Last Run Albany Race Recap 12/7/19

No running through the snow but plenty of snow on the ground made the narrow city  streets even narrower this year for Last Run Albany. Add in icy bits (my racing nemesis lately) and it’s a good thing I always consider Last Run Albany a fun run.

You always think it’s too cold for photos, but then they’re so good!

Packet Pickup
This year they changed the location of packet pickup (same building, just a different location within the building), and it seemed to go much smoother. I caught a ride with friends, but I was one of the few who hadn’t already picked up my packet (one other friend hadn’t).

Both of us who picked up our packets the night of the race left the bags inside and yup, they were waiting for us when we were done.

The new shirts get two thumbs up

Everyone liked the new snowflake logo and the red color of the shirts. We got a $5 coupon to a local co-op food store, and a blinking light — which is more than we’ve received in years past.

All the snow made the streets really narrow (first time there’s been that much snow on the ground for this race, for me)

Plan — what plan?
My plan was simple again this year: have fun. Run by feel. End of story. Some of my friends were walking, but since I’d only run twice that week, I wanted to run. I planned to treat it as a fun run.

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 13:04. The first mile of this race is always frustrating, what with the narrow streets, the dark, some cobblestones. Throw in the 2 feet of snow we’d just had, and the frustration was upped: we came to a complete standstill several times this mile; it was a full minute slower than last year.
  2. Mile 2:  11:53. Mile 2 goes through the holiday lights in the park, with some uphills. Unlike last year I decided to walk up one of the hills here. It was my only walk break of the race. Still a minute slower than last year.
  3. Miles 3: 9:56. We all agreed we just love this downhill finish. This mile was slightly faster than last year. One of the course marshals said we only had a half mile to go at some point, and I swear that felt more like a mile than half a mile!
  4. Last .17: 8:57. The sprint to the end was just a teeniest bit faster than last year.

The last couple of 5ks this year wanted to frustrate me. This race will never be a PR — too crowded, too dark in places, and usually some slippery bits to boot. But a course PR? That’d be sweet.

Much like my last 5k, where I came oh-so-close to an actual PR, I think I could’ve snagged that course PR if the first mile hadn’t had so many traffic jams, or if I hadn’t stopped to walk during mile 2.

I was still quite pleased with my time. It wasn’t an easy run for me, but on the other hand, I never really felt like I was running all that hard, except for the last little bit coming into the finish. Not falling is always an accomplishment for this race.

2019: 36:57 (a five way tie)
90 our of 184 F5059
872 our of 1513 runners

2018: 35:39

2017: 54:17 (snowing again!)

2016: 39:35

2015: 37:09

2014 – 34:27

2013: 38:10 (snowing!)

Good friends, good times, some missing, some new additions

The weather & dressing
I have an outfit for this race the last few years: North Face Thermoball, Skirtsports Wonder Wool Tee and Skirtsports Heartbreaker Skirt (I’m a Skirtsports Ambassador), and Mudgear Compression socks with Hannukah socks over them. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

The costumes are always entertaining (how do people run in these things?)

I wore trail shoes because I knew there would be icy/snowy bits, and there were. Not a lot, but at night, it’s really easy to slip and fall.

I felt perfectly comfy in my running outfit, until we stood outside waiting for everyone to finish — then I got really cold!

Same temps as last year, but all that snow!

Was the race well run?
I usually treat this race as a literal fun run. There are fireworks before the start (see my post on IG), and despite the dark I’ve never had any question which way to go. There are refreshments after: nothing too exciting — apples, bananas, and cheese. There is also a raffle for door prizes.

There are medals for AG awards, and no, I didn’t even come close — which I knew I wouldn’t. Here’s the thing, though: one of my friends won her AG, the 70-79 year AG. There were 9 women.

I came in 90 out of 184 in the 50-59 AG! A solid MOTP, which is fine by me. I just looked at the difference in the participants in those two age groups. I hope that I am one of those 9 — or more! — women still running races when I am my friend’s age. I actually expect that there will be more women in that group when I’m that age, since there has been a strong increase in women running since I started.

Albany Last Run is always a good way to bring a year of racing to a close.


Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup


Girls on the Run 5k Race Recap 11/24/19


Girls on the Run (also known as GOTR) is an awesome nonprofit that helps train young girls to run a 5k, but more importantly, also helps them with their self esteem. The lovely Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner runs one of these groups, by the way.

This was my third time running this 5k (not in consecutive years) and it’s always been kind to me. In fact, it’s my “real” 5k PR. I say real because technically I have one a few seconds faster, but I also know that course was short. Like at least a quarter mile short.

Love the color; not so much the 100% Cotton

Packet Pickup
Packet pickup was Friday night at our local Fleet Feet, from 4-7. The locals know how crazy busy that road gets on a Friday afternoon, but I knew it would make my life simpler not having to go back and forth to my car on Saturday.

I ran some errands in the vicinity and got there just a tad before 4, and they were enthusiastic, all set up, and ready to go. I had signed up on Wednesday, so they had to make me a packet, but it was quick and easy.

Not a lot of swag: some True Lemon drink samples and a lip balm. I actually used on of the True Lemon samples last week. The 100% cotton tee was a pretty teal color — of course I prefer a tech fabric, but sometimes in the winter I like to wear cotton tees under a sweater to keep warm.

The river is why I love this path

Getting There & Hanging Out
Since I had picked up my bib the night before and was going solo, I didn’t feel the need to get there super early: only an hour before, LOL. I parked in the Riverfront parking garage, which is free on weekends, and a short walk over a bridge to the race start.

We run in this area frequently, and it’s actually one of my favorite areas to run (but only in a group, as there have been several attacks there), so I knew where other free parking was, but I was unsure how far from the start the alternative parking lots were. Note to self: only a quarter of a mile.

I stayed in the car and meditated a bit. I had a really good feeling about this race. It was sunny, but still cold out. Eventually I got out and used a portapotty, walked around a bit (asking a stranger to take my photo), and then did my warmup.

I almost went back to the car to get my slightly heavier jacket, as my teeth were literally chattering as I walked over to the race start — but in the end, after I warmed up, I was fine.

Loving the Skirt Sports High Waist 7/8 Tights!

The weather & dressing
The weather was on the chilly side, but really, it was pretty darn nice. Partially sunny. Wind not too bad. 36F (which passes for warm this time of year here).

I chose Skirt Sports Wonder Wool Long Sleeve , Light-ish Jacket, and High Rise 7/8 Tight. (Skirt Sports Ambassador). I had light convertible gloves on as I walked around and did my warm up, but by the first half mile or so my hands were warm and I put them in my pockets. Newton Motion on the feet.

I might have been okay with a Watch Me Go Top instead of the Wonder Wool, but all in all, I was happy with this outfit.

I lined up close to the start to try & avoid too many girls (they can stop suddenly in front of you!)

My Race Plan
I put a little thought into how to handle this race. Yes, I wanted to run hard and chase that PR (this race being my 5k PR, after all, and flat, too!). I haven’t been training super hard, of course, and I slept horribly the night before.

I always knew it would be run in positive splits, and I was okay with that.

  • A Goal: PR
  • B Goal: How fast can I comfortably run that first mile and what could I hang onto after that?
  • C Goal: Run Naked
  • D Goal: Finish with a smile on my face feeling good

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 9:49. My Garmin Vivoactive 3 can be wonky on the first mile. If I just go by what it says, sometimes I’ve slowed down thinking I was running too fast — and I wasn’t. So I just wanted to go comfortably hard. I think that’s the fastest mile I’ve ever run in a race, so mission accomplished. Obviously I decided against the run naked goal.
  2. Mile 2: 10:13. I knew this mile would be slower. I don’t walk at all the first mile, so the second, when I take a short walk break to drink some water, is always slower.
  3. Mile 3: 10:31. I wish I could’ve held on to mile 2’s pace. Even just a tiny bit slower would have snagged me that PR.
  4. Last .10: 9:44. A sprint to the finish. Yes, indeed, finished with a smile and feeling good (well, feeling spent when I crossed the finish line but overall happy with the race after I caught my breath).

31:31 — Official Time
10:09 Average Pace
33 out of 159 (remember, lots of young girls!)
1 out of 6 F55-59

2016: 31:28, 10:08 Average Pace
2015: 31:37, 10:11 Average Pace

The official time is Gun Time (man, I hate when they do that). Net time was 31:27 (which would have been a 1 second PR, LOL!).

There was some ice on the course in several different spots, and I chose to slow to a walk over those spots. I’m quite sure I could have eeked out those few extra seconds for a PR had the course been ice-free, but you do what you do and if it’s not an actual PR, it’s not. No whining. I am very happy with this race.

Don’t get too excited about the fact that I was first in  my AG (whether you did 5 or 10 year AGs), because this isn’t a race that draws the speedsters. This race is about the girls, and a lot of people don’t enjoy dodging around them. Oddly enough, almost all my fastest 5ks have been ones that are geared to girls.

Was the race well run?
The race started exactly on time and miracle of miracles, my Garmin showed it was also exactly 3.10 miles. There was a warm up (geared to the girls) before the start. It’s a simple out and back on a narrow path, and yet there are plenty of course marshals to cheer the girls (and adults) on.

The swag and the after race refreshments were underwhelming, but at least there was something, and it’s a good cause.

Final Thoughts
Was it a PR, or wasn’t it? I guess it wasn’t. So tantalizingly close. Much like my recent 15k, I think it could have been without the icy spots, but there’s no prize for could-have-beens (or PRs, for that fact).

There might still be a couple of 5ks in the next few weeks. One is strictly a fun run. The other depends on weather, again. PR or not, I am so, so pleased with this race. I have been running roughly 11 years now. I don’t think my PR days are behind me, not yet, although you never know.

Are PRs important to me? Yes and no. Running is still about challenging myself, being the best version of me under the circumstances given to me on race day. Some day inevitably I will slow down and my PR days will be behind me. I’ll keep running, as long as I’m able to. Maybe I’ll race less. Maybe I’ll run less in general. As long as my body can run, though, I will run.

This race is for a good cause: using running to help young girls feel better about themselves. I wish I’d been exposed to something like this as a young girl, although chances are I would have hated it. I encourage you to see if there’s a chapter near you here.

There are definitely days I wish it hadn’t taken me until my mid 40s to find my inner athlete, although on the other hand, there are days I’m thankful that I started so late, because running may be good for our bodies, but it also is hard on them.


Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup


5 Tips to Make You a Winter Warrior


You have a choice in Winter if you live in cold, snowy climates: suck it up buttercup or spend your Winter on the treadmill. Neither option is all that fun. With the right attitude you can keep running even when the weather is frightful.

Warm up!!!!
It’s so tempting to skip our warm ups for runs. Always. Even more so when it’s winter and it’s cold and you just want to stay in that nice warm jacket as long as possible. Who has the time, right? Who has the time for an injury?

Think about a rubber band. What happens when it gets cold? Stretch it and it may break. The same thing can happen to your cold muscles when you start to run without warming them up.

My power tip: if possible, do your warm up inside. Once you’re out there in the cold and just so tempting to skip it because, well, it’s cold and you want to get moving! If you do have to warm up in the cold, I like to have another jacket on top of my running outfit during the warmup (it makes it a literal warmup).

Stay hydrated
You’re cold, you’re not sweating, so you don’t feel like drinking anything. Why would you need to? You probably are sweating, but since it’s not as much as you sweat in Summer, you’re not as aware of it. Add the drieer winter air, and yes, even in winter, you need to stay hydrated.

My power tip: pockets are essential to keep water from freezing when the temps plummet, whether that’s a jacket pocket or a pocket on your leggings. If you have longer runs (I’m sorry!) and use a hydration vest, try putting that under your jacket to prevent the water from freezing.

Trail shoes can help you stay upright in slushy conditions

Get some trail shoes
Even if you don’t do trail running. The deeper treads on the bottom of trail shoes help give you more grip in snowy conditions.

Even better, get screwed
Put some screws in an old pair of running shoes. You can find some instructions here. I much prefer this to using Yaktrax (and I’ve done both).

My power tip: don’t get cocky. While this will help a lot, it doesn’t give you super powers and insure that you can’t slip and injure yourself.

For me wool bras have actually become a year-round thing

Consider a wool bra
I first tried this last Winter (read about it here) and it was a total game changer for me. I would be chilled for hours after really cold runs — often because my bra was soaked in sweat. A wool bra (they’re not 100% wool, and therefore not itchy at all) wicks away the sweat and dries off much quicker than a regular bra.

Wool bras are not just for winter, either! I have actually worn them on a lot of my trail runs this summer. That’s the great thing about wool: it works well in both cold and warm temps.

My power tip: I never had any chafing wearing wool bras until the recent 15k. Even if the bra line isn’t an area you normally chafe, you might still consider some anti chafe gel there.

More Winter Running Resources:

What Winter running tricks do you have up your sleeve?

When do you cry uncle during the Winter (either not running or taking it inside)?

Do you dread training for a Spring race because you have to train through Winter?


Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup


Stockcadeathon Race Recap 11/10/19


I’d been stalking weather for this year’s Stockadeathon for a while and finally signed up on Tuesday. With another very stressful week on the family front, I was definitely feeling run down by race day and kind of questioning why I thought this was a good idea?

A nice long sleeve tech tee (I got mine before the race, as I’d signed up so late)

Packet Pickup
Packet pickup is always easy, and this year was no different. I signed up the same day I did as last year, but this year no race shirt at pickup (option to maybe get one after the race). No biggie … I have plenty of race shirts.

The weather & dressing
I say the same thing about this race every year: I thought I was overdressed in the beginning. I was definitely warm. When I took off my coat at the end, it was drenched in sweat. I also get cold towards the end of the race, and I’m unzipping and zipping my coat the entire race. I probably could have worn a lighter jacket, but this outfit was okay.  Same starting temp as last year too: 36.

I wore my an old New Balance jacket, my Wonder Wool Tee and Wonder Wool Skirt. Newton Distance on the feet. I also wore a buff around my neck; unlike last year I never found it annoying. I didn’t wear gloves at all, although I’d taken a couple of pairs, and that was the right call for me.

Yup, foot already painful but must smile for the photographer

My Race Plan
No race plan. Decided to try to run by feel. I did peak at where I was in mileage more than once, but I was never, ever aware of pace.

I parked at a hotel, as I’ve been doing the last few years. It’s about a 10 minute walk over to the Y, which hosts the runners before and after the race. Even though the Y has real bathrooms, the line for them is long. So I use the bathrooms in the hotel, and if there is a line, it’s usually short.

I got over to the Y to drop off my bag, and realized on the way that I’d forgotten my water bottles. I debated it, but knew I had enough time to go get them — so that was my warm up, partially running to and from my car. I’m actually really glad I got them. I used the bathroom one more time, since I was there, and headed back to the start — unfortunately it meant I never met up with any of my friends before the race. I even did a bit of dynamic stretching before the start.

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 10:10. You start on a downhill. I always love a downhill. Quite a bit faster than last year (due to not looking at pace), but I actually think — which makes me a broken record lately — that it was fine.
  2. Mile 2: 10:57. Most of mile 2 is a long, gradual hill. Again a bit faster than last year. I did run/walk by feel up the hill.
  3. Mile 3: 12:15. You’re still going up. This mile was slower than last year.
  4. Mile 4: 10:55. Another mile quite a bit faster than last year.
  5. Mile 5: 11:37. Relatively flat. Slower than last year. Still running by feel . . . a course marshal was telling all the runners that it was downhill from here — and it isn’t. I told him to stop saying that!
  6. Mile 6: 11:08. Running around the lake in Central Park (see the photo above). Still relatively flat. Unfortunately this is where my foot started to be painful. Another mile significantly faster than last year.
  7. Mile 7: 11:49. A decent hill at mile 7.5. I ran/walked up again, and it was basically about the same pace as last year. Foot still painful (right foot on the bottom, over a bit towards the right). Painful enough that stress fracture thoughts flitted through my mind. It didn’t hurt much when I walked, but really hurt while I ran. What to do?
  8. Mile 8: 12:22. Despite the downhill, my pace slowed down significantly and you know how I love a downhill. My foot was really painful. Bad enough that a course marshal actually asked if I was okay.
  9. Mile 9: 11:26. The last mile is really downhill. By this point it seemed like I should just get it over with. Slower than last year, but not by too much.
  10. Last .47: 10:34. Still going downhill to the finish line. One of my sole sisters was handing out water at the finish, and I told her how much my foot was bothering me as she handed me a bottle of water. It was still really painful as I walked to get some food & my jacket, at which point I ran into Darlene and a few other running friends.  One of those friends is also a Skirt Sports Ambassador, and we were partially twinning in our outfits, but photo fail. My foot felt much better when I got back up after sitting for a while.

2015: 1:51:32 (an automatic PR — new distance)
2016: 1:49:31 (a most surprising 2 minute PR)
2017: 1:45:09 (crushed it for another PR!)
2018:  1:46:49, 11:28 average pace, 1170 our of 1308, 43 out of ?? F55-59
2019: 1:47:31, 11:33 average pace, 1259 our of 1409, 41 our of ?? F55-59

In 2017 they added the splits for each 5k (probably because you can now run this as part of a relay team), and I had beautiful negative splits:

1st 5K: 35:43
2nd 5k: 35:16
3rd 5k: 34:11 (gotta love a downhill finish)

Last year I was just consistent, apparently:

1st 5k:  35:25
2nd 5k: 35:42
3rd 5k:  35:43

And this year positive splits:

1st 5k: 35:11
2nd 5k: 35:50
3rd 5k: 36:31

Like last year, I chose to run this race totally by feel. I do think I did a great job considering the foot pain, but it also pains me (see what I did there?) knowing I would have pushed the pace more had my foot not been hurting — I think I *might* have been able to PR.

It’s annoying, but it’s life, and I’m definitely glad that in the end my foot seems okay.

Was the race well run?
Not enough water stops! I say this every year. I bring my own water. Otherwise this race is a well oiled machine with plenty of direction, course marshals, and lots of food and water for everyone post race. Even foam rollers! I really think having the post race stuff going on in the same building we use before the race is very helpful.

Refueled immediately after with half a cider donut, a protein bar, then had hot chocolate at brunch. I make some healthy hot chocolate often, and only very occasionally indulge in the real stuff.

What I learned
I left later than last year, and it would have worked out beautifully — if I’d remembered the darn water bottles. While I missed chatting with my friends prior to the race, I know that having that water with me was the right decision for me.

I’m really proud that I ran by feel and still had a good race (aside from the foot pain). Pretty sure if it hadn’t been hurting I could have pushed a lot harder.


  1. Extremely well organized race.
  2. Hot food inside post race, and enough for all.
  3. Real bathrooms at the Y and where I park.
  4. Although a hilly course, most (but not all) of the hills are frontloaded into the first half of the race.
  5. A nice downhill finish.
  6. Running with friends. Running into friends you haven’t seen in a while.

Of course no race is perfect. The downsides:

  1. The course runs a little long.
  2. Challenging course (some might view that as a positive).
  3. Not enough water stops.
  4. Although parts of the course are very pretty, much of it just isn’t that interesting to me.
  5. I actually had chafing underneath the bra line (which I never do). I didn’t see/feel it til post race, and I put on anti chafe before showering so it never bothered me. I wore one of my wool bras, which I still love — this is the longest distance I’ve ever worn one for. Oddly I’ve been wearing them a lot this summer, too, including a lot of hot trail races. It wasn’t a big deal though.
Coming into the finish: please make it stop already!

Final Thoughts on My Foot
I don’t know what caused the pain, but my suspicion is that shoe was laced too tight coupled with the pounding on the uphills. It was slightly tender if I had to raise up on the ball of my foot later on race day, but otherwise fine, and fine now.

Should I have walked the end of the race? Really, I probably should have. It didn’t hurt as much when I walked. What if it had been the beginning of a stress fracture (or reaction) and by walking I averted that danger?

It really was stupid to keep running but I’m glad it wasn’t something serious. I hope it never happens again! Pain isn’t always temporary, my friends.


Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup


Night Out for You Harvest Hustle 5k Race Recap 10/26/19


This was yet another new-to-me 5k, but we train at this park for the Freihofers Training Challenge — which is how I knew the race director lied when she said it’s a flat and fast race. In fact, if you just did Mowhawk Hudson here, you know that there’s a fairly steep hill in the beginning.

It’s a good cause (like Make a Wish for adults) and also quite close to where I live, so I decided to do it and then add miles afterwards.

Unisex long sleeve tech tee

Getting There & Hanging Out
I got there quite early, since I hadn’t registered — which was very easy, and they took credit cards, too. You get a unisex long sleeve tech short — I know a lot of people don’t get the long sleeves that often, but I have a ton of them now. I like to sleep in them, though, so it’s all good.

I used the real bathrooms three times before the race (yeah, I got there that early). Once for every glass of liquid I’d drunk before the race.

The finish line was being set up where registration was. The start line was down the hill, though, but no one actually seemed to know for sure (including the volunteers). Knowing where the race started, though, I knew that we’d be going uphill when it started. Good to know.

I didn’t know a soul at this race, but I chatted with a few women and got someone to take my photo.

Probably would have been fine without the vest but it didn’t really hinder me either

The weather & dressing
It was again a beautiful day with ideal weather. The park is pretty shady, though, and quite chilly even with the late race start (9:30 am).

I chose Skirt Sports Skirt Sports Wonder Wool Tee , Toasty Girl Vest, and Charmed Triple Pocket Leggings. I definitely got a bit too warm in the vest, and wish I’d worn the windbreaker I’d brought with me instead — but I don’t think that it effected my race. I might even have been fine with just the short sleeved wool top, but oh well.

Still some foliage hanging on

My Race Plan
I’ve been running pretty well; have had some really great runs lately. It had also been a very stressful week on the family front, and I’d spent Thursday going back and forth to my mom, rehab, back to my mom’s apartment, then home. I also knew the race wouldn’t be flat and fast. No plan, do my best.

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 10:23. Despite the big hill, and the small hill on wet grass to get to the bike path, somehow I had a strong first mile. Elevation gain: 79 ft, loss: 7 ft.
  2. Mile 2: 11:12. Mile two is actually flat. Why the big slow down? No idea. Maybe too fast the first mile? Elevation gain: 7 ft, loss: 20 feet. I must’ve been recovering from the first mile, that’s all I can figure — I should have done better this mile! Even just 30 seconds faster –which should have been doable — would have snagged me a PR. Oh well.
  3. Mile 3: 10:14. I guess I’d recovered by mile 3. There was a great downhill to the finish. Elevation gain: 13 ft, loss: 49 ft.
  4. Last .07: 9:30. Gotta love a downhill finish, although the race was just slightly short. Elevation loss: 16 ft.

32:32 — Official Time
10:29 Average Pace
24 out of 57
2 out of 8 F55-59

Yup, I placed second in my AG; of course there were no AG awards. The woman who was first in my AG was a good 5 minutes faster. It’s a tiny race and attracts more people supporting the cause than the speedsters.

I was stuck at about the same finish time for many years when it came to the half. Then I had the year of 4 half PRs. I’ve been stuck at the same finish time for 5ks for quite some time, while still managing to PR sometimes in longer distances. My 5k PR is from about 4 years ago, but I don’t run a lot of 5ks, I don’t train to run 5ks, and let’s face it — 5ks are hard!

While clearly marked, no one seemed quite sure if this was really the start line (it was)

Was the race well run?
Where to park, where to start — all was a bit confusing. I know the park fairly well so I did know where to park — the bonus being since the finish was in a different place than the start, I didn’t have to drive through runners to get out of the park.

Kicking back with old school chip timing

OTOH, volunteers were very enthusiastic. I was handed a bottle of water as soon as I crossed the finish line. It’s chip timed, although the old school chips on your sneakers.

A nice spread for a small race

The post race spread was actually quite nice:

  • Donuts, including cider and chocolate glazed — you know what I chose!
  • Bananas
  • Apple Cider
  • A women from Power Surge Protein Nut Butters (they are awesome, btw — so much so they’re a little dangerous) with a bunch of flavors to sample on pretzels.
Cookie Dough is my favorite
Tshirt from my radio station, 99.5: Fake News Real Music

The radio station I listen to was there and I snagged a free tshirt from them, as well. I’d like to see a course map on the Website. That would be super helpful!

Final Thoughts
Another really small, low key 5k at a park that is close to my house. Even though the elevation gain/loss doesn’t look bad on paper, it is a little challenging; not so much flat & fast the first mile. Most of all, though, it raises money for a good cause (and did I mention it’s close to my house?).

I would definitely recommend it and if the circumstances are right, I would run it again.


Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup


Lawson Lake Trail 5k Race Recap 10/14/19

I know, I know — I just ran a 10k a couple of days before this “race”. I use the term race loosely. Trail runs/races just tend to be fun runs for me. That’s the attitude I went into this with. A gorgeous weekend, a lake, trails, friends. What could go wrong?

This fire felt great while we waited to start!

Packet Pickup
We all picked up our bibs the day of the race with no issues. It’s basically a club run, although there are bibs and timing chips — but no tee (no problem!) and no swag. Unless you’re one of the overall winners, then you get a free entry to the trail race of your choice in 2020.

I picked up Darlene @ Myfirst5kon my way there, and we got there early, which was a good thing because the one parking lot open was tiny.

We ran around this area twice at the start and once towards the end

There are two races (which start together): a 5k and a 5 miler. This was only the second year the event has been offered.

Ok, so light capris are not so flattering (but they were comfortable)

The weather & dressing
Another beautiful day to run with low wind and temps in the 50s. I wore my Skirt Sports Blue Deco Watch Me Go Top (Skirt Sports Ambassador) and a Skirt Sports Pocketopia Capris with the Toasty Girl Vest. The Blue Deco top is very lightweight, and I knew a lot of the run would be in the woods, and hence shady and cool. I did get warm, but I’m also glad I kept the vest on.

Am I on the right path? Have I missed a turn?

My Race Plan
Again no race plan — run where I can, walk where it was steep or rocky or lots of roots. I didn’t think about the carpeting of leaves, and that certainly came into play.

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 12:12. Slight downs & ups while we looped around the parking lot with views of the lake — twice. The road here was unpaved with a smattering of gravel, but it wasn’t a true trail for most of the first mile so I was able to keep a decent pace.
  2. Mile 2: 18:23. The fun began in mile two. About halfway through the race I found myself basically alone. Darlene and Running Buddy J were walking, and were behind me for a while here, but I’d lost almost all the rest of the runners. The leaves were deep, there were many roots and rocks, and I wasn’t sure if I was going the right way . . . often. There was a lot of walking. A lot of walking. I’ve never “run” a trail so slowly, LOL!
  3. Mile 3: 15:50. They had told us that we would go up a “small uphill” right before the downhill finish. Small my a$$. Okay, maybe to some runners it would be small — it was pretty darn steep in my opinion and just cruel at the end!
  4. Last .06: 12:40. It was, at least, downhill to the finish, and I’ve never met a downhill I didn’t love.

46:53 — Official Time
15:06 Average Pace
4 out of 5 in F55-59
40 out of 47 Runners

They were gonna walk (well, they mostly did). The final downhill to the finish.

I get a giggle that the runners who finished before and after me are from the same town as me — and both are 20 years younger than me. My first trail 5k, which was in the summer, was about 4 minutes faster, and one I ran earlier this year was a whopping 10 minutes faster. Both of them were in the summer, so no carpet of leaves to contend with.

Why do race directors always put a hill right before the end?

Was the race well run?
The race was well marked, although there were long stretches without flags that seriously had me wondering if I’d taken a wrong turn. I told everyone I really counted it as a victory that I didn’t get lost. There were a few course marshals here and there, too, but I appreciate that that is very difficult on trail races.

We thought there were pies in here . . .

I personally didn’t need the medal at the end, although it’s a nice touch, as was the cider donuts. We’d all seen the boxes, but thought they were pies for AG awards (there were no AG awards, not that that mattered for me) — indeed they were cider donuts and plenty of them, although they were really cold so not terribly enticing to me. That half in the box is from me.

What I really wanted? Water! Again, I understand that everything had to be hauled up there. There was an empty gallon jug of water by the food. Had there been water somewhere else? I’d left the water bottle I brought with me in the car.

There were burgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers (two, which Running Buddy J and I snagged), and chips for post race food. Not terribly exciting. This was not a potluck — too bad, I think a potluck would have been much more fun!


  1. Another pretty park.
  2. Chip timing.
  3. Free lunch post race.
  4. Running with friends.
  5. A medal — I don’t need it for a simple 5k, but I’m sure others enjoyed it.
  6. Perfect running weather.

Of course no race is perfect. The downsides:

  1. A challenging course, especially with the deep carpet of leaves.
  2. More flags on the course, please!
  3. More water post race, too, please!
  4. Small parking lot.

What I learned
I’m really not sure I’d do this race again. Maybe I was just in a mood? My friends enjoyed it. It wasn’t expensive. Perhaps if I hadn’t been as anxious about getting lost I would have enjoyed it more. Or if I’d been running with a friend. I spent almost the entire second half of the race pretty much alone — worried that I’d missed a turn somewhere, and would never be found as there was no cell phone service out there. Although maybe Darlene wold have wondered where her ride was.

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup


Great Pumpkin 10k Race Recap 10/12/19


Our group was slightly smaller than in past years, with Darlene @ Myfirst5kresting up for her 20 miler the next day (7 + a Half), and another running friend not able to make it. About evenly split between 5kers and 10kers.

Packet Pickup
We all picked up our packets the day of the race this year, with no issues. They changed the tee design (which we all like) just slightly, and we all still liked it. Warned that they are a men’s style, I got a small — it was still rather large on me but better large than small I say.

We got there early enough to park by the pavilion that the race is held at, so we were able to go back and forth to the car frequently. The real bathrooms are always a plus and oddly never super crowded.

Cool It Long Sleeve under the fleece (which I took off for the race); as you can see it was a bit cool before we started but warmed up quickly!

The weather & dressing
It was pretty much perfection this year, in the low to mid 50s, with almost no wind at all.

I wore my Skirt Sports Cool It Top (Skirt Sports Ambassador) and a Skirt Sports Pocketopia Capris. It was cold when we left, but I knew it would be warming up. I have to say I wish I’d worn a skirt instead of the capris, but I actually like not having to reach underneath my skirt to get at my water bottles, too.

The Cool It Long Sleeve actually works great in the Fall transitional weather — keeping you mostly covered can keep you warm before you start, but also still help you stay somewhat cool as you warm up during the race. Go figure.

Even the course marshals get into the holiday spirit. They warned us not to lose our heads.

My Race Plan
Nope, no race plan. No expectations, either. Running has been squeezed in when I can lately, and speed work has been pretty much non existent. I have run a few times at my mom’s, though, which is super hilly — as is the second portion of this 10k.

I was hoping to keep it under an 11 mm every mile, but I knew that between the stress the past six weeks and a few really restless nights recently that was a tall order and I also knew I’d be okay with whatever the race handed me — well, within reason, of course. I wouldn’t be happy with an injury!

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 10:19. A fast start (quite a bit faster than last year) but nothing that would come back to haunt me.
  2. Mile 2: 10:48. Relatively flat. So just switch mile one and two and I’m right on track. <== that’s what I wrote last year. Still true. Faster than last year.
  3. Mile 3: 10:19. A slow decline and again faster than last year.
  4. Mile 4: 10:50. A long decline and a long incline. Slower than last year but not by a lot. I learned from Firecracker 4 this summer that with steep hills like these I’m better off doing run/walk, so I did. Just by feel.
  5. Mile 5: 11:09. Mostly a long hill. A bit faster than last year. Darn, that 11 at the front! Like last year, I got to see Running Buddy J here & shouted some encouragement. Definitely a tough mile. I also passed another running friend here who is generally faster than me so I was pleased.
  6. Mile 6: 10:56. Mostly downhill. A bit slower than last year.
  7. Last .16: 10:51. And a sprint to the slightly uphill finish with my friends cheering me in. Again just a bit slower than last year. Usually I can sprint in the last little bit but that darn small uphill before the finish gets me every time.

1:06:06 — Official Time
10:39 Average Pace
9 out of 19 in F55-59
233 out of 299 Runners

Previous Years:
2018: 1:07:14 — Official Time, 10:50 Average Pace
2017: 1:08:39 — Official Time, 11:03 Average Pace

Yes, like last year, it was both a 10k PR and a course PR. I mostly met my goal; that one mile was just barely over an 11 mm so I say that’s splitting hairs. Extremely pleased with such a strong race on so little training (and sleep). I’ve lowered my 10k time since my first, eight years ago, but about 5ish minutes.

Seriously, though, where were those 10:19s in my recent 5k? Oh yeah, that one wasn’t mostly downhill, as the first half of this 10k is.

I really do think those few hilly runs at my mom’s were good training. Or maybe the HR training has also been helping? My easy runs are a lot slower than they have been, but for this race, I completely ignored my HR and turned off HR alerts, too.

Running Buddy J was pleased with her stemless wineglass for her AG 3rd place

Was the race well run?
The race is extremely well marked and there are plenty of course marshals. There are a lot of refreshments after, but there’s a long line (even though the 5k was long finished!). Although mostly the baked goods are just okay. Some year I’ll remember to photograph the spread. Running buddy J placed in her AG. I was very pleased with my PR.

People get into the holiday spirit with costumes (there’s also a kid’s race), and there’s a fire at the pavilion — in addition to those real bathrooms


  1. Such a pretty park to run through, especially in the Fall.
  2. Real bathrooms.
  3. A well marked and well directed course.
  4. Nice long sleeved tech shirt.
  5. The entry includes a free raffle ticket — unfortunately I didn’t win anything (again!).
  6. Running with friends.
  7. A PR is always sweet.
  8. Perfect running weather.

Of course no race is perfect. The downsides:

  1. Challenging hills.
  2. The paths, for the most part, are quite narrow, although this time I never really got too frustrated and felt I found my own space for much of the race.

What I learned
Using intervals on steep hills will probably always be the way to go for me. I didn’t use intervals on those hills at my moms for my last run there, but I also ran significantly slower. More than 2 minutes per mile slower.

Those little walk breaks are to help prevent fatigue from setting in, and they work. I won’t say you won’t get tired, you still do. But the break will help you have enough energy to power up the hill when you are back to running.

If none of my friends end up doing the November 15k, it will be a hard decision. Do I really want to do it by myself? Assuming that I am here, that is always up in the air the last 6 weeks. Maybe. Just to see what I can do. Fall really is my favorite time of year to race!

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup


The Crossings 5k Race Recap 9/29/19


This was a new-to-me 5k, but this is the park I run at a lot, and train at with the Freihofers Challenge in the Spring. I used to walk the dogs there, too, but as my life has gotten busier, sadly, I rarely take them there.

I had told my friend who did my practicum with me that I might do it, depending on how I felt (and the weather). The weather was forecast to be great, and I felt ok enough to get in that longish run on Friday, so it was on.

Getting There & Hanging Out
My friend drove, which was great, as I was heading out to my mom’s later in the day. We were there early, as I needed to register. We walked the business and collected lots of swag — quite a bit of it even useful.

We were able to use the real bathrooms in the nearby gym, and there was barely a line. The bonus was we also got someone to take our photo — it was really cold outside with the wind, but nice inside the gym.

I left my friend to go out and do a warmup, but we met again a we waited for the start at the start line, where I was oddly quite near the front.

The weather & dressing
It was a really beautiful day with almost ideal weather, although it was quite windy.

I chose Skirt Sports Supergirl Tank and Lioness Skirt. This was the first time I’d worn Lioness in a road race (I’ve worn it for a trail race), and it performed beautifully.

My Race Plan
I’ve got to say I was kind of secretly hoping for a PR, as that time trial earlier in the week went well. On the other hand, I was also kind of tired and beat up from several weeks of going back and forth between my mom, my dad’s rehab, and home.

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 10:31. The mile started out fast, according to my Garmin, so I kept trying to (successfully) slow down. I had wanted to run this mile just a smidge faster. I also basically watched every runner pass me. Slight exaggeration.
  2. Mile 2: 10:36. Sure, there was some slight inclines and declines this mile, but really no reason for slowing down. Despite the race being run on a very narrow path, for the most part I always felt that I had my own running space.
  3. Mile 3: 10:29. My original plan was to try to run 1.5 miles before a took a walk break. Yeah, no, that didn’t happen, I took a walk break to drink water each mile. I did however put some strides into this mile. Overall, though, obviously my pace was just consistent the whole race. Which wasn’t quite what I was going for.
  4. Mile 4: 8:45. At least I managed a sprint to the end. The woman in front of me was encouraging me to pick up the pace, but seriouly, I had given my all for this day.

32:18 — Official Time
10:24 Average Pace
159 out of 293
3 out of 6 F55-59

Not only did I place third in my AG, there were more than three runners in my AG. And yes, I got an actual medal! Sweet. That isn’t the first time I’ve placed in my age group, but it’s very, very rare and I have never, ever received anything for it until today.

Was the race well run?
Registration was easy, and even though I registered the day of the race, I still got a long sleeve tech shirt which was quite nice — and came in handy before the race to keep warm.

The race itself offered no swag other than the race tee, but there were a lot of businesses actually offering useful swag:

  • Bag clips (I always need these!)
  • Sunglasses
  • One of those race-type backpacks
  • A cooling tool
  • And more

My friend was very far BOTP, and there were still plenty of refreshments left for her. I was afraid parking might be difficult, but we got there early and it was easy. The course was extremely well marked and there was always plenty of course marshals to direct you (and cheer you on).

My only complaint is that they took off all the race information from the Website after online registration closed — so I had no idea when the race day registration would start.

Final Thoughts
This was a very nice, smaller, low key 5k at the park that is close to my house. Apparently the speedy older people don’t come out for it (or didn’t this day, there were also a lot of races to choose from this weekend). It’s a mostly flat course.

I would definitely recommend it and if the circumstances are right, I would run it again.


Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup


Thatcher Park Trail Festival 10k Race Recap 8/25/19

My first trail race was a half marathon. Yes, chocolate was involved. Of course. My next trail race? A 5k. Kind of on a whim, the day after a long run, mostly because it was a beautiful day.

The next year I was getting close to my 18 mile road race, and I didn’t want to do a trail race so close to that race; there also was no longer a 5k option.

This year there are no big goal races on the horizon. Yet. The weather was beautiful again. Another friend would also be there. I signed up. I’ve been running trails here and there all summer with friends, but not really a lot — rarely more than once a week, and not every week.

Skirt Meetup

Getting There & Hanging Out
It’s a bit over 30 minutes to get to Thatcher Park so I arrived at 7:30, an hour before the race. I parked, grabbed my bag, thanked the weather Gods for the beautiful weather, and started walking over to packet pick up, just a short distance away. I chatted with a couple of runners doing the 50k (30 mile) option.

I quickly ran into someone I knew by the bathrooms, but she had just finished with them and I needed to use them. We chatted a bit before parting ways. I picked up my packet, which included my parking ticket (it’s $6 to park), and then had to walk back to the car to put the parking ticket in the car.

I left my bag in the pavilion, which is one of the things I love about this race, that you don’t have to continually go back and forth to your car if you have stuff you need with you before the race, although there is no official bag drop because it’s a pretty low key race, as trail races tend to be.

I ran into another friend, a fellow Skirt Sports Ambassador, but I was waiting on a third friend (another Skirt Sports Ambassador). We were just about to take our selfie when she finally appeared so we were able to get the three of us together.

I’d downloaded a mediation and something to listen to as I walked around before the race, knowing I’d be there early as usual, but I actually never had time.

I was glad to have company during the long stretches we didn’t see anyone . . . or a flag

The weather & dressing
There was a lot of hot, humid weather lately, but the morning started out a cool mid 50F temp, so I really waffled on what to wear. The park is also a higher elevation, so it’s always cool there.

I chose Skirt Sports Supergirl Tank and Lioness Skirt. I really debated about wearing the long sleeve Cool It Top, since that’s what I’ve been running trails in all summer. I needed the extra pockets in my Supergirl Tank for my water bottles, though.

I had never worn the Lioness Skirt for a race, or anything much over 4 miles. I’d never worn that particular Lioness Skirt, either. Turned out it was the perfect outfit for me, for this day, for this race.

Plenty of roots

My Race Plan
2 simple goals:

  • Finish
  • Don’t fall

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 12:15. Significantly faster than the first mile of the 5k two years ago, and basically the same route.
  2. Mile 2: 18:44. Significantly slower than the second mile of the 5k two years ago. My bad for not looking at the elevation chart. I thought it would be somewhat flat like the 5k. It was not. The largest hill in the 5k was 66 ft. This mile had a hill that was 154 ft — which I know doesn’t sound like much, but throw in lots of rocks, roots, and mud, and it was tough! I ran with one of my Skirt Sports Ambassdor friends here for a while, but eventually she took off. I decided right here to make it a fun run and I stopped to take a lot of photos.
  3. Mile 3: 16:07. I believe this is where my friend caught up with me; she’d started slightly behind me, but she was racing. Although she agreed to stop and take a photo at Hang Glide Cliff here. This was an out and back to Hang Glide Cliff, and it seemed to go on forever.
  4. Mile 4: 14:05. This was a relatively flat mile (only a 66 ft hill, LOL!), with some wider paths, but still plenty of mud, rocks, and roots. It wasn’t really a super muddy race, but there were plenty of mud pits to go around — or through, I’m guessing, if you’re really into trails. We mostly went around.
  5. Mile 5: 14:42. This mile had a fairly good net drop, and yet we slowed down. Not sure why. Probably because we were getting tired! We traded on and off being in front. There was also some very narrow single track here.
  6. Mile 6: 12:03. Headed back to the finish, mostly just grass, so I was able to pick up some speed. It might have been faster if I hadn’t kept going in the wrong direction towards the very end (luckily my friend kept correcting me).
  7. Last .33: 10:53. Sort of sprinting to the end.
Mostly dry trails, except for the multiple mud pits

1:31:37 — Official Time
14:45 Average Pace
76 out of 82

Yes, it tasted as good as it looked!

Was the race well run?
If you’re into trail running, this is an awesome little festival. There are four distances:

  • 10k
  • Half Marathon
  • Marathon
  • 50k
The lovely Hang Glide Cliff. Yes, Hang Gliders take off from here though I haven’t seen it!

The first time I ran the 5k I also volunteered after — there’s a really nice spread at the aid stations. They ask you when you register what your projected finish time is. This was my first trail 10k (although not my first trail race), so I took a guess and was almost right — considering I wasn’t expecting so many hills, I guess I guessed well.

I don’t know why they want to know your estimated finish time. Since there are people running anywhere from 10k to 50k, the 10k runners can take their time if they want to. One woman did, indeed, walk it — slowly, but she is older than me and coming back from battling Lyme disease. My hat’s off to her! She always volunteers at races, too.

All the races start together. The first half marathoner finished just shortly after my friend and I finished the 10k . . . The trails are extremely well marked — there are some long distances where you won’t see any flags, but seriously, I didn’t go wrong until the very end (apparently I did something similar at the 5k, too).

You used to get socks; this year we got a picnic blanket that folds up into its own little case. Personally I prefer the socks, because they’re useful (although not really as running socks, but I often wear them in the fall when walking the dogs).

There’s a really nice spread afterwards, too. I stayed this year, since I had some friends to hang out with. All sorts of different sandwiches (including vegetarian and vegan options). Chips, fruit, bread, peanut butter (some of that also available for pre-race fueling). This year there was a cake from Bountiful Bread, one of the sponsors, and it was worth every calorific bite — even if I only ran 10k!

I debated about those sunglasses. I didn’t need them much, but was glad I had them in the end.

Final Thoughts
I wouldn’t run this race in bad weather, but I’ve been blessed with great weather the two times I have run it. I wasn’t that inspired by the 5k course, but I have to say that even though the 10k was much tougher, it was also much more scenic. It’s a pretty park and there were runners who came from my home town, over an hour away — it’s worth it, I promise you!

There are more trail races here around Halloween — I’ve always wanted to do one of them, but the weather is almost always bad. I’m a fair weather trail runner (except for my trail half, which was in WA state and drizzling and cool for most of the race). Maybe 2019 will be the year for the Squirrely Six!


Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup


Firecracker 4 Race Recap 7/4/19


Firecracker 4 is a part shady, part really sunny, somewhat hilly four miles on the fourth of July. It’s almost always really hot, with a late start of 9 am, and this year was no exception.

Our group was small but mighty

Getting There & Hanging Out
Our group was much smaller this year. I think I a few of us are so over this hot race, but some of us diehards decided to brave it (or were talked into it by their friends). I talked my Running Buddy D, who I don’t see as much these days, into an early start (she was driving). We were rewarded with a good parking space, making it easy to go back & forth several times.

Team & AG Awards

Thankfully the city center, where packet pickup is, is air conditioned. And real bathrooms. We got our bibs & tshirts (although somehow I didn’t get a goodie bag; there was nothing exciting in it anyway so no big deal).

New sculpture on the streets of Saratoga (new to me, anyway)

Running Buddy D was very disappointed that they wouldn’t allow you to exchange tshirts until 8:40, as hers was just too tight. She managed to sweet talk a volunteer into doing it for her earlier. She wanted to wear it in the race, but I reminded her nothing new on race day.

Raising the flag and a nice band entertained us as we waited

We met up with the other two from our group, hung out a bit, then we headed back to the car to pick up our water and my cooling towel, all of which I had on ice (literally). We met back up with our friends in the corrals. We had used the real bathroom a couple of times already.

Worked as well as anything would on a hot day!

The weather & dressing
Skirt Sports for the win. I went with the Racecation Tank  and Cool It Skirt; Newton Distance on the feet.

Runners always deck themselves out patriotically

My Race Plan
I had actually ended up reading the race recap from last year (which I usually try to avoid), so I formed a plan — I wanted to hang at about a 10:45 pace, but I knew the heat was gonna be a big factor. Overall I wanted to get an average pace under 11 mm.

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 10:33. Despite being a little frustrated by being bottled in the first part of this mile, this was significantly faster than last year. Would I regret it later?
  2. Mile 2: 10:37. This mile was really slow last year. No idea why. Again, much faster this year (and for the most part much more space to run)..
  3. Mile 3: 10:43. slowing down a bit, no doubt because of the speedy first 2 miles. There’s a few rolling hills in this mile, but there’s also a fair amount of shade. Still faster than last year and very consistent.
  4. Mile 4: 11:55. This last mile is always tough. There’s no shade. It’s mostly uphill. Last year I slowed down this mile, but was still very strong. I was also just a few weeks out from a downhill half, so lots of training on these legs. This year? I was almost a full minute slower than last year. Let’s just say while the thermometer wasn’t quite as hot as last year, it was close, and I think a lot more humid. I walked a lot. And I’m okay with that.

43:55 — Official Time
10:59 Average Pace
50 out of 101 in 55-59 division
1824 our of 2628

Previous years:
2018: 44:02
2017: 44:17
2016: 47:10
2015: 44:11
2014: 47:48

I just squeaked through with a 7 second course PR and met my goal of a average pace below 11 mm (again, just!). I know that I could have done much better if I hadn’t walked so much the last mile, but I met my goals and I didn’t faint, so I’m good with that.

Waiting for the kid race to start

Was the race well run?
This race is so much fun — if you’re ever in Saratoga, NY on the fourth you should check it out. There’s a ton of spectator support and the locals are out in force with hoses — much appreciated — even on a hot fourth like this one!

The AG awards are cool (not that I’m ever going to see one), the space with AC to hang out in and real bathrooms is a blessing. There’s water available both before and after the race, and some fruit and granola bars afterward. A couple of local food vendors had samples afterwards, too. New this year was food available for purchase post race, as well as a free beer, but Running Buddy D & I skipped that.

The late start is a pain, as is parking. Unless you know Saratoga well, the parking situation can be nerve wracking.

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup