Author: Fallon @ Slacker Runner

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!!

July Funk

July passed in a blur.

Partly because July is one of our busiest months at work and partly because I was kind of in a funk for most of the month. Ok, maybe that started in May.

I am still not sure why July was so funky for me. I mean, I know I was busy, I know I was stressed but I still couldn’t put my finger on why I was so moody. Yes, my birthday was also in July and it made me a little whiny. Ok, maybe a lot whiny. I didn’t even get the cake I wanted. Hmmm, maybe I am still whiny.

My running, while still not great, did increase compared to June. Not how it should have considering I have a half marathon at the end of August but it did increase.

I hit up some cool trails and finally got back to the top of Hazard Peak after almost a decade. Couldn’t see anything thanks to the Marine layer but I made it to the top! 🤣

I also ran a race, which I still need to recap. One of my favorite local races came back and I was so excited. My body disagreed but whatever. More about that later.

Speaking of funk, maybe it’s still here. It’s taken me 10 days to write this post. Oops. So here’s to August.

How was your July?

Spread a Little Kindness

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Kindness is Dope III  Knockaround Sunglasses to review 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!

We could all use a little extra Kindness these days, right? And if comes with cool shades as well? Even better.

For the third year, Knockaround (my favorite sunglasses) released their Limited Edition Kindness is Dope sunglasses pair. The Kindness is Dope Campaign aims to remind us to spread a little Kindness.

The Kindness is Dope set comes with 2 pairs of sunglasses. One for you and one for someone else. This year’s set included a pair of Mai Tai’s and a pair of Fast Lanes. Both frames were similar but different with a tortoise shell pattern. Cool! And if rocking a cool pair of shades helps the wearer to remember to throw a little kindness around, all the better. I’ve barely taken mine off since I received them.

I kept the Fast Lanes and sent the Mai Tai’s off to Texas. Kate is a such a great friend and is there for support any time I need it. Maybe I need it too much, but she’s always there for me, even at a distance. Plus, she had never tried Knockaround, so it was a double win.

There are still pairs available if you want to get your own. But outside of that, try to share a little more Kindness in your days. Every little bit helps.

JUNE JUMPED

I feel like I stood on a cliff on June 3 and jumped. Then it was July. Anyone else?

Let’s see…

Training for Santa Rosa in not where it should be. Luckily it’s early stages still but it doesn’t fill me with confidence for July and August. I ran way less miles than I had originally planned. Or even thought I did. I felt like I had a better month than the numbers show. And the numbers show next to nothing. I set up the most basic of training outlines which mostly just highlights how many miles my long run should be each week and somehow, I am already off track. Crap.

Part of the lower miles was heat related- it was over 100 for a couple of weeks. I never managed an early run as I slept like crap for about 2 weeks too. There were a couple of nights of no sleep. Even my watch was like are you ok? The first night I actually hit 7 hours in June, it gave me a congratulations. Ha! That didn’t stick around though. Boo.

I also wasn’t feeling so great in June. My chest still hurts and normally by now, my allergies start to ease up. I can’t sleep or even find a good position to lay down when my chest feels inflamed. Went for my annual chest x-ray and it shows nothing. Which is good but also annoying.

I did manage to get in some good trail miles though. A couple of which I looked like Ranger Rick for. I am trying to work out more sun coverage for the longer time on my feet days. Can’t find a good hat with decent airflow that covers my face and my ears.

On the work front my boss quit. WTH dude. Don’t worry I said that to his face, no talking behind his back. Then after a couple weeks of thought and stress, I took the jump. And now I have a promotion and a new title. Yay? Now I just need to get my ducks in a row. Thankfully I have an amazing crew, so we will make it work. July is our busiest month though so this should be interesting. Actually it’s the busiest month for the whole city so double yay?

While July is shaping up to be busy, I also have some PTO coming. Not as much as originally planned but still some. I am torn between hiding in a dark room for those days and decompressing or getting out and doing something. May depend on the weather… and the gas prices. There is also a local race I may sign up for. I am not in 10k shape but I do love this race and haven’t run it in years. Oh, and I have a birthday.

Here’s to July- Fingers crossed?