Category: BibRave

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.

On the Calendar

Let’s talk races.

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 may be barely running but my race schedule says something different. I have 3 races in the next 5 weeks. 3! 5 weeks! Two of them are half marathons! All 3 have trail! 2 have pretty good climbs but all 3 have dirt! I love dirt!

First up is a 10K down in Agua Dulce that I love but it will kick my butt. It’s hard. Third up is a half marathon down in the desert… at night. I’ve been looking forward to it for years but I am trying to not get too excited as I may have puppy care problems. I have a back up plan for that though, I will be bummed but it’s life, right?

However, let’s talk about race#2! I’m heading north for the Marin Endurance Festival on Halloween weekend. There is so much going on that weekend. Saturday is the triathlon and duathlon events. I almost want to find a bike! But let’s be real, I wasn’t good at riding a bike when I was a kid, I really wouldn’t be now. I am disaster prone enough on my own.

Sunday is for the running. A half, a 10k and a 5k. All the fun kicks off at McNear’s Beach. The race website says there are 7 miles road and 6ish trail. So my big question now- what kind of shoes do I wear? Seriously, I am not joking- trail or road? I need to recon this trail.

What are your future race plans?

Oh, and if you want to join, you can save with code BRPRO10.

And seriously, what kind of shoes?

CDA Half Marathon- Recap

Holy crap, a real life race!

Disclaimer: I received an entry into CDA 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!

It’s been over a year since my last in person race. When the chance to run Coeur D’Alene came up, I jumped at it. Things would be open by Memorial Day, right? I wasn’t picked in the first run and I was bummed but then I was hit with the melanoma diagnosis and my brain ran away so maybe it was a good thing. A month or so later, something changed and a spot opened up. Once I made sure I could switch to the virtual if things didn’t change or if I had more things to deal with on the skin front. But… I headed out of town on my first race trip since March 2020 last week. Yay!

Holy crap, that is a long drive from the middle of California. Coeur D’Alene is gorgeous. The lake and the park with the trails is like runner heaven- could that just be plopped down where I am, please?

The race was utilizing a rolling start from 5:30AM to 11:00AM. You had to register for your start time before race day. I am an idiot and chose 8:30. What? I then stressed about it right up until race morning. I showed up early on race morning as I was concerned about parking. The parking lot was huge but throw in lots of runners combined with a busy public park and who know what could happen. This turned out to be a good thing as I heard the announcer say you could jump in and start if you were there early. Pick me! So instead of 8:30, I started a little after 7:45. Yay!

The first 3 miles headed out into city streets along the lakeside before looping back to the park. Man, there are some nice houses out there. The next 10 miles were on a paved path called the North Idaho Centennial Trail. This thing is 23 miles long! Again, can I have it please?

Going into the race, I had a feeling it was going to be a rough go. I figured if I walked it all and kept a 15 minute pace, I would finish around 3:15. Any running could bring me down but not far… I really am that out of shape. So there was a good chance this was going to my new personal worst.

And it was.

But I don’t care. This was about enjoying racing, taking in the sights and being around other runners again. I missed it more than I thought. It was so good. The course was awesome, lake views for most of it, dream houses for the other part. Plus, I decided I really like rolling starts. I never felt like I was back of the pack even though I definitely was. I was very warm though so I was questioning the sanity of everyone who started later in the day. I’ve never taken in so much water during a race before in my life. I drank 4 bottles on course.

So yeah, I was slow but it was fun. Other than some odd toe pain. That said, I would definitely run this race again. But maybe fly in?

Also, my finish time of 3:05:54 makes me laugh- it is exactly one hour more than my PR. To the second. That makes me giggle for some reason.

Keeping up with Hydration

Disclaimer: I received  NOW® Sports Effer-Hydrate 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 used to be so good at drinking all the water. Granted I had trouble hydrating properly on the run but not running? Oh I was good- usually clearing around 150 oz of water a day. Then COVID. It’s so much harder to drink all the water wearing a mask all day.

Then there’s running- I can never seem to drink enough when running. Probably because I used to drink way too much when I started out and usually made myself sick. Oops. Now I need something flavorful in order to remind me to drink more. I’m also trying to decrease the amount of Aspartame I consume – I know it’s a lot- as well as have become much lazier in the last year or so. Lazy, as in, mixing powders and trying to get them to dissolve properly in water has started to really irk me. And I’ve tried a lot of brands lately both via BibRave and local stores.

So, how about NOW® Sports Effer-Hydrate? And NOW® Sports Effer-Energy?

Nice convenient tube packaging. I can drop a tube in my purse and have it with me all day- and I am very attached to my purse- so knowing that I can have hydration on hand and a clean purse? Thank you!

The tablets inside are easy to break if you need to drop them in a smaller mouthed bottle. Which coming from someone who has wrapped other tablets in napkins and then smashed them with a stapler to break them is a huge plus. I wasn’t kidding when I said I have been trying multiple hydration options the last few months. These also make a satisfying fizzing noise while they dissolve.

How I prep for a run

I received the NOW® Sports Effer-Energy in Tropical Punch and the NOW® Sports Effer-Hydrate in Lemon Lime, Mixed Berry and Orange Strawberry. I have run with all of them as well as enjoyed them at work on crazy days- so every day? Flavor wise, my favorites are the Mixed Berry and Tropical Punch. Lemon lime is super light- almost too light and Orange Strawberry didn’t deliver like I hoped. Maybe it will grow on me? But I did like drinking them and actually finished off a bottle of water on a couple runs. We missed out on winter until recently, so it was around 70-80 degrees for all my recent runs.

Now did they give me energy or help my recover faster? I’m on the fence, however I can say that I did not suffer from the post run run headaches like I usually do. I’m on board! Now will they keep me from a headache when I am stupidly running in 100 degree weather? I’ll report back in 4 months.

I’ll be buying more.

Want to try it? Use code NOWSPORTS20 for 20% off your purchase of NOW® Sports products at nowsportsproducts.com**.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

**Offer valid 1/1/21 through 11:59 PM Central Standard Time 3/21/21. Offer valid only on products found at https://www.nowfoods.com/sports-nutrition/sports-nutrition-all-products. Prices are as shown. Some exclusions may apply. Must use coupon code NOWSPORTS20 in the Promotion Code field at checkout. While supplies last at nowfoods.com. This offer does not apply to applicable taxes or shipping and handling. Offer cannot be used on previous purchases. NOW Health Group, Inc has the right to end any promotion at any time.