Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Race Report: Lake George Half Marathon

Hubby, my sister, and I headed up to Lake George, NY on Friday evening, picked up our race packets, and headed out to dinner. It was the first Lake George Half, so we figured it was going to be a fairly small race. The race numbers were assigned alphabetically. Our last name begins with "W" and we were numbers 345 and 346. Not even 350 people total had registered! Crazy.

After dinner we went back to the hotel and I obsessed over the weather and what to wear. The forecast was for rain and 39 degrees. All week it had been saying rain, but initally it was going to be 60 degrees. We layed out our clothes, set the alarms and went to bed. The best thing about staying up there the night before was that we got up at 7 and walked out of our hotel at 7:50 over to the start. It was raining/freezing rain out and 34 degrees. FREEZING! At least it was uplifting to see that we weren't the only idiots out there!

Since it was a small race, there wasn't any timing chips or any clocks along the course. I had my watch and we kept track of our splits with that. The first mile looped through the parkinglot of Million Dollar Beach at the southern tip of Lake George. This really would have been a pretty course, if it hadn't been for the rain! We then headed up the west side of the lake, just past Diamond Point. It was an out-and-back course with the turn around at about mile 7.

Around mile 4.5, my right hand was just freezing. I looked down and it was purple. I had started out with gloves on, but had taken them off around mile 1.5 when I had warmed up a little. By this time, we were completely soaked so I decided to try the gloves back on again - they were just the litle thin knit ones, so I didn't think they were going to do anything, but they made all the difference.

We knew that this was going to be a tough course - the elevation changed the ENTIRE time - we were running either up or down for the majority of the race. Because of this, we knew that we wouldn't be breaking any PRs, so the three of us decided to stay together the whole race, just stopping around mile 8 so my sister could get the "kink" out of her knee and stretch out her hip/ITB. We carried our hand-held water bottles, filling up just at one of the water stops, but there seemed to be pleanty of water stops available for those who needed them.

All in all, it was a good race. Very well-run for being the inaugural one. Once it becomes more popular and more people are running, it would probably be a good idea to close down the roads - we ran on the shoulder with cones to our left. Most drivers were considerate enough to slow down, but others seemed to have cared less and just sped right past us. I guess that would be my only complaint about the race.

We finished in 2:31 and some change. The post-race food was under a tent and the pizza and garlic knots were AMAZING! We grabbed some food, headed back up to the hotel to shower and warm up, and then left to go home.
The "after picture", AKA the "drowned rats" picture

And of course, by the time we got into the car, the rain had slowed to a slight drizzle, and by the time we arrived back to my parents house an hour later, it was no longer raining. :) Oh well

What I learned:
- Don't obsess about the weather. No amount of worrying will change it, and once you're out there, it's really not that bad
- When you run slow enough, the uphills really don't seem that bad
- There are some big-ass houses up on that Lake!
- Steve's theory on the meaning of a "drowned rat"
- Even though cold+wet = miserable, we still were able to laugh and joke and have fun
- Thighs and bellies turn BRIGHT RED after running in the cold/rain for 2 1/2 hours and stay that way for a couple of hours. I'm talking like worst sunburn ever. Crazy
- I am thankful that it wasn't my first half. I really relied on crowd support through my first few halfs, but now it's kind of peaceful to not have the huge crowds
- Pace makes all the difference. We headed out slow since we knew about all of the hills, and we all finished saying that we felt great!
- I need to sign up for another one....these are getting more and more fun!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Boston Marathon Runners - Hopkinton is ready for you!

We drove through Hopkinton and over the Marathon START line on our way back from our friend's baby's Christening yesterday.

Looking up at the START - the Jeep is right on the START line. The runners would be running toward us on Monday!

Another view of the START line - again, the runners would be running toward us

"WELCOME RUNNERS" sign on the Hopkinton Common (sorry for the poor photo quality, I was talking pictures while we were driving!)

"IT ALL STARTS HERE" Hopkinton sign. Photo is taken from the road, with the START line just to the left. The gazebo in the background is right on the Common.

Spectator Crossing sign on the Common

One of the pained "flying feet" (again a drive-by photo, sorry it's blurry!)

The START line is behind us a few hundred yards. The athlete's village is actually a little walk away from the starting line at Hopkinton High School

Even though we're not able to go in to watch the race this year, it is still very exciting to see all of the prep work. Hubby ran in 2008 and 2009 so it brings back some awesome memories! Good luck to all the runners that will be toeing the line tomorrow morning in Hopkinton!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Who's running Boston???

Check out my newest creations, just in time for the famous Patriots Day Race! I have made two different Boston Marathon Race Bib Scrapbooks and they are both listed for sale on my Etsy site, Laura Elaine Designs (HERE).
Book #1 front cover: Pages with mats for photos and/or journaling: More room for photos and journaling:

Book #2 Cover: Book #2 room for race bib:
Happy running!

Laura Elaine

Monday, April 4, 2011

Guest Blogger

Guess who is the guest blogger at!! Click HERE to go over and check out my post!

Have a good one!

Laura Elaine

Advise needed - half marathon training plan

I knew when we signed up for the Lake George Half Marathon that I had to modify my usual training plan, since we dragged our feet about signing up and it only gave us 8 weeks to train. I made a modified schedule, have already deviated from it, and now am questioning my next move. I have been doing 3 - 4 miles, twice during the week. My long runs so far have looked like this:

4 miles

5 miles

6 miles

7 miles

and I just did 8 miles yesterday.

I have 2 long runs left. For the past four half marathons I've trained for, I've always done 10 miles the week before the race, so I am planning on doing the same this time around. Where I'm stuck is what to do next week. I am thinking fall back to 6, since I really haven't had a fall back week yet, and up one of my weekday runs to 5 this week.

So this week: 5, 3, 3, 6

Next week: 5, 3, 3, 10

Taper week: 3, 3, 2, 13.1


Sunday, April 3, 2011

8 miles in the book!!

Just finished up my 8-miler and I felt GREAT during the whole thing!!!! 8.21 miles in 1:29:49, just under 11-minute pace. I decided during this run that it's sooo much better to go a tad slower (11:00 pace) and feel good during the whole thing, than a little faster (10:30 pace) and struggle, be negative, and not feel so great. The weather was bright sunshine, about 40 degree, and slightly windy, so it was really pretty good - a little chilly in the shade when the wind blew, but overall not too bad. I also RAN up my entire Big Hill (see my previous post here from my 6-miler where Big Hill beat me)!

Hope eveyone has a great Sunday! Enjoy those long runs today!!