Happy 2011! My year is off to a great start 😀 After a hilarious hot yoga class last night (the room was done up like a disco and the instructors were a weee bit tipsy on champagne), I headed to SUNY Albany this morning to run the local running club’s 3.5 mile race. In addition to the 3.5 miler, there was a hangover half marathon going on- a few of my blogging buddies ran the half (and did awesome!) and it was great to run into them before the race.
To me, SUNY Albany’s campus has always been a bit imposing. Maybe because the only other time I’d been there had been to take the LSAT (shudder). Anyway, driving onto the campus I had no idea where I was going. I saw a car that had a 26.2 marathon sticker on the back of it- I figured that driver was heading to the race so I just followed them. The cars in front of them all had running stickers on them too! Gotta love runners 🙂 If you are lost getting to a race, a good tip is to just follow the 13.1, 26.2 or tri stickered vehicles :p
I got to the race about a half hour before the start and it was BANANAS! I wasn’t expecting it to be so crowded. In the lobby I saw all of my fellow CDNY bloggers- I quickly registered then headed back to the gang to get in the obligatory group shots 🙂
I especially love Melissa in this photo. Thanks for the photos, Jen!
You can’t really go wrong with the price of this race- a mere five dollars! If you are a member of the local running club (I believe $15/year), the races are all free! I think I’m definitely going to join.
The girls and I headed to the start, marveling about the unseasonably warm temps. It was around 45 degrees and I was wearing my running tights with my new coldgear top and I felt great. No gloves, no ear warmers- I wore heavier clothing in Virginia Beach at the New Year’s race last year! I’ll take the nice weather though 🙂
Heather snapped a pic before we started- without fail, I always have the same goofy expression before a race:
Before the race actually started, Jen and Melissa were talking about time goals. Jen said she wanted to finish in under 33 minutes. “YOU DO??”, I asked, thinking that it seemed fast. Then again, Jen is super speedy. I learned this after she smoked me in the squirrelly six mile trail race 😉 Originally I wanted to finish around 35 minutes- a nice ten minute mile pace. I decided to just run as fast as I could.
The race started and we were off! At certain points the path was narrow but there was no bottlenecking. It was a fairly hilly course, which I wasn’t expecting. The hills were rolling and not too tricky, with some nice downhills here and there. At certain points on the course we were running against traffic coming towards us a few lanes over, which was interesting. I pretty much played this song on repeat during the race, interspersing it with “Run this Town” a few times. I tend to find songs I like and play them to death until I can’t listen to them anymore.
Before I knew it there was less than a half mile left! The half-marathoners continued on in the race and the 3.5 mile peeps made the turn to get in the final mileage. As I approached the finishing chute the time clock read 32 minutes with change. Sweet! I kicked it into high gear (seriously- my fastest pace during the last half mile was a six minute mile pace- holy!) and crossed the finish line in 32:37, giving me an average pace of 9:15/mile. YAY! As the runners came in, a race volunteer gave us a numbered slip of paper to fill in. I was the 113th person to finish the race. I saw Melissa and Jen (they finished just under 31 minutes- speedy mc speedersons!) and headed inside to drop off our time slips and get some water. For a five dollar race, I am INCREDIBLY impressed with all that was available after the race. Water, soda, pizza, orange slices, vegetarian soup… I couldn’t believe it!
I grabbed some water and an orange slice while Melissa and Jen went on to run 3.5 more miles (overachievers 😉 ). Before the race I was thinking of joining them; after not so much. I called Heather and Cynthia- they both ran an awesome race! We grabbed starbucks (caramel brulee latte, I love you) to kill some time before meeting up with Melissa and Jen at Cafe Madison.
Cafe Madison was outstanding! It was my first time there and I will definitely be back. The service was phenomenal and the food was delicious. I had a Tuscan omelette but snagged some of Melissa’s strawberry almond stuffed french toast- heavenly! We stayed and chatted for about two hours. I love getting together with other bloggers- there is never a lack of things to talk about!
All in all, it was a great start to the new year :D. The Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club put on a great event and it was nice to meet up with my blends to race and share delicious food.
How was your New Year’s eve? Did you participate in a race today? It’s a great way to kick off the year 😀