FFF: How to Pick Your Next Big Race

Now that races are happening again…

What is your next big race? How did you decide which one to choose?

Here are some things to consider:

1. Size

Sure there are more logistics to deal with when running a large race.

But there is more crowd support.

You are never running alone. The atmosphere is electric.

Both of these factors are important to me.  I would never run a small marathon!!

2. Location

How will you get to the race – plane, train, bus, car?

Is it easy to get to the start – shuttle, walk, public transportation?

If you have to drive, is there ample parking?

shuttle to the start? yes, please

If I drive, I love when there is nearby parking. Otherwise, I hope there is public transportation or I take an Uber. Best case scenario is staying in a hotel near the race start (if you can afford that…)

3. Deferral Policies

If the race is canceled, what happens? If you are injured, can you defer to another year?  Do either of these matter?

The half marathon that I am planning to run in February was deferred (free) from 2020. I am glad with COVID that many races offered that option.  Many just went virtual (not happy about that) but who knew a pandemic would happen in 2020?

4. Cost

The cost of registration? What swag does it include? Do you have to spend additional money on transportation and hotel?

$$ but worth it!!

Neither one is really a dealer breaker for me. But enough with the shirts!! A hat, hoodie, gloves, something more practical, please.  I do, however, enjoy good food and drink after a big race!

5. Course

Is road or trails?

Is it point-to-point or a loop?

Is it scenic or boring?

Is it flat or hilly?

Steel Rail Half = perfect

My preference would be point-to-point, scenic and mostly flat.   But obviously I’m not picky. I love to race!!

I would also add: who else is running it? A friend, another blogger? It’s much more fun to run a race with someone else.

Happy Running! How do you pick a marathon or big race? What is your next ‘big’ race? Please share.

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

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TT: What I Learned From My Worst Race

Next week’s topic is What did you learn from your worst race?

Ok, I am a week early again.  But I already posted last week about What I learned from my Best race.

Obviously, runners may disagree on the definition of a “bad” race.  It could have been a DNF, one that resulted in a injury, one with PW or just one that didn’t go as planned (re: finish time, weather, etc.)

I am going to talk about my Worst Half Marathon:

I cite this one as my worst not because it was a PW but it was a race that I was the most disappointed afterwards.

Santa Clarita HM (in CA) – Nov 2011

Here is what I learned from that race:

  • Over training is worse than under training.

2011 was the first year that I ran the half marathon distance and for this race, I really wanted to PR.

As part of my training runs, I ran a 13 mile run and also a half marathon.

Instead of being better prepared, my legs felt tired.

  • For Race-cations, bring clothes for all temps and weather conditions.

I checked the forecast before I left for CA, and it didn’t show rain for race day.

And of course, it poured for most of the race.

Now I always bring a poncho to at least stay dry while waiting for the race to start.

  • The goal for the race should NOT only be to get a PR.

Because that was my only goal, when I realized that it wasn’t possible, I gave up on doing my best.

The good news is that that was the first and last time that I’ve had a goal of PR for a half marathon.

My goal is now to enjoy the experience, do my best and finish uninjured.  As a result, I don’t get as disappointed.

  • Mental Preparation is just as important as physical.

When the weather turned out to be miserable, I mentally prepared myself for a bad race… and so I had one.

I thought it never rained in southern California

I have had rainy half marathons after that but I’ve changed my outlook – “It is what it is” and “maybe I’ll get to the finish line faster.”

before the Brooklyn HM… it was one of my better half marathons

  • After a disappointing race, move on and sign up for another.

or have a drink. LOL

the best Bloody Mary in LA – it helped us forget that race

I didn’t give up on half marathons after that race… I’ve run almost 50 more.

I’ve learned to always race with a smile (no mater what.)

  • Even in your “worst” race, there are positives.  Look for them. Savor them.

I ran the race with the sister of my good high school friend.

I visited many sites in LA and Santa Monica and also met up with two former students who had moved here.

Happy Running! What have you learned from your “worst” race? Please share. 

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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.

Weekly Run Down for 10:31.21-11.7.21: Bye Bye Peleton!

So my trial membership ended. I really like Peleton and the instructors. I think it offers a great variety of workouts. But I used it 9 times in 3 months!!! And I only used it for outdoor runs.  It just doesn’t fit into my schedule. Well, actually I prioritize running and time with my family and friends over Peleton workouts. I won’t say that I won’t try it again (if it’s free)  But there are just so many hours in the day when you work full-time.  And then the $$$ thing. I choose to spend it on racing and brunches.

After a week of rainy weather, I’m happy to report that although it was cold, it was dry.

Last Week:

  • Sunday – With #boatingsunday over for the year, #hikingsunday continued with Taconic Sculpture Park and Chittendens Falls before handing out candy to the neighborhood trick or treaters.
  • Monday – #nevermissamonday. I got my run in at lunchtime so I could walk with friends after work.

the wind made it feel chilly at first but then the sun warmed me up and I found my favorite candy. (another new neighborhood and even had a short trail)

  • Tuesday  – I had originally planned to either run at lunch and then walk with friends after work…or even go to my first Track workout.

My running friend asked me to run with her after work and so I walked at lunch… (And voted, of course.)

and then ran at UAlbany after work with her followed by a chilly outdoor walk with my BFF.

I ran Heidi’s 2:1 intervals and it was nice to company on the run

  • Wednesday – Today I did squeeze in my run during lunch and then met my friends after work for our rail trail walk.

leaves leaves everywhere…soon there will be Christmas decorations – though it was in the 40s, the sun sure made it pleasant out there

  • Thursday – Rest day finally so after work, I could help a running friend move. We worked hard unloading their truck.  Strength training, I say.

how convenient that they moved across the street from the cookie truck. We had ice cream sandwiches for dessert.

  • Friday – Another rest day because I don’t run the day before a long run.  I did walk at lunch time and played mahjongg in the evening.
  • SaturdayLong Run Day!  My 12 miler! Happy to report that it was sunnier than my runs during the week and that I had my friends to run with on most of the miles. Since I wanted to run 12, I ran 3 solo and then carpooled to Zim Smith with Barbara and ran the 9 remaining mile with Sherry.  Due to the cold temps, we decided that we may be done with outdoor brunching for this year and instead I ate inside at a new place with the rest of the Sole Sisters.

I froze on my solo foggy 3 miles but then was overdressed for sunny 9 miles…for some reason this run felt harder than most…

  • Sunday –  NYC Marathon... tracking not running. FOMO. lol  Good Luck to all those running it.  You are all so lucky to have perfect weather.

#tbt 2019.

A hike or two planned, of course.

I had wanted to go to Overlook Fire Tower but somehow my directions took me to Falling Water Preserve.  it was a beautiful day with nice view of the Hudson.

wearing my NYCM beanie & jacket lol

On my way home, I stopped at Opus40 which someone had recommended. It was kinda meh. But again a beautiful day to be outdoors.

it was interesting … just not what I expected

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday –   run at lunch, volunteer mtg after work
  • Tuesday – run at lunch, walk after work with friends
  • Wednesday – rest day, walk with friends
  • Thursday – DAY OFF, run, hike
  • Friday -rest day, mah jongg chez moi
  • Saturday – rest day, walk with friends
  • Sunday – Stockade-athon 15k Race

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – What I learned from my worst race
  • Friday – How to pick your next big 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? Any in-person races planned? What you like about Peleton?  How often do you use it? Are you watching or tracking the NYCM today? Please share.

FFF: Ultimate Coffee Break for Nov. ’21 (Sunglass Saga)

It’s that time of the month…

t-shirt_keep calm_sunglasses_FINAL

time to join up with Coco & Deborah
for their ultimate coffee date.

1. Over coffee… 

I’d tell you that I lost a lens in my Goodr sunglasses. I contacted Goodr and in case you wear Goodrs too, here’s another reason to love them. They replaced them for FREE!

2.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I also wrecked the lens in my favorite pair of Goodrs (Pride theme).  Unfortunately, they no longer make that style.  I  ordered a bland grey pair instead.  But they replaced them also for free.

3.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that when my new Goodrs arrived, I realized that I had already replaced them. (Senior brain.)

4.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that that it gets worse, I was cleaning out my car and found the missing lens.

So who wants to trade???? I’ll send you my white/blue Goodrs if you send me one of yours…

5.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I always try to match my Goodrs to my outfit

or the season…

Fall and Christmas

I also buy ones from a favorite race.

Wineglass, NYC and Surftown

Yes, I have many pairs.

Can you have too many Goodrs?? I think not.

Happy Running! What’s new with you?  Do you wear Goodrs? If not, what is your favorite brand?  Please share.

 

 

 

 

 

 


It’s Friday so I’m also linking up with bloggers, Me (My First 5K and More), Running With AttitudeRun Laugh Eat PieRuns with Pugs, and Zenaida!

So Join in!

And don’t forget to link back to your hostesses and visit some other bloggers.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

TT: What I Learned from my Best Race

Next week’s topic is What did you learn from your best race?

Ok, I am a week early (but my tips for using a treadmill are “go outside.” lol)

First of all, how do you define your “BEST” race?

Is it a PR?  Is it one that you ran as planned?  Is it one that you had the most fun at?

I am going to talk about my Half Marathon PR:

Steel Rail HM – May 2017

Here is what I learned from that race:

  • Rest Days during the week before the race are important.

In fact, I need two before race day and no shakeout run on race morning.

  • Running All the Miles on the plan is not always necessary.

For me, that is over training. I’ve done better when I skip some of my long runs or shorten them (and run a 5k race).

  • Elevation matters.

I prefer flat but not totally flat. Hills but not too many or too steep. I have run one downhill race and it didn’t turn out great.

  • Walking is Okay.

I usually just walk at the water stops but that depends on how often they are. If I try not to walk, my pace slows down…a lot. Of course, that means you can’t walk slow or for a long time.

  • What you Wear matters.

For me, everything must match. lol.

I cannot be over dressed. I’d rather be cold. (I run warm.)

a tank to run in but always have warm clothes for after the race

My feet have issues. So I need new(ish) shoes!!

  • I need to Fuel my Body.

During a half marathon, I eat a GU every 3-5 miles.  Usually 3 during the race.  Sometimes even one before (if my breakfast was more than 2 hours earlier.) When I don’t eat enough, I don’t have the energy to run well.

  • A Watch does NOT make you faster.

This PR was at a race where my Garmin kept re-setting after mile 6 and mile 12 so I had no idea of my time until I crossed the finish line.

When I ran by feel, I didn’t slow down worrying that my pace was too fast and I need to save my legs for later miles. I just ran … for fun! No pressure, I think that made all the difference.

  • A Positive Attitude is essential.

Mind over Mater, right?  If you go into the race thinking negative thoughts, it will probably not be a good one.

I knew that this race did not have a challenging course as half marathons go. I had run the same course 7 months earlier and did well. So I entered the race relaxed and feeling good.

  • Anything can happen on Race Day!!

All of the above could be in place and you can have the worst race ever.

Feb 2021 – 30 minutes slower

The good news is that hopefully it will not be your last race and your best race could be right around the corner.

Happy Running! What have you learned from your “best” race? Please share. 

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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.

Weekly Run Down for 10.24.21-10.31.21: Training and Raining

No weekend 5k last week so I could concentrate on the 11 mile Long Run.

We had previously been blessed with such great weather.  Well, that ended.  Many runners don’t mind running in the rain. I am not one of them. lol.

Fortunately I always have flowers in my kitchen (that I buy for myself at Trader Joes) which brighten my day (even when it cloudy and rainy).  And they last for weeks too (although I hope we have more sunshine this coming week.)

Last Week:

  • Sunday – Since I had only run a 5k on Saturday instead of the planned 10 miler, I decided to explore a new route, run 7 miles there  and then go for two nearby hikes afterwards.
  • Monday – I had not planned to run after running on both Saturday and Sunday, But Sunday’s run was easy and the pouring ran had stopped by lunchtime and threatened to start again.  So off I ran.

I get very bored in my neighborhood so I took a drive… I think the colors are prettier on a cloudy day.

I met a friend with my umbrella for an after work walk (and of course, it never rained until we were finished.)

  • Tuesday  – Another rainy day. I had no plans on joining the TTTC group. I did think about joining ARE’s Track workout (for the first time) if the rain stopped.

The rain never stopped ALL DAY. My first track workout will have to wait until next Tuesday. And I had to get my walk in at the mall.

  • Wednesday –  A scheduled rest day due to a hair appt.  Of course, it was a nice weather day.  I hate when that happens. So I decided to squeeze in a run.

it was very windy (but dry) and I did not have a lot of time… a short run is better than no run, right?

During my hair appt, I got a text that our power was out.  So I headed to the mall and walked around until the power came back on.

  • Thursday – Back to trying to fit runs in during lunch or waiting to run or walk after work with friends. I decided to wait until after work and walk at lunch.

I walked on the water line behind my house since I hadn’t been there in ages.

chilly, damp and muddy but still glad to be outdoors.

I drove to the end of the rail trail and ran solo

still working on fall running attire – always cold at first and then too hot

and then met friends nearby for cookies (since they were not able to meet me to run.)

the good news: it was too cold to order ice cream and I only ate ONE warm cookie and my hubby finished off the bag.

  • Friday -Another rest day and an evening playing mah jongg.
  • SaturdayLong Run Day! Of course, rain was predicted. But then the forecast changed to rain after 11 am.  So we all decided to give it a go.  I arrived early on the rail trail and ran 2 (in the rain… Boo).  By the time everyone else arrived the rain had stopped.  9 more miles with Sherry while the others did their own thing.  We met after at a new breakfast spot (which did not get rave reviews but my pumpkin waffles were delish).

I dressed for the occasion and like the others got warm while running (3 other runners not pictured)

The hubby wanted to go out for dinner so I had to indulge him.

the pumpkin cannoli was the highlight

  • Sunday – I had originally planned to volunteer at a local trail race. I changed my mind when my friends were not running it and the forecast was for rain (and just in case I needed to change my long from from Saturday to Sunday.) And it did rain in the am. So I continued my d-cluttering obsession…

and then took off to go hiking

First I stopped off at a Sculpture Park

unfortunately it was closed but that didn’t stop me from taking pix

and then to see some nearby falls and stroll on the Electric Trail.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!! Champ and I are looking forward to giving out candy tonight!

This Coming Week on the Run:

  • Monday –   run, walk with friends
  • Tuesday – TTTC group run, ARE track workout
  • Wednesday – run, walk with friends
  • Thursday – rest day, help friend move
  • Friday -rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday Long Run (12 miles)
  • Sunday – rest day, hiking

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – What I learned from my best race
  • Friday – Ultimate Coffee Date

I am linking up with Kim and Deborah for

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

Happy Running! How is your running going? Any in-person races planned? Please share.

FFF: Runfessions for Oct. ’21

First Runfessions of Fall

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 signed up for 10 week Troy Turkey Trot Challenge because I wanted to train for the 10K and to run with my  usual Challenge friends.

Well, for the ‘advanced” group, there really isn’t a coach. Different and few runners show up each week. My friends did not sign up. The course is often on the track or a dark neighborhood or campus route. It was only 8 weeks not Ten.

I’m not a quitter. But I may skip the rest of the runs and I definitely will not sign up next year.

2. I runfess…

I won my age group at a recent 5k (Malta 5k).  They didn’t have an award ceremony.  You had to pick up the award at the local Fleet Feet store (which is not local for me.)

So I ignored it. I figured it was another medal that I didn’t need.

While I was in NH for my half, I got a call from someone at the store reminding me to pickup my award. Coincidentally, he would be in NH running the same race.  Anyway, I asked him what the award was and he replied: Gift card to Fleet Feet.  My response: I’ll pick it next Sat.

Long story short, I drove there the next Saturday  but the RD has picked up the awards. (They may track it down and mail it to me.. but I doubt it.)

I didn’t want to waste the long drive:

new Topos for my November half marathon

3.I runfess…

After reading all those posts about saving money, I went to the Poshmark site…

Yup, I HAD to buy them.

Of course I would have saved more money if I didn’t buy them at all.

4. I runfess…

Now that I have signed up for ALL my 2021 races (I will have run 21 by the end of the year), I am figuring out my 2022 schedule.

I think I have my February Florida half marathon picked (a deferral from 2020)

Feb. 13, 2022 in Melbourne

but I am debating on my January race…

I definitely am having NYC FOMO:

Fred Lebow Manhattan Half-Marathon - NY, USA - Jan 19 2020 -

Jan. 23, 2022 in Central Park, NYC – I want the HAT!! – cheaper

OR

2022 NYCRUNS Frozen Penguin 5K | New York

Jan 9, 2022 – also in CP – a better date

5.I runfess…

My April half marathon choice is even more difficult..

Logo

Apr. 16, 2022 – local and downhill (if they go back to the original pre-Pandemic course)

OR

NYCRUNS Big Apple Half Marathon & 5K | New York City's Best Races

Apr. 24, 2022 – in Brooklyn

It’s nice to finally say that there are actually choices.

Happy Running! Anything to runfess this month? Do you replace your shoes often? Have you signed up for any 2022 races yet? Please share.

 

 

 

 

 

 


It’s Friday so I’m also linking up with bloggers, Me (My First 5K and More), Running With AttitudeRun Laugh Eat PieRuns with Pugs, and Zenaida!

So Join in!

And don’t forget to link back to your hostesses and visit some other blog

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=a8b40ada7693d64e5923

Summer Smith Memorial 5K Race Recap

ssm5k

October 23, 2021 – 9:45 am – The Crossings

This was the fifth year for this 5K race which is organized by the mother of one of the STEM runners who died of an overdose after completing her first 5k. This is her story – https://www.summersmith5k.com/summer-s-story

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I was in the middle of training for a November 15k race and a half marathon…

However, I just had to do this race. I knew that there would be many other runners and volunteers from the STEM program. I wanted to support this cause and I am fortunate to have known and run with Summer.

The first four years that I ran this race, it was held at the end of May and started at a local High School.

Due to COVID, the date was changed and the location was witched to The Crossings.  The Crossings is not my favorite place to race. I have run there so often but it is what it is.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

It was a few weeks after a half marathon (Oct. 3) and a few weeks before another half marathon (Nov 21).

So I’ve done the short runs on weekdays.

And long runs on the weekend.

I carb load with pizza whether it is 13.1 miles or 3.1.  I also wear the same outfit:

I added arm warmer and gloves but had a feeling that I might be cold.

Race Day:

The race, as previously mentioned, started at The Crossings where there are real bathrooms, easy parking, and ample room to hang out before and after the race.

Many who were in Summer’s STEM group were there. It was pretty emotional. I still get teary-eyed when I think about her.

This race is always one of the most organized races I’ve run. After you got your bib, you got a bag labelled with your name with a shirt and other swag.

There were tables with representatives from relevant organizations (alcohol & drug abuse) also giving out freebies.

There were also many many raffle items  (most running-related but again I forgot to bring $$).

Before the race (at 9 am), there was a prayer and dedication ceremony

followed by a balloon release.

31 balloons were released for Summer (that was her age when she died).

Then purple balloons released for the others who also lost their lives due to drugs or alcohol.  Probably not a dry eye in the crowd.


The ceremony was followed by music and a Zumba session as well as a kids race.

I waited around and chatted with many of the runners that I knew and many that I haven’t seen since the last STEM race.

hanging with my friend Judy

As you can see, it was very cool before we started the race. I changed my outfit and added a long sleeved shirt under my shirt. I also had gloves, a jacket and arm warmers.

The the sun came out and I wisely took off my jacket and arm warmers.  Some of my running friends who didn’t run the race came out to cheer.  They held my throw-aways, cheered us on and took photos. ❤ ❤

The course:

Image

a 3.2 loop around the park

Elevation according to my Garmin:

looks hillier than it was… mostly flat with some rolling hills

I have run this 5k route for several races but not in recent years (May 2016) …and it’s never been one of my better 5ks.

Mile 1:

I lined up pretty close to the front since there were many slower runners and walkers in this race.

I just did the best I could.  Not PR fast but I wanted to finish with a respectable time.  With the chilly temps and no warm up, my legs felt like lead at the beginning.  I There was a lot of support along the course.  Friends of the families who lost loved ones to drugs were holding signs in their memory.  I was glad that I was running to support this charity.

It felt really hard to breathe. I thought it was the cold air.  But probably when I look at my pace, as usual I started out too fast. The course was a loop so I saw two of my runner friends cheering during the first mile (and then again during the last).

Mile 2:

The rolling hills started during this mile.  I slowed down and I felt a lot better. But I definitely regretted that extra shirt. I was HOT!!  The crowd also spread out and I was alone most of this mile.

This was a water stop but I passed it by without stopping.

The crowd support was great.  Every volunteer that I passed carry a sign (for a loved one lost to drugs/alcohol), thanked me for running the race.

I saw another running friend cheering me on during this mile as well. I was surprised but glad to see her.

Mile 3-3.1:

Ok now I was getting tired.  I probably could have dragged myself through the last mile and not walk. But I always felt energized after a quick walk and I did.

But as I got close to the finish line, I walked one more time.

Of course when I saw my friends, I picked up the pace.

Finally the finish line was in sight, I gave it all I had (which wasn’t much at this point) as my friend yelled “Go Darlene. You got this. Sub 30.”

My thought was “Sub-30?” but then I looked at the clock and it said 28:XX. Phew!

I was pleased. I knew the two walks during the last mile would definitely prevent me from having my first sub 28 finish of the year. (In fact this was slower than my previous four 5ks).

I waited for Judy to finish and was happy that she had a good race too.

Post Race:

We hung around for awhile, chatted and then looked at the results.

Both Judy and I won our age group!! About 200 in the race.

I was starved since I had eaten breakfast 5 hours ago so I had some chocolate milk and pizza.

We decided not to wait for the awards and to go out to brunch.

This is the medal that I would have gotten (and I have several of the same ones from other years)

And those extra 7 miles that was supposed to run just got postponed to Sunday.

Additional Race Reflections:

I was happy to support this charity. Plus the race was so well-organized.

I am so humbled by these STEM women and others who have overcome adversity. And I am glad to be a part of their lives.

Tyler has WON this race 5 years in a row honoring his brother. 

Positives:

    • Ample parking.
    • Well marked course.
    • Varied park scenery.
    • Virtual option available.
    • Indoor restrooms
    • A real race.
    • Flatish course.
    • Immediate results.
    • Chocolate milk.
    • Many familiar faces.
    • Crowd Support
    • Post-race Refreshments
    • Great cause.

Negatives:

    • Too familiar course
    • Annoying uphills
    • Over Dressed (my fault)
    • No speedwork to prepare (my fault)

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. Great organization. Great cause!!!

It will next be on June 11 and if possible back on its original course.

Final Stats:

Splits:

two walks during mile 3…

Next Up:

a 15k  on November 14 and another half marathon on November 21.

Stockadeathon – 15K Road Race

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Happy Running! What is your favorite charity to support for a race? Do race because of the cause?

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

Weekly Run Down for 10.18.21-10.24.21: Fall Temps, more Hikes and a 5K

Last week, I complained that although it looked like Fall, it felt like summer.

This week, thanks to weekend rain, the temps cooled down.  That didn’t make me happy but I am savoring the last minutes of afternoon daylight. And I did get some fall hiking in.

Though, I’m in the meddle of training for a half marathon, I participated in a 5k (for charity reasons).  Always feels good when you give back.

Last Week:

  • Monday – No time to run but after work, it’s still light enough and I decided on UAlbany (post rain shower). I did not realize how cold and windy it had gotten.

brrr! run shortened due to frozen ears and hands. (the purple line was from a recent race.)

And then after dinner, I met my BFF for a walk around the mall.

  • Tuesday  – My 3rd meeting with the TTTC group was scheduled for tonight.  I am debating about leaving the group. It involves waiting until 6 pm to run and running around a college campus and/or track in the dark. And not much coaching (which used to be the highlight for me) and fewer and different participants each week.

So instead I ran during lunch

chilly at first but with the sun, I warmed up quickly

and then was able to meet friends to walk after work.

chose a different place – Pine hollow arboretum

  • Wednesday – Rest Day!  I did take a walk at lunch but then met my tennis friends to visit a local museum and then out to dinner (at a restaurant on the Mohawk river).  Always a fun time getting together with these ladies.

3 left before the group photo

  • Thursday – A run squeezed in at lunch (in case my friend was unavailable after work).

crazy weather. it seemed that summer was back. the top left house has the skeletons in a different pose each week – beer pong, fencing, riding a tractor and today painting

It was the right move since my friend was indeed unable to run so instead I went for a hike,

Five Rivers was lovely and nearby.

  • Friday – Rest Day!  Not much activity…just mah jongg in the evening and getting ready my #flatme.

fingers crossed that it is not as chilly as predicted.

  • SaturdaySummer Smith Memorial 5k. This race used to be in May but due to COVID, it got changed to today.  Poor timing since I had a 10 mile long run planned for the day. As soon as I arrived, I didn’t regret my choice to run it one bit.

changed my outfit and sweat but connected with a lot of familiar faces and even won my age group.

I had the choice of running 7 more miles after the race or joining others for  brunch.

Yup, I chose brunch with my running friends and then did some errands.

  • Sunday – Plans are made to be broken. I decided to only run 7 miles and on a new path…

a great path to run on and the weather was perfect…but I HATE running alone!

and then go hiking after (in that area).

Hike #1: many trails…I could have stayed forever…

Hike #2: loved being outdoors on this beautiful day

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday –   run, walk with friends
  • Tuesday – TTTC group run, track workout
  • Wednesday – rest day, hair appt.
  • Thursday – run
  • Friday -rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday Long Run (11 miles)
  • Sunday – rest day, hiking

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Summer Smith Memorial 5K Race Recap
  • Friday – Runfessions

I am linking up with Kim and Deborah for

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

Happy Running! How is your running going? Any in-person races planned? Please share.

FFF: Racing without Training

As Fall seems to be the time for Big races (especially this year), this topic seems appropriate.

Grete Waitz is a legend and I always think of her when I hear people lament that they are running a race but they didn’t train well. (Often it is me LOL)

She had never run farther than 12 miles before her first marathon in New York in 1978. Not only did she finish the race, but she won it – and set a course record. At age 25.

Most unprepared runners aren’t so lucky.

So if you are signed up to run a big race and have not adequately trained for it, here are some things you can do:

1.Consider your alternatives.

Some races allow runners to switch from a marathon to a half-marathon, a half to a 5K, or to enter a relay with friends rather than completing the entire distance alone. You can also try contacting the race director to see if you can transfer your bib to next year’s race. Volunteering to give out water or simply cheering are also good ways to be part of the race without risking injury.

my friend Tina downgraded to the 5k from the Half. (in Montreal)

two of friends (left & right) decided to spectate rather than run.

But if you’re committed to running the entire race.  All hope is not lost. You just have to approach the race with the strategy and mindset of a champion – even if your training was anything but.

2.Prepare Your Body 

Sometimes life or your body gets in the way of your training.

So two weeks prior to the race, do not do anything crazy. The last thing you want to do in the final two weeks is squeeze in those long runs because you think that you will be better prepared for the race.

The best thing you can do is just get a few short runs in to keep your legs fresh.

Calf injury curtailed my Half training – had to cut back rather than doing my long double digit runs.

In other words, don’t cram in those miles.

3.Prepare Your Mind

It’s even more important to manage your expectations when entering a race with little or no training.

It is very unlikely that if you didn’t train for the race that you will achieve a PR or BQ.

thrilled with finishing the NYC Half Marathon

my friend Deb walked the half because she hadn’t trained

Remember to celebrate FINISH LINES not FINISH TIMES.

4.Race Strategically

Once the gun goes off, hold yourself back. Pace yourself, take walk breaks and even take time periodically to stop, stretch and massage any muscles that are getting tense.

You can also play mind games with yourself. Think about the race as smaller segments – a half marathon could be broken into about four 5Ks races, for example.

Another hint is to “Run the mile you’re in” rather than thinking about all the miles you have YET to run and how hard it will be to finish the race distance.

with no double digits runs done for this half…my legs were indeed weary at this 15k point!!

Try to maintain positivity, not panic. This is the real trick to finishing a race when you’re not trained.

I’m certainly not an expert but something special happens on race day. You have support, you have crowds, you have water stops, and more.

You will be mentally fired up in a way that you cannot be for any training run – that’s why we do races. You have to have faith in race day magic.

Believe me, it will happen.

my friend Heidi lost some precious weeks early in her training but she adapted and ran a great race

5.Have fun!

If you are not trained for race, the race will most likely feel tough but it can still be enjoyable.

Often, the greatest joy comes from the toughest challenges.

As they say: “Pain is temporary. Pride lasts forever”

I say “GO FOR IT!”

This was my slowest half marathon (in 2011). I walked half of it due to recovering from an Achilles injury but I had the BEST time!!

** None of the above applies to racing with a serious injury or against Doctor’s orders!!!

Happy Running! Have you ever run a race without training? How did it turn out? If so, any other tips to add? Please share.

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

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