Holiday Half Race Recap

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Holiday Half 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 start was a leisurely 8 but after a night of utterly horrible sleep, there was no need for my alarm and morning came too early.   I knew I needed to get my bib before the race so we checked out first thing and headed for the Fairplex.    The Pomona Raceway and Fairplex has more than enough parking but getting in was more challenging than I anticipated and took longer than I planned for.   Once we finally parked, we booked it down to the race start where everything was clearly labeled and picking up my bib and race shirt was easy-peasy.  

Then the clothing debate was on.   I was cold so I was wearing a long sleeve with my BibRave tank over it and my black fleece vest over that.  I had my beanie or trucker hat to choose from and had gloves.   I still wasn’t feeling great and tend to run cold so I was thinking all the layers.  My mother ended up taking the beanie and talked me out of the vest as well although I was whining about it the whole time.  I ran with my old waist belt instead of my pack as well because I didn’t want anything heavy on my chest.   So still feeling cold, I lined up at the start and under a dusting of fake snow, we were off!

Miles 1-3- 10:03, 11:33, 12:05
I knew this was going to be slower, I was thinking around a 12 min pace likely and figured I would pay more attention to my heart rate than my pace.  First mile- oops but I was feeling ok as we wound out of the Fairplex and into the surrounding neighborhoods.  I knew from the race website, it had some rolling hills so I made the early decision to walk them just because I had been sick.  Then I had to forcibly remind myself of that on the first one.  Mile 2, I was already tired, haha!  And mile 3, I was overheating.  The weatherman lied- how the hell do I get this undershirt off? I am going to melt!  We also hit the actual drag strip which was cool and the main reason I slowed- I took a lot of pictures.  😛

Miles 4-8- 11:12, 11:34, 11:48, 12:12, 12:16
The track actually gave me a little bit of a second wind so I was moving a little faster than I had originally planned.  Not exactly speedy but better than I had predicted.  The course was winding us through neighborhoods and parks and campgrounds and I was just enjoying the view.  We ran passed Raging Waters so that was kind of cool.  There was a lake on our left for a good chunk of the miles so there was always something to look at.   The pacers were making me mad though.  At this point the 2:20 and 2:15 pacers passed me, which would have been fine, except they were running together! Ummm- that’s not how it works!    Mile 8 brought us down into a park that we looped and then back out.

Miles 9-12- 11:32, 12:37, 12:27, 13:12
Things were going good until 9.5.  Then my body was done.    My legs and hips started talking back about the lack of miles in the last 2 months and I felt an asthma attack coming.   I came to a halt and then walked.  A lot, all the hills, most of the flats and only really ran the downhills.  Bummer as this section leveled out and brought us back to the race track.   Here another pacer ticked me off.  At mile 11.75 and 2:18 in (yes, I checked my watch) the 2:40 pacer passed me- running.  Wait, what?  I know they started after me, what the heck are they doing??

Mile 13-11:29
This mile drove me crazy.  I was trying to not have an asthma attack but I wanted to run and be done.  This mile was mostly S-curving through the race track parking lot to pick up mileage as we headed back to the Fairplex and it was in full sun. Why????? I still walked portions but finally jogged it in to the finish. Where’s my snowflake?  Oh wait, it’s a wreath.😛

Finish 2:36:34

I met up with my mother at the end of the finish chute and we hung out for a bit.   It was a little bit of a party going on but in the end I was sore and wheezing and needed to sit so we headed back to the car.   

I knew I wasn’t trained or fully healthy going into this race so I am A-Ok with my finishing time.  It was even a little better than I thought it might be and still not my slowest.   This was a great course though and I wonder what I could do healthy- those hills spoke to me.  

Oh and the 2:40 pacer? Finished before me. 🤨

Oh- and I got a fancy finisher’s certificate from Athlinks!

Oakland Turkey Trot

Disclaimer: I received an entry to Oaktown Half 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!

Let’s talk Turkey… trotting that is.

I love the idea of Turkey Trots but rarely make it to an actual one due to either distance or time.    I was stoked to hear that the Oakland Turkey Trot offered a virtual option.   Don’t get me wrong- as race day grew closer I wished I could join the party.   Everything they were posting on Instagram made me wish I could drive to Oakland on Thanksgiving.  The swag, the mural painting, the fun- man, I wish I could go!

My bib and swag arrived a few days before the race.  Talk about swag! I’ve run much larger races and received way less.  Oakland knows how to treat their runners right!

Race morning- Thanksgiving Day

The advantage to a virtual run is I could run anytime I wanted to; for me that was around 12.  Woo hoo!  No early wake up call and perfect temps.  Actually I overdressed as I had been sick during the week before and thought it was colder than it was.  Oops.

I was going to run my normal 5k route from my house but flip the beginning and the end so I could have a nice downhill finish.    Since I had been sick and this was a virtual race, I treated this more like a hard push run than a race.  I walked the first 5 minutes of mile 1- crazy right? But my later start meant I was already pushing it with family plans.  

From then on, it was a comfortable push tempo pace, enjoying the fall colors in my neighborhood.   I added in a hill in the middle to take out a hill at the end but still had around 300 ft of elevation over the 5K.  I don’t live in a flat area.   I walked another block or so during mile 2 due to an off leash dog.  When the lady grabbed the dog in alarm, I wasn’t taking any chances so I slowed way down until I was well past them.

All in all, I finished the 5k in 33:33 which made me laugh at the perfectness of it.  It also reassured me that had I actually raced it, I would have likely subbed 30.  Don’t have to worry about off leash dogs during races and I usually warm up first. 😛

I still wish I could have joined the epic party up in Oakland but I was glad I got to participate in anyway.

Did you Turkey Trot?

The Unexpected- Monterey Bay Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received an entry to Oaktown Half 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!

When I last left you, I had just received the email that had changed the course of my weekend.

If you are unaware- California is currently on fire, North and South of me; the largest of the fires currently being the Camp Fire and the Woolsey Fire.  Thoughts and prayers to all the victims and first responders.   I knew Woolsey was sending smoke our way but I admit I am bad about geography or maybe I was just naively hopeful when it came to the Camp Fire and Monterey Bay.    

When the wind shifts, it shifts, which is what happened on Saturday.   As a person with asthma who has been known to do stupid things (you’ve read about them here) I appreciate BSIM Events making the tough and smart decision for the safety of not only the runners but the volunteers and everyone else involved on race day. 

Within an hour, I had more emails regarding the race cancellation.  For those doing race day bib pick up, runners could still do so for their shirts and bibs at the predetermined location.  Medals would be given out to runners at the finish line festival starting at 7 if runners in the area wanted to come pick them up.  The beer tent was already up so it would start serving beer at 8AM.    You couldn’t run, but you could have a little fun.

I live 2+ hours away and one of the reasons I was doing race day pickup was because I was going to have the dog with me.   My mom was going to hang with her during the race but I wasn’t going to drag either of them 4+ hours just to pick up a shirt.  I felt a little weird picking up a medal for miles that I hadn’t put in but I appreciated the offer.

Then I got an email this week with more post race information.  I have to say that I am really impressed with how BSIM Events is handling this cancellation-

Deferral options???


And it got better-

They donated the food!

I loved this race before for the views, the organization and the on course support but the organizers themselves are class acts- I’ve run Monterey Bay, the Big Sur Marathon and Salinas Valley Half and loved them all.  

Race day may not have gone according to anyone’s plan but I will be back one day.  I waited 3 years, I can wait a little longer, it’s worth it. 

Ever had your race canceled?

San Jose- Ready or Not?

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Rock n Roll San Jose 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!

How is it race weekend already?  It just can’t be.

Don’t get me wrong, I am excited but I am also in denial because I don’t feel ready.   I missed a few runs and few miles along the way with this training plan.  I did well with the first 8 weeks of cross training then stumbled for 3 weeks.  This week has been strong again but is it enough?  I’ve been feeling poorly for 2 weeks now and stressed at work.  I haven’t run a half marathon since June and this is the longest race break I’ve had in years.

Ok, that sounds like I am freaking out.  Maybe I am.  Which is why I am reassessing that big goal I laid out in my first San Jose post.  And that finishing time goal I claimed on Athlinks.   I didn’t run enough flat.  I have a lingering right leg issue.  Work has become crazy (lost 2 employees in the last 3 weeks).  I am not canceling my PR goal just pushing it back a few weeks.

A bear!

So new plan- do what my legs and lungs want to do.  Take in the sights of San Jose- all I have seen before is the airport.  I am sure the city has more offer than that and what better way to see it than by running with a few thousand other people?

I love Rock n Roll races and what better way to shake the cobwebs loose than with some miles and good music along the way.   And for once the race doesn’t start at the crack of dawn.  Great news for a Slacker.  😛

So, here’s to a 4 day weekend (did I mention I took Friday off?) to decompress and run it all out.

Wish me luck!

The SF Marathon Training Week 13

13 weeks in and the title got a little shorter.  😛

After my last post, this recap may be a little boring.  But I was so excited about my 20 miler that I just had to share it.   Thanks for all your thoughts!   So let’s see how the rest of week 13 went.


Monday- 4 miles.   Home town was a comfortable 106 so I sucked it up and ran in work town.  I love the views there but feel so awkward.  I don’t know why I am so concerned for customers to see me.  I kept the pace nice and easy but it took me 3 miles to warm up.  My last mile felt the best which was funny as it was all uphill.


Tuesday- Rest.  I’m somewhat sticking to a day on followed by a day off running plan as it seems to keep my shins less aggravated.   Plus a rest day meant that I could participate in BibChat- my first as a BibRave Pro!  😃 😃   I’m looking forward to learning more and participating with BibRave.


Wednesday- 4 miles.  I’m sensing a pattern here.   I got off work early since I had to work Saturday.  Home town was still an oven so I headed to a new path in work town.  It kind of rocked.  I still felt super uncomfortable but I am going to work on pushing those limits.

Thursday-Rest.   I actually wanted to try a few miles to break in my new shoes but it didn’t happen.   I had an eye appointment at the end of the day and the dilation messes with my eyes.  I already have issues with too much brightness, even sunglasses weren’t enough protection post appointment.  I stayed in a dark room until they calmed down.  It wasn’t entirely a waste though.  I spent some time working on the blog.  The SLO milestone was still there- oops.  And now I have a discount page!

Friday-  Rest day.   I worked the late shift so I tried to sleep a little later in preparation for the weekend’s plans.   Wishful thinking, right?

Saturday- Rest.  Again, seriously?  This was intentional.  I knew I was planning a huge (for me) long run on Sunday so I was hoping to rest my legs.  I worked in the morning but things went well so we were able to get out on time.   I ran a few errands, rested the remainder of the day and hydrated like it was my job.    I also probably ate all the wrong things, oops.


Sunday- 20 miles.  Hell yeah!!  I am still riding high on this one.  I actually did it, woo hoo!  You can read all about that here.

28 miles for the week.   Could have been better but could have been worse too.   This week’s focus was on the long run and I would say mission accomplished.   Now if I could just stop talking about it.  😛   Sorry!

Food wise, things have been a little rough.   I would say I am around 40/60 right now.  My nighttime snacking has gotten a little out of control.  Oops.  I really need to get a handle on that.   I say as I eat a cinnamon bear…or 3.

How’s your weather?

What candy is your weakness?