was and how glad we were that we did it.

Brooklyn bagels …YUM!

Additional Race Reflections:

The race was fun. It was even better running it with friends and with good weather.  This race company has organized races all over the country and they have thought of every detail – bags to carry your uneaten refreshments, water fountains to rinse your hands, etc.

The Good:

  • Easy packet pick-up. Organized expo. Not very large but had samples of the sponsors’ goods – Honey Stinger, Nuun, etc. Located indoors (in case of rain)
  • Pre-race emails with instructions and maps.
  • Many porta potties at the start/finish area.
  • Bag Check. Well organized before and easy pick up at the end.
  • Water, Nuun and chocolate stops along the course.
  • Well marked course.
  • Pacers for all paces up to 15 m/m.
  • Very cool medal.
  • Gender specific hoodies.
  • No lines for post race refreshments.
  • Plastic bags available for carry uneaten refreshments.
  • Hot chocolate refills.
  • Water fountains to wash your hands (from the messy chocolate).
  • Free photos.
  • Awards announced for top 3 but age group awards mailed.
  • 5k option in addition to the 15k.
  • Great weather.

The Bad:

  • Looped course.
  • Course a little long (aren’t they all?)

The Ugly:

  • Nothing 🙂

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Do it if you can. So fun.

Final Stats:

Super thrilled.

Not sure I have ever negative split a race especially not a long one.  My 15k time was about the same as in my recent downhill half marathon and this race had HILLS.

We walked a 15k the next day and my legs did not feel like I had run a race the day before.

to the Botanical Gardens (and back) and around the Cherry Blossom Festival

to Hudson Yards from Macys and climbed all the stairs to the top of the Vessel

Next Up:


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

Since today is Tuesday, I’m linking up with these ladies. Hope you do too.


I’m linking also up with Coaches Corner–Debbie and Marc.

 

and Wild Workout Wednesday with Nicole, Annmarie, Jen, and Michelle.

Happy Running! Ever run a Hot Chocolate race? If so, did you enjoy it?

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Weekly Run Down – 4.22.19-4.28.19 – Chocolate and NYC

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This was planned forever ago but our girls weekend to NYC happened and it was a blast. And then next week, I’m off to Florida for a 8 day vacation with my tennis friends.

Last week

  • Monday – So today was week 6 of the Freihofer Challenge Training (FTC) group. I had planned on doing my long run on Saturday so I could tackle the “advanced” drills today. Well, the weather did not cooperate and I ran 4 on Saturday and 8 on Sunday. That meant, my legs would protest if I encouraged them to run fast.  Once more, I wimped out and ran with the “Beginner” group – Better safe than sorry is my philosophy (esp. with a 15k and a half marathon coming up.)

twinning

  • Tuesday Rest day finally. I hadn’t played tennis in forever so I decided to sub in my old group. It was fun playing and catching up over dinner. I have resumed my short lunch time walks too.

greenery = flowers & Starbucks

  • Wednesday – I had planned to run with the FTC group at 6 pm near where I live. Then, there was this fun event:

But after standing for 8 hours in uncomfortable shoes, I was too pooped to do either.  Instead, I stopped off on my way home at the Corning Bike Path. The run sucked but the scenery was good.

  • Thursday – One more run before the race. I decided on a quick one at UAlbany and then home to pack. A little bit more energy than the day before but not much.

jumping in excitement for my weekend away

  • Friday – Off to my girls weekend away. After checking into our hotel in Brooklyn, we headed to the expo and then to carb load with pizza to prepare for the next morning’s race.

  • Saturday – Today a group of the Sole Sisters ran the Hot Chocolate 15k in Brooklyn. Not an easy race but a fun one. We all met our goals and ate lots of chocolate.

not a PR but negative splits, 2nd in my AG and NO PAIN!!

After the race, we spent the rest of the day in Manhattan. This included a Broadway show (Avenue Q), and dinner near Times Square.

If you are wondering who is that guy. One runner in our group got injured so my friend Stan subbed for her (in the ALL of our planned activities).

  • Sunday – Another full day planned for our group. Lunch in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, visit to the Cherry Blossom Festival there, then back to Manhattan.

We checked our luggage in Macys (for free) and then climbed to the top of the Vessel at Hudson Yards before heading home that night.

Such a fun weekend away. We are already trying to figure out what to do for our next one.

November Report Card

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This was supposed to be a big racing month -5K, 10k, 15K, Half Marathon!!

Unfortunately the weather interfered with two of those races :(.

Here’s how the month went:

Weekday Runs:

I was able to run at least 3 times outdoors most weeks which is great because I HATE the treadmill (though a snowstorm forced me on it once.)

I ran a few times while working in NYC and on Long Island. Otherwise I ran locally. My weekday runs were usually around 3 miles (occasionally more and occasionally less). 

Unfortunately I missed ALL of my Turkey Trot Training Monday group runs. I missed ALL of the Saturday ones too but I had no intent of attending those. Although I love this group, if my work schedule does not change, I will not sign up again next year.

Long Runs:

I did my best to get in a few long runs in to prepare for my 33rd half marathon this month. It helped that I have great running friends.  

Total Mileage:

I’ve run 78 miles so far this month. It may be a slight increase over last month and I am still behind on my 1000 mile yearly goal. But the important thing is that I am feeling healthy so all is good.

Races:

November is usually a popular month for racing and this November followed suit. I ran the Stockade-athon 15k and got a PR. Unfortunately the Girls on the Run 5k a week later was cancelled. Then on Thanksgiving Day, I DNSed the Troy Turkey Trot 5k.  Two days later I did run the HILLY Pelham Half Marathon and won my age group.

Cross Training:

Due to my work schedule, I only played tennis once and I did NOT work out at the gym at all.

I did not walk at lunch at all. Of course, I got a lot of steps in during my work time in NYC.

Other News:

Despite all my work travel, I was able to squeeze in some friend, family and hubby time. I even saw TWO movies (Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star is Born.)

Feeling healthy so Life Is Good.

Looking Ahead:

Half Marathon #34 is February 10, 2019. 

This is my list so far for the next 2 months:

  • 12-01-18 – Jingle Bell Run 5k ???
  • 12-08-18 – Albany Last Run 5K
  • 12-09-18 – Winter Series #1 (3m)
  • 01-01-19 – Winter Series #2 (3.5m)
  • 01-13-19 – Winter Series #3 (10K)
  • 01-24-19 – Winter Series #4 (15k)

(Winter Series races are local and FREE)

I am linking to Deb at DebRuns for her December Race Linkup:

No monthly goals.

This motto worked for 2016 & 2017 so I’m sticking with it in 2018!


I’m linking up with these wonderful ladies:

Erika @ MCM Mama Runs, Marcia @ Marcia’s Healthy Slice and Patty @ My no-guilt life for

My Topic is: Give your running month a letter grade.

I’d say overall a B+

Despite my busy schedule, I did my best to get in my weekday runs. My long runs actually got done but were not as long as they should have been. I did play tennis once but did not go to the gym at all. I ran a 15k race PR and a half marathon.

Not a bad month but feel a lacking in the mojo department. (I even DNSed a race which is so unlike me.) It is maybe the cold weather and early winter snows.  I better get used to it.  It’s only just begun.


I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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Happy Running! How did your November turn out? Anything exciting planned for December? What grade would you give your running month? Does the cold weather zap your mojo?

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Stockade-athon 15K Race Recap

November 11, 2018                              8:30 am

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

In 2011, my first time (and 1st 15K), I finished in 1:36:08. I was injured in 2012 and then I ran it again in 2013 and finished with a disappointing 142:22.

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“fake” happy

With over 2000 runners in this race, they were forced to make some changes to the course three years ago.

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

This is a description of the new course:

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.

Well, I loved the new course and finished the race in 2014 with a new PR of 1:33:23.

Since then, the race organizers have decided to stay with the same course.  In 2015, I was shocked that I finished at 1:31:35Yes, a PR by almost 2 minutes.

I was not as lucky in 2016 or should I say “not as fast” (due to stomach issues) and finished it in 132:49.

Last year, I was not able to run this race since I was in Las Vegas running the Rock n Roll 5k and half marathon.

Apparently, they modified the course slightly for this year. And it seems that 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).).

This year whose knows?

Life and work have gotten in the way of my running.  I did not run Monday, Thursday and Friday and minimally on Tuesday and Wednesday. That meant that anything could happen!!

I didn’t expect to PR but just wanted a decent long run (and not get INJURED!!) since I was scheduled to run a half marathon in TWO WEEKS!!!

Usually to save time, I pick my race packet the day before the race. But I decided it was just as easy to pick it up on race morning.

Instead I spent a long overdue visit with the girl I mentor and her two sons.

Yes it snowed. Yes we all froze but they enjoyed the obstacles and I enjoyed watching them.

I kinda forgot about my race the next day and had a late lunch of chili. Oops not my usual pizza dinner.

As usual, I didn’t sleep much the night before the race. I had decided what to wear but still wasn’t sure about how cold it would be. It was in the 30s when I got up and windy but it was forecast to warm up a little and the sun to possibly come out. I hate this time of year. It’s so difficult to dress correctly. At least there was a bag check and I could bring extra clothes for after and in case I changed my mind.

just added some gloves and stuck with my original plan

Even though, I’ve been to this race before, I still left extra early.  Barbara and I carpooled. We got there around 7:10 am and found a spot on the street a few blocks from the start of the race.

nice long sleeved tech shirt – but too big 😦 (that’s why you go the day before.

We walked to the YMCA to use the restroom and check extra clothes. There I bumped into a lot of familiar faces and met up with my fellow Sole Sisters.

I used the restroom right away and was glad that I did since the line got longer later on. It was so nice to have some place to stay warm before the race.

We waited indoors as long as possible. But eventually it was time to head to the start.

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during the National Anthem (no pic this year but the same view)

We arrived as they were playing the National Anthem and then quickly ran across the street (to the women’s side) to get ready to start.

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waiting to start – men started on one side and women on the other.

I started with my Freihofer/Turkey Trot training group buddy, Nancy. But I knew that I would lose her immediately (She is quite fast.)

The course map:

As with any big race, it was very slow going at first.

from Daily Gazette (2015)

As the map above shows, we headed west into the Stockade section of town. Although it was chilly, when the sun peaked out, it was quite nice.  I even took off my gloves and unzipped my outer layer. There were mile markers at each mile and most of them had someone calling out times.

I ignored my watch. I just tried to run at a steady pace even up the hills but I had no idea if I was actually doing that until after the race when I check my split times.  But as I mentioned earlier, this was not a PR attempt…just a training run.

photo by David Giacalone (2015)

After the Stockade area, we ran past Union College and around various residential neighborhoods. I skipped the first water stop since I was not thirsty at all. The cold weather does that to me.

photo by David Giacalone (2015)

I knew a lot a 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 pain-free race.

The hills were relentless. But I was able to run up all of them. The wind was relentless as well. Why was it never at my back???

I figured that there would be no PR today so I just enjoyed the scenery and chatted with many runners as they went by.

Eventually I was getting hungry. My breakfast was at 5:30 am!! So I walked at the 2nd water stop and had a Gu.  I lost some time here since my tights & toasty checks skirt did not have a pocket so I had to squeeze my Gus into my race belt along with my phone. It was tough to get them out. Lesson learned.  Go back to my Skirt Sports tights, skirts and capris with TWO attached pockets.

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Around mile 6, we entered Central Park with its rolling hills, lake, and pretty foliage.

photo by David Giacalone

I think I skipped the third water stop. I actually don’t remember but I made sure to smile for all the photographers.

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leaving the park  (2015)

Between mile 7 and 8 is where the BIG hills were. I ran up the first one. Then I decided to run up the second. That was a first for me.  Usually in this race, I have to walk up the hills. The second hill was steep but not as steep as I remember. But that wind!!!!

Things were feeling good except for my foot (a lot of pain on the ball of my foot due to the bunion forcing my toes together) and a side stitch ever since I ate my GU.

At least the hills were over.. We proceeded to run through the cemetery and then through a park before heading DOWNHILL to the finish line at city hall.

Of course, the wind persisted and we were running INTO the wind!! But I was passing runners, even men. Pysched!

And when I saw the clock in the distance, I ran as fast as I could. I was shocked that I could possibly finish under 1:30.

But I did not!!!I finished at 1:30:XX.

I was happy anyway.

I bumped to another Skirt Sports ambassador and lots of running friends. I waited outside as long as I could but I was getting pretty chilled.

So we went back inside.  This year, the food was in the same area as bag check and we we waited before the race.

I got some chocolate milk, bread, potato chips, soup (carrot ginger) and pizza.  What a nice spread for a local race.

I also checked the results. All the speedy old ladies run this race. But this year, I was pretty close to an award for the first time.

We hung out waiting for everyone to finish the race and plan where we were going for brunch (and yes, I ate some more).

We ended up going to a nearby diner where we continued to chat about the race. We all had a good time running it.

2nd & 3rd 5ks exactly the same – wow!!

My Splits:

mile 1 – 9:05
mile 2 – 9:30
mile 3 – 9:27
mile 4 – 9:42
mile 5 – 9:41
mile 6 – 9:54
mile 7 – 9:52
mile 8 – 10:07
mile 9 – 9:34
.4 – 8:24

1:30:15

I am very happy with how the race turned out. My miles were pretty consistent (at least for me.) The slowest ones were when I ate my Gu (mile 6) and ran up the big hills (miles 7-8).

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 (1500), 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 training run. When I was done, nothing hurt (not even that stupid foot.)

And guess what? It was a PR!!!!!! Over a minute faster than on this course in 2015.

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 gun for that sub 1:30 finish.


It’s Tuesday so don’t forget to link up with these wonderful ladies:

Erika @ MCM Mama Runs, Marcia @ Marcia’s Healthy Slice and Patty @ My no-guilt life


I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup.

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Happy Running! Did you race this past weekend or do any other running? Do you ever run 15ks? Do you like them? Have you ever PRed when you weren’t trying to?

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