Let’s Go Oaktown~

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!

While I love running some of the same races over and over again, I like branching out too. I almost ran Oaktown half last year but didn’t for some reason. Right now I can’t remember what that reason was but I do tend to be forgetful like that, so…

Oaktown Half works in partnership with the people that organize the Oakland Turkey Trot. I was super impressed with that and I just participated in the virtual option, I am super stoked to experience all they have to offer in person on race weekend.

The race offers a children’s race, 5k and half marathon. They offer a challenge for the speedy as well- run the half at 7:00 AM and the 5K at 9:45 and earn a challenge medal. While I think that is awesome, I am not sure I can pull that off on race day. Last year the 5K was on Saturday evening and that seemed much more doable. This is still pretty cool though, gives me incentive to work on my speed between now and August 11. 🙂

There is also a challenge medal offered if you complete the Livermore Half in March as well. #allthebling!

The race even offers an expo-in-a-box option. If come July, I realize that race weekend travel may not be my thing, I can opt in for my bib, shirt and expo goodies to be mailed to me. That way I can just drive up on race day if needs be. Now that would be a 3 hour drive for a 7AM start so that doesn’t sound great but I love knowing that I have that option.

Want to join me in Oakland on August 11?
Use code BROAKVIP for 10% off!

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!

Ho-Ho Holiday

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!

Just like that, it’s race weekend.  

Wow, time flies when you’ve been sick.  😛   I have managed to get in a run but as you may know my training has been conspicuously absent these past 2 weeks.    Oops.

So, with that being said, what am I thinking?  I have run races on uglier month’s than these (looking at you Carlsbad).  I realize this will not be “raced”.  Likely, this will be barely run.  Run/walk intervals will be used and if that doesn’t work, walking it is.   I know part of the course takes runners on the Pomona raceway and I am looking forward to that.

And all the festive-ness!  I get the feeling that everyone is going to be wearing their holiday finest in running wear and I can’t wait to check it out.  I actually owned nothing festive so I took myself to Wal-Mart to remedy that situation.   I feel like I need more though, I didn’t get very much.  I still have time to look for more.   Hmmm.

This is my last race of the year and I just want to have fun.   And stay warm.  The 8AM start time will help but I am getting there early for packet pickup.  #allthelayers

What are you doing this weekend?


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?