Monday, February 23, 2009
Albany Winter Marathon --Feb 22, 2009
after the race --homemade bread and peanut butter
After race --inside the gym..
Sleet, snow and rain and a forecast of 5-8 inches of snow did not deter Rob, Frank and I from running the Albany winter marathon --a low key loop course on the campus of Suny Albany, about 2 1/2 hours away. Anthony P. was going to come with us, but since he had run the Rocky Racoon 100 miler only 2 weeks ago, the forecast gave him a reason to back out. (Plus, he has Caumsett Park 50K next sunday --me too, I think).
Saturday the 21rst was beautiful --low 40s and sunny!! But the forecast for Sunday called for anywhere from 1 to 6 inches in the Albany area, and maybe here 2 inches. So on Saturday we all e-mailed each other and had plan A, which was for me to pick up Rob (his sports car does not drive in snow) and Frank and go...or to bag the Albany road trip and run the Cherry Tree 10 miler instead. We agreed that we would wake up Sunday at 6 and see what it looked like outside. The weather advisory for Albany did not look great!!! Well, woke up Sunday to dry weather, so it was a go. We got up to about Kingston at 8:30 a.m. and it started snowing hard. 'Should we turn around?' ws the mantra in the car. No way did we want to run for 4 hours in a snowstorm...Frank even suggested turning around and taking 84 to lake waramug for the Polar bear run --(only 7 miles:).. Then, miraculously, it stopped snowing. We got to campus around 9:30, registered, and left our bags in the warm gym to go out to the start. It was snowing lightly. As I was still tired from the Florida miles and the consistent hill training this week, I elected to try for a 8:45-9 min pace.
This course is a test of one's mental strength as it's 4 loops of the campus.
In fact, one might say that it is one of the more boring courses around --BUT as ultrarunners we are used to loops; need to get used to loops; and it was even fun to see all the runners on the out and back portion and 'fun' to be passed by all the fast guys!! We did finish in 3:39 (Frank, who ran the first 20 miles at an 8 minute pace); Rob (3:47) and me (3:53)...maybe it was the weather or my stiffer new Balance shoes or the pavement I've been running on, but felt pretty up...my quads never relaxed and my hamstrings hurt the whole time!! I was pleased that, when I reached 20 miles, was able to crank up the pace and passed 5 women. This was all of our first long race of the year, so I thought of it as an ultra -haha. In fact, the womens' winner finished with Frank, so I ended up coming third even with that slow time.
After the race, we changed, took showers, had some hot chocolate and got finishers' certificates --we had to wait around for mine and Frank kept joking that I was so slow that we'd have to leave without it:)
We then wet out to a quick late lunch at the Albany pump house down the street.
Light snow on the thruway quickly turned into real snow -arghhh. I have to say that the Toyota 4-runner drives well in the snow, and I was happy to have that 4 wheel drive when we hit the Taconic and the snow was coming down. Then, it turned to rain..
what a weather day. I am exhausted just writing about the weather. And today it is sunny again. bu windy and cold --almost worse than yesterday! I need to make a decision about the 50K on Sunday, but will probably go ahead and run it --too bad the
25K AND the NYRRC 5K are both on the same day:(