Week 45: Monterey Bay Half Prep

Upcoming Races-

  • Monterey Bay Half Marathon (Thank you BibRave!)- 11/12
  • Oakland Turkey Trot- (Thank you BibRave!) 11/22

Wow, this week was just nothing like I’d thought it’d be.

I was back in my office but work was chaos.  I came back to a new hire starting on Monday, a surprise announcement of an audit coming down the pipe and just general insane busy-ness.

Then I was still abnormally tired.  I was falling asleep in my chair watching TV.  I was falling asleep in the break room on my lunch. I did manage to complete a Liift4 workout once but I can’t remember it it was Monday or Tuesday. 😛

I kept meaning to run, I packed my bag every day but things kept happening.  Work kept running super late- people, my time card clocked in at over 105 hours.  Then when I set an alarm to run in the morning, it was below freezing.  I hadn’t brought out the winter running gear yet, wth?  I tried for a lunch run, thinking it was fall, temps should be fine- nah, work town hit 86*.   I don’t know about you but my hair wouldn’t recover from that for another 3-4 hours of work, let alone stressing about if I smelled.

So that brought me to race weekend.   I was doing race day pickup so I was hoping for a shakeout run on Saturday but catching up on other things just saw the time run away from me.   Plus I had an early wake up call (2AM!) so I needed to try and get everything together and then to sleep.

Then I received an email-

Wait, what?  Is this really happening?  I mean I get it but I was also kind of in denial.

Now what?

Rock N Roll Los Angeles 13.1

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Rock n Roll Los Angeles 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!

Going into LA, I knew it was going to be less race and morning training run.  With the last few weeks of work kicking my tush, I knew it might turn into a stroll around LA instead.

The parking situation from the day before had me super stressed and then I realized that my hotel was further away then I thought so I set a very early alarm for Sunday.  I used Siri and Waze and still ran into road closures but found a spot in a parking garage near the start before 5AM.   I hung out in my car for a bit then headed out to find the start.   There was a short line at the potties so I took advantage, I then headed off to the #werunsocial meetup.

I jumped in corral 9 after the National Anthem and just stayed there.  I didn’t feel like shoving my way up to my corral and I knew I wasn’t going to be fast.

Miles 1-4 9:47, 10:31, 11:11, 11:27
We were off and headed out on the first out and back.  I was actually feeling pretty good which was surprising considering the dense fog and poor air quality warning I had woken up to.  I took a walk break in mile 3 for water and the pavement seemed more slippery than usual at the water stations.  Mile 4 I felt a little fatigued so I went to my run/ walk intervals, it also had the biggest climb on the course.  I like hills but after a week of crap sleep in a hotel- yeah I walked.

Miles 5-6 10:55, 14:19
My little reset mile helped so I picked up the pace for mile 5.  I was feeling good, we were running down Wilshire (?) BLVD and things were going my way.  Then they weren’t.  At 4.8- 1/2 mile past an aid station, my stomach cramped- hard.  I came to a complete stop.  What the hell?? I walked until about 5.4 trying to calm my stomach.  Then it was a slow jog while I prayed for an aid station and a port-a-pottie.  Just before mile 6 there was and thankfully there was no line.

Miles 7-10 10:51, 12:03, 12:10, 11:48
My stomach was ok but not great.  From then on, it was run/ walk.  I was actually running a decent pace but when I walked I was so slow.  Normally I power walk pretty well but my stomach was either run or crawl.  I tried to just enjoy some of the buildings around me, the other runners in costume and major shout out to the Korea Town Running club- their cheering section was awesome.    Oh and zombies on stilts?

Miles 11-13 12:13, 13:07, 11:39
We were on our way back of the biggest out and back.   My stomach was starting to really act up again and trying to ignore it was making me tired.    This was also the first time I’ve seen a sweeper car on a race damn near on top of the last runners.  Kind of a drawback to courses with such long out and backs.  I walked most of mile 12 and 13 before I finally told my stomach it just had to shut up for 1/2 mile and I ran it in.

Finish-2:34:43

Considering I walked 45% and spent 3 minutes in a bathroom mid run- that ain’t bad.  In fact, if my stomach had not been an asshat, this probably would have ended up being my fastest half of the year, instead it was my slowest, haha.   And that is perfectly fine considering how the last 2 weeks went.  Not my best, not my worst, either way I have no problem entering my time into Athlinks while I wait for the official results.

While I did like the course- good hills and buildings- and Rock N Roll always puts on a great race, the parking and the traffic were nuts.  Too many things going on in a small area and I just don’t deal well.

Say What, LA???

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Rock n Roll Los Angeles 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!

Oh, LA, will we forever have mixed signals?I

Rock N Roll Los Angeles is Sunday and I think this may be the most unprepared and tired I arrived at a start line.    I was hoping to bank on the residual training from San Jose but I think I underestimated what this work trip was going to really be.   I need a days nap.

That being said, I am looking forward to turning off my brain and running out the week while taking in all the sights and sounds that Rock n Roll LA has to offer.   LA has always been a city I’ve driven around not through so I am interested to see what I am missing. I’m guessing a lot. 😛

I know Rock n Roll will have my back with 8 aid stations so I have plenty of reasons to walk.  Not that I needed them because trust me I will be.  I have a feeling this will be more of photo opp race than the opposite.  I didn’t get many in San Jose and I regret that.   I better make sure I have a fully charged phone.

Right now I am just trying to figure out parking.  Do I want to drive in and park in the garages myself or do I want to Uber there and back?  The race starts at 6:15 so thats super early and roads closed even earlier.  Decisions decisions.

Anyone else running Rock N Roll LA?  You can still join me and register at the expo!  I could use a running buddy!

Rock n Roll San Jose Recap

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Rock n Roll San Jose 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 the worst night of sleep or lack thereof, I was up and getting ready for the race.  I was also regretting the Spaghetti Factory dinner from the night before.  😛  I got ready and headed off to the start line.

The race started at 8 and while the Slacker in me liked that, every other part of me was worried.  That is late.  I knew I was going to be slower than planned.  I still had to check out of my hotel.  Rock n Roll had sent out a heat advisory email the night before.  Let’s get this show on the road!  Except we didn’t.  I can usually guess exactly what time my corral is going to start for Rock N Roll races but I would have been so wrong this time.  There was some delay for the trains? Buses? I don’t know but I was confused.   I didn’t cross the start line until almost 8:30 and it already felt warm.  I hate humidity.

Miles 1-3 9:58, 10:42, 10:21, 11:05
Irritation fueled the first mile.  I had a feeling I wouldn’t be able to maintain that.   My legs felt ok but the rest of me felt off- just kind of not present.    I was running and felt like I was pushing but I knew I really wasn’t.  I was realizing just how many turns this race course was going take.  We turned so many times.   We ran through the San Pedro Market area which brought us past the Spaghetti Factory- nope, nope.  Then it was another turn and we were coming back towards the start line.  I heard a woman tell her running partner that it was too hot for her.

Miles 5-8 11:05, 11:21, 11:31, 11:23
So much flat road.  We were running towards the SAP Center and into an area of apartments and strip malls.  I found the perfect apartment complex- an Orange Theory and Papa Johns were across the parking lot.  Replace the Papa Johns with Domino’s and I am sold!  The things we think about when trying to not think about running.  😜  So many more turns and we were in Santa Clara.   I felt like we were so far away the finish line.  I needed a hill.  Why was it so warm, it’s October!   There were some damn nice houses we ran by during this block as well.

Miles 9-12 12:58, 11:33, 12:26, 12:02
Oh, what the hell?  My right hip/ sciatica seized and I ground to a slow crawl.  I spent mile 9 mostly walking and punching myself in the butt.  🤣  I kind of wonder what I looked like to the runners behind me.   I ran more in mile 10 but 11 was more of the same.   Grrr.  My stomach cramps from the morning also returned.   Really?? What else?  I was taking more walk breaks trying to loosen up my hip area.  I was drinking water and Gatorade at every station and dumping water on my Buff then shoving it down my shirt to cool off.  Classy, right?  This course had an abundance of cheerleaders and they were needed as I was fading.

Mile 13 11:15
Around mile 11.5, the 2:30 pacer passed me.  Umm, excuse me?  I know they started after me and I was on pace for a 2:30 so they had no business passing me.  I picked up the pace a bit because I was so ready to be done.  Sure enough I passed the pace group in the last stretch to the finish line as they slammed on the breaks.

Finish – 2:30:00 on the nose

I was done, I was hot and my hip hurt.  I made my way through the long finisher’s chute, getting my medal and food before finally making my way out and meeting up with my mother.   In one good thing, the finisher chute pretty much dumped us out right at my hotel parking lot so I didn’t have far to hobble.

If you love flat, this is the race for you.  I did like running through the neighborhoods of San Jose and course support- aid stations, music and cheerleaders.   But I need hills.  I don’t know if they would have made much of a difference that day but I missed them.  Also, I haven’t been that sore post race in years- even after both marathons.  😛

Vintner’s 5 Miler Race Recap

Dang those targeted Instagram ads that sneak up on you.    I was scrolling my feed one evening when a cute wine bottle shaped medal jumped out at me.  I don’t know why- I don’t even drink wine- but I saw that it was in Santa Barbara, fit my training plan, reasonably priced and vineyards usually meant dirt of some sort.  So I clicked through and registered.

As race day loomed, I was tired and fussy and wondering why I even registered.  They said the proceeds were for the Santa Ynez Valley Aquatic Foundation so maybe they could just use the donation?   Then I noticed the winery wasn’t actually in Santa Barbara but Lompoc and spoiler alert- it wasn’t really there either.  However I laid out a lazy flat runner and tried to get some sleep for the early morning drive south.

Race morning was actually a bit chilly in home town and made me question my shorts choice.   After a little driving shenanigans, we arrived at the race location- Sanford Winery and were directed to parking.   Then I had to decide on what shoes to wear.  If you’ve never run in an actual vineyard before, they can be a mixed bag.  They range from super nice fire road to ankle rolling hellish nightmare.  I didn’t know what this was going to be.  I wanted the cushion of my Levitates but chose my trail shoes.   Smart choice.

Picked up my bib and shirt, used the port a potty and waited for the start.  It was around 60 and overcast but at the last-minute I tossed my long sleeve layer to my mother.  I normally run cold but something told me I wouldn’t need it.   After a few announcements that I couldn’t understand over the spotty PA system, we were off through the winery.

Miles 1-2 10:14, 11:29

Dirt roads- yes!  But woah, that is some loose dirt.   And what the hell, my shorts just turned into underwear.  I’d never had that problem with this pair before.   I spent the next mile or so pulling my shorts down every 20 or so yards.  It was super humid so my lungs weren’t happy and I was breathing hard but I wasn’t out there to set any records.   Mile 1 had the cutest mile marker- a wine barrel with 1 foot painted on it.  By mile 2 and the wine barrel with 2 feet on it I figured out the pattern but I am a horrible blogger and failed to take pictures of any of the mile markers.

The fog came back, boo

Mile 3- 15:12

On the upshot, my shorts calmed down and behaved the rest of the race.  Downside #1, we started a 300 foot climb.  Downside #2- I hit a rock with my bad foot and rolled it in a bad way.   Colorful words spilled from my mouth and I slammed to a halt.  Then I hobbled my way up and on, trying to make sure that I didn’t step on any more rocks.   The route was still mostly dirt path but the rocks were getting bigger.  This also made them easier to avoid but I had to focus on where I was landing my feet.  What was I thinking running a race?

Miles 4-5 9:36, 10:42

Mile 4 started by running through a barn and for some reason I found a second wind.  We had a little bit of a downhill but because my foot was being an asshat I couldn’t really RUN downhill.  I was still trying to watch where my feet were landing before they landed and avoid all rocks.  As well as check out the cool outbuildings and the scenery in the vineyard as the sun had come out and it looked super pretty.   I managed to find another rock coming down a little bump in the last mile and let another string of words fly.  A guy running next to me asked if the hill was too steep, I refrained from being a smart ass and replying that it wasn’t even a hill in my opinion and just said I had hurt my foot a few miles back.   The last bit of the race had us running literally in between the vines.  Oh holy hell of rockiness.  There was nowhere to put my feet that didn’t hurt.  I damn near walked it but I was so close to being done.  As it is, I slowed way down.   Finally another few curves and there was the finish line!

Finish-57:44

If we consider this a true trail race- it was my fastest 5 miler by 7 minutes but as it only had 400 ish feet of elevation gain, I am not sure if I do.

Once across the line, there was some confusion.  Registration claimed it came with a medal and wine glass for every participant but neither was anywhere to be seen.    Now,  I downgraded from the festival to just the race so the lack of wine glass was not a huge deal to me but the lack of medal was a little confusing as there had been zero announcements.

I was not the only one confused as evidenced by Facebook comments post race.  We eventually received an email that said there had been a delay with the medals and that they would arrive Monday, then the race would be in touch with us after that.  However it is now Thursday and that was the last time the race reached out.    I have run numerous races with no medals but it’s another thing to say you are going to do something and then not do it.

Communication issues aside, I really did like this race and would consider running it again.