Virtual Steel Rail Half Marathon Race Recap

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MAY 17, 2020

It seems like I’ve been planning this race forever. As with all my big races, I impulsively sign up way in advance (and then often regret it LOL).

So I signed up for Steel Rail Half Marathon as my 44rd Half Marathon (and 5th of 2020) for several reasons:

(Note: 2 have already been run virtually.)

  • It is a flat course.
  • It is scenic.
  • I am familiar with the course.  I ran it in 2017 and 2016.
  • It is currently my half marathon PR!!
  • It is close after my previous half (4 weeks) so I would be sorta already trained for it.
  • It is near enough so I can sleep in my own bed the night before.
  • There is great post race food.
  • Nice swag.

Half Marathon Training:

If you follow my posts, you also know that I am not strict about following a training plan. I ran my last half marathon on April 19 (a virtual version of the Helderberg to Hudson Half that was postponed.) It was awful!!

😦 😦 😦

During my first two 2020 Half Marathons in January and February, I experienced a lot of foot pain. I ran them but truthfully, it was not fun at the time.

And then the NYC Half Marathon was cancelled so I ran that for fun with two friends.

And then this half marathon was postponed until October!!!

It wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t already signed up for the Smuttynose Half Marathon as part of a race-cation with 8 friends!! That race takes place the weekend before.

I really had a tough time deciding what to do.  I really wanted to run this race but I was not sure if it would be a good idea to run half marathons two weeks in a row.

I had to decide in advance to run it in October or do the race virtually in May.  No refund or deferral option.  The silver lining was that if you ran the distance in May, you would still get the swag (shirt, medal, pint glass.)

So another virtual half marathon….

I did my long runs on the weekends…and my weekdays runs as well. I ran alone due the “social distancing” requirement.

I admit that my runs were not as enjoyable as when I could do them with my friends. Slow and easy with tons of walking (and photo stops.)

So again my goal for this “race” was just finishing and not injuring any part of my body!! But I also hoped that this race would go better than the last one.  I don’t care about speed but I wanted to feel good while running it and not just drag myself through it.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

Well, since this was a local race and work days were at my home, there was not much movement the days before.  In fact, I did not run Thursday or Friday.

As I normally do before a big race,  I ate pizza for dinner the night before.

Then in addition to what to wear, there was the decision of where to run. The race organizer published a virtual course for this race but it looked too confusing.

2020 Steel Rail Half Marathon Race Route

I did want to run on the Ashuwillticook Rail trail (in Mass.) so maybe I run the 8k there in October.

But instead I chose the Corning Smith Bike Path since it was pretty flat and long enough to get in the 13.1 miles.

Race Day:

I ate my usual breakfast – oatmeal and coffee. Last Saturday it snowed and today it almost 60 degrees when I got up.

Hooray for my first race in a tank top.

wearing my Skirt Sports tank so I could count this run for their Virtual Strong 5k

My plan was to take it slow. Run and when I felt like it, walk.  As much as I hate to admit it, my feet have been hurting.

Anyway, here’s how it went:

Miles 1-4.5:

The Corning Bike Path is very familiar since I run there fairly often. I started around 9 am and there were only a few bikers (who passed me wearing masks) on the path but that was about it. No runners at all.

Here are a few pics of the scenery that I took while I was running/walking:

I started at the boat launch along the Hudson River

there was a highway along my left (you can drown out the traffic noise with headphones) and the river always in view on the right

you can see how empty the path was

at times, the the trees even block the highway from view

you pass under various highway overpasses too

very pretty when the trees are in bloom

The weather was perfect and the route so pretty with the trees and views of the Hudson River. It would have even more enjoyable if it weren’t for my damn painful feet.  But it is what it is (neuroma on the ball of one foot and bunion on the other).

I was planning to turn around at the end of the bike path and then continue back in the opposite direction (past my start) until I reached 13.1 miles.

But I was afraid that when I reached my car, I would be tempted to quit so I just plodded on into town.

What about fuel and water?? I do not carry water and I was ok.  I had carried energy gels and Honey Stinger chews.  I did not eat any of the gels and munched on the chews while I was walking. (That was new since I am a gel person but I wanted to save the gels for a real race..)

Miles 4.5-8.5:

This was definitely not a scenic part of the run. Old apartments on one side and the highway on the other.

I dragged myself 2 miles and then turned around to return to the bike path.

no one outside so very quiet.

noisy highway on the right – ran in the road (cuz I hate sidewalks) but there was very little traffic

I get it but are we safe to yet?

not a #518rainbow…it’s from a paint store

Miles 8.5-13.1

The last part of my virtual race was the same as the beginning.

finally heading back onto the bike path

There were, however, now more people on the trail. But everyone was respectful. Walkers and bikers were wearing masks. I moved over as runners passed me by.  I always felt safe.

At one point, I bumped into a former student. We chatted and then went in different directions.

a social distancing selfie

This run was hard. It was painful. But I did it and earned my medal!

So five half marathons so far for 2020. Three virtual ones. I was planning on running a half marathon every month. That was before my foot neuroma and now the pandemic. So I think I’m done. Best laid plans lol

Additional Race Reflections:

The Good:

  • The weather
  • Flexible start time
  • Slept in my own bed the night before
  • Flat course
  • Scenic for 9 out of 13 miles
  • Not crowed with other runners
  • No clock, no pressure.
  • Great Swag (when they ship it to me)

The Bad:

  • No water stops
  • No crowd support
  • Running alone
  • No mojo to run fast
  • My achy feet

The Ugly:

  • Everything listed in Bad

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. But the real thing would have been a lot more fun. Or if I could have run it with friends.

Next Up:

Not sure.  I think I’ll skip June and July.

Hopefully I’ll be back to a real half marathon in August.

The Good News | My First 5K and More...


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


I’m also linking up here:

Formerly the Running Coaches’ Corner, it’s back with new co-hosts Coach Debbie RunsRunning on HappyConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Fauxrunner.

Happy Running! Have you been training for a big race? Are you running it as a virtual race?  Have you done any Virtual Races?  If so, how did they go? Please share.

 

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Going Virtual? Why Not!

It’s Friday so I’m also 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.

My Topic today is: Virtual Racing.

When there aren’t any races, there are so many reasons to run a virtual race.  In fact, I can’t think of any reason NOT to sign up for one.

But here are my five reasons to Go Virtual:

1.You have NO scheduled races.

In other words, these races will not interfere with your training plan.

6 - You know you're a runner when you plan your social calendar around your training and races.

um…mine is pretty empty

2.Many virtual races are FREE.

It will not cost you anything to sign up. And if you get injured and can’t do the race, you will not lose any money.

a different theme and color each week…you can run ANY distance

3.You can add to your SWAG collection.

If you do pay to sign up for a virtual race, they often send you awesome swag such as cool medals, shirts, glasses, etc.

pretty sweet swag..I would have signed up if I didn’t already run the real one

4.It will MOTIVATE you to get out there and run or walk the miles.

Especially if others have signed up or you join a FB group for that race.  Races, virtual or not, will make you more accountable to being active.

most of my running friends are participating in this one

5.Charities and Running Companies NEED your money..

When this is over, we do want to have races.  The companies that organize them are losing a lot of money now.  The charities that have been supported by racing are not getting money now.

a BIG local race that will be losing so much $$

One More..

**You can do the races ANY TIME and ANYWHERE. And they will not get CANCELLED.

If the weather is not ideal, just change the time or date of the race.  You can also pick a scenic course or a flat course…whatever pleases you.

Happy Running! Have you run any virtual races? Which ones have your enjoyed? Please share.

Weekly Run Down for 4.13.20-4.19.20: And another one bites the dust..

I am talking about another Half Marathon that I signed up for.

postponed from May 17 to October 11 (which is the week after Smuttynose HM!!)  No refund. I can run 13.1 virtually before May 17 OR on Oct. 11. I decided on the virtual option. I still get all the swag.

Otherwise things are the same. Still working at home (now at least until May 15!!!!) … all social activities still cancelled.

Missing my friends!! Taking advantage of Zoom. I used it on Tues, Thurs, Friday, Saturday and Sunday!!! But I just want to HUG someone…

Trying to get outdoors twice a day so I do not go stir crazy in my Office (aka a room in my house).

Always looking for new and interesting places to run or walk and practice social distancing. I can’t believe how many places I have yet to explore.

signed up for a few of these FREE races – why not???

Last Week –

  • Monday – A rainy windy rest day. I was too busy at work to walk at lunch and it was raining even harder after work – The first day since the lock down that I did not venture outside AT ALL.
  • Tuesday – The sun was out during lunch and I took  advantage and went for a walk.

Thanks Judy for the “rainbow” idea for a scavenger hunt.

Not as warm or sunny after work but I had already decided that I would go to the Crossings for a run.

hardly a soul there and spent most of my run on the trails to escape the wind…yes, that’s a Christmas tree.

Every month, my tennis friends and I go out to dinner. Instead we had a ZOOM chat tonight (15 of us!!)…Hope it’s our last and we can see each face to face next month.

  • Wednesday – I guess you can say that I’ve settled into a routine…WORK, walk, Work, run or walk, dinner, knit/read/TV.

lunch walk – pretty chilly when the sun went in and even saw flurries but then pretty nice for the few minutes when the sun came out

I decided that today would be a good day to complete my virtual 5k. I drove to the Corning Bike Path since the distance is marked there. I can’t say that I “raced” especially since I was too warm and had to stop to take off my extra shirt, tie my shoes, rest my weary legs and of course, take pics (=my usual easy run). Still an enjoyable 3.5 miles outdoors (with hardly a soul on the path)..

  • Thursday – Ok, I woke up to snow on the ground but it did melt by lunch so I could take a chilly walk.

just a few flurries but brrr

I was debating on whether to or not to run after work but I just decided to go for an easy one and rest tomorrow. Per my plan to run in different places, I drove to Albany end of the rail (where I have never started my run).

running uphill into the wind was not fun but the scenery was worth it

In the evening, there was our weekly Sole Sister Zoom chat.  Not the same as running together but still enjoy seeing their smiling faces.  Miss my running friends!!

  • Friday – Officially a rest day. That meant NO running but two walks.

a short one on the trails behind my house at lunch

a longer one at my new favorite after work spot (Pine Hollow Arboretum) – the tree are STARTING to bloom up north

  • Saturday -Today was supposed to be the Helderberg to Hudson Half Marathon – the one I was supposed to be running with all my friends.  The race has been postponed until Aug 29 but they added a free virtual option.

Though the race would have had you running point to point on the rail trail, I would have to run it as an out and back (But at least the back would be downhill).

You were allowed to run the race either Saturday or Sunday.  When I got up on Saturday…it was cold and snowy so I decide to postpone my virtual half until Sunday.

AM view. The silver lining of this pandemic was that I didn’t HAVE to run today!!

Just spent the day doing errands, stuff around the house and going for a long walk (once the snow stopped). I decided to check out another NEW place.  What a treasure!! Wish I had more time to spend there.

can’t believe there are so many places nearby that I have never been to…I can’t wait to go back here when I have more time.

Later in the afternoon, we had our 2nd ZOOM Blogger Ultimate Coffee Date.

always enjoyable chatting with these lovely ladies

  • Sunday – So today I set out to complete the H2H Half Marathon…solo.

I was originally supposed to run this yesterday, right?  And I had a college reunion (we spent out junior year of college in France together) scheduled in NYC for today.  Oops. I forgot that we had replaced it with a ZOOM chat.

over 3 hours…. would have lasted longer if I didn’t have a half marathon to run lol

Good thing about virtual races is that you can run them whenever. So this one happened in the afternoon.  The weather was a lot warmer than I had hoped for but not complaining (as I was planning to wear a skirt no matter  what.)

As with all my virtual races, I didn’t really “race” it but just put in the miles and tried to enjoy the scenery and being outdoors. But no lie, this one was tough. I struggled from mile 4 on. Right now, I am trying to put it out of mind.

Onward and upward. Next one is May 17 or so (it’s virtual,of course.)

This Coming Week – 

  • Monday – rest day, walk
  • Tuesday –  run
  • Wednesday – Virtual Earth Day 5k
  • Thursday – run 
  • Friday – rest day, mah jongg walk
  • Saturday – Virtual Un-Canceled Project 15K
  • Sunday – rest day, walk

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?  How is this virus affecting you and your family? Are you having  hard time finding safe places to run? Are you running in new places or are in a running route rut? Have you been running any virtual races? Please share.

 

 

 

 

 

If you haven’t done so yet, enter my giveaway for a free entry to the Freihofer Run for Women Virtual 5k.

Click here to enter.

FRW2020: Good News and Bad News

Let’s start with the Bad News.

I have run the Freihofer’s Run for Women 5k every year since I started running.  It is obviously my FAVORITE race and I have never missed one – in all weather conditions, recovering from ankle surgery and even with a broken foot.

I have run this race (FRW) 12 times!!

And this year, I was named an ambassador!!

Well, I guess 13 is an unlucky number.

This year, the race has been cancelled!! 😦 😦

The Good News:

The Freihofer’s Run for Women has switched to a virtual 5k run for 2020.

That means that YOU do not have to travel to Albany, NY to run this race.

You can run the 5k no matter where you live!!

For only $25 or $20 with the code AMBSS5, you will receive:

  • 42nd annual virtual Freihofer’s Run for Women t-shirt & bib
  • A finisher’s certificate that can be printed out at home
  • Commemorative finishers’ medal
  • Coupons for Freihofer’s products
  • Automatic entry into Virtual 5k Sweepstakes with great prizes!

The t-shirts, medals and coupons will be mailed to participants the first week in June.

You will be getting exercise and supporting some great charities.

Please join me!!

For more info and to sign up, go to http://freihofersrun.com before April 30, 2020.

Here’s even better news:

As an Ambassador, I am giving away TWO free entries!!

To enter, click here:

I’ll be choosing TWO winners on April 23, 2020.


I’m linking here since it is Wednesday:

Formerly the Running Coaches’ Corner, it’s back with new co-hosts Coach Debbie RunsRunning on HappyConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Fauxrunner.

Happy Running! Will you be joining me and running the Virtual FRW 2020?

United Half Marathon VIRTUAL Half Marathon Race Recap

Image result for united new york half marathon 2020

March 15, 2020

It seems like I’ve been planning this race forever.  I got a guaranteed entry last April based on my finish time at the Helderberg to Hudson Half Marathon (2:11:15).

66 so that was helpful as you can see. May get to run it again when I turn 70.

I was hoping to run the race when the course was only through Manhattan. (As of last year, it starts in Brooklyn.) And I had entered the lottery several times in the past but never got in.

So I signed up for the NYC Half Marathon as my 42nd Half Marathon for several reasons:

  • I got a guaranteed entry.
  • I love NYC.
  • I had enough pts for a free hotel room.
  • I ran it last year while recovering from a calf injury and wanted a do over.
  • I had friends running it.
  • They kept last year’s course which got rid of most of the Central Park hills at the end.
  • It’s such a prestigious race. How could you not?

Half Marathon Training:

If you follow my posts, you also know that I am not strict about following a training plan.  I ran my last half marathon on February 16 in Bermuda with LOTS of foot pain.

happy to have survived the pain!!

I skipped or shortened runs and sought the help of PT who used CBD oil, massage, ART, heat ultrasound, laser therapy and every trick in the book. No relief!

My PT recommended that I see another podiatrist who gave me a B12/cortisone shot and a metatarsal pad.

Pain GONE! (mostly)

Do I wish I had gone sooner to her? Or was it not the shot but a combination of all of the treatments?? Who knows?

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

For this race, I obviously did not. A few short runs each week and a longish one.  All with some foot discomfort (until recently).

Yes, I was nervous that I was not prepared for run 13.1 miles and I was nervous about my foot pain returning.

So the goal for this half marathon was finishing!! If my foot started to bother me, I would just grit my feet and finish.  It’s a BIG race, There would be many runners finishing behind me.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

And then it happened. As you know, the RACE WAS CANCELLED!!

Over 25,000 disappointed runners.

I ran it last year. I felt so fortunate.

running down Times Square was truly amazing!!

But I was still bummed.

You had the choice of a refund or deferring to next year with no refund for this year and having to pay again for the race. I opted for the refund.

Most runners will not get their shirt or medal because of some greedy persons (who took extras and are selling them on eBay) but I had a friend in NYC who grabbed mine.

So the race was not happening, but I felt guilty about getting the medal and shirt and I wanted to run the race anyway.

I contacted my friends and two agreed to run 13.1 miles with me.

We decided on our normal long run day which is Saturday and planned to meet at 8:00 at the Nisky Bike Path.

running at Nisky Bike Path (on a warmer day)

I worked all day (standing) the day before but relaxed at mah jongg after my usual pre-race dinner of pizza.

Race Day:

I got up early and had my usual race breakfast of oatmeal and coffee.

I checked the weather it looked to be in the 30s and heading up to 40 and a little windy. I didn’t have to worry about bag check and could just leave extra clothes in my car.

Our plan was to run 4 miles in one direction and turn around, make a stop at our cars for water or to remove layers.

As you see, I tried to incorporate some NYC in my outfit: last year’s half shirt, LeBow hat and NYC calf sleeves.

Sherry and I run about the same pace but Stan runs considerably faster. He was nice enough to slow down. I insisted on walking every 2 miles to simulate a water stop (and to catch my breath.)

The course we chose is fairly flat. It was actually warm running with the wind at our backs but then a little chilly running into the wind (but not bad as the trees protected you on this path,)

At the 4 mile turn around, I ate a gel and then had water at our mile 8 stop. I changed to lighter gloves, from my Hokas to my Mizunos, and almost shred my vest. Stan changed hats.

Then we continued in the other direction.

I was getting tired and struggled to keep up. But it certainly helps to have someone to talk to the whole way and we stuck together.

Again we walked every 2 miles and I had my second gel at mile 10.5, our second turn around.

Then we headed back to the car.

We bumped into another friend Chris who was running as she headed back with a cowbell to cheer us on.

And we finished…13.1 done!!

So no crowd support or bridges or parks or Times Square but we did it.  Thanks to Sherry and Stan! I earned that medal and this:

Additional Race Reflections:

We finished at 2:31:39. Our average pace was 11:34. It felt faster but then we walked slowly and for longer than necessary and we chatted a lot. No regrets on that pace.

I am unbelievably happy to have run without that awful left foot pain.

But yes again the bunion on my other foot hurt while wearing the Hokas. (I’m returning them.)

I may go back to my Mizuno Wave Inspires or try something else.

Yes, I am sad that I could not run the real United NYC Half Marathon.

Maybe when I am 70, I’ll be able to run it again.

The Good:

  • The weather
  • flat course
  • friends to run with
  • slept in my own bed the night before
  • view of Mohawk river
  • great post race meal

The Bad:

  • tired legs
  • no water stops
  • no crowd support
  • bunion pain

The Ugly:

  • Nothing 🙂

Would I recommend this race?

Sure but only if you cannot run the real thing!!!

Final Stats:

Next Up:

A local race. The second year for this race. A downhill course. Lots of running friends. Should be fun… IF IT IS NOT CANCELLED!!

Image result for helderberg to hudson half marathon

Update: it was postponed until August 29, 2020


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

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


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

Formerly the Running Coaches’ Corner, it’s back with new co-hosts Coach Debbie RunsRunning on HappyConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Fauxrunner.

Happy Running! Was anyone else planning to run this race? If so, did you run it virtually?  Would you run it virtually, if your race were cancelled? Please share.

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Running Update – 5.29.17-6.4.17

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Last Week:

  • Monday – A chilly rainy day so I caught up with things around the house, went to the gym and did some errands. A needed rest day on Memorial Day.
  • Tuesday  A scheduled rest day and I played my last indoor tennis.

I had thought I could squeeze in a run (hence my running skirt/capri) but it started to rain AGAIN.

  • Wednesday – Off to NYC for work.  I took the train and after I checked into my hotel, the rain had stopped so I hopped on the subway and went for a run. I intended to go to Central Park but wound up on Riverside Dr. so ran along the Hudson River instead..

running along Riverside Drive


Then that evening I went to see a show on Broadway.

The story of Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein

  • Thursday –  Indoors all day for work but I did squeeze in a walk during lunch and another run in the evening. This time along the East River.  Central Park will have to wait until my next trip to NYC. (June 19).

running along the East River Greenway

In the evening, I just walked around the area.

Bryant Park, Empire State Building and bumping into a former student on the street = ❤ nyc

  • Friday –  Another day in NYC for work.  Took a walk at lunch and then took the train home in the evening. Rest day #3.
  • Saturday – Today I ran the Freihofer’s Run for Women, my favorite local race. The energy of this race is addictive and I always meet so many new and old faces.

I met AJH who I had no idea was coming to run (from VT) – no PR but a decent time – 27:48 (13th in my AG)

I added another 5K afterward to complete my ZOOMA Virtual 10k race.

just a leisurely additional 3.8 miles retracing the course plus some photo stops

Then the hubby (who had been playing tennis) and I headed up North to meet some lake friends for dinner.

  • Sunday –  I would have liked to go boating again today but the weather did not cooperate. So I went to the gym and did some errands.

15.5 miles done with 3 runs and 4 rest days

This Week:

  • Monday – 4 miles 
  • Tuesday – rest, travel to Liverpool for work, tm??
  • Wednesday – rest, work in Liverpool, travel home
  • Thursday 6 miles with Alyssa
  • Friday – 3 miles, mah jongg
  • Saturday – rest, boating
  • Sunday – 5k race (volunteering for STEM) + 5 miles
I’m linking up with Mary Beth (on behalf of Holly and Tricia) for the Weekly Wrap. Please join us! 
 Happy Running! How is your running going? Is your weather cooperating?

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Freihofer’s Run for Women Race Recap

June 3, 2017 9:o0 am

This is the only race that I’ve run every year! This was my 10th time!!!!!

My first FRW was in 2008 (my first year of running). At the time, it was the farthest I’d ever run:

FRW - 2008

Due to construction, they changed the course two years ago.

They say that this course is faster…less congested and has a less steep hill at the start and finish.

5kCoursePDF

course map

I did run the new course the past two years and I liked it.

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heading to the finish line

As with this race every year, I never know what will happen… I could break my foot again (as I did in 2013) or could have a course PR.

And this was also my third Freihofer Training Challenge…

2017 group (oops I missed the pic).

Training is a loose term. I kinda just showed up. Monday runs were always after a Sunday long run or race and I never attended any of the Saturday runs.

But I was excited to be part of it and support all the runners who would be finishing their FIRST 5k. And see my “advanced” buddies who would hopefully PR.

Every other year, the day before I walked to Empire State Plaza concourse at lunch to go to the expo and pick up my race packet. They used to have a really nice expo with vendors and health-related. But this year, I was in NYC for work so I had to depend on my hubby to pick things up for me at a new expo location.

yes we got free bread and a box of cookies

For convenience, I parked at a yoga place on race morning and walked to the start. I do this every year. However, with the new course, it was an even longer hike. Like 2 miles!

It was strange to walk down Madison Avenue and not see the race banners and not see the giant poster on the bridge.

pics from 3 years ago…

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And the weather…it was not forecast to be as warm as previous years but at least it wasn’t raining. (The race started 30 minutes earlier than last year just in case we actually had warm weather. I wasn’t thrilled since I got home from NYC late the night before.)

I wore a jacket and my DIY sleeves to stay warm before the race. As I was walking down Madison, I spotted a van with a Vermont license plate. It was my friend AJH with a bunch of friends.  The race was a retirement gift.  How cool!!

surprise…and we even matched.

So on the way to start, we cut through the Empire State Plaza to use real restrooms. The we made our way to the Empire State Plaza so they could get their bibs, shirts, cookies, etc. (My tennis buddy was sick so I had to get hers as well.)

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By this point, I had missed my training group photo, but I didn’t care.  It was great to see AJH and chat.

We finally got to the race location and I located the Challenge Group Tent and met up with friends.  I also shed my jacket and sleeves (although it did start to sprinkle.)

Sue & Hollys among the many training challenge runners

I also ran into a few local runners, bloggers (Judith and Vicki.) and even some Skirt Sports ambassadors.

Catching up with everyone made the time go by quickly and soon it was time to line up.

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Although it was very crowded, there were fewer runners than when it was Madison Avenue but it did seem to be more than last year (new organizers and more advertising.).

start

Times Union photo 2016

Anyway, with the new start (on a wider street), it didn’t take as long to get moving and the first hill was longer but not as steep.

I started with Hollys but let her get ahead.  She always starts out fast. Right from the beginning, I had the feeling that my legs were moving but so slowly. I was also sneezing and sniffling (hopefully it’s allergies not a cold.)

When I got into the park and looked at my time, I was shocked at how slow it was. Usually mile 1 is my fastest.

I took this pic after the race

I continued to trudge along and couldn’t wait to walk at the first water stop around mile 1.25. (I wasn’t really thirsty so just took a sip and continued running.)

This course had you run around more of the park and it also seemed to avoid the bigger hills of the park.

I tried to pick up the pace for the second mile since the crowd had thinned out.  I told myself that I would not walk until the next water stop. That was around mile 2.5. At this point, I was starting to get some energy.

I had lost Hollys since she had gotten way ahead but all of a sudden, I could see her in the distance.

Finally we left the park and headed downhill to the finish. Not the steep downhill that we used to have with the old course, but at least it was downhill.

Runners cross the finish line for the Freihofer's Run for Women Saturday June 3, 2017 in Albany, NY. (John Carl D'Annibale / Times Union) Photo: John Carl D'Annibale / 40040636A

Hollys is in white. I am in the distance. (photo from TU)

I ran as fast as I could and even passed Hollys.  But I started my sprint too soon.  By the time, the finish line came into view, I was pooped.  Hollys passed me and I crossed at 28:04 (gun time.)

Not a PR (and I was not expecting one) but a decent time and faster than last year.

I grabbed a bagel and some chocolate milk. It was definitely less congested than when it was by the fountains on the Plaza. No long lines for food.

yum!!!!

I ran into even more runners again that I knew.

the Mayor who had a 2 min, PR

The first time runners were so excited. That put a smile on my face.  I remembered why I love this race and it was never because of my awesome finish times.

I walked back to the Training Challenge Tent to get some more food and chatted with friends for awhile.

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Many runners were excited about their PRs. I may not have run my fastest time but I still enjoyed myself.

You get what you put in. I did not do all the speed workouts so I can’t be disappointed. I also just ran a half marathon and I am no spring chicken. Plus my time was faster than the past two years (29:22, 28:50). So I was happy with that.

Splits:

mile 1- 9:13
mile 2- 9:03
mile 3 – 8:25
.18 – ??

Chip time – 27:48

There was computer set up so you could check your time and see you won an age group award.

Guess who won my age group?

We hung out for awhile for the awards ceremony – the top 10 finishers and top 5 Masters.

Afterwards, I walked back to my car (uphill for 2 miles) to put away my stuff.

I had planned to run another 5k to complete the ZOOMA Annapolis Virtual 10k.

a lot of cool swag

I really didn’t feel like it but I did it. I retraced part of the course, made quite a few photo stops and took it nice and easy.

So FRW #10 is in the books! The tradition is still alive! It was again a great local race with over 3,000 women running it.


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

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

Happy Running! How was your weekend? Did you race? If so, how did it go?

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