BibRave, Race Day, Recap, Run!

Oaktown Half Recap

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Oaktown Half 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, Oakland, for being a flat city (that I’ve seen) you sure give me my ups and downs.

After a rough night’s sleep or lack there of, I was up early and out the door to make my way to race start. The perk of my hotel was that the start was only 2 blocks up. I thought there would be more runners there or out and about but there weren’t. It was kind of odd.

Start and finish

Picking up my bib and shirt were fairly easy. I got the feeling I wasn’t the only person whose expo in a box hadn’t arrived. I folded my shirt as small as I could then shoved it in my pack instead of gear checking. I then stood in the longest bathroom line ever only to discover the port-a-potties had no TP. What?!?

I met up with a couple other BibRavePros before heading to the start line.

Miles 1-3 10:09, 10:24, 10:50
I had loosely planned on taking it easy and just trying to run consistently, pace be damned. I felt pretty consistent the first few miles as we headed towards the Jack London part of town before turning back. This is also where I took most of the mural photos.

Miles 4-6 11:16, 11:00, 11:28
I was feeling ok and only walking through aid stations but it was getting warm. It felt very muggy. We were looping around Lake Merritt and as much as I was looking forward to running around Lake Merritt I knew I was about to hate it.

Miles 7-9 11:22, 11:36, 11:53
Oh my god, get me away from this lake. The lake was the mother of all out and backs- run almost all the way around it on the street then move to lake path and run all the way back the other direction. As pretty as the lake was, I felt like I was losing my mind. I did wave at another Pro when we passed each other on parts of the out and back. These were also the miles that I realized I was going to be beat by a 7 year old. Not that we were really racing but I was torn between being impressed and slightly chagrined.

She was running with her dad- I’m guessing

Miles 10-11 12:00, 11:19
Finally off the lake, I never thought I would be so happy in my life. We were headed back towards downtown and I was lagging. My legs felt good, I just felt really hot. I also died a little inside when I saw the finish line but we turned right.

Miles 12-13 12:12, 11:47
Ok, no I really died inside when I realized there was another out and back…no make that 2 out and backs. I think this realization also slowed me down. I was so over the out and backs. I tried to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Fittingly enough, Skillet’s “Finish Line” came on with around 1/3 of a mile left to go. And I picked up the pace.

Finish 2:29:03

Fastest half in a year-not sure how I feel about that. Actually my body felt pretty good during the race despite the very flat terrain. I don’t know if I was mentally there. Also I felt really hot- I never checked the humidity but it probably wasn’t my friend. Especially now that I don’t work and run in a beach town. Ha!

While this route was more scenic than my last race in Oakland, the repeated out and backs messed with my head. Boo.

Do you like out and back courses?

Ambassador, BibRave, Race Day, Recap, Run!

2019 Rock n Roll San Diego Recap

This was my third time running Rock n Roll San Diego and I still find it to be an awesome race.

Disclaimer: I received an entry to Rock n Roll San Diego 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 had a horrible night of sleep so I was moving a little slowly as I got myself ready for the race. I headed out of my hotel to the shuttle stop around 5:30. Part of the reason I book this hotel is the proximity to the shuttles and the finish line. The lines seem so much longer this year but I was on a bus fairly quickly. Once dropped off I made my way to the BibRave Pro meetup.

📸 Nicole or Mai

Then I did a bad thing. I hadn’t noticed until I was preparing my flat runner the night before but my bib had my corral as 21. Wait, what? I know I’m moving slower than I used to but that didn’t make sense. Which was reinforced when I saw the 2:30 pacers in corral 14. Rock n Roll was enforcing corral assignments this time but I managed to sneak into corral 14.

Miles 1-3: 10:15, 11:07, 11:39
I love that .2 miles into the start there is a guy shouting on a bull horn. Every year. I was feeling rough from the get go. I was running but I knew it wasn’t going to last. I’ve never faded this fast before.

Miles 4-5: 11:34, 11:54
I was slowing, my pace does not show how much walking I was doing. I had nothing in the tank. The Mile 4.5 bar barely drew a smile from me. Then we entered the “Wear Blue” mile. All the signs of fallen military members and American Flags make me realize I should not be complaining. I went to pause my music so I could run the mile in silence when I noticed what was playing. The acoustic version of Papa Roach’s F.E.A.R- Face Everything And Rise. The timing of lyrics was eerie so I let it play.

Miles 6-10: 11:54, 12:41, 11:34, 11:46, 12:03
I knew I was done back in mile 3 and I stopped fighting it. My legs and body felt good, I just had zero energy. None. It was humid but not hot and while the humidity wasn’t as high as last year, my lungs were not having it. Asthma sucks. So I ran when I could and walked the rest. Miles 7 and 10? Lots of walking. A lot. I just tried to enjoy the neighborhoods I was running through, all the people who came out to cheer, and the literal cheerleaders every few miles.

Blurry tunnel selfie 😂

Miles 11-13: 12:39, 11:06, 11:57
There was a new blowup at mile 10 instead of the guitar guy. I love the last 3 miles- there’s a good uphill, amazing downhill and a party tunnel as we head back downtown to the finish. I felt like I picked up the pace but the stats tell a different story. Ha! I had to take a walk break at the bottom of the downhill- say what? I never have to walk after downhills. So in other words- the hundred or so people I just passed now all passed me. 🙂

Finish -2:34:12

My slowest San Diego to date! I am not sure what happened out there- I went in worried about a hurt foot and instead slammed into a wall of exhaustion. I texted a friend after the race and said I had zero get up and go. None. I still love this race though and would recommend it to anyone who asks.

And that brings half #38 to a close.

animal encounter, Recap, Training

Week 22- That Stings

20.6 miles for the week. If you looks strictly at the number of miles run vs the plan- I nailed it . The details reveal a much different story.

Last week so up and down. Actually more down. I dealt with a possible leg issue, my sleep doesn’t seem to be getting any better, splinters in butt and then an ant attack. Oh and asthma issues. I’ve joke I should be called Calamity Runner instead of Slacker and last week it really fit.

Planned vs Actual

Monday- 1.5 miles / 1.5 miles
Easy running on Monday. It felt odd doing so few miles on a day off work but I was keen on sticking to the plan. The odd part was the twinge in my left ankle that started about 40 minutes after my run.

Artsy or moody?🤔

Tuesday- 1 up/down, 3.5 mile tempo/ 3.5 blow up
I headed back to the lake path figuring the flat, friendly, sandy trail would help me focus on my pace. Big dreams. I couldn’t have been more wrong. My left foot and ankle were pissed. I couldn’t get my breathing under control and I was nowhere near hitting my paces.

I had 2 failed tempo miles before I called it and walked it in. Then to add insult to injury I sat on a wooden bench to at least enjoy the sunshine and wound up with splinters in my butt. 😂

Wednesday- 1.5 miles/ 2.2 miles
I kept it super easy and honestly probably walked half of it. My ankle was angry but not as pissed as the day before. I was still very nervous about any running especially since I had a race only a few days away.

Thursday- 4 miles/ Zero
I decided rest was best and resigned myself to the red dot in Final Surge. I was supposed to go to a networking event after work but this was when the ant attack happened. I went to get gas as my car was on empty. As I was filling the tank, I decided to wash my windshield. Partway through I felt stings on my right foot. Look down to my right foot, ankle and shoe are covered in ants. I scream and kick the shoe across the gas station lot, I throw the squeegee too. Then I am hopping around on one foot trying to brush the ants off while the stinging turns to pain and of course my dress decides now is time to do a Marilyn Monroe impression. I flash all the workers in the auto bay. I finally got them all off, jumped in the car and drove straight home. I jumped directly into the shower but my foot was bright red with bites and swelled. Yay. I’ll spare you the pic I took- my toes are ugly. 😒

Friday- 1.5 miles/ more rest
Rest, rinse, repeat. Except today I felt like things were crawling on me. 🐜

Like my makeshift arm warmers?

Saturday-7 miles/ Road trip!
I knew my long run would be Rock N Roll San Diego this week which meant long run on Sunday and not Saturday. It was also a very long drive down. But I made it to the expo around 3:30. Picked up my stuff, did a little shopping- I forgot my water flask and Gatorade Endurance at home. Doh! I tried to turn in early to get as much sleep as I could. Haha!

Sunday- Rock n Roll San Diego
Race recap up soon.

How was your week?

Race Day, Recap, Run!

2019 SLO Half Marathon Recap

On Sunday, I toed the start line for my 5th SLO Half Marathon.

I have mixed feelings about this race. There was a time I loved it. Then it drove me batty. I’ve run it 5 times but only paid for it once. I was a race ambassador for the first few years but then I just couldn’t. Not to say I would have made the cut had I applied, I just stopped. This most recent trip down memory lane was sponsored by my work.

In the 5 times I’ve run it, I’ve run 3 different courses. I get that the city and the county dictate what roads could be closed and when but that’s a lot of change. The first course I ran was my favorite. I ran that one 3 times. Also, I seem to get slower every time I run SLO.

I headed into this race with no goal other than finishing. The preceding week and a half had wrung me out and I was hanging on by a thread. I was wondering why I hadn’t signed up for the 3 person relay. Oh yeah, needed 2 other people.

Unlike the last time I ran it, we made it into the parking lot before I jumped out of the car.

Then it became the “what pace is this?” game.

Mile 1- 10:10
Who starts a race uphill? I mean a short hill but still. Also I had to stop and tie my shoe so I don’t know where that pace came from.

Mile 2-10:35
Oh crap, I am already exhausted. This isn’t good. Oh, look another hill.

Mile 3- 11:00
Oh thank goodness, a water stop. Another reason to walk. More hill.

Miles 4- 11:13
More walking but a little bit of downhill. Also I know SLO pretty well but we’ve turned so damn many times I am so confused.

Mile 5- 11:42
Another hill, more walking and I must lose this long sleeve shirt before I melt. Oh crap, it’s under my pack. Why?! Oh and the work water station. Anyone want to tap in for me???? Please?

Mile 6- 12:44
Ok, I’m toast. Did I say I missed the Johnson hill stretch? I take it all back. Or as the pacer in front of me said- “Welcome to the hospital hills”.

Mile 7- 11:07
The climb is never ending. My brain broke. I had no sense of pace. I just remember walking. BUT I didn’t eat asphalt here like I did my 2nd time running it.

Mile 8-12:23
I’m done. Why do I do this to myself? Oh, Orcutt road is pretty, damn forgot about the hill. Not really, just lied to myself.

Mile 9-11:11
Tiny downhill, weeee! Also lost the 2:30 pacer, like they were miles ahead. Totally realizing this could very well be my slowest half marathon.

Mile 10-11:59
So much walking. Just keep moving, just keep moving. Oh look, it’s the railroad path.

Mile 11- 12:13
At this point I actually comprehend the numbers on my watch but they make no sense. Wait, if I drop 2 sub 10 miles, I’ll be around 2:25? Did I stop my watch somewhere?

Mile 12-12:30
Stupid, you don’t have sub 10 in you. Oh, hey it’s the criss cross bridge to run up to cross the railroad. Can’t we just run across? How much more is there?

Mile 13-11:14
I see the freeway overpass- run! The finish line is on the other side. I hate this last hill right before the finish- weeee! Downhill to the finish.

2:30:16

I had a team shirt on but was overheating from the humidity, I stripped fairly quickly after finishing

Wait, what? I started walking in mile 2 for crying out loud. I was ballparking a 2:45 finish, how the hell did I cut 10 minutes off of Oakland? I mean, yeah I was sick at Oakland but I was in a fog during SLO. I had no idea what pace I was running for 90% of the race. Or walking. So somehow I inadvertently proved I do better with hills. I’m not crazy!

Ok, maybe a little.

BibRave, Race Day, Recap, Run!

Oakland Marathon- 13.1 Recap

Disclaimer: I received an entry to Oakland Running Festival 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 morning dawned all to soon even with the late start. I had not slept well the night before- too much coughing and a noisy neighbor. As I was getting ready I heard something from outside the window. Hi marathon runners!!!

Due to some shuttle confusion, I wanted to be at the supposed spot a little before 8. That way I had plenty of time for plan b if the hotel was right and there were no shuttles this year. I had to go back up to my room twice- forgot my headphones then my sunglasses when I picked up the headphones. I rounded the side of the hotel and hallelujah, there was a shuttle sign. After a very breezy wait, we all loaded on to the shuttles and were on our way.

I arrived way sooner than I usually like but at least I was there. I ran into BibRave Pro Nicole and we chatted for a bit. Yet we forgot to get a picture. I ate half a granola bar and drank water which is weird as I usually race fasted but with a start time of 9:30 I was a little confused. I hit the port a potties then made my way to the start. I lined up around the 2:20 group even though I knew that was highly unlikely. And we were off.

I enjoyed all the street art

Miles 1,2 – 10:30, 11:17
Ok, just a little speedy out of the gate. I knew I wasn’t up to 10’s- I was in denial but I wasn’t that stupid. The course wound down past Lake Merritt and I enjoyed the view to my right. Then we headed in downtown and as much I was enjoying the tall buildings and street art, I realized I had a growing issue.

Miles 3-6- 10:59, 11:30, 10:42, 11:13
My damn feet went numb around 2.5 miles in and no walk breaks or stomping were bringing them back. So much for it being the shoes. I took walk breaks every 1:30 because I was having trouble gaging the stress on my legs. As you can see my pace never really slowed so even with all the walk breaks, I was running too fast but couldn’t feel it. I was still enjoying the city sights and not feeling any pain so I just kept moving.

Miles 7-8 12:02, 12:44
Feeling came back to my feet but I was beginning to feel super tired and my coughing was increasing. Now my walk breaks were even slower. I don’t think I ever had wheels in this race but they were all flying off at this point.


well, I tried to run

Miles 9-13- 12:24, 13:26, 14:02, 13:21, 13:46
My body pretty much told me it was done. I had ignored the cough and sore throat for days and now I was paying the price. I was done. I walked it in from there and only attempted to run when I saw a photographer. Yeah, that didn’t work. The bummer with the walking was that these back miles were not the most scenic and wound through some ummm, really interesting areas. Yeah, let’s go with interesting. Miles 12 to 13 brought us back to lake and I was so glad to see the finish line.

Finish- 2:40:21

I crossed the line and was handed plenty of snacks and water before the medal. Huh? Then as I was getting more and more tired by the minute, I just tried to find the shuttle pick up so I could make it back to hotel. And for the love of Pete- why do people not fill a bus back to front? It would make so much more sense! I made it back to the hotel in time to be violently ill, shower and head home. And mad props to the Oakland Marriott- I checked in an hour early and out 3 hours late- all complimentary due to the race.

I can’t be disappointed by my time as I was the one who buried my head in the sand for 4 days. And considering I walked 6ish miles, it was still faster than Surf City, ha! Also considering how sick I am 4 days later, yeah, it could have been much worse.