Category: Race Day

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.

Santa Cruz Trail Run- Recap

Oh, do I have a weekend to tell you about.

I’ve already said I planned to run Santa Rosa Half marathon on Sunday but what I didn’t mention was that my brother had decided to make Santa Rosa his first road race. As long as I also ran his first trail race with him. The day before Santa Rosa. Hmmm. But, ok- hello Santa Cruz!

He signed up for the trail half but I knew there was no way I could do that the day before Santa Rosa. I signed up for the 10k instead. Smarter, right? So my brother started running a month ago. But he’s been a crazy mountain hiker for years. So, in other words, 13 miles is a warm up for him.

Race morning dawned all too early after a drive up to Santa Cruz post work on Friday. I was suddenly grateful for the late start of 8:45 for the half and 9:00 for the 10K. We got to the race with plenty of time to get ready, get our bibs and overhear some very interesting conversations, ha!

The races started a little late but honestly I’ve never run a trail race that has started on time. Brother’s race started first and mine a little later. I had no goals for this race other than to enjoy the scenery and have fun. Knew I couldn’t push before the next day.

This course was amazing! The Redwoods and the trails, I could have stayed in there for days and days. I stopped at one point to just take pictures, the views were so good. The climbs were easy other than a lot of them had soft sand and I hate soft sand. I may have posted some cranky stories to Instagram, haha. The course took you through shaded trail, up hills, on some asphalt fire roads/ trails- it was awesome.

Being slower meant that sometimes I was out on the course all by myself. Which, while awesome sometimes I was concerned I missed a trail marker. I’d be running down a hill, lost in my own world and suddenly realize I hadn’t seen a yellow flag in while. Oops. Luckily, I never got lost, I just need to pay more attention. I don’t even wear headphones on trail races but this course was just so cool.

Around 3.5 miles in I felt a sharp sting on my left hip. So sharp, I actually came to a complete stop and may have yelled “what the f**k” out loud. It hurt so bad I also pulled my pants down on the trail. Ha! There was a large welt on my hip but I never saw a bug. What the hell? Now, over the years bugs seem to like me but I have never had a bite hurt this much. It hurt for the next few miles. I actually stopped and looked at it again around mile 5.

There was a hill around mile 5 that I could have done without but that’s my fault for being out of shape. I crossed the finish line around 1:41 and was fine with that. Strava has my moving time around 1:35ish, like I said I stopped a few times.

Once cross the finish line, I got my medal and shirt and started waiting for my brother. He had been training around 2:30-2:45 so I figured I had some time to go back to the car, maybe lose my pack and change my shirt. The top 3 male half finishers had just finished. I was walking near the finish line towards the parking lot not paying much attention when I looked up and saw my brother. Wait, what? I may have hollered out “what the f**k?!” again. Runners who had finished were sitting nearby at picnic tables busted up laughing.

My brother pulled a 2:01 on a 13.5 mile course with over 2000 ft elevation gain. He was 6th overall. What the hell? So, yeah he had a good race.

Overall, I loved this race- low key, with good medals, swag and good finish line area. I will definitely run this race again.

Silver Moon Race Recap

I first heard about Silver Moon back in 2021 but it was same weekend I was running CDA Half up in Idaho. I was bummed to be missing out on a new local race, especially since most of my local races had all disappeared… and that was even before COVID.

So when it came back for 2022, I was on board. Except it was pricey. I had trouble rationalizing that kind of $$$ for a 10K. The race offered a 10k, 6-12-24 hour, and 100 mile option and a wine walk. The 6 hour was only $10 more than the 10k so I thought why not? Plus the race started at 6pm and ran until midnight which meant hours of running under the full moon. I figured I could do between 3-4 mile an hour and just have fun and enjoy a new challenge. I knew I was in no shape for any form of speed.

Race day came only 7 days after Yosemite Half. Which may have been fine except my quads were screaming from the 7ish miles of downhill and my feet were still raw from wearing the wrong damn socks on race day. #rookiemove Then a period from hell along with a migraine moved in on Thursday/ Friday. In fact, I left work early on Friday, I felt so horrible.

For the next 24 hours, I went back and forth on DNS’ing, dropping to the 10k or stupidly trying for the whole thing. Did I mention it was supposed to be in the low 90’s at go time? The slightly smarter part of me prevailed and I dropped to the 10k.

The race takes place at Cass Winery and consists of a 2 mile loop around the vineyards. Dirt road is my favorite surface and I didn’t even need my trail shoes.

The race actually started a little early and we were off on our first loop. The 10k had 3, so slightly shorter than a full 10K. It was 91 degrees. I died 1/4 mile in. I was so damn hot, I don’t know if I’ve ever felt that hot before. I almost lost my lunch around mile 5, never been that nauseous at a race before. I would say I walked 99.9% of this “race”. Even walking, my heart rate was in the red for the entirety of the 6 miles. Ouch.

Finish 1:29:17

I crossed the finish line and wanted nothing more than an ice cold Coke. I found warm coke at the finish line aid but found ice cold water up in the Barrell Room at the after party for the 10K runners and the wine walkers. I also may have hid in the air conditioned room until I was less tomato red, ha!

The party was still going when I left but all I could think about was a nice cold Frappuccino from Starbucks. So I made my way there via the backroads… only to be told they closed early! I was so bummed.

Beauty of back roads

The concept of this race was great and I really liked the loops around the vineyard, this was just not my day. I still hope it comes back next year, I need redemption.

Yosemite Half Recap

I have been trying to run a Vacation Races race since before the pandemic. I think I have deferred either
voluntarily or due to COVID for 3-4 different races. Oops.

In 2021, Kate and I were supposed to run Lake Powell in October but well, life. We decided to defer to
Yosemite Half as it looked amazing and gave us until May 2022. Sounded perfect! Kate trained and I
well… yeah.

Anyways, May came faster than I thought it would. Suddenly it was time to race. I drove up to
Yosemite with my mom and Kate and her boyfriend flew in from Texas. We met up for a carb heavy
dinner on Friday before the race and bemoaned the fact that we needed a 3AM wake up call to meet
the shuttles. Ouch. The race was a point to point race starting up the mountain in the forest and
running down to Bass Lake.



The shuttle to the race went perfect even if I closed my eyes on the winding, back roads. I get car sick
too easy for that. It dropped us off at the start in the cold, dark woods. The announcers were trying to
keep everyone’s spirits up and there were plenty of porta-potties. Hehe. This race did something very
smart- they started the slower runners and walkers first. I’ve always wondered why races don’t do that.
I was planning on running with Kate and while we weren’t their exact target pace, we jumped in with
the runners/walkers and started at 5:45.


The first few miles are on a nice dirt road winding through the forest. I was in runners heaven. Kate
however was not. Things were not going her way and just before mile 3 and the first aid station, she
told me she was dropping. I was sad and after double checking that she was good, I continued on my
way. Miles 1-3 took around 50ish minutes.


I knew I was in no shape to run this race so I figured I would just run what I could and walk what I
couldn’t. Except I forgot to take into account my love of forests and the downhill miles coming up.
For the next 7 miles, I was throwing down miles in the low 12’s and high 11’s. This was not going to end
well. The only mile that was slower at the point was the one I had to lose my top layer and replace my
bib. That took effort, ha! I was loving the downhill and all the views but knew I was probably going to
pay for this fun.

And I did, the blow up started around mile 10 and continued on to the finish of the race. These miles
flattened out a bit and as we got closer to the lake, the humidity upped itself a notch too. I was toast. I
pretty much walked in these miles. The last 3 miles took around 45 minutes.


I crossed the finish line 3:04:53. Who knew I was going to be so close to under 3?

Also who knew I was going to be happy about that considering my PR is an hour faster than that. But considering where I am fitness wise right now, that number is something I am good with. And yes, I know the downhill was a
huge help but it gives me hope. Plus I got to see Kate this weekend and finally run a Vacation Race. It
will not be my last.

Despite the shuttle driver getting horribly lost twice on the back from Bass Lake. Ha!

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.