Tent City Half Marathon Recap

This may be the latest I’ve ever finished a race recap.

I’ve been talking about half marathon #30 since October but never made it work, finally I stopped talking and just signed up for a race the same day my training plan called for 19 miles.  I figured 13 supported miles with other runners followed by 6 solo miles was better than 19 lonely miles.

Tent City is in it’s first year and that generally makes me leery of races.  It offered a full, half, 10k, 5k and None run.  Packet pick up was a sure sign that it was a first time, small town race- a folding table next to an open van with the shirts and numbers.  Did I mention it was in front of a creepy abandoned building?😜

Ok, maybe not so abandoned.  The race was a fundraiser for the Printery Foundation which is working to restore the Printery building which is over 100 years old.  But until then I think it looks kind of haunted.   Call the Winchester brothers.  Did I mention this was also the start line?   In the dark.

The race started at the crack of dawn in the cold and dark.   Seriously, the sun hadn’t risen and it was 34*.   Dude, what??? I had my fleece vest from the week before and debated wearing it, I mean 13 miles…I’d warm up right???  I stayed in the car until the last possible moment before heading to the start line to find a port-a-pottie.  Luckily I had thought ahead and brought a Knuckle Light with me as the bathrooms were completely dark.   I was so cold.  Luckily, the announcer said a few words, the National Anthem was sung and we were off.

Miles 1-3 10:16, 10:46, 12:04  I wasn’t planning on racing this- it was more a training run so I was going to happy with anything around 2:24-2:30 overall.  The first mile looped us around numerous downtown city blocks before heading out onto the highway out of town.   I was kind of surprised when I figured out what highway we were on, we were running on the closed shoulder while the lanes were open.  We crossed a bridge and I was wondering where the first mile marker was.  Checked my watch and saw that we were past a mile so I figured I missed it.     But I never saw mile 2 or mile 3… ok, so there are no mile markers. Ummm?   I was feeling an odd tingling in my backside during mile 3- it was more that I felt like the zipper to the pocket on my pants was super cold- almost too cold but I ignored it and it went away.  Probably shouldn’t have.

Miles 4-7 11:37, 10:43, 12:22, 11:52  I was slowing for no apparent reason but the reality is that I actually had no idea.  I was trying not to pay attention to my watch as this was a training run.  I had to look at it occasionally as the lack of mile markers was actually frustrating.  I wanted some idea of where I was.  Plus the course was an out and back so I knew the turn around had to come at some point but it seemed too far out.  I was enjoying the scenery of the back road we were now on but once again, it wasn’t the best road for runners.  We now had an entire lane to ourselves but drivers tend to treat this road like a speedway and they weren’t slowing even with the cones.   They were down to one lane and buzzing around us upwards of 40mph.

Miles 8-11 11:56, 12:07, 12:20, 12:27 The turn around!  Yay!  And I had finally realized that I was moving slower than I thought I was.  What was going on?  Wait, I can’t feel my butt!  Or my quads and thighs really.  What the hell?  How long had I been numb?  Seriously? Like I smacked myself in the butt and couldn’t feel it.   So I tried it again, same thing.  I couldn’t really feel the effort my legs were putting in or lack thereof.  🤣  It wasn’t that cold- wth?  My fleece vest had kind of frosted over though, haha.  There was a person out there in a tank!  Apparently I have zero tolerance for the cold these days.

Miles 12-13 11:58, 11:37  Back to the highway and my backside was finally starting to warm up.  But only in patches, haha and those sections were just itching.  Oh for crying out loud.  As we came back into town, I could see the finish line at the park (different than the start) but instead of going straight to it we had to go around the block the long way.

Finish-2:33:51

Yes, that’s fidget spinner for a medal

Not horribly off my long run pace goal and I learned that I really need to practice running in cold weather.  Nah.  After getting my medal, it was time to join the party in the park.  There was yoga, food tents, beer tents, cupcake tents, local businesses and one of those tables with computers that prints your results.  I’ve never had one of those!  It was barely 9AM, there was no way I was drinking a beer but I wasn’t passing up a free cupcake.  😀

For a first time race, they did a decent job, they have room for improvement but it’s a race I would run again.  Just move the dang start time back.   And maybe put up a few more road blocks.

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.  🙂

Shine Bright

Disclaimer: I received Brilliant Reflective to try 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 time may have changed but more often than not my runs end at dusk which makes it hard to be seen.  Heck even in daylight I wonder how often cars truly see me.  I know I’ve had more than one close call due to distracted drivers and more than one car hood that’s been close enough for me to hit out of anger- I never have though.

Throw in my tendency to run in the bike lane, lack of sidewalks or shoulders in my area and running can be sketchy sometimes.    That’s not taking into account the distraction of cell phones or my personal favorite- eating while driving.  😛

Enter Brilliant Reflective strips.


These things are small but mighty!     With these strips you can turn your regular running gear reflective.  And it’s a way less expensive then some of the running gear they sell in the stores.   They have both iron on and stick on strips and they offer 4 colors- red, blue, purple, and black.  I chose black because I’m wearing a lot of black and gray these days, I figured why not make it a little brighter?


The application process of it all took less then 10 minutes.   The hardest part was admitting that not only do I not own an iron, I would likely burn the house down—Mom!   I’ve had the strips on my clothes for weeks and not only have they handled my sweaty self well, they’ve handled the washing machine really well.     I do wash everything inside out and on the gentle cycle, but I was already doing that so no change there.


I used the stick on strips for regular non washable gear that use 99% of my runs.  This would be my belt, my Orange Mud handheld and my Miles and Pace hat.  The belt and handheld already were a little reflective but more never hurts right?  It was seriously as easy as putting a sticker on your laptop.


These strips are awesome.  They are super easy to use and they shine at the littlest light.  I even love in the daytime.  I actually had a driver acknowledge me when they drove past me the other day- I’ve never had a passing driver actually show that saw me before.   I was so excited!


I only wish I had better pictures but I don’t run with anyone to get a full body shot and when I tried self timer pics they were so bad that they will never see the light of day.  😛 I have a bunch of strips on tanks but I can’t contort my arms to get the picture.

The Brilliant Reflective strips sell for $9.95 and ship for free.  Seriously awesome.   I want more.  I think it’s time for some colors.  😛

Bonus!!!  I have a discount that is valid until 11:59 PM CT on April 11 for 25% of your order- use code BIBRAVEPRO25.

How do you shine bright?

 

Night Moves

Working on my night moves
In the winter time
in the dark winter time

Like my rewrite?  Sing it with me!

You guys, I ran at night!!!!  Which if we’re keeping track is only the second time ever!   I braved the dark, the cold and the potential mountain lions and went for a run.  It was only 2 miles but it was a start right?

I packed my gym bag on Monday but I really wasn’t feeling it.  I had only found 1 blinky light and while I had checked my flashlight and while it worked, I had checked it in the daylight.  I didn’t really know how much light it put out.  Work ran late, I was exhausted and I was telling myself I still didn’t feel well even after a week off.    I used the restroom before leaving work, went to grab my gym bag…and stared at it.    It’s not like it was getting darker right?  So, after a lightning fast change, I headed towards home.

The whole drive home, I wondered if I would chicken out.  Running in the dark is not my thing.  But I really hate the treadmill.     I parked at a local business directly under a light and headed for what I think is the best street.  Which is funny as it has like 4 street lights. 😛😛  I had a blinking light on my belt, a flashing band on my arm, reflective hat and my flashlight.  I didn’t feel like it was enough.    Bonus, my flashlight was dying.  Slacker fail.


I stuck to the sidewalk.   I kept it nice and slow.   Can’t worry about pace when you can barely see right?   My eyes adjusted quicker than I thought they would.   It was colder than I thought it would be.  It was in the high 50’s and I probably would have loved that during the day.  At night, I wanted more layers.

A group of teenage boys drove by and catcalled me and I celebrated.  They could see me!!!  My lights were working!  I did a little jig.   A short, slow 2 miles later and I was back at my car.   I did it!

All excitement aside, I will be more prepared the next time.  I found my second blinky light.  I need new batteries for my flashlight.  I need to buy a reflective vest.   That should be it for now.  No need to get crazy.   Let’s make sure I do this more than once a year this time.  😛

Do you run in the dark?  Night or morning?

Best apparel advice?

 

 

 

Surf City Week 2-Christmas Lights & Sirens

I ran at night!!  You guys- I went out in the dark and the cold and ran at night!!   😄😄😃😃

But before we get to that, here’s a brief recap of last week’s slacker-ness err, training.

Monday– Rest
Tuesday– Work holiday party
Wednesday– Treadmill 5K
Thursday– 2.70 miles – OUTSIDE!
Friday– Rest
Saturday-Unexpected emergency road trip
Sunday– Rest- tired, stressed and way behind

So, yeah still not awesome but that’s ok.   Sometimes life rears it’s horns and you change your plans.  I’m still playing catch up.  But let’s talk about the exciting thing-

I ran at night!  It was slow and short but it was kind of awesome.  😃😃   I had been considering attempting a night run for a while now.  I’m a big baby when it comes to running in the dark.   You never know what’s out there, right?  But, I figured realistically I had a better shot of running at night than I did in the early mornings.  One- I like my bed and sleeping until the last moment.  Two-less likely to have a run in with a creature of some sort.   Or at least that’s what I tell myself.

 I packed 2 sets of clothes- one for an outdoor run and one for the gym if I chickened out.   I don’t own any night gear and I didn’t want to buy anything because what if this was a one and done?   I’m not sure what I was thinking though- I had purple pants, a coral shirt, black and yellow jacket, a coral headband and mismatched gloves.  Maybe I hoped the tacky-ness would be extra visible? 😜   I had reflective strips on my arms and an ancient, tiny flashlight.  My jacket was supposed to be reflective- spoiler- it’s not.

I parked under a light at a local business and headed for my route.  I chose one of the busier streets in town but I chose it for it’s sidewalks, uneven as they are, a few streetlights and the sea of Christmas lights.   I started out slow and I was presently surprised at how much light the Christmas lights gave off.    The temp was in the mid 40’s and the jacket was too much.  I stopped half a mile in to tie it around my waist.

 The dark is funny- I felt like I was hauling but in reality I was putting along at an 11 minute pace.  I laughed out loud when my Garmin buzzed at mile 1.     I don’t usually run on the sidewalk on this street, if I run this street I am in the bike lane.  I knew the sidewalk was uneven but dang!  I stumbled a few times and there were a few times the sidewalk disappeared entirely.  Hello!

My plan was to keep it short, sweet and uneventful and it was working out to be that way.  Until just shy of 2 miles.   I was coming up on an intersection and heard what sounded like a school fire alarm.     I stopped and tried to figure out where it was coming from.   I finally pinpointed it to an older apartment building down the side street.  I wasn’t sure what to do.  I didn’t smell smoke and everything else seemed quiet.   I finally took my cue from the people playing ping pong in their side yard.  They didn’t seem alarmed at all, so I thought maybe this happens all the time at 6:30?  I ran on down the street.   I hit my planned turn around and headed back the way I came.    As I came back to the siren intersection, I didn’t hear anything so I was relieved.  Only to discover a fire truck now parked outside the apartment building!   What?!?!  Last time I trust people hanging out in their yard!

The route is short, so I was back at my car around 2.7 miles and part of that was already overlapping.   So this would route would work more as a shakeout/ easy run than anything else.  Plus, once the Christmas lights come down it could turn a lot darker.  That said it was kind of awesome and it pushed my boundaries a little.     I can’t wait to try it again.  😊  With a better flash light.

I had good intentions of running this past weekend but late night phone calls are rarely a good thing.  My mom and I ended up heading down to LA for a family emergency.  It wasn’t the best of days.

 
Sunday brought the realization of just how behind I am with Christmas shopping.  And laundry.  Seriously, I did 4 loads.   So, like I said before- not the best training week.  But again, I am ok with it.   This week should be interesting as I have to head back to LA again.  This time for myself though, I have another appointment at USC for my stomach.   Nice timing right?

But it’s Christmas week!!!  Are you ready?

Do you like running in morning dark or night dark?