Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Year in Review

What a stellar year I had. It started with my first race of the year, the Delmar Dash 5 mile race on April 15th. It was my first ever 5 mile race and I felt strong. I finished in 38:45, 7:45min/miles. What a great way to start my running season.

Almost a month later, I ran the Mother's Day 5k. I finished in 23:36, 7:36 min/miles and took first place in my age group. I was looking to PR but I went out to fast and could not keep my speedy pace. I learned that day that I had to start  learning how to pace myself so that I run much more efficiently.

A week later, I ran the Rensselaer Rotary Run 5 mile race. This was a great race because the starting line was at Green Meadow Elementary School, 2 minutes from my home and on familiar roads. I ran this race in 40:16 and received a trophy for 3rd place in the women's division.

3rd pl women's division

Now it was time for one of my bigger races of the year, Boston's Run to Remember Half Marathon. This was the race I had been preparing for since March. I used the Delmar Dash 5 miler, Mother's Day 5k, and the Rensselaer Rotary Run 5 miler as a confidence builder leading up to the half marathon. This half marathon haunted me because I had stomach distress in 2011 during the race. So on May 27th, I concord the Boston's Run to Remember Half Marathon and finished in 1:52:38. Not my best time, but I finished and had no GI issues during the race. As I reflect back on this race, I felt great during the race, but I think I raced too many times prior to the half marathon. As a result, my performance was not the best it could have been.

After the Boston's Run to Remember Half

So with just under a month left until training began for the Mohawk Hudson Marathon, I managed to squeeze in a few more races. I ran the Freihoffer's 5k. For once, I ran to help a friend finish her first 5k and in remembrance of a fallen Officer (Lt. Finn), not to race it. It felt good to run for fun and help someone else. I finished the Freihoffer's 5k in 29:39.

Just for fun at Friehoffer's 5k

On July 4th, I ran the Firecracker 4 in Saratoga and finished in 32:20, 8:04min/miles and placed 1st in the female public safety division. What a proud day for me.

1st Pl female public safety division

Four days later, I traveled to Utica for the Boilermaker 15k Road Race. What a hot race. I thought the sun would stay behind the clouds that day but 4 miles into the race, the sun made an appearance for the rest of the day. I finished in 1:16:33.

Close to the finish at the Boilermaker 15k

The Firecracker 4 and the Boilermaker were training runs. They were early enough in my marathon training that they did not have a negative impact. After the Boilermaker 15k, I focused on training for the Mohawk Hudson Marathon. The only other race that I ran during training for the Mohawk Hudson Marathon was the Zooma Half Marathon in Cape Cod. It was my first tapering runs which you can read about in one of my earlier blogs.

The Mohawk Hudson Marathon was the icing on the cake that I had baked all year. I finished in 3:45:40..........  I also ran the Albany County Sheriff's Run 4 the Hill 5k on November 3rd. It was a tough, hilly course but I finally PR'd with a finishing time of 23:04, 7:26min/miles, and a 1st place medal in the female public safety division.

1st Pl female public safety division
Finally, done for the year. Although I did sign up for the Stockade-athon, I did not run it because of an injury I felt creeping up. So, I made the right choice to sit that one out. I am so happy with all of my performances this year. I trained hard, ate right, and stuck to a three day training plan.

Stay tuned, one more month and my training begins for the Boston Marathon! I will be posting updates on how my training is progressing.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving! And, thank you for stopping by.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Stockade-athon that wasn't

Today was my last race of the year. But, I actually did not run it. Last night my right heel was bothering me. It felt achy and a bit tender to the touch. So I took some ibuprofen and iced it. When I woke up about 2am and limped to the bathroom, I pretty much knew I would not race in the morning. My alarm went off at 6am and I arose shortly after. The preset coffee maker was brewing the morning coffee. I ate my bagel and drank my coffee. Then I got dressed and left the house shortly after 7am.

I arrived at Central Park in Schenectady and collected my bib and long sleeve shirt. I went back to my car and sat for a little while thinking this is not a smart idea. I can walk but my heel was a bit stiff. Still I pinned my bib to my shirt and started my garmin watch. I tried to go for a short jog in the parking lot but every time my heel struck the pavement, I felt a pain shoot up my calf. That was it... I called it. The race that hadn't start was already finished for me.

I reminded myself that I have nothing to prove. I didn't want to take the risk of causing an injury that could have been avoided. So, as I've been doing all year, I listened to my body. It told me this morning "hang it up." The Stockade-athon happens every year. I shall have another chance to run it next year and many years after that.

As I sit in my living room typing this, I am relieved that I did not attempt to race this morning. A younger and naive version of me would have probably taped her ankle until there was no pain at all and dragged it on a 9.3 mile race. But, like my husband joked... even this Superwoman needs to know when to rest her cape. Even though I know I did the right thing, I don't feel happy about it. Running means that much to me.

In another month or so I will begin training for the Boston Marathon. I had to make a smart decision today and not run. Boston means more to me than any other run right now. Time to rest up for a bit because what's about to happen in the next five months is going to be one of the biggest and best experiences of my life.

Thank you for visiting and stay tune for updates on my Boston Marathon Training!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Albany County Sheriff's Run 4 the Hill 5k

What a hilly 5k! Today I ran the "Run 4 the Hill 5k" put on by the Albany County Sheriff's Office. For the past 21 years, the Albany County Sheriff's Office has sponsored the Annual Hilltown Program. This program provides numerous families from the rural areas of Albany County with toys, food and a little Holiday spirit. For more information on the program or to make a donation, contact Kathleen Taylor at (518) 655-7811.

This was the first ever hilly 5k for me. Most of the 5k's I have ran have been pretty flat... maybe a soft rolling hill here and there, but not actual hills. Well, the name of the race is Run 4 the Hill 5k. It was good to get out and race after the Mohawk Hudson Marathon. Although, I'm starting to really love my longer distance races. I never imagined loving long distance running. I was a sprinter in high school and disliked running anything over 400 meters.

Today was pretty cold and windy but I went out and set an new PR of 23:04; 7:26 min/mi. And I received a medal for 1st place female in the public safety division. I did not let the hills get to me mentally. I have a love/hate relationship with them and no matter what, I always make it to the top. I also met a bunch of great people... one of the many reasons I love to race.

1st Pl female public safety division

Coming up next Sunday, the Schenectady Stockade-a-thon 15k race!

Thank you for visiting!