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. ๐Ÿ™‚    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.  ๐Ÿ™‚   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.  ๐Ÿ˜›   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.  ๐Ÿ˜€

BibRave, Race Day, Run!

Running for Salinas

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!

It’s race weekend!

Man, that one came up fast!  Well, actually, how is it August?  ๐Ÿ˜›

It’s time to head on up to Salinas and meander my way through back roads enjoying the sites of crops, check another Mission off the list, and enjoy half marathon #27 in Steinbeck country.

My training has been ummm, a little absent this month.  With work going through a conversion, I tried but my running took a hit.   As did my sleeping.


So with that in mind, I have zero goals for this weekend other than to have a good time.  I plan to just go out there and enjoy the views and the course.   I know I will be slower than normal and that’s fine.  More time to enjoy the course, right?   I here there’s a great BBQ at the finish- I think I’ll finish just around the time a BBQ craving hits.  ๐Ÿ˜›

I am hoping this odd heat wave with mugginess breaks though.   The weather stalking has commenced and right now it’s looking like a warm morning.   I will be drinking lots of water.

What are you do this weekend?

 

 

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Summer Racing

Disclaimer: I received an entry into 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!

Summer running- happened so fast, summer runnin’- had me an asthma attack.

Haha, couldn’t help myself.  ๐Ÿ˜›

Every summer for the past few years, I’ve run a half marathon in July.  Always near the beach, sometimes on the beach.  Last year the heavy marine layer and my asthma conspired together to make me want to swear that off.  ๐Ÿ˜›   Combine that with what is shaping up to be a crazy busy July and it seemed like a good idea to pass on running a half next month.

Instead, I’m taking it inland.   I’ll be running the Salinas Valley Half Marathon on August 5.  Salinas isn’t that far away so it will an early morning drive up to run the race before driving back home.  This is actually a race that has been on my radar for a few years.   The course is through vineyards and crop fields which is my favorite and it seems to be the perfect size crowd for me.    Last year’s race was actually canceled due to the smoke from the Soberanes fire, we were on fire for what seemed like forever last summer.   ๐Ÿ˜ข

Ok back to some fun stuff-

  13.1-mile course along the agricultural fields and vineyards of Salinas Valley

  • –       Begins at historic Soledad Mission, ends at Pessagno Winery

    –       Travels along River Road Wine Trail, passing several wineries and tasting rooms

    –       Post-race wine tasting, music, awards, bbq lunch and more

    –       This is in the heart of โ€œSteinbeck Countyโ€ where many of Nobel Prize winning author John Steinbeck set his novels and short stories.  (A humorous sign placed at one of the hills calls it โ€œBeast of Eden;โ€ a play on words to Steinbeckโ€™s novel, East of Eden.)

    –       Crops are identified along the route

Beast of Eden- how awesomely punny is that?  Plus, it starts at a Mission.  Fun fact- California has 21 Spanish Missions.  I’ve been to 3- used to sing in the choir at one actually- so this will be #4 for me.    And it will be half #27.  ๐Ÿ˜›

As for that beach race in July?  I may run the 10k.  We shall see.  ๐Ÿ˜›

BibRave, Run!

Vegas Baby

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Rock n Roll Las Vegas 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’m going to Las Vegas!!!

Seriously, I still can’t believe it’s happening.  I also still don’t know how but that’s beside the point.  ๐Ÿ˜›  I have wanted to run this race ever since I flipped a page in Runner’s World a few years ago and realized there was a race on the Vegas Strip.  And it was at night.   I want to do that!!!   As amazing as it looked, I could never make it work.   So when the chance to run it came up this year, I leapt without looking.


I’m going to Vegas!

Sorry had to say it again.  ๐Ÿ˜›   I haven’t been to Las Vegas since I was a child- seriously the only thing I remember is colorful carpeting and even that might be confused with another memory.    Ha!   Due to scheduling conflicts, my mother is busy so I’m also flying solo this race trip.  Who wants to join me?!? Slacker’s first real trip to Vegas?  ๐Ÿ˜


This is also an afternoon- evening race so I don’t even have to worry about an early wake up call!   I can sleep in and look forward to an afternoon run with thousands of other crazy runners like me under the Vegas lights!  Is it November yet?

Now I just have to figure out how I am getting there.   This could be my first plane ride since my senior trip in high school!  Ok, now this post is making me feel nostalgic and old.  ๐Ÿ˜›

I will have a discount code soon that I will share with everyone.

Have you ever run Las Vegas?

Want to come run with me?

Race Day, Recap, Run!

Carlsbad Half Marathon Recap

I put this race on my calendar back in November.  Something about it just looked awesome.  Then the December of flu happened and I ran a whopping 14 miles.   Well crap.   I took time off in November intentionally so that meant a long break with very little running.  Well, crap, what now?  Cue freak out.  I seriously debated a DNS but I couldn’t start the year like that right?   Right.


I was doing this but I was under trained, out of shape and freaking out.    I had no idea how this was going to go.   I was too tired to even pull off a flat runner, how about a pile?  ๐Ÿ˜›  The longest run I had done in months was 7 miles.  The farthest I had run in my Sayonara’s was also 7 miles.  This was going to be interesting.    I told my mother I was going to take awhile, how long I wasn’t sure but that she shouldn’t even start looking for me until the 2:30 mark.


Race morning dawned all too early and a little cold while standing around in the corrals.  I knew it would feel good when we started running though.   The race had a wave start and the announcers were upbeat and trying to keep the crowds entertained while we waited.   Which I appreciated until the man introduced corral 4 as the “back of the packers”.  Corral 4 contained the 2:00 hour pace group.   WTH? I was in corral 5 in between the 2:20 and 2:30 pace groups.  His comment did not go over well with the runners around me.  Grrr.

Mile 1- 11:05

The plan was to run the first 2 miles and then go to a run/ walk of 3/1.    Mile 1 had a pretty decent uphill and I was pretty proud of myself for almost running the whole thing until I remembered that I had another 12 miles to go after this and probably shouldn’t flame out after mile 1 just due to stupid pride.  So I forced myself to walk that last part of the hill.


Miles 2-5- 10:30, 11:18, 10:37, 11:17

The course has 2 decent inclines (mile 1 and 7) but otherwise it’s a nice rolling course, which is kind of my jam.   My plan of 3/1 was kind of thrown to the wind and I was just running when it felt good and walking when I needed to.  The views of the ocean to the right were pretty awesome and the village of Carlsbad was pretty cute.  Aid stations were on point and there were surprisingly more people out cheering than I thought.   There were also bands playing music along the way.  I was warming up too but it felt good to be running in a tank top though.

Miles 6-7- 10:49, 11:41

Well crap, I can see that hill coming, sure looks fun.   At least it has a decent downhill leading up to it.     I also had a moment where I mentally checked out.   Not in a bad way but in a nostalgic, spiritual way.  The 15th was my grandmother’s birthday and there was something about the way the sun was peaking through the clouds that gave me pause.  And peace.   Then it was on to the hill… and a fair amount of walking.  Well, until Last Resort by Papa Roach started playing on my phone and then I randomly started bounding down the course.


Miles 8-11- 11:21, 11:22, 11:42, 11:37

Know what I forgot?  Humidity.  Yeah, silly, you’re running next to the ocean, it’s going to be humid.   My lungs let me know they weren’t happy.  Inhaler time!  I was feeling surprisingly ok though.   I was tiring but that was to be expected but I didn’t feel bad.    I knew there weren’t any hills (by my definition, only rollers) ahead and I had a good downhill towards the finish.   I had no idea what my time was, I had my watch face on my intervals.  I just knew that the 2:30 pacer was still behind me.  But they had also started behind me so that didn’t necessarily mean anything.    My 3/1’s had never fully formed and I was still running whatever I felt like.

Miles 12-13- 11:29, 10:45

Damn, my toes were kind of hurting, boo.   Well, it could be worse.  I was so close!  And a downhill was coming!   Just as I was coming up on mile 12 I noticed the 2:30 pacer coming up on my left. No!!!  I bolted.  It helped that we were coming up on the downhill section even if it seemed shorted than I thought.  Alright, I got this, lift and coast.  Weee……Baaaaam!!!    Halfway down the hill, someone came to a complete stop right in front of me. I couldn’t stop, I slammed into them.  How neither of us hit the ground, I have no idea.  I went pinwheeling while colorful words spilled out of my mouth.     We briefly checked on each other before moving on.  I kept running towards the finish.   I ended up taking a walk break not too long later, I felt like I had wrenched my right leg in the collision.  Boo.    I tried to shake it off so I could run it in to the finish.  Except I had to dodge a woman with a giant purse meandering through the course!  What?!   Finally around her and to the finish.

Finish- 2:27:49


Sub 2:30? Where the hell did that come from?!  I mean it’s miles from my PR but it’s also a helluva a lot better than I thought I was going to pull off going into this race.    I know I have a lot of work ahead of me this year but maybe this was the race I needed start the year with.     ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ˜€   I can do this.