Saratoga Palio half marathon recap

Comments 11 Standard

So, I’ve been running a lot of races lately.

I haven’t written many recaps because most of them have been low-key trail races or 5ks and there isn’t much to recap.  But this past weekend I ran the Saratoga Palio Melanie Merola O’Donnell Memorial Race, a half marathon in Saratoga Springs, NY.

The conditions weren’t ideal, but I wasn’t thinking about that too much, especially considering how awful the weather was at the Shamrock half marathon this past spring. It was pouring when I woke up, but the rain stopped while I was driving up to Saratoga, and it didn’t start up again until midway during the race itself.

So I got to the race hotel about an hour before the start, jogged in to grab my number, and then got in a warm up-slash-shuffle. I was planning to meet up with one of my Willow St. teammates, but she was running late (kids… always making their moms late for races) so I slogged through the two miles by myself. I had planned to wear a hat since it was supposed to rain, but I realized that wasn’t necessary since it would just retain heat. Thankfully I had remembered to bring hairspray and a brush so I was able to pull my hair back. I felt like I was getting some judgemental stares from the other racers for the amount of hairspray I was using, but it was necessary.


Start of the 2016 Palio half marathon running next to my teammate Erin

My plan was to try to run 6:30s for this race, but I wasn’t going to look at my watch. I was aiming to make the first 8-9 miles feel like a tempo, and the last 4-5 feel like a race. When the race went off I felt good, but I also felt like I might be running too fast. Then when I saw the clock at the first mile marker it was still at 5:50-something, but by the time I ran through it the clock had turned to 6:06… but then my Garmin didn’t beep for the first mile for a few more seconds, and the mile split showed up 6:22.

(Does anyone else get extreme rage when their Garmin acts weird? Is it because it was raining and cloudy, or there were a lot of trees? I don’t get how my watch could be that far off when we ran in a straight line from the starting line up to that point. Okay, end rant.)


Somewhere in the early miles of the race… hair bun looking nice thanks to extra hairspray

From that point on, I just ran and tried not to think. I ended up running a few miles with my teammate Erin (who is super fast and badass), but she was having an off day. As we crested the top of the only real hill in the race at mile 8.5, I started to feel the first signs of fatigue. I kept telling myself that it would get better soon but it took me awhile to get my legs back. At 10 miles I briefly had the thought “I wish this was a 10 mile race” but I managed to push that negativity out and recover. The last 5k I was just grinding it out, practicing some positive self-talk, and getting to the finish.


Looking up for some inspiration late in the race.

Mile splits according to Strava/Garmin:6:22, 6:31, 6:27, 6:35, 6:33, 6:18, 6:38, 6:33, 6:40, 6:52, 6:55, 6:29, 6:29 (total time 1:25:25)


Just a few steps from the finish…


So, I have a few more weeks until my next half marathon and until then I’ll be plugging away on the treadmill at the YMCA and pushing the stroller around town. Hoping for some cooler weather (but not too cold yet) like every other runner. Also hoping this post makes sense since I’ve been writing it during the nap time for the past three days, and it’s been kind of a funky week with naps.

I never know how to end blog posts. What’s your favorite pizza topping?

11 thoughts on “Saratoga Palio half marathon recap

  1. Those race photos are amazing!! I’ve been fortunate that I don’t think my Garmin has ever acted screwy during a race but it definitely has during workouts before. It would give me a bit of a panic on race day if I saw that. Congrats on an awesome race and the W! My favorite pizza topping is pineapple 🙂

  2. What is your next half?

    First you look awesome and congrats on a great race. You always make the best of situations. I keep reminding myself, nothing can be as bad as shamrock. It’s been positive self talk thus far.

    I hate when my Garmin does funky things but it has the last few races so I’m somewhat over it.

    Pizza topping…I like fancy things…I got this crazy supreme pizza a few days ago which was amazing. When in doubt, garlic wins though.

    • Thank you!! Next half is the one here in Albany (that I think I tried to convince you to run… it’s downhill 😉 ) Garlic makes me think of Cogan’s- so good!

  3. Pretty sure Mollie is running HMRRC half next. Maybe the course was off, ever think of that? Last year the mile was at Midas Muffler, this year it was up a bit. Plus why were the 12 mile mark and the 2 mile mark of 5k in different spots? Hmmmm. Anyway good race….meatballs.

    • Thank you! Well, the weird thing was it was that far off the whole race (and I even ran extra because Erin and I took a wrong turn in SPAC somewhere following two other runners). I don’t think I’ve ever had meatballs on pizza (although I remember when you used to offer to pay us to eat meat balls ha!)

  4. Great run, Mollie! Excited to see what you do in your next race!

    I have an older Garmin Forerunner that sometimes likes to log 1 mile for every 0.9ish which is super frustrating, so I definitely feel you on that one!

    • Thanks Meghan!! I have the 220 and it’s usually fine, but I think it can get a little funky in the woods and on trails. Hope your training is going well 🙂

  5. Pingback: Arsenal 5k (17:20) | piece of cake running

Leave a Reply to Mollie Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s