Category Archives: Races

2010 Boilermaker 15K

Wow, I’m finally home, showered, and extremely exhausted! But I feel amazing. 🙂

Today I accomplished one of the greatest things in my life…running in and completing my first 15K road race! The Utica Boilermaker! As of today, 9.3 (9.5?) miles is officially the furthest distance I’ve run at one time. And I’m so proud of myself and how far I’ve come. Less than two years ago I was overweight and out of shape and never would have in a million years thought I would be running in a 9.3 mile race. This just goes to show that you can do anything, if you put your mind to it. I’m living proof.

The morning started out early, and I mean early. I got up at three am to drive to Utica with Chris, since packet pickup started at 6am and it takes almost 2 hours to get to Utica from Albany. So, we were up at the crack of dawn (way before dawn, actually) and took the roadtrip to Utica.

I ate breakfast in the car on the way at about 4AM…a bagel thin with Justin’s Maple Almond Butter and Chia seeds sprinkled on top…but this didn’t really hold me over for very long. After stopping at a Dunkin Donuts for some coffee and iced tea, we went to the packet pick up to get our bibs. We ended up parking at the start line since roads were closing at 6AM, so we wouldn’t be able to drive to the finish, which turned out okay.

I got my gear ready at the car and then headed to hang out at the starting area and ate a Clif Z Bar since I was starving!

Chris is making his cute debu on my blog!

After waiting around with the other 13,000 runners, eventually we made it to the start line at 8AM.

We actually didn’t  even get to line up on the road; we were stuck on the grass and didn’t even start running until 10 minutes after gun went off! Thank god for my Garmin. 😉

Until we started running I was kind of in denial that I would be running over 9 miles on this lovely morning. I ran pretty slow to start, because I didn’t want to burn up all my energy, and I knew I would be needing it in those last few miles. My goal for the race was to finish, even if I had to walk, because I feared I might be a little bit weak due to the cold I had this week. I also didn’t know how not running this past week would affect the race.

I felt pretty good the first four miles, and the crowd was awesome! I’ve never ran such a fun race! There was so much support and music! After mile four, the hills came, and that’s what killed me! But I made it. I was just running in the zone for most of the time, glancing at my watch now and then and talking to Chris so I could make it through!

I also stopped at most of the water stops and walked through them after mile five, just to sort of re-charge so I could keep running. At times I felt like stopping to walk, but I pushed through! It was so hard!

9.3 miles and 1 hour and 39 minutes later, Chris and I crossed the finish line, holding hands! He had pulled me along at the end of the race and if it wasn’t for him I probably would have started walking. 🙂

Official Race Stats
Place – 8,714 out of 11,524
Chip Time – 1:39:00
Pace – 10:38
Place in age group – 645 out of 932

Garmin Stats
Total Distance – 9.5 miles
Total Elapsed Time – 1:39:18
Average Pace – 10:27
Average Speed – 5.7 mph
Calories Burned – 1,126

Mile 1 – 10:44
Mile 2 – 10:30
Mile 3 – 10:25
Mile 4 – 11:27 <–Hill of death
Mile 5 – 9:10 <–Downhill with a gorgeous view!
Mile 6 – 9:55 <– More downhill
Mile 7 – 10:56 <–Starting to feel the pain
Mile 8 – 10:20 <–Pushing thru the pain
Mile 9 – 10:58 <–dying
Mile 9.5 – 4:42

After finishing, we found water, and some orange slices and Chris and I shared a coconut water that I had been carrying in my Camelback.

After resting in the grass for a few minutes and stretching my legs, which were in a lot of pain by the way, we made our way to the post-race party at the Saranac Brewery. There were so many people, it was pretty hard to navigate our way around. We did find our way to the beer table though! The Boilermaker is not complete with out Saranac! 🙂

Chris drank the beer, but I didn’t have any, since I don’t think  I could stomach it after running for so long! What a trooper. 🙂

We ditched the post-race party after getting the beer and headed to the shuttles to get the bus back to the parking lot. The buses came really quick, which I was pretty happy about.

On the way back I munched on the fruit salad we got for free, and also drank some Poweraid.

We also made a pit stop to Starbucks on the way back, where I got a refreshing iced green tea! Mmm!

We got back to Albany in time to get lunch and watch the World Cup! I was having a serious craving for pizza, so I got a couple of slices at SoHo. 🙂 Tomato, spinach and ricotta and Veggie!

I ate all but the crust on the first piece, and about 3/4 of the second piece. Such a satisfying lunch after a long but satisfying morning. 🙂

Well, I have a huge blister on my left foot, aching legs, and I’m about to fall asleep at my laptop, but I can safely say I accomplished something big today. My first 15K! 🙂



Filed under Boilermaker, Race Re-Cap, Races, Running

Bring on the Boilermaker

Okay, I guess if I’m not ready by now, I won’t ever be ready! I have all of my stuff packed for Utica and made a checklist of things to bring:

  • Running top
  • Running shorts
  • Sneakers
  • Socks
  • Sportsbra
  • Headphones
  • Ipod
  • Ipod armband
  • Spibelt
  • Camera
  • Maps/Directions
  • Energy gels/bloks
  • Peanut Butter and Bagel (for breakfast)
  • Coconut water
  • Clif Z Bars (for snack)
  • Cold meds
  • Tissues
  • Camelback (I think I’m going to wear it, just to keep my tissues in it because I may have to blow my nose a million times during the race…eww.)
  • A fan (for sleeping comfortably!)

I think that may be it..besides general toiletries and such.

Breakfast this morning was a protein breakfast cookie!!!

In it was: 1/2 cup of raw oats, 1/2 mashed banana, 1/2 scoop of brown rice chocolate protein powder, 1/2 tsp of maca powder, 1 tbsp of almond butter, 2 tbsps of almond milk, and a sprinkle of chocolate chips. The flavor of the protein powder kind of took over the cookie, but other than that it was still pretty good. I need to find a better non-whey, non-soy protein powder that won’t cost me an arm and a leg.

I haven’t been too hungry lately, probably because I haven’t been exercising this week because of my cold, but for snack I had a raspberry Chobani with some chia seeds sprinkled in.

Lunch consisted of more carbs! Pancakes! Whole wheat banana, chocolate chip pecan pancakes to be exact! So good! But a little bit on the sweet side, even for me!

Dinner will probably be some cold cereal, or something light like that.

I will leave you with some funny pictures of my weirdo cat. How weird is he?

Okay, I’m off, wish me luck! 🙂


Filed under Boilermaker, Food, Races, Running

Still Fighting that Cold

Well, I am now day three into my cold. I think I may be getting a bit better, or it might just be the cold medicine I’ve been taking. I made a dumb decision last night and ran two miles  in 23 minutes on the treadmill, even though I felt a little bit better… I probably should have just lied in bed instead. What I want to know is how I got so sick! I haven’t gotten a cold this bad in almost two years…why all of a sudden am I getting sick the week of my longest race? It’s not fair.

While I was resting up last night I watched a documentary called The Spirit of the Marathon.


Being a runner, I thought it was a very moving film. And honestly, I cried at the end! Anyone interested in running should watch this documentary! Anyone who can complete a marathon is seriously inspiring. It was also rather fitting that I watched that last night because yesterday I signed up for my first Half Marathon! On October 10, 2010 I will be running (or attempting to run) 13.1 miles in the Mohawk Hudson River Half Marathon. Woohoo! 🙂

But anyway, since I’ve been sick, I haven’t been up to taking pictures of my food…but this morning I had a delicious (well I think it was delicious, I can’t really taste anything) bowl of oats. In my my bowl this morning: 1/2 cup of oats, 1 tbsp of MaraNatha Almond Butter, 1 mashed banana, and a sprinkle of chocolate chips. I think this may be my new favorite Almond Butter! Here’s a stock photo.

I figured soup for lunch might make me feel better, so I had Amy’s Organic Tomato Bisque, despite the 90 degree heat wave we’ve been having this week.

amy's tomato soup from google image search

image from google image search

I also made some more honey lemon tea. My snack this afternoon will be a Clif Z Bar that I have yet to try! I will let you know what I think about it in my next post!

My plans for tonight: skipping my five mile run for some rest and possibly doing a light yoga workout.


Filed under Boilermaker, Food, MHR Half Marathon, Movies, Races, Running, Training

Fourth of July 2010 – Part 2: Firecracker 4

After Saturday’s pig roast, Sunday Chris and I were all set to run in the Firecracker 4, a four mile race in Saratoga Springs. So far, this race has been my longest! I ran the Workforce Team Challenge back in May, which was 3.5 miles. I was thinking that four miles would be a breeze. 🙂

After picking up our packets and bringing them back to the car, we headed to where the start line was, right on one of the main roads in Saratoga. There were so many people running this race!

I thought it was kind of funny that there were even mascots running this race! It was really hot out too, so they must have been dying in those costumes! There was a gorilla, a deer, a bear, and a dog.

At 8:00AM the race was set to start! My goal for this race: to have fun! There were also supposed to be bands set up throughout the course, which is always awesome. I wasn’t too worried about being fast for this race, I just wanted to have a good time. I even got out my camera and tried to take some photos of the course.

It’s a bit blurry, but it’s rather hard to take decent pictures while running. 😉 This was at the very beginning, right before the first hill.

Eventually I caught up to the bear! I can’t believe he was running faster than me in that costume! It must have been wicked.

The course ran through a residential area of Saratoga, and there were lots of people cheering on the side of the streets. One guy even had his hose out for a misting station!

I felt really good throughout the entire run. I didn’t really push myself until about the last mile. Right before the end there was another hill, and I just forced myself to run up it really fast. Chris went ahead of me after mile three.

Soon the finish line was upon me! It came up really quick! According to my Garmin, I finished in 37 minutes and 59 seconds!

Chris came in ahead of me in 36 minutes! 🙂

My official race time: 38 minutes and 17 seconds
Place: 808 out of 1,344

Garmin Stats:
Total distance: 4.09 miles
Total Elapsed Time: 37 minutes and 59 seconds
Average Pace: 9:17
Average Speed: 6.5 mph
Calories Burned: 483

Negative Splits!
Mile 1: 9:58
Mile 2: 9:29
Mile 3: 8:58
Mile 4: 8:54
Mile .09: 39 seconds

After cooling down and drinking about two bottles of ice cold water, I re-fueled with an orange slice and half of a bagel smeared with peanut butter! Mmm.

Chris and I changed out of our sweaty shirts back at the car and then walked around Saratoga for a little bit! I love Saratoga, it’s such a nice place with so many nice restaurants and shops.

We stopped to check out Four Seasons Natural Foods to see what they had. It was pretty much just like a mini co-op. I ended up getting some more coconut water and a frozen fruit bar to snack on while we walked around!

Before we left Saratoga, we stopped at the Putnam Market so I could get a salad for lunch to go.

I ordered the Chevre, Roasted Red Peppers, & Pine Nuts on Mixed Greens , but they didn’t have pine nuts, so I had them put on walnuts instead.

When we got back to Albany, we stopped at Moe’s so Chris could get a burrito for lunch. He ate his burrito and I had my salad!

The salad was really good, but definitely not worth the $9.00 price tag. There should have been way more veggies in it for that price!

Anyway, right next door to Moe’s is my favorite ice cream place, Emack & Bolios. Since it was the Fourth of July after all, I had to go in and get some frozen yogurt! I ordered the low fat black raspberry chip! Yum! You really cannot go wrong with Emack & Bolios.

After lunch we headed back to Chris’ place and just had a relaxing day, watching movies and hanging out. For dinner, we were both craving pizza! Chris had been wanting to try Pizzeria Inferno, so we decided to order the California Classic. It had tons of veggies, including: tomatoes, spinach, red peppers, artichokes, red onions, and basil.

This was the best pizza I’ve had in a while! It was so flavorful and had tons of delicious veggies on it. I’m craving it right now!

But the Fourth of July isn’t complete without fireworks. Since we were in Albany we had the perfect view of the Empire State Plaza fireworks show!

The fireworks were an awesome ending to a fantastic Fourth of July Weekend. I couldn’t ask for more! 😀

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Filed under Events, Firecracker 4, Race Re-Cap, Races, Restaurant Reviews, Running

Run for Pride 5K

Good morning! This morning I got up bright an early to head into Washington Park to register for the Run for Pride 5k! It is pride week in the Capital Region, and they have a 5K that Chris and I decided to run together. It was our first race that we’ve run together so far! But before I get into that, lets rewind to breakfast.

I got up at around 7:30 and had a bagel thin with some Justin’s Almond Butter. It came from one of those cute portable squeeze packs!

I also topped one side with half a banana and some blueberry jam.

I think this may be my go-to pre-race breakfast from now on, since I haven’t been having any problems with it! 🙂

Chris and I then headed to the park to register for the race, since we didn’t pre-register. We had no idea what the course would look like or how many people would be running in it. It turns out it was only 2 loops inside the park and only 100 or so people were running. It was the smallest race I’ve ever ran!

We went to the starting line at 9:00 am sharp! Since it was the Pride 5K, the start  was a cute rainbow arch!

There was rain in the forecast for this morning, and the skies were looking pretty gloomy, so we were hoping the rain would hold off…it did…until about half way through the run! It wasn’t too bad though. I had never run in the rain before! It kind of felt good! I started out pretty fast. Chris and I ran about a mile together and then I had to slow down some since I could feel myself burning out. So he ran ahead and I stayed little bit back at a 9:00/mile. Eventually I started running faster and kept my pace at about 8:30. I had pushed my Garmin’s start button right as I crossed the starting line, and pushed stop right as I crossed the finish line and the total distance came to 3.07! I finished in 26:10. But it wasn’t a complete 5K, so I don’t know whether to count this as a PR? It was the fastest I’ve ran in a race, and if I kept going until 3.1 I probably would have still came in under 27 minutes. So I’m not sure about that. I think the course must have been off? Chris finished way ahead of me in 24 minutes..which was so awesome! t was his first 5K!! (But not his first race, he has run a half marathon!) At the end we were wet from the rain and tired but it was fun to run together! 😀

Garmin Stats:

  • Total Distance: 3.07
  • Time: 26 minutes and 10 seconds
  • Average Pace: 8:31/mile
  • Average Speed: 8.7 mph
  • Calories Burned: 364


  • Mile 1 – 8:22
  • Mile 2 – 8:41
  • Mile 3 – 8:35
  • Mile .07 – :33

Our reward for running the 5K was pancakes! When Chris was in Vermont he got me some pancake mix so I made us some blueberry pecan flax pancakes!

I just threw some flaxmeal into the dry mix and then added water, blueberries and chopped pecans!

They came out great! We actually cooked them in a wok since we didn’t have a flat pan, but they still tasted wonderful. I topped mine with more blueberries and some jam. 🙂 The pecans gave them a nice crunch too. We each had two pancakes.

Well, tonight I’m going out to dinner with my cousin that I haven’t seen in a couple weeks so I’m pretty excited about that! We’ll probably end up going somewhere around Lark Street…decisions, decisions. I see some wine and Crisan in my near future. Hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend!

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Filed under Baking, Race Re-Cap, Races, Run for Pride 5K, Running

Portabella Burger Baby

Happy Friday! 🙂 It’s my favorite day of the week! I had one of my favorite meals for dinner tonight. A portabella burger. Yum! But more on that in a bit.

Last night I had a tempo run scheduled, so I headed to the gym for that. I ran 5 miles in about 52 minutes. And I had kind of a hard time. For the first two miles my stomach felt like a rock! I have no idea why…I ate a lot of fruit during the day, including pineapple. Maybe that’s why? I love pineapple, but sometimes it doesn’t agree with me! I did a one mile warm up, and three miles at about 9:30 pace. I slowed down a little bit because I wasn’t feeling too hot, but eventually felt better and went back down to 9:30. Then I cooled down at a slow jog for a mile with some walking breaks. It was kind of tough.

I came home to rehydrate with this! I’ve been wanting to try coconut water for a while! It was tasty. I got this flavor and the regular flavor.

I’m skipping over dinner since it was boring and I don’t want to make this post super long.

Anyway, this morning for breakfast I had a whole wheat bagel thin with almond butter, 1/2 a banana, and sweet cherry butter and some grapes on the side. Delish! I love bagel thins. Sometimes they have me yearning for the real thing. I can’t remember the last time I had a real bagel. 😦

Lunch was pretty healthy too. I had some blueberry Chobani!

Also, some veggie soup and a spinach and arugula salad with sun dried tomato hummus! I also threw in some carrots and cherry tomatoes. I got my fill of veggies! I’m just posting the salad because the soup didn’t look that great in the photo!

I may have also eaten a few mini strawberry crumble bars and a couple of brownie bites at work today too. One of my co-workers is an amazing baker and brings in delicious baked goods to share. These are my complete and utter downfall!! I’m trying really hard to resist eating these things, but most of the time my desire wins. I’ve been really struggling lately. I didn’t go overboard and eat tons of them, but I had 2 of each and they were delicious. I almost immediately regret eating them too, which is really hard for me to overcome. Can I justify these indulgences because I work out so much? I don’t know.

Anyway, I’m using today as a rest day so I didn’t go to the gym tonight. (Who wants to go to the gym on a Friday night, anyway? Not me!) I came home and made a delicious portabella burger. I LOVE portabella mushrooms! They are so tasty and make a great “burger”.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Sandwich Thin (I use whole wheat Arnold sandwich thins)
  • Spreadable goat cheese
  • A few leaves of baby spinach (or other leafy green)
  • 1 portabella mushroom cap, stem removed
  • Any spice you wish (I use salad spice and oregano)
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil


  1. Clean off mushroom cap with a wet paper towl (I read somewhere that you should do this instead of rinsing with water)
  2. Throw in heated pan with olive oil and spices

  1. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side (they don’t take long to cook at all!)
  2. Spread goat cheese on 1 side of sandwich thin
  3. Top portabella mushroom with spinach leaves and put between sandwich thins.
  4. Enjoy!!

This is one of the easiest and healthiest recipes I know. I love it! I usually toast my sandwich thins too so its all warm and gooey. So yummy and healthy too. 🙂 I had a side of quinoa salad and dessert was some almonds and a couple of squares of dark chocolate. MMM…

In race news, tomorrow morning I may be running in the Pride 5K Run in Washington Park! I’m not registered yet but Chris and I are going to wait to see what the weather is in the morning and then decide if we should go and register! I hope they are taking day-of registrations!! It seems like it would be a really fun race! And I get to finally run a race with someone who runs almost the same pace as me. He might leave me in the dust though, so who knows! 😉

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Filed under Cooking, Food, Races, Recipes, Running, Training


Wow it’s pretty crappy outside. The weather is pretty reminiscent of the Missing Summer of 2009. I hope the month of May wasn’t too good to be true!

Breakfast this morning was a yummy mixture of Special K Protein and Kashi H2H with some flaxmeal and soy milk. I also had a cup of green tea. I’m trying to figure out what types of breakfast foods will keep me fuller for longer, since lately I’ve been physically hungry on my drive into work and when I get there. I can’t figure out what the deal is! I’ve even tried drinking a glass of water and that doesn’t seem to help. The foods I eat for breakfast contain a good amount of fiber and protein so I don’t know what is causing my hunger. I don’t want eat a breakfast of pancakes or an omelet just to be satisfied! That takes up way too much time in the morning!  Tomorrow I’m going to make an egg-in-a-mug sandwich and see if that helps.

Today was one of those hungry days where I just felt hungry all day! I had a pretty decent sized lunch too.

Some pomegranate Chobani. Here’s a stock photo since I forgot to take a picture.

Some quinoa salad.

A delicious PBJ with maple peanut butter and home-made strawberry jam. I’ve been loving PBJs lately. I also ate my last energy bar! Although it looks like a hunk of cookie dough in the picture.

A side of fresh blueberries.

And an unpictured apple.

Today I also signed up to take a two hour yoga class next weekend! And the bonus: it’s outside on a beautiful farm and you get breakfast included in the price! I’m so excited! I’ve never taken an actual yoga class before.

I’ve also updated my races page with some upcoming races I plan on running this year. My goal is to run at least 10 races in 2010! I think I can do it. I’ve also been thinking about some other goals for this summer and the rest of the year:

  • Do some trail running
  • Go hiking in the Adirondacks
  • Go camping at least once!
  • Take some yoga classes
  • Go to more farmer’s markets and eat local food
  • Try a few new local restaurants
  • Be more creative in the kitchen
  • Cut back on eating sweets (like chocolate!)
  • Travel and take at least 1 mini vacation this summer

Today after work Marcie and I were supposed to go running together on some trails, but since the weather sucks, we went to my gym for a quick workout. I ran 3.1 miles in 29:32. I did some intervals while I was running just to get in more of a workout. It worked! I was tired by the end.

After the gym I headed home for some dinner. I made a quick spinach and arugula salad with carrots, beans and goat cheese. It was pretty tasty. I also had some more quinoa salad, since I have so much of it. I also had some pineapple and a few pieces of dark chocolate for dessert. (UH…I need to follow my own goals and limit my chocolate consumption.)

Now I’m pretty tired, so I think I’m going to relax and read. Have a nice night!

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Filed under Events, Fitness, Food, Goals, Races, Running, Yoga