Category: Ambassador

2022 Oakland Marathon Recap (10K)

Oh, I have some much to share from last week. So many miles- on foot and by car- but let’s start with the end of the week- I ran a race!!!

Disclaimer: I received an entry in the Oakland Running Festival 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!

I ran Oakland Marathon (Half) back in 2019 and loved all of the street art along the course. I ran it virtually in 2021 because I loved the medal. When the opportunity to run it again this year popped up, I was all in. I was looking forward to seeing of my fave murals along the half course as well as wondering what new ones may have popped up. Then COVID.

Don’t get me wrong, I was out of fitness in January before COVID hit but I essentially felt like I was starting from scratch afterwards. I lived in denial for a bit but by the beginning of March I knew there was no way I running the half. Yes, I could finish it but what damage would I do? So I dropped to the 10K, which the website made super easy so that was a bonus. Then race morning arrived dark and early. So dark, I got lost walking from my hotel to the start. Oops. Don’t do that.

I had done a rookie mistake and didn’t read the weather properly. I packed my BibRave singlet and a light weight long sleeve that I figured I would be ditching before the race started. Except the 10K started at 7 and it was 45 degrees. I still find that to be very cold, particularly on the top half of me. Crap. I layered the long sleeve under my tank and bought a cheap wannabe buff for my ears. I was still cold but it worked, mostly.

The 10K started at 7AM along with the marathon. When I first got to the start a little after 6, I thought it looked like it was going to be a small race and yet 30 minutes later- bam! Thousands of runners. Woah.

Still feeling new, I told myself to stick to my intervals for the 10K. 40 second run, 2 minute walk even if that meant it was going to be one of my slowest road 10K’s. My goal was to cross the finish line and not feel broken.

I did allow myself 4 minutes of running out of the chute. I knew I would not want to walk so soon but also didn’t want to blow it so soon either. The first 2 miles were run around Lake Merritt as the sun was coming up. I am lazy by nature so races are one of the few times I see sunrises. And this one was nice.
Mile 2 was also the first aid station where I promptly forgot how to drink water and choked.
Miles 1/2- 13:16, 13:24

After that graceful maneuver, we were running away from the lake and into town more. These miles were a little less scenic but still good. There were also drummers out at one of the aid stations. I still enjoyed looking for street art and getting a pic of Fallon St. I started to flag a little and grabbed some fruit snacks from my pack. Those seem to be the only thing I can make myself eat while running.
Miles 3/4- 13:17, 13:23

Miles 5 and 6 brought us back into downtown Oakland and we split from the marathoners. I was enjoying looking at all the buildings we were running by but my stomach was starting to cramp in a not good way. I also apparently found my running legs, ha!
Miles 5/6- 12:30, 12:01

Dude, the finish was uphill. Who does that???
Finish 1:22:15

With the exception of the last 100 yards, I really like the 10K course. Also, for the first time in a long time, I crossed a finish line pumped and not exhausted. Yeah, I was slow and still have a lot of work to do, but it was a good day and I needed that. All in all, it was a great experience.

Chasing It- Santa Rosa Half Marathon

Don’t flame out, don’t flame out, don’t flame out. On repeat in my head for 4.5 miles.

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Santa Rosa Half Marathon 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!

Race morning dawned all too early but then don’t they all. Plus I had now confirmed that the GI disaster that was Napa Valley was not a one off, ate at the same chain the night before Santa Rosa and same issues. However this time, I was prepared with both my meds and lots of Pepto. Fingers crossed.

The race started right at 7:30 with corral A going first and Corral B a few moments later. I was in B. I had very low expectations going into this race, both due to my lack of training and the weather circumstances. Smoke in the air and a very warm morning.

Mile 1, I went out too fast but no real shock there. Well, the 12:40 was kind of a surprise as I rarely see 12’s these days. I started interspersing walk breaks on my 30/50 schedule and just kept trucking. I was carrying electrolytes and knew I was taking water at every water stop. Mile 2 dropped me back into the 13’s which made sense as I already felt tired, ha!

Then things got wierd. I was moving along doing my thing, taking water, taking pictures of the course, listening to music but somehow gaining on the 2:50 pacer. What was going on?? Miles 3-5 saw a 12:59, 12:33, and 12:46.

Mile 5 also saw another feat. I caught up to the 2:50 pacers and then dropped them. Don’t get cocky, don’t get cocky, just keep going. We had hit a dirt, gravel part of the trail and I was loving it. It was warming up but there good tree cover. Mile 6- 12:39.

I was entering unknown territory in a few ways now. I was moving faster than I have in months, now farther than the distance I had run since May and now past the longest distance I had run in these running shoes.

I was also tiring but again, that made sense. I was slowing down but I’d also started to think I really could hold onto a sub 2:50. That would be almost 20 minutes faster than Idaho. I now feared hearing the 2:50 pace group. They were chatty enough that I knew I’d hear them first. I kept pushing… and repeating my new mantra.

Around mile 9, we looped around on the path and started making our way back to the start line. 4 miles to go and the wheels were starting to come off. We hit a section of direct sunlight and I started to melt. I took a wet towel at an aid station for the first time ever. (They’ve always kind of grossed me out.) I was walking more and more and then there was no more running.

I cramped. Hard. Both my calves seized up. Running was no longer an option. It just wouldn’t work. I was power walking as best I could. Which was also contributing to my issue as I was still maintaining a mid 13 pace. Which was also earning me comments from other runners as I passed a few- I was walking faster than they were running. Couldn’t tell if they were impressed or irritated.

But it was all for naught. I heard the voices I had been fearing. The 2:50 group caught up and dropped me. Wah. But that also took away my crazy push which may be why I suddenly felt a massive side cramp as well as the continuous leg cramps. At this point I was trying everything and even walking backwards at some points. Now I was just making people laugh. 12 and 13 were my slowest- 14:31 and 14:52.

This is the first finish line I have ever walked across. Even when I’ve had horrible GI races or rolled my ankle on the side of the mountain, I’ve found a way to at least jog across the finish line. This time? Nope! I just kind of struggle walked across the finish.

But I finished! 2:56:58– ten minutes faster than Idaho.

While this race was flat- and flat is not my fave- I would totally run it again. It reminded me of me, if that makes sense.

Going The Distance

Disclaimer: I received an entry into The Texas Distance Challenge 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!

2020 and I have not seen eye to eye. I doubt it had with anyone really.

My motivation to run has tanked. I wish I could say I was one of those people who used the lock down to jump start their miles or start a run streak. The ones who are turning in more miles than ever before. But nope, I have run less miles this year than I have since my first year running. Ouch. I like to tell myself it would be different if I was working from home but am I just lying to myself? I mean going into the office everyday is normal for me, granted we locked our doors for a while but I’ve gone to work everyday and still helped numerous customers everyday. So, it sounds like not much changed… right? But still.

So I needed a kick in the pants. Enter the Texas Distance Challenge.

I’ve kind of always had a slight obsession with Texas… and London. I blame all those cheesy romance novels I read years ago. Anyways.

Did you know it’s further from El Paso to Texarkana than it is from New York to Chicago? And props if you know the completely random way I learned that.

Yes, I put it on my bear… not the first time, probably not the last either

The Texas Distance Challenge went live on July 1, 2020 and continues until April 30, 2021. The Run the Crossing challenge- which I signed up for- is 814 miles. Or as they sneakily tell you- only 19 miles a week.

19 a week?? That sounds totally doable- sign me up!
Except 19 miles is more than I ran the entire month of July. And August. Crap.

I still have 7 months right?? I can do it… can’t I?

Kind of love this bandanna

Participants get to view their progress on a map as they complete the challenge. Y’all, I’ve barely left El Paso. I have already received some pretty sweet swag and I hope to earn even more as I journey on.

Challengers can also ride the crossing, or ride the loop (all around Texas) and there are various detours. I’ve committed to the run/walk of the crossing, so now it’s time to put up or shut up.

Come join! I need the moral support. I think I can, I think I can.

Giant Race San Francisco

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Giant Race- San Francisco 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!

This was the year. I was finally going to run The San Francisco Giant Race. I’ve been wanting to run this race for years. I am not even a huge baseball fan but I this race has been on my to-do list for years. Maybe it’s because the stadium was such a great thing to see during my first marathon. It meant I was close to the finish. Maybe because it’s a gorgeous park, maybe it’s because I grew up playing softball.

Different name back then

The idea of running a race and ending in the ballpark was awesome. Getting to explore the park? Even better. Count me in! Except every year the race was the same weekend as my mother’s tennis tournament. The one where I am always a chaperone. Grrr. So in the beginning of 2020, I told her she needed to find another chaperone, I was finally running my race.

You can all see where this is going. 2020. Yeah.
I even held off on posting something as I was afraid to jinx it. But nope, it went virtual around a month ago.

I had planned my vacation around it (granted that vacation originally started with a marathon too). I signed up for the Lou Seal Challenge and was going to run the 10k and the 5k. The plan was to take the 10K easy and try to race the 5k. Previously I had only a week to recover from the marathon now I have COVID induced laziness to contend with. Ha!

The beauty of a virtual race though is the flexibility. So instead of running the races back to back, I will be running them on consecutive days. Or slogging them, as it is. Let’s be real here… even back to back running on 2 days will feel hard. Tell you all about it next week.

But the swag-

I am not afraid to say, it’s all kind of awesome.

Looking for a virtual challenge this weekend? Join me (virtually) and use code Giants2020 for $10.00 off.

What virtual races have you done?

Looking to Santa Rosa

My bad. (Do people still say that?) I swear I published this back in February. A search of my blog history told me I was crazy. Then I found it in my drafts. Oops. And now things have changed drastically.

This was supposed to be a post where I cagily announced I had my third marathon on the calendar. Actually I am still registered for the full but let’s be real here, the events of the last few months have changed so many things and least of all was my running. Like I kind of just stopped. I had less then 30 miles in March and April.

So instead- I really hope this race will be my next in person race and my 41st half marathon. I even have a real training plan for it. Like, real real. And if we have to go virtual- which the race is prepared to do if needs be- I will still run the 13.1 miles. Prove to myself that I can follow a training plan.

As for the original post or parts of it—

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!

In the spirit of running new and different things this year, enter Santa Rosa Marathon. So far every race I am running this year is north California- changing it up!

Also for a person who doesn’t drink, my favorite types of runs are those by vineyards. Or through them.

Santa Rosa Marathon offers a full weekend of fun. There is a full marathon, a half, a 10K and a 5K. The 5K and 10K are on Saturday and the half and full on Sunday. Who knows, be crazy- run 2 races! The full marathon gives runners the chance to run through the barrel room at Deloach Winery. Ok, kind of bummed to miss that. Oh, and the full and half runners get a hoodie instead of a tech tee. I love hoodies.

Santa Rosa takes place the last weekend in August. Fingers crossed for good weather, but really, isn’t north cooler than where I am? Now fingers crossed it’s small enough to happen.

Also I need to find a hotel. Scratch that, that was true the first time I wrote this, I have booked a hotel since then… in February.

If you want to join me in August use code SAVE10 to save 10%.

What are you looking forward to?