Tag: half marathon

Yosemite Half Recap

I have been trying to run a Vacation Races race since before the pandemic. I think I have deferred either
voluntarily or due to COVID for 3-4 different races. Oops.

In 2021, Kate and I were supposed to run Lake Powell in October but well, life. We decided to defer to
Yosemite Half as it looked amazing and gave us until May 2022. Sounded perfect! Kate trained and I
well… yeah.

Anyways, May came faster than I thought it would. Suddenly it was time to race. I drove up to
Yosemite with my mom and Kate and her boyfriend flew in from Texas. We met up for a carb heavy
dinner on Friday before the race and bemoaned the fact that we needed a 3AM wake up call to meet
the shuttles. Ouch. The race was a point to point race starting up the mountain in the forest and
running down to Bass Lake.



The shuttle to the race went perfect even if I closed my eyes on the winding, back roads. I get car sick
too easy for that. It dropped us off at the start in the cold, dark woods. The announcers were trying to
keep everyone’s spirits up and there were plenty of porta-potties. Hehe. This race did something very
smart- they started the slower runners and walkers first. I’ve always wondered why races don’t do that.
I was planning on running with Kate and while we weren’t their exact target pace, we jumped in with
the runners/walkers and started at 5:45.


The first few miles are on a nice dirt road winding through the forest. I was in runners heaven. Kate
however was not. Things were not going her way and just before mile 3 and the first aid station, she
told me she was dropping. I was sad and after double checking that she was good, I continued on my
way. Miles 1-3 took around 50ish minutes.


I knew I was in no shape to run this race so I figured I would just run what I could and walk what I
couldn’t. Except I forgot to take into account my love of forests and the downhill miles coming up.
For the next 7 miles, I was throwing down miles in the low 12’s and high 11’s. This was not going to end
well. The only mile that was slower at the point was the one I had to lose my top layer and replace my
bib. That took effort, ha! I was loving the downhill and all the views but knew I was probably going to
pay for this fun.

And I did, the blow up started around mile 10 and continued on to the finish of the race. These miles
flattened out a bit and as we got closer to the lake, the humidity upped itself a notch too. I was toast. I
pretty much walked in these miles. The last 3 miles took around 45 minutes.


I crossed the finish line 3:04:53. Who knew I was going to be so close to under 3?

Also who knew I was going to be happy about that considering my PR is an hour faster than that. But considering where I am fitness wise right now, that number is something I am good with. And yes, I know the downhill was a
huge help but it gives me hope. Plus I got to see Kate this weekend and finally run a Vacation Race. It
will not be my last.

Despite the shuttle driver getting horribly lost twice on the back from Bass Lake. Ha!

2022 Oakland Marathon Recap (10K)

Oh, I have some much to share from last week. So many miles- on foot and by car- but let’s start with the end of the week- I ran a race!!!

Disclaimer: I received an entry in the Oakland Running Festival to review 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 ran Oakland Marathon (Half) back in 2019 and loved all of the street art along the course. I ran it virtually in 2021 because I loved the medal. When the opportunity to run it again this year popped up, I was all in. I was looking forward to seeing of my fave murals along the half course as well as wondering what new ones may have popped up. Then COVID.

Don’t get me wrong, I was out of fitness in January before COVID hit but I essentially felt like I was starting from scratch afterwards. I lived in denial for a bit but by the beginning of March I knew there was no way I running the half. Yes, I could finish it but what damage would I do? So I dropped to the 10K, which the website made super easy so that was a bonus. Then race morning arrived dark and early. So dark, I got lost walking from my hotel to the start. Oops. Don’t do that.

I had done a rookie mistake and didn’t read the weather properly. I packed my BibRave singlet and a light weight long sleeve that I figured I would be ditching before the race started. Except the 10K started at 7 and it was 45 degrees. I still find that to be very cold, particularly on the top half of me. Crap. I layered the long sleeve under my tank and bought a cheap wannabe buff for my ears. I was still cold but it worked, mostly.

The 10K started at 7AM along with the marathon. When I first got to the start a little after 6, I thought it looked like it was going to be a small race and yet 30 minutes later- bam! Thousands of runners. Woah.

Still feeling new, I told myself to stick to my intervals for the 10K. 40 second run, 2 minute walk even if that meant it was going to be one of my slowest road 10K’s. My goal was to cross the finish line and not feel broken.

I did allow myself 4 minutes of running out of the chute. I knew I would not want to walk so soon but also didn’t want to blow it so soon either. The first 2 miles were run around Lake Merritt as the sun was coming up. I am lazy by nature so races are one of the few times I see sunrises. And this one was nice.
Mile 2 was also the first aid station where I promptly forgot how to drink water and choked.
Miles 1/2- 13:16, 13:24

After that graceful maneuver, we were running away from the lake and into town more. These miles were a little less scenic but still good. There were also drummers out at one of the aid stations. I still enjoyed looking for street art and getting a pic of Fallon St. I started to flag a little and grabbed some fruit snacks from my pack. Those seem to be the only thing I can make myself eat while running.
Miles 3/4- 13:17, 13:23

Miles 5 and 6 brought us back into downtown Oakland and we split from the marathoners. I was enjoying looking at all the buildings we were running by but my stomach was starting to cramp in a not good way. I also apparently found my running legs, ha!
Miles 5/6- 12:30, 12:01

Dude, the finish was uphill. Who does that???
Finish 1:22:15

With the exception of the last 100 yards, I really like the 10K course. Also, for the first time in a long time, I crossed a finish line pumped and not exhausted. Yeah, I was slow and still have a lot of work to do, but it was a good day and I needed that. All in all, it was a great experience.

Marin Endurance Festival Recap

Sometimes being smart is stupid. But still the right thing to do.

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Marin Endurance Festival to review 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 didn’t run the 2 weeks before the Marin Endurance Festival, and if I’m being really honest, I barely ran in all of October.

Race week actually started off with a foggy, pain filled head thanks to a sinus infection. Grr. Plus the last few weeks of work have left me feeling fried. Which is also why I ghosted on the blog for 2 weeks. Maybe one good thing about getting older is that I finally admit these things to myself. Well, sometimes.

I had my bib mailed to me as I knew making the pickup window was likely nil. I swear the word “half” written on it just kept taunting me. I knew I needed to downgrade but pride is a stubborn thing. Even when I woke on race morning with an asshat stomach, I still wasn’t completely sold on dropping down.

However, sanity prevailed and I located the solutions table on race morning and dropped to the 10k. Which then left me to kill time as the 10k started 45 minutes after the half marathon. Lucky the start/ finish area was freaking awesome – McNear’s Beach with palm trees and shoreline views. It was also freaking cold and I was wishing I packed more than just my long sleeve. I attempted a real warm up but my stomach fought back so I just took another Pepto and walked a little. Finally it was go time.

Right up a hill. I know I’m out of shape but I don’t usually walk that quickly in a race, ha! I alternated between running and walking as we headed out of the park towards the city with shoreline views . We turned around near 1.5 miles and headed back the way came. Again… uphill. Miles 1-2 : 12:21, 13:15

The 5k mark was pretty much the top of that hill and it felt way harder than it should have been. Boo. The road narrowed and started snaking around the hillside as we ran towards China Camp State Park. I was also melting. Rookie mistake- long sleeves was a major miscalculation. I have zero complaint about the views along the way. Mile 3: 13:40

I was starting to get confused though. Mile 3 was the last mile marker I saw that made sense for the 10k. I started seeing runners up on the hill on the trail and off the road. Some of them were wearing 10k bibs which confused me. The course description said only the last .4 miles were trail. But no runners were coming back my way, save one lone female runner around 1/2 mile later. Huh?

We hit the 10K turnaround and on the way back were sort of directed off the road and up a trail. Have I mentioned I love dirt??? I was tired and barely running but I managed to pass up all the 10k runners who had been in sight for the last part of the race and drop them. And also keep them behind me. It’s the little things.😂 Miles 4-5 : 13:05, 14:18

As much as I love trails, I was learning that my shoes were very wrong for rocky dirt and was extra glad I had dropped from the half.

There was also a scary moment as we came across a runner being medically evacuated from the course on the trail section. How the paramedics got the stretcher up there I have no idea. Good news was that the runner was not on the stretcher but walking, albeit with a firefighter on each side and very, very wobbly- down the trail. Hopefully it wasn’t anything too serious.

Then it was more dirt trail with a very misplaced mile 12 sign down to the road and into the back of the beach park. I walked some more but managed to actually run across the finish line which is more than I can say for either of my last races. Mile 6: 14:27

Finish – 1:24:33

This is my slowest non-full trail 10k ever. That said, it’s my fastest 10 in years.

I really liked this course. Logistics were a bit of an issue both course wise and parking – my car was 2 miles away😂😂. Still, this is a course I would recommend. I feel like a better in shape me should try the half some future year.

On the Calendar

Let’s talk races.

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Marin Endurance Festival to review 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 may be barely running but my race schedule says something different. I have 3 races in the next 5 weeks. 3! 5 weeks! Two of them are half marathons! All 3 have trail! 2 have pretty good climbs but all 3 have dirt! I love dirt!

First up is a 10K down in Agua Dulce that I love but it will kick my butt. It’s hard. Third up is a half marathon down in the desert… at night. I’ve been looking forward to it for years but I am trying to not get too excited as I may have puppy care problems. I have a back up plan for that though, I will be bummed but it’s life, right?

However, let’s talk about race#2! I’m heading north for the Marin Endurance Festival on Halloween weekend. There is so much going on that weekend. Saturday is the triathlon and duathlon events. I almost want to find a bike! But let’s be real, I wasn’t good at riding a bike when I was a kid, I really wouldn’t be now. I am disaster prone enough on my own.

Sunday is for the running. A half, a 10k and a 5k. All the fun kicks off at McNear’s Beach. The race website says there are 7 miles road and 6ish trail. So my big question now- what kind of shoes do I wear? Seriously, I am not joking- trail or road? I need to recon this trail.

What are your future race plans?

Oh, and if you want to join, you can save with code BRPRO10.

And seriously, what kind of shoes?

Chasing It- Santa Rosa Half Marathon

Don’t flame out, don’t flame out, don’t flame out. On repeat in my head for 4.5 miles.

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Santa Rosa Half Marathon to review 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 all too early but then don’t they all. Plus I had now confirmed that the GI disaster that was Napa Valley was not a one off, ate at the same chain the night before Santa Rosa and same issues. However this time, I was prepared with both my meds and lots of Pepto. Fingers crossed.

The race started right at 7:30 with corral A going first and Corral B a few moments later. I was in B. I had very low expectations going into this race, both due to my lack of training and the weather circumstances. Smoke in the air and a very warm morning.

Mile 1, I went out too fast but no real shock there. Well, the 12:40 was kind of a surprise as I rarely see 12’s these days. I started interspersing walk breaks on my 30/50 schedule and just kept trucking. I was carrying electrolytes and knew I was taking water at every water stop. Mile 2 dropped me back into the 13’s which made sense as I already felt tired, ha!

Then things got wierd. I was moving along doing my thing, taking water, taking pictures of the course, listening to music but somehow gaining on the 2:50 pacer. What was going on?? Miles 3-5 saw a 12:59, 12:33, and 12:46.

Mile 5 also saw another feat. I caught up to the 2:50 pacers and then dropped them. Don’t get cocky, don’t get cocky, just keep going. We had hit a dirt, gravel part of the trail and I was loving it. It was warming up but there good tree cover. Mile 6- 12:39.

I was entering unknown territory in a few ways now. I was moving faster than I have in months, now farther than the distance I had run since May and now past the longest distance I had run in these running shoes.

I was also tiring but again, that made sense. I was slowing down but I’d also started to think I really could hold onto a sub 2:50. That would be almost 20 minutes faster than Idaho. I now feared hearing the 2:50 pace group. They were chatty enough that I knew I’d hear them first. I kept pushing… and repeating my new mantra.

Around mile 9, we looped around on the path and started making our way back to the start line. 4 miles to go and the wheels were starting to come off. We hit a section of direct sunlight and I started to melt. I took a wet towel at an aid station for the first time ever. (They’ve always kind of grossed me out.) I was walking more and more and then there was no more running.

I cramped. Hard. Both my calves seized up. Running was no longer an option. It just wouldn’t work. I was power walking as best I could. Which was also contributing to my issue as I was still maintaining a mid 13 pace. Which was also earning me comments from other runners as I passed a few- I was walking faster than they were running. Couldn’t tell if they were impressed or irritated.

But it was all for naught. I heard the voices I had been fearing. The 2:50 group caught up and dropped me. Wah. But that also took away my crazy push which may be why I suddenly felt a massive side cramp as well as the continuous leg cramps. At this point I was trying everything and even walking backwards at some points. Now I was just making people laugh. 12 and 13 were my slowest- 14:31 and 14:52.

This is the first finish line I have ever walked across. Even when I’ve had horrible GI races or rolled my ankle on the side of the mountain, I’ve found a way to at least jog across the finish line. This time? Nope! I just kind of struggle walked across the finish.

But I finished! 2:56:58– ten minutes faster than Idaho.

While this race was flat- and flat is not my fave- I would totally run it again. It reminded me of me, if that makes sense.