Origin Story: HOB Fun Run

I was one of those people who never ran. You know the one- “I only run when I am being chased” type.   I was active in sports growing up- years and years of softball and tennis- but I hated running.  Why would anyone want to run?   I think I ran the mile maybe 4 times all through high school? Maybe, I was very good at getting out of PE.  😛

Fast forward to years later when I was working at Taco Bell.  I opened every Sunday so I was always headed there early in the morning- every so often I would notice that the main street in town was blocked off and people were running up and down it.  I couldn’t even contemplate the idea of a “fun run” so I had no idea what was going on.  It also never dawned on me that it was always the last Sunday in September that this happened.

Fast forward a few more years to 2007 and I had a career change.  That new career was big on community service.   I admit I was clueless but a coworker told me that a good way to ease into it was the fun run.  I’m sorry the what?   Turns out the HOB Fun Run was a big deal.   Last Sunday of September with races for all levels and ages. It was USATF certified, offered a decent prize purse and was flat and fast.  100% of race entries are donated to local charities.  There were 2 10k’s, 2 5k’s, a mile race, a kids 1/2 mile race, 75 yard dash and a mascot race.   I had no idea what any of that meant but they said it was easy to work an aid station and hand out water.  Ok, sign me up.


Holy crap, someone should have warned me that I was going to be cold!  I think my hands went numb.  I may live in CA but my town has crazy temperature fluctuations- I could have used mittens.    The first 10k was the masters division.  So yeah, I saw elites race before I ever had a clue what that meant.   They never wanted any water.  😉   The second 10K was normal people- except they were all still speedy.  The 10K has an unofficial time limit of 1:10:00-1:15:00 anything past that and you are running into the 5K start.  I didn’t know any of that out at the mile 1 aid station but it wasn’t a horrible way to spend a Sunday morning.

I worked the water station at mile 3 in 2008 and froze again.  2009 saw me working the aid station at mile 2- conveniently located in front of a grocery store and I went and bought us all donuts.   The runners were very jealous.    I was getting to know the stories- one man always ran in suit.   One year he had been running later after church so he just ran in his suit.  It became a tradition.   The mascot race was always hilarious. One year Smoky the Bear lost his pants.  The diaper dash was always adorable.   Plus the parents were always eager- the winner took home a washer and dryer.  😉

Throwback to my very first race

2010 was the first year I contemplated running.  My friend, NikeC was training for a marathon- I could handle a 5k right??   So instead of volunteering, I ran my first 5K.   It was hard and I walked more than I would have liked but I was back the next year.  And the next.  2012 was when I started volunteering at registration/ packet pick up on Saturday’s.  2013 saw my first double– I raced the 10k, quick bib change and ran the 5K.   Same story in 2014 with a dose of a massive asthma attack and another double race day in 2015.   I worked registration those 2 years as well.  Over the years, we got a little more organized running team wise and we now have a good showing-

HOB 5K Runners 04
Yeah, we stood out.

Things have changed over the years-the race is no longer USATF certified.  I heard it was more of a pain in the ass than it was worth.  The course has never changed though so you know the distance is accurate.   So now there’s only one 10K and 5K.  Running hit a boom and the number of local races grew which made the number of runners dropped a little.   Doesn’t matter, it’s still one of my favorite (and most stressful) races.

Sunday will mark my 10th time participating in the HOB Fun Run in some way.   I will be working registration in the park on Saturday and toeing the 10K line on Sunday.  I haven’t signed up for the 5K yet but it’s 95% likely I will.  😛

Do you have any “tradition” races?

Ever run a double race?



Week 38 Training Recap

So, I think I have been a little too hard on myself.  Maybe.    It’s been 50 days since I ran a marathon and I’ve been over sitting over here pissed that my long runs haven’t hit 16 yet.   This coming from the person who took 3 months off after her first half marathon years ago.     I think I momentarily lost my mind.   So, I am trying to get it back.   My legs are achy and I am more tired now than I was during marathon training.    I also have 6 races in the next 8 weeks.  Oops.   I have the opportunity to work with Ekiden Coaching though, so I am hoping that having someone to report to will reign in my craziness.  Fingers crossed!

Training for:

  • City to the Sea 13.1
  • Harvest Marathon 13.1
  • Golden Gate Half

So let’s get to last week!

Monday- 2.34 miles Another short Monday.    Not entirely my fault though.  You can read all about the creep fest here.

Tuesday- 8 miles bike, plank, pushups, bridges.  I had an appointment with my gastro and it was more of the same old, same old.  Decent cross training after though.

Wednesday- Rest.  I had planned on running but I fell off/ on my stool at work and it felt like I broke my foot.   The top swelled and turned purple.   Destructo girl, that’s me.   My planks had to be broken into 30 second sections- it hurt to bend my foot.

Thursday- 4.25 miles  Not the best but could have been worse.  I determine my last pair of PureFlow 4’s were dead dead though.   Calf pain, shin pain, foot pain, you name it this run had it.    I changed into my Nike’s for the last 1/2 mile or so.  I just really wanted to hit 4 miles!

Friday- Rest First early shift Friday in over a month- it was awesome.   Except the computers were down for the first 6 hours.   Oof.

Saturday- Rest  Well, does shopping and trying on shoes count as exercise?  I did clear 10, 000 steps without running though.  Woo hoo!    The PureFlow 5’s went back to the store.  I hate returning shoes!  I went in with an open mind and asked for help.  I tired on 10 pairs of shoes!!!  10!   I was torn between a pair of Nike’s, New Balance and Hoka’s.  I left with the Hoka’s.   Fingers crossed!

Sunday- 10 miles In my original schedule for myself, I really wanted to run 16 miles today.  But since I didn’t pull off 14 last week or 12 the week before, I decided to be smart.   After last week’s tunnel of dark and pain 8 miles, I headed out early and with a full Camelbak.   It wasn’t early enough.  The predicted high for the day was 102.  Ouch.  I optimistically hoped for 12 but knew 10 was more likely.  Especially since I was running this in my Nike’s.  I didn’t want to test the Hoka’s on a long run.   My Nike’s may be the least painful pair of shoes I own but they are not a distance shoe.   10 miles is their limit.  Truthfully, today I wanted them off my feet by mile 9.    The run was hot and long and I was tired.    I found a lone shady spot at the end and sat down.  Cool concrete post run feels kind of amazing.  😛

Rookie moment- My mom had planned on meeting me halfway so she could walk some miles but had texted that she wasn’t feeling well.  Which I got because I was thisclose to saying screw it when my alarm went off.  Anyways, while I was waiting for her to pick me up so we could do lunch I drank more water from my Camelbak then part of water bottle when she picked me up.   Too much water, too quickly.   I got so nauseated I thought I was going to lose my cookies.  Guess it’s a good thing I don’t eat breakfast before running right?   I know better!

16.6 miles for the week.   It is what it is.  There was a time when I would have called this a very solid week.  That was also the time when I lied to myself and said I ran long runs but rarely did.  I was also faster than so hmmm…..

How was your week?

Ever tried to run in Hoka’s? Thoughts?

How is it almost October?!?!?


You Never Know

Monday’s run was short and turned odd.  Not just because of my achy calves and silly shoes.    Remember my rule?


I headed to lake path after work on Monday with the hopes of doing a few laps in the new Brooks.  I am still having troubles breaking them in and my legs are giving me fits.   I was optimistic though.  I stopped once to retie my shoes- again.  Skipping the arches and using every lace hole near the ankle.  What are those called?

Anyways, my first lap was ok so I was hopeful to get in a few more miles.   On the second lap I noticed a woman with 3 dogs coming my way.  That in itself wasn’t odd, I see her and the dogs every time I run that path.  What’s odd is that she is usually with an older gentleman.  I didn’t see him that night.    I did see another man a few yards behind her though.   He caught up to her and I could see them talking.    Well, him talking and her walking.    He dropped back and she continued on but I heard her ask what color dog he was looking for.   I noticed that she waited until she was farther from him before saying something.  Hmmm.    I continued heading the way I had been running.

Hold up, the man had turned around and caught up to me on a walking break.   He started asking me if I had always been heading in that direction.  I was thankful that I could hear him even with my headphones (Aftershokz for the win!) but I made a big show of pausing the music.  I had no idea who this guy was, I didn’t want him to know I had heard his previous conversation.   He said that he couldn’t find his son.  That maybe he had run ahead.  Wait, what?  You just asked the other women about a missing dog?!?!?!   He also didn’t sound overly concerned either.

Ok, once again, another creepy run at the lake.  Time to get the heck out of dodge.   I picked up the pace and ran ahead.  I was keeping an eye out for a kid running though, just in case my paranoia was running in overdrive.    Around the corner, across the bridge and no kid.   Down a side street, half a mile later and almost back to the parking lot.   No kid.  Last curve to my usual stretching station and wait, what do I see?  What looks like a 12 year old boy… walking a dog.   Hmmm.   So I slowed and asked him if he had been looking for his dad.  He gave me the side eye.

Great, now I am the creeper.    He said yes so I told him that I thought he was about 1/2 mile back.     My calf had been twinging the last 1/2 mile so I decided to just call it a night.

So it turned out to be nothing creepy but it’s sad that you just never know.  And because of that you can never take things at face value.   My rule of thumb for running alone is that everyone is a creeper and needs to be treated as such until proven otherwise.  Does it potentially help keep you safer when alone?  Maybe?  But it also leaves a foul taste in your mouth when you mistrust honest situations.

Does this mean I am going to be less cautious on future runs?  Not likely.

Do you run alone?

Ever encounter a creepy situation?


Week 37 Training Recap

Training for:

  • City to the Sea 13.1
  • Harvest Marathon 13.1
  • Golden Gate Half

A week of shoe issues, calf issues, wardrobe malfunctions and a long run attempt that knocked me flat.   Yay?

should have napped with the cat

Monday- 2.0 miles.  Yeah, another run testing the new Brooks.  I also wore the wrong shorts.  This was a hot mess from the start and I could tell it just wasn’t going to get better.

Tuesday- Rest I was sore from the baby run.  😩

Wednesday-Rest Pizza night!! 🍕🍕


Thursday- 3.8 miles  I was optimistically hoping for 5-6 miles.  Fail.  Everything hurt.   Ankles, shins, calves.   Which led to whiny thoughts then deep thoughts.  Which prompted my last post and my concerns that my weight gain was affecting my shoes.

Friday- Rest I’ve closed the last 4 Fridays and I admit it’s making me tired.   Crossing the street on my way back to my car, I felt twinges in my left shin.   I was also feeling a little off so I decided right then that my planned 14 miler was going to be broken into 2 runs over the weekend.  I was trying to be smart for once. I failed.

Saturday-8 miles The first run of the weekend. I overslept and was feeling a little weird but if I didn’t run every time I felt a little off, I would never run.  I headed out around 9:30 but as the high of the day was only supposed to be 91 so I figured I would be fine.  If only I had known how wrong I was.

The run started off ok.  I was sticking to my 5/2 run walk intervals, wearing my Nike’s and compression socks and my shins/ ankles were feeling pretty good.  Since I was only running 8 miles I decided to throw in some hill repeats.  What was I thinking?  I was huffing and puffing but I kept running.  I did 2 hill repeats before running to the turn around point then back for another 2 hill repeats.   I felt fine though mile 6 then things went bad.

My 24oz water bottle was almost empty and I was slowing down significantly.   My town doesn’t believe in water fountains.  They are either turned off or locked up.  A little over a mile from house I passed an elementary school.  The gates weren’t locked!!!  Hallelujah!  I felt like a creeper opening the gates but I really needed water.    I was loosing steam though.  I barely made it up the last hill- I had to stop halfway up, I couldn’t catch my breath.   I normally love running the downhill and the flat on the way back to my driveway.   I couldn’t do it.  I hit 8 miles about 1/4 mile from my driveway and just quit.  I crawled back.  Once confronted with my driveway, I almost just gave up.  I was seriously thisclose to just sitting down partway up and hoping someone drove by.

That wasn’t the end.  Once I made it inside, I started overheating.   I was still sweating so I wasn’t freaking out about heat stroke but something was not right.   I tried taking a cold shower, chugging water and I had my brother bring me food.   Then I tried napping.  Every time I tried to stand up, everything kind of went black and tunnel like.  I kept going back to bed.   I spent the rest of the morning and afternoon sleeping.   I knew I had the Avocado Margarita Festival to volunteer at in the evening.  I finally managed to get up without the world spinning and I headed towards work town.  I treated myself to In n Out hoping it would make me feel better.  Not really.  Boo.   I left work town around 8 and was glad to see my bed when I got home.

Festival time!

I don’t know if it was too hot- only in the 80’s, not hot at all- or if it was the fact that I did hill repeats for the first time in months.   Or if I actually had a touch of something.  I later found out a coworker had similar issues on Saturday as well and they didn’t run.  They ended up doing nothing but sleeping after their festival shift.

Sunday- 10 miles bike  This time I listened to the off feeling I still had.   I had woken up at 7 with a pounding headache so I rolled over and went back to sleep.  I woke up at 10:30! feeling a little more human.   After running some errands I decided my 6 mile run was not a good idea and decided to just ride the bike.

13.9 run miles for the week.  Ouch. Let’s just chalk it up to a rough week and move on.   I wish I knew what set off Saturday’s issues because I never want to feel like that again.

Have you had a recent wardrobe malfunction?

Would you eat an avocado Popsicle?  Yes, it does exist.



The Weight on my Shoes

Thursday’s run hurt.

My calves were tight and my arches were sore and achy.  I think my PureFlow 4’s are dead.  Which is not cool as they only have 146 miles on them.  I think… I lost most of my shoe data when Nike updated their running app.  Boo.   But they felt dead on my run and since is my third pair of them, I am pretty familiar with the signs of a dead shoe.

So now what?  I am not hugely fond of the 5’s I have been testing.  Granted, I’ve only put 5 miles total on them.  The toebox feels small- which I usually like- but the ankle area feels very floppy.    I tried re-lacing them on my last run in them but they still felt off.  No bloody heels though, so that was a plus.


So while I was running, ok well, taking lots of walk breaks, I was thinking.   I’ve dropped thoughts about my weight recently- this still isn’t that post- but what if my weight is affecting my shoes?

Am I too large for my shoes?

I am honestly wondering this not trying to stir anything up.  When I was heavier I ran in support shoes.  Over the years as I both ran more and lost weight, my shoes kept getting lighter and with a smaller heel toe drop.  And things were mostly fine.   But now, I am heavier than I want to be by a decent amount.  Let’s be real, I am closer to the weight I was when I first started running than I am to when I was at peak fitness  2 years ago.    Could that be affecting my shoes?

I know the weight affects my form at times.  Especially if I wear the wrong pair of shorts on a run.   It could have all the markings of a great run but the wrong shorts right now will turn it to a crap storm real fast.   Which then throws off my stride.  So why couldn’t that be happening with my shoes?

Problem is that I don’t know how to test this little theory of mine.    I mean I could by another pair of shoes but all this shoe buying is getting a little expensive.  I am hesitant to return the PureFlow 5’s as I’ve only put 5 miles on them.   It took me 20+ to break in the teal pair of 4’s that I had but then I put another 200ish miles on them.    The last pair of normal running shoes-i.e more support- I owned was well over a year ago.  I actually gave them to my mother to be gardening shoes.  So that’s out as an option too.


Then on Saturday, I ran 8 miles in my Nike’s and my legs felt better than they have in weeks.   They have even less to them than my Brooks.  But, I was also in compression socks.  Is it all in my head?!?!

I would love to say I as going to lose the weight and all would return to normal.  But again, let’s be real, I’ve trying that for a year and failing in numerous ways.   So now what?

Help me, blog land, you’re my only hope!!!

Seriously, what are your thoughts?