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.  πŸ˜›     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.  πŸ˜›  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?  πŸ˜›

Half #25 in the books.  πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

BibRave, Race Day, Run!

Wine Country- On My Way

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Wine Country Half Santa Barbara as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming aΒ BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

It’s race weekend!

In one way I feel like it snuck up on me too quickly and in another way I feel like it’s been a long time coming.

I’ve heard nothing but good things about this race so I am excited to finally be running it.Β  The course starts in Santa Ynez and ends in Solvang, so Santa Barbara is a bit of a misnomer unless they’re going for the county.Β  πŸ˜‰Β Β Β  My grandparents used to live in Santa Ynez so it’s kind of like a return to childhood for me. Except I wasn’t into running then.Β Β  πŸ˜›

The scenery looks to be back roads and vineyards which are my favorite kinds of roads.Β  And the elevation profile looks fun-

SB Elevation

Now, part of it’s called Corkscrew Hill and while that sounds ominous, I don’t see it up there? Except maybe that last bit to mile 7?

Now the last couple of weeks haven’t gone according to plan so I will likely be taking it easier than I planned.Β  I would to shoot for 2:20 but the lack of sleep and a medication mix up this week have left me a little lagging.Β Β  Ashley of Rather Be Runnin’ is pacing the 2:30 group so maybe I’ll just hang with them and catch up since it’s been so long.Β  Plus Saturday races seem to confuse my body.Β  Or maybe it’s all in my head.πŸ˜›

Anyone else racing this weekend?

Thoughts on Saturday vs Sunday races?

 

BibRave, Race Day, Recap, Run!

2017 Livermore Half Marathon Recap

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Livermore 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!

All right, if you’ve been reading me whine for the past week you know I went into this race sick.   I was questioning my sanity for running it and my ability to finish it.   As was my mother.  πŸ˜›


Race morning dawned after a less then stellar night of sleep but isn’t that to be expected before races?   The forecast had changed to just overcast and low 40’s and while I was thankful for the lack of rain I knew that was going to feel cold to me.  So I layered up.  Seriously.  Capri’s over compression socks, a tank with a long sleeve shirt over it, then my rain jacket.  A Buff around my neck and another Buff around my head to cover my ears with my hat over that.     My mom drove me to the start and dropped me off.

I made my way to the start line and suddenly panicked.  I forgot my bib!  Somehow I had forgotten to pin my bib on.  It was still in the car.  Thankfully my mother had decided that parking was a nightmare (we were in a dirt lot without specific spots which was very tricky in the dark) so she was just going to nap while I ran.  I hauled butt back to the car to get my bib.  Once that crisis was averted I headed back to the start line where I ended up meeting up with Laura from running4thereason.com, another Bibrave Pro.   We chatted while waiting for the race to start.  10 minutes after 7 and we were off!

My plan was to run until I got tired, walk, then repeat until the finish line.  I figured I would walk every hill and just do whatever my lungs wanted to do and just go from there.

Miles 1-3 10:24, 10:40, 10:22

The first 3 miles were through city streets and I was moving a hell of a lot faster than I thought I would be.   Hmmm.   I like low key city streets so I was enjoying the vibe and just letting my feet do what they wanted.  I skipped the first aid station at mile 2 because it was just too crowded.   The 5K was also running along side us for a bit so that was interesting.  A couple other runners and I were cracking jokes that we were going to “get lost” and turn around with the 5K’ers.   πŸ˜›  A little before mile 3 I came up behind the 2:30 pacers… um, what?  I knew I was moving way faster then that so I couldn’t figure out how they had gotten that far ahead of me.  Then I turned my headphones on and told myself to get over it.

The bridges moved when you ran over them!

Miles 4-6 11:11, 11:29, 11:41

I loved these miles and hated them at the same time.  Just past mile 4 we went from running the streets into a paved path in a park.  Heaven.  I want this path in my town now.   Paved blacktop with nature on both sides, a little stream running thanks to all the rain?  It was awesome.  A downside was that the path narrowed so it was easy to get roadblocked so there was lots of bobbing and weaving going on in these miles.  I ran in the dirt along the path a lot.  But again, that’s one of my favorite things so this should have been my favorite part.  What made it so rough was that just past mile 4 my stomach cramped, bad.   Like, I need a bathroom now, bad.  And of course, the next bathroom wasn’t until the aid station at mile 6ish. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ So instead of walking because I was tired, I walked when I cramped and ran when it eased, and repeat.   That kind of messed with my head.  Note to self- never eat Five Guys before a race ever again.


Miles- 7-9 11:31, 11:47, 13:02

Just past mile 6 and we were out of the park and back on the street.  The bathroom line was like 20+ people long and the cramping had eased so I figured as long as I went slow I would probably be ok.   My lungs were starting to protest and I was super congested.  I admit I did something I have never done in view of others before- I spit.  I did it more than once this race. I felt so bad but I had to!  I also ripped off a few choice words when a police car leading a trail of cars on the other side of the road let off a single screeching chirp.  I about jumped out of my skin.   2 people next to me also had some colorful words to share.   Mile 9 saw the only 2 real hills of the race.  I walked them.  At the top of the first was a water station that also had a paramedic and a fire truck- it was a small hill!  I got jammed up the water station.  I went to throw my water cup in the trash and a woman put herself in front of me to eat her Gu and a woman came up right behind me to drink water.  It was like a hug with random strangers and I couldn’t move.  Let me out!  It took me another 30’ish seconds to get myself out of the stranger sandwich and on my way.  Grrr.   We were leaving the road and entering another park with a paved path.   Seriously, I wanted this one in my town too.  My lungs were protesting as we hit the second hill, they were so not happy.


Miles 10-12 11:00, 11:51, 11:14

We were still in the park so I was running in the dirt every chance I got.    I love dirt.  Plus my legs appreciated the change in terrain.  They were actually feeling pretty good considering how little elevation this course had.   The 2:30 pacers had caught up to me and passed me, left me in the dust really.  I started to feel discouraged but told myself to get over it, I was already doing better than I thought I would, there was no sense making myself sicker just to meet some arbitrary “sick” finish time.  I just told myself to enjoy the scenery and try to calm my lungs down.   Mile 11 brought us back into town through a smaller park before we were back on city streets for the last mile.

Mile 13 12:16

Holy asthma city.  My lungs were done.  Between my cold and my asthma, I was fighting an asthma attack.  I walked so much of the last mile.  I was wheezing and coughing and gasping and probably looked like a hot mess.  Crowd support really picked up for the last mile and so many people were cheering.   I heard “come on girl in orange run! You’re so close!”  Don’t you see I’m trying!?!?!?!  I rounded a corner and there it was- the finish line!

Finish 2:30:15

Haha, this pic makes me laugh nowπŸ˜‚

I crossed the line and was handed my medal.  I saw my mom fairly quickly outside the fence and went to say hi.  She took one look at my face and said “you chose to do this”.  Haha, thanks mom.πŸ˜›    I then wandered down the finishers chute and collected my wine glass, chocolate milk and banana.  I was also able to refill my water bottle.  Once I stopped moving and was able to chill for a moment, my lungs calmed down a bit.


All in all this a great course.  I liked all the scenery and the varied paths.   I wish it had a few more hills.  I think another hill or 2 may have helped me a bit, this course was fairly flat.  So if flat is your jam, you could totally set a PR on this course.   And hey I ended up hitting my arbitrary sick time anyways- who knew?!

Half marathon #23 in the books.  πŸ™‚

 

BibRave, Run!

Livermore Ahead

Livermore is here!

Well, in 3 days more accurately.

Which is great as I have been looking forward to it since November.   Something about it just piqued my interest post Golden Gate Half and held on to it.    So when I got the chance to run it through Bibrave, I was stoked.


Now, the downside.  I’m still sick.😷  I haven’t run since last Thursday.    I called in sick on Monday.  From all the coughing I’ve been doing, I should have abs by now.   Abs, where are you? πŸ˜›

Also the weather is predicting rain.  Where is California weather?   Actually, it changes every time I check my weather app, maybe I should just stop looking?

So all plans I had have changed.     I am looking forward to a hopefully fun run.   I want to enjoy the scenery of a new place and take it all in.    My mother is going with me like usual and I’ve already told her this will not be a speedy one by any means.   This is going to be a taking time to enjoy the view kind of race.   Sometimes those are the best kind right?πŸ˜€

Ever run with a cold?

Any anti coughing tips for an asthmatic with a deviated septum? 

 

 

Race Day, Recap, Run!

Carlsbad Half Marathon Recap

I put this race on my calendar back in November.  Something about it just looked awesome.  Then the December of flu happened and I ran a whopping 14 miles.   Well crap.   I took time off in November intentionally so that meant a long break with very little running.  Well, crap, what now?  Cue freak out.  I seriously debated a DNS but I couldn’t start the year like that right?   Right.


I was doing this but I was under trained, out of shape and freaking out.    I had no idea how this was going to go.   I was too tired to even pull off a flat runner, how about a pile?  πŸ˜›  The longest run I had done in months was 7 miles.  The farthest I had run in my Sayonara’s was also 7 miles.  This was going to be interesting.    I told my mother I was going to take awhile, how long I wasn’t sure but that she shouldn’t even start looking for me until the 2:30 mark.


Race morning dawned all too early and a little cold while standing around in the corrals.  I knew it would feel good when we started running though.   The race had a wave start and the announcers were upbeat and trying to keep the crowds entertained while we waited.   Which I appreciated until the man introduced corral 4 as the “back of the packers”.  Corral 4 contained the 2:00 hour pace group.   WTH? I was in corral 5 in between the 2:20 and 2:30 pace groups.  His comment did not go over well with the runners around me.  Grrr.

Mile 1- 11:05

The plan was to run the first 2 miles and then go to a run/ walk of 3/1.    Mile 1 had a pretty decent uphill and I was pretty proud of myself for almost running the whole thing until I remembered that I had another 12 miles to go after this and probably shouldn’t flame out after mile 1 just due to stupid pride.  So I forced myself to walk that last part of the hill.


Miles 2-5- 10:30, 11:18, 10:37, 11:17

The course has 2 decent inclines (mile 1 and 7) but otherwise it’s a nice rolling course, which is kind of my jam.   My plan of 3/1 was kind of thrown to the wind and I was just running when it felt good and walking when I needed to.  The views of the ocean to the right were pretty awesome and the village of Carlsbad was pretty cute.  Aid stations were on point and there were surprisingly more people out cheering than I thought.   There were also bands playing music along the way.  I was warming up too but it felt good to be running in a tank top though.

Miles 6-7- 10:49, 11:41

Well crap, I can see that hill coming, sure looks fun.   At least it has a decent downhill leading up to it.     I also had a moment where I mentally checked out.   Not in a bad way but in a nostalgic, spiritual way.  The 15th was my grandmother’s birthday and there was something about the way the sun was peaking through the clouds that gave me pause.  And peace.   Then it was on to the hill… and a fair amount of walking.  Well, until Last Resort by Papa Roach started playing on my phone and then I randomly started bounding down the course.


Miles 8-11- 11:21, 11:22, 11:42, 11:37

Know what I forgot?  Humidity.  Yeah, silly, you’re running next to the ocean, it’s going to be humid.   My lungs let me know they weren’t happy.  Inhaler time!  I was feeling surprisingly ok though.   I was tiring but that was to be expected but I didn’t feel bad.    I knew there weren’t any hills (by my definition, only rollers) ahead and I had a good downhill towards the finish.   I had no idea what my time was, I had my watch face on my intervals.  I just knew that the 2:30 pacer was still behind me.  But they had also started behind me so that didn’t necessarily mean anything.    My 3/1’s had never fully formed and I was still running whatever I felt like.

Miles 12-13- 11:29, 10:45

Damn, my toes were kind of hurting, boo.   Well, it could be worse.  I was so close!  And a downhill was coming!   Just as I was coming up on mile 12 I noticed the 2:30 pacer coming up on my left. No!!!  I bolted.  It helped that we were coming up on the downhill section even if it seemed shorted than I thought.  Alright, I got this, lift and coast.  Weee……Baaaaam!!!    Halfway down the hill, someone came to a complete stop right in front of me. I couldn’t stop, I slammed into them.  How neither of us hit the ground, I have no idea.  I went pinwheeling while colorful words spilled out of my mouth.     We briefly checked on each other before moving on.  I kept running towards the finish.   I ended up taking a walk break not too long later, I felt like I had wrenched my right leg in the collision.  Boo.    I tried to shake it off so I could run it in to the finish.  Except I had to dodge a woman with a giant purse meandering through the course!  What?!   Finally around her and to the finish.

Finish- 2:27:49


Sub 2:30? Where the hell did that come from?!  I mean it’s miles from my PR but it’s also a helluva a lot better than I thought I was going to pull off going into this race.    I know I have a lot of work ahead of me this year but maybe this was the race I needed start the year with.     πŸ™‚πŸ˜€   I can do this.