Last Run Albany definitely lives up to its fun run reputation! This was my third year bringing my racing year to a close with this race and it didn’t disappoint.
There were multiple opportunites before the race to pick up your packet, but I’ve just always done day (or night, since it’s a night race) of pick up; none of the early packet pickup locations are convenient for me and I had a lot going on this week.
It’s always been easy and I’ve never “run” into any problems.
Plan — what plan?
My only plan for this “race” was to go back to my 4:30 run/walk intervals.
So how’d that work for me?
- Mile 1: 12:45. It’s a popular race, it’s a holiday race, it’s a race that always sells out — that means there are a lot of non-runners doing it and it’s very congested in narrow city streets the first mile. Even though I knew, without looking at my watch, that my pace was frustratingly slow, I didn’t try to weave and just relaxed. I thought maybe it would help me later on. Oh, and I almost faceplanted somewhere in this mile, tripping over my own feet and using the 2 ladies in front of me to catch myself — sorry! At least I didn’t cause them to fall.
- Mile 2: 11:30. The crowds thinned out somewhere in mile 2, but then someone called out my name — my running buddy from my summer running group! She hasn’t been doing a lot of running; yes, I could have definitely run faster on my own (the irony being she’s a faster runner), but I hadn’t seen her in a couple of months so it was fun to catch up and we finished the race together.
- Miles 3: 11:14. At least it was negative splits . . .
- Last .1: 8:54. Downhill to the finish so I pushed my running buddy to pick up the pace.
The weather & dressing
All week long it was unseasonably warm. Right up until Saturday. Then it got windy and it was in the 30s but felt like 20s with the windchill.
I wore last year’s long sleeve tech tee and my North Face Thermoball jacket (thank you, Wendy @ Taking the Long Way Home, for the recommendation last year — pricey but worth every penny, and hey, it was even green!).
I wore my fleece lined Champion tights from Target. And my new Champion touchscreen gloves from Target, too. I wanted to take more photos of the lights, but I needed those gloves and was afraid of dropping my iPod.
Yes, I got sweaty, but on the other hand, I never unzipped the jacket, so I think it was the right outfit.
What I Saw/Felt
I wasn’t actually feeling all that great. The stye had started developing the day before — I woke up and underneath my lower eyelid was a little sore, and when I looked at it Friday night I could see it was red.
By Saturday evening I was pretty sure it was a stye and it was even sorer, plus I felt like I had a slight temperature. It’s such a fun run, though, and I know a lot of people there, so I chose to go. I even wore my contacts just for the race.
I saw Darlene almost immediately, and chatted with her and her friends for a bit. Then I went off in search of some of my other friends. I ran into Michele, whom I met at the Jingle Bell 5k (and it was her birthday); after meeting her family and wishing her luck, I next ran into my friend Lisa D. And then our coach from USAFit Albany. I chatted with them for a while, and then went in search of my running buddy (I knew she would be there) and some others from our group, but I never found them.
I hung out with Lisa D while the fireworks were going off, but in the end, I lined up by myself.
Was the race well run?
Yes, it always is and this year was no exception.
Will I run it again next year? Hopefully! My first year it was snowing, and driving home was a white knuckle affair; the next year was actually fairly mild temps and I had a decent “time”; this year snow threatened but thankfully didn’t deliver and as always, despite everything going on in my life, I had fun.
2014 – 34:27
2013: 38:10 (snowing!)
I did, however, have a very strange dream before my Redding Road Race Half in 2015: I dreamt we were at a hotel on the farm where the race starts, and I saw one of the people from my running group. Only she didn’t seem to recognize me.
I said to her “there’s a race, you know”, and then another friend from the group showed up, and then I woke up.
Do you remember your dreams? Do you dream about running?