BibRave, Race Day, Recap, Run!

Oaktown Half Recap

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Oaktown 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.

Oh, Oakland, for being a flat city (that I’ve seen) you sure give me my ups and downs.

After a rough night’s sleep or lack there of, I was up early and out the door to make my way to race start. The perk of my hotel was that the start was only 2 blocks up. I thought there would be more runners there or out and about but there weren’t. It was kind of odd.

Start and finish

Picking up my bib and shirt were fairly easy. I got the feeling I wasn’t the only person whose expo in a box hadn’t arrived. I folded my shirt as small as I could then shoved it in my pack instead of gear checking. I then stood in the longest bathroom line ever only to discover the port-a-potties had no TP. What?!?

I met up with a couple other BibRavePros before heading to the start line.

Miles 1-3 10:09, 10:24, 10:50
I had loosely planned on taking it easy and just trying to run consistently, pace be damned. I felt pretty consistent the first few miles as we headed towards the Jack London part of town before turning back. This is also where I took most of the mural photos.

Miles 4-6 11:16, 11:00, 11:28
I was feeling ok and only walking through aid stations but it was getting warm. It felt very muggy. We were looping around Lake Merritt and as much as I was looking forward to running around Lake Merritt I knew I was about to hate it.

Miles 7-9 11:22, 11:36, 11:53
Oh my god, get me away from this lake. The lake was the mother of all out and backs- run almost all the way around it on the street then move to lake path and run all the way back the other direction. As pretty as the lake was, I felt like I was losing my mind. I did wave at another Pro when we passed each other on parts of the out and back. These were also the miles that I realized I was going to be beat by a 7 year old. Not that we were really racing but I was torn between being impressed and slightly chagrined.

She was running with her dad- I’m guessing

Miles 10-11 12:00, 11:19
Finally off the lake, I never thought I would be so happy in my life. We were headed back towards downtown and I was lagging. My legs felt good, I just felt really hot. I also died a little inside when I saw the finish line but we turned right.

Miles 12-13 12:12, 11:47
Ok, no I really died inside when I realized there was another out and back…no make that 2 out and backs. I think this realization also slowed me down. I was so over the out and backs. I tried to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Fittingly enough, Skillet’s “Finish Line” came on with around 1/3 of a mile left to go. And I picked up the pace.

Finish 2:29:03

Fastest half in a year-not sure how I feel about that. Actually my body felt pretty good during the race despite the very flat terrain. I don’t know if I was mentally there. Also I felt really hot- I never checked the humidity but it probably wasn’t my friend. Especially now that I don’t work and run in a beach town. Ha!

While this route was more scenic than my last race in Oakland, the repeated out and backs messed with my head. Boo.

Do you like out and back courses?

BibRave, Race Day

Hey Hey Oakland

Just like that, race week arrived.

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Oaktown 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.

Part of me wants to say it snuck up on me and the other part feels like I’ve been preparing forever.

This week has been all over the place. My plans changed pre race and I canceled my hotel. Then they changed again and I was booking a hotel on Thursday evening again. My bib was supposed to arrive this week but there was a shipping snafu. Now I am picking it up on race morning.

I’m just rolling with the punches here. Maybe. Maybe I’m just wobbly.

I am looking forward to running around Oakland again. Now, I know to be prepared for all the street art. I may keep my phone out the whole time. I’m also not sick this time so yay! (knock on wood) This is also a different course so I am looking forward to checking out the differences.

That said, I am unsure if I have a goal. I originally was aiming for a 2:12 with my training plan until I realized I was over reaching. A lot. I am not sure what to aim for now or if I even want to have a goal. I also don’t know what shoes to wear. Well, no- I do. It would be insanity to run in my new Ghost’s. They only have 5 miles on them.

Decisions, decisions.

Anyone else racing this weekend?

Race Day, Recap, Run!

2019 SLO Half Marathon Recap

On Sunday, I toed the start line for my 5th SLO Half Marathon.

I have mixed feelings about this race. There was a time I loved it. Then it drove me batty. I’ve run it 5 times but only paid for it once. I was a race ambassador for the first few years but then I just couldn’t. Not to say I would have made the cut had I applied, I just stopped. This most recent trip down memory lane was sponsored by my work.

In the 5 times I’ve run it, I’ve run 3 different courses. I get that the city and the county dictate what roads could be closed and when but that’s a lot of change. The first course I ran was my favorite. I ran that one 3 times. Also, I seem to get slower every time I run SLO.

I headed into this race with no goal other than finishing. The preceding week and a half had wrung me out and I was hanging on by a thread. I was wondering why I hadn’t signed up for the 3 person relay. Oh yeah, needed 2 other people.

Unlike the last time I ran it, we made it into the parking lot before I jumped out of the car.

Then it became the “what pace is this?” game.

Mile 1- 10:10
Who starts a race uphill? I mean a short hill but still. Also I had to stop and tie my shoe so I don’t know where that pace came from.

Mile 2-10:35
Oh crap, I am already exhausted. This isn’t good. Oh, look another hill.

Mile 3- 11:00
Oh thank goodness, a water stop. Another reason to walk. More hill.

Miles 4- 11:13
More walking but a little bit of downhill. Also I know SLO pretty well but we’ve turned so damn many times I am so confused.

Mile 5- 11:42
Another hill, more walking and I must lose this long sleeve shirt before I melt. Oh crap, it’s under my pack. Why?! Oh and the work water station. Anyone want to tap in for me???? Please?

Mile 6- 12:44
Ok, I’m toast. Did I say I missed the Johnson hill stretch? I take it all back. Or as the pacer in front of me said- “Welcome to the hospital hills”.

Mile 7- 11:07
The climb is never ending. My brain broke. I had no sense of pace. I just remember walking. BUT I didn’t eat asphalt here like I did my 2nd time running it.

Mile 8-12:23
I’m done. Why do I do this to myself? Oh, Orcutt road is pretty, damn forgot about the hill. Not really, just lied to myself.

Mile 9-11:11
Tiny downhill, weeee! Also lost the 2:30 pacer, like they were miles ahead. Totally realizing this could very well be my slowest half marathon.

Mile 10-11:59
So much walking. Just keep moving, just keep moving. Oh look, it’s the railroad path.

Mile 11- 12:13
At this point I actually comprehend the numbers on my watch but they make no sense. Wait, if I drop 2 sub 10 miles, I’ll be around 2:25? Did I stop my watch somewhere?

Mile 12-12:30
Stupid, you don’t have sub 10 in you. Oh, hey it’s the criss cross bridge to run up to cross the railroad. Can’t we just run across? How much more is there?

Mile 13-11:14
I see the freeway overpass- run! The finish line is on the other side. I hate this last hill right before the finish- weeee! Downhill to the finish.

2:30:16

I had a team shirt on but was overheating from the humidity, I stripped fairly quickly after finishing

Wait, what? I started walking in mile 2 for crying out loud. I was ballparking a 2:45 finish, how the hell did I cut 10 minutes off of Oakland? I mean, yeah I was sick at Oakland but I was in a fog during SLO. I had no idea what pace I was running for 90% of the race. Or walking. So somehow I inadvertently proved I do better with hills. I’m not crazy!

Ok, maybe a little.

BibRave, Race Day, Recap, Run!

Oakland Marathon- 13.1 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!

Race morning dawned all to soon even with the late start. I had not slept well the night before- too much coughing and a noisy neighbor. As I was getting ready I heard something from outside the window. Hi marathon runners!!!

Due to some shuttle confusion, I wanted to be at the supposed spot a little before 8. That way I had plenty of time for plan b if the hotel was right and there were no shuttles this year. I had to go back up to my room twice- forgot my headphones then my sunglasses when I picked up the headphones. I rounded the side of the hotel and hallelujah, there was a shuttle sign. After a very breezy wait, we all loaded on to the shuttles and were on our way.

I arrived way sooner than I usually like but at least I was there. I ran into BibRave Pro Nicole and we chatted for a bit. Yet we forgot to get a picture. I ate half a granola bar and drank water which is weird as I usually race fasted but with a start time of 9:30 I was a little confused. I hit the port a potties then made my way to the start. I lined up around the 2:20 group even though I knew that was highly unlikely. And we were off.

I enjoyed all the street art

Miles 1,2 – 10:30, 11:17
Ok, just a little speedy out of the gate. I knew I wasn’t up to 10’s- I was in denial but I wasn’t that stupid. The course wound down past Lake Merritt and I enjoyed the view to my right. Then we headed in downtown and as much I was enjoying the tall buildings and street art, I realized I had a growing issue.

Miles 3-6- 10:59, 11:30, 10:42, 11:13
My damn feet went numb around 2.5 miles in and no walk breaks or stomping were bringing them back. So much for it being the shoes. I took walk breaks every 1:30 because I was having trouble gaging the stress on my legs. As you can see my pace never really slowed so even with all the walk breaks, I was running too fast but couldn’t feel it. I was still enjoying the city sights and not feeling any pain so I just kept moving.

Miles 7-8 12:02, 12:44
Feeling came back to my feet but I was beginning to feel super tired and my coughing was increasing. Now my walk breaks were even slower. I don’t think I ever had wheels in this race but they were all flying off at this point.


well, I tried to run

Miles 9-13- 12:24, 13:26, 14:02, 13:21, 13:46
My body pretty much told me it was done. I had ignored the cough and sore throat for days and now I was paying the price. I was done. I walked it in from there and only attempted to run when I saw a photographer. Yeah, that didn’t work. The bummer with the walking was that these back miles were not the most scenic and wound through some ummm, really interesting areas. Yeah, let’s go with interesting. Miles 12 to 13 brought us back to lake and I was so glad to see the finish line.

Finish- 2:40:21

I crossed the line and was handed plenty of snacks and water before the medal. Huh? Then as I was getting more and more tired by the minute, I just tried to find the shuttle pick up so I could make it back to hotel. And for the love of Pete- why do people not fill a bus back to front? It would make so much more sense! I made it back to the hotel in time to be violently ill, shower and head home. And mad props to the Oakland Marriott- I checked in an hour early and out 3 hours late- all complimentary due to the race.

I can’t be disappointed by my time as I was the one who buried my head in the sand for 4 days. And considering I walked 6ish miles, it was still faster than Surf City, ha! Also considering how sick I am 4 days later, yeah, it could have been much worse.

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.