Category: Run!

2022-Delayed

It’s on brand for me to post a 2022 review almost 25 29 days into 2023, right?

Honestly, how am I wrapping up 2022? In my head it is still 2019. So let’s see.

January– Started decent, had 1 race planned- Castle to Coast again. Ended the month with a DNS and COVID.

February– I dragged all month still feeling tired. Postponed my planned vacation to Arizona and just tried to get back into things

March– Randomly went on on vacation to Sedona but wasn’t able to do all the hikes I had planned. Soldier’s Pass was awesome and I still owe you a post about Cathedral Rock too. I also ran-er- jogged my first race of the year- Oakland Marathon 10K. I had been registered for the half but knew I was not ready for that.

April– Sure I did something but it didn’t leave an impression. Well other than having to admit that my hair was falling out. Still not sure what caused it but over the next 8 months, I probably lost about 50% of my hair. I cut it shorter because I couldn’t put it up anymore with it pulling out on the hair tie.

May– Yosemite! I finally ran my first Vacation Races race with the Yosemite Half marathon. Also Kate flew out and we ran it together! The trip was fun and the race was great! So great, I am signed up for 2023 too. Then a week later, I was supposed to run my first timed race- 6 hours at Silver Moon Race but knew that was stupid. I still need to get better about looking at a calendar before I jump into things. So I dropped to the 10K. Which proved to be smart as it was over 90 degrees at race start. Yikes. Oh and another skin biopsy right before the races.

June– Nothing huge just a lot or hikes and trail runs.

July– I had a birthday that depressed me and accepted a promotion at work. Still question that, haha. Ran a local race- Rock to Pier 10K. Oops, still owe the race recap on that one. Ate some yummy food and hit some more trails.

August– So funny story. My brother decided to start running. His first race was going to be one with me in October. Then he got a wild hair to run the Santa Rosa half marathon with me. Then that wild hair grew again and he added a trail half up in Santa Cruz. This race was the day before Santa Rosa. Ummm, what? So we did it. I wandered the 10K while he somehow ran a 2 hour half for his first trail race. Then he threw down a 1:41 the next day at Santa Rosa. What?!??!!

September– More trails and some miles for me. Ran a race up in Berkeley- Berkeley Trail Adventure. 10K for me and 30K for the brother. 2022 was the years of trails and 10K’s for me. Also had another skin biopsy.

October– Biopsy came back bad, so I was scheduled for another surgical excision and the more of the waiting game as we waited for the results. Ran Space Rock Trail Race while I still had stitches but I needed the distraction and I think I felt best I had in years at a race. Found out the margins were clear the following week, got my stitches out and headed north for another race. This time, Oakland Hills. And yes, there were hills.

November– Deferred my registration for Joshua Tree half because I just wasn’t feeling it. The past few months had caught up to me. So I hit some more local trails, ran some miles and put my Christmas tree ridiculously early.

December– Took a staycation as my plans for Arizona were snowed out. Hit up the local Christmas light exhibit for the first time. Showed up for Woodside Ramble- 50K for my brother, my mother’s first 10K. I did the 10K too but was having some health issues so I ended up just walking it. Which was actually kind of fun because these trails were awesome. Also, never did the race recap for that one either, oops.

So yeah, 2022 was a mixed bag in all ways. Some good and some not so good. I ran more races than I thought I would and found more awesome trails to explore all over the state. I ran more miles than in 2020 and 2021- granted that wasn’t too hard to do. I thought I would have some quippy thing to say here but I can’t think of anything, ha!

Oh, yeah- I read 100 books! Not sure where how that happened.

Oakland Hills Trail Race

4 days after getting my stitches out, I was back at another race. No one said I was smart.

I had looked at Oakland Hills for years but never run it. Since this seems to be my year of doing the Inside Trail races, this was the year. My brother was going to run the 35K and I was going to slow roll the 10K again.

His race started at 8:30 and mine 9:00. I knew I was still not 100% and also was having tummy issues all morning. I think this race takes the all time high for the number of times I used a porta potty before the race. This course is the opposite of most of my trail races. Here, runners go mostly downhill for the first half and then climb back the last half. It’s a trap.

Everything started out pretty well. I may have enjoyed the downhills a little too much, ha! It took about 2 miles for me to decide I was an idiot who overdressed and was regretting my long sleeves. Even under the shade of the Redwoods, I was heating up.

The trails were my favorite kind, hard dirt, surrounded by tall redwoods with views for days. The was the sun cut through the trees sometimes was just awesome. I think I took a couple hundred pictures while I was out there. Mile 3 started to take us through a more user friendly section of the park but it was just as pretty. However I also knew we were in for some serious uphill to come as we were fairly flat at that point.

Reader- I didn’t know. I was not prepared.

No good pictures of the up because… up.

Holy hell, the last 2 miles killed me. I was taking back everything I had ever said about any other hill in a race. I stopped to take off my long sleeve because I was seriously overheating and go stuck in my shirt. It stressed me out. 1/2 mile later, I fell on my ass. One second I am trying to just keep putting one foot in front of the other without looking at how far I still have to go, the next I am on the ground. Apparently I made enough noise that the hikers I had passed about 50 yards back turned around and asked if I needed help.

People- miles 5 and 6 were 22 and 33 minutes. Strava shows my moving time was around 16 minutes for each mile, ha! Mile 5 averaged a 19% grade and mile 6 was 20%. I was freakin’ toast. I was so done. My stomach was starting make me question things as well. I was no longer enjoying the pretty trees.

I finally crossed the finish line in 2:07:11.

I’ve run a half marathon faster than I finished that 10K. I’ve never been so done in my life. Meanwhile my brother finished the 35k in 3:38:20 and took 3rd overall. Who is he?

Don’t get me wrong this was a great race, I was just so not prepared. Maybe next year?

Space Rock Trail Race Recap- 2022

I love Space Rock, so much that I registered for the race way back at the beginning of the year. I don’t usually register for races that early, you never know what life might throw your way. But as much as I love this race I also know it gets pricey so I took advantage of a discount code. Which means of course something came up and I probably shouldn’t have done the race.

I ended up having another melanoma removal a week and a half before the race. This left me with a row of stitches on my left upper back. Right where all my sports bras hit. I was also given instructions to take things easy and not do any strenuous workouts. Well shit.

I thought on it and decided I would just walk the 10K. Should I have? Maybe not but I figured going in with the intention of walking and making sure I kept it chill would get me through. Plus my brother was running the half so I had to kill time somehow.

Race morning dawned early and chilly. Which confused me because all my previous times at Space Rock were warm. Combine that with my plan to walk and I had no idea how to dress. I wore full pants with compression sleeves under, a t-shirt and a long sleeve. I also second guessed myself the whole time. I had covered my stitches with layers of gauze and KT tape.

Once to Vásquez Rocks, we were able to park in the park this year. Which I have to admit I did not like. I wish parking had stayed at the lot about a 1/2 mile north. I felt all the cars kind of detracted from the awesome-ness of the rocks. Although I did take advantage of the closeness when I realized in the porta potty that I had forgot to put on my watch. Who does that? I also used to time to ditch the long sleeve in the car.

My brother’s race started on time and we were about 20 minutes behind them. I seeded myself in the back and told myself to chill. And for the most part I did. I knew where the photographers would likely be so I decided to let myself jog past them when I knew they were coming up.

That turned into jogging the downhills and walking the flats and hills. I wasn’t breathing hard and my stitches didn’t hurt so I stuck with that. The only irritation was having to carry my handheld since I couldn’t wear a pack.

The first 3 miles have a great downhill to start and then an out and back along the PCT with a mild climb. The tricky part is that the out and back is single track and boy were there some attitudes out there this year. Now maybe I noticed it more this year since I was farther back in the pack but dudes, chill! Sometimes it would be hard to stop or get out of the way as there wasn’t always somewhere to go and people would get huffy. I also had my first experience with a blocker. Not sure that’s the word but this lady was not happy that my hiking pace was her running pace. There were times I would try to pass her but she would not let me. Or if she did, she would huff about it angrily and then try to make a point to pass me a little down the path and then slow down in front me. Excuse me?

I was still feeling pretty good as we came back to the only aid station- miles 1/3 but I knew next 3 miles were the hardest and they usually killed me in previous years. Like in 2021 when I lost count of how many times I stopped for a break. Maybe it was due to my relaxed attitude and pace from the start but I made it up the first huge climb without any breaks. I felt pretty good too. My watch says my heart rate was up the whole race but I never felt it. I also felt good as I dropped the blocker completely here and never saw her again.

From there we went into the rollers. As long as I felt good I decided to keep jogging the downhills and slow rolling the ups. I was actually passing more people too- some 5K but quite a few 10k people too. I never took any intentional breaks but did chill for a few moments when we bottle necked behind an older lady who was stuck trying to make a tricky transition. Once she made it she let us all pass her and we were off.

I always forget how many rollers there are so each time I would come to the top of one and not see the last stretch to the finish, I get confused. Finally, I was in the last .5 mile stretch, I felt decent but also knew I was tired. I hadn’t done much physical activity in the last few weeks, haha.

Then the finish was there and I jogged across. Success!!

Finish- 1:41:02

I find it funny that I kept it super easy all race but still finished 7 minutes faster than 2021.

Once I finished, I got some food and waited for my brother to finish. He finished in 2:06:10.

Then we climbed some rocks.

Berkeley Trail Adventure- Recap

This may be my year of trail races.

Way back in September- Berkeley Trail Adventure took place up in Berkeley in Tilden Park. I actually registered super late for it- just a couple of days before the race. Turned it into a family affair- my mother, brother and I all headed up on race morning. That meant a 4AM leave time. It was rough not gonna lie. I was registered for the 10K and my brother was registered for the 35k.

The 35K started first with the 50K’ers and then I had some time to wait before the half and then the 10K started. The half ended up starting 15 minute early so I thought maybe the 10K would but nope. We started on time, which normally is great, I was just confused, ha!

The race started by running up a little hill and then through the parking lot to get to the trails. I am torn on how I feel about these trails; parts I loved and other parts felt like I was in someone’s backyard. Because we kind of were. Parts of the trail backed up to a neighborhood or overlooked a golf course. Other parts made you feel like you were in the woods far away from civilization.

I had had crap week and was planning on taking it easy for the race. A look at the course elevation showed that we climbed for 3 miles and then ran downhill for 3. The incline didn’t look too steep- my favorite kind of course. The first 2 miles lived up to the course profile. I was feeling decent about the hills and making decent power hike time.

Then the last part of the hill to mile 3 killed me. I felt like parts were vertical and was trying to figure out where the hell this had been on the elevation profile. I was dying. I felt a little better when what looked like a super fit half marathon runner passed me – they were moving slightly fast than me but also showed they were struggling. Solidarity.

Not the actual hill, an easier one from earlier in the race3

Once I finally made to the the top, I had to walk more than I would have liked just to bring my heart rate down. I was also struggling to get my water bottle back into my pack for some reason and it was making me cranky. So of course I look up and see the race photographer. I shouted out seriously?!? Then I just to run by him without any other issues.😂

I don’t look like an idiot!

The next mile or so was an awesome runnable downhill and I suddenly felt like I was in the zone. I felt I could have stayed there all day. But we couldn’t, the course looked back round to first mile or so and now we were running those rollers the opposite way.

And my body let me know it was toast. So I walked a lot. Which was fine but I was missing that zen feeling I had a mile back. We came back to the finish through the parking lot and then had a small uphill to the finish line. Boo.

Finish- 1:39:32

Once across, I got some snacks and waited for my brother to finish his race. I had an idea of what I thought he would finish in and just kept looking for his bib color. I was realizing that if I was right, he could very well place. And he did. 4th overall and third in his age group. Hell yeah!

While I didn’t like this course as much as Santa Cruz, I would definitely run it again. Just wish it was closer.

Ghosted

Oops. Didn’t mean to disappear. My last post was about Santa Rosa. That was August. Oops.

Running or power hiking has been decent since then. I have three trail races to recap and tell you all about. Those will hopefully be up soon.

I had a great trail day at the beginning of October where I went out with the plan of getting lost. I did pretty well. 😄. And I don’t mean really, rally lost. I didn’t want to follow any sort of plan and just changed course each a time a trail intersection looked interesting. I was in a funk mentally and hoped a choose your own adventure kind of day would knock me out of it. I’m also not completely stupid so my adventure was only around 9 miles when it could have been much longer.🤣 Also I kind loved that it was so foggy for most of the day.

Work has been stressful so let’s just leave it at that.

My quarterly strip search- dermatology appointment- prompted another biopsy. Which came back bad and necessitated another cancer excision. I’m getting pretty good at dealing with stitches. Learned I was allergic to paper tape as well as bandaids though. Seriously? On a gamble I tried KT tape. Success!! Expensive as a tape option but worth not trying to claw my skin off due to the itching.

Good news was they got clean margins. Yay! The excision and stitches did mean I had to cut back on running. I tried to only walk, the stitches were high on my back and every single sports bra I own went right on top. Boo. I ended up deferring Joshua Tree half. I blamed the excision for taking away my training time but truthfully I just wasn’t feeling it.

I’m still kind of in a funk but trying to dig my way out. Think a stupid amount of Hallmark Christmas will help?? Or hurt? Maybe some online shopping?? I’m on staycation at the moment. Maybe I have too much time on my hands.😂

What’s new with you?