Troy Turkey Trot 10K and 5K Recap

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November 28, 2019 8 am and 10 am

This was my 5th time running this 10K race and my 2nd time NOT being part of the Turkey Trot Challenge training group (work work work.)

I really enjoyed this race my first time I ran it in 2014 (in spite of the snowstorm) and now I look forward to this race every year.

happy because it was and still is my 10K PR (check out all the snow!)

In 2015, I decided to run both races – the 10K and then the 5k.  Why not? I was already dressed and ready to run.

The weather was a lot better and I had a blast even though my finish times were not the greatest.

So in 2016 and 2017 again I ran BOTH Races.

Last year, it was FREEZING and I DNSed both races 😦 partly because of the weather but mostly because I was going to running a hilly Half Marathon 2 days later (which seemed more important.).

The course this year was the same as previous years.

My hubby picked up my bibs on Wednesday so I didn’t have to rush on race morning.

got 2 of these…I got them in different sizes so I could give one away

But I did want to arrive early to get parking. I parked in the bowling alley parking as I did in previous years and walked a few blocks to the Atrium where I could wait indoors for the race to begin.

I checked my jacket, change of shirt and 5K bib since I wouldn’t need them until after the race.

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pic from a previous

This year it was not as cold as past years- in the low 40s and cloudy when I arrived. I was hoping that the sun would come out but still was undecided on how many layers to wear. I get hot when I run and I HATE to be overdressed. But the downside was the WIND (predicted to be up to 40 mph). Yikes!!

So at the last minute, I decided to shed my vest and just wear a long sleeved shirt with a half zip over it, a warmer hat and light gloves.

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

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

inside the Atrium – photo from the TU

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

I squeezed into the crowd at the 10 minute pace group.

My plan for the race was to not to start out too fast and to run at an even pace and to save some for the last mile.

For some reason, this race seemed a lot more crowded than past years. For my pace, it never thinned out. I was running in a crowd the whole race.  At the beginning, I would barely move.

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a pic from a previous year

The course is pretty flat. You run over the Green Island bridge twice near the beginning and then run through Troy before you turn around and run back.

I had not done any speed work since …well, I can’t remember when and I “trained” for a FULL  marathon this fall, I wasn’t sure what to expect from my legs. (And then there was that mysterious foot pain last week while working in NYC.)

during mile 1

yes…my sunglasses (that I didn’t need) kept falling down

So the sun never come out and I felt perfectly dressed. I even took off my gloves and unzipped my shirt during the middle miles when I felt warm.

The wind was tough. It seemed to blowing at you the whole race. Plus my darn foot was hurting. Dr Google says Metatarsalgia. The ball of my left foot seems to be swoll enand my toes feel numb. It’s bothered me since standing and walking in uncomfortable shoes last week in NYC. Anyway I can run but my gait feels awkward and sloow.

metatarsalgia

There was a some crowd support during the 10k race (Much more for the 5k.) There were guys handing out bottles of beer and a bakery was handing out donuts.

There were quite a few water stops. I skipped the first and third one but I was dying for a drink by the second one and walked for a bit.

Timing clocks were placed at every mile. I didn’t have to look at my watch to know that I was too slow to PR. I wasn’t sure if I would even finish under one hour.

during the last mile

and I saw the photographer!

Finally I could see the finish in the distance. I wanted to at least sprint through the finish line. My friend Holly was on the side line cheering me on but I had a hard mustering up any real speed.

I tried to cross under 59 minutes but did not. There was no zip left in this girl’s step.

Not a course PW but close. Over 2 minutes slower than my course PR.

I got my medal, drank some chocolate protein milk, had a banana and then checked the results.

10K Splits:

mile 1 –  9:17
mile 2 –  9:20
mile 3 –  9:24
mile 4 –  9:38
mile 5 – 9:32
mile 6 – 9:33
.25 – 9:12

59:06

As expected I did not win an award but I was surprised than my time gave me 4th. As I’ve said before, it depends on who shows up.

This year, like the previous three years, I signed up to run a second race, the 5k about an hour later.

So I walked back to the Atrium. Boy, was it crowded… More than five thousand runners squeezed into a small building.

I had already picked up my bib but I needed to get it from my checked bag and maybe change into a dry shirt.

If you look at the pictures above, you may notice that I always run the 5k with my tennis friend. I thought that she would run it when I signed up. Unfortunately, she did not (health/family stuff) and so I hung out with some other running friends until it was time to line up.

To be honest, I really did not feel motivated to run this race. I considered a DNS but in the end, I decided just to “do it.”

This was the 4th time that I had run the 5k race (and always for just “fun.”) It was just an out and back course and you didn’t run over the bridge at all.

Finally it was time to get into the starting area. You were supposed to line up by color but I just squeezed in. And I happened on my friend Holly. She had not run the 10k so had fresh legs. She quickly left me in the dust

pic from a previous year

Of course, my legs were tired from having already run 6.2 miles (at race pace) so all I wanted to do was finish.  My  stomach was also queasy from the milk and the banana. I was hoping to come in under 30 minutes but with the pain in my foot, I was sure that was impossible.

The 5k is the fun race.  Many runners are dressed in costume.  Many families were running together.  There were walkers, etc. Everyone was there to have a good time.

Costumed runners make their way in the 2016 Troy Turkey Trot on Nov. 24, 2016. (Michael P. Farrell/Times Union)

photo from the TU

It was so crowded that I had no problem slowing down in the beginning. Like the previous race, it was crowded the whole race.

And my legs were not cooperating. They wanted to run slow. And so I did. And it seemed to be colder.  The wind had picked up. My foot was even more sore. (Yes, I was wondering why I ran this 2nd race!!!)

he ran the whole 5k dressed like that

It was NOT warm out but they were obviously having fun

Before I knew it, the race was over. (After a 10k, 5k seems so short.)

I’m really enjoying this 5k…LOL

I crossed around just under 34 minutes which was 32:57 chip time.

(This time it was a big course PW!!

2 out of 28???

I got my medal (the same as for the 10K), some more chocolate milk and then went back to the Atrium to get my bag.

I figured that there was no chance of an award in this race either so I left without checking the results.

5K Splits:

mile 1 – 10:43
mile 2 – 10:47
mile 3 – 10:12
.14 –  9:21

32:57

Gee…look at that..my last mile was the fastest. Go figure!

But they were way slower than my 10k splits!!!

Anyway, back to these races:

The Good:

  • The weather – much warmer than previous years.
  • Race organization – considering the number of runners, it was very well organized.
  • Race location – place to stay warm indoors with indoor bathroom and bag check
  • Mostly flat course
  • Chocolate Milk at the finish
  • Medals for both the 10k and the 5k
  • Gender specific shirts (for the first time)
  • 15K faster than the recent Stockadeathon. Each of my race times was disappointing but if you add them together, it was 1:32:03
  • I got my long run for the week done and I don’t have to do it on the weekend.
  • Running 9.3 miles lets me eat more Thanksgiving food
  • Knowing lots of runners.  Racing is fun with friends.

The Bad:

  • my 10K time – Besides the crowd, it’s a flat enough course to PR on.  It is my 10k PR (from 2014).
  • post race refreshments – I would have liked pizza or soup or cookies or even bagels like last year
  • same medal for both the 5k and the 10k (if you run both, you have 2 of the same medals)
  • Course PW in the %k and almost PW in the 10K
  • The wind
  • My painful foot

Overall, I enjoyed the races. I am glad that I ran them. Racing is not only about fast finish times. I think I will run one or both Turkey Trots next year too.

After the race(s), I always go out for coffee with my tennis friend to debrief about our races. Instead I headed home to finish the soup that I was bringing to dinner.

a successful pear, apple, butternut squash soup

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


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

Since today is Tuesday, I’m also linking up with these ladies and you should too.


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

and Wild Workout Wednesday with NicoleAnnmarieJen, and Michelle.

Happy Running! Did you run off that turkey?

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Runfessions for November

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

1. I runfess…

I bought finisher items before I actually ran the marathon.

Of course, I did worry afterward that I would jinx it and not finish.

Image result for new balance nyc marathon finisher gear"Image result for new balance nyc marathon finisher gear"

Well, at least I waited until after the race to wear them. Thank God I did finish!!

Anyone else buy finisher gear before they actually finish the race?

2. I runfess…

I agreed to share my room during Marathon weekend with someone before I even met them.

I was again worried since I am such a light sleeper and the NYC hotel rooms are tiny.

Yup, Lacey was my roommate and it all worked out fine (At least I think she liked me.)

Anyone else agree to share a hotel room with someone that they had never met before?

3.I runfess…

I wore a skirt for the first time for my marathon.

Yes, 26.2 miles in something I’ve never run in before. I only wore it because it had many pockets (for my fuel) and I even had to shorten it because it was too long.

It was given to me by Cari because it is a weird size and fit. Skirt Sports no longer sells it (probably a good reason for that…) High Five skirt, I think it was called.

I don’t usually chafe but what if I did? and what if it was uncomfortable?..a marathon takes a long time to run.

Thankfully, the skirt was ok.  It definitely was not my most comfortable or best looking skirt but the pockets served their purpose.

Anyone else wear a new item for the first time during a big race?

4. I runfess…

I was relieved that my hubby could not go watch me at the marathon.

It would be much too stressful to worry about the race and worry about him too. He does not know NYC.  I couldn’t imagine him waiting for hours in the crowd to see me pass by.

I am grateful that I did spot some familiar faces in the crowds.

Anyone else prefer to travel to race-cations without their significant other?

5.I runfess…

In addition to my first full marathon, I also ran a 10k, 15k and 5k during the month.

Why not cover all the distances?

And racing should be for fun not PRs.

And these races were fun (and not PRs lol)

having fun at the Stockade-athon 15K

after the 10k and before the 5k where I would get another medal

Anyone else race-obsessed? Do you race for fun or time?


It’s Friday so I’m linking up with Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostess and visit some other bloggers.

Happy Running! Anything to runfess this month? Please share.

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Stockade-athon 15K Recap

Stockade-athon logo on RaceRaves

November 10, 2019 8:30 am

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

I ran it for the first time in 2011 and it was my FIRST 15k race. I was glad to just finish and I did in 1:36:08. I was injured in 2012 and then I ran it again in 2013.

stockafeathon13a

“fake” happy in 2013

With 1500-2000 runners in this race, they were forced to make some changes to the course.

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

This is a description of the new course:

The course starts near Veterans Park in downtown Schenectady. The course travels west on State Street for 1K before entering the historic Stockade District and proceeding on a scenic bike path in Riverside Park along the Mohawk River. The course exits the Stockade District after crossing Erie Blvd. The course then proceeds east on Nott Street past Union College before entering the historic GE Plot residential neighborhood via Lenox Ave, Douglas Rd and Rugby Rd. The course exits Rugby Road and proceeds north on Waverly Place near the 5K mark. The course turns east off Waverly and follows Grand Blvd to the city boundary with Niskayuna, then proceeds south on Dean Street to Central Parkway past 8k. After a 1K residential loop on Central Parkway, the course enters beautiful Central Park and follows a bike path around Iroquois Lake and Duck Pond before reaching its highest elevation near 12K. The final 3k is mostly downhill or flat as the course exits Central Park and proceeds west through historic Vale Cemetery and Vale Park before a final downhill section on Franklin Street to the finish at City Hall.

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

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

Last year, they modified the course slightly. They eliminated the bike path at the beginning of the race (which I did like because you ran along the Mohawk River and it was dirt so easy on the feet).). This year I believe that they kept the course the same.

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

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

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

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

nice gender-specific long sleeved tech shirt

The temp was in the 30s when I got up on race morning but it was forecast to only warm up to 40 and be cloudy. I hate this time of year. It’s so difficult to dress correctly. At least there was a bag check and I could bring extra clothes for after and in case I changed my mind.

Even though I’ve been to this race several times before, I still left extra early.  Barbara and I carpooled. We got there and found a spot on the street a few blocks from the start of the race. We were so early that the YMCA was not even open yet.

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

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

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

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

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

The course map:

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

from Daily Gazette (2015)

pic from Daily Gazette (2019)

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

most pics were taken by Brian Teague

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

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

photo by David Giacalone (2015)

After the Stockade area, we ran past Union College and around various residential neighborhoods. I also stopped at the first water stop even though I was not thirsty at all. (Yay for a walk break).

photo by David Giacalone (2015)

The hills were relentless. Why do I not remember them from last year?

I knew a lot of runners in this race. They kept catching up to me, we’d chat and then they would go on ahead. That was ok with me. I was determined to run at my own pace and have a stress-free race.

always happy to see a photographer

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

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

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

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

running along side Renee

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

looking goofy for the photographer, of course

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

so cheesy!

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

giving it all I got which wasn’t much

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Splits:

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

1:36:37

my usual positive splits

I really enjoyed this race. The course was so varied that it also took your mind off the hills. With the large number of runners (1500), I felt like I was always running with others and it kept me going.

Yes, it was hilly. The first half had a lot more hills but they were manageable. The second half had fewer hills but they were steeper.

The best part of the race was that I didn’t put it all out there and I just enjoyed myself treating it like a recovery run. And my lower BACK did not hurt!!

This race is definitely on my must-do list. It was very well organized. Maybe all the stars will be aligned next year and I’ll gun for that sub 1:30 finish.


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

Since today is Tuesday, I’m also linking up with these ladies and you should too.


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

and Wild Workout Wednesday with NicoleAnnmarieJen, and Michelle.

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

TCS NYC Marathon Recap (Warning: It’s Long)

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Nov. 3, 2019

After 18 Weeks of training and it finally arrived. My FIRST full Marathon race.

I never had the goal of running a full marathon. Never!

37 (now 39) Half Marathons = happy camper!

Then my Brooklyn Half Marathon finishing time in 2018 qualified me to run the NYC Half Marathon in 2019. Unbeknownst to me, it also automatically qualified to run the 2019 NYC Marathon, as well.

Many runners made me feel guilty for not registering when only 10% of those who enter the lottery get in.

I was hoping that one of my local running friends would get in too. (Nope but she got injured anyway.) But my friends assured me that they would help with my long runs. And they did!!! (Love you guys!)

So I registered to run the NYC Marathon for these reasons:

  • I time qualified and had an automatic entry.
  • If I’m going to run ONE marathon, why not go BIG and run NYC?
  • I am healthy now. Who knows what the future will hold?
  • I found out that blogger and skirt sister Cari was running it as well as a few locals that I know (and even some bloggers who I’m haven’t met yet.) At least I’ll know someone.
  • It’s only a train/bus ride away and I have enough points for a free hotel room for two nights.
  • It’s a fall marathon. Weather should not be too hot or too cold to train or race in.
  • I LOVE NYC.
  • As they say: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Marathon Training:

If you follow my posts, you also know that I am not strict about following a training plan. But on July 1, I decided to download the Hal Hidgen Novice Marathon Plan and at least follow the long run schedule to the best of my ability.

And though I may have re-arranged things, I did all but one weekend long run. (Thank you Weather Gods — none in the rain.)

Besides, the goal for my FIRST marathon was finishing!!

Pre-Race Day Activities:

I took the train to NYC early Saturday morning and met my roommate Lacey for the first time (at the train station).  Together we walked to the hotel and chatted.

It was too early to check in so we left our bags at the hotel and headed directly to the expo at the Javits Center. It wasn’t a bad walk and I was familiar (from previous trips for a 5k) about how enormous it would be. I had planned to grab my bib and shirt, check out the freebies and photo ops.

And that’s what I did. I refrained from buying anything. Basically because I had already purchased NYC marathon gear online to avoid the crowds of the expo.

Earlier in the week, I had grabbed a bunch of tickets for free afternoon events – podcasts at the Run Center with Deena Kastor (12p) and Ali on theRun (1pm) as well as tickets to see Meb at the Mariott.

Since we hadn’t checked into the hotel yet, we did that and wound up skipping lunch and just attending Meb’s event.

Good decision since Meb was awesome. We also got a lot of UCan samples which I hope to try out in the future and tips about running the NYC Marathon.

Probably not a smart move but we walked a lot. How can you not in NYC?  Not sure if it was the boots I was wearing or not, but all day, my lower back ACHED.

So I changed into sneakers and we headed back to the expo (Lacey got some bargains. I bought a car magnet) and then we went out to dinner. My back felt better.

I’m a firm believer in not trying anything new on race day (or the night before) so we went out to an Italian restaurant. We shared pizza and pasta and cannolis for dessert. I have stuck with pizza or pasta for pre-long run and race meals, so I was confident that this would be okay. (We had skipped lunch so we ate dinner too fast to take any pics lol)

Lacey went back to the hotel but I was not tired yet (and too excited to sleep) so I walked around Hudson Yards. I forgot that it gets dark early and had tickets to climb the Vessel to catch the sunset.  Instead, I walked around the the 5th floor of the mall where they had mannequins outfitted in roses.

I went to bed a little later than I would have liked, but because of Daylight Savings Time, I actually felt okay when I woke up at 4:00 am the next morning.

Race Morning:

Lacy was in Wave 1 so she had a much earlier bus to catch.  I lazily stayed in bed until 5:15 am and then ate my usual pre-race breakfast (oatmeal and coffee) in my hotel room.

lots of throw aways over my usual race outfit

I left at 6:15 to walk over to the New York Public Library to catch my 7 am bus to Staten Island.

I knew the weather prediction for the weekend. And it actually turned out to be pretty accurate.

PERFECT RACING WEATHER. woo hoo!

Fortunately, it was not as cold on race day morning as predicted ..in the 40s with plenty of sun and little wind. I was decked out in plenty of throw-aways and was not cold.

Good thing I left when I did because the line for the buses was already pretty long. Cari and I met up on the line and I was amazed at how quickly it moved and how organized everything was so far.

Soon we boarded a bus and were on the way to Staten Island.

After we got off the bus, we had to wait in yet another line to go through security to enter Start Village. Again due to the superb race organization, it moved quickly and before we knew it,  we were in the Start Village!

You were assigned either Green, Orange or Blue and a corral – colors corresponded to where you start (top or bottom of the bridge) as opposed to your wave which corresponded with your start time.

Cari & I were in different waves and different start colors but we hung out together in the village, used the porta-potties, got our Dunkin Donut hats while basking in the marathon excitement.

those bushes spelled out DUNKIN

Eventually we separated into our own color villages.  I had some coffee, a bagel and a banana (my breakfast had digested hours ago), relaxed on the ground (sitting on my foil blanket) and watched the first 2 waves start and cross the bridge overhead.

Time passed quickly as I chatted with many other novice and experienced marathoners. I removed most of my throw-aways when they announced Wave 3 corrals opening.

I only kept my foil blanket (since I didn’t realize that there were more bins for clothing) and Dunkin Hat. Yes, I was chilly but not too bad.  There were more porta-potties inside the corral area. Who knew? So I used them again since the lines were not long.

ha ha 4:25 finish time predicted.

So…as I waited to start, I chatted with many of the runners in my corral. Soon it was 10:35 am and we were moving. Canons fired, confetti was thrown and speakers blasted Frank Sinatra singing New York, New York. I was already moved to tears… as I crossed the start line of my FIRST Marathon!!

The following breakdown is based on my own GPS (which may or may not be accurate):

The Race:

Miles 1-2

12:14, 10:00

The first part of the race took runners to the highest point of elevation: crossing the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge out of Staten Island (borough #1) into Brooklyn (borough #2).

pic from upper level (from FB)

I was in the Green Wave, which started on the lower level of the bridge. I was told that although the view was not as good, it was less windy and the incline less steep. I was happy for that.

So the first mile was uphill and crowded and I ran it very slowly.  I planned to walk it but I was too excited. It was long and steep but not as bad as I had feared. Of course, that meant the mile 2 was downhill. I did my best to hold back. (I may not have been so successful).

Miles 3-13

10:58, 10:42, 10:42, 10:49, 10:32, 11:13, 11:16, 11:50, 11:30, 11:40, 11:53

Everyone had told me to get ready for the “wall of sound” coming off of the Verrazano Bridge entering Brooklyn. It was even louder than I expected. It continued the whole route in Brooklyn!! In fact, at times it was deafening.

Around mile 3, we were running alongside the Blue and Orange waves, both of which started on the top of the bridge. An old friend of mine said she would be at the mile 3 sign marker, I looked everywhere but never saw her 😦

We ran along Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn. The crowd support continued to be amazing. I collected many high fives here and lots of cheers. I was glad that I had put my name on my bib. I was surprised at how many spectators and volunteers called out my name and cheered me on.

After the first 2 miles on the bridge, there were water/Gatorade stops at EVERY MILE. I don’t run intervals, but my plan was to WALK and DRINK at every water stop even if I was not thirsty.

My left foot (bunion area) always hurts at some point during a long race and of course, it did not disappoint.  It hurt early on. I tried to ignore it and prayed that it would not continue throughout the WHOLE race (It did not last long surprisingly.)

Around mile 5, I decided to take my first fuel.  My fuel of choice is GU. But I didn’t think I’d want to eat that many during this LONG race. So I saved my GU for mile 20 and ate a different energy gel at mile 5, mile 10 and mile 15 (SIS, Honey Stinger, E-Gel).  My stomach felt great the entire race and I never felt hungry and energy deprived (Yes, I ate something new on race day…do not do this LOL).

Soon after, I decided to cross to the other side of the street. Not sure why. Just for a diversion. Well, it was at that point that someone ran up behind me. It was Karen, a runner that I knew from home.

We ran together for quite a few miles. I stopped at every water stop and she did not because she carried  her own water. Each time, however, she slowed up and waited for me.  She is a much faster runner and eventually, I purposely slowed and told her to go on ahead.  I felt that I may have been running at too fast a pace to maintain for 26.2 miles. But it was fun to run along side a familiar face.

The Brooklyn crowds really rocked.  Music and screaming around every bend. We turned from Fourth onto Lafayette Avenue in Brooklyn around mile 8. There were a good amount of rolling hills and inclines in Brooklyn but the crowds made the miles go by quickly.

I ate a gel around mile 10 and tried to keep an consistent pace and slow enough not finish the first half of the race under 2 1/2 hours. (I was pretty successful at this!)

The last miles in Brooklyn brought us over the Pulaski Bridge into Queens (borough #3). For this bridge, I did walk the incline and run down it.

There was a supposed group from at running group at home at mile 13.1. I looked but again, it seemed impossible to find people in the huge crowd and I never saw them.

Miles 14-16

12:03, 13:48, 13:10

I’m not sure exactly when things started to go south but I think it was around here. My back started to really HURT. I tried to run in a way to minimize the pain, but my back just seemed to ache. (Same pain as the day before…very strange but ouch!!)

Next came the Queensboro Bridge. I walked up it and ran down it as I did on the last bridge. Many runners paused and took selfies with a view of the Manhattan skyline.  I thought about it my phone was buried in my belt.

Miles 17-20

13:06, 12:49, 14:10, 14:30

At this point, you left Queens and entered Manhattan (borough #4) to run down First Avenue. I continued to run (but at a slower pace) and walk at the water stops (but for a longer time).

There was a lot going on to keep my mind off the pain. I witnessed 2 marriage proposals, countless funny and encouraging signs and most importantly, spectators screaming and calling out my name.

always smile when you see a camera

This part of the race was LIT! The crowds were amazing yet they were behind a barricade for the first time in the race. Still I gave out a lot of high fives. I was starting to have fun in the race again (despite the pain in my back).

I knew that my tennis friends had driven down to see me. I checked my phone and they said that they were at the corner of 1st Ave & 86th (around mile 17.5).

So I walked a bit so that I would look strong when I saw them (so vain of me).

I was worried that I would not find them in the crowd since I had missed everyone else when all of sudden they jumped out into the street and hugged me.

Of course, I had to stop and take a selfie.

It definitely lifted my spirits to see them. I continued to sprint away until I was out of their sight and then I slowed to my painful slog.

Another running friend was at the Gatorade stop at mile 18. I looked and again I could not find her.

In addition to water stops (of which 2 had gels), there was volunteers that would spray you with Bio Freeze, offer you salt tablets, vaseline, etc.)

I finally succumbed to one where they rubbed you with Bio Freeze (on my quads) because I knew I was heading up and down bridge #4.

After crossing the Willis Avenue Bridge (again, all the bridges were hard!), you entered the Bronx for a mile. At this point I was nervous because I had never run more than 20 miles in training, but it was fine! I was not really tired just in pain…

Although you were in the Bronx (borough #5!) a short time, there were really energetic spectators and lots of music. I work in Queens often, so the atmosphere seemed familiar.

So after a quick couple of miles through The Bronx, we crossed the Third Avenue Bridge and headed back into Manhattan for the final 5 miles on Fifth Avenue, up 59th St. and into Central Park.

Miles 21-23

14:56, 14:27, 14:09

You ran through Harlem when you first entered Manhattan from Queens. The crowd support was almost as crazy as Brooklyn!

We continued running up Fifth Avenue and it was a false flat. The incline was a killer at this point in the race and in addition to my back ache, my quads (mostly left) started to throb. Even my right ankle felt weird.

held onto my Zensah arm sleeves until I dropped one on 5th Ave. 😦 Never lost those $1 gloves

Up to now, I had been only walking the water stops and up the inclines of the bridges.  In my race-induced hypochondria, I imagined a slipped disc, strained achilles and a femoral stress fracture.  I decided to just walk, high five every child and not risk serious injury. I was finishing this race…no matter how long it took me.

Fifth Avenue seemed to go on forever. Thank God for the crowds.

Miles 24-26.2

14:32, 13:32, 13:34, 12:37 (.26)

I had no time goal. I just wanted to finish but secretly I wanted to finish without running in the dark.  Remember we lost an hour of daylight.

So despite the pain, I tried to pick up the pace. After running for hours, we finally entered Central Park…yes the hills of Central Park.  The crowds were insane.

Believe it or not, I don’t remember the hills. I was so glad to be nearing the end of the race (though it was far from over.)

Eventually we turned up 59th street heading toward the final stretch of the race. I do remember walking so that I would have enough energy to sprint through the finish line.

And when I saw the finish line, I was ecstatic!

I DID IT!

I ran my FIRST MARATHON.

Garmin Time = 5:27:22 (a little off, I guess)

Getting out of such a big race is a long slog. After we got our medals, the runners received mylar blankets and recovery bags filled with snacks (large bottle of water, Gatorade, protein drink, apples, power bars and more)..

Then there was a long slow walk to either bag check or poncho pickup. I was a poncho runner so my exit was a bit closer (but still LONG).

I’m so glad that I opted for the poncho! It was really nice and fleece lined so it was warm.

It was another slog past the family reunion area and on to exit the park. On my way out, I stopped at a medical tent and begged for something for my pain. They gave me ONE Tylenol (yeah like one was enough. I take 3 for a headache lol).

I thought about taking the subway (which was free today) but it looked to be so crowded so I decided to walk the final 1 and a half miles back to the hotel.

I had a runner’s high and no longer felt any pain anyway.

Post Race:

Lacey had finished way before me and was anxiously waiting for me in our hotel room so we could go out to dinner and celebrate.

I quickly showered and off we went to a steak house.

wearing my medal of course

We spent the rest of the evening at the hotel bar, drinking, having dessert, debriefing about our race and watching the live feed of the race. (At 10:15 pm, there were still runners on the course….SO INSPIRING!!!)

The Next Day:

I got up early, had breakfast in the hotel and headed off for my appointment at RECOVER. Believe it or not, I felt great…barely any stiffness or pain.  Hmmm??

this felt great & I got lots of freebies – worth the price (ha ha it was free.)

Next Lacey and I walked to Hudson Yards so we could climb to the top of The Vessel and take some pics with our medal.  My idea!! And we weren’t the only crazy ones.

We came to our senses and took the elevator down.

yes ADA only. the attendant told us to hide our medals.

After all that walking, we worked up an appetite.  Good thing because we had plans to meet Cari for lunch.

After lunch, Lacey had to head home so Cari and I took the subway to Jack Rabbit Sports store for more recovery, freebies and shopping.  We used the Normatec boots again. I don’t know if they helped but it felt great.

Unfortunately this wonderful weekend had to end… and I sadly boarded my train to return home.

Additional Race Reflections:

I can’t say enough good things about this race. I may have focused too much on my pain and the slower pace I was forced to run with.  But since that day, all I think about the positives and how I lucky I am to have had this opportunity.

The Good:

  • Abundant communication beforehand about all aspects of the race
  • Organized packet pick up.
  • HUGE expo with lots of samples and items to buy.
  • Many things to do (for free) before the race -podcasts, lectures, runs, etc.
  • Organized, easily accessible and sufficient buses to the start.
  • Dunkin hats, coffee, bagels, bananas in the race start village.
  • Bins everywhere to discard clothing
  • Organized and easy access to corals.
  • Sufficient number of port-a-potties. In the village, corrals and along the course.
  • Prompt wave starts with canons, confetti and Frank Sinatra
  • Sufficient number of water/Gatorade stops – 25, I think – 2 had Honey Stinger Gels
  • Lots of medical support along the course
  • BioFreeze and vaseline provided along the course, as well.
  • Well marked course with mile markers and timing at each mile and clocks at each 5k.
  • THE MUSIC, THE CROWDS, THE SUPPORT
  • Perfect weather
  • No blisters!! No chafing!
  • No stomach issues!
  • Cool medal
  • Post finish line support of food bag, mylar blanket and a fleece-lined poncho
  • Free subways after the race
  • Friends before, during and after (esp Lacey & Cari)

The Bad:

  • The bridges
  • The long walk out of the park
  • MY PAIN

The Ugly:

  • Nothing 🙂

Would I recommend this race?

OMG! YES YES YES.

What can I say? This is an amazing race. Crowd support is incredible. From the Expo to poncho pickup, the organization was perfect. Everyone has to run New York at least once!

Final Stats and Thoughts:

As you all know, I trained  for 18 weeks for my first marathon. I rarely missed a weekday run (although they were shorter than prescribed) and nailed all of my long run distance (except one). Based on my NYRR pace per mile. I was predicted to finish at 4:25. I expected to finish around 5:30. But wouldn’t even be disappointed at 6 hours. I had ZERO time goals.

My official finish time was 5:29:11

This graph describes how I ran the race:

I planned to run 2:30 for the 1st half and 3:00 for the 2nd. What I didn’t plan was that I ran/walked the 2nd 13.1 miles slowly because of pain rather than weariness.


It was a fantastic experience. I am so glad that I took the challenge.  Most importantly, I enjoyed the race (even with the pain) and that’s REALLY what it’s all about!

How am I feeling and What’s next?

I think walking around NYC after the race and the next day helped because I didn’t really have much soreness days after. I also went to see my chiro. She couldn’t believe that there wasn’t much for her to do.  Less tightness than at a normal visit.

I ran the Stockadeathon 15k a week later. Yes, my legs felt tired and I ran it slowly but the good news is that my back did not hurt!!!

post race smiles…always!

Last but not least, THANK YOU!

So I couldn’t end this post without thanking so many awesome people that encouraged me on my marathon journey.

To my running friends. THANK YOU for all of your wisdom, words of encouragement and support during those LONG weekend runs.

Thank you to my Mizuno sneakers!

To my friends (including virtual friends and bloggers), you guys are the real MVP. THANK YOU for supporting me on this crazy 18 week journey and for cheering for me during the race. It means more than you’ll ever know!


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

Since today is Tuesday, I’m also linking up with these ladies and you should too.


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

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

Happy Running! Ever run this race or another marathon? How do you feel about your experience? Please share.

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Weekly Run Down for 11.4.19-11.10.19: Recovery Week

Post-race let down?

Nope, still savoring the moment.

Can’t believe that I actually ran the NYC Marathon!!

Last Week –

  • Monday  – A busy recovery day in NYC. I got up early, had breakfast in the hotel. Then I had an appt. at RECOVER, followed by Lacey and I climbing the Vessel to take a picture with ours medals (what else?) Afterward we met Cari for a post race recovery lunch – Mazoh Ball soup and lox. Cari & I walked Lacey to the train and then took the subway to Jack Rabbit for more recovery and freebies before we separated. She took the subway back to her apt and I to Penn Station to catch my train home.

Loved the Normatec boots (did them twice)..and we talked the attendant in letting us take the ADA elevator down (had to hide our medals lol)

  • Tuesday – Back home and at work. Still recovering but I had signed up for a yoga class (Cat Yoga) because I had taken it before (and it was fun) and I wanted to support my friend Judy who was teaching it as her first class.

I was a little stiff, of course, but enjoyed the cute kitties (and didn’t come home with another cat…this time.)

  • Wednesday – Still in supposed recovery mode though tempted to run. Good thing I had a chiro appt. She was surprised at how fast I bounced back. Not much for her to do. Lol.
  • Thursday – Ok, enough rest. I wanted to take the post marathon legs out for a short run. But rain/snow thwarted that idea. Instead I went out to celebrate.
  • Friday – I planned to get up early and run but 20 degrees. Yikes.  Instead after work, I ran a loop at Ualbany and rushed home as I had to clean my house since I was hosting mah jongg.

cold & windy so I ran fast

My friends brought me delicious cupcakes to celebrate my marathon and I won several times. Good times.

  • Saturday – Resting again due to a race the next day. Instead of a run, I went for a walk with my running friends, had brunch and then went on errands and to pick up my bib.

too cold & windy to walk the whole 4 miles so Sherry & I ran the last mile

  • Sunday – In a moment of insanity, I signed up for a local 15k race a week after my first full marathon. I didn’t know how it would go but I decided to do it since I love this race and what’s 9.3 miles compared to 26.2? Well, my legs weren’t as recovered as I thought so I took it slow and ran/walked it.  Bumped into a lot of runners that I knew and even ran most of the race with someone.

don’t have to run fast to enjoy a race… over 6 minutes slower than last year & I don’t care 🙂

This Coming Week – 

  • Monday – DAY OFF – run/walk
  • Tuesday –  run
  • Wednesday – run
  • Thursday – rest day, dinner with tennis friends
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday – run
  • Sunday – rest

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? What’s new with you? How long after a marathon have you rested? Please share.

Weekly Run Down for 10.14.19-10.20.19: Home Sweet Home

No work travel this week. Just the normal busy stuff.

Now that I have free time during the week to actually to do my training miles, it’s taper time for my NYCM training. It figures….

Last Week –

  • Monday  – Even though it was the day after my 20 miler, I signed up for a race, Lawson Lake Trail Run. I had the day off and it was only a 5k trail race. I planned to just walk it. After experiencing lots of discomfort the previous day, I was surprised to wake up feeling as if I had NOT run the day before. Still I walked most of it and It was a fun time. The weather was awesome, the course scenic and some of my friends came as well.

probably less than 3 since Jan and I made a wrong turn

After the race, my hubby and I decided to make one last quick trip to the lake. We even made our last trip to Martha’s for ice cream (sorry no pic)

  • Tuesday – With rain in the forecast for the next two days, my running friend and I headed to run the UAlbany loop after work. We ran in the opposite direction from last week and discussed alternate places to run. Afterward I met my BFF to chat and walk around the mall.

  • Wednesday – There was a scheduled SOAR run today after work on the rail trail. But it was raining so I bailed.
  • Thursday – Long work day and it rained all day and night but it was not raining when I left work so I ran on the Corning Bike path. I had the company again of a friend. Definitely made the difference.

Afterward I rushed off to have dinner with some tennis friends.

delicious dinner…miss these ladies since I don’t play tennis anymore

  • Friday – Rest day…Chiro appt and then time to relax and play mah jongg.
  • Saturday – Only a 12 mile run for this week. Start of my TAPER! We chose the local rail trail and the weather was PERFECT!! (cool and sunny). I ran the first 5 miles solo, then the last 7 with Barbara and Judy and joined the others (Sherry, Chris, Jeri) afterward for brunch.

so lucky to always have friends to do my LONG runs with (and brunch with)

No rest for the weary. As soon I was done with post run brunch, I drove with a college friend to meet another college friend for a mini reunion on the Walkway Bridge Over the Hudson.

friends since 1973….. ❤ ❤ ❤

  • Sunday – Rest Day and no boating… just nothing. Aaaah.

(Actually laundry, cleaning and errands…pretty tiring …on 2nd thought…rather go running lol)

This Coming Week – Marathon Training Week 17

  • Monday – run
  • Tuesday –  rest day
  • Wednesday – run
  • Thursday – run
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday – LONG RUN – 8 – Maybe a 5k race (+ 5)
  • Sunday – rest day, volunteer at ARE Trail Race

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? What’s new with you? Please share.

Weekly Run Down for 10.7.19-10.13.19: Travel and the Dreaded 20 Miler

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Work Travel Again. But it’s the last trip (for a little while, I hope)

A Half Marathon happened at the end of the week as part of my 20 miler.

Almost taper time for my NYCM training.

Last Week

  • Monday  – Work trip to Sullivan County. It was supposed to be raining in the am so I didn’t plan to run before leaving. Of course it was not. But it rained the rest of the day. And hard. I had no choice but to run on the hotel treadmill. I was alone and there was TV but still hated it.

  • Tuesday – After a long work day, I went back to my hotel to change in search of some place nearby to run safely. I discovered a rail trail not too far away and headed there. The foliage colors were awesome and though I was tired, this run energized me.

Mountain Dale Rails to Trails

After 4.5 miles, I headed off the trail to get to 5 miles. My reward:

  • Wednesday – It again was supposed to rain but I changed into running clothes just in case. I had hoped to run on a rail trail that I had passed on my way Monday. It looked like it was going to rain soon so instead I found a trail near work. It turned out to be too muddy and full of roots to run on. Instead I walked. Almost got lost several times but I made it all around the lake before the rain.

Hanofee Park

  • Thursday – Back home and able to run after work with a friend. For convenience purposes, we hit the UAlbany loop.

we verged off the loop to run around Indian Pond

Then I went to the movies with friends (I skipped the restaurant dinner in favor of a run…it was a HARD decision.).

Renee Zellweger was fabulous but such a sad story.

  • Friday – Time to rest, unpack and play mah jongg. But first a quick run on the local rail trail (nice weather and there aren’t too many of those in the future.)

loved the wall art and the many painted rocks along the course

  • Saturday – My friends were running a race today. FOMO since it is one race I done every year.Instead I started the day with a trip to the expo to pick up my bib for Sunday’s half.

Then the hubby and I drove up to Lake George for our LAST boating day of the season. The weather was again PERFECT and I spent a relaxing day with our friends.

  • Sunday – Yes, today was the day of the 20 miler. My only one during marathon training. I drove to the start of the Hannaford Half Marathon and in the dark ran 7 miles. (I started out on the trail but it was too dark so I ran on the road and then returned to the trail ponce the sun came up.)

Then I ran 13.2 more miles as part of the race.  Being a local race, it was nice to see so many familiar faces. (Even met up with Cari from NYC who was visiting her brother.) The first 6 miles went very well. Maybe too well. The last 7 were very painful…everything hurt.  But I was lucky to have a from run the last mile or so with me and to have my running friends cheer me through the finish line, So it was harder than I thought but the 20 miler is done. Bring on the taper!