Berkeley Trail Adventure- Recap

This may be my year of trail races.

Way back in September- Berkeley Trail Adventure took place up in Berkeley in Tilden Park. I actually registered super late for it- just a couple of days before the race. Turned it into a family affair- my mother, brother and I all headed up on race morning. That meant a 4AM leave time. It was rough not gonna lie. I was registered for the 10K and my brother was registered for the 35k.

The 35K started first with the 50K’ers and then I had some time to wait before the half and then the 10K started. The half ended up starting 15 minute early so I thought maybe the 10K would but nope. We started on time, which normally is great, I was just confused, ha!

The race started by running up a little hill and then through the parking lot to get to the trails. I am torn on how I feel about these trails; parts I loved and other parts felt like I was in someone’s backyard. Because we kind of were. Parts of the trail backed up to a neighborhood or overlooked a golf course. Other parts made you feel like you were in the woods far away from civilization.

I had had crap week and was planning on taking it easy for the race. A look at the course elevation showed that we climbed for 3 miles and then ran downhill for 3. The incline didn’t look too steep- my favorite kind of course. The first 2 miles lived up to the course profile. I was feeling decent about the hills and making decent power hike time.

Then the last part of the hill to mile 3 killed me. I felt like parts were vertical and was trying to figure out where the hell this had been on the elevation profile. I was dying. I felt a little better when what looked like a super fit half marathon runner passed me – they were moving slightly fast than me but also showed they were struggling. Solidarity.

Not the actual hill, an easier one from earlier in the race3

Once I finally made to the the top, I had to walk more than I would have liked just to bring my heart rate down. I was also struggling to get my water bottle back into my pack for some reason and it was making me cranky. So of course I look up and see the race photographer. I shouted out seriously?!? Then I just to run by him without any other issues.😂

I don’t look like an idiot!

The next mile or so was an awesome runnable downhill and I suddenly felt like I was in the zone. I felt I could have stayed there all day. But we couldn’t, the course looked back round to first mile or so and now we were running those rollers the opposite way.

And my body let me know it was toast. So I walked a lot. Which was fine but I was missing that zen feeling I had a mile back. We came back to the finish through the parking lot and then had a small uphill to the finish line. Boo.

Finish- 1:39:32

Once across, I got some snacks and waited for my brother to finish his race. I had an idea of what I thought he would finish in and just kept looking for his bib color. I was realizing that if I was right, he could very well place. And he did. 4th overall and third in his age group. Hell yeah!

While I didn’t like this course as much as Santa Cruz, I would definitely run it again. Just wish it was closer.

Ghosted

Oops. Didn’t mean to disappear. My last post was about Santa Rosa. That was August. Oops.

Running or power hiking has been decent since then. I have three trail races to recap and tell you all about. Those will hopefully be up soon.

I had a great trail day at the beginning of October where I went out with the plan of getting lost. I did pretty well. 😄. And I don’t mean really, rally lost. I didn’t want to follow any sort of plan and just changed course each a time a trail intersection looked interesting. I was in a funk mentally and hoped a choose your own adventure kind of day would knock me out of it. I’m also not completely stupid so my adventure was only around 9 miles when it could have been much longer.🤣 Also I kind loved that it was so foggy for most of the day.

Work has been stressful so let’s just leave it at that.

My quarterly strip search- dermatology appointment- prompted another biopsy. Which came back bad and necessitated another cancer excision. I’m getting pretty good at dealing with stitches. Learned I was allergic to paper tape as well as bandaids though. Seriously? On a gamble I tried KT tape. Success!! Expensive as a tape option but worth not trying to claw my skin off due to the itching.

Good news was they got clean margins. Yay! The excision and stitches did mean I had to cut back on running. I tried to only walk, the stitches were high on my back and every single sports bra I own went right on top. Boo. I ended up deferring Joshua Tree half. I blamed the excision for taking away my training time but truthfully I just wasn’t feeling it.

I’m still kind of in a funk but trying to dig my way out. Think a stupid amount of Hallmark Christmas will help?? Or hurt? Maybe some online shopping?? I’m on staycation at the moment. Maybe I have too much time on my hands.😂

What’s new with you?

Santa Rosa Half Marathon -2022

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Santa Rosa Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

After last year’s race where I cramped for 4-5 miles I felt like I needed redemption. Plus I do really like the course. And it gives great swag. Bonus! I stayed in a cute little hotel near the start and was able to walk to the start on race morning. Left the hotel a little later than planned but still made it so the start with time for a port-a-potty stop and meeting up with another BibRave Pro- Autumn.

We lined up in our corral a few minutes before the race and then it was go time. I tried to film my brother crossing the start line, I am lucky I didn’t fall on my face, ha! The first mile or 2 loops around downtown and we run passed the coolest Barnes & Noble. I ran into another Pro- Stephanie just before mile 1. She was pacing the 2:50 half. My calves and ankles were super sore so I knew I couldn’t hang with the pace group very long, even with run/walk intervals.

From then on, I was on my own. I was moving slower than I had hoped but I also knew I was moving at a realistic pace. The bulk of the miles of the race are on the River path so I was curious if I was going to be passed by my brother on the way back before the path split. I knew he was trying to see if he could break 2:00 for his first road race. I didn’t end up seeing him before we crossed the river and headed down the dirt path. Not gonna lie, the dirt path portion is my favorite part of the course.

I turned on my headphones around mile 7, needed a little kick in the pants. A little after the mile 8 marker, I heard the footsteps of a pace group behind me. I turned to see the 3 hours pacer behind me. I growled and told him “no offense but I really didn’t want to see you today”. He laughed.

I then spent the next 5 miles trying to outrun him. It was harder than it should have been. Even though I had told myself any finish time was good as long as I crossed the finish line without leg cramps I was irritated that I couldn’t move any faster. I zero pep in my step. Zero.

Oh! At the 2 hour mark on my watch I texted my brother to see how he finished. A couple minutes later, he texted back- 1:41. Holy sh**!!!! I also may have shouted that out loud as I was running… I may have gotten some funny looks from other runners. I am here to entertain, haha.

Mile 12 brought us back into town and I was ready to be done. I walked a longer stretch here than planned. I saw my brother about a block away from the finish line. Even though I was a couple minutes slower than 2021, I was able to run across the finish line this year as opposed to hobbling.

Finish- 2:59:28

This may be my favorite flat course. Maybe one day I will even be speedy at it.

Santa Cruz Trail Run- Recap

Oh, do I have a weekend to tell you about.

I’ve already said I planned to run Santa Rosa Half marathon on Sunday but what I didn’t mention was that my brother had decided to make Santa Rosa his first road race. As long as I also ran his first trail race with him. The day before Santa Rosa. Hmmm. But, ok- hello Santa Cruz!

He signed up for the trail half but I knew there was no way I could do that the day before Santa Rosa. I signed up for the 10k instead. Smarter, right? So my brother started running a month ago. But he’s been a crazy mountain hiker for years. So, in other words, 13 miles is a warm up for him.

Race morning dawned all too early after a drive up to Santa Cruz post work on Friday. I was suddenly grateful for the late start of 8:45 for the half and 9:00 for the 10K. We got to the race with plenty of time to get ready, get our bibs and overhear some very interesting conversations, ha!

The races started a little late but honestly I’ve never run a trail race that has started on time. Brother’s race started first and mine a little later. I had no goals for this race other than to enjoy the scenery and have fun. Knew I couldn’t push before the next day.

This course was amazing! The Redwoods and the trails, I could have stayed in there for days and days. I stopped at one point to just take pictures, the views were so good. The climbs were easy other than a lot of them had soft sand and I hate soft sand. I may have posted some cranky stories to Instagram, haha. The course took you through shaded trail, up hills, on some asphalt fire roads/ trails- it was awesome.

Being slower meant that sometimes I was out on the course all by myself. Which, while awesome sometimes I was concerned I missed a trail marker. I’d be running down a hill, lost in my own world and suddenly realize I hadn’t seen a yellow flag in while. Oops. Luckily, I never got lost, I just need to pay more attention. I don’t even wear headphones on trail races but this course was just so cool.

Around 3.5 miles in I felt a sharp sting on my left hip. So sharp, I actually came to a complete stop and may have yelled “what the f**k” out loud. It hurt so bad I also pulled my pants down on the trail. Ha! There was a large welt on my hip but I never saw a bug. What the hell? Now, over the years bugs seem to like me but I have never had a bite hurt this much. It hurt for the next few miles. I actually stopped and looked at it again around mile 5.

There was a hill around mile 5 that I could have done without but that’s my fault for being out of shape. I crossed the finish line around 1:41 and was fine with that. Strava has my moving time around 1:35ish, like I said I stopped a few times.

Once cross the finish line, I got my medal and shirt and started waiting for my brother. He had been training around 2:30-2:45 so I figured I had some time to go back to the car, maybe lose my pack and change my shirt. The top 3 male half finishers had just finished. I was walking near the finish line towards the parking lot not paying much attention when I looked up and saw my brother. Wait, what? I may have hollered out “what the f**k?!” again. Runners who had finished were sitting nearby at picnic tables busted up laughing.

My brother pulled a 2:01 on a 13.5 mile course with over 2000 ft elevation gain. He was 6th overall. What the hell? So, yeah he had a good race.

Overall, I loved this race- low key, with good medals, swag and good finish line area. I will definitely run this race again.

Racing to (Santa) Rosa

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Santa Rosa Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

It’s race week, say what???

Not only is it race week, the weekend is upon us! That snuck up on me. Well, let’s be honest, the past few months have snuck up on me. And then dropped me like Kipchoge rounding the corner on Boylston.

At the mid point of the year I realized I was somehow behind on my miles from 2021, which is so not good. However, July and August improved as I attempted to tighten my belt and train for Santa Rosa. I felt like I needed redemption for 2021.

2021 Start

See, I know I am not fast. I know I’ve been walking more than running. But now I know the course- which is scenic and I really like- and my goal is to not cramp. The leg cramps from last year still color my view of the last few miles, ha! I really would like to run across the finish this year instead of hobble.

Also, somehow, Santa Rosa will my brother’s first road race! And the mountain hiker/climber that he is- he is aiming for sub 2 for his very first road half. I specify half because I still need to tell you about Saturday but that’s for another day.

All right, Santa Rosa, let’s do this!!