I am so excited. I love this race, really do. It was my first Rock n Roll race ever back in 2017 and I couldn’t have picked a better way to introduce myself to Rock n Roll.
The course is great, has the right amount of hills and flat. The city neighborhoods really come out for the runners. I mean, there’s a full bar at mile 4! I love the crowds and know that once I hit the Big Guitar guy in the park at mile 10, there’s a lot of downhill to the finish. And on clear days- planes!! You can see airplanes flying overhead as they a head for San Diego Airport. I still need a picture of that.
I had fun at the expo, enjoyed a few sights in San Diego and met up with some other BibRave Pro’s. I ran a pretty good race too. I went back in 2018 for another round. Same awesome course, same amazing crowd support AND I talked Kate into coming out from Texas. Downside was the crazy humidity we dealt with on race day.
I am looking forward to round 3 on June 2. Maybe with a little less humidity. I was planning on set a big goal for this race but certain things are changing for me in a big way and I am not sure how it will effect my running but more on that later.
So right now, I am just planning on enjoying the party.
Want to party with me? Use code 19RNRBRP16 to save $16 on the half or full. Or code 19RNRBRP6 for $6 off the 5K.
Race morning dawned all to soon even with the late start. I had not slept well the night before- too much coughing and a noisy neighbor. As I was getting ready I heard something from outside the window. Hi marathon runners!!!
Due to some shuttle confusion, I wanted to be at the supposed spot a little before 8. That way I had plenty of time for plan b if the hotel was right and there were no shuttles this year. I had to go back up to my room twice- forgot my headphones then my sunglasses when I picked up the headphones. I rounded the side of the hotel and hallelujah, there was a shuttle sign. After a very breezy wait, we all loaded on to the shuttles and were on our way.
I arrived way sooner than I usually like but at least I was there. I ran into BibRave Pro Nicole and we chatted for a bit. Yet we forgot to get a picture. I ate half a granola bar and drank water which is weird as I usually race fasted but with a start time of 9:30 I was a little confused. I hit the port a potties then made my way to the start. I lined up around the 2:20 group even though I knew that was highly unlikely. And we were off.
Miles 1,2 – 10:30, 11:17 Ok, just a little speedy out of the gate. I knew I wasn’t up to 10’s- I was in denial but I wasn’t that stupid. The course wound down past Lake Merritt and I enjoyed the view to my right. Then we headed in downtown and as much I was enjoying the tall buildings and street art, I realized I had a growing issue.
Miles 3-6- 10:59, 11:30, 10:42, 11:13 My damn feet went numb around 2.5 miles in and no walk breaks or stomping were bringing them back. So much for it being the shoes. I took walk breaks every 1:30 because I was having trouble gaging the stress on my legs. As you can see my pace never really slowed so even with all the walk breaks, I was running too fast but couldn’t feel it. I was still enjoying the city sights and not feeling any pain so I just kept moving.
Miles 7-8 12:02, 12:44 Feeling came back to my feet but I was beginning to feel super tired and my coughing was increasing. Now my walk breaks were even slower. I don’t think I ever had wheels in this race but they were all flying off at this point.
Miles 9-13- 12:24, 13:26, 14:02, 13:21, 13:46 My body pretty much told me it was done. I had ignored the cough and sore throat for days and now I was paying the price. I was done. I walked it in from there and only attempted to run when I saw a photographer. Yeah, that didn’t work. The bummer with the walking was that these back miles were not the most scenic and wound through some ummm, really interesting areas. Yeah, let’s go with interesting. Miles 12 to 13 brought us back to lake and I was so glad to see the finish line.
I crossed the line and was handed plenty of snacks and water before the medal. Huh? Then as I was getting more and more tired by the minute, I just tried to find the shuttle pick up so I could make it back to hotel. And for the love of Pete- why do people not fill a bus back to front? It would make so much more sense! I made it back to the hotel in time to be violently ill, shower and head home. And mad props to the Oakland Marriott- I checked in an hour early and out 3 hours late- all complimentary due to the race.
I can’t be disappointed by my time as I was the one who buried my head in the sand for 4 days. And considering I walked 6ish miles, it was still faster than Surf City, ha! Also considering how sick I am 4 days later, yeah, it could have been much worse.
Ok, not yet, the race isn’t until March but time does fly these days. Even though I races planned in the months to come, I was only officially registered for one in August after Wildflower was canceled. I was feeling a little adrift. I really want to get back to loving all the races and running all the races this year.
Enter Oakland Running Festival. This race first came to my attention earlier in the year via a race email but my March is potentially super busy so I held off. Then when the opportunity opened with BibRave last week, I jumped on it.
What first drew my eye for the Oakland Running Festival was the course- you get to run across the Bay Bridge! I may be slightly afraid of bridges but suddenly I wanted to run across that. However, the Bay Bridge is only part of the marathon course. I may be doing a lot in March but a marathon will not be one of those things. Boo.
That’s ok, the half marathon still looks awesome! It starts and ends at Lake Merritt and then takes you around town. The finish line festival sounds like it’s going to be hopping to. Seriously, the pictures they are posting on Instagram are making me hungry.
The one thing that makes me a little nervous is the start time- 9:30 AM. That’s late! I mean I love that I can sleep in a little but I usually consider 8AM a late start (although you’ll likely hear me complaining about the 6:30 start I have in April). The late start has a purpose though.
Enter the Run This Town Challenge. Run the 5K at 7:30 and the half marathon at 9:30 and earn a special bib and an extra medal. Am I crazy enough to do that? Hmmmm.
The race also offers a team relay for the marathon. Well, I should say offered- it’s already sold out.
Anyone want to join me? Use code OAKLANDRAVE19 to save $10.00. How are you with bridges?
After a rough day of travel Saturday, I actually slept ok for pre-race hotel sleep. I woke up once around 2AM and was stoked I had another 3 hours to sleep. Sweet! Once up, I quickly got ready with all my gear and checked out of the hotel. The weather wasn’t dumping rain like the day before and the app said it would stay clear but I didn’t trust it. I was wearing arm warmers and my rain jacket over those.
My mom was able to get me as close as she could and I jumped out of the car on a street corner. I chatted with another runner as we made our way to the starting area. We ended up going our separate ways and I messaged the other BibRave Pro’s to see if we could make a meet up work before the race. We did!
Then it was time to line up. Surf City does self seeded corrals which works about as well as you think. I knew I was going to be moving slower so I placed myself in wave 4 which was 2:25- 2:34. I was almost right, haha not really, I ended up running my second slowest half to date.
Miles 1-5 10:52, 11:13, 11:26, 12:28, 11:27 I was moving slow but wasn’t feeling the need for walk breaks which was great because I know how out of shape I am. However things got weird around mile 2. I was cautious on how my foot would feel but I was expecting pain- instead my foot went numb. I could barely feel my left foot for the next 2 miles and around 3.5 my right foot joined it. I started walking just to see if that would change things. Thankfully it did. Just as it started to rain. Ok, mostly mist but it was still wet.
But then I realized I had another problem. Mile 6- 16:00 I suddenly need the restroom, not like my stomach was upset but I really needed the restroom. There was a series of port-a-potties around mile 5.5 and even though they had a line, I jumped in the line. Well, there goes my mile time.
Miles 7-10 11:46, 12:29, 12:28, 12:35 I was feeling ok but knew I was slowing. I wasn’t really paying attention to my watch. I was just focusing on the fact that I was still running and not taking walk breaks. Woo hoo! Well until mile 9. I knew once I took the first real walk break, there would be more to come. We had hit the turn around point and were running into a breeze now. I was still cold and it was misting every now and again but the breeze felt good to me.
Miles 11-13 13:38, 12:22, 12:37 I’ve run 2 marathons and never experienced “the wall”. Welp, I think I found it. Other than cold and wet toes, my body felt ok but I was done. I walked a fair amount of mile 11. From there I was just run/ walking my way in. This is normally the part of the course with the best views and most spectators but I was just keeping my head down and trying to get to the finish line.
Finish- 2:43:06 My second slowest half ever!
Granted, the 5 minute bathroom stop didn’t help matters along. I have no shame in that finishing time, I knew I was going to be slower, my training was almost non-existent and when I did get my act together, I hurt my foot and ended up taking 11 days off in a row. I’ll have no problem adding those results to my Athlinks profile for all to see. It gives me a starting point and now I know what I need to do going forward.
I still love Surf City and all it has to offer, maybe one day I’ll run it again and run it well.
While I love running some of the same races over and over again, I like branching out too. I almost ran Oaktown half last year but didn’t for some reason. Right now I can’t remember what that reason was but I do tend to be forgetful like that, so…
Oaktown Half works in partnership with the people that organize the Oakland Turkey Trot. I was super impressed with that and I just participated in the virtual option, I am super stoked to experience all they have to offer in person on race weekend.
The race offers a children’s race, 5k and half marathon. They offer a challenge for the speedy as well- run the half at 7:00 AM and the 5K at 9:45 and earn a challenge medal. While I think that is awesome, I am not sure I can pull that off on race day. Last year the 5K was on Saturday evening and that seemed much more doable. This is still pretty cool though, gives me incentive to work on my speed between now and August 11. 🙂
There is also a challenge medal offered if you complete the Livermore Half in March as well. #allthebling!
The race even offers an expo-in-a-box option. If come July, I realize that race weekend travel may not be my thing, I can opt in for my bib, shirt and expo goodies to be mailed to me. That way I can just drive up on race day if needs be. Now that would be a 3 hour drive for a 7AM start so that doesn’t sound great but I love knowing that I have that option.
Want to join me in Oakland on August 11? Use code BROAKVIP for 10% off!