Category: BibRave

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.

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!!

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.

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.

Marin Endurance Festival Recap

Sometimes being smart is stupid. But still the right thing to do.

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Marin Endurance 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 didn’t run the 2 weeks before the Marin Endurance Festival, and if I’m being really honest, I barely ran in all of October.

Race week actually started off with a foggy, pain filled head thanks to a sinus infection. Grr. Plus the last few weeks of work have left me feeling fried. Which is also why I ghosted on the blog for 2 weeks. Maybe one good thing about getting older is that I finally admit these things to myself. Well, sometimes.

I had my bib mailed to me as I knew making the pickup window was likely nil. I swear the word “half” written on it just kept taunting me. I knew I needed to downgrade but pride is a stubborn thing. Even when I woke on race morning with an asshat stomach, I still wasn’t completely sold on dropping down.

However, sanity prevailed and I located the solutions table on race morning and dropped to the 10k. Which then left me to kill time as the 10k started 45 minutes after the half marathon. Lucky the start/ finish area was freaking awesome – McNear’s Beach with palm trees and shoreline views. It was also freaking cold and I was wishing I packed more than just my long sleeve. I attempted a real warm up but my stomach fought back so I just took another Pepto and walked a little. Finally it was go time.

Right up a hill. I know I’m out of shape but I don’t usually walk that quickly in a race, ha! I alternated between running and walking as we headed out of the park towards the city with shoreline views . We turned around near 1.5 miles and headed back the way came. Again… uphill. Miles 1-2 : 12:21, 13:15

The 5k mark was pretty much the top of that hill and it felt way harder than it should have been. Boo. The road narrowed and started snaking around the hillside as we ran towards China Camp State Park. I was also melting. Rookie mistake- long sleeves was a major miscalculation. I have zero complaint about the views along the way. Mile 3: 13:40

I was starting to get confused though. Mile 3 was the last mile marker I saw that made sense for the 10k. I started seeing runners up on the hill on the trail and off the road. Some of them were wearing 10k bibs which confused me. The course description said only the last .4 miles were trail. But no runners were coming back my way, save one lone female runner around 1/2 mile later. Huh?

We hit the 10K turnaround and on the way back were sort of directed off the road and up a trail. Have I mentioned I love dirt??? I was tired and barely running but I managed to pass up all the 10k runners who had been in sight for the last part of the race and drop them. And also keep them behind me. It’s the little things.😂 Miles 4-5 : 13:05, 14:18

As much as I love trails, I was learning that my shoes were very wrong for rocky dirt and was extra glad I had dropped from the half.

There was also a scary moment as we came across a runner being medically evacuated from the course on the trail section. How the paramedics got the stretcher up there I have no idea. Good news was that the runner was not on the stretcher but walking, albeit with a firefighter on each side and very, very wobbly- down the trail. Hopefully it wasn’t anything too serious.

Then it was more dirt trail with a very misplaced mile 12 sign down to the road and into the back of the beach park. I walked some more but managed to actually run across the finish line which is more than I can say for either of my last races. Mile 6: 14:27

Finish – 1:24:33

This is my slowest non-full trail 10k ever. That said, it’s my fastest 10 in years.

I really liked this course. Logistics were a bit of an issue both course wise and parking – my car was 2 miles away😂😂. Still, this is a course I would recommend. I feel like a better in shape me should try the half some future year.