Race Day, Recap, Run!, Slacker

Ventura Marathon-Half- Recap

I had a feeling this post may border on wordy which is why most of the pictures were uploaded in the last post.   Now for what those photos didn’t show.

The Weekend-

I was able to get off work a couple hours early on Friday, so I headed straight home to finish packing and preparing.  I felt like I was both taking too much and not enough at the same time.   My mother and I headed out early Saturday morning, we planned on spending some time at the Ventura Mall before heading to packet pick up and the hotel.   I haven’t been in a mall in years and well it was kind of a let down.   The only upside was a Hot Topic for my inner nerd and I may have spent a little too much at Macy’s (damn Dooney!).  From there it was on to the hotel.

When I booked the hotel I looked for one that advertised as being near to the pier.  It didn’t occur to me to compare the addresses until 2 weeks ago.  Oops.  But I lucked out, the hotel was 1.2 miles from the pier on the same street and right next door to an In n Out, and I was able to get chocolate milk from the 7-11 across the street.  Sweet!   Dinner was at BJ’s Restaurant, where I indulged in a pretty good burger and fries.   That was followed by a 3.5 mile walk down to and around the pier to get my legs moving before trying to get some sleep.

Once checking out of the hotel on Sunday, we headed back to Santa Barbara for a little more shopping.   I was looking forward to a real Lululemon and just some window shopping.  The weather in Santa Barbara was amazing.   After that it was north to SLO for dinner and then finally home.  We were tired.

The Expo-IMG_6249

Not much to say here.  Packet pickup was a breeze, both easy and super windy.  Instead of a bunch of useless samples in the bag, they had a table or 2 of samples.   I only took a sample of KT tape.   The website looked like there would be a lot of vendors but most seemed more like local crafts and things.  Kind of like a farmer’s market minus the food.   I stopped by the ProCompression booth but there was no one working it?  There was live music playing and a little listening area as well.  A very nice (cute) police officer took a picture for us, but my mother deleted it- so there’s a selfie instead.  🙂

The Race-

Race morning dawned and I had no need of an alarm.   I hadn’t slept well the night before and had been awake off and on from about 3 on.   I wasn’t feeling so great but that wasn’t too surprising to me.    I had packed some candy corns for race fuel but they sounded nasty so I did not even take them.  I got ready and headed out the door, I had planned on walking to starting line.    While I was walking there the marathon runners were running up the other side.   They looked so ready to go,  to the point that 3 were bouncing basketballs while running.   Seriously?  It’s all I can do to run a half marathon and you are going to bounce a basketball (or 2!) while running 26.2!!!IMG_6222

Anywho, I made my way up to the starting line in time to jump into the first wave.  A few announcements and count down and we were off!    I had issues getting both my Garmin and my Nike+ app started but managed to get them going not too far from the starting line.    I was aiming for a 10:00 average so when mile 1 came in at 9:50, I was ok with that.  Mile 2 seemed a little tougher and fell to 10:17.   I was using intervals of 8:30 run and 1:00 walk as I knew going in I wasn’t 100%.  Even with this I was tiring quickly.  The weather felt way warmer than I would have liked.   The course went through a nice housing area before going back to the main street.  It turned off towards the harbor for a quick out and back to add mileage before heading back down the main street into Oxnard and out into some fields before turning around and going back the way we came.  Mile 5- I took 2 walk breaks, I was having trouble getting my breathing under control.   I had already used my inhaler 3 times.  Which was odd because I hadn’t used it on any run since my last half marathon in July.   I kept trucking along until my next walk break at mile 6.5.  Which is where I had to get real.

I only ran once in taper week leading up to the race.  It was 3.5 miles and it was the hardest run I have ever done.   I mentioned briefly that I had finally started my antibiotics.  Between those and my lovely stomach I was thisclose to deferring Ventura.  I was feeling so crappy.   I told myself I was being a big baby and would be fine.  In reality I had no business running a half marathon at this time.   Mile 6.5 was the beginning of this epiphany (and others but more about that later).

I walked it in from there.  I called my mom at mile 7.5 and told her she had more time to relax at the hotel because I wasn’t going to be near 2:10:00.    I just kept walking.  I was so hot, my hamstrings were cramping, and my left shin felt super angry.    I took 2 cups of water at every aid station.  One to drink and one to dump over my head.  I alternated my Gatorade and their water to stay hydrated.   I had Honey Stingers in my belt but the very idea of those made me ill.   I grabbed a Cliff Shot around mile 9 and carried it for a while.  I eventually ripped it open around mile 11.  I had somehow managed to grab one with caffeine and I was hoping it would help the lungs.   I know it didn’t have enough caffeine to do anything but one can hope right.    I jogged a tiny bit each mile both to keep the pace below 14:00 and to loosen up my stiff legs.   The volunteers and the crowd support was pretty awesome.  Around mile 11.5, there was a little boy dressed as the Flash giving high fives. He was cool. 🙂IMG_6228[1]

The last 2.5 miles or so I was keeping pace with a women who was race walking and a guy who would run ahead and then walk.  I always caught him on the walking portions.  I couldn’t tell if he was doing intervals or if he was as spent as I was.  I never saw the 13 mile marker but did see the 26 one.  I figured I could run the last .2.   Ha!  That was the longest .2 of my life.  I thought the finish line was never going to arrive.   I did leave race walker and interval guy behind.   Finally there was the finish line and I was done.  Half marathon #9 complete, not my best, not my slowest but probably the most walking.   I won’t lie, I did get a little teary eyed at the finish.  Thank goodness for sunglasses.Ventura Marathon Results

Since I had finished later than planned, I barely had time to limp back to the hotel to shower and check out.  I hurt badly.  I don’t think I have been that sore after a race since my very first half marathon.  I gimped the 1.2 miles back to the hotel, stopping to stretch along the way.   The chocolate milk in the mini fridge was the best thing ever.   After checking out, we hit In n Out for food.  I was suddenly hungry.   Finding out that they still sold extra large drinks was the second best thing ever- that Diet Coke tasted amazing.   I did feel bad for my mom though, she had to be seen in public with me- jean shorts, teal tank and bright purple compression socks.  I was styling, ha!

So no, this race did not go according to plan but it was still a good weekend.  Shopping was fun, the food was yummy.  I also learned that I have serious problems tolerating humidity (74% WTH?!).  I got a few compliments during the race about my use of neon and I got a shout out from a fellow SLO ambassador when she ran by me.   So while I am rethinking some things, I still call this weekend a win.  🙂

How do some of you deal with humidity on a regular basis?  Seriously, anything over 25% is rough for me.  Maybe I am spoiled?

What’s your post race reward?


Run!, Slacker

Well, that was a hot one

Happy Daylight Savings Time!!!  You know, I hated this day before I was a runner.  Not I count down the days until it comes.  🙂

Not only was Friday a rest day but it was just one of those days.   It started with a 4:30 AM text and went on from there.  It left me feeling harried all day and that can sometimes make me crave crappy food.  And I indulged.  A few too many of these ↓ followed by pizza for dinner.


I had planned my long run for Saturday morning, I had been thinking 9-11ish.  I was giving myself 2 hours to run 10 miles; I knew I wouldn’t use the full 2 hours but I wanted to make sure that I took it easy.  Well, 9 turned into 9:40.  I have been trying to train myself to sleep differently and it’s not going so well.  🙂   I finally headed out the door after making the last minute decision to lose the long sleeves.

The first 3 miles were solid even if my body was telling me that it did not appreciate the pizza for dinner the night before.  It was warmer than I had expected so I was glad I was running in a tank and shorts.   I planned my route the night before but as I passed the cemetery the first time I saw that they were setting up for a service.  I try not to run by when they are having a service, sometimes I can’t avoid it, so then I slow down to a crawl and try to be super quiet.  Today though, I could see it so I knew I had to change my route.    I had planned on doing a hill loop twice so instead I added a third.    By the third pass I was getting tired, it was getting hotter and I was only at 6.5 miles.   One of my former co-workers lives on that street and the first 2 times I ran down, her husband was outside.  I thought about saying hi but figured he would have no idea who I was.  Third time back down, she was outside too.  Yay for a break!!!  I stopped and we chatted a bit.  It was a good little rest.thelongrun

After saying our goodbyes, I headed off to finish my run.  Of course, stupid pride makes you run faster when you think someone you know is watching, haha!!!     I was also still trying to figure out the route in my head so I threw in another half of the same hill loop; 3/4 of the way up, there is another option for coming back down.    I then headed back towards home.  It was hot and it was getting rough.  By mile 9 I was done.   I ran out of Gatorade at that point as well.  I have never run out water or Gatorade before.   I dragged myself through mile 10 and shut off my Garmin.  I was still half a mile from my house and was trying to remember if the grocery store 2 blocks away had a water fountain.

3-8-14The weather had started in the low 60’s but by the end of my run it was almost 80.    I have run in much hotter temps  before but for some reason, I was not prepared for yesterday.  It kicked my butt.  It also burned through my sunblock, my back is a lovely shade of red.  I made it home and went straight for the water.  Then a little chocolate milk and 2 bottles of Nuun.

recoveryI then managed to clean my car, finally.  My mother had a tennis match yesterday and she wanted to show her team the puppy.  So I picked up the puppy and took her for a ride.  She was a little confused at first, but overall very well behaved.   She wasn’t prepared for stop signs though, and tumbled off the seat at the first one- oops!!!

Puppy Ride!
Puppy Ride!

I rounded out the day by doing the usual errands and topped it all off by watching Catching Fire, again.    Today was mostly chill, I took the puppy for another puppy jog- 3 miles in 56 minutes.  She was a little slower today but much better behaved.  She only barked at one car.  🙂

I am excited for the daylight time to run this week after work.  It’s also inspection time at work, so I may have the need to run off some stress.  🙂   And my first half of the year is just two weeks from today!

How were your weekends?

Ever had a run turn out to be way warmer than planned?

chill out, Race Day, Run!

Operation Run- Race Recap

First off, thanks to everyone and the well wishes.  It was a great way to go into a race!

Today I took part in the first annual Operation Run, an 8 mile run put on by Amazing Surf Adventures and their Operation Surf.  I thought I had seen this run advertised last year, but I guess I made that up in my head, oops!  First time races normally make me a little leery but there were no fears here.   Check in was quick as no bibs were handed out.  Turns out the county has restrictions on “races” that may not apply to “fun runs”.  Who knew?   The start finish line was in a Gymnastics center parking lot.   There was also a huge American Flag on display-


The announcer was amusing with the right touch of snark. Love it!  He was with Operation Surf and he handed the mike over to another man, wearing a Boston jacket from 2012! ( nerd moment).  He described the course, basically an 8 mile rectangle, watch out for traffic as no roads were closed.  He also mentioned that end of the race would involve zig-zagging though the parking lot?  Why,  because he knew that if us runners showed up for an 8 mile race, we would be very upset if it came in under 8.  So true! There were 2 aid stations along the course and Grizzlies monitoring every intersection.  Shirts and medals were handed out after crossing the finish line.  Official race times are supposed be online soon.  All in all, it was a very smoothly run race, especially considering it was the first year!   And the race shirt was great, even if it ran a little small-

and the shirt...
and the shirt…

It was 34 degrees when I left my house this morning so I dressed in capris and a long sleeve shirt.  I also had my gloves and an ear warmer.   I had a bottle with Gatorade and a few candy corns for fuel.  This would be my first 8 mile race, so I was trying to be prepared.  It never hurts to be a little extra prepared.   I got Mr. Nike going and then paused it for the National Anthem and the short walk to the start line.   And then we were off!  The guy in front of me and I almost plowed right into a photographer who thought it would be a good idea to take pictures from inside the crowd. No!!!

Miles 1-2.5 were a long slow incline.  I was hot about .5 miles in, oops.    Coming up on mile 1, I was sucker punched by Mr. Nike.  His voice comes and says “mile 1” ok good so far, then “20:32 minutes”.  Umm what?!  Guess when I thought I had paused it, I didn’t.   WTF.  Well that is not the way that you want to start off a race.   I had no idea what my first mile was and my average pace was just a guess from then on, based on the overall time.  Plus the distance was slightly off due to that little walk to the start line.  Ugh, every time Nike would give a status update, I just became irritated.  But I ran on.

Mile 1-3 seemed pretty good, warm but good.  I was tired but thought I had a decent pace.  Had to lose the over shirt by mile 3 and didn’t want to walk so I managed to get it off while running, very awkward.   🙂 After mile 2 we were off the main road and running the back roads in between wineries.  It was very pretty today, I should be used to it, seeing as I live in wine country, but today seemed prettier.  The first aid station was run by ROTC members, nice!

I rounded the corner for mile 3 and I was tired.  I felt like my crappy week had caught up to me.  Mile 4.5 was uphill and I caved.  I had to take a walk break.  I was frustrated because I had run 10 miles of my half before needing a break.  I walked to the top and told myself I was running the rest, and I was going to do it faster.  I think the slight downhill had affected my judgment.  But I kept running.

At mile 6, I was bummed that this wasn’t a 10K.   I had 2 miles to go.  I was tired and cranky but just kept pushing.    Ran passed the Grizzlies with their great signs and kept going.  Mile 7-8 was the longest mile ever, I hit the parking lot and really wanted to say screw it to the zig zag, I’m ok with 7.7.  But somehow, I had enough in me for an actually speedy finish.  I managed to pass up one of the people I had been pacing for that last 5 miles.  Woo hoo!!!  Even though Nike was all jacked up, I feel fairly confident in saying that I ran a negative split!!! How unlike me.

yay, I'm done!
yay, I’m done!

After filling out the finishing card, I finished 52 out of ?,  and picking up my shirt and medal, I tracked down the woman I had passed.  I didn’t want to wait for the times to go up, I wanted some idea of my time and I figured she finished nearest to me.  She came in at 1:17:11.  Seriously? Hell yeah!  Now I just want to see the posted times to confirm it.  Also the medal and race bag were awesome.

Great Medal!
Great Medal!

It was a tiring race, not course wise, mostly just me, but I felt like I pushed through it.  Plus it was a well-organized race for a good cause, our veterans. There were some amputee runners out there today and I was inspired by their perseverance and bravery.

Where's the food?
Where’s the food?

I completed the day with a good lunch and a little shopping.  I then headed home for a last bit of Slacker-ness before work tomorrow.  Shout out to mom and her race photography skills- Thanks!

The race photographer and I- I suck at selfies :)
The race photographer and I-
I suck at selfies 🙂

Anyone else enjoy a three day weekend?


How are we halfway through November already?

Eat!, Race Day, Reward, Slacker

HOB Fun Run-Race Recap

Race day!!!!  However, I was so comfy this morning; I had a very hard time getting out of bed.   I pushed it as far as possible before getting up and ready to go.  I ended up choosing to go with my new capris and a green running tank.    I have a problem eating food before a race but I got one Belvita cracker down, grabbed my Gatorade and candy corns and was out the door.

As I wandered down to the starting line, it was so cold.  My arms and toes were so cold but I had nowhere to stow a jacket, so I made sure to stand on the sunny side of street.   Waiting to line for the starting gun, I always have a sudden moment of panic.  A dizzying array of thoughts that all lead back to “oh my god, why am I doing this, I’m gonna fall on my face”.  There was a little delay with the starting gun, had to wait for the police escort to get back!   Another thing I like about this race- a motorcycle cop leads the way for both the 10K and the 5K.  He arrived and we were off!

I normally start out too fast and slow from there.  This time I wanted to maintain pace as best as I could.  I had a goal in mind but wasn’t sure if I could pull it off, but I was going to try.  So I focused on my breathing, picked someone in front of me to pace-stalk and kept going.

Mile 2 I was feeling good, hit the turn-around at 2.2 miles and headed back to complete the first loop.  Here I discovered a new running fear.  I have always been afraid of being the last to finish a race and yes I know that last is better than never started.   However at 2.5 miles, the leaders with the lovely pace officer were heading towards their mile 5.  Umm, what?  Was I going to get lapped before I had even completed the first lap?  Yikes!

Sprinting to the finish!!! 10K
Sprinting to the finish!!! 10K

It didn’t happen, whew.  I rounded the corner to finish lap 1 and the Grizzly Academy in uniform was standing in a line over half the block, cheering runners on.  Good pick me up!    Now, here’s a question, does a 5k PR count if it’s during a 10k?  When I ran passed the clock, it said 27:44… hell yeah!  But now I had to maintain it, and I really wanted to take a walking break.  No!  This was partially practice for my upcoming half, so I pushed on.  By mile 4.5, the person I was pace-stalking graduated from a 1 block lead to a 2 block lead.   I was actually maintaining pace, so they must have been one of those people talented enough to pull negative splits.  Finally mile 6 and the finish line was just around the corner.  Just keep running, just keep running, just keep running and done!  55:57.   Only by 3 seconds but still 55 minutes!!!!  Part of me wanted to do a little jig but I was tired!  And I had another race in 15 minutes.



Met up with my mom (photographer) and C and her husband at the finish line.  I was running the 5K with them.  Took some photos and had a quick shirt/ bib/ chip change.  I also refueled with some Gatorade and a few candy corns.  Yummy, carbs and sugar. Ok, time to line up again.  I told C and her husband that I would probably tire quickly and drop back.   The gun rang out and we were off!


Wardrobe change!
Wardrobe change!

I was able to stay strong with them for the first 1.5 miles.  Plus it was kind of nice having someone to talk to while running.   The halfway point was a little rough, but I hung in there and we kept running.  Around 2.2 again, I really wanted to walk but forced myself to pick it up a bit.  Yeah that lasted for like a block.   Just before the 3 mile mark, C’s husband starts telling us to pick it up; we could do it, just run!  Seriously dude?  But we did, rounded that last corner and finished at 30:22.  C and I managed to finish at the exact same time, he finished a few seconds ahead.    I’ll take it!!!  Way better than I was aiming for.  I told him thanks because without his prodding, I so would have walked at least part of that.


We didn't plan to match,we're just good like that, hehe
We didn’t plan to match,we’re just good like that, hehe

Then I realized, I had just run a 10K and a 5k without any walking!   Where did that come from!  We took some more pictures and waited for everyone we knew to cross the finish line.  I also ran over to the race truck to check the official finishing times, have to see it to believe it you know.


Then C and I lined back up.  We were running the half mile with a co-workers son.  Yep, another race.  I think I lost my mind.  He was so cute and so excited, though, I was hoping he would go slow.   Starting gun sounds and he was off like a bullet.  Woah, C and I had to bolt to catch him.  He held strong till about the 3rd block, and then he needed a walk.  Oh, thank you.  So we walked half a block and then ran the other half.  Rounded the corner and he slowed.  It was piggy back time!  C carried him for a block, then he ran/ walked another 2.  2 blocks from the end, we rounded a corner at the park and there was a park bench.  Perfect time to take a seat!  We got him moving with another piggyback ride before he ran the final block and collected his super cool dog tag.  All in all a success!  And fun, too.

I was so done then, but M showed with Baby G.  I stuck around a little longer.


Cutest running partner ever!
Cutest running partner ever!

Eventually it occurred to me that I really needed food and a chair, so I headed out.  I met my mom for lunch and re- fueled with some amazing pizza!  Later in the afternoon, I indulged in some racing of another kind.  We went to the movies and saw Rush.   It was seriously good.  Very loud and very intense, but very good.  Don’t hold the popcorn in your lap; you may tip it when you cringe!  Not my usual cup of tea but I wouldn’t mind seeing it again.


Amazing goodness
Amazing goodness

Tomorrow should be an easy 3, but we will see how it goes.

Hope everyone had an amazing weekend!  Any one run a race or see any good movies?



chill out, Eat!, gear, Run!, Slacker

My Happy Place

It rained!!!!!  Only for a bit and it was more of a mist but it rained!   It happened while I was working Saturday, I tried to take a picture but it just looks gray.   We’re in the middle of a drought so any rain is exciting.  Granted I wasn’t in my home town and it turns out it didn’t get any rain.  Driving home in the rain and fog was less exciting.  I was behind a car going 40 in a 60, but that was actually ok as I could hardly see the car itself due to the fog.


It really is raining!
It really is raining!

I arrived home to find new toys in the mail!  My new belt had arrived.  I had searched numerous web sites and asked  fellow bloggers opinions as I was super frustrated by my current hydration belt.   After checking things out, RunningFromitAll (awesome blog) recommended iFitness.  Duh! They made my basic running belt that I really liked aside from it being too small for longer races.  I had forgotten about them.  So I checked out their website, turns out they changed their name to Fitletic.  After mulling things over, I ordered myself a new belt.


New gear!
New gear!

Now this is not a hydration belt.  I can order the add on’s for that but I think I am going to try it without.  There are 5 water stations in my next half marathon, so I figure between those and a little handheld with Gatorade, I will be ok.  At least that is the plan.  We’ll see how it works out after the race.  It has 2 pockets and some straps for gels, as well as race bib holders.   I probably won’t use the bib holders, I tend to wear my belt really low on my hips.   My phone does fit much better in this belt as well.


I was torn between the track and the gym for my run, but I really wanted to test out my new belt.  The track won.  Which is more than fine by me, the track is my “happy place”.  I was aiming for between 4-5 miles and was thinking about trying some 800’s.  I felt pretty good after my first mile, so I decided to just try and maintain pace as long as I could.  I had a larger bottle of water to carry but it was driving me bonkers so I left it on a table by the track.

I hit mile 4 and still felt good, so I kept going.  My mother had come with me for this workout and I noticed then that she was doing her sprints.  She does those when she nears the end of her workout.  I rounded the south curve and hit mile 5, and she was sitting on the table waiting.  It was too good of run to quit so I pushed through to a full 10K.   Mile 6 was my best mile out of the 6, 9:38 🙂  My overall pace was better than my previous run on the treadmill.  But I also love the track now, like I said, it’s a happy place.  I hated it in high school, but then I hated running too.  I have always been a slacker.  I was actually asked a couple times if I wanted to run track back then and I was like “why the heck would I do that?”.  I ran the required amount for tennis and softball and that was it.  Not a foot more.  Now I wish I had maybe given it a shot then, maybe it wouldn’t be so hard now.


Today was a designated Slacker day.  I spent the day shopping.  Prior to getting healthier and losing weight, I use to say that window shopping was exercise, all that walking up and down the street right?  My Nike Fuelband quickly put that theory to rest.  Shopping days are actually some of my laziest days.  I earn more fuel points at work, and I sit at a desk a lot.   Today, I discovered that trying on clothes is a work out, haha!  I went to Dick’s to look for a new pair of running capris.  I tried on 9 pairs, that was just ridiculous.   I ended up going with the Nike Filament Capri, which was funny because they were the pair I liked the least on the rack and based on fabric.  Once on, though, they felt awesome.  Now to see if they run awesome.

All black but cute!
All black but cute!













I also picked up some new work clothes for a steal 🙂  and ate some yummy food.  I picked up a few things to finish the mini room makeover, but still haven’t been able to get the headboard to work.  All in all, a very good Slacker Sunday.


So yummy, I snacked a bit first :)
So yummy, I snacked a bit first 🙂
Almost there!!
Almost there!!

I hope everyone had an awesome weekend and kicked ass in any races 🙂