Category: Recap

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.

Manic May

Whereas April felt like it was 3 years long, May was 3 seconds long. How does that even happen?

Training wise, I had my best month of the year. Granted that’s not saying much but it’s still a positive, right? I ran 2 races- Yosemite Half and Silver Moon. Granted, I dropped from the 6 hour times race to the 10k at Silver Moon but no regrets there.

I ran some roads and some trails. In fact, I finally made it out to a trail I’ve had on my list for a few years. Stuck in the middle of writing that blog post though. Oops. I also settled on a training strategy for Santa Rosa Marathon (half) in August. I say strategy because training plans and I do not get along.

Work wise, the month was a little rough. The busy months are coming and I feel ill prepared. My boss also turned in their notice in May so things are interesting. Thankfully, I really do have a great crew.

Oh, I picked up 2 new pairs of running shoes too! Granted, I ran the others into the ground and they needed to be replaced but new shoes are exciting for any reason, right? However my bank account would prefer that I don’t need to replace both pairs at the same time again, ha.

I also added a few more books to Total for the year. Somehow I’ve read over 40 books at this point in 2022. Huh??

So, yeah May was interesting.

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!

2021… Meh

2021 was…. Yeah.

I don’t think anyone got what they were expecting this year nor the number of curve balls thrown.

So, 2021 in bullets

  • Started the year with big goals- 50k. 😂😂😂
  • Broke the big toe on left foot running trails in January. Devil shoes.
  • Learned that I did not know how to swallow and went to speech therapy for 14ish weeks to relearn.
  • Went to Yosemite for the first time, when can I go back???
  • It was determined I do not in fact, have asthma. Who knew? Granted Paradoxical vocal cord dys-yadda yadda is much harder to say. Again, a benefit of speech therapy.
  • Diagnosed with multiple melanomas. All removed with clean margins but those are some very scary words. Think I’ve have a biopsy or excision every couple of months this year. Boo. Wear your sunblock!
  • Drove to Idaho/ Washington for first road race since March 2020. Coeur d’Alene is gorgeous. I’m jealous of that running path. Not of Spokane though, ha!
  • Turned a milestone birthday and still not sure how I feel about it or what I have to show for that many years. 🤨
  • Ran another live race in Santa Rosa that felt surprisingly great until it didn’t.
  • Ran one of my favorite trail races again and still smiled even when I wanted to fall down and cry, I was so tired. I’ll be back.
  • I ran more trails in my area but still have so many more to run. 2 of those pics are above.
  • Work is good, stressful but good. Not gonna lie, being customer facing 2 years into a pandemic has shown me a new level of stress.
  • I had a couple more trips planned for the year but well, life.
  • Broke the 2 little toes on my right foot in the beginning of December. Oops. I live up to my nickname of destructo girl, I really do.
  • I ran way less miles in 2021 than planned but any miles are good miles, right?

So yeah, 2021 was yeah. I’m not holding 2022 to anything.