Winter Series #4 15k Race Report

This same race in 2015

Once again the Hudson Mohawk Runners Club sponsored a FREE race for its members and this weekend, they offered distances of 3M, 15K and 30K.

Since I have a half marathon in 7 weeks, I chose to run the 15K since 9 miles was on my “schedule.”

I have run several 15Ks (including 4 on this same course):

2016 – 1:33:13, 2015 – 1:34:29, 2014 – 1:34:55 & 1:42:40  (At least I’ve gotten faster.)

My 15 PR on a harder course is actually 1:31:25.

But I was continuing with my “relaxing” and go with the flow race plan – run and enjoy.  Besides, this race was just part of my training for my March 5 Half Marathon.

These Winter Series races start at 10 am so you don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn. I always leave early to get parking since these races are often crowded and there may be other events going on at UAlbany at the same time.

I was surprised when I got there that the parking lot was empty. The weather was perfect for racing. Sunny for the first time in over a week, 30 degrees or so and a little breezy.

What I love about this local race is that you get to see a lot of people that you know.


last year meeting up with Judy & Barbara

And I immediately bumped into many different running friends.

My two age group competitors were there. Oh well.

Anyway I hung indoors until the last minute and then made out way outside.


basically a few loops around parking lots

This week I made sure that my Garmin was charged and got a signal.

All three distances started at the same location this week. As usual, I started pretty close to the front and let the speedy runners pass me by.

For most of the race, I felt overdressed. I unzipped my jacket and took off my gloves but my turtle neck was a mistake. (Of course, the wind picked up toward the end and I was happy to have worn the jacket.)

As in all my recent races, I tried to relax and run at an even pace. But as usual, my first mile was the fastest and I fizzled with each mile after.

I walked through the first water stop around mile 3.5 and took a Gu as well as the second water stop. I ran most of the rest of the race.

This was due to fact that Alyssa caught up to me around mile 5.5. We chatted the whole time. I’ve never run a race with someone before.

Did it slow me down? Probably. Alyssa is a faster runner for the early miles. In long races such as a half marathon I’ve finished 20 minutes faster.

Nevertheless it made the miles go by faster. I didn’t walk where I normally would. I just ran at an easier pace. But it certainly was a lot more fun having company.

Eventually as we neared the finish line, I took off and finished at 1:34:00 (25 seconds ahead of Alyssa.)

A happy runner

Alyssa left to run a few more miles and I waited around for Judy to finish.

After Judy finished, we went inside had some refreshments. There was vegetable chili, bread fruit and hot cocoa.  Free good food. Win-win.


The awards were for 10 year age groups and just top 2.

I finished 128 out 174.

After the awards, I changed my clothes and Judy, Alyssa and I headed to the mall.


The Athleta store was holding a clothing drive for participants in the STEM program. It motivated me to clean out my closets and get rid of any running clothes that I no longer wear.

I was very happy with how I ran this 15k race as a training run – I pushed myself just enough but not too much. It wasn’t a PR 15K and not even a course PR (1 minute slower than last year.)

Race splits:

mile 1 – 9:09
mile 2 – 9:34
mile 3 – 9:42
mile 4 – 10:13 (water & Gu)
mile 5 – 10:15
mile 6 – 10:32
mile 7 – 10:38 (water)
mile 8 – 10:34
mile 9 – 10:42
.3 – 8:39

Finish Time – 1:34:00

So obviously the second half of the race was much slower than the first.  It always is for me so I won’t blame Alyssa.  But it is hard to run your own pace when you are running with another runner and you are talking.  However, it made the race more enjoyable and “relaxing.!!”

Next weekend, I signed up for a 4 mile race in Lake George. It should be fun. Fingers crossed for no ice or snow.


AJH (from VT) & I at this race in 2015. We try to do this one together every year.

I am sharing in the support love by linking up with a Sunday Fitness and Food Linkup hosted by

Ilka from Ilka’s Blog and Angela from Marathons & Motivation

Happy Running! How you are enduring the winter? Did you run this weekend?


November Recap & TOLT

Image result for novemberTime has just flown by.  I can’t believe that it is now December. I feel like I just wrote my October Recap.

Anyway, here’s how November turned out:

Weekday Runs:

We’ve been lucky and had a pretty mild November with very little rain or cold temps (until the last week.) So I was able to run at least 3-4 times outdoors each week which is great because I do not have a treadmill at home.

I ran mostly at UAlbany (near work). It’s easier than driving to run. Plus, it’s now dark when I get out of work.

I ran mostly alone.  Barbara was injured.  Alyssa was busy and I was in NYC one week.

It’s definitely more fun running with friends. I hope I get to do that more next month.

Long Runs:

There were a few of these! One was a 15k race race, one was miles added to a 5k race and one was actually 8 uninterrupted miles.

Total Mileage:

I ran 90 miles this month –  6 fewer than last month (cuz I missed a long run) but I should definitely hit 1000 for the year next month. (After Saturday, I will be at 993!!)



I ran six races this month – a 15k, a 10K and four 5ks.

Yes, 6!!!

I was generally happy with how they all went. I did not have PR goals but my finish times were not far off. I even won an age group award in the Veteran’s Day 5k.


I knew runners at all of the races and they were all super fun. As you can guess I LOVE RACING!! I wish there were more races during the winter months.

Cross Training:

I still play tennis (indoors now.) I am scheduled to play two Tuesdays a month but do get called to sub on some of the other weeks.

I DID NOT go to a single yoga class!! Someday I will. I hope!


Miss you, Maria!

I did NOT workout at the gym or at home at all. Total slacking here again this month!!

I did walk almost every day at lunch for 30 minutes – Either around the outdoor shopping mall to get a Starbucks coffee or around a short nature trail. When I was in NYC, I walked everywhere!!


what’s not to like about working near here for 5 days…

Other News:

My running groups ended this month.

I ran with the Troy Turkey Trot Challenge advanced group several Monday evenings. Those were the only times that I did any speed workouts. I hope to see these women (and do drills) again in the spring for the Freihofer Training Challenge group runs.

I volunteered with STEM group on most Wednesday evenings. Their 5k race took place on Nov. 19. It was a tremendously rewarding experience. I plan to volunteer again with this group, as well.


Jenn on the left is the founder of the group, Kim in the middle is our success story

I extended my race trip to NYC because my friend Anna from Moscow flew in and invited 2 of her Russians friends (now living in DC & Chicago) to join her. We had a busy time yet fun time together. And I got to meet fellow blogger, Karen, again.


Feeling healthy so Life Is Good.

Looking Ahead:

My next half marathon is December 3 and I am very excited. It will also be a blogger meet-up!! I’m actually more excited about this than the race itself.

I do have a few races coming up. Things slow down around here when it gets cold.

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

  • 12-03-16 – Panama City Beach Half Marathon (in FL)
  • 12-10-16 – Albany Last Run 5K
  • 01-01-17 – HMRRC Winter Series #2 – 3.5M
  • 01-15-17 – HMRRC Winter Series #3  – 10K
  • 01-29-17 –  HMRRC Winter Series #4  – 15K

No monthly goals.

my motto for 2016 & I’m sticking to it!

Since it is Thursday, I’m linking up today with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

thinking out loud

Happy Running! How did your November turn out? Anything exciting planned for December?


Monday Running Update


Last Week:

  • Monday – I was so tired after my weekend but I dragged myself planning to go to my Troy Turkey Trot training group run after work (We are now at a new location – RPI campus). We did 8 X 1 min at race pace.  It was tough but as usual, I am glad I went.

I think we only did 3 miles this week.

  • Tuesday – After work I voted and then played tennis and went out to dinner. I hate that it gets dark so early!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Wednesday – With Barbara injured, Alyssa away and STEM cancelled, I had to run solo. It was cold and raining so I could only motivate myself to do one loop of the campus.

  • Thursday – A scheduled rest day so I walked at lunch and then in the mall after work with my BFF.

my first holiday cup of the season

  • Friday – I had the day off from work so why not a 5k. It wasn’t that cold but the nasty wind made it feel that way.  Still had fun running with friends and winning my age group (a glass & $15 gift card to Fleet Feet.)

27:51 finish time with an untied shoe and wind in my face 🙂

  • Saturday – Another rest day and time to catch up on the household chores that got ignored last weekend. I also picked up my bib for the race the next day and spent all my race winning gift cards ($25 at LL Bean, $10 at Fleet Feet & $50 at Recovery Room restaurant.)
  • Sunday – My favorite 15k race – the Stockade-athon.  I ran it for 5th time. Stomach issues during mile 3-4 prevented me from a PR, but still enjoyed the race. I met so many friends as well as, Ed Whitlock!!!

1:32:49 ( I plan to stick to pizza for my pre-race meal)

18 miles done with 4 runs and 3 rest days.

This Week:

  • Monday – train to NYC, run when I get there?
  • Tuesday – work in NYC (rain predicted)
  • Wednesday – work in NYC, run before work?
  • Thursday – work in NYC, run during lunch?
  • Friday – work in NYC, train home
  • Saturday – 5k race with STEM + more miles
  • Sunday – Turkey RaffAl Run?, mah jongg anniversary dinner
Once again, I am linking up for the Weekly Wrap hosted by these wonderful bloggers Holly @ HoHoRuns and Tricia @ MissSippiPiddlin. See rules here.

Happy Running! How is your running going?


Stockade-athon 15K Race Recap

Image result for Stockadeathon 2016

This is my fifth time running this 15k race. In 2011, my first time, I finished in 1:36:08. I was injured in 2012 and then I ran it in 2013 and finished with a disappointing 142:22.


“fake” happy

With over 2000 runners in this race, they were forced to make some changes to the course two 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:

It 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 via Front Street 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 – 1:33:23


Last year, they decided to stay with the same course. Yay!! But I was training for an early December half marathon (like this year) and was shocked that I finished at 1:31:35!! Yes, a PR by almost 2 minutes …without even trying!


“real” happy

This year whose knows?  Life and work have gotten in the way of my running.  That means that anything could happen!!

So I didn’t expect to PR but just wanted a decent long run (and not get INJURED!!)


it’s a sleeveless cotton tank that is too big

To save time, I picked up my race packet on Saturday at Fleet Feet in Albany. I did a lot of errands and then went out to dinner with my hubby. I normally have pizza as my pre-race meal but there was none on the menu and I was starved.  I had clam chowder, steak and a cronut with vanilla ice cream & salted caramel sauce for dessert – BIG MISTAKE!!

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 but it was forecast to warm up to the high 40s. I hate this time of year. But at least there was a bag check and I could bring extra clothes for after and in case I change my mind.

My stomach was already telling me that my dinner choices were a bad idea.  I was hoping that it wouldn’t affect my race.

Even though, I went to this race before, I still left extra early. I got there around 7:15 am and found a spot on the street a few blocks from the start of the race.

I walked to the YMCA to use the restroom and check my extra clothes. There I bumped into a few familiar faces. I also met someone new – a fellow Skirt Sports Ambassador and we spent a lot of time chatting.


yes, still wearing a skirt.

I used the restroom right away and was glad that I did since the line got very very long later on. It was so nice to have some place to stay warm before the race. They even had water, coffee, donuts, fruit, etc. I didn’t eat anything since I ate breakfast before I left but did take a GU.

I decided not to wear my capris nor my jacket.  I kept on my gloves and throw-away shirt.

On my way out, I bumped into Judy and we walked a few blocks to the starting line. We didn’t start together but planned to meet afterwards.


during the National Anthem

The weather was actually perfect.  I tossed my throw-away shirt before starting.  I kept on my gloves (but they didn’t last long.)


waiting to start.

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 along the Mohawk River into the Stockade section of town.

photo by David Giacalone (2015)


After the bike path and the Stockade area, we ran past Union College and around various residential neighborhoods.

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.


happy at he beginning

I was trying to keep my pace under 10 but at this point I was starting to slow down. My legs were tired. Who thought running a fast 5k two days before a big race was a good idea??!! Besides, the hills were relentless. I remember last year being able to run up them. Not this year but I gave myself permission to walk if I needed to.


still early and smiling

The worst part was my stomach.  Between mile 3 and 4, I got really bad stomach cramps.  I could not even run.  Plus, I knew that there would not be a port-a-potty until the park around mile 7.  So I walked…. and walked. (I was afraid that I would have to walk the rest of the race.)


things are starting to go south

Eventually, the pains minimized so I was able to run.   I knew there would be no PR today so I just enjoyed the scenery and chatted with many runners as they went by.


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

photo by David Giacalone


still foliage in the park – so pretty

I wasn’t concerned about my time and made sure that I stopped at all the water stops and smiled for all the photographers.



leaving the park – you can see me if you look closely


Between mile 7 and 8 is where the BIG hills were. I ran/walked up the first one. Then I decided to run up the second because it was the last one. It was so steep that when I got to the top, my legs were jelly and I could hardly run.

At least the hills were over and I got a second wind. 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 picked up and we were running INTO the wind!! But I was passing runners, even men. Pysched!



trying to pass the lady in front of me – I did not!

And when I saw the clock in the distance, I ran as fast as I could.

I finished at 1:32:49!!  (over a minute slower than last year but faster than the year before)

I was happy with the results. I ran the 1st and last 5k in around 30 minutes and the middle one in around 32 minutes.  That means that I was able to pick up the pace at the end.

I bumped to another Skirt Sports ambassador while waiting for Judy to finish.


two weekends in a row finding Eleonora at the finish line 🙂

I also checked the results. There was no chance of an age group award. All the speedy old ladies run this race. I think that I was 10th.


I got to see Judy finish and she PR’ed!!


another Skirt Sports photo op

Then Judy & I walked to Proctors to get something to eat. There were vegetable soup, pizza, bagels, cider donuts, fruit, chocolate milk, yogurt, and lots more.


While I was stuffing my face, I saw Ed Whitlock.  At 84, he finished about 20 minutes faster than I did. (In case, you don’t know who he is – On October 16, 2016, Whitlock, aged 85, ran the Toronto Marathon in 3:56:38, setting a new world record.)


I had to pose with my idol for a pic

Before leaving, I bumped into a bunch of Strong Running Mamas and of course, we had to take another pic with Ed.


My Splits: (2014 – 2015 – 2016)

mile 1 – 8:49 – 8:57 – 9:04
mile 2 – 9:29 – 9:36 – 9:56
mile 3 – 10:03 – 10:02 – 10:16
mile 4 – 10:04 – 9:59 – 10:21
mile 5 – 9:49 – 9:33 – 9:57
mile 6 – 10:30 – 10:16 – 10:30
mile 7 – 10:35 – 10:04 – 10:19
mile 8 – 10:58 – 10:21 – 10:05
mile 9 – 10:02 – 9:38 – 9:30
.4 – 8:26 – 8:14 – 7:23


my last 5k was faster than my first 30:41 – 30:02

I really enjoyed this race (despite my wretched stomach.). 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 NOTHING HURT!! Not my feet, not my back…nada. I didn’t put it all out there (thanks to my stomach cramps) and I just enjoyed myself.

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.

Today I am linking up with a Sunday Fitness and Food Linkup hosted by Ilka from Ilka’s Blog and Angela from Marathons & Motivation

Happy Running! Did you run or race this past weekend? If so, how did it go?




Belated Runfessions – October

It’s that time again.  Time to get things off my chest with Marcia’s Runfessions at Marcia’s Healthy Slice

Sorry I’m a little late on this one…

I runfess…

I was in NYC for work for 5 days this past week.  I didn’t bring my laptop but I did have my iPad.  So I could have.  But I didn’t feel like blogging. So I skipped WW, TOLT and Friday Five. Just needed a breather. Ever feel blogged out?

I runfess…

Though I was in NYC for work, my mind was fixated on “Where and when can I run today?

It’s not easy in a strange city when you have little free time.


sometimes you just have to miss lunch

I had hoped to do the following:

  • run along the Hudson River
  • run along the East River
  • run to Battery Park
  • run in Central Park

I did accomplish the first three.

I runfess…

I ran four races this month.  Remember I suffer from the FOMO disease.


even raced in these horrible conditions

I almost ran one this weekend too. But I felt guilty neglecting my mentee and her kids so I spent time with them on Saturday.  I just wish my running friends would not post pix from their races on FB when I don’t run.  LOL.

I runfess…

I choose my long run locations based on the post run fueling options.  Don’t you?


chocolate milk and a sticky bun

I runfess…

I signed up for 6 races in November!! Yes, six!  a 10k, a 15k, and 4 5ks. At least none of them is a half marathon.  This just means that my long runs may be non-existent.


the Troy turkey trot 10k is one of my favorites

I runfess…

I have a 5k in NYC this Saturday. The logistics for the weekend will be crazy – getting there, checking into my airbnb apt, meeting my friend from Russia, getting my bib, getting to the race, planning a blogger meet-up, getting my luggage, getting home, etc.  There’s a 5k somewhere in the mix. I haven’t given the race a second thought.  It’s just for fun.  I would love to spectate the NYC marathon on Sunday but I don’t have a place to stay Saturday night.  (Any offers?)


at last year’s 5k

Happy Running! Anything to Runfess?





TOTR: Fall Races


This week’s TOTR topic is Fall Race Schedule

Here’s what I have planned so far…

  • 9-10-16 – Malta 5k

I’ve run this 5k several times. It’s pretty flat and I usually win an AG award.


  • 9-18-16 – Saratoga Palio Half Marathon

2008 Saratoga Palio Poster (Palio!) Tags: race poster memorial compassion run promotional legacy scholarship palio halfmarathon 5k fund mentalhealthcare melaniemerolaodonnell

This a first for me.  I’ve heard good things about it so we’ll see.  I am using it as a training run for my next half.

  • 10-01-16  – Apple Run 5K


This is a fun local race with good swag.


  • 10-09-16 – Ramblefest Half Marathon


Another new race.  It follows the same course of the Steel Rail Half which had favorable reviews.

  • 10-15-16 – Great Pumpkin Challenge 10K

I have run this race a few times.  There will be many runners there that I know so it should be fun. Plus running around the park is beautiful this time of year.


  • 11-05-16 – NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K (in NYC)

My second time running through the NYC Marathon finish line.  What can I say?  You know I love NYC.


  • 11-13-16 – Stockade-athon 15K

There aren’t many 15ks so I like to run them.  This one is a very popular and lots of fun.


  • 11-19-16 – Girls on the Run 5k

This is the 2nd year for this race.  Most likely I won’t be running the race for myself but volunteering  and helping one of the STEM runners finish her first 5k.


  • 11-24-16 – Troy Turkey Trot 10k

70th this year

I plan to participate in the training group for this race.  It’s the most popular race in our area and a great way to start Thanksgiving Day.

  • 11-24 -16 –Troy Turkey Trot 5k

This race happens right after the 10k.  I’m dressed to run so why not do it too??


  • 12-03-16 – Panama City Half Marathon (in FL)

the Half!

A race-cation!! Can’t wait!! In addition I get to meet my favorite fellow bloggers! This will just be a fun one!!

I’m linking up with

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

Happy Running! What fall races are you looking forward to?


TOLT: May Recap

My favorite month has ended  😦

Here’s how things went down:

Weekday Runs:

The weather was fickle – there were warm days and then there were cold days.  I was able to run at least 3 times each week – mostly after work and everyday during my Florida vacation.

Long Runs:

There were NONE.  I ran a lot of races and went on vacation. There were NO double-digits runs.  The longest were a 15k race and 4.5 mile post 5k run.

Total Mileage:

 I ran 89 miles this month – fewer than last month but expected.

may miles


I ran SIX races this month – a 15k, four 5Ks, and a half marathon. That may be a record for one month!

I was generally happy with how they all went. I did not have PR goals and of course, they could have been faster. My Half Marathon could have (maybe should have) been a DNF but wasn’t.

Cross Training:

My tennis elbow healed so I started back playing once a week and everyday during my Florida vacation.


I DID NOT go to a single yoga class!! I planned to but something usually got in the way.  Next month, I promise! (Wait, I say that EVERY month!!)


I continued to walk at work (around the building and to Starbucks or the park). On vacation, I walked to and from the tennis courts each day.

I did not go to the gym at all.  My elbow is healed so I have NO excuses…just lazy (or have other priorities).

Sat am at the gym

Other News:

I ran 3 times with the Freihofer Challenge Training group.  I ran once with the Intermediate group. I enjoy running with my “advanced” group friends and coach Patrick.  He has had us running 400m and 800m intervals.  These are tough for me but I know they are important if I want to get faster.

I’ve also continued my volunteering with STEM. These year’s group is so enthusiastic.  It makes it even more fun.  

I finished my stint as a Running Budding in the GOTR program. I enjoyed our practice 5k but she didn’t show for the real 5k. 😦 


I got together again with my mentee and her 2 sons. We spent a great day in the park for Tulip Fest.


Speaking of tulips.  I walked to the park everyday to see them.  They were beautiful.  

I celebrated my birthday in May also. I  went out to eat several times.

My favorite part of this month was my vacation in Naples, Florida.  It included running, tennis, beaches, restaurants, dolphin watching, sunsets, botanical gardens, movie, concert, shopping, comedy club… What a great time with good friends.

Feeling healthy so Life Is Good.

Looking Ahead:

I’m not sure when my next half marathon will be.  So far, it’s not until September. But that could change.

I do have a bunch of races coming up.  This is my list so far for the next 2 months:

  • 6-04-16 – Freihofer’s Run for Women 5k
  • 6-12-16  – Run for Help 5k (for STEM)
  • 6-18-16 –  Cancer Crushers 5k ??
  • 6-26-16 – Adirondack Distance Run 10m
  • 7-23-16 – Silks and Satins 5K
  • 7-31-16 – Care for Kids 5k

Boating season on Lake George is beginning.  🙂 🙂

No monthly goals.

my motto for 2016

thinking out loud

Since it is Thursday,  I’m also linking up today with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

Happy Running! How did your May turn out?  Anything exciting planned for June?  What are thinking about today? Please share.


TOTR: Picking your races

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

This week’s topic is: Racing. Are you a one-and done type? Or do you run the same ones over and over?

Well, both.

For half marathons, I have decided not to repeat.  There are so many to choose from.  I don’t feel the need even though I am tempted to re-do the ones I’ve loved.  There are still many local ones that I haven’t run.


my favorite destination race

Walkway Half Marathon

my favorite local race

For other distances, if I like a race, I do run it every year. I won’t list them all since as you know, I run a lot of races. The ones below, I try to put on my racing calendar every year.


I will be running the Freihofer’s 5k for the 9th time this year.


the Spring Run Off is my favorite 10k


I love the Stockadeathon 15K

delmar dash2

Delmar Dash wins for a 5 mile race


and the Polar Cap for 4 milers


My favorite 10 mile race is the Adirondack Distance Run

Happy Running! Do you repeat races?


Mastodon Challenge 15k Race Recap & TOTR

Spoiler alert: This was the first race EVER that I said I wouldn’t race (but just run for fun) and I DID!!

What made me do it?

  • I didn’t know the course.
  • It was hilly and you know I love hills. (just kidding!)
  • They only gave awards in 10 year age groups and only for first place (I could maybe win 2nd or 3rd but that’s it.)
  • I had a 5k scheduled for the next day.
  • Lots of uneven pavement (Remember how I fell last year.)
  • I bumped into a former student’s sister and we ran together.
  • I was down about not winning any awards for my last 2 races so I decided to enjoy this race.
  • Scenery watching – the Hudson River, old buildings and neighborhoods, parks, bike paths…

All good reasons, right?

I have had these intentions so many times in the past.  Each time, as soon as the gun goes off (or race starts), I forget about having fun and run as fast as I can.  It happens time and time again.  Sometimes, it pays off but more than not, it does not.

So for the second year in a row, I signed up for this race.

Last year, I chickened out and changed my mind the day of and ran only the 5k.

Mastodon Challenge 5K

last year – check out the bloody legs!!

This was the course map and you can tell that you never repeat any part of the route which keeps it interesting.


Here’s what the website has to say about the course:

We start both races by the Cohoes Falls in a park named after a heroic Vietnam War Veteran – Colonel Robert Craner – Craner Park. 

After that we take you:

  • Past the Historic Harmony Mills – now luxury loft apartments,
  • By the Restored Cohoes Music Hall which produces some of the best entertainment this side of Broadway!By the business district, with great architecture
  • Past a historic Armory soon to be turned into a Brewery/Restaurant.
  • Next, you run through a park and on the old Erie Canal Towpath which brings you up to
  • The Mohawk Bike Trail (where the whole thing started!). The path is shaded this time of year, but don’t get comfortable because the hill that brought you to it is just the beginning.
  • Once you are off the path, you pass by wonderful schools, parks and neighborhoods but they come at a cost.
  • From there you run up 4 hills that hurt and lots of inclines along the way….don’t worry – we have 8 water stops and entertainment along the route to keep you going. From church groups to Boy Scouts and schoolchildren, to the High School Band… we are here to welcome you and make this as painless as possible. Our volunteers are at every corner and they are so excited you can’t help but appreciate their enthusiasm. Watch out for paper maiche mastodons on the sidewalks!
  • Once you hit mile 7 and 8 you are golden! We take you back to the shade of the Bike Path and down a couple of hills with the mist from the Beautiful Cohoes Falls ahead of you.

But look at the elevation!!! Downhill during the first mile and the last mile and the rest are uphills and rolling hills. Fun, fun, fun.

The weather started out cool and cloudy but it was the nicest it had been all week. (Eventually even the sun came out 🙂 )


I got to Cohoes early (around 8 am) and found a spot in one of the parking lots. Then I walked about .25 mile to the park where you picked up your race packet. (It was a good thing that I got there early because they closed the street and many had to park over a mile away.)

cute gender-specific tech shirt

I had time so I walked across the street to look at the Cohoes Falls.


It was so beautiful. I sat for awhile and relaxed.


And then walked around a little exploring the area.


In September of 1866, while breaking ground for construction of Harmony Mill No. 3, the bones of a mastodon were discovered, deeply buried in two potholes that had been worn into the bedrock at the end of the last Ice Age. Who knew?

Finally I headed back to the park.  I wound up chatting with a few runners.


workouts at the finish line before the race

I was wearing my Lake George Half shirt and many people came up to me to ask about the race.


I hadn’t run long in weeks (only 2 but felt like more.)  Last weekend, I ran a 10k and it was really tough.

But I stuck with the expectation of finishing upright. (My 15k times vary between 1:42:40 and 1:31:35.)

The 15k started 15 minutes before the 5k so off we went. I was with a bunch of runners and we walked up the hill and passed by the 15k start and ended up at the 5k start so had to double back.


Since there was no starting line, I started close to the front and just let everyone fast pass me by.

Neil Sergott photo

Neil Sergott photo

The first mile was mostly downhill but my legs after 2 days off felt like I hadn’t run in ages.  (I guess I should have warmed up a  bit.)

Eventually my legs limbered up but then the hills came. First not too bad but then steeper and steeper.  I am not proud to admit that I walked up the first the big hill and ran the minor ones.  That is a big deal for me because very often, I walk up ALL the hills.

What helped me take it slow was the fact that there were water stop at EVERY mile. I didn’t know when the next one was so I kept stopping and walking to drink water.

There were lots of twists and turns and so many volunteers on the course directing runners and making sure that the traffic was stopped.

Of course, there were several more steep hills (which I walked up) and rolling hills (which I ran) but by mile 4.5, the big hills ended and we were just left with the rolling ones.

I loved the fact that the course had such variety.  You were running in the city past factories and through a brick path in a park, and in old neighborhoods and on the bike path. Through much of the course, you were high enough to look down at the Hudson River.

Having so many cups of water was keeping me hydrated and full that I only ate one Gu during the whole race (which is odd for me.)

As I took my time on the course, most runners seemed to be passing me by but I was behind one runner for quite some time. Eventually I caught up to her around mile 5 or 6 and realized that I knew her.  Her twin sisters were students of mine years old and I have met her at several races in the past.

We started to chat about past races, future races, Lake George and what ever.  This is the first time that I have run at someone else’s pace.  I’m not sure if our conversation was slowing me down or running with her was discouraging me from walking and helping my pace.

Either way, the last miles were pretty enjoyable.

Neil Sergott photo

I kept waiting and waiting for the downhill to come and finally it did near the end.

As soon as I saw the finish line, I started to sprint and crossed around 1:36:XX

Neil Sergott photo

Neil Sergott photo

So I did finish the race upright and my time wasn’t great but it could have been worse.


me & Chrissy, my partner in crime

For the first time after a race, I wasn’t hungry even though they had bagels, donuts, yogurt, fruit but I did drink some chocolate milk while waiting for the results.

Like last year,  I came in 2nd in my age group.  Unfortunately, they only gave out awards for first.


not even close (even if I had a PR)


mile 1 – 9:06
mile 2 – 9:53
mile 3 – 11:02
mile 4 – 11:17
mile 5 – 10:40
mile 6 – 10:52
mile 7 – 10:21
mile 8 – 10:38
mile 9 – 9:48
.3 – 8:03

Garmin time – 1:36:07
Official time – 1:36:10


The course was actually awesome if you could ignore the hills (which I did) and if they gave out more awards, it would have been even better.

The most important point was that I didn’t run fast and had a really enjoyable race. My legs felt great (which was good since I planned to do a lot of walking later.)

I rushed home to shower & change.

I spent the rest of the day with my mentee, Amanda and her 2 sons at the annual Tulip Fest. We walked around the park for 4 hours.  The kids went on the rides, made musical instruments, rode ponies, pet animals. and of course, we had ice cream and fried dough. They had fun & I enjoyed spending time with them.




I decided to postpone my dinner out with my hubby. I was pooped.

Besides, I had another 5k race the next morning. and then a Mother’s Day dinner. Oy…

Since it’s Tuesday, I’m linking also with

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

How do I make Destination Races affordable:

  • Register early – Take advantage of cheaper race fees
  • Use frequent flyer miles when you fly (or drive, take a bus or train, if possible)
  • Stay with friends (or a cheap hotel or rent a AirBNB)
  • Travel without your spouse

Happy Running! Any races lately?  How do you afford destination races?

Monday Running Update & Today’s My Birthday

mon r u
Last Week: 

  • Monday – Ugh! A rainy day but I took my umbrella and got my tulip fix.

The rain stopped so I could run with my Freihofer Training group.  Since I had run a 10k & a 5k over the weekend, I decided that I had done enough speed work.  Instead I ran with the Intermediate group for 8-9-8 minutes with 45 sec walks in between.  Perfect. Of course, I added more steps in the mall after.

  • Tuesday – Another cloudy dreary day.  I couldn’t go for my walk since I had to leave work early to go my GOTR practice 5K. It was so much fun even though we ran around the building 12 times.  My girl was very speedy for the first 4 laps but then, as expected, she got tired and we walked several times after that.  Still we finished 2nd and she was thrilled.

  • Wednesday – Rain, rain, rain.  Too busy at work for a walk, too. Yes, it rained all day and I was dreading my run with the STEM folks but miraculously, it slowed to a drizzle and then stopped.  We had a great run. They are up to 8 minutes of running and 25 on Friday.  A month away from their first 5k. They are planning a flash dance as entertainment after the race.  I don’t know…I think I’m too old for those kind of  moves.

  • Thursday – Still cloudy. Haven’t seen sun in days and hadn’t walked since Monday. But the rain had stopped so I went for a walk to the park.

After running 5 days in a row (though truthfully, the last 3 runs were with training groups and involved a lot of walking), I decided to rake 2 days off completely and rest up for Saturday’s 15k.

Instead, I went out to dinner and a movie with my BFF as an early birthday celebration.

I love Tom Hanks but this wasn’t his best movie. The Thai food was good, though.

  • Friday – Sounds like a broken record but it rained all day again. I did nothing but work and play mah jongg in the evening.
  • Saturday – The weather turned out great for this 15k.  I just ran it for fun…ignored the steep hills and walked/ran while totally enjoying the views and chatting the second half with the sister of a former student.  This was the first race that I ran with someone else and though it wasn’t fast, I had the best time ever.

1:36:10 (not one of my best) – 2nd in my AG (& they only gave out prizes for 1st)

I rushed home to get ready to spend the rest of the day walking around the Tulip Fest with Amanda & her sons – bouncy-bounce play, making music instruments, pony rides, feeding the animals and ice cream = 4 hours of fun.

  • Sunday – The day started with pouring rain. I was supposed to run this 5k as a GOTR running buddy but Jayme did not show. Instead I paced another running buddy’s middle school daughter in her 2nd 5k.  That was not part of the plan (since I did run a hilly 15k the day before) nor was the cold & wind that arrived after the rain had stopped.

fun watching about 100 girls run their first 5k and I did win 3rd in my AG with 29:53

Again I rushed home from the race to spend the rest of the day with my mother-in-law, stepson & girlfriend, brother-in-law, sister-in-law and husband. Boy, did we eat a lot!

22.5 miles done with 5 runs and 2 rest days.

This Week:  (3 weeks until Half Marathon #20) 

  • Monday  FRW Challenge Training Group (3 miles), b-day dinner out?
  • Tuesday rest or 3 easy lunch miles, tennis
  • Wednesday – rest, hair appt
  • Thursday 5k race after work
  • Friday rest, mah jongg
  • Saturday 5K race+ more miles
  • Sunday – rest, b-day dinner with hubby at the lake
Once again, I am linking up for the Weekly Wrap hosted by Holly @ HoHoRuns and Tricia @ MissSippiPiddlin.   See rules here.

Happy Running! How is your running going?  Any races? Did you have a nice Mother’s Day?