Monday, January 30, 2017

New Address

I've left this page a bit high and dry.  I never got around to reviewing my goals from 2016 or setting up 2017.

In the end, as much as i've loved growing here for the past (almost) 7 years, I have decided to start fresh.

Please stop by & bookmark my new blog !

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Races, Places & Fees 2016

Last year I had said that it was a big year for me as a runner, but I think its safe to say that 2016 was an even bigger year. After many false attempts I trained and raced a marathon for the first time in 8 years. I also squeaked out a new 13.1 PR (the old one standing for over 6 years) and ran the exact same 5k PR on the same course this year.

I've grown as a runner and am looking forward to what 2017 will bring.
I did a collection of Races, Places & Fees last year and my curiosity got the best of me, so I checked again for this year, after some data mining ( checking old emails and bank statements) I've found 2016's grand total.

race: Hangover Half Marathon (DNF)
pace: 10:30
place: Albany, NY
fee: free with HMRRC membership

race: HMRRC Winter Series 15k (1:33:06)
pace: 9:58
place: Albany, NY
fee: free with HMRRC membership

race: HMRRC Winter Series 10 Miler (1:40:56)
pace: 10:05
place: Albany, NY
fee: free with HMRRC membership


race: Lake Effect Half Marathon (2:10:15)
pace: 9:56
place: Syracuse, NY
fee: $80 (late registration)


race: Rock n Roll DC (2:08:52)
pace: 9:50
place: Washington, DC
fee: $93 (tour pass / 2 since I ultimately didn't make it to my 3rd race)
        + hotel & dog hotel


race also included an awesome awesome pull over, which sadly was abandoned during RnR Montreal ( I very much misjudged the weather) 
race: Syracuse Half Marathon
place: Syracuse, NY
fee: $75


race: Mother's Day 5k (29:39)
pace: 9:32
place: Schenectady, NY
fee: Free (coach for girls on the run)


race: Dolphin Dash (31:25)
pace: 10:07
place: Syracuse, NY
fee: $25


race: Boilermaker 15k
pace: 10:37
place: Utica, NY
fee: $55


(tank top - love it, wear it all the time, couldn't find it when taking pictures)

race: Catskill 100k Relay
pace: 10:04 ish
place: Catskill, NY
fee: $35

race: Ragnar Trail New England
pace: slight above walking
place: Northampton Massachusetts
fee: $188


race: Rock n Roll Montreal (2:09:53)
pace: 9:54
place: Montreal, QC, CA
fee: $ 93
(Plus AirBnB & dog hotel)


(gray long sleeve cotton shirt)

race: Shenendehowa's Veteran Day Dash (27:30)
pace: 8:51
place: Clifton Park, NY
fee: $ 25

race: Philadelphia Marathon (4:52:29)
pace: 11:09
place: Philadelphia, PA
fee: $114
(+ AirBnB & Dog Hotel)

(gray cotton t-shirt & sunglasses (w/bottle opener!)

race: Santa Speedo Sprint
pace: moderate jog.
place: Albany, NY
fee: $25

Races Total: 15
Race Miles: 161
Race Costs: $808 (820 if you include annual run club membership for HMRRC)

I spent more money than I did in 2015 but I also ran a lot more miles. ( and raced more miles) I am hoping to curb my race spending a lot for 2017, but hope to participate in some local cheaper races.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Santa Speedo Sprint

While never on the official bucket list  - since living on Lark Street, I've always wanted to do the Santa Speedo Sprint. It seems that during my time on Lark & Albany in general, I tend to look up the information AFTER it has happened. By some stroke of luck, I looked in advance and had nothing going on over the weekend.  I bribed my friend Dara into joining with the promise of a Santa suit that I own (for someone who just sort of likes Christmas, I've got a lot of gear).

Around 2 o clock, all the speedo runners headed outside for our run down & back Lark Street.  If there was any announcement or gun, I don't remember it, but soon we were off running and cheering.  We turned around after 2 blocks and made our way to the finish.  

It's a silly event, but was definitely fun & I'm glad I finally had a chance to participate.  The proceeds go to the Damien Center in Albany.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Firetower Challenge: Overlook Mountain

After being hyper focused on Marathon training since August, I was excited for a change of scenery and muscle use. I was just nearing the end of my 2 weeks of rest post marathon and decided that a 5 mile hike would do the soul and heart some good. I didn't set an alarm on Saturday morning, but woke up at 6:30 and began the process of digging out my winter hiking gear. Most of it was in one spot, and I found myself packed and on the road quick. I used the coordinates found on Catskill Mountaineer ( my go to for hiking info in the catskills) with my Samsung, which lead me directly to the trailhead. 
 There were a few cars parked, but most of the people must have been waiting for friends, because they all stayed in their cars as I used the portajon and put my pack & Marcydog's pack on.  (she was gifted one in the summer !) I was signed in by 9:30 and on my way. The trail is an old jeep road, very wide and smooth. A bit boring in terms of hiking, but great for me since it had been 3 months since I've been on trails.  
Marcy stayed on leash and we made our way up the mountain. I had worn a base layer, a pull over and at the last second, my hiking sweater, it was a bit windy ( I can't seem to catch a break from the wind this year)  but a good portion of the trail was protected, so I varied between feeling too warm and comfortable.  
In less than an hour, I found myself at the ruins of the Overlook Mountain House.  Marcy and I were the only ones there, I walked around a bit, but Marcy was not. N.O.T. interested. With Marcy's encouragement, I continued on to the Firetower.  
The half a mile from the hotel to the firetower was the only icy part. I was able to walk slowly and dodge around, it wasn't icy enough to pull out my kahtoolas. When I reached the summit, a pair and their dog were in the clearning, wanting to give them space, I had a seat at the observers cabin and enjoyed hot veggie broth.  (on the windy summit, it was amazing.  I don't think I've ever been happier with myself.)
It was windy, which is unfortunate because it is a lovely summit. I didn't spend much time to enjoy it, but did climb up a few sections of the firetower for the views.  Typically I'll climb the whole thing, but the wind made it unappealing.  

We made it back down to the hotel for a bit more exploring.  There were quite a bit more people wandering about, which made it about .25 less creepy.  But I still didn't linger too long. As I made my way down, It was a bit reminiscent of hiking Gray Peak in Colorado, a very steady stream of people.  It seemed that I didn't ever go more than a minute without coming across a group  Some were geared up, others look like they got a bit lost at the flea market, in shoes that seemed a bit questionable for a 5 mile walk. Marcy and I said our hellos and kept moving along.  
While boring, jeep trails are great for descents, easy to pick up speed without worrying about rocks and ankles.  Around the 2 hour mark, I was back at the register.  (which only 5 of the many many groups had actually signed in...)  
The parking lot was now packed - with lots of NYC folks parking like jerks all over.  I was glad I had my early start and was able to enjoy the mountain climb and summit to myself.  

I had thought about walking around Woodstock, but Marcy isn't a city dog (aka doesn't greet other dogs on leash well)  and I didn't want her to spend the day laying in the car.  
Although I could see it being a day trip for a short hike & lunch in town another time.It was nice to get on the trails,  I am still strongly motivated by a few running goals, but am also hoping to get many mountains climbed before next summer.

5 miles RT - (2 hours with a few quick breaks) 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Philadelphia Marathon (4:52:29)

As training continued on through the fall, blogging came to a halt. I canceled home internet and use my phone as a hotspot most evenings.  90% of the time, this works great - occasionally it can be very slow and not worth opening the internet. So while my training logs didn't continue most of my training did. 
I took a half day on Friday before meeting up with two ladies from my running club who were coming to run the 8k, cheer for me, and drive my tired body back to Albany. The drive to Philadelphia went by quickly (except for when I had to pee and there were NO gas stations for daysss). We found our AirBnB and walked to the expo. Packet picket was quick for Marathoners and it slowly started to hit me that I'd be running 26 miles before the weekend was out. (cue: minor panic about longest run being 17 miles) 
I managed to spend nearly 100 bucks on Philadelphia merchandise and despite my cheap ways, I don't regret it.

On Saturday I woke up early to pick up Joe from the airport. I was able to navigate the closed roads for the half marathon easily enough and get my parking spot back! Joe and I joined Kait & Karen to watch them run the 8k.  The finishers chute / starting area was huge. We ended up near the Museum of Art ( close to where a kind guy gave me an umbrella while I stood in the rain there 2 years ago)  watching the end of the half marathon.  We waited and waited and waited for the 8k runners to come - we didn't think it seemed right, but could't figure out where else the race would be so we continued to wait until I noticed the stream of runners coming in from the other side of the museum.  So we hauled over JUST in time to see Karen hustle to the finish. A few minutes later Kait passed, and we made our way into the finishers area. As the ladies enjoyed their post race treats Joe and I made a start towards Whole Foods so I could indulge in my last 'heavy' meal.

We picked up ingredients for dinner and headed back to the apartment. Kait and Karen headed out for some sight seeing and Joe and I did nothing. We watched movies on netflix and I had a beer (or 2) to calm the nerves.  Poor Joe was exhausted from travel and humored my incessant nervous chatter. ( If you know me in person, you know I talk a lot and fast on a normal day)

 Somewhere around bed time-ish we both fell asleep watching xfiles.  
By now the wind had picked up, so I was glad that i had thrown away any time goals a month earlier when I stopped doing tempo/strength workouts and focused solely on mileage.  I kept waking up hoping the wind would die down. But the wake ups were in vein, the wind kept up for days (seriously, it was windy for 3 days before it went back to normal)

The alarm went off at 5:30 and I was quickly dressed still undecided about my added layers.  I had decided on shorts ( I knew they wouldn't chafe, which I can't say about most of my tights since I lost my butt to marathon training)  base layer with my Janji singlet. I nearly changed my mind approximately 18 times. I started with a throw-away sweater, with Joe carrying my warmer janji pullover.
The walk to the start was quick and I continue to hem and haw about what to wear. The security line was long, but since we had explored the previous day, I knew closer to Rocky there was another entrance, we walked down there and scooted in quickly.  Despite all the warning emails about water bottles being confiscated, we were able to bring in a full nalgene with no issues.  There were bathrooms with no lines that I took advantage of a few times before standing in a corner trying to hid from the wind.
While I knew there were corrals, I didn't realize it was wave starts.  I'm sure I missed an email somewhere, but in that, I lined up in my coral despite my lofty goal of 4:30 being behind me.  I had hoped to run with them but the whole wave start thing meant that I started a few minutes ahead. Eventually, it was go time.  I cold, stiff and awkward but wasn't worried since I know that many of my later miles can be just as fast as early ones. It was time to trust the training and go for a foot tour of Philadelphia. 

Kait and Karen had told me their tentative plan for spectating and I had told everyone that I would stay to the right, which made it possible for me to see everyone at all points.  Karen and Kait had great signs just around mile one "you're not even close"  and were dressed in fantastic onsies.  I high fived and continued along.  At mile 3, I was debating having a pee, but knew that I'd never wait in line for a portajon so when I found an appropriate parking lot, I scooted off course for a moment.  When I returned the 4:30 pacer was just passing on, so I latched onto the group.  I was still wearing my throwaway sweater, and had about 2 miles to decide if I wanted to pick up my pullover from Joe, so I ditched the sweater to see if I'd acclimate.  It was a bit of a tease, being in the city, the wind wasn't as bad as I had feared.  I felt the perfect temperature in my base & shorts.(and gloves that i put on and took off about 73 times) 
I spotted Joe, declined my pullover gave him a kiss and hopped back to the pace group.  This was the only area on the course that had much crowd support the miles went quick and before I knew it, we were up and over a bridge heading over to Drexel.

It was quiet, but I still felt great.  The wind was fine.  I was fine, I knew that since the pace group had started in the wave behind me, that it wouldn't be a 4:30 for me.  I knew better than to consider surging yet, so I enjoyed the pace, which thankfully felt quite comfortable.  
As we approached the museum I found Kait and Karen high fived and was mentally preparing myself for the 6 miles of out & back (6 miles!) 
As we turned away from the finish was when the wind came head on.  My pace immediately slowed by 30 seconds. I had hoped that by taking it slower until the turn back, I'd conserve some energy to try to earn back the time lost.  
It didn't happen.  
The wind was cold, I was cold, and I couldn't consider eating gels because my mouth was so so dry.  I started taking the on course Gatorade (which was lemonade -  anyone who has had multiple colonoscopies know why lemon flavored gatorade is undrinkable)  hoping to keep the calories up and the momentum going. When I finally made it to the turn around (which was a big party down there, a pleasant surprise since it was fairly quiet) I wasn't shocked d to find that the wind wasn't only blowing in one direction. It was drunk gusts that didn't care that a marathon was going on.  So I ran another 6 miles in the wind, once in a while the gust would come from behind and I'd try to take advantage of it, but really it was a matter of one foot in front of the other.  
More needed as a mental break than physical, I began to walk for one minute each mile. I was diligent with just one minute and it helped me inch my way closer to the finish line.  
The few spectators along the way were amazing. Folks handing out food, fruit, tissues, and beer and with some miles to go, I enjoyed a small cup of a random beer. 

nearly 5 hours later, I returned to the Museum of Art towards the finishers chute.  I spotted Karen and Kait -- but didn't make any attempts at high fiving,  I had to finish this thing. Because of the wind, there was no finishers arch and in my mental state, I honestly had no clue how long I had to go until I physically ran over the two timing mats.
And there it was after an 8 year hiatus, a marathon finish.