Race Day · Run!

Origin Story: HOB Fun Run

I was one of those people who never ran. You know the one- “I only run when I am being chased” type.   I was active in sports growing up- years and years of softball and tennis- but I hated running.  Why would anyone want to run?   I think I ran the mile maybe 4 times all through high school? Maybe, I was very good at getting out of PE.  😛

Fast forward to years later when I was working at Taco Bell.  I opened every Sunday so I was always headed there early in the morning- every so often I would notice that the main street in town was blocked off and people were running up and down it.  I couldn’t even contemplate the idea of a “fun run” so I had no idea what was going on.  It also never dawned on me that it was always the last Sunday in September that this happened.

Fast forward a few more years to 2007 and I had a career change.  That new career was big on community service.   I admit I was clueless but a coworker told me that a good way to ease into it was the fun run.  I’m sorry the what?   Turns out the HOB Fun Run was a big deal.   Last Sunday of September with races for all levels and ages. It was USATF certified, offered a decent prize purse and was flat and fast.  100% of race entries are donated to local charities.  There were 2 10k’s, 2 5k’s, a mile race, a kids 1/2 mile race, 75 yard dash and a mascot race.   I had no idea what any of that meant but they said it was easy to work an aid station and hand out water.  Ok, sign me up.

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Holy crap, someone should have warned me that I was going to be cold!  I think my hands went numb.  I may live in CA but my town has crazy temperature fluctuations- I could have used mittens.    The first 10k was the masters division.  So yeah, I saw elites race before I ever had a clue what that meant.   They never wanted any water.  😉   The second 10K was normal people- except they were all still speedy.  The 10K has an unofficial time limit of 1:10:00-1:15:00 anything past that and you are running into the 5K start.  I didn’t know any of that out at the mile 1 aid station but it wasn’t a horrible way to spend a Sunday morning.

I worked the water station at mile 3 in 2008 and froze again.  2009 saw me working the aid station at mile 2- conveniently located in front of a grocery store and I went and bought us all donuts.   The runners were very jealous.    I was getting to know the stories- one man always ran in suit.   One year he had been running later after church so he just ran in his suit.  It became a tradition.   The mascot race was always hilarious. One year Smoky the Bear lost his pants.  The diaper dash was always adorable.   Plus the parents were always eager- the winner took home a washer and dryer.  😉

throwback
Throwback to my very first race

2010 was the first year I contemplated running.  My friend, NikeC was training for a marathon- I could handle a 5k right??   So instead of volunteering, I ran my first 5K.   It was hard and I walked more than I would have liked but I was back the next year.  And the next.  2012 was when I started volunteering at registration/ packet pick up on Saturday’s.  2013 saw my first double– I raced the 10k, quick bib change and ran the 5K.   Same story in 2014 with a dose of a massive asthma attack and another double race day in 2015.   I worked registration those 2 years as well.  Over the years, we got a little more organized running team wise and we now have a good showing-

HOB 5K Runners 04
Yeah, we stood out.

Things have changed over the years-the race is no longer USATF certified.  I heard it was more of a pain in the ass than it was worth.  The course has never changed though so you know the distance is accurate.   So now there’s only one 10K and 5K.  Running hit a boom and the number of local races grew which made the number of runners dropped a little.   Doesn’t matter, it’s still one of my favorite (and most stressful) races.

Sunday will mark my 10th time participating in the HOB Fun Run in some way.   I will be working registration in the park on Saturday and toeing the 10K line on Sunday.  I haven’t signed up for the 5K yet but it’s 95% likely I will.  😛

Do you have any “tradition” races?

Ever run a double race?

 

 

Run! · Training

Wobbly Wednesday

That was hard.

With having so many halves close together, I have big hopes for one of them.  The marathon gave me a little (giant) kick in the ass.   With that being said, I need to get said ass in gear and that means training.  Training means speed work.  So I busted out my Nike’s and waded into the shallow end tonight.

I headed to the lake path after work, I can’t even remember the last time I ran there.  I know I am still feeling a little sluggish and with mountains of smoke in the air, I knew it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park.   I still have all my Hanson’s workouts saved in my watch so I figured I would just use the one for 400 repeats.  I knew there was no way I was doing 12 of them like programmed but that’s what the lap button’s for right?    I was hoping for between 4-8 repeats.


It was my first time wearing my Nike’s since May, I stopped doing speed work once my shins went to hell.   I kept my warm up of 1.25 miles nice and easy, plenty of walking.  😛   Now, I haven’t raced a 5K since September 2015 so I have no idea what an accurate pace should be so I was optimistically aiming for an 8:45 average for the repeats.


#1- woah, this awkward, my legs are confused.   How do you run this fast?  How the hell long is 400m anyways?  Oh good, the watch buzzed.  Recovery time.

Full disclosure- I walked all the recoveries.   My lungs were a little pissed I was making them work this hard with all the smoke in the air.    My watch buzzed for my next run and wait what?  It said cool down mile and repeated 12 times.  WTH?  So I stopped my watch and started a new run.  From there on I ran by watching my watch and trying not to fall on my face at the same time.

#2- all right, feeling pretty good, maybe I can do 8

#3- Ok, this is getting harder, that last thought was a pipe dream.  Can I quit now?

#4- Yeah, smoke sucks.  Damn my legs are tired, how long is 400m again?  This is my last one.  Let’s not go crazy right?

All in all, 3.76 miles.    And the intervals?

Distance Elapsed Time Average Pace
.25 2:04 8:23
.25 2:10 8:48
.25 2:01 8:01
.25 2:03 8:07

I think I am more surprised that I kept the last 3 intervals at .25.  How did I do that?  And the intervals are too fast which might explain why I was huffing and puffing so much.   Also, I don’t get the variance in pace between interval 1 and 4.  They are only 1 second different.  Is my watch crazy?

It wasn’t a lot but it felt pretty good.   Now hopefully I can move on Thursday.  😛


And the county is on fire, the air is full of smoke, the lake is almost dry and yet I rounded a curve to see more green than I have in months.  What gives?

Is my watch crazy?

How is your weather?

 

 

Race Day · Recap · Run!

2016 Firehouse 5K Recap

I love this race but I knew going in I was unprepared.   I don’t think I’ve ever been prepared for this race.  Even know what is coming doesn’t help.  I thought I was last year but it ended up being slower than the previous 2 years.  Oops.  The last few months I have been more focused on getting in the long runs than I have speed work.  I’ve done 1 speed workout this year, 1.   Guess it’s a good thing this is not a PR possible race for me.

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Packet pick up was a breeze.  The town is on my way home so it was easy to stop by the day before and pick it up.  New this year- no bibs just a shirt.   Our county has odd rules about what makes a race versus a fun run and that can affect the permits.  I was fine with not having a bib as they never really mattered in this race.    The race is gun timed not chip timed and times are recorded via post card handed to you as you cross the finish line.   The race is almost free ($25!) and the money raised by the firehouse goes to local charities.   

post race

 Race morning dawned early and dreary.   Cloudy but no rain, I’ll take it!    Since the race is short and close, my dad usually comes too so we all headed out early.    My legs were still feeling the cramps from Thursday so I though about running a short warm up but I was afraid it would hurt.   The sun started to come out as we all lined up.  After getting stuck in the back last year, I had learned my lesson and moved up to the front.  After a few announcements from the race director, we were off!

Mile 1-

The race starts with 1/2 mile on neighborhood streets before we hit the trail.    My legs were feeling pretty good actually and my lungs were happy which surprised me as I ran an 8:30 pace for that portion.  Then we hit the trail, passed the one water station, and started climbing.   The trail is single track and switch backs up the hill for a 1/4 mile.  I ran 2, then walked 2 and repeated until we were out of that section.  I passed some people and some passed me.  My lungs were on fire.  I ran without music and all I could hear was my breathing.  It sounded more like panting.   I also realized I was overdressed and lost the top layer.  Then I just kept trucking.   11:22

Mile 2-

Just keep climbing, just keep moving.  I passed a few people but then got stuck behind some people walking.  I could have tried to pass but I honestly didn’t think I had enough in me to pass and then maintain.  I wasn’t going to be one of those people who surges around and then comes to a stop.     I stayed behind the pack until we hit the teardrop.   The tear drop is a tiny out and back we run at the top.  Except it’s not the top.  There’s one more climb and it’s steep and short.   From mile .6-1.5, we gained 500+ feet.   I happened to see my lap pace at the top of the mountain and it said 18:something.  What?!

Time for my favorite part- the downhill.   I seriously throw myself down the mountain.   Which is what trashes my quads but I don’t care.  I did keep it a little calmer as there is a marathon looming in a few months though.  ☺  I only skidded out twice.   However the damage was done,  I maybe should have passed earlier.  12:25

 

To the finish!
 

Mile 3-

More downhill- woo hoo!!   At this point I was hauling but I knew there was one last hill lurking.   I took a walk break on the hill but overall maintained until the last downhill where I tried to open it up.  Unfortunately I was hung up behind some people and it took a bit until the trail was wide enough for them to get over so the person in front of me and I could pass.    Then it was out of the park, back on the streets and trying to finish strong.  I won’t lie, I was tired.   The finish line seemed so far away.  9:45

Finish- 34:23

I felt like I was crawling to the finish but my watch claims I was running an 8:20.  I crossed the line and my legs were shaking.   I was smiling but I was whipped.   I noticed that my index card said 52- so I was about 15 people further up in the field than I was last year.  I put my name on the card and checked my watch as I left the chute.   Well crap, I was slower than last year by almost 30 seconds.  Yay for a course worst!!    I am not mad, a little bummed but I love this race and just running it was awesome.    I know a few places I could have shaved some time but it wouldn’t have changed how I felt about this race.   I will be back for more pain next year.   ☺

And major shout out to this woman-

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Meet Peggy.  She ran the race in full turn out gear.   That would be bad ass at any race but this was a mountain!   She does it to raise money to fight cancer.   4 days later and I am still sore.  How does she feel?!

See you gain next year, Firehouse.  Maybe I will be fully prepared.   😛

 

 

Run! · Slacker

Friday, Finally

Friday– oh you are so pretty.

It’s been a coffee and soda kind of week.  This week has me like-

  
Tuesday for example- You know it’s going to be a rough day when you drop your brand new foundation bottle on the floor.  The glass bottle.  On a tile floor.   I felt like I watched it in slow motion as it shattered.   Yeah, that was fun.

Considering how stressed and hormonal crappy I’ve felt this week, I haven’t gone completely crazy with the food.  But it’s cookie Friday and it’s the new bakery.  I can’t decide if that is going to an uh-oh or a good thing.  

Running has only been so so this week but I got it done.    My right ankle is a little achy. Not cool.    I think another pair of shoes and I need to break up.   This is getting ridiculous.    Odd aches aside, I’ve had some great scenery to enjoy.⬆️  

I have a 5K on Saturday.  I haven’t run a race in 2 months.  I think I forgot how.   I haven’t raced a 5k since September.  I’m gonna hurt.  Did I mention it’s up a mountain?  And the forecast calls for rain? Rain on the mountain.   Yay.   Now I am glad it’s only 3 miles.    But, in all honesty I love this race.   This will be my 4th time running it.    I need to remind myself of that when I can’t walk on Sunday.  Or Monday.  Maybe Tuesday.

How was your week?

Ever had the day where you should have just stayed in bed?

Bets on my ability to not eat all the cookies? 

 

Race Day · Recap · Run!

2015 HOB Fun Run 10K/ 5K

This was my 9th year participating in the HOB Fun Run.  It was my 8th time volunteering and my 6th time running.  Breaking it down even further- this would be my 6th time running the 5K and 3rd time running the 10K.  Also the 3rd time running both races.  As much fun as I have at this race, it’s also one of the most stressful.   So many people I know!  It kind of freaks me out.  Throw in team shirts and you can’t even blend in anymore.  🙂


The Scene-

The race starts and ends downtown.  I could walk to the start if I wanted to.  I have yet to do that though.   The course is a loop around the city park and down the main drag.  The 10K is 2 loops and the 5K is one.   It’s one of the few races I’ve ever run that is a completely closed course.   A kids 1/2 mile race, a 75 yard dash and a diaper dash are also offered.  It’s a race known for being flat, fast and still offers prize money.  The baby who wins the diaper dash wins a washer and dryer. 

The 10K started at 8, so I arrived a little before 7:45.  I knew we were attempting a group photo with whoever was there before the 10k.   C and C-hub were there- race buddies!!!   I  haven’t run a race with them since last year’s fun run.   I miss my buddies.  😞 There were 6 of us for the first shots.  After the standard shot, the race photographer decided he wanted one of the back of our shirts.   It was the most awkward picture ever.  It’s a total butt shot and I was thankful I was wearing a skirt.  😏   The plan was to race the 10K and just have fun running the 5k.   I was still feeling my running funk so I had very basic goals for the 10K-

A- Sub 55- PR- I knew it wasn’t happening but I could dream right?
B- Sub 60
C- Better than last year’s blow up

10K-  The one where I was beat by a 30lb dog.

30 seconds to the start I realized I left my water in my bag with my bib change for the 5k.  Crap!   C rocks, I texted her and she grabbed it and tossed it my way when I ran past.   I felt like I started out too fast but I really didn’t.   However it was my fastest mile of the race.    My stupid headphones refused to play and then wouldn’t stay in my ears so I ran the first loop with them wrapped in my hand.    I stayed steady and tried to increase my turn over but it wasn’t happening.  I rounded the corner to finish lap 1 and was able to toss my headphones to C-hub.    I also saw my time at the 5K mark- 28:something- ouch.  Miles 1-3: 9:08, 9:23, 9:23


I tried to pick it up on the second loop but I just couldn’t find another gear.  I never felt like I was running hard but I didn’t feel like I could run any faster either.   It was odd but I had a feeling it wasn’t going to be a banner day so I was ok with how I was running.   Seeing a less than 30lb dog with little legs outrun me was a little disheartening though.  😃    Seriously, the dog ran the entire 10K with his owner and didn’t even seem phased.  Miles 3-6:  9:13, 9:40, 9:31

Finish- 58:54

 

Goal B successfully accomplished.   Time for a quick bib change and the main group shot before the 5K.

Yeah, we stood out.
Yeah, we stood out. Source

5K-

C, C-hub and their daughter E were planning on run/ walking the 5K and I was going to join them.   C and E bolted from the starting line leaving C-hub and I in the dust.   We eventually caught up around .5 mile in when E need a walk break.  I could tell C just wanted to bolt so I suggested she and C-hub dash off and E and I would follow along behind.   I didn’t have to twist her arm.  😄

It was E’s first race so I let her set the pace.  We ran when she wanted to and walked when she needed.   There are 3 water stations along the course and you pass 2 of them twice so that means there are 5 water points for a 5K.   This was needed as it was very warm morning.   I made sure that E got water at each stop.    At the second stop, I hung on to my water cup for some reason.   That station didn’t have a trash can and I didn’t want to toss onto the clean street so I hung onto it.    I’ve never done that before but it turned out to be a good thing.  As we were coming up on the third water station I saw that no on was manning it anymore.  Where did they go?  There were about 100 runners behind us!   Once at the table, I realized there were no cups but there was still water in the 5 gallon jugs.   Good thing I held onto my cup!   I had E hold the cup while I hefted the water.   We were able to get water this way here and on the way back.    We continued run/ walking until 1 block before the finish and then it was a sprint to the end.   E hauled ass and finished strong!  Woo hoo!

Finish- E-37:37/ Me- 37:39

 

We got our medals and headed for water.  We also met back up with C and C-hub.  They finished just over 30 minutes.   Awesome!   We chatted a bit while waiting for the kids races.  Seriously the kids are so stinking cute when they run.  Some of them were so enthusiastic they were literally kicking themselves in the butt.   The 75 yard dash was broken into 3 heats since there were so many kids.   Unfortunately I had to leave before I could see the diaper dash.  😦


  
Overall, it was a fun morning and a great way to see a bunch of people I don’t see on a regular basis.  I miss my running buddies, hopefully it’s not another year until we race together again. 😃    Water station 3 snafu aside, it was a great race, and always runs smoothly.    I’m looking forward to next year.