Weekly Run Down for 7.10.22-7.17.22: The Heat is on…

We’ve had some warm days here and there (mostly on my race days lol) but this week, most days were warm and muggy!!

Not complaining. (I could live in the South!)

Last Week:

  • Sunday – Boating Sunday! 

Another perfect weather day!  And the fix for the boat was a quick one. Phew!

swimming, reading and relaxing on Log Bay

  • Monday – The second Monday off in my new work schedule.  My hiking buddy Heidi was not available but my friend Deirdre was able to accommodate my whim.  And off to Lenox, MA we went.

Our first stop was Pleasant Valley Nature Sanctuary but this time to climb Lenox Mountain.

we took the less steep but longer route – about 3 mi.

After lunch in Lenox, we hiked at Basin Pond in Lee.

some more hills for a little more than 2 mi.

We ended the day with ice cream (at the same place as last time).

I got home too late for the group run so I dragged myself out for run (as the sun was setting) since rain was predicted for Tuesday.

still warm and humid

  • Tuesday – Rest Day!! But where was the rain?? We didn’t get those predicted severe thunderstorms… just a little rain around 4 pm.

So I settled for a walk at the outdoor mall in my BFF.

full moon!!

  • Wednesday – After Monday’s struggle in the heat of the evening, I decided to get my run done before work.  Much nicer, I’m sure but still it was warm and HUMID!!!

yes, pink flowers were my distraction.

I forgot to download a Peloton run so I listened to one of Ali on the Run’s podcasts. Here’s some advice  from an élite runner who had some very disappointing races so just entered a race with no expectations:

Racing is the fun part of what we do… We put too much pressure on ourselves to do certain things… Race just to race. 

Now I hope I can remember that…

Instead of a run, I went for a walk on the rail trail with two friends.

5.5 miles tonight

  • Thursday – No time to run during my work day (plus so hot during lunchtime) so I ran right after work on the rail trail.

more birdhouses and still warm!

Then I joined my friends at the ARE trail run (or walk for us).

3.1 miles of trails followed by a new ice cream shop.

  • Friday – Rest Day!!
  • Saturday Long Run Saturday!  Unfortunately many of my friends were busy today. But there were still a few of us left to gather for brunch. I ran intervals with Deb an then met Barbara and Denise after.

  • Sunday –  Boating Sunday!!

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday –  run
  • Tuesday – rest day, hair appt
  • Wednesday – run
  • Thursday – run, ARE trail walk
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday Long Run (or 5k + 5 miles)
  • Sunday –  rest day, boating

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Al Goldstein 5K Race Recap
  • Friday – Five Ways to Be a Better Running Friend

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.

FFF: Five Ways to Run Faster

What runner has ever said “I want to run slower”? Of course, we would love to be a faster runner.

I am not a coach so this is just my opinion based on what I have heard and read.

I know you all believe that in order to get faster, you need to strength train, do speed drills and run hill repeats among other workouts.

I am sure that these couldn’t hurt. They may also get you faster finish times.

But here are some other ways to improve your speed:

1.  Proper Arm Swing

When I first learned to run, my coach repeated “To run faster, swing your arms faster.”

However, you also need to swing them correctly:

  • Bend your elbows between 70 and 110 degrees (So approx. 90 degrees)
  • Keep your hands closer to your heart
  • Stay relaxed through your shoulders. Do not let them raise up.
  • Allow your arms to swing toward the midline, but do not let them swing across your body.

BBC SPORT | Health & Fitness | Are you running properly?

I know when I get tired, it all falls apart.  My shoulders raise up and my arms drop.

2. Improve Stride Mechanics

Proper stride can help you run faster. If it’s too long, then your legs have to cover more distance with each step.

Then of course, how your feet land is important.  You need land on your mid-foot rather than heel striking or running on your toes.

Power your running with big stride

And NO shuffling… (Do any of your race photos have you looking like you are walking?)

3. Increase Cadence

Stride cadence refers to the number of strides taken per second, Optimal cadence is generally considered to be somewhere around 180 strides per minute.

A higher cadence will typically translate to a shorter stride and better form. So you should be running faster. A lower cadence can mean you are over-striding, which will slow you down.

Your cadence shouldn’t change with the distance covered.

To increase your cadence, you can practice with an app or music. But most importantly, you need to improve your form:

Use a tall posture, stacked in a straight line from head to heels, with a slight, full-body, forward lean putting your weight over your toes.

Running Cadence: What It Is, Why It Matters and How To Improve It | RunRepeat

Yeah, easier said than done…

But for some reason (without trying), I have a higher cadence. I think it’s because when I run I naturally take short quick steps and try to pick up my feet.

4. Run or Race More Often

In many cases, increasing your weekly mileage will help to increase your overall speed. You should be running at least three days each week.

If you’re already running that often, vary the distances and your routes.

I also feel that running more races will also improve your speed.  Races will give you that adrenaline to pick your pace.

My pace is always faster in a racing situation.

5. Don’t Run Alone

Many runners find that they push themselves harder when they run with others. (I know I do!)

You can often find a running group in your neighborhood for free. Ask about groups at your local running store, at work, or your health club.

I would recommend running with someone who may be just a little faster than you are.

Happy Running?  Do you want to run faster?  What have you done to get faster?  Has it worked? Any other tips to 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

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Firecracker 4 Race Recap

              July 4, 2022 9:00 am

Many of my weekend running friends used to run this race every year.

if you read my weekly run downs, you may recognize a few of these runners

I had never joined them because it was always hot, the race is crowded and I’d prefer to head up to the lake early.

Then last year, I decided to do the race. And I loved it

So I signed up again.

I was hoping that some of my running friends would sign up too but if not, I knew there would be many others there whom I knew.

Then I had to break it to my hubby as it would interfere with our lake plans.

pic from 2018

But we went up on the lake on Sunday (the day before) so he was cool with me racing. (Plus our boat was on the DL.)

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

To save time on race day, my friend, Deirdre, picked up my race packet at Fleet Feet on Friday.

Since the race was on a Monday, I was still able to get my long run done on Saturday.

As I mentioned above, Sunday was a rest day with lots of sun and relaxing on the lake.

The weather for race day seemed great – not as cool as the year before but also not as warm as it could have been this time of year.

As I’ve said in most of race recaps, my goal in racing these days is to do my best but more importantly, have fun and not get injured.

.Race Day:

I ate my usual oatmeal and coffee breakfast and wore a tank and skirt (while trying to look as patriotic as possible)

I won the race cap in a raffle

Last year, I carpooled with Heidi and she knew exactly where to park.  I was thrilled when she again offered to meet me, Deirdre, Denise and drive us.  We all met at Leah’s Cakery at 8am (which was only a few miles from the race.)

We easily found parking on the street and walked toward the start…

We passed the finish line and made plans to meet there after the race.

Then of course, we took our obligatory pre-race photos.

And then we mozied on down to the start area. It was cool to see how creatively everyone was dressed for this July 4th holiday race.

I was happy to see so many people racing… many more than last year (although I think they still offered a virtual option.)

more friends!

No more staggered starts. Everyone just lined up together. There was so much excitement in the air. Live racing rocks!!

There was a flag from Ground Zero and a color guard in addition to the national anthem.

Heidi, Deirdre and Denise (who was walking) headed toward the back. I stayed toward the front and chatted with some runners whom  I knew.

Though I had run this race the year before, the only thing I remembered was that there was a BIG hill during mile 4.

course map

elevation according to my Garmin

Mile 1:

As I mentioned, this was a crowded race. The bottleneck at the beginning slowed me down which was probably a good thing as I always start out too fast.

We began running down Broadway which was a slight downhill but eventually we did hit a hill before we turned left and ran past Congress Park. I already felt the need to walk… I started thinking that this wasn’t going to be a good race…

And it seemed like everyone was passing me by but when I glanced at my watch, it showed that my pace was under 9 minutes!! WTH?

Mile 2:

I was surrounded by runners the whole race. Several times I bumped into runners or they bumped into me.  Maybe I forgot what it was like to run a big race.

As we ran through neighborhoods, spectators enthusiastically cheered us on. There were musicians or bands throughout out.  I think almost 20 (quite a few for a 4 mile race.)

The best part was that there were many folks spraying the runners with water as well as sprinklers set up.  I made sure that I ran through each one.  It was very sunny and felt much warmer than I thought it would be.

There was a water stop during this mile.  I did stop and I was happy that they had cups of water. (Last year due to Covid, they gave out bottles)

something happened to the photographer and there were no photos this year so I am posting last year’s.

I did feel a little stronger during this mile (but that was short-lived.)

Mile 3:

We ran into a few rolling hills during this mile but none too bad. As I mentioned above, there were many different groups playing music. That was a nice distraction.

Saratoga is such a pretty town. I enjoyed running through its streets.

But I started tiring and decided to just walk if I need to.

I was surprised that there was a second water stop since the race was only 4 miles. I did appreciate it and I stopped again.

In addition to the official water stops, there seemed to be many spectators giving out bottles of water.  I did not stop at any of those since I didn’t want to carry a bottle of water or waste it.

Mile 4:

I was expecting the steep hill in the last mile. And it did not disappoint. I was wishfully thinking that I could run up the whole thing.

Nope! I had to walk many times.

The best part was the ice pop that was handed out. I ate one as I continued to run/walk up the hill very slowly.

Finally I spotted that big American flag which meant we were approaching the finish line.

I sprinted as fast as I could at this point. I saw 36:xx on the clock as I crossed the finish line and was pleasantly surprised. I knew I was running slower and walked more than the previous year but my time was not as slow as I thought.

Post Race:

I immediately went to grab a bottle of water. The only refreshments were bananas and so I grabbed one. I also spotted a Ben n Jerry’s stand and got a cup of ice cream (Oops it was for parents and kids who had run the kids race…).

I really enjoyed watching so many of the runners finish, especially those that I knew. I also got to admire all the patriotic outfits.

Eventually all my friends finished and they did great.

I checked the website to see if I won an age group award. Last year, I came in 4th. I was surprised that I came in 2nd (even with  a slower time this year.)

So we all hung around longer so I could get my award.

We decided to stay in Saratoga to have brunch.  We had hoped that at this point, all the runners would have left and the restaurants wouldn’t be so crowded.

Nope, they were all full and we had to put our name on a waiting list in two places before we found a table in a third outdoor restaurant.

celebratory mimosas!!!

Additional Race Reflections:

I didn’t expect to enjoy this race as much as I did.  I also didn’t think I could run as well as I did.

I felt that I could have done better if I didn’t walk as much (but I always say that AFTER the race.)

But probably the most important factor was running the race with friends and the feeling of normalcy on this national holiday!

Positives:

  • Ample parking (parking garage and street parking)
  • Well marked course.
  • Lots of familiar faces.
  • Interesting course.
  • Friendly volunteers.
  • Music entertainment along the course.
  • Enthusiastic spectators (sprinklers and ice pops)
  • Easy and organized packet pick-up on Fri. and race day.
  • Real restrooms before and after and ample number of port-potties
  • Two water stops for a 4 mile race.
  • Additional unofficial water tables.
  • Awards (3 deep) for 5 year age group awards
  • Photo Booth

Negatives:

  • Post-race refreshments (just bananas)
  • Steep hill at mile 4
  • No race photos

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. I loved it.  I hope that I can make it work and run it again next year.

Final Stats:

Last year’s race was a big PR for me – 36:26.

As you can see below, I’m still the Queen of the Positive Splits.

a whole lotta walking going on…

Next Up:

Possibly another July 5k and definitely a 5k in August before the THREE fall half marathons arrive.


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! Did you race on July 4th?  Any summer races on your schedule? Please share.

runner-sig

Weekly Run Down for 7.3.22-7.10.22: Back to the Big Apple

There was a race and a hike at the beginning of the week and then I traveled to NYC and spent three days there.  This may have been my last time working in NYC (but who knows??) so I tried to make the most of it.

Last Week:

  • Sunday – Boating Sunday! 

The weather was absolutely perfect and we invited my stepson, his wife and their two friends out on the lake.

we drove around more than usual to show off our favorite spots…

Unfortunately, the outing got cut short as something was malfunctioning in the boat.  Hopefully it will be a quick fix and we’ll be back out there next weekend.

  • Monday – Race Day – Firecracker 4.  It was 2nd time running this holiday race. And I again had a blast.

I had convinced more of my friends to do the race with me. The weather was great. I also came in 2nd in my age group and we celebrated with brunch and mimosas after.

  • Tuesday – Lake George Hike-a-thon 2022.  I signed up last year with my friend Meg and we had such a good time that I decided to take the day of and do it again.

I signed us up for a longer and more challenging hike (Thomas Mountain).

Unfortunately it rained… well, it poured.

not much of a view and we got very wet… still had fun!

After our 3 mile hike in the rain, we had lunch at our marina and then decided to head home rather than hiking more.

  • Wednesday – Early morning train to NYC, hotel check-in and then off by subway to Queens.  It was still early enough when I returned to Manhattan to venture somewhere for a run.  The question was where to?  So many options in NYC…

You know me. It’s hard to resist a race and there was a 5k in Brooklyn at 7:10 pm.

90 degrees (and 450 runners finished) so lots of walking but when you are the only one in your AG, you win!

  • Thursday – A long day of work but the reward at the end of the day was running with friends.

and ice cream!!

  • Friday – Another long work day and train home!! Rest Day! And no race scheduled for the next day!!

After work, it was raining but I took a leisurely stroll anyway

always something interesting to see in Manhattan

And then took the train home!

the perks of the late train home

  • Saturday Long Run Saturday!

Six miles was on my plan but Sherry wanted to run 9 so I ran intervals with her and then met all my other running friends for brunch.

some friends ran longer, some shorter and some even walked…

  • Sunday –  Boating Sunday!!

Fingers crossed that the boat is fixed…

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday – DAY OFF – hike, run
  • Tuesday – rest day
  • Wednesday – run
  • Thursday – run, ARE trail walk
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday Long Run
  • Sunday –  rest day, boating

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Firecracker 4 Race Recap
  • Friday – Five Ways to Get Faster

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? Do anything fun for July 4th? Please share.

Share Four Somethings – June/July 2022

Harmony Harkema - The Well-Juggled Life

Share Four Somethings is a monthly link-up that Heather Gerwing started back in 2018. The concept is to share the same four topics every month as a way to look back and recap your month. The link-up opens on the 4th Saturday of every month and stays open for one week.

The topics for 2022 are: Something Loved. Something Gleaned, Something Braved or Saved and Something Achieved.

Feel free to join her.  I’m adapting it and changing the post date obviously.

1.Something Loved.

Racing, of course. And Trails and Boating.  But most importantly, time with friends and family.

2.Something Gleaned

It actually came from a birthday card:

Substitute Running/Racing for “Life.”

You can get all the advice in the world, follow recommended training plans, wear the perfect clothes, eat healthy foods, do the right workouts and the results rarely make us happy.

So we obsess…

Should I run longer training runs?  Should I do more drills? Could I have run faster?  Is my form correct?  Should I increase my cadence?  Longer or shorter stride?  Do I shuffle? Yada yada.

So why not try as the card says:

Worry less, laugh more, just wing it and be happy!!

3.Something Braved

For the first time since March 2020, I taught a live class (in Queens, NY).  I’ve been teaching remotely which is a lot different besides being impersonal, you read your content (a script).

Of course, an in-person class is harder since you have to have the content memorized but it is more rewarding seeing those persons whom you are training in front of you.  They are engaged and have to pay attention (and hopefully learning a lot.)

The downside is the threat of COVID and being indoors (and not able to wear a mask all day) all day as well as riding the subway to and from.

File:Gertz Plaza in Jamaica, Queens.jpg - Wikipedia

the inside of this building is much more pleasant

my lab

4. Something Achieved

I am more than halfway toward my 1000 mile annual running goal.  It’s only a goal but it proves that I had been running consistently all year and not injured.

So far, so good.

513 miles!!

And I’ve run 20 races so far this year!! And you know how I love to race!

A few of my local favorites:

and because it’s Friday, I’m adding one more:

5. Something Read or Watched

Not much on the TV front – most shows are on hiatus and I am not a big TV watcher (esp. in the summer).

I did see this movie (in the theatre). I enjoyed it so much (and went with friends). At some point, I’d like to see Top Gun (with the hubby).

On the reading front, I try to read everyday… so yes, I read a lot of books. Here are a few:

Happy Running! Anything to share on the topics above or one of your own? 

runner-sig


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

and add your link below:

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Goals 2022 – Half Year Update

2022 New Year Goals Checklist. Future Goal And Plans. 3435777 Vector Art at Vecteezy

At the end of 2020, I set 15 goals for 2021. In 2022, I decided that it would be cool to keep those 15 and add 7 more. So 22 for ’22.

It’s 6 months into 2022. Let’s see how I am doing so far:

1.Run at least 3 miles twice during the week.

For the most part, THREE times during the week ALL year. And always outside.

2. Go for a walk or hike on non-running days.

Just occasionally.  During the Pandemic, there was not much to do.  I hiked 100 trails in 2020.  Now when I don’t run, I don’t feel the need to get out there.  And rarely unless I’m with a friend.

my walking buds

3. Run long on the weekend (10 miles if able).

Pretty much every weekend.  But not necessarily 10 miles.  It may only be 6-8 miles. Or just a 5k race.

Weekly Run Down for 6.26.22-7.3.22: Heading into the 2nd Half of 2022

Where has the year gone? Can’t believe it’s July already!!

And now the number of daylight hours is decreasing… So trying to make the most of my available time!

Last Week:

  • Sunday – Boating Sunday! 

this race will have to wait until next year

It was a tough decision to DNS a trail 5k race. But with weather in the 90s after a tough 15k the day before, I decided to join my hubby on the boat.

did not regret it one bit!!

  • Monday – DAY OFF! I now have every other Monday off from work.  I made plans to hike with friends.  But the weather didn’t get the memo. I woke up to rain!!

Heidi and I waited and waited and then decided to go for it once the rain stopped.  Fingered crossed for a good time and not too much mud.

It turned out to be a lovely day.  First a delicious lunch in Stockbridge, MA followed by a hike at Olivia’s Overlook

a lot of gradual climbing but worth it…

Then we hiked at nearby Steve’s Glen

this hike was shorter and easier which was a good thing since it was late in the day

We ended to day with the best ice cream at a farm in Lee, MA.

Unfortunately I got home too late to join the group run.

  • Tuesday – A busy week ahead so I squeezed in a run at lunch…

tried out my new Topos and listened to Matt Wilpers

I chose to use Peloton for my run for the music. But what interested more was of Matt’s Insights:

    • Do your best with what you got!

Don’t wish for longer legs, stronger core, cooler temps, better training on hills, etc… 

    • Are you intrinsically or extrinsically motivated?

Why do you run?  Do you need others or awards/rewards or signs of improvement? Do you just do it for you?

And then I went for a short walk after work

While I was walking, a friend called and we went for a longer walk together on the rail trail after dinner.

  • Wednesday – A busy evening so I had to run before work…

what’s with the hair? New Topos #2. Check.

Again, I was running solo so I chose another Matt Wilpers Peloton run.  And I got more advice from Matt:

    • Embrace the weather you have.

Go outside!  Make adjustments for the weather rather than excuses.

    • It’s easier for shorter runners to stay cool.

Something to do with air flow and energy expelled.

    • Lyrics to “Hung Up” by Madonna

Time goes by so slowly for those who wait
No time to hesitate
Those who run seem to have all the fun

I left work early to go the Van Gogh exhibit. It was my third time (in Montreal, NYC and now Schenectady).  Each time I saw it with different friends and each was different show. This visit was with my tennis friends.

Afterward, we went out to dinner to celebrate one friend’s BIG birthday.

  • Thursday – I had to squeeze in a run after work and before our weekly trail run walk.

one loop at UAlbany

My legs weren’t happy with three days in a row of running (but I had no choice since I skipped my run Sunday and Monday.)

always a fun time on the trails and ice cream after, of course.

  • Friday – Rest Day. After work, a relaxing evening with the mah jongg ladies,
  • SaturdayLong Run Saturday. No long races on my schedule until September 3 so I was free to just run and brunch with my friends.

We woke up to rain and my friends decided to instead to have brunch rather than run.

And yes, I was so tempted to join them….

But the rain stopped and I decided to do my LONG run.

the Bad: 97% humidity and I hate running alone! The Good: Lots of shade and bird sculptures and brunch with a friend after.

And then in the evening, the hubby and I went out to dinner with a boating friend.

  • Sunday –  Boating Sunday! 

The weather looks good and we invited my stepson, his wife and their two friends along with us.

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday – Race – Firecracker 4
  • Tuesday – rest day, Lake George Hike-a-thon
  • Wednesday – train to NYC, Al Goldstein 5k (in Brooklyn)
  • Thursday – run (in NYC) with Cari
  • Friday – rest day, train home
  • Saturday Long Run
  • Sunday –  rest day, boating

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – 2022 Goals – Mid-Year Update
  • Friday – Share 4 (or 5) Somethings

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? Any fun plans for July 4th? Please share.

Ultimate Coffee Date for July ’22

It’s that time of the month…

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

1. Over coffee… 

I’d tell you that I’ve run 18 in-person races so far this year (I think I need to buy the mug above)… and I enjoyed each one!!

2.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that the most that I ever raced in one year was in 2016 and that was 41 races.

And NO, I don’t plan to beat that this year.

3.Over coffee/wine…

I’d tell you that I registered for TWO races in the same weekend.

First I signed up for a (fun) Trail 5k.  Then a 15k got scheduled the day before (Saturday).

hot and hilly!!!

My Hubby and I try to reserve Sunday in the summer for boating. Otherwise, it would not have been an issue to run both races. (I have in the past run two races in the same weekend.)

needed relaxation and reading time (in the shade)

4.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that it’s a dilemma when only one brand of shoes that doesn’t hurt your feet doesn’t come in pretty colors (FOMO on those Brooks shoes.)

I wear Topo Phantoms for half marathons and Topo Cyclones for 5ks.  I also wear the Magnifly or Ultrafly for training/easy runs.

White for both the Phantoms and the Cyclones!!!

Say “hello” to my new Cyclones and Phantoms!!

5.Over coffee…

I’d tell you that I didn’t realize how much I missed NYC until my recent work trip.  Central Park was amazing to run in (as you already know from Cari‘s FB/IG pics)…

I’m looking forward to next Wednesday and Thursday when I’ll get to do more exploring/running there. (Since I am no longer a regular trainer in NYC, this may be my last work visit. Sigh).

I’ve considered some options besides Central Park for Wednesday:

But there’s a 5k in Brooklyn (which I’ve run 4x before)

Al Goldstein Speed Series 5k medal

Of course, there could be no trip to NYC without a meet-up with Cari (and hopefully Elizabeth.)

We could even run rather than eat together??

Happy Running! What’s new with you?  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

Adirondack Race to the Lakes 15K Race Recap

7:30AM

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

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

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

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

Since Sue was the organizer of this new race, I felt that I should at least run it the first year. It was hard especially the first 5k but I actually enjoyed it so I signed up again in 2018 and 2019.

Then the Pandemic came and the race was cancelled in 2020 and 2021.

It was revived this year and of course, I couldn’t resist signing up.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

My weekend long run preparation for this race wasn’t great (5k, 7 miles, 5k +5ish more) but I felt somewhat prepared to give it my best shot.  I like the 15k distance. It’s always when I am running a half marathon where I wish it were over.

Due to the weather and work, I front loaded my short weekday (3 mile) runs which gave me two rest days in a row before the race.

The biggest challenge would be those hills. I knew that it was hilly. And we all know that I do not train on hills.  I expected that there would be walking on those hills. And I am totally ok with walking during races.

from my Garmin

The weather was quite comfortable all week but then it started heating up toward the end of the week.  Just in time for this race!! 90 degree temps predicted…

I haven’t run very many 15ks.  My surprise PR was from the Stockade-athon in 2018 (1:30:15). I ran today’s race in 2018 and 2019 and finished at 1:33:54 and 1:32:38 respectively. But I recently finished at FLAT 10 miler at 1:43:56 so I was not expecting much from this HILLY course. And I had no goals besides having fun and finishing unhurt.

There were supposed to be 4 water stops along the route: one at mile 2 (which served runners on the way in and out) and then along the bike path at approximately miles 4.2, 6.2 and 8. I would be stopping at each one and hoped that this would be enough (since I never carry my own water.)

So what to wear? The usual. Tank and skirt.

I hesitated on the compression socks due to the heat but because of the hills, I kept them on.

Race Day:

The race started at 7:30 am. (Hooray for finally an early start!) I got up at 5 am and had oatmeal/coffee and then left my house around 5:45 am since I had over an hour drive.

The race began at a community college so there were real bathrooms and comfortable places to hang out before the race.

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

not a fan of white shirts but at least it was gender-specific and tech fabric.

I asked my friend, the RD, about bag check.  She replied that there was none. I was planning like last time to bring a towel, dry shirt and flip flops to change into after the race.  Boo!

Everyone was looking around to find someone who was driving to start to give a bag to. I wound up giving mine to the guy in charge of the finish line timing.

We eventually all headed to the start.  Again, it was just a line in the parking lot. No chip timing for this race.

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

So here’s how the race went: (The course photos are mostly courtesy D. Yeaton 2019)

Miles 1-3: 

I knew what the course was like. As I mentioned, I expected hills. I mean, it’s the Adirondacks so it is hilly everywhere.  We left the college and ran on a main road for a while.  And it was warm out already.  I knew that it wasn’t going to be a good day when I had to walk during the FIRST mile!

Soon we turned into a neighborhood. One of the volunteers we passed said “Enjoy the roller coaster!” Yup, huge hills…up and down. Just past the water stop at mile 2.5, you turned around and repeated those crazy hills.

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

Miles 4-6: 

After the first 5K, we headed toward the bike path. The steep hills disappeared but it was a steady incline. I kept hoping for a downhill but it never happened (until mile 7). At least, most of the path was shady. And with the temps rising, that was a good thing!!

I stopped and walked at each of the 4 water stops.  I took a GU at the 2nd and 4th one.

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

Miles 7-9.3 –

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

After my 2nd GU, I got a second wind and tried pick up the pace and eventually sprint to the finish.

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

I crossed at 1:36:xx and I was happy to be done!!

As you crossed, they asked your age and then handed you an age group award if you won.

2nd for me… recycling the medals from the canceled 2020 race.

Post Race Activities:

great view of the lake from the finish line

Refreshments included watermelon, bananas, home made cookies and pastries. All the baked goods were individually wrapped.

I headed right for the watermelon. No ice cream this year 😦

I got my bag (which had a towel and flip flops) and headed with the other runners to soak my feet in the lake.

There wasn’t much time to relax in the water as I spotted two buses waiting to take runners back to the start. I ran to the bus as I remembered that the last time, there was quite a wait until the next bus (and by now it was very warm out!!)

In past years, I stayed and visited friends in Lake George or went on our boat. This year, I immediately drove home.

Back to the race:

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

Additional Race Reflections:

I have to say that I’ve gotten spoiled with all the extras, my local race organization provides for its racers.  So I felt a little let down but with only 118 runners, it was a small race and not an expensive one to enter.

And those hills… with the heat, I was in no shape to give 100% to this race.  I was perfectly happy to just walk when it felt good to… And besides mile 6, I was running at a decent pace because by walking a lot, when I was running, I was running fast!

I think the last sentence of the first paragraph explains why I race so much!!

The Good:

  • Easy organized packet pick-up.
  • Lots of parking
  • Real Bathrooms at the start.
  • Early start time
  • Scenic course – especially the bike path (with running water views and shade)
  • Gender specific tech shirt
  • 4 water stops
  • Decent selection of post race food – bananas, watermelon, home-made baked goods
  • Ended at the Lake
  • Photographer at the finish line
  • Shuttle back to the start

The Bad:

  • Not chip-timed
  • No port-a-potties along the course or at the finish
  • The hilly looped miles 2-4
  • Little crowd support
  • No Nuun or Gatorade at water stops
  • No bag check
  • No music and national anthem at the start
  • Recycled medals for age group awards (mug or car magnet in previous years)
  • No ice cream (as in previous years)
  • Long drive (for me)

Would I recommend this race?

Yes, if you live nearby.  It was a nice small race with challenging hills.

I may run it again if I plan some nearby post-race activities.  Otherwise, I may chose a closer race.

Final Stats:

Splits:

Next Up:

Firecracker 4

7/4/22

and a few more 5ks this summer before the half marathons start in the Fall.

Happy Running! Any exciting plans for the summer? Have you run a lot of 15ks?  How do you feel about hilly races? How far do you usually drive for a race? Please share.

 

 

 

 

 


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

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


I’m linking also up with

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

 

Weekly Run Down for 6.19.22-6.26.22: Weather Whiplash and a 15k

This week was less hectic than last.

We started out with fall-like weather and then as the week progressed, the temps started rising.

Just in time for my 15k race..

Last Week:

  • Sunday – Boating Sunday! Chilly and windy but always better than staying home.

picture perfect day in the bay. lots of reading and relaxing accomplished!!

  • Monday – Juneteenth celebrated so a day off from work.

I could get used to this… Doing things on my own schedule!! FOMO on you non-working runners!!

Got my weeding, trimming bushes, laundry, grocery shopping done.. all in this cool fall-like morning.

I met a friend for a walk in the afternoon (and the temps had warmed up significantly)

Then in the evening, a group was running in the Crossings so I joined them followed by a Trader Joe’s stop.

  • Tuesday – Back to reality. With rain in the forecast, I squeezed in a run before work.

the cool temp was overshadowed by the humidity but glad that I got it done early.

It rained on and off in the afternoon but my friend was still game for 5 mile walk after work… and we didn’t get too wet.

  • Wednesday – Again rain in the forecast.  So I decided to play it by ear on whether to run or not.  There was a SOAR (Sisterhood Of Athletes & Runners) run scheduled after work at UAlbany.  It’s always nice to have options.

It was a small group but it was fun to chat and not to run alone…

Afterwards, I met my BFF for a walk around the mall.

  • Thursday – Rest day finally!  And rain on and off all day.

After work, I met my friends for the ARE weekly trail run walk. As usual, we had a good time.

There was yoga before (but I didn’t join)

  • Friday – Rest Day #2. Getting ready for the race the next day.

bib for Sunday’s race (just in case)

And the evening with the mah jongg ladies.

  • SaturdayRace Day – Adirondack Race to the Lakes 15k.

A very early morning wake-up since I had to leave by 5:45am to get to the race. I’d like to report that I was prepared for those hills… but I wasn’t.  Still I enjoyed the last two miles and the post-race dip in the lake especially since the summer HEAT and HUMIDITY had returned.

medal recycled from 2020 for my age group award

  • Sunday – Race Day and/or Boating Sunday!

Before Saturday’s race was announced, I had signed up for a fun trail 5k (see bib above). After having run a HILLY 15k the day before and temps in the 90s today… I decided I’d rather be floating in the lake!!

This Coming Week on the Run– 

  • Monday – DAY OFF – hiking with friends, run
  • Tuesday – run
  • Wednesday – rest day, Van Gogh exhibit, dinner out with tennis friends
  • Thursday – run, ARE trail run walk
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg
  • Saturday Long Run
  • Sunday –  rest day, boating

This Coming Week on the Blog – 

  • Tuesday – Adirondack Race to the Lakes 15k 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 in-person races run or planned? Any fun plans for the summer? Please share.