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!

About April

Oops.

Apparently I ghosted the blog. And I still need to finish my post about Cathedral Rock in Sedona. Actually, by the time I get that post up I am going to need to tell you about Yosemite too. Oops.

So let’s see….

April was both longer and shorter than I feel it should have been.

I ran but barely. Started out ok in the beginning but a migraine rolled in halfway through and overstayed it’s welcome. Not everyday reached full migraine but after 16+ days of headaches, I was really over it.

One of my runs let me know that it was way past time that I retired my Altra Rivera’s. Oops. Not too worry, I’ve had a new pair stashed in the closet for a couple months. They rolled out a new version and I may have panic bought an pair of the older version when they went on sale. What if I don’t like the updates??

Oh and my hair is falling out. Seriously. It started in March and had been full bore ever since. I’ve gone to my GP and my dermatologist in regards to it. I also chopped most of it off. I couldn’t put it in ponytail anymore without massive loss and I told myself that at least shorter hair falling out looks less dramatic in the sink or shower. Lies we tell ourselves. And here I thought I was pretty relaxed when it came to hair but I was very wrong.

Work has also turned super stressful so I crack jokes that it’s causing my hair to fall out.

Because why not?

The farthest run I did in April was 5 miles. Kind of worrying as May starts with 2 big races. Then once the headaches increased, running either didn’t happen or became a walk just trying to get the time on my feet.

So yeah, April was interesting. Onward and upward, right?

Vacation- Birthing Cave

The Birthing Cave trail in Sedona is nice, short, fairly easy trail to do. Unless you do it the same day you do Soldiers Pass and you’re overweight and out of shape.

Oh, wait, that was me.😆

Honestly, getting to the trail head was probably harder than the trail was. My GPS disagreed with what AllTrails said. And I didn’t actually find the trailhead. I stopped too soon and parked along the road near the Mescal trail head. Which is also how I learned there was another route to Devil’s Bridge but I’d already been there the last time I was in Arizona.

We started out on the Mescal Trail thinking we were just going to go a mile or so in and see what there was as we knew we weren’t in the right spot. Luckily a quarter mile in, we hit a trail junction that included a branch off onto the Long Canyon Trail which is where I had been trying to drive to. So we took it. It was a nice single track with some elevation drop.

Once at the Long Canyon trailhead, we headed back towards the Birthing Cave. Or, at least we hoped, this trail doesn’t have signs and there some places you could another direction. We ran into others just as confused as we were. Good thing was that this trail was pretty flat, wide and actually runnable if you wanted to.

After a little more winding back towards the cliff walls, you start to climb. I had to take a break, I’m so out of shape.😂. Then you start to scramble up, careful you don’t try to use a cactus as your handhold. The cave is cool but also not as big as you think it will be and it fills up quickly. It’s also very slippery and I was too tired to try climbing all the way in. I didn’t need to break my face.

After a short time in the cave enjoying the views, we headed back to the car. With the extra we tacked on with parking at the wrong trailhead, we came up just under 3 miles. Like I said, short but still good.

Vacation- Soldier’s Pass

I love dirt. I really do.

Getting sick in January may have derailed my original vacation plans by a lot, I was still planning on adding getting in some miles on new to me trails. So I headed back to Sedona.

First trail up was Soldier’s Pass.

AllTrails calls Soldier’s Pass a moderate, 4.5 mile out and back trail. There is a small trailhead parking lot but will likely be full. We parked in overflow about a mile down the street at a school/ bike park location. There was a nice trail that ran along the road so it was nice warmup.

I love the color of the rocks and desert in Sedona. I know it gets hyped up a lot but there is a very valid reason for it. That also means be prepared for crowds. Everywhere. From prepared, experienced hikers to people in flip flops.

The beginning of the trail brings you to a cool sinkhole to check out. Then about a mile in (or 2 from overflow) the trail brings you to the Seven Sacred Pools. Maybe I was tired, but this part was a little underwhelming. Were there 7 pools? Maybe. Maybe I was blind. The trail starts to climb a little here but nothing strenuous.

The path was nicely shaded actually as we made our way to a little plateau. From there the real climb begins and things start to get hard. The path narrows and gets steeper as you make the last climb to the rock wall and the caves. The caves are cool. Getting up an into the big one is sketchy but I am proud that my claustrophobic self managed to climb up to the cave level. I spent some time up there for a bit- only almost fell once, ha! It does get crowded up there though and how more people don’t fall, I don’t understand. I did slip on my way back out of the caves and wrenched my shoulders a bit but I didn’t fall, so win!

From there, it was back down to the plateau then on to the Seven Sacred Pools again. Took a few moments here to take a sit and eat a snack or 2. It was a little warmer than I figured for March, even in Arizona.

All in all, round trip from the overflow lot to Soldier’s Pass was 6 miles with around 800 ft of elevation gain. Most of that in the last .25 mile or so. Totally worth it.

2022 Oakland Marathon Recap (10K)

Oh, I have some much to share from last week. So many miles- on foot and by car- but let’s start with the end of the week- I ran a race!!!

Disclaimer: I received an entry in the Oakland Running Festival 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!

I ran Oakland Marathon (Half) back in 2019 and loved all of the street art along the course. I ran it virtually in 2021 because I loved the medal. When the opportunity to run it again this year popped up, I was all in. I was looking forward to seeing of my fave murals along the half course as well as wondering what new ones may have popped up. Then COVID.

Don’t get me wrong, I was out of fitness in January before COVID hit but I essentially felt like I was starting from scratch afterwards. I lived in denial for a bit but by the beginning of March I knew there was no way I running the half. Yes, I could finish it but what damage would I do? So I dropped to the 10K, which the website made super easy so that was a bonus. Then race morning arrived dark and early. So dark, I got lost walking from my hotel to the start. Oops. Don’t do that.

I had done a rookie mistake and didn’t read the weather properly. I packed my BibRave singlet and a light weight long sleeve that I figured I would be ditching before the race started. Except the 10K started at 7 and it was 45 degrees. I still find that to be very cold, particularly on the top half of me. Crap. I layered the long sleeve under my tank and bought a cheap wannabe buff for my ears. I was still cold but it worked, mostly.

The 10K started at 7AM along with the marathon. When I first got to the start a little after 6, I thought it looked like it was going to be a small race and yet 30 minutes later- bam! Thousands of runners. Woah.

Still feeling new, I told myself to stick to my intervals for the 10K. 40 second run, 2 minute walk even if that meant it was going to be one of my slowest road 10K’s. My goal was to cross the finish line and not feel broken.

I did allow myself 4 minutes of running out of the chute. I knew I would not want to walk so soon but also didn’t want to blow it so soon either. The first 2 miles were run around Lake Merritt as the sun was coming up. I am lazy by nature so races are one of the few times I see sunrises. And this one was nice.
Mile 2 was also the first aid station where I promptly forgot how to drink water and choked.
Miles 1/2- 13:16, 13:24

After that graceful maneuver, we were running away from the lake and into town more. These miles were a little less scenic but still good. There were also drummers out at one of the aid stations. I still enjoyed looking for street art and getting a pic of Fallon St. I started to flag a little and grabbed some fruit snacks from my pack. Those seem to be the only thing I can make myself eat while running.
Miles 3/4- 13:17, 13:23

Miles 5 and 6 brought us back into downtown Oakland and we split from the marathoners. I was enjoying looking at all the buildings we were running by but my stomach was starting to cramp in a not good way. I also apparently found my running legs, ha!
Miles 5/6- 12:30, 12:01

Dude, the finish was uphill. Who does that???
Finish 1:22:15

With the exception of the last 100 yards, I really like the 10K course. Also, for the first time in a long time, I crossed a finish line pumped and not exhausted. Yeah, I was slow and still have a lot of work to do, but it was a good day and I needed that. All in all, it was a great experience.