BibRave, Race Day, Recap

2019 Surf City Half Marathon Recap

Disclaimer: I received an entry to Oakland Running Festival 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!

After a rough day of travel Saturday, I actually slept ok for pre-race hotel sleep. I woke up once around 2AM and was stoked I had another 3 hours to sleep. Sweet! Once up, I quickly got ready with all my gear and checked out of the hotel. The weather wasn’t dumping rain like the day before and the app said it would stay clear but I didn’t trust it. I was wearing arm warmers and my rain jacket over those.

My mom was able to get me as close as she could and I jumped out of the car on a street corner. I chatted with another runner as we made our way to the starting area. We ended up going our separate ways and I messaged the other BibRave Pro’s to see if we could make a meet up work before the race. We did!

Photo credit- Christine

Then it was time to line up. Surf City does self seeded corrals which works about as well as you think. I knew I was going to be moving slower so I placed myself in wave 4 which was 2:25- 2:34. I was almost right, haha not really, I ended up running my second slowest half to date.

Miles 1-5 10:52, 11:13, 11:26, 12:28, 11:27
I was moving slow but wasn’t feeling the need for walk breaks which was great because I know how out of shape I am. However things got weird around mile 2. I was cautious on how my foot would feel but I was expecting pain- instead my foot went numb. I could barely feel my left foot for the next 2 miles and around 3.5 my right foot joined it. I started walking just to see if that would change things. Thankfully it did. Just as it started to rain. Ok, mostly mist but it was still wet.

But then I realized I had another problem. Mile 6- 16:00
I suddenly need the restroom, not like my stomach was upset but I really needed the restroom. There was a series of port-a-potties around mile 5.5 and even though they had a line, I jumped in the line. Well, there goes my mile time.

Miles 7-10 11:46, 12:29, 12:28, 12:35
I was feeling ok but knew I was slowing. I wasn’t really paying attention to my watch. I was just focusing on the fact that I was still running and not taking walk breaks. Woo hoo! Well until mile 9. I knew once I took the first real walk break, there would be more to come. We had hit the turn around point and were running into a breeze now. I was still cold and it was misting every now and again but the breeze felt good to me.

Miles 11-13 13:38, 12:22, 12:37
I’ve run 2 marathons and never experienced “the wall”. Welp, I think I found it. Other than cold and wet toes, my body felt ok but I was done. I walked a fair amount of mile 11. From there I was just run/ walking my way in. This is normally the part of the course with the best views and most spectators but I was just keeping my head down and trying to get to the finish line.

Finish- 2:43:06 My second slowest half ever!

Granted, the 5 minute bathroom stop didn’t help matters along. I have no shame in that finishing time, I knew I was going to be slower, my training was almost non-existent and when I did get my act together, I hurt my foot and ended up taking 11 days off in a row. I’ll have no problem adding those results to my Athlinks profile for all to see. It gives me a starting point and now I know what I need to do going forward.

I still love Surf City and all it has to offer, maybe one day I’ll run it again and run it well.

Ambassador, BibRave, Race Day, Recap, Run!

Holiday Half Race Recap

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Holiday 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!

Race start was a leisurely 8 but after a night of utterly horrible sleep, there was no need for my alarm and morning came too early.   I knew I needed to get my bib before the race so we checked out first thing and headed for the Fairplex.    The Pomona Raceway and Fairplex has more than enough parking but getting in was more challenging than I anticipated and took longer than I planned for.   Once we finally parked, we booked it down to the race start where everything was clearly labeled and picking up my bib and race shirt was easy-peasy.  

Then the clothing debate was on.   I was cold so I was wearing a long sleeve with my BibRave tank over it and my black fleece vest over that.  I had my beanie or trucker hat to choose from and had gloves.   I still wasn’t feeling great and tend to run cold so I was thinking all the layers.  My mother ended up taking the beanie and talked me out of the vest as well although I was whining about it the whole time.  I ran with my old waist belt instead of my pack as well because I didn’t want anything heavy on my chest.   So still feeling cold, I lined up at the start and under a dusting of fake snow, we were off!

Miles 1-3- 10:03, 11:33, 12:05
I knew this was going to be slower, I was thinking around a 12 min pace likely and figured I would pay more attention to my heart rate than my pace.  First mile- oops but I was feeling ok as we wound out of the Fairplex and into the surrounding neighborhoods.  I knew from the race website, it had some rolling hills so I made the early decision to walk them just because I had been sick.  Then I had to forcibly remind myself of that on the first one.  Mile 2, I was already tired, haha!  And mile 3, I was overheating.  The weatherman lied- how the hell do I get this undershirt off? I am going to melt!  We also hit the actual drag strip which was cool and the main reason I slowed- I took a lot of pictures.  😛

Miles 4-8- 11:12, 11:34, 11:48, 12:12, 12:16
The track actually gave me a little bit of a second wind so I was moving a little faster than I had originally planned.  Not exactly speedy but better than I had predicted.  The course was winding us through neighborhoods and parks and campgrounds and I was just enjoying the view.  We ran passed Raging Waters so that was kind of cool.  There was a lake on our left for a good chunk of the miles so there was always something to look at.   The pacers were making me mad though.  At this point the 2:20 and 2:15 pacers passed me, which would have been fine, except they were running together! Ummm- that’s not how it works!    Mile 8 brought us down into a park that we looped and then back out.

Miles 9-12- 11:32, 12:37, 12:27, 13:12
Things were going good until 9.5.  Then my body was done.    My legs and hips started talking back about the lack of miles in the last 2 months and I felt an asthma attack coming.   I came to a halt and then walked.  A lot, all the hills, most of the flats and only really ran the downhills.  Bummer as this section leveled out and brought us back to the race track.   Here another pacer ticked me off.  At mile 11.75 and 2:18 in (yes, I checked my watch) the 2:40 pacer passed me- running.  Wait, what?  I know they started after me, what the heck are they doing??

Mile 13-11:29
This mile drove me crazy.  I was trying to not have an asthma attack but I wanted to run and be done.  This mile was mostly S-curving through the race track parking lot to pick up mileage as we headed back to the Fairplex and it was in full sun. Why????? I still walked portions but finally jogged it in to the finish. Where’s my snowflake?  Oh wait, it’s a wreath.😛

Finish 2:36:34

I met up with my mother at the end of the finish chute and we hung out for a bit.   It was a little bit of a party going on but in the end I was sore and wheezing and needed to sit so we headed back to the car.   

I knew I wasn’t trained or fully healthy going into this race so I am A-Ok with my finishing time.  It was even a little better than I thought it might be and still not my slowest.   This was a great course though and I wonder what I could do healthy- those hills spoke to me.  

Oh and the 2:40 pacer? Finished before me. 🤨

Oh- and I got a fancy finisher’s certificate from Athlinks!

BibRave, Race Day, Recap, Run!

Rock N Roll Los Angeles 13.1

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Rock n Roll Los Angeles 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!

Going into LA, I knew it was going to be less race and morning training run.  With the last few weeks of work kicking my tush, I knew it might turn into a stroll around LA instead.

The parking situation from the day before had me super stressed and then I realized that my hotel was further away then I thought so I set a very early alarm for Sunday.  I used Siri and Waze and still ran into road closures but found a spot in a parking garage near the start before 5AM.   I hung out in my car for a bit then headed out to find the start.   There was a short line at the potties so I took advantage, I then headed off to the #werunsocial meetup.

I jumped in corral 9 after the National Anthem and just stayed there.  I didn’t feel like shoving my way up to my corral and I knew I wasn’t going to be fast.

Miles 1-4 9:47, 10:31, 11:11, 11:27
We were off and headed out on the first out and back.  I was actually feeling pretty good which was surprising considering the dense fog and poor air quality warning I had woken up to.  I took a walk break in mile 3 for water and the pavement seemed more slippery than usual at the water stations.  Mile 4 I felt a little fatigued so I went to my run/ walk intervals, it also had the biggest climb on the course.  I like hills but after a week of crap sleep in a hotel- yeah I walked.

Miles 5-6 10:55, 14:19
My little reset mile helped so I picked up the pace for mile 5.  I was feeling good, we were running down Wilshire (?) BLVD and things were going my way.  Then they weren’t.  At 4.8- 1/2 mile past an aid station, my stomach cramped- hard.  I came to a complete stop.  What the hell?? I walked until about 5.4 trying to calm my stomach.  Then it was a slow jog while I prayed for an aid station and a port-a-pottie.  Just before mile 6 there was and thankfully there was no line.

Miles 7-10 10:51, 12:03, 12:10, 11:48
My stomach was ok but not great.  From then on, it was run/ walk.  I was actually running a decent pace but when I walked I was so slow.  Normally I power walk pretty well but my stomach was either run or crawl.  I tried to just enjoy some of the buildings around me, the other runners in costume and major shout out to the Korea Town Running club- their cheering section was awesome.    Oh and zombies on stilts?

Miles 11-13 12:13, 13:07, 11:39
We were on our way back of the biggest out and back.   My stomach was starting to really act up again and trying to ignore it was making me tired.    This was also the first time I’ve seen a sweeper car on a race damn near on top of the last runners.  Kind of a drawback to courses with such long out and backs.  I walked most of mile 12 and 13 before I finally told my stomach it just had to shut up for 1/2 mile and I ran it in.

Finish-2:34:43

Considering I walked 45% and spent 3 minutes in a bathroom mid run- that ain’t bad.  In fact, if my stomach had not been an asshat, this probably would have ended up being my fastest half of the year, instead it was my slowest, haha.   And that is perfectly fine considering how the last 2 weeks went.  Not my best, not my worst, either way I have no problem entering my time into Athlinks while I wait for the official results.

While I did like the course- good hills and buildings- and Rock N Roll always puts on a great race, the parking and the traffic were nuts.  Too many things going on in a small area and I just don’t deal well.

BibRave, Race Day, Recap, Run!

Rock n Roll San Jose Recap

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!

After the worst night of sleep or lack thereof, I was up and getting ready for the race.  I was also regretting the Spaghetti Factory dinner from the night before.  😛  I got ready and headed off to the start line.

The race started at 8 and while the Slacker in me liked that, every other part of me was worried.  That is late.  I knew I was going to be slower than planned.  I still had to check out of my hotel.  Rock n Roll had sent out a heat advisory email the night before.  Let’s get this show on the road!  Except we didn’t.  I can usually guess exactly what time my corral is going to start for Rock N Roll races but I would have been so wrong this time.  There was some delay for the trains? Buses? I don’t know but I was confused.   I didn’t cross the start line until almost 8:30 and it already felt warm.  I hate humidity.

Miles 1-3 9:58, 10:42, 10:21, 11:05
Irritation fueled the first mile.  I had a feeling I wouldn’t be able to maintain that.   My legs felt ok but the rest of me felt off- just kind of not present.    I was running and felt like I was pushing but I knew I really wasn’t.  I was realizing just how many turns this race course was going take.  We turned so many times.   We ran through the San Pedro Market area which brought us past the Spaghetti Factory- nope, nope.  Then it was another turn and we were coming back towards the start line.  I heard a woman tell her running partner that it was too hot for her.

Miles 5-8 11:05, 11:21, 11:31, 11:23
So much flat road.  We were running towards the SAP Center and into an area of apartments and strip malls.  I found the perfect apartment complex- an Orange Theory and Papa Johns were across the parking lot.  Replace the Papa Johns with Domino’s and I am sold!  The things we think about when trying to not think about running.  😜  So many more turns and we were in Santa Clara.   I felt like we were so far away the finish line.  I needed a hill.  Why was it so warm, it’s October!   There were some damn nice houses we ran by during this block as well.

Miles 9-12 12:58, 11:33, 12:26, 12:02
Oh, what the hell?  My right hip/ sciatica seized and I ground to a slow crawl.  I spent mile 9 mostly walking and punching myself in the butt.  🤣  I kind of wonder what I looked like to the runners behind me.   I ran more in mile 10 but 11 was more of the same.   Grrr.  My stomach cramps from the morning also returned.   Really?? What else?  I was taking more walk breaks trying to loosen up my hip area.  I was drinking water and Gatorade at every station and dumping water on my Buff then shoving it down my shirt to cool off.  Classy, right?  This course had an abundance of cheerleaders and they were needed as I was fading.

Mile 13 11:15
Around mile 11.5, the 2:30 pacer passed me.  Umm, excuse me?  I know they started after me and I was on pace for a 2:30 so they had no business passing me.  I picked up the pace a bit because I was so ready to be done.  Sure enough I passed the pace group in the last stretch to the finish line as they slammed on the breaks.

Finish – 2:30:00 on the nose

I was done, I was hot and my hip hurt.  I made my way through the long finisher’s chute, getting my medal and food before finally making my way out and meeting up with my mother.   In one good thing, the finisher chute pretty much dumped us out right at my hotel parking lot so I didn’t have far to hobble.

If you love flat, this is the race for you.  I did like running through the neighborhoods of San Jose and course support- aid stations, music and cheerleaders.   But I need hills.  I don’t know if they would have made much of a difference that day but I missed them.  Also, I haven’t been that sore post race in years- even after both marathons.  😛

Race Day, Recap, Run!

Vintner’s 5 Miler Race Recap

Dang those targeted Instagram ads that sneak up on you.    I was scrolling my feed one evening when a cute wine bottle shaped medal jumped out at me.  I don’t know why- I don’t even drink wine- but I saw that it was in Santa Barbara, fit my training plan, reasonably priced and vineyards usually meant dirt of some sort.  So I clicked through and registered.

As race day loomed, I was tired and fussy and wondering why I even registered.  They said the proceeds were for the Santa Ynez Valley Aquatic Foundation so maybe they could just use the donation?   Then I noticed the winery wasn’t actually in Santa Barbara but Lompoc and spoiler alert- it wasn’t really there either.  However I laid out a lazy flat runner and tried to get some sleep for the early morning drive south.

Race morning was actually a bit chilly in home town and made me question my shorts choice.   After a little driving shenanigans, we arrived at the race location- Sanford Winery and were directed to parking.   Then I had to decide on what shoes to wear.  If you’ve never run in an actual vineyard before, they can be a mixed bag.  They range from super nice fire road to ankle rolling hellish nightmare.  I didn’t know what this was going to be.  I wanted the cushion of my Levitates but chose my trail shoes.   Smart choice.

Picked up my bib and shirt, used the port a potty and waited for the start.  It was around 60 and overcast but at the last-minute I tossed my long sleeve layer to my mother.  I normally run cold but something told me I wouldn’t need it.   After a few announcements that I couldn’t understand over the spotty PA system, we were off through the winery.

Miles 1-2 10:14, 11:29

Dirt roads- yes!  But woah, that is some loose dirt.   And what the hell, my shorts just turned into underwear.  I’d never had that problem with this pair before.   I spent the next mile or so pulling my shorts down every 20 or so yards.  It was super humid so my lungs weren’t happy and I was breathing hard but I wasn’t out there to set any records.   Mile 1 had the cutest mile marker- a wine barrel with 1 foot painted on it.  By mile 2 and the wine barrel with 2 feet on it I figured out the pattern but I am a horrible blogger and failed to take pictures of any of the mile markers.

The fog came back, boo

Mile 3- 15:12

On the upshot, my shorts calmed down and behaved the rest of the race.  Downside #1, we started a 300 foot climb.  Downside #2- I hit a rock with my bad foot and rolled it in a bad way.   Colorful words spilled from my mouth and I slammed to a halt.  Then I hobbled my way up and on, trying to make sure that I didn’t step on any more rocks.   The route was still mostly dirt path but the rocks were getting bigger.  This also made them easier to avoid but I had to focus on where I was landing my feet.  What was I thinking running a race?

Miles 4-5 9:36, 10:42

Mile 4 started by running through a barn and for some reason I found a second wind.  We had a little bit of a downhill but because my foot was being an asshat I couldn’t really RUN downhill.  I was still trying to watch where my feet were landing before they landed and avoid all rocks.  As well as check out the cool outbuildings and the scenery in the vineyard as the sun had come out and it looked super pretty.   I managed to find another rock coming down a little bump in the last mile and let another string of words fly.  A guy running next to me asked if the hill was too steep, I refrained from being a smart ass and replying that it wasn’t even a hill in my opinion and just said I had hurt my foot a few miles back.   The last bit of the race had us running literally in between the vines.  Oh holy hell of rockiness.  There was nowhere to put my feet that didn’t hurt.  I damn near walked it but I was so close to being done.  As it is, I slowed way down.   Finally another few curves and there was the finish line!

Finish-57:44

If we consider this a true trail race- it was my fastest 5 miler by 7 minutes but as it only had 400 ish feet of elevation gain, I am not sure if I do.

Once across the line, there was some confusion.  Registration claimed it came with a medal and wine glass for every participant but neither was anywhere to be seen.    Now,  I downgraded from the festival to just the race so the lack of wine glass was not a huge deal to me but the lack of medal was a little confusing as there had been zero announcements.

I was not the only one confused as evidenced by Facebook comments post race.  We eventually received an email that said there had been a delay with the medals and that they would arrive Monday, then the race would be in touch with us after that.  However it is now Thursday and that was the last time the race reached out.    I have run numerous races with no medals but it’s another thing to say you are going to do something and then not do it.

Communication issues aside, I really did like this race and would consider running it again.