Category: Race Day

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.

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.

Spacerock #2

First up in my race schedule was Spacerock Trail race. Also I didn’t plan on ghosting the blog this long but life or work ran me over. Oops.

I had Friday off work and Spacerock takes place in Agua Dulce which is around 3ish hours away, so I headed down there for packet pickup. I stayed at the same hotel I did in 2019 and it will likely be my last time there, haha.

I love this race so much for the scenery. If you watch a lot of sci-fi, you’ve likely seen Vazquez Rocks in the background of some shot. I also love this race for the course and the swag. I love this course but it does not love me. I knew I was going to be slower than 2019 but I naively thought I was in better trail shape than 2019 even if I am in worse overall shape. Not sure how that works.

The race started at 7:45 so I was in the parking lot around 7. I bypassed the shuttles and used the walk to the start as my warm up. The race started right on time this year.

Miles 1-3 are a nice downhill to uphill and then back. I knew this would be my strongest section and tried to run it smartly. I ran the downhills and power hiked the ups.

We pass under the highway via a tunnel or as the race calls it black hole. Once on the other side, we hit the most single track portion of the 10k course as we climbed a hill only to turn around. There were moments I came to a complete stop on the way up in order to let the runners coming back down have the right of way. There were times the trail was barely wide enough for people to cross paths. Which was more evident on my return down when at one point the crowd went left and I went right to pass and the trail gave way beneath my right foot. I gave a little shriek and the women to my right jumped out to grab me. We laughed about it and then I was off back the way we came.

I felt like I ran this section very smart and felt very flow-like in my downhill running. Race pics show something else, though. 🤣 Miles 1-3: 12:53, 17:59, 16:02

Then around mile 3.7ish, I hit the dreaded middle hill. The same hill that killed me the last time. Sadly, it defeated me again. According to Strava, it’s 400 plus elevation gain at a 7% grade. It kicks my ass. I had to stop and rest a few times on my way up. Even once I finally summited this one, there were hills. Rolling hills which I usually love but at this point I was trash. I was playing leap frog with some other runners and most of us were over the hills. It was a topic that of discussion. Then when I climbed what I thought was the last hill before the finish and saw the real last hill ahead I may have shouted out “for f&$*’s sake”. I can only blame my faulty memory, ha. Miles 4-6: 19:46, 20:36, 20:55

There was a little more than 1/2 mile left but I was toast. What should have been runnable to me was not. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other until I crossed the finish line. Finish 1:48:04.

Can I sit down now?

In all seriousness, I love this race. And will keep running it until I defeat that hill.