Sunday was my first "long run longer than a half marathon" for this marathon training cycle! At 9 am I went out for a 16 mile run, the longest I've run since May 26, 2013. The run went pretty well, despite being muggy out. I ran on some back roads near my house and it was gorgeous. There were numerous gardens, rolling hills and farms to see. I was planning on doing two 8 mile loops with a stop at my house, but then decided against it because there was a slight chance I might not want to go back out after coming home. So I packed a Camelbak with 50oz of water and a Gu and off I went. The run took a little over three hours because the route I chose wasn't exactly flat. I did see some interesting things on my run, including some white geese running through the woods, a deer, and this cute little guy chained up in someone's driveway. I was losing energy by the end of my run, mostly because it was really hot and I ran out of water on the last mile. I also should have brought more calories, since one Gu wasn't enough for that long of a run. Marathon training finally feels real, and I am very excited to run 26.2 again in October.
Good morning and happy Monday! A couple weeks ago I made the last minute decision to run the a new local races, the Saratoga Springs Half Marathon located in the Saratoga Spa State Park! With about 350 runners, this was a smaller race. The race started at 7:30am right near the Peerless Pool at the park, there were lots of spots to park, and no long lines for bathrooms or packet pickup. Now that's what I like to see. The race started promptly, and began with a loop on the grass around the parking lot. Then it was off onto the roads throughout the park. It also took us near the SPAC parking lot, and through some of the roads near there. Then we ran down Avenue of the Pines, which was was nice. Then we turned right onto Route 9 for just a little bit. Kind of annoying running next to traffic (we were on the shoulder--but the right lane was closed off)--but this part was slightly downhill and we got a nice breeze. Then we took another right back into the park for a second loop. I didn't mind the loops because by the second one I knew what was coming. Although I did feel like time was moving rather slowly and felt like I had been running forever. I didn't walk that much, just briefly through the water stops (which were adequate by the way-but they ran out of electrolytes by end of my last lap) and on a few hills, but that was it, and felt fairly strong for the majority of the race, despite the humidity. The lack of sun definitely helped, since it was mostly overcast yesterday morning. I finished in 2:21:43, for a 10:45 average pace. Half marathon #15 is in the books (I think?). We got nice large, medals with the horse logo, along with some bright orange shirts that fit pretty nice. We also had the option to purchase a pint glass with the logo on it (I did because I'm a sucker for those things.) At the end there was also food: donuts, cookies, cupcakes, bread, bananas, water...but because of the heat I couldn't stomach anything but an ice cold Gatorade that I had brought with me. It was a nice, no-frills, small race in Saratoga.
Believe it or not, I am still running! After the Runner's World Heartbreak Hill hat trick I was only running a few times during the week. Nothing major. I actually haven't run a long run since the races, so that's what this weekend will be for. I'm aiming for a 10 miler to officially start marathon training! I kind of keep forgetting I'm running the Marine Corps Marathon in October! Since I need some help getting motivated to start training, I signed up for a new local half marathon. On July 13 I'm running the Saratoga Springs Strong to Serve Half Marathon. The course is two loops around Saratoga Spa State Park and claims to be fast and flat. We'll see. I have no time goals obviously, I just want to get the miles in and enjoy running a new local race. A week later I'm running the Froggy Five Mile trail race in the Adirondacks at Dippikill in conjunction with the Albany Running Exchange's trail running camp, which I'm also excited for! Trail running all weekend in the ADK? Sign me up! I don't have any other races planned until possibly September, so the rest of the summer will be devoted to upping my mileage during marathon training.
I figured I'd pop in here for a minute to update you all on my running! This weekend was a good one for that. Saturday morning was the Robert Parker School 5K trail race. A new-to-me place to run trails, I had to sign up to prepare for my upcoming trail half marathon. Thankfully, the trails were in much better condition than last week at the Pine Bush. Even though they were muddy, they were definitely runnable. Chris' friends were in town, so he managed to convince them to come run the race with me! It was a blast. I managed to finish the 5K (two loops on the trails) in 37:50. Although I don't have any pictures from the course, I did take this one of the shirt! The design was awesome, but the shirt itself is huge on me! Usually I get a women's large and run the risk of it being tight, but this one was really big! At least it's not too tight! 😉 Sunday morning was also the Delmar Dash, another popular local race. Last year I volunteered as a course marshall and this year I wanted to help at the water stop. It was fun cheering on the runners and handing out the water. The winner won the race running under a 5 minute mile...so incredible. Anyway, after the race, I stuck around Delmar to do my long run for the weekend. I ran up and down Delaware Ave and then ventured to the Albany County Rail Trail, a fairly new running path in Delmar. I had been wondering about it for a while now, and finally took the opportunity to check it out since I was already in Delmar. It was pretty sweet actually. There was no mud, and it was just packed dirt and a little bit a gravel. A perfect running surface! The trail runs near the main streets, but keeps you off the road, through the woods and next to nature, I loved it! I ran 8 miles total at ~10:00/mile pace, making that about 11 for the weekend. My next race is the Dodge the Deer trail 5K, and then my next half marathon is three weeks away in New Jersey! A week later is my trail half marathon in the Catskills. I'm getting excited for nice weather and some awesome runs.
Merry Christmas! I'm a little belated, but I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday! I spent yesterday with my family so it was really fun. 😀 I also made cinnamon buns for the first time ever. I pre-made the dough on Sunday and saved half for Christmas morning. It was pretty easy--for some reason I thought making cinnamon buns would be hard, but it wasn't. They came out GREAT. I used this recipe for home made cinnamon rolls. Anyway, after my hike on Monday, I had to take two whole days off from any kind of workouts. My calf muscles are STILL sore, and my heels are pretty torn up from my boots. I'm still not sure why--I think it had to do with the pressure from the microspikes. I'm not really sure how to fix this problem for future winter hikes without having to buy new boots, but I'll figure something out. Anyway, I was supposed to get some runs in this week, but I don't think I'll be able to run in sneakers until tomorrow (I had to finally put on real shoes today). And I'm hoping I can still run my half marathon next week. Lets hope my feet heal in time!