SLO Ultra 5K Recap

A part of me almost upgraded to the half during the week leading up to this race. Now, I’m so glad I didn’t.

Race morning came and my stomach was being a total asshat. Not too unusual so I just got ready like normal and hit the road. While I drove, I had some ginger mints hoping to calm my stomach.  I thought it helped.

The race was held in a combo of El Chorro Regional Park and Dairy Creek Golf Course, parking was across the highway at the community college.   It was stressed heavily that we either had to pay for parking during registration or have cash on hand on race morning.  I paid during registration.   Yet on race morning there no sign of anyone to take cash, so half the runners didn’t pay.  Grrr.  I ended up talking about it with with a couple.   I spoke with a volunteer as I left the lot, chatted with another as we waited to cross the highway.  Actually, this was the most I’ve ever talked at a race and some of the friendliest people throughout.

The start was about a mile away and I arrived in time to see the delayed start of the half marathon.   Turns out the inflatable arch had a little issue.  The 50K had started at 6:30.  I got in line to use the port-a-potties which is when I had my sad sunglasses incident.  Boo. After some announcements and the National Anthem, we were off and running.

Mile 1-11:07

Oh, god, I’m nauseous, why am nauseous? Where did that come from? And I’m breathing like I’m sprinting but I’m not. What is going on?? The first mile wound up a back road away from the park towards a ranch. It was paved but in poor condition and you were dodging cow dung along the way. It was a tiny incline but all of this would have been fine had I not been feeling like I needed to find a bush to throw up in. I slowed to a walk about 3/4 a mile in and tried to walk it out. I wasn’t upchucking in public!

Mile 2-10:48

More walking. Still nauseated. The road had switched to dirt and the incline picked up a bit. Part way up the road was blocked by a gate- it wasn’t open. We had to climb over it. Single file. Surprise! I think the complete stop I came to while I waited for my turn helped a bit because I picked up the pace on the other side and ran a bit. Then walked a bit, then ran. We had a little downhill and I was able to pass a few of the people who had passed me previously. Truthfully at this point, I didn’t care.

Mile 3-10:46

I’m still not feeling right but I just want to be done. I take water at the one aid station and hustle on. The next 1/4 mile was the “trail-iest” section of the whole race. We climbed a small hill and could see the finish line a ways off- across the golf course. My watch was already at 3 miles. Grrr. I ran past a few people (even sick, I’ll take advantage of any tiny downhill) then it was sidewalk and golf course running to the finish line.

A little boy and I had been playing leap frog for 2 miles- he’d pass me every time I’d walk. We were both powering to the finish and it’s sad that instinct is telling you to win. 😂 I pulled up and let him cross first.

Finish-36.23   Garmin Pace-10:49*3.4 miles    Official pace- 11:44

For once in the numerous times I’ve run races by this organization, water and snacks were easy to find at the finish.  Yay!   I grabbed a bag of salty chips thinking they might help with nausea.  I chatted with some other runners and we helped each other take finisher pics.  Then I started the trek back to the car.

*I am normally never one to say the course ran long; I know I suck at tangents.  However, I really couldn’t go wrong during the first 2 miles and mile 3 was more of a follow the leader with no course markings.  Plus, thanks to Strava I know that I am not the only one who measured it long.  All the public users did- so I am going to call the course long.   Doesn’t change the official pace though, it is what it is.

This wasn’t a bad race.  I really wouldn’t call it a “trail” race, I know the other distances were.  It wasn’t the great views of last year and I missed those. The organization was better than previous races and the medal is a good one.   Bling makes everything better right?😀

Week 35:Upcoming Races-Rock n Roll San Jose Training Week 7

Upcoming Races-

  • SLO ULTRA 5K-9/2
  • Rock n Roll San Jose 13.1 (Thank you BibRave!)-10/8
  • City to the Sea 13.1-10/14
  • Rock n Roll Los Angeles 13.1 (Thank you BibRave!)- 10/29
  • Monterey Bay Half Marathon (Thank you Bibrave!)- 11/12

So, I’m finally on the right week.  Did anyone notice that I posted “week 32” 3 times?  Haha, I really need to pay more attention when I copy and paste.

Last week was fairly uneventful outside of running which is fine by me.  Plus this week is shaping up to be crazy so I needed a calm one.

This was a surprisingly solid training week.  It had it’s ups and downs but when it came to sticking to the plan, it was pretty solid.

The plan called for a step back week with a 5K race instead of a long run.  So it should have looked something like this- 4 mile run, 3 mile run, 5K race, maybe an extra easy run if I was feeling it and 4 Liift4 workouts.

Monday-3.1 miles
My legs do not like running the day after a long run.   Not even a recovery run, my right leg and hip protest but running on Monday was fit my schedule.   I kept it slow and easy and a little shorter than plan called for but I knew there was only so much my leg was going to put up with.  That said, it was a decent few miles.

Tuesday- Liift4
I really meant to do this in the morning but nope.  Another late night work out.  We’re in the final 2 weeks of the challenge and my arms were shaking.

Wednesday- Rest
Oops.  I meant to run but was easily distracted on the way home.

Thursday- 4.2 miles/ Liift4 legs
My hip was so stinkin’ sore.  I’ve been trying to use my chair this week and I just can’t, it hurt my hip.  Or aggravates my IT band.  Whatever.  By Thursday, my hip was pissed by 3 days of trying to make do.  I had to stop and stretch it out various times throughout the run.  I didn’t feel like things really loosened up until the middle of mile 3.   By then I was done.   Then at home I did the Liift4 leg workout not knowing what a sweat fest I was in for.  😛

Friday-Rest
After the brutal leg workout the day before and having a race the next day, I thought rest was the best choice.    If you read Friday’s post, you know I wasn’t exactly stoked on the race but one of the upsides of the new location was that it was a 10 minute drive from work.  So I hustled down on my lunch break to pick up my bib and shirt.    Funny thing- a local runner I’ve met before was working packet pick up so I chatted for a moment but could tell that he had no idea who I was.  Ha!

Saturday- SLO Ultra 5K
Race recap to come.  I’ll just leave you with this-

Sunday- Liift4
I had hoped to add in that extra easy run but without giving away race details, I still wasn’t feeling quite right.    I decided to just play by ear and see how things went and that ended up being the Liift4 workout late in the evening.  I am fine with that.

10.7 miles for the week.  Low but I did all the required workouts for the week. I missed a Liift4 workout but that was also deliberate- I tend to pass on the ones that are entirely HIIT because I end up breaking myself.   Seriously.  I cannot do a mountain climber without hurting myself- no matter how many modifications I make.

How was your week?

Wine Country Run 5K Recap

Having mostly decided the night before that I was actually going to do the smart thing and drop to the 5K, the temps that I saw upon waking on race morning almost made me DNS.   32 with heavy fog?? Say what?  What was that all about??  On a good day, that would be rough, the morning after so many days of feeling horrible?  I just wanted to burrow under the covers and hide until summer.

But I didn’t.  I got up and dressed and headed to the race.  I had to get to the race early enough back to bib check in and down grade from the half marathon to the 5k.   Never having done that before I didn’t know how it would go- it took maybe 5 minutes. And only that long because the computer network crashed.  I then went and hid in my car until the start.

I haven’t “raced” a 5K in so long I can’t even remember and I still didn’t feel good so I wasn’t holding out hope that this was going to work out so well. 😛

Mile 1-9:30 Oops, can’t hold that, least not today.  Truth is, I was so damn cold, I felt like I was crawling.  The first mile took us on a dirt road back through the vineyard before dumping us out on the street.   I wish we could have stayed on the dirt but we were still running past vineyards and at least the roads were mostly closed.

Mile 2- 10:25  My calves/ achilles were tightening up which I kind of expected as it was cold, I was wearing my Altra’s and the miles had been pancake flat.  I don’t like flat.  We had turned onto a street and were running past a few houses and mini ranch’s.   I use that term based more on the horses and goats and chickens than the land size.  We ran past the one water station before hitting the turn around and making our way back.

Disclosure- this was taken the day before at packet pickup hence the sun

Mile 3- 10:26 Oh, the tightness.  My legs felt so tight.  I was surprisingly feeling ok though in both my stomach and the fact it’s been a while since I’ve run without walk breaks.  Like I said in a recent post- they’ve become a crutch and that is not what I meant to happen.  However I had a choice to make about my calves.  My pace had slowed and was showing 11:20 something.   I could run on with the tightness or I could stop and stretch it out.  I stopped and stretched for 10-15 seconds.  It wasn’t enough but it helped.   I pushed on back towards the winery.  Once I knew I was within 1/4 mile, I pushed play on my Aftershokz with a perfectly cued up song for that finish line push.

Finish- 31:12

Well, hey now, that’s actually way better than I was expecting!  And I ran the whole thing!  Small victories.  😀  I was nowhere near PR pace and I am fine with that.   The fact that I had a finish line push after 4 days of hell is more than enough for me.  Though I should probably give some of that credit to Shinedown‘s latest- Devil.  It was just the kick in the pants I needed.  It also turns out that stopping to stretch was also the right choice.

5K’s are kind of fun… why did I seem to forget about them???

Rock n Roll Las Vegas 5K Recap

My first night race! My first race in another state!


The 5K was up first on Saturday evening and would be followed by the headliner concert with The Goo Goo Dolls.  Kate was super organized so we had a plan of exactly when to leave our hotel with plenty of time to get to the Las Vegas Festival grounds.    Or so we thought.

The monorail platform was jam packed with runners, spectators and a few daring Las Vegas travelers.  Needless to say it took a few monorail passes before we managed to get on one and then it was like sardines in a can.  Or even closed than that.  I jokingly call it the “friendliest” monorail ride ever.  Seriously, we were so close, there was awkward touching happening.   We were all cracking jokes about it but it was still super awkward.  And each monorail stop just had more people trying to squeeze in, we had no space!!!

Finally we arrived with minutes to spare and all rushed through the casino to cross the street to the festival grounds only to be greeted by a giant line trying to get through security.  They were checking everyone’s bags, waving medal detector wands over everyone and had made people dump out their water.  They let me keep mine but I left it in my gear bag which we tossed to Kate’s parents as it was past start time and we had no idea where the gear drop trucks were.  They had taken a taxi to the festival, smart people.  😛


We hustled over to the second set of corrals and looked for Kate’s corral.  One security person tried to make me go line up in mine- my original corral was 4- but not only had it already left, with my leg being whiny all week, the plan was to run the race with Kate and we were aiming for party speed😀.  All race info said it wouldn’t be a problem to drop back.  Except to this one person.  Grrr.  She turned around and we jumped into the corrals.   As we made our way to the start line, we soon realized we should have had some lights or glow sticks to brighten up our outfits.  Oops, too late now!  After a few minutes in the corrals and an energetic countdown, we were off!


The course was an out back on the road behind the Strip, so it took you behind Circus Circus.  I had no idea that thing has an actual Big Top until I was running by it.  I know this was a night race but I was still surprised by how dark it was.  A light wouldn’t have been a bad thing, that road is not lit up like the Strip.  It still had music stations- DJ’s, speakers and live bands along the way to liven it up, plus checking out all the runners in their glowing outfits was fun, it was just darker than I thought.


I told Kate to set the pace and I would do whatever she wanted but at one point during mile 1, I looked at my watch and tried to subtly slow her down.  Hey, you’re running your first half tomorrow! I needed to be less subtle.  😛  She heard her GPS app speak and then knew what I was saying.  But we were having fun.

One thing that helped reign us in was the lack of water.  There was one water stop- at mile 2.   And even though it was an out and back course, there was a center divider so you could only access the water at mile 2 not on both sides.  It was still 70 degrees at race start.  And security had made people dump their water.  I left mine behind thinking oh Rock n Roll has this.  See a problem?


Once back into the festival grounds, we looped around the back lot a bit to add distance before passing a KISS cover band and running under the giant guitar guy towards the finish.

Finish- 39:56

I tried a few selfies with the medal but the lighting was not my friend that night😂

Once across the line, we picked up our medals and they gave us a few snacks and a bottle of water.  Then we hung and waited a bit for The Goo Goo Dolls to take the stage.  They still sound good!   We hung for a bit before heading back on thankfully less crowded monorail. 👌

Race #1 of the weekend complete. Half recap soon to come.  🙂

little less conversation, a little more action

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!

Holy crap people, it’s Vegas weekend!!

How did that happen?

My bags are packed, I’ve purchased my monorail pass, my race confirmations have been printed- twice, once for each bag- I’ve checked into my flight, I’ve charged all my devices.

What have I forgotten?😛  How did I pack wrong?

I am heading into my first double digit double race weekend- while I’ve run 2 races the same weekend before, once I ran 3, but I’ve never crossed the 10 mile mark when combining those races.  This weekend I will run 16.2 miles along the Las Vegas Strip. And I recently discovered that the Strip is not flat.  Not sure why I thought it was.😛   Oh well, I don’t like flat anyways.


This will also be my first time in Las Vegas so this will probably be very much “small town girl lost in the bright lights” situation.  Whatever am I going to do with myself?  Luckily Kate is coming in on Saturday.  Yay!!!  Follow along on Instagram as we run 13.1 miles of lights and sounds and Kate runs her first half marathon!

I am also having a shoe dilemma.  I think my Ultra Boost are dead.  But I’ve never run more than 5 miles in any other pair of shoes.  Do I take 2 pairs of shoes?  Can I fit two pairs of shoes? Even then that would leave me running the half in the Ultra Boost.  My last 8 miles in them left me with screaming shins for 4 days.  More on that in my weekly recap.  Or lack there of.  😛 So do I wear old shoes that definitely hurt me or newer shoes that could hurt me?

I am looking forward to the expo.   However I am hoping to not spend too much.  Rock n Roll knows how to do an expo and I can be very easily tempted.   Shiny new gear!  Except I have to remember that I have to be able to pack it all and bring it all back.   Bummer.

Plus I get to meet more BibRave peeps!  Yay!  And hopefully some blog buddies too!

Any tips for Las Vegas?

New shoes or old shoes?