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.  😉

 

 

 

Run!, Slacker

Silence Fell

It takes a lot to shut my brain up.   Usually only sleep and even then not so much.   I can never do just one thing at a time.  I usually like to have multiple things happening at once because focusing on one thing just seems silly.  My mother would tell you that’s how I avoid things.

Even running, my brain is never silent.  I run thinking all the while how hard it feels.  Or on good days, how easy it feels.  I think about my shoes or how my shorts fit.  Do I look funny in this outfit?  What am I going to eat for dinner?  Do I want to cheat or be good?  How can I talk about this run in a blog post?  Is it even worthy of that? Oh look, there’s that person who glares at me every time we pass each other.  What did I do?  How was work?  What more do I have to get done tomorrow, have things been going ok or do I need to make adjustments?  When’s that system upgrade happening again? I need to make sure we are ready.  How’s my pace? Am I running too slow or too fast?  And so on and so forth.  For all the miles, all the time.    I just can’t shut up.   🙂IMG_0106Thursday was kind of a funny day.  I had finally listened to my soreness from Firehouse and rested on Tuesday and Wednesday so I was looking forward to getting in a few miles after work.   I was feeling better but still sore- I think the trail re-aggravated my hamstring issue- so I was just aiming for an easy run as opposed to the speed work on the plan.   Previously mentioned system upgrade started that day and I was supposed to attend a business mixer after work but I just didn’t feel I had the capacity to mingle.  I was feeling very off, not cranky but not exactly sociable.   I decided to pass on the mixer and just run.   But I could not decide where to run.  I wasn’t feeling work town so I headed to the lake path.  However when I got there I just kept driving.  Ok, guess I wasn’t feeling that either.  I ended up at the river path and really wasn’t expecting much.  5 miles later, I was done.  IMG_0105I stretched out some and went home.  It wasn’t until later that it hit me, I hadn’t thought of a single thing during that run.   No work thoughts, no blog thoughts, no body thoughts, no life worries, not even any running thoughts, nothing.    I just ran.   And my brain was quiet and calm.  So quiet.

That’s not to say that I was unresponsive to my surroundings.    I remember nodding to everyone I passed.  I looked both ways before crossing each intersection and there were 10.  I dodged a praying mantis and then a stink bug about 20 yards later.   I recall wrinkling my nose and trying not to breathe deeply when the smell from the brewery hit me in the face.*  I saw that the guy driving the lifted Chevy was likely to blow through the cross walk but I wasn’t even mad when he did.    My earphones fell out of my ears but I just put them back in and kept running.  Normally these last few things would piss me off and linger for awhile.   I even changed my route and ran more on the trail than normal just because.  It wasn’t really a conscious decision, I just did it. IMG_0140It was nice to not think.   It really was.  How do I make that happen more often?  I don’t even know what prompted it this time.  🙂       I checked my splits the next day and was pretty pleased with what I saw.  Don’t give mile 4 too much credit, gravity was very helpful.  🙂

Now those annoyances- my headphones.  I recently purchased wireless ear buds because I was tired of getting tangled in my other ones.   The new ones are worse.  I cannot get them to stay in my ears at all.  I know I have odd ears but come on!   I have switched the little rubber pieces 3x.  Ugh.   *The smell- a local brewery is having a little problem so as a result there has been a yeasty stench wafting around town for the last month or so.   Sometimes it hits when you least expect it.   😦

How was your weekend?

Any headphone suggestions?

Ever run yourself silent?

chill out, Run!, Slacker

A New Year 10K

I love days off in the middle of week, even if they do confuse me a bit.   This feels more like a Sunday than a Hump-day Wednesday.  Which is not a horrible thing.  It means I only have 2 days of work before the weekend, not 5, woo hoo!   Can’t complain about that! And bonus, tomorrow there should be a crew of 5 at work, well hopefully.  Fingers crossed!

Last night was an extremely chill New Years Eve.  Like so chill that I forgot to watch the clock so the fireworks had to remind me of what time it was. After I jumped about a foot in the air, that is.  Then it was off to bed for me.   The plan was to sleep in but I woke up around 7:30 thinking I had a bladder infection (TMI?).  Not pleasant.  So I read some blogs while trying to doze of for the next 2 hours.  Getting up I still felt a little touch and go but chose to ignore it.  I headed out for lunch and some errands.   I hit up Target to stare at some more food labels.  It was funny how empty town was and it was after 12 by then.   How late did some people sleep?

I was out the door by 2 for an easy run.  I was aiming for around 5-6 miles. My first 3 miles were at a good pace even with my little walking warmup.  A little past 2 miles I hit the top of incline and usually head back down a block over.  This time I went right and continued up another little hill.   As I rounded the downhill on the other side coming on 3 miles, I saw my mom and Zoey down the street.  Or heard them, Zoey was not being a good walker today, haha.  I met up with them at the bottom of another hill.  They were headed up it, I really didn’t want another hill but I joined them.  I won’t lie, I walked that hill and was huffing and puffing all the way up.   This is one way Garmin is not great, I looked at my watch and saw that my pace was now 16+ minutes per mile, yikes!

Haha, can you see where the hills were?
Haha, can you see where the hills were?

Once at the top, I walked another .25 of a mile with them.  I tried to jog with Zoey to the end of the block but it only lasted about 20 yards before she decided to pay tug of war with the leash.  I think though that whenever she is finally trained she will be a fast running partner.  She’s less than 4 months old and she treats 4-5 mile walks like it’s a run around the yard.    I didn’t know an animal could have that much energy!  Downside is she seems to think I am a giant chew toy.   No matter what I say or do, she jumps all over me every time she sees me.  I have puppy teeth marks up and down my arm and holes in some of my clothes. 😦  She’s lucky she’s cute.

Hill in the background, Zoey chewing her leash in front :)
Hill in the background, Zoey chewing her leash in front 🙂

I left them there and ran on.  I added in one last uphill towards the end so I would hit 6 miles.  I finished my run at 6.31 miles.  Perhaps not as speedy as I would liked but pretty dang good for an easy run where I walked too.  So first day of the year, and the first 6 miles towards my 750 goal done!  Now if I can just keep it up.  🙂

I love this wall for stretching!
I love this wall for stretching!

I stretched out and then completed my first Nike Training workout.  I always wanted to try this out but my previous iPhone didn’t have enough memory.  When I upgraded to the 32gb in November I was finally able to download it.   I tried my first one today and I was glad no one was around to see.  I am seriously uncoordinated and just special when it comes to thing like that.  Seriously, I forgot how to skip!  Other than that, it felt like I did something and I liked that I could choose my own music.

I think my issue from this morning was a false alarm but I will keep an eye on it.   It couldn’t be a hydration issue because I usually drink too much water on a daily basis.   I though the doctor was crazy when he told me to drink less, but then another seconded that opinion.  Well, damn.  But I ok with nothing being wrong because I want to run this weekend!!!! Hmm, maybe tomorrow?

Hope everyone had an awesome New Years Day!