It's somewhat of a tradition for my friends and I to run the Troy Turkey Trot 10K on Thanksgiving morning. You may have noticed I haven't been running much lately! I've had a reoccurring hip issue for the past few months. I took the entire month of October off from running and skipped two half marathons I was signed up for, hoping that it would get better. On Halloween I ran for the first time in a month, with short runs here and there after that, nothing over four miles. I had thought my hip was healed! At about mile 5 of the Turkey Trot, my hip started aching (not enough to stop mid-race, however). I managed to finish the race at about a 10:18 average pace per mile, which is okay considering I haven't been running regularly. After the race we stopped for some coffee and breakfast, which was fun. I'm so thankful for all my running friends and for the running community, and I miss our group runs and races. I've started doing some hip and glute strengthening exercises in hopes of healing my hip for good, so with some more time off from running, I'm hoping it heals so I can start a training plan for a goal race in the spring.
So, I'm behind on my blog posts, but it's never too late to catch up, right? Back in August, I signed up for my first ever duathlon, a 5K trail run and 10k mountain bike ride at West Mountain in Queensbury. image from West Mountain's facebook page I really had no idea what to expect from this race. I signed up for it with a few of our friends, and none of us got any emails or anything about the logisitics. We just knew it started at 10:00am at West Mountain Ski Resort. We got there at about 9:15, picked up our shirts and bibs and headed over to the starting line, which was at a different area than the main lodge where packet pickup/ the afterparty was located. I set up my bike at the transition area (a first for me!) and got ready to run. The run portion started off great. But soon, the hills began and I found myself walking a lot. But my only goal for this race to was to have fun (and finish it). Run Time: 36:08.7 Pace: 11:39 Transition time: 2:04.2 I got on my bike and pedaled away. The first part of the bike course was on the same course as the run, which was weird. But then I found myself going up the mountain. I guess they don't call it "Over the Top" for nothing. There were some nice views at the top of West Mountain! But I was on my bike so my phone was in my pack. Bike time: 1:01:33.4 MPH: 6.04 (I am SO SLOW at climbing on my mountain bike. So not efficient.) Total Time: 1:39:46.4 There were 20 individuals in this race (some people were competing as teams) and my friend Aubrey was the 3rd fastest woman! I was the 3rd from last. At least I wasn't last! After we all finished, we loaded our bikes back up and drove back to the main lodge for the post-race party, where hamburgers and beer awaited. Overall, I think this was a nice little race. The volunteers were friendly it it seemed to be organized well. The course was marked well, too. I would do it again!
Last Wednesday Jenna and I went down to Lake Minnewaska State Park Preserve near New Paltz for the Summer Solstice 14K trail race. It was the perfect night. The race started near the upper parking lot and ran uphill to Castle Point. It was straight uphill for 3.5 miles. From there, it goes back down back to the start making a big loop. It's part of the same course as the After the Leaves Half Marathon that they hold in November. Jenna and I took a van down with the Albany Running Exchange! It was nice to not have to worry about driving down so late in the afternoon. The race started at 6:30PM. There were gorgeous bushes of Mountain Laurel blooming all through the course. It was wonderful! I love that the race has so many awesome views and takes place on wide carriage trails. I finished in about 1hr, 35 minutes. Post-race refreshments included watermelon, strawberries and lots of other goodies! After staying for the awards (a lot of ARE members won in their age categories!), we got back in the van and headed back to Albany. Minnewaska is really one of my favorite spots.
Back in the fall I signed up for my 5th marathon, the Maine Coast Marathon, as well as the half marathon, in the same weekend. After months of slacking on training (I only did two back to back long runs, I was supposed to do them every other week), I wasn't sure I was up for the 39.3 challenge. My goal for the weekend was to run the half marathon on Saturday conservatively to save energy for the next day, have fun, and to feel good. I wanted to finish the half and then evaluate for Sunday. I didn't tell many people I was running both races because my head was full of doubts that I could run both back to back. Friday rolled around and it was time for Jordan and I to drive to Kennebunk, Maine. I had never been to Maine was was super excited to check out the Maine Coast. (Turns out, I love Maine.) We stayed right in Kennebunk, a short drive to the coast and to the marathon start/finish area. The half began in Biddeford at the University of New England campus, about a 20 minute drive from our motel. A few of my good friends were running the half marathon, so it was loads of fun to hang out in Maine with them. The day turned out to be much warmer than expected. Thankfully I opted for the ARE tank top! The sun was beating down during the entire race. I took it slow and enjoyed the scenic views, making sure to walk the hills (there weren't that many), and to drink at each water station to stay properly hydrated. My goal was to finish feeling strong because I'd have to run double the distance the following day. One thing was for sure, the views during the half marathon were incredible! Despite the warm temperature, I felt great the whole race. My legs felt fresh. I was feeling good! I finished the half in 2:25:04, just over an 11 minute mile. Okay. I felt good and decided to at least start the marathon the next day. Jordan got to take his road bike out and ride some of the course--he found me near the end to cheer me on! The medal we got was awesome-a mermaid with a bottle opener. Even though it was a hot race and not everyone hit their goals, we still had fun out there. The race provided runners with 1 slice of pizza and two Shipyard beers! It was kind of early when we finished, so we didn't have our beers, but we had plans to visit some Maine breweries later on. After we showered, we drove to Portland. We first stopped at Bissell Brothers, followed by Allagash Brewing. Free beer tasting, anyone? They were so good! Portland was such a cool town. We loved it! I can't wait to go back and explore more. So, Day 1 of Maine Coast Marathon weekend was complete. Next up: the full marathon! Stay tuned...
Last night was the first of Fleet Feet's pub run series! We met at Wolff's Biergarten in downtown Albany for a four mile run from Broadway up to Lark, down Madison Avenue and back down to Wollf's. When I got there, a rep from On Swiss Performance Running Shoes told me I could demo some running shoes in exchange for a free beer after the run. Sign me up! I got to demo the Cloudflier, a lightweight stability shoe with some cushioning. I loved the colors and the reflective stripes on them! The were also nice and wide in the toe box, which made them very comfy. However, by the end of the run I did notice some pressure on the bottoms of my feet, so ultimately I don't think they had enough cushioning for me in the forefoot. They sell these shoes at Fleet Feet if anyone is interested in trying them out, too! //photo from Fleet Feet Albany's Facebook page!// After the run, we all gathered at Wollf's for a drink. It was a lot of fun! Next week, the run starts at Brown's in Troy, which I will be gladly attending also!