Tag Archives: PR

Race Recap: Strawberry Fest 5K

16 Jun

What a busy weekend! It seems like so much time has passed since running in the Strawberry Fest 5K yesterday morning! Before getting some much needed sleep, I wanted to write up a little recap of this event. This was the first year for this 5K and I hadn’t heard anything about it until a friend mentioned it a few weeks ago. I like supporting local charities and businesses, so I couldn’t resist!

It was a pretty small event (144 runners total) and the start and finish line was in the parking lot of a local restaurant. They had to move the course from its original route, but I think they did a decent job of finding another way.

As you saw in this post, I had taken a pretty, ahem, casual approach to running last week, so my personal expectations for this race were low.

Luckily, the weather was beautiful – the sun was out with a nice cool breeze. (Finally!)


Lucky # 99!

Looks like I was decked out in a lot of Brooks apparel!


Representing Boston Strong and #RunChat

For timing, they used an ankle bracelet with some kind of electronic chip in it. I’ve never seen a race timed in this way before and it was a little weird!

photo 1

What does this remind you of?

I started out right in front and almost immediately I felt thirsty. Unfortunately, they didn’t have water available for the runners at the start of the race, so I wasn’t able to take any last minute sips. Big mistake for me.

strawberrystartHere we go!

strawberrystart2I started out with the front of the pack and then found a strong pace for myself. A few people started passing me, but I didn’t let that force me to go faster than I knew I could. I ended up finishing mile 1 in under 7:00 and I felt good. I kept saying to myself, “Just  keep it here.” That worked for a little while until that whole thirsty thing started to hit me and I lost a little steam. I tried to get a sip of water at the water stop, but that’s hard to do when you’re trying to go fast. I struggled a little bit between around mile 2.

BUT…I kicked it in pretty good on the way in….


Finish strong

and I managed a hefty PR of 22:22! And that means 14-year-old me is within my reach!

That time was good enough to land me 4th female, 1st in my age group (21-39), and 18th overall. I won a $15 gift card to Road ID, which I’m very excited about!


Getting my award


Can’t wait to order my Road ID!

One of the neat perks of being a runner in this event was a coupon for a free mini strawberry cheesecake cupcake! I made sure not to miss out on that.


I wish it was full size…

Of course, I had to pick up some fresh strawberries as well. It was a Strawberry Fest after all!



Other swag for runners included a performance tee, water bottle, and bag full of coupons to use locally.

strawberryswagOverall, this was a fun event to take part in. Considering this was the first year they held a 5K, I’d say they did a pretty good job. There were plenty of volunteers, well marked course, police directing traffic at each intersection, fun awards for winners, and a few nice perks for all runners. A few things could be improved on for next year – such as not allowing parking in front of the restaurant where the start/finish was, having water available prior to the race, a more streamlined timing mechanism (it was 2 seconds off at least) and offering other post-race refreshments (bananas, etc), to name a few.

On a final note, I am beyond excited that I am getting closer to my 5K goal! I feel like I know what I have to do to make it happen and I WILL!


Race Recap: Freihofer’s Run for Women 5K

4 Jun

This past Saturday I had the pleasure of running the 35th Freihofer’s Run for Women 5K. This was my first time racing in this very popular and prestigious event. It is hailed to be the “premier women’s 5K in the nation” and features elite and Olympic athletes among thousands of women of varying fitness levels. The race atmosphere is incredibly supportive,  empowering, and inspiring.

The day was hot – it was a humid and sunny 90 degrees (F). For me, that meant I needed to be really attuned to my body to be sure I wasn’t overdoing it. Passing out or puking were not on my list of goals for the day! Throughout all the festivities, race officials emphasized taking care of ourselves due to the heat and ensured there was plenty of water available.

stretch rbb

Time to stretch!

I just have to share this next photo with you. I asked Mark to take a picture of my Boston Strong BIC Band and he got this awesome shot:

profile rbbMy best friend (and maid of honor) Vicki also ran and we got to spend a lot of time hanging out before and after the race. She rocked an awesome PR and I am so happy for her!

nikkivickirbbAs I mentioned, this is a very popular race. Over 5,000 women crossed the finish line! Here we are at the start:

(Source: Times Union)

The course is beautiful and starts in downtown Albany by the Egg and NYS Museum and winds through Washington Park in a nice loop that finishes downhill. Luckily, there were some nice stretches of shade to help diffuse the heat from the sun! Spectators also lined the course, so the cheering never stopped.

As for me, I can honestly say I ran my own race. I kept a strong but conservative pace and checked in with myself regularly. Dousing myself with water at each station definitely helped. For the last .25 mile to the finish, I kicked it into gear and ended up with a neat little PR of 23:12. I felt great!


Heading toward the finish (in a blur!)

(copyright freihofersrun5k)

After finishing, I immediately headed straight to the water truck and let myself get drenched in icy cold water. It was amazing.

There was a camera recording at the finish line from the time winner Emily Chebet of Kenya finished in 15:26 until the very last runner crossed. Check it out! If you fast forward to 8:00, you will see me coming down the middle and crossing the finish line to the right at about 8:06.

In response to the Boston Marathon bombings, security at the event was tight and there was a very visible police presence. Some of the measures presented minor inconveniences, but everything went smoothly and safely.

Another great thing about this event is the swag. A 2-day health and fitness expo featured a lot of goodies, free massages, autographs with Joan Benoit Samuelson, and so on. And like I mentioned before, they gave out cookies and bread with registration.

20130531-215514.jpgAfter the race, there was a whole tent area full of refreshments for runners. I grabbed what I could, but there was even more available! Yes, that’s a whole box of mini donuts…

lootOverall, this race was a wonderful experience and I am so glad I signed up! Hopefully I will be making it an ongoing tradition.

I beat the heat at Freihofer’s!

1 Jun

Just wanted to pop in quick to say I had a wonderful time at the Freihofer’s Run for Women 5K today! Despite the heat and humidity I managed a little PR of 23:12!

Please enjoy this sweaty and soggy post-race photo:

PostFreihofersWMThis was truly a wonderful event with an incredibly supportive atmosphere (and baked goods) and I am so glad I was able to run it. Be on the lookout for a full race recap soon!