2018 Rock n Roll San Diego 13.1

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Rock n Roll San Diego 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!

Last year I loved this race and I jumped at the chance to go back.   The course is great, the crowd support was awesome- sign me up!  However, I also knew that I was would be one month out of Big Sur, so realistically I had no idea how that would affect me.  So I was going in with the only goals of having fun, enjoying the race and crossing that finish line.

I joked in my previous post that with 8 aid stations this would be the race to try running without carrying water however I knew I was too paranoid to actually do that.  Except I forgot my flasks.  I didn’t figure it out until after the expo so it was too late to buy anything.  I thought about carry a plastic bottle but that just didn’t sound appealing to me.   Guess I was relying on aid stations after all.

Race morning dawned all too early after a poor night of sleep.  I was ready fairly quickly which was surprising as I was having major indecision about what to wear on my bottom half, I settled on my Skirt Sports skirt, made a quick compression sock change and was out the door to meet Kate.  I love my hotel because the race morning shuttles pick up 1/2 block down and the finish line is 3 blocks away.  Met up with Kate, we boarded a bus and in less than 10 minutes we were at the starting area.  We wandered for a bit before getting in a porta potty line.  We missed the National Anthem- too noisy- and separated to our corrals after that.   I appreciated the new larger corral markers- it made it easier to find mine (17 of 33) but we were still packed in like sardines.  I also started to question what the hell I had put down as a finishing time.  The 2:15 pace group was in the corral behind me.  Say what?!  But we steadily made our way up and then we were off!

Miles 1-3 10:17, 10:44, 11:43

I love that there is a man shouting encouragement though a bull horn as we run past .25 mile in.    It can pretty crowded in the first few miles but my goal was to just keep my effort steady.  I had told my mother that I wasn’t really concerned about my finishing time but in the back of my head, I figured 2:25 ish wouldn’t be too off the mark.   However during mile 3 things started to get rough and I realized there was one thing I forgot to take into account- humidity.

Miles 4-7 11:21, 11:03, 11:36, 12:01

I was still running just a lot slower.  It was so damn humid.  It was mile 4 and the people running near me looking like their shirts could be wrung out.  The men running shirtless looked like they just got out of the shower.   I happened to pull out my phone to text my mother that is humid- actually I used much more colorful language- and she reminded me to use my inhaler as humidity is one of my asthma triggers.  But when I pulled my phone I saw that it showed 80% humidity.  What the what? I am used to like 15%.  The sun was pounding down on us and I could tell we were all struggling.  I texted Kate and told her to be careful.   I did all this while running, haha.  I was still enjoying the race, I love running through North Park and Normal Heights.   Mile 5 also brings us the Wear Blue- Run to Remember section and I like to try and pay more attention in that area.

My strategy was to run everything but walk the entire aid station- getting water and Gatorade at each one as it was offered.  Clearly this was not the race to not carry my own water.

Miles 8-10 11:57, 11:49, 12:41

Oh my gawd, I was hot.  Temp wise, it wasn’t even hot but the humidity was kicking my butt.  I was now taking more time at the aid stations.  One cup of Gatorade and one cup water.  If the station only offered water, I would get one cup of water at the very beginning, drink it while walking the station slowly, then get another to drink at the end.  I took off my hat and dumped water in it before putting it back on. The stations were also struggling to keep up with demand from the runners- in fact I would be surprised if the one at mile 9 lasted the entire race.

I took my first non- aid station walk break around mile 9.5.  I just had to.  I was starting to feel nauseous.   Kind of like I had consumed too much water.  Which I coudn’t see how as I wasn’t carrying any and they don’t fill those cups up too full.  But I skipped an aid station just before mile 10.

Miles 10-13 111:56, 11:30, 12:22

From then on it was a run- walk to the end.  Which is a bummer because I really like the last 3 miles.  We come back into Balboa Park, run under the big guitar guy, up a hill past some Taiko drummers, by a golf course, then there’s a sweet downhill that brings you back into the city.     I may have been feeling rough but I was still trying to enjoy as much of my surroundings as I could.   Then it was through downtown with a slight down hill to the finish-

Finish- 2:33:38

I honestly hadn’t been looking at my watch at all so I had no idea where I was at time wise until after crossing the finish line.  That time is fine by me.  So fine, I’ve already gone and input my results into Athlinks.  😊

I stood around for a couple moments needing a moment if that makes sense before getting my medal and heading out of the chute.  One of the volunteers became my new favorite person as she was handing out bags of ice.   I stuck it on my head as I walked to the meeting point to find my mom.   I still felt way too hot so I jammed back to the hotel for a cold shower before flying back to the finish line to see Kate.    Success.

The weather may not have been my friend but I still love this race and it was only made better with friends out there too. And Kate got a PR!!!!!

What’s your weather nemesis?

Big Sur Marathon Training-Week 5

Oh, last week was fun.  I think I slept walk (sleep walked?) through most of it.

That winter cold thing caught up to me after last week’s race.  I had zero energy, my stomach hated me, my head felt like a balloon and I was coughing all the time.  Fun.

And it made me stupid.  I did some of the stupidest things.   I should not be allowed on social media while sick.  My fat fingers are liking posts I do not want to like.  I’m accidentally having my Aftershokz calling guys I don’t want to call.  Which reminds me that I need to purge some really old numbers from my phone and just hope that I am the only weirdo who has the same cell number they did 10+ years ago.  Siri tried that stunt the previous week too.     Audrey and Siri really need to work on understanding me a little better.  🤣

However, it didn’t end up being a total loss of a week.

The plan-

Week 5

Life-

Monday- Sick- Yah, no.  It was all I could to get through the day at work.  By the time I left work, my eyes were so heavy and I was dragging big time…where was my bed?

Tuesday- More of the same but not quite as bad.  Just get through work and keep moving.

Wednesday- 3.1 miles  It was warm in work town and even though I was feeling better, I still bundled up and headed out to attempt a few miles after work.   With work town being so abnormally warm, I decided to try for a run there.  Plus I missed the ocean sunsets.   I was slow but otherwise this wasn’t a bad run.  It was also my second run in the Altra’s. 😀

Thursday- Rest I actually planned on trying for another run but my brother offered to take the family to dinner and I wasn’t going to turn down tri-tip and sourdough rolls.  I’m not crazy.

Friday- Rest For only running once this week, I was still so damn tired.   I knew I had a 12 mile run and 6 mile run on tap for the weekend but also knew sleep would be the smarter choice.  Falling asleep in my chair trying to watch TV on Friday night really drove that home so I turned off my alarm.

Saturday- 6 miles– After sleeping in and catching up on some much needed rest, I headed out for some afternoon miles.  I had actually wanted to try for my 12 but my stomach being an asshat put a stop to that before I even started.  I did manage 6 though. This was my longest run in the Altra’s since I bought them and I also wore shorts for the first time in months.  Once again, I was slow but that just seemed to be the theme of this week.

Sunday- 9.9 miles A last minute decision had me driving to work town to meet a friend for a 9-10 mile run on the beach.   The beach???? I haven’t run on the beach since the Asthma Drama of 2016.   Not only that– the beach is flat!  Well, let’s rip off the band-aid!   I met H for an earlier-than-I-would-have-run-on-my-own run and we set out down the beach.  For such a minimal elevation change, my legs were feeling ok.  I wish I could say the same for lungs and the humidity.  It was a clear day but the humidity was still higher than my lungs would have preferred particularly after being sick in the beginning of the week.    So, I stuck with my theme of the week- slow.  That definelty made catching up with H easier and meant I didn’t worry about the pace tanking when we had to climb over slippery rocks to get to the other side since it wasn’t low tide.

I had planned on getting in the last 2 miles later that afternoon so I could flip flop this week’s and last week’s long runs but my legs were feeling like they had had a very different work out than they were used to so I decided the morning run was enough.

19 miles for the week.     For being sick the majority of the week, I actually didn’t do too bad this week and still manged to listen to my body and not do anything stupid.  😛

How was your week?

2017- The Shiny and The Dull

It’s that time again- time to recap the Shiny and the Dull of 2017.

Let’s get the Dull out of the way first.

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So yeah, remember that post 12 months ago where I said I hated goals, that I considered them 4 letter words so I wasn’t making any? No? Well, here it is if you’re feeling really bored.   I was going to make 2017 the year of Challenge.  Ha!  More like the year of complacency.

Instead of running all the miles in 2017, I didn’t even clear 650.

Did I find my old pace? Yeah, no.

I was turned down for 2 jobs I applied for.

Should we even mention the weight I put on? I’m less irritated about the number and more irritated about how uncomfortable I feel in my skin.

Had migraine issues, thyroid issues, leg issues, back issues, bed issues.  Maybe I’m the issue?

Ok, enough with the dull.

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Shiny!!!!!!

I ran 10 races, 8 13.1’s, one 5 miler and one 5K.   If I had to pick a top 3, they would be –

  1.  Las Vegas!  I went to Vegas!  I ran a half and a 5K in one weekend.  I finally met Kate in real life! We ran her first half together.  I met Helly! I hung with Mai and other BibRave Pros!   There were lights and miles and good times and it was awesome.  Tiring but awesome.  And I am a bad blogger because I don’t have the pictures.img_5362
  2. Rock N Roll San Diego 13.1– My first Rock n Roll race and it was great one.  I loved the course and the whole experience.  I met Mai and Emily and made the We Run Social photo on race morning.  And I met Chelsea! It was also my fastest race in a few years. Until…
  3. City to Sea– Home town love.  Yeah, I consider the entire county my home town.  5th time running this race and I still love it.  Somehow pulled off my fastest race of the year too.  Still don’t know where that came from.img_4806

Honorable mentions- Salinas Valley Half Marathon, SLO Ultra 5 Miler

I had the opportunity to work with BibRave again in 2017 and it is a great group of people.  Plus I tested some pretty awesome products.   I’d have even fewer miles if BibRave hadn’t pointed me in the direction of my Ultra Boost X’s.  My running store doesn’t sell them so I wouldn’t have found them on my own.  I’m on pair 2 now.

I was also given the chance to be an ambassador for Miles and Pace.  If you’ve been around this blog for the last few years, you may have noticed that I am pretty attached to my Miles and Pace trucker hats so I was stoked.  My current hat count is 4.

As for work, I have a Rock star crew, so can’t complain about that.

So 2017 did not go like I hoped but then again I maybe got a little too comfy in the comfy chair and rationalized my way into being a little too Slacker like.   I mentioned on Twitter the other night that I have a tendency to get in my own way.

As for 2018? Time to Sound the Alarm.

 

Never say Never?

So, about that marathon thing.   And how I said never.

This has been simmering for a while.   A long while.   January of 2015 saw my first (and only so far) 25K.  16 miles.   While that is still 10 miles short of a marathon, I was out there for 5+ hours.    That started me thinking.   Yes, I was still 10 miles short but whatever marathon I chose wouldn’t have 3000+ ft in elevation gain or involve actual mountains.    But a trail 25K was still a long way from a road marathon.   The seed was planted.

Then last fall, in the middle of my running funk, I read Ultra Marathon Man by Dan Karnazes.   That book will give you all sorts of crazy ideas.  Plus he eats pizza while on crazy long runs- how awesome is that?!   Now, a marathon was a crazy enough idea for me.  I wasn’t going to running in Antarctica or any 200 mile solo runs.   But even then it was still just a seedling.  It was still a maybe someday, far away.

New Year’s saw me stating emphatically that this was going to be the year of no goals.  After spending 2+ years chasing a sub 2 half and failing, I was burned out.  Some health issues added to that as well but I was feeling fried.   This was going to be the year to just enjoy running.  That is still the plan.   With a twist.

Running is a lot like shopping at Target... You intend to run only $30 5Ks and before you know it, you're registering for $175 marathons!!:

Back in January, in one long text message session with Ashley and Heather, we started talking about The San Francisco Marathon.  Ashley loved the race and Heather and I had always thought about running it.  So we made plans to all take a road trip and run one of the half marathons.  San Francisco has 2- the first half and the second half.  I joked that if I was going to San Francisco, I was running the Golden Gate Bridge.  So we were running the 1st half.  Cool, right?

Then a week or so later, they decided they wanted to run the full.  Well crap.  What do I do?  I had 2 choices- run my first full marathon or deal with public transportation in a very large city all by myself for the first time in my life.  Both were scary propositions.

I chose the marathon.

Never+say+NEVER+with+   anything++running+related...+   "Never+could+I+run+a+5k."   ....+DID+IT!+   "Never+could+I+run+a+10k"   ...+DID+IT!   "Never+could+I+run+a+   Half-Marathon."+   ....DID+IT!+:

Here’s my thinking- it was already in the back of my mind, so why not San Francisco?  I had 2 friends running it and it was a city I’ve been wanting to visit again for a long time.   The potential for hills was a little intimidating but I’ve said repeatedly that I hate flat courses, right?   Plus Golden Gate Bridge! And friends!

But I still wasn’t ready to commit.   Remember back in January when I asked for Excel help?  I was cobbling together a training plan.  I affectionately call it the McHig plan.  I took my customized McMillan plan from last year and worked it into a Hal Higdon Novice plan for marathon training.    I started training for SF the first week of February.  Surprise!

Before I would register though, I needed an escape plan.   My first 16 miler falls in the beginning of April.  I told myself if I completed it and hated myself or running after I would pay the change fee and drop to the half.  If I pulled it off and felt ok, training would continue.  Next step would be to complete a 20-22 miler in late June, early July.  Same rules applied-I could drop at the race expo before the race.   And lastly, if all hell breaks loose, there is a finish line at the halfway point.  I could call it there and Uber myself to the finish to meet Ashley and Heather.

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I had a training plan, friends to run it with and an escape plan -all I had to do was register.   Except when I tried to register in February, the website refused to cooperate.  It wouldn’t let me use my discount code- Ashley’s an ambassador!- and it kept throwing up an error message.   I missed a price deadline because of this.  Finally after a few weeks of Twitter conversations and emails back and forth with the staff of the SF Marathon, I was able to complete my registration.  Holy crap, I registered for my first marathon!!

I wasn’t going to tell anyone until post SLO half but I wasn’t very successful.    After some Twitter convos and IG posts, I decided to come clean.   I had my first panic attack after that blog post– ha!!  Shit just got real.  People know now- I have to follow through!  Also, now my crazy shoe buying lately seems a little more understandable.

Did I bite off more than I can chew?  My plan is deliberately long, I know I will miss a few runs along the way.

Ever run San Francisco?

Words of advice?!!? Please!

Slow and Easy

While Saturday’s easy run had gone fairly well I was still nervous about my long run.  How were my legs going to handle it?   I knew the planned progression wasn’t going to happen but I was hoping to run long-ish and easy.

An old friend was coming to town for the weekend and we had been messaging about running together.  We have tried this before but never made it work.    We always seem to miss each other.  She ran SLO the year before I did, I ran City to the Sea the year before she did.   We did run into each other at my first Super Fun Run but she was running the 10k and I was running the 5K.   She’s running Wine Country next weekend and was aiming for 8-11 miles.   I said I would be slow but hang on if that was ok with her.  coldrunSeriously, there’s a reason I don’t run in the mornings.  It’s freakin’ cold!!   Yes, I realize that high 30’s, low 40’s is a heat wave to everyone outside of California.  Again let me state that I am a big baby in the cold!  For a variety of reasons we both had rough nights and there were more messages going back and forth on Sunday morning.   🙂  But we stuck it out and met up to run.   I planned the route and figured that my habit of running in circles up hills probably wouldn’t be the best idea.  So I mapped out a very lopsided figure 8 that led us across town and back for a little over 8 miles.  If we were feeling good I had ways to add on miles.    IMG_9458I was stiff and had to take numerous walking breaks.  My stomach has also been an asshat since Saturday night so that slowed me down as well.  I felt so bad for slowing her down.    Other than those 2 things I felt pretty good though which was cool considering how much I had not wanted to get out of bed.   If I am thinking optimistically then it’s not all my fault that we were slower than hoped for.  I live in a small town, proven by the fact that an 8 mile route can take me across town and back.  However, within that route we had 8 traffic light stops.  8.    That said, I wouldn’t mind running that route again.

We finished our run and chatted for a bit before heading our separate ways.   It was nice running with someone.  I so very rarely do that.  It does a little more energy to talk and run at the sametime- it should count as crosstraining- ha!   Maybe we can try that the next time she is in town.   Also, I would not have run in the morning had I not been meeting her.  I am so not a morning person.  I don’t think I ever will be.  Races are my extent of early mornings.

Running before made this seem a little less indulgent.
Running before made this seem a little less indulgent.

I am still on the fence about Wine Country.  I actually felt ok after Sunday’s run.   I stretched really well and rolled a little.    It’s probably just me using it wrong but my roller has not been helping.    I have a feeling I am going to put off the decision-making as long as possible.  On a random note- my Garmin shows 2 different average paces for the same run?!

What is your favorite time to run?

How many traffic lights do you usually have to deal with?

Can you run and hold a conversation at the same time?