Saratoga Palio Half Marathon

When I woke up Sunday morning to a breezy freezing 41 degrees, I was worried about this race. I’m relatively certain that it did not touch 41 degrees  in Charleston once last year. I had big plans for my race day outfit, so I was feeling pretty bummed that I might not be able to wear it. I actually had no idea what to wear since I don’t run in weather that cold very often. It was quite the dilemma.

I finally decided on my outfit (but brought an additional option or 10), I layered on sweatpants and a long sleeve then prayed for warmth. After a Dunkin Donut pit stop for a white bagel toasted without cream cheese – my race breakfast of choice – we headed downtown for the race. I decided to brave the cold and flaunt my new running skirt (the blue and sparkly project):

Why is my face blurred? Because my husband has a gift for snapping the camera the second I blink my eyes which makes for highly unattractive photos. Do we take several just in case? No. One shot, one kill (as he would say).

Millie wanted to wear her skirt to the race too, but her daddy didn’t want to take her. I guess he was worried all of the teenage boy dogs would check her out.

At 8:00, the 5k participants lined up and were off. The half marathon started around 8:15 and the sun had started to warm the air nicely.

Mile 1 to about mile 2.5 consisted of a nice little incline as we ran up Broadway to Skidmore College. Normally it wouldn’t bother me, but I didn’t really warm up much, so it was a little tough on cold legs. Also with the throng of runners, I was running slower than I wanted. Finally, around mile 3 it started to spread out so I was able to fall into the pace I wanted. At one point I looked down and saw I was running at a 7:45 pace which is way faster than I normally run. My legs felt good and the weather was perfect so I just went with it. I decided I would hold that pace as long as I could and then I would back off when I needed to. I picked a lady in a lime green shirt and decided I would stick with her. That tends to be my race strategy – find someone running slightly faster than my pace and stick with them.

After circling Skidmore, we went back down Broadway, making our way to Saratoga Spa State Park. I was feeling confident when we entered the park because I know that park pretty well. After we ran through SPAC (which was pretty cool), I knew I had a big hill to climb. Once I made it to the top of the hill I was worried that my legs wouldn’t recover, but somehow they did.

As we ran past the Casino and the harness track, I knew I was in the home stretch. I tried to enjoy the weather and the view, but my legs were hurting pretty bad. When I hit the 11 mile marker, I started telling myself how easy two miles are. I wanted to drop my pace, but I knew I would be mad at myself later if I did so I pushed on.

internal debate going on here

Before I knew it, the finish line was in sight and I pushed forward with everything I had in me. I crossed the finished line as the clock hit 1:48.47 – a new PR by about 6 minutes. WOO HOO! Of course, this course was pretty flat and had three pretty large downhill sections, but I am thrilled. My body hurts, but my mind it thrilled.

When I didn’t see my mom and hubby at the finish, I was a little worried. I thought about taking off my skirt and waving it in the air, but my spanks underneath were more or less see-through. I’m pretty sure you could see that skirt from the moon. About 5 minutes later, I saw them walking up to the finish line just in time to see me at the time I thought I would finish (1:55ish). They missed my finish. I guess the sparkly skirt made me run faster and in that case, I am running in it every race I run. Forever.

We celebrated the completion of half marathon #3 with froyo and an all-you-can-eat buffet. The rest of the day was spent napping and watching tv with the pups. And letting Millie have her fashion shoot. She is such a diva.

I am already looking around for my next race and I am dying to sign up for my first marathon!


4 thoughts on “Saratoga Palio Half Marathon

  1. Pingback: Remember that time I stalked the Ragnar runners? | Beauty Still Remains

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