Race Day · Recap · Run!

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.

Ambassador · Race Day · Recap · Run!

Chasing It- Santa Rosa Half Marathon

Don’t flame out, don’t flame out, don’t flame out. On repeat in my head for 4.5 miles.

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Santa Rosa Half Marathon 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!

Race morning dawned all too early but then don’t they all. Plus I had now confirmed that the GI disaster that was Napa Valley was not a one off, ate at the same chain the night before Santa Rosa and same issues. However this time, I was prepared with both my meds and lots of Pepto. Fingers crossed.

The race started right at 7:30 with corral A going first and Corral B a few moments later. I was in B. I had very low expectations going into this race, both due to my lack of training and the weather circumstances. Smoke in the air and a very warm morning.

Mile 1, I went out too fast but no real shock there. Well, the 12:40 was kind of a surprise as I rarely see 12’s these days. I started interspersing walk breaks on my 30/50 schedule and just kept trucking. I was carrying electrolytes and knew I was taking water at every water stop. Mile 2 dropped me back into the 13’s which made sense as I already felt tired, ha!

Then things got wierd. I was moving along doing my thing, taking water, taking pictures of the course, listening to music but somehow gaining on the 2:50 pacer. What was going on?? Miles 3-5 saw a 12:59, 12:33, and 12:46.

Mile 5 also saw another feat. I caught up to the 2:50 pacers and then dropped them. Don’t get cocky, don’t get cocky, just keep going. We had hit a dirt, gravel part of the trail and I was loving it. It was warming up but there good tree cover. Mile 6- 12:39.

I was entering unknown territory in a few ways now. I was moving faster than I have in months, now farther than the distance I had run since May and now past the longest distance I had run in these running shoes.

I was also tiring but again, that made sense. I was slowing down but I’d also started to think I really could hold onto a sub 2:50. That would be almost 20 minutes faster than Idaho. I now feared hearing the 2:50 pace group. They were chatty enough that I knew I’d hear them first. I kept pushing… and repeating my new mantra.

Around mile 9, we looped around on the path and started making our way back to the start line. 4 miles to go and the wheels were starting to come off. We hit a section of direct sunlight and I started to melt. I took a wet towel at an aid station for the first time ever. (They’ve always kind of grossed me out.) I was walking more and more and then there was no more running.

I cramped. Hard. Both my calves seized up. Running was no longer an option. It just wouldn’t work. I was power walking as best I could. Which was also contributing to my issue as I was still maintaining a mid 13 pace. Which was also earning me comments from other runners as I passed a few- I was walking faster than they were running. Couldn’t tell if they were impressed or irritated.

But it was all for naught. I heard the voices I had been fearing. The 2:50 group caught up and dropped me. Wah. But that also took away my crazy push which may be why I suddenly felt a massive side cramp as well as the continuous leg cramps. At this point I was trying everything and even walking backwards at some points. Now I was just making people laugh. 12 and 13 were my slowest- 14:31 and 14:52.

This is the first finish line I have ever walked across. Even when I’ve had horrible GI races or rolled my ankle on the side of the mountain, I’ve found a way to at least jog across the finish line. This time? Nope! I just kind of struggle walked across the finish.

But I finished! 2:56:58– ten minutes faster than Idaho.

While this race was flat- and flat is not my fave- I would totally run it again. It reminded me of me, if that makes sense.

BibRave · Race Day · Recap · Run!

CDA Half Marathon- Recap

Holy crap, a real life race!

Disclaimer: I received an entry into CDA Half Marathon 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!

It’s been over a year since my last in person race. When the chance to run Coeur D’Alene came up, I jumped at it. Things would be open by Memorial Day, right? I wasn’t picked in the first run and I was bummed but then I was hit with the melanoma diagnosis and my brain ran away so maybe it was a good thing. A month or so later, something changed and a spot opened up. Once I made sure I could switch to the virtual if things didn’t change or if I had more things to deal with on the skin front. But… I headed out of town on my first race trip since March 2020 last week. Yay!

Holy crap, that is a long drive from the middle of California. Coeur D’Alene is gorgeous. The lake and the park with the trails is like runner heaven- could that just be plopped down where I am, please?

The race was utilizing a rolling start from 5:30AM to 11:00AM. You had to register for your start time before race day. I am an idiot and chose 8:30. What? I then stressed about it right up until race morning. I showed up early on race morning as I was concerned about parking. The parking lot was huge but throw in lots of runners combined with a busy public park and who know what could happen. This turned out to be a good thing as I heard the announcer say you could jump in and start if you were there early. Pick me! So instead of 8:30, I started a little after 7:45. Yay!

The first 3 miles headed out into city streets along the lakeside before looping back to the park. Man, there are some nice houses out there. The next 10 miles were on a paved path called the North Idaho Centennial Trail. This thing is 23 miles long! Again, can I have it please?

Going into the race, I had a feeling it was going to be a rough go. I figured if I walked it all and kept a 15 minute pace, I would finish around 3:15. Any running could bring me down but not far… I really am that out of shape. So there was a good chance this was going to my new personal worst.

And it was.

But I don’t care. This was about enjoying racing, taking in the sights and being around other runners again. I missed it more than I thought. It was so good. The course was awesome, lake views for most of it, dream houses for the other part. Plus, I decided I really like rolling starts. I never felt like I was back of the pack even though I definitely was. I was very warm though so I was questioning the sanity of everyone who started later in the day. I’ve never taken in so much water during a race before in my life. I drank 4 bottles on course.

So yeah, I was slow but it was fun. Other than some odd toe pain. That said, I would definitely run this race again. But maybe fly in?

Also, my finish time of 3:05:54 makes me laugh- it is exactly one hour more than my PR. To the second. That makes me giggle for some reason.

BibRave · Recap · Run!

Hot Chocolate 15 REcap- Virtual

Now let’s see how well my memory works as this was a week ago. But I was waiting for the swag to get here! You may be thinking- couldn’t you have written it after you ran it and just waited to post it? There’s a reason this site is not called The Logical Runner.

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Hot Chocolate 15K/5K  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 was excited to sign for Hot Chocolate 15K- Phoenix. Somehow, I have never run a Hot Chocolate race before even though I had heard great things. Obviously, I would have preferred to run it in person but 2020. I missed the crowds and I know I missed out on what I hear are amazing aid stations. And I miss Arizona- my trip last month reminded me of why we vacationed there when I was a child.

I signed up for this race back in October. I remember thinking that my goal was to be able to run/walk a decent time for the 15k. I was thinking that knowing I had a 15K race soon, I would get back to training. But, yeah life.

My attempt at a flat runner.

Race weekend dawned on Dec 12/13 and I was just starting another week of PTO. I didn’t realize how fried I was until I did nothing but sleep and eat all weekend. Oops. But that is the beauty of virtual runs, right? If race day does not work for you- pick a new race day! Also, the beauty of PTO- I could run it on Monday!

Monday dawned a little chilly but I wasn’t running until the early afternoon, so it was fine. Right? I didn’t think I was up for 15K and was considering dropping to the 5K. A choice I hope I would have been smart enough to make had we been running the race in person.

I started my run with a nice little warm up walk, i.e I got to the top of the hill to start my race. I was trying for a decent time so I stopped, stretched, restarted my run and was off!

For maybe 1/3 of a mile. My left foot started to go numb. I tried to keep running but that made things worse so I switched to walking. If you’ve been with me for a while, you might know this is not a new thing but something I thought I fixed.

The beginning of 2019, I was plagued by a numb foot or worse, numb feet. I could never figure out what caused it. It didn’t always happen and usually happened at random times. I changed shoes, I changed socks, I worked on stretches, etc. I learned that I had to walk it out and the longest it ever lasted was 3ish miles. Then it miraculously went away, yay!

I survived!

Did you catch how long it could last??? Yep, 3 miles. Like a 5k. And sure enough, my left foot stayed numb for the entire 5k. Seriously?!?! So I walked it out. So, Hot Chocolate 5K- 45:31. Which isn’t the time I had hoped to eke out but it’s not horrible for a numb foot.

I thought about trying to add another 6.2 mile once my foot came back to life but knew my legs were already angry with how I changed my stride. It’s ok, I could console myself with chocolate, right?

All the awesome-ness!

Except, my awesome swag was lost in transit! I watched it literally circle the country according to the transit data. It was in CA a few times before leaving again, ha! It finally did arrive though and it is really awesome! The sweatshirt is top notch and I’ve already worn it. It will definitely keep me warm through the next few months. Just one ask- how about a milk chocolate cocoa mix??? I think I may be alone in that though.

Maybe my next Hot Chocolate race will be in person?? Fingers crossed!

Ever run a Hot Chocolate race?

Race Day · Recap

MCM 10K (virtual) Recap

A good chunk of runners will say that their dream race is Boston.

Mine is Marine Corps Marathon. Or Leadville but that’s another story.

2020 being what it is, I decided to register for the virtual version of the MCM 10K.

Race weekend dawned and oops, I’d been super lazy. Hadn’t run in almost 2 weeks. Longest run previously was the Giants 10k over Labor Day weekend. Oh, I was totally ready for a 6 mile run. Yep. I really wanted to run it on the actual, original race weekend so I sucked it up.

Thankfully, the weather gods gifted us with some almost fall weather so I was even able to be lazy and sleep in on race morning. Yay!

I headed out in the early afternoon and told myself that I would run/walk 3 miles and walk 3 miles. I could walk as much as I wanted but I could never stop. No breaks. Those are my new “race” rules.

I headed for the river path and what used to be my long run route- in other words, an uphill start but a downhill finish. Woo hoo!

I knew that being out of shape, I would tire quickly so instead of running the first half and struggling to finish the last half, I walked the first 3 miles. So, does that mean I walked the part of the route that was uphill and ran the downhill? Yep!

I even found some crowd support!

Not gonna lie, I was feeling tired towards the end but that was really no surprise. And my shoe was coming untied but I refused to stop. Good thing I didn’t fall on that last half mile. That would have been classic.

I finished and stopped to stretch. Oh, I was going to be feeling that later.

Finish- 1:28:34

Hey, and somehow I was faster than I was for the Giants 10K! On a much hillier course. Gotta take those wins where you can find them right?

This was not the MCM of my running dreams but it did help me prove to myself that not all is lost. I just need to get out of my own way.