Race Day, Recap, Run!

Tent City Half Marathon Recap

This may be the latest I’ve ever finished a race recap.

I’ve been talking about half marathon #30 since October but never made it work, finally I stopped talking and just signed up for a race the same day my training plan called for 19 miles.  I figured 13 supported miles with other runners followed by 6 solo miles was better than 19 lonely miles.

Tent City is in it’s first year and that generally makes me leery of races.  It offered a full, half, 10k, 5k and None run.  Packet pick up was a sure sign that it was a first time, small town race- a folding table next to an open van with the shirts and numbers.  Did I mention it was in front of a creepy abandoned building?😜

Ok, maybe not so abandoned.  The race was a fundraiser for the Printery Foundation which is working to restore the Printery building which is over 100 years old.  But until then I think it looks kind of haunted.   Call the Winchester brothers.  Did I mention this was also the start line?   In the dark.

The race started at the crack of dawn in the cold and dark.   Seriously, the sun hadn’t risen and it was 34*.   Dude, what??? I had my fleece vest from the week before and debated wearing it, I mean 13 miles…I’d warm up right???  I stayed in the car until the last possible moment before heading to the start line to find a port-a-pottie.  Luckily I had thought ahead and brought a Knuckle Light with me as the bathrooms were completely dark.   I was so cold.  Luckily, the announcer said a few words, the National Anthem was sung and we were off.

Miles 1-3 10:16, 10:46, 12:04  I wasn’t planning on racing this- it was more a training run so I was going to happy with anything around 2:24-2:30 overall.  The first mile looped us around numerous downtown city blocks before heading out onto the highway out of town.   I was kind of surprised when I figured out what highway we were on, we were running on the closed shoulder while the lanes were open.  We crossed a bridge and I was wondering where the first mile marker was.  Checked my watch and saw that we were past a mile so I figured I missed it.     But I never saw mile 2 or mile 3… ok, so there are no mile markers. Ummm?   I was feeling an odd tingling in my backside during mile 3- it was more that I felt like the zipper to the pocket on my pants was super cold- almost too cold but I ignored it and it went away.  Probably shouldn’t have.

Miles 4-7 11:37, 10:43, 12:22, 11:52  I was slowing for no apparent reason but the reality is that I actually had no idea.  I was trying not to pay attention to my watch as this was a training run.  I had to look at it occasionally as the lack of mile markers was actually frustrating.  I wanted some idea of where I was.  Plus the course was an out and back so I knew the turn around had to come at some point but it seemed too far out.  I was enjoying the scenery of the back road we were now on but once again, it wasn’t the best road for runners.  We now had an entire lane to ourselves but drivers tend to treat this road like a speedway and they weren’t slowing even with the cones.   They were down to one lane and buzzing around us upwards of 40mph.

Miles 8-11 11:56, 12:07, 12:20, 12:27 The turn around!  Yay!  And I had finally realized that I was moving slower than I thought I was.  What was going on?  Wait, I can’t feel my butt!  Or my quads and thighs really.  What the hell?  How long had I been numb?  Seriously? Like I smacked myself in the butt and couldn’t feel it.   So I tried it again, same thing.  I couldn’t really feel the effort my legs were putting in or lack thereof.  🤣  It wasn’t that cold- wth?  My fleece vest had kind of frosted over though, haha.  There was a person out there in a tank!  Apparently I have zero tolerance for the cold these days.

Miles 12-13 11:58, 11:37  Back to the highway and my backside was finally starting to warm up.  But only in patches, haha and those sections were just itching.  Oh for crying out loud.  As we came back into town, I could see the finish line at the park (different than the start) but instead of going straight to it we had to go around the block the long way.

Finish-2:33:51

Yes, that’s fidget spinner for a medal

Not horribly off my long run pace goal and I learned that I really need to practice running in cold weather.  Nah.  After getting my medal, it was time to join the party in the park.  There was yoga, food tents, beer tents, cupcake tents, local businesses and one of those tables with computers that prints your results.  I’ve never had one of those!  It was barely 9AM, there was no way I was drinking a beer but I wasn’t passing up a free cupcake.  😀

For a first time race, they did a decent job, they have room for improvement but it’s a race I would run again.  Just move the dang start time back.   And maybe put up a few more road blocks.

Race Day, Recap, Run!

Wine Country Run 5K Recap

Having mostly decided the night before that I was actually going to do the smart thing and drop to the 5K, the temps that I saw upon waking on race morning almost made me DNS.   32 with heavy fog?? Say what?  What was that all about??  On a good day, that would be rough, the morning after so many days of feeling horrible?  I just wanted to burrow under the covers and hide until summer.

But I didn’t.  I got up and dressed and headed to the race.  I had to get to the race early enough back to bib check in and down grade from the half marathon to the 5k.   Never having done that before I didn’t know how it would go- it took maybe 5 minutes. And only that long because the computer network crashed.  I then went and hid in my car until the start.

I haven’t “raced” a 5K in so long I can’t even remember and I still didn’t feel good so I wasn’t holding out hope that this was going to work out so well. 😛

Mile 1-9:30 Oops, can’t hold that, least not today.  Truth is, I was so damn cold, I felt like I was crawling.  The first mile took us on a dirt road back through the vineyard before dumping us out on the street.   I wish we could have stayed on the dirt but we were still running past vineyards and at least the roads were mostly closed.

Mile 2- 10:25  My calves/ achilles were tightening up which I kind of expected as it was cold, I was wearing my Altra’s and the miles had been pancake flat.  I don’t like flat.  We had turned onto a street and were running past a few houses and mini ranch’s.   I use that term based more on the horses and goats and chickens than the land size.  We ran past the one water station before hitting the turn around and making our way back.

Disclosure- this was taken the day before at packet pickup hence the sun

Mile 3- 10:26 Oh, the tightness.  My legs felt so tight.  I was surprisingly feeling ok though in both my stomach and the fact it’s been a while since I’ve run without walk breaks.  Like I said in a recent post- they’ve become a crutch and that is not what I meant to happen.  However I had a choice to make about my calves.  My pace had slowed and was showing 11:20 something.   I could run on with the tightness or I could stop and stretch it out.  I stopped and stretched for 10-15 seconds.  It wasn’t enough but it helped.   I pushed on back towards the winery.  Once I knew I was within 1/4 mile, I pushed play on my Aftershokz with a perfectly cued up song for that finish line push.

Finish- 31:12

Well, hey now, that’s actually way better than I was expecting!  And I ran the whole thing!  Small victories.  😀  I was nowhere near PR pace and I am fine with that.   The fact that I had a finish line push after 4 days of hell is more than enough for me.  Though I should probably give some of that credit to Shinedown‘s latest- Devil.  It was just the kick in the pants I needed.  It also turns out that stopping to stretch was also the right choice.

5K’s are kind of fun… why did I seem to forget about them???

BibRave, Race Day, Run!

Race to the Row- San Jose 408K

Disclaimer: I’m promoting the San Jose 408K 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!”

Have you ever run an 8K?? I haven’t.  I find myself intrigued by them.  Not a 10K, not 5 miles but 8K.  I am not even sure how I would run that… fast like a 5K or kind of like a 10K but push it for that last .97? So many thoughts!

But let’s talk about the race itself-

This is the 7th year running for the San Jose 408K.  (see what I did there😛?)  It’s an 8K point to point course that starts at the SAP center and runs to Santana Row.  It’s the only event in San Jose that finishes on Santana Row.

The benefiting charity is the Pat Tillman Foundation.  The race takes place on Sunday, March 4th.

For a shorter race, it has a couple of special moments laced throughout the course-

Dude, I want to run it!  Actually, it’s been on my radar the past few years but I’ve never been able to make my schedule work out.  That trouble strikes again this year as I will be chaperoning the boys tennis team in a tournament.  Boo.  But for sad runners like me who can’t get to San Jose on race day- Represent Running has a remote runner option.  Same great swag mailed to you and you run the race on your own.  Sweet!  Bummed to miss out on all awesome perks of the race atmosphere though.
For more information, check out run408k.com.
Want to run it on March 4?? Use code BIBRAVE for $8 off registration.
Ever run an 8K?
Race Day, Recap, Run!

Mission 10 Miler Recap

My first 10 mile race!

This race wasn’t on my radar until I received an email from a half marathon series.   San Juan Bautista is only 2 hours up the road and this would make mission #3 for a race start.  I didn’t know I was starting a list but hey, why not!

I had a 12 mile run on the schedule that week but instead of running the half marathon available, I wanted to run the 10 miler.  I figured I would run 2 miles when I got back to to town.  Then the week of pain happened and I spent Thursday and Friday feeling a little off but I refused to say I was sick.  I wasn’t even sure I was going to be able run the race but I headed that way anyways.

Holy crap it was cold!  And picking up my bib and shirt took barely any time, so we stood around and froze for almost an hour.  Oops.  After watching the kids race- so adorable, then the half marathon start, it was time for the 10 miler.

I am toying with running Big Sur with run/walk intervals so I tested those out here.  When I was in super shape (for me)- I could have run this in the low 1:30:00 range. Yah, not so much anymore.  Since I was treating it as a long run, I was hoping for a 10:30-11:00 pace but with my recent leg issues I told my mother I wasn’t expecting to be done before 2:00 hours.  Then I put my watch on intervals of 1:15 run/ :45 walk, only had it on that screen and ran the race pace blind.

Miles 1-3- 9:38, 10:27, 10:33

I ran the entirety of the first mile, the race vibe just gets me moving.  However, I felt like I was crawling.  I was so cold, my legs didn’t feel like they were moving properly.    But looking at my Garmin later, I guess they were.  😛  I went to the intervals in mile 2 not because of the leg issue I had been worried about but only because my calves and achilles were super tight.   They were letting me know they were less than pleased with 3 miles of flat road.

Miles 4-7- 11:18, 11:19, 10:39, 9:47
Around 3.5 miles in we rounded a corner and passed a lone port-a potty and then the elevation finally started to change.  I smiled.   Yay, a hill!   I slowed going up the hill but stuck to my intervals.  The tightness in my calves eased- this is why I like hills- and I was feeling better than I thought I would.  I was sticking to the plan and treating the race like a long run- I wasn’t pushing it but I was keeping a steady effort.   The road through this section took the runners by some very pretty properties so I was also trying to enjoy the scenery.   I picked up the pace a bit when we turned around to head back towards the finish and now had the aid of the downhill.   Things were feeling good.

Miles 8-10- 11:16, 11:29, 11:17
Holy crap, what the hell???  My stomach cramped and cramped in a miserable, horrible way.   My intervals disintegrated and the wheels came off.   I ran when I could and walked when I was trying to breath through the pain and not cause any ummmm, issues.  In all 10 miles of this race, I saw 1 port-a-potty.  That didn’t help me.   Where was the finish line????

Finish- 1:48:29
Well, look at that- even with the wheels falling off in the last 3 miles, that’s not bad!

I found a jail while looking for a bathroom

 

Unfortunately, I was sick for the next 4-5 hours and fought a cold for the next 3 days so that was less fun but the race was a pretty good way to start the year.  Maybe next 10 miler, I can really race it.  😀

BibRave, Race Day, Recap, Run!

Rock n Roll Las Vegas 13.1 Recap

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Rock n Roll Las Vegas Half 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!

Race #2 for the weekend!

I was feeling a little of that leg pain from last week on Sunday morning when Mai and I were walking to and from the BibRave brunch.  So after getting back to the hotel, I rested my legs until it was time to head to the start line.  I still cleared my daily step goal well before the race started.  😛

<

Learning from the previous day, we left the hotel with plenty of time to walk to the start line area giving us time for gear drop, bathroom stops, the We Run Social meet up, and whatever else we needed.    And unlike the previous day, we accomplished it all with time to spare! And I met Helly! If you look really close in the We Run Social pic, you can see my hat in the back.  😛    Then we separated and Mai made her way to her corral and Kate and I went to squeeze our way through the people towards our corral to wait.

The second I knew I had convinced Kate to fly to Las Vegas from Texas and run her very first half marathon, I knew I was running it with her, no matter what.   In the week leading up to the race, she was worried about slowing me down but I said to not even worry about the pace, we were aiming for ‘party speed’.  😎

With an impressive fire show for each corral start, we were off!  That said this is going to be a little different from my usual recaps.   Mile 1 was our fastest, mile 2 was our slowest and everything else fell in between.

Recent events moved the start line up to New York New York but the course still went south towards the Las Vegas sign before turning around and coming back.  These miles were quiet and dark as a moment of silence for Las Vegas.  Which made the cheaters we observed just past mile 1 even worse.   The course was an out and back and this part of the street had a large center divider.  Just past the first water station, 3 people just jumped on over to the other side and joined the runners on the way back into town.  WTH????!  Kate and I and 3 runners behind us were like did we really just see that?

Then came mile 2.  We both admitted we could use a bathroom.  Waiting in the corrals had been long and there were no port-a -potties near the corrals.  So we stopped.  And waited forever.  Seriously…this was a 20 minute mile.   7 of that was non moving time according to my Garmin.  The bathrooms were set up in an odd way that both sides of the course could access them but it didn’t make sense for lines and was causing serious confusion.  And apparently we picked the wrong line because the person before me took forever.  To the point where the lady in line behind me wanted to knock on the bathroom door.    And can I just say that entering a port a potty in the dark is like entering a scary unknown land? 😛

Finally, we were on our way.  We were running 1 minute, walking 1 minute.  Hit the 5K mark and all was shiny.   A little past that I told Kate she officially had less than 10 miles to go.  Another runner near us thanked me for saying that. 😀

3.6 is when disaster struck.   I heard a very verbal inhale, saw a wince and then Kate was limping.   Her right shin was not happy and not happy in a very bad way.  We started walking.  I said let’s walk to 4.5 and see how you feel.  The answer was no better.  I actually tried to get her to stop but she was having none of that.   All right, then let’s go slowly.

So we walked.   We embraced the party speed and took in the sights of the Strip.  All of the casinos and all of their lights.  Counting the CVS’s and Walgreens turned into our version of the license plate game.  No, seriously, why are there so many within such a short distance from each other? And why were more people cutting the course?!?!😡

I took a ton of pictures.  Except the sketchy mile.  The Fremont area was awesome and worth the sketch mile to get there though.  We got water at every aid station and Gatorade.  We stopped at a medical tent and Kate had them apply some Icy Hot to see if it would help.   Every now and then I would jog in place just to reset my feet.  I had worn my old Adidas and they’re too big, not exactly built for walking, my feet were sliding around.  Jogging every now and again helped ease some of the pressure my feet were feeling.

We had a Ghost bride moment too.  I looked up to see a runner dressed like a bride just standing forlornly all alone up ahead.  The way the light was hitting her, she looked a little ghost like.  So then we starting cracking jokes that we needed the Winchester boys.

We were walking, we were slower than planned and Kate was hurt but if you look at the race pictures the photographers took, we’re smiling in all of them.    Kate kept telling me to leave her behind and run ahead and I kept saying hell no.  We started together, we’re finishing together.

And we did- 3:27:49🙂 We collected our awesome spinning medal and went straight to the med tent so Kate could get ice on her leg.  Then we headed out through the long staging area getting the goodies.   Once again, no bags were provided to carry everything but I had come prepared- I had shoved 2 dog bags (clean of course) into my belt so that way we could shove the snacks all in those.  Then we headed for our Remix medals and then found a spot to rest before beginning the walk back to the hotel.  Where was a taxi when you needed one?

So this wasn’t the race we had expected but it was still an awesome race.