Race Day, Recap, Run!

Mission 10 Miler Recap

My first 10 mile race!

This race wasn’t on my radar until I received an email from a half marathon series.   San Juan Bautista is only 2 hours up the road and this would make mission #3 for a race start.  I didn’t know I was starting a list but hey, why not!

I had a 12 mile run on the schedule that week but instead of running the half marathon available, I wanted to run the 10 miler.  I figured I would run 2 miles when I got back to to town.  Then the week of pain happened and I spent Thursday and Friday feeling a little off but I refused to say I was sick.  I wasn’t even sure I was going to be able run the race but I headed that way anyways.

Holy crap it was cold!  And picking up my bib and shirt took barely any time, so we stood around and froze for almost an hour.  Oops.  After watching the kids race- so adorable, then the half marathon start, it was time for the 10 miler.

I am toying with running Big Sur with run/walk intervals so I tested those out here.  When I was in super shape (for me)- I could have run this in the low 1:30:00 range. Yah, not so much anymore.  Since I was treating it as a long run, I was hoping for a 10:30-11:00 pace but with my recent leg issues I told my mother I wasn’t expecting to be done before 2:00 hours.  Then I put my watch on intervals of 1:15 run/ :45 walk, only had it on that screen and ran the race pace blind.

Miles 1-3- 9:38, 10:27, 10:33

I ran the entirety of the first mile, the race vibe just gets me moving.  However, I felt like I was crawling.  I was so cold, my legs didn’t feel like they were moving properly.    But looking at my Garmin later, I guess they were.  😛  I went to the intervals in mile 2 not because of the leg issue I had been worried about but only because my calves and achilles were super tight.   They were letting me know they were less than pleased with 3 miles of flat road.

Miles 4-7- 11:18, 11:19, 10:39, 9:47
Around 3.5 miles in we rounded a corner and passed a lone port-a potty and then the elevation finally started to change.  I smiled.   Yay, a hill!   I slowed going up the hill but stuck to my intervals.  The tightness in my calves eased- this is why I like hills- and I was feeling better than I thought I would.  I was sticking to the plan and treating the race like a long run- I wasn’t pushing it but I was keeping a steady effort.   The road through this section took the runners by some very pretty properties so I was also trying to enjoy the scenery.   I picked up the pace a bit when we turned around to head back towards the finish and now had the aid of the downhill.   Things were feeling good.

Miles 8-10- 11:16, 11:29, 11:17
Holy crap, what the hell???  My stomach cramped and cramped in a miserable, horrible way.   My intervals disintegrated and the wheels came off.   I ran when I could and walked when I was trying to breath through the pain and not cause any ummmm, issues.  In all 10 miles of this race, I saw 1 port-a-potty.  That didn’t help me.   Where was the finish line????

Finish- 1:48:29
Well, look at that- even with the wheels falling off in the last 3 miles, that’s not bad!

I found a jail while looking for a bathroom

 

Unfortunately, I was sick for the next 4-5 hours and fought a cold for the next 3 days so that was less fun but the race was a pretty good way to start the year.  Maybe next 10 miler, I can really race it.  😀

BibRave, Race Day, Recap, Run!

Rock n Roll Las Vegas 13.1 Recap

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Rock n Roll Las Vegas Half marathon 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 #2 for the weekend!

I was feeling a little of that leg pain from last week on Sunday morning when Mai and I were walking to and from the BibRave brunch.  So after getting back to the hotel, I rested my legs until it was time to head to the start line.  I still cleared my daily step goal well before the race started.  😛

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Learning from the previous day, we left the hotel with plenty of time to walk to the start line area giving us time for gear drop, bathroom stops, the We Run Social meet up, and whatever else we needed.    And unlike the previous day, we accomplished it all with time to spare! And I met Helly! If you look really close in the We Run Social pic, you can see my hat in the back.  😛    Then we separated and Mai made her way to her corral and Kate and I went to squeeze our way through the people towards our corral to wait.

The second I knew I had convinced Kate to fly to Las Vegas from Texas and run her very first half marathon, I knew I was running it with her, no matter what.   In the week leading up to the race, she was worried about slowing me down but I said to not even worry about the pace, we were aiming for ‘party speed’.  😎

With an impressive fire show for each corral start, we were off!  That said this is going to be a little different from my usual recaps.   Mile 1 was our fastest, mile 2 was our slowest and everything else fell in between.

Recent events moved the start line up to New York New York but the course still went south towards the Las Vegas sign before turning around and coming back.  These miles were quiet and dark as a moment of silence for Las Vegas.  Which made the cheaters we observed just past mile 1 even worse.   The course was an out and back and this part of the street had a large center divider.  Just past the first water station, 3 people just jumped on over to the other side and joined the runners on the way back into town.  WTH????!  Kate and I and 3 runners behind us were like did we really just see that?

Then came mile 2.  We both admitted we could use a bathroom.  Waiting in the corrals had been long and there were no port-a -potties near the corrals.  So we stopped.  And waited forever.  Seriously…this was a 20 minute mile.   7 of that was non moving time according to my Garmin.  The bathrooms were set up in an odd way that both sides of the course could access them but it didn’t make sense for lines and was causing serious confusion.  And apparently we picked the wrong line because the person before me took forever.  To the point where the lady in line behind me wanted to knock on the bathroom door.    And can I just say that entering a port a potty in the dark is like entering a scary unknown land? 😛

Finally, we were on our way.  We were running 1 minute, walking 1 minute.  Hit the 5K mark and all was shiny.   A little past that I told Kate she officially had less than 10 miles to go.  Another runner near us thanked me for saying that. 😀

3.6 is when disaster struck.   I heard a very verbal inhale, saw a wince and then Kate was limping.   Her right shin was not happy and not happy in a very bad way.  We started walking.  I said let’s walk to 4.5 and see how you feel.  The answer was no better.  I actually tried to get her to stop but she was having none of that.   All right, then let’s go slowly.

So we walked.   We embraced the party speed and took in the sights of the Strip.  All of the casinos and all of their lights.  Counting the CVS’s and Walgreens turned into our version of the license plate game.  No, seriously, why are there so many within such a short distance from each other? And why were more people cutting the course?!?!😡

I took a ton of pictures.  Except the sketchy mile.  The Fremont area was awesome and worth the sketch mile to get there though.  We got water at every aid station and Gatorade.  We stopped at a medical tent and Kate had them apply some Icy Hot to see if it would help.   Every now and then I would jog in place just to reset my feet.  I had worn my old Adidas and they’re too big, not exactly built for walking, my feet were sliding around.  Jogging every now and again helped ease some of the pressure my feet were feeling.

We had a Ghost bride moment too.  I looked up to see a runner dressed like a bride just standing forlornly all alone up ahead.  The way the light was hitting her, she looked a little ghost like.  So then we starting cracking jokes that we needed the Winchester boys.

We were walking, we were slower than planned and Kate was hurt but if you look at the race pictures the photographers took, we’re smiling in all of them.    Kate kept telling me to leave her behind and run ahead and I kept saying hell no.  We started together, we’re finishing together.

And we did- 3:27:49🙂 We collected our awesome spinning medal and went straight to the med tent so Kate could get ice on her leg.  Then we headed out through the long staging area getting the goodies.   Once again, no bags were provided to carry everything but I had come prepared- I had shoved 2 dog bags (clean of course) into my belt so that way we could shove the snacks all in those.  Then we headed for our Remix medals and then found a spot to rest before beginning the walk back to the hotel.  Where was a taxi when you needed one?

So this wasn’t the race we had expected but it was still an awesome race. 

BibRave, Race Day, Recap, Run!

2017 City to the Sea 13.1 Recap

What do you do when need to run a long run and need the motivation to get up early? Sign up for a race!

Let’s count the things that did not go like planned-

  • Had stomach issues on Saturday but hoped they would go away by race morning.
  • It didn’t, it was even worse.  To the point where I had a complete change in wardrobe plans.  If I could have run in a dress I would have.  I needed the least amount of pressure possible.
  • Ran in a skirt I haven’t worn in 2 years, probably qualified as something new on race day.  Ditto to the Camelbak I decided to use.
  • I was late leaving the house, then spent too much time at a Chevron station using the facilities due to above mentioned GI issue.
  • Lost one of the zip ties for the timing chip.  Found it again after tearing apart car.
  • Strolled up to the start with 3 minutes to spare.
  • Ran the race on Zero calories.
  • With my back issues, I was thinking this would be slower than long run pace.  My parents were meeting me at the finish line- I told them over a 2:30 finish.

And yet-

Miles 1-4 9:38, 9:39, 9:44, 9:58


The race starts off downhill so I figured the first few miles would be my fastest but I had been thinking high 10’s.  Mile 1 clocked in and I remember thinking “what the hell legs? We can’t maintain that”.  Then mile 2 took freakin’ forever.  I’ve run this course 5 times and I couldn’t figure why the hell it was taking so long so I finally looked at my watch.  Mile 2.86.  Oh I missed the mile marker, good to know I am not crazy.   I was trying to not look at my watch but I knew my legs were still running a pace they had no business running.  My friend Bix came up behind a little after mile 3.  We chatted a bit before she pulled ahead a little after mile 4.  I had to crash soon right?

Miles 5-8 10:20, 10:44, 11:13, 9:34

Mile 5 starts a long slow climb which I like as it loosens up any leg tightness I may have.  I also took my first walk break as my back gave a tiny twinge.   Mile 6 saw lots of walking as those stupid stomach issues came rearing back.  Are you kidding me?!?!  The last aid station at mile 4 and the next one wasn’t until past mile 7.     I also was suddenly surrounded by people.  What the hell?   It was the 2:15 pace group.  Wait, I was in front of the 2:15 pace group for 6 miles?  What year is this? 2015? 😛   They pulled ahead but I kept them in my sights until the bigger hill on mile 7- more walking thanks to a cranky back.  I wasn’t worried as I knew there was a downhill coming and I love downhills.  As you can see by that mile 8 up there.

The Garmin makes it look scary😂

Miles 9-11 10:48, 12:34, 10:26

Catching up to the pace group was short lived.  I lost them on the Bob Jones Trail.  I was slowing down but what else do you expect when your longest run in 2 months has been 8 miles?  I ran on the dirt on the side of the trail hoping it would lessen some of the pavement pounding but by mile 10- the biggest hill- my back was very not happy.  I walked a lot and it shows in my mile time.   I tried to stretch it out as I walked.   Mile 11 was pretty good actually but I felt like I was crawling.


Miles 12-13.1 10:51, 11:40

Come on back, I’m so close!  2 miles to go! Run til I feel a twinge, walk it out, repeat.  Ran alongside a woman for a bit, we commiserated over pains.  She was having Plantar issues.  She pulled ahead.   Finally I hit mile 13 and all I had left was the longest .1 ever.  Seriously- I swear this .1 is longer than any other race I have other run.

Finish- 2:18:59


How, now?  Under trained, messed up back, hot mess of a morning and I finish my fastest race in 2 years?  In fact, my fastest race since City to the Sea 2015?   How does that even make sense?   I just decided to let my legs and back fight it out.  I took my head out of the equation.

Maybe I need to try that more often? 😛🙂

Race Day, Recap, Run!

SLO Ultra 5 Mile Recap

I say my legs love hills but this tested that theory.

I didn’t look at the elevation chart until the Friday before the race.

Walking to the start line, I could see the half marathoners on the first climb– no one was running.

At one point during the race, I heard a woman huff out- “rolling hills, my ass”.

At the end, a woman wearing a Leadville jacket is talking to another 5 mile finisher asking how she’s feeling.  She then says she would never do these races because if you are under trained  they’ll wreck you.  Ummm, what??!

Ok, backing up.  SLO Ultra is a trail races that offers a 50 mile, marathon, half marathon and 5 mile.  I had originally planned on running the half but then conversion month and the stupid antibiotic non running episode derailed me.  I figured I would downshift to the 5 miler.    I’ve done multiple trail races, how could this be worse than the 25K? I could handle 5 miles.


Then I checked the website the Friday before and saw the elevation profile.  1500 feet and change over 5 miles, WTF?  Combine that with the abnormally busy Saturday I had ahead and I almost considered a DNS.    But I followed through.


The race was run on trails on private property out by Avila Beach but they all had staggered start times so my race didn’t start until 9:30.   I was able to still get parking on site about an hour before the start and slowly made my way the 1/2 mile or so further in.   As I said, I could see the half marathoners on the first real climb and it was not reassuring.    Hanging out near the start didn’t help.  I saw runners coming back through the start and they looked rough so I figured they were the marathoners finishing a loop (didn’t have enough gear to be 50 milers).  Nope.  Just the half marathoners finishing mile 3.     Oh crap.  Then it was time, so we all lined up.   Only to be warned the first 3 miles were Hard. Yay.

Mile 1- 16:37

We were off!  And we ran for all of .25 miles.  If that.  I take consolation that 95% of us slammed to a crawl.  There were still some speedy people out there (Pepe, Racheal I’m looking at you) but us mortals all were struggling just to power hike the damn mountain.   Like hands pushing down on knees trying to get leverage going up the hill.   We were all breathing so hard, it was a symphony of wheezing and gasping.  But the views halfway up?  Awesome.  But damn that thing was steep.


Mile 2-11:41

Does this climb ever end?!  Oh damn, I think something is in my shoe.   Oh look, downhill!  I shouldn’t run fast but, on your left!  Hey, this woodsy part is cool, let’s take a pic.  While running down a hillside.  Looks at watch- at a 9:20 pace- living dangerously.  😛  Oh- my first water crossing!  Ok, it was tiny but it still counts!  Then there was a portion of single track where some people didn’t have the best trail etiquette.  Stay on the trail!  This is why we can’t have nice things.


Mile 3-16.53

Another climb.  Not long but steep.   I made friends.    We were commiserating.  One woman asked her friend is she was doing the mountain bike races the next day, (same course) she was no longer sure.   Another asked if these hills were worse than those of the San Francisco Marathon, 3 of us shouted out Yes!  I cracked a joke that I don’t think this is what my doctor meant when he said to return to running slow and easy.   We had a downhill and I ran on to the flat and back to the start to the aid station but I was noticing a problem.  I couldn’t run the flats.  My legs were shot.  My Achilles’s were the tightest they have ever been and the flat surface felt like it stretched them out too much, kind of like they were going to tear.  So I backed it off and walked.


Mile 4- 17:02

Ok, maybe I backed off too much.   Yes, there was another big climb in this mile but I think I lost the most time on the flat section truthfully.  I chatted with a man I had been yo-yo’ing with most of the race.  My GPS had also been off since the tree covered section in mile 2 so I really had no idea how far I had left in the race.  Oops!


Mile 5- 8:40 pace

By mile 3.8ish I could see the turn around point at the aid station and I was done.  I jogged up to it, grabbed a cup of water, drank and then decided my legs had wings.   I almost ate trail in a section that was like running through a sandbox.  I hit the flat section and my legs suddenly felt ok so I kept going.    Slowed down so as not to face plant over the rickety bridge over the stream right before the finish line- almost did anyways- and ran through the finish.

1:09:43


So much slower than I would have liked but I survived!  And I was still in the top half of the pack so that’s how damn hard this freakin’ course was.   I am also having trouble walking 3 days later.  😛     Good thing about slower?  I never got misdirected like more than a few of the lead runners did.  Oops.

I will run this again, stronger and faster.  I think I can, I think I can.  Plus, that’s the only way I can get back on those trails.😊

 

 

 

 

 

BibRave, Race Day, Recap, Run!

Salinas Valley Half Marathon Recap

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Salinas Valley Half Marathon 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!

The morning dawned dark and early.  With the race starting at the Soledad Mission, I was up early and heading north.  After getting a little turned around (all my fault- it was literally straight up the freeway) I arrived early enough to pick up my bib, debate what pack to use and use the port a potties.    I had woken to a very angry stomach and had to use the facilities a few times before the race.  Lovely.     I headed to the start line to the beat of an ipod and an upbeat announcer.   The weather had been predicted to start in the 70’s and be in the high 80’s by race end so I was very excited to see a heavy cloud cover that kept the temps about 10* cooler.


Miles 1-3- 10:01, 10:07, 11:04

The course started off nice and flat.  Which I appreciated for about 1/2 a mile.  My legs were already fussy so by mile 2, I was running in the dirt on the side of the road.   If there’s dirt, I will find it. 🙂    My shoelaces on my right shoe came untied in mile 2 as well.   I was moving surprisingly faster than I thought I was going to be though.    Mile 3 saw my first walk break as well as my shoelaces coming untied again.  What gives?!  I was enjoying the scenery.  We ran past crop fields of Cauliflower and Peas.   I was taking pictures while running.


Miles 4-6- 10:44, 11:01, 10:45

Here’s my main gripe- the first water station wasn’t until mile 3.3.    For a race in CA in August, I thought that was too far in.  I carried a larger bottle of BeachBody with me but I still like water at each station.   We started into a little rolling section of the course which was giving me slight downhills which was slightly helping my pace.  This was cool because the walk breaks were becoming more regular.   My legs were starting to get super stiff though.   My brain may have seen the road as slightly rolling but legs were telling me it was flat.  I needed a hill!


Miles 7-9-  12:47, 11:59, 10:48

A hill!  My legs were thankful, the rest of me not so much.  I walked all of it.  No shame, I knew this was going to be a slower race so there was no point in making my heart rate go crazy.  🙂   That climb started in 7 into 8 and partly into 9.  Honestly it wasn’t even a big one, I just took it easy.   The sun had also come out and temp instantly jumped 10*.  Yikes!  Water!   I was still taking in the sights of the course and enjoying the music stations along the course.  Then in mile 9, I got a little downhill to enjoy.


Miles 10-12- 11:58, 11:49, 11:36

The sun was shining in full force which made the scenery awesome but did no favors for my pace.   I started rocking out.   Literally.  We came upon a hill the race calls the “Beast of Eden” and I ran up it playing an air guitar the whole way.  It was also the only hill I ran up.  😛   I then sang and played an air guitar or drums for the next 3 miles.  I gave thumbs up to race photographers (which actually turned out to be a terrible picture).   There was a strawberry station at mile 10.2 and while they looked amazing, my stomach was starting to cramp up and I passed on them in fear of a repeat of the morning.

Mile 13- 11:42

Ok, I was done.  I felt like this mile took 20 minutes.  The finish line was never getting closer.   I was hot, thirsty and tired.   We ran past the buses to take us back to the start and man they looked tempting.  I was walking so much.  We turned left but still no finish line.   Just an uphill.  Waah.   I was walking towards the last little turn to the finish and the announcer called me out!  Seriously!    Just make it obvious when I start running.    Thanks dude.

Finish 2:28:44


Considering how I thought this race was going to go, hell yeah!  If the sun had stayed away, I think I may have been about 5 minutes speedier.    It warmed up really fast once the sun came out and I wish there had been another water station or 2.    I drank water at every station and had my bottle.  Once across the finish line, I downed a chocolate milk and a bottle of water.  Normally drinking that much that fast would have me feeling very ill but I felt fine.   Like I said, it was kind of warm those last miles.

Overall, I really enjoyed the race.   It was kind of nice to go into a race mostly relaxed and barely even glance at my watch.   I enjoyed the backroads, and the crop signs and Steinbeck were an added touch,  The only thing I would change is more water stations.

Half marathon #27 done.  😀