Hiking-Trails, Race Day, Recap, Run!

Space Rock Trail Race Recap

I am not exaggerating when I say if I hadn’t dropped to the 10K, I would have DNF’ed the half and likely have needed help off the course.

I first heard of Space Rock last year and thought it looked awesome but likely too far away. A little Googling and I learned it was only 3 hours south! But I had an insane October already last year with 2 halves at opposite ends of the state and a 2+ week work trip. So I passed. Instagram adds got me this year and I signed up.

Then the last 3-4 weeks went to hell in a hand basket and I wasn’t sure I was going to even start the race. However I knew that if I did, I was not in the mental shape for a tough trail half nor was I feeling physically up to it so I messaged the race and dropped to the 10K.

If you watch anything sci-fi- you’ve seen this rock

I headed down towards Santa Clarita on Friday wondering if the race was even going to happen due to large fire about 20ish miles away. Somehow the air over Vasquez Rocks seemed clear. I picked up my race stuff and checked into a hotel.

The race swag was awesome- the coolest tye dyed shirt and cutest canvas bag.

Race morning dawned clear and early. Parking was fairly convenient in a dirt lot. Then I walked the mile in to the start. The race started about 30 minutes late due to one of the bus shuttles breaking down. Just gave me time to use the port a potty.

Did I mention I was running this race in new trail shoes and a new watch?? 😂
We lined up and we were off.

Mile 1- 11:58
I was wheezing 1/4 mile in. Wait, what? It wasn’t cold and it wasn’t humid. The only thing I can figure was that I breathed in a bunch of dirt. I’ve run numerous trail races but I’ve never seen as much dirt in the air as I did here. I now understood the people I saw with Buffs over their face at the start- they knew. Other than that, we had a decent downhill and then we on to the single track. And the first person to fall in front of me hit the dirt. He rolled well and was up and running before I could finish my question if he was ok.

Mile 2-15:17
There was some climb here and I still couldn’t breathe properly but the main slow down was the out and back. We were running super narrow single track and it was and out and up then down and back. Those going up slammed to a stop numerous times to let the runners coming down through. We were doing the best we could but we kept bottle necking. And the second person took a tumble.

Mile 3-4- 14:58, 15:12
I still couldn’t breathe. I loved the downhill and I loved the scenery of the canyons as we were running. We came out of the canyon and started the climb that would break me. Oh, did I mention we ran through the darkest tunnel ever??

This was actually in mile 2

Mile 5- 18:06
I have never stopped during a race before, and I have run some doozy trail races. I stopped a few times going up this climb because I could not breathe and I felt like my heart was going to pound out of my chest. My only consolation was that I was not the only one struggling. Everyone around me was hiking and I wasn’t the only one coughing.

Real feel

Mile 6- 17:20
Are we ever going to stop climbing?!! The woman next to let a few f-bombs fly when we reached a false summit. I agree. I ran all the downhills and struggle bus’ed the climbs and stopped a few more times. Passed an adorable orange haired boy doing the 5K and he cheered me on. So cute! Then we were down near the rocks again and I was walking to the finish. I maybe jogged 20 yards at the end?

Finish- 1:33:57

Slowest 10k ever! I crossed the line wheezing and tired.

See? Legs were good to climb a rock

But the medal made me smile and the hot coffee being served made me want to jump for joy.

I would do this race again for sure, just maybe a little healthier and with my face covered in the beginning. Plus for all the roadblocks this race organization hit, they did a remarkable job adapting on the fly. Like water- their original water provider couldn’t get to the race due to the fire but they had plenty of bottles on hand at the finish and the 2 aid stations on the course seemed well stocked. Also, other my lungs, my body handled all the ups and downs well, I was only a little sore in my calves the next day. Oh and somehow in my struggle up the hill in mile 4, I landed in the top 10 in Strava segments. Yeah right!

What was the last race you underestimated?

Race Day, Run!

Rambling Up to San Jose

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!

It’s been a rough week. But it’s race week!!!

Also, this is going up late since I have been having WordPress issues. Anyone else?

This weekend should be seeing my 40th half marathon but I have a feeling it will be seeing a 10K instead. Maybe I shouldn’t have said I hate them?

I was looking forward to this weekend and the race, I was feeling good after last week’s peppy 8. Then I had an endoscopy on Tuesday. And hurt so bad I could barely move the next 2 days. I’ve talked to doctors and surgical centers on the phone so much this week. I had one years ago and was fine, we all have no idea why I reacted like this this time. Grrrr.

I am still looking forward to the race. I still get to race through San Pedro Square, errrr walk? I still get to enjoy the sights of downtown. And we never know I may just do something stupid.

No, I will be smart, I will be smart. If I repeat it over and over, I have to follow through right? Catch you on the flip side!

What are you doing this weekend?

BibRave, Race Day, Recap, Run!

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!