Category Archives: 5k

Fall Foliage 5k.

A couple weeks ago when my BC friends were in New York as a 30th birthday surprise, my ol’ roomy asked if there were any short races this fall near the house. I did some searching and found the Fall Foliage Half-Marathon and 5k in nearby Rhinebeck, NY. Even better, it fell on Garlic Festival weekend!

Even though the race was upstate, there was packet pickup on the UWS during the week so I was able to pick up our bibs and swag on my way home from work one day. I left JackRabbit with 4 bibs in 4 bags and somehow within the next 24 hours ended up with 3 bibs in 4 bags. As any runner who is only used to large races would, I freaked out. I called every place I visited in Manhattan to try and locate the “lost” bib and had no luck. I ended up tweeting and emailing the race organizers in a panic and was assured that all would be fine.

Yea, I didn’t believe them.


Friday night, we drove upstate with two of our friends (my work wife and her husband). After some rental car snafus, we were on our way and out of the rainy and dreary city. Once we got upstate and my beautiful Boston roomy got in, it was quick to bed. #werenotincollegeanymore #justrathersleep

Saturday morning came all too quickly and I was very thankful for a later start time (5k began at 10:20am). We had a quick breakfast and got in the car to the start line at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds.

Fall Foliage 5k

Swag: Shirt (women’s cut, soft cotton, great design), water bottle, deodarent, flashlights, protein powder samples

Start Line

I rarely (read: almost never) run small races so this start line was such a treat for me. Parking was easy, there were indoor restrooms, and there was literally zero issue with the fact that i lost my friends bib (sorry, Fall Foliage email and twitter responders for not believing you).



Note: there is no timing mat at the start so if you’re going for time, you want to be as close to the start line as possible (this isn’t difficult to do since it’s such a small race field).

Fall Foliage 5k - Start Line

Fall Foliage 5k – Start Line

The 5k course is an out-and-back and doesn’t get far enough to run along the Hudson like the half-marathon (an argument for running the half one of these years).

The course was pretty and time ticked by as I admired the adorable little houses we passed and chatted with Jenny and Justin (Kudz ran ahead and ended up coming in 3rd overall female like the badass that she is). There was water and Gatorade twice during the 5k and I heard the announcer at the start line say there is water/Gatorade every 2 miles along the half-marathon course.

I wasn’t looking to do a particular pace (as I write this, I actually have zero idea of what our finishing time even was) so I just trotted comfortably alongside Jenny and behind Justin (I guess he was too cool to run next to us).

Fall Foliage 5k - Finish Line

Fall Foliage 5k – Finish Line

As we soared trotted through the finish line, the announcer screamed something along the lines of, “here comes Jenny and Angela!” We high-fived because we’re awesome and basically famous now. #PleaseEmailAnyAutographRequests

After grabbing some finish line cookies (so good!), we got back in the car to go home and get ready for the Garlic Festival 🙂

Hudson Valley Garlic Festival

Last year was my first time experiencing the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival and I couldn’t wait to go back. The forecast was horrific for the entire week leading up to Saturday so I made sure to pack my poncho (and because I packed my poncho, the weather gods kept the rain away. Had I forgotten my poncho, there’d have been a hurricane).

Hudson Valley Garlic Festival

Hudson Valley Garlic Festival

We took advantage of the cloudy and perfectly fall temps and walked around the festival for almost 4 hours.

For lunch, I had a sampling of a few different things: garlic chowder, garlic knots, and garlic arancini. I also tried as many samples as possible and ended up purchasing the Tart Cherry Juice from Singer Farm (the best tart cherry juice I have ever tasted), three packages of garlic from Ireland Farms (two Asian Tempest packs and one Music pack), and a little chainsaw-carved black bear.

Me: Can you take a picture of me and my black bear? Justin: Go by the fire, it's more romantic.

Me: Can you take a picture of me and my black bear?
Justin: Go by the fire, it’s more romantic.

I named him Benny and he’s now in my living room dressed in a necklace my grandmother made and chillin’ with some pumpkins because #fall.



I  now randomly burst into song ala Elton John every time I walk by Benny, constantly reminding Justin how lucky he is to live with me.

So in summation: I will definitely be back next year for one of the Fall Foliage races, the Garlic Festival is always awesome, I have a black bear named Benny, and Justin gets a free concert every time I walk through our living room.


Next up: Epcot Food & Wine Festival and Halloween in the Magic Kingdom. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Filed under 5k, running, weekend

A Family Affair: Princess 5k.

Princess Weekend was FINALLY here! The whole clan (12 of us) got in Thursday morning and took the Magic Bus over to Port Orleans French Quarter to start our magical vacation 🙂

After a trip to the Expo, we spent the afternoon and evening at Disney Springs, where we shopped and then dined at The Boathouse (highly recommend). My annual pass saved us $65 on the meal! #wortheverypenny

princess expo and disney springs

We made it an early night – we had lots of runners who needed fresh legs and eyes in the morning!

Princess 5k

Runners: myself, Justin, my brother, his girlfriend, my dad, and my Uncle Peter.

Although most of us had early corrals (A or C), we opted to all start in corral E where my dad was placed. This was his first real race after his full knee replacement last year (he did run the 1.5M Turkey Trot this past Thanksgiving) and he wasn’t sure how fast he’d be able to run so I entered him in for a 16 minute mile.

princess 5k

He’d been training somewhere between an 18 and 20 minute pace so I imagined that we’d be fine there in the second to last corral. Turns out, not so much. Right away it became really clear that my dad was too fast for this corral. We were dodging walkers left and right and when I looked down at my watch, I saw that dad was running around a 13:30. I turned to Justin, “I’m not going to tell him how fast he’s running.”

So much of running is mental and I knew that if I told my father how fast he was running, he’d freak out and slow down, thinking that he wasn’t capable of sustaining that pace.

At mile 2, John got nervous that the course was marked in kilometers and we were only at the 2k mark. This from the guy who demanded we change his pace to 8 minute miles (even though he never runs and this was his first 5k). A potato can dream, can’t he?

pepino the italian mouse

Dad wanted to know when we had 1/2 a mile left so I made sure to give him a heads up. He promptly picked up his pace even more. Negative split for the win!

We crossed the finish line in 41 minutes flat (a 13:11 pace!) much to my father’s surprise. The whole time he had thought that he was running the same pace as he did at home (18-20 minute miles).

It’s always easier to run in a race environment. The adrenaline and excitement of running alongside others, fans, and in Disney’s case, a beautiful 5k course in Epcot, all help to make the running feel easier. But a lot of what happened for my father was him not knowing how fast he was running. Because he couldn’t see the numbers, he ran based on feel, and it was so much faster than his brain was telling him he could do throughout training.



A big congrats to my whole family for finishing!

Hollywood Studios

After some quick showers and breakfast at the hotel, it was off to Hollywood Studios for the day!

4 adults and 8 "kids"

4 adults and 8 “kids”

We enjoyed the following rides/attractions:

  • Toy Story Midway Mania (One of my favorites!)
  • The Great Movie Ride
  • Muppet Vision 3D
  • Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show (I sat here in awe the entire time. Also, it’s the only place in the park where you can still see Walt Disney’s personal plane.)
  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid
  • Rock ‘n Roller Coaster
  • Star Tours
  • Fantasmic (The tickets were included with our lunch at The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge. I loved every second of this show.)
  • Tower of Terror
  • Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks (Probably the best we saw all weekend!)

hollywood studios

There is never a dull moment with my family and the day was filled with lots of laughs and goofiness. We walked around the movie sets, took lots of photos (included with my annual pass!), and enjoyed our first full day in the sunshine.

hollywood studios 2

Next up: the official start of the Glass Slipper Challenge – the Enchanted 10k 🙂 


Filed under 5k, disney

2016 Dopey Challenge: the first 9.3 miles.

It’s been just a few days now since I completed my second Dopey Challenge and damn, the post-Dopey blues are in full swing yet again. I thought it’d make things easier knowing that I’ll be back in Disney in February for Princess Weekend but nope, no such luck.

If you’re just tuning in, this is the Dopey Challenge:

dopey challenge

If it looks crazy, it’s because it is. I’m crazy enough to have done it twice. I’m also crazy enough that I’m considering doing it again.

But anywho, I figure there’s no better way to fight the post-Dopey blues than to start recapping these amazingly magical miles…

Disney World Day 1:

Nicole and I arrived in Orlando early on Wednesday and headed straight to the expo after a quick pit stop at the hotel to drop off our bags. We stayed in the Port Orleans Riverside Resort and it was wonderful, just like last year.

After picking up our bibs and another 6 Disney shirts to add to my growing Disney wardrobe, we went straight for Hollywood Studios for some pre-Dopey fun.

expo and hollywood studios

Dopey Challenge Day 1: The 5k

Thursday morning began with a 3:55 am alarm (woohoo for a later 5k start time!) and our 48.6 mile adventure was officially underway.

While the weather was significantly warmer than last year’s 5k, I’m glad that I had throwaway gear for all 4 of the races. TIP: Never throw away old long sleeve t-shirts (I keep all long sleeve race t-shirts even if I know I’ll never wear them) or post-race foils. I put these to the side and use them as throwaway gear for races with a long wait before the start. For the 5k, I used my finisher’s foil from the Philadelphia Marathon.

We waited on line to take a picture with Dopey and then walked to corral A, anxious to get this show on the road (quite literally).

Ariel and Sebastian kept the pace super easy and stopped for a few pictures along the Epcot route. Just like last year, I got chills when running around the World Showcase. Between the lights, the inspirational music, and the Disney magic, it truly is incredible.

dopey challenge 5k

With 3.1 miles behind us, we were 6% done with miles and 25% done with mornings!


After showering, enjoying some breakfast, and a little down time, we spent the rest of the day in the beautiful Epcot sunshine.

Rough life.

Dopey Challenge Day 2: The 10k

After the 5k, all the races begin at 5:30 am so waking up at 3:55 is no longer an option. For the remainder of the Dopey Challenge, our alarms went off at 3:15 every morning and we were out the door before 3:40 to get on a bus to the start village.

Before leaving the hotel room, we checked the weather one last time (because Florida weather apparently changes drastically every 15 minutes or so) and saw that rain was in the forecast. We grabbed our ponchos in addition to our throwaway gear and got out the door.

Luckily, we were able to wait inside a tent up until it was time to head to the corrals so we were kept warm and dry for as long as possible. While there was a light rain throughout the majority of the 10k, it was rather warm so the rain didn’t really bother us. In fact, by mile 1 we had both dropped our throwaway gear and ponchos. Tinkerbell and Olaf don’t melt. Wait. Errr. Hmm.

dopey challenge 10k

Just as in the 5k, we kept the pace super easy and stopped for a few photos ops along the course.

We celebrated being 19% done with miles and 50% done with mornings in the Magic Kingdom. It worked out perfectly and the rain stopped and the sun came out just as we got off the bus at Magic Kingdom. Oh hey there, sunny skies!

magic kingdom

Just like last year, there was no “staying off my feet” the days leading up to the marathon. #wheninDisney #zeroregrets

By keeping our pace extremely easy during the first 9.3 miles, we ensured that we were able to both enjoy the parks and complete the next 39.3 miles with a smile, which was really the only goal in the first place 🙂


Next up: getting to the 22.4 mile mark with the WDW Half-Marathon!


Filed under 10k, 5k, disney, vacation, walt disney world marathon

R-U-N 5k.

First up, week 6 of Newport Liberty Half training:

week 6 newport half training

R-U-N 5k Recap:

Do you know how much I hate 5Ks? I hate 5Ks.

dopey challenge 5k

^Not that 5K. That 5K was full of awesomeness. But racing 5Ks (as opposed to just running them for fun), for me, is miserable.

I signed up for NYRR’s new R-U-N 5K a few weeks back for a variety of reasons:

  • My solemate was running
  • It’s good timing with my Newport training
  • My coach recommended it
  • It’d be the start of my 29th birthday weekend

I was antsy and nervous the entire day leading up to the race (the race was on a Thursday night in Central Park so I had the whole day at work to worry about it). Everyone kept saying things along the lines of, “but it’s just a 5K!” and “it’ll be over quick!” and I kept having to explain that I would rather run a marathon than race a 5K. I’m much more equipped for long distance.

racing tweet

5Ks hurt. It’s not that marathons don’t hurt because they do… but 5Ks hurt in a different way. 5Ks hurt in a “this is the worst sport ever and why did I think this was a good idea and OMG am I ever going to be able to breathe again and I want to throw up but don’t know that I have the energy” way.

Anywho, Jess and I ran a 15 minute warm-up and then got in the corrals.

My instructions (and actual execution) were the following:

r-u-n- 5k race

25:39 (8:16) is a solid PR for me (down from 26:37 in the 2013 Dash to the Finish Line 5K). It’s also a new best pace with NYRR.

So yea, by the numbers, this was a good race for me. But don’t for a second think that I wasn’t miserable the entire time. Actually, when I saw my handsome dude right after crossing the finish, the first words out of my mouth were, “that was miserable.” #thingsdistancerunnerssay

We walked to baggage and waited for my solemate (who also set a PR and new best NYRR pace!) so we could take our  usual race-day picture:

nyrr RUN 5k

I followed the new PR with some pizza and an early bedtime before my long run in the morning. Birthday weekend was off to a great start 🙂


Who else hates 5Ks? Just me? Bueller?

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Filed under 5k, new york city, running, weekly workout wrap-up