New Years Fun and the Hangover Half Marathon

Happy new year! I can’t believe it’s 2016 already. Where does the time go? My good friend Jackie and her husband Brian came up to visit from NJ on Thursday for New Years. Jordan and I brought them to Thacher so Brian could try fat biking with Jordan. It finally snowed and the trails were covered in snow/ice!

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Jackie and I just walked to the hang glider cliff while the guys rode the mountain bikes. It was really quiet there with not many people on the trail. We only saw one other guy trail running. We chatted with him for a little bit when we stopped at the lookout, but it got cold pretty quick, so we headed back.

IMG_0641The sun started to go down–the clouds had this pretty glow. I love that!

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It was nice to spend new years eve outside, even if it was just a short hike! We didn’t get too crazy that evening. We played some games and had a few drinks. Very low-key!

Hangover Half Marathon

The next day I was planning on running my third Hangover Half Marathon. Organized by the HMRRC, one of our local running clubs, the Hangover Half is a no-frills race on New Years Day that starts at SUNY Albany. I had zero goals, as usual. It turned out to be a pretty decent run for me. I finished in 2:15:35, about a 10:10 per mile pace. Not bad, considering my last long run was only 9 miles. And with that, my marathon training cycle officially began!

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Can’t say I missed the endless State Office Campus loops though.

Shipyard Maine Coast 39.3 Challenge Goals

It’s been awhile since I’ve set goals for myself. But this time I have some I want to stick to for this training cycle.

  • Clean up my eating and drink less alcohol
  • Weight train 2x per week (either with Bootcamp or Kinetix classes at my gym)
  • Speedwork or hill workout 1x per week
  • Yoga 1x per week

Don’t forget, if you plan on signing up for any of the Maine Coast Races, use my code JenM for $5 off you registration fee!

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Mountain Biking at Thacher Park

Thacher Park is one of my favorite local spots for outdoor activities. I hike, snowshoe, ride my road bike to the lookout and run many a trail race there. But last weekend was the first time I went mountain biking there.

We start at the Carrick Road parking lot at the Northern end of the park. We rode all the way to main entrance to the park and back, which totaled about 10 miles. 10 miles seems like nothing on a bike, but I’ll assure you that mountain biking 10 miles is a lot harder than road biking 10 miles.

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I had to get off a few times to walk the bike up and down some major hills but other than that I think I’m getting better at it.


The weather lately has been pretty strange for this time of year. Zero snow and warmer temps make it easier to do the outdoor activities we love so much! As much as I like snowshoeing, I’m hoping the snow holds off so I can mountain bike as long as I can, since I don’t have a fat bike (yet).

A cool shot of Jordan’s friend’s bike on the cliff.

Jordan loves mountain biking. I still like trail running and hiking more, but mountain biking is growing on me. But getting over the fear of falling off the bike and tumbling down a ravine is the hard part.

Gear used
Osprey Zealot hydration pack, Canari echelon gel cycling tights, icebreaker wool baselayer, Marmot water-repellant trail wind hoodie, Giro mountain biking helmet with MIPS, Giro Rulla biking gloves, Buff neck gaiter, New Balance Minimus trail shoes

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Fall (Winter?) Trail Running at Thacher

Sunday I decided to go trail running at Thacher with two of my good running friends, Jenna and Meredith. I’m running a trail half in a few weeks and wanted to get some more trail running in before then. The foliage was out in full force this past weekend!

We parked at the Carrick Road parking lot at the North end of the park and ran to the cliff lookout and hang glider lookout, about 6.6 miles total for the day! It even started to snow mid-run, which isn’t too strange considering this IS upstate New York. It was pretty.

FIND IT

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Riding to Thacher Park

Saturday I took my road bike out and rode up to Thacher from Schoolhouse Road in Guilderland. I haven’t done that ride in two years! The climb is always a bit intimidating but it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting! Love the feeling of seeing that sign when I get to the top.
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Made a quick stop at the Overlook and grabbed a Gatorade from the snack stand.

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I was going to take the same route back down, but after riding out past Thompson’s Lake I was pressed for time. I rode down to Altamont and took Route 20 (Western Ave) back to my car and rode a giant loop.

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There was the longest hill I’ve ever rode down, and quite possibly the scariest, from Old Stage Road to Altamont. I’ll never try that again.

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Total distance 36.5 mi
Time 2 hours, 52 min
Elevation gain 2,015 ft

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Thacher Park Running Festival 10K

Saturday marked the 100 year celebration of John Boyd Thacher State Park. Ever since I was a little kid I have been coming here to walk the Indian Ladder Trail, and it’s still one of my favorite places to get outside in the Capital Region.

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I love going to Thacher for nature walks, trail running, fun trail racing, and even snowshoeing.

With one of the best views in the area, this place can’t be beat.

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This is why I ran the 10K on Saturday. As part of the Centennial Celebration, the Albany Running Exchange put on some trail races: a 5K, a 10K, and even a marathon and a 50K!

The 10K course was a loop that goes along part of the Long Path, a trail that I had never run on there before. I love running new trails and it was nice to see other parts of the park.

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There were even two great lookout spots during the race.

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The 10K was Kristin‘s first trail race! We spent the whole race chatting away and it made the miles fly by. Thankfully both of us stayed upright the whole time. I heard there were a few nasty falls during the day. I have been there before and its not fun! We finished in 1 hour, 14 minutes.

Overall, I really enjoyed the course for this race! Maybe I’ll even find myself running the marathon here in the future.

I really wish I was doing the Hairy Gorilla Half Marathon again this year at Thacher, but it falls on the same day as the Marine Corps Marathon! Speaking of marathon, if you were wondering: yes, I’m still training! Sunday (the day after the 10K) I ran my first 20 miler of my training plan! It went very well and I’m really excited to spend October 26th running around Washington DC for 26.2 miles.

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