Tag: race

Marin Endurance Festival Recap

Sometimes being smart is stupid. But still the right thing to do.

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Marin Endurance Festival to review 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!

I didn’t run the 2 weeks before the Marin Endurance Festival, and if I’m being really honest, I barely ran in all of October.

Race week actually started off with a foggy, pain filled head thanks to a sinus infection. Grr. Plus the last few weeks of work have left me feeling fried. Which is also why I ghosted on the blog for 2 weeks. Maybe one good thing about getting older is that I finally admit these things to myself. Well, sometimes.

I had my bib mailed to me as I knew making the pickup window was likely nil. I swear the word “half” written on it just kept taunting me. I knew I needed to downgrade but pride is a stubborn thing. Even when I woke on race morning with an asshat stomach, I still wasn’t completely sold on dropping down.

However, sanity prevailed and I located the solutions table on race morning and dropped to the 10k. Which then left me to kill time as the 10k started 45 minutes after the half marathon. Lucky the start/ finish area was freaking awesome – McNear’s Beach with palm trees and shoreline views. It was also freaking cold and I was wishing I packed more than just my long sleeve. I attempted a real warm up but my stomach fought back so I just took another Pepto and walked a little. Finally it was go time.

Right up a hill. I know I’m out of shape but I don’t usually walk that quickly in a race, ha! I alternated between running and walking as we headed out of the park towards the city with shoreline views . We turned around near 1.5 miles and headed back the way came. Again… uphill. Miles 1-2 : 12:21, 13:15

The 5k mark was pretty much the top of that hill and it felt way harder than it should have been. Boo. The road narrowed and started snaking around the hillside as we ran towards China Camp State Park. I was also melting. Rookie mistake- long sleeves was a major miscalculation. I have zero complaint about the views along the way. Mile 3: 13:40

I was starting to get confused though. Mile 3 was the last mile marker I saw that made sense for the 10k. I started seeing runners up on the hill on the trail and off the road. Some of them were wearing 10k bibs which confused me. The course description said only the last .4 miles were trail. But no runners were coming back my way, save one lone female runner around 1/2 mile later. Huh?

We hit the 10K turnaround and on the way back were sort of directed off the road and up a trail. Have I mentioned I love dirt??? I was tired and barely running but I managed to pass up all the 10k runners who had been in sight for the last part of the race and drop them. And also keep them behind me. It’s the little things.😂 Miles 4-5 : 13:05, 14:18

As much as I love trails, I was learning that my shoes were very wrong for rocky dirt and was extra glad I had dropped from the half.

There was also a scary moment as we came across a runner being medically evacuated from the course on the trail section. How the paramedics got the stretcher up there I have no idea. Good news was that the runner was not on the stretcher but walking, albeit with a firefighter on each side and very, very wobbly- down the trail. Hopefully it wasn’t anything too serious.

Then it was more dirt trail with a very misplaced mile 12 sign down to the road and into the back of the beach park. I walked some more but managed to actually run across the finish line which is more than I can say for either of my last races. Mile 6: 14:27

Finish – 1:24:33

This is my slowest non-full trail 10k ever. That said, it’s my fastest 10 in years.

I really liked this course. Logistics were a bit of an issue both course wise and parking – my car was 2 miles away😂😂. Still, this is a course I would recommend. I feel like a better in shape me should try the half some future year.

Spacerock #2

First up in my race schedule was Spacerock Trail race. Also I didn’t plan on ghosting the blog this long but life or work ran me over. Oops.

I had Friday off work and Spacerock takes place in Agua Dulce which is around 3ish hours away, so I headed down there for packet pickup. I stayed at the same hotel I did in 2019 and it will likely be my last time there, haha.

I love this race so much for the scenery. If you watch a lot of sci-fi, you’ve likely seen Vazquez Rocks in the background of some shot. I also love this race for the course and the swag. I love this course but it does not love me. I knew I was going to be slower than 2019 but I naively thought I was in better trail shape than 2019 even if I am in worse overall shape. Not sure how that works.

The race started at 7:45 so I was in the parking lot around 7. I bypassed the shuttles and used the walk to the start as my warm up. The race started right on time this year.

Miles 1-3 are a nice downhill to uphill and then back. I knew this would be my strongest section and tried to run it smartly. I ran the downhills and power hiked the ups.

We pass under the highway via a tunnel or as the race calls it black hole. Once on the other side, we hit the most single track portion of the 10k course as we climbed a hill only to turn around. There were moments I came to a complete stop on the way up in order to let the runners coming back down have the right of way. There were times the trail was barely wide enough for people to cross paths. Which was more evident on my return down when at one point the crowd went left and I went right to pass and the trail gave way beneath my right foot. I gave a little shriek and the women to my right jumped out to grab me. We laughed about it and then I was off back the way we came.

I felt like I ran this section very smart and felt very flow-like in my downhill running. Race pics show something else, though. 🤣 Miles 1-3: 12:53, 17:59, 16:02

Then around mile 3.7ish, I hit the dreaded middle hill. The same hill that killed me the last time. Sadly, it defeated me again. According to Strava, it’s 400 plus elevation gain at a 7% grade. It kicks my ass. I had to stop and rest a few times on my way up. Even once I finally summited this one, there were hills. Rolling hills which I usually love but at this point I was trash. I was playing leap frog with some other runners and most of us were over the hills. It was a topic that of discussion. Then when I climbed what I thought was the last hill before the finish and saw the real last hill ahead I may have shouted out “for f&$*’s sake”. I can only blame my faulty memory, ha. Miles 4-6: 19:46, 20:36, 20:55

There was a little more than 1/2 mile left but I was toast. What should have been runnable to me was not. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other until I crossed the finish line. Finish 1:48:04.

Can I sit down now?

In all seriousness, I love this race. And will keep running it until I defeat that hill.

On the Calendar

Let’s talk races.

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Marin Endurance Festival to review 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!

I may be barely running but my race schedule says something different. I have 3 races in the next 5 weeks. 3! 5 weeks! Two of them are half marathons! All 3 have trail! 2 have pretty good climbs but all 3 have dirt! I love dirt!

First up is a 10K down in Agua Dulce that I love but it will kick my butt. It’s hard. Third up is a half marathon down in the desert… at night. I’ve been looking forward to it for years but I am trying to not get too excited as I may have puppy care problems. I have a back up plan for that though, I will be bummed but it’s life, right?

However, let’s talk about race#2! I’m heading north for the Marin Endurance Festival on Halloween weekend. There is so much going on that weekend. Saturday is the triathlon and duathlon events. I almost want to find a bike! But let’s be real, I wasn’t good at riding a bike when I was a kid, I really wouldn’t be now. I am disaster prone enough on my own.

Sunday is for the running. A half, a 10k and a 5k. All the fun kicks off at McNear’s Beach. The race website says there are 7 miles road and 6ish trail. So my big question now- what kind of shoes do I wear? Seriously, I am not joking- trail or road? I need to recon this trail.

What are your future race plans?

Oh, and if you want to join, you can save with code BRPRO10.

And seriously, what kind of shoes?

CDA Half Marathon- Recap

Holy crap, a real life race!

Disclaimer: I received an entry into CDA Half Marathon to review 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!

It’s been over a year since my last in person race. When the chance to run Coeur D’Alene came up, I jumped at it. Things would be open by Memorial Day, right? I wasn’t picked in the first run and I was bummed but then I was hit with the melanoma diagnosis and my brain ran away so maybe it was a good thing. A month or so later, something changed and a spot opened up. Once I made sure I could switch to the virtual if things didn’t change or if I had more things to deal with on the skin front. But… I headed out of town on my first race trip since March 2020 last week. Yay!

Holy crap, that is a long drive from the middle of California. Coeur D’Alene is gorgeous. The lake and the park with the trails is like runner heaven- could that just be plopped down where I am, please?

The race was utilizing a rolling start from 5:30AM to 11:00AM. You had to register for your start time before race day. I am an idiot and chose 8:30. What? I then stressed about it right up until race morning. I showed up early on race morning as I was concerned about parking. The parking lot was huge but throw in lots of runners combined with a busy public park and who know what could happen. This turned out to be a good thing as I heard the announcer say you could jump in and start if you were there early. Pick me! So instead of 8:30, I started a little after 7:45. Yay!

The first 3 miles headed out into city streets along the lakeside before looping back to the park. Man, there are some nice houses out there. The next 10 miles were on a paved path called the North Idaho Centennial Trail. This thing is 23 miles long! Again, can I have it please?

Going into the race, I had a feeling it was going to be a rough go. I figured if I walked it all and kept a 15 minute pace, I would finish around 3:15. Any running could bring me down but not far… I really am that out of shape. So there was a good chance this was going to my new personal worst.

And it was.

But I don’t care. This was about enjoying racing, taking in the sights and being around other runners again. I missed it more than I thought. It was so good. The course was awesome, lake views for most of it, dream houses for the other part. Plus, I decided I really like rolling starts. I never felt like I was back of the pack even though I definitely was. I was very warm though so I was questioning the sanity of everyone who started later in the day. I’ve never taken in so much water during a race before in my life. I drank 4 bottles on course.

So yeah, I was slow but it was fun. Other than some odd toe pain. That said, I would definitely run this race again. But maybe fly in?

Also, my finish time of 3:05:54 makes me laugh- it is exactly one hour more than my PR. To the second. That makes me giggle for some reason.

Onward to 40

No, not my age.

This weekend I am heading up to Napa Valley for the Napa Valley Marathon. It should be my 40th half. 40. From a person who said they were a 1 and done. 40.

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Napa Valley Half Marathon 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!

I’m not gonna lie, I am a little anxious. Ok, a lot. If we’re keeping track, 40 should have happened last year. First in San Jose and then at Space Rock. The first became a DNS and the second became a 10k that tried to break me. So that means my last half was in August. That’s a long break.

Long.

And the last few weeks have been … a little rough. In so many ways.

My original plan was to just enjoy the scenery- I really do love running along vineyards- and just finish quicker than half marathon #1 all those years ago. Right now, that looks highly unlikely. Unless this leg pain is all my head??? I would be totally ok with that.

I want weather just like this too

Now, my hope is that I can just enjoy a weekend where I can shut my brain off. Run a few miles a few thousand new friends. Enjoy my first VIP experience (yay!), meet some new people. Bring it 40.

Oh, and a stop at Hobby Lobby.