RBC Brooklyn Half Marathon Race Recap

RBC Brooklyn Half logo

MAY 20, 2023

This was my 2nd time running this half marathon. I ran it in 2018 in the pouring rain… I definitely did not get to enjoy my post-race Coney Island experience.

So I signed up to run Brooklyn in 2023 for several reasons:

  • I love NYC (and Brooklyn).
  • I surprisingly got a guaranteed entry.
  • My two local running buddies were running it too.
  • We all ran a local half marathon a month before so we were sorta trained already.
  • NYRR races are so well-organized.
  • Who wouldn’t want to finish at the beach on Coney Island.
  • It was on a Saturday so I would not have to take the next day off from work.
  • I wanted to re-do this race after the wet one in 2018.
  • I had to DNS on all my 2023 half marathons so I was super excited to give this one a try!!

Half Marathon Training:

If you follow my posts, you also know that I am not strict about following a training plan.  I ran my last half marathon on April 15 November 20, 2022.  I broke my foot and had to DNS my half marathons in February, March and April.

Since March 20, I have completed easy SHORT weekday runs and a few longish runs on most weekends.

the plan though I admit it got altered quite frequently

Though I don’t usually care much about my short runs, I usually like to get in a 10, 11 and 12 miler before each half marathon.

Thanks to support from my running friends, I used run/walk intervals and got those long runs done.

They were slow and they all felt very hard.

After the 12 miler, I went to Florida and skipped my long run in favor of a short easy run (in the heat/humidity.)

So I tapered with another SLOW (hard) 10 miler.

refueled with birthday cake!!

Obviously I was a little worried about my endurance. However, I didn’t expect to run the half marathon at a PR pace anyway. I was running it purely for the experience. I was very excited to be back out there racing.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

As I did for the NYC Half Marathon, I planned this race with my two local running friends Sherry and Stan.

thanks to my broken foot, they are now a “couple” – long story

Stan’s friend, Lisa, also decided to come along and support us even though she was not running the race.

We all took the train to Manhattan Friday morning. While on the train, I decided to use my app to check into our hotel.  Well, the reservations had disappeared!! What? So I called the hotel, they gave me some bogus stories about me cancelling my reservations. Long story short, it appears that the hotel had closed and they didn’t notify anyone. Luckily we were able to find another hotel (although it cost a lot more and  it wasn’t within walking distance of the race start).

Once we arrived in Manhattan, we took the subway to our new hotel, left our bags and started carb loading at a nearby restaurant.

After lunch, we took another subway to Pier 2 (near the Brooklyn Bridge) Pre-Race Party location to get our shirts and bibs.

not a fan of the design or color

I didn’t buy anything at the expo although I was tempted to buy another pair of Goodrs.

We took the prerequisite photos

and then headed back by subway to check into our hotel.

As you can tell by the photos, it was a beautiful day (perfect for a race… LOL).

After we checked into our hotel and unpacked, it was time to head out again (by subway) for dinner.

pizza, of course

There was a lot of stress due to the weather predictions for race day:

I laid out my outfit:

Of course, I needed to add a rain poncho, throwaway shirt, etc.

Fortunately, our friend Lisa agreed to meet us at the finish and carry everything we would need for after the race: umbrella, dry shirt, oofos, race jacket and more!! For all three of us.

Race Day:

Alarm set for 5 am. After much debate, we decided it was too far to walk, too complicated to take a subway and so I had ordered an Uber to leave for the race at 6:15 am.

Minimal sleep, if any.

I brought my usual race breakfast of oatmeal and coffee with me and ate in the hotel room.

At least it was not raining when we left the hotel.

We were all in Wave 2 and so we didn’t started until 7:45 am.

The Uber left us off near Grand Army Plaza.  I think we were there by 6:30.  Everything was very organized… the security line moved very quickly.

Of course, it started to drizzle (just like the forecast said.)

staying dry until the race started

There was an abundant number of porta potties and minimal lines.

We decided to all wait in Sherry’s corral (J).

I considered doing run/walk intervals with Sherry (since we did ALL our long runs like that) … but in the end, I decided to move up (to corral D) and do my own thing. Stan did the same (in corral G)

My plan for the race, as usual, was to stop and walk briefly at every water stop (so I wouldn’t get dehydrated) and to stop and walk longer to eat a GU at every 4 miles or so.  And then basically walk whenever I needed to.  Based on my training runs, that would be pretty often.

Lisa, Sherry, Stan and I planned to meet at the finish and then hang out. Of course weather permitting.

Anyway, here’s how the race went (photos courtesy of the NYRR/Cheer Everywhere/ FB websites):

Miles 1-3:

Eventually we started to move. I immediately ditched my poncho. And long walk it was to the start line (and I was only in D). Some runners actually ran but nope, I walked until I hit the start line.  It was drizzling but with the humidity, it felt very comfortable. I was secretly hoping that this light rain would last until I was done with the race. It was warm enough that I threw away my long sleeve shirt right away.

NYRR photo

As you can see, it was quite congested in the beginning of the race.  Did I mention that almost 26,000 started this race and half were in Wave 2? I may have started middle of the pack but moved into BOTP by the 2nd half of the race.

For the first 3 miles, you ran outside of Prospect Park and there were minor ups and downs in the elevation.

(Photo by NYRR)

Of course, I had amnesia thinking that the hills weren’t bad at all. (LOL I hadn’t hit the hills yet.)

(Photo  for NYRR)

My plan to stop at every water stop slowed me down because in this race, they were at every mile (not every 2 miles as I was used to.)  I stopped anyway even though I wasn’t thirsty.  They were a tempting opportunity to walk and so that’s what I did.

NYRR photo

By the 5k point, I was getting hungry (since I had eaten breakfast at 5:30 am) and ate my first GU.

NYRR photo

I tried not to look at my Garmin at all because it would make me stressed… but every mile, my pace would pop up.  I was shocked at my pace for the first few miles… I didn’t feel like I was running that fast.  But based on my training, I knew that I would slow down but I decided to just continue at this pace until I couldn’t.

Miles 4-6:

NYRR photo

At mile 4, you headed into the park. It started off flat and just before Mile 5 comes the biggest hill on the course which is not as steep as some of those Central Park hills, but seems like it will never end. I continued my water stop walking and used the one at hilly 10k clock to eat my second GU. Thankfully as you loop around the park, you discover what goes up must come down and you get to enjoy a nice downhill.  This was my favorite part of the race. At this point, I actually felt warm (due to the humidity).

NYRR photo

The downside was that it was raining more steadily, there were puddles and my feet were getting very wet.  Wet sock + bunion = BIG painful blister.

I got one on my right foot and it hurt with every step. I tried to figure out how to step without the pain but there was NO WAY!

Then I passed this runner:

Yup, I told myself to “Suck it up.”

Miles 7-9:

Finally, the part of the race I was waiting or… No more hills!

from FB – recognize these celebrities??

As you come through Mile 7 just outside the park, you head to Ocean Parkway with a quick dip down and a steady bump in elevation on the entrance ramp.

I tried to think of this as my final stretch to the finish line. But it felt like Ocean Parkway would never end. Until this point in the race, I was really feeling strong. My injury layoff and it being my first half marathon in a long time really reared its ugly head at mile 9.  My lower back starting aching. As a result, walks at the water stops were getting longer. To make things worse, it was raining even harder. Believe it or not, there were lively crowds all along the course…even in this weather. That helped a lot.

The volunteers at all the water stops were so supportive too.

Miles 10-12

Still running down that endless Ocean Parkway. At the 15k clock, I ate my third GU and walked what seemed like forever hoping to get some zip in my step.  But now it was POURING!!! (Those Wave 1 runners lucked out.)

Finally as you ran South, the Avenues go in order from A to Z then you make a right hand turn onto Surf Avenue where you can see the roller coasters up ahead. But by mile 12, I barely had any energy. I just willed myself to continue. I knew the end was near.

Run…walk… run… walk….

Mile 13- 13.25

from FB

Soon I saw the sign that said “800 meters to go” and then I was finally on the boardwalk.

400 meters… then 200 meters.

NYRR photo

It was SO SLIPPERLY that I had to walk several times to make sure I didn’t fall.

The finish line seemed so far away but all of a sudden, the race was over.  I crossed…. (LOL… I thought I sprinted but maybe not…)

chip time= 2:21:41

Post Race Activities:

NYRR photo

I pushed through the runners finishing to get my medal and then was handed a bag with boxed water, Gatorade and some snacks.

wet but happy

I followed the crowd to exit and walked and walked to eventually get into the park/stadium.

NYRR photo

Our original plan was to hang around, go to the After Party (where you got beer, pizza, Nathan’s famous hot dogs, etc.)  and even walk along the boardwalk (dip our feet into the ocean, etc.)

Not into this weather, our friend Lisa has texted us that she would be on the bleachers where families were directed to wait (and in section R).

The sections started with A and so I limped to R and finally found her. I was soaked and FREEZING and glad to put on my rain jacket.

in hindsight I wish I had changed into a dry shirt… brrrrr

Stan had finished just after me followed by Sherry. We walked toward the exit to find them.

They both exceeded their time expectations and were cold, wet but happy, as well.

We quickly headed to the subway where we shivered for 16 stops before arriving at our hotel.

I took the longest HOT shower ever, changed into dry clothes and bandaged up my blood blister.  We were all starved and I hoped that Lisa had found a nearby restaurant for lunch.

Luckily the food was delicious because we walked several miles in a monsoon there and back.

Then we had to shop for Stan’s birthday celebration (more walking in the rain.)

Will this day ever end?

Nope, we hopped the subway and headed to Manhattan for an recovery/celebration Italian dinner…

It was sooo delicious (sorry no pix).

Finally back to Brooklyn for dessert and champagne.

My bed that night never felt so good.

Additional Race Reflections:

Though there were timing clocks at every mile during the race, they started when the elites of wave 1 started so I really wasn’t sure how I was doing.  I kept thinking that I was about an hour less than the displayed time.

So I was really pleased at my time. I thought I would finish much slower. I knew I would not come close to my 2018 time of 2:11:23 but secretly, I wanted to finish faster than 2:27.  That was the qualifying time for my new age group for the NYC Half, Brooklyn Half and NYC Full Marathon in 2024. (I may not run them all but it’s nice to have that option.)

Well, this was a bucket list race for me.  Since I couldn’t train hard, I was expecting to completely enjoy my experience, take lots of photos, hang out at the beach, etc.

All of this impossible in such miserable weather conditions.

But no, I don’t regret running the race.  I actually liked the course more than I thought I would.  The hills weren’t as bad as Central Park.  More than 25,000 excited runners. So much energy. NYRR puts on a first class event.

And running a race with friends made the experience even better.

The Good:

  • Easy organized packet pick-up.
  • Lots of information from sign up to race day
  • The excitement and energy
  • Prospect Park part of the course
  • Ending on the board walk of Coney Island
  • Hot Dogs and Beer at the Post-Race Party (even though I didn’t have any)
  • Water & Gatorade Stops at every mile (many tables of cups and many enthusiastic volunteers)
  • Crowd Support (even in the rain)
  • Having friends to train with and spend the race weekend

The Bad:

  • Running down Ocean Ave for so long was a little boring
  • Pre-Race Party was disappointing – very few vendors
  • Prospect Park Hills (since I didn’t train on hills)
  • Slippery Boardwalk at the finish
  • DOMS two days after.

The Ugly:

  • The Weather!!
  • That blister!

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. Definitely.

And my finish time will give me a guaranteed-entry into this race for 2024.

Though I wish that I could wait to see the weather forecast before I sign up again.

Final Stats:

It was not my slowest half marathon. And as I mentioned above, it was faster than I expected (based on my long run pace).

I’m pretty sure than if I didn’t take 5 weeks off from running due to a broken foot and have to skip THREE half marathons, I would have run this race more confidently and had a better finish time.

But it is what it is and I am truly grateful to to able to race again.

I retain my title as “queen of the positive splits”

well, at least no 12 minute miles

I didn’t use run/walk intervals but I did stop and walk at EVERY water stop and the 2nd half of the race, I walked several times between water stops.

Next Up:

Miles on the Mohawk 10M

10 MILER – May 28, 2023

Happy Running!  Have you ever run this race or any NYRR races?  Do you prefer large races or small ones? Do you enjoy running in the rain? Please share.







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

I’m also linking up here:

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

Helderberg to Hudson Half Marathon Race Recap – Again as a Spectator

Image result for helderberg to hudson half marathon

***************April 15, 2022******

As with all my big races, I impulsively sign up way in advance (and then often regret it LOL).

I ran the first annual H2H half marathon in 2019. Due to COVID, in 2020, I ran the race virtually and in 2021, I ran it on a completely different course (a hilly one). Last year, it returned to its original course

So I signed up for 2023 Helderberg to Hudson Half Marathon for several reasons:

  • FOMO. Many of my running friends were doing it.
  • It’s local. I can sleep in my own bed.
  • I am familiar with the course. I run on it often.
  • It’s a downhill course. (470 ft elevation loss)
  • I was already sorta trained from my March 19 Half.
  • It was part of a challenge with the Miles on the Mohawk race that I had also signed up for.

Half Marathon Training:

If you follow my posts, you also know that I broke my foot on Feb. 14 while on a vacation in Florida and I had to DNS TWO half marathons (Fort Lauderdale and NYC).

I casually started running again after a month but really started after my 5 week x-ray revealed the the fracture has fully healed.

March 20

I debated over and over again on what to do about this race:

  • Transfer my bib and volunteer or spectate
  • Walk 13.1 miles
  • Run/Walk 13.1
  • Go for it… Run it!

The complication with the transfer was that I registered for the Challenge and it included TWO races – this half and  a 10 miler on May 28. So I would be transferring both.

So I contacted the Race Director and they said that they would be able to separate the registrations.

I had started running short and slow distances and gradually increased my weekend runs from 4 to 6 to 8 miles Using run/walk intervals).

Could I run 13.1 miles???

Ultimately, pride aside, I opted to skip the race, not risk injury and concentrate on being prepared for my May 20 half marathon.

And my running friend Barbara bought my registration to this race but I kept the one for the May 28 Miles On The Mohawk 10 miler (for now.)

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

thumbs up in 2019 as my 2:11:15 finish time qualified me for the 2020 NYC Half Marathon. & Marathon

last year, 2022, my finish time of 2:12:24 was my fastest of 9 for the year 

So before my injury, I was hoping that again this race would be my fastest of the year.

Today, I could just watch.

Several of my friends were running this race so I decided to volunteer to help in the finish area.

Race Day:

Since I had run this race before, I was familiar with the start and finish logistics.

Course Map:

My assignment was to help set-up at the finish line which was at Jennings Landing in Albany (along the Hudson.)

I arrived around 8:15 am and got a great spot in the parking lot by the boat launch and walked to the finish.

My first job was to help unload the bus with the checked bags.

I wanted to hang around and wait for runners to finish.

So I had also volunteered to hand out medals to the finishers.

I was fortunate to see the winners…

under 5 min pace for 13.1 miles (on a hot day.)

and of course, I got to see so many of my local running friends.

a former French student of mine

Soon some other friends who were course marshals joined me.

And we anxiously awaited our friends Sherry and Stan,.

They finally did and I was able to give them their medals.

And then we headed to get our boxed lunches (but skipped the beer tent.)

meeting more friends along the way

Post Race Activities:

And since it was Saturday I met my running friends for our usual brunch date.

And on Sunday, I ran 10 miles and 5 with my friend Barbara who ran this race virtually…

Additional Race Reflections:

The temps were warmer than usual for this time of year.  I think I made the right decision not to run the race.

We’ll never know.

Hopefully, next year, I will be healthy enough to train for the race.

The Good:

  • Lots of race info emailed and on website including runner guide and spectator guide.
  • Easy packet pick-up. Neat race-related items.
  • Registration options – cheaper without a shirt
  • Free bus from the finish to the start.
  • Many porta potties at the start and finish.
  • Bag Check. Well organized before and easy pick up at the end
  • Downhill course (except for first and last 2 miles)
  • Water and Nuun stops.
  • GU available at several water stops (even salted caramel)
  • Great crowd support
  • Well marked course for each mile
  • Clocks at 5k, 10k, 15k, 20k
  • Very cool medal.
  • Great post race refreshments (boxed lunch)
  • Immediate electronic race results
  • PR bell
  • Free photos
  • Nearby – no transportation or hotel costs.
  • Support from friends

The Bad:

  • The boring, unscenic last 2 miles.
  • Fat-free chocolate milk (I deserve the real thing after 13.1 miles)
  • This year, it was very warm!!

The Ugly:

  • Not being able to run the race (due to recent injury (broken foot)

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. Yes. Yes. ARE did a fantastic job attending to every detail.  I hope actually race it again next year.

Next Up:

RBC Brooklyn Half logo

May 20, 2023

and finally:

May 28, 2023 – I’m running the 10 miler

Happy Running!  Did you race this weekend? Do you have a big race coming up? Ever do a half marathon not properly trained? Do you volunteer often at races? Please share.







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

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

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



Weekly Run Down for 4.9.23-4.16.23: Race Week

Yes, Saturday was one of my favorite local races: Helderberg to Hudson Half Marathon.

It has a downhill course so as a result it has been one of my fastest half marathon each year that I’ve run it.

Unfortunately, this year I was laid up with a broken foot for many weeks.

I had the option of losing the money and just volunteering or spectating (since my friends were running it) or just run/walking it slowly.

Not an easy decision.

Last Week:

  • Sunday – Easter Sunday but unexpectedly I had to go to NYC for work.

Before I left, I had plans to go to the gym… but it was CLOSED. Boo!

So I decided to hike a bit to check out the spring blooms.

ZERO blooms but lots of reflections and mud at Pine hollow Arboretum

Once I arrived in NYC, I made sure that after I checked into my hotel to get out for a walk.

I headed to Central Park where EVERYONE else was and spent hours there (9 miles walking) among the flowers and cherry trees.  I was in heaven.

many more pics on FB.

  • Monday – Since I didn’t set up for my class the day before, I had to take the subway extra early.

After work, I quickly changed my clothes and headed out for a walk/run.

Because I had spent so much time the day before in the park, I decided on the Hudson River Greenway heading toward the World Trade Center.

such a beautiful day and so after my run, I walked back on the High Line.

  • Tuesday – No time for anything but work as I had to head home by train in the evening.
  • Wednesday – I hadn’t been to the gym since last Friday but I couldn’t drag myself there early enough so I went at lunch time. (sorry no time for a selfie)

And because I missed my mentor assignment on Monday, I joined them for a run today… this time at a location near my home.

omg… so warm out but the beginner group was up to 5 min. running

I had to rush home since my college friends wanted to ZOOM tonight.

  • Thursday – Getting more spring-like everyday… or should I say SUMMER-like.

Thursday after work runs have become a thing so I joined my friends at UAlbany this week.

90 degrees with zero energy.. it would be an exaggeration to even call this a run… Stan took the pic of me with my running buddies (check out my shirt)

When I was done, I was supposed to meet my BFF for a walk in the mall (but she had to cancel) so I went out to dinner (and then ice cream) with my friends.

  • Friday – OK, definitely summer!! I started the day at the gym. I bumped into an old friend and we chatted (no time now for a pic.)

I hosted mah jongg tonight at my house.

  • Saturday – Volunteering at the H2H Half Marathon.

And no, this time I was sad but I didn’t cry.  I am running again and I know I could have done the race, I decided instead to focus on my training for the Brooklyn Half.

My assignment was finish line set-up. So first I helped unload the bus with the checked bags.

And then I stayed around to cheer runners on and give out medals (on a very warm day.).

It was cool to see the winners as well as the many local runners that I knew.

And then since it was Saturday, I went out to brunch with my running friends.

  • Sunday – Long Run? 10 miles?

My friend Barbara bought my bib and was planning to run the race virtually.  Since I planned to do a long run, I said that I would run some miles with her.  Fingers crossed that we don’t have to do it in the rain or heat wave.

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday – Day OFF – GYM, hike, FTC run
  • Tuesday, GYM, rest day, walk w/BFF
  • Wednesday – DIL’s 20 week prenatal visit, train to NYC for work, BBG visit, run
  • Thursday – short run, Broadway show
  • Friday – rest day, train home
  • Saturday – Long Run (11 miles)
  • Sunday – GYM, rest day, hike

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – H2H Half Marathon Race Recap – as a Spectator Again
  • Friday –  5 Ingredient Dinners

Happy Running! How is your year of running so far? Training for any big races? Ever run a big race undertrained? Do you like to volunteer at races? Please share.






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.

Weekly Run Down for 3.12.23-3.19.23: NYC Bound

Today I was supposed to run the NYC Half Marathon (for the 2nd time)… with two local running friends.

And also to meet up with some awesome bloggers who ran it as well.

Instead of sitting home brooding, I decided to go to NYC anyway and cheer on my friends.

I cancelled my 2023 race entry and so I now have a non-complimentary guaranteed entry for:

in 2024

I also have to return to NYC for work on Tuesday (and stay there until Friday night).

Last Week:

  • Sunday – I started the day with a stationary bike ride.

That podcast made to realize that a broken foot is pretty minor compared to what other runners deal with. (https://anothermotherrunner.com/runners-dont-let-cancer-steal-your-joy/)

It was beautiful day – perfect for running or hiking.  So I drove to some nearby trails.  Unfortunately it was too snowy/icy for someone with a broken foot so I just walked on the roads…

  • Monday – It was the calm before the storm so I took advantage and went for a lunch walk.

I had to go into the office and it was raining so I walked at the nearby outdoor mall… this sign made me smile..

  • Tuesday – Nor’easter in March?  Sure why not?… even my hair appt. got cancelled.

it snowed ALL day…we got close to a foot of snow

  • Wednesday – Getting unburied… The snow stopped but it was insanely windy.

I was working remotely (and the power stayed on) and then I went for a long mall walk with my BFF after work.

  • Thursday – As I did last Thursday, I met some running friends after work at UAlbany.

they ran… I walked (but I admit I did do a little running and it felt good!!)

  • Friday – The usual remote work from 8-4 followed by an evening of mah jongg.  In between I packed for the weekend and bought a new iPhone.
  • Saturday – I took the train to NYC with my 2 friends who were running for NYC Half Marathon. Our rooms weren’t ready yet so we got a bite to eat and then headed to the expo (so they could pick up their shirts/bibs).

The highlight of the day was meeting up with some bloggers who were in NYC to run the race.

For dinner, my local friends and I took the subway to Brooklyn so they could carb load on pizza.

bagels n lox is a must when in NYC..

  • SundayRace Day as a spectator!

Sherry had to get up early to catch a bus to Brooklyn… I tried to sleep but decided to get up and RUN to catch the elites in Times Square. I was freezing so I ran back to my hotel and dressed in spectator layers.

It was still early so I took the subway to Central Park and strolled among the cherry blossoms, then took the subway back to Times Square to watch the runners and try to spot my friends.

Did I mention that it was COLD and WINDY!!!

Eventually I did spot Sherry and Stan and then Cari (None of them saw me!!)

Then I RAN along 8th to Columbus Circle to meet them when they finished.

We were all too cold to walk back to the hotel so we hopped a subway.

upper left is the winner (1:01!)

After a very long HOT shower, we relaxed and then walked to a restaurant to have an early dinner.

refueling (spectating is hard work LOL)

My original plans were to stay another day and do some things in the city but I changed my train and headed hone that evening.

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday – ortho appt and hopefully a run
  • Tuesday-Friday – working in Jamaica, Queens

As time allows, some hotel biking, walks, meet-up with friends and hopefully, some runs after work

  • Saturday – Brunch with running friends, re-scheduled hair appt.

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Spring Racing Plans
  • Friday –  5 Sources of Mental Clutter

Happy Running! How is your year of running so far? Training for any big races?  Do you enjoy spectating races? Please share.






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.

Upstate Classic Half Marathon Race Recap

NOVEMBER 20, 2022

yes, that’s me!

My final half marathon for 2022!!

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

  • I had run the race three times before so I was familiar with the course and the hills.
  • It was local and I could sleep in my own bed the night before.
  • It was local so I would know a lot of the runners.
  • I had run a half in September and October so I was sorta already trained.

Half Marathon Training:

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

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

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Race Day:

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

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

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

So what was the plan???

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

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

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

We both agreed on this goal…

The course:

A loop starting and ending in the same location.

and not flat… at all:

according to my Garmin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Anyway, here’s how the race went:

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

Miles 1-3:

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

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

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

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

Miles 3- 6.2:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Miles 6.2-8.75

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Miles 8.75 – 11.1

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

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

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

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

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

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

Miles 11.1-13.3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Post Race Activities:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional Race Reflections:

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

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

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

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

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

The Good:

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

The Bad:

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

The Ugly:

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

Final Stats:

6.4M ~ 1:03


things got ugly after mile 8

I felt like I walked the second half of he race

Would I recommend this race?

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

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

Next Up:

A Thanksgiving 10K

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







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.


Maine Half Marathon Race Recap

Maine Marathon | Maine Half Marathon | Maine Marathon Relay

Race-cations have been an annual tradition with my running friends since 2017. We started in Corning, NY and then traveled to Montreal, and Brooklyn, NY.

The past two Octobers, my friends and I rented a house for 3 nights in Hampton Beach, NH and ran a half marathon (among other fun shenanigans.)

This year, the house that we rented was located in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.

So I signed up for the Maine Half Marathon (in Portland) as my 61th Half Marathon (54th if you don’t count the 2020 virtuals) for several reasons:

  • A race-cation.
  • Nine of my friends would be running/supporting the race.
  • Running along the ocean.
  • There was a marathon and marathon relay option.
  • Lobstah rolls to eat and lighthouses to visit…

Surprisingly, I was also named as an Ambassador for this race.

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. My weekday runs are sometimes solo and sometimes not.  The last one was unplanned. I just needed to try out new shoes.

And on the weekends, I try to do my Long Run. Usually most of my miles are with one or more of my running friends. However, some shorter races did interrupt my mileage (as shown below).

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

My taper consisted of a 5k race + several easy runs (as mentioned above). I did schedule two rest days before the race. Perfect, right?

We carpooled and left for Maine on Saturday morning with a stop for a delicious lunch (in Hampton NH)

Ginger & Clove Cafe in Hampton, NH Now Open and Hiring

before checking into our AirBnB in Old Orchard Beach, ME.

almost all the bedrooms had a view of the ocean…

After we all picked our rooms, we headed to the expo in Portland (held in the gym of U of So. Maine).

We were in and out in no time… not much interesting to buy. We just picked up our bibs and shirts (in addition to a shopping bag and a Dunkin Donuts gift card).

while our cheerleaders made signs.

and then we explored the race logistics (i.e. where to park on race morning).

By the time were were done, it was time for an early dinner. We parked in the waterfront area and had pizza (of course).

FoCSP Flatbread Pizza Community Bake | Flatbread Company Portland Maine | Tue July 26, 2022

Coincidentally, two bloggers were also in Portland and we coordinated a very quick meet-up.

who recognizes them? Deborah and Debbie

Finally we headed home, #flatmes were organized and we headed to bed early (though I never can sleep the night before a race.)

I did make a last minute switch to NEW shoes

Race Day:

Sorry to be a broken record about not having a time goal. But my goal for races these days is to FINISH happy (that is not injured and ready to do another.) But if I had to guestimate my time, it would have been between 2:15 and 2:30.

Actually, even more important would be to run a smarter and less painful race than my last half marathon four weeks prior. Slower the first half so that I can enjoy the second of the race… (Spoiler alert: it didn’t really happen.)

Video of the course: http://viewtherace.com/maine/maine-half-marathon

Maine Half Marathon | Portland Maine | October 4, 2020

The race was advertised as follows:

The half marathon takes place alongside the Maine Marathon. Enjoy the Back Cove, views of Casco Bay and fall foliage along the out-and-back route. All three races are together for the first 6.5 miles before the half marathon heads back to Portland. The courses features a mixture of rolling hills and flat sections, but start and finish with two flat miles along Baxter Boulevard. (dirt path detour due to construction.)

The half marathon course is well supported with water stops with Gatorade (lemon-lime Endurance Formula) located approximately every two miles. 

according to my Garmin (after the race)

One of my friends was running the 6 am early start marathon. Four Three of my friends were running the marathon relay and then three of us were running the half marathon.  Both races started at 7:45 am. Two others (as pictured above) were cheering us all on.

As you can imagine, coordinating the race logistics would be quite challenging.

To complicate things further, one of my friends had to leave before the race due to a death in the family. That meant that one of the relay runners had to run two legs rather than one (and change the leg that she originally planned to run.) Oy!

It did get sorted out and we all left for the race.  It wasn’t far but what we didn’t consider that there would be so much traffic.

We planned to park in the parking garage (as we did for the expo) but my car (the half marathoners and relay runner #1) wound up taking a detour and parking (maybe illegally) in a bank parking lot near the start.

We ran to bag check to get rid of a bag with warmer clothes for after the race.

we all wore throwaways because it was quite chilly (and windy).

Then we headed to the start line. (Unfortunately there wasn’t enough time to coordinate meeting Deborah.)

My memory is a little vague but here’s how I remember it:

Miles 1-3:

Bag pipes played to begin the race.  I lined up with my friends at the over 11 minute mile sign.  Since it was chip-timed, I really didn’t care where I started.

I was cold so I kept on my gloves and throw-away jacket. The course started at Back Cove and we ran along a path that circled Casco Bay. Though it was very windy, the temps were perfect for running.

We almost immediately had to detour due to construction onto a dirt path.  It was so much narrower than the road we started on that we came to a complete stand still.

But I enjoyed the scenery and the dirt felt softer on my feet. I was happy so far.

The wind seemed to stop and I threw away my jacket.  The temps couldn’t be more perfect.

I was determined NOT to start out as fast as my last half marathon so I walked a bit at the mile 1 sign and then again at the water stop around mile 2.

Eventually we ran over the Martin Point Bridge which was the beginning of the rolling hills that continued throughout the race.

There were pacers and I was ahead of the 2:15 runner until the second half of the race.

Miles 4-6

There were so many water stops during this race.. It seemed to be one almost every mile. I stopped at most of them to walk and ate my first GU at mile 4.

As you can see from the map, we ran inland for a bit but still the scenery was so pretty. And it warmed up enough to get rid of my gloves. And then the sun came out (glad to have those Goodrs.)

I unsuccessfully tried to spot my friend at the first relay exchange.

And around mile 6, we encountered the steepest hill.  As per usual, I walked/ran up ALL the hills. It has always worked for me and has enabled to run faster on the flat sections.

All the music especially the drummers helped me to forget about hills and enjoy my run.

Miles 7-9

Finally we got to the turn around..  This was a relief knowing that I was heading back. It also gave me to the opportunity to see any of my friends who were behind me.

The 2:15 passed me and I never saw her again.  But I never saw the 2:30 pacer so that was good news.

The monster hill turned into a downhill so I picked up some speed.

I was hoping that my new shoes would be miracle workers and I would have zero pain. Unfortunately that was not the case.  My lower back started to and continued to ache. My right bunion and left neuroma hurt on and off until the end of the race.

I don’t regret wearing new shoes since my feet didn’t hurt worse (and the pain disappeared as soon as I finished running.)

I continued to walk when necessary, especially at the water stops.  I ate a 2nd Gu around mile 8.

I was surprised at how much crowd support there was and volunteers supporting all the water stops.

back over the bridge (smiling for the camera even in pain)

Miles 10-13.1

The course was repeating itself with just a few changes. Instead of along the water, we ran through Payson Park.

It was still beautiful.. The sun was out and I was even getting warm. I rolled down my arm sleeves and covered my Garmin. I wasn’t concerned one bit about my finish time. I was so ready to be done!

One last Gu for this road so that I wouldn’t feel dizzy after the race (It worked, I think.)

Of course, it seemed like forever until I saw the finish line. But when I did, I sprinted (even though my legs started to cramp… OUCH!)

my friend is the one in pink with the cow bell.

I crossed at 2:18:XX and I was very happy!!  And it was an awesome feeling to hear my friends cheering me on.

must stop that watch!!

Post Race Activities:

After I got my medal and foil sheet, I went and got my bag since I was quite cold.

I also grabbed some snacks. There were cups of cookies, bars, fruit, chocolate milk, etc. Then I headed to the finish line to wait for the two other half marathoners.  I also found our Relay leg #1 runner.

As I mentioned, it was very windy and cold in the finish line area. I was glad that you didn’t feel the wind on the course. We had quite a wait ahead of us so Sherry and I went to find the food trucks.  Instead of using our $3 coupon, we ordered hot chocolate but they ran out and we had to settle for coffee (that we waited 1/2 hour for)

Soon our Relay leg #2 runner finished and we all found a spot in the sun to wait and nervously track Deirdre, our marathoner. I finally was getting hungry and ate several slices of pizza among some other snacks..

It was not an easy course and especially the 2nd 13 miles but she finished and we were all crying happy tears.

While Deirdre was recovering, we tried to figure out when our last relay runner (who ran legs 3 & 4) would be finishing.

thumbs up… at the last minute she had to run TWO legs instead of ONE!! Rockstar!!

We timed it perfectly so that the other two relay runners could join her and cross the finish line holding hands.

I think I enjoyed cheering in our friends as much as running the race.

Some of us took advantage of the free massages provided (I did not but should have…)

Eventually we all headed home to relax, debrief,

too cold to soak our feet…

shower and then head out to a celebratory meal (in walking distance from our house.)

Additional Race Reflections:

It was so fun to be out there and soaking up the racing atmosphere. It was even more fun to run a race with friends.

During the first half of the race, PR thoughts always run through my head.. but I knew that I had NOT trained well enough for that and just focused on finishing the race healthy.  I may never be that fast again…but the good news is that my finish time was was over 2 minutes faster than my last half marathon (and a more challenging course.)

There’s still hope for this old broad.

More importantly, I felt fine the next day and ran Tues, Wed, Thurs, and Sat without any after effects.

our happy group (sorry no jumping on the beach this year…)


  • Part of a 4 day race-cation with friends.
  • Bay and Ocean views.
  • Easy Packet pick-up
  • Nice gender-specific long sleeved tech shirts
  • Post race refreshments – pizza, snacks
  • Food coupon for $3 for the food trucks and coupon for two free beers (though we used neither)
  • Crowd support along the course.
  • Friends cheering you on at the finish line
  • Music along the course (including bag pipes and drums)
  • Varied route – bridge, water route, neighborhoods
  • Pacers
  • Free Photos
  • Instant race results
  • Great swag for AG awards (pottery)
  • Nice medal provided to all runners.
  • Abundant water stops and porta-potties
  • Free massages offered.
  • Perfect weather
  • Plenty of free parking (lots and parking garage)


  • The course was long
  • Some early start marathoners went off course
  • Relay logistics were poorly managed
  • Cold and windy in the start/finish area

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. yes. For all the reasons mentioned above.

Final Stats:


Walking definitely slowed down my pace. I already mentioned that things usually go downhill for me after mile 7…

My legs were more crampy after the race than usual. I attribute that to running those two 5ks and skipping those long runs (but sometimes fun trumps finish times). But it could have been that it was colder than I’m used to.

No award… I’m still in that age group where many runners are still very FAST.

times for 65-69

All in all, I was happy with my results,

Next Up:

two 5ks …

22nd Annual Great Pumpkin Challenge 5K/10K

7th Annual Summer Smith 5k Addiction Awareness Memorial Run – Oct. 22. 2022

followed by a 15k and another half marathon in November.

Stockadeathon – 15K Road Race

Nov. 13, 2022


Nov. 20, 2022

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 you run a fall race yet? If so, how did go? Are you planning to run one? Any race-cations planned? Please share.



Weekly Run Down for 10.2.22-10.9.22: Recovery Week

Another racecation has come and gone. This one was to run the Maine Half Marathon in Portland, ME.. As in all my other racecations, the highlight of the weekend was not the race course or the medals or finish times. It was all about the friendships forged. So thanks to my nine “Sole Sisters” for the memories and laughs.

After Sunday’s race, it was great to relax. Of course there were still some easy runs and other activities….

And the week ended with volunteering at a big local race.

Last Week:

  • Sunday – Maine Half Marathon.

I won’t lie, it wasn’t easy but the course was beautiful and everyone who ran finished.

It was a very long day. Our marathoner started at 6 am, the half marathoners and relay runner #1 started at 7:45.  We also had some cheerleaders who endured a very windy and cold wait until everyone was done… around 1:30pm??

After some snacks and massages, we headed back to our house for showers and a big celebratory dinner out in Old Orchard Beach.

  • Monday – Some of us got up bright and early to watch the sunrise on the beach (although our rooms had a great view so it wasn’t necessary to get out of bed.)

Then we embarked on a road trip back to Portland to view three lighthouses and have lunch.

when in Maine, eat a lobster roll (or two), right?

When we got home, some of us decided to venture out to explore Old Orchard Beach…

We had brought so much food with us that we decided to stay in for dinner…

hanging out by the fire was so much fun (there may have been some Fireball involved)…

  • Tuesday – Last day of vacation….

Of course, it started with viewing the sunrise…

it was spectacular…

While everyone was packing up, I snuck out for a run in town.

no time for a beach jumping photo so I insisted on a group photo before we left (you may notice that we lost one person… she had to leave due to a death in family but we are already planning next year’s race-cation. Stay tuned.

And then we left in separate cars.  My car made a pit stop in Northampton, MA for lunch and to visit a knitting store.

  • Wednesday –  Back to reality and work…

I was not disappointed to see rain.

But after a quick trip to the office, it had stopped so I changed my clothes and went for an easy run.

my legs felt a lot more tired than the previous day…

  • Thursday – One more after work run. This time back at the end of the rail trail.

It felt like summer…crazy weather!

  • Friday – Rest Day!!
  • SaturdayLong Run Saturday.  Not too long a run – only 8 miles on the Nisky bike path with friends.

Again it felt cold at first but actually perfect as was brunch.

  • Sunday – Boating season has ended.  So I signed up to volunteer at our local Marathon/Half Marathon race.

so fun handing out water to the half marathoners and speedy marathoners…even got to see my friend BQ!!!

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday –  HOLIDAY – DAY OFF – run, hike, wake (friend’s FIL)
  • Tuesday – rest day, hair appt
  • Wednesday – run, dinner out with tennis friends
  • Thursday – run, trails
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday Great Pumpkin Challenge 5k (+ more miles in the park)
  • Sunday –   hiking

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Maine Half Marathon Race Report
  • Friday – Why I hate Fall

I am linking up with Kim and Deborah for

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

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

Weekly Run Down for 9.25.22-10.2.22: Race-cation to Maine

We started planning this weekend a year ago. I can’t believe it’s here already!!

Another get-away with 9 of my running friends. (It’s our 6th trip together.)  I think we even have more fun each time.

Last Week:

  • Sunday – Boating Sunday was canceled again… Chilly and rain predicted.

For the 3rd week in a row I drove to Vischer Ferry Preserve.  I ran on a different rail (actually a towpath) than during my previous visits.  The weather was perfect and it didn’t rain. In fact, I was overdressed (amnesia on how to dress with it’s in the 50’s).

some interesting sights and Judy did run by me but she didn’t stop to chat

I ended my run again at the Country Store… with a delicious maple latte and pumpkin scone (sorry no pic of my food).

In the evening, I met one of our running friends who had moved away (but was visiting) for dinner.  It was great to catch up.

  • Monday – #nevermissamonday. I don’t usually like to run 3 days in a row but the weather was lovely so I snuck out at lunch.

fall decorations everywhere but it still felt like summer

  • Tuesday – A before work run today… it’s been a while. But I had some extra time in the morning.

so it was in the 40s and I thought I’d be chilly. Nope those arm sleeves came right off. I’ll figure out how to dress by winter

  • Wednesday – I had scheduled a Rest Day after running several days in a row. But one of my running friends (who was running the marathon) asked me to run with her. (That’s what friends are for…). So I met her for a few on the rail trail after work (besides the 5k race they all were easy runs.)

Yes we twinned, saw a rainbow and I found a very appropriate painted rock.

Afterward, as planned, I did meet my BFF after work for a long walk.

  • Thursday – I had planned to squeeze my last run in during lunch. But our running group was busy getting ready for the weekend so we cancelled our after work trail walk.

Instead I was able to drive to do a short run to test out these new babies.

Topo Specters.. will I wear them on race day?

ran around a new neighborhood (that was part of the 5k last Sat.)

My friends from Florida were in town escaping the storm, so I was able to visit with them too.

  • Friday – Another rest day!! To pack… It’s so hard to know what to wear in the early Fall… But the only important thing was my race outfit:

tank, skirt, cap and arm warmers and compression calf sleeves (for warmth)

  • Saturday – In several cars,10 of us all headed to Maine. We stopped for lunch in Hampton, NH, continued on to our AirBnB in Old Orchard Beach, ME then visited the expo in Portland, ME, checked out the race logistics, carb loaded and finally returned home to get ready for the big race the next morning. (Pics on IG)
  • Sunday – Maine Half Marathon. I ran the half marathon with two of my friends (and Deborah). One of my friends ran the full marathon and four of my friends ran the marathon relay.  Two just spectated. So it was quite a full day for everyone.

Maine Marathon | Maine Half Marathon | Maine Marathon Relay

Pics on IG. Recap coming soon!

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday –  sunrise walk, explore Old Orchard Beach and Portland ME
  • Tuesday – sunrise run, drive home
  • Wednesday – run
  • Thursday – run, trails
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday Long Run
  • Sunday –  volunteer at the Mohawk-Hudson Half and Full Marathons

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Barn to Bridge 5k 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 races run or planned? Has the weather been fall-like where you live? Of course, thinking about those in the path of the hurricane.  Hope everyone is safe!!!! Please share.

Run 4 the River Half Marathon Recap

Schenectady Half Marathon, Nark Running & Strength, Albany Running Coach, Frog Alley Brewing, Albany Running Exchange — Nark Running & Strength

In 2021 when most of the local races either cancelled or went virtual, Albany Running Exchange (ARE) began scheduling COVID Safety Plan approved races.

In March, I ran their 5 mile race and then in May a point-to-point 10 miler.  The courses were along the Mohawk River and the bike path, mostly flat or downhill and in Schenectady, NY.

In September, another organization (NARK) offered a half marathon on a similar course.  Of course, I signed up (and convinced some friends to join me.)

Again this year, I ran the same March and May ARE races on that Mohawk River course.

And I signed up for the 2nd annual Run 4 The River Half Marathon as my 60th Half Marathon (53rd if you don’t count the virtuals) for several reasons:

  • It was local and I could sleep in my own bed the night before.
  • It was local so I would know a lot of the runners.
  • I was familiar with most of the course as it was similar to the 10 miler that I ran in May and I had already run this half marathon last year.
  • I convinced some friends to run it too.
  • It was advertised as having a Net Downhill Course and FREE BEER, Food, and LIVE MUSIC
  • I could run it as a training run for my October half marathon.

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.

And on the weekends, I try to do my Long Run. I’m lucky to have company of several running friends.  Due to the extreme heat this summer, I have adopted my friends’ run/walk intervals.  It really helped me get the long runs done.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

Since it was a point-to-point race, the logistics were complicated. 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) and tried to coordinate my plan with friends.

My running friend picked up my bib so that saved me time (and gas.)

I carb loaded on the usual pizza and debated about what to wear the next day.

my standard Skirt Sports skirt, Zensah calf sleeves, a tank, cap, Spibelt, Goodr glasses and Topos shoes

It was supposed to be little cooler and less humid than any of my previous races. But still warm and in the 80s by afternoon. (Wish they had kept the earlier start time!!!!)

Race Day:

As it did last year, the race started near Mabee Farms. This year, start time was 8:00, a half hour later than last year and ended at Frog Alley Brewing near Schenectady Community College (SCCC).  Last year it ended right at the college (where we parked our cars.).

So I got up around 4:45 am on Saturday morning (ouch) and was on the road by 5:45 to meet Barbara and then drive to race parking.

We met everyone at 6:30 at SCCC. My friend Deb offered to drive me and the others (Barbara, Sherry, Deirdre, Kevin) to the start if someone would drive her back to her car after. (Quite a squeeze for 4 in the back seat.)

When we arrived at Mabee Farms, there was plenty of parking in a grassy lot.

We were very early so we had time to walk around and sightsee.

the fog did burn off by the time we started the race

It was a little chilly but the barn was locked this year so we waited outside.

We also knew that in addition to porta-potties, there were REAL restrooms (always a great perk.)

Finally, it was time to head to the start.

So we parted with our jackets and checked them at Bag Check (along with a dry shirt and my Oofos) I planned to eat a Honey Stinger Waffle (since it was already hours since my breakfast) but I forgot. Oops.

The race started at 8:00 am. There were no waves or corrals… They did ask the faster runners to line up first.

slightly different end from last year


 elevation on the website

according to my Garmin…

Sorry to be a broken record about not training well. But it was summer and my goal for races these days is FINISH happy (that is not injured and ready to do another.)

All my long runs were done slowly and with short intervals. I found out during my last race that it didn’t exactly make me slower (or maybe it did?) but I found it hard to run for more than a minute without walking… (I used to be able to run 1-2 miles straight (not that it matters…)

Miles 1-3:

As I already mentioned, 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.

The scenery was pretty. The Mohawk River changed to being on the left eventually.

The first water stop was a little after mile 3 at Pattersonville Bike Path parking on 5S.  This was my first walk break.  I decided to wait on my Gu. I ran most of the beginning miles with Karen and Alyssa and behind my faster neighbor. We chatted back n forth.

Miles 4-6

Most of the race is a blur. But I was feeling pretty strong. Until I wasn’t.  Karen and Alyssa eventually ran ahead. As did my neighbor.

Around mile 4, 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 past mile 5 at Iroquois St/Bike Path.

Around this point, the crowd thinned out and I was running mostly alone and my lower back started to ache…

Miles 7-10

The course was pretty flat and shady for the most part.  The temps were rising but not too bad. I was glad to have worn a tank and skirt.

I realized too late that I was NOT strong enough to run without walk intervals and so the second half the race, I ran/walked… not timed but just whenever I felt like it… and I felt like it a lot!!

Plus, now both my feet started to hurt. Bunion? Neuroma? Stress fracture? As these thoughts ran through my head, I ran slower and walked more.

The third water stop was a little before mile 8 at Kiwanis Park. I walked again and then ate another Gu. This time longer.

Around mile 9, some annoying hills appeared. 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. Though the course was advertised as flat and downhill, there were hills (not big ones) throughout. (Aren’t there always?)

Miles 11-13.1

The final water stop was a little before Mile 11 at MH Bike Path lot. I stopped again but skipped my last Gu.

My friend Barbara who ran/walked most of the race actually caught up to me. And she looked way less spent than I did (Intervals are the way to go!)

The race finish was different than last year, instead of heading from the bike path into the college parking lot, we headed into the city of Schenectady.

I tried to pick up the pace and sprint through the finish line… My friends who didn’t run the race were there cheering.  It was sooo nice to see familiar faces.

Barbara is right behand me…

Well, I thought the finish line was straight ahead but instead you had to turn right…

the female winner in 1:10:xx?

I was out of gas but at least it was downhill!!

Boy was I glad to be done!! I grabbed my medal and headed to bag check to put on my Oofos.

Post Race Activities:

I felt a little light headed so I ate my last Gu and I felt better.

I joined my friends near the finish line to cheer in the others who had not finished yet.  Everyone was happy with their race results.

May be an image of 11 people, people standing, outdoors and text that says 'Purdy ARMY MiltonA Spencer AIRFORCE Loving Wife mily oving Jim Son, FERRY ST'

Frog Alley Brewing Co.

There was a band, beer, food, etc. at a restaurant nearby (pictured above), the sponsor for the race.

It was crowded but fortunately we got a table. Rather than a boxed lunch (as last year), you got a free beer and a choice of the food below.

We stayed for several hours listening to the band and chatting…about running, of course.

The band was excellent – the lead singer even ran the race…

Additional Race Reflections:

Of course, I am glad I ran the race.  I was disappointed with  the pain and how I ran the race.  I guess I need to accept that my endurance is not what it used to be. Maybe walk intervals are the answer.


  • Ample parking at the start and finish.
  • Real restrooms at Mabee Farm
  • Bag check
  • Well marked course.
  • Varied scenery including river views
  • Shuttle to the start (if needed).
  • Flatish course.
  • Well organized.
  • A lot of pre-race information.
  • Free Post-race food.
  • Cool medal.
  • Free Beer


  • 10 year age group awards.
  • No photos.

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. I liked the course. It was well-organized.

Final Stats:

just a few seconds faster than last year


Walking definitely slowed down my pace the second half of the race. I finished the first half in 1:04!!

Though my time was similar to last year, I ran a much better race then. I ran slower the first half so as a result it was much less painful.

I was NOT expecting a PR and my time was what I expected. I jokingly said that I wanted to finish at 2:22:22!

I need to be realistic…maybe those faster half marathon paces will not happen again. (But hey, I’m not giving up…)

I didn’t realize until I got home that I had won an age group award.  Huge surprise!!

Luckily my neighbor trains with the race director and she picked up my award several days later.

Next Up:

Two 5ks

VIRTUAL Malta 5K & 10K presented by GlobalFoundries Registration Page

and another Half Marathon.

Maine Marathon | Maine Half Marathon | Maine Marathon Relay

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! Run any big races lately?  Are you planning any this Fall? Do you run the same race more than once? Please share.



Weekly Run Down for 8.28.22-9.4.22: Race Week!

Another busy week and it ended with Half Marathon #60!!

Schenectady Half Marathon, Nark Running & Strength, Albany Running Coach, Frog Alley Brewing, Albany Running Exchange — Nark Running & Strength

Last Week:

  • Sunday – Boating Sunday.

Normally it’s just me and the hubby and I would be relaxing under a tree with a good book. Today we invited two friends on the boat so it was a day for swimming, chatting and cruising around the lake.

  • Monday – Back to #nevermissamonday and a before work run as the temps were heating up again.

a cloudy muggy morning brightened up with some flowers.

  • Tuesday – Another early morning run and I was fortunate to have company.

I got there early and ran 1.5 miles while watching the sun come up and then ran the 4.5 more miles with Deirdre (and again bumped into Barbara)

My hair appointment interfered with my post-work walk. It was raining hard anyway!!

  • Wednesday – It was not as warm as previous days so I ran during lunch….

a poor night’s sleep + tired legs =a slogfest

and then I was able to meet friends for a walk after work.

everyone needs sunflowers in their lives

And I also met my BFF for a second evening walk.

  • Thursday –  No running!! Resting up for the weekend…

The ARE-sponsored trail runs ended so our group decided to continue them on our own. I had been on this trail several times and never been able to follow the markers correctly.  I was hoping that with a group we could do the loop.  It was a challenge but we made it (thanks to the AllTrails app.)

very hilly and poorly marked but lots of laughs

  • Friday – Another rest day!!

My running friend picked up my bib yesterday so that saved me time (and gas).

no shirt which was fine with me and I have one from last year

So all I needed to do was carb-load and pick out an outfit…

channeling my strong…

  • SaturdayRace Day! Run 4 the River Half Marathon.

This was my 2nd time running this half and again I was lucky to have friends running it with me…so it was a fun time! And the weather was perfect.

I won’t lie…I struggled big time the 2nd half.

  • Sunday – Boating Sunday. 

The temps are cooling off but still looks warm enough for another lake visit…

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday – DAY OFF – hike
  • Tuesday – run
  • Wednesday – run
  • Thursday – run, trails
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday Race Day – Malta 5k (+ more miles)
  • Sunday –  Boating Sunday

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Fall Bucket List
  • Friday – Top Blog Posts

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 run or planned? Has the weather been warm where you live? Please share.