I ran Wednesday evening and Thursday morning did a "boot camp" type workout with my friends, and Friday I finally rejoined my running buddies for a COLD morning 3 miles followed by coffee at Starbucks. That, by far, is my new favorite ritual we've developed.
Friday night was my first work holiday party of the season, which was really fun and got me into the Christmas spirit even more! I definitely don't need any help in that area, because I feel like every year I am becoming more and more "Christmasy." And this year was no exception seeing as I broke a rule I usually have and both got a Christmas tree and started listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving was even here!
Last night I ran with my friends in a local 5K that I had never participated it. It is called the "Albany Last Run" and it is [supposedly] the last 5K of the fall running season for Albany. Well, we had a snow storm that came in starting yesterday afternoon so the race itself definitely felt like winter as we ran through falling snow!
The race started at 5:00 p.m. and takes you through Washington Park in Albany. At this time of year, Washington Park is filled with incredible Christmas light displays that usually, you have to pay to drive your car through to enjoy. The cool part about the 5K we did last night, in addition to having a festive fireworks display before the race is that you get to run all through the lights in the park, which turned out to be so cool!
What REALLY made the race was, of course, the people I did it with. We have been planning costumes and coordinating for this race for weeks because we somehow decided to dress up as Santa & his reindeer for the race! My friend Jess actually ordered AWESOME shirts for us... long sleeved dry wick shirts that are really high quality. On the front they had a picture of Santa's sleigh and on the back all of our reindeer names. I was Dancer :)
I was responsible for making the brown tutus for everyone. I haven't mentioned it on here, but my apartment has been a bit of a tutu sweatshop lately. It was a really simple, no sew process though and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to make tutus for a race or something fun. Just search "no sew tutus" on Google or Pinterest or something -- there are lots of different resources you can find to learn how to make them.
My friend Carley was responsible for getting everyone reindeer antlers and we met up at my apartment beforehand to get dressed and head out to the race. I had snacks out for everyone and since everyone was sort of just doing this race for fun, there may have been some adult beverages consumed pre-race :)
I wish I had taken a picture of the spread I had put together because it was really simple and came out pretty nice. I made some pepperoni pizza bread, carrots and hummus, oatmeal raisin cookies (I purposefully bought a type of cookie I don't like to stop me from eating them...) and then some trail mix, cut up apples, and candy. I had hot chocolate on the stove and it was a fun time having people all over to my apartment. I love hosting but don't do it too often since I moved into this current apartment.
We also grabbed a couple pictures but the majority of the photos were taken once we got down to the start of the race.
Here was our whole crew on the steps of the New York State capital building, and then in front of the Albany Christmas tree.
After we got a number of pictures in, we headed over to the race start to enjoy the fireworks and get ready to run!
The race went well, and it was so cool to run through the park and see all the Christmas lights. I ran with Jess, which, per usual, kept me pushing my pace a little bit further than what I was comfortable with. There were some other awesome costumes at the run -- including a guy running dressed up exactly as Buddy the Elf, which was awesome!! Over all, it was seriously just a really fun night. Afterwards we all went out for dinner and some beers -- with tutus and reindeer ears on -- and it was a great night with friends. I love that my friends are as silly and ridiculous as I am!!
We had great reactions to our outfits too, both at the race, and afterwards at dinner. AND, it turns out we even made the local news coverage of the race! Clearly I didn't get the memo about the fact that we were NOT turning around for that one picture, haha.
After the run, I warmed up and tucked myself in, preparing to not leave my apartment for the next 24 hours due to the snow. I woke up to quite a few inches!! I figured maybe 8-10?
One of the things I love about living in my current apartment is that I don't have to park on the street. And one of the things I love about living in an apartment with an awesome landlord is that I don't have to worry about shoveling.
However, I did venture out of my apartment to get in my long run for marathon training! I was determined to get this run in today and waited until the late afternoon, hoping that roads and sidewalks would be clearer than going out in the morning. I planned to do 7 miles but somehow while I was running I started doubting myself and thought maybe it was 8 miles I was supposed to do for the plan. I told myself I'd just see how I felt after 7 and when I got there I figured, what the heck, what's one more? And I kept running to 8 miles, just in case that was what I was supposed to run.
Turns out it was only 7, but now I still feel proud of myself for even getting in a little extra! The run was a bit ridiculous as I had to navigate through various states of shoveled sidewalks and keep weaving back from the sidewalk to the road when they weren't shoveled at all. I kept the run to roads that were really wide to be able to give myself some extra room when I had to get off the sidewalk. Luckily there are some boulevards near me that I could run down and only have to worry about the cars in one direction. They were plowed well and it is about 1.5 miles to do a loop around that street, so I just did that a number of times. Having to navigate the snow, slush, and traffic kept my mind busy and the run wasn't too torturous.
Although, I was audibly cursing out loud some of the people who did not shovel their driveways. A few times I got stuck and was literally high knee-ing through knee deep snow to get around some corners or over plowed up ends of the streets. I am sure everyone thought I was nuts and this is the first run in my neighborhood EVER that I have not seen a single other runner out!
I kept telling myself that I knew I could do this. I had done 6.2 miles the weekend before, and I've had some cold morning runs so far this year so I knew my body could handle it. I especially thought of the Great Thanksgiving Slush Run of 2013 as I call it, to remind myself I could get through this.
I'm really proud of myself for the run today!! Now, I'm heading to bed and resting up for the week ahead. Hope everyone had a great weekend!!