Tag: beach

Bands on the Run 10K 2016

I love this race but man I have a short term memory when it comes to dune sand. 😝

This is my 3rd time running the 10K portion of the event and I keep cracking jokes that I get slower every year. The race benefits a local high school music program and is very low frills. Which is fine by me, I am always impressed that they have their own designed bibs. Most smaller, local races use the free Road ID ones. They offer a 5k, 10k and a half marathon. All the races are out and backs. I considered running the half in lieu of my long run that week but decided against it. I am so glad I made that choice.

Packet pickup took less than 5 minutes on Friday and that included parking. 😃 I was able to get what is a decent nights sleep for me pre-race- 6 hours- but that was only because the race had a late start. The races started at 10. 10? This is California! I have never had a race start that late. Most half marathons start at 7 or earlier, 10K’s around 8. If you’re really lucky, a 5K may start at 9. Maybe. I have troubles fueling properly on a normal basis, how the hell do I fuel for a late 10K? I know that beach races are dictated by the tides though so this must have been the best option. It was ridiculously cold when we first got to the high school so I was optimistic it would stay that way. After a fitness warm-up, the presenting of the flag, the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem, we lined up and were off!


Miles 1-2 9:35, 10:41

Mile 1 takes you around the track out the parking lot into the cypress tunnel trail and down to the beach. Since I was running this in place of the week’s tempo, I was perfectly content with mile 1. I also don’t think I could PR this course if I tried. 😝 Just before you exit the cypress tunnel to hit the beach you run through the drum line which is always awesome. Then mile 2 starts. And I pretty much came to a standstill. I’ve run 6 races on the beach but I still have no idea how to run over soft dune sand. I just keep sinking. I swear one of these times I am just going to take my shoes off and carry them. I tried to bring my pace back down once on the hard pack but the damage was done.

Miles 3-4 9:59, 10:03

I was tiring and that was not cool. I wasn’t even halfway, what was going on? I also noticed that there were more rocks and pebbles and things on the beach, then I realized how far up the beach we were. This was not low tide. We had to cross some rocks to get to the turn around point. Little rocks but they were still wet. The half marathoners were scrambling over big rocks as they kept going. To my untrained eye, it seemed like the tide was coming in but I had to have been wrong. How were the half marathoners going to come back?! Once at the turn around, I knew I only had 3 miles left and told myself to pick up the pace. Except I couldn’t seem to find another gear. The moisture in the air was aggravating my asthma but I just tried to ignore it. I just told myself to focus on running towards the rock.

From 2014, the tide was much higher on Saturday

Miles 5-6 10:42, 10:31

Damn, I’m consistent on the dune sand. Those miles are within 1 second of each other. I hit the dune sand with a lap pace of 9:40 for mile 5. By the time I was out, I was at 10:42. I was also regretting running without my headphones as all I could hear was myself sucking wind- ha! I was hoping to pick up the pace on the last mile but I was toast. The sun had come out the last 2 miles and it felt like the temp had jumped 20 degrees. Once more through the drum line and the cypress tunnel then back around the track to the finish. I saw my mother on the sidelines and tried to muster up a smile. Some of the pictures she shot show that smile, some show some truly horrible form. 😛 My Garmin shows that I picked up the pace for the last bit but I felt like I was running in quicksand.

Finish- 1:02:38
See, slowest one yet! 😉

Now, if my intention was to treat it as a true tempo for marathon training, then I mostly succeeded. My overall pace was right where I needed it to be even with dune sand miles. In all honesty though, I was hoping for a better showing. I don’t even think it was my time that disappointed me, it was how hard it felt. This was only 6 miles, how on earth am I ever going to run a marathon?!

All that aside, I still love this race. Sore calves, sand in my shoes and all. I look forward to running it next year. Maybe a little faster? 😉

San Francisco Marathon Training Week 9

Holy crap, I’m halfway there!

I’ve yet to decide if that is reassuring or reason enough for a panic attack.  It could go either way, it just depends on the day.  😝

After week 8’s less than stellar showing I was really hoping for a better week.  What I got was a learning week.   And an injury scare.   Then I finished it all up with a tough 10K.


Monday- 5 miles. I love seeing easy miles on the plan.  However, I ran these too fast.  I was about a minute under pace for the run.  While it felt pretty good at the time, I wonder if this added to the issues that popped up later in the week.   I also ran these miles in my Pureflow’s.  I was thinking of wearing them for my race so I wanted put a few miles on them since I hadn’t worn them since the SLO half.   My toes still feel squished but other that I remembered why I loved those shoes.


Tuesday- 1.25 mile w/u, 6 x 800, 1.25 mile c/d.  Since I missed week 8’s speed workout due to a head cold, I decided to do it this week instead of jumping to the 1K repeats.    800’s are hard.   The 600’s a few weeks ago had felt pretty comfortable, these did not, these were hard.    I also had technical difficulties of the hilarious kind.   I’ve been using the workout feature on my Garmin; I create the workout online and push it to my watch so I don’t have to try and track the intervals on my own.  So I programmed in what I thought were 6 intervals of 800 with 400 meter recoveries.   I felt like my first 400 m recovery was taking forever.   I kept checking my watch but it kept saying 399.9.  What?  Come to realize that I had programmed my recovery at 400 MILES not meters.  Oops!!    So from then I just tried to ballpark when to hit the lap button to end each recovery.     I underestimated each time, oops.    My recoveries ended up being around .15.


My goal time for each 800 was 4:30-4:42.  Actual times were-  4:28, 4:23, 6:38, 4:26, 4:24, 4:23.  So yeah that 3rd 800?  I had tried to see if I could fix the 400 mile recovery but not only failed, I had also started the run interval but not realized it.   I think it would have been in the line with other ones though.

Wednesday- Rest  My legs were feeling super sore.   I wore compression socks to work and changed from boots to flats.  That might not have been the best idea.  I also had an appointment with my gastroenterologist and I have a shiny new elimination diet to start this week.   During marathon training…yay?      Also pizza night was a giant fail.  Boo.


Thursday- 8 easy miles— 3.75 miles  With a 10K race on Saturday, the plan was to swap my easy run and my tempo.   My training plan advised against this as I was supposed to step up to 8 tempo miles this week but I really like this race.   I still felt sore and tired so I headed to the river path to get in an easy 8.  Ha!   My legs hurt from the get go.   My shins hurt, my ankles hurt, my arches felt off and my knees started to ache.    I gave it 2 miles to see if it was all in my head and if I was going to be able to run it out.  No dice.  I called it at 2 and hobble ran/walked back to the car.   It hurt.   I went home and stretched, rolled and put on compression socks again.   And tried really hard not to freak out.  Thank you to Heather and Ashley for putting up with all of my whining text messages.  😂

Friday- Rest  My legs were still super sore.   I was beginning to question Saturday’s 10K.


Saturday- Bands on the Run 10K  Could have gone better but I made it through it.  More on that next post though.  Why do beach races make my calves so sore?

Sunday- 15 miles- Rest  My alarm was set for an early run but when it went off, I said no.  I had started to feel the beginning of a headache Saturday night and tried to fight it off by sleeping with an ice pack.  No luck, Sunday morning it was a full on migraine.  I shut off the alarm and slept more hoping it would ease up and I could get some miles run in the afternoon.  Unfortunately, all the afternoon saw was a 2 hour long nap.   My head hurt so bad, I didn’t even complete this post in time to go up on Monday.    Once again, I slept with an ice pack that night.

Hmmm, well 4 days is better than week 8 right?  Unfortunately my overall mileage still hovered in the low 20’s.  The leg pain kind of freaked me out and I am making an adjustment to my training plan going forward.  I am swapping my Monday easy run for Wednesday’s rest day.   I knew my training plan was intense for a Slacker like me, even with dropping Friday’s run from the get go.   So now let’s see how I feel with 3 days in a row instead of 4.  Cumulative fatigue is one thing, I am freaking tired.    Plus, who knows how these dietary changes are going to go over?  Fingers crossed!   Hopefully, my legs will get me through the week. 😀

How was your week?

How many days can you comfortably run a row?

Who else raced this weekend?

 

 

 

 

Castle to the Coast Recap

First race of the year is in the books!

Castle to Coast is an 8.2 mile road race that starts at WR Hearst State Beach and runs along the highway to Moonstone Beach. It’s a no frills race with scenic views.  It starts across from Hearst Castle.   Granted the Castle is way up on the hill but on a clear day you can see it.  I have wanted to run it for the past few years but they cap it around 300 runners each time and it always sold out before I registered.   This year, well last November, I literally registered at 2 minutes past midnight the day registration opened.   I was looking forward to finally running it but then slacker December happened followed by sick January.    Oh and let’s not forget the sudden blister issue.

As I laid out my clothes on Friday night I was feeling very “meh” about it all.  Between my blister issues and the fact that I have put on a few pounds, I knew my usual race outfit of knee high Pro Compression socks and a skirt was off the table.  With temps predicted in the high 50’s I figured a tank and capris would be fine.  Just in case, I added my arm warmers.   Race morning dawned way too early but with one last weather check, I was out the door.   I had already mentally moved this from a “race” to a very public long run.   8 miles with ocean views- piece of cake right?

  

   
Pre-race-

Rain!!! That was not in the forecast.  I kept hoping it would clear up as we drove but no luck.   It was so foggy and overcast I started to wonder if I had driven past the starting point.   Then I saw a pack of Aggies warming up along the highway- we must be close.    Once parked I headed to the epically long bathroom line and my mom headed to check me in.  Benefits of small races right?  She was back with my shirt and wristband and I still hadn’t moved forward in the bathroom line.  😂  I struck up a conversation with the women behind me.  She is my new favorite person- she said I looked 24!   I also saw Ashley before the race start.  😃   I grabbed my rain jacket from my gym bag at the last minute, it wasn’t raining hard but it was enough to get you wet and cold.   The start line was about 1/4 up the road so we all headed that way.   This is very low key event- no bibs, no timing chips, just a starter pistol at the start.  I started towards the back of pack which might not be the best idea for a gun timed race but I was just aiming for a steady run.

Miles 1-4  9:54, 10:06, 10:03, 10:08

And we were off!  We ran past the cutest little general store right at the start.  It was so overcast that the castle was completely covered up.   We went up a side street and then we were on the highway.  I should mention that the roads were not closed so we were running along the highway.  In the rain.  With cars.   My hood fell back by mile .5 and I decided to just leave it down.  I was about a mile in when I noticed something odd with my right foot.  The Vaseline was doing its job but my toes felt weird.  My shoe was full of water!  I could literally scrunch my toes and it felt like I was wringing out a towel and not my sock.  My watch was covered by my jacket sleeve so I just tried to keep what felt like a steady pace.    I started to get hot so I unzipped my jacket.  Miles 2 and 3 felt rougher than I would have liked and are kind of a blur.  I just kept my eyes forward and kept putting one foot in front of the other.   I knew there was a water station at mile 4 so seeing that meant I was halfway there.  Woo hoo!

   

 Miles 4-8-  10:15, 10:09, 10:06, 9:56

By now I was super warm and there was a small hill in sight.  I knew I was going to slow down running up it so I used that mile to take off my jacket and tie it around my waist.  Which meant I could now see my watch and my pace.   I did my best to ignore it and just kept running.   Left foot then right, then curl my toes to try and move the water around.   A little past mile 6 we turned off the highway onto a side street and headed for the finish.  This street was longer than I thought and I started to worry that my mom might not have found the finish line.  I hadn’t really given her directions and while running I realized I had given her the wrong street name.  Oops!   I was tiring and just wanted to be done.  I was so happy to see the finish line.  First race done!

Finish-  8.28 miles- 1:23:11

   

 So yeah, that was about 7 minutes slower than my last 8 mile race.  But 8.2 mile races are an automatic PR right?   Official results aren’t posted yet but I think my Garmin is pretty accurate.    I started way back in the pack and it was gun timed.    This was not the race I would have liked to run but in reality it went exactly like I expected.  I know I am out of shape right now but haven’t done a whole lot to fix it.  I think the reality of this race will give me the kick in the ass I needed.    As far as long runs go, it was a great pace.  As for race pace?  Umm, not so much.  However I am pretty impressed with the consistency of my splits.  I don’t think I’ve ever run a steadier race.   I love how you can tell the hill was in mile 5.  😝   Something else that I am happy about?  I did not take a single walk break, I ran the entire damn thing.  I can’t even tell you the last time that happened.

The finish line area was a little disorganized.  There were giveaways but I’m not sure how it was working.  I met up with my mom and then later Ashley and we chatted a bit before heading out.  Not only had my mother found the park but she beat everyone else there.  She literally parked my car next to the finish line.   😝

The ocean view was pretty in a stormy, cloudy kind of way but I wish I could have run this race in the sun.  And not just because I was soaking wet.  I may consider running it again next year but not sure.  The cost is great-$30- but I am still on the fence.  We’ll see.

Ever run on an open highway?

Race in the rain? 

 

Week 3- Slowing Down

Week 3 done!  I hit all the required durations ( and then some) but my pace took a hit.   It was the first week with the new hires and I seriously underestimated what training 2 brand new people at the same time would be like.   I felt like I was running laps all day.  I had to change my heels for flats halfway through Monday and I wore flats the rest of the week.  This made navigating the maze of chairs easier but seriously pissed off my feet and legs.   Grrr, I missed my boots.

Monday- Rest

I love rest on Mondays.  I had tried to change to being a Monday runner but it’s hard.   Plus we didn’t get out of work until 6 and I felt like I had run 5 miles already.

Tuesday- Plan 40:00 Easy

Our area was hit with some odd monsoon weather so we had high temps and high humidity.   Ugh.    It was so rough my mother canceled her tennis practice.  She never cancels so I knew it was ugly.   I was debating going to the gym but decided for work town instead.  Work town is consistently around 65* but I don’t like running there for a few reasons.   1- the humidity is always high (like 70+) and my lungs hate me.  2- I feel like I have to wear pants.  I know it’s all in my head but the idea of running in shorts and having a customer spot me freaks me out.  I am so weird. 3- I have one route.   There are very few sidewalks and the roads have non existent shoulders.IMG_0993

This route is an out and back that starts with an elevation of 150′ and drops to 0 then back up again.    My GPS had troubles getting a signal so mile 1 was way off.    I ran with traffic for most of the out portion- that side of the street has a sidewalk.   Once I hit the state park I thought I was going to have to cut my run short.  There was construction in front of the Inn and I couldn’t see a way to the path that gets me to the beach.   The street has no shoulders.  I spotted what looked like tire tracks and bolted across to the path.   Then damn near ate it on the slippery Eucalyptus leaves.  Walk break!    IMG_0992

I ran to the end of the trail this time instead of just the beach and found the best natural stairs.  Seriously I did a little happy dance at the top.  I love running in the dirt.   Too bad the trail portion is maybe a little more than .5 mile.   I took another walk break after I almost did the splits on the Eucalyptus leaves on the way back and then ran on.  Mile 4 had 100 ft gain and I ran most of it with my lungs on fire but pulled off a 10:06.  Which I think is the fastest I’ve run that even when I was in top shape.  Sweet!  4.05 ish Miles- 42:37

Wednesday- Rest

TOM came to visit, I rested.  TMI?  🙂  Plus I had a doctor’s appointment with my gastro and Atkins is here to stay.  He is also ordering a new CT to see why I have had the odd, intense pains.   Boo.

Thursday- Plan – Speed work

This time was a doctor’s appointment with my primary so I can have my thyroid levels checked since I take a nap damn near everyday.  Sometimes on the floor.  🙂   I changed before leaving work so I could head straight to the gym after my appointment even though my stomach hated me that day.   Then I saw something on Facebook that pissed me off hurt my feelings and the last thing I wanted to do was run.  I just wanted to sulk in a corner and binge eat pizza.    I went home first.  Somehow I pushed myself out the door 45 minutes later.  It was a slow, hot miserable run.  Seriously it was a slower pace than my long run this week.  And I was chased by a damn dog.  If it hadn’t been on a chain, I would have been bleeding.  As it was I ran into traffic which wasn’t smart.   4 Miles -47:52.   Then I ate pizza.  🙂FullSizeRender[1] (4)

Friday- Rest

More running around like a crazy person at work.  It was so flippin’ busy.  I am so jealous of everyone who had the day off.

Saturday- Rest

I wanted to run my long run in the morning but I wasn’t feeling well and had a headache.    I enjoyed a calm 4th with my family and finally watched McFarland, USA.  And I call myself a runner?  It was really good and even more interesting when I thought I heard work town called out during their first meet.  I did!!!  They competed against work town!  Man, that must have been a drive.    Turns out the first time they went to the beach was actually 4 miles up from work town too.   They changed the location in the movie.  Still it was cool hearing that.

Sunday- Long Run- Plan 1:10:00

Again, I woke up feeling rough and could not get going.  I kept telling myself to get out of bed but it wasn’t happening.  I finally headed out for my long run around 3.  I still didn’t feel great so even though I wanted 10, I was aiming for anything over 6.   My mother was out on a walk so the first 4.5 miles of my route was looping around streets and meeting back up with her.  Yay for walk breaks!   Then she went on her way and I continued running.   One of these days I will find a long run that doesn’t have over 800 ft of elevation gain.   I also had my first snake sighting of the summer.   I refrained from screaming like a little girl but I did run into the middle of the street again.  Luckily it was a back road but I really need to work on that.    Mile 7,  I stopped and spoke with an older gentleman out working on his van.  At that point I’d run past him 3x so I think he thought I was crazy. Somewhere along the line I got my math wrong so I hit my driveway at 10.5 miles- 1:58. Considering all the walk breaks in the beginning and a few hills towards the end and I was actually at the high-end of where McMillan says I should be? Sweet!   I made it in time for Sunday dinner.  Family doesn’t mind if you’re sweaty right?IMG_1025All in all, it was a slow but solid week.  Not too bad.   I also officially registered for Big Sur in November on Sunday.   I booked the hotel a few months ago and followed through with the race.  🙂  Woo hoo!   Now I just need to actually register for my goal race in October.  Oops.

This week, my goal is actually complete my speed work and have fun at my half on Sunday.  And then eat cake- Because it’s my birthday.  🙂

How was your 4th?

How do you react to snakes?

Do you live in a hilly area or flat?

 

 

2015 Bands on the Run 10K- Recap

Saturday I ran the third annual Bands on the Run 10k.   This race did nothing to disabuse me of the notion that 10K’s are hard.   Maybe reinforced it; that said it was a fun race.IMG_0462I managed to run away from work for a few minutes on Friday afternoon for packet pickup.    For a small local race, they are very organized.  I was impressed last year and this year was more of the same.   Last year, I though it was really cool that the volunteer shirts all said “I’m with the band” instead of just the usual “volunteer”.  So this year I was very excited to see that the race shirts said “I ran with the band” on the back.   I also like that for a smaller race, only in their 3rd year, they design their own bibs.  There’s nothing wrong with the Road ID ones, I just like the extra touch that the personalized bibs gives.  The race is a fundraiser for the high school music department.   Start and finish are the high school track and a band performs through out race morning.   They also have a bag drop table which for a small race is virtually unheard of.

Pre-race shiver
Pre-race shiver

IMG_0491The weather here has been very odd for May and with the race being predominantly on the beach, I knew it was likely to be cold, windy and more humid than I would like.    I wore pants, a tank and a long sleeve layer for the race and I was still cold.   My 25K in January was run in shorts and a tank and it hit 80.  Get it together, California!    Race start for the 10K and half marathon was 9:00 with the 5K starting at 9:15.    Some of the local races like to have a warm up/ fitness routine before them.  This was like a full on Zumba class.    I don’t think I could pull off those moves on a normal day let alone right before a race!!  I just observed.  🙂   Following the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem, we headed to the start line.    Having been so far back in the pack at my last 2 races, I made sure to move up to the front this time.    I had placed 2nd in my Age Group in 2014 but the crowd looked bigger this year and I felt out of shape so I was just aiming for a steady race.   After some confusion about the starting horn, we were off!

This slogan made me laugh
This slogan made me laugh
Very hard to see Zumba warm up
Very hard to see Zumba warm up

The course is very scenic for this race.  It starts on the high school track before heading through the parking lot to a paved walking path before turning in the Cypress Tunnel.  The tunnel is a dirt trail that comes out a street before turning right and heading across the dunes and down to the shoreline.  That’s all in the first 1.2 miles.  From there to mile 3.1 you run along the water then turn around to go back the way you came.  It’s one of the few out and back races I like.     A half mile in, I felt like I was huffing and puffing already and that wasn’t a good sign.   I had used my inhaler 3 times over the course of the morning, so I thought that would help.  Then I checked my pace- 8:15.  Oh yeah, that explains it.   Oops!   I knew I was hitting a dune sand patch – in the tunnel- and would slow down so I just kept running.   Then we hit 20-30 yards of sand and we all slowed.  The upside though is that this is where the drum line was and it’s kind of awesome running past a drum line.   🙂

I lied to myself after last years’ race.  I really believed there was only about 20 yards of soft, dune sand total through out the race.  Yeah, no.   There was 20-30 yards in the tunnel and then a freakin’ football field worth to get to the water line.  I tried to run it, but knew walking was more efficient.    Now that my pace had been reigned in, I was breathing much better too.  🙂      From there I just kept a steady pace to the turn around and back.   There were hula dancers at the right before the water line and 2 guitar players along the beach providing the on course entertainment.   Once turning around, I notice that the clouds, the beach, the rock and the stacks at the old plant looked kind of awesome but I wouldn’t let myself stop to take a picture.   Particularly when I had to pause to tie my shoe that had come undone.   I was beginning think I had a good shot at breaking an hour and didn’t want to miss it.   I had forgotten how hard beach running is but I thought I would be close.  IMG_0514 IMG_0473

I finally made it back to the hula dancers and had that dang football field of sand to deal with again.  I tried running it once more but my calves and quads were feeling the burn.   So walking again.  A woman came running up next to me and mentioned that I was zig-zagging.  Oops, but I was just trying to get through it.  We paced each other for the remainder of the dunes discussing how much we hate sand.    Once through that, I felt exhausted and all I wanted to do was walk but I could hear the drums so I pushed on.   Past the drum line again, through the tunnel one more time and back into the parking lot towards the track.  I knew I might just miss an hour.   Once hitting the track, I tried to push it but I felt like I had nothing left.   Rounding the last corner, I could see the clock and knew I just had to hang on.   Finish- 59:37IMG_0499This was one of those cross the finish line gasping kind of races.   Some of the pictures my mother took are hilarious, I look beat, like I am going to fall over.    I stretched a bit and then began the process of getting the 5+ pounds of sand out of my shoes.    I was very happy that I finished under an hour.  It was about the only real goal I had for this race.    I also realized just how tough this course is, maybe I hadn’t phoned it in last year after all.    I felt like I was passed by more than a few people on the way out and only managed to pass a few on the way back so I figured an age group place was unlikely.  I wanted to check my finishing time though, so once we figured out where the board was this year, we headed over.   Times hadn’t been updated yet so we waited a short moment while a volunteer hung new pages.   At which point I laughed out loud.   I’d finished 1st in my age group. How?  Sweet!   IMG_0500IMG_0503Last year, my only complaint about the race was the lack of communication about how the awards were going to happen.   Even when they did start, things were announced in an order I still don’t understand.  This year, there was little fan fare- you just walked over to the awards table, gave them your name and they handed you your ribbon.  So much smoother than last year.   And since I was cold, the ease of it was awesome.

Overall, I am still impressed with this race.  It is very organized and the volunteers are great.  The course is tough but pretty and I look forward to running it next year.  When it is sunny and hopefully a little warmer.   🙂

Do you like smaller races?  Or larger ones?

Ever run a race with a drum line?