BibRave, Run!

Summer Racing

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Salinas Valley Half Marathon 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!

Summer running- happened so fast, summer runnin’- had me an asthma attack.

Haha, couldn’t help myself.  😛

Every summer for the past few years, I’ve run a half marathon in July.  Always near the beach, sometimes on the beach.  Last year the heavy marine layer and my asthma conspired together to make me want to swear that off.  😛   Combine that with what is shaping up to be a crazy busy July and it seemed like a good idea to pass on running a half next month.

Instead, I’m taking it inland.   I’ll be running the Salinas Valley Half Marathon on August 5.  Salinas isn’t that far away so it will an early morning drive up to run the race before driving back home.  This is actually a race that has been on my radar for a few years.   The course is through vineyards and crop fields which is my favorite and it seems to be the perfect size crowd for me.    Last year’s race was actually canceled due to the smoke from the Soberanes fire, we were on fire for what seemed like forever last summer.   😢

Ok back to some fun stuff-

  13.1-mile course along the agricultural fields and vineyards of Salinas Valley

  • –       Begins at historic Soledad Mission, ends at Pessagno Winery

    –       Travels along River Road Wine Trail, passing several wineries and tasting rooms

    –       Post-race wine tasting, music, awards, bbq lunch and more

    –       This is in the heart of “Steinbeck County” where many of Nobel Prize winning author John Steinbeck set his novels and short stories.  (A humorous sign placed at one of the hills calls it “Beast of Eden;” a play on words to Steinbeck’s novel, East of Eden.)

    –       Crops are identified along the route

Beast of Eden- how awesomely punny is that?  Plus, it starts at a Mission.  Fun fact- California has 21 Spanish Missions.  I’ve been to 3- used to sing in the choir at one actually- so this will be #4 for me.    And it will be half #27.  😛

As for that beach race in July?  I may run the 10k.  We shall see.  😛

BibRave, Race Day, Recap, Run!

Rock n Roll San Diego 13.1 Recap

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!

I love Rock n Roll.

This race made a liar out of me in so many ways.  Ok, maybe just changed my mind about some things.  😛

Going into this race, I wasn’t a fan of large crowded races, preferred rural views and hated humidity and flat made me cry.  But I had heard great things about the Rock n Roll races, San Diego in particular, and always wanted to run one but never made it work.   Until now.  And now?  Well I still hate humidity.


The odd thing was that going into this race I wasn’t stressed at all.  I wasn’t worried about the miles or how long it would take me.   I was mildly concerned about the humidity I knew I was coming but even at the Bibrave meet up I was just joking that I should probably run with my inhaler in my hand.    I still wasn’t sure what shoes I was going to wear and I was mostly irritated that I had to run with a portable charger because I didn’t think my phone was going to last the race.   I was also taking a race shuttle for the first time ever but I managed to sleep better than I did for my previous 2 races.

Race morning-

I woke up and knew that my food choices the day before were not going to sit well.   Well yay.  I dressed, decided on wearing the UltraBoostX, bibbed up and headed for the shuttle bus.    They were charter buses not school buses- sweet!  I checked the weather, saw 86% humidity and then tried not to think about it again.

Once at the starting line outside of Balboa Park I just followed the crowd.  We came upon about 6 port-a-potties and I was confused.  Ummm, 6?  For 30,000 runners?  As I got further in I found more scattered around in lines.  There were probably between 50-100 around.   I ended up parking myself near the solutions tent and just runner watching.  People were everywhere!  They even had a fitness warm up going on- I thought only small town races did that!  I met up with Mai and after hitting the baggage trucks we ended up sprinting across the grass to the We Run Social picture meet up by corral 3.    We just barely made it!


After meeting some more IG people in real life, listening to the National Anthem and ditching my top layer, I headed for my corral.   I was in corral 19.  Of 37.   They were releasing the corrals at a steady pace so once I found an opening in the fence I stopped and just waited for the corral to get to me.   I hopped in and pulled my phone out to take a pic only to realize it was almost dead.   Grrrr.    I plugged in my portable charger and turned off anything in the phone that was non essential.   The race announcers were doing a great job of keeping everyone pumped up and things were very organized.  I suddenly found myself at the very front of my corral on the start line and it was go time.

Miles 1-3 9:41, 10:22, 10:48

Haha, ok starting at the front apparently put wings on my feet.   Slow your roll, Slacker.  There was a guy on a megaphone shouting inspiration at us as we ran by.      It was crowded but I was ok with it, I had to dodge people sometimes but I knew I wasn’t breaking any records so it wasn’t a big deal.


The first music distraction was a DJ on a bridge or was it a band? I should have written notes!    The first aid station was well stocked with plenty of water and Gatorade and awesome volunteers.  The gloomy clouds and some of the buildings I was running by made me feel like I was more in San Francisco than San Diego but I was enjoying the sights.  And sounds- to save battery life- I hadn’t turned on my headphones.   There were college kids handing out beer around mile 2 as well.  There was a selfie/ picture station too but it may been in the next set of miles.


Miles 4-6 10:28, 10:31, 10:44

Oddly, I hadn’t really slowed down yet, I was walking the water stations but that was it.  The streets were still crowded, water stops were every 2 miles, live music was every few miles.  Around mile 4 we headed into more residential area but I notices that the cheering increased.  Yeah, we were near an aid station but this was too loud.   Turns out I was coming up on Harriet!  I passed her and told her she was awesome.    I mean, 94!   Geicko had a full on bar on mile 4.5.  You name it, they had it.  😛

My legs were feeling good and surprisingly so were my lungs.  I was beginning to feel optimistic.  Then at mile 5.3, my stomach cramped in a rather unpleasant way.  Oh come on!  I took a walk break and deep breaths to try and calm it down but I was a little ticked.   And I would be nauseous for the remainder of the race.


Miles 7-9 10:57, 10:35, 10:28

6 and 7 slowed me down while I tried to get myself under control.  We passed the relay exchange a little past 6 and once again I thought I really need to do a relay.   There was a man handing out tequila shots at one point saying that while we may think it was too early for tequila, he thought it was too early to be running so why not meet in the middle?   😛  We had entered Normal Heights and I thought it was an awesome name so I had to take a pic.    At mile 8.4 the marathoner’s split off from the pack and the crowd thinned up a bit.   I was still feeling nauseous but I was trying to ignore it, I wasn’t going to let my stomach win.  I was listening to the on course entertainment and truthfully some interesting conversations from the runners around me.    My legs were feeling ok but by my standards this course was flat and I knew I would eventually be sore if I didn’t get a hill somewhere.


Miles 10-11 10:58, 11:06

We were coming into Balboa Park and I could hear drums and see the big inflatable guitar guy and I knew I was almost to mile 10.    Yay!  Except, around mile 9.5 the battle my lungs had been fighting the humidity got harder.  And my lungs started to lose.  I had to walk again and use my inhaler.  Grrr,  Of course, just past mile 10 was the first real hill of the course and my lungs were being whiny.  I walked it.  I also had a moment where I thought I was going to lose my cookies and may have mentally swore off pizza.   😛  I turned on my music just to drown out my breathing.

Miles 12-13- 9:45, 11:14

So, yeah coming out of the park lead to a decent downhill and I flew.   I was still taking walk breaks due to the humidity and my lungs.  The last mile was a struggle.  I thought I had kissed a sub 2:20 goodbye and I was pissed.   I haven’t seen that in 2 years and that I had gotten so close, I almost cried.  But I sucked it up and kept going.   The crowds were cheering, runners were walking away with medals and I was still taking walk breaks.  Grrr.   The finish line was in sight and I decided enough was enough and just ran for it.

Finish- 2:19:56

I crossed the line and bent over wheezing.  Medical was on me in seconds.  Damn, you’re fast!   I felt embarrassed but said I was ok, I just needed a moment.    It wasn’t until I got a hold of myself and received my medal that I looked at my watch.  I did it!   It’s been so long since I’ve seen I’ve been below 2:20 even if it is by the skin of my teeth.


I made my way through the picture station and then the food goodies before attempting to find my mother.  It was crowded!   We met up and hung out for a bit before I realized I needed to return to the hotel.  So much for the finish line festival.  That nausea and cramping I had been fighting reared it’s head I was very glad that my hotel was 2 blocks from the finish.  I could hear Micheal Franti though and he sounded great.

Overall, this was an awesome race.  I would recommend it to anyone.    The course and the crowd support was great.  The aid stations were on point.  As was medical.  😛    Now I want to run another one.  😁

Run!, Slacker, Stomach, Training

Week 22- June?!?

Upcoming Races:

  • Rock N Roll San Diego 13.1-June 4

Wait, it’s June?  And race week?  Someone really needs to slow the clock down.   Or I’ll take a Time Turner, wouldn’t it be nice if those were real?  😛

I suffered from vacation brain and just burn out this week.  Everything seemed so much harder than it should have been.  Seriously, I had troubles counting.  That’s not a good thing in my line of work.   I had to count things multiple times.    While I love 4 day work weeks, there is still 5 days worth of work to fit into those 4 days.  Years ago I had a coworker tell me she hated 3 day weekends because she spent all of Monday stressing about the increased workload on Tuesday.   I won’t complain about 3 days off but I am beginning to see her point.


I mentioned in my last post that I may have ordered myself a new Garmin.  It’s here!!  It’s so pretty, now I am just trying to figure out the bells and whistles.


Monday- 2.74 miles  Ugly.  I decide to try the Roga’s again and once again it was a bad idea.  I eventually gave up attempting to run and just walked it back to my house.  It felt a waste of the extra time off work.      I did take the dog out for a short walk later but it was super short and slow.

Tuesday- Rest With work typically being crazy busy and now being down a person ( my coworker had the baby!) I didn’t even try to run.  I thought about riding the bike when I got home but thinking is as far as it got.

Wednesday- Rest  Oh hey, I have a race in 4 days.   I started to do the math and realized that if ran today and Thursday like planned, I would have more miles than previous weeks.   That didn’t seem like the best idea.  Granted my miles have been so low that a taper seems silly but it still didn’t seem smart to suddenly increase them on race week.    Then my brother decided to take the family to dinner so I figured it all worked out, right?


Thursday- 3.22 miles   Ok dinner was a bad idea, it made me sick.  At first I thought it was just my stomach being an asshat but I later found out that my dad was kind of sick too and we ate the same thing.   There was a point I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to run at all.  Yet, I changed and headed for home town.  Once I got there I realized it was 85 degrees and I had somehow forgotten a water bottle.  Lovely.  Then somehow this run kicked ass.   I decided to keep it shorter and slower than planned due to lack of hydration and heat and managed to stick to one of those. 😛   I ended up running my fastest 5K in the last 6 months.  Still slow as I made sure to take walk breaks every 2 minutes but my legs felt great!   Where did that come from?!

Friday- Rest Total vacation brain, stress ball.  I was trying to get everything done so no one had to worry about anything while I was gone and I was stressing out.  I love vacations but the type A in me hates not being there.

📷:azsungoddess

Saturday- Road trip!!  Oh good lord, it took 7 hours to get to San Diego.   Traffic, you suck.  Once we were finally there we headed straight for the Convention Center and the Expo.  Bib pickup and shirt pick up was a cinch then it was into the crowd.  I figured we were so late most people would have already picked up their stuff…nope!  People everywhere!   I was able to meet up with Mai of Once Upon A Run and Chelsea of The Dancing Runner, which was awesome!  Then it was of to Seaport Village for a Bibrave Pro meetup with Mai and Emily of azSunGoddess.   


 Finally we checked into our hotel- literally across the street from the finish line festival- before heading out for some food.    I tried to go sleep early as I knew I had a really early wake up call but I was realizing that you really could eat too much pizza.  Food and I did not get along this week.  😭

Sunday- Rock n Roll San Diego 13.1  Recap to come.  But for the first time, I took a race shuttle to the start.  Look at me being all runner like.  😛

19.2 miles for the week.  I meant to ride the bike but it just never happened.  I wasn’t too busy I just didn’t make it a priority.  Next week.

Speaking of next week, I have the week off!! Woo hoo!  I have so many things I need and should get done but I also kind of want to spend a day or 2 doing nothing.  Which one will win?

How was your week?

Do anything fun this weekend?

What do you do on Stay-cations?

BibRave, Race Day, Run!

San Diego Bound

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!

It’s race weekend!!!

Dang that one snuck up on me fast!   Well, truthfully, June snuck up on me.  Where did it come from?  😛


My first Rock n Roll race is this weekend!!!!  I’m not counting last year’s DNS.  😕 Dude, is this thing as big as I think it’s going to be?  I mean I’ve run Surf City and San Francisco but I have a feeling this is about to make those seem like small potatoes.  For example- I know there are at least 32 corrals.  32?!  Holy crap!   I’m somewhere in the middle there but that’s a lot of people in front of me and a lot of people behind me.

I am looking forward to this weekend.   This should be my biggest expo (Rock n Roll – you  better live up to this!!) and I am looking forward to meeting some blogging and IG friends in real life.   Yay!!!

Then there’s the city itself.  I have family there but I haven’t been since I was like 7 or something so I remember nothing.  I’ve heard great things so I can’t wait to see it with adult eyes.  Expensive parking aside, grrr.    My hotel is pretty close to the finish line for the finish line festival ( and the bay!).  I think.  I’ve been known to mess up hotels before.  Funny, stressful moment-  I actually changed hotels a few weeks ago and realized on Thursday that I had never canceled the original booking.  Oh crap!

I am torn on what shoes to run in.  I’ve been running in Adidas UltraBoost X but the farthest I’ve run in them is 8 miles.  They are also slightly too big.  But then my Brooks aggravate my calves for the first 3-4 miles and I just hope they loosen up.   Hmmm, there’s a lot of questions there.

I may also be taking a trolley to the start.  Holy crap, first time in pubic transportation.  Well, unless Uber counts.   But I’m still on the fence about that, mostly because I haven’t figured out how it works, haha.

Do you think I can figure it out? 

What are you doing this weekend?

BibRave, Race Day, Recap, Run!

Wine Country Half Marathon Santa Barbara Recap

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Wine Country Half Santa Barbara 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!

Race morning dawned clear and sunny.  The night before had shown projected temps to be in the low 40’s at the start and only reaching 60 around 10.    I planned for a tank with long sleeves.    It was a little warmer than predicted in the morning but I stuck to my plan.  As I mentioned in my last post, I woke to an unpleasant surprise on race morning, oh the joys of being female, so I knew I was going to be a little more sluggish than I had planned.    With 2 weeks of next to no sleep and an extremely achy left leg, I was already planning on taking it easy.  I told my mother 2:20-2:25 but I also knew Ashley was pacing the 2:30 so I figured whatever worked.

The start was in Santa Ynez and we were running to Solvang.  My mother was able to get me within a block of the start line and damn it was windy and cold!


  I found Ashley at the 2:30 sign and we chatted before the start.  It’s been so long!!!  I met another BibRave Pro too, Carolyn but I didn’t think to take a picture until after.  Duh, silly Slacker.   After a little more shivering, the race started just a few moments behind schedule.


Miles 1-3  11:04, 11:01, 11:19

The first few miles were pretty crowded, this wasn’t a large race but the neighborhood streets were smaller.  That said, it looked pretty cool just seeing a crowd of runners ahead for the beginning miles.     The race profile had made the course look like a gradual incline through mile 7 but I quickly realized it more flat.  At least by my standards.  My calves were feeling kind of tight but they loosened up around mile 3.    Those first 3 miles also had some of the cutest furry race spectators ever-   a woman was standing on a corner with her pet goose.  Seriously, this goose looked so chill while thousands of runners ran right by.   Further down, 2 goats came running to a fence and looked like they wanted to run with us.   Then there were the miniature horses!!!  So cute.


Miles 4-6  11:35, 11:11, 11:33

I was staying steady, sluggish but steady and that was fine.  The course so far was more back roads and neighborhoods, I was waiting for vineyards.  I was actually surprised that the roads were completely closed- it was awesome but I was surprised- I’m only used to that at races with much bigger crowds.   A little past mile 5, we were running into the town of Los Olivos- it’s so small, it’s so cute!  Crowd support picked up too because mile 5.8 was the relay transition point.    I won’t lie- getting a medal at 5.8 looked pretty awesome.   I knew we were almost to the end of the “climbing” section but since the uphill hadn’t been so up, I wasn’t counting on much of a downhill.


Mile 7- 12:29  Corkscrew Hill

Oh holy hill.  Found the elevation gain, it’s all in mile 7.  Seriously, my Garmin shows an elevation gain of 235 in mile 7 and really maybe all in a half mile.  I knew the hill was coming but not like that.   I rounded a corner and saw it with runners dotting the way all the way up.  Just as I did, my headphones were playing Papa Roach and Jacoby sang/shouted “I don’t want no part of this, None of the above”.  Dude you have no idea.  😛     Knowing I was tired and that I still had 5+ miles left, I walked it.  


I knew it was the smarter choice.  Ashley and the 2:30 group caught up to me and passed me.     The hill may have been kicking my ass but now I was hopeful for at least one good downhill somewhere thanks to this monster.  I’m used to hills but this was a beast.

Miles 8-10 9:33, 10:08, 11:20

Thank you downhill!   I caught up to Ashley and her group again, said hey and continued running on.   We were now running through vineyards which I love but it was a little warmer than I would have liked.  Correction, I shouldn’t have been in long sleeves even though I was thankful every time the wind had a crazy strong gust.  😛  I took my phone out around mile 9 to take a picture only to see the low battery alert and that it was at 10%.  What the hell?!?   I sent a quick text to my mom letting her know I was turning it off, shut off my music and turned off my phone. Boo.   I also realized 2:25 wasn’t likely anymore.


Miles 10-13 11:32, 12:51, 10:58

Ok, the last 4ish miles without music is way different than the first 4 without.   It made things feel so much harder.   Well, that and my stomach was starting to cramp.  Stupid stomach, stupid hormones.  That last real hill was mile 12, it wasn’t even big just steep but for some reason I crawled.   We were out of the vineyards and back into neighborhoods, I knew the finish line must be close- I was so ready for it.  I admit I was walking more than I wanted to.    The crowds were picking up as the finish line neared.   A fire truck also ripped through the course but I didn’t pay it much attention- I had a 1/4 mile to go.

Finish- 2:28:46


Slower than I had hoped for but it’s all good.  The course was super pretty- yes I would have preferred more rolling hills and less of a beast in the middle- but I say I like hills, right?   I wish I could have taken more pictures but I’ve known I need a new phone for  while now, wasn’t expecting it to crap out on me like that though.   And I got to catch up with a good friend.  It was a good race.

*This may sound more positive than I normally am because in all honesty as I was crossing the finish line I realized where that fire truck had been headed.   Reading about things happening at races and seeing it real life are 2 entirely different things.   It puts things into perspective.   I’m also choosing to believe that no news is good news and there was positive outcome.

I met up with my mom post race.    We hung out for a bit and I tried to find the other BibRave Pros that were running it but it was too much of a madhouse in too small of a space.  The finish was in Solvang Park but it is a small park.   It got crowded fast.

Overall, this was a good race.  I really liked the course and the aid stations were all run by very enthusiastic kids and teens.   This is one I would look forward to doing again…just maybe a little less tired?  😛

Half #25 in the books.  😉