Tag Archives: saratoga

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

Breaded Goat Cheese, Gelato and Toga

I need to start coming up with more interesting blog titles! Anyway, this weekend was pretty good! The weather was nice on Saturday, and that was a major plus! I started out Friday night with a delicious dinner with some lovely ladies. After work I headed to the Midtown Tap & Tea Room, one of my favorite places in albany for after work dinner and drinks. The girls and I shared a bottle of delicious Riesling! I started with the Breaded Goat Cheese with Honey and Carmelized Onions. The best. thing. ever. I am IN LOVE with anything goat cheese, and this was the most creamy, delicious goat cheees I’ve had. Yum. And the honey really added to it.

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For my main meal I got a salad:  Pan-Fried Eggplant with Mixed Greens, Tomato, Red Onions, Cucumber, Roasted Red Peppers, Olives, Feta, Homemade Croutons & Lemon Vinaigrette. It was perfect, since after the goat cheese app, I didn’t want to over do it with a bigger meal. I’ve never had eggplant on a salad before, so this was excited to try this. Since eggplant doesn’t have much of taste, it was pretty good fried, nice and crispy, but a little too greasy for my liking. Otherwise, it was a great salad.

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I was actually pretty full by the end of dinner, but we decided that going down to Lark for some gelato at Crisan would be a must for dessert. I got two $2 scoops of gelato: chocolate and chocolate oreo. I swear, I could live off of this gelato. I ate it too fast and didn’t take a picture. My friend and I also shared some flourless chocolate cake with chocolate ganache icing. Baked goods are my downfall. I parked in Washington Park on my way to Crisan, and all the flowers were blooming, so I snapped this picture as I walked through:

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The weather forcast for Saturday was looking great, so my sister and one of my friends decided to go to Saratoga for the day to get lunch and visit the 2010 Adirondack Summer Sports & Fitness Expo.  First, we had lunch at Bailey’s Cafe.  I started with some tea: coconut mango oolong.

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And then ordered the soup and panini combo. A cup of Lobster Bisque Soup, and I probably ate about 3/4 of it. It was SO rich and creamy.

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And then The Congress: Fresh Mozzarella, Roasted Peppers, Spouts, Lettuce& Tomato with Pesto Herb Mayo. A delicious toasted sandwich filled with so many great veggies! And the bread was super tasty and crisped just right. So good! It came with chips and I was pretty full so I didn’t eat them.

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I really enjoyed eating at this little cafe, and we got to sit outside in the sunshine. For some reason, eating outside when the sun is shining makes everything better!

After lunch, we headed down to the Expo, which I was looking forward to. But after wandering around for about 30 minutes, and stopping at the booths, I realized it was kind of a let down. I was hoping to see more demos and workout gear. There was only 1 station with hiking supplies, a couple of stations with bikes, and a few for canoes/kayaks. The only running stations were the ones advertising running groups and upcoming races. Mostly people just wanted to sell you things, rather than inform you about the upcoming events. It was rather disappointing. Needless to say, I didn’t buy anything. But we did attend a seminar! The coach of the Saratoga’s running club gave an hour presentation on “how to get faster” and it was pretty fascinating.

Some of his tips included:

  • Make sure you start with a basic mileage of 20 miles a week (I just got to this mileage this past week)
  • Include one long distance slow run into your workout routine, anywhere between 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minute long run.
  • Work in hill workouts and tempo runs into your routine
  • Speedwork (the most confusing of all to me), and the most important if you want to be a faster runner.
  • RUN FAST!

The weather was wonderful when we left Saratoga, so when I got home I headed straight for my bike! I biked my good old loop 8 miles around my house. AND I made up the monster hill without getting off! Yes!! The ride is so scenic. And there are lots of trees.

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Overall, I’d say it was a good weekend! This Sunday is my birthday, so expect a birthday related post to come soon!

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Filed under Food, Restaurant Reviews, Travel