2013 Stockade-athon 15K

Today was such a good day! This morning was the Stockade-athon, one of my favorite local races. Actually, I think it might be my favorite local race. And Its one of the only times I ever go to Schenectady…ha!

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Almost every runner I know ran today, too, so it was pretty cool running into all my friends at the race!

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Chris and myself

My last long run for this race was actually the Hairy Gorilla Half two weeks ago! But, I did get some decent weekday running workouts in these past few weeks, so I had a goal, to run the 15K under 1:30. My 15K PR is 1:26 something, but I knew that would be pushing it.

I actually forgot my Garmin for this race, so I had to carry my iPhone for the whole thing, so I could keep track of my pace. It was kind of nice not having a watch to stare at the entire 9.3 miles, so I ran by feel instead.

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There was a record number of runners started the race, over 2,000! That’s huge for a race in this area.

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One of my favorite parts of the race, the downhill!

The course changed a little bit since I last ran it, instead of going all the way up State Street we turned left and ran behind it, and then turned into the cemetery earlier, and it had more hills! Evil hills.

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I managed to keep my pace under 9:30 for the whole race, so I was pretty happy with that. I also ran the hills too, no walking.

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BAM! 15K done, under goal time!

After I finished, I found some more familiar faces.

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Bowden and Melissa from my 2012 Ragnar Team BAD! They did GREAT too.

Christine did awesome, setting a PR for her 15K time…woohoo! So proud of everyone today!

Running is funny. A month ago I struggled after mile 10 of my half marathon, but today I felt strong and fast… I wonder if this race had been a half if I could have kept my pace for four more miles. I think I have another goal to set. Hangover Half, I’m looking at you!

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Ragnar Relay Adirondacks 2013

I’ve got another Ragnar Relay Adirondacks under my belt!

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It all started out on Friday morning. In case you are wondering, Ragnar is a 200 mile relay race with teams of 12 runners (6 for ultra teams), who run non stop from point to point. Ragnar Adirondacks went from Saratoga Springs, NY to Lake Placid, NY, all through the Adirondack Mountains.

My alarm was set for 3:00AM. We had to start loading up Van 1 and head to the start at Saratoga, since our start time was 6:00am.

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Nikki, our Runner 1, was all set and ready to go. It was still dark when she set off.

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The first few legs of the relay were through Saratoga, and the sun was up by the time Nikki was done. Leg 1 of Ragnar, complete! Nikki was awesome!

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And on we went!

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Finally, it was my turn, and I was Runner 4, my leg took me down Route 50 in Saratoga and to the SPAC parking lot. Running down that road was kind of nerve-wracking with all the traffic, but I got it done!

Leg 4
Distance 4.1 mi
9:30 Pace

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Van 1 finished up in Gavin Park and then Van 2 took over. Go turtles!

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After we went to lunch at a place called the Silo in Queensbury. We needed some real food! An egg and cheese sandwich hit the spot. It was delicious! After lunch, we went to a hotel in Lake George to get some rest, since we’d been up since 3AM! I got about an hour of sleep there, then we headed to Million Dollar Beach for the next major exchange.

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And take the baton (or should I say slap bracelet) from our Runner 12, Keri!

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Time to prep for my second leg, Leg 16, AKA the Ragnar Leg, the most difficult of the race.

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Yep, that goes directly up Tongue Mountain for 3 miles, with a total of 6. I was kind of nervous since it was so late, dark, and in the middle of nowhere. It was going to be 9:30PM by the time I started, and my team couldn’t stop at all for me during the leg. But I powered on my headlamp, and headed out when Loretta, our Runner 3, came in.

Time to run!

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The first mile went well since it was fairly flat. Then the hill started…time for some serious power walking. No shame! I power walked the major climbs but made sure to run the flat parts…then the final few miles were downhill, which was difficult in a different way! But I made it, and was never so happy to see the flashing beacons of runners’ headlamps at the exchange! That was one of the hardest runs of my life!

Leg 16 Ragnar Leg
Distance 6 mi
10:52 pace

Once our Van 1 runners finished it was time to try to get some sleep. We went to the exchange at the fairgrounds where they had indoor sleeping in one of the barns. We brought our sleeping bags in and slept for maybe 2.5 hours. It was glorious.

Our start was around 6:30am. Nikki ran her her first leg as the sun came up (again!), for a tough five mile run that was almost all uphill…but she did amazing, as did Steph, Loretta and Cheryl! Time for round three! My third leg was only 3.5 miles, so I wasn’t too worried, but after my fall at Ragnar last year, I was determined to complete all of my legs! Time to go.

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Finally, some awesome Adirondack scenery!

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Third leg complete!

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Leg 28
Distance 3.3 miles
9:50 pace

I was done!!! But, it wasn’t over yet.

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Our last runner of Van 1 was Nicki! She and Cheryl, our Runner 5, had tough legs and ran on little sleep, and they both did incredible!

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It felt good to be done, but Van 2’s third legs were just starting.

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We drove into Lake Placid, got some dinner, and checked into our hotel to freshen up before it was time to cross the finish line. We got to the finish line just in time for our last runner, Keri, to come in!

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And we crawled across the finish line, like turtles.

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Team Herd O’ Turtles, finished Ragnar Relay Adirondacks in 36 hours.

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196 miles, from Saratoga to Lake Placid, done!

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What another awesome experience. We had such an amazing team and we all had a blast. We also couldn’t have done it with our Drivers, Dana and Alex, and our Volunteers, Allie and Carrie. You all are great!

To Nikki, Steph, Loretta, Cheryl, Nicki, Meredith, Christine, Keri, Dayna, Brittani and Amanda, you are all amazing and I’m so proud of us all for conquering Ragnar Adirondacks! So glad to have you all as teammates.

TURTLE POWER!

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Hoosic 50 River Ride

Yesterday I rode a half-century!! I had been signed up for the Hoosic River Ride 50 miler for a while, but I actually had been kind of dreading it…my training wasn’t really happening the past few weeks and I was really worried about transporting my bike, going alone to a ride in Massachusetts and possibly getting lost during the ride, etc. But thankfully my parents were around yesterday and went with me! They borrowed their neighbor’s bike rack and my dad helped me put my bike on and off we went to Williamstown, MA.

The Hoosic Rive Ride had a bunch of distances to choose from, the 100 mile, 75 mile, 50 mile (mine), 30 mile and 7 mile. I choose the 50 because A) I knew I could do it since I’ve done 50 on the bike a few times and B) The course went through three states.

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The elevation was also something I knew I could handle since I regularly bike on on similar hills.

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Williamstown is a really cute town about an hour away from Albany. The drive was pretty! I got there, checked in, got my bike looked at by the bike tech, and put some air in my tires . At 9AM the 50 miler group set off!

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I managed to stay with a group for the beginning. I was really worried that I’d be at the back of the group and then ultimately get lost, but thankfully there was always someone nearby!

The first part of the ride was gorgeous! It went past Mount Greylock and the surrounding mountains, so pretty. I didn’t stop for many pictures since I didn’t want to get too behind, but this one was taken after going into NY.

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The first aid station was at about the 20 mile mark. I couldn’t believe how quick the ride was going by! The aid station was great, lots of food, drinks, and flush bathrooms! I ate an oreo and grabbed a mini clif bar for later.

The middle of the ride was pretty uneventful, we went through Stephentown and Petesburg, NY, places I’ve always heard of but never been to. It was a lot of pretty farm country.

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The second aid station was at the 42 mile mark, and when I got there I couldn’t believe the ride was almost over.

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I was starting to feel the effects of being on a bike for nearly 4 hours…my wrists and back were hurting the most! BTW…is there a way to prevent such sore wrists??

After taking off from the station, we entered Vermont!

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We weren’t in VT for long, soon enough we were riding back into MA. My bike computer clocked the end of the ride at ~54 miles, which is awesome but I was so ready to get off the bike at that point!

After checking in, I changed and then got some lunch! They had some delicious home made salads, cookies, wraps, hummus, pretzels, etc. What a fantastic event! I can’t say enough good things about this ride. It was organized well, the course was marked really well, so I knew I wouldn’t get lost. I definitely want to do this ride again.

And my parents were great! They drove along the course and stopped every once in awhile to cheer on the riders and made sure I had enough food and water. Thanks, mom and dad!

I finished 54 miles in 4 hours and 8 minutes, averaging about 13MPH, which is really good for me. I’ll take it.

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Hanging out in Troy

Saturday was a pretty busy day this past weekend! Earlier in the day my friend Brendan and I went running in the Pine Bush Preserve.

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Neither one of us had been before, it’s a really nice park with lots of trails.

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It was really buggy though, so if we stopped for even a minute the bugs attacked! We made sure to wear bugspray but apparently it wasn’t enough!

We ran about 2.75 miles.

After coming home and showering, it was time to head over to Troy Cloth & Paper, a design studio where you can screen print custom shirts! They also use all eco-friendly inks for printing! The reason I was going there was to make our Ragnar Relay team shirts! Ragnar is two months away, so our team thought it would be fun to get together and print our shirts with help from a local business! The guys over at TCnP were AWESOME and super helpful. We had a blast making our shirts!

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Our Ragnar team has a Ninja Turtle theme, because well…

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So we called ourselves the Herd O’ Turtles.

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And our shirts are pretty awesome.

A huge thanks to Troy Cloth & Paper, too! Go check them out, they are right on River Street in Troy.

Afterward, a few of us decided to get some food in Troy. We walked over to the new quesadilla place on Fulton called Muddaddy Flats. I ordered the veggie quesadilla, this thing was HUGE! And deliciously amazing. It was filled with chopped spinach, quinoa, corn & black beans, tomato, and peppers & onions with cheddar/jack and mozzarella cheese. They also serve them with fresh salsa and sour cream. Ah, so good.

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I’ll be spending a lot of time in Troy this fall for grad school, so its going to be hard not to eat here every night for dinner. And the staff were really friendly, too.

MudDaddy Flats Quesadillary on Urbanspoon
After lunch, Loretta and I went over to Schodack to the Brookview Station winery for a tasting…more on that later!

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Top of the Helderbergs Group Ride

Yesterday Chris and I did our first group ride since the Tour de Habitat in 2011. 🙂

I joined the Albany chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club about a month ago, and saw they had a group ride through Helderbergs. Sounds like an awesome ride!

We met the group in Clarksville, and then we all drove to the starting point at Berne High School. Berne is about 40 minutes West of Albany. Chris is prepping for the Erie Canal Bike Tour in a few weeks.

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Saturday’s ride was casual, we planned on about 35 miles with a break for lunch at the 25 mile mark, at the Palmer House in Rennsealerville.

We had a few really steep climbs in the beginning. One of the hills was so steep I had to get off and walk, but I wasn’t the only one. But the view was so worth it.

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It was my first time doing a group ride, and it was so much fun. The group was very friendly and accommodating for all levels of biking. They assured me they weren’t going for speed, that it was a relaxed ride, which was perfect!

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The views were gorgeous! There were so many green fields and farms (and hills), but I didokay! At first I was worried about the hills but I got used to them after awhile. There was also very little traffic (mostly just tractors!) so that was a plus!

Around 2:00 we stopped for lunch at the Palmer House, a popular place in the town of Rensselaerville.

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I got the veggie panini, which came with chips and fruit. I wasn’t sure how much I should eat since we had ~12 miles left of the ride, but I ate the whole sandwich, thankfully I didn’t have any problems. (I like that about biking, you can’t stop mid-run and eat lunch, that’s for sure!)

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The sandwich was tasty and filling, perfect fuel for the rest of the ride! We all filled up our water bottles at the restaurant, and then went on our way!

Palmer House on Urbanspoon

About 4 hours later, we were DONE!!! We rode about 36 miles total, the longest I’ve ridden so far on my bike. 🙂

I had so much fun I’m thinking about signing up for the Ididaride in the Adirondacks, which is 75 miles….

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I’m thinking I should sign up and go for it!

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