2015 Bands on the Run 10K- Recap

Saturday I ran the third annual Bands on the Run 10k.   This race did nothing to disabuse me of the notion that 10K’s are hard.   Maybe reinforced it; that said it was a fun race.IMG_0462I managed to run away from work for a few minutes on Friday afternoon for packet pickup.    For a small local race, they are very organized.  I was impressed last year and this year was more of the same.   Last year, I though it was really cool that the volunteer shirts all said “I’m with the band” instead of just the usual “volunteer”.  So this year I was very excited to see that the race shirts said “I ran with the band” on the back.   I also like that for a smaller race, only in their 3rd year, they design their own bibs.  There’s nothing wrong with the Road ID ones, I just like the extra touch that the personalized bibs gives.  The race is a fundraiser for the high school music department.   Start and finish are the high school track and a band performs through out race morning.   They also have a bag drop table which for a small race is virtually unheard of.

Pre-race shiver

Pre-race shiver

IMG_0491The weather here has been very odd for May and with the race being predominantly on the beach, I knew it was likely to be cold, windy and more humid than I would like.    I wore pants, a tank and a long sleeve layer for the race and I was still cold.   My 25K in January was run in shorts and a tank and it hit 80.  Get it together, California!    Race start for the 10K and half marathon was 9:00 with the 5K starting at 9:15.    Some of the local races like to have a warm up/ fitness routine before them.  This was like a full on Zumba class.    I don’t think I could pull off those moves on a normal day let alone right before a race!!  I just observed.  :)   Following the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem, we headed to the start line.    Having been so far back in the pack at my last 2 races, I made sure to move up to the front this time.    I had placed 2nd in my Age Group in 2014 but the crowd looked bigger this year and I felt out of shape so I was just aiming for a steady race.   After some confusion about the starting horn, we were off!

This slogan made me laugh

This slogan made me laugh

Very hard to see Zumba warm up

Very hard to see Zumba warm up

The course is very scenic for this race.  It starts on the high school track before heading through the parking lot to a paved walking path before turning in the Cypress Tunnel.  The tunnel is a dirt trail that comes out a street before turning right and heading across the dunes and down to the shoreline.  That’s all in the first 1.2 miles.  From there to mile 3.1 you run along the water then turn around to go back the way you came.  It’s one of the few out and back races I like.     A half mile in, I felt like I was huffing and puffing already and that wasn’t a good sign.   I had used my inhaler 3 times over the course of the morning, so I thought that would help.  Then I checked my pace- 8:15.  Oh yeah, that explains it.   Oops!   I knew I was hitting a dune sand patch – in the tunnel- and would slow down so I just kept running.   Then we hit 20-30 yards of sand and we all slowed.  The upside though is that this is where the drum line was and it’s kind of awesome running past a drum line.   :)

I lied to myself after last years’ race.  I really believed there was only about 20 yards of soft, dune sand total through out the race.  Yeah, no.   There was 20-30 yards in the tunnel and then a freakin’ football field worth to get to the water line.  I tried to run it, but knew walking was more efficient.    Now that my pace had been reigned in, I was breathing much better too.  :)      From there I just kept a steady pace to the turn around and back.   There were hula dancers at the right before the water line and 2 guitar players along the beach providing the on course entertainment.   Once turning around, I notice that the clouds, the beach, the rock and the stacks at the old plant looked kind of awesome but I wouldn’t let myself stop to take a picture.   Particularly when I had to pause to tie my shoe that had come undone.   I was beginning think I had a good shot at breaking an hour and didn’t want to miss it.   I had forgotten how hard beach running is but I thought I would be close.  IMG_0514 IMG_0473

I finally made it back to the hula dancers and had that dang football field of sand to deal with again.  I tried running it once more but my calves and quads were feeling the burn.   So walking again.  A woman came running up next to me and mentioned that I was zig-zagging.  Oops, but I was just trying to get through it.  We paced each other for the remainder of the dunes discussing how much we hate sand.    Once through that, I felt exhausted and all I wanted to do was walk but I could hear the drums so I pushed on.   Past the drum line again, through the tunnel one more time and back into the parking lot towards the track.  I knew I might just miss an hour.   Once hitting the track, I tried to push it but I felt like I had nothing left.   Rounding the last corner, I could see the clock and knew I just had to hang on.   Finish- 59:37IMG_0499This was one of those cross the finish line gasping kind of races.   Some of the pictures my mother took are hilarious, I look beat, like I am going to fall over.    I stretched a bit and then began the process of getting the 5+ pounds of sand out of my shoes.    I was very happy that I finished under an hour.  It was about the only real goal I had for this race.    I also realized just how tough this course is, maybe I hadn’t phoned it in last year after all.    I felt like I was passed by more than a few people on the way out and only managed to pass a few on the way back so I figured an age group place was unlikely.  I wanted to check my finishing time though, so once we figured out where the board was this year, we headed over.   Times hadn’t been updated yet so we waited a short moment while a volunteer hung new pages.   At which point I laughed out loud.   I’d finished 1st in my age group. How?  Sweet!   IMG_0500IMG_0503Last year, my only complaint about the race was the lack of communication about how the awards were going to happen.   Even when they did start, things were announced in an order I still don’t understand.  This year, there was little fan fare- you just walked over to the awards table, gave them your name and they handed you your ribbon.  So much smoother than last year.   And since I was cold, the ease of it was awesome.

Overall, I am still impressed with this race.  It is very organized and the volunteers are great.  The course is tough but pretty and I look forward to running it next year.  When it is sunny and hopefully a little warmer.   :)

Do you like smaller races?  Or larger ones?

Ever run a race with a drum line?

10K Thursday

10K’s and I have a rough relationship.   4 years ago today, I lined up at the start of my 1st 10k.  It was my third race, I had previously run a 5k and a half marathon.   Having run a half, I figured how bad could a 10k be?    Umm, yeah.  I actually had this post planned this week without realizing the date.  Timehop can be so helpful sometimes. Or eerily psychic.IMG_0455I am smiling in this picture but this race was rough.  I had planned on running it withNikeC but she was so much faster than I was.   My training at that point was best described as non-existent.    She pulled ahead of me fairly quickly.    I don’t remembermuch other than I walked a lot and generally felt exhausted.  At one point during an out and back portion, I passedNikeC on her way back and she cheered me on.  I probably grimaced.  She texted me a few moments later to let me know I wasn’t last.    At that time in my racing, I was obsessed with not being last.    So I hung on to the finish.   I actually finished that race in the time goal that I set for myself -1:12 but was so disappointed.   For some reason it made me feel defeated and irritated.  I couldn’t understand how I had finished 13.1 miles 2 months previous.  I felt fried.   I think I took the next 2-3 months off- zero running.  Looking back I am not even sure why, but that feeling stayed with me for a long time.

Don't I look ready to race?  Ha!  Pre-Talley

Don’t I look ready to race? Ha! Pre-Talley

A long time.  That first 10K was May of 2011.  My next 10K was June 2013.   Every time I saw a possible 10k race before that, I thought hell no.  I finally decided to try another one, granted getting a comped entry helped.  :)   So early one June morning, I headed out to Talley Vineyard for attempt #2.    I told myself anything around 1:05 would make me happy.  Right before the start, my mother dared me to break an hour.  The incentive?  $50.00.   I laughed.  I also didn’t anticipate that running in a vineyard was more like trail running and I was not prepared for that.   That said, I crossed the finish line in 59:11.  Hell yeah!

I ran 3 more 10K’s in 2013- 57:17, 55:57, 56:21.   I began to think I liked 10K’s.  A little less crazy than a 5K but only half as long as a half marathon.    I thought it could be my new favorite distance.  I went into 2014 with this mindset.  First up was the Heart & Sole’s 10K– 55:40.  This still stands as my PR but it was rough.  5 of the 6 miles, I felt like my achilles was going to snap.   I even stopped to stretch it out at one point.    It hurt.    Next up was Bands on the Run– 59:28.  The race where I phoned it in.   I was mentally not there and it felt rough.  I also hadn’t put it together yet that humidity triggered my asthma and with a race on the beach you get lots of humidity.   Oops.  Then there was the disaster that was the HOB Fun Run 10K– 1:08:03.   That September when I finally admitted I had to back off racing because my system just wasn’t tolerating it.   Stupid stomach.  IMG_4867So out of 7 10K’s run, 4 have been less than stellar experiences.  Where am I going with this?  This Saturday, I am running Bands on the Run again.   I haven’t really raced a 10K since Heart & Soles’ and I don’t think this will be a real race.  I have no idea what time to even shoot for.    I am hoping to use this as a tune up for next month when I run Talley again.    But I don’t want to phone it in either.    The course covers pavement, the high school track, a dirt trail, soft pack dune sand and hard pack wet sand.    I don’t think I could PR it even if I was in tip-top shape.    That damn dune sand takes a lot out of you.   :)    And that’s ok, I want to enjoy the scenery and the music this year and not feel frustrated with myself.    That said, :59 and below would be awesome but we’ll see.

This popped up today too, is the world trying to tell me something?

This popped up today too, is the world trying to tell me something?

Speaking of the beach, I’ve run 4 races on the beach but this time I have shoe options.    So what do you think?  My normal shoes, trail shoes or my lighter weight pair of shoes?

Thoughts on 10K’s?  What’s your favorite distance?

Anyone racing this weekend?

Lack of Umph

You know that saying about the difference between try and triumph is a little “umph”?  Or something like that?  I’ve lost my umph.  Where did it go?  Can you help me find it?

I’ve been feeling adrift since SLO.  I thought having no training plan would feel liberating.  I mean I am a Slacker after all, I was looking forward to it, thinking it would be awesome.   Yet it hasn’t been.   My last few posts have talked of my lack of motivation and each one said the same thing- I need to get back on track.  Obviously saying it means absolutely nothing.   Want to know how many miles I’ve run in May?   26.   Seriously!??  Ouch.

Ouch

Ouch

Work has officially hit crazy, and my hours got a little longer, like open to close.  Friday is the biggest change, last Friday ran around 11 hours.   However that should be no excuse to be lazy.   Maybe I should just try to go to sleep earlier.   Ok, that one made me laugh a little.   What time did this post go up?   I also need to work on my time management skills outside of work but that’s for another post.    Anyways,  time to hopefully actually follow through with what I say.  So to that effect, I planned out a race schedule.  With a goal race.  So here we go.

May– Bands on the Run 10K
June–  Talley Vineyard 10K
July– Rock’n around the Pier 13.1 and a possible 4th of July 5kAugust– Trail 25K
September– Central Coast Cancer Challenge 10k, HOB Fun Run 10K/ 5K
October– City to the Sea 13.1 (GOAL)
November– Big Sur Half Marathon

At least Sunday had a view

At least Sunday had a view

A race schedule seemed to work for me before, so let’s try it again.    Since I really think my training plan for SLO worked, I am going to re purpose it for City to the Sea.    That is also where I set my half marathon PR and I love the course…except they changed the course this year, so we will see what happens.   Now, this plan is flexible, life does happen so I may adjust things if I have to.  May, June, HOB and Big Sur are the only ones set right now.

Thank you wind for the crazy hair.

Thank you wind for the crazy hair.

Most of this was thought out after a truly lackluster weekend of running.  I ended up napping on Saturday- again.  Sunday did see my longest run since SLO- a slow 10K.    I ran a 10:52 pace which is great for an easy run which was the goal.  What was not so great was how hard it was.  I was huffing and puffing the whole way, that pace felt more like race pace than easy run.  Ugh.    That was not confidence inspiring, but rough runs happen and we move on.  But I was out there long enough to think of all the reasons I have been lazy and what I can do about it.   I am 20 weeks out from City to the Sea and I am aiming for a 16 week plan.  The next 4 weeks will be testing a couple of new weekly schedules out since this newest one isn’t working out so well.   :)    Plus I need to figure out what works best with the work schedule.    Running later in the evening makes it harder to sleep and now I have to get up earlier so that probably won’t work, but I will figure it out.    I also need to figure out how to stop the stress eating that has been happening for 2 weeks.

What do you do when you lose your “umph”?

What’s your race schedule look like?

What do you do when you’re stressed?

Cold and Windy

California is confused.  The weather has been cold and windy for a month.  It’s May and it’s California, what gives!?  I have run in pants and long sleeves more in May than I did all “winter” long.   Plus I put away all my “winter” clothing except for 2 pairs ofcapris so I have to keep washing them.  Grrr.     It was cold, windy and rainy tonight so I decided to stick to my original running schedule instead of trying the new one again.  I am so over the wind.  Wind aside, I did have a couple of pretty good runs this week.

Wednesday's run

Wednesday’s run

I headed out Monday after work to get started on the whole 3x weekday running.  Running on Monday seems so much harder but it wasn’t as rough as it was last week.  I headed to the lake with my new shoes to get in some easy miles.    You’d think the cold would make the gnats less annoying but no such luck.   Every third mile or so, I ran with my arms flailing around my face trying to keep them away.  But no such luck, again.  After finishing my run, 3.5 miles at 10:04 pace, I stopped to stretch and take a pic or 2.   I tried to get a selfie showing that I was actually wearing a race shirt- Surf City, long sleeves for the win!- but I failed.  However I noticed a speck on my face later.  I zoomed in and there was a gnat stuck to my sweaty forehead- gross!!!IMG_0374Sometimes I have to work on Saturday and when I do, I usually get a half day during the week.  I love half days.  :)   To me they seem like an invitation to run more miles.  Sweet!   I had a half day on Tuesday and I was looking forward to at least 6 miles after work.   Thanks to a training meeting in my hometown that went 3.5 hours, I didn’t even have to drive to work town so I had even more time to run.  However, my stomach laughed at my plans and I eventually gave up trying.  I felt like it was a waste of a half day.  :(   But I did get some laundry done and took a small nap.

Work ran late on Wednesday (it started!) and then I spent 10 minutes looking for myFitbit.   When I was changing into my running gear I realized that it had fallen out of my sock at some point during the day.  Crap!    Luckily I found it by the front door.   I headed to the river path hoping for less wind.  Ha!  Luckily I found a headband in my car to cover my ears.   I can’t stand cold ears.

I look kind of scary in a headband.   :)

I look kind of scary in a headband. :)

I spent the first mile trying to talk myself out of running.   I was cold, tired and my stomach hurt.   And apparently feeling very whiny.   :)   But I trucked on telling myself to get over it.   I kept my watch covered with my sleeves since I really didn’t have a pace goal, my only goal was to finish 4 miles.   I walked when I needed to and did pause for a break at one point for my stomach.    Overall the run felt comfortably hard and I felt that was more due to the wind than the actual running.    Then I checked my splits.

?????

?????

Say what?!  My last mile came in at 8:15 and I didn’t feel like throwing up?  My fastest mile since high school was 8:05, set last fall in broken down shoes, running in a straight shot, going downhill.  I thought I was going lose my cookies after that mile.    So how did 8:15 seem fairly comfortable?  Still mostly downhill, but across 3 intersections and a couple of streets.   Huh?  How did I do that?  Actually the last 3 miles were pretty speedy and didn’t feel horrible.  Sweet!  Can I do it again though?

As exciting as that last mile was, I was also very happy that I did not have to deal with any gnats.  :)

Happy Friday!!! How was your week?

What’s the weather like where you are at?

Who is racing this weekend?   Good luck Charissa, Jessica, Molly and Hanna!  Did I miss anyone?   

Radio silence 

Long time no share.   I think that was the longest posting break I have taken since I started this blog almost 3 years ago.   I try to stick to a schedule of posting 3x a week so my one post last week was very lonely.  😞

I wanted to post but just didn’t feel like I was in the right head space there for a while.   I ended up taking Wednesday through Saturday off of running as well.    So attempt 1 of changing my weekly schedule didn’t work out.  A migraine rolled in on Wednesday evening and didn’t leave until Saturday.    Sometimes I run through them but this time I just decided to embrace the Slacker and rest.    The migraine was probably partially hormonal and partially due to stress so rest sounded great.  😃  I watched some tv, read some fanfic online (yes I am that nerdy) and maybe ate some things that I shouldn’t have.    I have zero regrets about that donut- I needed it for my mental health.    :)

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.  Albert Einstein

Just keep moving…. Thanks Pinterest

Work is in the process of getting a little crazier so I decided that I just needed some quiet time.   I work in a location with a smaller staff, only about 6, and 3 have given notice.    All are for different life reasons but the timing still makes me doubt myself as a manager.    There are some things that I have no control over and I know this but still that little voice in my head starts whispering.     Ugh.   Plus with 3 leaving, things are about to get really interesting.   I see some very long days in the future… Very soon.    I am trying going to stay optimistic and it is what is and we will get through it.  Where did the cynical Slacker go?

I am hopeful that I can stick to my usual running of 4x a week throughout  the coming weeks but if I have to drop a day I will.   We’ll see.   Also I need to get back on that schedule, I haven’t hit 4 days a week since the week before SLO.  oops!!   IMG_0336

I did get in some miles on Sunday.   On Saturday, my mother and I had headed into SLO for a little shopping.      One of those stops was the Running Warehouse.    It broke my little Mizuno-loving heart but I exchanged my Inspire’s.    I don’t know what it was but I just could not break them in.    I hate exchanging shoes,  I feel bad that they have to be sent back, but I do not have the room in the budget to just keep buying shoes.   I swapped them out for a pair of the Wave Rider 18’s.   Maybe they are what I should have gone with in the first place.  Hmmm, we’ll see.IMG_0355Sunday was Mother’s Day (Happy belated Mother’s Day to all you mothers!) and the day started with a nice run/ walk with my mom.  We did the usual walk for a bit then I would run ahead and double back.    I was feeling a little tired and sluggish but after 4 days off, I wasn’t complaining.   Plus it was my first run in my new shoes.   :)    In a completely unimportant note, these shoes sure are pretty, I hope I like them.

So I am hoping to get back to the regularly scheduled programming this week.   Hopefully in all areas, fingers crossed!

How was your weekend?  Mother’s Day?

Ever needed a time out? What did you do?