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Oaktown Half Recap

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Oaktown Half 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.

Oh, Oakland, for being a flat city (that I’ve seen) you sure give me my ups and downs.

After a rough night’s sleep or lack there of, I was up early and out the door to make my way to race start. The perk of my hotel was that the start was only 2 blocks up. I thought there would be more runners there or out and about but there weren’t. It was kind of odd.

Start and finish

Picking up my bib and shirt were fairly easy. I got the feeling I wasn’t the only person whose expo in a box hadn’t arrived. I folded my shirt as small as I could then shoved it in my pack instead of gear checking. I then stood in the longest bathroom line ever only to discover the port-a-potties had no TP. What?!?

I met up with a couple other BibRavePros before heading to the start line.

Miles 1-3 10:09, 10:24, 10:50
I had loosely planned on taking it easy and just trying to run consistently, pace be damned. I felt pretty consistent the first few miles as we headed towards the Jack London part of town before turning back. This is also where I took most of the mural photos.

Miles 4-6 11:16, 11:00, 11:28
I was feeling ok and only walking through aid stations but it was getting warm. It felt very muggy. We were looping around Lake Merritt and as much as I was looking forward to running around Lake Merritt I knew I was about to hate it.

Miles 7-9 11:22, 11:36, 11:53
Oh my god, get me away from this lake. The lake was the mother of all out and backs- run almost all the way around it on the street then move to lake path and run all the way back the other direction. As pretty as the lake was, I felt like I was losing my mind. I did wave at another Pro when we passed each other on parts of the out and back. These were also the miles that I realized I was going to be beat by a 7 year old. Not that we were really racing but I was torn between being impressed and slightly chagrined.

She was running with her dad- I’m guessing

Miles 10-11 12:00, 11:19
Finally off the lake, I never thought I would be so happy in my life. We were headed back towards downtown and I was lagging. My legs felt good, I just felt really hot. I also died a little inside when I saw the finish line but we turned right.

Miles 12-13 12:12, 11:47
Ok, no I really died inside when I realized there was another out and back…no make that 2 out and backs. I think this realization also slowed me down. I was so over the out and backs. I tried to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Fittingly enough, Skillet’s “Finish Line” came on with around 1/3 of a mile left to go. And I picked up the pace.

Finish 2:29:03

Fastest half in a year-not sure how I feel about that. Actually my body felt pretty good during the race despite the very flat terrain. I don’t know if I was mentally there. Also I felt really hot- I never checked the humidity but it probably wasn’t my friend. Especially now that I don’t work and run in a beach town. Ha!

While this route was more scenic than my last race in Oakland, the repeated out and backs messed with my head. Boo.

Do you like out and back courses?

BibRave, Race Day

Hey Hey Oakland

Just like that, race week arrived.

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Oaktown Half 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.

Part of me wants to say it snuck up on me and the other part feels like I’ve been preparing forever.

This week has been all over the place. My plans changed pre race and I canceled my hotel. Then they changed again and I was booking a hotel on Thursday evening again. My bib was supposed to arrive this week but there was a shipping snafu. Now I am picking it up on race morning.

I’m just rolling with the punches here. Maybe. Maybe I’m just wobbly.

I am looking forward to running around Oakland again. Now, I know to be prepared for all the street art. I may keep my phone out the whole time. I’m also not sick this time so yay! (knock on wood) This is also a different course so I am looking forward to checking out the differences.

That said, I am unsure if I have a goal. I originally was aiming for a 2:12 with my training plan until I realized I was over reaching. A lot. I am not sure what to aim for now or if I even want to have a goal. I also don’t know what shoes to wear. Well, no- I do. It would be insanity to run in my new Ghost’s. They only have 5 miles on them.

Decisions, decisions.

Anyone else racing this weekend?

BibRave, Run!

Taking It Back

Oh hey San Jose, can we try again?

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

Yep, I’m heading back to Rock n Roll San Jose in October. I feel like last years sciatica pain colored a course and crowds I would have appreciated in a not great shade.

San Jose has an impressive amount of cheer leaders out there cheering for you along the way. They did an amazing job by the way. They were the only thing that got a smile on my face by the last 6 miles. There were some neighborhoods that looked amazing in the back half of the race and I regret not taking pictures now. Running through San Pedro Square was awesome. And if there is a photographer there this year as well, I swear I am going to smile this time.

2018

Now, about the flatness. This race is pancake flat. Seriously. It’s touted as the fastest half in California. Well, for most runners. For me? Well, I just want to finish under 2:25- doesn’t sound like much but I have never finished a flat course fast. Never. Even back when I was so much fitter and faster than I am now. 🙂 Flat is my nemesis- it’s time for flat to lose. I just want to enjoy myself and not finish a flat race course saying ouch.

Also, I will finally earn the Cali Combo medal. My first year running Rock n Roll races I only ran one in California- you had to run 3 to earn the Cali Combo medal. Last year I did run 3 races in Cali (San Diego, San Jose, LA) but they didn’t offer a Cali Combo medal. Boo. But—- they brought it back this year and now you only have to run 2 Rock n Roll races. Yay!!

Want to run with me???
Use code 19RNRBRP16 to save $16 on the half!

Ambassador, BibRave, Race Day, Recap, Run!

2019 Rock n Roll San Diego Recap

This was my third time running Rock n Roll San Diego and I still find it to be an awesome race.

Disclaimer: I received an entry to 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!

I had a horrible night of sleep so I was moving a little slowly as I got myself ready for the race. I headed out of my hotel to the shuttle stop around 5:30. Part of the reason I book this hotel is the proximity to the shuttles and the finish line. The lines seem so much longer this year but I was on a bus fairly quickly. Once dropped off I made my way to the BibRave Pro meetup.

📸 Nicole or Mai

Then I did a bad thing. I hadn’t noticed until I was preparing my flat runner the night before but my bib had my corral as 21. Wait, what? I know I’m moving slower than I used to but that didn’t make sense. Which was reinforced when I saw the 2:30 pacers in corral 14. Rock n Roll was enforcing corral assignments this time but I managed to sneak into corral 14.

Miles 1-3: 10:15, 11:07, 11:39
I love that .2 miles into the start there is a guy shouting on a bull horn. Every year. I was feeling rough from the get go. I was running but I knew it wasn’t going to last. I’ve never faded this fast before.

Miles 4-5: 11:34, 11:54
I was slowing, my pace does not show how much walking I was doing. I had nothing in the tank. The Mile 4.5 bar barely drew a smile from me. Then we entered the “Wear Blue” mile. All the signs of fallen military members and American Flags make me realize I should not be complaining. I went to pause my music so I could run the mile in silence when I noticed what was playing. The acoustic version of Papa Roach’s F.E.A.R- Face Everything And Rise. The timing of lyrics was eerie so I let it play.

Miles 6-10: 11:54, 12:41, 11:34, 11:46, 12:03
I knew I was done back in mile 3 and I stopped fighting it. My legs and body felt good, I just had zero energy. None. It was humid but not hot and while the humidity wasn’t as high as last year, my lungs were not having it. Asthma sucks. So I ran when I could and walked the rest. Miles 7 and 10? Lots of walking. A lot. I just tried to enjoy the neighborhoods I was running through, all the people who came out to cheer, and the literal cheerleaders every few miles.

Blurry tunnel selfie 😂

Miles 11-13: 12:39, 11:06, 11:57
There was a new blowup at mile 10 instead of the guitar guy. I love the last 3 miles- there’s a good uphill, amazing downhill and a party tunnel as we head back downtown to the finish. I felt like I picked up the pace but the stats tell a different story. Ha! I had to take a walk break at the bottom of the downhill- say what? I never have to walk after downhills. So in other words- the hundred or so people I just passed now all passed me. 🙂

Finish -2:34:12

My slowest San Diego to date! I am not sure what happened out there- I went in worried about a hurt foot and instead slammed into a wall of exhaustion. I texted a friend after the race and said I had zero get up and go. None. I still love this race though and would recommend it to anyone who asks.

And that brings half #38 to a close.

BibRave, Race Day

Road Trip!

It’s race weekend!

Disclaimer: I received an entry to 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!

Rock N Roll San Diego race weekend to be precise. I love this race. This will be my third time running it and I am looking forward to all the familiar sights and sounds. Especially now that I know San Diego better thanks to my work trip last year.

Prior to this week I would have said that outside of long runs I was feeling pretty strong. Long runs had me a little nervous as the farthest I’ve run since Oakland is 7 miles. That said I was still feeling good.

Then this week happened. I hurt my foot/ ankle and now I am concerned. I am trying to convince myself that it is referred pain from my right hip/ lower back. I talk about doing my PT exercises but rarely do them. I know better, I am just a Slacker. Until it slaps me in the face.

My previous plan was to run 7 miles as close to my long run pace as possible. 7 miles is what is on my training plan for the week. Then take the rest of the race easy. However I know I start too fast every single race. Even tired or slightly injured, my stupidity takes over.

So new game plan- don’t be stupid. Enjoy the sights and sounds I love. Maybe take a drink at the mile 4.5 bar. Ok we know I won’t do that but I think about it every time. I am hoping to meet up with other BibRave Pros. I hope to have less traffic to fight on the way down. And for the love of Pete, I hope for less humidity than last year. Fingers crossed.

What’s a race you love?