Firehouse 5K -Recap

I met my goal, but just barely.

Firehouse 5K offers packet pickup at the firehouse the night before and it was a breeze.  My only hesitation came when I saw the sign for an Easter Eggstravaganza being held in the nearby park on the same day.   I asked what time that started because I was concerned that it would affect parking.  It didn’t start until 10 so no worries there!

Right after this pic, the truck behind me pulled out with lights flashing!

Right after this pic, the truck behind me pulled out with lights flashing!

I had laid everything out the night before but right before leaving the house in the morning, I grabbed a long sleeve layer.  It was foggy and a little bit cold but I was hoping it would warm up.  The plan was to head out with my mom and the puppy.  Since it was so close, my dad and brother were thinking about following later.    Once we arrived it was still foggy and I figured that since my lungs have become babies who don’t like weather below 50, I put on my long sleeve layer.  I also used the inhaler again before heading to the start line.   I have had 3 rough races this year for a variety of reasons and I didn’t want this one to be the same.

Fellow Ambassador!!!

Fellow Ambassador!!!

I managed to snag the same parking spot as last year so it was about a block and 1/2 to the start line.   As we were walking up, I heard my name being called.  Huh?  Looking to my right, I saw a couple walking up.  It was another SLO Marathon Ambassador!  It was Lisa from Runner In Training!  Both she and her husband were running too.  It was great getting to meet another ambassador :)

Can you see the singer all way up there?

Can you see the singer all way up there?

The start time had been pushed back to 8:45 for some reason but there was a group warm-up put on by a local sports therapy group.   Then the usual pre-race announcements, followed by the national anthem.  I love how they display the flag at this race, and the singer gets to sing the anthem from the top of the big truck!  I’m kind of jealous.  With a blare of the truck horn, we were off!  firehouse elevation

A little under 1/2 a mile is on streets up to the trail, then it’s about 200 yards until we start climbing.   This is where it gets tricky.  All of the trail section is single track.  2 miles of the race is trail, which means 2 miles is single track.  Which for the last mile is ok because the crowd had thinned out.  However, the initial, biggest climb was a crawl.    At one point, I was stuck behind 6 people walking.  The short length of the switchbacks made it hard to try and pass people.  I managed to get past a few but not all.   We were so on top of each other that I could have smacked the firefighter in front of me on the backside.  ( I didn’t!)

so close to finish!!!

so close to finish!!!

After finally getting to the top, I was able to get around some people.  It also leveled out briefly so I picked up the pace a bit.   Then we hit our first downhill.   We went down a different way than we came up, so the downhill was shorter than the uphill.  The trail is shale-like, with some bigger rocks and divets, so you had to watch where you were putting your feet.   I tend to have kamikaze tendencies when running downhill on trails, and I have fallen before.  I skidded out once but managed to reign it in.  Then there was another uphill.  This one was small but I was already tired from the mountain.  It also bottle necked again.    Then it was down hill back to the street.  Kamikaze me came back and I a hit a 6 minute pace for the entire downhill.   Then it was back to the street and across the bridge to the finish line.     I crossed the line and stopped my watch.  Final time- 32:59.  Really?   Yes, it was faster than last year but only by 32 seconds.

I really felt like I was running faster than that.  The only thing I can think is that I probably walked close to a mile of it, between the climb and the bottleneck.  And even me running downhill like a crazy person couldn’t make that time back up.    It was hard to go off my Garmin because it never matched up with their mile markers.    All I really used it for was current pace.    I have to admit that maybe it’s just that this race kicks my ass.

The brother

The brother

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This is a smaller race, only 3 years old, but it has been impressively organized each time I have run it.   The course is well marked and any time there was a trail split, there was always a volunteer directing which way to go.   There was only one water station but that more due to land constraints than poor planning.    There is also a small health fair.     The crowd was smaller than last year but there was a conflicting race in a nearby town that accounted for that.   The other race is a very popular 10k that draws thousands every year.   It really was too bad that they both fell on the same day.

She's in front of the camera!

She’s in front of the camera!

My family was at the finish line which was cool.  We took advantage of some photo opportunities.  And in keeping with last year’s failed selfie, I have a new one to add to the collection.  I tried to get a photo with my brother and he ducked.  So my dad photo bombed again-

selfie fail!

selfie fail!

Today my legs are feeling the results of my crazy down hill running.  That probably wasn’t the best idea the week before a half marathon, but it was a fun race.  Maybe I will try again next year.  :)   Running another 5 miles yesterday didn’t help either.  :)    But the pizza reward for lunch was amazing!IMG_3836

How was your weekend?

Happy Easter!

 

Lies and squats

It’s Thursday!!!!!  (By the time I post this it will be)  :)

In keeping with the “get some rest’ theme, when work ran a little late on Monday, I kept my running gear in the bag and just headed home.   Sorry Garmin.     On Tuesday, 4 days off were making this Slacker feel a little lazy and a little puffy  :(    I went to the lake path for 3 easy miles.     This runner lies.  I either tell myself I am going to do an easy 3 and then do more or I tell myself that I am going to run and then don’t.    This night, my easy 3 turned into 4.5 miles followed by a cool down walk.   I did keep the pace relatively easy and took a walking break or 2.    I felt a little sluggish but that’s too be expected after 4 days off.   Plus I am still trying to work out the inhaler.  I am supposed to use it before running but I noticed it takes an hour before I notice anything even slightly different.    I need to remember to use it about a 1/2 hour before I leave work.   It felt good just be running, though. 415

Oddly my left ankle felt a little cranky during the run.  Which is leading me to think I forgot how to squat.  I used to do squats every single day but when I was having left leg issues back in February I took a break.     This past week, I was having an attack of vanity and noticed that my butt isn’t where it used to be (such a girl thing) so I started the daily squats again.  Aaaannnd, my ankle hurts.   Hmmm, think it’s related?  Ha!  So maybe no more squats until after next weeks half marathon.  And I should probably try wearing shoes too.  :)

Today, I had planned on running but a late doctor’s appointment and the almost 90º temp at my house after 5:00 put a kibosh on that one.   Plus I had to get to Target before the pharmacy closed to pick up a prescription.    My appointment today was a follow up to last weeks’.  Apparently I have been a fighting a lingering infection for the last month or 2.  Oops.    So now I am on antibiotics.   Which I will be on for both of my upcoming races.   I am still cleared to run; I just might not be at my best.    Which in one way completely sucks, but it has a glass half full side to it to.  Thanks for taking the pressure off Doc!! And the nurse who took my blood last week was a sadist!  This is my arm a week later-

Ouch!

Ouch!

My race this Saturday was never going to be a PR anyways.   When I ran this race last year, it was advertised as the toughest 5K in the county.  Which I chalked up to hype.  It was supposed to be part road and part trail and I figured I had run both types before, and knew the town as being flat, so how hard could it be?  I even talked my friend, Bix, into running with me.    We stayed together for about 1/4 mile before she told me to just run, that she was going to take it easy.   The first 1/2 mile was flat and on the street, so no surprises.  Hit the trail and still mostly flat, and then… what the frak?  Where the hell did the freakin’ mountain come from!  I now know that we gained 500 feet in about a 1/2 mile.   And the only reason it was even a 1/2 mile is because it was all switchbacks.   My first thought was- Bix is going to kill me, second thought- breathe!  My first 2 miles were in the 12:00 range, mile 3 (downhill and flat) was in the 9:00′s.   Finish time 33:31.  My only goal for this race this year is to be better prepared and maybe finish a minute or so sooner.    And have fun.    :)

Last year- post race.  This picture makes me laugh

Last year- post race. This picture makes me laugh

With the temperature’s steadily rising here, I need to get used to running in the heat again.   How is the weather in your neck of the woods?

How has your week gone so far?  Everyone get their taxes done? 

Anyone else been totally surprised by a race’s course?

 

 

 

Intervals and a Big Oops

Hooray, it’s Friday!!!!

Who’s racing this weekend?

Today was a pretty good day.  I worked the early shift at work and was even able to get off a little early.   I have an awesome boss.  I mean I really do, yesterday, while parallel parking I bumped her car.   Like our bumpers were kissing.  I swear I checked before turning off my car.  I never felt a bump, apparently I am just that skillful at backing up. Ha!  No damage at all but it was a momentary panic attack.  Did I mention it’s review time?!  Part of today was spent doing battle with my usual Friday temptation-one day I will resist, I will be strong.  It just wasn’t today.

Cookie Friday!!!!

Cookie Friday!!!!

I have however been strong on the no soda during the week.  :)  I have not had any soda since I randomly quit at 10:00 AM Tuesday morning.  No headaches to speak of, but I have been draggggggging.   With that being said, I did make it to the gym on Thursday night for an easy interval run.

intervals

Prettier than a treadmill

Normally I manually change the speed anytime I want but I decided to try the interval option instead.   First question it asked was what my weight was?  Nosy much?  Why does my weight affect the speed settings on a treadmill?  And why do they call it jogging speed?  For the sake of all of our delicate egos they should call it something like “fast” and “lightening fast” not “jogging” and “running”.  Ok, mini rant over.  Having to push the button just once to change speeds was nice though.

My intervals looked something like this-

Length (miles) Speed
1.25 5.8
.75 6.3
.25 5.8
.75 6.3
.5 5.8
1.00 6.3
.50 5.8

Total- 5 miles not counting warmup or cool down.

(glad to hear I’m not the only one turns off the watch for those!!)

I admit to taking it slightly easy.  Even with having a cup of coffee in the morning, I am seriously missing the caffeine.   While driving to the gym that night, I told myself I only had to run 4 not the 5 that I planned.  Once I was running though, I figured I could run 5 and thankfully there was nothing freaky on the tv’s.   Whoever is changing the channels needs to stop, Wednesday night, the tv had Devour-Return of the Man Eating Snake on.  I thought I was going to have nightmares about albino pythons eating crocodiles.   Yuck!

All in all it was a good run, it felt like productive miles not just filler miles.  There were some runs in January that felt like mostly filler.  Today was like most Fridays- a rest day.   After leaving work, I fought the Friday crowd at Trader Joe’s- not a good idea- before heading home.   The mail delivered presents!!!!!

Oh, wow that's pink

Oh, wow that’s pink

I just ordered them Tuesday night so the shipping was great!  Have to say that these are my first pairs of compression socks.   Oh the shame  :)  Anytime my pics showed me in knee socks, they were derby socks.   I am eager to test them out on my long run this weekend.  The weather is calling for rain on Saturday so the timing of that run is a little up in the air.  The rain wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t for my proclivity for slipping.   But we desperately need rain, so no complaints here.   Even if it means I have to dodge rocks on the road while driving to work  :)

Any one have big plans this weekend?

Any ideas on how I can learn to like coffee faster?

Sunday Slacker-Day

This morning started early for me (at least for a Sunday), I met my boss at Wal-Mart to finish up some Christmas preparations.   Does it freak anyone else out how close it is getting to December 25?  After lunch and running some errands, I was home and feeling very Slacker-like.

I knew I needed to get in some miles for the Pile on the Miles Challenge, but I wasn’t feeling it.  I was sitting on the floor (surprisingly comfy) and getting ready to scrapbook the last 2 races.  That could potentially take a while, so I could substitute that for running right?  I was also checking Twitter, and I saw this tweet-

If this guy is flying from San Antonio to Las Vegas to run 2 marathons today, I can get off my ass and get in a few miles.   So I changed and set out for a quick 3 miles.  My calves were are really stiff and my stomach was not the happiest so they were not fast miles.    I felt a little better at the first turn around point and added another mile.    The up hills felt ok and the down hills were uncomfortable.   Anyone remember before they started running and they naively thought down hills would be the best part? Ha!   I made back the house at 4.4 miles.  They were slow, they were stiff but they were better than sitting on my backside.

As I stumble down, haha!

As I stumble down, haha!

After stretching and showering and trying to massage the stubborn knot out of my left calf, I did retreat to the Comfy Chair to put my feet up.   I also checked out the Spooner’s Cove race website.  Official times and photos are up from yesterday, 1:06:50.   As I mentioned before, it was my mom’s first race.  And what does she manage to do on her first race?  She places 1st in her age group!  Guess we should have stuck around a little longer after finishing, oops.   Most people try for years to age group place and she does it right out of the gate!

Look at her go!

Look at her go!

 Both photos- coastaltrailruns.com

Back to the Pile on the Miles challenge, I am on track for the month but was a little behind on last weeks goal.   My goal is to hit the gym tomorrow and Tuesday after work.  Fingers crossed, I follow through.  :)  I have a late meeting on Wednesday, so that can be a rest day.

Congrats to everyone who raced this weekend!  The posts are coming in, you all did amazing!!!

Spooner’s Cove 5 mile- Race Recap

Thursday and Friday were crazy days at work.  I don’t know why, but I think they made me stupid.  By the end of Thursday, I could barely speak without stuttering.  It was ridiculous, but my co-workers thought it was hilarious.

I packed my running gear of Friday, thinking optimistically that I would try to run on my lunch.  Then I got a call inviting me out after work.  One of my coworkers from my old location was moving and Friday was her last day, and they were going out to dinner to say goodbye.  For some reason being slightly run worn at work was ok but being funky for going out- not so much.   There was no time to get home and change in between work and dinner. So no run for me.   The dinner was fun though, it was sad to see her go.   Quite a few people went for drinks after but I had a race in the morning!  I headed home like a good girl.

This morning was the Spooner’s Cove Trail Run.  They offer a 5 mile, 7 mile, 25K and 50K.   The races are small, only about 160 people overall.   Which is good, because the majority of the race route is single track.

Black was the color in 2013

Black was the color in 2013

This was also my mother’s very first race.   She could have chosen an easy one like the HOB 5K, but she chose a trail race.  She’s crazy like that.  :)  Sign in and shirt pick up was organized and super easy.   No goody bag, but who needs random flyers anyway?  All races started at the same time and on time.    And we were off!

Along the bluff

Along the bluff

First 100 yards was uphill (woo hoo), on a paved road, and then it was trail bound.  The first 2 miles weaved along the bluff and it was the widest part of the trail.   I said that this race would be run at my mom’s pace and that is what we did.  We ran when she wanted and walked when she wanted.   And, like I said before, she walks fast!  As the trail narrowed into single track, it was amusing how frustrated she got when we got stuck behind someone who had slowed down.  We eventually got passed her and we were running again.

We were heading into the real climb part of the trail when I felt something stab me in my shin.  I was momentarily confused, the trail had widened and there weren’t any bushes with branches on the side.  I tried to ignore but it just seemed sharper.  So I looked down at my shin and there was a giant wasp/ yellow jacket on my sock.  I had been stung by a freakin’ bee!    I had to flick it off; luckily it seemed my knee socks took the worst of it.  However it stung for the next couple of hours.   For the next ½ mile, I was trying not to turn into a hypochondriac.  I was just out of breath because of the incline, I was not allergic!

Going up, before it got hard

Going up, before it got hard

Miles 2-4 were pretty much all uphill.   There was no running just walking, hard to feel bad though, most everyone else was walking too.   We tried to pick up the pace on every slight downhill when switching hills but it was harder than we thought.

The area has had very little rain.  The last time I did Valencia Peak, the mountain path was hard packed.   Not so much this time.  The sand was very loose; we were either sinking in it or sliding on it.   That did not help our time.  We finally hit the split, the 7 miles, 25k and 50K runners continue up the mountain another mile, and the 5 milers headed back down.  At this point, we had about a mile to go.

We ran down as fast as we felt we could, at one point being overtaken by the speedy 50K’ers.  They were hauling.  We hit the road and walked for about 30 seconds.  Another 50K’er ran passed and told us were so close.    They had 23 miles to go and they were cheering us on.

We ran down the hill, and across the finish line.  We crossed at 1:06:??.  My phone was in my jacket pocket and by that time it was tied in knot around my jacket.  I couldn’t get it to stop it, so I am unsure of what the exact time was.   My mom is a bad ass and finished her very first race ahead of me.   And it was a hard one.  She just kept pushing.  We got our medals and were stretching by the cove when she asked when the next one was!

Her first medal!!

Her first medal!!

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It was a good race and I am proud of our time.  We followed it up with a good lunch from Woodstock’s, a great salad and a slice of pizza.   Now it’s time for bed for me, my legs are kind of sore!

Playing with apps :)

Playing with apps :)

 

Anyone running Las Vegas this weekend?

 

Good luck to those bloggers (everyone else too!) running half-marathons, marathons and ultra’s this weekend.