Tuesday Topics: Hannaford Half Marathon

By | October 14, 2019

13.Done. Spoiler: I finished

Linking up with Zenaida and Chicago Marathoner! Kim to talk about Sunday’s Hannaford Half Marathon. I’ll do a double up Weekly Run Down next Sunday as I haven’t even started it.

Recognize the shirt? No, not the race shirt, which was also pretty awesome. My finish shirt. Yep, that’s the shirt from my first ever race. Besides being adorable, it has turn into a little bit of a crutch and might be a marathon shirt.

Rewinding a bit. With family in Albany, this race had been on my radar for some time. My brother actually ran the full some years ago. This year it happened to coincide with my nephew’s birthday party and thanks to a little bib swap magic courtesy of an injured friend of Darlene’s, I was able to run it this year.


it’s even prettier live

First, I have to say the race shirt is one of my favorites. It’s so soft. Perfect recovery shirt, although I never did get a photo wearing it. It & my bib were waiting for me on arrival in Albany thanks to one of my local sherpas.

This was an interesting trial race in a number of ways: namely being outside my environment. I am very much a creature of habit, but I know that isn’t going to fly on November 3 with the later than normal start. This week’s chapter: being out of my own environment. Before every half marathon and most long training runs I’ve eaten the same dinner, avocado toast. Being at someone else’s home, I couldn’t. I decided to eat smartly, but normally. I’m not sure where the (not my) birthday cupcake fit into that. Otherwise, tortilla chips, salsa, guacamole and mom’s chicken cutlets. Not ideal, but not bad and no ill effect on Sunday morning.

In addition to forgetting to pack a small Ziplock of my Science in Sport, I forgot to freeze my water bottle the night before. Given how chilly it was at the start, not freezing my hand was a good plan.

on her turf instead of mine for once

My original plan was to run to the race’s start shuttle from my brother’s house, but he decided to drive me. It was easy enough to find a trail to run down for a few warm up miles, even though I wasn’t too stressed about not getting in the five necessary to bring me to 18 on the day. As I was running back toward the start I circled back as I saw a woman wearing Skirt Sports and we chatted briefly. As she knew Darlene she was able to tell me where I could find her so that we could get this photo before heading toward the start.

During the Race:

peekaboo Hudson!

My brother and Darlene told me about segments of the race, so I knew to expect the Watervliet Arsenal, and then the Hudson at about mile nine. Beyond that, I didn’t really know much and I kind of loved running into the unknown. I listened to one episode of Running Rogue before going to music to get me through the dead zones.

The first miles were through the park and onto the trail I’d warmed up on before we hit the streets of Cohoes and Watervliet. I have to say, my favorite thing about this race was the course marshals and water station volunteers. Everyone was so upbeat and when we’d thank them for being out there, they’d thank us for running. It was an awesome environment. Personal favorites: The Team in Training water station and inspiration, the water bottle table outside a fire station and an older person sitting at a small table with tissues, paper towel and vaseline. I wasn’t chafing,  but the tissue came in handy for a runny nose.

As I mentioned last week, my tongue and electrolyte tablets are going through a break up. This made water stations easy. I took a cup at the first few water stations and as I felt myself getting dry due to the cool air, I took the offered water bottle at the fire station and then filled that from cups at subsequent water stations until I tossed it at about mile twelve.

The Finish:

all smiles hearing my name. Thanks, Heidi!

and Judy!

After re-joining the bike path, we followed the Hudson for the next few miles. At about mile twelve and a half or so, we came into some amazing crowds.

I knew Mom & Bob planned to get there if they could get there, and Judy had texted me that she’d be somewhere near the finish. She ended up getting the second photo above and one more great photo of me on the run. It was so awesome to hear her and some of the Albany runners call my name. I wished I’d been able to linger longer and meet/see them. Cheer Squads are the best.

I was able to find mom & Bob easily (can’t miss 6’4) and we quickly headed back to the house for the rest of the birthday festivities.

Other thoughts:

I really enjoyed this race and would do it again if schedule stars aligned. Although it wasn’t as gorgeous as I’d hoped – late changing leaves all around – it was a pretty course along the bike paths.

I was glad for the chance to try my Lioness Capri on a longer run. It was OK up to 13, but I’ll be doing Lotta Breeze if it’s not Cascade weather in November. I thought I overdressed for this race based on the other runners, but I was comfortable even in the long sleeves until about mile eleven. I’m just not (yet?) an arm sleeve person.

Training has made me a bad racer:

  • When people asked me, I said this was my sixth half marathon. I didn’t realize until late afternoon on Monday that it was my seventh: Lebow x 2, Lauderdale x 2, Brooklyn, NYC.
  • I know my Half Marathon PR, but not the other times. I had no frame of reference for where this race fell, although I was only ever running it as a training run. My only goal was not to get hurt, and while I was sore today, it was manageable.
  • I picked the belt based on the one I used a few weeks ago that fit my phone & gels. This is not the belt that has bib toggles, so I was left pinning it to my Skirt. Must fix this before November 3.


24 thoughts on “Tuesday Topics: Hannaford Half Marathon

  1. Liz Dexter

    Great work, well done! I was quite blase about Liverpool RnR marathon because it was “just a training run” so I get that! And well done for fulfilling your aims and you got great pics, too. Now time to get lots of SLEEP!

    1. cari Post author

      I set my alarm for 9 today. I was up at 715. Again. Running has involuntarily turned me into a morning person

  2. kookyrunner

    Awesome job Cari and congrats on another half marathon finish! I love that you were able to fit this race into your schedule as a long run and meet up with Darlene and Judy too.

    1. cari Post author

      Me too. I think the other benefit was somewhere new to run. I just needed a change of scenery

  3. Darlene

    Ha Ha. I felt like I was there.

    Glad you enjoyed. Welcome to my world for a change. Hope you come again.

    My friends said you looked strong at the finish. I waited and then walked toward them and missed you going by. Judy said you had to rush off so I didn’t go back to find you.

    See you soon!!!!.

    1. cari Post author

      I was so happy to see them. Sorry to miss you, but yeah we needed to leave and I really needed a shower before that. Two weeks. Eek!

  4. Chocolaterunsjudy

    Really? You liked the race shirt? It wouldn’t have moved me. I have never done it. Never plan to do it. Run there too often. I was also kind of aghast you had to run up the hill in the park at the beginning — although better the beginning than the end (it’s the loop we do during FTC training).

    I didn’t realize that you also put in extra miles beforehand.

    Cupcake = carbs. No worries there (unless your stomach rebels, which obviously it didn’t).

    You definitely ran strong — congrats!

    Unfortunately, like I said, I probably will not be around at Thanksgiving. Boo. 🙁

    1. cari Post author

      It’s not a good run shirt, but it’s a perfect lounging around one. Super soft.
      I feel you on that. Although I’m willing to pay to run where I often do – Central Park – I’m definitely more choosy about where I’m willing to pay to run.
      I was supposed to put in five. It didn’t happen, but I was good with the overall effort
      Ic an get on board with that cupcake justification. Was surprised it was OK — I still have no idea what lunch will be the Saturday before the marathon. I went back to avocado last night
      Thanks for being cheer squad

      1. Chocolaterunsjudy

        Central Park is beautiful, and so many different areas to run in. The bike path is nice, but once you’ve run there hundreds of times . . .

        Lunch the saturday before the marathon should be whatever lunch was the day before your long runs. You have the benefit of living where you’ll be racing.

        I’m always traveling, so lunch & dinner can be a crap shoot, but luckily I have a pretty good stomach.

        1. cari Post author

          Yes… but when you run CP almost every week – or in my case this fall, the lighthouse 3x in a month – you need a change. New to one person is someone else’s old hat.
          Unfortunately I can’t do the same lunch. Friday before long runs is poke. I’m not coming to Times Square on the Saturday before the marathon, but I’ll figure out something.
          I was pleasantly surprised my stomach was fine on chicken cutlets. I’d almost do that for a lunch but I won’t be home first to scavenge them. First world non cook problems

          1. Chocolaterunsjudy

            Can you get poke delivered? Seriously, you can get everything delivered in NYC. Surprisingly you can get a lot delivered here, too. Poke sounds like a good thing to eat — protein + carbs, not too many veggies or too much fat. Has to be a reputable source, though, of course.

            1. cari Post author

              My place doesn’t deliver, and I’m not trying a new one
              It’s going to be a weird effort for sure

          2. Chocolaterunsjudy

            I agree, the same routes get old. I have the choice of running in my neighborhood, 2 parks, and the bikepath you ran on (but in a different location) for the most part. There are other places to run, but they’re further away so I don’t run there as much.

            I did discover that the bike path goes on much further than I realized (also, not the part you ran on).

            1. cari Post author

              I too wondered how far the bike path went. Shorewalkers have mapped a contiguous route from the Battery to Bear Mountain, but I know it goes further north into Putnam/Orange. Would be one hell of a walk

  5. Deborah Brooks

    Sounds like you ran a strong race and it was great training for NYC. Always fun to meet up with running friends at a destination race. Congrats!

    1. cari Post author

      Yes! It felt like home at the finish. Or even more to be honest — I don’t have cheer squads here as friends are usualyl running

  6. Kim at Running on the Fly

    Great job, Cari! Somehow, this was off my radar that you were racing this weekend…glad it went well! I’m still a bit undecided on a race belt for MCM…my “new” iPhone (that I’ve had since the spring, but it’s never done 26.2 miles with me) is too big for my preferred belt. Not a crisis, by any means, but a small detail that needs to be finalized in the next 12 days 😉

    1. cari Post author

      Thanks! It was kind of last minute. Had to wait for my brother and sister in law to set my nephew’s party weekend and then I had to get a bib. I might not actually have posted about it.
      I brought the alt belt with the toggles today but in my “run and wake up halfway into the run” stupor, do you think I remembered to try the phone? Nope, it stayed in the locker. Oops. Hope you’ve landed on a belt.

  7. Zenaida Arroyo

    Awesome job, Cari!! I also love shirts that are soft and comfortable. I have 3 that I kept instead of giving them away because they are soft.

    1. cari Post author

      Thank you!
      This one is definitely a keeper. Wanted to wear it again today but not enough to empty & put away laundry

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