Friday, January 1, 2010

Albany Hangover Half Marathon - 01-01-10

This little halfie was hard to locate on the internet but my friend Mary Karen told me it existed - and it did. A few months back, I e-mailed the president of the running club in Albany, NY for the information about this half-marathon and he responded by saying it was very low-key, started on the Albany Univeristy campus at noon, and the more the merrier. (sounds like my kind of event)

Getting ready for the starting signal

Per usual, last week brought a nice sinus infection and a series of migraines that made me feel right at home. I can't remember a race that I've been 100%, so this one was no exception.

My father-in-law had decided to run with us quite a few months ago. When we arrived in the area two days before the race, he attempted to talk his way out of it (claiming he was sick with a horrible cold.) I threw the gauntlet down as fast as you can say...... well, pretty fast. NO WAY, sir, THERE WILL BE NO USING THAT CARD ON ME - you're running this race. He did!

Bill getting psyched for 13.1 miles of fun

We met Mary Karen at 11am for registration. The ambiance of this pre-race locale was great - a fantastic way to start the year. I plopped my $5 registration on the desk and managed a quick visit with my kids and husband before making the way to the start.

Mary Karen looking so happy at the start - isn't she cute?

I had promised Mary Karen and Bill that my goal was to complete this event together. Starting my garmin at the starting bell and we were off to a great 11 minute mile pace. The route was a complex five-loop course that was enjoyably hilly. (odd, right?) No, seriously, it was hilly but not unbearable - the kind of hills that you don't really notice until they are just about done (except for that last one that was about .4 miles from the end....)

We were card-holding members of the "back of the pack club" (PROUD BACKPACKERS UNITE!!!) but that did not prevent me from striking up conversations with some other runners. (MK and Bill made fun of me for this, but I think that they just were jealous that I met a really cool lady (Nora) - turns out that she was a Rotary Exchange student to Germany the year after Kari and I were in Belgium..... enough said! She got the whole story and won herself a Road to Paris pin.) btw - we also had a wonderful conversation about Born to Run (and I know the book review must be next - and it will)

In the end, the memorable moment of this race will be the inner strength that Mary Karen found when she hit the wall at mile 11.5. She impressed me with her determination.These are the moments that people miss when they run alone  -  they are ot lost on me. I loved that I had the chance to run this event with her and my father-in-law.....good stuff.

My #1 fans!

Got home a few hours ago and got to work on my next half-marathon plans. (Williamsburg, VA on February 28th)   Keeping with my goal to run with as many friends as possible, I was elated to find out that my very dear friend Francine and her daughter Bailey (residents of Williamsburg) will be running their first half-marathon with me.....can you say PSYCHED????

Happy New Year - and be sure to get out there and run.


  1. Great job, Laura and Mary Karen and father-in-law!! Way to kick assfalt on New Years!

  2. Wow woman, you are NOT wasting any time. Congrats to all of you! And your fans, they're ah-dooooooorable!

  3. WOW.....Glad to hear Francine and Bailey have joined your bandwagon. Although I cannot run, I will be biking teh same mileage with you. For those of you who don't know me...I almost lost my two feet in a car accident. My great friend Laura among others has been very suppostive. In this new year which I am proclaiming the "YEAR OF BECKY".....I am gonna get back into more excuses no more whining....I won't be doing the vegetarian thing but I am supportive of you non the less.
    Best luck to you in 2010.
    Kari chin up....things will get better.

  4. Beck! So glad you're still with us! We're your biggest fans! Keep us up to date!! Plus, I whine, but really 2009 was great! 2010 will be even better!

  5. Laura, thanks for the kick in the @## and the company for Mary Karen and me on the half. I have always been a lone runner - just me and the road slogging it out when doing any distances. Just running into whoever happened to be about the same pace (but NEVER at your relentless level of friendliness). Your open approach and warmth is a great model that I have to put into practice.

    You're right. Nice, low key event!

  6. Well, I have decided that it is a heck of a lot more fun to run happy and run friendly - it's easier to do that with others. That's no joke!!!!!