Race Day, Recap, Run!

Tent City Half Marathon Recap

This may be the latest I’ve ever finished a race recap.

I’ve been talking about half marathon #30 since October but never made it work, finally I stopped talking and just signed up for a race the same day my training plan called for 19 miles.  I figured 13 supported miles with other runners followed by 6 solo miles was better than 19 lonely miles.

Tent City is in it’s first year and that generally makes me leery of races.  It offered a full, half, 10k, 5k and None run.  Packet pick up was a sure sign that it was a first time, small town race- a folding table next to an open van with the shirts and numbers.  Did I mention it was in front of a creepy abandoned building?😜

Ok, maybe not so abandoned.  The race was a fundraiser for the Printery Foundation which is working to restore the Printery building which is over 100 years old.  But until then I think it looks kind of haunted.   Call the Winchester brothers.  Did I mention this was also the start line?   In the dark.

The race started at the crack of dawn in the cold and dark.   Seriously, the sun hadn’t risen and it was 34*.   Dude, what??? I had my fleece vest from the week before and debated wearing it, I mean 13 miles…I’d warm up right???  I stayed in the car until the last possible moment before heading to the start line to find a port-a-pottie.  Luckily I had thought ahead and brought a Knuckle Light with me as the bathrooms were completely dark.   I was so cold.  Luckily, the announcer said a few words, the National Anthem was sung and we were off.

Miles 1-3 10:16, 10:46, 12:04  I wasn’t planning on racing this- it was more a training run so I was going to happy with anything around 2:24-2:30 overall.  The first mile looped us around numerous downtown city blocks before heading out onto the highway out of town.   I was kind of surprised when I figured out what highway we were on, we were running on the closed shoulder while the lanes were open.  We crossed a bridge and I was wondering where the first mile marker was.  Checked my watch and saw that we were past a mile so I figured I missed it.     But I never saw mile 2 or mile 3… ok, so there are no mile markers. Ummm?   I was feeling an odd tingling in my backside during mile 3- it was more that I felt like the zipper to the pocket on my pants was super cold- almost too cold but I ignored it and it went away.  Probably shouldn’t have.

Miles 4-7 11:37, 10:43, 12:22, 11:52  I was slowing for no apparent reason but the reality is that I actually had no idea.  I was trying not to pay attention to my watch as this was a training run.  I had to look at it occasionally as the lack of mile markers was actually frustrating.  I wanted some idea of where I was.  Plus the course was an out and back so I knew the turn around had to come at some point but it seemed too far out.  I was enjoying the scenery of the back road we were now on but once again, it wasn’t the best road for runners.  We now had an entire lane to ourselves but drivers tend to treat this road like a speedway and they weren’t slowing even with the cones.   They were down to one lane and buzzing around us upwards of 40mph.

Miles 8-11 11:56, 12:07, 12:20, 12:27 The turn around!  Yay!  And I had finally realized that I was moving slower than I thought I was.  What was going on?  Wait, I can’t feel my butt!  Or my quads and thighs really.  What the hell?  How long had I been numb?  Seriously? Like I smacked myself in the butt and couldn’t feel it.   So I tried it again, same thing.  I couldn’t really feel the effort my legs were putting in or lack thereof.  🤣  It wasn’t that cold- wth?  My fleece vest had kind of frosted over though, haha.  There was a person out there in a tank!  Apparently I have zero tolerance for the cold these days.

Miles 12-13 11:58, 11:37  Back to the highway and my backside was finally starting to warm up.  But only in patches, haha and those sections were just itching.  Oh for crying out loud.  As we came back into town, I could see the finish line at the park (different than the start) but instead of going straight to it we had to go around the block the long way.

Finish-2:33:51

Yes, that’s fidget spinner for a medal

Not horribly off my long run pace goal and I learned that I really need to practice running in cold weather.  Nah.  After getting my medal, it was time to join the party in the park.  There was yoga, food tents, beer tents, cupcake tents, local businesses and one of those tables with computers that prints your results.  I’ve never had one of those!  It was barely 9AM, there was no way I was drinking a beer but I wasn’t passing up a free cupcake.  😀

For a first time race, they did a decent job, they have room for improvement but it’s a race I would run again.  Just move the dang start time back.   And maybe put up a few more road blocks.

Race Day, Recap, Run!

Wine Country Run 5K Recap

Having mostly decided the night before that I was actually going to do the smart thing and drop to the 5K, the temps that I saw upon waking on race morning almost made me DNS.   32 with heavy fog?? Say what?  What was that all about??  On a good day, that would be rough, the morning after so many days of feeling horrible?  I just wanted to burrow under the covers and hide until summer.

But I didn’t.  I got up and dressed and headed to the race.  I had to get to the race early enough back to bib check in and down grade from the half marathon to the 5k.   Never having done that before I didn’t know how it would go- it took maybe 5 minutes. And only that long because the computer network crashed.  I then went and hid in my car until the start.

I haven’t “raced” a 5K in so long I can’t even remember and I still didn’t feel good so I wasn’t holding out hope that this was going to work out so well. 😛

Mile 1-9:30 Oops, can’t hold that, least not today.  Truth is, I was so damn cold, I felt like I was crawling.  The first mile took us on a dirt road back through the vineyard before dumping us out on the street.   I wish we could have stayed on the dirt but we were still running past vineyards and at least the roads were mostly closed.

Mile 2- 10:25  My calves/ achilles were tightening up which I kind of expected as it was cold, I was wearing my Altra’s and the miles had been pancake flat.  I don’t like flat.  We had turned onto a street and were running past a few houses and mini ranch’s.   I use that term based more on the horses and goats and chickens than the land size.  We ran past the one water station before hitting the turn around and making our way back.

Disclosure- this was taken the day before at packet pickup hence the sun

Mile 3- 10:26 Oh, the tightness.  My legs felt so tight.  I was surprisingly feeling ok though in both my stomach and the fact it’s been a while since I’ve run without walk breaks.  Like I said in a recent post- they’ve become a crutch and that is not what I meant to happen.  However I had a choice to make about my calves.  My pace had slowed and was showing 11:20 something.   I could run on with the tightness or I could stop and stretch it out.  I stopped and stretched for 10-15 seconds.  It wasn’t enough but it helped.   I pushed on back towards the winery.  Once I knew I was within 1/4 mile, I pushed play on my Aftershokz with a perfectly cued up song for that finish line push.

Finish- 31:12

Well, hey now, that’s actually way better than I was expecting!  And I ran the whole thing!  Small victories.  😀  I was nowhere near PR pace and I am fine with that.   The fact that I had a finish line push after 4 days of hell is more than enough for me.  Though I should probably give some of that credit to Shinedown‘s latest- Devil.  It was just the kick in the pants I needed.  It also turns out that stopping to stretch was also the right choice.

5K’s are kind of fun… why did I seem to forget about them???

BibRave, Race Day, Run!

Race to the Row- San Jose 408K

Disclaimer: I’m promoting the San Jose 408K 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!”

Have you ever run an 8K?? I haven’t.  I find myself intrigued by them.  Not a 10K, not 5 miles but 8K.  I am not even sure how I would run that… fast like a 5K or kind of like a 10K but push it for that last .97? So many thoughts!

But let’s talk about the race itself-

This is the 7th year running for the San Jose 408K.  (see what I did there😛?)  It’s an 8K point to point course that starts at the SAP center and runs to Santana Row.  It’s the only event in San Jose that finishes on Santana Row.

The benefiting charity is the Pat Tillman Foundation.  The race takes place on Sunday, March 4th.

For a shorter race, it has a couple of special moments laced throughout the course-

Dude, I want to run it!  Actually, it’s been on my radar the past few years but I’ve never been able to make my schedule work out.  That trouble strikes again this year as I will be chaperoning the boys tennis team in a tournament.  Boo.  But for sad runners like me who can’t get to San Jose on race day- Represent Running has a remote runner option.  Same great swag mailed to you and you run the race on your own.  Sweet!  Bummed to miss out on all awesome perks of the race atmosphere though.
For more information, check out run408k.com.
Want to run it on March 4?? Use code BIBRAVE for $8 off registration.
Ever run an 8K?
Race Day, Recap, Run!

Mission 10 Miler Recap

My first 10 mile race!

This race wasn’t on my radar until I received an email from a half marathon series.   San Juan Bautista is only 2 hours up the road and this would make mission #3 for a race start.  I didn’t know I was starting a list but hey, why not!

I had a 12 mile run on the schedule that week but instead of running the half marathon available, I wanted to run the 10 miler.  I figured I would run 2 miles when I got back to to town.  Then the week of pain happened and I spent Thursday and Friday feeling a little off but I refused to say I was sick.  I wasn’t even sure I was going to be able run the race but I headed that way anyways.

Holy crap it was cold!  And picking up my bib and shirt took barely any time, so we stood around and froze for almost an hour.  Oops.  After watching the kids race- so adorable, then the half marathon start, it was time for the 10 miler.

I am toying with running Big Sur with run/walk intervals so I tested those out here.  When I was in super shape (for me)- I could have run this in the low 1:30:00 range. Yah, not so much anymore.  Since I was treating it as a long run, I was hoping for a 10:30-11:00 pace but with my recent leg issues I told my mother I wasn’t expecting to be done before 2:00 hours.  Then I put my watch on intervals of 1:15 run/ :45 walk, only had it on that screen and ran the race pace blind.

Miles 1-3- 9:38, 10:27, 10:33

I ran the entirety of the first mile, the race vibe just gets me moving.  However, I felt like I was crawling.  I was so cold, my legs didn’t feel like they were moving properly.    But looking at my Garmin later, I guess they were.  😛  I went to the intervals in mile 2 not because of the leg issue I had been worried about but only because my calves and achilles were super tight.   They were letting me know they were less than pleased with 3 miles of flat road.

Miles 4-7- 11:18, 11:19, 10:39, 9:47
Around 3.5 miles in we rounded a corner and passed a lone port-a potty and then the elevation finally started to change.  I smiled.   Yay, a hill!   I slowed going up the hill but stuck to my intervals.  The tightness in my calves eased- this is why I like hills- and I was feeling better than I thought I would.  I was sticking to the plan and treating the race like a long run- I wasn’t pushing it but I was keeping a steady effort.   The road through this section took the runners by some very pretty properties so I was also trying to enjoy the scenery.   I picked up the pace a bit when we turned around to head back towards the finish and now had the aid of the downhill.   Things were feeling good.

Miles 8-10- 11:16, 11:29, 11:17
Holy crap, what the hell???  My stomach cramped and cramped in a miserable, horrible way.   My intervals disintegrated and the wheels came off.   I ran when I could and walked when I was trying to breath through the pain and not cause any ummmm, issues.  In all 10 miles of this race, I saw 1 port-a-potty.  That didn’t help me.   Where was the finish line????

Finish- 1:48:29
Well, look at that- even with the wheels falling off in the last 3 miles, that’s not bad!

I found a jail while looking for a bathroom

 

Unfortunately, I was sick for the next 4-5 hours and fought a cold for the next 3 days so that was less fun but the race was a pretty good way to start the year.  Maybe next 10 miler, I can really race it.  😀

BibRave, Race Day, Recap, Run!

2017 City to the Sea 13.1 Recap

What do you do when need to run a long run and need the motivation to get up early? Sign up for a race!

Let’s count the things that did not go like planned-

  • Had stomach issues on Saturday but hoped they would go away by race morning.
  • It didn’t, it was even worse.  To the point where I had a complete change in wardrobe plans.  If I could have run in a dress I would have.  I needed the least amount of pressure possible.
  • Ran in a skirt I haven’t worn in 2 years, probably qualified as something new on race day.  Ditto to the Camelbak I decided to use.
  • I was late leaving the house, then spent too much time at a Chevron station using the facilities due to above mentioned GI issue.
  • Lost one of the zip ties for the timing chip.  Found it again after tearing apart car.
  • Strolled up to the start with 3 minutes to spare.
  • Ran the race on Zero calories.
  • With my back issues, I was thinking this would be slower than long run pace.  My parents were meeting me at the finish line- I told them over a 2:30 finish.

And yet-

Miles 1-4 9:38, 9:39, 9:44, 9:58


The race starts off downhill so I figured the first few miles would be my fastest but I had been thinking high 10’s.  Mile 1 clocked in and I remember thinking “what the hell legs? We can’t maintain that”.  Then mile 2 took freakin’ forever.  I’ve run this course 5 times and I couldn’t figure why the hell it was taking so long so I finally looked at my watch.  Mile 2.86.  Oh I missed the mile marker, good to know I am not crazy.   I was trying to not look at my watch but I knew my legs were still running a pace they had no business running.  My friend Bix came up behind a little after mile 3.  We chatted a bit before she pulled ahead a little after mile 4.  I had to crash soon right?

Miles 5-8 10:20, 10:44, 11:13, 9:34

Mile 5 starts a long slow climb which I like as it loosens up any leg tightness I may have.  I also took my first walk break as my back gave a tiny twinge.   Mile 6 saw lots of walking as those stupid stomach issues came rearing back.  Are you kidding me?!?!  The last aid station at mile 4 and the next one wasn’t until past mile 7.     I also was suddenly surrounded by people.  What the hell?   It was the 2:15 pace group.  Wait, I was in front of the 2:15 pace group for 6 miles?  What year is this? 2015? 😛   They pulled ahead but I kept them in my sights until the bigger hill on mile 7- more walking thanks to a cranky back.  I wasn’t worried as I knew there was a downhill coming and I love downhills.  As you can see by that mile 8 up there.

The Garmin makes it look scary😂

Miles 9-11 10:48, 12:34, 10:26

Catching up to the pace group was short lived.  I lost them on the Bob Jones Trail.  I was slowing down but what else do you expect when your longest run in 2 months has been 8 miles?  I ran on the dirt on the side of the trail hoping it would lessen some of the pavement pounding but by mile 10- the biggest hill- my back was very not happy.  I walked a lot and it shows in my mile time.   I tried to stretch it out as I walked.   Mile 11 was pretty good actually but I felt like I was crawling.


Miles 12-13.1 10:51, 11:40

Come on back, I’m so close!  2 miles to go! Run til I feel a twinge, walk it out, repeat.  Ran alongside a woman for a bit, we commiserated over pains.  She was having Plantar issues.  She pulled ahead.   Finally I hit mile 13 and all I had left was the longest .1 ever.  Seriously- I swear this .1 is longer than any other race I have other run.

Finish- 2:18:59


How, now?  Under trained, messed up back, hot mess of a morning and I finish my fastest race in 2 years?  In fact, my fastest race since City to the Sea 2015?   How does that even make sense?   I just decided to let my legs and back fight it out.  I took my head out of the equation.

Maybe I need to try that more often? 😛🙂