BibRave, Run!

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.

 

Race Day, Recap, Run!

2016 Surf City Recap

Race- Surf City 13.1

Location- Huntington Beach, CA

Saturday- 

After the hotel snafu of Saturday and once I accepted that I would not have a nice, leisurely race morning- after my mother and I had mapped out a long, circuitous route to the race start- I realized the even bigger mistake I had made.   I hadn’t packed any water.   What? How?!  I had a bottle of Gatorade and my Skratch Labs but no water outside of what I had drank on the drive down.  Face palm.   So after a yummy dinner at Red Robin- water, lettuce wrapped burger and a few fries for me- we stopped at a Walgreen’s.    Where I bought 8 bottles of water.  ๐Ÿ™‚    Then it was back to the hotel for a little downtime before I headed to bed early.  And proceeded to wake up every hour on the hour.  Grrr.

Race day-

Luckily, I have my pre-race ritual down, so I don’t have to get up too early.   As of right now, I am still racing on an empty stomach and it has been working out.   The race had a 7:45 start but I wasn’t planning on being there super early, I knew it would be a while before my corral crossed the start line.   My mom was able to drop me off a few blocks from the start line a little before 7:30.   Another bonus about arriving “late”?  No line at the port-a-potties.   Except the damn thing almost blew over with me in it!

   
 Ok, the corrals.   Serious cluster-f***.  What is the point of asking a participant their projected finish time if it’s not used for corral placement?    More than a few people in my corral were in a similar position.    I put down a projected 2:10 finish time.   The 3:30 pacers were about 2000 people ahead of me.  Seriously.    I considering jumping corrals but at that point it was already so late.  Grrrr.    My corral crossed the start line around 8:15.

  
Miles 1-3 10:09, 10:14, 10:09

My plan was to treat this like a well supported long run and hopefully maintain around a 10:00 min pace.  Mile 1 started out ok.   My legs felt good and my pace felt good.  Mile 2 required more dodging. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with people walking at races- however if you are walking 6 people across in the first 2 miles of a race- we have an issue!   This happened more than once.   Then the first water station was a crowded mess but I had learned from last year that this was the case and just avoided it all.      I also a music snafu in mile 2.  I had started my playlist in the starting corrals and paused it.   When I pushed start around mile 2, Christmas music started playing.  What?!

Miles 4-6 10:30, 10:54, 11:08

By my standards, this course is flat, the only real hill is in mile 4.  I was excited to see it as I had an ankle ache that I needed to run out.   And I did but I was starting to realize that I was having troubles catching my breath.   I didn’t feel like I was pushing hard but I was starting to wheeze.   I took a quick walk break to try and get things under control.  It didn’t really help.   There was a little down hill coming up and I was hoping to make up some speed but I just kept slowing down.   My inhaler wasn’t helping either.   Mile 6 is where I got real.   This breathing issue is not new.  I have been having troubles since I was sick in January.  It’s more than my usual asthma, it comes with some odd chest pain, but I was hoping that denial would make it all go away.   Because that works so well, right?  Yeah no.   I called my mom during mile 6 and let her know I was having some issues but was going to tough out.    I didn’t need her getting the real time runner alerts and wondering what the hell was going on.  ๐Ÿ™‚

Miles 7-9 11:50, 11:35, 11:37

New game plan was a run/ walk plan.  4:30 of running and 1:00 of walking.   The running was slow so I was hoping that these intervals would keep me moving but not gasping for breath.  I changed my watch face to just show the interval times so I had no idea what my overall time was.   This was a long section of out and back so I was able to see Ashley of RatherbeRunnin’ coming back on the other side of the highway looking strong.    Luckily the course is scenic so I was able to enjoy the view.  I also had time to people watch.  PSA here,  a fabric may be black but that does not mean that it is opaque!  If I can see the moles on your butt- wear underwear!!  Ok, PSA over.

  

Mile 10- 13:04

This was a struggle.  Even 4:30 seemed like way too long to run.  I was wheezing and the inhaler was useless.    We ran through the Cliff shot zone in mile 10 and I grabbed a citrus and a mocha one.  Both have caffeine and I was hoping for a Hail Mary pass and that one would help.    I walked a lot.   The finish line seemed so very far away.

Miles 11-13 12:17, 11:50, 11:36

I was beginning to think this was going to be my slowest half yet.   And it was getting so hot.  I had been drinking water at each station but now I was dumping it down my back too.   The volunteers were also having troubles keeping up with the demand for water.  There were some stations out of cups.  I am hoping more were on the way as there were thousands of people behind me still.   I was trying to stick to my intervals but the walking sections were getting longer.   It was getting more crowded on the course as well.  I accidentally smacked a guy in the crotch when he came up on my right.  Oops!!!  Sorry!    I just kept moving towards the finish line, the increased crowd support was helping.    I walked the beginning of mile 13 and then ran the rest in.  I crossed the finish line gasping and wheezing and promptly burst into tears.

Finish- 2:28:24

  

Not my slowest!!!   I collected my medal and avoided all the photographers.    I heard my mom and thought I was losing it but then realized she was on the other side of the fence.  I made my way through the recovery stations and then out of the chute into the crowd.    I met with my mom and headed to a curb to sit.  My legs felt good but I was so tired from fighting my lungs for so long.    It gave me time to admire my medal though- it’s huge!!!!  And was fought for.    But it was also a lesson in something I should already know- you can’t ignore things and hope they go away.  It doesn’t work like that.    Was this race I wanted?  No.   But every rough race is a lesson learned, right?   I still got to run with thousands of other crazies like me.   ๐Ÿ™‚   And for the record- I have a doctor’s appointment next week.

   
They were some things I didn’t like about the race this year but overall it is a good race.  The weather is gorgeous- just bare in mind that temps hit the high 70’s.    Perfect beach weather post race.  ๐Ÿ™‚

The day was finished out resting in the hotel watching the Super Bowl- yay Broncos!!    I needed some time off my feet—I had big plans for Monday—-Disneyland!!!!!  But I’ll save those adventures for next post.  ๐Ÿ™‚