Another Boilermaker 15K Approaches

by Joanne on July 8, 2011

2010 from Saranac

Last year:  1:14:51.  I was THRILLED! This year:  who knows.   It depends on the day.  As with most runners, of course I’d like to run a faster.  This year I have two marathons under my belt and a lot more races.  But it STILL comes down to the day.  If all “stars” align, it will be a race to remember.  If not, try again next year.  My mind is already in a negative state and that’s just because of packet pick up.


On my way home for lunch, it suddenly dawned on me I needed to pick up my race packet.  Saturday pick up was out:  too many people, too much to do. The parking area which was so easy to get into last year was MOBED this year.   That got my stomach flip flopping.  As I walked towards the Expo, the guy handing out newspapers asked (in a very loud voice) “ARE YOU RUNNING IN THOSE SHOES?!”  I had on open toed sandals.  I said “NO WAY!”   … “WELL IF YOU DO, I’LL RUN WITCH-CHA!”   Nice guy.  A bit too happy for my mood.  Still, he brought a smile and a laugh to my frustrating day.

The bib pickup was in the Masonic Center gym.  There weren’t a lot of people and especially by the “W’s”.  The gal behind the table said “What’s the name?”  I gave her my name EMPHASIZING “W – I- L-L… THAT’S TWO (2) “L’s”.  I stood there a good 5 minutes as she went back and forth between 3 boxes.  Maybe I was making her nervous with the look on my face.  … Did I mention I wear my mood on my face?!!  GRRRRR!

FINALLY – got the bib and it was  (sob, cry, weep, curse a little…) YELLOW!  I had my heart set on a GREEN bib again.  Yellow bibs start after green bibs.  I believe the bib order goes White (elite), Blue, Orange, Green, Yellow, Gray.  My number: 5117.  Anyone who would like to offer a training plan to get me into the 100’s, I’m all EARS!

Feeling defeated already, I walked around the Expo but didn’t see much.  The only tent I was excited about was Chobani but they were already out of yogurt.


That was my day at packet pickup.  Nothing like last year.  I’m hoping the weekend goes a bit better and “Fata Viam Invenient”  (The Fates will Find a way).

As I run past that first mile,


on Sunday, going into the second mile,


I’ll look forward to seeing my parents on the corner, near our home.  That will give me a boost of energy.  The other thing that gets my energy going is if I think about something that makes my blood boil.  Not sure why I run faster when mad or frustrated?   While in that state of mind, before I know it, I’ve covered a few miles.  If my thoughts get that intense, it could also work the wrong way.  I believe a runner should try to focus as much as possible on his/her body during the race – feel your speed, rhythm, body signals.  It’s a risk taking yourself “out of the moment”.

So like I said in the beginning, it will come down to the day.  A day when all systems are turned on or a day when something is not quite with it.  There is this Boilermaker but there will be others.

AND … what NOT to eat the night before a Boilermaker…although you will want to:



These greens were from Chesterfields.

Chesterfields Restaurant on Bleeker Street will make them meatless (typically Utica Greens have prosciutto) and they load the greens with wonderfully fresh, hot cherry peppers.  Chesterfields seem to know the right amount of breadcrumbs (not too much, not too little) and there are no potatoes in their greens (unless they thicken the broth with them like The Auburn on Albany Street used to?).  It’s the cherry peppers that will ruin a good run, unless you have an iron clad stomach.  But I wouldn’t take that risk.


Remember my version of Cheesy Greens?


Try my recipe for a robust side dish but make sure to try REAL UTICA GREENS if you are ever in the area. They’re too good to pass up.

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  • At 2011.07.08 16:59, misszippy1 said:

    Oh those greens look good! But yeah, not before the race…

    Good luck. Hopefully you’ll be feeling some mojo this weekend. You never know until race day, right?

    • At 2011.07.09 08:20, Joanne said:

      That’s so right. You just have to make the best of it.

      • At 2011.07.08 17:47, Beth @ Realist Mom said:

        Good luck on Sunday! I wish I was running 74 – or anything near it. Maybe next year! My biggest concern is the predicted heat and Burrstone Rd. – it’s like an Easy Bake oven. I’ll just be glad to be out there with 15,000 of my closest friends.

        • At 2011.07.09 08:21, Joanne said:

          It looks like it’s going to be a warm one. That simply means we have more fun and take it slow. 🙂 Good luck!

          • At 2011.07.08 21:30, claudia lamascolo said:

            Amazing that cherry peppers would cause so much problems… I find it so amazing also how many style greens there are… my favorite are with procuitto and potatoes… never went to Chesterfields heard they were the best! Good luck Sunday!

            • At 2011.07.09 08:22, Joanne said:

              It seems every chef in Utica tries to re-invent the greens. Some are really good some are…well, they should have never tried.

              • At 2011.07.09 15:07, Ali said:

                I’m rooting for you! I think you’ll do great – who cares about a green bib – rock the yellow and enjoy yourself! One day I hope to be able to run a 15K myself, so you have me green with envy now. There’s some green for ya! Good luck and happy running! 🙂

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